The Audio Traveler

  1. This is the third in a monthly series of album reviews I will be doing for DVL Audio here in Canada. I’ll be heading out to a local record store in Vancouver, digging through the bins, and coming up with an intriguing LP to discuss here on Part-Time Audiophile. I’ll never go out with something in mind beforehand, and there is no criteria for whether it’s a new album, an old album, an out-of-print LP, electronic, classical, jazz, punk – whatever – it just has to sound good to me. I’ll come up with as much of the backstory as I can research, and include a small audio sample for listening. I hope you enjoy reading the reviews as much as I enjoy doing them. –Rafe Arnott Certain bands evoke certain memories. It’s just one of those inevitable moments that when you hear a song from the past, your neural pathways fire off a synaptic response before you can consciously think about it, and you have a reaction. It works visually, and I’ve found with particularly strong power, it works when you smell or taste something (magic markers take me back to Miss Allen’s class in grade two). So, when I was [...]
  2. Despite their penchant for all things digital, Devialet has a soft spot for vinyl. Witness their fifth LP release in just over a year with Ella Fitzgerald Live at the Concertgebouw – 1961. This follows Sarah Vaughan, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, and Dave Brubeck, and continues the series focus of “Lost Recordings.” I’ve not heard the vinyl copies yet, but have been given the opportunity to download 24-bit samples to listen to, and the sonics of those cuts are impressive indeed. I’ll be shooting the French company a note to see if I can get an LP for review – stay tuned. In the meantime, here’s some more information on the recording process, and the story behind the LPs from Devialet. –Rafe Arnott From the press release: The adventure of The Lost Recordings was born of a partnership with Fondamenta, a music label with which we share the same passion, and a mad challenge: to find mythical recordings, unpublished, lost and bring them back to life. By bringing together the best archaeologists of sound, who for more than a year have traveled the world in search of mythical recordings lost in the immensity of the archives. By developing a unique process, the Phoenix [...]
  3. McIntosh Labs is keeping busy these days, apparently they haven’t heard a fleetingly popular wail that the high fidelity industry is doomed. Or at least that’s what a bunch of people on some forums said, oh, and that I overheard whispering conspiratorially in the hall at the last North American show I attended. But I digress. The new MAC7200 – which is specified for the North American market – looks to be exceedingly well-equipped. Its got a lot of tech shovelled under the muscular hood (200 Watts/CH) including both Moving Coil, and Moving Magnet phono stages, a separate DA1 Digital Module with six inputs that can be swapped out at a later date for future-proofing, and an eight-channel, 32-bit capable DAC that handles PCM up to 384kHz, DSD 256, and DXD 384… and that’s a mouthful for just $7,000 USD/$8,525 CAN. Press release below. –Rafe Arnott MA7200 is a complete integrated amplifier, the MAC7200 adds an AM/FM Tuner Binghamton, NY – September 13, 2017 – McIntosh, the global leader in prestigious home entertainment and ultimate-quality audio for over 65 years, is proud to announce the MA7200 Integrated Amplifier and MAC7200 Receiver. MA7200 Integrated Amplifier (Available exclusively for countries outside the [...]
  4. One of the classic North American shows – and a Left Coast high point in the audio-show circuit has been unexpectedly cancelled for 2017. In a press release sent out to exhibitors on Sept.6, 2017, Maurice R. Jung,  the president of  T.H.E. Show states that ” It is with deep regret that I must report to you that I have decided to postpone T.H.E. Show at Anaheim for 2017 and move it to a new date in 2018.” Long time industry veteran, and genuine renaissance man Richard Beers had been helming the T.H.E. Show at Newport Beach for a number of years until his death in 2016. Part-Time Audiophile hopes T.H.E. Show will be back for next year. –Rafe Arnott Press release: Hello Exhibitors,   It is with deep regret that I must report to you that I have decided to postpone T.H.E. Show @ Anaheim for 2017 and move it to a new date in 2018. This was not an easy decision for me and the great team of T.H.E. Show to make but several reasons have come into play that have made this decision necessary. I hope you will understand why as you are entitled to know: 1. [...]
  5. Like yourself some Bowers & Wilkins 800 Diamond Series loudspeakers? A bit too pricey for your pocketbook? Relax. Exhale. I’ve got some great news for you… B&W has just announced the 700 Series of loudspeakers (replacing the CM line), and they’re chock full of 800 Diamond technology goodness at a significantly lower price. The line has a total of nine new designs, so there’s something for everybody: three floor standing models, three standmounts, two centre-channel offerings, and a subwoofer for those so inclined. The 700 Series borrows some of the key design elements of the Diamond line such as the Continuum driver material, modified Aerofoil bass drivers, and an all-new Carbon Dome tweeter that’s enclosed in a solid aluminum enclosure. Tell me more, you say? Finishes on the new line include the legendary Rosenut, the living-room, and lifestyle-friendly satin white, and the coveted gloss black. Pricing ranges from $1,250 USD ($1,520 CAN), to $4,500 USD ($5,500 CAN). If you’re in the Vancouver area, visit Hifi Centre to check out the 700 Series in person starting late September.
  6. Even though it’s Labour Day around the world, and we’re all supposed to be doing our level best to avoid work like the plague, I felt compelled to bring you news that digital-music juggernaut MQA has announced yet another partnership, this time with streaming heavyweight Deezer. The agreement promises to significantly expand MQA’s global reach, and put MQA into the earbuds of millions of 20-somethings who’ve probably never heard of it before. Having firmly landed on the positive side of the fence some time ago for MQA’s proprietary music-software codecs I see this as a boost for the audiophile world, and music lovers in general. More people realizing that music can sound better than compressed Mp3s is always a good thing. Tidal beware though, with this announcement there’s another high-res streaming service on the block. Cue Rocky theme. –Rafe Arnott MQA press release below: London, September 4, 2017 – Following major partnership unveilings at the IFA technology show in Berlin, MQA is announcing a key new agreement with global music streaming platform Deezer, which will significantly expand MQA’s music offering and audience reach. The deal will enable MQA’s technology to be integrated into Deezer’s platform, as well as across the service’s [...]
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