High-End Audio / Audiophile Equipment
Reviews And Think Pieces
Music Lovers Win At Enjoy the
John Tampouratzis wins a Schiit Lyr 3 with Multibit DAC option!
By John Tampouratzis
During December 2020, Enjoy the Music.com and Schiit joined forces to
give away a Lyr 3 with Multibit DAC option valued at
$699! Here are a few words from John Tampouratzis in Greece, who won this wonderful
giveaway! I WON THE PRIZE!!! I'm feeling lucky!!! Since the advent of social media, the world has become smaller, and information, news, and knowledge more immediate. It was on the 4th of January when I received the email that
I've won. I looked at the sender and the CC notification....
---> John Tampouratzis wins a Schiit Lyr 3
with Multibit DAC!
Vloggers: Hi-Fi Over Wi-Fi
Elevating your listening experience is a journey well worth taking.
Article By Emiko
The internet is a vast frontier, ever-expanding, and ever
filled with noise. But somewhere deep within the recesses of the chatter, the
opinions spilling forth like Biblical fact, is a small solar system called
hi-fi. And the hi-fi system (see what I did there?) is like a high school
cafeteria. Lots of different groups sitting at various tables. (Okay, okay, we
went from interstellar to lunchrooms. Follow me here, I'm going somewhere with
this!) There are the vinyl junkies, the vintage fiends, the tinker-ers, the
digital folks, the analog folks, the "give me tubes or give me death" group,
the budget folks, the high-end audio folks, and probably a few more tables I
haven't yet graced but plan on perusing through. What I can tell you, from
attending a ton of audio shows (not to mention running one — T.H.E. Show) is
that there are four common threads that get knotted up, and occasionally connect
Vloggers: Hi-Fi Over Wi-Fi.
Music Has A Lot To Say...
If you're willing to listen.
Review By Mike Perez
What kind of headspace are you in when you are listening to music? Are you working out?
Relaxing in your favorite chair sipping a cocktail? Driving down a lonely road deep in thought? Or getting ready to dance the night away at your favorite club or hangout? Wherever you are, music always has some type of roll to play. As I write this, I have one of my go-to playlists working in the background because the ambient sound always helps me to get words on the page. The reasoning behind this article is that I was stricken with curiosity. I want to know what some of my friends, colleagues, and HiFi Industry Professionals are listening to at the
---> Music Has A Lot To
It's All In The Timing
Roger Skoff writes about one seldom-discussed audio essential.
By Roger Skoff
Years ago, after I had designed my first super-high-end power cable and was testing it prior to bringing it to market, I had a truly strange experience: Changing the power cord on just the amplifier driving my main speakers gave me what sounded like at least another half-octave of deep bass response from my sub-woofers, even though I had made no change at all to the amplifier driving
them! The system I was running at the time was very similar to what
I'm still using as one of my systems, even today: Various signal sources were all connected through a Jeff Rowland Design Group preamp, to a Jeff Rowland amplifier driving a pair of Acoustat 1+1 electrostatic speakers running full-range down to a 6dB per octave crossover at 80Hz and a pair of separately-powered subwoofers taking over to run the rest of the way down to below
---> It's All In The Timing.
Over The Horizon
Some thoughts on the evolution of pro audio over the foreseeable future.
Article By Peter Mapp, PhD, FASA, FAES
audio-related developments will unfold over the next year is an almost
impossible task, given the influence and effects of the current novel
coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As I write these words, the United Kingdom is
in the middle of another lockdown; the same is the case for several other
European countries. That was predictable, just as the second wave of COVID-19
infection was entirely predictable. What is not predictable, however, is
exactly how all this will affect the pro-audio business over the next year or
so. At present, there is a strange dichotomy: Some manufacturers, integrators
and other firms are doing OK or are only down a few percentage points; by
contrast, others are struggling to survive or, indeed, they didn't make it. My
heart goes out to those in that position.
---> Audio Forecast: Over The Horizon.
I Remember Tim de Paravicini
Remembering a colorful, and brilliant, audio electronics designer.
Article By Robert Jørgensen
I knew Tim de Paravicini for over 40 years. My last contact was in late November 2019 when he wrote to me that he
wasn't doing so well and just a couple of weeks later, he was gone. As has been mentioned by others Tim was a larger-than-life character. He did not suffer fools (or those he considered so) gladly. In his defense on most subjects, he would express strong opinions he was well informed. From our perspective this of course was especially in all things connected with audio. But television technology, cars, airplanes, and what seems to be a host of other things he did have in-depth knowledge. I
don't intend to repeat his biography, which has been ably told elsewhere but just tell a bit about my own experience and friendship with Tim de
---> I Remember Tim de Paravicini.
Q&A With Jim Anderson
Recording Engineer And Grammy Winner,
Many Times Over
When Jim Anderson was a kid, his teacher told him to put down the records and focus on his studies. Luckily for the world of immersive audio, he didn't listen.
Article By Immersive Audio Album (IAA)
recordings have won a whopping 11 Grammy awards. His projects have been
nominated for another 27, most recently for his role as the Surround Mix
Engineer on Gisle Kverndokk: Symphonic Dances in 2020. Jim recently spoke
with IAA about mixing this album, teaching at NYU, how he got into immersive
music, and more. Added note by Enjoy the Music.com:
Immersive audio is the three-dimensional approach to audio storytelling that is taking sound to new heights. While traditional
"surround sound" exists in a horizontal plane around the listener, immersive sound refers to an expanded sonic field that quite literally immerses the listener in a multi-dimensional
---> Q&A With Jim Anderson: Recording
engineer and Grammy winner, many times over.
How A Vinyl Record Is Made
We tour Quality Record Pressings / Acoustic Sounds vinyl LP pressing plant.
Enjoy the Music.com presents to you our tour of the Quality Record Pressings (Acoustic Sounds) vinyl LP pressing plant. We join plant manager Gary and owner Chad Kassem as they take us on a step-by-step journey through how a vinyl LP record is produced. As always, in the end what really matters is that you... Enjoy the
---> See how a vinyl LP record is made.
An Interview With Alfred Vassilkov Of Estelon
development from this brilliant loudspeaker
Interview By Andrija Curkovic Of hifimedia.
To be a success in a global market, and in a very challenging segment of
premium high-end speakers, from a country which many audiophiles, if you ask
them, would not be able to find on a map, is a huge success. Usually, the story
about such success would be preordained (fully unjustifiably) for some "other
young company", situated somewhere in one of the countries of the so-called
developed west. If we also know that the headquarters of the company is in the
city of Tallinn, in Estonia, the country which fulfilled its independence, and
end of the occupation by the former Soviet Union, which started after the World
War II, only in 1991, the story gets another dimension.
interview with Alfred Vassilkov of Estelon.
10 Questions For High-End
Featuring David Chesky Of Chesky Records
Enjoy the Music.com's very special 25th Anniversary we're asking various
high-end audio manufacturers to answer the same ten questions. Their answers may
surprise you! This month we're featuring David Chesky of Chesky Records and
HDtracks. At Chesky Records, their philosophy is simple: to create the illusion of live musicians in a real three-dimensional space. Chesky Records tries to achieve the impression of reality with the most advanced technology available, careful microphone placement, and, most of all, a recording team that pays attention to every minute detail-making your listening experience tangible, pleasurable, exciting, and realistic.
10 questions to David Chesky of Chesky Records & HDtracks.
World Premiere Review!
Mojo Mystique EVO B4B 21 DAC (2021
It sounds like music.
Dr. Matt Clott
Audio, located in Albuquerque, NM, is the brainchild and passion of Benjamin
Zwickel, President, CEO, and chief designer. Although not as well recognized as
the big-name manufacturers, Benjamin has established his brand as a manufacturer
direct digital source alternative that offers enormous value in performance and
routinely hits way above its price point. Do not confuse this Mojo with the
Chord Mojo portable DAC... not the same. I have previously had a positive
experience with his DACs within my pre-reviewer days and I was thrilled at the
opportunity to formally review the Mojo Audio Mystique EVO B4B 21 D/A Converter.
Having gone through several iterations, the current model line-up nomenclatures
are all Mystique EVO 21 DACs.
Mojo Mystique EVO B4B 21 DAC (2021 version).
Vivid Audio Kaya 45 Floorstanding
The ultimate curve appeal.
The perfect system is an elusive and never-ending quest for most of us. To add to the misery, some of us would like to have a system that looks as good as it sounds. Rose-gold trim or chrome-plated products will garner a first look. Boring rectangular speaker boxes need not apply. The Vivid Audio line of speakers will never be called boring. Vivid Audio, based in West Sussex, UK, has been producing unique and sonically outstanding loudspeakers since 2004. At the 2008 CES, Vivid Audio stunned the world with the G1 Giya flagship speaker. My review model is the more affordable Vivid Audio Kaya 45 loudspeaker at $18,000 per pair. Vivid Audio's Kaya 45 loudspeakers arrived via freight in a large wooden crate. Any pair of speakers arriving in a large wooden crate (with wheels, thankfully) always brings a smile to a reviewer's face.
Vivid Audio Kaya 45 floorstanding speaker review.
Video: Greg Weaver Of The Audio Analyst
Intro And Loudspeaker Roundtable
The latest chapter of a lifelong journey.
Article And Video BY Greg Weaver
been playing with and selling audio gear since before my sixteenth birthday
(1971), and I started reviewing and writing about the industry and my beloved
audio gear at the age of thirty-two (1988) when I started my first print
magazine, the audio analyst©. As you may imagine, my five
decades of involvement in this industry, at all different levels, has been both
diverse and remarkably encompassing. I've progressed from hobbyist, to sales, to
managing hi-fi shops, salons, and chains. After earning a degree in digital electronics in
the early 1980s, I have since owned a repair shop, where I repaired, modified,
and installed everything from CD players, upright commercial Video Arcade games,
designed and installed contest-winning 12-Volt audio systems, custom
high-performance two-channel installations, commercial audio systems, and home
---> Video: Greg Weaver
of The Audio Analyst.
Fear and Loathing in America:
The iBasso DC03 DAC / Headphone Amplifier
Helped Me Process The Capitol Assault
A portable USB DAC that plugs into your smartphone to improve the sound quality of headphone listening on-the-go.
Anyone who thought 2021 was going to be so much better than 2020 was not in Washington D.C. on January
6th (2021). Having travelled from New Jersey the day before to spend time with the folks at Linear Tube Audio (you can check out our coverage on Instagram) in Takoma Park, I decided to also pay a visit to my best friend from college who resides in the
city. I lived in Washington D.C. for almost 10 years and commuted through Union Station for work for almost two years. For those who
don't know the city well – it sits less than two blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
iBasso DC03 DAC / headphone amplifier review.
IsoAcoustics GAIA I Speaker Isolators Review
Superb Performance and big time
I have a great deal of respect
for isolation devices, though certain caveats should always be considered. I
have reviewed and/or owned some of the most simple to the most sophisticated.
This includes designs from Butcher Block Acoustics, Solidsteel, Adona, Sound
Anchors, Silent Running Audio, Harmonic Resolution Systems, Rix Rax, Critical
Mass, and Grand Prix. You have heard it before, but virtually all will certainly
make a difference — some for the good and some for the not so good. And like
all things audio, compatibility can be critical. With this in mind, the IsoAcoustics GAIA I speaker isolators
are something very special. There is real science and logic behind the design.
The results were immediate and quite easy to identify.
IsoAcoustics GAIA I Speaker Isolators review.
Noble Falcon Pro True Wireless
One of the best IEMs I have heard under $400.
