Tag Archives: part-time audiophile

Charney Audio Maestro Loudspeakers | REVIEW

  From my first exposure to Charney Audio speakers at a Capital Audiofest a few years back, I’ve remained somewhat smitten with the possibilities that exist in the world of well-designed single-driver speakers. The single-driver [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

McIntosh C49 Preamplifier and MC312 Power Amplifier | REVIEW

I feel like I’m the designated Part-Time Audiophile power lifter lately. I received another freight shipment containing the McIntosh C49 preamplifier and MC312 power amplifier, weighing in at back squat workout weight of 234 lbs. [...]

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

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

Rotel Michi S5 Power Amplifier and P5 Preamplifier | REVIEW

Harkening from the Land of the Rising Sun, the Rotel Michi P5 Preamplifier and Rotel Michi S5 Stereo Amplifier presented an imposing pair in my listening room. Weighing in at a hefty 50 lbs. for [...]

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

Mola Mola Makua Preamplifier | REVIEW

The Mola Mola Makua (website), much like the Tambaqui (review) before it, was a device utterly unknown to me before this review. Naming gear after exotic fish isn’t a new concept–I own a pair of Manley Snappers after all–but the gear from Mola Mola is decidedly different than Manley, which prides itself on its “Tubes Rule” motto. By contrast, Mola Mola has Bruno Putzeys and his heritage, an eye towards futuristic functionality and ultra high-end sonic pedigree. I have to back up a bit here though and mention Bill Parish of GTT Audio and Video, who generously lent me the Tambaqui and Makua for review. I spoke extensively with him on a Skype call during the review period and got a lot of insight into the company and creation of these products. One particular quote regarding the tuning of the products struck me: Bill mentioned that Bruno tuned the Mola Mola units in Bill’s room and tweaked them until they sounded equal to gear costing tens of thousands of dollars more. “Sometimes the part Bruno was convinced was going to be the best part wasn’t. And we tweaked and tuned them until we found the best part.” Words and photos [...]

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

LFD NCSE Mk. 3 Integrated Amplifier | REVIEW

The LFD NCSE Mk. 3 integrated amplifier (website) has no remote control. Nor does it have XLR inputs or outputs, a home theater bypass switch, 12V trigger operation, a built-in DAC, a wide range of connectivity options nor any of the standard features we usually find in a modern integrated that costs $7,350. I’ve reviewed plenty of integrated amplifiers that cost far less than that, and they have features such as inboard phono stages and headphone amplifiers and more. Heck, the LFD NCSE doesn’t even have a grounding lug on the back panel for the phono stage. In nearly every way, the LFD is a classic Brit-Fi integrated from twenty or thirty years ago: 70 watts per channel, about the size and weight of your average one-chassis preamp, a simple black box. (Or in this case, dark gray.) Three knobs on front—volume, selector, tape monitoring. A simple toggle switch serves as the power button and there’s only one very small LED on the faceplate that tells you the NCSE is on. I was raised on simple British integrated amplifiers like this–the British Fidelity A1 and Synthesis, Naim NAIT 2, Rega Brio3 and, most notably, the LFD Mistral. The Mistral was [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Marten Oscar Trio Loudspeaker | REVIEW

  At Casa de McAudiophile, the impressive hit parade of floor standing speakers continues. This latest installment of chart-topping performers is the seductive sounding and beautiful Marten Oscar Trio from the Sweden (website). The Oscar Trios are not only the first speaker from Marten I’ve had the pleasure to hear; their ceramic composite drivers are also a first in my listening room. I found the sound of these speakers to have a uniquely classy quality: they are precise, clean and fast, but with a richness and ability to portray tonal complexity in recordings that is something more than just accurate. The Marten Oscar Trios bring an inviting quality to the music played through them. That stately and authoritative something puts them in quite a charming spot on my listenability/accuracy matrix. Brothers I seem to be receiving a preponderance of speaker systems from Scandinavian countries, Sweden in particular. Is it possible there is an informal World Class Nordic Speaker Designers club in Gothenburg? I wonder if the Marten team of Leif, Lars, and Jorgen Olofsson ever hang out in a sauna and talk speaker design with Mats Anderson of Qln? Well, even if the two companies don’t share ideas, the friendly [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile