110 with Signature S8 v3?
have Paradigm S8 v3 speakers, and I am currently driving them with a Pass
Labs X3 amp. I am very interested in trying the Audio Research Reference 110. Since
you have a Reference 110, do you feel it did a great job with the S8 v3s, or is it better
to have a little more power?
The Audio Research Reference 110 is a fine mate for
the Paradigm Signature S8 v3s -- perhaps the perfect mate among stereo tube amps. It has
plenty of power for the speakers, offering a true 110Wpc, and the speakers' transparency
will let you hear everything the amp does so well. The Reference 110 has only XLR inputs,
so you'll need a preamp with XLR outputs. While it may seem counterintuitive to spend more
on the amp than on the speakers -- in this case, 25% more -- the Signature S8 v3s perform
beyond their price class and therefore invite the use of the best amp you can afford.
buddies across the pond"
up the good work. TAB is a delight to read. It feels like audio buddies across
glad you like what we do. TAB writers Jason Kennedy and Chris Thomas live in the
UK, so we're not all "across the pond." -Marc Mickelson
greenness of battery power
"Off-the-Grid Audio" blog suggests, albeit none too emphatically, that
battery-powered audio is the greener way to go. But let's do recall that batteries'
contents are themselves environment-hostile. Shaving a couple of bucks off one's utility
bill does not always equate with good environmental strategy. Sad to say, there's really
no way for us to enjoy our toys in total innocence.
NiMH batteries that Gilbert Yeung uses in the power supplies of his BC703 phono stage and
modified Technics turntable are considered environmentally friendly. They are not
lead-based, although their small amount of nickel is considered semi-toxic. They can,
however, be recycled, just like all other kinds of batteries. -Marc Mickelson
just wanted to write in and tell you that The Audio Beat is great. I look forward
to the reader-list e-mails!
Because of the growth in the site's staff, everyone
who has joined the TAB reader list will
be getting more e-mail announcing new articles in the future. -Marc Mickelson
Music Matters titles to buy?
going to order some of the Music Matters LP reissues. If you would do me a favor and shoot
me a list of the ones that you think are essential to have, it would be greatly
appreciated. Monos are fine if they are especially good musically and sonically, but I'd
like to focus on the best stereo picks. Maybe you could limit it to 20 or so picks.
Already on my must-have radar are Grant Green: Matador and Talkin' About,
Donald Byrd: The Catwalk, Tina Brooks: Back to Tracks, and Horace
Silver: The Cape Verdean Blues.
difficult to limit myself to any subset of Music Matters titles, because all of the music
Joe Harley and Ron Rambach have chosen is great in its own way and thus worth owning.
However, you've named a few of my favorites already, including the great Grant Green
recordings that represent some of Music Matters' very best work. I would also consider
these, which are ones that really stand out to me: Hank Mobley: Soul Station, Art
Blakey: A Night in Tunisia, Jackie McLean: Bluesnik, Tina Brooks: True
Blue, Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch, Lee Morgan: Search for the New Land,
Larry Young: Unity, and Horace Silver: Song for My Father. These are all
stereo recordings, and some are listed as "out of print" on the Music Matters
website, but they are still available through some vendors.
terms of mono recordings, these are essential, both for their music and sound: Lee Morgan:
Candy, Sonny Rollins: Vol. 1, and Thad Jones: The Magnificent Thad
Jones. The Thad Jones title also has one of Blue Note's greatest album covers, and the
Music Matters gang has reproduced it in resolution equal to that of the LPs. -Marc
just found your site -- looks great. Is there an RSS feed anywhere? I would like to
subscribe to make sure I don't miss anything.
have no RSS feed for The Audio Beat, but I do maintain a reader e-mail list to
which I send out notices of new content. Just write email@example.com
to join. The list increases by a few names each week, so it continues to grow, just like TAB's
readership. -Marc Mickelson
tonearm on Raven AC
to share with you, I recently heard the TW-Acustic
10.5 tonearm side by side with the Graham Phantom II. It's very good indeed -- faster
and more dynamic, with a wider, bigger soundstage, and very easy to adjust. A few of my
friends who have a long list of highly rated 'arms feel that it's the best right now for
the Raven AC turntable.
Rambach of the Music Matters label has told me a great deal about the TW-Acustic 10.5
tonearm. He has a Raven AC 'table with two of them mounted on it (he also has Dynavector
XV-1t and XV-1s Mono cartridges). I will contact Jeff Catalano of High Water Sound, the US
distributor of TW-Acustic products, about reviewing the 10.5 sometime in 2011. -Marc
versus Reference Phono 2
appreciate your review of the Allnic H-3000. I am on the hunt for my final phono
stage. I am using a Hovland HP-100 preamp with internal phono now, but I am hoping to move
up just a notch or two. I like the Hovland, but it is not as quiet as I would like. It is
good, but not as good as the Audio Research Reference Phono 2 that I auditioned several weeks ago.
The Reference Phono 2 trumps the Hovland all around, except perhaps in the bass, where
bass guitar and drum whacks live. I thought it could get a little loose and fat in that
region in direct comparison against the Hovland.
any case, I believe I like the Reference Phono 2 better than the Hovland in my rig.
Considering that you guys just completed a review of the Reference Phono 2, I was
surprised and a little disappointed that you did not comment on its performance versus the
H-3000's. I am working on getting a loaner of the H-3000, but I am not sure if it will
actually happen. Is it worth my time and effort? How would you compare the H-3000 to the
Reference Phono 2?
I love your site, the music reviews especially as well as all the other stuff. Thanks!
reason Tim Aucremann didn't compare the Audio Research Reference Phono 2 to the Allnic
H-3000 is that he didn't have access to the latter. I had both, however, but I didn't want
to take the spotlight from Tim's fine review by introducing the Reference Phono 2 into the
is definitely worth your time and effort to hear the H-3000 before buying another phono
stage in the same price range. It's special in so many ways -- as is the Reference Phono
2. The main differences between the two are in terms of soundstage size/specificity and
tonal character. The Reference Phono 2, like all Audio Research equipment, sounds big,
presenting the music with a grand sense of scale, from small to large. As I note in my
review, the Allnic H-3000 has "spooky" imaging, placing performers front to back
with amazing specificity. The Reference Phono 2 sounds lighter than the H-3000, which is a
bit fuller, especially in the midrange and into the bass. Both offer lots of gain; the
Reference Phono 2 has Columbia and Decca EQ curves, which I've found to be very useful.
The new Allic H-3000V offers alternate EQ curves of its own.
glad you like TAB. It's a labor of love for all of us involved, and we appreciate
that you and others like the music reviews. -Marc Mickelson