Tag Archives: richard h. mak

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

Ana Mighty Sound, Great Cartridge Maker and Rebuilder | REVIEW

Before I even bring up Ana Mighty Sound (website), let me state that I abhor rebuilt cartridges. They are to me, unholy, defiled, inferior, and more often than not, a far cry from the real thing.   It is like having your Ferrari serviced by the corner garage operation, or your Rolex tempered with by some counterfeit watchmaker, or worse, having an operation performed by an unqualified surgeon. Even when the cartridge comes back looking like it’s good as new, which it seldom does, something always feels off when I play the repaired cartridge, which is why I always put them up for sale upon their return from repair. If you’ve been playing vinyl long enough, the big “OH SHIT” moment of breaking a cartridge is bound to happen sooner or later. It could be your sweater snagging the cantilever, or your cat jumping onto the platter, or it could be you squishing your cartridge’s suspension by accident. There are no shortages of silly ways of breaking your cartridge. When François Saint-Gérand, owner of Ana Mighty Sound from France, contacted me at the end of the 2019 Munich Show and handed over four of his rebuilt Ana Mighty Sound TSD-15N cartridges [...]

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

Vinnie Rossi L2i Integrated Amplifier | Review

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last couple of years, you’re probably aware that Vinnie Rossi has been shaking up the world of high-end audio shows with his tremendous L2 amplification line. I’ve always been a fan of Vinnie’s designs, going back more than a dozen years when I listened to one of his battery-powered Red Wine Audio amps. I used it to review a wonderful pair of WLM loudspeakers from Austria, which Vinnie used to import into the US. Over the last year or so Vinnie Rossi has partnered with Mark Sossa of Well Pleased A/V, the US distributor of Qln loudspeakers from Sweden, to create some of the most amazing sound I’ve heard in a hotel room since I first attended a hi-fi show almost 30 years ago. These are amazing systems, yet they are simple—usually it’s one of Vinnie’s L2i-SE integrated amplifiers with the L2 DAC module, a pair of petite Qln 2-way floorstanding Prestige Threes and an Innuos music server. These are not big six-figure systems in one of the huge conference rooms downstairs. I’m doing the math in my head, and I think the entire Vinnie Rossi/Qln systems usually run for less [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile