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Stereophile 2014 Recommended Components


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Estimados Foreros

Compartimos con ustedes el listado de nuestros productos recomendados por la revista Stereophile en este año.

Para el listado completo, como la explicación de las diferentes clases, [url="http://www.stereophile.com/content/2014-recommended-components-fall-edition"]hagan click acá[/url].

[b]Stereophile Reccomended 2014[/b]

TORNAMESAS

A+

[b][color="#FF0000"]VPI Classic Direct turntable[/color][/b]: $30,000 including tonearm
A brand-new, US-made direct-drive turntable—in 2014? Believe it. For VPI's Classic Direct, designer Harry Weisfeld selected a $4000 (his cost) Thin Gap motor, servo-controlled by a custom-designed active-feedback loop, which he combined with an 18-lb platter machined from a single billet of aluminum. The platter and drive system (combined weight: 27 lbs) are snugged into an aluminum-and-MDF plinth measuring 23.5" wide by 17.5" deep. To this, Weisfeld has mated a version of his tried-and-true JMW unipivot tonearm updated in both mechanical design and materials choice, this one a seamless resin creation whose existence would not have been possible even five years ago. Referring to his longtime reference 'table-arm combination, MF observed that "the Classic Direct with its JMW Memorial 3D-printed 12" tonearm comes as close to the [Continuum] Caliburn's sound as has any turntable, and for less than one-fifth the price." Quibbles: MF wondered if even greater performance could be had with a more sophisticated plinth, and lacked enthusiasm for the model's peripheral platter clamp. (Vol.37 Nos. 5 & 6 WWW)

A

[b][color="#FF0000"]VPI HR-X1[/color][/b]: $15,000, with tonearm ★
Harry Weisfeld's efforts to produce the ultimate TNT turntable include a plinth of acrylic-aluminum-acrylic laminate, an inverted bearing assembly, the addition of a perimeter clamping ring, and replacement of the outboard motor and flywheel with a single unit. Simpler, smaller, more luxuriously appointed, and better built than the TNT, the HR-X also eliminates the TNT's pervasive warmth and softened dynamic transients, to offer a much more neutral overall presentation. BD: "The HR-X struck me as a stable, inert, and nearly neutral platform that simply supports a cartridge and lets it do its job." Price includes VPI's JMW-12.6 3D tonearm (see "Tonearms"). (Vol.29 No.5 WWW)

[b][color="#FF0000"]VPI Super Scoutmaster Reference Rim Drive[/color][/b]: $10,000 ★
The Super Scoutmaster Reference Rim-Drive combines the Scoutmaster's Super Platter with the Super Scoutmaster's Mini-TNT Stabilizer feet, and uses a rim-drive motor system based on the HR-X's dual-motor/flywheel module. It comes equipped with a JMW-10.5i Memorial tonearm fitted with Nordost Valhalla wire. The sound was "fantastic," with impressive bottom-octave heft and slightly warm high frequencies. "The Super Scoutmaster Reference Rim-Drive is one of the best values of the true high-end turntables now available," said MF. (Vol.32 No.2)

[b][color="#FF0000"]VPI Classic 3[/color][/b]: $6000 ★
Like earlier Classic models, VPI's most recent design is easy to set up, relatively compact (22" W by 10" h by 16" D), and uses a motor that has been integrated into its plinth. Refinements over earlier models include a more massive, better-damped plinth structure, newly designed feet, and an 18-lb damped aluminum platter. Though the Classic 3 wasn't as quiet as MF's much more expensive Continuum Caliburn and couldn't match the rich midrange of Dr. Feickert's Blackbird, the VPI had a clean, fast, lively sound marked by masterful attacks, outstanding microdynamics, and lifelike textures. "One of today's great values in analog audio," concluded Mikey. "I don't hear how you can go wrong buying one." Borderline Class A. Price includes the new JMW-Classic tonearm. See "Tonearms." (Vol.34 No.10 WWW)

C

[b][color="#FF0000"]VPI Traveler[/color][/b]: $1499 $$$
The first VPI product codeveloped by Harry Weisfeld and his son Mathew, the Traveler is designed for easy setup and meant to appeal to a younger generation of music lovers. It uses an AC synchronous motor built directly into a rigid, compact chassis of Delrin and aluminum; a machined aluminum platter damped with a stainless-steel disc; a high-quality bearing assembly capable of driving a 20-lb platter; and a dedicated 10"-long, spring-loaded tonearm with a double-gimbal bearing for horizontal and vertical movement. The Traveler combined delicate highs, a clean midrange, outstanding low-end control, and awesomely silent backgrounds with an overall ease and fluidity that SM found intoxicating. Compared to the Rega RP3, the Traveler lacked transient speed and precision but offered greater clarity, presence, and rhythmic authority. MF says high Class C. Running changes since SM's first review include sturdier tonearm bearings, a repositioned motor, a better platter mat, and cosmetic refinements; the last, according to SM, have left the current-production Traveler "easily more attractive than the original." Available finishes include black, red, white, or blue. (Vol.35 No.11, Vol.37 No.5 WWW)

[b]BRAZOS PARA TORNAMESAS[/b]

A

[b][color="#FF0000"]VPI JMW Memorial 3D-printed 12" tonearm[/color][/b]: $3000
The JMW Classic 3D 12" tonearm is identical to the JMW Classic Signature of the same length—with one big difference: This unipivot's removable armwand is made, on a 3D printer, of an epoxy-like resin said to impede the transfer of vibrations. MF was very impressed with the new model's smooth, transparent, well-balanced sound, likening it in those regards to his reference Continuum Cobra tonearm, and declaring the Classic 3D the logical upgrade for present owners of the JMW Memorial arm: "It's not that the metal JMW arm is so bad—it's that the 3D-printed version is so good." AD, who has set up a JMW Classic 3D for friend Sasha Matson, reports being very impressed with the new arm's level of finish. (Vol.37 No.6 WWW)

[b][color="#FF0000"]VPI JMW-12.7[/color][/b]: $3000 $$$ ★
Unipivot tonearm features vestigial antiskating, which disconcerted MF. Nonetheless, he enthused over its lush midrange, ultra-smooth top end, and rock-solid imaging and soundstaging: "Subjectively, it seemed to have lower distortion than any other pivoted arm I've heard, but part of that might be the result of its smooooth frequency balance. Inner detail was outstanding." However, he added of the original 12.5 version, "I think there's a slight midbass exaggeration that may be part of the spreading warmth above this range, and which gives this arm its inviting midrange." BD says of the 12" version, "lowers the original's already low distortion. The background is blacker and the arm seems to float an infinite well of inner and low-level details. The tonal balance is more neutral, but combined with the TNT III or IV, is still warm and inviting." With the 12.5, Harry Weisfeld made small but important modifications to the 12" JMW that resulted in heightened rigidity, a reduced center of mass, and improved damping. What BD found most impressive was the "obvious-once-you-see-it" touch of the small V-groove machined into the top of the headshell. This allows the user to more easily gauge headshell tilt while setting azimuth. "Neat!" MF adds: "Luxurious midrange, low distortion, and ease of setup and use make this a very attractive arm if your ëtable can handle the length." More recently, in addition to a streamlined model name, VPI's first transcription-length tonearm has come in for some mechanical refinements. Its unipivot bearing, and the jeweled cup within its bearing housing, have been improved. A weighted collar has been added to the counterweight, and can be rotated asymmetrically for azimuth adjustment. "Most important," according to MF, "[its] cantilevered platform has been made far more massive and sturdy." Additionally, an antiskating mechanism is now available, though not without the manufacturer's antipathy. Additional arm assemblies cost $600. (Vol.20 No.1, Vol.24 No.12, Vol.25 No.3, Vol.37 No.5; see BD's review of the VPI HR-X in Vol.29 No.5 WWW)

[b][color="#FF0000"]VPI Classic-JMW[/color][/b]: $1600
An upgraded version of VPI's JMW Memorial 10.5i, the Classic-JMW, included with VPI's Classic 3 turntable, uses a new stainless-steel armtube, a stronger, more massive bearing platform, and a more rigid base mount. Though lateral instability remained a problem, any adverse effects were inaudible, said Mikey. (Vol.34 No.10 WWW)

B

[b][color="#FF0000"]VPI JMW-9[/color][/b]: $1200 ★
The newest and shortest of Harry Weisfeld's JMW tonearm line, the JMW-9 comes standard with the Aries Scout turntable. (AD enthused about the combination's sound.) It uses a reverse-missionary bearing with a hardened tungsten-carbide point and a machined and hardened-steel set-screw for a cup. A quick-connect plug makes for easy removal and easy cartridge swapping, but as with all Harry Weisfeld designs, there is no antiskating mechanism. MF auditioned the 9" version of the JMW Memorial tonearm with VPI's Scoutmaster turntable. Unlike the original JMW Memorial, the 9" arm's main bearing is directly grounded to the plinth and the stabilizing ring surrounding the arm's bearing housing is fixed. The lack of a damping well results in a "Parkinson's-like trembling of the JMW when you use the finger lift or lower the arm via the cueing mechanism," which MF found disconcerting. Nevertheless, the arm appeared to be extremely stable: "The taut, focused, remarkably coherent performance of this ëtable-arm combo is testament to a fundamentally solid, well-grounded system that deals effectively with energy created at the stylus/groove interface." Some disagreement between AD and MF over the overall rating, but Class B seems appropriate. (Vol.26 No.2, Vol.27 No.9 WWW)

