Today many component reviews are based on the premise that if is more expensive it must be better. In turntables, it seems like the higher the mass the higher the cost hence the higher degree of merit. Here is a test of turntables, admittedly of the suspended chases variety, founded on engineering principles, listening tests informed by these principles, and measurements that relate to usage in the real world.
Note that the manufacturer posts meaningful specifications like rumble, wow and flutter, and arm bearing friction. The review, by the late Peter Mitchell who you may remember from Stereophile, I recall, actually measures not only the specs like rumble - when was the last time you saw a rumble measurement or specification in one of these 275 lb behemoths - but characteristics like acoustic breakthrough, resonance frequency and possible damping of the cartridge-arm combination? These measurements actually make a difference as an indicator of sonic quality and usefulness in a system.
Today it seems anyone with a CNC machine or a machine shop in the E.U. can foist their unspecified goods on us unsuspecting audiophiles. There is no "Turntable Guild" in Europe as there is with watchmakers - perhaps there was one once. American audiophiles who worship at the feet of those reviewers, who take little pains to measure, listen, measure, listen, are being taken for a ride. The characteristics of these vinyl interfaces and subsystems are well known. Acoustic breakthrough is a real problem if you put your 'table between your speakers, more so with box speakers or hybrids - or should I say mongrels? - but who today measures for it?
Who specifies rumble besides Linn, perhaps SME and SOTA? Does Mikey Cyrus measure it even if it isn't specified?
Ears may rule, but one needs to have something between them before entering the turntable realm with just a checkbook and a scale....As in most things, follow the money!
We are having a limited sale on certain Accusound Cables. They are exactly the same cables as current 2017 production, but may have some minor cosmetic differences. Sonically they are identical. Rather than send them back to the factory for exchange we have decided to pass on some savings to you. Please call!
Carver ALS Towers Only
We have a demo pair of Amazing Line Source Speakers selling at a very attractive price without the SUBRosa subwoofer. If you are in a 300 mile radius "piano mover quality" shipping can be arranged for an additional charge at our cost. For local pick-up bring your truck. Please call!
Pass Labs X-1 Preamp
A client trade-in with a 90 day warranty. "Best sounding X-1 in the country" according to Pass Labs $2000 plus taxes and shipping. In original box, remote, power supply, PS cable, strong display - make sure you check these things on eBAY specials!
Email us for pictures. Except as stated prices do not include any applicable taxes and shipping.
If you miss these you'll want to drown yourself in Guinness! An extra goody for the first buyer who knows what "Blooms-day" is and how it came to be without looking it up!
Does your boutique gear meet FTC spec?
:Lately we have been chagrined by tests of amplifiers, DACs and so in the magazines that still actually test equipment such as HFN/RR and Stereophile. What we notice is:
If the equipment doesn't meet the FTC or FCC rules the manufacturer or importer is not supposed to sell it to consumers or retailers.
At BSOLLC we are approached by equipment manufacturers and importers frequently. If they have a sample we test them in our test department to see if they meet FTC spec or their other published specifications such as jitter, rumble, power bandwidth, rated power and so on depending on the type of unit. If they don't we let the representative know. Sometimes they take the gear away and we never hear from them again.
As a "client first shop" we feel we owe it to you not to sell defective designs or defective implementations of designs.
We have had many units come through the door and fail to meet their specs. No, we do not publish a list of this equipment - we just don't carry it. We cannot in good conscience sell this gear to our clients no matter what the cachet. I do not want to get into the old morass of whether something that measures well might not sound like the songs of the Cherubim - although I chuckle when a box or horn loudspeaker with a rising, extended high frequency response sounds "just like an electrostatic."
One problem is that many manufacturers will not send us a demo/test unit for evaluation like they do the magazines. Sometimes we have to pay up front but make it very clear in writing that we can return it. No wonder there are so few places where people can get honest advice and service! It's not just Amazon and eBAY killing the audio salons!
