Listener magazine, Sept. 2000

By Lang Phipps, 

What's Your Sine?

"So, how does the music sound? Most remarkable is the fact that very familiar pieces sound like new mixes. Whole parts "appear" that I'd never noticed before. A vigorously strummed acoustic guitar, for instance, materializes on Sting's "When the Angels Fall." Other parts come to life with graphic clarity."
"The soundstage is dramatically wider. Sting's "Good night" spoken at the album's end issues not from the loudspeakers but from the fireplace some 6 feet off to the side. I was unnerved when I first heard it,, but that's why I'm into high fidelity: to be unnerved in the comfort of my own home."
"My acid test for delicious upper mids is the sweet soul singing on Steely Dan's "Babylon Sisters", especially the passage where the colored girls sing "Tell me I'm the only one." Background vocals doesn't quite describe where these voices come from in terms of holographic imaging. Peripheral vocals is more like it: The girls seem to be hovering like angelic hummingbirds above and beyond the columns to the left and right.
"As a drummer I listen to the music with my butt and the soles of my feet as well as my ears. The Aries delivered subsonics that revealed all the problems of listening to music in an 18th century brownstone...
"In general, well recorded drums have never had as much depth and roundness of tone, as much drumminess."         

      " The Aries does a very good job with Brazilian music, which typically presents a wide tonal range, from the deep-throated surdo drum, to the tiny, 4-string cavaquinho guitar. A Brazilian friend brought by an obscure CD by a musician named Lenine, and I practically had to bribe him out of my listening chair. When I finally got there, I understood his intransigence: The music was colorful and positively enchanting via the deHavillands."  "But I was surprised that, with this amp in place, my system manages a Solomonic compromise between the virtues and defects of digital and analog. CD's have a heightened musicality I associate with the vinyl ideal, and LP's sound almost cleaner than they should..."