Take a tour of UHA, the MBL Reference System and UHA Tape Decks!
UHA & MBL RMAF 2018
RMAF's Day One Capped by Awards
Jason Victor Serinus | Oct 8, 2018
A few hours before Friday evening's Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Awards 2018 got underway, Jeremy Bryan of MBL North America once again blew me away with the sound of his company's system. Capped by the mbl 101 E MKII Radialstrahler four-way omnidirectional loudspeaker ($70,500/pair), the combination of Wireworld cabling with mbl's N31 DAC–CD player ($15,400), N11 stereo preamplifier ($14,600), and two N15 mono power amplifiers ($17,800/each) created an extremely wide, solid, and deep soundstage in which music flowed naturally and with great beauty. Rodion Shchedrin's sometimes wacky arrangement of melodies from Bizet's Carmen sounded entrancing in the sweet spot—there is definitely a sweet spot with MBL loudspeakers—and even CDs exhibited excellent dynamic range and true timbres.
I usually expect a sweet coloration from MBL electronics, but here the sound was surprisingly neutral. Cristina Aguilar sounded simply fabulous in her pairing with Herbie Hancock on "A Song for You," and drum whacks and percussion were demonstration class. On a familiar track (whose name escaped me until Don Gifford of Las Vegas helped me out), the 24/88.2 version of "Spinning Wheel" by David Clayton Thomas with Blood, Sweat & Tears, images were large and the sound just great.
As longtime readers of show reports may recall, Bryan is a setup wizard who insists that nothing get in the way of the sound he wishes to create. Here, in an 18' wide space, he placed the speakers 9' feet apart, and used twelve SMT Wings from Sweden, set atop six Helmholtz Resonators, to literally change the acoustics off the room by compensating for its asymmetrical dimensions. The man will stop at nothing.
Jeremy capped the demo by playing a tape of Jobim's classic "The Girl From Ipanema" on a new United Home Audio (UHA) tape deck. The extra transparency and liquidity of music from this source were to die for.
Outside the room, UHA's Greg Beron spoke a bit about his new Ultima 4 tape deck ($22,500), which uses pure class-A electronics, fully discrete dual-mono tape head amps, and Synergistic Research internal wiring. The Ultima 4 also made use of the new UHA Pure DC outboard power supply ($6000) and a new take-up reel (pictured above) machined from billet aluminum. Claimed to spin true, which makes for perfect tape packing, it comes in red, black, and silver. "Ergonomically, it's easier to work with," Greg said.
Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/rmafs-day-one-capped-awards#O9YtmSE09Dar1QJw.99
JV on Loudspeakers $20k and Up
by Jonathan Valin | Oct 10th, 2018
Jeremy Bryan showed MBL’s superb $72k 101 E MK II Radiastrahler four-ways, bi-amped with MBL’s Noble Line Class D N15 monoblocks and sourced by MBL’s N31CD/SACD DAC/player and by Greg Beron’s terrific United Home Audio UHA Ultima4 tape deck. As usual, the 101 E MK IIs—classics by any measure—displayed their nonpareil room-erasing spatiality and three-dimensionality to great effect. On Blue Tofu’s “A Battle Between,” the speaker also added a delicate breathiness to Andrea Mathews’ voice, with air behind her, good snap on percussion, and big, solid, hard-hitting bass. Though the overall presentation was dark in timbre, as is always the case with MBL, and the treble a little soft (as is also usual with MBL’s N15 Class D amps), this was still a Best of Show contender. MBLs always seem to be.
It is amazing how adaptable Radialstrahlers are, even in shitty rooms like this one.
I was really smitten by Paul Simon’s “Train in the Distance” (from his greatly underrated Hearts and Bones album) Again, the air, the dimensionality, the breathy delicacy of the midband vocals combined with the sheer power in the bottom octaves was arresting.
(Note: The Paul Simon, "Train In THe Distance" was played on the UHA Ultima4 OPS-DC Tape Player).
Myles Astor for Audionervana Forum:
Another contender for best sound at the show was the MBL and UHA room. MBL was showing their Noble electronics line while Greg Beron of UHA brought along his latest UHA Ultimata 4 tape deck. Greg and I had a great time during a slow moment in the late afternoon listening to a sampler tape of Phil Collins, Talking Heads, The Beatles and several other tracks. The soundstage was ginormous, the upper octaves seemed to extend forever and the resolution, especially with voices, was ear opening. The sound achieved in the room this year was more natural than some other MBL demos over the years.
NEW FOR AUGUST 2018!
The New UHA - HQ Take Up Reels!
Available in silver, red, or black.
Only $399.95 while they last!
(plus shipping and handling)
LATEST NEWS FROM AXPONA 2018!
David Robinson Editor Of Positive Feedback Online
Gives UHA a Coveted "Audio Oasis Award"!
We had a BIG Room at Axpona 2018! BIG, 60'x30' with 20' ceilings!
Everyone fought for the big red chair sweet spot!
Our Buddy John Wolf with Classic Audio and His Grandaughter
UHA Was Also In The Synergistic Research Room
For Some Great After Hours Analog Tape Events!
Part Time Audiophile Axpona 2018
Greg Beron, Ted Denney and Scott Walker invent a Time Machine
Posted on April 14, 2018 by Lee Scoggins in AXPONA 2018
AXPONA 2018 is off to a terrific start.
The new venue is superb. The crowds are here. The vendors are here. Everyone is in good spirits despite the typically shitty Chicago weather. And yes friends, I got an early listen to the Magico A3s. Alon Wolf was doing a great demo and they sounded excellent…but the best Magico sound I heard was at Synergistic Research which had a huge room with mega-tall ceilings. Scott Walker supplied some great gear including some epic Constellation electronics and Magico S5s. A Berkeley Reference DAC was doing a sublime job on digital but it seems Ted Denney, CEO of Synergistic, has now added a new source: the United Home Audio deck. This first night of AXPONA has Ted opening the room for a late night drink and listen. This is the after-party to seek out because UHA chief Greg Beron takes a Tascam deck and transport and modifies damn near everything but the transport. It’s a new machine with a new sound.
Is there anything better than tape? I fear not.
I say “fear” because tape is not for the faint of heart. Want some of the Greg Beron magic? $6K is table stakes.
Want software? Tapes run $200 and up.
But just damn.
The natural flow of a good analog reel is breathtaking. Scot Hull has a machine.
My friend Peter has a machine. Ted just got one. Dammit, I want a machine.
You see, this is magic.
Yeah LP can be amazing…but…but…tape is next level shit as the kids say.
If you have a good supporting system then it gets even crazier. Ted brought all the usual Synergistic magic. Want a lower noise floor? Powercell 12SE. Check. Tranquility Base? Check. Want fully grounded sound? Active grounding block. Check. Want perfect acoustics? HFT and assorted treatments including the spectacular Atmosphere towers and signature Black Boxes. Check.
Ted’s right hand guy Andy told me that something of this calibre takes a couple of days to get going. Well, it’s worth the wait.
Listen to Greg’s Zeppelin tapes with John Bonham’s drum solos. Holy cow.
Listen to Hugh Masekela’s Stimela for the presence of the “woo-hoo”. In the friggin room.
Want that deep but taut bass Magico is known for. No worries. It’s here. Want a warm, clear midrange.
Who doesn’t and yes, it’s here.
Ted’s digital is very good but this tape business? Dayum.
This is already a contender for Best of Show. I cannot wait to hear what it sounds like on Sunday.
This gear is not inexpensive. But it is transporting me to a different time and place. The Beatles are now creating their harmonics. I have not heard this quality even on early UK vinyl.
Quite simply, Greg Beron has created a Time Machine at AXPONA.
I suggest you hear this incredible system. I’ll be in the corner drinking some Fat Tire. Cheers.
Part Time Audiophile Axpona 2018
Lee's Best of Show
Posted on June 14, 2018 by Lee Scoggins in AXPONA 2018
Best Sound Systems
Synergistic Research and Scott Walker Audio:
The Magico S5 Mk. 2s just sound wonderful when mated to Constellation gear but the real surprise was the addition of Greg Beron's United Home Audio deck. Music just flowed in a natural, lifelike way.
Add Greg's tapes and you have the makings of a stellar listening session. Flagship SR cables?
Surprisingly not Galileo cables but some new Atmosphere products coming out. Fairly modest in price, the sound was anything but.
2018 AXPONA Show Report:
Loudspeakers $20k and Up
Apr 26th, 2018
Guilty pleasures abounded in the
Scott Walker Audio/Synergistic Research demo in a big ballroom (Schaumberg D) on the second floor, complete with massive chandelier: Huge sound filled the huge room in a blockbuster system featuring the excellent United Home Audio Ultima4 tape deck ($22k; outboard power supply $6k) connected to Constellation electronics rocked the hell out of the Magico S5 Mk II speakers (I'd never heard them sound quite like this before!) on track after track.
All cabling, power conditioning, grounding, room treatments, racks and shelves were from Synergistic. Another bonus: bars of Vosges chocolate, a local fave.
Due to time constraints I took advantage of this room's extra after-hours listening. There was so much muscle and impact behind the music, you could almost feel the soundwaves several feet away. Bass was big and hard-hitting on "Burning Down the House" from Talking Heads'
Stop Making Sense.
The goosebumps I got during Hendrix's "Little Wing" and Janis Joplin's "Maybe" had me thinking accuracy, schmaccuracy.
NEW March 2018!
UHA Ultima2 Tape Deck Receives
The Absolute Sound Editors Choice Award For 2018!
The Absolute Sound
Editors Choice Award issue - March 2018 - Issue 281
"Given a truly high-quality tape the Ultima2 is one of the highest-fidelity source components JV has heard: phenomenal bass, matchless dynamics, unrivales resolution, astonishing transient speed,
and simply gorgeous tone color.
The Second Major Award For UHA in 2017!
The Absolute Sound Magazine
Awards UHA a "Golden Ear Award" for 2017
Installation of the New UHA Ultima2 OPS-DC Tape Deck,
Mike Melanowski Reviewer for 6 Moons Audio and AV SHowrooms.com
purchases a new UHA Tape Deck!
By Mike Melanowski:
This particular deck contains all of Greg’s latest upgrades – as of now, the only other deck that is built to this level is Greg’s personal deck.
Due to production delays, the deck was not broken in. Greg normally breaks-in the deck for 100 hours or so. Yet, even cold out of the box, the sound is stunning. I only have about 15 hours of listening, but I can tell you that it is a game changer. Of course, the tape can only be as good as the original source, but when you have a great tape – it is utter magic.
Even with the differences between the sound of individual tapes, there are a few consistent observations that I have noticed. The low-end blows away even the best vinyl. The low-end impact and definition is “off the scale.”
The tape sound has a top-to-bottom seamless coherence. The speakers often disappear and the soundstage extends out in every direction – the walls in the room seem to just melt away. With the right tape, there is a 3d holographic imaging unlike anything that I have ever heard. Again, with the right tape, the dynamics can knock your socks off. All of these characteristics, play right into the strengths of the Tenor components. It’s very synergistic…
I want to congratulate Greg Beron on a magnificent achievement with the deck. It is incredibly rare that a person can move an entire industry forward – you have. For almost 50 years I have been incrementally improving my audio system. Your deck has provided me the single biggest system improvement ever- it is a quantum leap forward.
