Category Archives: REVIEWS

Delsin Records revive Dutch Techno History with Eevo Lute Muzique reissue

Artist: Florence / Wladimir M
Title: Analogue Expressions / Leaves Fallin’ Recklessly
Label: Delsin Records
Cat No: dsr-eevo001 / dsr-eevo002
Released: 24th April
Genre: Techno / IDM

Amsterdam label, Delsin Records really has developed a flair for reissuing and repressing lots gems. This time they turn their attention to one of the most important and unsung labels in the story of Dutch techno, Eevo Lute Muzique.

Eevo Lute Muzique was established in 1991 by Wladimir Manshanden and Stefan Robbers, (who was already releasing tracks as Terrace and as one-half of Acid Junkies for Djax-Up-Beats). Their early releases were heavily influenced by Detroit techno, even naming their first release “U.S Heritage”, while fusing those influences with their own love for the Euro Synth Pop and 80’s New Wave sounds they’d grown up with.

This release offers 2 albums of 22 complied tracks spanned across a 5-disc set. The first album, Analogue Expressions is a compilation of music by Stefan Robbers under his moniker, Florence. All 11 tracks across these 3 discs offer a divine kaleidoscope of different electronic flavours and styles, while still managing to maintain a consistent level of emotion and innovation. From the opener Exploration; a panicked, bass-heavy, electro driven pep-talk to the closer, Revival; a subtle, emotive stomper, each and every track is quite unique. Despite these tracks being over 25 years old (mostly recorded between 1991 and 1994), the majority still sound as fresh and as forward-thinking today as they did then.

Part 2 of the Delsin x Eevo Lute Musique retrospective is a collection of tracks by Eevo Lute co-founder, Wladimir M, entitled Leaves Fallin’ Recklessly. It kicks off the same way as his 1994 LP, Life is a Short Story, with short spoken word, Autumn Leaves I, followed by the epic Planet E (originally released on the Detroit label of the same name in 1991). Generally though, Leaves Falling Recklessly lacks the same colour and diversity as Analogue Expressions. The highlight here is Wladimir’s track, Evil. Abrasive percussion rumbling below, virtuous synth hovering above, and with Wladimir’s apocalyptic poetry in-between. So good! Canned by everyone, from Dave Clarke to DVS1 over the years, the original is still a highly sort after record.

Most of the early Eevo Lute singles have been well sort after, with record hounds paying up to and even over 100 euros for some discs.
The first five releases have become highly coveted, not just because of the timeless music they contain, but also because the pressing stampers were accidentally destroyed meaning they were never repressed.

Once again Delsin has come through in bringing some unsung heroes of electronic music to the foreground, particularly the highlighting one of the many monikers of the much underrated, Stefan Robbers. Three thumbs!

The post Delsin Records revive Dutch Techno History with Eevo Lute Muzique reissue appeared first on Decoded Magazine.

Original Resource is Decoded Magazine https://www.decodedmagazine.com/delsin-records-revive-dutch-techno-history-with-eevo-lute-muzique-reissue/

Sumiko Amethyst Moving Magnet (M/M) Turntable Cartridge Review

Back in the late 1990s, I was facing crippling student loan debts, hernia-inducing car payments, obscene property taxes, and a backbreaking mortgage. Stated succinctly, money was in rather short supply. As an audiophile with a meagre income, Sumiko’s Moving Magnet (M/M) and Moving Coil (M/C) cartridges were what I — literally — dreamed of owning. [...]

Original Resource is NOVO Audio and Technology Magazine http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/canadahifi/~3/Qm7ryDE4jGQ/

The Clarus Duet Power Conditioner

Power conditioning products can be deceptive. With most, you hear a modest to dramatic reduction in background noise initially and the excitement builds.

More often than not, when the initial purchase excitement subsides and you listen to a wider range of music something sounds amiss and it’s usually dynamics and musical nuance. Those “inky, black backgrounds” that everyone is buzzing about usually comes at a cost. Different, not better. Pretty soon, you plug your system back into the wall and notice that those lost dynamics are back.

With the Duet, Clarus has eliminated the main problem surrounding many of the power conditioning products out there, building a conditioner with sufficient dynamic range. The massive 30 amp, C-Core inductor at the heart of the Duet offers enough reserve to keep up with large, monoblock power amplifiers and high powered subwoofers. Fortunately, I’ve always got a number of these around, so this was an easy test.

Spoiler alert: The Duet does a fantastic job and exceeds expectation. And it does so at the very reasonable cost of $1,250 each.

These somewhat small power conditioners are deceptive, as soon as you pick them up, they feel a lot heavier than you might think this box would weigh. The layout is simple, with a high quality duplex outlet on the top panel and a 15A IEC socket on the rear face. Aimed at the monoblock power amplifier customer because of its high-current capability, it’s also the perfect choice for anyone using a system built around a single source and high powered integrated amplifier. If you’re just running a DAC and integrated amp, or phono stage and integrated, the Duet is perfect, having more than enough capacity.

You’re gonna want the cables too

Dynamics and musical nuance rely heavily on current capability and delivery. Anything getting in the way of that process, stifles transients and slows things down. The more dynamic ability your system has, the more you will notice this effect. To that end, Clarus offers their Crimson High-Current power cables, at $1,720 each. (6 foot length) Those that can keep their Duet(s) closer to the wall outlet can opt for the 3 foot version, which drops the price substantially to $1,020 each.

You either subscribe to the theory that power has come all this way to your house, and the last few feet of cable doesn’t matter, or the theory that power is a gigantic well, that you tap into to power your system – and everything matters. If you are in the former camp, you’re probably not even reading this review. I’ve always chosen the latter view, which is why I’ve always embraced having clean power for my system. However, it’s always been the fight of eliminating distortion and artifacts from the power line, versus dynamics. Forced to choose, I’ll take the dynamic freedom, which is why so many power products have fallen by the wayside in the 16 years we’ve been around. The reason you’ve seen so few reviews on power products in TONE hasn’t been for lack of investigation, we just haven’t heard many great ones.

The Duet/Crimson combination does a fantastic job, and at reasonable cost. If it makes budgetary sense, I suggest thinking of the Duet conditioner and Crimson High Current power cord as a system onto itself. The Duet works well solo, offering a substantial improvement over having nothing in the system, but when you add the cord to the mix, the window on your music is open all the way.

Breaking them out, the Duet still offers a substantial improvement in all the musical attributes mentioned, but the Crimson cord takes it all the way. If you can only move on the Duet for now, adding the cord later makes a clear upgrade path.

The test subjects

Putting this quartet of Clarus products to the test, we installed them in one system with the PrimaLuna EVO 400 vacuum tube monoblocks, the Audio Research REF160M vacuum tube monoblocks, the Nagra Classic solid-state monoblocks and a vintage pair of Pass Labs Aleph monoblocks. Each combination yielded similar improvements in low level clarity, lower noise floor and lack of dynamic restriction. However, like nearly every other tube powered amplifier tested, both of the tube amplifiers seemed to have a greater delta in noise floor reduction than the solid state alternatives. This has been very consistent with all of the good power conditioners we’ve tried when connected to tube electronics.

Playing to the dynamic range of all the mono amplifiers tried, the Duets were each plugged into dedicated 20 amp circuits, so they would not be compromised by the power available to them, and connected via the Crimson power cords, with Cardas receptacles. I take this stuff seriously!

More often than not, if a power conditioner passes all the other tests, when pushed hard, in a high power situation, it brings a compression effect not unlike a solid-state amplifier featuring a soft clipping feature. Dynamic peaks when played at high volume merely lose their impact, and the sound field starts to collapse in all three directions, much like a digital recording that’s been normalized. I’m happy to report the Duet scores a perfect ten here, exhibiting none of these problems. A true test of dynamics.


The other

Fortunately, we still had the REL 212SE subwoofers on hand, as well as a pair of their newest S/510s in the living room system, so this offered an additional confirmation on Clarus’ claims. Plugging your subwoofer into a Duet (or Duets, if you have multiple subs) offers a different, yet equally exciting improvement. Called upon to usually work from about 60hz on down, it’s tough to hear a reduction in noise floor.

The improvement here, is strictly in speed and texture. Every single one of the subs we tried, even down to entry level REL and Paradigm subs (both under $1000) offered the same qualitatitve improvement. You’ve probably got your favorite bass heavy tracks, and the funkier the bass line, the more you’ll hear what the Duet brings to the presentation. It’s easier to hear fingers plucking and slamming bass strings, and it becomes easier to hear the different cabinets that bass players use, instead of just hearing one-note bass.

Wait for it

Like so many other products of this ilk, you will notice a lower noise floor immediately. Using the Duet/Crimson combination provides an effect much like listening to a favorite musical selection in 16/44 resolution, and then immediately hearing it again in 24/96, and going right back. There’s a sense of space in the high resolution, with an accompanying ease that the standard resolution track simply does not have. And, then it’s tough to go back.

Playing a long list of drum and percussion heavy tracks, selections that really tax a power amplifier make it a lot easier to hear what the Duet/Crimson bring to the presentation. The leading and trailing edges of transients are now reproduced with far less effort. From a psychoacoustic sense, there’s much less fatigue, and having the Duet/Crimson in the loop makes it that much easier to relax, engage the music, and forget you are listening to components. That’s what makes this product worth the asking price. This level of clarity is something you can’t get another way.

For all the audiophiles carrying on about the importance of source components, I submit that starting with clean, distortion free power is the ultimate attention to the source. No matter how massive the filter capacitors in your power amplifier are, they aren’t cleaning it all up.

Cost/benefit analysis

It’s always hard to make a value judgement for you. However, in the context of a $10k – $30k system, a pair of Duets moves the scale more than far enough to feel like a great value. The Duet probably offers 75% of the improvement, with the cords adding the rest. Considering how much power these are capable of passing through, it’s not the worst idea to install a couple of premium power outlets to go with your Duets, just so you are getting everything they are capable of delivering.

The Clarus Duet power conditioner(s) are one of the best performing I’ve heard at any price, doing no harm to the musical content and revealing more music than your system is capable of without them in place. Deceptively simple, this is no easy feat. That they do this for $1,250 each, makes them highly worthy of one of our Exceptional Value Awards for 2020. I’m keeping this pair, so you’ll be seeing them as associated components going forward, permanently attached to our PrimaLuna EVO400 monoblocks.

www.clarus.com

Original article: The Clarus Duet Power Conditioner

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Original Resource is TONEAudio MAGAZINE » TONEAudio MAGAZINE https://www.tonepublications.com/review/the-clarus-duet-power-conditioner/

Future Sound of London finally reissue their iconic ‘Mental Cube’ singles

Artist: Future Sound of London
Title: FSOL Present Mental Cube ‎– Mental Cube – Original Recordings From 1990
Label: fsoldigital.com
Cat No: 12TOT49
Released: Out Now!
Genre: Rave, Techno, Breakbeat

Future Sound of London (or just FSOL back then) was the brainchild of Gary Cobain and Brian Dougans. The pair met in Manchester in the mid-’80s. From there they went on to dominate the U.K music scene, and beyond through a variety of different styles using a variety of different pseudonyms. Although their tracks might not be as ubiquitous as they once were, the mystic and awe that surrounds FSOL have never really changed.

After disappearing from the electronic scene for a few years, the pair finally resurfaced and eventually set up the label, FSOL Digital. Over the past 15 or so years, FSOL Digital has been releasing new and old material, one of the highlights being last years release of new material under their Humanoid guise.

This record is, in essence, a compilation of singles released by Cobain & Dougans as Mental Cube between 1990 and 1991. ‘In The Mind of a Child’, which was originally released in ’91 under the pairs, Indo Tribe moniker, on the iconic Jumpin & Pumpin imprint, was originally intended to be a Mental Cube release.

‘In The Mind of a Child’ is a great ravey acid number. Stringy looping acid bursts hyped up vocal samples, bouncy bassline, and overexcited 909 snares; brilliant! ‘Chile of the Bass Generation’ brings the drums! Classic break-beat underpins a driving, wormy bassline.
‘So This is Love’ is just pure, classic U.K House. Warm bassline, vintage piano stabs and ethereal vocals. Q was an instant classic when it came out and is the real drawcard. Thick, warm strings shimmer upon you while a fragile, broken (is it a ‘Speak n Spell’?) melody spits out its fractured light. It was the blueprint of Sunrise Trance in the early ’90s and still cuts straight to the soul with the same ease it did 30 odd years ago.

Whether you’re a young buck new on the scene or an old techno fossil with an FSOL shaped hole in your record collection, this release has something for everyone. 4 slices of rave gold for your incomplete record collection.

The post Future Sound of London finally reissue their iconic ‘Mental Cube’ singles appeared first on Decoded Magazine.

Original Resource is Decoded Magazine https://www.decodedmagazine.com/future-sound-of-london-finally-reissue-their-iconic-mental-cube-singles/

The Nagra Classic Preamplifier

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Nagra products. I can’t hide that from you and keep a straight face. But the admiration is for a good reason – they make fantastic products. Having been to their factory several times now, the team at Nagra is a group dedicated to excellence in every aspect, from design through final build. And their heritage is second to none.

Some American customers bristle at the classic form factor of Nagra Classic components, but I love the simple, compact elegance they offer. Not everyone wants a massive rack of audio gear in their environment, but they still crave high sonic achievement – precisely who the Classic series is for. Those wanting even more performance and a more full-size chassis can step up to the HD series of components – considered some of the world’s absolute finest by recording engineers and audio reviewers the world over.

Just as I would rather have a 1988 Porsche Carerra instead of the new 991 model, I prefer the Classic Line. I like the more straightforward presentation. I love the way a small group of Nagra Classic components disappear in a room, instead of drawing attention to themselves. Yet when you do notice them, and move closer to inspect, the careful attention to every detail that makes a Nagra a Nagra becomes apparent. The smoothness of the controls, the perfection in the details of the casework, and of course, the famous Nagra Modulometer – homage to their decades of building pro gear and recorders lights up the quality center in your brain.

It gets even better when you play music.

Pairing the Classic Preamplifier initially with a Nagra Classic DAC, power supply, and a pair of Classic power amplifiers, operating in bridged mode, is a prodigious combination. Even though the HD series reveals still more music. The Classic line should not be mistaken as “entry-level.” This group of components in place of my standard reference stack of Pass and dCS gear is incredibly musical and does a fantastic job in every sense of the imagination. But for now, we are merely talking about the preamplifier.

The Classic Preamplifier tips the price scale at $17,900. You can add the Nagra VFS base ($2,000) and the Classic PSU power supply ($11,000) to take the performance of the Classic Preamplifier to an even higher level. The PSU power supply does add a greater degree of musicality, with more dynamics, increased bass slam, and definition. It also generates a larger, more three-dimensional soundfield, but it is costly if you own only one Nagra Classic component. This upgrade may not be for everyone. Should you have the tube DAC the power supply is required, and there is an additional output for a Classic Preamplifier and a Nagra VPS two-input phono stage as well.

Powering a single component may be tough to justify, but the power supply is a bargain if you have all three components or plan on adding them soon. For the rest of this review, we will concentrate on the Classic Preamplifier as a standalone component -with the VFS (but without the power supply.) I feel the VFS base makes enough of an improvement in noise floor and focus that it is essential to getting the most out of your Classic. As with nearly every vacuum tube component we’ve reviewed, vibration control platforms/devices usually show more effect with tube gear. Should you already possess a world-class rack, the VFS [ADS1] is not necessary, but it still looks fantastic and complements Nagra’s design ethos perfectly.

Road-tested functionality

For those not familiar with Nagra’s 70 years of experience in designing audio gear, primarily for the pro sound environment, this is where the form factor originates. Their recorders, like the Nagra III pictured here, feature a compact shape and the large, perfectly calibrated Modulometer – a Nagra trademark to keep levels accurate.

When Nagra began to design audio gear for the home environment, it made perfect sense to their engineers to keep things compact. The meter continues to be produced, and Nagras assembly team pays careful attention to their construction and calibration. Illustrated is the test bench where every piece of Nagra gear goes before heading out to you, with multiple, sophisticated checks along the assembly process.

The term “Swiss made” is often associated with the Swiss watchmaking industry. Still, every bit of meticulous detail that you would apply to any top Swiss watchmaker takes place inside the Nagra factory. It is clean, quiet, and highly organized. Walking through the factory as I have done a few times now, the vibe is calm, and the people building your Nagra are friendly but highly focused. This level of focused excellence is what gives Nagra components such a high level of mechanical and electrical quality. I’m sure that somewhere a Nagra component has failed, but in my 15 years of using Nagra components as reference pieces here at TONE, and among my friends that own them, no one I know has had a Nagra component fail.

This is a must if you are recording on location out on the edge of civilization, or capturing a legendary performance at the world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival (where Nagra gear is used exclusively to record every performance.). The Nagra SN was used by NASA on later Apollo to capture those legendary events.  [ADS2] It is still a big bonus knowing that your home audio system will always be there to fulfill your musical desires.

New yet familiar

While the casework, layout and form factor will be familiar to those using the Nagra Jazz preamplifier, and if you happen to be stepping up from the earlier PL-L or PL-P preamplifier, you’ll note the inputs and outputs are now all on the rear panel. Again, the side inputs of the PL series are an homage to the pro side of Nagra, but the rear inputs certainly make it easier to integrate the Classic into a home system. Let it not be said that the Swiss are inflexible.

The rest of the inputs are also similar to Nagra’s past, as well as the other components in the Classic lineup. There is a switch for volume, an input selector and to the far right, a large dial that powers up the Classic Preamp, allowing it to be fully on, in standby, or by using the selection marked “R,” controlled by the handy (and equally compact) remote control. Somehow as easy to use as the remote is, I always find myself getting up to manually adjust volume just because I like the feel of Nagra gear. It is unique and like no other.

The Classic preamplifier has four sets of RCA inputs and a single set of XLRs, while the output has two sets of XLRs and one set of RCA. Either way, it should be more than enough for any system.

Around front, there is a small switch for XLR, RCA, or headphones. That’s right, headphones. Part of the increase in price from the Jazz is the built-in headphone amplifier, which is excellent in its own right. Spending a fair amount of time using the headphone jack with phones ranging from a pair of Grado SR60s all the way to the Focal Utopias, the verdict is top-notch. Some of the world’s finest (and most expensive) dedicated headphone amplifiers offer a little bit more resolution and dynamics, as they should. Still, the headphone amplifier in the Classic is outstanding.

Neutral in more ways than one

The overall sound of the Classic builds upon the evolution of the Jazz and the PL-L/P before it. This is still a three-tube design, with a pair of 12AU7s and a 12AX7, but the newest preamplifier is quieter, more dynamic, and more refined at both ends of the frequency spectrum. As we happen to have a Jazz here to make a comparison, the first thing that comes to mind is if you have a Jazz, you will definitely be able to experience more music with the Classic, but the flavor and voicing of your Jazz is nothing to hang your head over.

Listening to the opening track on St. Vincent’s Love This Giant, the big bass drum is more robust, more locked down with the Classic. Rolling through a long playlist of bass-heavy tracks, it’s easy to hear that there is more texture, life, and definition, along with a little more speed to the bass line. Nagra has done a lot to update the power supply in the Classic, so this makes perfect sense.

Switching to vocal tracks and music showing off the other end of the frequency scale, the same observations are made. Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Elish both come further out of the speakers, feeling more convincing and natural. Cymbals have more sheen, and the soundfield created by the Classic is larger in all dimensions. The Jazz feels a little small when you go back to it, but still very listenable. However, those asking the familiar “should I upgrade to the new box” question, I’d say that if it doesn’t cause any undue financial strain, it’s definitely a worthwhile upgrade. Sell your Jazz to a friend that isn’t versed in the way of Nagra yet!

Another aspect of the Classics performance that shouldn’t be overlooked is its compatibility with other amplifiers, tube, or solid-state. I made it a point to use about ten different amplifiers with the Classic, and there were no issues, and it’s neutral tonal balance carried through to reveal the signature of the power amplifier used. Even the RCA outputs had no problem driving a 25-foot pair of Cardas Clear cable between amp and pre.

I’m sure that Nagra people would love you to have an all-Nagra system, but we all start our journey somewhere. The Nagra Classic preamplifier works well with whatever components you choose to mate with it. Very Swiss Indeed.

The Nagra Classic Preamplifier

MSRP: $17,500

www.nagraaudio.com

Peripherals

Amplifier Nagra Classic

Digital Source Nagra Tube DAC

Analog Source GrandPrixAudio Parabolica Turntable/TriPlanar Arm Koetsu Jade Platinum

Speakers Focal Stella Utopia EM

Cable Cardas Clear, Tellurium Q Reference

Original article: The Nagra Classic Preamplifier

Please note that all TONE Audio copy and photography is © 2005–2018 TONE Magazine LLC. This RSS feed is provided for personal, non-commercial use only.

If you are not reading this content in your news aggregator, RSS reader, or direct, then the site you are looking at may be guilty of copyright infringement. If you locate this anywhere, please contact [email protected] so we can take action immediately.

TONEAudio MAGAZINE. All Rights Reserved.

Original Resource is TONEAudio MAGAZINE » TONEAudio MAGAZINE https://www.tonepublications.com/review/the-nagra-classic-preamplifier/

PhantomFocus System Studio Monitors Review

PhantomFocus PFM UHD-1000 monitor
PhantomFocus PFM UHD-1000 monitor

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone more passionate about audio than Carl Tatz. Not only is he serious about it, he knows it inside out. I got to know him before Recording Arts, his legendary Nashville studio, wound up in the hands of Sheryl Crow nearly two decades ago. Even in those days, more than anything else, Recording Arts was known for its exceptional monitoring. The fundamentals of the PhantomFocus System (PFS) were developed during Tatz’s Recording Arts tenure. That system has evolved into a portfolio of both physical studio designs and products that hold their ground against anything in the world today. The number of top engineers around the world who use Tatz’s talents to ensure their mixes accurately translate anywhere—be it streaming, on television or in movie theaters—continues to grow every year.

While Tatz often designs recording studios from the ground up, the PFS branding includes various pieces of hardware that are configured and “tuned” by his process, which combines physical properties, hardware design and system settings. Tatz can be hired to build a PFS studio from the ground up, but an existing studio can also bring him in to transform the facility into a PFS space through the integration of specific hardware that he configures via a combination of physics, software and his golden ears.

While the PFS process can be applied to any high-performance studio loudspeakers, Tatz had historically gravitated his clients toward the now-discontinued Dynaudio M1s because of their sound quality and their adaptability to the PFS process. The M1s were never perfect, but Tatz was convinced that they were the closest thing to perfection available on the market at the time.

Never one to settle for the status quo, Tatz began developing his own monitors. After finessing his dream over the years, the PFM UHD-1000 and PFM HD-1000 Professional Reference Monitors and PFM ICE Cube-12 Subwoofer are finally ready for public consumption. Tatz boasts that the monitors’ accelerated response times, phase linearity and tightly controlled mid-bass response result in high confidence, better and faster mixes, and increased enjoyment. My own extensive listening supports my assertion that this isn’t hype.

The Carl Tatz Interview, by Russ Long, Feb. 11, 2015

Carl Tatz Design PhantomFocus Monitor Optimization System (PFS), by Russ Long, Oct. 21, 2011

PhantomFocus PFM HD-1000 monitor
PhantomFocus PFM HD-1000 monitor

Both monitor models are passive and share nearly identical 8.2 x 17.8 x 12.2-inch cabinets with a built-in custom integrated IsoAcoustics pistonic decoupling system with a studio black luster finish. The UHD version, which is designed to be biamplified and features upgraded low-frequency drivers, weighs 24.1 pounds. The HD version is offered in two configurations: the PFM HD-1000A is actively biamped, requiring two channels of amplification per monitor, and the PFM HD-1000P features an internal Straight Wire passive crossover, requiring one channel of amplification per monitor.

The PFM ICE Cube-12 subwoofer is a 15.75-inch cube weighing 55 pounds. It incorporates a 700-watt amp that provides 120 dB maximum continuous SPL. It includes typical subwoofer functions including 40–140 Hz LPF with LFE Bypass and 0–180 Phase Switch. It’s important to note that both the PFM HD-1000 and UHD-1000 monitors are part of the PFS turnkey precision monitoring instrument ensemble and can only be purchased with the installation of a PhantomFocus System using the proprietary PFS tuning process.

I’ve spent a lot of time in PhantomFocus rooms around Nashville and my only complaint had been the rapid degradation of sound quality as you move away from the sweet spot. When you’re in the sweet spot, you’ll likely be experiencing the best monitoring situation of your career, but once you begin sliding one direction or another, the sound quickly deteriorates. I had always attributed this to PFS processing, but after spending time listening at The Upper Deck, one of the first studios to install PFM HD-1000 monitors, my tune has changed. The sweet spot of that room is still precise, but as you move in and out of the sweet spot, the transition is smooth, natural and subtle—an entirely different experience than listening in other PFS rooms with other monitor models.

The Ultimate Home Studio? Upper Deck Hits It Out of the Park, by Steve Harvey, Nov. 29, 2018

PhantomFocus PFM ICE Cube-12 Subwoofer
PhantomFocus PFM ICE Cube-12 Subwoofer

This was confirmed when I spent time listening at Doug Sarrett’s Uno Mas studio. Sarrett was an early adopter of the PhantomFocus System, and he updated the Tannoy Super Gold monitors that he’d been using for over two decades to the premium PFM UHD-1000 monitors; the results were stunning. The complete system has excellent imaging, pristine depth of field and accurate, extended low-frequency response regardless of monitoring volume. As is always the case with a PFS implementation, the speakers magically disappear, leaving a detailed sonic landscape. While the difference was subtle, the upgrade to the UHD version of the PFM monitor that I auditioned at Uno Mas in comparison to the HD version that I listened to at The Upper Deck was a definite improvement in both depth and clarity.

The new PhantomFocus monitors and subwoofer elevate monitoring accuracy to yet another level. Regardless of whether you are upgrading a current room or planning to build a space from the ground up, PFS along with PFM monitors and subwoofers should receive top consideration.

Carl Tatz Design • carltatzdesign.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/gear-and-technology/product-reviews/phantomfocus-system-studio-monitors-review

Gold Note CD1000 MkII CD player/DAC

Even though there is a wealth of streaming options available to music lovers, the CD is quietly making a bit of a comeback. Not everyone wants to be an IT person, and some really enjoy the simplicity of putting a disc in and pushing play. Not to mention, there are some great deals to be had in the used CD bins.

Over the last several years, vinyl’s comeback reinvigorated the love for turntables. Following on the footsteps of this old-school resurgence CDs are experiencing a surprise comeback too. Embracing this trend, Italy’s Gold Note seeks to bring together the best of CD playback and streaming into a single package with the CD-1000 player and DAC. Indeed, the CD-1000 performs admirably in extracting the most from CDs. However, it also features a USB input so the internal DAC can deliver double-duty in decoding high-resolution PCM files. While Gold Note player cannot decode SACD or DVD-A disks, DSD, or MQA files, listeners will enjoy its prowess with a vast majority of their music collection.

Behold gold

After unpacking the CD1000, it’s evident that Italy’s Gold Note puts a lot of effort into the aesthetics of their products to complement the equally-beautiful sound.

The player comes in a variety of finishes. In addition to the gold anodizing reflecting the company’s namesake, Gold Note offers black and silver options to match other downstream components. While some manufacturers anodize only the thick aluminum faceplate to save production cost, the CD-1000 surfaces all reflect the owner’s color choice. Atop the CD-1000, even the ventilation slits prove attractive. It also features a custom-made aluminum CD drawer rather than the cheap plastic ones used in most players. The unit’s heft also reflects serious build quality. The player weighs in at 33 pounds (15kg) with external dimensions of 17 inches wide, 14.75 inches deep, and 5.3 inches tall (430mm X 375mm X 135mm).

The front panel controls offer the expected options for a CD player. Eject, play/pause, track skipping or scanning, stop, and standby buttons integrate gracefully into the faceplate. A digital display showcases the CD track number and elapsed time. There is no button to choose the input selections, however. For that, one needs to use the included plastic remote control.

Owners have a choice of RCA or AES/EBU (XLR) analog outputs. They can also use the S/PDIF coax output to use the CD-1000 as a transport to an external DAC. However, it would take an exceptional DAC to expect an improvement over the one built into the Gold Note.

Input wise, those using the player as a standalone DAC can connect to it from other sources via Toslink, S/PDIF, or USB. Regardless of input choice, the player’s excellent Burr-Brown PCM1796 dual-mono chip takes the reins for decoding digital information.

Designed for upgrades

Gold Note employs a modular design for the CD player. While the internal dual-mono power supply does a marvelous job on its own, an owner can upgrade the player with a choice of two external Class A tube Output Stage Buffers, the TUBE-1012 taps the aid of twelve 6N1P triode tubes, while the smaller TUBE-1006 sibling uses six. Besides are also available two external inductive power supply the 9 transformers PSU-1250 and the 5 transformers PSU-1000.  According to Gold Note, either power supply bests the internal version. These upgrades don’t come cheap, retailing around $7,000 or $4,000, respectively for both TUBE and PSU. Adding that to the $5,000 cost of the player itself represents a substantial investment.

We’ll need to take Gold Note’s word for the sound improvements these power supplies offer since we did not have either on hand from which to base a comparison. For those CD-1000 owners who seek to unveil every sonic nuance from their CD-1000, the upgrade may prove worthwhile. CD-1000 owners who choose to go that route can acquire new-production Sovtek 6N1P tubes for about $12 each. Necessary re-tubing down the road won’t break the bank.

Listening

The Gold Note features a similar sonic voice, whether enjoying a CD or using the DAC for streamed content. However, CD playback is where it truly excels. The sound is exceptionally immersive and it’s easy to get swept up in the music rather than scrutinizing it.

The CD-1000 MkII digs out bass notes in a tight, defined, and concise way. Those who crave heavy bass emphasis may find the player’s voicing a touch polite for their taste. Low frequency, dub-steppy elements heard in Billie Eilish’s “you should see me in a crown” renders with ample punch, though. Listeners pairing the CD-1000 with preamps and amps that excel at low-frequency delivery may find the Gold Note an excellent match.

The Gold Note offers a beautiful midrange portrayal. Vocals seem to take a step toward the listener, exceeding the physical speaker placement. Similarly-impressive is the player’s broad and deep soundstage. Instruments sometimes offer a surprise by appearing to wrap around the edges of the listening space.

On the top end, high-frequency information translates with oodles of detail. The player retrieves nuances that help frame the ambiance around vocalists and various instruments. It layers them in the soundstage deftly. However, that marvelous capability is a double-edged sword at times. When mated with similarly-voiced downstream components, the DAC can introduce a touch of stridency. For example, “Don’t Know Why” by Norah Jones comes with a bit of hard edge during her vocal crescendos. For sonic comparison between the DAC and CD functionality, we played the same track using the CD-1000MkII’s DAC only, and then the CD player. The Redbook CD playback sounded a little more rounded, even in comparison with a streamed 24-bit/192KHz native file.

I expect the power supply upgrades for the CD-1000 would enhance all the player’s strengths and diminish the few quibbles. Even without the upgrades though, the Gold Note’s voice is lovely and it’s easy to get immersed in rummaging through old CDs to see what the CD-1000 can extract from them. Those seeking more detail and “life” in their stereo system’s digital playback prowess may find the CD-1000 a great option.

Summing up

The Gold Note CD-100 MkII is an exceptional performer and a marvelous choice for those with an extensive CD collection. However, keep in mind that the player decodes streamed music too. Dividing that cost among the player and DAC capabilities justifies the future-proofed investment. Plus, Gold Note’s various power supplies give a prospective owner an upgrade path. If this review whets your appetite for a new CD player, be sure to audition a CD-1000 MkII and see if it’s the solution you’ve been seeking to complement your other system components.

Gold Note CD1000 MkII CD Player and DAC

MSRP:  $5,000

www.goldnote.it

PERIPHERALS

Digital Sources Roon Nucleus, Simaudio MOON 780D DAC, Oppo BDP-103, Synology DiskStation 415 Play, Tidal and Qobuz streaming services.

Amplification Conrad-Johnson ART150

Preamplification Coffman Labs G1-B

Speakers GamuT RS3i

Cables Jena Labs

Power Torus AVR 15 Plus, RSA Mongoose, and Cardas power cords

Accessories ASC tube traps, Cathedral Sound Room Dampening Panels, Mapleshade Samson audio racks, Coffman Labs Equipment Footers

Original article: Gold Note CD1000 MkII CD player/DAC

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Original Resource is TONEAudio MAGAZINE » TONEAudio MAGAZINE https://www.tonepublications.com/review/gold-note-cd1000-mkii-cd-playerdac/

The McIntosh MAC7200 Receiver

In today’s world, and its accelerated pace, so few things are constant anymore. For this audio enthusiast, there is something soothing, about the big, blue meters that adorn nearly every component from McIntosh Laboratory, Inc.

They are an assurance of a number of things: quality – made in America quality, by a group of great people that have been doing this for decades. If you’re 40 or older, chances are some of these people made your parents McIntosh. If you’re my age, chances are some of these people made your Grandparent’s McIntosh. That’s longevity.

This generational thing with McIntosh also perpetuates a consistency in sound and aesthetic. The Mac you buy today will fit right in with the Mac gear you already own and work well, whether just recently purchased, or decades old. Finally, the sound. McIntosh has always stood for great sound, and over the years, their engineering team continues to refine their products for better sound and even better reliability. Other than a few exceptional legacy products (the MC30s immediately come to mind) today’s Mac sounds better than ever.

Our younger readers may remember their parents having a receiver. That ubiquitous audio box that did everything, handling all the formats back then; a turntable, a tape deck (or two) and a glorious FM tuning dial. Keeping with ongoing march of progress, McIntosh has replaced the tuning dial on their receivers of years past with a pair of those big, blue, awesome meters, adding a digital to analog converter that handles everything up to DSD 256.

They’ve also added a moving coil phono section to the phono stage, with its own separate input, so that you can actually run two turntables with your MAC7200 if you’re so inclined, along with an FM tuner for those of you that still have decent radio stations. And the MAC7200s built in tuner sounds lovely, just like vintage tuners from Mac’s past.

Is there anything the MAC7200 doesn’t do?

Not really, and now, it’s even a Roon tested device, so you can use it in the Roon streaming environment.

Where the MAC7200 shines, is it’s engaging, but ever so slightly relaxed tonal rendition. The MAC7200 has more than enough audiophile cred, yet those craving the last molecules of fine detail will probably go elsewhere. That’s not the point, and that’s never been the McIntosh ethos. What really makes the MAC7200 standout is the magic it brings to every recording you own. And for the other 99.99% of us that aren’t fussy audiophiles, this is what it’s all about.

Plenty of power

200 watts per channel assures you can drive anything with the MAC7200. This was the stuff of dreams back in the 70s when the war of the massive receivers reached its peak. Just to make sure I wasn’t just an old guy reminiscing, I managed to borrow a perfect vintage Pioneer SX-1980 (rated at 270 watts per channel) from a collector for an impromptu shootout. While the Mac did not have the tuning dial and tuning meters, it blew the vintage receiver out of the water in every way imaginable.

For those wondering why we might make this comparison, vintage Japanese receivers like the SX-1980 and the Marantz 2325 are starting to pass the $5,000 – $10,000 mark these days and they are 40 years old. Unless you absolutely have to have that cool 70s receiver, the $7,500 MAC7200 is a killer value and has a five-year warranty. Considering McIntosh’s reputation for build quality, and the fact that they still repair 40 – year old components at the factory, this is a major bargain. Not to mention, you’ll be able to hand the MAC7200 down to your kids in a couple of decades.

Utilizing the Autoformer technology that McIntosh has hung their hat on forever, the MAC7200 can drive even two-ohm speaker loads with ease. The output transformer keeps a constant load on the output stage, and the amplifier within comfortable parameters at all times. The result – consistent sound and better durability long term.

Most speakers will work well with the 4 or 8 ohm tap. We found the recent Sonus faber Guareris achieved optimum power transfer with the 4-ohm tap, while the Focal Sopra no.3s and Graham LS5/9s gave their best performance with the 8-ohm tap. Magnepan fans are going to appreciate that 2-ohm tap, making these speakers a lot easier to drive. Again, the MAC7200 offers crazy versatility.

Digital diversity, and no static at all

In addition to the plethora of digital inputs, the MAC7200 also features their proprietary MCT input, so those owning one of their current transports can hear their SACDs in full glory. Rather than converting to PCM, the direct DSD bitstream comes through. We didn’t have one of these for our review, but a few readers that own both pieces have reported it’s a pretty sweet combination.

Here in Portland we still have a few radio stations with decent programming and sound quality. If you are equally blessed, you’re going to appreciate the FM tuner section. Moving through the stations brings back great memories. Taking into account what a vintage Mac tuner hails these days, again you can have an entire system, that won’t need a refurb.

Should you need it, the MAC7200 even receives AM signals. Curiosity got the best of me, since I haven’t listened to AM in decades, going back to WOKY in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as a kid. The pickings are sparse these days (at least in Portland) but again, the fidelity is exceptional, considering the limited bandwidth and frequency response the AM band allows.

Lacking the multiple band graphic equalizer of a few of the McIntosh preamplifiers, the bass and treble controls offered on the MAC7200 are still more than welcome, with recordings new and old. Some recordings just sound flat, and if you can get out of the audiophile box, it’s amazing what goosing the bass or treble a touch does for your listening session. Again, McIntosh is the master of flexibility.

Satisfies your inner DJ

Whether you have a turntable with two tonearms, or are rocking a pair of Technics 1200s, the ability to connect more than one table is a major bonus for hard core vinyl lovers. Having the new Technics SL1200G (with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze MC mounted) and a 1200GR sporting a classic Shure M44, I was able to put the MAC7200s phonostage through all of its paces.

The phono section in the MAC7200 is top notch, which led to stepping up the phono game somewhat. Sticking with a known American classic just felt right, so A VPI Prime with with Kieseki Purple Heart cartridge proves the MAC7200’s phonostage is of serious quality. It possesses more than enough resolution to discern a major difference between budget and serious cartridges, so you can grow with it as your vinyl enthusiasm increases. Its super quiet output along with 50, 100, 200, 400, and 1k Ohm loading on the MC side, with 60db of gain puts all but the lowest output cartridges at your disposal.

