Jason Victor Serinus

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 28, 2018  |  13 comments
In 2016, when I received Oh Boy!, the first solo album from mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa, I thought, "What a cute title for a compilation of male operatic roles that were written for female singers"—"trouser roles" in operatic parlance—and put it aside. Now, having heard Crebassa's newest album, Secrets: French Songs, I realize that I made a big mistake. Crebassa is a major artist, with a sound and temperament that make Secrets a must-listen for lovers of vocal artistry.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 20, 2018  |  1 comments
Given that David Chesky has just followed the digital release of his Second and Third Piano Concertos with a January 13 performance of his Violin Concerto No.3 by Rachel Barton Pine and the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, some might say he's on a roll. Others, listening to the pace of two new piano concertos inspired what liner notes writer Harold Lester calls "the chaos of [Chesky's] adopted New York City," might instead think "roller coaster."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 16, 2018  |  36 comments
Photo by John Atkinson

The question, "What if they Gave a CES and Nobody Came?," which headlined my As We See It from mid-2016, was echoed by a similar title on Jon Iverson's opening blog for our coverage of CES 2018. Yet hopes and fears that our industry's increasingly limited presence in the Venetian would sound the death knell for "high performance audio" at CES do not reflect the experience of those who this year chose to either exhibit or wander hallways and eateries in search of dealers and distributors.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 15, 2018  |  1 comments
Because Art Dudley is writing a Follow-Up review to Michael Fremer's take on the Audio Technica AT-ART1000 direct-power stereo MC phono cartridge ($4999), I shall replace lots of words with this blow-up of a cartridge whose coils sit at the tip of the cantilever, right over its diamond stylus.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 15, 2018  |  0 comments
Andrew Jones's first active speaker, the tri-amped Argo Series B51 ($2000/pair), offers 250W of class-AB power in the form of a 150W AB amplifier for the woofer, 70W AB amp for the midrange, and 30W class-A amp for the tweeter. The B51s can be used either wired or wirelessly, but need an external DAC, DAC-equipped server, or other device to produce sound from digital.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 15, 2018  |  1 comments
Both Andrew Jones, who designs Elac loudspeakers, and Peter Madnick, who is responsible for Elac's Alchemy series of components (the successors to the Audio Alchemy brand), were on hand to demonstrate a system that sounded equally wonderful on both of the "Red Book" files I heard there. I loved how beautifully this system captured the seductive midrange of David Roth's voice on "Before I Die" as it conveyed his music with captivating warmth and lovely layering. Timbres on Count Basie's 88 Basin Street were also natural and compelling.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 15, 2018  |  0 comments
Paired with the same Theta Gen. VIII DAC/preamp ($15,995)/Theta Compli Blu transport ($3995) combo and VPI Avenger reference turntable ($20,000) as in the SAE room, but with a TR phono cartridge ($7000) replacing the Zu, this room showcased CAT's brand new MBX 1250.2 FD XPR twin monoblock amplifier ($30,000), which outputs 1250Wpc in to 4 ohms, and MBX 320.2 FD ($10,000) twin monoblock amplifier, which outputs 320W into 8 ohms. The amps were driving a bi-amped pair of CAT loudspeakers, specifically voiced for this hotel room, which consisted of CAT MBX 900 Trinity satellites resting upon MBX Miramar subwoofers ($100,000/pair for all). Analog crossovers were employed, and the subs were dialed-in through a CAT MBX DSP8x8 digital signal processor ($15,000).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 15, 2018  |  0 comments
I spent some time listening to systems from two companies of which Brian Barr is President: SAE (Scientific Audio Electronics) and CAT (California Audio Technology). In the first, two SAE 2HP-D amplifiers ($20,000/each), which graced the cover of Stereophile when Michael Fremer reviewed the amp in the October 2016 issue, drove new bi-amped Eggleston Works 20th anniversary Limited Edition Andra Viginti speakers ($40,000/pair). Michael is currently reviewing these speakers, whose 4 ohm nominal impedance indicates that they were driven by a mere 1200Wpc of SAE power.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 15, 2018  |  0 comments
Etymotic's Albert Arends was showing four models of the company's earphones. The Etymotic ER3SE (Studio Edition—$179) has a flatter response than the ER3XR (Extended Response—$179), which has "a bit of a bass lift" in the 100Hz-1kHz region. One major difference between these models and the higher level ER4 SR (Studio Reference—$349) and ER4XR (Extended Response—$349) is that only the latter are channel-matched to within 1dB.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 15, 2018  |  6 comments
I really don't know the answer; I just know that loudspeaker company M&K says that's the case. I also know that the original Miller & Kreisel was founded in 1973 by music lovers who wanted to manufacture speakers good enough to do justice to recordings by Steely Dan. 35 years later, the company went bankrupt, and was relaunched shortly thereafter by new Danish investors who have a strong home theater orientation. For the past 10 years, the company's owner has been Lars Johansen, who spoke with me in their room in the Venetian Hotel.

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