Tag Archives: dave mcnair

Audio by Van Alstine DVA M225 Monoblock Amplifiers | REVIEW

I’m not gonna tease any of the readers by making them wait (or skip to my conclusion), so I’ll say right up front: OH. MY. LAWD.™ I was in audiophile heaven from the minute I [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Pietra and Benchmark | T.H.E. SHOW 2021

I’m not familiar with Pietra speakers (website), but they resembled the Acora Acoustics speakers which both Marc Phillips and Dave McNair have reviewed and raved to me about recently. The large marble front baffles meant [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Wilson Benesch, Ypsilon, Aurender, Vibrance, Stage III Concepts, Isoclean, HB Design, Stacore | T.H.E. SHOW 2021

I’ve long been a fan of Wilson Benesch (website) speakers, but they’re a rare sight here in the United States. I was intrigued to see local distributor Aaudio Imports playing a pair of Wilson Benesch [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Audiovector, Thrax, Frank Schröder, Tom Evans, Antipodes, Weiss Engineering, Hemingway Audio | T.H.E. SHOW 2021

After hearing Dave McNair rave about the Audiovector (website) loudspeakers (Dave’s review here), I knew a stop by their room was mandatory. Another dark room and a difficult photo-taking environment greeted me. A glorious sound [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Merason Frerot DAC with Pow1 LPSU | REVIEW

My review of the Merason Frerot DAC is the first time I’ve ever done a formal review of a stand-alone digital-to-analog converter. I do have plenty of experience with DACs over the last few years, [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

The Occasional Podcast Asks: What Is British Hi-Fi?

This week’s episode of The Occasional Podcast features interviews with Andrew Jones, Rob Watts, Mike Moffat and Johan Coorg. The topic? What exactly is British Hi-Fi? How did it become a thing, is it still [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Al Schmitt, Legendary Engineer and Producer, Dies At 91 | The Occasional Podcast Interview

The sad news hit early Tuesday morning, music engineer and producer Al Schmitt had passed away at at 91. I got a chance to sit down with the music legend to chat about his legacy and upcoming book just a few years ago. I was recording interviews for Stereophile‘s Audiostream Podcast at the time, and Al was equal parts gracious and entertaining during the nearly three hours we spent together talking about his expansive, full life. His work in the music industry spans so many years, and he had so many fun and crazy stories to tell from his professional experience with the likes of Sam Cook, Todo, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney and more. 23 Grammys, to be exact. I’ve revisited the entire interview on this week’s Occasional Podcast to help give a small glimpse at the man who spent almost his entire life dedicated to making music sound better. The Occasional Podcast is making its way though Season 5 with this week’s revisit with Al Schmitt, but don’t miss our conversation from last week’s interview with Elac’s Andrew Jones, or even our interview audio legend Mike Moffat from the season opener. Also available for download is last season’s interviews [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Wilson Audio SabrinaX Loudspeakers | REVIEW

Most audiophiles know of the unwavering commitment to accuracy and groundbreaking industrial design baked into the DNA of every Wilson Audio product (website), and the new Wilson Audio SabrinaX loudspeakers are no exception. This was first evident in Dave Wilson’s original assault on the state of the art with his WAMM design circa 1981, and other loudspeaker systems followed over the years. Along with advancements in materials science and simple but visually striking industrial design aesthetics, each loudspeaker system has a unique raison d’etre rather than simply various scaled-down models at different price points. Words and photos by Dave McNair Dave Wilson practically devoted his life to designing a speaker that would precisely reproduce what his ears (and mics) heard on his extraordinary recordings. His recording approach was a simple, purist style used to record musicians playing in natural acoustic spaces. It might seem simple, but there is nothing easy about this kind of approach. So it naturally follows that faithfully reproducing the recording of that event in a home listening room was his ideal. Today, Daryl Wilson and the rest of the great crew at Wilson Audio have maintained those same ideals and goals while simultaneously refining, improving, and [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

ZYX Ultimate Airy X Cartridge | REVIEW

The first time I listened to the ZYX Ultimate Airy X cartridge it instantly reminded me of Scot Hull’s wife, Julia. I know that sounds strange, and even Scot’s probably thinking “WTF, Marc?” right about now, but hold on and let me finish. This won’t be creepy at all. When Scot Hull was ordained last year, Colleen and I traveled down to Frederick, MD to attend. Toward the beginning of the ceremony and services, Julia went to the front of a church and began to sing a hymn/spiritual and for one second, frozen in time, I thought to myself hey, what do I really know about Julia? I know she writes and has an interesting career—so does Scot, for that matter—and I’ve met her a few times. That’s about it. In other words, for that stretched-out moment I could only think of one thing: CAN JULIA SING? The answer, as Scot sometimes says, was “Oh. My. Lawd.” This wasn’t like oh, the boss’ wife has a pretty good voice. I should probably say something nice to her to get on his good side. No, this was “Excuse me, Julia? Hi, I’d like to buy one of your CDs!” It’s crazy [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Vertere Acoustics Mystic Moving Coil Cartridge and Phono-1 MKII Preamp | REVIEW

In my earlier review, I wrote about the Vertere MG-1/SG-1 turntable/tonearm combination. Here I’m going to pen about a few other offerings from Vetere (website), companion pieces I received with the ‘table and arm–the Vertere Acoustics Mystic moving-coil cartridge ($2,699) and Phono-1 MK II phono preamplifier ($1,395). First off, let me say that both these pieces were excellent performers. I was particularly impressed with the Phono-1, which I consider one of the best deals in high-end audio. The Vertere Acoustics Mystic cartridge was undoubtedly NOT an also-ran. Still, there are some excellent offerings around that price, so while exceptional, I think of cartridges as more system dependent. In other words, a Mystic could easily be the missing link in YOUR search for vinyl Nirvana. Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy That phrase may be true unless you’re an audiophile, and then it’s called The Hobby. I find comparing components is a lot of fun when I don’t have skin in the game. But if you’re a Libra with ADHD (raises hand), making comparisons to decide on a purchase can be a self-imposed torture chamber. Somebody, please tell me what to get! That’s where us reviewers come in – we’ll drive [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile