HiFi Stereo - Arizona Audio Video Club

About Us

2019 Club Calendar



A special Video lecture/ exhibition by Adam Goldfine, a professional  videographer.Adam Is exploring the possibility of producing a TV show on Stereo Equipment.


Shootout between Focal Kanta 2s

and Goldenear Reference 

Provided by member Phil Groben and a friend of the club. Values of  $8,000-$10,000 

The final score was dead even.


Phoenix Chamber Music Society 

Harp Quintet. Featuring The American String Quartet with Nationally renowned Harpist Nancy Allen. A Viola  500 years old was heard. Awesome!


Fellow member HiFi Stereo enthusiast Jeffrey Behr opened his music room  to members to hear his new Atma Sphere mono blocks powering his recently upgraded Serenity Planars speakers. Always a pleasure.


A visit to Dan D'Agostino's new facility in Cave Creek. This was a very exceptional meeting. We listened to Mr. D'Agostino speak about sound  issues he deals with. We were wined and dined as royalty by the so gracious D'Agostino Family.Finally we were the first group to hear music in his new setup. Nuff said.


29th Saturday

Speakerfest !!

Please see adjacent tab


 24th Wednesday 7pm

Held at the Trinity Lutheran Church

Hatcher and 7th Ave Member'

Discover some new artists you may love. If you missed it, a complete list of all music presented will be emailed to the entire membership.

See Results on Events Page


24th Saturday

$10 Admission for non-members

RSVP Required by August 21st.

Space is limited.

Fellow member Paul Righello has organized This 1st Annual event called 

"DAC It Out"!!

As the name implies we have gathered some if the best DACs made in the World

in an "affordable" price range for a member A/B/C shootout.


 Held at the beautiful new showroom of Acoustic Designs Inc. in the Scottsdale Airpark. 16074 N.78th St Scottsdale, AZ 85260


Wednesday 25th 7pm

Faith Lutheran Church

801 E. Camelback Rd. 


In response to the new member survey asking for an  informative lecture series,

Ben Taylor, professional sound engineer and club member will speak on exactly what he must do to make a  recording as he did in March by the Phoenix Chamber Music Society. Besides another chance to enjoy internationally renowned harpist Nancy Allen, club members will gain a fuller understanding of  how sound which enters a microphone ends up as a recording.

Bonus Door Prize: FIIU  Award Winning

personal Hi-Rez player.


 Wednesday the 30th at 7pm

KJZZ broadcast facilities Tour!!

Conducted by  Eric Schecter,  Chief Engineer, Eric has agreed to conduct the tour.  This will be interesting

 Located at Rio Salado Community College at 2323 W 14th Street in Tempe.  in Building B on the 4th floor.


Actually held on the 1st Saturday in December 


Location :TBD

The Club has an Annual Swap Meet

where members may sell or buy equipment related to A/V.  Including media!!  We took an informal survey of 8 members recently and found that all had several pieces they plan to  bring. Good way to make room for something new!


Holiday Break

Spin your favorite Holiday music 

and watch movies!!!

2019 Club Meetings Recap


August 24th "DAC IT OUT"

RE the DAC IT OUT results.

Fellow Club member, Paul Righello,

planned and brilliantly executed this event. Thanks Paul. Great Job !!

 I want to thank the Seven manufacturers who supplied our AZAV Club with a DAC for the Blind "DAC IT OUT"event.
Forward thinking companies: Chord, IFI, Schiit, NuPrime, BenchMark, Black Ice, and Holo.
Of course it takes a little nerve as there are going to be winners and losers.

The provided its own samples locally for Line Magnetic, PS audio and LKS.

Additionally we want to thank Acoustic Designs and Don Loving for graciously allowing us to hold the event
in their brand near beautiful 7,000 sqft facility. Although Acoustic Designs is new to two channel sound, Don
Loving is a 30+ year veteran in audio. They carry Esoteric, SAE, Chord, Sonus Faber, Focal and B&W plus others.

"DAC It Out" was attended by about 25 people who were all very curious to hear the comparisons.
One couple I spoke to was in from Chicago. After each session we discussed results and asked
what in particular made people choose one over another.
Comments generally went to better Sound Stage, Dynamics and/or Openness.

The 10 machines were all tested the day prior by a professional engineer to balance the outputs
and test switching. The delay time was about 1/2 second between machines.
The Shootout was held in a upscale theatre room of about 20 x 30. Well treated on all surfaces.
Sound was measured at 75-80db during play.

