SEARCH AIG







 
AIG REVIEWS

Soundsmith Aida Ebony Phono Cartridge: Looking For Your Last Best Cartridge? This Could Be It, At A Decent Price!

Soundsmith Aida Ebony Moving Iron Phono Cartridge“This seemed to me what Shure, with all their in-house engineering skill and experience could never quite achieve. That elusive combination of low mass, high compliance, and supertracking (a phrase they coined, I think), was accompanied by the seeming necessity of removable stylus assemblies, and cleaning brushes, which, I discovered, not only compromised the intimate groove interface, but also were quite audibly microphonic in truly revealing phono systems, adding a chatter of their own to the record-reproducing conversation.”

Dual CS-455-1M Automatic Turntable - A True “Turnkey Turntable”

Dual CS-455-1M Automatic Turntable
“Now, Dual has been making turntables longer than just about anybody else in the world, (since 1928), so they must have got it right by now. If you opt for a special additional phono stylus, it will even play 78 rpm discs. The other speeds are 33 1/3 and 45 rpm. The unit has an internal suspension that isolates it quite well, and no problems with feedback were encountered during the testing process. It comes in 5 versions, our review sample in piano black, the most luxurious of the range…”

Clearaudio Concept Turntable, Classic Cartridge and Verify Tonearm

Clearaudio Concept Turntable“The Clearaudio Concept is a solid chassis design, with spiked feet, an attractive brushed aluminum band surrounding the black chassis. The tonearm is called the Verify, and is a unipivot with a magnetic bearing for very low friction, while the Classic cartridge is a quite high-output moving magnet type with a very naked, seemingly non-replaceable stylus…”

Audio Ideas: Being Transformed

Andrew Marshall, 2008In the past year I’ve gone through an experience I never expected, the process of moving from the best head amp I’d ever used to a series of transformers in my phono system. It all started with the final fate of my twice-retipped Ortofon MC-3000 MK II, which was to become mono, the left-channel coil failing. And the thing about this wonderfully civilized and detailed cartridge was its very low output, a nominal 30 microvolts, which dictated the active MC stage, the legendary McIntosh MCP-1…”

Firestone Audio Korora MC/MM Phono Preamp

Korora Small“Nothing terribly shocking in the basic description department, the Korora being a small metal box made in China, with RCA ins and outs, a light on the front to tell you it’s on and a small outboard power supply. What is a little more interesting, however, is the fact that the Korora can run off an internal rechargeable battery and/or off the power supply. Simply yank the plug and any AC power noise is history, at least for eight to ten hours, which is how long the charge is said to last…”

Phono Accessories: Sonic Bliss Turntable Mat, High End Disc Stabilizer, HRS Analog Disk Record Clamp

HRS Record Clamp

“I was intrigued by the listing, and though there are many mats out there, most DJ slip types, this one looked interesting. Its technological hook seemed to be a crochet-like pattern that exposed at least as much air between the LP and platter as rubber, an integral part of the design of the RingMat I have used for close to 20 years. By providing this space, vinyl/stylus resonances and platter/motor noise are dissipated in the air, while the record is firmly supported…”

Tom Evans Microgroove Phono Preamp

Graham Slee Era Gold V

“Finally we come to the second product named after its designer, and the most visually unassuming of the bunch. Like most Tom Evans gear the Microgroove is housed in an enclosure of shiny black plastic, Tom’s belief being that non-metallic enclosures do a better job of resisting electro-magnetic interference…”

Pro-Ject Tube Box Phono Preamp

Graham Slee Era Gold V

“In comparison to the Graham Slee the Tube Box, from Austrian turntable giant Pro-Ject, is more of a switch hitter, as it’s configurable for both low output and high output cartridges. In MM mode (40 dB of gain) the Tube Box, like the Era Gold, is setup for standard 47k Ohm impedance. In MC mode (60 dB of gain) it can be configured, via a set of DIP switches, for 100, 220, or 1000 Ohms…”

Graham Slee Era Gold V Phono Preamp

Graham Slee Era Gold V

“Of the two eponymous British phono preamps on review here the Graham Slee Era Gold Mk 5 is the prettier little box, a simple, silver-faced brick with no lights or controls whatsoever. On its rear you’ll find gold-plated RCA inputs and outputs, a grounding post, and an input for the 24 volt outboard power supply…”

Clearaudio Emotion Turntable, Satisfy Tonearm, Aurum Classiscs Cartridge

Clearaudio Emotion Turntable with Satisfy Tonearm

“I suppose this, the least expensive Clearaudio phono reproduction package, could be said to epitomize the company’s approach. Everything is acrylic except for tonearm, cartridge, and platter bearing. If not completely clear, the turntable is definitely translucent, and mechanically very simple for a record reproducer…”

Rega Turntable Tweaks - Rega Planar 3 Turntable Motor Upgrade

Rega Turntable Tweaks

“When the Planar 3 evolved into the P3 a couple of years back the biggest change was a new motor and motor mounting arrangement. Whereas the motor on the Planar 3 was suspended below the plinth on a pair of elastics, the P3’s new motor can be rigidly mounted to the plinth, owing to its much lower levels of vibration. The new motor also does away with active, electronic trimming, apparently enhancing its smoothness even further…”

