Bringing the wisdom

I sat staring out the window. It was just before 7 a.m. My backyard was very quiet except for some chickadees splashing in the bird bath.


I took a long draft of coffee – in hopes of resurrection from sleep – gripping the oversized mug I’d recently bought at a far-flung cafe on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast.

I needed more energy. So I scarfed a few chocolate cookies with my java to bolster the sugar levels in my body. That was better.

I had calls to make, people to connect with about helping me shape coverage here. Really cool people.

People I feel very strongly will have a significant impact on in-depth coverage for us.

So it’s my honour to welcome John DeVore, Christopher Hildebrand, Herbert Reichert, and Vinnie Rossi to the AudioStream team. They’ll be providing still waters and deep currents of invaluable technical, professional and personal insights into this, our most unique little industry.

As I wrap things up at my previous gig, and finish fully transitioning to AudioStream and InnerFidelity, I’m also working on organizing all the unseen moving parts of the websites.

The stuff nobody cares really hearing about, but that in actuality is crucial to making the site successful.

Things like research into keywords for a revamping of the navigation system, securing review products to fill the pipelines of both sites, but again, this requires thought so as not to duplicate previous coverage and also set category/price point levels of demonstrable benchmarks for readers to be able to identify with.

I’m happy to say that I think readers will be very pleased indeed with all the incredible gear I’m negotiating to have in-house for review/reference.

In the meantime, I got very lucky as PS Audio has graciously stepped in and has provided me with a pair of Stellar M700 Monoblocks and Gain Cell DAC/Preamp to put through their paces.

At $2,998 USD/pair for the M700s and with the Gain Cell DAC/Pre coming in at $1,699 USD – and the fact I’ve been consistently impressed with PS Audio’s price/performance ratio – this system could hold promise as a benchmark in separates for under $5,000 USD. We’ll see.

That’s it for now, but I’ll be back shortly… stay tuned.

mskaye's picture

His writing, his ears, his knowledge are national treasures. Glad he will be an official regular voice on your site.

volvic's picture

Things are definitely looking good at Audiostream. Keep it up Rafe.

Rafe Arnott's picture
Thanks for the kind words Volvic.

I'm super excited to be able to bring so much talent to these humble pages.

blang11's picture

Is it unprecedented to bring on manufacturers as contributors to the site? I'm not sure I can think of other sites doing this. I'm interested to see how it goes. That said, these gentlemen seem like great choices. And Herb is the bee's knees. Onward!

Sue's picture

The manufacturers can simply write their own reviews. Positive Feedback has been doing this for years.

And legend has it that Herb can hear a mosquito fart at 50 paces. Bravo!

jimx1169's picture

I really, really hope DeVore, Rossi and Hildebrand aren't being positioned to review their own gear.

Reviewing gear from others, though, should be fun to read as they should have excellent listening skills from voicing their own gear.

I already enjoy reading Reichert's reviews on Stereophile so I welcome his reviews without reservation.

Also hoping Rafe can refrain from mentioning his beard in anymore of his posts. For the record, I have nothing against facial hair. It's just not relevant in audio reviews.

Chuckles304's picture

...and still can't find a mention of the dastardly beard.

jimx1169's picture

Rafe's posts and responses to reader posts in the last month on this site & Inner Fidelity have included:

"I wear glasses like Lavorgna, and am also blessed with facial hair."

"I'm not Tyll Hertsens, but I do have a beard."

"Again, please bear with me as I organize everything and get my beard trimmed."

Chuckles304's picture

I was referring to the article body. Also,


"Relavancy" new
Submitted by jimx1169 on June 5, 2018 - 7:11pm
"Every word I write is very carefully edited."

I guess "Relavancy" didn't come up in your spell-check? The very first word in your post is misspelled.

I'm not going to spend anymore of my time berating your for spelling or making up phrases ("Ghost files"), but you really need to bring your "A" game if you're going to get legacy Audiostream readers onboard.

End quote

I direct your attention to the first sentence in the second paragraph, wherein you will find the typographical error "your". Pot, meet kettle...

mskaye's picture

your trollish and condescending comments correcting the grammar are really a little unwelcome here. I read the articles on my favorite websites for music and audio insight, not for a 100% correct grammar and syntax. If it bothers you so much, I think I can speak for many and say skip the site.

Chuckles304's picture

I do hope you're addressing Jimx1169, as I am not a "legacy" Audiostream reader nor the instigator of this grammatical witchhunt...

Rafe Arnott's picture
No manufacturers will ever write gear reviews on this site.

Technical papers? Thought pieces? Album reviews? Editorials? Reminiscences?


To think they would be writing reviews is facile.

Bringing experienced, industry-related voices to the readers of this site is of paramount importance to me.

CG's picture

Nobody else has asked, so I will.

What has become of the crew who previously contributed to this site? Michael, Jana, and Herb are accounted for...

Wavelength's picture

Steve Plaskin is over at AudioBeat, Stephen is back working for AudioQuest.


Rafe looks like a good lineup! I would have taken Sue's bait and added her to the list. She would have made a good addition to the all male review staff.


Rafe Arnott's picture
I'm working on that, but it's taking longer than I hoped. Thanks for the kind words on the lineup so far, I want a deep crew of great people here, wish I could have everyone I wanted, but just not possible.
Sue's picture

Apparently, Rafe doesn't want anyone on staff here with more facial hair than him :-)

I have a review I need to finish for The Audio Beat, then I will most likely set up a website of my own. TAB is not interested in the other content I mentioned here.


Wavelength's picture


Keep us informed when you get your site up!


Sue's picture

My email

Sue's picture
Anton's picture

I think there is plenty of cool stuff to do with regard to a new 'publication' in this great hobby.

Best wishes to you!

Don Parkhurst's picture

Those are some quality people that are being added to the writing staff at Audiostream. It would have been nice to see Sue contribute as well, but she has her own path to follow.

My favourites over the years are a little bit different individuals, like Herb Reichert, Jana Dagdagan, Jonathan Scull (J-10) , Corey Greenberg and such. They make the hobby so much more fun and interesting!

Good luck Rafe!