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Review: Nordost "System", QB8, Qx4, Qv2 and Norse 2

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Nordost… not much needs to be said about this cultbrand. Launched by affable Joe Reynolds back in 1991 (!), Nordost had become one of, if not the most respected brands of high performance Hi-Fi cables. Recently all cables have been upgraded to Version 2 (V2) status, prompting a delivery of the entire ensemble at casa K for review. Link to full review at Postive-Feedback Online is here, and a German version will be available at my other home away from home, Hifistatement shortly as well. Meanwhile, enjoy a few snippets and all the gorgeous hi-res images. Drool factor 4. A+++

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| Permalink | Accessories , Articles , Interconnects $1k and up , Power Cables , Show Superstars , Speaker Cables $2k and up | Posted by Danny Kaey on Aug 23 '13

Preview: 2013 Maserati Quattroporte with Bowers & Wilkins Hi-Fi

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Maserati is synonymous with style, sportiness and that special italian thing.  The only automotive brand to sport a trident, Maserati captured the hearts and minds of many a car collector.  Unlike Ferrari, Maserati never focused on the extreme performance category of automobiles, rather, it was coupes, GTs and 4-door saloons that made the marque famous.  Since Maserati's relaunch in the US market in the 2000's, lots has changed.  The old BITURBO moniker that plagued the brand in the 80's has now been replaced with quality, reputation and solid branding, all courtesy of Ferrari's ownership of the brand.

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| Permalink | Announcements , Articles , Show Superstars | Posted by Danny Kaey on Apr 18 '13

Preview: Sony 4K 65" XBR TV

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It didn't take long for Sony's pre-announced pre-announcement to finally hit an April 21 launch date.  If you haven't seen or heard, Sony was among the leaders of Blu-ray and now is looking to replicate the same with 4K hardware and software.  Having witnessed the tremendous clarity and stupendous resolving power of native 4K content at CES a few months ago, I am most impressed.  What's even more pressing is the fact that the 65" model will only ring you up a buck shy of $7k.  Now that's impressive (the 55" model goes on sale, same day, for $4999).  Stay tuned.

| Permalink | Announcements , Show Superstars | Posted by Danny Kaey on Apr 07 '13

Review: 2013 Aston Martin DB9 avec BeoSound

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Well, well, well… it's about that time to dive back into the things we love the most: fancy cars.  The circle of cars evoking such caption as Aston Martin's latest all new for 2013 DB 9 are far and few between.  Yet, somehow, each model generation that AM produces somehow seems to significantly enhance that experience that much more.  Such is the case with the all new for 2013, DB9, which has taken on cues from the previous top line model, the venerable DBS and now sits just right beside the brand's ultimate crown jewels, the even more awesome Vanquish.  The DB9 is, of course (anything else would in fact be utterly uncivilized, unless it was powered by AM's own V8) powered by the company's tried and true V12 petrol engine, churning out more than enough stallion power to drive you from point A to B.  Alas, that is merely half - a third? - the story as it isn't so much about sheer power, rather, the confluence of how it all gets together that is oh so mesmerizingly captivating.  It is after all, billed as the "world's most timeless, elegant sports grand tourer", a distinction that it carries with grace, might I add.

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Permalink | | Posted to Articles | Show Superstars | Spotlight

Newsflash: SonicFlare announces rebranding

Los Angeles, 4/1/2213

Newsflash: SonicFlare, America's premier lifestyle publication, announces a complete media makeover.  SonicFlare will launch its own TV and Film series, shot with RED camera's latest 10K resolution camera, enabling us to capture the most infinitesimally small sonic artifacts present in most high-fidelity recordings.  As an added bonus, SonicFlare's latest foray into Hollywood will enable our customer to experience down sampled content on Sony's latest Playstation 5, fully capable of streaming 8K content at 12 frames per second.  "This will be huge; never before in the history of audio and lifestyle publications, has anyone gone this far into unchartered territory." Danny Kaey, Editor-some-Times.  Current SonicFlare readers will simply have to purchase the latest decoding computer systems and will be ready to rock it right about now.  This will be fun!  A+++.

Permalink | | Posted to Articles | Show Superstars

Daryl & Dave Wilson on Alexia




Expertly produced video announcing all the goodies and stuff behind the scenes of the Wilson Audio Alexia. Alexia is billed as a speaker that fits in about the footprint of the Sasha, but with lots of technology borrowed and implemented from their more elaborate designs. Parked in the sub $50k price category, Alexia seems to fit the bill for those aspiring to have Wilson's best technology fit inside a smaller space. Having heard them at CES and a few other places over the past few months I have to say that the speaker appears to indeed be impressively engineered. Theres's something to be said about Wilson Audio… stay tuned for more.

PS: I dig these manufacturer video productions quite a bit: gives you the opportunity to hear it from the source directly. Clever!

Permalink | | Posted to Articles | Show Superstars | Speakers $20k and up

Preview: 2013 Aston Martin DB9 avec B&O Hi-Fi

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Preview alert:  here we go again; the team at SF, i.e. me, myself and I, have been busy driving the all new 2013 Aston Martin DB9 across the greater Los Angelean empire… Amazing doesn't quite capture it.  Stay tuned for more beef on the bone, aka. the full monty, including the astounding Bang & Olufsen Hi-Fi.

