NuPrime DAC-9 DAC, STA-9 Stereo Amp, and HPA-9 Phono Preamp and Headphone Amp

NuPrime DAC-9 DAC, STA-9 Stereo Amp, and HPA-9 Phono Preamp and Headphone Amp

Founded by former NuForce CEO Jason Lim, NuPrime sells several higher-end NuForce products, plus it has developed additional NuPrime-branded gear. What distinguishes NuPrime components from those of most competitors are their prices, which range from moderate to (are you sitting down?) outright bargains. The equipment under review is potentially in the latter category. So just how low are the prices of the 9-series NuPrimes? The DAC-9 is priced at $749, the STA-9 at $649, and the HPA-9 at $649. But wait! While these prices make the 9-series components inexpensive (I started to say dirt cheap, but there’s nothing dirty about ...

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NAD Founder Martin Borish: 1927–2017

NAD Founder Martin Borish: 1927–2017

On July 11th, 2017, Martin L. Borish (Marty), who is credited with leading NAD Electronics from a distribution sourcing co-operative into an iconic 45-year-old audio brand, passed away after a quiet and dignified battle with cancer. The entire worldwide family of NAD employees, distributors and dealers join with his family to mourn Marty’s passing. His passion for audio changed the course of Marty’s life, and influenced our industry. His vision to build affordable audiophile level products encouraged broader introduction into the world of high end audio. Marty was a native of New Jersey in Metro New York City, and started ...

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TAS Legacy: NAD 3020 Integrated Amplifier

TAS Legacy: NAD 3020 Integrated Amplifier

The legendary NAD 3020 is one of the most successful integrated amplifiers ever marketed. The timing of its release played a key role in its success. When the NAD 3020 intro’d in London in 1978 for all of 80 pounds (about $135), it entered a market dominated by Japanese-made receivers—puffed-up beasts with eye-catching knobs and optimistic power ratings but generally disappointing sonics. The unpretentious NAD 3020 espoused a no-frills aesthetic and offered modest power ratings, with an emphasis on meaningful features and real-world performance rather than on bells and whistles and lab-test measurements. It also marked the debut of the ...

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Q&A with Scott DeLoache of Starke Sound

Q&A with Scott DeLoache of Starke Sound

What ignited your interest in the high end? Did it come from the music side or the electronics side? The music side primarily. My parents introduced me to music at a very early age and it has been a passion of mine ever since. With that being said, I’ve always been interested in everything science-related, including the physics behind sound and acoustic reproductions. What gear made up your first high-end system? It was a Snell Phantom IC-B7 system powered by Krell multichannel amps. When and why did audio develop from a hobby to a career? It was in 2010, when ...

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Gavin Bryars: The Fifth Century

Gavin Bryars: The Fifth Century

The Fifth Century, a 42-minute work for choir and saxophone quartet by the English composer Gavin Bryars (b.1963), has been described as “music that makes eternity audible.” Bryars sets texts by the lesser-known 17th-century metaphysical poet, Thomas Traherne, dense considerations of eternity, infinity, and the omnipresence of God in the world. If that sounds like a lot of psychic heavy lifting, rest assured that the meaning of the piece comes through without closely following the texts. The harmonic language is consonant, and Bryars has created a discreet complementary role for four saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone), performed flawlessly by ...

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Bob Dylan: John Wesley Harding

Bob Dylan: John Wesley Harding

The sessions for John Wesley Harding took place in Columbia’s Nashville recording studios, where most of Bob Dylan’s previous album, Blonde on Blonde, was also recorded. Bob Johnston was again the producer, and the core sidemen on JWH—Charlie McCoy (bass) and Kenny Buttrey (drums)—also played on the BoB sessions. Yet the albums are radically different. Musically BoB was looser and the sound much fuller, with electric guitar and organ playing prominent roles. Much sparser is JWH, where the rhythm section (and especially the electric bass) is relatively high in the mix while Dylan’s acoustic guitar and piano are recessed. (Pete ...

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Stein Music Harmonizer System

Stein Music Harmonizer System

Stein Music’s Harmonizer System is your classic black magic tweak. Though its inventor Holger Stein tried to explain how his small, shelf- or stand-mounted, black or white plastic boxes (labeled H2a and H2b) and wall-mounted “magic stones” work—something to do with changing the density of the air molecules in your room—I neither fully understood his explanation nor believed it. And yet, as has so often been the case in the past with other mystery-meat room treatments, when Stein set up the Harmonizer System in my digs, it somehow changed the soundfield in many of the ways he claimed it would, ...

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Crystal Cable Arabesque Minissimo Diamond Edition with Subissimo Subwoofer

Crystal Cable Arabesque Minissimo Diamond Edition with Subissimo Subwoofer

When high-end audio manufacturers delve into the so-called “lifestyle” category they must tread lightly to avoid giving the impression that they’re prioritizing good looks at the expense of great sound. Sure, there are many approaches to product development and how budgets get divvied up, just as there are audiophiles who crave not only high-fidelity musical reproduction but also gear that’s a pleasure to have around—to look at and live with in their home, to enjoy interacting with it. Can’t one have the best of both worlds? Certain companies seem to think so (Sonus faber, Burmester, McIntosh, among many others), and ...

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The Sound Organisation Announces Immediate Shipping of Rega Ania MC cartridge and Fono MC phono preamp

The Sound Organisation Announces Immediate Shipping of Rega Ania MC cartridge and Fono MC phono preamp

The following is a press release issued by The Sound Organisation. July 12, 2017 - Rega Research and The Sound Organisation are pleased to announce the availability of the entry level Ania moving coil cartridge and matching Fono MC fully adjustable phonostage. These new products join an extensive lineup of turntables, cartridges and amplfiers, building on 40+ years of experience in the analog field. Shipping to dealers across the US now. The Ania MC is $795 and the Fono MC is $495 US Retail. Additionally, customers will save $50 when the two are purchased together. Ania is the result of ...

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Prog-Rock Is Dead, Long Live Prog-Rock

Prog-Rock Is Dead, Long Live Prog-Rock

Progressive rock has long been shunned by critics and ignored by radio. How is it, then, that the music continues to find new fans? “You can’t completely kill an art form,” Dave Weifel wrote in a 2012 Slate article, “Prog Spring: The Brief Rise and Inevitable Fall of the World’s Most Hated Pop Music,” “Even if a musical genre becomes despised, it endures.” In the case of prog-rock, it eventually found new and unpredictable devotees, including heavy metal musicians as well as those crate-diggers who love dropping needles on prog-rock albums. As Weifel put it, “Hip-hop artists, our cultural magpies, ...

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Rotel Introduces Several New Stereo Components

Rotel Introduces Several New Stereo Components

The following is a press release issued by Rotel. North Reading, MA | June 28, 2017—For over half a century, Rotel has been manufacturing award winning hi-fi components that set new levels of audio performance within and often above its class. The tradition continues with the latest introduction of three new stereo components as part of the 15 Series. RA-1572 Integrated Amplifier Long recognized as a central component in superb yet cost-effective music systems, the integrated amplifier’s job has evolved substantially as many music-lovers have migrated to digital sources. The RA-1572 is one of the best examples of melding classic ...

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