Decca Sound The Great Vocal Recitals 55 CD box NEW

These 55CDs present 55 unique voices whose music and art shaped their eras. Included are the debut recitals of some of music’s biggest names, including Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Cecilia Bartoli and Angela Gheorghiu among others, underlining Decca’s unparalleled ability at spotting vocal talent. 

Encompassing a vast range of music – everything from operatic recitals and Viennese Operetta to Swedish songs, including baroque, classical, Lieder and more - the cube showcases the international diversity, taste and ambitions of the artists and their label’s famed producers. 

Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 NEW

The original Alpha DAC Reference Series was a breakthrough product that reduced noise, particularly in the time domain, to levels significantly lower than any audio D to A converter previously available. The result was an immediacy and presence of music reproduction that was closer to the microphone feed than ever before. Very fine spatial and timbral information heard in real life that was previously lost or hidden by noise was revealed by the Alpha DAC Reference Series.

At Berkeley Audio Design, the principals are perfectionist audiophile engineers, and R&D is continuous. That especially applies to the Reference Series. The unprecedented resolution of the Alpha DAC Reference Series allowed and demanded further development and perfection of digital algorithms and analog circuitry that otherwise would not have been possible. The lengthy development process that resulted in the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 was challenging and resulted in design improvements that we feel again define the edge of what is possible. The only way to appreciate the level of performance achieved by the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 is to listen to it.

The retail price of the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 is $19,500.00. The Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 will begin shipping late this June. The original Alpha DAC Reference Series will no longer be produced.

The Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 will be available to audition in Salon B at the T.H.E. Show Newport, June 3-5.

Because Berkeley Audio Design doesn’t believe in planned obsolescence and because the original Alpha DAC Reference Series represents a significant investment, Berkeley Audio Design will upgrade the original Alpha DAC Reference Series to the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 at a cost of $3,500.00 plus shipping, which is the difference in retail cost between the original Alpha DAC Reference Series and the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2. That means existing Alpha DAC Reference Series owners will be able to upgrade to the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 for the same total cost, plus shipping, as a new Alpha DAC Reference Series 2.

The Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 upgrade process is elaborate and as time consuming as manufacturing a new Alpha DAC Reference Series 2. To minimize the time Alpha DAC Reference Series owners will be without a DAC during the upgrade process a scheduled RMA system will be used.

Aramis Acoustic ultimate horn speaker system NEW

Here is an exclusive sneak peak info about the Aramis Acoustic upcoming horn speaker system, that will debut in September 2016. Mono & Stereo will cover the first listening and I'll write up the impressions about these 160 cm heigh horns when they'll be ready. 

Aramis enclosure is made out of fiberglass- polymer concrete material and it will weight around 100 kg. This fully active system implements selected drivers that via dedicated waveguides offers 100 db/w sensitivity. Complete system included 3 x 3 18" woofer based bass towers. 

Optional solid aluminum enclosure milled with 5 axis CNC will add 20-30 kgs to the overall weight. 

Aries Cerat ultimate horns in production...

Stavros Danos is continuing his work on the Contendo ultimate horn speakers. Here is a peak into the CNC machining. You can get the idea how huge these speakers will be...

MBL galore…

Beautiful photos of MBL Audio based system…

Throwback to 1956...

Throwback to 1956: Frank recording ‘Close To You’ in Studio A at Capitol Records Capitol Studios which came out the following year.‬ (Photo credit: Sid Avery)

The Duelund impact!

Few photos of Duelund Copper foil capacitors being installed into the Ubiq Audio Model One Duelund Edition speakers' crossovers. On the other three photos you can spot Duelund silver bypass added. These are for my new pair of Ubiq Audio Special Edition speakers. 

Both Model one Duelund Edition and Special Edition will have their dedicated Duelund Inside badges installed on the back of the speakers.

Duelund upgrade transfers Model One to another level. The difference is not subtle by any means, but adds impressive refinement. Now, I'm wondering what silver bypasses will bring to the sound...

I'll compare both versions and wrap things up in the upcoming article about the difference between normal, Duelund and Special Edition versions of the Model One. With the difference that Duelund capacitors can introduce I'm really baffled why some of the major high-end audio speaker manufacturers are not using them or at least explore their sonic possibilities. 

For the prices being charged these days in the upper echelon speakers market there should be really no excuses for some to stick with the uberly cheap crossover components. And I'm not buying into the overused answers... 

