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High-End Audio / Audiophile Equipment Reviews And Think Pieces

July 2020

 

audioXpress Is Now Available On Enjoy the Music.com

audioXpress Is Now Featured On Enjoy the Music.com
Combining great articles, projects, and techniques for producing the best in quality audio, audioXpress connects manufacturers and distributors with audio engineers and enthusiasts eager for innovative solutions in sound, acoustic and electronics. Every month, audioXpress combines excellent educational articles on topics including audio electronics, speaker and headphone design, amplifiers (from vacuum tube to Class D), acoustics, practical test and measurement, audio engineering praxis, and standards.
---> Read Enjoy the Music.com's audioXpress press release.

 

 

The HiFi Summit Q2 2020 By Joe N Tell

The HiFi Summit Q2 2020 By Joe N Tell
Finally, the audio community now has an excellent high-quality online streaming show resource for 2020 and beyond! The HiFi Summit, produced by Joe N Tell (Joe Mariano), brings modern features that are expected when showcasing the best in high-fidelity audio and home theater gear. Excellent seminars and group chat are joined by questions from viewers within their Lobby Discussion and YouTube live stream.
---> Learn more and watch videos from The HiFi Summit.

 

 

AXPONA Worldwide Audio Fest 2020

AXPONA Worldwide Audio Fest 2020
Due to the Coronavirus, this year's event was rescheduled to AXPONA 2021. JD Events found a way to do an excellent job with their Worldwide Audio Fest, which is a virtual (online) show on Instagram. To quote AXPONA, "The Audio World is alive and thriving! With music lovers staying home around the globe, you can virtually experience what is new in high end audio. In two jam-packed days, over 50 of the world's top audio brands will introduce new products, make announcements and interact.
---> See AXPONA's Worldwide Audio Fest 2020.

 

 

Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2020 Report By Ed Selly Of HIFICRITIC

Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2020 Report
The first UK show of the year brought the audio industry out of hibernation, with no shortage of new arrivals to temp visitors.
Report By Ed Selly Of HIFICRITIC Magazine
The Bristol HiFi Show is now comfortably the longest-running UK audio show and the 33rd iteration took place in February in the familiar surroundings of the Marriott Hotel in the city centre. After a few years of dabbling in AV as well as two-channel audio, taking the Sound & Vision name, the event Bristol reverted to its roots, describing itself as a hi-fi show, last year.
---> Read our Bristol Hi-Fi 2020 Show report.

 

 

It Was The Best Of Times It Was The Worst Of Times High-end audio sales skyrocket during COVID-19.

It Was The Best Of Times,
It Was The Worst Of Times

High-end audio sales skyrocket during COVID-19.
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
We can all agree that 2020 has been an eventful year, yet one without virtually any high-end audio events! Many companies worldwide joined together with online videos, yet none of us met in person. Sales for many audiophile companies have increased dramatically during 2020, yet it was not due to physical shows some claim are a must. Unemployment for millions of workers globally is at record highs, yet there's an abundance of currency flowing thanks to government and Central Bank intervention.
---> Read It Was The Best Of Times....

 

 

Life And Music After COVID-19

Life And Music After COVID-19
Roger Skoff writes about possible lasting gains from short-term ills.
Article By Roger Skoff
Although it seems vastly longer, it's really just a very few months since we first heard of COVID-19. For now, at least – although another outbreak this fall is declared certain by one group of "experts" and roundly denied by another – it seems that the disease has largely passed and that, after months of self-quarantining, it's time for what might well be described as a new kind of "Groundhog Day."
---> Read Life And Music After COVID-19.

 

 

Video: A Look Behind The Curtain At Abyss Headphones Enjoy the Music.com features a look behind Abyss Headphones.

A Look Behind The Curtain At Abyss Headphones
We take a look behind Abyss Headphones.
Abyss makes some of the finest planar magnetic headphones within the high-end audio industry. They engineer, machine, and assemble their headphones from scratch using the finest materials. Patented planar speaker drivers deliver music to your ears with a speaker-like performance that will astound you! Quality shines though with solid aluminum frames, minimal moving parts, comfortable and soft lambskin leathers plus Italian Alcantara... built within the USA.
---> See a look behind the curtain at Abysss.

 

 

Bass Worship The story of Dub and Sound System culture documentary.

Bass Worship
Dub and Sound System culture documentary.
According to Wiki: "Dub is a genre of electronic music that grew out of reggae in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and is commonly considered a subgenre, though it has developed to extend beyond the scope of reggae. The style consists predominantly of partly or completely instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually through the removal of some or all of the vocals, emphasis of the rhythm section (the stripped-down drum-and-bass track is sometimes referred to as a riddim)....
---> See the Bass Worship video documentary.

