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ANALYSIS AUDIO loudspeakers are built to extremely high standards
and portray music with emotion in a way only Planar-Ribbon loudspeakers
can. ANALYSIS AUDIO loudspeakers are visually stunning. Their visual
impact is only surpassed by the accuracy of the music reproduction.
ANALYSIS AUDIO loudspeakers excel in tonal balance, detail retrieval,
imaging and producing a sound stage of great depth, height, and
width that extends well beyond the speakers. The superb tonal balance
is maintained from very soft listening levels to very loud levels.
Many "box speaker" manufacturers try to emulate the
outstanding virtues of Planar-Ribbon loudspeakers by using multi-driver
line source arrays, narrow enclosures, tilting drivers in many
different directions, and small bass drivers (less mass = more
speed) only to add complexity and cost without ever achieving the
coherent sound of Planar-Ribbon speaker.
ANALYSIS AUDIO loudspeaker ribbons are so transparent they disappear
leaving only the music. The ultra-light bass panel membrane suspended
in front of a very powerful magnet array is the only driver that
can match the speed and accuracy of the ribbon driver.
New DK Designs
This seems to be a very good time for less-than-wealthy audiophiles.
The DK VS-1 MK 2 integrated amplifier is the third component I've
encountered in the past few months that offers extraordinary value.
Like the Mobile Fidelity OML-1 speakers and the Xindek integrated
amp, the VS-1 MK 2 offers good looks and extremely high quality
at a reasonable price.
When PFO Editor Dave Clark asked me to review the VS-1 MK 2, I
had never heard of DK Design Group. I couldn't have been more pleasantly
surprised when I saw the amplifier. The workmanship is just fabulous,
and I couldn't believe the price. My reference preamp alone cost
that much! The VS-1 MK 2's dimensions are slightly odd, as it is
only 9.25 inches tall, but 17 inches wide and 19 inches deep, but
it looks great. The amp is fairly massive, and it weighs 82 pounds.
It was a small struggle to get it into my car, and even more of
a chore to get it upstairs into my listening room.
VS-1 MK 2 looks cool, but how does it sound?
A few years
back, I had the pleasure of reviewing the Gryphon Callisto
2100, and thought it was the best integrated ever. Its $5700
price was way out of my range, or it would have been on my
shelf. The VS-1 MK 2 does everything the 2100 did, and more.
In terms of dynamics, it positively threatens to jump off the
rack. It immediately reminded me of the Callisto in this regard,
but goes it one better, portraying more depth and musical
dimension. This leads me to its second distinction—soundstage
and imaging. The VS-1 MK 2 is the best amplifier I have heard
in this regard. Ten minutes after spinning the first CD, Best
of Sade, I realized my mouth was open.
first exposure to CD sound had sent me running gratefully back
to my LPs. Three or four years after that I reluctantly accepted
CD as a necessary evil -- the only way to hear music that was
no longer being released on vinyl. The "Perfect Sound Forever" tagline
had been exposed as a joke, and designers were learning about the
many factors that could affect CD sound. Many engineering types
continued to assert that "bits is bits," but in listening
rooms and design studios we were discovering that the mechanism
that spun the disc and read those bits off the CD could make
a big difference, as could the cable that carried the digital
bits to the DAC, the decoding chip, etc. etc.
In this brave new millennium, digital audio/video technology
has come a long way. Today's $300 CD player probably sounds better
than did state-of-the-art digital components of ten years ago.
And it's not just hardware; formats such as DVD and SACD that
offer higher-resolution playback promise to make digital entertainment
better and better. But for all that, digital sound and pictures
still begin with a laser reading encoded digital information
from a disc. I suspect that as long as that is the case, people
will be looking for ways to improve that process, so that there
will be a place for tweaks and gadgets such as the Audio Desk
Form and Function
The lathe is rectangular, approximately 10.5
x 7 x 6 (L x W x H in inches). On the front surface is a small
rotary control for motor speed; on the rear panel are the IEC
jack and an opening that appears to be for cooling. The hinged
glass top opens to give access to a small belt-driven turntable
equipped with a stabilizing disc a little smaller than a CD and
a threaded bolt that screws down to hold the CD in place during
operation. A pivoted lever holds the trimming blade; its handle
protrudes from the front. In the left rear corner is an open
compartment apparently intended to collect the polycarbonate
Operation is straightforward. Place a disc on
the turntable shiny side up. Place the stabilizer on the disc
and very firmly screw down the bolt. Turn on the motor to maximum
speed. Carefully move the lever until the cutting blade contacts
the CD, and gradually continue moving the lever until the stop
point is reached. Turn off the motor and collect and discard
the trimmings. Set the motor at a moderate speed and blacken
the newly trimmed edge with the supplied marker.
The Benchmark Media DAC1 doesn’t have the size, weight
and pizzazz of a typical high-end component, but then again,
the DAC1 is not a typical high-end component, even though it’s
now being marketed as one. Its maker, located in Syracuse, NY,
is a pro-audio company, the bulk of its products sold to studios
and mastering labs.
DAC1’s price might also raise a few eyebrows: $975 USD
factory-direct, with a 30-day money-back guarantee. I can name
more than a few interconnects and speaker cables that go for
more than that -- quite a bit more. Despite the low price, the
DAC1 is hardly some compromised, budget piece of gear. When Benchmark
Media sent me the product, they sent it with the knowledge that
I had used and reviewed some of the finest digital products in
the world -- and they certainly weren’t scared of that.
In fact, they seemed to welcome the challenge and wanted me to
compare the DAC1 to the best. After a short while I understood
why -- the DAC1 has useful features and delivers the kind of
performance that makes it right at home in even the finest high-end
audio systems. In fact, the DAC1 is so good that you might hear
it and wonder if you need to spend more than $975 for a DAC.
Halcro is proud to unveil the world's only genuine high performance
home theater products, Halcro Logic Super-Definition Sound & Vision
range of products.
Born from a decade of high-performance two channel research & development
that produced the world's finest Super-High-End amplification equipment,
the Halcro Logic products have been designed for home theater connoisseurs
with a genuine passion for home entertainment at the highest level
Quincy Jones Becomes SLS Development Partner for Home Entertainment
'Q Line' Series
SLS International and Quincy Jones, world renowned producer, musician,
arranger, composer, Grammy Award, Academy Award and Emmy Award
winner, announced today that they have entered into an agreement
to develop a new line of home theater products.
Mr. Jones, who's known in the music and film industry as 'Q",
will co-develop a new line of high quality home theater and entertainment
products for global markets under the name, "The Q Line."
Q Line will combine SLS' proprietary "ribbon driver" technology,
which provides some of the marketplace's highest level of sonic
engineering with Mr. Jones' innovative design for optimum sound.
Future Q Line products may also incorporate SLS' Patented Evenstar
digital amplifier technology. more...
||The VR-4SR is
the fourth generation of the legendary VR-4 series. It is a two-piece
stacking speaker system utilizing the world's finest cabinet
design: a time-aligned, decoupled sat/sub for incredible tweeter,
midrange, and woofer transparency, as well as unparalleled soundstage
reproduction. Clarity is enhanced with Low-Distortion drivers
with the best available Transparency Factor. The engineering
target was to design a highly accurate, laboratory-grade system
with the ability to be used as a professional reference monitor.
Studios using VR-series include Sheffield Labs, Musical Fidelity
Sound Labs, A&M Records (Herb
Alpert), and Walt Disney Studios (Alan Menken, winner of 7 academy
awards). Many recording engineers brought these speakers home,
including Robert Harley, now editor of TAS, and Herb Alpert, creating
an audiophile demand. A reference monitor must have wide bandwidth,
low distortion/coloration, with convincing three dimensional depth
and realistic sound staging. The VR-4SR is highly optimized for
this use and is highly musical as well. Imaging and depth are state-of-the-art
due to our proprietary Ambience Retrieval System tm and Global
Axis Integration Network. tm "VR-4" indicates a Virtual
Reality design emphasizing four dimensions of sound reproduction:
* Amplitude: A speaker system used for reference monitoring
must meet a +/- 1dB tolerance level;
* Phase: Consistent phase between drive units and slow rotation is desired;
no out-of-phase drivers;
* Time: The drive units must be time coherent in the ear's sensitive 3ms range;
* Space: The speaker design must replicate a palpable three-dimensional sound
stage with depth.