Strauss commented to a friend on his deathbed that dying was just as he imagined it when he wrote Death and Transfiguration. His idea was of a noble death in the spirit of 19th Century literature, with the dying man reliving his life’s achievements as he lay waiting for the final call.

What we get from Manfred Honeck and his Pittsburgh players is a rather more 21st Century death (he mentions that the trombones are depicting cardiac arrhythmia in the liner notes). To achieve this he stretches the orchestral texture and highlights the orchestration to paint a picture that Strauss has already mapped out for us and makes the work seem disjointed and over fussy in the detail.

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Sony and Phillips were the first companies to introduce the SACD medium—players and recordings. I was present at Sony’s Manhattan office, as part of a contingent of (privileged) listeners, to audition Sony’s first top-loading SACD player, the SCD-1 [Here is our review from 2000 - Ed]. Having lived with the Redbook format for a number of years, the improvement in sound, a consequence of both the hardware and software, was dramatic and unexpected.

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A little later this year, but another strong TAVES show. The third annual. Held at a venerable Toronto hotel, The King Edward, the show was well attended by local audiophiles and major manufacturers, distributors and dealers, many of them Canadian. I’ve attended shows in cities where a dealer from down the road didn’t show up. And, one show where some major players didn’t know a show was on in their town!

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The Vincent CD-S6 has been a reference component since 2007. It is no longer in production. It is a tubed CD player whose circuit is tube sensitive. It requires 1 12AX7 and 1 12AU7 tube. About two weeks ago, the transport mechanism malfunctioned. Given its age, I decided to consider a replacement. I am beginning my search with the latest player in the $2000 to $3000 price range. Thus I am reviewing the CD S7 DAC, as it was manufactured in 2011, and has a retail cost of $3000. I hope to review one or two more in the near future.

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Roy Harris/ I have a friend who lives in Manhattan who frequently visits audio forum websites. He has discovered many products designed by manufacturers, who are not well known, who sell direct to the consumer, via the internet. I spoke to him recently and asked him if he were aware of any components which he considered worthy of review. He consulted his list of amps, preamps, CD players and speakers, and suggested I investigate the Tortuga Audio LDR1 passive preamp.

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The Annex Wreck Room, Toronto. Sat Nov 16, 2013. The five man Buffalo band, The Reign of Kindo (TROK) was in town sharing a tour with Jolly and Scale the Summit. Although both Jolly and Scale the Summit were effective, tight bands, I was there to review the five man band from down the QEW Highway.

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Harry Currie/ There are probably no entertainers of the 20th Century who have had as much written about them as Frank Sinatra. Countless newspaper and magazine articles from the 1940s to the present day, books by anyone and everyone over decades – right now there are over a hundred books on Sinatra being offered at Amazon.com; some good, some bad, some superficial, very few well written and introspective. But, it’s interesting to see how many people have an opinion about Frank Sinatra.

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Anthony Kershaw/ Denver, CO — 2013 is the tenth anniversary of one of the premiere stops on the audio show circuit. Known as a huge and friendly, two channel and new technology show, the tenth iteration was as good as my two previous visits.

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