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Audiophile Equipment Review Magazine High-End Audio
  High-End Audio And Audiophile Review Magazine.
  Gear Reviews, Show Reports, Articles And More!

  Celebrating 25 Years Of Service To Music Lovers 

High-End Audio / Audiophile Equipment Reviews And Think Pieces

 

September 2020
Special 25th Anniversary Issue!
Part 2

Best Of 2020 Blue Note Equipment Awards

Best Of 2020 Blue Note Awards!

 

 

Baby Boomer Music Lovers And The New Gen Z

Baby Boomer Music Lovers And The New Gen Z
Gen Z music enthusiasts may have different goals than Boomers.
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
It is said that baby boomers are generally those who were born between 1946 and 1964. Will let you do the math of their current age bracket. Stereo LP vinyl LPs became available in 1957, with stereo radio becoming a reality in 1961. Gen Z'ers, on the other hand, was born between 1997 and 2012. DVD-Audio, with its' Hi-Res Music 24-bit/96kHz multi-channel format, came about in 2000. It is no surprise that during 2019 at high-end audio shows there were special gatherings of those under 40 years old.
---> More about Boomers and Gen Z music lovers.

 

 

The Big and The Small Of It Roger Skoff writes about how it really happens within high-end audio.

The Big And The Small Of It
Roger Skoff writes about how it really happens within high-end audio.
Article By Roger Skoff
Many years ago, my previous cable company, XLO Electric, was nominated for the prestigious Plunkett Award, DuPont's annual prize for the innovative use of Teflon, named after the man who invented it. Perhaps as no surprise, the Award that year didn't go to us, but to people who had done something of far greater world consequence than just making better-sounding audio cables. Even so, just the fact of having been nominated proved to be of considerable immediate and even long-term value.
---> Read more about The Big And The Small Of It.

 

 

Taking The Room Out Of The Loudspeaker New tools for transparent sound reproduction. John Meyer Of Meyer Sound Labs.

Taking The Room Out Of The Loudspeaker
New tools for transparent sound reproduction.
John Meyer Of Meyer Sound Labs
Within this video, John Meyer presents the Heyser Lecture at the 2018 AES New York City. With few exceptions, loudspeakers are not used in a free field environment but rather in an enclosed acoustical space. This is inherently problematic as an acoustical space behaves in a manner similar to that of loudspeakers, making it difficult to separate the problematic characteristics of each using common measurement tools or subjective listening tests.
---> More about taking the room out of the speaker.

 

 

Verity Audio Otello Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review

Verity Audio Otello Floorstanding Speakers
A loudspeaker for music lovers.
Review By Rufus Smith
Founded in 1995, Verity Audio hit the ground running in 1996 with the debut of their first speaker, the Parsifal. The Parsifal has gone through at least four iterations since its introduction, retaining the qualities that made the original so special. The speaker was known for a smooth treble that tended oh so slightly toward the dark side of neutral, a midrange that was transparent but is somewhat laid-back and bass that has weight and meaningful extension.
---> Read our Verity Audio Otello loudspeaker review.

 

 

Novafidelity / Cocktail Audio HA500H Review

Novafidelity / Cocktail Audio HA500H
Made by Novatron in Korea.
Review By HIFICRITIC

Best-known for its range of network audio products, the Korean manufacturer has now turned its attention to this valve/solid state DAC/headphone amplifier, with no less than spectacular results. Made by Novatron in Korea, the Novafidelity line is sold in the rest of the world as Cocktail Audio. The company is known for its range of network audio products, but the HA500H is its first dedicated headphone amplifier / DAC / preamp. And there is plenty of interest here. First off is the fact that it is a hybrid design and can be operated in either valve (ECC82) or solid-state modes.
---> Read the Novafidelity / Cocktail Audio HA500H review.

 

 

Headphone Shake-Up

Headphone Shake-Up
Keith Howard supplements his headphone experience with a kick in the posterior, and find himself shaken by the results.
Review By Keith Howard Of HIFICRITIC
Bolting a low-frequency shaker to his chair gives Keith Howard's headphone listening a much-needed kick in the pants. It's a well-worn cliché that headphone listening can never match the sheer impact of using speakers because only our ears are engaged, not our whole body. In a soundfield we are subject to music-related vibrations that reach us via the air itself and via structure-borne sound, conveyed through the floor to where we are standing or sitting. We may not always be conscious of these vibrations but, the trope goes, they have a significant effect on our perception of live or reproduced music – an effect that headphone listening necessarily lacks.
---> Read the Headphone Shake-Up review.

 

 

Noble Zephyr Hybrid In-Ear Monitor Prototype Review

Noble Zephyr Hybrid In-Ear Monitor
Giant killer!
Review By Gary Alan Barker Of Headphone.Guru
It is little secret that the Noble Katana is my favorite IEM, in fact, it is the best sounding headphone I have in my possession period, and has only been outperformed by the very best in electrostatic headphones (which puts them on a par with a minimum $5,000 investment). That being said, the Katana is not the end of the Noble IEM story. At $1,850 the Katana is no longer even the top of the Noble IEM line (a position filled by the Noble Sultan, an IEM I have yet to have an opportunity to listen to, in fact, when I began testing the Noble Zephyr I was under the mistaken belief that I was reviewing the Sultan).
---> Read the Noble Zephyr Hybrid IEM review.

 

 

AURALiC Aries G1 Streaming Transporter Review

AURALiC Aries G1 Streaming Transporter
Polish, software, and beautiful case work.
Review By Sam Rosen Of Positive Feedback.

When it comes to streamers, my point of view is simple: software is king. Good software can make a streamer, and bad software can break a streamer. For example, I have a streamer that sounds wonderful; however, it crashes at least once a listening session. For a time I tolerated these crashes, however, with no fix coming from the manufacturer, and the crashes becoming a consistent part of my audio experience, my frustration grew. As my frustration hit its peak the AURALiC Aries G1 arrived for review. The end to end experience with the Aries G1 was eye opening....
---> Read the AURALiC Aries G1 Streaming Transporter review.

 

 

Marten Oscar Duo Two-Way Loudspeaker Review

North America Premiere!
Marten Oscar Duo Two-Way Loudspeaker

A breakthrough in transparent speaker design.
Review By Ron Nagle
The Marten Company tells us, "The Oscar Duo exterior is an exercise in minimalist design, without unnecessary details." The Marten Oscar series consists of two speakers, one for the floor, the Trio model, and the stand-mounted two driver Duo. The Oscar Duo measures, 15.5" high by 7.75" wide and 12.75" deep. This two-way design employs a 1" ceramic tweeter and a 7" ceramic mid-bass.
---> Read our Marten Oscar Duo loudspeaker review.

 

 

The Claymore Retro Integrated Stereo Amplifier ReView

The Claymore Retro Integrated Amplifier
The classic stereo amplifier re-imagined.
Review By Clive Meakins
The original Claymore is either a Scottish two-handed sword or a very handy weapon for audio. The naming for the integrated amplifier came from Roy Hall of Music Hall fame. In the mid-1980s when Colin Wonfor conceived the amplifier Roy Hall suggested the name - mind you it could also have reminded him of a whisky. The Claymore (the amplifier) was in those days part of the Inca Tech brand, it sold extremely well with over 27,000 units being purchased up to the end of the 1980s.
---> Read our The Claymore Retro integrated amp review.

 

 

Best Of 2020 Blue Note Equipment Awards

Best Of 2020 Blue Note Equipment Awards
Enjoy the Music.com celebrates the best high-end audio gear of 2020!
Enjoy the Music.com's Best Of 2020 Blue Note Awards celebrates the many great achievements by audiophile manufacturers within the high-end audio and Hi-Res Audio industry. Our 2020 Blue Note Awards is a culmination of 20 years of reviewing and carefully choosing what products have earned special recognition for our annual awards. Our Best Of 2020 Blue Note Award celebrates the finest products we have reviewed during the previous 12 months.
---> Read our Best of 2020 Blue Note Awards.

 

 

AGD Andante Preamplifier And Vivace Monoblocks Review

AGD Andante Preamp. & Vivace Monoblocks
AGD's Andante and Vivace will transport you to the musical venue.
Review By Rick Becker
It is always an honor when a manufacturer asks me to review their product. It is, after all, their 'baby'. They have poured their heart and soul into it. And often times, the smaller the company, the more heart and soul is to be found within. Such was the case with the AGD The Audion monoblocks to which I not only gave a very positive review, but also bought as my new reference. The Gallium Nitride Power MOSFETS in this Class D power amp were not only acoustically outstanding, but the visual design of these diminutive monoblocks also spoke to the tube-lover within me.
---> Read our AGD Andante Preamplifier and Vivace monoblock review.

 

 

AGD "The Audion" GaNTube Monoblocks Review

AGD "The Audion" GaNTube Monoblocks
Class D reaches the upper echelon of high-end audio.
Review By Rick Becker
Back at the turn of the millennium you could put together a pretty good audio system for $10,000, and you could listen to many of those components in a local brick & mortar store if you lived in a decent size city. Sure there was some stratospherically priced gear in the $10,000 to $20,000 range you might be able to see if you went to one of the audio shows on the left or right coasts. Then along came "quantitative easing" and the internet. Gear got more expensive, the brick & mortar landscape eroded and major as well as regional audio shows proliferated.
---> Read our AGD "The Audion" GaNTube monoblock amplifier review.

 

 

Allnic H-7000 Vacuum Tube Phono Stereo Preamplifier Review

Allnic H-7000 Vacuum Tube Phono Preamplifier
Bringing you closer to the musical performance.
Review By Tom Lyle
I've been lucky enough to be able to review a variety of excellent preamplifiers during the last few years, from the more affordable to the quite extravagant. As with the Allnic H-7000 vacuum tube phono preamplifier, as reviewed here, I'm hoping that these different types of phono preamplifiers that I've reviewed might help some audiophiles make a decision as to which phono preamp might be best for their system's analog set-up.
---> Read our Allnic H-7000 phono preamplifier review.

 

 

Audio Analogue aaDAC Hi-Res Audio DAC Review

Audio Analogue aaDAC Hi-Res Audio DAC
The converter to beat within this price range.
Review By Tom Lyle
Audio Analogue's aaDAC digital-to-analog converter is the latest high-end audio component from their PureAA line, which also includes their AAcento integrated amplifier and AAphono phono preamplifier. Audio Analogue says on their website "the aaDAC is a product that perfectly fits in the Audio Analogue philosophy: its simple design, its remarkable sound performances and its great care for the finish and the materials and parts selection, make it a perfect partner for your digital sources".
---> Read our Audio Analogue aaDAC Hi-Res DAC review.

 

 

Audio Analogue Maestro Anniversary Integrated Amplifier Review

Audio Analogue Maestro Anniversary Int. Amp.
A sonic wolf in sheep's clothing.
Review By Tom Lyle
When I was asked if I would like to review Audio Analogue's newest integrated amplifier, I exclaimed "Yes!". Why? Because even on paper it seemed as if it was an extremely well-designed integrated amplifier, and also could easily power my reference speakers with a healthy 150 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms, its power doubling each time its impedance load is halved – and besides all this, I love equipment that's made in Italy. Even if some of this gear isn't a perfect match for the system in which it would be auditioned, I never have been disappointed in the sound quality of any of those components.
---> Read our Audio Analogue Maestro Anniversary int. amp. review.

 

 

Audio Research DAC9 Digital-To-Analog Converter (DAC) Review

Audio Research DAC9 Digital-To-Analog Converter
An organic sound that draws you into the music.
Review By Tom Lyle
This past summer I was in a showroom auditioning a new line of speakers that included a system that was made up of mostly Audio Research components. Even though I heard four other products from that same line of speakers that day, it was their smallest model that impressed me the most. As it just so happens, this system included the Audio Research DAC9 digital-to-analog converter that is the focus of this review.
---> Read our Audio Research DAC9 review.

 

 

Audio Research Reference 160M Monoblock Amplifier Review

Audio Research Reference 160M Amplifier
Another home run from Minnesota!
Review By Rufus Smith
I was reintroduced to Audio Research around two years ago when I had the opportunity to review the outstanding LS28 / VT80 combination for Enjoy the Music.com. In the past, I have found Audio Research's amplifiers to be very analytical but somewhat sterile sounding. The ARC LS28 / VT80 still had all of the traditional ARC sounds, but they now had developed some of the classic euphonic conrad-johnson sounds. For me, this combination was heaven on earth. It was the best of both worlds. I ended up buying the combination and have used it as part of my reference system for the last three years.
---> Read our review of the Audio Research Reference 160M amplifier.

 

 

BØrresen Acoustics 01 Two-Way Monitor Review

BØrresen Acoustics 01 Two-Way Monitor
An unending oasis of musical reality.
Review By Dr. Michael Bump
As a professional musician and university professor of 36 years, I can appreciate the weight behind Benjamin Franklin's infamous quote. Though people may well forget what you say or present, engaging them holistically – mind, body, soul – often translates into a life-learning moment. Thus the question; Are we involved within the moment and, in turn, an extension of the moment? The power of music, in particular, is a spiritual transfer of learning energy.
---> Read our BØrresen Acoustics 01 monitor review.

 

 

Chord Electronics Huei MM / MC Phono Stage Review

Chord Electronics Huei MM / MC Phono Stage
Making music sound like music, which is what makes high-end audio high-end audio.
Review By Tom Lyle
In the past I've had the pleasure of reviewing two other components made by Chord Electronics from East Farleigh, Kent UK. In December of 2014 I reviewed the first version of their Hugo, a battery powered digital to analog converter. During January 2019 I reviewed their Symphonic moving coil phono stage, which in this case is more than noteworthy because the Huei phono stage that is being reviewed here is a smaller version of their excellent Symphonic phono stage.
---> Read our Chord Huei MM / MC phono stage review.

 

 

CH Precision I1 Universal Integrated Amplifier Review

CH Precision I1 Universal Integrated Amplifier
A new paradigm for the integrated amplifier platform.
Review By Greg Weaver
CH Precision was founded by Florian Cossy and Thierry Heeb, two alumni of the highly influential and innovative Swiss high-end audio firm Goldmund. Given the wide-reaching acclaim and the host of industry awards they have garnered since their founding, it is hard to believe this company is just rounding out its first decade! For reasons that will become clearer as you get further into this evaluation, I must preface this examination by noting that my experiences with their early offerings had left me somewhat wanting.
---> Read our CH Precision I1 Universal Integrated Amplifier review.

 

 

Coincident Dynamo SE34 MK III Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier Review

Coincident Dynamo SE34 MK III Vacuum Tube Int. Amp.
A tube amplifier that is true to the master tape with soul.
Review By Tom Lyle
Back in March 2016, Enjoy The Music's Rick Becker reviewed the previous incarnation of this vacuum tube stereo amplifier, the Dynamo SE34 MK II. It was bestowed Enjoy the Music.com's 2016 Blue Note Award, and so, I suppose the best thing I could do would be to read Rick's review, and simply tack on an addendum, adding my thoughts on the differences between the two. Even though Rick Becker is an excellent high-end equipment reviewer, without listening to the older Dynamo 34SE MK II, I would feel more than a bit uneasy making any assumptions about how the MK II would sound in my system and listening room as compared to the MK III.
---> Read our Coincident Dynamo SE34 MK III amplifier review.

 

 

EMM Labs DV2 Integrated Digital-To-Analog Converter Review

EMM Labs DV2 Integrated DAC
A truly magical musical machine!
Review By Phil Gold
It's many years since I've owned a standalone DAC. When your CD Player is from EMM Labs it not only contains a world class DAC, but that DAC keeps improving sonically with regular free firmware updates. On top of that, EMM Labs has updated the XDS1 CD Player to V2 and now V3 with new physical components for a reasonable update charge. Without doubt today's XDS1 V3 shows remarkable improvements over the initial model I first reviewed in 2010.
---> Read our EMM Labs DV2 integrated DAC review.

 

 

KEF LS50 Active Wireless Speaker System Review

KEF LS50 Active Wireless Speaker System
KEF's bookshelf speakers still tower over much of the competition.
Review By Rogier van Bakel
I've long had a predilection for prix-fixe meals. And why not? Hacking your own path through the culinary scene is fine, but it might be unwise to turn up your nose at three or four courses pre-selected by a talented chef. I don't presume to know his cooking better than he does, so if he tells me that the suggested dishes are his way of combining quality ingredients, his special skill in preparing them, and a reasonable bill at the end, I'm in.
---> Read our KEF's LS50 active wireless speaker review.

 

 

Kimber Kable Carbon 8 Interconnects, Carbon 18 XL Speaker Cables, Ascent Power Cables, And Select Copper USB Cable Review

Kimber Kable Carbon 8 Interconnects, Carbon 18 XL Speaker Cables, Ascent Power Cables, And Select Copper USB Cable
Mega-transparent, plus satisfying every other trait one would expect.
Review By Tom Lyle
I've often said that the best way to test audio cable is to rewire one's entire system with that brand or model. This way one will be able to hear the difference in sound quality with any influence from other types of cable, and truly hear its affects. Kimber Kable (not a typo, Kimber likes to replace the "C" in cable with a "K") is one of the only brands of cable that I have found where I could replace once interconnect in my system, and hear a very distinct improvement of the sound of my system due to this one cable change.
---> Read our Kimber Kable Carbon cables review.

 

 

LampizatOr Golden Gate 2 DAC Review

LampizatOr Golden Gate 2 DAC
An accurate and unfettered music source for my system.
Review By Matthew Clott
Vacuum tubes versus solid-state are the Audiophile's version of red versus white wine. Both are lovely and both have die-hard fans and haters alike. I don't buy into either club completely, and I don't want to start the next Vacuum Tube Versus Solid-State war. I have enjoyed and currently own both tube and solid-state gear, and use both for reviews. That said, years ago I developed an aversion to tubes in my DAC's, partly due to experience and partly due to unsubstantiated personal bias (hey, at least I'm honest!).
---> Read our LampizatOr Golden Gate 2 DAC review.

 

 

Lindemann Musicbook SOURCE And POWER 500 Review

Lindemann Musicbook SOURCE And POWER 500
Beautify, simplify, electrify... may the SOURCE be with you.
Review By Clive Meakins
The old days are gone... well, almost. How many of us still have piles of audio equipment connected via cable spaghetti? Is it crazy to dream of simplifying Hi-Fi systems into a very few items of equipment? Doesn't such simplicity come at the expense of quality? There are of course economies in reducing the Hi-Fi box count; chassis costs are high so fewer of these should result in a major saving. Reducing the number of power supplies is beneficial too as is directly connecting circuits internally which can cut the costs associated with providing external connectivity.
---> Read our Lindemann Musicbook SOURCE & POWER 500 review.

 

 

Metronome Le Dac Digital-To-Analog Converter Review

Metronome Le Dac Digital-To-Analog Converter...
...and the Technicolor Dream.
Review By Paul Schumann
Those of you who have read some of my previous reviews know that I am in some ways a throwback, sticking with my compact discs while some audiophiles have moved to uncompressed digital files and others have embraced the vinyl side. I have a lot of CD's, and by god, I'm going to still listen to them. A few years ago I purchased the iFi Audio iDSD, and that opened up my world on how far digital has come in the last decade.
---> Read our Metronome Le Dac review.

 

 

Mola Mola Tambaqui Hi-Res Stereo DAC Review

Mola Mola Tambaqui Hi-Res Stereo DAC
An astonishing benchmark in musical expressiveness and transparency.
Review By Greg Weaver
At the introduction of the Makua linestage with its optional phono stage and DAC ($22,490 as configured) in 2016 driving a pair of their Kaluga mono amps, I was very taken by the systems engaging attributes; fast impactful bass, clean transients, articulate mids, and luxuriant body and bloom. So when GTT Audio's Bill Parish, the North American importer for Mola Mola, asked if I'd like to take a listen to and report on the Mola Mola flagship DAC, the Tambaqui, without hesitation a resounding, "Yes, please" flew out of my mouth!
---> Read our Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC review.

 

 

Pro-Ject X2 Vinyl LP Turntable Review

Pro-Ject X2 Vinyl LP Turntable
Easy to set up and very easy to use. You will not be disappointed.
Review By Tom Lyle
As the technology advances, it's only natural for any decent audio manufacturer to take advantage of this new technology. And so, when Pro-Ject was faced with improving upon their Debut and Xpression series of turntables, which are both very successful designs, they decided to, in their words, "improve on the technologies that had already been established". As a result, Pro-Ject introduced their X1 and X2 turntables. The X2, the subject of this review, besides many other improvements, makes the most of higher quality raw materials to use in its production (even though they are more difficult to source).
---> Read our Pro-Ject X2 vinyl LP turntable review.

 

 

Raidho TD4.2 Floorstanding Loudspeakers Review

Raidho TD4.2 Floorstanding Loudspeakers
Raidho's TD4.2 delivers the meaning of music.
Review By Tom Lyle
I admit it. The pair of TD4.2 speakers that have taken residence in my listening room are the best speakers I have ever had the pleasure of auditioning. They are also the most massive, most substantial, and at $122,000 to $142,000 a pair, the most expensive. It was a bit of a humbling experience unpacking these speakers. This is because getting them out of their crates and into the listening room required hired help - there was no way I could move these speakers into the listening room upstairs by myself.
---> Read our Raidho TD4.2 speaker review.

 

 

Rotel RC-1590 Stereo Preamplifier Review

Rotel RC-1590 Stereo Preamplifier
A stereo pre that should be on your list to audition.
Review By Brett Rudolph
The world of stereo equipment started with very humble beginnings. Many types of equipment have changed from their historical roots to today's modern versions. For example, the preamplifier began as nothing more than a device to amplify low-level signals into ones that are capable of being amplified for playback. The same is true of many companies that produce the equipment for the audio industry.
---> Read our Rotel RC-1590 preamplifier review. 

 

 

Sonus Faber Nova II Floorstanding Speakers Review

Sonus Faber Nova II Floorstanding Speakers
These are immensely sexy speakers with the build quality, and attention to detail, that you would expect on an Italian sports car.
Review By Dean Cacioppo
Let's get this started with a hi-fi thought exercise. When does a loudspeaker become something that is considered a luxury item? Is $1000 per pair of speakers a luxury item? How about a $5000 pair? What about those that are priced at $100,000? Although we all may have a different idea of what luxury is, we all know when we are in the presence of something that is truly luxurious.
---> Read our Sonus Faber Nova II speaker review.

 

 

SVS Pinnacle 3.5-Way Floorstanding Speakers Review

SVS Pinnacle 3.5-Way Floorstanding Speakers
These speakers can rock, plus produce excellent macro and micro dynamics too!
Review By Dr. Matthew Clott
SVS came on the scene several years ago and impressed everyone with their range of high performance subwoofers. They established themselves as a high value to performance product and sold primarily dealer direct. Their subwoofers come in multiple sizes, multiple price points and in both sealed and ported versions to seamlessly mesh with home audio and home theater systems. With their success, speaker production was an obvious progression and they introduced a 5.1 HT system, bookshelf speakers, dedicated surround speakers and floorstanders.
---> Read our SVS Pinnacle speaker review.

 

 

Synergistic Research Foundation Cables Review

Synergistic Research Foundation Cables
Oracles house themselves within temples of the humble.
Review By Rick Becker
Like with climate change, it's hard to believe there are still cable deniers in this world, but they show up in the forums with a loud voice. You would think the multitude of High End cable manufacturers would be a clue. After all, if high end cables were all snake oil would so many companies exist? Would so many people buy them? And importantly, would brick & mortar stores, who build their reputations and depend on repeat customers, be selling them? At audio shows nobody runs generic power cords or interconnects.
---> Read our Synergistic Research Foundation cables review.

 

 

Top Wing Suzaku - Red Sparrow MC Phono Cartridge Review

Top Wing Suzaku / Red Sparrow MC Phono Cartridge
Perhaps the last cartridge you will ever need.
Review By Tom Lyle
A few years ago I reviewed the Van den Hul Crimson Stradivarius phono cartridge. I began that review by expressing my love-hate relationship with phono cartridges. The love stems from my love of music, and the fact that I prefer music reproduced by vinyl, and that the phono cartridge converts vibrational energy from the grooves of the records into an electric signal and then this electrical signal is somehow converted into the music that comes forth from our speakers.
---> Read our Top Wing's Suzaku / Red Sparrow MC review.

 

 

Verity Audio Otello Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review

Verity Audio Otello Floorstanding Speakers
A loudspeaker for music lovers.
Review By Rufus Smith
Founded in 1995, Verity Audio hit the ground running in 1996 with the debut of their first speaker, the Parsifal. The Parsifal has gone through at least four iterations since its introduction, retaining the qualities that made the original so special. The speaker was known for a smooth treble that tended oh so slightly toward the dark side of neutral, a midrange that was transparent but is somewhat laid-back and bass that has weight and meaningful extension.
---> Read our Verity Audio Otello loudspeaker review.

 

 

YG Acoustics Hailey 2.2 Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review

YG Acoustics Hailey 2.2 Floorstanding Loudspeaker
The middleweight contender....
Review By Phil Gold
Cards on the table. I've owned the YG Carmel and the YG Carmel 2, each of which I've reviewed in these pages in January 2012 and July 2015 respectively. You can read them here and weep. I'm addicted to the ultra-high resolution, low distortion, lightning reflexes, dynamic range and the holographic imaging of the Carmel speakers.  They are not for everyone. Due to the particular way they are constructed from billets of aircraft grade aluminum, they cost a lot of money, and due to their relatively small size, they don't reach down all that deep. The sealed box design does provide a superbly fast accurate bass, but while the quality is high, the quantity is limited.
---> Read our YG Acoustics Hailey 2.2 speaker review.

 


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The Intro By Art Dudley of Listener Magazine

The Intro
Editorial By Art Dudley
Volume two of the Monumental five-volume set of Bob Dylan's The Genuine Basement Tapes reaches an emotional climax with a plaintive song called "I'm Not There" — no mean feat after the brilliant "Going to Acapulco" and three takes of "Tears of Rage," one in waltz time. "I'm Not There" has appeared before, on The Great White Wonder and on Volume One of The Newly Discovered Basement Tapes on Surprise Records (the latter credited to Blind Boy Grunt and The Hawks), and while the version on The Genuine Basement Tapes is the best sounding of the bunch, you still wouldn't mistake it for anything other than a bootleg.
---> Read more of Art Dudley's intro from Listener.

 

 

Sound Practices History Lessons By Joe Roberts

History Lessons
Article By Joe Roberts
There is a lot of confusion regarding the cultural significance of vacuum tube audio in general and single-ended audio in particular. All of a sudden, we are confronted with a harvest of new stuff which apparently has a lot to do with very, very old stuff. Some mainstream journalists were quick to dismiss the whole phenomenon as a "retro" movement, a term of pointed disdain in high-tech circles signifying an unnatural preoccupation with an imagined past. "Now is better" is the cry of the old guard rallying in defense against this blast from the past.
---> Read more History Lessons by Joe Roberts.

 

 

VALVE Magazine High Efficiency Speakers

High Efficiency Speakers
The continuing saga of a search for a loudspeaker for single-ended tube amplifiers.
Article By Dan Schmalle
Without a doubt, the single most revolutionary change to take place in audio in this decade is the widening acceptance of single ended topology as the most musically accurate form of signal amplification. The term revolutionary may be a bit mild. So much audio angst has been stirred up by the idea of going 'backwards' to 1920's technology that a new audio subculture has grown up around the concept, sharing information when the mainstream audio press turned a deaf ear to the topic.
---> Read more about high efficiency speakers.