Review By Gary Alan Barker
the short four years that I have been writing for Headphone.Guru, I have had
opportunity to listen to a host of Bluetooth IEMs, several of which I use on a
daily basis for telephone communication, but none that I would deign to use for
regular music listening despite the significant improvements that have been made
to Bluetooth over the last few years, preferring a wired option generally opting
for my Noble Katanas or Zephyrs. This all changed when Jim Moulton offered to
send me a pair of the new Noble Falcon Pro True Wireless IEMs, flagship model of
the FALCON series, utilizing a hybrid driver configuration featuring a 6mm
titanium coated driver for impactful sub-bass and bass, and two Knowles BA
drivers for mid and high frequencies.
Noble Falcon Pro True Wireless IEM review.
World Premiere Review!
Clarus CODA USB DAC / HeadAmp
High-performance USB-DAC with headphone amplifier and MQA.
Review By Rick Becker
through pens, twistos, and a highlighters
To find the vintage die cast letter opener,
Veteran of bills and invoices opened by my father and his
father before him
And me after both of them. Some things last forever.
Old tools and such.
Most businesses, like most people, music and audio gear come
Today this tarnished brass blade is used to carefully open
The tucked-in end flap of the point-of-sale box
Containing the new Clarus CODA.
A first batch sample of the hi-rez USB DAC with headphone amplifier...
Clarus CODA USB DAC / headamp review.
Black Cat Graceline Level-2 Interconnect & Speaker Cable
Worth every freaking penny because your system will appreciate it.
Review By Tom Lyle
In March of
2019, I reviewed Black Cat's 3200 interconnect, speaker, and digital cable in Enjoy
The Music. I was very impressed by these relatively affordable cables. The
Graceline (by Black Cat Cable) Level-2 interconnects and speaker cables reviewed
here are a considerable step up from those cables in sound quality. In case one might not have heard of Black Cat cables, and even
if you have, I strongly suggest one read the "We
Ask 10 Questions..." interview with Chris Sommovigo, which appeared in
November 2020's issue as part of the celebration
of Enjoy The Music's 25th Anniversary. In this interview, I learned
that Mr. Sommovigo is a very knowledgeable, level-headed designer and inventor.
Some of his cables were very sonically successful, such as his digital cable, of
which he sold several of his designs to Kimber Kable.
Black Cat Graceline Level-2 interconnect & speaker cable review.
Linear Tube Audio Z40 Integrated Amplifier Review
Plus notes on LTA's ZOTL Ultralinear Integrated.
Being true to the music.
Review By Dr. Jules Coleman
commonplace that audio reviews, including this review of the Linear Tube Audio Z40
vacuum tube integrated amplifier, should describe the sonic characteristics of
components under review, assess the desirability of those attributes, and offer
an overall evaluation of the product: e.g. is it worth a serious listen, might
it be worth considering for purchase, and so on. The viability of a review
depends on the reliability and credibility of its descriptive aspects and the
good faith in which the recommendations are made. So before we get into my
review of Linear Tube Audio's impressive Z40 (a.k.a. LTA
Z40i) vacuum tube integrated amplifier.... Overall, reviewers may lack craft, but not integrity.
Linear Tube Audio Z40 integrated amplifier review.
Orchard Audio PecanPi Streamer
An excellent value for money with very useful touchscreen too!
Review By Clive Meakins
back Ron Nagle reviewed the Orchard
Audio Starkrimson Class D amplifiers implemented with Gallium Nitride (GaN)
technology. The owner of Orchard Audio – Leo Ayzenshtat – has a very strong
design background, you can check him out on LinkedIn. Leo developed a DAC for
the Raspberry Pi which is available as a board only or you can buy it embedded
within either of the two streamers Orchard Audio produce plus the USB / S/PDIF
DAC they make. The two streamers are the PecanPi Streamer and PecanPi Streamer
Ultra (ULTRA). It's the ULTRA I'm test driving here. The most obvious difference
with the ULTRA is that it includes a 5-inch TFT screen on its front panel, not
many streamers come with such a screen – this is a welcome addition. Both
streamers include the Orchard Audio DAC integrated directly with the Pi
motherboard via an I2S connection..
