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Passing the Torch of High End Audio's Old Values to the New Generation of Audiophiles

Misha Kucherenko On-Screen Interview

Misha Kucherenko, known dearly to his friends as “BigMisha,” is one of my best friends and teachers with respect to the appreciation of audiophile product sand the listening experience. On my last three visits to Russia, he was my interpreter for my presentations at various audiophile and home theatre events. Misha has over two decades of high-end audiophile experience  and his company, StereoPravda, is a distributor of leading-edge audio and video products in Russia.

While I prefer closed-back headphones for monitoring live recordings of jazz orchestras, and open-back for home listening, I must admit that I was enormously impressed with Misha’s in-ear SPearphone SB-1, which I use both for on-the-go portable music listening and more, monitoring my live recordings.

Widescreen The sound is well balanced and excels infidelity, dynamics, and accuracy, while performing flawlessly with respect to spatial dimensionality, when listening through the Smyth R8 Realiser surround system. With proper in-ear fit, bass weight is excellent, extending deep, with excellent articulation. On motion picture sound tracks with intensely energized deep bass, the sound is strong and forceful, with superb transient attack and natural extended bass. Nuanced sonics, such as drum brush strokes and cymbals, are cleanly and articulately reproduced, and percussive instruments all have an extremely convincing level of impact, resonance, and decay.

Spatially, the SB-1 duplicates the all-Magnepan loudspeaker soundfield of Widescreen Review’s main reference system and delivers an exceptional holosonic® listening experience. The sonics are out-of-head and positioned precisely within the soundfield with dialogue, vocal, and instrument solos positioned center front,and sound effects and aggressive surround sonics localized in their respective channels. As such, the SB-1 delivers reference-quality immersive sound performance.

The full spectrum of sound is superbly balanced through the SB-1 in-ear transducer and delivers excellent midrange response, extended low-frequency response, and smooth high frequencies. The piercing high frequencies found on some headphones are not evident here. Instead, the response is balanced and smooth throughout the spectrum. The low-end presence is never overpowering or bloated, and is natural sounding. The sound is full-bodied, warm, and deep, and never fatiguing, with superb transient response. The sound stage is wide and deep, and layered, with good sound positioning outside the head. The sonics are never exaggerated and sound perfectly natural.

Overall, the SB-1 delivers an engaging and articulate natural and accurate sound with a smooth response throughout the entire frequency spectrum. What follows is an interview with Misha on his audiophile experience with respect to portable listening and his development of the SB-1. See more...

Source: Widescreen Review


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