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>

Audiodrom’s review of Luxman C-700u & M-700u combo offered unusual advice to avoid ‘sleepless nights’

Luxman_C700u_M700u_20150402_Blog_Audiodrom“… the guitars (are) so present in my listening room – The sound was so precise and pristine … The details of fingers or guitar picks were absolutely stunning.”

“During the review I had Accuphase’s E-600 integrated for comparison… the Luxman’s combo rewarded me with more accurate soundstage, bigger slam, sharper transients and more air, the music was illuminated better.  At the end I preferred the Luxmans.” 
“Similarly, the progress that the new ‘M’ line of Luxman have made is apparent even within its own catalogue. As much as I liked the sound of the Luxman L-550Ax integrated I have to admit that the amplifier separates are in a totally different league. The direct comparison shows superiority of the C-700u and M-700u: the soundstage explodes laterally and in depth, microdynamics are supercharged and artists regain their passion. If you are a Luxman devotee plus budget short you should consider not to audition the newcomers otherwise you risk sleepless nights.” <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>

Music picks from top artists celebrating Billie Holiday’s 100 year old birthday

Billie Holiday_Blog

Photo from Down Beat magazine, Feb. 1947

Billie Holiday was born a hundred years ago last week.  She died in 1959 at the age of 44, the coroner’s report declared cirrhosis of the liver, though the police had her chained to the bed for substance abuse. This troubled soul, left us a rich treasure trove of jazz vocals at their finest.

Growing up on the other side of the pond, I was not exposed to Billie Holiday until I arrived in the US in ’91 and shortly afterwards discovered the harrowing song “Strange Fruit” covered by Cassandra Wilson on New Moon Daughter 1996. (I still prefer the earlier version to the reworked cover version on Coming Forth By Day 2015). Up until then I had been listening to a steady diet of mainly English music.  Intrigued, I subsequently bought all the Lady Day albums I could find on vinyl as well as the entire Cassandra Wilson catalogue on vinyl and CD.

What drew me to Billie Holiday’s singing was Continue reading

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>

Luxman monoblocks – thumbs up from long time fan, owner of many Luxman components over the years

Roman has owned many Luxman components and components from other reputable high end manufacturers throughout the years. He has two systems where Luxman monoblocks are bridged, with both Luxman source components and preamps.  The video above showcases one of his existing systems (details of equipment list below).  He also did some A/B testings across brands and models and shared his insights.

System 1: Westlake Audio HR-1VF speakers, Luxman Amplifiers C-800F + 4 X M-800A, sources – VPI HR-X, Wadia 861se, Esoteric K-01, cables DH Labs

System 2: JBL DD66000 Speakers, Luxman Amplifiers C-1000F + 4 X B-1000F or Mark Levinson No. 326S + 2 X No. 532. Sources – Transrotor Appolon, Luxman D-08 & Esoteric K-01 Continue reading

Montreal’s SSI 2015 Show Report


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

Montreal’s Salon Son & Image 2015 Playlist

Montreal’s Salon Son & Image 2015 Playlist
Artist Track Album
London Grammar Hey Now If You Wait
Cannonball Adderley Autumn Leaves Something Else
Frank Sinatra Blues In the Night Sings For Only The Lonely (Mobile Fidelity)
Count Basie & Tony Bennett Jeepers Creepers Count Basie & Tony Bennett
George Michael Faith & Father Figure Faith
John Coltrane Lush Life Lush Life
Rachel Podger Chacone Pearla Baroca (Channel Classics) – DSD
Florestan Trio Debussy Piano Trio French Piano Trios (Hyperion) – DSD
Helene Grimaud Beethoven Corale Fantasy – finale Credo – DSD
Akiko Suwanai Saint-Saens Violin Concerto DSD
Tower of Power Diggin On James Brown Philip’s Demo XVII – 16/44.1
Bruce Springsteen Mansion On The Hill Philip’s Demo XVII – 16/44.1
Emmylou Harris & Willie Nelson One Paper Kid Philip’s Demo XVII – 16/44.1
Nina Simone I Loves You Porgy Philip’s Demo XVII – 16/44.1
Duke Ellington Malletoba Spank Jazz Party in Stereo – DSD

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


“… 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

Lori Lieberman recording on Sunday afternoon

recording on Sunday afternoon (1 March 2015) with the Vivid Audio G3 and the Mola  Mola electronics.

Lori Lieberman recording on Sunday afternoon (1 March 2015) with the Vivid Audio G3 and the Mola Mola electronics.

Lori’s comment:  “It was so revealing and just the most transparent sound I have heard in the studio. As an artist I could hear all the nuances of my first guitar takes and hear my vocal with the highest level of clarity” At 192/24 I was in the room. The Vivids are remarkable to work with. They leave our music alone and represent it as performed.”

The making of a song that stands the test of time, almost 40 years later…

Led Zeppelin, Physical Graffiti

Led Zeppelin, Physical Graffiti

Jimmy Page spoke about the making of Led Zeppelin’s greatest track, Kashmir, from their newly reissued album, Physical Graffiti.  Music blogger, Michael Hahn of the Guardian wrote this article that showed a terrific YouTube video of this song being played live and Jimmy Page’s account of the back story for this famous song. Continue reading

Something to look forward to – “The Evolution Of A Great Song” demo by Lori Lieberman

Lori LiebermanLast May, Joe Cali dropped by Capistrano & played a few cuts from an upcoming Lori Lieberman CD that will be released in a few months time. One track, he was particularly proud of was “Burden & Gift” a rough demo version (piano and vocal) with a lovely melody and a simple emotional vocal over a piano accompaniment. Fast forward to CES 2015, Joe returned with the finished version (mastered by Darcy Proper) which has a simple but tasteful production, guitar instead of piano accompaniment and an exquisite fiddle brought in halfway through the song that adds a heartbreaking plaintive quality to this gorgeous song.

It occurred to me that “The Evolution Of A Great Song” is Continue reading

“The sweetest music this side of Heaven…” Louis Armstrong (BBC’s 30 minute 1968 interview)

Louis ArmstrongGrowing up on the other side of the pond, we were not exposed to Jazz and unfortunately never really came across such greats as Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong. In the mid nineties, I was working in the movie industry when Erik Henry, a visual effects supervisor (we met on one of the Aliens movies), brought Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong’s first collaboration on LP to listen to – I was floored. I immediately set out to buy as much Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong individual albums as I could lay my hands on. In Satchmo’s own words: “The sweetest music this side of Heaven…”  Continue reading

“The Wife Acceptance Factor”, my first high-end audio purchase decision and how I fell in love, by the wife of an audiophile


Special matte color finishes of the Vivid Giya and Oval series available upon request

Special matte color finishes of the Vivid Giya and Oval series available upon request. (photo credit: Timeframe Fotografie – Riksmuseum Matte Blue for G4 and Matte Monarch for V1.5)

I was on LinkedIn and saw a post in a group I belonged to, mentioning how over 50% of a line of speakers this gentleman retailed was purchased by women.  That piqued my interest. For years, I have been hearing rumblings in the high end audio industry that “we need to bring both the younger generation and the women into the hobby”.

I scrolled down but saw the conversation degenerate with someone, a male audiophile, explaining how WAF really meant “Tiffany for her and high-end audio purchases for him”. That struck a nerve but a different one than you are probably thinking.  Continue reading