The machines were broken into three groups using three different DACs per session.
Each group lasted about 45 minutes with each DAC playing for an average of 10 minutes per session.
The whole affair ran from 11am to 3:30pm.


Amp: SAE 2HP-D
Pre-Amp: Chord Electronics CPA 5000
CD: Musical fidelity M3i
Speakers: Focal Maestro Utopia EVO
Digital, Audio Quest Cinnamon
Analog, Audio Audio Quest Water
Speaker Cable, Audio Quest William Tell Silver Zero with William Tell Bass in a Bi-wire configuration.
Audio Rack: Bassocnitinuo
System retail: $118,000.00

Polling results were generally very consistent. However, in the fourth session which was made up solely
of the preceding three session winners-Chord Qutest, Schiit Yggy and Jolida Black Ice Glass FX DSD.
It was nearly a dead  heat. 

1st Place:   Black Ice Glass FX DSD Wifi  2nd Place: Qutest

3rd Place:  Schiit Yggy

Another test of the same three DACs might well produce a different outcome.

We were limited to three input jacks so testing of 3 sessions x 3 DACS = 9 units.
Due to the limitation of inputs we had obviously left one out.
So a final runoff included the winning Black Ice Glass FX DSD  vs. the Line Magnetic's newest model.

This outcome was again also close but the Line Magnetic just edged out the Black Ice model .

Scientists will shoot holes in our methodology I am sure.
However we did have three representatives from Chord present.
They were pleased with Chord's showing and complimented the testing methods, etc. promising to bring "Dave" next time!

Take Aways:
-Tube units faired better than solid state.
-Ladder DACs did pretty well with the Schiit finishing in the top 4.
The other Ladder was the Holo which some thought was "Darker". I found its clarity excellent.
-The Chinese made DACs by Black Ice and Line Magnetic beat everyone else.

I would enjoy seeing another club perform a similar test so the results could be expanded.
Perhaps a magazine would take a crack at it. Recognizing the fast changing nature of the digital HiFi world
logic dictates that the far less expensive ($800) Black Ice DAC may be the wisest planned obsolescence purchase.

Opinions may vary.

Jeff Kalina, President Arizona Audio/Video Club

July 24th Member Music

Some excellent music was presented. Take note of these

if you are ready for new sound.


  • Linda Ronstadt & Nelson Riddle – ‘Round Midnight’ (2CD)

This is a compilation of 3 CD’s – ‘For Sentimental Reasons’, ‘What’s New’ and ‘Lush Life’.

  • Al Stewart – ‘Year of the Cat’ CD. Track played – ‘On the Stage Before’.
  • Benny’s Gis – ‘Calypso Serenade’.

From a live recording made by club member Ben Taylor for The Phoenix Chamber Music Society.

David Shifrin – Clarinet

Pablo Asign – Double Base

  • Lee Barber – ‘All Night Long’.

Recorded by club member Stuart Yaniger in his living room. 

Available on Stuart’s website:

  • ‘Greatest Video Game Music III’. Choral edition. By Orphei Drangar & Myrra Malmberg

Track played – ‘Skyrim Dragonborn’.

  • Isao Tomita – RCA Red Seal – ‘Greatest Hits’. Track played – ‘Close Encounters’.

Willias 1986/1979 – 70:19

  • ‘The Best of Cusco’ – ‘Montezuma’ & ‘Didjeridoo’.
  • Mary Stallings – ‘Live at the Village Vanguard’.

Track played – ‘Sunday Kind of Love’.

  • Jennifer Warnes - ‘The Hunter’

Track played – ‘I Will Rock You Gently’.

  • Peter Mulvey & Kris Delmhorts – ‘Redbird’.

Track played – ‘Moonglow’.

  • ‘Crowded House’. Track played – ‘Don’t Dream it’s Over’.
  • ‘Endless Journey’. Track played – ‘Amazing Grace’.



June 29th 2019 Speakerfest

50th Anniversary of Summer of Woodstock

Come and listen to Speakers  provided by : Sanders Sound, Tekton Design, Spatial Labs, Salk Sound, Joseph Audio, ZU Audio, MarkAudio-SOTA and LSA.

Additionally it has just been confirmed we will have the ATC SMC 40's on hand courtesy of Lone Mountain Audio and Tom Rothermel of VinylValet.

All brands have been recognized as Best in Class

Amplifiers Very Generously supplied by 

Dan D'Agostino and family. Located in Cave Creek, AZ The standard of Excellence in the World.

Special Guests: Sean Casey, Founder of ZU Audio will be available to chat. 

Additionally we will have a member of the D"Agostino group on site.

None of the above speaker brands have any representation in Arizona. We are  excited to be providing everyone a very inexpensive way to hear some specially chosen gear. If you love Music please 

do come and listen!!!


Perimeter Center


8600 E. Anderson Dr.

Scottsdale, AZ 85255 

Admission: $10

Time: 10am-4pm


Each product will be rotated every 1/2 hour . Two rooms will be employed so

in 2 hours all eight speakers may be enjoyed.  Stay as long as you like.


The ATC passive 40 was the #1 crowd pleaser. The Joseph Pulsars, Salk Song3 Beats and ZU Soul Supremes were

also favored. Sadly the limited time

for setup did not allows the Sanders Electrostatics equalizer to be properly 

adjusted. Otherwise they may well have

been at or near the top.

Music Lover?


Welcome to the Arizona Audio/Video Club!

As they said in the movie "Seabiscuit"

'Everybody deserves a second chance'.

So here we go!!

 Tube and Solid State lovers.

Ladies- be "Queen for a day at a meeting.

So far we have doubled our membership in 2019. 98% male so the  ratios are

pretty good for the fairer sex. 

Annual Dues: $48/year.

$35 for 1st timers in year one


1 1/2 to 2 hour duration. Held on  the last Wednesday of each month except in the case of a public event which be held on a Saturday. There is typically no December Meeting.


These will vary as we visit Showrooms,

Manufacturers, private residences, Phoenix Chamber Music Society performances, MIM, Studios,

Record Stores,etc. Members will receive a newsletter via email the 1st Wednesday of each month.


-All new members receive a  thumb drive containing many years of the club's collection of great recordings

of all genres . Each year members submit their best new finds to make that years additions. This is actually  a very useful and pleasurable benefit  which alone is worth the cost of admission.

Discounted Admission to the Annual Phoenix Chamber Presentation 

Free Admission to our Public events such as the 2019  Speakerfest and 

 "DAC It Out"

-Door prizes:

 A $300 power  cable from Dedicated Audio's owner Dan Harmon. Dan is a local retailer of many great lines and always a generous supporter. Thank you--AudioQuest "Water" Interconnectss value $600. Thank you Don Loving of Acoustic Design.

-A personal Hi-Res player by FiiO

 -$70  value.

-Assorted cable organizers 

and isolation   pads.

-Additionally you can get counsel from veterans on how to get started in Audio, Improve what you have now, learn how to get great recordings, etc...

-Our members include a professional

recording engineer and former retailers.

-Communicate with fellow members to meet up privately and listen to each other's systems.

Suggestions Please!

We are more than open to hearing all

new member ideas to increase the club's appeal and broaden our exposure to new members.

One thing that is not a member benefit

is an automatic qualification for discounts at our local retailers. They all do a lot for our club so please thank them with your business. Of course you can negotiate your own deal but please leave the club out of it. When you buy on line from someone you can not meet it is always Caveat emptor.  Locally not so much. Thanks.

Reference Articles about Sounds

Get Better Sound - quarternotesv6i1 (pdf)


Paul's Post: Taming the room - - Gmail (pdf)


Music therapy - Wikipedia (pdf)


Am I hearing things (you don't) ???? | Audiogon Discussion Forum (pdf)




Unburden yourself

By Ben Taylor

Here's an article that you all should be reading. It will simplify, and unburden you of some of the myths in audio. In addition it will let you concentrate on the really important aspects of getting your systems to work at its best. It's why I always recommend that you work on the acoustic properties of the space you've chosen, and not so much the gear. Yes the gear is important, but let's face it, there are few really bad pieces of audio gear being made these days. It's just differences that we experience, and it's those differences that determine what we prefer to hear. Each of us has a different idea as to what represents a good sounding system. If you don't pay close attention to the acoustics of your room, you'll never know what your system is really capable of. 

That being said, here is a YouTube video that best clarifies Digital Audio, and represents what I've learned after 40+ years as a professional. Whereas I have recorded at sample rates of 96K and above, I find little above 48K useful, but I had to do it to hear for myself.

OmniClassic Recording
"Have Mic-Will Travel"
602 535-7906