Coming soon: For readers who didn’t know already, Ivan Liu is the chief engineer and owner of Kinki Studio, a high-end value brand that launched in China in 2008. It’s being globally marketed by Vinshine Audio’s online boutique in Singapore. Their Ken Ng acted as our mutual translator…

Work smart, not hard. It could be the same thing. But today is about when it’s definitely not…

Proppa subbing, bubba – an exciting discovery…

Remote viewing with Gold Note: First photo gallery and Q&A. Part II still to come…

How will we be remembered? Marja & Henk were my oldest contributors. They joined 6moons when Ivette and I still called Taos/NM our home and listened to Avantgarde Duo speakers like our Dutchies did. They also were the only wife/husband reviewers I knew and knew of. Sunday before last, Marja emailed me a long very carefully crafted and detailed letter… originally published last year, now updated with new replies.

Slow bass. From our feedback section. “Srajan, surely you must be aware that with two 15-inch drivers, pretty much any other sub would go a lot lower and far louder than that esoteric Swiss box you’re covering. Why would anyone settle for a design that throws away so much output? That’s nuts if you ask me.” …

Not kif herb but KEF Herb. Whilst waiting on my own KC62 loaner to breach the company’s back-order embargo, I read Herb Reichert’s Stereophile review for extra anecdotal facts. Each reviewer uses different hardware in different rooms. More data equals more utility to the reader and potential shopper…

Dust-up at the Diesis corral. Whilst waiting on my Aura review pair, company boss Giuseppe Gabbarini checked in from Italy explaining the delays. “We’ve been busy filling orders and just delivered 10 pairs, added new distributors in Germany and Israel and are currently preparing two pairs of Roma and one Roma Triode for NYC’s Rhapsody Audio, a pair of Caput Mundi for Holland and more…”

Furniture or funiture? When it comes to audio racks, one could wonder.  Does it have to be one or the other? What makes for a serious hifi rack? And if it’s serious, can it still be fun? Hello utility, howdy looks. At its most basic, furniture which houses hifi components must support them. Given that hifis come in all shapes and sizes, we should want some modularity. That’s also because systems tend to morph over time. We add or subtract components. Today it’s half-size Naim, tomorrow could be oversized d’Agostino. If the latter, weight ratings enter. How much weight can the rack under consideration handle?…

Wood rage. It’s not an overdose of Viagra. It’s when a woodpecker gets asked to drum out Ravel’s Bolero. What a pain in the neck? Not if you’re a woodpecker. Motorcycle helmets have been modelled around how the bird’s skull protects its brain from such severe impacts. If you know how to deal with it, wood rage can be all the rage…

Drain the swamp. It didn’t happen during the tenure of America’s 45th president. See ya later, alligator. Can it happen in hifi reviewing? …

I type, therefore I am. The ancient Greeks wouldn’t have understood. “What’s type?” they’d have asked. They knew type as a subject not verb.  They might perhaps have understood type casting but typing? Today we have the Internet. Anyone with a keyboard can type. With that comes freedom of expression. The democratic right to free speech has its grey zones. Can the police arrest a pulpiteer in a public park for homophobic, racist or otherwise offensive diatribes?  How about shock-jock radio or comics who go too far? Should social media platforms safeguard against abuses to common sense and good taste? Where does totalitarian censorship begin? Unlike the judge who knew pornography when he saw it, there’s no global consensus on where that line is…

The good hifi communist. I’d just dispatched KIH #85. I joked with the Dark One that I might run out of steam before hitting #100. Everyone loves a round fat number. Then inspiration hit. “If you’ll allow me to suggest a topic? The idea of ‘best’ as an objective ideal rather than something that holds plenty of subjective reality; people’s obsession in cutting straight to it (bypassing the learning journey) and (maybe) the headlines that feed it (of which I am occasionally guilty)?” “Seed received. Waiting for rain. If it sprouts, I’ll live to tell the tale.” Today is that day…

Time heals all wounds? The tie-in with hifi is obvious. It’s called break-in. Kinda. Let’s momentarily delay discussion about who breaks in and shift attention to audio reviewing. How much time does it take to do a proper review? Since I know my systems very well, for me a hardware change registers quickly. Once the component has been powered up for a day or two to shed low transit temps (cold speaker magnets are an example you may not have considered), it doesn’t take hours to know how it differs from the status quo. It’s right at that old/new cusp where the old remains powerfully entrenched and the new is as incisive and piquant as fresh-squeezed lime juice. It has you wide awake. Now give your listening apparatus a day to adjust…

Sub.terfugue. Clear-counting readers noticed a bevy of subwoofer-related features of late and likely wondered when I’d put a lid on those. Today could be that day…

Video culture. Before you suspect mixed-up channels, be assured that we’ll work our way to a happy hifi ending. To get there, we simply start in the kitchen for a change. Ivette had gotten tired of…

Contains no SLS/SLES, PEGS, parabens or petrochemicals. Save for the last, most of us not skincare practitioners probably haven’t a clue. But it’s what it says on a bog-standard Empire Australia bottle of aromatic body wash in our bathroom. It also claims to contain essential oils of bergamot, mandarin and lavender. That all reads swell but shows so far at the end of the ingredient list that one wonders just how much of it is really in there. 0.01%? Never mind. By proudly listing what it hasn’t got, we rightly know that stuff to be bad. Otherwise why lead with it? Surely nobody in their right mind would; and these folks must know the difference. Mustn’t they? Audiophiles do the same. No NFB. NOS. PEQ. No filters beyond 1st-order. No signal path capacitors. By implication, all that’s bad…

M for… mod. It could lead to modernity, mode or Modena to involve travel to Italy. It could be short for modification to get us closer at hifi like ModWright. How about modularity?

Sub.liminal? On paper, the new SVS 3000 Micro had it all in its category of micro sub: a ~11″ sealed box in gloss black or white; 8″ force-cancelling aluminium woofers…

KIH #83. Of stars and stripes or rather, new spots not on my conscience but taste buds. This is one of those tales which begins with “there I was minding my own business”. The interesting thing happens right after the next word. When. When what? Okay, so there I was wrapping up a recent review on a class A amp with 350kHz bandwidth mated to a class A preamp of 1MHz bandwidth. I put it to bed which in WordPress is a button called ‘publish’. Happy times and off to the next assignment. Later an upstairs light bulb began to flicker, then go steady. In said review, I’d compared the incomer to our class A Pass Labs XA-30.8. I’d stated my findings and moved on. Then something…

KIH #82 – Pop. With the smell of napalm following that noise on an otherwise fine morning, it wasn’t the weasel. It was one of my mono amps. Its flashing blue light indicated a fault condition. Off I powered it, then back on. The blinking persisted. Time to pack up and ship out for repair. What other amp/s did I have that might sound similar to tide me over? A look through the hifi closet spotted a promising candidate. In in went, then on. Now we hit the Verkacktheit of today’s feature. Similar wasn’t the same…

ADD. Today this isn’t shorthand for attention deficit disorder but algorithm digital defined. And, it is applied to AC power. Remember Bill Stierhout? He was the inventor of QRT Quantum Resonance Technology which sold to to Nordost in 2008.

You’ll have noticed a recent flurry of subwoofer-related reviews and articles. That’s because personal happiness with…

Have music. Got subwoofer? It’s no question most audiophiles ever ask themselves. That attitude is often caused by blockbuster movie mayhem and annoying boom trucks. What do permafrost drilling, nuclear explosions and crashing cars have to do with music? Nothing. So subwoofers find themselves struck off the equation. Bham! That was the sound of a door slammed shut. Clink! That was the key to it. But what if…