reviews

Straight Wire Pro Thunder Power Cable

Straight Wire is one of the oldest and most respected manufacturers of audio cables.

Sutherland 20/20 and DUO Phono Preamplifiers

Sutherland DUO

The Sutherland 20/20 dual mono moving-coil/moving magnet phono cartridge preamplifier was introduced in 2010 and carries a list price of $2,199. The 20/20 differs from previous Sutherland phono preamps by being powered by the AC line, not by batteries. The design is what Ron Sutherland calls “Two Mono”. There are two entirely separate sections in the single enclosure separated by air, one section for each channel.

Two Power Cables - Element Stealth "es" & PS Audio PerfectWave AC-10

Writing about power cords is like drinking air when you are hungry. You can spend a lot of time doing it, but in the end, your efforts will have little effect on your appetite. The reason for my ambivalent outlook on this subject is not that I find aftermarket power cords to be worthless. On the contrary. I find that power cords can have a huge and important and necessary effect on the sound of audio components.

Valvet E2 SE Stereo Power Amplifier

The new Valvet E2 SE single-ended Class A solid-state amplifier is a revelation. Coming to market about a year after my review of the Valvet E2, the SE version exceeds the E2's audible performance in every parameter. Please see the older review for context. The special edition SE version takes all the E2's excellent performance and offers improvements in every area.

Valvet E2 Stereo Power Amplifier

Valvet High-End Audio, of Bargteheide, which is near Hamburg in northern Germany, has been making high quality audio components since 1982. Owner and designer Knut Cornils has a goal for all of his components: “(T)he transmission of music free from artefact or manipulation, music that stimulates the senses! A simple but well-thought-out circuit, short signal paths and the best, reliable components”.

van den Hul Condor XCM and XGM MC Phono Cartridges

I can’t tell you what to buy. Even if I found the perfect component…well, what is “perfect”, anyway? Take an amplifier, for example. Let’s say that I thought that the Cary 300SEI amplifier was the absolute best amplifier on the planet. In my room and with my speakers, it just might be the best choice out of the hundreds of other amplifiers out there.

Velodyne Optimum-12 Subwoofers

Adjusting the controls on a subwoofer for best performance takes time and patience. It is always interesting to see ads for used subwoofers appear on the Web stating “only a week old” or “barely broken in”. These almost always identify a dissatisfied owner.

VPI Aries Turntable with SME V arm and SDS

An unexpected thing happened as a result of this review. I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later, but I didn’t expect it would be a turntable that was the catalyst. I was finally convinced that satisfaction from reproduced music has a tenuous connection to objective observations.

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