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Industry News: The Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show (TAVES)

The TAVES Consumer Electronics Show is less than two weeks away (October 31st to November 2nd) and in advance of the show, TAVES has issued a press release detailing some of the things consumers will get to see in terms of new technology and emerging trends.

This is going to be a great show and Inner Ear Magazine will be there cruising the show to find out what's new in audio and we'll files daily reports and photos.

In the mentime, read the TAVES release and get ready for the show. We hope to see you there.

TAVES 2014 Press Release

Short & Sweet: Tenor 175S Stereo Amplifier - Part 2

My first instalment, about a year ago, was about the Tenor power amplifier where I elaborated and talked about its sound. However, can't run an amp without a preamp — so I'd like to begin part 2 with a list of all the ones I had in-house at the time - the Tenor 175S

I had the Allnic L-3000, a Magnum MD 309 (preamp section), an old modified Dolan and an Aesthetix Janus for my in-house auditions. I also used the Audio Aero Prestige CD player/preamp at my friend Sol's Tenor set-up. Each of these preamps has an attribute or unique sonic makeup that, in a good system arrangement, should be perceptible and reveal its degree of system synergy/compatibility. What came to light was that all harmonized well with the Tenor power amplifier. What I'm saying is that all preamps enabled me to hear the amplifier and its sonic distinction, though influenced by the various preamplifiers' personality/voice.
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Bryston Middle T Loudspeaker - In Depth

A while ago, Inner Ear Editor Erne Fisher wrote a "Short & Sweet" review of the Bryston Mini-T loudspeaker. We just received this review from Allen Edelstein, gave it a read and found it to be a very interesting take on the Mini-T and thought we'd post it Allen Edelstein. Click the link to read the complete unedited review - probably the longest review we have ever published over the last twenty-five years. We hope you enjoy it.

:exceprt: Although Bryston has been in business for almost half a century, it has made speakers for only a few years. And in North America producing both electronics and speakers is rare. Few companies have made a real go of it, trying to do both for a while and usually reverting to only producing their original product. But given the rate that Bryston has been releasing new speakers I can only assume success in this case.

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NAGRA Jazz Preamplifier

David McCallum offers his take on the new NAGRA Jazz preamplifier as a follow up to his review of the VPS Valve Phono Preamp:

ILOVENAGRA is an apt password that I happened to receive while working on two articles on Nagra’s Hi-End audio equipment. The first was on the VPS phono amplifier, and while I was quite impressed with the VPS, Nagra’s Jazz preamplifier has enchanted me like few products before. I’ve utilized the Jazz for over six months while writing two previous reviews, first on the VPS phono amplifier and later on Allnic Audio’s H-1201 phono amplifier. If you haven’t read the original VPS article you may want to give the first few sections a glance, as they contain information about Nagra’s history as well as my own relationship with the Nagra brand. Otherwise, the time has come to put on some Jazz. <<Read More>>


(Editor's Note: this article has previously been published at the website http://thehighfidelityreport.com/)

Short & Sweet: Bryston Middle T Loudspeaker

Nothing revolutionized the automobile industry more than Henry Ford's Model T, the car produced from October 1, 1908 to May 27, 1927. It was the first car that opened travel to the ordinary workingman. It was Ford's efficient production — his assembly line — that made it possible to reduce costs and still provide a fine vehicle with which to enjoy travel. Similarity, Bryston's Model T line of loudspeakers, after they had been designed, used an existing manufacturer with all the tooling in place to allow an affordable manufacturing process without degrading performance goals and specifications. Speaking of specs, they are outstanding and they can be viewed at Bryston's website (www.bryston.com) but this isn't about specs at all, this is about sound — good sound too. <<READ MORE>>

COMING SOON: Audio - Short & Sweet Reviews

Technology has changed the world in so many ways - some good, some not – well, that depends on your point of view. One thing is certain, we have become accustomed to having stuff now ... Right Now

We are also finding that some want it short and sweet so the writers at Inner Ear Magazine are taking a new direction and will soon present Audio: Short & Sweet Reviews. Consider them to be an introduction, immediate impressions, a "getting to know you" of new equipment. Detailed reviews take time – and that is important in the overall assessment, but these days, when equipment changes happen in the blink of an eye, we feel it is right to get our impressions to you sooner.