Orchard Audio PecanPi Streamer Ultra review.
Linear Tube Audio,
Omega Speaker Systems,
The Audiophile System Builder V2
Our recommendations for buying a complete audiophile stereo system with a budget between $3600 to $7400 for streaming
Review By Ian White Of ecoustics
Our recommendations for buying a complete audiophile stereo
system with a budget between $3600 to $7400 for streaming hi-res audio. We covered a lot of ground in the first installment of the Audiophile
System Builder, and kept it limited to a few brands that we know have a lot
of system synergy. The notion that you can just throw a bottomless pit of money
at a stack of equipment and walk away with a great sounding audio system is a
fallacy. There is a reason why dealers demonstrate specific brands together and
while not every dealer gets it correct 100% of the time, you're paying for a
level of expertise which includes knowing which amplifier sounds great with the
loudspeakers set-up in front of you.
---> The Audiophile System Builder V2.
Stereo Headphones Review
Setting a high-water mark for headphones to measure up to.
Review By John Hoffman
As a lifelong two-channel audio
listener I had my doubts that I could appreciate listening to music through
headphones. A good friend of mine extolls the benefits of the personal listening
experience, but I never could come around to seeing his point of view. Sure, I
have inexpensive ear buds and in ear monitors for portable listening, but this
was always casual listening at best. Yet there are times I could see the
advantages of having a headphone system, as there are certain genres of music
other household members do not appreciate late at night. The question I had in
the back of my mind is, "Could a die-hard audiophile appreciate a set of
cans? Would I find long-term listening satisfaction with high-performance
---> Focal Stellia
stereo headphones review.
Beyerdynamic T1 Generation 3 Headphones
The return (and update) of a true classic!
Review By Peter Pialis
Approximately 11 years ago when I first started out in the
world of personal audio, my first foray into the high-end market space was with
my purchase of the venerable beyerdynamic T1. Coming in at $999, the original T1
was beyerdynamic's response to the Sennheiser HD800 flagship release. Being a
huge fan (and owner) of the DT880 (600-Ohm version), the T1 really grabbed my
attention and I decided to give the T1 a whirl just to see how much better sound
quality through a pair of headphones could be. I likely purchased the very first
pair available for sale here in Canada and I still get very nostalgic when I
recall my first unboxing of these headphones.
Beyerdynamic T1 generation 3 headphones review.
Enjoy the Music.com Celebrates
Ecoustics As Content Sharing Partners
the Music.com and ecoustics are thrilled to announce our new content sharing partnership, expanding the reach of both online publications to a wider range of readers, listeners, and viewers across the globe. With a combined
46 years of online publishing history between the two magazines, both are cornerstones of the consumer
home entertainment media online world and charging into 2021 with a renewed sense of purpose and
---> Enjoy the Music.com
celebrates adding ecoustics.
Editorial By Art Dudley
Apart from reminding Listener's
readers how seldom I have been arrested compared to George W. Bush (the score stands at "zero" to "three that we know of"), I vow to keep the following observations as non-political as I
can. Today's concern goes to the heart of our hobby. Specifically, what should we, as audiophiles, be doing with our hi-fi gear? Should we use our stereos to lay bare every nuance of sound on our recordings, as faithfully and thoroughly as technology allows? Or should we use them as we would a drug, to achieve a musical bliss-out whenever the fancy strikes
us? And: Is it acceptable for us to even think of these as separate
---> The Intro by Art
Dudley of Listener magazine.
Article By Joe Roberts
From Sound Practices
Issue 9, Fall 1995
Way out on the paranoid
fringes of contemporary American thought, miles beyond even the craziest audiophiles, there are some scared technology worshippers who believe
that an international elite bad guy network of power-hungry conspirators has been conducting massively funded, wildly successful experiments with holographic
imaging technology. The claim is that gizmos exist for creating 100% real-looking motion
pictures in 3-D space, 4-D if you count time as a D. These infernal devices can materialize illusions that can pass through our senses as reality itself!
Yikes! The above-mentioned whistle blowers are trying to warn us that fancy hologram projectors
will play a central role in the ultimate power grab in all of human history, planned to go down at the turn of the millennium. Over the generations, many predictions
were made about the year 2001...
---> Grand Illusion
editorial by Joe Roberts.
Tech Tips And Other Unsolicited Advice
The 75 Minute Restoration
From VALVE Volume 2 Number 7 July 1995
Bill called a couple Saturdays ago to tell
me that he had traded a Mac 1700 (a hybrid receiver, with tube tuner and solid-state amp) for a Scott 340 receiver. The
person he traded with acknowledged a greater value for the Mac than the Scott and offered to pay a set amount for
service by yours truly to balance the deal. Would I be available this weekend to do check it
out? I asked Bill if it ran and he said yes. Knowing that the weak point on Scotts
was their coupling caps, I suggested he run it for a while, constantly monitoring
the output tubes for red plates. He called back a bit later and said that one tube's plate had started to glow red,
at which point he turned the 340 off. I said bring it by and I'd get it going.
---> Tech Tips And Other Unsolicited Advice.
World Premiere Review!
Dynamic Sounds Associates Pre I Linestage
Articulate, smooth and magically engaging.
I First met Doug Hurlburt, the man behind Dynamic Sounds
Associates, some 20 years ago now; we were members of the same extended southern
Maryland listening group. Doug has designed and built audio equipment for his
own uses since his high school days. On my first visit to his home in (then)
Potomac, MD, I was impressed by his clearly advanced comprehension of
electronics and his passionate love of music. He had recently done an incredible
mod, rebuilding his KEF CS5 loudspeakers, including totally redesigned crossover
networks. This rebuild led to his rewriting Richard Small's theory of passive
radiator loudspeakers, all published in the March 2000 issue of the Journal
of the Audio Engineering Society. Further, and more to the point
here, he had already built and installed his own end table sized amplifiers,
that, to be blunt, sounded wonderful.
Dynamic Sounds Associates Pre I linestage review.
YG Acoustics Hailey 2.2 Floorstanding
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.
YG Acoustics Hailey 2.2 loudspeaker review.
World Premiere Review!
Stromtank S2500 Battery Power Supply
The joys of a pure sine wave with battery power.
I've been stricken with something I like to call an "audiophile illusion of grandeur" for quite some time. It started long ago, when I first discovered that the AC power supplied
to my stereo system was less than adequate. This wasn't too difficult to figure out, because in the daytime my system sounded
lousy, at least compared to how it sounded at night. This continues to this day.
This is because my home shares the power my electric company provides with many
customers, including commercial establishments, homes, and more. As a result,
the sound of my system suffers. At about 6:00 PM the system begins to sound better. After 9:00
PM my system sounds even better, and can transport me to sonic nirvana, as if I
can aurally detect the source of the recording, as if I've traveled in some
sort of sonic time machine.
---> Stromtank S2500 battery power supply review.
Enjoy the Music.com And MAYORS
Celebrates Luxury Timepieces During Florida Audio Expo 2020
Report By Steven R. Rochlin
2020 Enjoy the Music.com is celebrating our 25th Anniversary and wanted
to do something extra special. During the Florida Audio Expo we worked closely
with MAYORS Jewellers, the Southeast's
leading multi-brand retailer of jewelry and luxury timepieces retailer, for an
exciting evening devoted to mechanical timepieces. For those unfamiliar, MAYORS
has 17 stores within Florida and Georgia and is owned by Watches Of
leading luxury timepiece and jewelry company for over 50 (!) years, and so it
took a bit of doing to make this event happen.
---> Enjoy the Music.com and MAYORS
celebrates luxury timepieces during the Florida Audio Expo 2020.
CH Precision I1 Universal Integrated
A new paradigm for the integrated amplifier
Review By Greg Weaver
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.
CH Precision I1 universal integrated amplifier review.
Audiophile Gift 2020 December
Note: We have magazine issues dating back to 1999.
See our archives section for all reviews.