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Positive Feedback ISSUE
The Higher End: The Clarks' Brutus Awards for 2004
Well… we have spent the past year being very picky about what we wanted to review or listen to as our time is just not what it used to be—work, family, and PFO have all taken a big chunk out of our time and as it now stands, reviewing gear is rather low on our list of things we just have to do!
Even so, we have had a few products come through our home that turned our heads and as such are clear choices for the our 2004 Brutus Awards.
We will admit that while David has a way more comprehensive approach to choosing his award recipients, we see things as being a bit simpler in terms of categories and such—meaning electronics, speakers, and simply the other odds and ends.
LINN Classic Movie Di
A clearly superior all-in-one home theater unit (CD player, AM/FM tuner and 5 channel amplifier with full surround sound abilities) to anything else out there (throw in the majority of separate boxes as well), the Di is sooooo much fun and amazing in its abilities to reproduce movies (DVD) and play back CDs (Redbook), that having a stack of separate components each chosen for its audio idiosyncrasy is sheer lunacy. Easy, simple, elegant, musical, and fun—not much else to say, except that the Di is the best we have used and is not leaving this home. Watch for a full review in December.
Reference 3A Dulcets
Not reviewed by Carol nor myself, but we did have them here and well, an amazing sound in an oh-so-small box. For the person who wants really, really big sound in something that looks like fine furniture at IKEA prices, this is the way to go. Not perfect, but what speaker is, that is not much larger than a lunch pail for toddlers? (see http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue15/dulcet.htm for more.)
Gallo Reference 3
Now this is a really cool speaker as well, and while considerably larger and twice the price of the Dulcets, it brings just as wide a grin as anything else that we have heard this year. Way bang for the buck with looks and performance that is leaps ahead of speakers costing several times their price (Danny Kaey has them is quite smitten—another review to follow soon). Again not perfect (http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue16/galloref3.htm), but again what is? Though with a visual statement that is more a work of modern art, who really cares?! An amazing speaker from someone who has been making just that since their beginning—Anthony Gallo.
Walker Audio SST
All the reports are true—a simple and effective way to raise your system’s performance several notches without breaking the bank. Heck, for little more than a few dinners one can see the light at the end of the tunnel! David offers a lot more on this in his awards, and you can read more at http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue13/walkeraudiosst.htm.
Townshend Audio Maximum Super Tweeters
See my review for the full scoop (http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue15/supertweeter.htm), but again the improvement wrought by adding these to the Reimer Tetons is worth the price—though they are not inexpensive in the least. Sorry, sometimes things are just what they are and either one can afford it or not.
Elrod Signature AC cords
See our reviews at http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue5/elrodeps.htm. Yes, I reviewed these way back when, but just this year I moved up to adding them to my CD player and well... there you go. Not much to say, but that in my system these AC cords are so far superior to anything else I have tried that the differences are comical to say the least. Naturally, AC cords are stuck right in the middle of being one of the oddest system compatibility after-market products one can buy (throw in power conditioners, feet, etc.—as what works for one may not work for another elsewhere), but the Elrods do seem to be more universal than most.
Gingko Cloud 10 Isolation Stands
Love this under the LINN Classic Di where the differences are not subtle. Simple and elegant (gee, do I see a theme running through here?) the Gingko units are quite effective at allowing the component to do its thing with minimal outside interference from vibrations and alien probes. (see http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue13/gingkoaudio.htm for more.)