Remember that clients can request their present equipment, or something you have on loan, to be measured and have a safety inspection by our service department for nominal charge. Armed with that information, you can make a decision about how to proceed.
Sound Lab Ultimate 745 Review June 1 2017
Here's quote from the Norwegian distributor about the new Ultimate-745s he just installed at a client's home:
"Congratulations (!) for having made the best speakers I have ever heard, and at 52 years of age I have heard a few. The speed of the transients and the accuracy in reproducing instruments are impressive. Our ... (famous much more expensive 3-way "German-Expressionist")...horn speaker has speed but lacks the the same accuracy. I was also impressed by the amount of bass coming from an electrostatic speaker."
If you have the proper room and the requisite front-end equipment, U-745s are an final purchase.
Accuphase Demo Gear
We may shortly have some very nice current production Accuphase demo gear available at attractive prices. Give us a call or email for your requirements.
we go visiting two supermarkets
I went shopping at the local supermarket. I was looking for some yogurt bars. The brand I was looking for was no longer there. I asked the Manager why they no longer carried the brand and he said that his family liked it too but his hands were tied. All the decisions were made by corporate; they didn't know what they were getting from week to week.
He said that the brands bought shelf space in the store so what came off the truck is what they had to sell.
Thereafter I was at a big hifi chain. I went in the specialized audio section and spoke with a very personable fellow who gave me a tour of the place. We ended up in the "high end" room. There were a couple of major audiophile electronics, cable, and speaker brands on display. He said he liked some of them but had a hard time selling them to the local clientele even though they got lots of reviews and were featured on covers, in splashy ads, and so on. He had no choice in the matter. He did not know what was coming in week to week but had to sell what was in stock. I said that must be tough.
Then he told me that the brands bought shelf space in the store so what came off the truck is what they had to sell.
We have a client who is looking for a Linn Troika or more recent Linn moving coil cartridge.
dagogo.com - Review of the U-545 Sound Lab Speaker
Originally called the U-4iA electrostatic, as it was in the review, this "reflection" was perhaps a bit rambling at times but did describe the essence of the new 5' tall speaker. Like all Sound Labs, it is transparent, deserves the best equipment you can put in from of it, and is really happy with at least 200 real watts per channel, if not more.
Counterintuitively, the smaller panels are less sensitive than their larger range-mates. Many people look at them and think of the QUAD (even though they are bigger) and reckon they can and should drive them with a 30 WPC amp or they will "arc" them or fry their voltage blocks. This is far from the truth. The last two generations of SLs are reliable and tough, and the latest iteration is even more robust!
The reviewer described the U-545s as having a larger "sweet-spot" than flat panel speakers like the King Sound or QUAD, is more dynamic and coherent, and goes down much lower. I like dagogo.com - I just wish Justin could have reviewed the speakers with his equipment! However, I did learn of some new brands of electronics and so on that I have never heard of.
M-545 and U-545 will be a blessing to those who require a smaller form factor. We are expecting our production versions shortly (the first pairs went to Japan) so you'll be able to visually compare the (now) U-745 speakers to the U-545s in the same room.
We'll give you our listening impressions.
Then it's your turn to come in and listen for yourself. Remember these speakers are custom made in the USA for you!
We're excited to start this blog for news and reflections
My son, who manages a college summer semi-semi pro baseball team, is always blogging away. He has the fastest thumbs in the business. When he visits I find him on the couch at 3am communicating with his west coast or overseas blogs.
Don't expect anything of the frequency like his but I'll share new developments and perhaps some sage advice (not mine) gleaned from audio as it was in the "golden age" of the 80s. I just happened to come upon a box of old Audio, Stereophile, and Absolute Sound issues from that decade. I'll share some of the information.
One factoid is that of dozens if not hundreds of manufacturers trading then, about 15% of them are still in existence. Right now we represent three of the distinguished survivors: Accuphase Laboratories, Bob Carver, and Sound Labs. Obviously they have not rested on their laurels - their gear was reference quality then and is today.