 

 

Blues Story: A Documentary Plus bonus video from Blues Masters At The Crossroads.

Blues Story: A Documentary
Plus bonus Blues Masters At The Crossroads video.

The below vibrant video brings the beautiful Blues genera of music to light. Here's the story of the Blues as told through the eyes of many musical artists who lived it. This video features such legendary musicians as Charles Brown, Buddy Guy, BB King, Robert Lockwood, Pinetop Perkins, Koko Taylor, Hubert Sumlin, and many more!
---> Watch Blues Story: A Documentary.

 

 

Genelec: Immersive Audio Demystified AES Virtual Vienna Platinum Partner Presentation

Genelec: Immersive Audio Demystified
Plus An Introduction To Networked Audio

AES Virtual Vienna Platinum Partner Presentation
With the new generation of broadcasters producing an increasing amount of high quality content featuring immersive audio, it's an exciting but sometimes challenging time for audio engineers. In this G*Connect webinar, Eric Horstmann will walk you through the principles of immersive audio, discussing the major audio formats, their application in the real world, and what type of loudspeaker systems you'll need to handle this type of content.
---> Watch Immersive Sound Demystified and more.

 

 

Six Reasons Why Subwoofers Are Important For Music

Six Reasons Why Subwoofers Are Important For Music
Article By Nick Brown Of SVS
There is a lingering sentiment in the hi-fi community that subwoofers are only for home theater and the benefits to music playback are suspect or even negative. It's true that lesser subwoofers are not designed to optimally handle the speed, detail and nuance of certain music, but it's certainly not a steadfast rule. A great subwoofer elevates the listening experience in a way no other audio component can, into the tactile realm.
---> See six reasons why subwoofers are important.

 

 

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers Featuring Rune Skov, Sales Director Of Gryphon Audio

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers
Featuring Rune Skov Of Gryphon Audio

During 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 Rune Skov, Sales Director of Gryphon Audio. Gryphon was started by Flemming E. Rasmussen, after he obtained a degree in graphics arts from the Aarhus Art Academy in Denmark and he had been involved in the local music community as well as employed as a designer for a sportswear company.
---> Read about Rune Skov of Gryphon Audio.

 

 

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers Featuring James Chung, CEO Of FiiO

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers
Featuring James Chung, CEO Of FiiO
During 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 James Chung, CEO of FiiO. FiiO was established in 2007 and has experience in researching and developing countless portable music products of different types, and sell FiiO-branded products through sales agents worldwide.
---> Read about James Chung, CEO of FiiO.

 

 

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers Featuring Ethan Winer Of RealTraps Acoustics

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers
Featuring Ethan Winer Of RealTraps Acoustics
During 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 Ethan Winer of RealTraps Acoustics. RealTraps was founded by Ethan Winer and Doug Ferrara, who have been friends for more than thirty years. Ethan is well known throughout the audio industry for his magazine articles in Electronic Musician, Mix, PC Magazine, EQ, Keyboard, Recording, Audio Media, Strings, The Strad, R-e/p, and others.
---> Read about Ethan Winer of RealTraps Acoustics.

 

 

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers Featuring Holger Mueller, DDD / German Physiks Founder

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers
Featuring Holger Mueller Of DDD / German Physiks
During 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 Holger Mueller, DDD Manufactur GmbH (German Physiks) company founder and CEO. According to the company, "Speaking as a lover of music, there is one special moment of realization."
---> Read about Holger Mueller of DDD / German Physiks. 

 

 

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers Featuring Jean Marie Clauzel, Owner and Chief Designer of Métronome Technologie

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers
Featuring Jean Marie Clauzel Of Métronome Technologie

During 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 Jean Marie Clauzel, Owner and Chief Designer of Métronome Technologie. Founded in 1987 and developed by a group of passionate music enthusiasts, Métronome is one of the highest audiophile brands.
---> Read about Jean Marie Clauzel of Métronome Technologie.

 

 

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers Featuring Walter Liederman of Underwood HiFi Inc.

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers
Featuring Walter Liederman Of Underwood HiFi

During 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 Walter Liederman of Underwood HiFi Inc. Underwood HiFi is the home of Underwoodwally, a name very familiar to AudiogoN shoppers as the e-mail alias and user name of Walter Liederman.
---> Read about Walter Liederman of Underwood HiFi.

 

 

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 review of the Raidho TD4.2 speakers.

 

 

BŘrresen Acoustics 01 Two-Way Monitor Review

BŘrresen 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 review of BŘrresen Acoustics 01 monitor.

 

 

Alta Audio Alyssa Loudspeaker Review

World Premiere Review!
Alta Audio Alyssa Loudspeaker

A wisp of warmth that makes the human voice seem more human.
Review By Ron Nagle
It is an age of caution. It is the time of cloistered living. I found two large boxes were left on my doorstep. Donning latex gloves I sprayed all surfaces of those UPS boxes with disinfectant, and I left them till morning. Bright and early I opened the boxes and found purposely shaped inserts cradling a pair of Alyssa speakers. It was then that I noticed the handwritten note informing me that the contents had been carefully sanitized.
---> Read our review of the Alta Audio Alyssa speaker.

 

 

KEF R5 Loudspeaker And KF92 Subwoofer Review

KEF R5 Loudspeaker And KF92 Subwoofer
A system with wonderful synergy.
Review By Frank Garofalo
KEF is a company cherished in the audiophile world for bringing great sound to many around the world at all price ranges. KEF employs some of the industry's most innovative engineers and designers. KEF, in many ways, is one of the leaders in acoustic reproduction technology as KEF continues to push the envelope when it comes to perfecting loudspeaker design. KEF uses a combination of computer simulation, modeling, and measurement throughout its extraneous development process.
---> Read our review of the KEF R5 and KF92.

 

 

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 review of the Rotel RC-1590 preamp. 

 

 

RSX Prime AC Power Cord Review

RSX Prime AC Power Cord
Presents the music to best serve your audio system.
Review By Dr. Michael Bump
Guilty as charged. I'm one of those audiophiles who, in the early days of my high-end audio explorations, was a non-believer in the significant effects of after-market cabling, in particular, power cords. I figured, as long as it looked like a garden hose, it qualified to bring the goods from my (modestly) high-end components. Quickly, however, I realized how naďve I was.
---> Read our review of the RSX Prime AC Power Cord.

 

 

TriArt Audio S-Series MM Phono Amplifier And B-Series DC Linear Power Supply Review

World Premiere Review!
TriArt Audio S-Series MM Phono Amplifier
And B-Series DC Linear Power Supply

Find your bamboo groove.
Review By Paul Schumann
Yes, I am old. Old enough to remember when you could still buy mono and stereo versions of your favorite album. Old enough to have double-disc albums that were set up to play on your automatic record player. Old enough to remember when a company called Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab started producing "audiophile" versions of popular records because many of the run-of-the-mill pressings were so terrible.
---> Read our review of the TriArt Audio S-Series MM Phono.

 

 

HiFiMAN Ananda BT Over-Ear Bluetooth Headphones Review

HiFiMAN Ananda BT Bluetooth Headphones
HiFiMAN impresses with their high-end BT headphones.
Review By Dave Hanson
Bluetooth used to be a dirty word in audiophile circles, but over the last few years, the technology has grown in both quality and esteem. Even still, Bluetooth headphones have been almost exclusively in the entry-to-mid-fi range, until now. The HiFiMAN Ananda BT ($999) is the first true attempt to change all that, bringing wireless Bluetooth connectivity to a truly high-end headphone.
---> Read our review of HiFiMAN Ananda BT headphones.

 

 

Danacable Lazuli Reference Cables Review

Danacable Lazuli Reference Cables
Excellent build quality, durability, aesthetics, and sound.
Review By Smit Patel Of Audiosolace
While some cable companies explore the use of exotic materials or employ cryogenics to alter carrying signals, Danacable adopts a "back-to-basics" approach to enhance cable quality and transfer. Their philosophy concentrates on extremely low resistance to allow for unadulterated signal flow from amplifier to transducer. This review shall be focusing on the $1099 Lazuli Reference headphone cable that incorporates 1200 strands of oxygen-free cable (OFC) into a neat (but large) brown sheath design.
---> Read our Danacable Lazuli reference cables review.

 

 

iFi Audio Zen DAC And Zen Blue Review

The New iFi Audio Zen DAC And Zen Blue
A killer one (and super affordable) – two punch!
Review By Peter Pialis Of HiFiAudio.Guru
iFii Audio has been in the business of creating some of the best products available in personal audio. They will not cost you your left kidney and will offer you incredible value and transparency. I previously reviewed their iFi Nano iDSD portable unit here. I absolutely loved this little wonder and considering the $199 price tag, it was an absolute steal to any potential owner!
---> Read the iFi Audio Zen DAC and Zen Blue review.

 

 

Clarus Duet Line Conditioner Review

Clarus Duet Line Conditioner
A journey through high-current line conditioning.
Review By Michael Zisserson Of Positive Feedback
"If the power supply of an amplifier is designed correctly, there is no need for a power conditioner." The quote is a paraphrase, of a paraphrase, of something that has been said since the first power conditioning devices for audio equipment crawled out of the ocean and began to breathe air. While the quote may be correct in theory, in practice, it is far from the reality of my listening experiences. No less: the canard that line conditioners do not add to the enjoyment of music through a competent audio system needs to be bedded down.
---> Read the Clarus Duet Line Conditioner review.

 

 

Listener Magazine The Intro: What Is Important To Men And My Readers Editorial By Herb Reichert

The Intro:
What Is Important To Men And My Readers

Editorial By Herb Reichert
My first wife used to have this Madison Avenue market research job, and her main assignment was to do surveys-to find out what women wanted and what men thought was important. Not surprisingly, she discovered that women desired economic security and status in the community way more than sex or power or even love. Shockingly, sex was usually seventh or eighth on the woman's list. What really surprised me, though, was what men claimed was important to them.
---> Read more about what is important to men by Herb Reichert.

 

 

Listener Magazine Art Dudley

Flashback Editorial: The Intro
When I first heard about the Internet, I thought it was a load of crap.
Editorial By Art Dudley
When I was five years old, grocery stores began selling a product called Happy Nut, which I considered ingenious: peanut butter shaped into quarter-pound sticks, like butter, and filled with a core of grape jelly. With Happy Nut on the butter dish, one did not have to bother opening two jars (or even one!) before enjoying a healthy, satisfying meal: It was a simple and time-saving matter of dipping one's knife, spreading one's spread, and eating. The fact that the Happy Nut logo was a picture of a monkey was icing on the cake.
---> Read Art Dudley's The Intro editorial from Listener magazine.

 

 

Sound Practices Issue 4, Summer 1993

Fellow Travelers
Editorial By Joe Roberts
From Sound Practices Issue 4, Summer 1993
In an age when the upward march of progress is taken for granted in most fields, more and more audiophiles a e embracing obsolescent vacuum tube technology. The advance guard even seems to be moving further and further back in time, reviving and reassessing circuits which first came to light in the 1920s! The sonic rationale for keeping the filaments lit is certainly apparent to readers of this publication and discerning audiophiles in general.
---> Read Joe Robert's' Fellow Travels editorial.

 

 

VALVE Magazine

Editor's Thing
Article By Dan Schmalle
From VALVE Volume 2 Number 2 February 1995
Our good friend and fellow member Jim Lissa got a sickening surprise last Wednesday when he arrived at his store, Classic Audio. Someone had come in the night before, apparently using copies of Jim's keys, and taken virtually all of the vintage tube gear in his  store. The list of items taken includes four HK Citation ll's, a Heathkit W-6, a pair of Classic Radio modified Dyna Mklll's, a Stereo 70, a couple PAS3's, a Scott 399, Mac 501s, 250's and a C-24.
---> Read Dan Schmalle's Editor Thing editorial.

 

 

Siltech Classic Anniversary Cables Review

Siltech Classic Anniversary Cables
Neutrality is the hallmark of a well-designed product.
Review By Paul Schumann
One of my favorite parts of "The Grinch" is when Mr. Grinch complains about Christmas and all the "noise, noise, noise". We live in a noisy world. Even in the middle of the night I can go out and hear the sound of distant highway traffic. Have you ever tried to listen to music when someone is watching TV in the next room or a noisy dishwasher is going? Impossible! Our audio systems are noisy too. There are always the obvious demons of 60 Hz hum and high frequency hiss.
---> Read our Siltech Classic Anniversary cables review.

 

 

Lindemann Audio Limetree Digital Network Player Review

Lindemann Audio Limetree Network DAP / Headamp
Good things do come in small packages.
Review By Rufus Smith

Do good things really come in small packages and at ridiculously low price points? I have always though diminutive audio products always had too many compromises in their design to be used in anything but a portable playback system. I have also found that when a product is designed to a low price point, the sound usually suffers. When Enjoy the Music.com was offered the opportunity to review the Limetree Digital Network player from German audio manufacturer, Lindemann Audiotechnik, I jumped at the opportunity....
---> Read our Lindemann Audio Limetree Network DAP / Headamp review.

 

 

McIntosh MC611 Solid-State Monoblock Amplifier Review

McIntosh MC611 Quad Balanced Monoblock Amplifier
McIntosh delivers 600 Watts of beauty and transparency.
Review By Tom Lyle
Yes, the McIntosh MC611 reviewed here is the same pair of power amplifiers of which Enjoy the Music.com's Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin wrote a fun-filled review of McIntosh's MC611 in April. No, the MC611s I'm writing about here aren't the same review pair as Mr. Rochlin reviewed, because he purchased his sight unseen, and so they are in his home to stay. The purchase and subsequent review of these amplifiers was a surprise to me, and since I'd already agreed to review the same model of McIntosh amplifiers, I resisted, and did not read his review.
---> Read our McIntosh MC611 monoblock amplifier review.

 

 

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