Christmas in July! – Trio Céleste

Christmas came early for me this year; what a wonderful surprise! What a unique opportunity to sit in on Trio Céleste while they recorded an upcoming album at Soka’s Performing Arts Center, here in Southern California.

Kyle & Jesse monitoring intently with the Eclipse TD-508 MK II driven by the LUXMAN M-200 at the Control room at SOKA’s Performing Art Center, Thursday 2 July 2015

Kyle & Jesse monitoring intently with the Eclipse TD-508 MK II driven by the LUXMAN M-200 at the Control room at Soka’s Performing Art Center, Thursday 2 July 2015

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One of the best Rock albums in years, Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color

Alabama Shakes Sound & ColorWith their 2012 Boys & Girls (debut) album, Alabama Shakes displayed that they were a band comfortable with blues, soul, gospel, and country but raised on modern rock. In their 2015 follow up, Sound & Color, they have pushed past any boundaries that might have confined them to deliver one of the best rock albums in years!

Brittany Howard sounds like she has been playing for the past twenty years (since the last album) screaming a force of natural delivery. The variety of genres, rhythms, arrangements, tempos, and vocal styling keep the listener rapt with attention. Sound quality is superb: tight, articulate guitars & rhythm section; composition is fresh & engaging. I have the high rez download and the three sided clear vinyl LP. Check it out on TIDAL.

SoundStage! Hi-Fi bestowed Luxman’s M-900u Stereo/Mono Amplifier with their Recommended Reference Component Award

Luxman M-900u Stereo/Mono Amplifier Receives Recommended Reference Component Award from Soundstage! Network

Luxman M-900u Stereo/Mono Amplifier Receives Recommended Reference Component Award from Soundstage! Network

“You can find higher power outputs at or even below the M-900u’s price, but you’d be hard-pressed to find something that betters its sound and build qualities for even twice as much. In that sense, the Luxman M-900u delivers reference-level sound and build quality at what can be considered very reasonable cost, and is why Doug concluded his review by declaring that “The M-900u is one of the best values in high-end amplifiers.””  <full review>

Grammy-award winning producer Jeff Jones shares how he religiously uses the Eclipse TD-M1 speaker system to record natural dynamics

Jeff Jones, the Jedi Master uses Eclipse TD-M1 speaker system as his go to litmus test

Jeff Jones, the Jedi Master uses Eclipse TD-M1 speaker system as his go to litmus test

“Everything, absolutely everything in my final product has become more clear. My sensitivity to dynamic and transient aspects of music has gone up several notches.”

“I know for a fact that since hearing and working with the TD-M1 my skills became elevated to a new level. Every recording I’ve produced with the TD-M1 is sonically better because my view is unclouded.”

“I am an artist. The recordings I produce are considered high art. Now that I have the TD-M1 I have more precise tools to work with and my work shows it.” <more>

Vivid Audio celebrates 10th anniversary announcing OVAL B1 DECADE, the B1d (limited edition)

Limited edition OVAL B1 DECADE unseated K1 to claim flagship position in Vivid Audio's Oval Series Family

Limited edition OVAL B1 DECADE unseated K1 to claim flagship position in Vivid Audio’s Oval Series Family

Vivid Audio debut a new addition to its Oval Series Family, a limited edition revised OVAL B, the B1 DECADE.  At US$28,000, the Decade Edition Oval B1d loudspeakers assume the flagship position in the oval range due to its incredible performance and advanced construction.  Currently on display at the Munich High End Show, listeners have been amazed Continue reading

Reviewers’ Choice Award for Luxman L-550Ax Class A Integrated – SoundStage! Network

Luxman L-550AX Soundstage! Network's Reviewers' Choice Award

Luxman L-550AX Soundstage! Network’s Reviewers’ Choice Award

“What the L-550AX possessed was an incredibly lifelike, holographic, reach-out-and-touch-it three-dimensionality…”

“What set the L-550AX’s sound apart from the crowd was its presence — a natural, thoroughly organic sound that was most notable in the midrange, and made my Hegel H300 sound mechanical by comparison.”

“Once again, the Luxman was able to render the entire recording with such dimensional color and palpable weight that I struggled to find something worthwhile to write about. I was too interested in cueing up another tune. If that’s not an emphatic endorsement, I don’t know what is.” <full article>

 

AXPONA 2015 Show Report

WhereIsPhilip_Axpona_TranspAXPONA
The Westin O’Hare | Chicago, IL

April 24 -26, 2015

CAT statement and JL5 driving Giya G3 at Axpona Saturday Night WBF

Vivid Audio GIYA G3, Luxman D-08u CD/SACD Player, & CAT monoblocks

A glimpse into Kyomi Audio’s room: A customer wanted to hear the big CAT Statement monoblocks compared to the little JL5 stereo amp we had played all day. The JL5 is a stereo amp with triode design using 4 x KT120 per channel, it puts out 25W Class A or 100W Class AB and retails for $13k. The Statements are monoblocks using 16 x KT120 per chassis, with a 200W triode design, Class A and retails for $100k a pair.

The big guys did not disappoint as the micro dynamics were put in the spotlight. The tonal color was more dramatic and the sound-stage became huge and spacious; it sucked the listeners in to the musical event.

It was a packed room of music lovers who were willing to delay dinner to indulge in a religious experience. Feet tapping and lots of comments exchanged over the music played at realistic club levels. It had all the vibes of a happening.

Refreshments (wine, beer & Georgian brandy to be specific) finished but the roomful of audience stuck around for more. What does this tell you about this experience with an exceptional stereo?  Continue reading

Luxman’s new EQ-500 phonostage North American debut at THE Show Newport May 29-31, 2015

LUXMAN EQ500_PD171Pg12001 was the last time Luxman released a top of the line phono stage, the E-1 (solid state).  When they discontinued the E-1 recently, the buzz was on as to what they are replacing it with. Continue reading

Read why Stereophile’s Art Dudley picks Eclipse TD-M1 as his go-to system for the music he wants to hear right away

EclipseBanner1_Black“…in every case, digital files streamed wirelessly to the Eclipse TD-M1 exhibited more momentum and flow, and were far more involving…”

“…listening to the Eclipse system reminded me of listening to headphones – but headphones that everyone could hear, that didn’t make me feel as if I were in an isolation tank”

“…music played through this desktop system always sounded rich, big and uncannily right… I had a great time with this system whenever I used it – and it was always easy.”  <Full Review>

“HEARING IS BELIEVING” – Times Live on Vivid Audio

PC - Times Live

PC – Tebogo Letsie

“You do not know high fidelity until you have heard two speakers produce what sounds like a live performance.” <Full Article>

Ed Selley of Hi-Fi Choice “waves the flag for single drivers” in an informative review of the Eclipse TD-M1 desktop system

HiFi Choice EdSelley Quote LONG

 “…’Time Domain’ principle…distinctive and seriously impressive… The TD-M1 represents an attempt to marry this technology with a degree of convenience that should broaden the appeal…”

“The shape is a function of the Time Domain principle, but the result is still a fabulous looking little speaker… somewhere between science fiction prop, organic growth and sculpture… looking anything other than truly excellent.”

“The whole purpose behind the Time Domain principle is to create a speaker better able to follow the variation and nuance of a piece of music and this means that the TD-M1 delivers a performance that is at times almost supernaturally fast. Almost everything else at the price sounds processed and compromised in comparison.”

“… a cut above any integrated AirPlay system… performance that are beyond anything else at a similar price point… a little piece of sculpture that happens to produce one of the loveliest nearfield presentations I’ve had the pleasure of listening to.” <Full Review>

“Fast, tight and uncannily well timed” Macworld’s Andrew Harrison reviews Eclipse TD508MK3

Eclipse TD508MK3 (on long stands , ?? mm, or regular stands where you have the option of hanging them

Eclipse TD508MK3

“Sounding fast, tight and uncannily well-timed, the Eclipse TD508MK3 is a rare hi-fi loudspeaker that has been clearly designed for music enjoyment and a temporally authentic sound, rather than blindly ticking the usual textbook boxes. Married to a good amplifier these Eclipse speakers can open your ears to the purity of single-driver musical bliss.”

In this new review Andrew explains what Eclipse’s Time Domain philosophy sets out to achieve:

“… focused on the timing accuracy of music rather than the widest possible bandwidth…”

“There are manifold tidyings to the sound, the kinds of details that allow musicians to spot the differences between different designs and vintages of concert grand pianos for instance.”

“It is in the leading edges of notes that so much information about an instrument can be heard, and this is where the Eclipse speaker seems to reward in its rendering of transients so faithfully.” <Full Review>

Montreal’s SSI 2015 Show Report

Baniere_SSI_2015

Montreal Show _2015_ Philip and FriendsOnce again, congrats to Coup de Foudre Montreal for putting on a great show at the SSI 2015. Thanks again for the hospitality and warm welcome. Proud to announce that Doug Schneider of SoundStage! Network awarded our room with the “Best of Salon Son & Image 2015” Award!

Behind the Scenes: While we had a great size room at the Bonaventure Hotel, unfortunately Continue reading

100% Reference Award and a marriage proposal for Luxman’s M-900u/C-900u from Audiodrom

Luxman_C900u_M900u_20150402_Blog_Audiodrom

” … I can imagine to spend the rest of my life with (Luxman M-900u / C-900u) …”

“The bass of the M-900u is deep enough for any recording and it has enough weight not to cause proportional misbalance in frequency spectrum. It digs deep to the basement yet the sound does not stay confined underground and swiftly gets back to daylight if music calls for it.”

“My summary could be pretty straightforward: the anniversary Luxman M-900u / C-900u combo is a fantastic piece of audio that signifies a new era for the company. I can say aloud that both amps are first affordable amps, however relative is this term … Actually, I am considering to replace my all Accuphase set up with them. Cannot be more enthusiastic.” <full review>

Thomas Schmidt of HiFi Magazine gave a rave review of Vivid Audio’s Giya G3

HiFi Magazine Thomas Schmidt Vivid G3

“The frequency response of Giya G3 is extremely wide – the controlled bass extends well into the 30-Hz region …”

“Always sounding convincing – with excellent productions and correct dynamics, we learn how well optimized, in all respects, this speaker really is.”

“Decades of experience, the unconditional desire for perfection and absolutely consistent implementation of all ideas makes the Giya G3 an absolute exceptional speaker.”

– Thomas Schmidt, HiFi Magazine <for full German review>

Reviewers’ Choice Award for another Luxman component: “The M-900u is the best-sounding power amp I’ve ever heard” – Doug Schneider, SoundStage! Network

Luxman_M900u_20150402_Blog

“… effortless top end… such clarity that it set a new benchmark for me for high-frequency reproduction and detail… it reproduced kick drums with power, heft, and control usually heard only from amps with twice the power output… despite its modest output spec into 8 ohms, the M-900u is actually a powerhouse.”

“… the best-sounding power amp I’ve ever heard… The M-900u is one of the best values in high-end amplifiers.” <full review>

Montreal’s Salon Son & Image 2015 pre-show rundown, music in my suitcase!

Baniere_SSI_2015album_box“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”

Off to Montreal we go! My affinity towards both Montreal, the city and their French Canadian residents is well-known. As a token of appreciation to the hospitality I receive, I made it a point to be on the look out for delightful French music during my travels throughout the year to play in Montreal.

In addition to some brilliant needle drops that I will be playing with the Luxman DA-06 DSD DAC, I brought seven albums I collected last summer to spin this weekend with five French ones. If you are in town, please hop over to say hi. If not, have a listen to them. Hopefully you can find them at #Tidal  Continue reading