[b]ACCESORIOS PARA TORNAMESAS Y MAQUINAS DE LAVADO DE DISCOS[/b]

[b][color="#FF0000"]VPI HW-27 Typhoon record-cleaning machine[/color][/b]: $2500 ★
The Typhoon is smaller, quieter, and more attractive than earlier VPI record-cleaning machines, "with the look and feel of a turntable." Its vacuum pump, twice as powerful as that used in the HW-17, proved capable of drying an LP in a single rapid revolution. "The Typhoon is a clean, efficient record-cleaning machine that's almost fun to use," said MF. (Vol.30 No.5)

[b][color="#FF0000"]VPI HW-17 record-cleaning machine[/color][/b]: $1800 ★
[b][color="#FF0000"]VPI HW-16.5 record-cleaning machine[/color][/b]: $650 ★
Clearly an industrial-quality machine of reassuring quality, the VPI ë17 cleans one side at a time, semiautomatically, and is slower than the Nitty Gritty. "Best I've used," says LA. Latest version has a heavier-duty vacuum system. The ë16.5 is a manually operated version with a noisier motor. Adjusts automatically to thickness of record; gets hot quickly. Of the HW-17F, MF says, "Fast, convenient, beautifully constructed, and can be used indefinitely without overheating. The fan version of the 17 is well worth the extra money for those post–garage-sale/record-convention analog orgies when only cleaning the whole pile will do." "The 17F is probably the best record-cleaning machine available," MF concluded; "a true workhorse." (Vol.8 No.1, Vol.19 No.6, Vol.23 No.6, HW-17F; Vol.5 Nos.7 & 9, original HW-16; Vol.17 No.5, Vol.19 No.6, HW-16.5)

[b][color="#FF0000"]VPI VTA adjuster for Rega tonearm[/color][/b]: $150 ★
Seems to maintain the desired rigidity while allowing for about a full inch of vertical adjustability. It's nicely machined from aluminum and has a sturdy mounting collar." Its only downside, reported MF, is that it won't fit into a standard Rega opening. Drill it out yourself or send your armboard to VPI. (Vol.23 No.6)


[b]PROCESADORES DIGITALES[/b]

C

[b][color="#FF0000"]Audioengine D3[/color][/b]: $189 $$$
The Chinese-built Audioengine D3, like the physically similar—and similarly portable—AudioQuest DragonFly, is a combination D/A converter and headphone amplifier with a USB standard A plug at one end and a three-conductor, 3.5mm mini-jack at the other. Its shiny aluminum case conceals an Asahi Kasei Microdevices AK4396 converter chip, a Texas Instruments LM49726 op-amp, and TI's popular TAS1020B USB receiver, with firmware for asynchronous streaming. Headphone users will delight in knowing that the Audioengine's price includes a 3.5mm-to-¼" jack adapter; those who wish to drive their audio systems with the D3's 2V RMS output must supply their own miniplug-to-RCA-plug cables. SM considered the D3, fresh out of the box, "too sharp on top"—even when he factored in the inherent top-end emphasis of the Skullcandy Aviator 'phones he was using. But the brightness moderated over time, "though not at the expense of [the D3's] intoxicating speed and vibrant high-frequency color." (Vol.37 No.4 WWW)

[b]PARLANTES[/b]

B (RANGO COMPLETO)

[b][color="#FF0000"]GoldenEar Technology Triton Two[/color][/b]: $2999.98/pair $$$
Designed by industry veteran Sandy Gross and his team, and made in China, the Triton Two is a three-way floorstander with a unique array of drive-units: a High-Velocity Folded Ribbon tweeter, two 4.5" midrange cones, two 7" by 10" passive radiators, and two 5" by 9" cone woofers powered by a 1200W class-D amplifier. The speaker's slim cabinet is made of high-density Medite, features a separate subenclosure for the midrange drivers, and is covered in black cloth. Though it exhibited some box colorations when pushed too loud, the Triton Two offered sweet, detailed highs, an uncolored midrange, well-extended lows, and excellent dynamics, said RD. (Vol.35 Nos.2 & 10 WWW)

C (BAJAS FRECUENCIAS RESTRINGIDAS)

[b][color="#FF0000"]Audioengine 5+[/color][/b]: $399/pair $$$ ★ (stands necessary)
"The Audioengine 5 powered speakers come packed in attractive cloth drawstring bags, and include several convenient accessories: an AC power cable, miniplug interconnects in length of 2m, an RCA cable (2m), a 3.75m length of simple speaker cable, and a remote control. Each A5 cabinet is made of 25mm-thick MDF, measures 10" h by 7" W by 7.75" D, and houses a 20mm silk-dome tweeter and a 5" Kevlar-cone woofer. The left speaker enclosure contains a 50Wpc dual class-AB monolithic amplifier, as well as the power button, volume knob, iPod charging port, and IR window for the remote. Compared to the PSB Alpha B1, the Audioengine lacked some high-frequency detail and delicacy, but offered outstanding bass control, transparency, and drama, said SM. Price is for satin black and high-gloss white finishes; bamboo adds $70. (Vol.34 No.5 WWW)

[b][color="#FF0000"]GoldenEar Technology Aon 2[/color][/b]: $799.98/pair $$$ (stands necessary)
This small (12" h by 8" W by 10" D) two-way, stand-mounted loudspeaker has an unusual driver complement: a 1.06" by 1.31" High-Velocity Folded Ribbon tweeter, a 6" polypropylene-cone woofer, and two 6.5" side-mounted planar passive radiators. The cabinet is a truncated pyramid with a wraparound black grillecloth and a piano-gloss black topcap. Though it lacked some bottom-end slam, the Aon 2 had a coherent overall sound, with clean, well-extended highs, lightning-fast transients, and a warm, rich midrange, said BJR. "GoldenEar has produced a stunning achievement in the Aon 2, with strengths that are unusual for a bookshelf speaker of this size and price," he concluded. The Aon 2 revealed an upper-midrange peak on the test bench, but otherwise measured well for its price, said JA. (Vol.36 No.11 WWW)

[b]SUBWOOFERS[/b]

A

[b][color="#FF0000"]Velodyne DD-18+[/color][/b]: $5799
The DD-18+ is a powered, sealed-box subwoofer; its 18" forward-firing driver has a fiberglass Rohacell-laminate cone, a 3" voice-coil, and a 39.7-lb magnet. Compared to the original DD-18, the 18+ is 6.5" deeper, 19 lbs heavier, has 28% more internal volume, uses a more efficient amplifier, and features strongly tapered side panels. In addition, the DD-18+'s equalization software provides automated room compensation and controls drive-unit distortion using a servo-loop accelerometer. Despite a daunting number of features, controls, and options, setup was simple. The DD-18+ played the deepest bass passages with minimal distortion, low coloration, and outstanding pitch definition, said LG. "Solid Class A," he concluded. (original version, Vol.27 No.6 WWW; Vol.36 No.3 WWW)

[b]AUDIFONOS Y ACCESORIOS PARA AUDIFONOS[/b]

A

[b][color="#FF0000"]Thinksound On1[/color][/b]: $299
ST, who hates in-ear headphones and noise-canceling headphones of any sort, liked the closed-back On1 'phones from ThinkSound, a new US company whose products are made in China. The On1's over-ear enclosures are machined from the mahogany-like wood sapele, sport earpads made from memory foam (the modern pillow stuff), and are covered with faux leather. Two cords are supplied—one with a smartphone-friendly microphone, one without—along with a carry pouch of unbleached cotton. ST described the On1s as "Bass-rich, full-bodied, nonfatiguing, comfortable to wear, [and] reasonably well isolating" in their passive, closed-back manner. (Vol.37 No.7)

C

[b][color="#FF0000"]Thinksound ms01[/color][/b]: $119.99
The handsome, understated ms01 in-ear headphone is the first product in Thinksound's Monitor Series. It uses a single 8mm driver, has a body of pear wood and aluminum, and comes neatly packed with earhooks, a cord clip, four sizes of silicone eartips, and an attractive carrying pouch. The Thinksounds fit lightly and comfortably in SM's ears and offered a smooth, easy sound with well-extended highs, a clean midrange, and warm, full bass. "One of the few in-ear designs that I can actually stand to have in my ears," he adds. (Vol.35 No.8 WWW)

[b]INTERCONECTORES[/b]

[color="#FF0000"][b]TARA Labs Zero Evolution[/b][/color]: $18,000/1m
The Zero Evolution is an all-new, physically flexible, easier to manage air-dielectric interconnect than the original Zero with†non-insulated square solid-core conductors. Because neither end of The Zero Evolution's shield is attached to ground, TARA employs the Floating Ground Station, a heavy, black box containing Ceralex, a combination of ceramic materials and metallic compounds that absorbs RFI and EMI. Switching from the original Zero to the new Evolution Zero, MF's system benefited yet further from an enormous addition of lushness, texture, and warmth, along with major extensions of air, detail, and transparency. Due to The Evolution Zero's ultrawide bandwidth, some outside transient noise can leak into the system when nearby appliances are activated. But—"I've heard nothing like it," he declares, adding "a genuine breakthrough, though hideously expensive. The TARA Labs Evolution Zero had a fast, clean, open overall sound, with airy highs and tight bass. The Evolution upgrade adds the rich, textured midrange of the Stealth Sakra, while continuing to produce faster attacks, longer sustains, and deeper decays, said MF." (Vol.29 No.12, Zero;Vol.34 No.6 WWW, Zero Gold; Vol.36 No.11, Zero Evolution)

[color="#FF0000"][b]TARA Labs Zero GX DIN-to-RCA tonearm cable[/b][/color]: $3800/1.0m ★
Though it was "somewhat bereft of physicality," the Zero GX's accentuated sibilants and precise attack made it "a good choice for detail devotees," said MF. (Vol.32 No.7)

[b]CABLES PARA PARLANTES[/b]

[color="#FF0000"][b]TARA Labs Omega Evolution[/b][/color]: $32,000/8'
The new physically flexible TARA Labs Omega Evolution, incorporating almost twice as many rectangular, solid-core "8 Nines" oxygen-free copper elements (280 versus the Gold's 156), adds the speed, transparency, dimensionality and, especially, textural suppleness that the previous Gold cable lacked, thus losing the Gold's "somewhat laid-back overall sound," with no sonic penalty paid for the major improvements, said Mikey. (Vol.36 No.11)

[color="#FF0000"][b]TARA Labs Omega Gold[/b][/color]: $24,000/8ft
Compared to the Wireworld Platinum Eclipse 7, the TARA Labs Omega Gold has a somewhat laid-back overall sounded that lacked ultimate transparency, three-dimensionality, and transient speed, said Mikey. (Vol.36 No.11)

[b]INTERCONECTORES PARA DATOS DIGITALES[/b]

[b][color="#FF0000"]DH Labs Silver Sonic D-110 AES/EBU[/color][/b]: $99/1m
(NR, but see EL's review of the Bel Canto DAC3.5VB in Vol.34 No.6 WWW)

[b]ACCESORIOS MISCELANEOS[/b]

[b][color="#FF0000"]Audioengine W3[/color][/b]: $149 ★
Audioengine's W3 comprises two tiny modules, a transmitter and a receiver, each about half the size of a credit card and ¼" thick, with a pigtail USB connector. Audio input to the transmitter and audio output from the receiver are via stereo mini-jacks. The modules reliably linked up with each other and were free from signal interruptions, audible network problems, and extraneous noise. Connected between the L/R inputs of Kal's Bryston 9B-SST power amp and the L/R outputs of his Anthem Statement D2 processor, the AW1 lacked high-frequency sparkle and midrange detail while sounding "surprisingly okay." The W3's sonic compromises were much less noticeable when it was used for the surround and/or bass channels. Actual model reviewed was the AW1, which could only transmit to one receiver; the otherwise identical W3 can transmit to up to three receivers. Current version redesigned to coexist better with other WiFi networks. (Vol.31 No.9 WWW)


$$$ Un producto que se desempeña mucho mejor de lo que se puede esperar por su precio
★ Un producto que está presente en esta lista desde Octubre del 2011

¡Muchos Saludos!

DigitalAudioNet

Editado por digitalaudionet

DigitalAudioNet

Montana 7435 L5, Vitacura, Santiago - Chile

Tel. +562 2880 0768

info@digitalaudionet.com

www.digitalaudionet.com

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Distribuidores de: Atoll - Audioengine - Comply - DH Labs Silversonic - Etymotic - GoldenEar - iFi audio - Kitsound - MEE audio - Phil Jones - Tara Labs - thinksound - Sanus - Velodyne - Vpi

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