Letters • May 2017

Pioneer DV-79AVi

May 25, 2017


Did you recommend the Pioneer DV-79AVi due to its excellent SACD and DVD-Audio playback or do the CDs also sound excellent? The prices are great, of course, due to no Blu-ray playback, but I'm wondering what price level of CD players it is comparable to.

Jeff Levine

I actually own two Pioneer Elite DV-79AVi's and I paid less than $200 for both of them. They sound just as good with CDs as with high-rez media and really differentiate the differences among the formats -- and different versions of the same recording -- really well. Overall, I'd say the sound quality is comparable to CD players above the DV-79AVi's original retail price, $1000, although I can't claim to be well versed on players in this price range. In fact, because of file and streaming replay, there aren't many players in this price range anymore, so buying used is really your only option. -Marc Mickelson

Organizing LPs

May 15, 2017


I have been collecting 45rpm and mono LPs in the last few years, so I am wondering how you go about organizing your LPs. Do you separate 45s from 33s? And do you separate your mono LPs? My biggest worry in the past was whether to separate only my classical, jazz and rock, or to further separate folk and progressive rock. Such life challenges!

Jeff Levine

You've asked one of the eternal audiophile questions: how do you organize a music collection? I recall a scene from the movie High Fidelity in which the subject was discussed and the various principles mentioned. Ultimately, the answer is, whatever organizing principle works for you. For me, that's filing all LPs, whether stereo or mono, 33 or 45rpm, by genre and performer. In that way, when I'm in the mood to listen to some Thelonious Monk, for instance, I can make my choice from all of his LPs in my collection (digital media is stored separately, of course, but in the same way). This makes the most sense to me. Others, however, put all Mobile Fidelity titles, or all 45rpm sets, together, and I've done some of that too, but eventually, when I find the time to do so (curating a large music collection is work), I refile everything by artist. -Marc Mickelson


May 7, 2017


I’ve been reading about YBA and their recent alliance with Shanling. YBA designs, Shanling manufactures.

I understand from talking to someone at the company that all of the YBA Signature parts come from France and each Signature piece is QAed/signed off on by Yves-Bernard André himself.

Have you heard any of YBA's newer products? I recall YBA being one of the elite brands some 15+ years ago.

Larry Phillips

Like you, I remember YBA from many years ago -- about 20 in my case. I auditioned a YBA amp (I don't remember which one) and thought it sounded both distinctive and very good. In some ways, it reminded me of what I heard from 47 Laboratory equipment years later: a notable sense of directness and delicacy, and the revealing of low-level detail to an astounding degree. You can surmise by this that I haven't heard any YBA equipment lately and I was unaware of the details you share. We'll be sure to seek out YBA at shows, so you may see some coverage of the brand on TAB at some point soon. -Marc Mickelson

Reader list

May 1, 2017


Kindly add me to your e-mailing list.

Denis Tossan

All done. To join TAB's reader e-mail list and find out about new articles first, send e-mail to rl@theaudiobeat.com. -Marc Mickelson


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