About the Ultima Series Tape Decks:
United Home Audio Phase12 OPS receives an
Editors Choice Award From The Absolute Sound For 2017!
The Absolute Sound Magazine March 2017 Issue 271.
"Given a high-quality tape, the UHA-HQ Phase12 is simply the highest-fidelity
unrivaled resolution, astonishing transient speed, and simply gorgeous tone color."
The LAAS 2017
Los Angeles Audio Show 2017
Audio Oasis Award from David Robinson, Positive Feedback Online
Jason's First Day in Los Angeles Gets Underway
Jason Victor Serinus | Jun 5, 2017
Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/jasons-first-day-los-angeles-gets-underway#8u8GG0BslC0zBXbM.99
Another of my jaw-dropping best-of-(my) show systems—one that wrapped me in its warm embrace—was created when mbl paired its Radialstrahler 101E MKII loudspeaker ($70,500/pair) with its new Noble line stereo preamplifier N11 ($14,600), N15 mono amplifier ($17,800/each), and N31 CD-DAC ($15,400). Together with United Home Audio Ultima 2 OPS-DC ¼" tape deck ($28,000), Wireworld Eclipse Series 7 cabling, and SMT room treatment ($500 each for panels and bass traps), the system enabled a hi-rez track from a forthcoming Naxos CD of the Portland State University Chamber Choir, engineered by John Atkinson, to exhibit a huge expanse, gorgeous dynamics, and a totally mesmerizing sense of space.
The soundstage, warmth, and color on another track from Blue Tofu were near unbelievable. Seated in the exactly positioned single sweet spot, it was a case of total immersion.
The 2017 Los Angeles Audio Show
Robert Harley on Electronics
by Robert Harley | Jun 06th, 2017
MBL Noble Line
MBL North America presented the West Coast debut of the new Noble line of electronics including the N11 preamp ($14,600) and N15 power amplifier ($17,800 each). The N11, designed by Jurgen Reis (who has been with MBL for more than 30 years), is an unusual design with a single amplification stage that provides no gain. This approach lowers distortion and noise; the N11 is reportedly the most transparent preamplifier MBL has created. The operation, build-quality, and the ultra-cool round remote control with an outer volume knob that rides on precision bearings must be experienced firsthand. A phono input is optional. The N15 monoblock amplifier is based on a switching technology developed by Jurgen Reis called LASA, but in a newly updated form. The N15 outputs a massive 560W into 4 ohms. These electronics, fronted by MBL’s new Noble Line CD-DAC N31 or the United Home Audio open-reel deck driving the classic MBL 101e Radialstrahler produced one of the show’s best sounds.
LA Audio Show: Headphones & Personal Audio
by Jim Hannon | Jun 19th, 2017
Most Coveted Products:
MBL 101E MkII speakers with a UHA-Ultimate 2 open-reel tape deck
and MBL Noble Line electronics.
LA Audio Show Report: Loudspeakers
by Neil Gader | Jun 15th, 2017
Best Sound (cost no object):
Most Awesome remains the MBL 101E MkII ($70,500) with new Noble Line electronics.
MBL: The most celestial audio room of the show.
You can’t help but to be enveloped by an incredibly musical sound field.
LA Audio Show 2017
WHATS BEST FORUM
By Ron Resnick, Site Owner
MBL North America/United Home Audio -- Los Angeles Audio Show 2017
One of my favorite events at an audio show is the after-hours tape listening sessions hosted by Jeremy and Tara Bryan of MBL North America and Greg Beron of United Home Audio. My wife and I dropped by on Friday night, and I visited the room again on Sunday morning.
Jeremy was displaying the MBL 101E MKII ($70,500), the new Noble N11 Line Stereo Preamplifier ($14,600) and the new Noble N15 mono amplifiers ($17,800 each). Greg was playing the latest and best iteration of his UHA tape deck -- the Ultima 2 with OPS-DC (outboard power supply-direct current) ($28,000).
I found last year at The Show Newport in Irvine, CA, that for some reason I preferred the sound of the MBL Noble amplifiers over the sound of the larger and more powerful and more expensive MBL Reference amplifiers. I liked the sound of the new Noble mono amplifiers very much.
The MBL system is always a thrill ride! My wife has auditioned with me several state-of-the-art high-end systems in Europe and in California, and she knows how good these systems can sound. She really enjoyed the 101E MK IIs. She liked, especially, the dynamics of the system and the “everywhere” nature of the sound of the omni-directional Radialstrahler drivers.
I thought that, as usual, the system sounded great: thrilling dynamics, great transparency and a realistic recreation of musicians on a stage. Jeremy is a master at solving show room acoustics deficiencies. This time he used a mattress to fill up a cavity behind the thin room divider wall behind the rows of chairs.
I find that the MBL system generates a somewhat more diffuse center image than dipole speakers or dynamic driver speakers. While I personally like a clearly delineated center image on my home stereo, I think the MBL’s somewhat more diffuse presentation is closer to what I hear in live music, and thus is more realistic.
Greg’s tape deck performed perfectly, as usual. Since an earlier version of an UHA tape deck was not there for comparison, we cannot know exactly how Greg’s recent perfectionistic improvements have improved the sound of the deck. Utilizing a new discrete component, Class A tape head amplifier I am sure the Ultima 2 is Greg’s best sounding machine ever!
If you are looking to join the reel-to-reel tape renaissance and find daunting the prospect of buying and reconditioned a vintage tape machine, then buying a UHA tape deck is an easy, turn-key solution which comes with a warranty and offers the ability to upgrade to the specs of a more expensive UHA deck in the future as funds permit.
Mono and Stereo - Senior Contributing Reviewer
Bruce B [WBF Founding Member]
Pro Audio Production
Greg and Bryan's room has always been an oasis for me at the shows.
I just sit there and let the music transport me to the live event!!
Bruce A. Brown
Puget Sound Studios
Site Founder And Administrator
I've followed Jeremy and MBL going back 12-15 years when THE Show took place same time as CES and they were off The Strip at Alexis Park. It was the first time I ever heard the speaker and their electronics together as a system. I was mesmerized by the sound as well as the holographic image and must have returned to the room 5-6 times while I was at the show. Since then MBL has always IMO had an amazing room with sound in the top tier. Adding Greg Beron's UHA to the mix along with the amazing tape is spell binding. Last year BruceB and I were sitting beside one another ion the room enjoying the tape. After the tape was over a gentleman in the front row stands up and turns around and tells us that he is a professional drummer who has played with a lot of renown groups. He felt compelled to comment because in his opinion the sound was to his ears so real
As I was entering the room Jeremy was walking in before me carrying the mattress that you described. Kudos to Jeremy for having this line for so long and to have done so well
Stereophile web site posters comments LAAS 2017:
At at the show most of the rooms that sounded the best were playing reel yo reel tapes as the source. The price of entry for tapes and the UHA decks is very high but the SQ that comes out of them is second to none. I wish I cound have heard the Vandy room with that set up as well.
AXPONA 2017 Audio Show
Positive Feedback Online
AXPONA 2017: Pictures at an Audio Exhibition
05-10-2017 | By Gary L Beard | Issue 91
Dateline: Westin Hotel, Rosemont, Ill., April 21-23rd, 2017 AXPONA!
More wow factor: In the United Home Audio/Mbl room, four Mbl Noble Line N15 Mono Power Amplifiers ($17,800 each)
were bi-amping the mbl Radialstrahler 101 E Mk II Loudspeakers ($70,500 pair). Sweet.
UHA and Mbl once again presented their popular After Hours listening experience. I spent a couple of hours Saturday night sitting in the 2nd row sweet-spot; firmly in the grip of the 101 E Mk II speakers; transported to another place and time by Greg Beron's incredible custom UHA reel to reel tape machine, and a huge case of fabulous master tapes. Rock on!
This system featured the public premier of the Mbl Noble Line N11 Preamp ($14,800 USD) and N15 Mono amplifiers. Digital playback was provided by the N31 DAC ($15,400 USD).
I listened to this system on Friday, Saturday night, and Sunday. As one would expect, it sounded better each time. With the lights dimmed low, the speakers disappeared, leaving nothing but players on a sweeping stage. Off-axis listening so good, no seating position got short changed.
Saturday evening's After Hours defined what fine audio is all about for me. Sitting back with eyes closed, enjoying some of the world's finest audio equipment as it brings incredible musical moments to life.
What a rare treat.
My thanks to UHA's Greg Beron, and mbl's Tara and Jeremy Bryan for their hospitality.
Oh yeah, I got the Tee shirt!
Positive Feedback Online
MBL & UHA Receive an
Axpona 2017 Audio Oasis Award!
Just an Iphone video shot in the UHA & MBL Room at Axpona 2017
MBL and United Home Audio – AXPONA 2017
April 24, 2017 AXPONA, MBL, Reel to Reel, UHA
The lower level of the AXPONA show held some special audio delights this year. One of my favorites is aways the MBL room but this year the company was somehow able to exceed my expectations even further. Partnered with United Home Audio reel to reel Ultima 2 DC system the sound had just a small dash more of that elusive 10% that can often only be found within the unrelenting steel grip of the very best of the high end.
It was the first public premier of the new MBL N11 Preamp ($14.6k) partnered with the new N15 Monos ($17,8k). The marriage of the two appears to be trailing along better than two honeymooners on vacation in Tahiti. Pushing a pair of the Radialstrahler 101 E MKII loudspeakers ($70.5k) the imaging felt razor tight even against the omni-directional canvas radiating out from 360 driver on top of the main cabinets. The 101 E’s are actually my favorite of the lineup. Lacking the extreme bulk of the larger X-Treme system, the mid tier for the Reference line feel a little more like a real two channel presentation that you might find in an audiophile’s home, even though the accompanying pricetag may restrict it to a lucky few.
The Ultima 2 OPS-DC starts its life as something completely different. Greg Beron of UHA takes down each unit to its frame and rebuilds it from scratch, by hand. In the case of the OPS, he reconfigures the entire structure to rerun on DC instead of traditional alternating current. The new DC only option takes the original $22k proposition up to $28k, and includes a separate block for the isolated transformers. From the UHA site:
“The OPS-DC has two huge torroidal power transformers (in a separate high end chassis) that are made exclusively for UHA. These new for 2017 transformers were redesigned to offer a “Potted Core” the transformer is wound around an inert material to secure and dampen the transformer, many other “secret” features were also employed in the new UHA transformers. The OPS has many banks of DC conversion devices that convert the AC wall electricity to pure DC current. The banks of devices are segregated to different functions depending on the voltage needed by VU meters, motors, lights, transport logic controls and most importantly the audio tape head amps. The audio head amp power circuits are shielded and feed only the UHA tape head amps for complete isolation. A Furutech power filter is also used on the incoming AC power connection to the OPS for complete control of the mains power.”
