and Wilson cabinets
Great review of the Venture speakers! Well written and very interesting
regard to the Ventures vs. the Wilson Alexandria XLFs, which speaker has the greater overall silence
and which speaker's cabinet seems to have the better design as far as being less colored
or more dead, giving less influence to the signal and the music?
ask a good question, given the amount of thought and materials research that have gone
into the cabinets of the Venture Ultimate Reference and Wilson Alexandria XLFs. However,
given that the driver and crossover complements, not to mention the amps I used with both
speakers, are not the same, I can't answer with any certainty. I can say that Wilson
speakers always sound noiseless to me. That will not make sense to some, as passive
speakers don't generate any hiss or hum of their own, for instance, but keen listeners
know what I mean. The signal just seems to emerge from them with an enhanced sense of
blackness, without any accompanying hash or resonance. This goes not just for the
Alexandria XLF, but also the Alexia, Sasha and Sophia, whose cabinets are all made to the
same standards and with the same advanced materials. Perhaps I'd think the same of Venture
cabinets if I heard more than one of the company's speakers in my system. -Marc
purchased some vinyl in a store near me and on the record cover it says "A digital
recording." How exactly does that work -- a digital recording on a piece of vinyl?
"A digital recording" on your records means that the music was recorded
with a digital system and not an analog one. This was often stamped on LPs sold during
CD's rise to prominence as a way to entice consumers, even though, as your question
implies, it doesn't make sense, because the LP is inherently an analog medium.
even today we still have digital LPs, although in a different sense. Now, many LPs are
mastered from digitized versions of analog sources -- perhaps even from CDs in some cases.
Why is this done? It's cheaper and easier than tracking down the analog master tapes. I
own a few of these LP and they range from sounding very good to very, very bad. If you buy
LPs from the major reissue labels, like Mobile Fidelity, Music Matters, Analogue
Productions, Pure Pleasure, ORG, ORG Music, Impex and Speakers Corner, you are getting
pure-analog LPs created with exacting standards and care. Often these labels will include
pictures of the master tapes, just to hammer home this point (as well as to show that they
are using the actual master tapes, not safety or backup copies). Beyond these labels, it's
anybody's guess -- and you have to do your homework to know exactly what you're buying.
When we review digitally sourced LPs, we state this in our reviews. -Marc Mickelson
transport for playing CDs?
need your help! I am considering the B.M.C.
BDCD1.1 transport for purchase, and I need to know your opinion if it's worth the
investment knowing that computers have taken over. How would it compare to an Esoteric
transport? Have you heard the B.M.C. DAC1 in your system with the VTL TL-7.5 III?
computers are indeed prevalent now as a digital source, I still firmly believe that a good
CD transport like the B.M.C. BDCD1.1 is not just a worthwhile purchase but remains the
standard for playing CDs here and now. Obviously I'm not a computer-audio acolyte, but
this isn't a matter of faith. I still hear a homogenization from so many computer-audio
front-ends, with only a very few -- the Wavelength DAC with a MacBook, for instance -- not
being immediately recognizable as computer-based. If you still have physical media to play
and don't plan to rip it to a hard drive, you should definitely have a transport or
dedicated CD player in your system. I use mine daily.
for comparing the B.M.C. to an Esoteric transport, if has been a while since I heard a
separate transport from Esoteric, but I would still say that the two are sonically similar
in many ways. Both are highly resolving throughout the musical spectrum with impressive
low-end power. Interestingly, while Carlos Candeias of B.M.C. was responsible for the
well-regarded CEC TL 1 transport from the 1990s, and both it and the B.M.C. transport use
a belt-drive mechanism, the two sound rather different, the CEC having greater midrange
presence, smoother highs, and greater ease. I own a CEC and love it, but it was nice to
have the B.M.C. here for the change of sound it represented.
didn't get to hear the B.M.C. DAC1 when I had the VTL preamp here. One left before the
other showed up. -Marc Mickelson
Heimdall 2 review
for the thoroughgoing review of the new headphone cable from Nordost. I
ordered mine before reading your piece. It has not disappointed. Immediately apparent were
increased tonal density, better low-level detail and more effortless differentiation. More
"jump" is in evidence, and loud seems louder. I have heard it single-ended only,
but I look forward to hearing what it can do with a balanced amp. A friend will also be
able to try it with his Cavalli amp and Abyss headphones.
found your site and I am really enjoying the reviews. I would like to be added to the
Just send e-mail to email@example.com
and you'll be added to the list. -Marc Mickelson