If you want a single box solution that does nearly everything, the McIntosh MAC7200 is certainly one of our favorite choices. Whether this is your first Mac, or one in a line of many, you’re going to dig this one. McIntosh has produced a new classic.

The McIntosh MAC7200 Reciever

$7,500

www.mcintoshlabs.com

Original article: The McIntosh MAC7200 Receiver

Please note that all TONE Audio copy and photography is © 2005–2018 TONE Magazine LLC. This RSS feed is provided for personal, non-commercial use only.

If you are not reading this content in your news aggregator, RSS reader, or direct, then the site you are looking at may be guilty of copyright infringement. If you locate this anywhere, please contact [email protected] so we can take action immediately.

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Original Resource is TONEAudio MAGAZINE » TONEAudio MAGAZINE https://www.tonepublications.com/review/the-mcintosh-mac7200-receiver/

Bryston’s 28B Cubed Power Amplifiers

Not wanting to waste the first half of the review with a history lesson, we’ll keep it short and to the point. It’s important to tell you why a product is worth the asking price, rather than leaving it to an unanswered question at the end of the review. So just a little bit about Bryston for those of you that aren’t familiar is an important part of their back story.

Bryston components are hand made in Canada to pro audio standards, and that’s not a bad thing. They are one of the few companies that sell in both arenas, and both camps benefit. The pro-audio customer gets additional value from Bryston’s audiophile side, making for fantastic sound, used in studios around the world, while the audiophile users benefit from rock-solid reliability.

Ever had a friend with a Bryston amp complain about it being broken? Me neither, and I’ve been buying hifi gear for a long time. Bryston offers the best warranty in the business because they make incredibly dependable products, and that’s a huge part of the value proposition here, especially when you’re thinking about buying a $25,000 pair of monoblocks. You can look at them as a lifetime investment, or if you’re a fickle audiophile, they will work flawlessly for the next three owners. But once you get to 1000 watt per channel monoblocks, where do you go?

Let’s get the clichés out of the way

All of the well-worn audiophile clichés apply to the 28B Cubed monoblocks. So, we’ll skip that, eh? In addition to the high reliability/build quality of these fairly dense amplifiers (they weigh 90 lbs. each, but feel heavier, thanks to their compact form), it’s all about the power.

Many audio enthusiasts subscribe to the first watt theory, that if the first watt of power doesn’t sound great, the next 999 don’t matter. To a certain point, that is true, but once that goal is achieved, to really feel like you are living the music instead of just listening to it, a vast power reserve is vital to feeling there.

While you may listen at low volumes, even when doing so, and with small speakers, I might add (in this case the excellent Falcon LS3/5as) the added level of control and dynamics offered by this amplifier rule the day. All too often, we think of dynamics as the ability to handle large, quick musical transients. I maintain that the ebb is just as important as the flow, and the 28B Cubed amplifiers have a fantastic ability to fade back to zero just as quickly as they can accelerate to 100%. This ability to breathe, if you will, is what allows you to hear fingers slide across a guitar fretboard and feel the textural difference when you listen to Stanley Clarke (or whoever your favorite bass players are) go from acoustic bass to an electric. Small amplifiers just can’t do this as easily.

The colossal power supply in each one of the 28B Cubed chassis offers up a level of dynamics and control that very few amplifiers can match. This level of effortlessness brings yet another level of clarity to your system’s presentation. For the internet pundits claiming that the source is everything and that power doesn’t matter, I think a day with the big Bryston monos will make them believers.

Power is good

In the course of this review, I made it a point to use the 28Bs with about a dozen different pairs of speakers. The Falcons, a pair of ProAc Tablettes, the ever-popular KEF LS-50, and even my old Spica TC-50s got pressed into service. Every one of them delivered better performances than they ever have, with more bass offered up than I ever dreamed any of these tiny contenders were able to provide. If you’ve ever noticed, clever speaker manufacturers with the “best sound at shows” often use massive amplifiers in their rooms, even with small speakers and low volume levels.

Moving up the range, a couple of torturous, tough to drive speakers were brought into play: the Quad 2812s, some vintage Acoustats, and some Magnepans all were driven with ease. Extreme ease, actually. It might seem to go past what you know, but more often than not, I’ve achieved much bigger, broader sound with ESLs usually thought of as just needing a polite, little tube amp with a giant solid-state amplifier. It’s that devil control again because ESLs are pretty much like hooking your amp up to a big capacitor and calling it a day. That bottomless power supply inside the Bryston amplifiers is rock solid and unaffected by any of this. I must admit, though, that because the 28Bs were so clean in their presentation, I was a little scared I might just melt the Quads into a puddle. Fortunately, no speakers were harmed in the production of this review.

Finally, pairing the Bryston monos with the Focal Sopra 3s, the Focal Stella Utopia EM, and my Sonus faber Stradivaris proves these amplifiers are worthy in the highest of high-end systems too. A couple of status-oriented audio buddies were shocked to know that these amplifiers were “only” 25 thousand dollars a pair, so it’s all relative. Seriously, putting the 28Bs into a system with some top-shelf gear proves they are more than worthy.

Down to the sound

Everyone likes a different sound or tuning on their system. If your taste falls more to the overly warm, ultra-romantic sound of certain tube amplifiers, the Brystons will probably not be your cup of awesomeness. Those liking a neutral/natural tonal balance to one only a few clicks to the warm/romantic/tonally saturated side can quickly achieve that. Bryston’s flagship preamplifier or any number of others offering that voice will work wonders. Again, if you’d like a bit of warmth combined with the massive power and low-frequency control, this too is easy to accomplish with the 28Bs.

These are fully balanced amplifiers, yet they offer single-ended RCA inputs as well. I had an ample slice of heaven using a vintage (yet updated) Conrad-Johnson PV12 preamplifier, an equal helping of loveliness with my reference Pass XS Pre (slightly warm), and just as nice, but different rendering with the new Boulder 1166 preamplifier. (spot-on neutral, much like the Bryston gear).

Thanks to their natural character, they will be an excellent match with a wide range of tastes. And, you’ll never be hunting tubes down on a weekend when you want to get some serious listening done. Turn your 28Bs on and just enjoy.

Whatever music you enjoy will be reproduced faithfully with the 28Bs. Their vast power reserves make them equally adept at capturing the full-scale dynamics of the heaviest metal band, or the biggest orchestra at your fingertips. Their sheer nimble speed will appeal to those that enjoy acoustic instruments, and vocal performances. There was nothing we found lacking, or less than enjoyable, though again I must admit playing some of my favorite rock, hip – hop, and EDM tracks are so much fun with these amplifiers. Their massive power reserves bring this music more to life than modestly powered amplifiers can.

You don’t realize just how awesome these amplifiers are until you go back to your favorite 60 watt per channel amp. It just feels small. For everyone that’s said you need big speakers to play music on a big scale, you need big amps too. And these are some pretty damn cool amps.

I haven’t mentioned it up till now, but for my music-loving friends that enjoy achieving concert hall sound pressure levels, you will not be disappointed with these amplifiers in the least. Because they can produce so much power, with such tremendous ease, I highly suggest getting a sound pressure meter or app for your phone. Unlike those distorted amps you hear in a live concert performance, the Brystons are so clean you might finding yourself inching that volume control up, up, up to the point of hurting yourself. You’ve been warned.

Even when listening to my favorite live rock recordings, I couldn’t make these amplifiers clip, and if you have even modestly sensitive speakers, your hearing will give out before they do. One final warning, with this much power at your disposal, be sure that if you aren’t using a Bryston preamplifier, that yours does not make any kind of transient pops, etc., should you turn it off first. This much power will harm your speakers. Always be sure to shut the 28Bs off first if you are using a tube preamplifier to avoid problems.

Setup, break-in and such

Other than lifting your 28Bs into place, they are incredibly easy to use and operate. With 15A AC inputs, you should be able to plug them in anywhere. The rear panel claims that they draw 1790 watts at full power, so those who like to really rock should think about dedicated lines. To that effect, while we could never make these amplifiers clip, when they were both plugged into a single 15A AC line, we were able to take the circuit breaker out at the wall.

We suggest having dedicated 15A lines for your 28Bs, and if you’re starting from scratch, a pair of 20A lines isn’t a bad idea. All of our testing, aside from the initial investigation was done with dedicated 20A power lines for each monoblock. While not a huge difference, the dedicated lines to offer that last bit of ease that these amplifiers are capable of delivering.

The 28Bs come out of the box sounding great, and after a couple of days fare even better. I suspect this is just as much due to thermal stabilization as it is “component break-in.” I am a true believer in this phenomenon; however, it seems to be a more profound thing with tube amplifiers possessing a large number of giant Teflon capacitors. None of that is going on here to impede your progress, so you can enjoy your 28Bs straight away. Because they are class AB amplifiers, they do not get terribly warm either, another plus.

Finally, the 28Bs are available with 17 inch or 19-inch front panels, in silver or black. I love the silver, and it’s worth calling attention to the fantastic job Bryston has done in the machine work on these cubed amplifiers. It’s a tremendous aesthetic combination – paying homage to the massive power contained within, yet not overdone in the least. The only decision is whether to get the front handles or not. They look great without, yet are so much easier to handle with, and both models have the rear mounted handles.

Honestly, that’s the biggest decision you face. When we did our initial look at the 28B Cubed monoblocks last year, we gave them one of our Exceptional Value Awards for 2019. Yes, $25k is not an idle purchase, but you won’t find a $100k pair of amplifiers that best these. Considering the build quality, Bryston’s dedication to their customers and dealer network, and the top-level performance, if that doesn’t say exceptional value, I don’t know what does. These amplifiers were an absolute pleasure to use.

The Bryston 28B Cubed Monoblocks
$25,000/pair

www.bryston.com

Peripherals

Preamplifier Pass Labs XSPre

Digital Source dCS Vivaldi One

Analog Source GrandPrixAudio Parabolica Turntable/TriPlanar Arm Koetsu Jade Platinum

Speakers Sonus faber Stradivari (35th anniv. edition), six pack REL no. 25 subwoofers

Cable Cardas Clear, Tellurium Q Reference

Original article: Bryston’s 28B Cubed Power Amplifiers

Please note that all TONE Audio copy and photography is © 2005–2018 TONE Magazine LLC. This RSS feed is provided for personal, non-commercial use only.

If you are not reading this content in your news aggregator, RSS reader, or direct, then the site you are looking at may be guilty of copyright infringement. If you locate this anywhere, please contact [email protected] so we can take action immediately.

TONEAudio MAGAZINE. All Rights Reserved.

Original Resource is TONEAudio MAGAZINE » TONEAudio MAGAZINE https://www.tonepublications.com/review/brystons-28b-cubed-power-amplifiers/

Behringer Model D Analog Synthesizer Review

Behringer Model D analog synthesizer

Behringer has started releasing classic true-analog synth designs at a rapid rate; the first one I encountered—and immediately purchased—was the Model D Analog Synthesizer. As an owner of an original Minimoog from the 1970s, I can attest that the Model D is for the most part a dead ringer, with some extra features above and beyond the original. It is, however, more like the Moog Minimoog reissue from 2016, with the inclusion of a low-frequency oscillator and a filter EG modulation source.

On a basic level, it features three voltage-controlled oscillators, filter selectable lowpass or highpass, classic 24 dB voltage-controlled filter with Emphasis, an overdrive circuit, USB-MIDI plus 5-pin DIN In and Thru, Low and High output 1/4-inch outs, and CV connectivity. The classic layout and simple signal path help make this the best bang for the buck I’ve encountered in this new era of inexpensive clones of the classic synths. The CV (control voltage) ins and outs that integrate with Eurorack and vintage synths is what really gives this compact unit a winning profile. Even the Minimoog sound charts book that was shipped with the old Moog Model Ds will fully translate and quickly allow you to get those classic sounds.

Music, Etc.: Craig Leon, by Jacques Sonyieux, May 23, 2019

The firmware updates that have been released throughout its short lifecycle have also been welcome. For me, pitch-bend range was the most useful, in order to closely emulate the original’s bend range. You can set the pitch bend range up to the amount of semitones you desire, including the common +2 default with most synths. True waveforms and noise sources, including the noise mod source, are fully implemented.

Real-World Review: Roland SE-02 Analog Synthesizer, by Bruce MacPherson, Nov. 1, 2019

The filter EG as a pitch modulation source is wonderful to see, and, of course, the ability to blend the sources simultaneously give this synth its incredible power. A High pass filter is included, as well as a hardwired “output to input” feedback circuit, which help adds cool harmonic distortion and saturation. The trusty, old A=440 sound source makes it easy to tune your three oscillators to unison with a slow, smooth phasing sound and big fat detuned unison, or to tune to intervals for parallel chords.

The Model D is a great educational tool that not only sounds great, but will give you a solid foundation for subtractive synthesis without breaking the bank.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/gear-and-technology/product-reviews/behringer-model-d-analog-synthesizer-review