Sunday, 9 October 2016

Ming Da MD150 Potente Mono Block Amps - Hi Fi World review.

Building a Digital Music Database - Purist Audio Design Cables

Building a Digital Library of Your Music, Upcoming Shows, and Out Favorite Luminists! View this email in your browser Building a Digital Library Crafting a digital library is an ordeal, though a worthwhile one. I don't just mean choosing the right file format. I also mean the time, and dedication to getting it right. That dedication to getting it "just right" is the difference in a fan versus an audiophile. In this case, it turned out the difference between an hour or two a week, to my wife wondering if I hadn't booked a vacation to Tahiti. I have been asked about this process since, and would like to share it with you. Naturally, everyone will have their own variation. You need to find what works for you. My journey begins with DbPowerAmp CD Ripper. DbPowerAmp has been around a long time, and they know what they are doing. Their program allows you to set up a few presets--things that the software will do automagically--to help streamline the process. For my own presets, I ask DbPowerAmp to set up a file format that I like (such as AIFF or WAV), and tell it in which directory that I want it to store the files. I also tell it what naming scheme I want. For example, I tend to name my files with "Album - Album Artist - Title." Finally, I set the bit depth and sample rate. I will describe some of these settings in detail, below, as well as why I chose them. Things like a naming scheme are very personal, so I will not touch on those. When I ask DbPowerAmp to set the title, the program will attempt to find the title through an online database. Usually, this works. However, and especially for obscure pieces, these databases may not have that information. Filling in the information is no big deal, for one file. However, for audiophiles, we not only have a lot of files, we want the album art also, and we want it in high resolution. Wanting quality album art can mean one of several approaches, if the online databases fail you. First, it can mean scanning the art. To do this, you will need access to a scanner. You will want to scan at 300 dpi, and have some decent scanning software such as Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, and so on. Alternatively, you might try searching some online sources. I have found places such as,, and to be useful. Finding the proper album art was one of the more intensive processes, because I wanted to get it right. It should not only sound good, but when the server or my music software displayed the album, it should look good, as well. File format can be controversial, as attested to by the number of thoughtfully-written articles on the matter. In my own experience, I have found that working between both Windows and Mac really only leaves you three, practical choices when it comes to audio formats. The first is WAV. WAV is generally an uncompressed format (though it can contain compressed audio, it is rarely used for that), and capable of moving between both Windows and Mac. However, most WAV formats do not save metadata. Metadata for example, stores your album art. FLAC is the second option, but will not work everywhere on a Mac (such as with iTunes). In addition, some are concerned with its compression. The third option is AIFF, or Apple Uncomressed. It plays under both Windows and Mac with the right software, and stores metadata. For this reason, I lean towards AIFF, and JRiver Media Center for my playback. Of course, none of this touches on the numerous tweaks and fixes that you'll want to make along the way. Perhaps the file name isn't quite right, or the album art that the program found for you isn't the latest edition. My advice to any audiophile then, is to plan to set aside some time--and let your spouse know that no, you did not book a vacation to Tahiti. You're just being an audiophile! - Jim, CEO of Purist Audio Design Hear for Yourself: Upcoming Shows We invented the System Enhancer, back in 1993. Experience the difference at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest! What: Rocky Mountain Audio Fest When: October 7-9 Where: Room 922 ! Our Favorite Luminists We named the Luminist Edition over an often-overlooked art movement. The Luminists wanted to express nature's inner light. They did so through their landscapes, and attention to the finest detail. It is said you could not even see their brush strikes, so focused were they on light's natural beauty. Like the Luminists, we want you to experience music's natural beauty, without noticing the brush strokes. Here are a few of our favorite artists from that era, that we'd like to share with you. John Kensett's Sunset Over Lake George John Kensett's "Sunset Over Lake George" Frederich Church's Syria by the Sea Frederich Church's "Syria by the Sea" Albert Bierstadt's Among the Sierra Nevada Albert Bierstadt's "Among the Sierra Nevada"

Monday, 22 September 2014

VooDoo Powercords charm Neil Gader at Absolute sound Magazine

Absolute Sound Magazine - 

Equipment Report by Neil Gader - Sept 15th, 2014 – Issue #245
Voodoo Cable Electra and Black Diamond Powercords

The Voodoo Cable Electra (6ft-) and Black Diamond (6ft-) occupy the midpoint in an extensive line of power cords. Black Diamond is recommended for solid-state and tube power amps, whereas Electra is suggested for source components and preamps. Voodoo reports that the primary difference between the two is tonal balance and harmonic resolution. It states that “while the Black Diamond offers a clean ‘dead neutral’ tonal balance, the Electra offers higher harmonic resolution that reveals subtle musical detail and micro-dynamics.”
The winding of Black Diamond (6ft-) is an #8 AWG concentric lay of twelve discrete conductors made of solid-core silver, solid-core copper, and stranded silver-plated copper, all hand-threaded and wound in Teflon dielectric. Electra’s winding is similar to the Black Diamond, but with the addition of hand-wound copper and silver Litz conductors in a heavier-gauge Teflon dielectric for lower noise and increased harmonic resolution. Both power cords are shielded with heavy-gauge copper braid and terminated with rhodium-plated tellurium-copper IEC and AC connectors. All the conductive materials and components have been treated in Voodoo’s Cold Fusion cryogenic system—both vapor and deep-immersion cryogenic processes, depending on the part or alloy to be treated. The process is said to structurally align and fuse the molecular bonds of the conductive alloys for significantly less resistance, leading to improved performance.
The Voodoo combo conveys a more midrangy character, with good extension at the frequency extremes, a drier top but with an emphasis on the wider acoustic environment of the venue rather than specific and isolated images. To my ear this is often the way real music sounds. Certainly image definition and focus is very good, just not overly individuated—a trait I noted during the Ricki Lee Jones’ track “I’ll Be Seeing You” where the clarinet, classical guitar, and acoustic bass seemed bathed in a warmer, more diffuse ambient atmosphere. In the case of orchestral music, the musicians assume positions on stage but don’t so much stand apart from the orchestra as become fully integrated within it and the ambient space that surrounds the performers.
Low-level detailing and transient textures were very persuasive. So much so that during the “Nublado” track the Voodoo tandem captured the low-level cymbal cues without smearing the finely grained metallic timbre of the instrument. Plus the delicate bell cues that ring forth at the four-minute mark were startlingly clean and sustained. During Holly Cole’s cover of “I Can See Clearly” the Voodoo pair reproduced the punch and rhythmic pace of the opening bass vamp with assurance, and Cole’s torchy delivery had all the texture and come-hither nuance I’ve come to expect from this track.
In soundstaging, these cords reproduced the lush ambient space and immersive qualities of the Rutter Requiem although, again, they didn’t quite illuminate individual choristers quite as clearly as the $2800 reference power cord. As an aside, and in light of its strong performance driving the Parasound JC 3+ phono stage, I found the Electra the more musically open and revealing power cord of the two that Voodoo supplied.
Conclusion: Balanced and immersive big-buck performance for half the price of the Big Boys.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Hi Fi + Reviews Purist Audio Design's Proteus Provectus Interconnects, Nicholas Ripley, May 2014.

Purist Audio Design achieved notoriety for its
fluid filled cables. A quarter of a century later, it
is still making fluid damped cables, and Proteus
Provectus is fourth from the top of an 11 strong
interconnect range.

Purist Proteus Provectus is also part of what the
company calls its Praesto Revision, which entailed changes
to the metallurgy of the conductors, improved shielding andcosmetics, but as we didn't have a pre-Fraesto cable to
compare, this should be taken as read.
Proteus Provectus features a solid core 22AWG copper
conductor with a copper foil shield and drain wire connected
to the plug, The dielectric is standard pvc, although this is
subsequently fluid damped. The cable is nicely terminated
in rhodium-plated phono plugs, solidly built in a thick black
braided outer. The cable is triple ,Cryomag,-treated,
too: this means it is cryo-iced within a strong magnetic field.

Purist Proteus Provectus is also part of what the
company calls its Praesto Revision, which entailed changes
to the metallurgy of the conductors, improved shielding andcosmetics, but as we didn't have a pre-praesto cable to compare, this should be taken as read.
The gel-based damping does bestow a sense of calm
and flow to the sound that is hard to find in other cable
As a consequence, it seems to push the boundaries
of the system slightly, making it capable of playing more
coherently at lower volumes and playing with a greater sense
of order when the volume is turned up.
This does not mean it
pushes the point of clipping, but does mean the system will
maintain its composure when pushed. ln musical terms, this
means Prokovievs Cantata for the 2Oth Anniversary of the
October Revolution Fawnia, Chandos] can be played at Stalinist
levels without fear of disappearing.

This is also a highly 'faithful, sounding cable, far removed
from the immediate and forward sound of a lot of modern
designs. As a toe in the Purist waters (pun intended), this will
offer a sense of balance and order to sound, although if you
are more familiar with brighter and more forward sounding
cables in your system, and have built a system around that
premise, the Proteus may sound slightly laid-back.
Since the improvements fluid ed cables apply just as
much today as they did 25 years ago, purist Audio Design
clearly got it right the first time around. This is an excellent
cable that, to my mind, makes music sound like music.

Manufacturer: Purist Audio Design
U R L:
UK Distributor: Mackenzie HiFi
U R L:
Iel +44(017905 362545)

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Mono and Stereo High-End Audio Magazine: Snake River Audio cables review

 Mono and Stereo High-End Audio Magazine Snake River Audio - Cottonmouth Powercord and Mamushi Signature Interconnects review.

The Cottonmouth cables represent the Snake River Audio gold series cables. They use company certified oxygen free, high density and purity copper wire being plated with 24k gold. Six strands are double-weaved with ether-based polyurethane coating  braided in an anti parallel way to minimise cross contamination. Everything is then coated with the stylish nylon braiding, that is abrasive resistant. On both sided Cottonmouth power cable is mated with the 24k Gold plated connectors. 
As quite elaborately explained so far, Snake River Audio cables are not usual set of power cables and that was instantly noticeable with the first note strikes. When used with the my reference Thrax Dionysos preamplifier my listening notes quickly projected positive remarks. I cannot point out enough the importance of the "last" meters of power cabling and the Snake River Audio Cottonmouth power cables excelled as a clear example of making this a fact. When compared to some even higher priced cables Cottonmouth worked with clearer and more focused impact. When contemporary high end audio power cables are being designed properly, they bring that recognised analog like feeling to the performance. Cottonmouth brought the power of in depth musical perception back into the focus. I don't like to write about the overused black blackness, yet with Cottonmouth inserted in the preamplifier and later on in the power amplifier the details tend to stand out with much more presence. All positive attributes combined formed the music replay, that offered natural, believable embodiment of instruments and vocals. Cottonmouth power cable didn't act as a filtering cable like most cables do. Many wants to jump on the wagon of high-end audio. Especially with power cables they see the "easy" money coming their war. Luckily for the experienced ears there is a clear and instant distinction between mediocre and properly designed power cable. The strictly money driven products often kill the music and strip out to the basic bones of musical reproduction. Its better to use 1$ industry cable then cables, that act like passive filter. 
When you've experienced the well executed power cable life instantly come back into the music. This is exactly the attribute I want to connect with the Snake River Audio Cottonmouth power cable. It didn't hold anything back, that would act against letting the music flow. I've written in my night listening notes, that when electricity settle down, the delicate nature of Cottonmouth really shines. With both Portrait Of Tracy and Bright Size Life Jaco Pastorius bass guitar playing enriches by the far out                                                                                                                                          harmonics become as sparkling and refined as they need to be. The needed focus and warmness really worked in Cottonmouth favour. This power cable shoed its open and controlled nature even with the few song turns. Well executed cables share this ability and Snake River Audio knows exactly what they're doing and how to achieve this. 


The Mamushi magnetic series of high-end quality audio cables were designed to deal extensively with the RFI. They deal with the interference suppression in the unique way with separating conductors using only the thinnest layer teflon between them. Special to the  Mamushi XLR interconnects are the implementation of the multiple pole magnetisation pattern, that evenly distribute the magnetic strength across the whole cable. 
Like it or not we're heavily surrounded with the ever raising hubris electronic interferences of all sorts. Before even talking about the purity of the signal, we should be addressing this primal need of operating with the different types of noise in establishing the needed bandwidth. Without the real open nature of interconnect cables and especially bandwidth broad performance there can be no real talk about the true high-end audio performance. 
Mamushi XLR interconnects brought the freshness and vividness, that I don't recall easily being presented at such high level in this price range. These cables potency rivals the XLR's few times the price and connects with Jonny clear and focused vision. He combines technical advantages used in the combination of clever solutions tailored toward the keeping the musicality untouched.  
Playing one of my all time favourite artist's album Blue Pacific, brought back nice memories of the first encounter with the album. How much simpler life tend to be back in eighties and music seems to be of a different kind. This album represent Michael Franks's interesting/turning point of his carrier. He moved forward with more studio based production, but album still reflects the energy of his past legendary albums like Sleeping Gypsy and Tiger In The rain. Blue Pacific was mastered by the Dough Sax and sound is a challenge for any real balanced system as well as the cables under the review scope. I saw this album in the active display at the Japanese high-end audio shows during the years. Seeing Mr. Smooth music getting played and shared with more people makes me a happy man.
Snake River Audio Mamushi XLR interconnects kept the Michael wit spirit intact. Masterful production really shines on a well balanced system and with the high-performing cables. Mamushi role as the via medium for the music was grand. Going through my classical and jazz test repertoire showed the same results. These interconnects shined with the palpable presentation, that evoked the real emotional impact in no time. As with Cottonmouth power cables, Mamushi ability to correlate with music in highly emotional was contagious. I've always seem to be drawn into the music and spend my time listening without critics glasses on 24/7. Just a direct musical voyage. 


Snake River Audio cables cough my attention instantly back with my review of EMMESpeakers. I'm really happy for having the chance to hear the both Mamushi XLR interconnects and Cottonmouth power cable in my listening system. They proven the fact, that for some manufactures cable design and manufacturing means serious business, with serious products.  
Everything surrounded with the Jonny and his company dealings is hard not to like. And especially one cannot argue with the pricing. Snake River Audio cables are not cheap, but they are affordable compared to what some companies are trying to charge for the performance, that more relate to the hi-fi rather then high end audio. 
Snake River Audio Mamushi XLR interconnects and Cottonmouth power cable are the examples of things done right. This is a clear example of how the independent small manufacturing high-end business can excel. With the knowhow, thinking out of the box, passion for music and with the products, that offers the sound and performance that set the standards. 

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Have you been bitten by the Snake?

                 Snake River Audio's Boomslang Digital Cable.

                            Review - Hi Fi + Magazine by Jimmy Hughes DEC 2013

"The Boomslang delivers a very clean and focused sound. The music sounds slightly better - defined, and the presentation feels more solid. There's a touch less edge to the upper partials of massed violins, yet the attack sounds clean and immediate."

"In my case, even against a good specialist alternative, the Boomslang made a clearly discernable difference that was very worthwhile. Definately worth checking out!"