Tag Archives: graig neville

Parasound Halo JC 5 Power Amplifier | REVIEW

Though I received the Parasound Halo JC 5 Stereo Power Amplifier, designed by John Curl, along with the Parasound P 6 2.1 Channel Halo Preamplifier and DAC, I felt that each product was different enough that they warranted independent reviews. I’ll get into why I felt that way below, but first let’s dive into this refined beast of a power amp. John Curl has worked as Parasound’s premier designer since 1989. Before that he designed and built a variety of kit for the likes of The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Mark Levinson, Wilson Audio, and Mobile Fidelity. Mr. Curl has the audio pedigree to produce something special and the creativity and knowledge to implement an interesting design that I have never seen before in another amplifier. Under the Hood Parasound has an informative in-depth brochure where you can look under the hood of this Halo JC 5 Stereo Power Amplifier. I’ve never seen an amplifier use JFETs, MOSFETs, and bi-polar transistors all in one chassis. Everything about this 400W into 8Ω and 600W into 4Ω with 12W of pure Class A transitioning into Class AB oozes thoughtfulness and attention to detail. Stability into 1.5Ω ensures that the Halo JC 5 [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

AudioQuest Assortment with Graig Neville | REVIEW

[Editor’s note–I’d like to welcome to Graig Neville to the tricky, sometimes treacherous but ultimately necessary world of cable reviewing. As Graig fine-tuned his system into a reviewer’s reference, he chose an AudioQuest assortment to address his immediate needs because he’s used these products–and enjoyed them–in the past. This is his story.] Not Just Another Cable Review, or Wire We Doing This? Cable reviews are polarizing for most audiophiles. Can you hear cable differences? Is it all just voodoo? Is the Emperor wearing new clothes? If you think that all cables sound the same, then don’t waste your money on voodoo snake oil and stop reading now. Are you still reading but skeptical? Good, then read on about the AudioQuest assortment of cables and other devices that I received. When Stephen Mejias reached out to me to see if I would be interested in reviewing an AudioQuest assortment, I emphatically said yes! I was once a firm skeptic regarding cables in my early hi-fi days. I vividly remember standing in a showroom at a dealer in the Chicagoland area listening to some great speakers–Avalon or Aerial, my memory is sketchy back 30+ years. There was a gentleman standing in the [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Volti Audio introduces Lightning Razz, featuring a Fractal Burned Finish

Right on the heels of our two-part review of the Razz loudspeaker, Volti Audio founder and owner Greg Roberts releases a new wood finish unlike anything we’ve ever seen in high-end audio. The process is called Fractal Wood Burning, and it’s been a growing trend with custom woodworkers over the last few years. The process is time consuming, but the results can be downright stunning. Check out our two-part review of the Volti Razz located here: Part 1 by Marc Phillips, and Part 2 by Graig Neville Fractal Burning is tedious, and in the hands of amateurs it can be dangerous, as seen in this video. More about the Volti Audio Razz and the “Lightning” finish can be found in the press release below. Press Release Below “Lichtenberg Figuring” or “Fractal Burning” as it has become known, is a technique that uses high-voltage electrical currents to ‘burn’ dazzling tree-like figures into the wood finish of our speakers. The resulting figures are 3D in nature, burned down into the wood veneer of the cabinets, and then sprayed with a clear lacquer finish, creating a very interesting, and unique cabinet finish. Volti Audio can apply this technique to any of our speaker [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Volti Audio Razz Loudspeakers, Part Two | REVIEW

When PTA Editor-in-Chief Marc Phillips asked me to co-review the Volti Audio Razz loudspeakers, of course I said I was interested. This would be my first official review for Part-Time Audiophile, and I’d be fulfilling an aspect of the hobby I’ve fantasized about since reading Audio and other review magazines while I was in college. Excited, I looked up the Volti Audio website and read up on the Razz. My excitement turned into consternation as I read the description. You see, I’ve had bad experiences with high-efficiency horns in the past. In my experience they are shouty, bright, uneven and can drill right into my ears. I can count on one hand how many horn-based systems I’ve heard that I considered listenable. And I can use just one or two fingers to indicate how many horn systems I’ve actually liked. But I decided to keep a firmly open mind. Marc was very favorable towards the Volti Audio Razz in his review, giving it his Editor’s Choice Award. Besides, I heard the Avantgarde Acoustics room at AXPONA a few years ago and their products were definitely one of those “fingers” I just mentioned. In other words, I knew a horn-based system [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Volti Audio Razz Loudspeakers, Part One | REVIEW

A funny thing happened on the way to finding the perfect 2-way bookshelf monitor. When I first had the opportunity to review the new Volti Audio Razz (announcement, website), I imagined this 3-way floorstanding horn loudspeaker would act as sort of the sherbet between the courses, and chance to re-calibrate my ears before the next tiny yet precious speaker arrived. I knew I was going to like the Volti Audio Razz, the new entry-level speaker in the line—right underneath the $8,900 to $20,000 Rival/Rival SE family and the massive flagship Vittora, which starts just under $30K per pair. I always go out of my way to visit the Volti Audio and BorderPatrol rooms at high-end audio shows because I’m going to hear a HUGE, ballsy and dynamic presentation that’s just so…well, FUN. Have fun! That’s the de facto slogan for Volti. It’s not some catchphrase that some advertising executive pitched to Greg Roberts, designer and owner of Volti Audio—poor Greg didn’t have to pay five figures per word for that one. (Or maybe he did, I don’t know. I’m wingin’ it here.) Nope, Greg Roberts’ designs are all about excitement, tapping your foot, bobbing your head up and down to [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

The Music List: Is It Really Necessary? | The Vinyl Anachronist

A few weeks ago, I found myself editing an equipment review and I got to that section. You know the section, the one where the reviewer gathers up copious notes on the music used during the review and condenses it into a survey of sorts. I call it the Music List. In this particular case, the Music List went on and on and eventually became the largest section in the review. I asked myself an important question—do we really need all this? Is it necessary to discuss the fabled drum solo by Steve Gadd on “Aja” as extra punchy on a particular pair of speakers? Or how easily we can hear Yoko’s back-up vocals on “Obla-di, Obla-da” through the latest DAC? Maybe. I published a review not too long ago, and I didn’t mention any particular pieces of music in the “listening” section—on purpose. Within a few hours of publication, we received a comment on the website: “What music did you listen to? How are we supposed to put your review in context?” And I came to the realization that we all expect reviewers to go on and on about the records they listened to, a linguistic touchstone for the [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile