In regards to that Goddard quote especially. Basically, Jarmusch drones feedback while Van Wissem plucks delicate psychedelic passages over top. The dark undertones provided by Jarmusch are the missing element in most of Van Wissems records that, while very pretty, tend to be overly repetitive and meander without arriving at a satisfying destination. Jarmusch is the anchor he needs and the antidote to the slight saccharine quality his music sometimes has.
Bonus feature: spoken word segment by Tilda Swinton! The ideas, melodies, swells and emotions—strong as they sometimes are—are the same as those found on their previous albums.
Like Valtari , it would have been a jaw-dropping debut. And their commercial material is hardly that commercial. Imagine Section 25 turned up to 11 or the first couple Public Image Ltd. Pretty stoner without being too desert, pretty classic but not too doom. Just telling you what it is. Or Venom if they could actually play?
Also any award I would have given Purson for proto-metal revivalism. That Purson record is still great, but Kadavar not only have both the nuances of the on lock, but they rock the shit out of it. In a good way. This is another kind of monster altogether. As far as atmospherics go, Beacon knocks it out of the park. But none of the tracks leave you with much to hang on to. Very soft, cozy and sweet, but not very filling. I feel like it might be a grower though. EDIT: A grower indeed, repeat listens reward.
Love this one a little more with each spin. Boosting the rating up to an even 4. On one reading, it is manifestly false, but it would be earth-shaking if it were true; on the other reading, it is true but trivial. A lot of what makes the song is the recording, so recording it with less attention to detail at the very least they should have tried to recreate those giant hand claps! This is reverent revivalism done right. Heads in would have been lucky to get a chance to walk through the blue door.
This Wild Nothing EP included. None of this critique is meant as criticism though. Empty Estate is as consistently catchy as set of alternative new wave toe-tappers as you could realistically hope to find back in Which they do, but Savages perhaps more so. So, in a sense, they improve upon the original and copycats. On the other hand, the reason The Banshees were able to convince leery records companies to put out their records is they wrote some genuine earworms. Woozy, high-octane psych abstractions.
The first four tracks are relentless no wave dirges that keep smacking you in the face with a series of closed fist punches. Later on, things get a bit more restrained and mathier in a Slint -by-way-of- Fugazi way, but it still delivers a seething bitterness that is actually a bit scary to listen to.
Sub Verses sounds like a resurfacing of sorts. Sub Verses is an album which seems designed to be an abstract whirlwind of ecstatic celebration but feels like a cold, contrived product of too much over-thinking in the studio or in Pro Tools after the recording was completed. The result sounds like vintage, unearthed recordings of some crazed Thai Elvis impersonator having an on-stage breakdown while entertaining American G.
A spectacular, visceral mess. To me, the music off their first four albums represented here is beyond critique—Its perfect psych-pop from one of my all-time favourite camps. True, most of these tracks have been available on the previous reissues. EP showed up on the expanded version of their eponymous album. It borders on racist parody.
Still, I had to have it. Still Corners: Strange Pleasures — At some point in the future the movie Drive is going to be acknowledged as one of the biggest musical influences of this decade. Not even its soundtrack necessarily, but just the sleek style of the film and the mood it conjures. Also a lot more neon. Not unlike Drive. Dialing the rating down to 1. Perhaps too much so. On a purely objective level, the album is beguiling in the extreme.
But, again, perhaps too much so. The vulnerable vocals and swelling lifts are making me feel emotionally manipulated instead of genuinely moved. Usually the former. Which is frankly a blessing and a curse. Despite this, the album is a tad antiseptic and predictable for active listening, more suited as workout music for depressed yogis.
It now seems pretty incredible what they were able to achieve without the aid of computers. Sort of like a really bummed-out M The kick drum should be crunching more. The melodies are begging me to find them alluring but they seem a bit shallow for all their glitter. I also feel like the mediocrity of everything leading up to this song is made it sound better than it actually is.
A plus is that all the songs boast a full band where a few tracks on the previous album that should have been balls-out rockers El Khatib frustratingly performed solo. Time to move on. With the right small ensemble, Stetson could wreak some pretty awesome havoc. In the mean time, this is a gorgeous and harrowing post-every-genre release.
Good stuff. I put post-rock in quotes because they were not post rock or post anything else. I liked their more Krautrock moments but those were never as prevalent as I hoped and the band was just… kind of shitty in my opinion. Anyway, Life Coach is kind of like a good version Trans Am. More properly Krautrock and, ergo, more post-rock too. So Life Coach falls between a not-as-good Neu and a not-as-good Follakzoid. I could pretty much repeat those words for their second full-length.
As a reasonably hardcore Coil fan, I always wanted to. I certainly tried. But I could only ever get as far as appreciating their contribution to pop music history. You can keep on running your video pranks-- but you vet them with US, first. Leet held up a finger. Hemlokk glared. Hemlokk continued to glare. Uber snickered. The last time Leet got in an actual fistfight with a hooker she punched him out. Then they each held out a hand. Bayleaf crossed hands and shook with them.
Hemlokk crossed her arms under her cloak and gave him a wry half-smile. The room was dusty and cobwebbed but bare, cleared out to the walls as requested. The only things there were a few folding chairs, a collapsible table with a few cups and bottles on it, and-- yes, there they were. Faultline stood dead center, kitted out in her welding mask. Gregor the Snail stood to one side, Newter and Spitfire to the other.
Holding his hands up in a gesture of peace, Greg walked over to where the group sat. The welding-masked woman looked up at him-- up! Greg was never going to get used to being tall-- and regarded him.
He poured out the small bag of one-ounce gold ingots on the nearby table as proof of payment. Faultline looked it over and nodded; Gregor moved in and whisked the meager bag of gold away. Hook him up, boys. The two men chuckled and slapped him on his armored back. He took a knee in front of her, wincing internally at the clumsy clang of metal on concrete, and carefully took one pale hand in his own.
You have my deepest thanks. It was brief but it was there. Then her eyes focused in the distance again, looking beyond him, a faint shadow of the smile lingering on her face. He got to his feet and turned to face the far wall. Jagged rocks in strange, twisted formations-- jutting up out of the ground, or in some cases floating detached above it-- dotted with odd glittering outcroppings. The horizon was filled with distant stony peaks, bright ribbons of grass trailing between monoliths of stone, all under a sky too blue to be of Earth.
In the furthest distance, the shattered remains of a vast mountain hovered in midair, as if parting faith with the fickle earth and rising to meet the pale moons overhead. A breeze, faint, cool, and sweet, blew through the storeroom, making all of them lift their heads and breathe deep in spite of themselves. Greg pulled his pickaxe out of storage, walked resolutely to where the normal world demarcated into this alien landscape, and stepped across.
He marched a few hundred feet out and looked back. He trudged to the nearest glittering outcrop shining in his Mining Sense, raised his pickaxe, and brought it down with a crack.
Two fuzzy triangles appeared over the countertop. He slid forward, looking down over the edge of the counter to see what the ears were attached to. He stared some more.
There appeared to be a bipedal fennec fox he felt inordinately proud of being able to identify the species in a hoodie staring up at him. Yes, it was speaking; Joey saw its lips move. Alec prowled through the aisles of pet food and chew toys to the back of the store, vexed.
He knew it. He was a hunter, an Azeroth hunter. Bonding with a hunting animal, or even several, was second nature. Well, second nature to his new nature. Bayleaf had been making noises about having Panacea or Blasto custom make some hunter pets, or maybe upgrade something like what? A couple of hunting hounds, or something? Maybe a pet would help fill in that gap inside him. He got to the pet section of the store and found himself surrounded by cages, terrariums and pens.
What would be a good match, though? He considered the dogs in the glassed in displays. Lotta puppies, all sorts of breeds. And Toy breeds? Any breed small enough for Alec to control easily was exactly the sort of dog that earned his disgust: ratty little psychotic purse-dogs, deformed mutant horrors, the lot of 'em. He had a brief vision of him flinging a turtle like a frisbee into battle.
Oh heck no. A parrot would be an interesting idea. He wondered if his hunter-bonding powers would let him teach it to deliver spoken messages? Jump jump brother jump gonna catcha! Catch YOU! No, catch YOU! He was staring into the soulful eyes of a basset hound pup when he heard it… or, more like felt it. Things halfway between thoughts and feelings and words, almost like an echo or a faint ringing in the back of his ear… he turned in place, scoop-shaped ears swiveling, trying to pinpoint the source.
It was coming from an open pen at the end of the aisle. He trotted over. Inside were a pair of ferrets, a male and a female, tumbling over each other and rolling about in the excelsior as they played.
The moment he could look down inside, the two ferrets stopped tussling with each other, sat up on their haunches, and looked up. Looked up at him. Friend friend newface friend play?
Friend play? Play play play! Fascinated he stuck his arms down into the pen. The two obviously recognized an invitation-- or saw an opportunity and leapt onto his arms, rapidly climbing up his sleeves to his shoulders. As small as he was there was hardly room for the both of them on his shoulders; they soon ended up diving down in the hood of his sweatshirt, squirming over each other for room and popping up to rest their forepaws on his head or lick and nibble at his ears.
They were both suddenly perfectly still, staring up at him with shiny, shoebutton eyes. He froze for a moment. It was like having a question answered before he asked it. You two are perfect. There was a flash of octarine light, and the Bond snapped in place, sharp and crystal clear. The door swung shut behind them with a jingle; freedom at last.
Fidget the male and Gidget the female. Perfect names. He looked around the parking lot. Now how do we get home Fidget, Gidget, hold on. The traffic was killer. The roads were a mess. And any long haul trucker worth spit knew that driving through anyplace with a Cape-to-luckless-bastard ratio as high as Brockton Bay was begging for grief. Even when you were hauling legit cargo, that was begging for some villain with a master plan-- or a stroke of stupid-- to hijack your rig and steal your cargo.
But when you were on the wrong side of the law like Karl usually was, that just meant the cops were worse than useless and heroes were as big a threat or worse. When you hauled contraband, you were on your own. There was a reason Karl rode with a shotgun under his dash, a revolver on his ankle, a knife sheath down the back of his pants and Tank in the truckbed. Through Brockton Bloody Bay. Not his problem though.
As casually as someone driving a sixteen wheeler could, he promptly took a side road down the back streets and alleys of the city. Now there was a chance he might have been driving right into their patrol route…. Capes were tourist attractions for rich people. So he cursed the luck and took a more roundabout route to the harbor.
There was no sense taking chances. This town was freak central. His peterbilt jerked to a halt as if it had hit the end of a chain, smoke and steam boiling back over the cabin. Karl cursed and coughed, trying to wave the smoke reeking of diesel and antifreeze out of his face as it started seeping through the air vents. Then an enormous, eight foot tall green woman with TUSKS slammed down on the hood of his truck and roared through the windshield at him.
Karl, he would feel no shame in admitting later, screamed like a little girl. Before he could grab for one of his weapons the gargantuan green woman grabbed hold of the edge of his windshield and cab roof and ripped them off like she was peeling a banana, leaving him exposed to the night sky. He screamed again and grabbed for his shotgun-- she had the barrel in her massive fist before he could bring it to bear and bent it double.
He grabbed his pistol out of his ankle holster and raised it up. Her fist closed over it. The gun made a weak popping sound like an exhausted firecracker. She grunted in pain, blood-- green blood-- leaking from her fist. Then she squeezed. Karl shrilled as she crushed the gun and his hand both. Sobbing in fear he reached behind him with his free hand and went for his knife. He brought it around in a clumsy right-handed stab… only to have her slap the blade away. It went spinning off into the dark, never to be found.
She grabbed him by the front of his sweaty, grease stained shirt and hoisted him out of the ruins of his truck, then leapt down to the pavement. She marched to the back of the trailer, dragging Karl along one-handed like he was no more than a particularly ungainly suitcase.
She held him up in a loosely standing position at the back gate and shook him. As Karl whimpered and fished around with his good hand in his pockets for his spare keys, his lizard hindbrain was giggling in glee.
Once those doors opened, Tank would show this mutant cape bitch a thing or two-- After a dozen fumblings he managed to unlock the back gate. The green giantess threw him aside scornfully as the doors swung open… only to roar in surprise when an enormous snarling pair of jaws came lunging out of the dark at her face.
Tank was a full-grown by-the-Almighty Mastiff-- a cross between a bull mastiff and a motherloving English mastiff, and more massive than either. But to his growing horror, the green giantess was NOT going down. She was just standing there, her feet spread to anchor her, a gigantic snarling mastiff the size of a small horse latched onto her bleeding forearm, and snarling right back into its face like it was an annoyance.
They held that pose for several seconds, seconds that felt like minutes. Even a lunk like Karl could sense something odd was happening. Finally, he let go of her forearm and dropped to all fours, docile as you please.
The she-beast actually smiled and ruffled his ears. It was too dark to see at first; a few punched holes in the walls and ceiling let enough light in to see around. What she saw made her growl with rage. Inside were over two dozen cages, varying sizes, twelve to a side. Inside the cages, beaks and wings bound and claws tied to keep them from making noise, were two dozen wild raptors.
Rachel had always been a dog person. Not that she had anything in particular against other types of animals people, on the other hand… well. And what she was seeing through the eyes of these poor birds was ugly indeed.
She was about to back out of the truck when something about one of the cages caught her attention. Carefully, she opened the cage. Inside lay a massive bird of prey, its dark golden plumage ruffled by its poor treatment. Gently she lifted the bird out and undid the fastenings binding it. It made no move to resist her or to attack her, just watching her with one golden eye.
She pulled a bottle of water out of her bottomless pack and carefully dribbled water into the birds panting beak. It swallowed, swallowed again, seeming to revive with every sip. Soon it was rustling its wings, trying to right itself. She let it try to stand. Even as weak as it was, it stood on her arm and tried to mantle its wings.
Several minutes later Karl saw the giant green woman climb down out of… what was left of his truck. She had bandaged her arm the hell had she found bandages? He started cussing and swearing up a storm. He choked it off when she came marching over to him. She looked down at him. Meekly he handed over his smart phone. She dialed briefly and held it to her ear.
Send Animal Control, tell them to be ready to care for a couple dozen sick birds. Endangered birds. Oh, and send an ambulance too. She turned and began walking off into the night, his eagle in her arms and his dog at her heels. With my DOG?? She left him alone to cradle his bleeding, maimed hand and wait for the cops.
Rachel looked down at the massive mastiff plodding beside her. New Boss Good Boss? No more. No Tank. Tank BadDog. She caught a flash of guilt over the bite still on her arm. What do you like? Truck good! Truck Zoom! Truck make happy! She smiled as her thumb rolled over the hearthstone in her pocket, triggering her ride home.
Hilarious explanation for why the GTA video was kind of off in comparison to pretty much everything else they have done. He prototypes, tests it to oblivion, then works on that foundation until he has a perfect product at least how I am interpreting how this works. The fact he is able to keep the blueprint data in pretty good accuracy could make this interesting if he is able to work with Dragon once he has stress-tested his shit to kingdom-come. Last edited: Nov 29, Threadmarks Chapter 21 New Threadmarks.
Taylor took a deep breath, inhaling deep of the faintly salty night air. Ten thousand scents, all of them named, numbered and filed in her mind, filled her nostrils. She sighed, smiling, hopped on her toes twice, ran to the edge of the rooftop and leaped. She threw her arms out to the side and with a loud fwump of cloth catching the wind her cloak unfolded into an enormous pair of wings.
With a whoop she began circling, climbing in the updraft rising off the city streets below. For not the first time she reflected that Adrian seriously underestimated his own gift as a Tinker. It looked a little nontraditional and was a little less aerodynamic, but truthfully made a lot more sense. Among other things it meant that she led with her feet instead of her face when coming in for a landing. Speaking of which… Her launch had been from the top of one of the downtown skyscrapers; she was now fast approaching the roof of a three-story department store on the edge of the shopping district.
She stretched her legs out in front of her as the rooftop rushed up to meet her. Her powerful digitigrade legs absorbed her impact as perfectly as the pistoned landing gear on a jet. At the instant her clawtips touched the graveled roof her wrists flicked in a certain way.
Her glider-wings briefly mantled around her, bleeding all her forward momentum, then collapsed back into shapeless cloth, wrapping around her like a shroud. There was a faint hoot far above. Out of the overcast sky down flew a giant horned owl that settled gracefully on the rooftop before transforming back into a midnight black werewolf in a forest green robe. She gave him a wolfish smile; it still gave her a little warm tingle to think those words.
She huffed, not sure if she was amused or annoyed at his estimation of her home town. He shrugged, flicking his ears. But his tone was tinted with respect. And those four thugs brawling in the bar parking lot never had a chance. He grinned suddenly, tongue lolling.
Kudos to them for not simply taking a crowbar to the latch. She had just leapt down from the fire escape overlooking their little escapade when one of them happened to glance up and see her hooded and cloaked form drop down to the sidewalk. Growling to herself she stalked forward, shifting her intent from a quick takedown to some batman-style intimidation. The two men got distinctly alarmed and went for their weapons as she came closer and they got a better look at her glowing eyes, the alien shape of her digitigrade legs and the gleam of her fangs.
Faster than the eye could follow the pistol was knocked flying into the street and its wielder flattened into the sidewalk, the wolf-woman left standing in a crouch on his back. The first man squealed, turned and ran. He got to the corner before she leaped, closing the distance instantly. A double strike from her batons and his weapon of choice-- a length of lead pipe-- was gone and he was left clutching broken fingers.
He staggered back into the wall of the building behind him. Her hood fell back and her head lunged forward till his nose was almost touching hers, the sodium yellow of the street lamp above revealing the face of a snarling, furious werewolf. He did an imitation of the man, flailing his arms around. She had fumbled though with the last one when a jabbing blow with the taser at the end of her baton had failed to drop the burly biker. She sighed and looked down at the baton in her left hand.
I really need to trade these in for better equipment Still, it had been alarming. Bayleaf whipped out his phone and dialed. Me and Hemlokk could use a lift back to the shop… no, our hearthstones are set for different locations-- we really need to all sit down and discuss that Spare a mo for a summon? A moment later a shimmering oval appeared in midair over the rooftop. With a flourish he gestured for his lady to precede.
She leapt into the shimmer and vanished, Bayleaf right behind her. The portal hung there for a moment longer, then slowly faded away. The cluster of warehouses that had once crowded out and hidden the relatively tiny shop were now little more than a false front, a shell disguising the real structure within.
Adrian had moved swiftly, buying up the mismatch row of warehouses, knocking out the connecting and interior walls and inserting new rooms, effectively turning the buildings into one large construction then replacing most of its innards with a ramshackle warren of workspaces. As begun, so continued; most of the rooms were made from converted steel shipping containers. All of them together had made it swift work; take the crate, lay some plumbing along the base of the walls and electrical wiring along the ceiling, put in some flooring, add openings and connectors for water, septic, electric and gas and the like, cover the interior walls with insulating panels, and you had a prefab room… one you could customize into a mini-apartment, a studio, a workshop, or anything else you needed with little effort.
The other Warcrafted had been a little unenthused at the idea. But they changed their tune once Fennek called dibs on the first one. Once they saw just how adaptable-- and comfy-- the modular rooms could be, the rest had begun clamoring for one or more of their own. The soft pervasive glow was hailed roundly as a vast improvement over hanging bulbs or fluorescent tubes. Other Azerothian style improvements for climate, ventilation, sound buffering, water filtration and other comforts were hailed equally.
There had been surprising ripple effects from this little home improvement project. About fifteen, twenty years ago Leviathan had made his appearance, and worldwide nautical shipping went into freefall.
In a bout of incredible stupidity, some of the protesters had decided the best way to protest the collapse of local industry was to hijack one of the enormous cargo vessels and scuttle it in the deep channel mouth of the Bay, effectively marooning all the ships in the harbor and blocking it to all major shipping. Hundreds of ships were left stranded, eventually abandoned by their now-bankrupt companies, and the docks left stacked high with empty cargo containers no ship would ever load again.
They only needed a dozen of the things and it had been easy peasy to have the things trucked to the warehouse row and popped inside but Adrian had made a point of having the dummy corporation buy the whole lot, just to cover their tracks better. Of course that left the dummy corporation in possession of something on the order of several thousand cargo containers that had to be disposed of in some fashion within a certain time, or various fines, taxes, fees, etc. The next thing Danny Hebert knew, there had been a small tornado of government paperwork, and now the Dock Workers Union was employed by Azeroth Ltd.
And everyone wanted them. FEMA wanted them for emergency housing. Corporations wanted them for on-site temporary workshops. Penny-pinching or energy-frugal private citizens wanted them for cheap, energy efficient homes.
Not-so-paranoid-after-all survivalists wanted them for their camps and bunkers They soon were making money hand over fist. It was all they could do to just sit there and watch in goggling disbelief as their fake company rapidly became a real one-- all through a simple if clumsy effort to disguise the renovations to their superhero lair… They had started very very discreetly hiring office workers to handle the day to day business, taking in the orders and handling the paperwork.
It was a tossup whether he was more thrilled or alarmed at his sudden elevation to corporate respectability. Much to his relief he was still effectively just a "face;" the real decisions of Azeroth Ltd.
The more conscientious members of their little group-- Chiefly Danny Hebert and Taylor-- had nearly gone into hyperventilating shock when they realized they were committing tax fraud against the United States government. The more ruthlessly pragmatic members of the party Tattletale and Fennek had broken them out of it by pointing out, rather sarcastically, that selfsame government had written laws that made pretty much any employment more lucrative than flipping burgers illegal for Capes.
Furthermore, their enemies like Coil, Kaiser, and Cauldron had been doing everything they were doing and worse, for far more ignoble reasons, and doing it with the aid of the Government itself.
And frankly any government that would want to throw us all in the Birdcage for getting rich making affordable housing for the homeless can just go pound sand up its aft port come tax time. The Vulperan, Adrian reflected as they came in for a landing, had a knack for stating utterly horrible truths as tactlessly as possible. The portal they had leapt through came out in an empty circular chamber about fifty feet across, where about seven or eight unused tunnels intersected underground, right below the warehouse row.
A six-foot monolith of rough-hewn stone with a single, glowing rune carved in it stood in the center of the space. A pile of mana boosters for Sparky, just in case he starts jonesing. Bayleaf grunted and grimaced. However Enchantments were more or less permanent enhancements to be cast on clothing, armor, jewelry or devices, while inscriptions, with a few exceptions were generally temporary effects cast upon the person themselves.
Inscription used milled inks made from plants with potent exotic qualities. Finally, he sighed and got back to work. He stepped back away from the wall of pipes and turned to face Johnny. Johnny, who was just now finishing his last bolt. Nelson approached him. Johnny stood up and cracked his back. All overseers please report to the central control room. Repeat, life forms detected The two overseers sat there staring dumbly at the ceiling, as if they were waiting for a sign.
His eyes widened, and he sprung into a full on sprint towards the elevator at the far end of the corridor. Seconds later, Johnny was following shortly behind. The large spherical central control room came to life as the doors slid open and the duo ran in. Both of them nearly stumbled over the loose wires that were strung across the floor, linking up the many machines to the center prototype hologlobe now materializing in front of them.
A large monitor that hung from the ceiling behind the hologlobe flickered to life. Vast amounts of numbers and letters littered the screen like something out of the Matrix movie. Nelson turned his head over to Johnny before snapping back towards the screen.
Johnny glanced back at the screen, now overflowing with numbers and letters. Pulling up a chair he sat down and began observing the data first hand. Leaning in, he got a closer look. Johnny shifted his weight from foot to foot, confused as to why Nelson stopped so abruptly. Johnny rolled his eyes. I doubt one collision and a crash landing would even dent these suckers.
Nelson looked at Johnny and shrugged. Static, along with the occasional sound of a crackling fire, poured through the speakers. The image on the monitor flickered on and off, distorting the picture it tried to present, but the sound came through cleanly, despite the static. The briefing room was dark and quiet save for the few murmurs from the lab coats and some generals.
William Keshiner, a large built man with a brown buzz cut, sighed and glanced down at the pamphlet he was holding in his right hand. Upon opening it he was greeted with blueprints and diagrams that looked to be something straight out of a Star Wars film. Just then the door on the other side of the room opened, and in came the commander-in-chief, Alan Crawski, being escorted by two guards and a lone scientist. Everyone in the room rose, backs straight and stiff. In the front of the room, the man that had come in from the far left, along with the scientist, positioned himself behind the podium.
We are to assume the bases were attacked simultaneously. In the back, a woman slowly stood up. Alan shook his head. Just beside her a second hand shot up. The scientist stood up from his chair. Alan nodded his head. I was actually just about to get to that, Dr. Carol," he then turned towards the scientist sitting just a few feet away from him.
Hassel, could you bring up the photograph. The lab coat nodded his head silently as he picked up the remote from the table in front of him. Turning around, he activated the projector on the ceiling, which shot a blurred image onto the wall.
The picture contained a strange, mutilated creature, comprised entirely of other creatures and strange animals the men had never heard of before.
William raised an eyebrow, and glanced up at the commander-in-chief. They were attacked by this creature at approximately three-thirty in the morning while our men were still in bed. We believe this creature holds an unbelievable amount of power, a power that we humans have yet to obtain.
That is why on the day of the attack we dubbed this extraterrestrial being Archangel. Hassel clicked a button on the remote that changed the picture on the screen to a much larger photo of a massive half built ship, which was slightly bigger than an American destroyer. This here is Starship Horizon. If Archangel does prove to be successful in its operation to wipe all human history off this planet, if that's its intention, the U.
The vaults we will be using were built during the Cold War in case of a nuclear fallout, but are now being expanded and improved upon. A man in the back raised his hand. Hassel spoke up for the first time.
He got up out of his chair and stepped forward, so that he was standing in front everyone. A soldier in the front stood up. The soldier slowly sat down. Alan motioned for him to continue. William remained silent. Furrowing his brow, he slowly sat back down in his seat.
The room fell silent for a few moments, save for the quiet breaths coming from the scientists and soldiers. Be back here by tomorrow morning at oh eight hundred hours. William ran his hand under his eyes, trying to get the crust out from under them. His stomach groaned and a wave of nausea almost overwhelmed him, his empty stomach yearning for nutrition. His eyes began to wander about the room he was in.
Empty stasis chambers lined the walls on either side of the room. William, still sitting in his stasis chamber, eyed the empty pods. He winced as the blood in his feet ran cold. Gazing about, he searched for the locker that would contain his clothes and his gear.
After a few seconds of searching, he found the locker just beside the door along with the others. Inputting his combination, he opened it up and quickly got dressed in his white tank top and green cargo pants. Slipping on his tennis shoes, he reached into his locker and grabbed his firearm and holster, which he then strapped to his belt. Spinning around he saw a tall, slender woman with long brown hair. Her eyes were a bright green and she was wearing a grey suit with a purple undershirt.
William raised an eyebrow as she got closer. The girl seemed a few years older since the last time he saw her. She snickered. William silenced her by gently grabbing a hold of her wrist.
I have a wife back on Earth. William took hold of the railing to his left and stepped around it so he could go up the steps towards the door. Ludvig Hassel, an elderly scientist known for his dabbling in both biology and physics. Johnny smiled and watched the scientist as he once again placed the large headphones over his ears, so he could listen to the audio recovered from the drone crash.
Has Mr. Grimes tried setting up zee laser communications relay? Johnny shrugged. Hassel pinched the bridge of his nose. John chuckled. Matter of fact, half the crew would probably appreciate it. On the far end of the room, the door right under the main screen opened and in came Commander William, followed by his four squad mates. He stood up from his chair and approached him. William smiled and offered his right hand. The doctor took it, but instead of shaking it he pulled the man into a close hug.
How have sings been going for you? William scratched the back of his neck. Johnny smiled at the sight of the two playing catch up, but not wanting to hold things up any further he cleared his throat.
He clicked the power button and the monitor came to life, revealing an overhead view of their drop zone. While Dr. Hassel and his team work, I want you and your squad to scout out the surrounding area. Hassel chuckled. By then Nelson should have communications up and running.
Hassel crossed his arms. William nodded his head. Johnny sighed and turned away once William and his men were out of sight.
He could really use a drink right now. Must've been a minor miscalculation, zat is all. Hassel smiled and reached over to pat him on the shoulder. But it is time zat I start rounding up my men.
John smirked and took his eyes off the screen for a few seconds to look at his friend. Once Hassel was gone, all that was left was Johnny and the few men and women that were left working on the computers. He opened the wallet and smiled at the picture of a young eight year old girl. In the photo she was wearing an old hand-me-down Ohio State jersey and a pair of baggy jeans. She was smiling at the camera.
Behind her was a man and a woman, Johnny and his wife Stacey; John was wearing his service uniform. This was the day Johnny came home for the holiday. Johnny barely made it out alive that day—.
John shook his head. Now was not the time to think about the past. He went over the photograph one last time before closing it and stuffing it back into his pocket. It would only be a matter of days before they began cracking open the vaults to make sure that, if anyone was alive down there, they got woken up. That is, unless the people from the recording they heard were still alive He stepped past the holo-globe so that he had a clear view of the screen.
With a small amount of static followed by the occasional flicker, the image came up clearly. John glanced over back at the boy. Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, a black shadow swooped past the screen and instantly everything went to black.
Startled by this sudden outburst, Johnny jolted back cursing under his breath. The room fell silent. Johnny scratched the back of his neck, eyes wide. The girl nodded her head and pressed the button to start the video, again the image flickered and displayed the picture of the now volcanic Yellowstone. Clenching his fist and trying to remember the exact moment in the video when this mysterious creature of sorts would appear.
With a few keystrokes the darkness that enveloped a large portion of the picture tinted ever so slightly to reveal few key details. Turning his gaze back towards the image of the massive winged beast, with teeth the length of swords, Johnny gulped. William placed his ballistics vest on his bed alongside his pads and gas mask. Getting onto one knee, he checked under his bed for his weapon and, reaching under, he grasped onto its hard plastic case. He pulled it out and tossed it onto his bed along with his other supplies.
Popping it open, Will found his M4A1 neatly tucked away in its case. He smiled at his old friend, he had had gotten him out of so many hectic situations, that he could probably count every scratch on it and tell the story of how the weapon got it. He held it up in a firing position; it had been a good while since he fired a gun.
William began considering going down to the shooting range on the lower deck for some possible practice after he got back. A knock on his door snapped him back to reality. Come in! The door slowly eased its way open and in came an engineer dressed in a brown jump suit. He appeared to be pushing a large cart that flight attendants used to serve snacks to the passengers on a plane.
Hassel told me to do. The engineer pushed the cart into the center of the room. Regardless, he took the suit. The man shrugged. Or something like that. The engineer nodded. The boy placed a crate on the ground and popped it open, revealing a pristine Russian AK.
Reluctantly, William granted it. William jabbed his thumb back at the weapon laying on his bed. You wanna know how many Sleepers I put in the dirt with that gun? But again; I. William sighed dismissively as he bent over to retrieve the box. And I am choosing to ignore that insult to my manhood. Only to stop at the door for a second. Just give it time, you'll come to love that weapon far more than your pea shooter, shit even my little boy could fire one of them AKs without a hitch.
William lifted the weapon box up off the ground, and placed it alongside his M4, which he then neatly packed back into its case. He placed his old weapon back under his bed. Rising up, he opened the AK's case. He reached into the case and popped it out. William took a quick look at the clock; fourteen minutes left till he needed to head to the hangar. William began to slip out of his civvies and into his field attire, sliding the tyvek suit over his field uniform.
Next was his ballistics vest along with his protective pads. In a matter of minutes William looked as if he was prepped for war. He sighed and swung the straps of his gas mask around his neck.
Opening his door, he made his way out into the hallway and towards the elevator on the far end. Going through door after door and pushing his way through the numerous engineers milling about, who were busy making sure the ship was well maintained. William reached the elevator and pushed the call button on the keypad. Seconds later the door slid open and he stepped in. William pushed the button that held the symbol of the hangar; the doors closed and he felt a sense of weightlessness as the elevator descended into the lower decks of the ship.
Surrounding it were a few engineers who were mounting large Gatling guns onto its sides. Large cargo coming through. Storage room A is on the opposite end of the hangar you idiot! William shook his head and turned back towards the Condor. He had perched himself on top of an ammo crate, and he was leaning from man to man, his arms gesturing as he spoke.
So I duck, right, and the tip of the pipe shatters the window behind me! I cock my arm back and punch the sucker in the gut. William stopped just a few feet away from them and listened. And I'm talking divine intervention. William grinned and got closer towards the group as Shaun continued with his story. William laughed. Start loading the rest of the supplies onto the drop ship. The Commander raised an eyebrow. DeSilva, a man of average height with long brown hair and a beard, sat back in the cockpit, sighing as he took a sip of the soda in his hand.
And that had probably been the most boring period of his life. He chuckled at the thought of being over twelve thousand years old. A thud came from behind him as the door to the cockpit slid open. Glancing out from behind the chair he saw Commander Keshiner step into the cockpit and take the seat right beside him.
Resting his back against the leather seat, he gazed upwards and sighed. How can you sit in these things for so long? After a few moments of digging around, he withdrew a small yellow CD. I listened to you last time… oh— hang on DeSilva looked at him, a frown on his face. I blare it through the damn— you know what? Never mind. I found a twelve pack down in refrigeration. Where they keep most of the canned goods, you know.
Lowering the can away from his lips, he offered it out to William. William pushed the can away with his left hand, a disappointed look on his face. This continued for several seconds. And more importantly, how does soda fall under luxury?
Will shrugged. He took a can and popped the tab, and promptly chugged most of the cola. The taste felt alien in his mouth and William wanted to spit it out. Swallowing the carbonated liquid, William clenched his teeth and rapidly shook his head. William took another swig and wiped his lips with his sleeve. Share some of it will ya! Hassel standing in the doorway.
Behind him both men could see the scientists loading onto the ship, the soldiers just behind them. DeSilva turned away. Hassel shook his head.
Looking at William, he smiled. William got up from his chair. Hassel nodded and ducked back into the other room. William followed. He had his headset on, along with a pair of completely unneeded sunglasses. William nodded in understanding and followed him towards the back. Both men sat down and began to strap themselves in.
The cockpit door closed at the same time as the side doors, which were now fitted with large Gatling guns. The guns automatically pulled back and folded up so that the doors could shut and seal themselves, creating an airtight seal.
Everyone spoke up in the affirmative. The poor girl looked as if she was trying to put as much distance between herself and the man as possible before she suffocated beneath him. Michael frowned. When are they going to oil those gears? Same goes for the plant life. If our theories are correct, we could breathe in some new type of pathogen, which could be very harmful to all of us due to our bodies not having any type immunity to it. Shaun, who was listening to the conversation just across from Doug, turned and looked at him.
Your resident Grammar Nazi, reporting in! And for the commas. With love in that no-homo way,. Yeah, there was some funky writing when I was the only editor on this, now it seems YOU get to deal with that Wulf, while I just have to clean up little mistakes such as "any time vs anytime" or "passed vs past".
Ah, the easy life. It is good. Not now! It's Passover!!!! The alert 30 and mother thing is pilot jargon I found online, I hope I'm using it right, but if anyone reading this is part of the air force and actually knows how to use these words, go ahead and rag on me as much as you want.
Now Imma go eat some Matzah Ball soup! At 2 AM! Lieutenant Shaun Bell leaned forward and scratched the bottom of his chin before speaking. Stacey, on the other hand, was shaking her head in disappointment as Lieutenant Michael chuckled. Not wanting to be rude I opened it, only to find an engineer pushing this large ass cart into my room. How rude of you, mister! At least one person here understands! Looking to his left, he saw Dr.
With his head slung over the back of his seat, the doctor was clearly out cold. Out of all of my years in the service, I have never been treated with such disrespect. Well, discounting boot, am I right? The dozen men and women in the ship sat there in silence for a few moments before Shaun resumed his tangent. The fucker then looks at me, right, like straight into my eyes, not moving a single inch.
I swear if that was supposed to be some kind of staring contest, I would have definitely lost. I wanted to smack the shit out of him! Orienting the speakers now to about ten feet apart and the tweeters nine feet from the listening position with a lot more room on both sides, the presentation opens up tremendously.
Big fun. Focal has been refining their beryllium tweeter for many years now, and with each iteration, it gets better; smoother and more extended without fatigue. It now offers a stunning degree of resolution without any bite.
Cymbals, strings, and percussion sound stunningly real, and the integration with the midrange and woofers is equally flawless. The level of coherence the Sopra no. The lower part of the frequency response of the Sopra no.
Listening to test tones proves this to be spot on, though the output is still strong in my room at 25hz, yet drops off quickly at 20hz. Seriously though, how much music do you have with 20hz tones, or do you have the room to render them anyway? With so much talk about sonics, which the Sopra no. For those wanting something a bit more subdued than bright orange, white, black and red, along with one wood veneer finish; Dogato Walnut. All with the same high quality. The Focal Sopra no.
This should be more than enough capacity for even the biggest power amplifiers. I would not suggest the for this extreme duty, at brain damage volume levels, I could feel the transients flattening a bit, but the is more than up to the task, when used on separate 20 amp circuits for each amplifier.
For nearly every other amplifier, you should be able to get by with one Keep in mind, I like to play music loud with big amplifiers. Check the total wattage drawn by your components and add a little extra for fudge factor when cranking it — that will tell you what model you need. After all, why scrimp now? But it does. More than one PLC manufacturer has told me that they look at the power in the line as this giant river that you tap into and the power cord and PLC is the first line to your components.
But we can all argue about that on your favorite internet forum. It only takes a few minutes of listening, and then plugging straight back into the power line to hear the soundstage shrink dramatically, with a veil now added to the performance.
Sonically, the and are identical, the larger unit just has a larger capacity, and by that I mean they both do no harm to the musical signal and add no tonal shift of their own. They are all made by hand in the Core Power factory in Colorado, and have a 30 day return policy, should you decide for whatever reason these are not the droids you want. Plug it in, listen to your three favorite tracks, then take it out and repeat.
This is an easy one, folks. So what are you waiting for? Give them a call, they love to chat with their customers. Vinyl enthusiasts embracing analog well beyond the entry level is becoming more and more common, with many of our readers possessing or contemplating multiple turntables, or at least a turntable with two or more tonearms.
The more diverse your record collection and shopping habits, the more having more than one cartridge at the ready makes perfect sense. The further you go down the rabbit hole, the tougher it is to find one cartridge, no matter how expensive, to do justice to a diverse record collection. Often, having a pair of moderately priced, but different sounding cartridges will serve a broad record collection better than a single, mega cartridge. As you add mono records, vintage records and especially the more time you spend in the budget bins, a second cartridge is handy.
The MC has adjustable loading, with settings at , , and ohms, which should be enough for nearly everyone. For this user, the AVP is perfect. The AVP takes a novel approach to utilizing the tube inside. Where many hybrid designs put the tube squarely in the gain or buffer stage, Audolici uses the 6H2P as part of the MM gain section, with MC relying on a single, low noise transistor. The output buffer stage is solid state as well, so your high level source will have a slightly different sonic character than the turntable of your choice.
In concert with the Nagra p power amplifier, the reference in my office system only about two feet away, via a short Cardas Iridium interconnect, the low impedance output offers more transparency and immediacy, so experiment with your amplifier and setup. An engaging phonostage. Unable to resist temptation, the tube was installed and I went straight to vinyl. The AVP, like any tube component takes about minutes to fully warm up and give its best performance. Moving between different cartridge combinations proved oodles of nerdy analog fun.
Settling on a Denon DLr and the Ortofon 2M Black made for exciting comparisons, with the Denon slightly on the warm side and requiring the ohm loading where the Ortofon is more natural, with no embellishment, yet offering more extension.
The AVP makes the process effortless. Dropping the stylus on a 45 r. Gone is the typical harshness surrounding Prince digital recordings, with the highs silky smooth, and a soundstage opening up well beyond the speaker boundaries in my nearfield system. But choose your sonic preferences accordingly and remember you can always alter the overall balance by the cartridge s you choose.
Transients are quick and zippy, the bass has weight without sounding slow, sloppy, or one-note and of course, the midrange is lush and full of body. Considering what a separate two input phono stage along with a linestage would set you back and an additional power cord, pair of interconnects, etc. Running the AVP through a gamut of power amplifiers after initial listening with the Nagra also proved easy. Modern day amplifiers proved equally fruitful, with the new VT80 from Audio Research being particularly lovely.
Some tube preamplifiers can be fussy when choosing output cable, but the AVP sailed through. It had no trouble driving any of my phones and the sound was indeed robust. Even the AKGs, which are usually tougher to drive, exhibited great bass control and a big, broad soundstage.
The planar phones also did very well, and all could be driven well beyond reasonable volume, so watch yourself there! If you have two turntables at your disposal, the Audolici AVP preamplifier is going to provide you with ease and enjoyment.
In addition to excellent sonic performance, the understated elegance and modest profile of the AVP will fit into any situation with ease. Our review sample arrived in the silver you see here, but it is also available in black or red. The two analog inputs are just what the doctor ordered for evaluating cartridges while editing copy.
So, we are awarding it one of our Exceptional Value Awards for And, you can expect a long term follow up in about a year. Highly recommended. US Distributor. Once, while chatting with Jerry Seinfeld about his Porsche collection, a big smile came across his face recalling his first ; a red, early 80s Carrera, and how hard he had to work to get that car.
So it goes for me with turntables. A full summer of chores put enough money in my wallet to walk into Pacific Stereo and plunk a shiny new Technics SL with Stanton EEE cartridge into the hatch of my Gremlin back in S, but I kinda know how he felt. I had never even heard the term VTA and my wallet was empty, but I was really, really, happy.
To make this even more interesting, I still have a mk. We do our homework. Attention to detail. II to the current G is much like comparing an 80s Carerra to a current Most of the visual cues you know are still there, right down to that same cartridge alignment tool, but everything is finished to a much higher standard.
Those that like to geek out the older s usually concentrate on a couple of areas first; dampening the platter and the chassis; the former being tougher than the latter, because of balance issues.
Along with a greatly improved direct drive mechanism, Technics addresses both of these issues with the G. The new platter is fully balanced, filled with a layer of deadening rubber and has a brass top layer to the platter. Popping the platter from the original mk.
II on the current table quickly reveals the progress made. Images fully rendered on the G shrink dramatically and a level of low level image focus and quality disappears. The delta is like going from a pair of Nordost Odin cables to a pair of Radio Shack interconnects.
The original benefited tremendously from having the tonearm rewired with premium wire, but thanks to a pair of RCA jacks underneath the table, a-la VPI, swapping the fifty cent interconnect for a pair of Cardas Clear interconnects brought the sound of the G to the head of the class. In this case, a wooden Ortofon LH fills the bill nicely. Even the dampening feet are greatly improved over the original model. Better bearings along with refined motor and drive control circuitry all add up to more music revealed.
Considering all the fun I had taking the photos of this table, I kept wondering how it would sound on initial power up. In a word, dark. After the folks at Technics delivered a huge bag of cash to my doorstep via Fed Ex it sounded much better. Just kidding. However, in all seriousness, setting up the SLG with the tools in the box and a modest cartridge will not get you to audio heaven, but this would be like assembling a engine with a pliers, and an adjustable wrench.
That project would go equally poorly. Get your hands on some decent setup tools — now. Thanks to the three inputs on the Pass Labs XS Phono, and a set of three Rega Elys 2 cartridges, comparing the three variations on the SL theme is not only a breeze, but enlightening. The mk. As the guitar is folded in, a similar effect is displayed and even the non-audiophiles in my impromptu listening sessions stood up and took notice. All three tables exhibit great speed accuracy, but again the new model and the TimeStep modded version offer a much lower noise floor, resulting in a greater dynamic range.
When tracking through a new, 45 r. Finally where I would never have mounted a premium cartridge to the original , because of its general lack of resolution, this is now a welcome addition to the current model. Upgrading the standard issue Technics head shell with something from Ortofon or another specialty manufacturer, and some better head shell wires in this case, a set of silver ones from Furutech takes it all to the next level.
The Technics SLG has the ability to resolve the difference between cartridges with ease, and thanks to the easily removable head shells, this was not a terribly difficult task. The well recorded ones offer up a level of dynamics that is usually a cut above a standard album. A mere push of the button is all it takes to get to 45 right now, and it goes without saying, the speed accuracy of the new G is perfect — the red strobe now replaced by a rich blue.
As you might suspect, the rock-solid speed accuracy provided by direct drive makes not only for explosive transients, but sturdy bass response. Yet the Gs sole attribute is not solid bass response as the early mk.
Switching the program material to solo piano underlines the Gs solidity. As with a great sports car, much is to be said for balance. Those rare cars with an equal amount of stop, go, handling and feel are often much more fun on a curvy road than a high horsepower car that is a monster beyond your capabilities.
The Technics SLG. We asked the folks at SVS to share some of their tips with us. The low frequency energy generated by a subwoofer can be incredibly subtle, like the pluck of a bass guitar string, or an all-out, chest-thumping assault on your senses, like an explosion filled car chase in a movie. With all the different subwoofer choices out there including ported and sealed models, different amplifier power ratings, and driver sizes that range from 8-inches up to inches and beyond, it can seem daunting to find the best subwoofer for your room and listening tastes.
Successful integration of audio equipment with home decor is a high priority for many enthusiasts. When thinking about how a subwoofer will fit within your living room, home theater or other area, this is what you need to know:. In locations where floor space is tight, consider a sealed box subwoofer, which tend to be more compact than their ported counterparts. Finish Options: Most subwoofer manufacturers, SVS included, offer several finish options to complement your loudspeakers and other AV components.
Piano gloss lends a high end feel to a home audio system and is perfect for upscale decors. In dedicated home theaters where the lights are dimmed, lower reflectivity finishes will help minimize light glare. Room Size and Playback Level.
Room size and layout has a major influence on subwoofer performance. Large rooms with open floor plans and vaulted ceilings require a more powerful subwoofer to deliver a convincing bass experience. Another option when feasible is to go with dual subwoofers since two smaller subwoofers generally offer better bass performance across the entire listening area, than a single large sub.
You can read about some of the other benefits of having two or more subwoofers here: Why Go Dual. In addition to room size, your preferred system playback level also has a significant influence. Conversely, if you listen at more moderate levels, a smaller and less powerful powered subwoofer can deliver a no-compromise experience that enhances all your audio content, and will also be easy to integrate in your room.
High performance subwoofers require massive magnets and motor structures as well as powerful internal amplifiers, which makes them heavy.
Cheaper lightweight subwoofers simply can generate the same amount of bass and SPLs to the limits of human hearing as larger, heavier models, which almost defeats the purpose of adding a subwoofer.
Below are some SVS subwoofer model recommendations for common system applications. While these recommendations are a good starting point, contact SVS for an expert consultation and comprehensive system evaluation to make sure you are choosing the best model. PC-Based Audio System: Usually situated in an office, bedroom or den, a compact sealed sub like the SB subwoofer is a natural choice for PC-based audio systems, and it can fit almost anywhere in the room, even behind the PC monitor or under a work desk.
Secondary Home Audio System: Bedroom or Media Room: This increasingly common application typically involves a wall-mounted HDTV, some type of media streaming device, and a sound bar or small satellite speakers. Consider the SB or the slightly larger and more powerful SB subwoofer for a great combination of sound quality, performance and compact size.
The SB, SBUltra , PC and PB are all excellent choices in this category for their combination of relative compactness and excellent performance across all genres of movies, music and audio content. Dedicated Home Theater System: In this application, demanding Blu-ray movies and other high definition content are played at maximum output levels for an IMAX caliber bass experience.
Maximum performance and high output particularly at the deepest frequencies is a top priority. This is where the larger, reference quality subwoofers come into their own, delivering a visceral and room-shaking audio experience on movie night. The ported cylinder models offer essentially the same performance as their ported box counterparts, but with a smaller footprint, and are a great choice where floor space is tight. For the ultimate in 2-channel bass, consider dual subs for true stereo bass and a more balanced soundstage.
To help with the initial first step, SVS developed the Merlin subwoofer and speaker matching tool, which suggests the ideal subwoofer based on your specific speaker models. Merlin takes into account frequency range, output capabilities and other factors to offer an appropriate match, and with over 4, loudspeaker models across every brand on the market included, and recommendations generated by acoustic experts, Merlin is an excellent first step towards finding the perfect subwoofer match.
Still have subwoofer questions? Exciting news from this company that produces a wide range of products, all combining a compact form factor with high performance and reasonable price. And if you want the experience, you pay the money.
And so it goes. At any price. These mighty marvels have no less than seven Balanced Armature Drivers per channel. And you thought phono cartridges were complex! The key to achieving sonic excellence is to thoroughly read the instructions enclosed with the SB-7s. It describes in-depth just how you go about inserting these into your ear canals so they fit perfectly. This is the key to getting the bass and imaging that these phones produce. However, get a pair of incredibly strong reading glasses, as the type on the tiny instruction sheet is about 2 point.
For the rest of you, the instructions, complete with pictures describing the process is on their website. Again, follow this to the letter if you want to be rewarded. Getting down to business. With a 1-meter cable, you will want to keep your headphone amplifier close by.
An initial test with an iPhone 6 Plus and the big iPad proves ok, but not amazing. If you want the SB-7s to sing, invest in a good headphone amp. No, invest in a great one — the further you take your amplification, the more music they will reveal. The SB-7 will never be the weak link in your system.
Forget any preconceived notion of what you think an in ear monitor can sound like. These are serious headphones to immerse yourself in music with. Curl up on the couch, your favorite chair, or a big pile of pillows on the bed, close your eyes and ease to the sonic experience that the SB-7s provide.
Maybe Mr. A few things present themselves instantly with these phones, confirming what I heard in the Stereo Pravda booth at RMAF, all even better than my initial impression. Where most IEMs, even premium ones have a slightly to somewhat screechy top end, the SB-7s are smooth, yet highly resolving. Bass is deep, defined and quick. Most headphones do an acceptable job at assembling a cohearant musical presentation inside your head because most headphones only have a single driver inside the cup.
The way these seven drivers per integrate is phenomenal. Their ability to homogenize complicated recordings without losing nuance is phenomenal. The three dimensional effect presented is not overblown, as it can so often be with over the ear phones, lending an overemphasized ping pong effect. This often triggers listener fatigue, but with the SB-7s you just settle into a groove and forget they are on, until you get up, that is.
Lovely in the middle. Beyond the excitements at both ends of the frequency spectrum is a most enticing midrange. Add these virtues up and the SB-7s are a natural for acoustic music as well. No matter what the program material, the SB-7s get out of the way and let you concentrate on the music being showcased. The only danger with these phones is that of playing them too loud for too long.
Thanks to major dynamic range, I had to be careful with some of my favorite metal tracks. Music becomes an excursion through the SB-7s, once you get used to how much they can achieve, they will either become a serious threat to productivity or one of your guiltiest of pleasures. If you spend a lot of time on an airplane as Mr. Kucherenko does these will make the time disappear. Reading through the Stereo Pravda website, they talk about being part of a new direction in hifi.
Even if you are not an advanced headphone enthusiast yet, I highly suggest giving these a listen at the next Can Jam or Head Fi event near you. The Stereo Pravda SB Today that blue and green glow is modulated by LED lighting instead of the incandescent bulbs of vintage Macs , meticulously adjusted by factory technicians so all of your Mac components glow with equal intensity and color temperature.
Like their outgoing C two-box preamplifier, the C splits control and amplification functions across two chassis, offering higher performance and lower noise as a result of giving the power supply a bit of space from the sensitive gain stages. The C took things further, offering the option of being configured with a solid-state or vacuum tube active stage, along with having the ability to control both!
When was the last time you went to buy a new car and the new model offered more performance at a lower price? I thought so. Having both side by side on the rack begs a head-to-head comparison providing an excellent opportunity to see what shakes out sonically for the extra dough.
Though the C52 retains the slightly warm, tonally saturated sound that made McIntosh famous, it is all solid-state, so no glowing bottles here. As with any such choice, you must decide what your budget, system and rack will allow. If massive flexibility is your top priority, save a few bucks and go for the C However, once you hear it, it will be tough to go back. When the past C arrived configured as a tube preamplifier, it utilized eight 12AX7 tubes: four for the phonostage and four for the linestage.
And for good reason — the current C is quieter than even the solid-state version of the C There just was no need to make two versions of this one. A quick call to a couple of my Mcbuds still in possession of Cs makes for another impromptu shootout. The C is a winner on every level. The three C owners were on the fence concerning whether they would trade up, but all were intrigued and impressed with the C Extended listening. The more time spent with the C, the more you realize just how sonically unobtrusive this preamplifier is.
Where its predecessor is a few molecules warmer tonally, the C, much like the current Sonus faber speakers, manages to achieve a similar feat of maintaining the depth and midrange palpability of legacy models, while exhibiting more dynamic impact and extension at both ends of the frequency spectrum.
Weaving through a number of solo male and female vocal tracks, this new preamplifier works its magic, doing better with subtle spatial cues as well, and those wanting to hear every bit of breath at the microphone will be highly impressed.
McIntosh has really raised the bar on their gear in the last 5—7 years, steadily refining and improving the range. Thanks to the economy of the manufacturing scale they enjoy, their gear is much more reasonably priced compared to offerings from other manufacturers 30 years ago.
But McIntosh is not, nor have they ever been, about the minimalist approach — this is a control preamplifier in every sense of the word. If you want HT bypass, have a pair of turntables and numerous line level sources on hand —— the C may be one of the only games in town. With 12 analog inputs, you will never be short an input. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, so resist the urge to press the argumentative email button right now.
The additional MM input makes the C perfect for those with two turntables or two tonearms sporting an additional cartridge. The only limiting factor is 60dB of gain, which will eliminate the lowest output MC cartridges. Those preferring MM cartridges can also adjust input capacitance from 50 to pf in 50pf steps. This is often overlooked, and fine-tuning this aspect of a MM cartridge will deliver stunning results.
That cartridge that you thought might have been a little dull or slightly bright can now be adjusted to perfection.
These small touches throughout the C are what make it more than a sum of its parts. With an impedance selector for low 16—40 ohm , medium 40— ohm and high — ohm impedance headphones, everything you can think of can be accommodated.
Running through about a dozen phones, new and old, confirmed this claim. Fortunately, experimentation is only a button push away. Every possible combination. Need home theater bypass? Got it. Want to trim all of your input sources so the volume level is the same? Got that too. The McIntosh C handily offers sonic and build quality commensurate with the asking price, but what puts it in a category of its own is the convenience that it offers.
Those wanting a volume control and power switch only will not be the least bit interested, but those with multiple sources wanting high quality playback for all with easy integration will be in hifi heaven. The phonostage is incredible, as is the headphone amplifier. Factor in reputation, dealer support and all the other things that make a Mac a Mac, and the C is a fantastic preamplifier any way you look at it. The McIntosh C Preamplifier.
With a lineage stretching back to Audio Research, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota has built their reputation on constant, engineering based improvements to their products. Their Reference linestage preamplifier line remains a coveted commodity among ARC enthusiasts, and the Reference 6 linestage preamplifier solidly continues this tradition.
On the outside, the REF 6 sports some eye-catching changes. First, ARC is updating the aesthetic of the Ref line. A clean, modern appearance moves away from the classic, more industrial ARC look. The visual design of the REF 6 comes straight from the desk of Livio Cucuzza and his team, the ones responsible for the trend setting aesthetic of the highly popular G-Series. Tastefully integrating style cues from the past models with a more modern look and better finish work, Audio Research components finally look as good as they sound.
Substantial handles on the front of the REF 6 pay homage to past models, offering a visual contrast to the otherwise flat front. The handles also offer a practical function when moving and placing the When placing it, headroom is another important consideration. The tube complement generates a lot of heat and adequate ventilation is necessary for the long-term health of the unit.
The tube complement consists of six 6H30P dual triodes, plus a single C and a 6H30 regulating the beefy power supply. Control freak. As part of the newly-adopted aesthetic, an elegant simplicity drives layout of the REF 6 control panel. In addition to the large input selection and volume knobs, six dime-sized buttons manage the rest of the adjustments.
Specific buttons control power-up, a choice between mono or stereo playback, phase reversal, and mute. To get the most from the REF 6 tube complement, one menu option allows the user to see the number of hours on the current tubes.
According to AR, new WE tubes should serve their owner for about 2, hours, and the 6H30 tubes offer roughly twice that life span. When the tubes eventually wear out, ARC offers carefully matched replacement tubes.Whether it's Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social network, most people are here to learn more and connect with those having similar interests. At 8-bit Central, we're into retro video games, but also follow some folks who do other things of interest.