Harbeth “Super Duper” HL5! Now on the floor!


Now in it's sixth generation, The Harbeth HL5 was one of the first speakers Harbeth produced in 1977.

The success I've had with Harbeth is nothing short of amazing. Nearly every single person I have demoed the Harbeths to has bought a pair! The sound is so seductive and "right on", it's hard to shake the experience. Most people fall in love after one song. System matching? The Harbeths sound great with literally everything. Yeah, they're expensive, but you'll never want or need to buy another pair of speakers.

Happy Holidays!

A giant "Thank-You" to all of you who have supported Whetstone Audio for the past 17 years. It's been a blast! Also, to those of you I haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet. Keep your hi-fi's warm and the libations flowing.

Enjoy Yourselves and have a Happy New Year!

Brian DiFrank


Rega FP-1 “Franken Planar”

Rega FP-1

My rebuild is complete! I got the finishing touch today on Christmas Eve. A friendly USPS elf stopped by with my eBay win. A Rega Audio Retroflex LT-76 turntable. I snatched the cool platter off it and dropped it into the souped up Planar 2 I rebuilt. A Rega rat rod! It sounds great!! Coolest gift to myself ever!

Rega RS 10 loudspeaker coming in 2012!!

rega RS10

There are lots of awesome new products coming in 2012! Some I can share with you, some I can't because then I would have to kill you. The Rega RS 10 are serious speakers that will fill out Rega's "cost no object" range.

New Well Tempered Labs Versalex turntable & LTD tone arm!!


Madman Bill Firebaugh's newest additions, the Versalex turntable and LTD tone arm are coming out soon! The LTD tone arm will be available separately in the standard 10" and a shorter 9" version. Expected retail for the complete Versalex w/ tonearm: $4450.00 LTD tonearm by itself: $1500.00. They will make their N. American debut at CES in the DeVore Fidelity room.


NEW Rega Apollo-R CD player!

New Wolfson WM8742 DAC
Enhanced Output amplifier circuit.
Enhanced Digital power supplies.
Improved User interface.
Redeveloped Analogue & Digital outputs.
Compact custom case design.
CD remote with amplifier functionality.
Available in Black or Satin Silver.

my my my…


this system sings man! I finally got time to hook up the Zu Soul Superfly 101db full range driver loudspeakers. In front I have the Kuzma Stogi / Stabi with a Zu DL-103 cart going into the Auditorium 23 103 step into the Leben RS30-EQ phono pre amp into the 15 watt Leben CS-300xs integrated amp. Wired with Auditorium 23 interconnects and Zu Mission cables. Y'all gotta come hear this rig!

New Naim XP5 XS Power Supply!

Naim has announced the addition of a new multi-rail, slimline power supply in its XS Series: the XP5 XS. The XP5 XS, which comes complete with Naim's Burndy interconnect, is the ideal partner for extracting even greater performance from the ND5 XS network player and Naim DAC. This versatile product is also compatible with the NDX network player, CDX2 (models with and without S/PDIF), CDX, CDS2 and CDS3 CD players as well as the HDX hard disk player / server.
Power supplies have always been a significant part of the Naim product catalogue. Almost from the beginning of the brand it was recognised that adding a better power supply could increase the performance of a Naim preamplifier. This philosophy has been extended over time to include CD players, DACs and now network players.

XP5 XS sits below the XPS and 555 PS supplies in the performance hierarchy but still delivers superb value for money. The XP5 XS contains a custom-designed toroidal transformer, multiple-regulated outputs via its Burndy sockets and new low-capacitance, ceramic heat-sinks. $2795

Am I a scrooge for hating X-mas music?

Freaking earworms! This time of year is the worst. One quick stop into a store and I have Jingle Bell Rock stuck in my head all damn day! I'm humming it over and over! Who wrote this crap? OK, I can take some Burl Ives ON CHRISTMAS MORNING. That's it. A couple of hours as the kids rip into their yearly haul as I pour coffee down my face feeling giddy because the Holidays are OVER! I survived another December. New Years is just a good excuse to get hammered. No preparation needed there. I do have a collection of "cool" X-mas records. I have a reggae one, a bluegrass one, even disco! They suck because they are still annoying songs. You can't polish a turd. I'm convinced if you listen to them backwards they will say "have a merry little beat down at Walmart" . BAH!

Rega RP6 Pix

glass platter
sub platter
I'm waiting with baited breath! My gloss green RP6 should be arriving soon! The new RP6 turntable is a complete reworking from Rega CEO Phil Freeman. When I visited the factory a couple of years ago, I heard the prototype table that has been the inspiration for the new RP3 & RP6. It's nice the same technologies have trickled down into tables that the 99% can afford. Here are some sweet pics I found on Rega USA's Facebook page.
$1495 includes TT PSU and your choice of basic gloss color. $1695 for pink, orange and blue Now Taking Orders!

Hootenanny Numero Uno!

We had a blast last night at the Hootenanny! The highlight of the evening for me was the "Stereo Wars" Profundo vs. Cardas. Good Times. Each company played one song each and "battled it out" back and forth. It was actually a great way to demonstrate the differences between systems and tube vs. solid state. Both systems sounded great, just different. I ordered two Gigantor pizzas and drank some killer beer provided by Jester King Brewery.

Don't forget about the next one on January 18th with Sean Casey of Zu Audio. It's gonna be a hoot!


I met Nick Lowe!!!

I took a long "lunch hour" to see the KLRU taping of Overheard with Evan Smith interviewing Nick Lowe. He's in town tonight opening for Wilco. He'll be back this Spring with his whole band. His new record, The Old Magic, is one to put on your short list. I got the 45 RPM version and it's killer!

This Friday! December 2nd, 6-9pm. It’s a Hootenanny!!

hoot·en·an·ny /ˈho͞otnˌanē/
n. pl. hoot·en·an·nies
1. An informal performance, typically with participation by the audience.
2. An unidentified or unidentifiable gadget.

Recently, two well respected two channel Hi-Fi distributors have moved to Austin, Colleen Cardas Imports and Bob Clarke's Profundo. I'm stoked because "The Live Music Capital Of The World" needs them. People here love good music. One thing we want to make sure of is that it sounds good.

TN-PHAROAH-glossy2Here's the deal. Many folks are buying turntables now and really don't know much about them. There is also a big interest in computer based audio and I'll admit, it's daunting with all the geek speak.. What I want to do is start having these evenings once a month to educate and raise awareness. That $99 USB turntable you picked up at Waterloo Records was a great first step. If you want to see what the next step is, come to these events. Don't be afraid! This isn't going to be your average Audiophile nerd fest. We want to collectively educate music lovers about hi-fi, spin good music and have a great time.

This first event on Friday, December 2nd from 6-9pm, will feature a couple of systems you may have never heard of. Colleen is bringing Unison Research and Opera loudspeakers, both by the Nasta family from Italy. Bob is bringing some gear from Hungary's Heed Audio and the excellent Trenner & Friedl loudspeakers from Austria. See Y'all soon!

Coming January 18th, A Hootenanny with Sean Casey of Zu Audio!!