Check in, upcoming and changes

Two weeks past RMAF and I’m feeling a bit let down. It’s a long time till my next fix, you see, and I’m just starting to feel the withdrawal symptoms. Oh well. Guess there’s always CES, right? And my press pass did show up while I was at RMAF ….

I got the word a week ago that my Berkeley units should be showing up sometime soon. I’ve ordered a Series 2 Alpha DAC and an Alpha USB. That should pretty much nail that down for the foreseeable future.

Talked with Thomas Woschnick while I was hanging out in the High Water Sound room at RMAF, too. My new TW Acustic Raven AC-3 should be finished in the next week or so. I’ll be using that with a Raven 10.5 tonearm and a Raven/Thoress phono stage. Very sweet. Now, all I need is my return/refund to show up so I can actually order a cartridge for it!

I’m thinking I should get either a Kansui from Miyajima or a Windfeld from Ortofon. Either would be fantastic, but the output on the Windfeld might match the Thoress phono stage a bit better. Of course, I could always just shoot the moon and get a new Hyperion from Soundsmith. I can’t stop thinking: “cactus needle cantilever”. Crazy.

Once that’s all wrapped up, I’ve got some decisions to make. Should I upgrade my server? Maybe get a Bryston BDP-1 or perhaps even an Aurender from WideaLabs? Or skip it and stick with my trusty MacBook Pro? I’m very curious the AES output is on the Aurender, especially with its uber-clocks, and how much better (if at all) it’d be than using an additional device that does USB-to-S/PDIF conversion.

On another front, I have some Bybee-enabled interconnects coming from WyWires. Almost done on that front.

I talked with Bruce Jacobs from Stillpoints, too. He’s convinced that my Maggies “need” to try out the Stillpoints Ultras — and he’s promised to send me a set to try out on them. He mentioned something about sending me some Exemplar cables, too. All very interesting.

In November, I’ll be circling back with Burson Audio and Light Harmonic about reviewing their DACs, too. Stay tuned on that.

Lastly, I’ve been thinking about this site. As you might (or might not) have noticed, we’ve gone from a “mere” blog to an actual site with a uniquely registered domain name. That, with our coverage of RMAF (still underway), drove our average daily reads to over 2,000. Pretty cool, but it does make me wonder if there isn’t a way to push that up another notch. It’s crossed my mind (but only about a million times) that there might be a way to do this full-time instead of merely part-time, but to do that we’d need some kind of support. Like [gasp] advertisers. Which also means more readers.

Don’t panic. I’m still in the noodling stages here.

What I am interested in doing, regardless of the financial incentives, is adding more content. So, I’m considering allowing, and in fact encouraging, reader-submitted product reviews. Its just more data points, people, just more data points. If synergy really is the key sonic nirvana, then reading about the experiences of people with gear most closely matching your own would give you the best likelihood of finding happiness with said piece of gear, no? Yes, exactly what I was thinking. Glad you agree. So, at some point I’ll probably reformat the site and post a sticky with what I’m looking for and what I’ll do to/with it. Keep your eyes on ….

About Scot Hull 1063 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.

1 Comment

  1. Hi,

    You did a wonderful job with all of your photos and commentary from RMAF. Actually some of the best that I have seen to date.

    I was wondering what you concluded from your auditions of the Playback Designs unit? Will you be keeping it?

    Also congratulations on your Raven AC-3 turntable. It should sound quite wonderful. I don’t know if you have ever heard the Allnic Puritas MC cartridge, but I think it might be worth a listen for you depending on your sonic preferences. I haven’t heard the Kansui, but I have done comparisons of the Ortofon A90, the Soundsmith Sussurro cartridge and the Allnic Puritas in my system using my Allnic H3000 phono stage. The Puritas was an easy winner for me in my system. It seemed to combine the best attributes of the A90 (delicacy, midrange and upper frequency extension) and the Sussurro (great bottom end) into a single cartridge but yet was better at these attributes than either the A90 or Sussurro. And that was with the prototype Puritas. I am now using the current production model and it is a superb cartridge.

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