The total sum of both source and system was really working for me on Friday morning when I stopped by the room. The Dark Side of the Moon album (which is rumored to be no less than a daughter of a studio recording) playing that day had a background so black that it would be very easy for any listener to mistake it for a digital copy. The entire track was squeaky clean and so transparent that the perceived location of instruments and left/right sounds left the listener with a sense of 5.1, even though the experience was clearly only 2-channel. The bar is as high as the price is for this room, but this year they pushed it a little further. The MBL team and Greg were also very generous with their time, as day-long listening opportunities for attendees often progressed into delightful, dimly lit after-hours sessions of shenanigans for dedicated audiophiles. Its a must stop for any Chicago audio lover, day or night.
The Absolute Sound Magazine Axpona 2017 Show Reports
Still on the bottom floor, Jeremy Bryan of MBL was demo'ing one of my all-time favorite loudspeakers-the $70,500 MBL 101 E Mk II four-way omnis, bi-amped with MBL Noble Line electronics (N15 Class D monoblock amps and N11 stereo preamplifier) and sourced alternately by MBL's N31 DAC/CD player and Greg Beron's ab-fab United Home Audio Ultima2 reel-to-reel tape deck (which is simply the most musical 15ips reel-to-reel deck I've
heard-and I've heard a few).
On tracks like Sonny Boy Williamson's "The Sky is Crying" and Jose Feliciano's wonderful version of "I Was Born in Puerto Rico" from Paul Simon's The Capeman, the MBL system produced what was-at that point-the most top-to-bottom balanced and natural sound at AXPONA, with a delicacy of detail that was slightly better than that of the wonderful German Physics omni, embedded-in-ambient-space imaging, and lifelike timbre and dynamics.
MBL presented the world premiere of its Noble line N11 stereo preamplifier ($14,600) and N15 mono power amplifier, priced at $17,800 per channel, in a bi-amped configuration driving the MBL Radialstrahler 101 E MKII omnidirectional loudspeakers ($70.5k) with thrilling gusto and gorgeous musicality on one track after another-especially when United Home Audio's new UHA Ultima 2 - ¼-inch, 15ips analog tape deck ($28k) served as the source. The N15 amp delivers 560 watts into 4 ohms with 36-ampere peak output current and features a balanced layout for common mode rejection.
United Home Audio Ultima2
The United Home Audio Ultima2 ($22,000) tape deck with OPS-DC ($6000) power supply was used with MBL's Noble Line electronics and 101E MkII speaker system. The Ultima2 features an updated Class A output stage with new voltage regulators, filter capacitors on every gain and eq stage, new toroidal transformers, and a CNC-machined aluminum head block cover. I listened to both my Crazy Joe tape and my direct copies of the output of my vinyl front-end. In both cases this system sounded huge with good imaging given the work put into setting up the room. The overall sound was more bottom-up than the other tape-based playback systems listened to over the duration of the show. As a result, perceived dynamic power and output level seemed to be the system strengths.
Posts from various forums on the
MBL / UHA room at Axpona 2017
What about the wonderful master tape nights in the MBL rooms? Sitting in the dark, listening at intimate but, loud volumes of incredible music for free doesn't seem to be only gear oriented. I like to think it's a thank you to all who attend and a treat for those who could never even dream to be able to afford such wonderful gear as MBL. I have attended most of these late night tape sessions and not once have I ever heard Jeremy, Tara, Greg or Todd talk about the gear unless someone asked a question pertaining to the gear.
Agree the MBL room did not disappoint. Sunday they played Jump by Van Halen (on tape) at near concert levels and it was eye popping, even if that's not your bag.
MBL room on lower level was the best, IMO. The $75K speakers were mind blowing. Wish I can afford them :-)
"A full day of enjoyment, including the analog master tapes listening sessions on the lover level."
I meant AXPONA, the analog master tapes listening on the lower level of the building, in the basement, the MBL guys were so good.
The MBL demo at AXPONA was STUNNING. These are very high end multi-directional speakers. You have to set up the listening space just so to make them work. Paired with their ultra high end electronics, WOW. The speakers vanished, and you could hear sounds rolling around in 3D around the stage. It was like bieng in a movie theatre in terms of stage size, but even more dimensional and real. That is the sort of sound an audiophile should aspire to. Maybe when I hit my middle ages and I can afford to take out a home mortgage to build this kind of room and system.
I got into audio seriously 3 decades ago, but gave it away because it got too frustrating trying to achieve and maintain the quality that mattered to me. Then I heard MBLs at a high end show much more recently, and it reinvigorated my interest - it was worth another try!
UHA SHOWED WITH:
Classic Audio Loudspeakers & John Wolff
Atma-Sphere amplification & Adam Armstrong
Purist Audio Design Cables & Jim Aud
GOLD SHOW AWARD - BEST SOUND
Classic Audio Loudspeakers - United Home Audio - Atmo Sphere - Purist Audio Design:
Classic’s T-3 loudspeakers were at their best in a much smaller than usual hotel suite. The sound was warm, detailed and filled the room. An UltraAnalogue tape featuring the Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia played through as if the violin was in the center of the room weeping and yearning with its story. To say that it was emotionally moving would be an understatement. And, of course, spinning the tape on the UHA Phase 12 OPS-DC was a guarantee that the delicacy of information and detail would come through to the listener as an almost palpable experience rather than as a passive one; a member of the audience.
United Home Audio Phase 12-OPS-DC reel-to-reel deck
Greg Beron continues to eek more performance out of his world-class United Home Audio Phase 12 deck. This new version operates 100% on DC current supplied via its outboard power supply with two toroidal transformers. It is said to offer the purest power delivery to the deck’s head amps and will retail for $19,000 (plus $6,000 for the external OPS-DC unit). Combined with Atma-sphere electronics, Classic Audio T-3.4 loudspeakers, and Purist Audio’s new Neptune Series cables, the system produced absolutely effortless and stunning dynamics and was a contender for Best Sound at RMAF.
RMAF 2016: Saturday Morning with Herb
By Herb Reichert • Posted: Oct 13, 2016
United Home Audio reel-to-reel tape decks, the one at RMAF 2016 being a
UHA OPS-DC Phase 12 ($19,000). All the cables were by Purist Audio.
This time they were introducing new line of outboard "OPS-DC" power supplies.
The sound was, as always, fast, wide, and Corvette-smooth.
RMAF2016 Customer Email Feedback:
Listening to the Opus3 compilation tape was a revelation!
Such diverse and ever changing music.
Eric Bibb was backed up by singers that I could actually point to in the soundstage, wow.
Thanks for taking a break from the rock tapes and playing the Jazz and classical tapes for me.
Never heard Ella sound so perfect and precise and Louis was in the room with that gravel in his voice.
Never heard Jethro Tull like that before Bouree was something I'll never forget.
NEW! April 2016
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND
Purchases and takes delivery of a
New UHA Phase12 (one box) Tape Deck!
Comments by:Jim Hannon
VP/Group Publisher & Senior Writer
The Absolute Sound
Let me summarize: The UHA Phase 12 Tape Deck sounds fantastic!!!
It's quite a leap forward in performance from what I remember from the Phase 10 (9?) I had previously.
Everything sounds so natural and lifelike, the noise floor is very low, and the soundstaging is phenomenal. WOW!
Thanks so much for all your work on this deck.
I really appreciate it!
Having spent more time listening to the UltraAnalogue tapes Ed kindly sent me, I must add that the reproduction of dynamics, both micro and macro, are revelatory. Moreover, subtle details and ambient cues are captured so wonderfully that there are times I think the performers are in the room. Absolutely stunning and thrilling!
Additionally, I have never heard a concert-grand piano reproduced more accurately and naturally, with a solidity to the bass that is missing in far too many recordings. I can't wait to listen to more tapes to fully break-in the deck and to hear all that this marvelous deck is capable of doing.
New JULY 2016
UHA's latest high end audio show was The Capital Audiofest 2016 in Rockville Maryland / Washington DC.
UHA teamed up with Classic Audio Loudspeakers in a very large room at the Twinbrook Hilton Hotel.
AVShowrooms.com Video Shot in the room.
The History of the JBL Hartsfield Loudspeakers by John Wolf
Video by AV Showrooms
Listen to the Ultra Analog Tape of Beethoven Sonata #7 recorded by Ed Pong at 39:00.
Played on the UHA Phase12-OPS Tape Deck.
Just an IPhone video shot in the room.
T.H.E. Show Newport 2016
Positive Feedback Online
"Audio Oasis Award"
for THE Show Newport 2016
Gold Show Award "Best Sound"
THE Show Newport 2016
MONO & STEREO
THE Show Report Newport 2016
By Ron Resnick
On Thursday I enjoyed a brief visit in Jeremy Bryan's MBL room (Jeremy is CEO of MBL North America) in which Greg Beron, of United Home Audio, plays tapes on the UHA Phase 12 with OPS (outboard power supply).
Just moments after I sat down I could tell that the sound was a bit warmer and a bit softer than was the sound last year. I asked Jeremy what changed. Jeremy was using the very same pair of MBL 101E Mk. II speakers as last year, but this year, instead of about $160,000 worth of MBL Reference amps, he was demoing the middle-of-the-line Noble line of electronics. Jeremy said that the Class D Noble amps literally measure like tube amps and sound more like tube amps.
While conceptually I am not fond of Class D amplification except, possibly, for subwoofers, all I know is that I preferred the sound of the Noble amps -- they sounded a more natural to me than the top-of-the-line Reference amplifiers, which I, personally, found to be a bit overly-detailed and a little bit bright. Greg Beron told me that he has the Reference line and that, in his heavily tweaked-out and Shun Mooked listening room, the Reference amps do not sound at all overly-detailed or bright. I believe Greg. I just have not heard them myself yet in Greg's personal listening room. It is great that MBL makes different amplifiers to satisfy different personal sonic preferences.
I returned to the MBL room on Thursday night to listen to music on reel-to-reel tape for three hours. I had an absolutely amazing time as Greg Beron played a wide variety of rock and pop music. We were treated, among other things, to a fascinating set of different takes of a Dave Mason/Jimi Hendrix recording, and we listened to the re-creation of a live Loggins and Messina concert.
The sound was holographic and incredibly dynamic and driving and "live"-sounding, as MBL systems always are, but this year I found the sound to be more natural and not fatiguing. Also the 101E Mk. II sounds much more powerful in the bass than a single 12" woofer has any right to sound. One of the providers of the tapes exclaimed it was the best-sounding system on which he has ever heard his tapes played. That surely is very high praise!
I have seen Greg demonstrate his UHA tape decks many times now, and I have never seen a single hiccup or glitch of any kind with any of his decks. The UHA machines not only sound amazing, they are solid workhorses!
Thanks to Jeremy and Greg for filling the evenings of many attendees with many hours of musical pleasure!
T.H.E. SHOW NEWPORT BEACH 2016:
CHRIS MARTENS' BEST IN SHOW
by Chris Martens | Jun 14, 2016
Few systems deliver ‘power music’ as convincingly as this MBL system does; the system comprises a pair of MBL’s 101-series omnidirectional speakers driven by the firm’s new Noble-series N21 stereo amplifiers ($16,500/each) as fed either from N31 DAC/CD player ($15,400) or a United Home Audio tape deck.
Jonathan Moffett, "Sugarfoot"
famous drummer for The Jacksons, Michael Jackson,
Madonna, Elton John and many more
visits MBL & UHA at The Show Newport 2016.
Jonathan signs a coppy of
"Thriller" for Greg Beron
The Munich High End Show 2016!
KHARMA and UHA
IN MUNICH 2016!
MOC - Atrium 4.2 Room F227
You're Invited to Experience The
NEW Kharma Enigma Veyron-2 System
The UHA Phase12-OPS Tape Deck
The Munich High End
Audio Show 2016
Munich High End 2016 Report
Finally got the chance to slip into the Kharma suite and hear their latest (re)creation in the all-new and exciting Kharma Enigma Veyron EV-2 loudspeakers. Here's a massively built but handsome design that had me walking circles around it in complete admiration. The EV-2 towers over my 6'3" frame (and so does its designer Charles Van Oosterum who stands at about 6'7"). This places gigantic 93dB sensitive and diamond-studded 4-way at nearly 7 feet in height.
Driven by a quartet of Kharma Exquisite series electronics that included a United Home Audio reel to reel tape deck (among my favorites!), I had the opportunity to hear this system up close and personal for the very first time. United Home Audio decks start at $11,000 and go up from there. The top of the line deck with the Outboard Power Supply (OPS), no transformers in the R2R deck go up to $23,000. The OPS has two huge hand monitored toroidal power transformers, one runs the motors and one runs the head amps in the deck. Also in the top decks there is an all new UHA head amp with no capacitors in the output. All DC offset is handled by new modules right on the board, it doesn’t even amplify any DC from gain stage to gain stage. They use Synergistic Research wire inside, special Japanese resistors, new hyper pure copper boards on the head amps with big wide runs, silver solder points and a silver earth grounding mechanism. Even Next Gen RCA’s and Cardas XLR’s with special Shun Mook tuned chassis as an option.
Very tricked out.
First thing's first, Kharma is a very seriously excellent sounding Dutch-made product whether you choose their electronics all by themselves or go with a systemic approach and buy their electronics and cables too (yes they make excellent sounding cables I'm told). Hard to go wrong in that direction as Oosterum has tuned the system to perform best when paired together. Unfortunately, what was on display here was for the financially endowed folks. So much so, it's I was actually intimidated to ask for the price of this particular system as it looks expensive. That's also saying a lot considering everything at High End 2016 appeared over-the-top in terms of price. The sound however was over the top as well: revealing and dimensional as anything I've heard. Here, I remind you, in a noisy showroom setting.
While listening to Lyn Stanley's Potion on tape, I got so entranced that I had momentarily forgot I was at in a showroom. The sheer level of ease and dynamic elegance this system demonstrated was quite remarkable considering how many distractions were actually going on in and around me. There's something special going on with these Kharma products that's worth more investigation. My only wish were that they were lighter and less expensive to be able to have a review sample sent my way. Imagine trying to get these monoliths up into my 3rd floor listening room!! Of course, the other nice thing here was to actually meet Ms. Stanley who also sang acapella during right in the Kharma suite giving showgoers that extra sense of drama to hear music live then played back on system of this magnitude. Yes, the Kharma suite proved to be among my favorites!
Until we meet again!
Kharma International invites attendees of Munich High End 2016 to experience a new Dutch Masterpiece for a new age-
the Enigma Veyron.
As part of the continuing program to develop the world's most technically advanced and aesthetically beautiful audio products, Kharma International is proud to introduce at Munich's High End 2016 the Enigma Veyron EV-2, part of the most extreme and extraordinary line of ultra-performance loudspeakers in the world today.
Inside the EV-2's elegant yet massive Bulletwood cabinet lies the next evolution in dynamic driver systems. The speaker features a triple array of 1" and 2" diamond tweeters and a double compliment of our own woofers- the Kharma Omega-F 7" and 11" drivers. We name the Omega-F after the 1855 discovery of Eddy currents by Leon Foucault, and our desire to eliminate the deleterious effects he described. In short, Kharma has employed a completely new and unique motor system that has eliminated the need for iron as a focusing element.
This revolutionary motor is precisely located in a complete carbon chassis, and powers an ultra-stiff light carbon cone. Even the voice coil former is made of carbon fibre. It's an all-out electrical and mechanical assault that results in a device that acts faster with less distortion. Vastly increased resolution across the drivers entire bandwidth allowing for better transients, less coloration, and a more refined, complex harmonic structure.
The job of isolating the massive EV-2 from its environment is an equally massive task. The no-limit solution to this challenge is a spike disc suspension system incorporating Carborundum balls sitting on a diamond surface. Minimal contact area is guaranteed through the extremely hard surfaces.
The Enigma Veyron program was only possible given Kharma's long history in building world class audio products that consistently pushes technological boundaries. However, what has emerged with the Enigma Veyron loudspeakers and their newly developed technologies has taken even Kharma beyond their imagination.
Kharma is named for the notion that the tremendous effort and energy we put in to all that we design and build is something tangible that can be experienced in ownership. Celebrate with us the transcendent result of applying nearly 35 years of design experience to proprietary technologies and no-limit, exotic materials. Be a part of what will be one of the most talked about events in audio for 2016, and experience the latest Dutch Masterpiece from Kharma.
Chicago April 15-17
The MBL X-Treme System & UHA Phase12-OPS Tape Deck
LATEST AXPONA HIGH END AUDIO SHOWREPORTS!
The Absolute Sound
Julie Mullins' Best of Show
"Best Sound" (cost no object)
Ms. Mullins also wins the UHA best quote of the show award for capturing the experience in one sentence,
"Close your eyes, and there was Janis singing".
Getting goosebumps while listening is a sure symptom of hi-fi madness, so I pick the MBL room with its amazing omnidirectional MBL 101 X-Treme loudspeakers driven by an arsenal of MBL 9011 amps, the 6010D preamp, and a United Home Audio Phase 12 OPS reel-to-reel tape player source (all big-sound, big-budget items) for resolution and pure excitement.
The system was cabled by Wireworld Eclipse 7 (plus one new Siltech Triple Crown Emporer interconnect), with room treatment by SMT Sweden and Accurate Construction of Chicago).
Sure, the bass got a bit boomy at high SPLs, but so what?
Close your eyes, and there was Janis singing.
This massive system's presentation was easily the most three-dimensional, thrilling, and visceral experience of the show.
LATEST AXPONA HIGH END AUDIO SHOWREPORTS!
MBL Radialstrahler 101 X-treme: Best in Show AXPONA 2016
by Mark Henninger on April 18, 2016
Dear reader, if you find it upsetting that the best system at an audio show sells for $558,200, as is the case with the MBL Radialstrahler 101 X-treme, then I suggest you stop reading now.
Cool, I’m glad you are still here. I just got back from AXPONA 2016 in Chicago and have dozens of systems to write up. However, I figured it was worth starting off with the system that set the standard for 2-channel audio reproduction: The MBL Reference Line Combination D featuring the 2800 lb 101 X-treme speakers ($263,000) as well as four monstrous MBL 9011 pure mono balanced amps ($53,000 each), a model 1621 A CD transport ($28,000), a model 1611 F D/A converter ($28,700) and a model 6010 D preamp ($26,500) . With a price tag north of a half million bucks, it was the very essence of a cost-no-object super-system and truly sounded phenomenal.
MBL’s speakers are instantly recognizable due to the unique design of its Radialstrahler drivers, which directly radiate sound in a 360-degree pattern. The X-treme speaker system rests at the top of MBLs unapologetically high-end offerings and combine twin towers of 12” subs with the almost alien-looking speakers.
Because Radialstrahler speakers are truly omnidirectional, treating a room to get great sound is crucial. Between the enormous 22 Hz helmholtz resonators in the front corners (hidden by a curtain) and the 50 Hz resonators lining the walls, room modes were very effectively attended to with passive absorption. Room treatments were supplied by SMT Sweden and installed by Accurate Construction Chicago.
I loved every minute I was in the room with MBL’s cost-no-object supersystem.
If you have read my past criticism of high-end audio bling, you might wonder why I was so enamored of the MBL system. One thing to know is it’s the first time I’ve been truly impressed by MBL speakers. The superior performance of this system was immediately obvious relative to the rest of what I heard at the show. There are numerous factors that surely contributed to that result such as the use of acoustical treatments and the fact the X-treme 101s include enough subwoofers (a dozen 12-inchers) to satisfy the most addicted bassaholic.
I auditioned the AXPONA MBL supersystem with Dennis Young from Home Theater Shack. We wound up spending a lot more time in the room than we had planned. He noted that “Once I took command of the sweet spot chair, everything snapped into sharp focus. Most definitely a one person listening window, but oh, what a large, clean window it was.” I totally agree, appreciating the true performance of the speakers requires attentive listening from the sweet spot.
Dead Can Dance’s “Yulunga (Spirit Dance)” from the album Into the Labyrinth is a great test track for any system thanks to its production values. The fidelity the MBL rig achieved was complete and seamless from top to bottom. Folks who say subwoofers don’t belong in 2-channel audiophile systems would surely change their minds after hearing the 101 X-tremes.
I’m not one to listen to the United States Navy Band’s recordings but “Liberty Fanfare” from Victory at Sea (a 1:1 transfer from a studio master) on reel-to-reel tape—played back through a bespoke United Home Audio Phase12 ($24,000)—possessed bass slam that was tremendously visceral. Dennis said “The kettle drum was powerful, a wow moment. The weight was surprising—even knowing it was coming—and instilled a sense of shock and awe.”
United Home Audio Phase12 reel-to-reel.
By the time “With a Little Help From My Friends” played toward the end of our room visit, Dennis and I had already agreed the MBL Reference represented the best sound at the show. It was truly something special to hear The Beatles sound so transparent.
As much as I’d love to dwell on this system in this post, just as I did with the real system at the show, the unobtanium nature of such a lofty price tag makes it more of a curiosity than a potential purchase. But, since the very essence of high-end audio is to achieve elevated performance regardless of cost, it’s great to hear a system that actually pulls it off. Just remember that room treatments and subwoofers were a significant part of the audio equation and that (perhaps) you too can achieve superlative performance for a substantially lower cost.
(5) Marten/Convergent Audio Technology/Air Force 3 turntable/vdh cartridge
(honorable mention) YG/AudioNet/Kronos/Air Tight Opus Magnus cartridge
Two ultimate systems that greatly impressed me the at Axpona this year -- and there were more than a few in contrast to past years- both involved large speaker systems. The first system featured an all MBL system based around MBL's $261,000 101 X-treme speakers while the latter system was based around Scaena's Ultimate Mistress speakers, ARC amplifiers and the latest in digital thinking from DCS. Plus the ancillary speakers, electronic and sources and rooms couldn't be more different than if one tried:
Ribbon/Line source array vs. omni-directional speakers
Tube electronics vs. solid-state
Ultimate analog/tape vs. ultimate digital
But as different as the systems were, both systems has one thing in common: that ever so elusive concert hall like experience. From a two channel setup too no less!
First, the MBL room. This is not the first time I've heard the X-tremes but the first time they've truly impressed me. No doubt some of that was directly traceable to the UHA Phase 12/OPS reel-to-reel tape deck. No doubt some was due to the use of the SMT Sweden Room treatment. Yes, others raved about the MBL X-tremes at CES but their sound left me wanting. Sure the X-tremes that year were fast and resolving but their sound left me cold. There was a discontinuity between the bass and omni-directional speakers and the overall sound was just too mechanical sounding and thin for my tastes.
Jump ahead a couple of years to 2016, a different room, different equipment, much, much different room treatment and most of all different front-end. In fact, arguably the ultimate and maybe world's finest front-end to go along with the ultimate speakers. The equipment here included MBL's "combo D package" that starts at $558,000 and comprised two pairs of MBL 9011 monoblock power amplifiers ($53,000/pair), a 6010D preamplifier ($26,500), a 1621 A CD transport ($28,000) and 1611 D/A convertor ($28,700). Most of all, the included Greg Beron's all out $23,000 UHA Phase 12/OPS tape deck with some outstanding tapes.
You want to talk concert hall experience with 15 ips tape? There was simply no feeling of any soundstage restrictions. The sense of ambient space was off the charts. Instruments-and contrary to what you might read about the imaging capabilities of MBL speakers-were incredibly three dimensional. Every detail and nuance of the recording was there without laser beaming it into your brain. The low end was the best integrated I've heard from MBLs too. Perhaps the coup de grace of the listening session was that funky live tape of Kenny Loggins that Greg Beron pulled out of his treasure chest of tapes. Without question, this was the best two channel experience I've heard at an audio show ever.
PS. Some of the other great sounding cuts Greg played included the Beatles "With a Little Help from My Friends," and Dead Can Dance "Yulanga" (one album that I always want to bring with me to shows but consistently forget ).
Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
Sr. Asst. Ed., Positive-Feedback
Editor in Chief Positive Feedback Online
Awards MBL & UHA a coveted Audio Oasis Award for Axpona 2016!
More info to come...
UHA and MBL team up at
Axpona 2016 to bring you the fantastic
MBL Radialstrahler 101 X-Treme System and the
UHA Phase12-OPS Tape Deck.
The MBL X-Treme system starting at only $470,000.
MBL North America has spared no expense to bring this incredible system to you at Axpona 2016 in Chicago this year!
The ultimate mbl system, thirty years of research and development. Each hand crafted X-treme system is impressive, classic German attention to detail, and obsession with perfection. This impressive design uses three pulsating spheres (for bass, midrange, and high frequencies), MBL has employed carbon fiber, aluminum, steel, acrylic, and wood to create this massive four-tower speaker system.
Massive stand alone bass towers includes their own internal balanced amplifiers for extreme adjustability.
The main tower holds a pair of mirror-imaged omnidirectional Radialstrahler 101 driver arrays, supported by acrylic, steel, and wood, while the lacquered woofer columns house a quartet each of proprietary 12-inch bass drivers.
The entire array weighs in at 3600 pounds!
Experience this ultimate system at Axpona 2016 with the latest
UHA Phase12-OPS Reel to Reel Tape Deck for a live immersion into the music.
UHA Phase12-OPS Tape Deck wins an Editors Choice Award for 2016!
The Absolute Sound Magazine March 2016, Issue 261
Given a truly high-quality tape, the UHA-HQ Phase12 is simply the highest-fidelity source component JV has heard: phenomenal bass, matchless dynamics, unrivaled resolution, astonishing transiet speed, and simply gorgeous tone color.
The UHA Phase12 wins
Product of the year award for 2015
The Part Time Audiophile
BEST OF 2015 AND PRODUCT OF THE YEAR
Most Coveted Paul:I have next to nothing to play on a UHA deck, have no idea where I’d put it, and the price of quality blank 1/4” reel tape is scary by itself. But I still want one. Bad.
Scot:I got a few weeks to play with the entry-level UHA Phase tape deck and a handful of tapes, courtesy of tape evangelist Greg Beron. To be fair (to Greg), I’ve been arguing against the (apparent) absurdity of going back to tape for years. And for years, Greg has been wearing me down with demo after demo of his now-famous after-hours tape sessions at an audio show near you.
He was right; I was wrong.
With the right tapes, this is the best-sounding source available in high-end audio today. I may actually go get another job just to be able to save up for one of his magnificent machines.
THE SHOW NEWPORT 2015
Tara Bryan - Greg Beron - Jonathan "Sugarfoot" Moffett - Jeremy Bryan
Photograph by David W. Robinson, copyright (c) 2015, all rights reserved.
Mr. Moffett was in the MBL / UHA room for hours at THE Show Newport and spoke quite eloquently
to a packed room about what he experienced. Lets just say that he liked what he heard.
Jonathan Phillip Moffett
Drummer / Songwriter/ Producer
Jonathan Moffett is a very accomplished musician, songwriter and producer. His wide range of talents led him to perform in concert on twenty-three major tours including the world famous Jacksons’ “Victory” tour. He has recorded with great artists such as Madonna, Diana Ross, Elton John, George Michael, and the Jacksons. Additionally, he played on several popular television shows such as The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Saturday Night Live, Arsenio Hall, Jay Leno and Rosie O’Donnell; various music videos, television commercials and popular movie song titles.
Jonathan was a success, and two more U.S. Tours with the Jackson’s followed in the winter of 1979 and the other in the Spring/Summer of 1981. His career was off to an incredible start, 1982 was packed with two additional tours, one in the spring with Patti Austin and in the fall with the R&B funk group Cameo. In 1982 and 1983, Jonathan joined Lionel Richie’s first solo artist efforts, which included the Tokyo Music Festival, Japanese Television Shows, Americas, Saturday Night Live, and Johnny Carson’s, Tonight Show. In the summer of 1983, Jonathan rejoined Cameo for his second tour with them.
The Jackson relationship again resumed for the massive 1984 Jacksons’ Victory Tour, which occupied the greater part of that year. After seeing Jonathan’s performance in a “Victory” tour concert, Madonna requested his services for her 1985 debut, “Virgin tour, which was to be the first of many. Following the “Virgin” tour, he performed with R & B artist Tina Marie playing with her from December 1985 to January 1986.
With an impressive list of credits under his belt, Jonathan then began touring with Jermaine Jackson, and was showcased as Jermaine’s, Musical Director. The tour lasted from the spring of 1986 through the fall of 1986. Jonathan completed that year with his third Cameo tour, premiering their worldwide hit “Word Up”!
In the spring of 1987, Jonathan rejoined Madonna for her Spring/Fall tour, “Who’s That Girl”. Then it was into the recording studio with producer, songwriter Patrick Leonard for album projects that included Peter Cetera, Julian Lennon, and Madonna’s Like a Prayer.
The following year in 1988, Jonathan wrote, arranged, produced, and sang background on a song for the Eddie Murphy/Arsenio Hall hit movie, “Coming to America”, for Paramount Pictures. Then, that summer he began his first association with pop legend, Elton John, which continued through October 1989 encompassing two U.S. Tours, a European Tour, a U.K. Tour and the recording of Elton’s “Sleeping with the Past” album, which spawned his hit single, “Sacrifice”.
The Spring of 1990 began Jonathan’s third world tour with Madonna, her “Blond Ambition” tour and two more album associations with, “True Blue” and the “Dick Tracy” movie soundtracks, followed by Madonna’s “Truth or Dare” movie which was released in 1991. 1991 also included two tours with George?Michael in the U.S., Europe and South America.
The next two years were filled with numerous television appearances, studio recordings, videos and continued writing arranging and producing of Jonathan’s own personal solo projects. The years 1993 and 1994 brought Jonathan back to the Jackson family with Janet Jacksons’, “Janet” tour and appearances on Saturday Night Live with Janet.
Picture at the after hours Analog Tape Event Newport 2015
A Creative Forum for the Audio Arts
David Robinson Editor in Chief of
POSITIVE FEEDBACK ONLINE
Awards MBL & United Home Audio
a coveted Audio Oasis Award for T.H.E Show Newport 2015!
Impressions: My Audio Oasis! Awards for THE Show Newport Beach 2015
07-12-2015 | By David W. Robinson | Issue 80
THE Show Newport Beach 2015, held on May 28-31, is in the books now…and what a show it was! Upwards of 9,000 people were in attendance…crowds everywhere…a terrific time for audiophiles from all over.
Looking back on all of the audio shows that I've attended over the past 26 years, I'd say that this year's THE Show Newport Beach was the best that I've ever been to. Why? Let me count the ways: A great setting, fantastic weather, the Irvine Hotel with its enormous and high-quality facilities, solid audio rooms, great live music at all hours, excellent service, really good food and drink at reasonable prices, first-rate displays of related lifestyle exhibits (loved the cars!)…and let's not forget an excellent fire-pit for cigars in the evenings.
All photos by David Robinson.
Jeremy Bryan of MBL North America
Once again MBL North America and UHA hooked up to provide one of the top rooms at THE Show 2015. MBL's Jeremy Bryan teamed up with Greg Beron and his United Home Audio Phase12S two-box reel-to-reel tape machines to feed a reference system of MBL gear.
Greg Beron of United Home Audio with his exceptional Phase12S reel-to-reel tape recorder
This included a quad set of 9011 monoblock amplifiers, the 6010D preamplifier, and the 1611F DAC and 1621A transport, feeding a pair of Radialstrahler 101F loudspeakers.
This was all known ground to me; I had reviewed the MBL Reference System back in Issue 73.
During the all too brief time that I was there, we listened to the Phase12S exclusively.
As usual with the UHA tape decks, it provided marvelous analog playback, allowing the MBL reference system to strut its stuff. Considering the show conditions, it was phenomenal: The MBL Holodeck was in operation once more, with enveloping soundfield, great dynamics, and full-range sound, of the sort that I know very well.
A clear PF Audio Oasis! Award winner from the get-go…so ordered!
Newport 2015: United Home Audio and MBL
BY PART-TIME AUDIOPHILE ON JULY 12, 2015
by Rafe Arnott
THEShow_LOGO2015Let me be the first to say that my “value system”, when it comes to hi-fi, is already considered one that is seriously flawed to many of my friends and family.
I have a sickness and I freely admit it, fortunately for me, my sickness is tempered by the restraints of what I consider an average income, and an average lifestyle. So when I tell people I’m writing about a sound system that is pushing the $300,000 envelope (without a turntable), they usually stare at me blankly for a second and then laugh, shaking their heads (same look I get when discussing the nuances of difference in sound between AC/mains cables with my son). I’d imagine this type of reaction is standard too for rare, or antique car and motorcycle enthusiasts, art collectors … and that buddy with 42 pairs of perfect Air Jordans.
My point is that when it comes to true appreciation of the finer things in life; the state of the art, old-world craftsmanship, fanatical attention to detail, all in the pursuit of beauty in any way, shape or form, money doesn’t really come into it. It’s passion. And passion, like love, doesn’t really obey day-to-day laws of life. Thank God.
The United Home Audio/MBL room at Newport Beach had that passionate sound to my ears, and it was immensely impressive. This was a system, that in my opinion, was put together by people who love music.
The setup consisted of a United Home Audio modified Tascam UHA-HQ Phase 12 OPS two-track 1/4? 15 IPS reel-to-reel ($20,000+ US, depending on options), MBL 6010D Vorverstarker preamplifiers with four of the absolutely massive MBL 9011 monoblock amps powering the crazy Doctor Who-looking Radialstrahler MBL101E MKII loudspeakers ($260,000+ US, all-in). Cabling was handled by Wireworld Eclipse Series 7.
They were playing all sorts of crazy-rare and I’m sure, priceless, 1/4? tapes of a bunch of jazz that I didn’t recognize off the top of my head, but man did it sound sweet, authoritative and ridiculously huge. People in the small audience who were there for the Saturday night listening session I was invited to, all looked like someone had just smacked them in the face when they least expected it, like if the elevator door opened and all of a sudden “THWACK!”
The sound just kept startling you with its scale and impact.
This is not a system for a condo or small home in my opinion, it needs some serious space to breathe and truly be appreciated. If you have the means, a big enough room to house the kit (and no close neighbors) and an itch to put your hair straight back, then pick up your phone and call UHA.
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND
FIFTEEN SWEET-SOUNDING SYSTEMS AT NEWPORT BEACH 2015 – PART 1
by Chris Martens | Jun 08th, 2015
MBL North America – United Home Audio
Jeremy Bryan and the team at MBL North America almost always put on a good demonstration and the MBL room at Newport 2015 proved to be no exception. The system featured a pair of MBL 101E MkII loudspeakers fed by MBL’s 6010D ‘Vorverstarker’ preamplifier and a quartet of giant MBL 9011 monoblock amplifiers, with a United Home Audio reel-to-reel tape deck serving as the primary source component.
The term ‘blockbuster sound’ was probably coined with just such a system in mind, as the MBL rig proved fully capable of playing tapes of rock material at – or even beyond – rock concert volume levels. As always, the big Radialstrahler–type loudspeakers produced enormously spacious soundstages, quite good imaging (something not all omnidirectional loudspeakers can do), and a sound that freed listeners from the need to seek out a particular ‘sweet spot’ centred between the speakers (the MBLs work well for virtually any listening position in the room).
T.H.E. SHOW NEWPORT 2015
The Newport Beach Show: Set-Up Day
By Jason Victor Serinus • Posted: May 29, 2015
Leave it to Jeremy Bryan of MBL to not only fill me in on the acoustic challenges in some of the air-walled lobby level conference rooms, but also tackle those problems with gusto. "They added the soffit to the ceiling after we booked the room a year ago," he declared. "The ductwork and fluorescent lights rattle constantly. We spent the better part of the day dealing with that. Look at all the magazines we piled up there to stop the rattling. And we've also got a big bass suckout—there's nothing below 30Hz—and a big spike around 42."
None of which stopped the system, which clearly need more warm-up time, from sounding fabulous on rare, seldom-heard pre-mastering phase tapes of Billie Holiday's "Lady Sings the Blues," Holly Cole, and the Mamas and the Papas. Trumpets sounded just great, especially when the volume was turned up.
The system was a modified MBL Reference Combination D system ($259,700 total) with MBL 9011 mono amps on the woofers plus additional MBL 9008 A mono amps ($60,600/pair) on the Radialstrahler loudspeaker system. Source was Greg Beron's UHA Phase 12 OPS (Outboard Power Supply) analog tape deck (starts at $20,000), cables Wireworld Eclipse Series 7, and tapes priceless.
STRERO TIMES NEWPORT 2015
I also have to give kudos to the MBL room. This show was the only time I was able to enjoy an MBL setup because the volume was not ear-destroying loud.
Obviously not a box speaker, it has a well-deserved reputation for a fantastic spacious sound stage.
I apologize for no picture. I found the room after hours while my camera was in its room taking a nap. But it sounded too good to not deserve a mention.
ENJOY THE MUSIC.COM
T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2015 Report
The Home Entertainment Show 2015
MBL Reference Line
German company MBL always makes a good showing at events around the world. Their electronics are visually stunning and built like the proverbial tank. Their Radialstrahler speaker ensures equitable distribution of energy throughout the whole room, with the sound being pulsated in full 360-degree fashion. The lower middle tone range is where the mbl 101 E MK II really shows its special qualities. According to their website, "This is the range in which the loudspeaker connection to the air in the room is as problematic as it is decisive for the quality of the sound because it is the point that determines the naturalness and flexibility of the sound".
The MBL room was playin' Tell Me Something Good and the audience was moving and swingin’. In fact there was applause at the end!
Then came Lionel Richie All Night Long and the fun continued... High-End audio can be fun, so come and sing along, all night long.
The 2015 Axpona Show was great this year!
Visit United Home Audio at the Axpona Show in Chicago!
April 24-26, 2015
The Washington Room
UHA Phase 12-OPS (Outboard Power Supply) Tape Deck
MBL 116F Radialstrahller Speakers
Jolida / Luxor, Preamp, Monoblock Amps, DAC Transport
Synergistic Research, see and hear the debut of the all new Atmosphere Cables
along with the new atmosphere device to adjust soundstaging.
The Banks Room
UHA Phase12-OPS tape Deck
MBL 111F Radialstrahller Speakers
MBL 6010 Preamp: The 30th Anniversary of this legendary Preamp
MBL 9008 Monoblock Amps
The Audio Oasis Award from David Robinson Positive Feedback Online!
Day 3: Countdown to the Finish
by Jason Victor Serinus * Posted: Apr 29, 2015
It was already past closing time when I reached the room shared by MBL, Synergistic Research, and United Home Audio. As tired as I was, one listen had me virtually kicking off my shoes and going along for the ride.
First up, courtesy of MBL's Reference Line Combination B-111 F Radialstrahler loudspeaker ($42,000/pair), 30 year-old 6010D preamplifier ($26,500), 10 year-old 9008A balanced monoblock amplifier ($60,600 total), 1621A CD transport ($28,000), and 1611F 24/96 DAC ($28,700)-and a whole lot more that I'll talk about below, was a Nat King Cole master tape. Once MBL's Jeremy Bryan adjusted the radiators that flanked the loudspeakers, the sound was phenomenal. I'm accustomed to hearing Cole croon softly, so hearing him ramp up this voice and energy several notches was a major delight.
Greg Beron of United Home Audio of Washington, D.C. then explained that he had taken a Phase 12 tape deck, and thrown into it every cost-no-object modifying goody that would work, using his 10-year old MBL Reference system for voicing. That includes Synergistic Research point-to-point wiring, dual-mono amps, no capacitors in the output, and an outboard power supply equipped with two overbuilt toroidal transformers. The outboard power supply eliminates all noise from transformers that would otherwise sit within the deck. Price is $8900-$25,000, depending in no small part on quality of tape head employed. (Entry-level uses stock heads, while costlier models use special tape heads made to Beron's specs. He says a low-impedance, low-output head sounds the best).
Which leads to the significant contribution from Synergistic Research. Start with a new PowerCell 10 UEF ($5995) with optional FEQ PowerCell equalizer ($995). Then add little HFTs all over the walls, the new Black Box that works on low frequencies (price TBD), and the company's fairly new Atmosphere Level 4 interconnects and speaker cables, as well as Element CTS power cords. This is the company's new cabling that doesn't use active shielding, which means you have less of those little blue lights that light up the room (and also make it much, much easier to find the bathroom door in the middle of the night). (Apologies if I got any of models, prices, or descriptions wrong; there was no price sheet supplied for anything besides the MBL gear.)
Next up came a ¼" tape version of an unidentified Wilson Audio disc. The huge brass thwacks were something to behold. Bryan turned the volume up and up, yet there was no pain. This without a single active woofer or separate subwoofer anywhere in the chain. The absolute control and beauty of the deep, subwoofer-less sound had the potential to send many a subwoofer manufacturer running out the door in shame.
We played lots more music, but I forgot to write down what. I was having too much of a good time.
Need I even say that, tucked away on the Lower Level, MBL, United Home Audio, and Synergistic Research produced one of the Best Sounds of this Show?
The Absolute Sound
AXPONA CHICAGO 2015: CABLES, POWER PRODUCTS, ACCESSORIES, AND MUSIC
May 01st, 2015
Although the official launch of this unassuming passive device (price TBA) that gobbles up low-frequency standing waves is slated for the Munich Show, a production unit was quietly put to great use in the MBL room along with several other Synergistic Research products, including its
Atmosphere Level 4 Series cables, Element Series actively shielded AC cords,
Power Cell 10 UEF with FEQ Power Cell Equalizer, and
HFTs (High-Frequency Transducers). The Black Box effectively helped control bass resonances, and the outstanding MBL system (
MBL 111F speakers, 6010 D preamp, 9008 A monoblocks) produced a highly-compelling sound with lots of presence and air, terrific fine detail retrieval and dynamic explosiveness, and solid and articulate bass extension into the low 20Hz range. With an
UHA-Phase 12 OPS tape player serving as an analog front end, the soundstage was wide and deep, with great focus. Playing back a stunning Wilson Audiophile demo tape track on the last day of the show, this system won my vote for "Best Sound."
Best Sound (cost no object):
The MBL system (speakers and electronics) with a UHA Phase 12 OPS tape player and Synergistic Research cables and devices, was absolutely thrilling, with tremendous dynamic impact, presence, and detail.
The Absolute Sound
AXPONA CHICAGO 2015: AFFORDABLE SPEAKERS, HEADPHONES, AND LIFESTYLE COMPONENTS
by Julie Mullins Apr 30th, 2015
After show hours, a handful of "well-connected" (or
branché) AXPONA attendees and exhibitors hung out in either of two MBL/United Home Audio rooms enjoying demos of the superb-sounding MBL 111F omnidirectional loudspeakers pumping out larger-than-life songs from fun mastertape mixes (sourced from dubs of safety masters) of everything from
St. Pepper's to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and played back to the max on the magnificent United Home Audio Phase 12 OPS reel-to-reel tape deck. Sure, there were some room issues (and a bit of overbearing bass), but who cared? This combo made for a visceral, full-tilt thrill ride of a listening experience.
POSITIVE FEEDBACK ONLINE
This report and crappy photography brought to you by cub Field Reporter, Gary L. Beard.
Audiophiles are Fun People Too
In addition to renewing friendships and meeting several more industry insiders; this year, I finally met a few of my audio-friends from the orbs of Audio Circle as well as numerous fellow audio writer-types. I also briefly met for the first time, da boss (Positive Feedback Editor) in-Chief, David Robinson, as he sat in the darkened mysteriousness of the afterhours MBL/Jolida room. Nice to finally meet you Chief!
Like David, I also attended the ritualistic after hours listening sessions. As always, a sincere "Thanks!" goes out to Greg Beron of United Home Audio, as well as MBL and Jolida for the fantastic listening rooms and fabulous master tapes. Greg's Reel to Reel machines are analog treasures and those tapes make me smile every time I hear them.
Special mention for making an audio show fun:
United Home Audio/MBL.
From AV Showrooms.com
AXPONA SHOW REPORTS!
The United Home Audio, MBL, Jolida / Luxor and Synergistic Research Room.
Wait for the unsolicited response by an Axpona Show patron at the end of the video!
The Reviewers View
Peter Breuninger, Myles Astor and David Robinson Editor in Chief Positive Feedback Online.
They discuss two rooms at the begining of the video, the UHA / MBL room and also the UHA / Jolida / MBL room.
New! March 2015
UHA's latest award!
The United Home Audio Tape Decks win an
"EDITORS CHOICE AWARD 2015"
The Absolute Sound
March 2015 Issue #251
Given a truly high quality tape, the UHA-HQ Phase12 is simply the highest fidelity source component JV has heard:
phenomenal bass, matchless dynamics, unrivaled resolution, astonishing transient speed, and simply gorgeous tone color.
The biggest news since 1973 for UHA!
The Absolute Sound Magazine chooses THE UHA PHASE11 Tape Deck
as one of the top 100 most significant products of the last 40 years!
The July / August TAS magazine is the 40th Anniversary edition celebrating
fourty years of high end audio reporting.
The magazine published a list of
the 100 of the most significant products of the last 40 years
and UHA is proud to be included in this elite group.
THE CAPITAL AUDIOFEST 2014
UHA was in two rooms at the show.
The Cedar Room =
United Home Audio Phase11S-OPS Tape Deck / MBL Speakers / Luxor Preamp and Monoblock amps
Celtic Silver Cables
The Hickory Room =
United Home Audio Phase11S-OPS Tape Deck / Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs,
LLC VERITAS Monoblocks, Cara Pre-amp, Merrill Audio Speaker and Interconnects
Sadurni Acoustics Staccato Horn Speaker
International Phonograph, Inc Reel to Reel Master Tape Copies.
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND
by Jacob Heilbrunn July 28, 2014
The Capital Audio Fest seems to be progressing nicely. This year there were crowded rooms, palpable excitement, and, not least, good sound.
Several demos caught my eye.
As always United Home Audio featured excellent sound via its UHA-HQ tape deck. Reel-to-reel aficionado Greg Beron explained that he has now built a special outboard power supply for it to further improve performance. In addition, the demo featured the company's Luxor VTM 100 Monoblock tube power amplifier, which can be run with either EL34 or 6550 tubes. In bi-amped mode the amps seemed to supply plenty of current to the MBL loudspeakers.
By Herb Reichert July 29, 2014
The United Home Audio room was big, dark, and loud. Twin pin spots illuminated the shiny MBL loudspeakers like alien spaceships against a backdrop of palms peeking through the shadows. Twin tape spools spun like car wheels atop the UHA Phase 11 open-reel recorder ($22,000). The sound was clear, spacious and direct and, (all joking and metaphors aside)-disembodied and otherworldly.
The Part Time Audiophile
Capital Audiofest 2014: United Home Audio and the master tape experience
Posted on August 1, 2014 by Scot Hull
With the lighting moody and low, attendees could be forgiven for getting lost inside the 3-D sound field that floated around them.
Magical stuff and a must-see stop on the tour.
Greg Beron of United Home Audio has been a fan and a supporter of PTA for far too long for his taste to not be questioned, but it’s his championing of two other brands that show the mark he’s made on audio’s high-end. The first is his support for MBL of Germany. As long as I’ve known Greg, he’s been a radialstrahler enthusiast, and every MBL display I’ve seen has also seen Greg lurking about nearby. The second thing Greg is evangelizing? Analog tape.
For the last several years, Greg has been selling an analog tape machine he calls the UHA-HQ Phase Series. These decks, kitted out with distinctive Celtic knot work, have redefined what’s possible for tape, and Greg has been tweaking and modifying his heart out taking the platform as far as he can go. Prices start at $8,900 and the current flagship model, the Phase 11s-OPS, is an exercise in meticulousness. This $23k system includes an outboard dual-mono power supply (for the motor, and for the preamplifier section), upgraded parts, a direct-coupled output (no caps!), WBT RCA and Cardas XLR connectors, custom transformers, a custom umbilical, internal dampening, and Shun Mook footers. Say that ten times fast.
Greg is mum about where he gets his master tapes from, but the fact is that does have a source that’s supplying him with one-offs of some of the most incredible audio ever laid down — and he makes it a point to showcase them in his after-hours “Master Tape Listening Party”. These sessions can last until the wee hours, which is saying something — audiophiles aren’t particularly known for staying up all night. Maybe at some point in their youth, but … yeah. Still, these demos are crowded and musical explorations range from Classic Rock, to Classical, with quite a few steps in between. Metallica, for example, is in current rotation. Let’s just say that Greg’s tastes are wide-ranging, and his demos show that.
Here at CAF, Greg was pairing his MBL 116F loudspeakers ($32,500/pair) with a Jolida Luxor VT tube preamplifier ($7k, featuring a pair of 12AX7 tubes) and two pairs of Luxor VTM-100 mono amplifiers ($7,500 each). These amps were fitted with the new KT150 vacuum tubes (instead of the standard EL34 tubes), in a dual-chassis/external PSU arrangement.
The Hickory Room
By Herb Reichert July 25, 2014
They were still tweaking the system in the Merrill Audio room, but the bass reproduced by the beautiful Sadurni Acoustic Horn Speakers ($40,000/pair) with their Added Backwave System in the Merrill Audio room felt like it pressurized the entire volume of their large room. Using a beautiful modified Tascam open-reel machine playing master tape copies via Merrill Veritas Pre and monoblock amplifiers, the sound they were generating was natural and easy-flowing with detail that simply existed and drew no untoward attention to itself.
Capital Audiofest 2014 - Washington, DC
by AUDIOPHILIA STAFF on JULY 28, 2014
in AUDIOPHILIA VISITS/SHOW REPORTS
The Hickory Room
The Staccato Horn System by Sadurni Acoustics ($40,000/pair) was very imposing. Aesthetically, I found them more intriguing than beautiful. They'll belong to a specific, unmarried audiophile. The horns sounded very realistic playing reel to reel recordings of guitar. Vibes and bass, so difficult to record, received a virtuosi recording that sounded wonderful through the Stacattos. The macro dynamics from these horns sounded effortless.
United Home Audio Reel to Reel. Old is new again, and sounding superb!
The Part Time Audiophile
CAF 2014: Sadurni Acoustics and the Big Red Horn of Wonder
Capital Audiofest 2014: United Home Audio and the master tape experience
Posted on August 1, 2014 by Scot Hull
The Hickory Room
Here at CAF, the setup was a bit challenging. I’m not sure what size room really would suit these guys —
the footprint is rather large, but by end of the weekend, the crew had dialed it in considerably. Well, as well as they could with the “super tweeters” blown. Yikes.
I stayed to hear a couple of tracks from Jonathan Horwich’s International Phonograph master tape sessions. His recordings capture an immediacy that escapes most LPs and digital formats — it’s all in how he gets his music, I’m sure, but the result is achingly, breathtakingly, present. Sadly, I’m completely unfamiliar with Jonathan’s catalog of local artists, but a call in there might snag gems unavailable anywhere else in audiophile circles.
Got tape? Call. Used here with the superlative UHA Phase 11s tape deck.
The MBL EXTREME SPEAKERS AT T.H.E. Show Newport 2014
T.H.E. Show Newport 2014
AUDIO OASIS AWARD FROM POSITIVE FEEDBACK ONLINE
The MBL rooms:
1. Stereo room with MBL, United Home Audio, and Shun Mook room treatments
2. Surround room with MBL, Sony, Stewart Filmscreen, Kimber Kable, Datasat, Kaleidescape, JL Audio, SMT, and Shun Mook room treatments
MBL has a tradition of doing rooms for audio shows that really knock you out. I've been consistently impressed with their accomplishment since 2007, which has grown particularly noteworthy since Jeremy Bryan was named president of MBL North America. MBL doesn't do second-rate, but their two rooms at THE Show 2014 were real show-stoppers.
First, I did a half-hour listening session in the stereo room. This had the extraordinary big 101 Xtreme reference speakers… one of the relatively few true world-class loudspeakers, in my experience… driven by the 9011 monoblock amps (four!), the 6010D preamp, and fed by the brilliant United Home Audio Phase11S reel-to-reel tape deck. Greg Beron of UHA was our gracious host, playing some excellent tapes of audio unobtainium for the general audiophile congress, assembled. Mainly rock and roll, which was a great relief to yours truly. I have had Greg's Phase11S in my listening room for an all-too-brief time, and used it to transfer some 15 ips half-track tapes to Double and Quad DSD via the Merging Technologies Horus/Pyramix 8.1 A/D system. I know the quality of Greg's work in this unit… MBL could hardly have done better in sourcing an exceptional RTR deck. (Note that Greg is a huge fan of MBL himself, and owns an MBL 101E Mk. II-based system for his own listening room. The affiliation is therefore a natural one.)
The results were amazing! The 101 Xtremes came to life, and really lit up the room with full, round, holographic music that nailed me to my seat. The sheer scale of the audio presentation was epic; only the very finest (and largest) systems in the world are in the same range as the 101 Xtremes. And none of these are omnidirectional in their projection, which make the Xtremes unique in my experience. It was amazing… stunning… to hear open reel tapes on the MBL/UHA combination
In the surround room next door, Jeremy Bryan hosted a very engaging set of 4K and 1080p videos, with surround sound provided by a set of MBL surround speakers, supported by video and audio processing by Sony, et al. As a long-confirmed and unapologetic videophile… I'm not just a hopeless audiophile, you see… I slurped in the astonishing and otherworldly 4K video samples before we shifted to some really fine 1080p material. The surround sound filled the room nicely, as we moved from scene to scene. Some classical, including remarkable ballet… some blast-o movies scenes. In it all, the components put together by Jeremy and company were a convincing blend for real surround sound spectacle… without losing the ability to deliver delicacy and nuance.
This is why I love going to audio shows: To score!
Which is what I did in the MBL rooms… many thanks to Jeremy Bryan and MBL for a smashing time!
And Audio Oasis! Awards for all involved.
T.H.E. SHOW NEWPORT:
ELECTRONICS SHOW REPORT
by Spencer Holbert | Jun 06th, 2014
Categories: Solid-state power amplifiers, Tubed power amplifiers, Solid-state preamplifiers, Tubed preamplifiers, Integrated amplifiers
MBL 9011 Monoblocks
Four MBL 9011 monoblocks ($106k/pr.) were driving the 101 X-Treme omnis ($263k/pr.), fronted by the top-tier UHA tape deck and the MBL 6010 D preamp. What can I say, many consider this system the crème de la crème of high-end audio. With 840W into 4 ohms, and almost 1400W into 2, the 9011s are as extreme as the X-Tremes. I would like to hear these one day in a proper room, not a hotel. At least at Newport, imaging lacked a certain specificity toward which I tend to gravitate. Besides that, this system was the most transparent of any at the show, thanks in large part to the amazing tapes on hand.
Best of Show
Best Sound (cost no object): A tie between the MBL X-Treme and the Polymer/FM Acoustics systems.
(Mind blowing. I listened to this system for a total of 6 hours without fatigue.)
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
The superiority of ladder DAC's
Here's another essay on the superiority of ladder DAC's.
At the 2014 Newport T.H.E. Show, two exhibits had ladder DAC: MSB and Audio Note. They both seemed to have superior resolution to other systems, except for 15 IPS tape used for the "MBL" Extreme system. (Other tape systems shown were not as good as the UHA--by far.)
Curiously MSB used cheap speakers, nevertheless achieved Class B performance. Audio Note was Class C, likely because of high distortion SET amplification and NOS, it sounded a bit harsh. (When I previously heard Audio Note at the 2009 T.H.E Show in Las Vegas, I put it in Class F--very harsh sounding. Ironically, that was the top end Audio Note system of the time, whereas the 2014 T.H.E. show had a mid level Audio Note system--which I thought sounded better.) Also, I believe that No-Oversamping-Or-Filtering is a bad approach which leads to harshness.
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Analog is Better (4 hours of mastertape listening)
Tonight I spent 4 solid hours listening to low generation mastertape copies, on a state of the art music playback system at the Newport Beach T.H.E. show. Never have I been more convinced that analog tapes like these (15ips, 2 track, current state of the art mods to Tascam deck by United Home Audio) have more musical information than any kind of digital recordings, and especially DSD recordings. They sounded wonderful. The playback system other than the tape deck was all MBL's best, including MBL's best omnidirectional speakers, and floating bias Class A/AB amplifiers. I would say it was generally the best reproduced sound I have ever heard. A solid group of dedicated audiophiles like me listened to most or all of the presentation.
I continue to believe that we need more than 16 bits at 48kHz as some objectophiles argue would follow from the Shannon-Hawkins corollary to Shannon's Information Theory, and tonight's listening was further personal confirmation. I was not the only true believer...all the chairs were filled for the 4 hours I was there.
I have never heard any form of digital recording sound this good. I think that either Shannon-Hawkins is wrong, misapplied to human musical perception, or misinterpreted.
Today I also heard the Audio Note exhibit which features a pure PCM DAC, with no oversampling or upsampling or filterning. It sounded good generally, though I like my home system (using Onkyo RDV-1 as DAC) better. Although this demonstration of an Audio Note system was far better than the one I heard in 2009 (which I could barely stand due to harshness and distortion) and I thought their current DAC was more revealing in some ways like mine than currently typical sigma delta DACs, there still was a whiff of harshness. I think my DAC, which uses PCM 1704 DAC and 8x oversampling, is better--it has no harshness at all.
I think that PCM dacs sound better than sigma delta DAC, including all forms of DSD. But it is not necessary to remove overampling reconstruction filters (used in the very first PCM products, including the first CD player the SCD-1). In fact, digital reconstruction filters are perfectly fine and likely better than analog equivalents (though we might be better off with higher rate digital--at least 48kHz--so as to make the reconstruction filtering easier). The fly in the ointment, I believe, is with the sigma delta DACs, and the theory which says they are equivalent to PCM dacs. Is that Shannon-Hawkins again? So far, they don't sound equivalent to me. Sigma Delta dacs have a characteristic smoothness which seems to be information lossy. DSD has this same property, but adds just enough noise to make the resulting presentation about equivalent in brightness to pure PCM, but with a slightly fake quality.
Now, maybe an all MBL system like the one I heard tonight would sound equally good with high rez digital like 24/96? I don't know, but the last times I heard sound equally good--was at previous mastertape demonstrations at the 2009 CES. That guy had first generation safety masters which he himself had recorded of musicians like Frank Sinatra. Digital, in all the various forms I have heard it, doesn't reach that level, but high bit rate PCM comes closer than DSD or sigma delta digital.
After hours Master Tape Event at T.H.E. Show Newport.
It was 11:30pm and there were 40+ people in the room with a standing room only crowd!
Don't miss Washington DC's High End Audio Show!
UHA will feature a great system based around the MBL116F Speakers.
More details to come!
The AV Showrooms Axpona Show Report Video
By Peter Breuninger and Myles Astor
UHA / MBL / Jolida / Tara Labs win a Best of Show Gold Award from AV Showrooms!
Note: The coverage of UHA and all starts at about 15 minutes and also at the best of show conclusions.
However the entire video is fun stuff, watch it all!
AXPONA 2014: Loudspeakers and Electronics Under $15k
by Spencer Holbert | May 01st, 2014
Categories: Floorstanding, Stand-mount, Solid-state power amplifiers, Solid-state preamplifiers
Jolida Luxor Electronics
In the second room with the MBL 116Fs and United Home Audio Phase11S-PB tape deck ($26k with external power supply), Jolida made a serious showing—after they dialed in the room. Though on Friday and most of Saturday the phase was off and the sound wasn’t quite right, by Sunday this system shined. It featured the Jolida Luxor VT dual-mono preamp ($6k) and four Luxor VTM 100 Monoblocks ($7500 each) using the new KT150 output tube, which had absolutely no issues driving the MBLs. I find that the 116Fs tend to be pretty bright, so when Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas Flood was cued on the UHA deck, I was both ecstatic and nervous about how SRV’s piercing guitar would sound. Generally, SRV can be pretty overwhelming when listening at loud volumes for even short periods of time. (My first memory of this was during one of his concerts in Austin when I was a kid, just a few months before he died.) I was pleasantly surprised to find that the tubed Luxor amps mellowed everything enough to keep the brightness at bay, and the taut, punchy bass that reel-to-reel is so famous for was stunning. Even though the individual amps and preamps are under the $15k category price point, the overall cost of this system makes it a little too expensive to place in the top five.
Most Coveted Product: I dream of one day having the UHA Phase 11S reel-to-reel deck in my listening room. Nothing beats those tapes.
Spencer Holbert 5-2-14
Have you heard the United Home Audio reel-to-reel deck in a good system?
One word: Unbeatable.
Of course, this is my lowly opinion, but man those tape decks are absolutely incredible. And yes, much better than 96/24. I spent hours listening to HD versus Tape, and the tape killed my SACD and the HD version. Just give it a listen before you discount it too much. Most of your favorite music was probably recorded on tape, so the digital version is only a facsimile of that tape.
Spencer Holbert • 5-2-14
I don't want to hate on digital too much. I love digital. It's convenient, and it's great to listen for hours without all the steps it takes to play analog.
But man, when you listen to the DSD Michael Jackson, and then you listen to the tape, it's night and day. All of a sudden you feel like you're in the studio watching him sing. You can hear every little detail, from finger snaps that were never there, to shuffling of his foot to keep time, to the little creaks of people moving about.
Tape is expensive. Tape is limited in catalog. Tape can be damaged and there goes $250.
United Home Audio debuted the UHA HQ Phase 11S tape deck with external power supply paired with MBL 116F speakers and the new Tara Labs Evolution cables in two rooms. One room used MBL electronics C31 CD player, C11 Preamplifier, and four C15 mono amplifiers. The other room had the Luxor line of Electronics from Jolida, including the preamp and four mono amplifiers. I spent an evening in the first room listening to multiple tapes and mid-day Sunday in the other room. In both cases, the sound of these systems with tape playback was very enjoyable and dynamic.
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND MAGAZINE
AXPONA Chicago 2014 Show Report
Loudspeakers and Electronics $15k and Up
by Jonathan Valin | Apr 29th, 2014
Also commendable, though more troubled by room issues, were the mbl 116F (when driven by Jolida's Luxor tube electronics in the United Home Audio room...
Positive Feedback Online
AXPONA: It's A Party for Speaker People! - Audio Expo North America 2014:
A Humorous Look at the Midwest's Finest Audio Show.
by Gary L. Beard
Dateline: Westin O'Hare, Rosemont, Illinois, April 25-27th, 2014
I spent part of Saturday evening in an afterhours Master Tape extravaganza hosted by United Home Audio. For their considerable efforts, I bestow my much coveted
THE MOST FUN YOU CAN HAVE AT AN AUDIO SHOW AWARD
for the relaxed vibe and incredible music. The MBL Radialstrahler 116F speakers and Corona series electronics sounded great of course, but the real stars of the evening were the incredible recordings; master tapes played back on one of UHA's signature TASCAM reel to reel decks.
The evening featured many types of music, but there was more than a fair measure of my first love, Rock n' Roll, and it ended a perfectly draining day two for me with an amazing recording of Santana's Abraxas... A truly terrific way to get out of the Five Minute Funk of room hopping...
Banks Room Lower Level: MBL North America and United Home Audio.
My thanks to Greg Beron of United Home Audio and Jeremy Bryan of MBL for an entertaining evening! Oh yeah, you guys can bring that gear to my house anytime... Really. Call me, I'll be waiting…
(I know they'll call... I think they like me... I wonder if they like Chicago deep dish pizza?)
Party on Speaker People! The Rooms of AXPONA
Positive Feedback Online
by Myles Astor
The Bling aka Eye Candy Award (3-way tie) goes to:
Triangle Arts Signature Turntable
Artisan Fidelity Turntable
UHA Phase 11S reel-to-reel deck
Products That I'd Most Like to Bring Home goes to:
Octave Research Jubilee amplifiers
Doshi Audio 3.0 series phono preamplifier
Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement cartridge
UHA Phase 11S reel-to-reel tape recorder
MBL Room with UHA Phase11S-OPS tape deck - Axpona 2014
New December 2013!
The UNITED HOME AUDIO PHASE11
Receives THE ABSOLUTE SOUND Magazines
2013 PRODUCT OF THE YEAR AWARD!
The biggest news since 1973 for UHA!
The Absolute Sound Magazine chooses THE UHA PHASE11 Tape Deck
as one of the top 100 most significant products of the last 40 years!
The July / August TAS magazine is the 40th Anniversary edition celebrating
fourty years of high end audio reporting. The magazine published a list of
the 100 of the most significant products of the last 40 years
and UHA is proud to be included in this elite group.
The Absolute Sound Magazine
July / August 2013
"Which audio products of the last 40 years or so have been the most significant, either by introducing
a technical innovation, influencing later designs, achieving great commercial success,
or establishing a new benchmark of performance? Below are the top 100 most significant products of the last
four - and - a - half decades as chosed by consensus of our writing team".
NEW DECEMBER 2013!
The UHA Phase11 wins AV Showrooms
Product of the Year for 2013!
New December 2014!
The UHA Phase11 wins AV Showrooms Product of the Year for 2013!
Positive Feedback Online
David Robinson, Editor-in-chief and Dave Clark, Editor
award The UHA Phase11 Tape Deck
a Brutus Award for 2013!
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