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Feliks Audio Arioso amplifier, or: Stereophile slides into irrelevance

escksu

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Because, being a classic SET design, it has a very high probability of having a distortion profile that looks like this:

View attachment 144660

Yes, tube amps are known to have high distortion. But they behave very differently from solid-state amps so I would say these usual measurements don't apply to them. Even for power delivery, trying powering LS3/5a using 8-10W solid state amps.
 

JayGilb

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FTA: "When I restarted that Turner Junior Johnson tune, I started mumbling "What the hell? Are you kidding me?" I was shaking my head in disbelief at how radically different the music now sounded. With the Arioso, the pitch of Turner's voice seemed to have dropped half an octave. His growl was now rougher and darker and thicker in texture."

If he noticed this much of a difference from his earlier mentioned rack of top notch amps sitting next to him, then I can be pretty sure he is hearing nothing but some sort of tube distortion.

This article seemed more of an effort to use as many descriptive adjectives in a few paragraphs, than an amplifier review.
 

escksu

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These were purpose-built speakers, meant to be thrown into a remote van to monitor radio broadcasts. I don't think these speakers are good for music [I had access to a pair]. Limited dynamics, no real bass, fussy for use in a typical space [but they really weren't intended to be used that way.] I can understand why tubaholics go for the LS3/5a on account of its high impedance, but the speaker can't play loud, can't play deep. Typical high-end cultism: does one thing right if you throw too much money at it.

No, they are not meant for music, mostly vocals. Yes, they don't have much of bass. But I don't think it matters. As you said, these were purpose-built speakers. Only people who are after a particular type of sound would like the LS3/5a, its definitely not for folks in this forum. Most folks here arent into tube as well.
 
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escksu

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FTA: "When I restarted that Turner Junior Johnson tune, I started mumbling "What the hell? Are you kidding me?" I was shaking my head in disbelief at how radically different the music now sounded. With the Arioso, the pitch of Turner's voice seemed to have dropped half an octave. His growl was now rougher and darker and thicker in texture."

If he noticed this much of a difference from his earlier mentioned rack of top notch amps sitting next to him, then I can be pretty sure he is hearing nothing but some sort of tube distortion.

This article seemed more of an effort to use as many descriptive adjectives in a few paragraphs, than an amplifier review.

In case you didn't realise, this is gramophone dreams (or Herb Reichert) section in the magazine.
 

AdamG247

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In what regard is Stereophile dominant? I see, in the current mix of audio info, bad YouTube videos being dominant.
In relation to the Title of the thread. Imho they were already dominating this irrelevance position. ”Stereophile slides into irrelevance”.
 

mhardy6647

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Yes, tube amps are known to have high distortion. But they behave very differently from solid-state amps so I would say these usual measurements don't apply to them...
This is oh-so-the wrong place to bring that up ;)

PS I was filling my roughly 7.5 m x 7.5 m hifi room with 3.5-ish watts per channel (SE 2A3) last night. :cool:
 

AdamG247

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Stereophile does not apply to many pple anyway... Most of the gear they review are out of reach of most mainstream users.
Exactly my point. You just said it more succinctly!
 

Koeitje

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I don't know much about jazz as they are not my type of music. But from my experience, I do know vocals sounded very good on the LS3/5a.
I guess its a good speaker for A capella music then, but I'm not into that.
 
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Robin L

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Stereophile does not apply to many pple anyway... Most of the gear they review are out of reach of most mainstream users.
Exactly. When I first read Stereophile, back in the mid-eighties, they had loads of articles/reviews of mainstream audio. Now the focus is on the kind of gear that's of interest solely to those with deep pockets. You won't find reviews of Topping gear, not because of performance, but because of cost. Topping gear simply isn't expensive enough to justify a review. I'd say the best of Topping probably would embarrass a lot of megabuck gear, and that sort of thing is not in the interest of Stereophile in its current configuration.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Stereophile does not apply to many pple anyway... Most of the gear they review are out of reach of most mainstream users.
I will not dispute that comment but point out that I do not think that the people on this website represent "most mainstream users," either. Of course, we may differ on what mainstream really is. :rolleyes:
 
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Robin L

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I will not dispute that comment but point out that I do not think that the people on this website represent "most mainstream users," either. Of course, we may differ on what mainstream really is. :rolleyes:
Or if, in fact, the concept of "the mainstream" even applies anymore.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Or if, in fact, the concept of "the mainstream" even applies anymore.
The mainstream exists but one needs to relate it to a specific context.
 

MakeMineVinyl

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I'll confess to only skimming the article. After a certain point it turns into orgasmic descriptions of the sonic qualities of LPs and antique tubes, and I'm outta here.

[edit: now I see that music is derived from FLACs, though the inclusion of 1927/1929 blues recordings is a bit puzzling]
I can't read Herb Reichert's reviews without developing a severe gag reflex. I also notice that his reviews almost never have a 'measurements' section. :rolleyes:
 

Kal Rubinson

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I can't read Herb Reichert's reviews without developing a severe gag reflex. I also notice that his reviews almost never have a 'measurements' section. :rolleyes:
I have not gone back and to check but the policy is to have a "measurements" section for all reviews (turntable/vinyl, servers and subwoofers excepted). Commentaries in regularly-featured columns, such as Herb's "Gramophone Dreams" and my defunct "Music in the Round," are not complemented with measurements.
 

MakeMineVinyl

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I have not gone back and to check but the policy is to have a "measurements" section for all reviews (turntable/vinyl, servers and subwoofers excepted). Commentaries in regularly-featured columns, such as Herb's "Gramophone Dreams" and my defunct "Music in the Round," are not complemented with measurements.
Might be a nice touch to have measurements in these sections. I believe any gear which is reviewed in any capacity should have measurements - not doing so seems a tad disingenuous to me, or at least avoiding the objective facts of the product which consumers should know. I mean, if it walks like a review and quacks like a review......
 
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Robin L

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The mainstream exists but one needs to relate it to a specific context.
I dunno . . . something like the Beatles ain't gonna happen under current conditions. There are clear audio subdivisions, the TOTL cost no object stuff that Stereophile now focuses on, a thousand and one YouTube subjectivists, headphone blogs, etc. Like everything in music these days., there is no center to hold, just an assortment of varied interests that don't line up. Back in the 1960s everybody was reviewing Advent speakers [J. Gordon Holt, for one, liked them], but there's nothing like that today.
 
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Kal Rubinson

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I dunno . . . something like the Beatles ain't gonna happen under current conditions. There are clear audio subdivisions, the TOTL cost no object stuff that Stereophile now focuses on, a thousand and one YouTube subjectivists, headphone blogs etc. Like everything in music these days., there is no center to hold, just an assortment of varied interests that don't line up. Back in the 1960s everybody was reviewing Advent speakers [J. Gordon Holt, for one, liked them], but there's nothing like that today.
I agree with most of what you say but I do not see that Stereophile focuses on TOTL stuff. We cover budget stuff but the TOTL stuff gets the most attention both from those who are interested in it and from those who treat it with disdain. I review what interests me and I hope that it appeals to a different segment of the readership.
 
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Robin L

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I agree with most of what you say but I do not see that Stereophile focuses on TOTL stuff. We cover budget stuff but the TOTL stuff gets the most attention both from those who are interested in it and from those who treat it with disdain. I review what interests me and I hope that it appeals to a different segment of the readership.
Truth to tell, I find your postings rational.

When I say "focuses on": most of the stuff reviewed in Stereophile is by any rational standard "pricey" if not flat out gob-smackingingly expensive.

At one time there was an "audio cheapskate". Those days are no more.
 

escksu

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I agree with most of what you say but I do not see that Stereophile focuses on TOTL stuff. We cover budget stuff but the TOTL stuff gets the most attention both from those who are interested in it and from those who treat it with disdain. I review what interests me and I hope that it appeals to a different segment of the readership.

Frankly, i would prefer stereophile to focus on TOTL stuff. This is because there are already many magazines doing budget and mainstream (my definition is not too expensive gear). I think we already have what-hifi doing the budget and slightly more expensive gear. Hifi-choice doing it and many more..

No doubt most of the stuff in the magazine is out of my reach. However, its still good to know how they perform and know these exotic brands exist. I became a fan of krell integrated amps after reading your kav-400xi review.
 
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