Positive Feedback DSD Sampler Vol. 3

Will Gutierrez Blog

Our friends at NativeDSD Music have teamed up again with Dr. David Robinson, Editor-in-Chief at Positive Feedback. Today they release “Positive Feedback DSD Sampler, Volume 3”.  NativeDSD has provided a 20% discount on this DSD Sampler in all DSD rates specially for House Of Stereo and Wolf Audio Systems customers and followers. HoS and Wolf is very happy to be a part of this Positive Feedback Sampler!

20% discount code: WOLFVOL3 (valid through July 1st, 2020)

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Quad’s Vena Integrated Amplifiers, and the Perfect Speakers For Them

Will Gutierrez Blog

The QUAD Vena

QUAD is a venerable manufacturer in the world of hi-fi and one with a long-time respected reputation, which is why we were naturally so excited to carry and sell their products as an official dealer. Thanks to QUAD, we’ve expanded in the reaches for simplicity and affordability in a world of hi-fi that is ever-reaching toward the sky. It is safe to say many dedicated people deep in the world of hi-fi have taken the time to step up their game despite the pandemic at hand, which could also be said for a good part of the industry in the last decade or so. QUAD is no exception.

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May Consignment Bonanza, and Upgrading Your Gear!

Will Gutierrez Blog

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Bring in your old gear and have an opportunity to listen to some impressive systems built with high-end consigned gear! A longtime House of Stereo customer called us last week wanting to trade in some of his older gear and create a theater room upstairs, so we happily obliged. We've got the Ayre 5 Series SACD player, a Mark Levinson Reference system with No 333 dual mono amp, 30.6 Pre, 31.5 transport, VPI Aries 3 table, Shelter Cartridge, Ayre Phono (in Black!) And the Amazing massive Thiel Audio 7.2's.

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VPI HW-40 Anniversary Direct Drive Turntable

Joseph Parvey Blog

What has four feet, one arm, and a snappy clear acrylic hat?  Why it’s the all new VPI HW-40 Anniversary Turntable from VPI of course.  The HW-40 is beautiful in its streamlined clean aesthetic, and a breeze to operate.  A few years ago, I had the great pleasure to sell and setup the superb (yet twice as expensive) Stereophile Class A+ rated VPI Classic Direct Drive table.

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Eggleston Works Kiva Speaker

Joseph Parvey Blog

Sometimes you can tell a lot about a company by how well they are packaged

Upon receiving Egglestonworks all new Kiva floorstanding speakers, the House Of Stereo staff were all impressed with the substantial wood shipping crates.  The icing on the cake however, resided within.  Subsequent removal of the top revealed a sculpted beauty in “Porsche Blue” paint.  The cabinets were affixed to a “rolling sled” with a ramp to execute an amazingly elegant removal of the speaker.  Nicely done Eggleston!

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The Kivas weigh in @ 130 lbs. and are 48” high, 22” deep, and 10.5” wide without stands.  The enclosures are extremely inert due to multiple layers of MDF and HDF with aluminum plates and baffle bracing.  The Kiva is a three way, five driver system with a medium efficiency rating of 88 dB.  Frequency response is a very wide 29 hz. -24khz.   The tweeter is a fabric soft dome from SEAS.  The two 6 ½” midrange drivers are loaded into a quasi transmission line to strongly reduce reflected energy, while also adding a slight degree of rear firing “ambient” information.  The two 7 ½” woofers, like the midrange drivers, are sourced from BA Acoustics Satoris series.  The Kivas are built at the Egglestonworks facility in Memphis, Tn.

From the opening notes of Richard Thompson’s latest LP, “13 Rivers”, I knew the Kivas were something special.  The tribal drums and cleverly delivered vocal and guitar were powerful and immediately drew me in.  They are one of the most “listenable” speakers I have auditioned in recent memory.  For a somewhat sizeable structure, the Kivas provided a very convincing “disappearing act”, while getting out of the way and allowing a very natural presentation.  While very dynamic and capable at high levels, the startling aspect of how terrific they sounded at mere conversation levels is worth noting.  They lean a tad to the warm side tonally, but with a very uncolored, natural demeanor.  They are eminently pleasing and offer the proverbial “I can’t wait to listen to what’s next” from your music collection.

 


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Richard Thompson 13 Rivers

Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady’s Hot Tuna excursion “Hesitation Blues” was swinging sweetly. Casady’s percussive “woody” attack matching Jorma’s intricate finger style guitar note for note without any blurring or transient smear.  As the audience clapped during the slowed tempo change, a vivid acoustic as characterized by a true live performance clearly emerged.  Turning now to the beautiful cello work of Maria Kleigel, on the Telefunken LP Virtuose Kammermusik, her vigorously and beautifully bowed cello was appropriately rich, resonant, and satisfyingly real.  Another very impressive performance on the Kivas was the David Grisman Quintet ’80 LP.  On the track, Mugavero, the very tip end of the pick was shockingly clear and resolute on Dave’s mando.  The natural “plunky” wooden quality was there in spades.


Summing up, regardless of the music’s size and scope, the Eggleston Kivas were more than up to the task.  In many important ways they are comparable to speakers costing 2-3 times their $15,000. pair price.  Every music enthusiast should make it a point to experience these beauties!

 

- Bill Gibson


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Quad Artera Solus Integrated Amp

Joseph Parvey Blog

Quad is an interesting company. In the Hi-Fi world, it is easy to get distracted with the shiny and new, so it is great to find a venerable brand like Quad has been steadily working (while our attention was elsewhere)  on creating amazing audiophile level components for one of today’s most important market segments: the newcomers. Ask any Brit, and Quad never went away. They have been listening through Quad gear all along, and passing their gear down the generations as they upgrade. We decided to bring Quad back to Jacksonville after seeing and hearing some great demonstrations at audio shows, and seeing the attention to detail that Quad puts into their S and Z series speakers. Likewise, after seeing what Quad was able to do with the $999 Vena II amp – Bluetooth connectivity, DSD DAC, Phono Stage and great sound, we decided to take a look at what they could do with their next step: the Artera Solus integrated at $2000. Out of the box, our first thought was, “This is just $2000?” Like our Quad Z3 speakers, the Solus looks and feels (and weighs) like a much more expensive component.
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Van Den Hul – Crimson XGW Stradivarius Cartridge

Joseph Parvey Blog

Van Den Hul – Crimson XGW Stradivarius  Moving Coil Cartridge

The recent arrival of the Van Den Hul Stradivarius Crimson Phono cartridge came as quite a pleasant surprise. You have to understand that I have auditioned scores of cartridges over the years. Most of them are quite good to varying degrees.

 There have been essentially three times in my fervent audio career that I have been gobsmacked by an exemplary cartridge.  As a budding audio nerd in my early twenties I was stunned by the transparent clarity and focus of the Decca London series of cartridges.  Although they had other issues, they were peerless in terms of speed, snap, and focus, and simply exciting to listen to.  In my early thirties the timbral beauty and seductive nature of the Koetsu range of cartridges ruled the day.  They were the most “musical” cartridge I had ever heard.  The mid bass was a bit “over ripe” for my taste, but overall an amazing sound.
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