 

 

Townshend Allegri+ Preamplifier Review

Townshend Allegri+ Preamplifier Review
Martin Colloms undertakes a renewed (albeit brief) re-acquaintance with the 2017-2018 edition of a respected auto transformer volume control.
Review By Martin Colloms
I had so used (and abused!) my first edition Allegri passive volume control that the volume wafer ganging had gone out of alignment and the input and output sockets were well worn. In the post came a refreshed example, which was first shown at the September London Indulgence show 2017 and reported by me. It would be fair to say that this compact auto-transformer line controller has been completely re-engineered, as it also now has a front panel 3.5mm input socket for portable audio sources.
---> Read the Townshend Allegri+ Preamplifier review.

 

 

Rogue Audio RH-5 Headphone Amplifier and Stereo Preamplifier Review

Rogue Audio RH-5 Headphone Amplifier And Stereo Preamplifier
A venerable two-channel company's maiden voyage into headphone audio.
Review By Dave Hanson
The headphone amplification category has grown exponentially in recent years, and with it, several brands have risen from start-ups to household names for personal audio enthusiasts: Schiit, Woo, Cavalli, Questyle, Bottlehead and Eddie Current, just to name a few. One name that has likely evaded many of those enthusiasts, however, is Rogue Audio. For over 20 years, Mark O'Brien and Phil Koch have been making quite a name for Rogue in the world of two-channel audio amplification, where their products are very well regarded.
---> Read our Rogue Audio RH-5 headamp / preamplifier review.

 

 

Goldmund Mimesis 11 Digital Hub / Preamplifier And Logos Tower Speakers Review

World Premiere Review!
Goldmund Mimesis 11 Digital Hub / Preamplifier And Logos Tower Speakers

Magnificent products that are worthy of the Goldmund name.
Review By Tom Lyle
For now, I am going to resist calling the Goldmund Logos Tower loudspeakers "lifestyle" products. Sure, there are some who will purchase the Goldmund Logos Tower speakers and their accompanying Mimesis 11 preamplifier / wireless hub who are not audiophiles, but simply wish to have the best wireless speaker system they can afford. But I'm going to resist calling it a lifestyle product because I'm just as sure there are going to be audiophiles who recognize the Goldmund name and consider purchasing this system.
---> Read our Goldmund Mimesis 11 and Logos Tower speaker review.

 

 

Raven Audio Reflection MK2 Integrated Amplifier Review

World Premiere Review!
Raven Audio Reflection MK2 Int. Amp

An intimate and personal involvement in the music.
Review By Ron Nagle
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pounded, weak and weary, with a tap, tap, tapping on a darkened QWERTY. With many a quaint and curious tome proffered, still there must follow even more.... I'm in a hollow state of mind right now as I review the Raven Audio Reflection MK2 integrated amplifier. Vacuum Tubes make a lot of sense to me, why? Let's take a look at a now reality.
---> Read our Raven Audio Reflection MK2 integrated amplifier review. 

 

 

Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II Stereo Integrated Amplifier Review

World Premiere Review!
Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II Stereo Integrated Amplifier
High-end audio's Poster Child for being an overachiever.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin
While Apple computer programmers loved the pirate aspect to what they were doing, there are times when rogues can take the glory. Rogue Audio's Cronus Magnum II integrated amplifier, is perhaps an alternate to being a pirate as there are many romantic story of rogues freeing people from the constraints of, well, you know. Case in point is where evolution refines society. And so we embark on Rogue Audio's outstanding craft in vacuum tube audio.
---> Read our Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II review.

 

 

M2Tech Nash Phono Preamplifier & Van Der Graaf MkII Power Supply Review

M2Tech Nash Phono Pre & Van Der Graaf MkII
Capable of producing both subtle and very dense recordings.
Review By Tom Lyle
M2Tech's Nash phono stage, a component that is part of their Rockstar series, seemed to me to be the not only a perfect match for the Pro-Ject Esprit SB turntable that I set up in my second system not long ago, but also for the moving magnet Ortofon 2M Red phono cartridge that is mounted on the turntable's integral tonearm. This is probably the least expensive cartridge I would ever consider using, and conversely, at about $100 my experience leads me to believe that it is also the most expensive cartridge a non-audiophile might consider purchasing. Thankfully, it has a relatively neutral sound.
---> Read our M2Tech Nash Phono Pre & Van Der Graaf MkII review.

 

 

 

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