Capacitors are acting like tuning devices and can create the unmistakable sonic impact in the right combination with the rest of the crossover parts. I've had a chance to explore quite some of the industry standards capacitors and let me tell you... Everything matters and difference were not small by any means. You can actually recognize the sound and brand's DNA sonic imprint within few listenings. I'm not exploring any exotic grounds, nor taking as granted the esoteric for being esoteric,. I'm just laying down simple down to the earth facts as even an untrained ear can recognize audible changes instantly in direct A/B listening test.

Each and every high-end audio product should be voiced (and in most cases it is) before it hits the market. In the era of crazy potent computer simulation software many things can be virtually predicted. Yes, applicable. Still, there is no clean answer when it comes to the sound. This is why back in golden era of speaker manufacturing giants like Altec Lansing some of the 200 engineers were in charge of the sound!

A question arise...  What do we listening to exactly and what we might be missing with some of the high end audio state of the art speakers? As usually super cars industry comes in handy. Why would someone wants to put the cheapest tires on the sport car. Certainly not to enjoy the ride as its fullest. Can you imagine the Ferrari or Porsche with the 1 EUR set of "rubbers"... 

Stay tuned...

MoFi Pretenders/Pretenders Numbered Limited Edition 180g LP NEW

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Pretenders/Pretenders is now available on LP. Pretenders Pretenders on Numbered Limited Edition 180g LP.

Pretenders' Self-Titled Record Moves Fast With Biting Hooks, Soulful Melodies, and Guitar-Charged Toughness: Includes "Brass In Pocket," "Precious," and "Tattooed Love Boys"

The milieu the Pretenders create on their groundbreaking debut didn't exist when the album came out in early 1980. Such is the magnitude of originality, creativity, and nerve the band captured on a record that captivated each side of the Atlantic and both upended and advanced tradition. The no-nonsense set also announced the arrival of the inimitable Chrissie Hynde, one of the greatest singer-songwriters in rock history, gender be damned. Equally significant, the album remains just one of two studio efforts featuring the original members before tragedy ended the lives of guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon.

Originally recorded live in the studio at high volume levels by producer Chris Thomas, the record on this vinyl edition boasts added extension, sharper imaging, multi-dimensional soundstaging, and a crispness that practically places the Pretenders onstage in your room. Replete with detail and nuance—particularly, Hynde's singing and Honeyman-Scott's terrific array of hovering chords, colorful palettes, and inventive effects—this is a record that rewards repeat listening and full-bloom playback.

Cited by Rolling Stone as the 155th Greatest Album of All Time, Pretenders took shape via the vision of the Ohio-born Hynde and chemistry she achieved with three Brits circling the same punk orbit—one that saw the frontwoman work with the Sex Pistols and briefly embark on a serious music-criticism career. Indeed, while Hynde is the unquestionable leader of the gang, the Pretenders are the sum of their total parts, displaying rapport and interaction that never came together more convincingly, naturally, or emotionally as it does on their debut. Honeyman-Scott's ringing arpeggio tones seamlessly combine with Hynde's no-muss sass, sensuality, and soulfulness. Similarly, the rhythm section contributes considerable thump and classically styled explosiveness. Together, the four sound like no other band.

Such distinctiveness helps explain why Pretenders remains as contemporary now as it did 30-odd years ago.Schooled in the era's raw, unfiltered English punk yet equally versed in rockabilly, new-wave pop, and British Invasion rock, the band orchestrates songs that overflow with keen hooks, sexual swagger, and ear-catching melodies. Courtesy of the aggressive guitars and leather-tough cool, Pretendersmoves fast, Hynde's assertive deliveries and take-notice lyrics jolting the senses with a lethal mix of sophistication, toughness, tenderness, rebelliousness, and romance.

With Honeyman-Scott playing the Richards to her Jagger, Hynde operates on pure instinct. She throws down the gauntlet on the corrugated pulse of "Precious," proves she can hang with even the roughest boys on the energetic bounce of "Tattooed Love Boys," and, on the smash hit "Brass In Pocket," spouts self-aggrandizing claims that she would back up for decades to come. Yet Hynde and the Pretenders' appeal goes much deeper than brazenness. Akin to her guitarist's unconventional phasing and treated effects, the singer never abides by rules or stereotypes as she balances the gutsiness and attitude with sensitivity ("Lovers of Today"), compassion (the jangling "Stop Your Stopping"), and vulnerability ("Kid").

Pretenders is not only one of the most impressive album debuts in history, it's one of the most essential records, independent of genre or timing, ever made. Hear this energetic music in the finest-possible fidelity it's ever enjoyed.

Concierto de Aranjuez...

Never out of time or in absence of emotional impact. Violinist Ikuko Kawai performers timeless Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo...