What Is The Biggest BS In HI-End Audio?

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We at Noho Sound love music, so of course we love anything that makes music sound better. What do we hate? BS. And there's no BS like the BS being shoveled in h-end audio reviews. All of us have been Stereophile fans and readers for years, but the latest issue contains something that is seriously nuts. And this is coming from a bunch of true believers.

Read this passage from last month's issue of Stereophile for yourself:

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WTF is going on here? Even if you believe cables can make a difference — and we do — none of us have ever seen or heard anything suggesting that "bending" your cables resets a mystery clock on how electrical signals pass through them, and that your sound will suffer as a result.

There are lot of serious people doing real work engineering the best possible hardware and software intended to reproduce music at the highest possible levels, at all price points. We carry many of those brands. But we will never sell anything we don't believe in, and can't demonstrate.

Advice: Buy what you hear, not what someone claims.

Bel Canto is great brand we don't carry. Stereophile is a great publication. Stereophile's review is positive. But hi-end audio as a hobby doesn't benefit when unserious claims about "cable bending" are buried in an otherwise serious review.

If anyone can prove us wrong about this, please tell us in the comments or reach out to us so we can try to reproduce this.

What is the craziest claim you've ever heard in audio, especially hi-end audio?

Please share in the comments.

4/19 Vinyl Listening Party: iamchelseaim

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Noho Sound's Vinyl listening series continues next Thursday, April 19th at 7pm with iamchelseaiam, who many call the next Tracey Chapman, who will be presenting her newest EP "A Beautiful Mess" on vinyl EP on the world's finest hi-end audio gear from McIntosh Labs, Focal and Devore Fidelity. "It" girl Seleah Simone will wrap the night by interviewing iamchelseaim for her podcast.

Because vinyl + tubes = music the way it was meant to be.

It's BYOB and free, but space is limited for this private event, so you must RSVP.

4/13 Vinyl Listening Party: Dru Cutler

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Dru Cutler

Rock. Straight out of Bushwick.

Noho Sound's Vinyl listening series continues this Friday, April 13th at 7pm with Dru Cutler, a young rocker from Bushwick and founder of the UnitJ warehouse/event space, who will be presenting his newest vinyl live on the world's finest hi-end audio gear from McIntosh Labs, Focal and Devore Fidelity.

Because vinyl + tubes = music the way it was meant to be.

It's BYOB and free, but space is limited, so you must RSVP.

Is This The Craziest Marital Fight Video Of All Time?

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They say love is never hurting someone where they are most vulnerable. This video excerpt depicts the worst case scenario; two people striking each other where it hurts the most. Watch to the end for the coup de grace.

We at Noho Sound recommend a softer approach to resolving marital differences. For example, the traditional IKEA vase or Muji T-shirt are easily replaceable after making up, Couture and tube amplifiers are not.

Watch the video for yourself:

Have you seen or heard of a marital spat more vengeful than this?

Please share in the comments below.

McIntosh Announces MT2 Precision Turntable At $4000

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Noho Sound is thrilled to announce that McIntosh Labs has finally released their long awaited MT2 Precision Turntable. Scheduled to ship in April, the MT2 will retail for $4000.

From the official press release:

McIntosh is pleased to announce our new MT2 Precision Turntable. 

The McIntosh MT2 Precision Turntable combines the latest in turntable technology and design to deliver both superb performance and accurate playback. The MT2 is a great way to upgrade your home audio system to play vinyl albums. 

A full complement of features allows for all recordings to be reproduced with flawless realism. Its advanced electronic and mechanical design will give you many years of smooth, trouble-free operation. A subtle green glow emanates from under the platter and the outside edges of the plinth for a touch of refined ambiance and connection to the McIntosh design aesthetic. 

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The MT2 plays both 33-1/3 and 45 rpm records. It’s virtually ready to use out of the box as tracking force, anti-skate force, cartridge overhang and arm height are all preset from the factory for maximum performance. The remaining setup steps are simple and you’ll be enjoying your vinyl in no time. 

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The MT2 comes with a moving coil cartridge that has a high enough output to make it compatible with not only moving coil phono inputs but also moving magnet inputs. The cartridge’s high impedance and high output voltage ensures noise free musical reproduction. This unique cartridge design features an alloy cantilever and an elliptical diamond stylus with exceptional tracking capability. 

The tonearm is constructed from dural-aluminum with special damping materials and is light weight yet highly rigid. The noise free vertical bearings feature two precision ceramic surfaces with damping fluid; the horizontal bearing is a gimballed sapphire design. 

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The belt driven, solid black outer platter is made from a special dynamically balanced polyoxymethylene (POM) and is over 1” thick. This heftiness helps to both resist and absorb external vibrations that can cause noise during playback; its large mass also provides the perfect flywheel action for stable playback speed. The inner platter is made of CNC-precision milled aluminum. The platters rotate on a polished and tempered steel shaft in a sintered bronze bushing. 

The DC motor is driven by an external voltage-stabilized power supply and is completely decoupled from the chassis, isolating your records from any mechanical interference. Its sturdy plinth has a resonance optimized and highly compressed wood base with black lacquer finish, while the top and middle acrylic plates help absorb unwanted vibrations. 

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A clear, contoured dust cover is included. The MT2 turntable is compatible with a variety of McIntosh phono preamplifiers, stereo preamplifiers, integrated amplifiers and home theater processors with phono inputs; virtually any of our amplifiers and speakers can be used to complete your audio system. 

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Want to hear the McIntosh MT2 in downtown NYC? Call or email Noho Sound for an appointment.

Noho Sound Live Presents: A Celebration of African-American Composers 2/25

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Noho Sound is proud to host our 14th Groupmuse live music event this Sunday, February 25th @ 630pm, with a performance by MusicTalks & Diverse Concert Artists.

Where? Secret until the day of, but it's in Noho, and will sell out quickly.

BUY TICKETS

WHAT IS NOHO SOUND?
Noho Sound is a trio of hi-end audio showrooms & event spaces in NYC created by Alex Roy, Ron Kain & Chris Petranis, industry veterans and music lovers who wanted something better — space to hear the world's best audio equipment — and the live music that is the point of it all.

WHAT IS A GROUPMUSE?
Groupmuses are something in between classical/jazz music concerts and house parties. They are a chance to spend quality time with old and new friends and to lose yourself in a profound artistic experience.

WHAT IS MUSICTALKS?
MusicTalks brings classical and jazz music to an intimate and informal setting. Performed by the finest young musicians, MusicTalks breaks down the barriers between musicians and audience by taking advantage of the intimacy that chamber music provides. With engaging and interactive conversation, the listener is given an experience that truly makes Music Talk.

WHAT IS DIVERSE CONCERT ARTISTS?
Diverse Concert Artists are committed to changing the face of classical and crossover music through diversity. The musicians of DCA are highly trained professionals coming from the nation's top music conservatories and universities including Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, NYU, Mannes and more. Diverse Concert Artists perform a wide array of music from classical to the latest music on the top of the pop charts.

WHAT WILL BE PERFORMED?
In honor of Black History Month, join us for a concert by Diverse Concert Artists celebrating the incredible life and music of composers of color from classical to pop music. The program features a string quartet highlighting the life and music of notable African-American composers accompanied by anecdotes telling the stories of heritage, friendships and social justice.

As in every MusicTalks program the concert will offer introductions to the composers and their works, musical demonstrations, and fascinating anecdotes.

LOCATION
Secret until the day of, once you register below. But it's in Noho.

HOW TO ATTEND
We only have room for 50 people, including friends and community members, so there are limited spots available! You buy tickets here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Best,

Alex, Ron & Chris

Why The McIntosh MA252 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier Is Worth $3499

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McIntosh is the Leica of audio, and their all-new MA252 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier is their breakthrough product. The MA252 retails for $3499, but looks and sounds like $10,000. Why? Because it’s got tubes, and tubes sound better. Also, like all Mac, it weighs a ton, so you can use it for home defense. If the average brick is 2 pounds, the MA252 is equivalent to 14 bricks of ammunition. You could take down a flock of birds with it if you had a big enough catapult. Burglars may want that sound quality, but they’re going to pay in blood.

It will outlive you and your kids. If you get divorced, your spouse will want it. You'll want to look at it even when it's not playing. You want to look at it even when it's off. It's not wimpy like those plastic little amplifiers for babies. It will literally stop bullets. Your kids will want you to put it in your will. Your neighbors will be jealous. It will outlive you and your kids.

Specs? The tubes glow green, and there are four of them. Which is awesome even though the light has no effect on the sound. Also, it puts out 100 watts/channel and comes with a remote control and a phono stage, so you can connect a turntable directly to it.

In a world where nothing is built to last and almost everything at any price is mass-market junk, McIntosh is one of the last honest companies making things that are real. Built to last. Designed in America. Made in America.

Sold in downtown New York City exclusively at Noho Sound & Stereo.

Come by to hear it. Bring friends. We'll take care of the drinks.

CALL OR EMAIL
FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Valentine's Jazz Night @ Noho Sound 2/14

Noho Sound is proud to host our 13th Groupmuse live music event this Valentine's Wednesday, February 14th @ 7pm. Singer Thana Alexa and Elad Kabilio of Musictalks will present For The Love Of Jazz, featuring hits by Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald. Where? Secret until the day of, but it's in Noho, and will sell out quickly.

The show is almost sold out, but you can still RSVP here.

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WHAT IS NOHO SOUND?
Noho Sound is a trio of hi-end audio showrooms & event spaces in NYC created by Alex Roy, Ron Kain & Chris Petranis, industry veterans and music lovers who wanted something better — space to hear the world's best audio equipment — and the live music that is the point of it all.

WHAT IS A GROUPMUSE?
Groupmuses are something in between classical/jazz music concerts and house parties. They are a chance to spend quality time with old and new friends and to lose yourself in a profound artistic experience.

WHAT IS MUSICTALKS?
MusicTalks brings classical and jazz music to an intimate and informal setting. Performed by the finest young musicians, MusicTalks breaks down the barriers between musicians and audience by taking advantage of the intimacy that chamber music provides. With engaging and interactive conversation, the listener is given an experience that truly makes Music Talk.

WHAT WILL BE PERFORMED?
Fall in love to the most beloved and nostalgic jazz standards when MusicTalks returns to Noho Sound with award-winning jazz singer Thana Alexa and MusicTalks' Jazz Quartet. The evening, featuring dazzling jazz standards and ballads, will include special guest star Michael Mayo as he joins Ms. Alexa for some of the best known flirtatious duets by jazz icons such as Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. The evening will culminate with a special spotlight on Bach’s music through the lens of Jazz.

As in every MusicTalks program the concert will offer introductions to the composers and their works, musical demonstrations, and fascinating anecdotes. 

LOCATION
Secret until the day of, once you register below. But it's in Noho.

HOW TO ATTEND
We only have room for 50 people, including friends and community members, so there are limited spots available.

The show is almost sold out, but you can still RSVP here.

For Sale: Used Audio Research SP20 Tube Preamplifer

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Now that Noho Sound is open, co-founder Alex Roy is selling the last best preamplifier he bought before opening our own retail location: his mint condition Audio Research SP-20 tube preamplifier, originally purchased in 2015.

Recently retubed, this Audio Research SP20 tube preamplifier comes with its original remote control and brand new boxes from the factory.

Originally $9,000, we are offering this mint condition unit for $5,500 + tax/shipping from NYC.

Want to hear it? Call or e-mail us for an appointment in lower Manhattan.

Want to buy it now? Here's the Audiogon purchase link.

How good is the Audio Research SP20?

Here's what Stereophile had to say:

"With the neutral, detailed, dynamic, and flexible SP20, Audio Research has hit one out of the park. The company has provided in the SP20 a level of performance of both phono and line stage that would cost almost twice as much to match with ARC separates, when the cost of interconnects is included. ARC has included in the SP20 features derived from their flagship Reference 10 line stage, as well as a first-rate headphone amplifier. I never thought I'd call a $9000 preamp a bargain, but the SP20 is just that."

Anyone buying this is absolutely going to love it.

Specifications
Fully balanced hybrid preamplifier.
Tube complement: four 6H30 dual triodes.
Frequency response: Line: 2Hz–80kHz, ±3dB.
Phono: 10Hz–20kHz, ±0.1dB of RIAA; 5Hz–80kHz, ±0.4dB.
Headphone: 20Hz–20kHz, ±0.05dB. THD+noise:
Line: <0.003% at 2V RMS, balanced output. Phono: <0.005% at 3V RMS output to Record Out.
Headphone: <0.009% at 1V RMS output. Gain: Line: 13.8dB.
Input impedance: 120k ohms balanced, 60k ohms single-ended.
Phono impedance: 100, 200, 500, 1k or 47k ohms in parallel with 200pF, unbalanced.
Rated outputs: Line: 2V RMS (1V RMS single-ended) into 200k ohms balanced load (maximum balanced output capability is 18V RMS at less than 0.5% THD+N at 1kHz).
Phono: 0.5V RMS into 100k load at Record Out (maximum output capability is 25V RMS). Headphone: 6V RMS maximum into 30–300 ohms.
Output impedance: 500 ohms balanced, 250 ohms single-ended; 1k ohm Record Out, single-ended; <0.05 ohm Headphone, single-ended. Output polarity: non-inverting.
Dimensions: 19" (480mm) W by 5.25" (134mm) H by 16.5" (420mm) D. Weight: 17.8 lbs (7.4kg) net, 27.8 lbs (10.5kg) shipping.

More specs here.

From the original Audio Research press release:

"As a result of the ever-increasing demand for a full-function preamplifier with a level of performance substantially above that of the SP17, we are pleased to introduce the striking new SP20 vacuum-tube preamplifier. Influenced by some of our classic groundbreaking SP preamplifiers but with performance that is only achievable by our best LS- and PH-series designs, the SP20 offers inspirational performance combined with real value.

The look is reminiscent of classic Audio Research components, but is totally modern with a clean, purposeful esthetic. The front panel sports a new 4.3″ LCD touchscreen, with two large rotary knobs on either side. For the first time ever on an Audio Research preamp, there is a ¼” headphone jack, accompanied by three buttons for Power, Mute, and Speaker off.

Those large knobs rotate fully, are optically-coupled and speed sensitive; turn it slowly and the volume will change incrementally; a quick turn one way or the other will raise or lower the volume by a large amount. Also for the first time, the Input selector is on the left, the Volume control is on the right.

Through the touchscreen one can change Inputs, select Stereo or Mono, Mute, adjust Phase, adjust left-right Balance, and adjust the phono input Load (50, 100, 500, 1000 or 47k Ohms). Through a Settings menu, you can customize other items: change input names, adjust gain offset for each input, change volume presets, adjust display brightness (or turn off), and check Tube Hours (or reset). When the tube hour meter reaches 4,000 hours, the Settings icon will turn red to warn the owner it is time to change the tubes.

In addition to the Phono input, there are four other single-ended inputs, two balanced inputs, separate Monitor-in and Record-out, and two pairs of balanced outputs. There is also an RS-232 port, IR-input, 12V trigger, and a 15A IEC connector. The SE4 input can be configured as a home theater pass-through.

The SP20 is fully balanced, pure Class-A with zero feedback. There are seven levels of voltage regulation, a large power supply, and a very low-noise R-core power transformer. Both the line and phono stages feature low-noise JFET inputs and 6H30 (2 per section) outputs. The latest high performance coupling and bypass capacitors are used in both stages. Bandwidth is extraordinary: Line -3dB 0.8Hz – 220kHz, Phono +/- 0.4dB 5Hz—80Hz. Gain of the line section is 13.8dB (BAL), and gain of the phono section is 58dB, so the SP20 can be used with a wide variety of phono cartridges, including moderately low output moving coils.

The headphone output is no mere afterthought, inserted simply as an inexpensive feature to add to the list; it is a low-distortion, high-performance vacuum-tube headphone amplifier designed to comfortably drive a wide impedance range of headphones. The button next to the headphone jack switches off the main (amplifier) outputs for headphone listening, or it switches off the headphone jack for speaker listening.

All of these developments would be for naught if the SP20 did not delight sonically, which it does with ease. The presentation is so relaxed and natural, transparent and solid with great dynamics and impact. Never threadbare, sonic images have texture and a luminous 3-D quality. The SP20 delivers musically, with an ability to effortlessly drive your tube or solid-state amplifier.

Units with Natural front panels, knobs and buttons will start to ship in early September; units with black front panels, knobs and buttons will be available around the middle of October. The retail price will be $9,000."

Want to hear it? Call or e-mail us for an appointment in lower Manhattan.

Want to buy it now? Here's the Audiogon purchase link.

Noho Sound & Stereo Hits CNET!

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Noho Sound & Stereo hit CNET this weekend, with The Audiophiliac Steve Guttenberg himself getting into the guts of why Ron Kain, Chris Petranis and I opened our twin showrooms:

"Noho Sound & Stereo has a younger vibe than the other high-end shops I've visited over the past few years. There's an energy to the place, which stems from the owners Alex Roy, Ron Kain, Chris Petranis and their desire to attract a younger clientele.

Noho Sound is reaching them through social media, and they regularly host live music concerts...in a nearby loft space and at the World of McIntosh townhouse in New York City."

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"By exposing people to great music right away, those potential customers are then encouraged to listen to these new favorite songs on Noho Sound's systems. Hearing and feeling their music in a different, more meaningful way changes people. Not everyone of course, but some get it, and they come away knowing great sound changes the way they feel about music. That's what brick and mortar audio stores offer that you can't get online."

Read the rest of the story and check out Steve's photo gallery here.

Is Vinyl's Comeback Here To Stay?

 Noho Sound co-founder Chris Petranis contemplates the big issues. Also, records.

Noho Sound co-founder Chris Petranis contemplates the big issues. Also, records.

Is vinyl's comeback here to stay? Everyone at Noho Sound says yes, and Marc Hogan at Pitchfork has written a wonderful article explaining why:

"It was extinct. It was a fad. It was a bubble about to burst. Vinyl has been consigned to the garbage heap of history more than once. Yet it’s still here—and still growing.

But as 2018 begins, the business and culture of vinyl stand at an unlikely juncture. After more than a decade of increasing American sales, vinyl’s comeback is no longer a quirky, look-at-those-hipsters novelty. Instead, the bustling ecosystem of turntables and records is surprisingly close to being mainstream. Last year, vinyl was featured in commercials for insurance companies and arthritis pills. It was on “The Price Is Right.” In November, Jack White was able to describe such once-unlikely crossovers during the millennium’s first vinyl manufacturing conference. At the same time, though, vinyl still represents an infinitesimal slice of the $16 billion global recording industry. Even within the shrinking realm of physical media, only one in 10 new albums sold last year was on vinyl according to one industry report—aside from a negligible smattering of cassettes, the other nine were CDs.

Yet the numbers—and observations from industry insiders—suggest that physical records will probably continue to remain a meaningful and lasting presence in many music lovers’ lives. In the years ahead, vinyl will likely maintain its status as a complement to the impersonality of streaming, a scruffy anachronism consistently hanging out at the margins. As of now, here are the big trends from the world of spinning wax..."

Read the rest of Pitchfork's article for yourself here.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

How To Clean Your Records For Free. Almost.

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I'm not saying this is the best way to clean your records. I'm not even saying this is a good way to clean your records. But is IS a way to clean your records, if you're really, really, really, really careful.

Would you clean your records this way? I'm not sure I would. But not everyone has a record cleaning machine. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

These Guys Care About Music A LOT More Than You Do

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Do you think you care about audio? You don't. At least not compared to these Japanese audiophiles. AudioMatters, one of our favorite under-appreciated audiophile blogs, was kind enough to unearth this gem

Do you know someone who is ever more serious about their audio system than these guys?

If so, please tell us in the comments.

The World's Worst Turntables And Why You Should Avoid Them

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I recently heard that Urban Outfitters is the largest seller of vinyl records in America. Sadly, it also sells turntables that aren't very good for your records. The proof? This amazing thread over on Reddit detailing exactly why you shouldn't place your valuable records on suboptimal turntables.

The list of offenders is crazy.

The Reddit thread's intro alone serves as a warning as to what not to do with that $25 vinyl you just splurged on:

Playing vinyl records is a great hobby. It's easy to get started and you don't need to spend a fortune to do so. However, like any hobby, there is both good and bad products out there at both ends of the price/performance spectrum. In general, a record player or turntable needs to do three basic separate, interrelated jobs to successfully play a vinyl record. Some players perform these three jobs better than others and cost much more for the commensurate research, development, and precision manufacturing costs that went into producing them.

Job #1 Provide a stable, extremely flat, non resonant platform for the record to rest on.

Job #2 Turn the platform and record precisely at the correct speed.

Job #3 Position a stylus and transducer above a revolving groove, allow the stylus to follow the grove and faithfully reproduce the vibrations encoded within.

As one moves up the record player/turntable food chain, more of the build budget gets dedicated to improvements that affect audio quality either directly or indirectly.

Most mass-market turntables are made by three OEM factories: Hanpin, Skywin, and Leetac. They all make a low quality, non upgradable, low performance, budget-friendly, entry level model with built-in speakers, a heavy tracking ceramic or moving magnet cartridge, and a barely adequate tonearm prone to promote stylus mistracking. Even the more expensive mass-market turntables tend to place emphasis on convenience features such as automatic play, sometimes switchable built in phono-EQ, USB connectivity, and cosmetics, instead of design improvements that increase audio quality.

Reasons to not buy these brands/specific models:

• Skipping during playback of loud passages, including but not limited to heavy bass/drums, and/or loud transients due to exceeding the tracking abilites of the included stylus.

• No upgrade options, nor serviceable parts that can be sourced easily other than the stylus and belt.

• The included sapphire sylus on many Leetac and Skywin-manufactured players, which has a maximum lifespan of between 65 to 100 hours due to the stylus' softer material than diamond. Yes, you can upgrade to a diamond tipped stylus for increased stylus longevity, but you will still have the exact same problems as described in this list.

• Heavy, inconsistently set, tracking force (Leetac and Skywin tonearms) with ceramic cartridges require vertical tracking force be set at roughly 5.0 grams but is measured anywhere from 4.0 to 10.0 grams. The Audio Technica AT3600L moving magnet cartridge, found on some Crosley models (i.e., the Collegiate) and Hanpin FU-700/R200 OEM models have measured anywhere from 4.0 to 6.0 grams. This can shorten the lifespan of the stylus, specifically the tip, cantilever, and suspension, but also accelerate groove damage to the records. Note that the AT3600L moving magnet's stylus has a recommended tracking force between 2.5 to 3.5 grams.

• Non-adjustable or fixed counterweight that severely limits cartridge and stylus selection (usually to just one).

• Shorter tonearms also experience higher levels of tracing error, where the stylus is not perfectly parallel to the groove, causing audible distortions The short tonearm also further contributes inner groove distortion, where groove speed is the slowest and tracking is most difficult. IGD is audible distortion that affects the midrange and treble frequencies during playback at the most inner grooves near the center label.

Click here to read the rest and get the full list of the worst offenders...

Dolores O'Riordan, Lead Singer of The Cranberries, Dead at 46

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Dolores O'Riordan, the brilliant lead singer of The Cranberries, died today at 46. Despite the Top 40 friendliness of hits like Linger and Dreams, she should be remembered for the intense, emotional and epic Zombie, which depicted The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

No details have been released about her death. The details don't matter.

Rest In Peace, Dolores.

Is This The Best Cover of A-ha's "Take On Me" Of All Time?

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Is this the best cover of A-ha's "Take On Me" of all time? That depends on how many covers of it you've heard. We're big fans of covers, at least co-founder Alex Roy is, so we've done the heavy lifting for you and found some more of them, ranging from jazzy to metal.

Let's start with the original 80's classic:

Then we've got this fun acoustic version by Seven Handle Circus from New Orleans:

And then you have this which could almost be by Fishbone, but is by another band with "fish" in it, Reel Big Fish:

How about a very 80's-style metal cover by a very Nordic metal band called Northern Kings?

If that soft metal cover wasn't metal enough for you, here's a speed metal version from Triphon. Starts heavier than it ends:

Sadly for the cover bands, it seems that the best cover us actually the acoustic version by the original A-ha for MTV unplugged. Yes, we know it's not really a cover, but it's certainly the loveliest version:

Do you know of a better cover?

If so, please share in the comments.

The Absolute Sound Reviews The TAD ME1 Reference Bookshelf Speakers

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Japan, once the source for ultra-high audio equipment, fell into a funk for several decades, but no longer. TAD, a name heretofore unknown in the USA, has now arrived with what can only be described as surgical grade reference hardware. Noho Sound just received a pair of their new $12,500 ME1 bookshelf speakers for evaluation. Resolution has never seen such resolution. They need big power to sound as good as they can, but OMFG, these can deliver a level of detail and imaging that is ghostly.

We thought we were crazy, but The Absolute Sound has just dropped their review confirming our impressions, and the fact that Noho Sounds needs to be a TAD dealer, as of now:

"The ME1 has very few obvious drawbacks, and its shortcomings are mostly attributable to the limits of its modest dimensions. However, its top-end still retains some residual dryness, and can’t quite summon up the same velvety harmonics of the CR1 or the barn-storming macro-dynamics of the CE1. In spite of the stellar imaging I’ve written about, soundstage width and depth were only adequate in my smallish listening space. But I’d imagine better results could be had in larger rooms. Finally I can understand how some listeners might not cotton to the sharp specificity of a concentric driver. The precision with which it draws boundaries around images seems natural to me, but it may seem mechanical to others. (Experimenting with speaker positioning is very helpful in finding an ideal balance between too much focus and too little.)

A lot is expected from TAD loudspeakers. And having now reviewed three of its compacts I can put them in perspective with one another. The CR1 leads this pack, as its $42k price would imply. Its uncompromising quality and performance remain a high-water mark for a stand-mounted loudspeaker. It has earned its flagship title. The CE1, in spite of its high-octane performance, is still the odd duck of this trio: It’s a little awkward visually, cooler in character, and frankly a little pricey in its segment. The ME1, however, gets it just right, emulating much of what is so musically satisfying about the CR1, and doing so at a cost that is more than justified in a highly competitive category.

So satisfying is the ME1 that, in the right room at the right levels, you’ll easily hear what all the hubbub over the CR1 was about. It can utterly destroy preconceptions about what a small speaker can do. Pound for pound, the ME1 is truly one of the greatest little loudspeakers to hit the audiophile market in years."

Read the rest of the review for yourself.

Want to hear them in NYC? Call or email us for an appointment. Bring friends. Come late. We'll supply the drinks.

Is The Focal Kanta No. 2 The World's Best $10,000 Loudspeaker?

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The Focal Kanta No.2's have been among our favorite speakers at Noho Sound since we received the very first pair in the world shipped to a dealer nearly two months ago. Some call it the world's best $10,000 speaker.

Now the first review has dropped over at Tone Magazine, and it's incredible:

"One of the most impressive things about Focal, is that their speakers all have a similar voice and tonality, but as you go up the range, progressively more music is revealed in terms of dynamics and fine detail resolution. But not everyone can afford $60k for a pair of Maestros or $20k for Sopras. $10k for a set of Kantas isn’t inexpensive, but by the time you add an amp, source and cables, marvelous sound can still be achieved for way less than a decent sportbike. Think of all the money you’ll save on speeding tickets!

If you’ve read this far, you know I’m a big Focal fan, and the new Kanta exceeds all expectation. They combine sound and build quality with fantastic dealer service and support, world wide. If you’ve enjoyed the sound of the bigger Focal speakers, but desire these sonic attributes in a slightly smaller package, the Kanta is for you."

Read the rest of the review over at Tone.

Want to hear them in NYC? Call or email us for an appointment. Bring friends and decide for yourself. We'll even stay open late, and provide the drinks.

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Noho Sound's Alex Roy Sets Cannonball Run Record In Tesla Model 3: 50 hours, 16 minutes

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If you're wondering why Noho Sound went silent for a few days on social media, it's because co-founder Alex Roy was a little busy setting another Cannonball Run record, this time in a Tesla Model 3. Here's the article over at The Drive.

Mileage: 2860 miles
Time: 50 hours, 16 minutes

And here's the timelapse video and GPS track: