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"... Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto can move and carry me on undulations of both frailty and calculated brutality. For pure musical poetry I have several versions. Belkin and Vengerov’s is among my favorites. The SE-35 tracked the monstrous dips and peaks of the musical flux, communicating the soloist’s accents and fluid motions to provide the closest facsimile to real I’ve yet heard in my system. With the SE-35 in place the soundstage was laterally massive but especially so in the depth perspective. Sections of the orchestra were seemingly placed further back with more realistic depth of field but the soloist locked in place forward and in three-dimensional relief from the rest of the orchestra. Similarly with jazz/tango combos à la Moro Quartet where the accordion/bandoneon, guitar, percussion and acoustic bass all occupy their respective spaces in a wide sound field. Again because of the SE-35’s extraordinary tonality, well-produced recordings using unusual instrument mixes are an absolutely transfixed delight to hear..."
"... Whether due to then unavailability of a certification process for copasetic iPod models or no desire to finance it, this precedent does illustrate that the digital-direct iPod feature we've previously seen in Wadia's 170i, then the iDecco and since in docks by Cambridge Audio, Onkyo and Pure and machines by Naim, T&A and Teac carries a very real penalty for any maker offering it with Apple's authorization. There's the not inconsiderable investment of a licensing fee. Possibly worse, there's the potentially glacial approval process that can wreck havoc with a firm's product launch dates. It probably explains why there are still so few solutions with this so very desirable feature. Cypher Labs' contribution looked to be the first portable and self-powered solution to match the iPod's go-anywhere appeal. Cleverly it includes high-quality internal D/A conversion—which the Wadia, Onkyo and Cambridge docks so strangely lack—and a path for external conversion to embrace $10.000 DACs if desired..."

"... Within the D-Premier One one can distinguish eight different sections and all contain something that is either radically or ‘just’ different from any other design. Looking at the denuded machine a strong resemblance to a high-quality computer becomes evident. Think of an Apple iMac or blade server rather than PC, add high-tech parts and eliminate all OEM. The motherboard completely fills up the highly polished aluminum cover. When looked at with the socketry facing the observer, there is a distinctive power supply module at top left followed to the right by a bank of coils creating the power supply’s choke filter. Top right are six large capacitors for energy storage. Just above the IEC connector bottom left there’s the AC filter, at its right the two class A amplifiers. Above these Devialet placed the D/A converters. Slightly covering these amps and converters sits the separate class D amplifier unit and finally at bottom right sits the input processor as part of the motherboard. All these sections are managed by a central processor unit..."
"... "It's a different material with a different density than the usual composites we use," DeVore adds, "and so it sounds different. To explore the possibilities I built a pair of Gibbon 3s in bamboo for testing. We went through three or four pairs of cabinets to listen to different bamboos and different combinations of solid and veneered panels before I felt like I had a good grasp on the ‘sound’ of the material. Armed with that experience I designed the Gibbon 3XL from the onset with a bamboo cabinet." The Gibbon 3XL uses the same tweeter as DeVore's Silverback Reference coupled to a 5" Seas paper-cone woofer built to DeVore’s specs. Frequency range is stated as 46Hz–40kHz, sensitivity is 90dB/W/m. Impedance is 8 ohms and the tallish 3XL measures 15.25" H x 7.3125" W x 10.875" D. The 3XL comes (at an extra charge) with dedicated bamboo stands, which are absolutely critical to get the best sound. (I A/B’d the bamboo stands against my Atacama steel stands and there was no contest. Music flowed via the bamboo while the sand-filled Atacamas tended to compress and flatten the 3XL’s sound)..."

"... What accompanied this enhanced treble information was a greater sense of spaciousness. The DL103 is no slouch at staging and imaging but the Dynavector goes further and deeper by illuminating the stage where the Denon does not reach. Depth and layering of the various instrumental planes went quite a bit further with the Dynavector but it never lost the ability to paint a realistic view of the orchestra, something components too analytical can miss altogether by switching to a patchwork of images stuck together over an organic whole. The DV 20X-2 never played patchworks and pieces. Images were solid and three-dimensional but gently blended into each other as they would in a concert hall if you listened with your eyes closed..."