NAGRA VPS Valve Phono Preamplifier

by David McCallum

In the professional audio industry the name Nagra is synonymous with precision. For over 50 years, Nagra has been an industry leader in developing analogue and digital audio recorders. Famous for their sound quality and reliability, Nagra recorders have been the first choice in high-quality recording equipment for a generation of location sound recordists and engineers.

My personal introduction to Nagra came in 1992. I was a young film studies student at the time, and had my first taste of high quality pro-audio in a lecture on the Nagra III NP analogue audio recorder. I spent many subsequent hours with the Nagra III, studying its operation, taking the recorder out for field recording sessions, and performing a series of recordings for short film projects with other students. That early time with the Nagra III, where I explored the nuances of recorded sound, was instrumental in my movement into audio as a professional.

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A First: Tenor Audio's 175 S receives a 5-Note Rating

Inner Ear Editor Ernie Fisher started out conducting some listening tests and ended up drafting an essay which consders the consciousness of critical listening.

The motivation for this essay was his earlier listening experiences while auditioning the Tenor monoblocks (350M) a few years ago and the past year spent with the 175S — Tenor’s less expensive stereo model amplifier. There was a lot to tell taken from notes written over a rather long time period — that best describes what he have observed and noticed. The following is based on the 175 S Tenor amplifier being connected to many loudspeakers he had in-house and at other locations — and a few different preamplifier (sadly not the Tenor) and source components.

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A High Performance Music System For Under $10K.

by Ernie Fisher
Inexpensive audio systems are the grist for the mill of this old reviewer. Low-priced components, however, represent many hours of hard work of others who create the components for them. In the meantime, I may have spent years surrounded by free (though temporary) high-end audio gear from Tenor, Bryston, Genesis, Avantgarde, and am prone to dismiss these efforts if what I hear doesn't match my preconceptions. Of course, if I had to pay for the audio gear, things may be different .

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New from Bryston - Model Mini T Loudspeaker

by Ernie Fisher
Whenever I think of relatively low priced loudspeakers, many well known mass-market brands come mind — most of which hold no interest for me. Many produce good speakers that work well with a wide range of equipment, but only few qualify to play back and do justice to the music, this is where the mini ts come in — and at $2550/pair (plus stands) represent highly affordable quality by today's standards. The Minis boast remarkable accuracy, overall balance and musicality, sonic elements found in complex loudspeaker designs costing more than double. The technical information is in the specifications, but a few details deserve note:

The Mini Ts do a better job of providing solid bass than any other so-called bookshelf speakers I have encountered at or close to their price range. They can produce or reproduce a true 35Hz at low to moderate volumes with excellent control, whereas most speakers in this price range either give up well above 40Hz or wind up with serious boominess.
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Bryston - Model T Basic Loudspeaker

by Ernie Fisher
When it comes to describing one's impressions within a review-type essay, I think it is easier to exercise criticism than to explain excellence. A reviewer’s obligation is to investigate and describe in detail the performance, character, merit, shortcomings and sonic properties of the component under review. But when being an audio critic turns into listening for pleasure, the critic is in trouble and must re-evaluate his/her position and duty. I found myself in this position dozens of time, but never as blatantly painful as in the past few months — the time I spent listening to the Model Ts and the Tenor Audio amplifier (review pending as I am still working on the Tenor). Nevertheless, here goes ...

As the sheer size and number of drivers indicates, the Model Ts do not make polite compromise with the law of physics. However, the size and number of driver is a bit misleading as the Model Ts are very coherent.
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Bel Canto REF500M Monoblock Amplifier

by Ernie Fisher
If you believe that high-end audio is always expensive, you are right — most of the time. There are, however, some, or few exceptions. These monoblocks cannot be considered outright bargains, but when one considers the price/performance ratio, one of the few exceptions is this pair of amplifiers from Bel Canto Audio. The price may point toward shortcuts taken to reduce costs, but that simply isn’t so. The company and its designers have a sound background in engineering and they have gone to great lengths to create electronic components employing the most recent and innovative advances in switching technology. While this is important, Bel Canto haven’t forgotten about the music their designs must recreate; after all, loosely translated, their name translates into Beautiful Song from the Italian language. As we shall see when you read the following, there is evidence that the components under review are capable of reproducing just that.
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Bryston SP3 Preamlifier/Processor

by David McCallum
In the world of no-holds-barred multi-channel audio, the Bryston SP3 is the pre-amp / processor to beat. In essence, the SP3 is three great products in one. It offers the best multi-channel audio I’ve ever heard outside of a top sound mixing studio; it includes 7 outstanding D/A converter channels for multi-channel or stereo digital audio; and it provides outstanding 2-channel stereo performance, essential to any truly great sound product.

As the culmination of the progression Bryston has undergone as a company, the SP3 tops their list of exemplary consumer electronics products. Unlike the amplifiers Bryston produces, it’s not likely the SP3 will find its way into very many sound studios (some, but not as many). However, given the performance level attained, it is capable of bringing the highest studio caliber sound into your home.
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Origin Live Conqueror MK3c Tonearm

by David McCallum
I’m suspicious that this particular review started out as a challenge, that after reading my original review of the Origin Live Calypso and Encounter combination, Mark Baker was curious to see how I would respond to one of his top arms.

In the spring of 2011 I wrote a review of the excellent Origin Live Calypso turntable with the equally striking Encounter MK3C Tonearm. I spent a good number of months with both products and was thoroughly impressed with what I heard – so much so that after the review I asked Origin Live’s principle owner and designer Mark Baker if I could set up the combination for The Inner Ear's editor Ernie Fisher for an extended run of additional listening. After a brief conversation, rather than returning the whole kit, Mark suggested we up the ante and offered to send an upgraded tonearm to be paired with the same Calypso table. His recommendation was the Conqueror MK3C.
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Naim Superline Reference Phono Stage

Inner Ear welcomes a guest reviewer this month. Chris Chamberlin is an avid audio enthusiastwe've known for a very long time and over the years we have come to value and respect his comments and observations. We welcome him to the fold with his review of the new reference phono stage and power supplies from Naim. Here is a brief intro:

"At the outset, let me clearly state that I am a proponent of tube audio as opposed to solid-state audio gear. Having exposed my subjective preference in terms of music presentation, I can unabashedly continue with the following phono stage review. By way of a little background, I have been an audio enthusiast for the past 35 years. I have a fairly large collection of both records and CDs, which cover a number of musical genres. The journey to try to achieve audio bliss has been an exercise in trial and error, but also, for the most part, a great deal of fun, with the occasional hiccup along the way. Recently my audio friend David McCallum approached me to inquire if I'd be interested in doing some writing for the high-end Inner Ear audio webzine. David and I both share the love of audio and also have similar tastes in two channel stereo equipment."
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Editorials
About The Inner Ear – A little background, philosophy and mind-set.

E. Leopold gets on his soapbox to discuss "Editor's Choice".

Ruling Your Listening Room - The Sanctuary Controlled
Latest Audio News & Reviews
   
Focal Chorus 836 W Loudspeaker
by Ernie Fisher
Reev Designs Atma Loudspealker
by Ernie Fisher
Allnic T-2000 Amplifier
by Ernie Fisher
Allnic L-1500 Preamplifier
by Ernie Fisher
Allnic L-1500 Preamplifier
by Ernie Fisher
Black Ravioli (update)
by Ernie Fisher
Allnic L-1500 Preamplifier
by Ernie Fisher
Origin Live Calypso TT & Encounter MK3c tonearm
by David McCallum
Visit the Reviews page for a list of all previously posted product reviews
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