Riviera Audio Labs and AudioNec | High End 2022 – Marc Phillips, PTA

Riviera Audio Labs and AudioNec | High End 2022

Marc Phillips, Part Time Audiophile, May 29th, 2022

Marc Phillips writes a review about the system that he highlighted as the best sound of the show (of 5), the system composed by the loudspeakers AudioNec EVO 3  (pasive version), and Riviera electronic:

“[…]

Honestly, I had no idea what to expect from the Riviera Audio Labs and AudioNec system. It took me about a minute to realize that this was a superb system, with extraordinary top-to-bottom coherence, plenty of dynamics, and bass that felt both pure and visceral. I spent a decade submerged in Italian high-end audio–AudioNec, by the way, is French–and I’ve never felt this much power and authority before. Emotional? Warm? Gorgeous midrange? Absolutely. But this was an Italian/French system that absolutely kicked my butt–in a very enjoyable way, of course.

The Riviera Labs room sneaks into my Top Five at Munich–even with the amazing roller disco karaoke machine thingy stealing the thunder from the other pieces of the system. The sound is what I’ll remember.

March Phillips, Part Time Audiophile, May 29th, 2022

 

You can read the full article here.

Best Sound in Munich | High End 2022 – Marc Phillips, PTA June 2022

Marc Phillips makes a summary of his visit to the High End Munich 2022 fair, with the list of the top five teams with the best sound at the fair:

Let’s talk about my Top Five runners-up first. First up was Riviera Labs and AudioNec, who exhibited a crazy funky Xanadu-style music server that lit up all pretty and still managed to engage me with a pure, exciting sound. That’s the real reason to head to Munich–you get to hear awesome brands that you’ve never seen before. Now that the Riviera Audio Labs amplifiers are available in the United States, I’m making a concerted effort to get something in for review.

Marc Phillips, Part Time Audiophile, June 2nd, 2022

You can read the full review here.

In the same online magazine, Marc Phillips does a full review of the AudioNec EVO 3 passive speakers that could be heard at the show, along with Riviera Labs electronics. The summary of that translated review can be read here.

JMF Audio in AXPONA 2022

Chicago’s Shaumburg Convention Center, top floor, Presidential Suite, was the place where the latest version of the JMF Audio analog amplification line was presented. A first in the USA since the introduction in the recording studios of Nashville in 1989.

AXPONA 2022 inaugurated JMF Audio’s North American representation by Audio Skies, a long established Los Angeles based company.

The JMF Audio instruments for the music were presented in the new Orose ® black case finish. It was a pleasure to unveil the following exclusives to the North American music lovers:

– HQS 6002 dual-mono power amplifier, new version G

– PRS 1.5 dual-mono preamplifier, new version F, with the MBR1 remote control

– PCD 102 dual-section mains filter, powering JMF Audio electronic components for the first time

– PC3 version D power cord, featuring the new JMF Audio IEC carbon plug, the very first model built

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links to online reviews:

You can read the original article here.

 

Kyomi Audio, Ideon, Audio Skies, JMF, Stealth, Vivid, and Finite Elemente – Jason Victor Serinus, Stereophile (Abril 2022)

Review of the presence of JMF Audio in AXPONA 2022 by Jason Victor Serius, Stereophile (April 2022)

“The sound was natural and warm, with correct timbres and no edge or glare. If I must be real picky, I could have done with a bit more transparency and bigger images. But in the context of an audio show, this was world-class sound. When, on a Ray Brown recording of “You Look Good to Me,” a chime of some sort resonated from the right channel, it struck me as one of the most perfect reproductions of that sound I’ve ever experienced.”

Jason Victor Serius, Stereophile (April 2022)

 

You can read the complete original review here.

“Best Sound of the Show” Klangschlss 2022 . Silvan Karrer, avguide.ch (April 2022)

Report: Klangschloss 2022

Silvan Karrer, April 19, 2022

Comeback of the sound castle 2022

Of course we were there in the Klangschloss on the beautiful Greifensee and collected our impressions for you. One thing in advance: the high-end scene in Switzerland is alive – and how!

Roof space, part 2: Audionec loudspeakers on Dartzeel electronics

The setup of the Soundrevolution sales vis-à-vis was optically a completely different caliber – at the other end of the rainbow, so to speak, also in terms of price. The elegant and visually very striking Dartzeel electronics in the characteristic gold/red and the equally exotic Audionec loudspeakers with the duopole midrange driver could not be overlooked and overheard. The room, acoustically optimized with Steinmusic devices and PSI audio bass traps, was a real experience. For the avguide.ch editorial team, it was the “Best Sound of the Show”. An interview with Mr. Dartzeel, Hervé Deletraz, is scheduled for mid-year.

You can read the entire article here.

“Lyric PS10 phono amp”, InaudibleSolo, January 2021

“The Lyric Audio PS10 is one fantastic component and if Class A tube circuits and multiple inputs are what you need, it should be on your list for audition. The high quality hand-built chassis and circuit reflect Lyric Audio’s decades of experience and dedication to making world class components at affordable prices.”

Revista “The New Old”, InaudibleSolo, Darren, January 2021

Read the original review here.

NB: while https://theoldnew.co site is down, we will provide the entire review here:

Darren
27 de enero de 2021. Reseña del preamplificador de phono Lyric Audio PS10 

I find it interesting that we curious folk often find ourselves at the limits of our imagination. As we continue to pursue new experiences, there will be a time when something comes along that redefines our understanding of what is possible. I have found this to be true in my experience both with making music and listening to hifi. The Mono Solo project has certainly changed my view of our musical history and the engineering behind its reproduction. This exercise I’ve been working through for several months – comparing three excellent tubed phono preamplifiers – is another example of this. It took me much longer than I’d planned, for one. Life has its’ way with us sometimes.

While we’re taking stock, allow me to note that we earn no revenue from the site. If you enjoy what you find here at InaudibleSolo and wish to support the effort, please follow us on Instagram.

Ok, so we have three great phono stages – one each from Manley, Audio Valve, and the focus of this bit of rambling – the PS10 Phono Amplifier (US$4750 in the review unit configuration) from Lyric Audio of Germany. Lyric Audio have been building fine amplifiers for decades, though it was not until 5 or so years ago that they reached the US. Alfred Kainz of HighEnd-Electronics in Apple Valley, CA imports their products. Links for both are at the bottom of the page. Thank you to Alfred for working with me on these reviews.

The PS10 is a Class A tube phono amplifier. It utilizes four 12AX7 tubes, one 12AU7, and its complex circuit uses zero feedback. The brushed aluminum casework is very fine and extremely solid – world class build quality. It’s a flexible unit, allowing for two tonearms if you are fortunate to have them.

The PS10 offers two pair of RCA inputs, ground posts, and impedance switches for each channel. The power supply is external, connect to chassis via a locking cable. The PS10 is very well built and will appeal to those who appreciate understated style.

Systems and Specs

I’m running my Clearaudio Concept turntable (on a 3″ Maple platform from Butcher Block Acoustics) with the Satisfy tonearm and ZU/DL103 MKII cartridge. The A23 SUT sits between the cart and MM input on the PS10. I also ran all three phono amps using their active MC circuits, prior to adding the A23 Denon step up to the chain. The SUT was added late in the review period, and because it is rad sounding it will stay. In addition I listened to many mono records using the Ortofon 2M Mono SE cartridge. The PS Audio Gain Cell DAC is currently acting as preamp and headphone amplifier for the system. AudioQuest Nightowl headphones and Zu Druid MKIV are providing the voice. All cabling was built by Luna Cables, with exception to the .5m Anticable RCA Ref3 phono wire tying the A23 to the phono amps. AudioQuest PowerQuest3 units provide cleaner power.

The PS10 is a handsome phono amplifier. My review unit is the black version – an understated, brushed aluminum chassis apparently built to last. The rounded edges of the faceplate give the amplifier a subtle sculpted feel – not unlike its well-contoured sound.

The unit provides RCA inputs for two tonearms and ground posts. In the case of my review unit, one input (the lower) was for MM cartridges and the other for low output MC cartridges. Each input has a knob for setting impedance as well. There’s an IEC socket and connection for the umbilical that ties the external power supply to the main chassis.

The core of my analog chain now sits on a lovely platform from Butcher Block Acoustics. The Clearaudio Satisfy black tonearm and Ortofon 2M Mono SE cartridge.

Listening

I’ll get into the details, but here’s the short take:

The PS10 handles macro dynamics with a strong, confident grip while remaining open and uncompressed. There’s an immediacy and convincing presence that performance-wise places the PS10 in between the Audio Valve Sunilda and Manley Chinook. Everything I played, from the Melvin’s 1994 release, Stoner Witch to Nielsen’s Symphony No.4 was presented with a large, especially deep and solid image. The PS10 strikes a very fine balance between earth and air – what I mean is while the image is large and stable, it doesn’t sacrifice gravity or force. Both micro and macro dynamics are excellent.

The low frequency performance is exceptional for a tube preamp, with both satisfying drive and presence. In comparison to the Sunilda, the bass is taut and defined by solid presence. Overall they are quite similar, though the Sunilda delivers a bit more low frequency energy and dynamics. Perhaps the PS10 is a touch more composed.

Listening to Shelly Manne’s Live at the Blackhawk Vol.3 (90s reissue), the tone and timbre were organic and convincing. The harmonic complexities of cymbals were very well represented. In this system high frequency texture was excellent and the highest freqs were not highlighted. Cymbals sounded like the several pounds of hammered alloy that they are. To clarify further, deep extension in the frequency extremes is what we expect from well-designed hifi components in 2021. All three amps deliver in this regard. They may prioritize information differently. To my ears, and within this system, the PS10 prioritizes presence over shimmer, without blurring detail. Dig it.

Classical records revealed the PS10’s impressive depth of stage and image stability. Nielsen’s Symphony No.4 (Blomstedt/San Francisco Symphony/Decca 421 524-1) was more engaging, as solo woodwinds for example, were more fully rendered. The larger ensembles dynamic sweeps were also solidified, making for an intense listening session. Ride that wave. This last idea is something I look for more and more – high resolution? Yes, please. Lifelike dynamics? Heck ya. But more and more I think to myself I might just trade in some microdetail, and maybe ultimate extension for commanding presence and macro dynamics. I’d rather get caught up in a players melody and performance than go glassy-eyed for abyssal low freqs. Weird? I dunno. It’s simply my measuring stick that helps keep me from descending into that abyss. If you’re someone who looks for meaning in all this shiny glass, metal and wood, why not let the music provide it? There’s a universe in there waiting to be amplified.

Class A circuits can bring the noise. Both the PS10 and Sunilda were very quiet. Listening on headphones – how I do a good chunk of my listening, especially when I’m looking for minor variances – the noise was not disturbing even through the quietest passages. Through the Zu Druid MKIV I hardly noticed. Experiences will vary here, driven by individual system configurations, etc. The noise floor of each amp climbed when I switched to their active MC circuits – no surprise. Again, I found both to be very quiet. Of course, adding the A23 SUT helped later on in the review process. My experience with all three amps performance in relation to one another was consistent regardless.

Ok, some additional context. The two Class A amps – Sunilda and PS10 – are quite close in performance. Again, the broad strokes – the PS10 is a bit more composed, and appears to have a more firm grip on the low frequencies. They both offer two inputs and allow for impedance adjustments. I prefer the look of the PS10 – you may not. To know which sound you prefer will require some listening.

The Lyric Audio PS10 is one fantastic component and if Class A tube circuits and multiple inputs are what you need, it should be on your list for audition. The high quality hand-built chassis and circuit reflect Lyric Audio’s decades of experience and dedication to making world class components at affordable prices.

“LYRIC Ti200 integrated amplifier”, Image-HiFi.com, March 2020

“With the adjustments described and an appropriate break-in time, the Lyrik Ti200 becomes a sound artist who has a wonderful partnership with my Rogers LS3 / 5a. So in the end I can state that my first impression was completely wrong and showed me that you can confidently enter into a relationship for life with this wonderfully flexible tube amplifier from Germany.”

Image-Hifi.com magazine, Christian Bayer, March 2020

Read the original review here.