Newsletter No. 57 - MARCH 2018

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Welcome to the March 2018 Newsletter

ichos No. THREE
Even though ICHOS loudspeaker from Vienna, Austria only recently entered the market and has made a stir in Europe. 2 of the 4 new models have already been reviewed and have received great verdicts.

Michael Bruss of HiFi Test about ICHOS No.THREE Mk.II (Jan. 2018): 
"...rarely does one hear a loudspeaker that combines a nonchalant lightness and ease so naturally with such a substantial bass and can still work with single-ended tube amplifiers without problems – actually, the ichos No 3 even prefers them... Conclusion: Loudspeakers with a pleasure factor - a true feast for listeners who love attention to detail and spaciousness with a bass that isn’t too thin. They play easily with small triodes and even then offer a substantial sound..." CLICK HERE to check it out.

Peter Panholzer of about ICHOS No.ONE Mk.II (Dec. 2017):
"...with the Ichos N° ONE, the top model of Ichos sound transducers, the young company has hit a home run! The synthesis of fine craftsmanship, high sensitivity and top-class components makes music an extraordinary  experience. Dynamics and timbres impart a vivid live atmosphere that continuously inspires the listener..." CLICK HERE to check it out.
New reviews: VALVET E2 & A4e
VALVET from the north of Germany, 30 years plus in the business, also recently received two new reviews. The latest two amplifiers (E2 & A4e) were tested and both earned rave reviews. Thank you Mr. Cornils for delighting us over and over again with these gems full of emotion.  
VALVET A2 Class-A single-ended mono-blocks
Jerry Seigel of about the VALVET E2 (02/2018):
"...the Valvet E2 is easily the best sounding amplifier this lifelong audiophile has heard. And it is only $2,990, with no tube issues to drain your bank account in the future. Components like this make us think “I’m done upgrading.” That thought is usually accompanied by a wonderful feeling that we enjoy when a new component seems to be as good as it can get. How long that feeling lasts determines if your initial assessment was correct. So, let me share my two take-aways from reviewing the Valvet E2 Class A single-ended stereo power amplifier. 1) I’m done upgrading. And 2) I bought it. This is a great amplifier!"
CLICK HERE to check it out.
Jochen Reinecke of the Fidelity Magazin about the VALVET A4e (02/2018):
VALVET A4e Class-A mono-blocks
"...the good news: the Valvet A4e mono-amps are actually better! Better to such an extent that the price difference is entirely justified. This can be seen in three different areas: First, micro-resolution in the upper treble has markedly improved...  Second, there is a marked improvement in locatability. Pin-point spatial orientation of instruments in the ‘background corners’ has increased, but also micro-orientation within the plane..."
"...finally, the Valvet mono-power amps have become even faster: their ability to mobilise enormous energy from a moment of absolute stillness - without limits, compression or distortion... Those who do not get goose bumps at what the Valvet mono amps offer in terms of drive, transparency and clarity at this point should urgently make an appointment to see a doctor. My conclusion: Valvet have managed to significantly improve an already great product..."

CLICK HERE to read the entire review in English, or HERE for German
New review: Audio Valve Solaris headphone amp
Audio Valve Solaris Headphone Amplifier
Lieven of concluded (02/2018):

"...another thing I really love about the Solaris are the dynamics and speed with which it delivers your music, the Solaris has great PRaT. On top of all this from bass to treble you get a very high resolution, the level of detail just is impressive. A high level of detail doesn’t mean this amplifier is analytical, cause it is not. Think musicality over pure analytics but always with great clarity..."
"...if female vocals are your thing (they are for me), then you will love this amp, but in general the Solaris voices are exceptionally good, natural and romantic...the Solaris does everything so effortless, it is a pure pleasure to listen to. It’s musical, rich, extended,  easy on the ear and completely non-fatiguing. What’s not to like?"  CLICK HERE to check out the entire review   
New review: Aurorasound VIDA phono stage 
Aurorasound VIDA
Jason Kennedy of wrote:
"...the Aurorasound VIDA is a very easy phono stage to enjoy. It makes the most of all manner of cartridges and turntables, emphasising the qualities of each, and letting you forget about the mechanics. It won’t be the first choice of those looking for maximum bandwidth, but it does offer a lot of tube charm without the noise and hum issues often associated with the breed. Just as importantly, it is very nicely built. If the company could just find a Leben style badge, it could be a worldwide hit!" 
CLICK HERE for more information
Most Wanted Component Award: Audio Valve Challenger 115
Audio Valve Challenger 115
Key Kim of The StereoTimes:
"...they feature a unique parallel push-pull Class-A design using six beam power pentode tubes per channel. The Challenger can be used with EL-34s, 6550s, or KT88s, and it produces a powerful 115 to 180 watts per channel. This is made possible by its revolutionary and proprietary Automatic Bias Regulator (ABR) circuitry, which monitors, biases and controls each tube independently. Brilliantly, it makes tube replacement very economical and simple, there is no need for tube matching to get the best sound. My review pair was equipped with the EL-34s and they rendered music with power and authority, transparency and beautiful tonality..." CLICK HERE for more information
Most Wanted Component Award: Lyric Audio PS-10 phono stage
Lyric Audio PS-10 tube phone stage
Greg Simmons of The StereoTimes:

"...the PS-10 will give most users all the phonostage they’re likely to ever need without all of the tweeky controls they’re unlikely to ever use. Its simplified set of features, limited simply to adjustable impedance, might not offer the last iota of control for the most exotic cartridges, but for the vast majority of moving coils it’ll work great. Most importantly it sounds fantastic: detailed, lively and colorful, with deep tight bass and an expansive soundstage..."
" an added bonus the PS-10 also has a second input for moving magnet cartridges, allowing the user to run two turntables at once; a particularly useful feature for that second monaural table. It’s also built like a tank. The Lyric PS-10 phonostage is easy to use and a pleasure to listen too..."

CLICK HERE for more information
New product: Lyric Audio Ti200
Lyric Audio Ti200
Lyric Audio's latest development, the Ti200 integrated amplifier arrived, sounding fabulous.

The Ti200 is a Class-A parallel, single-ended, integrated tube amp, delivering 2x 38 Watts with KT150/KT120 tubes. It can also handle KT88 (2x 16 Watt) and EL34 (2x 8 Watt). US retail price starts at $14,690.
CLICK HERE for more info.
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