Linn Downloads - William Carter & Dawn Langstroth - Hi Fi Choice

The DS-I performs well, though, in hi-fi terms and is particularly noteworthy in a couple of respects: it is a ferocious scavenger of information and its sound is so clean it sparkles. Hi-res downloads from the Linn Records site demonstrated this graphically: the 24-bit/192khz recording of William Carter playing the music of Fernando Sor came across beautifully.

Carter's playing was spell-binding and the sound was impeccably realistic and alive, creating the feeling that he was sitting only a few feet in front of me exposing those rich veins of tonal colour and expression from his gut-strung replica baroque guitar.

The dynamic gradation evident was incredible and it was easy to hear one string being quietly plucked while another was being sounded more vigorously. Listening to his double-stopping and his use of harmonics during the air O cara armonia from Mozart's Il Flauto Magico op 9, was little short of sublime - both the playing and the hi-fi aspects of the portrayal.

The Majik also managed to turn me on to a new, contemporary canadian singer, Dawn Langstroth, whose vocal style and backing band on highwire put me strongly in mind of Aimee Mann, a real favourite of mine. It conveyed Langstroth's similarly economical approach to singing and the powerful lyricism of her song writing, succinctly contrasting her often delicate voice with the robust dynamism of her band.

The portrayal of the piano and electric guitar stood out as being especially notable: the piano for its pitch stability and full-bodied tonality on You Don't Want Me and the guitar for its wholly credible leading edge attack on It's All Good.

Hi Fi Choice
29 March 2010