Permalink | | Posted to Articles | Show Superstars

Preview: 2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS

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Arriving soon @ SonicFlare headquarters is the 2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS. Avec Burmester Hi-Fi. Now there's a killer teutonic combo. Porsche of course has been raking up sales time and again with their model expansion of the last few years. Great cars, terrific German engineering, amazing power and grace, heart, what else do you want? At long last, Porsche and Germany's Burmester Audio Systeme, entered into cooperation and thus any 2013 Porsche can now be outfitted avec that Burmester system. Crazy. Killer. Chiller. More! Personally I believe this to be the single biggest driver to high-end audio, perhaps even more so than the latest fashion Hi-Fi, aka. Dr. Dre Beats, etc. Added bonus? You get a killer car to boot. Stay tuned, review forthcoming.

Permalink | | Posted to Articles | Show Superstars

CES: Nordost

Nordost is always up to great demos during shows and this year's CES was obviously no different. Their latest and greatest warez out on display, Nordost is one of those sure bets in high end audio. While others claim all sorts of gizmos and gadgets, Nordost is legit. That's it!

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Permalink | | Posted to Show Superstars

CES: Kuzma 4-Point

Kuzma, no stranger to the world of analog, was showing off their latest and greatest, including the much discussed and coveted 4-Point tonearm. It is essentially a clever interpretation of both a unipivot and gimbaled bearing tonearm design, aimed to reduce the side effects of either system. Clever I say, clever. Radical certainly popped into my mind… $6500, A+++!

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Permalink | | Posted to Show Superstars | Turntables

CES: Tech DAS Air Force One 'table

Tech DAS, otherwise known as the ex-CEO of Micro Seiki, used the backdrop of CES 2013 to launch the Air Force One super 'table system. Vacuum hold-down, air bearing and super precise speed / motor control afforded listeners with a most incredible soundstage and imaging that was simply astounding. Distributed in the US exclusively by Bob Graham of Graham engineering, aka. Phantom tonearm, it sure is a looker. PS: HRS made super platter is standard of course. Absolute Killer!

Air Force One with Phantom and HRS base

Permalink | | Posted to Show Superstars | Turntables

CES: Playback Designs IMS

Playback Designs killed it yet again at CES 2013. Launching their often rumored "super integrated" amplifier, the IMS - Integrated Music System - Andreas Koch and Jonathan Tinn once again showed how its done. Like in years past, Andreas Koch showed his genius (he is the man behind today's DSD resurgence and efforts to standardize the industry behind it) by offering up an all-in-one integrated amplifier / DAC solution that has no equal. All you need is a pair of loudspeakers and you are set, quite literally. $11k screams affordability considering you get a world class integrated amplifier with 3 analog inputs and a built in USB DSD / Double-DSD DAC that will make your music shine. Wow. That's right!

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Permalink | | Posted to DACs $5k and up | Integrated Amp $10k to 20k | Show Superstars

CES: Wolf Cinema SDC-15

Wolf Cinema's SDC-15, aka, "Grey Wolf" was - for me - the CES show stopper. For $8k, it bladed the accompanying Stewart 11 foot screen with such incredibly vivid, lifelike and hyper dynamic colors and blacks that my heart literally skipped one, nay, four beats. Stunning clarity on 1080p, Grey Wolf afforded you with an incredible home cinema experience that has to be seen. Stunning and compared to a decade ago, actually almost affordable. A+++

SDC15 Front

Permalink | | Posted to Show Superstars | Systems

Sony 4K Home Cinema Projector

Sony's latest foray into the world of high-def cinema is based on the VPL-VW1000ES, otherwise known as "hey, I'd like that 4K projector wrapped up to go please" which lists for a cool $25k. Considering that a short ten years ago, a measly high-def DVD-res projector would have set you back about twice that, this is nothing short of amazing. Projecting an image up to 200" diagonal, I'm putting in my name in the reviewer's hat. Wow. Gorgeous high-def 4K images are now a reality. I bet that Blu-ray images never looked better. Awesome.

Sony VPL VW1000ES

Permalink | | Posted to LCD Projectors | Show Superstars

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Ford's 2013 Mustang Shelby GT500 is a monster. Sporting north of 600bhp, this thang is a hottie. Considering you get Ford's standard new vehicle warranty with it, it's like a no brainer purchase, even if the sticker is pushing 70k when its all said and done. Shaker's Pro Audio system is an option, which we will be diving into here at SF sometime early next year. Earth pounding bass, gut wrenching horsepower… Can't wait to get behind the wheel of this puppy. Vroom, vroom.

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Permalink | | Posted to Show Superstars

Audeze LCD-3 December 24, 2012
Nissan GT-R December 23, 2012
EINSTEIN The Poweramp December 23, 2012
EINSTEIN The Preamp December 23, 2012
2013 LA Auto Show… December 18, 2012
RMAF: Korg MR-2000 October 30, 2011
RMAF: Ortofon A90 October 30, 2011
RMAF: Wave Kinetics NVS Reference October 30, 2011
Newport 2011: Sonorous June 11, 2011
Aston Martin DBS with BeoSound June 28, 2009
preview: 2012 myCOMAND Mercedes-Benz süper-system December 7, 2008
Mercedes-Benz & Harman-Kardon super systems December 2, 2008
Salagar @ CES February 5, 2008
seen and heard @ CES, part I January 16, 2008
Modwright keeps on rockin' @ CES! January 14, 2008
Vegas 08: Devore Fidelity and Vegas After Hours January 14, 2008
Vegas 08: Acoustic Plan Super System January 12, 2008
RMAF 07: Acoustic Zen November 21, 2007
RMAF 07: Sonicweld $99k Super System November 19, 2007
RMAF 07: Vivid/Luxman Super System November 10, 2007
RMAF 07: Sjofn Guru AV Speaker System November 8, 2007
RMAF 07: Salagar $7999 Super Speakers November 6, 2007
RMAF 07: RL Acoustic + Opera $19k Super System October 31, 2007
GamuT L-9 Super System $140k October 28, 2007