Rega Turntable Tweaks - Iron Audio Rega Acrylic Platter Upgrade

Rega Turntable Tweaks

“Perhaps an odd name for a company making products out of acrylic, Iron Audio was, until recently, called Sheer Audio and you may have seen their platters marketed under this name in the past. As with the Origin Live upgrade this one is for Rega users only, Iron Audio’s acrylic platter designed to fit the Planar 3, P3 and the P25. The company also makes a model for the Planar 2, P2 and NAD turntable…”

Rega Turntable Tweaks - Aural Thrills Turntable Isolation Box

Rega Turntable Tweaks

“A few months back I was trolling around Ebay looking for bargains in phono stages and cartridges and stumbled upon a turntable isolation box made by a small company in Texas called Aural Thrills Audio. I’d been having good results running my Rega on the top shelf of a Vantage Point four shelf rack with the help of a slab of granite and some Black Diamond Racing cones and “those things” (carbon fibre squares used with the cones). Keeping the thing perfectly level, however, was an exercise in frustration…”

Rega Turntable Tweaks - Origin Live Tonearm Modification

Rega Turntable Tweaks

“In business since 1986 this British company is starting to gain more and more recognition in North America for its Rega arm modifications as well as for its own arms and turntables. It’s easy to tell that the owners are audio fanatics themselves and their excellent website offers a wealth of information and advice for the turntable tweaker and plenty of detail about their products…”

Ortofon Kontrapunkt b Moving Coil Cartridge

Ortofon Kontrapunkt b

“The first series of cartridges named after a Bach theme, that of the Contrapunctus XIX where the composer’s name appears in the upper voice at one point, the Kontrapunkt a and b kartridges (If Linn can do it, so can I!) are based on the previous Jubilee series of more expensive models, and before that the MC-3000 to MC-7500 top models…”

Rotel RQ-970 BX and Anthem Pre 1P Phono Preamplifiers

Anthem Pre 1P Phono Stage

“Vastly different in both design and price these two phono preamps have also made major contributions to my blah busting system over the past several weeks. They both accept moving coil and moving magnet cartridges, but beyond that the similarities end…”

AcousTech Electronics PH-1 Phono Preamplifier

Acoustech Phono Preamp

“… Now that preamplifiers are coming mostly with line-level inputs only, outboard phono stages are proliferating. It’s not a new concept to me, having owned the Bryston version for many years: I bought their professional BP-1 to use in my home broadcast production studio. I still use it for more casual listening, finding it superior to that inside my 11B preamp in terms of resolution and spatiality…”

Linn Linto Phono Preamplifier

Linn Linto Phono Preamplifier

“Outboard phono preamplifiers are becoming a necessity for vinyl lovers trading up their systems because few current preamplifiers contain phono stages. Virtually all of these take the signal from its beginning right to line level, unlike many moving coil stepup devices, and the Linto is no exception, with 64 dB of gain. Cutting an internal wire reduces this to 54 dB in cases where the MC output is unusually high, and lights the Linto’s red front panel LED on peaks…”

Cardas Golden Cross Phono Cable

Cardas Golden Cross Phono Cable Since I had my turntable put together close to a decade ago, I’ve used the cable that came with it, an old Linn, I think, that plugs directly into the bottom of the SAEC 407/23 arm’s standard 5-pin jack. But a couple of months ago Tri-Cell’s Vince Scalzitti handed me this Cardas cable, and said, “Try this out!.”


  Outside the Speakers

    Random Thoughts on the Music Mask
    NPR on Whether Audiophiles Still Exist
    Audiophile Grade Mics?
    CDs Sales Die, LP Sales Fly
    Some High End 'Phones from CES

Got a tip? news@audio-ideas.com
  AIG Reviews
Loudspeakers | HT Loudspeakers | Power Amplifiers | Preamplifiers | Integrated Amplifiers | Receivers | Surround Processors | Digital Sources | CD Players | DVD Players | Network Music Players | SACD Players | Analog | Cables | Subwoofers | Portable Audio | Pro Audio | Headphones | Systems | Tuners | Video | Vintage Gear | HD Video | Blu-Ray | Online Archives

Complete List of Online Reviews
  Columns

     Audio Ideas (Andrew Marshall)
     Ox Box (Bob Oxley)
     Hy End (Hy Sarick)
     Bain's Blog (John Edward Bain)

Interested in Writing about Hi-Fi and Home Theater for AIG? Click to Email a Writing Sample

  Most Popular Today
  1. Sonic Impact Tripath Amplifier (T Amp)
  2. The Marantz PMD430: The Best Tape Deck Ever Made?
  3. Soundsmith Aida Ebony Phono Cartridge: Looking For Your Last Best Cartridge? This Could Be It, At A Decent Price!
  4. Audio Ideas: CBC Radio Two - Intelligent Music Selection Becomes A Sausage Factory
  5. PMC OB1 Loudspeaker
  6. AIG Talks with Bob Carver
  7. AIG Tweaks: Imagers and Cleanjack
  8. The AIG FM Tuner Project: Kenwood KT-8300/KT-9900: 70s Statements!
  9. AIG High Resolution Recordings: Chuck Israels, The Bellingham Sessions Vols. 1 and 2
  10. OPPO BDP-80 Universal Blu-ray Player
  Most Popular Overall
  • Recent Comments: