Tag Archives: scot hull

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

Triode Wire Labs | REVIEW

Triode Wire Labs, run by the eponymous “Triode Pete” (aka Pete Grzybowski) was a company recommended to me very highly by my fellow PTA staff members. That included both Scot Hull and Marc Phillips, who had nothing but praise for both man and company. When the opportunity came up to review some cables that praise stuck with me, and after a look through the Triode Wire Labs website, I was excited.  Words and Photos by Grover Neville “Affordable & ‘Audiophile’ Should Not Be An Oxymoron!” the About Us page on the website proudly declares. Now you’re speaking my language. Not only is Triode Pete an insanely nice guy, he’s an insanely well-credentialed one as well, with degrees in Bachelors and Masters of Science, and a professional engineering license. Furthermore, Triode Wire Labs utilizes Litzendraht-style braiding of its cables, a technique pioneered by Western Electric in the 1930s.  Readers familiar with my tastes know that classic hi-fi and Western Electric are up my alley, and I have had very positive experiences with all the litz and litz-braid style cables I’ve encountered. I won’t even mention the word triode is right there in the name. Furthermore, while I can appreciate the costs [...]

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

Gary Morrison of Plinius and Pureaudio, RIP | Announcements

The first time I met Gary Morrison in person, for our Down Under Audio exhibits at the 2016 Newport Show, I quickly learned he had a fondness for well-timed flatulence. He was a master at delivering the final product, punctual and almost shocking in its sheer visceral impact, and when he did it he would look deep into your eyes to see if you’d respond in any perceivable way. He was sizing you up, figuring out what kind of person you were. Once, in a crowded room on set-up day, he presented a real champion, one that made us all look at each other in confusion because, as an old friend of mine used to say, it must have rippled the sand dunes in Arabia. “It’s okay everyone,” he said in his soft, measured New Zealand accent. “I’m a vegetarian.” Why am I starting off this tribute with such a horrible story about my friend Gary Morrison, founder of Plinius and then Pureaudio, a genius when it comes to pure Class A amplification? It’s partly Irish wake mentality, telling a horrible story about a recently passed friend to help the healing process and all those messy feelings. I’m not going [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Denafrips Pontus II DAC | REVIEW

I’ve been on a hot streak lately with getting components to review that have sounded excellent despite the current difficulties in hearing something beforehand. For a reviewer, it’s one of the many great things about hi-fi shows. So when our fearless PTA leader Scot Hull put out the word amongst the troops for who wanted to take a shot and review an affordably-priced DAC from the Chinese electronics firm Denafrips (website), I thought sure! Why not? And then something strange happened during my time with the most excellent Denafrips Pontus II DAC.  I started listening to a lot of music in digital form, not because I had to turn in a review on the DAC, no. I WANTED to listen to digital. Whuuut?To my way of thinking, DACs are the most stealthy of source components. There are no knobs to turn, no stylus to clean or arm to drop on a record, and a dearth of switches or buttons to press. Certainly no choice of regular bias or chrome tape–remember those? You might get a selection of anti-aliasing filters if you’re lucky. There is not much romance in Ye Olde DACs. They sit there quietly waiting to be asked out [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Rotel A14 Integrated Amplifier | REVIEW

  Why in the world would I want to review the Rotel A14 (website), an integrated amplifier with DAC and phono stage and headphone amplifier all sorts of features for just $1500? What is this, 1985? Am I still in college looking for an optimal amplification match for my Snell Type Js? Look over there, on the racks and around the listening room. I’ve got $10K worth of Rowland over here, and $25K worth of prime Pureaudio amplification over there. I should be set, ready to go, ready to review turntables or speaker cables or something else other than amplification. But when I got the chance to review the Rotel A14, I jumped at the chance. Again, why? Because I love doing reviews on gear from companies I know well, the brands that convinced me to fall head over heels with this hobby so many years ago. If you haven’t noticed, I love telling those stories. I love talking about my hi-fi history. Some guy in an elevator in 1992 who turns out to be Jeff Joseph and 28 years later I finally get to review his speakers. Meeting Colleen Cardas for the first time at CES—I remember meeting her, [...]

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

Vimberg Amea Loudspeakers | REVIEW

The Vimberg Amea (website) loudspeaker is a two-way, stand-mounted loudspeaker. I’m bringing this up first for a very good reason. When I first arrived at the front door of the Part-Time Audiophile headquarters more than two years ago, Scot Hull asked me what I wanted to review. The first thing out of my mouth was “world-class two-way monitors,” or something like that. If you know me, you know I love the little two-ways, especially when they don’t sound like two-way stand-mounted monitors because someone put some serious effort into the design. As a result, I’ve reviewed all sorts of wonderful two-way monitors that strive for state-of-the-art performance. They don’t reach down to 20 Hz (or even 45 or 50 sometimes), but they do such a great job at everything else, and I can think of about four or five of these li’l loudspeakers that I could buy and enjoy for the rest of my life without clamoring for something that goes a little deeper in the bass. I’ve even said as much in a couple of recent reviews. I did not expect the Vimberg Amea. (No one does, I’ve heard.) I knew it was going to be special—I’ve heard Tidal [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Part-Time Audiophile now featuring Contributor Columns

PART-TIME AUDIOPHILE INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS — We are proud to announce, the greatest addition to our Part-Time Audiophile website toolbar in over a decade—we bring to you, the Contributor Columns! It has been discussed amongst our staff of writers and decided that now-better-than-never is the perfect time to update our website’s navigation toolbar, thus making our editorial content that much easier to find. The new COLUMNS tab and included drop-down menu contains linkage to all of our favorite Part-Time Audiophile editorial columns from the past, present, and future. With our existing brain-trust of audiophile experts, hi-fi industry veterans, technical gurus, journalists, explorers, gourmets, thought leaders, and historians on the writing team, we felt it was time to set our rich column archives free from the search bar and entrust them to the navigation toolbar for quick access. The Contributor Columns For all of our long-time Part-Time Audiophile column readers, please know this: we appreciate your investment of time (and ad-clicking) towards our success, and for your patronage we bring forth some of our most revered content for a second (or third) helping. Returning to the stage are columns like Scot Hull‘s Publishers Desk, along with lifestyle columns like Nina Sventitsky‘s Reluctant [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile