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  Celebrating 25 Years Of Service To Music Lovers 

High-End Audio / Audiophile Equipment Reviews And Think Pieces

 

October 2020
Special 25th Anniversary Issue!
Part 3

 

Legendary Performance Awards 2020  --  Enjoy the Music.com Celebrates Our 25th Aniiversary

Legendary Performance Awards 2020
Enjoy the Music.com celebrates our 25th Anniversary reviewing high-end audio gear.
Enjoy the Music.com's Legendary Performance Awards 2020 celebrates the incredible achievements by high-end audio manufacturers since we've been reviewing gear for over the past two decades. Unlike our annual Blue Note Awards, Enjoy the Music.com's Legendary Performance Awards is a once every 25-year event, so you know it is something very special indeed! We tasked our extensive staff in choosing products they felt earned an extra-special mention, which in turn shows the greatness of these legendary pieces of high-end audio equipment.
---> See Enjoy the Music.com's Legendary Performance Awards 2020.

 

 

Looking Back At Enjoy the Music.com's 25 Years Of Service As we also celebrate today... and the future. Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin

Looking Back At Enjoy the Music.com's 25 Years Of Service
As we also celebrate today... and the future.
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
When I initially realized 2020 would celebrate Enjoy the Music.com's past 25 years of being of service to the high-end audio / audiophile community, it brought a huge smile to my face. As one of the very first web-based sites online, there's quite a bit of history that was being made at the time. Back then virtually no print publication had a website. Decades later, virtually every manufacturer has a web presence (and social media too!). Today, many enthusiasts within our hobby have their own web page, some of which are producing excellent articles and reviews too!
---> Read Looking Back At Enjoy the Music.com's 25 Years Of Service.

 

 

High-End Audio And Coronavirus Music is life. Article By Emiko

High-End Audio And Coronavirus
Music is life!
Editorial By Emiko
Masks are (mostly) still on, mountains are on fire, millions are unemployed, and there is a multitude of "m" words that could make one mad. But there's one "m" word that makes people happy. And that word is MUSIC. Music has brought a myriad of marvelous emotions — magnificent memories of a better time, even motivating us to keep vigil for better days ahead. Speaking for myself, I've seen a definite increase in music consumption via social media networks, talking to friends, or just hearing the murmurs when running errands.
---> Read High-End Audio And Coronavirus.

 

 

Make Your Listening Room A Listening Room

Make Your Listening Room A Listening Room
Roger Skoff writes about how to enjoy your music more without spending a lot more money.
Article By Roger Skoff
Many years ago, a wealthy friend asked me for advice on spending the $100,000 he had budgeted for a new stereo system. After going through all of the usual questions with him, like "What kind of music do you like?"; "How loud do you like to play it?"; "How big is your listening room?"; "When you're listening to music, what do you listen for?"; and so on, I told him something like: "If I had a hundred thousand to spend on a system, I'd spend thirty thousand on all of the component..."
---> Read Make Your Listening Room A Listening Room.

 

 

We're All In This Together A bit of retrospective during Enjoy the Music.com's 25th Anniversary.

We're All In This Together
A bit of retrospective during Enjoy the Music.com's 25th Anniversary.
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
Without a doubt the familiar phrase "Hindsight is 2020" almost feels like it originated as a message from a future time traveler, which we have profoundly misunderstood (h/t Steve Hoffman). Looking back during the past 25 years, and ~9000(!) web pages ago, this site was originally launched as a way to easily answer the many questions he was receiving from others online. Back then, as best I recall, there were less than a single handful of audiophile sites online.
---> Read We're All In This Together.

 

 

The Audio Couple Husband and wife team working together in musical harmony. Article By Nimrod and Theresa Smit, a.k.a. The Audio Couple

The Audio Couple
Husband and wife working together in musical harmony.
Article By Nimrod & Theresa Smit
The Audio Couple – what do you do? We (The Audio Couple) review audio equipment and share impressions obtained from various auditions and listening sessions. We interview local experts and members of the audio community. So please join us on our journey to get you closer to your music!
----> Learn more plus watch The Audio Couple videos.

 

 

Emiko And Lenny Discuss The High-End Audio Community

Emiko And Lenny Discuss The High-End Audio Community
Plus how we can help with the effects of hurricane Laura.
Article By Lenny CoCo Mayeux Of MoFi
Video By Emiko Of Enjoy the Music.com
Hello out there! I am reaching out to ask for any assistance you may be willing or able to spare for my home state of Louisiana, and – in particular – for my hometown of Lake Charles, in SWLA (Southwest Louisiana). I know some may have heard about Hurricane Laura that hit the state in August, but the message is not being given the "urgent need" that it should be afforded, and that is causing some of our most vulnerable citizens to suffer from avoidable circumstances, such as no access to food, water, or shelter from the elements.
---> Watch Emiko and Lenny discuss the high-end audio community and hurricane Laura.

 

 

Pints With Ayre Acoustics: Volume Control

Pints With Ayre Acoustics: Volume Control
Ayre Acoustics' Variable Gain Transconductance volume control.
The volume control within your system is one of the most critical parts. It is also the most difficult to get right for many high-end audio designers. Ayre products are manufactured in Boulder, Colorado. Each component is carefully hand-assembled on-site by a dedicated technician, using only state-of-the-art materials and assembly techniques. Quality control is assured by a rigorous testing procedure, as well as a thorough inspection process.
---> Watch Pints With Ayre Acoustics: Volume Control.

 

 

How To Properly Place Speakers Within Your Listening Room Video By Bill Parish of GTT Audio & Video

How To Properly Place Speakers Within Your Listening Room
Video By Bill Parish Of GTT Audio & Video
In this episode Bill walks you through the process of properly placing speakers in your listening room. Bill gets into a step- by- step process that was developed 26 years ago and followed with in all his high-end audio system setups. His setups are proven successes through rave show reports, multiple show awards, glowing reviews about the GTT showrooms, and the overall sound achieved by any GTT setup room.
---> Watch Bill Parish's listening room setup video.

 

 

Ken Forsythe, Director Of Market Development At MQA

Ken Forsythe, Director Of Market Development At MQA
Ken Forsythe looks back on five decades of musical memories, and the pivotal role music has played in his personal life and career.
During Enjoy the Music.com's very special 25th Anniversary we're asking various high-end audio manufacturers to give us a look into their life filled with music and delight. Now working to promote MQA, Ken is helping with this breakthrough audio technology that enables music fans to stream the original master recording into their home, car or on their mobile. Working together with the music industry and global hi-fi brands, MQA audio powers the world's best-sounding music services, videos and consumer devices.
---> Learn more about Ken Forsythe of MQA.

 

 

Why Acoustics? Receiving the sound waves that are produced by the loudspeakers. Article By Norman Varney Of A/V RoomService

Why Acoustics?
Receiving the sound waves that are produced by the loudspeakers.
Article By Norman Varney Of A/V RoomService
People often ask me how or why I got into acoustics. I got into acoustics before I was a teenager because of my desire to get closer to the music. I loved music, but I could hear my room interfering with it and I knew that this was undesirable. I already understood the importance of set-up from reading books and articles on the subject. More importantly, I had experienced high fidelity from an audiophile friend-of-the-family and wanted to achieve some of that experience to the best of my ability. There is no better influencer than experience.
---> Learn more about room acoustics optimization.

 

 

Bayz Audio Courante 2.0 Loudspeaker Review

Bayz Audio Courante 2.0 Loudspeaker
A new and innovative design in speaker technology.
Review By Dr. Matthew Clott
You might have to stand on your head for this review because Zoltán Bay turned the concept of speaker production upside down and inside out when he created the Bay Radial Speaker (BRS) Tweeter. And when you see the absolutely unique and creative Bayz Audio Courante 2.0 speaker design ($60,000), you're not going to be able to figure out how to stand, so just have a seat and enjoy the read. Maybe have the computer or tablet read it to you while you listen to your favorite composition in the background.... Be sure to grab your favorite beverage and have that cute dog (or cat) of yours sit in your lap and snuggle in; this is gonna be good!
---> Read our Bayz Audio Courante 2.0 speaker review.

 

 

Pass Laboratories XP-17 Phono Preamplifier & X250.8 Power Amplifier Review

Pass Labs XP-17 Phono Preamp &
Pass Labs X250.8 Power Amplifier
Impressive sound quality that we've come to expect from Pass Labs.
Review By Tom Lyle
For quite some time I've been using a Pass Laboratories power amplifier, phono stage, and headphone amplifier as references in my listening room. There were times I thought that some might think I was a spokesperson for this brand of equipment! I could see how some might get that idea, because not only do I use three Pass Labs components in my system, I also will tell anyone who will listen that I consider Pass Laboratories' high-end audio components the best in their respective price classes. Then again, those who have read my reviews of other brands of audio equipment will be able to tell that I approach each review with an open mind.
---> Read our Pass Labs XP-17 phono preamplifier and Pass Labs X250.8 power amplifier review.

 

 

Core Power Technologies A/V USBe Perfect Review

Core Power Technologies A/V USBe Perfect
A highly engaging musical performance from ripped CDs, downloads, and streams.
Review By Victor Chavira Of Positive Feedback.
My power conditioner is an EQUI=CORE 300 by Core Power Technologies. Some time ago, the company's assets were acquired and renamed Core Power Technologies A/V by web-based audio retailer Underwood HiFi of Hawaii. Underwood HiFi also designs and performs upgrades to components. The device under evaluation is a USB jitter reducer / power conditioner called the USBe Perfect. That USB is a less than desirable method for the transfer of music files is no longer up for discussion. Nevertheless, my preference for USB is largely that of convenience and habit.
---> Read our Core Power Tech USBe Perfect review.

 

 

Little Dot CU-KIS In-Ear Monitor (IEM) Review

Little Dot CU-KIS In-Ear Monitor (IEM)
Little Dot's CU-KIS IEM handled all genres of music well, never being harsh or honeyed.
Review By Gary Alan Barker Of Headphone.Guru
Little Dot was a new name to me, but well known to Frank and well known to the Personal Audio community as being one of the early voices in the field. The Little Dot CU-KIS IEM stands as their current Flagship IEM and a shining example of what is possible in the under $600 Universal In-Ear Monitor market. Founded in April 2006 by Mr. Yu Quan Yang (a long time audio hobbyist who actually built his first crystal radio at the age of 14) out of his unceasing passion for music and hi-fi equipment, Little Dot has developed many popular products and has many loyal users around the world.
---> Read our Little Dot CU-KIS IEM review.

 

 

Grado Labs Gold3 And Opus3 Phono Cartridge Review

Grado Labs Gold3 & Opus3 Phono Cartridge
A nice pair of phono cartridges by Grado Labs.
Review By Danko Šuvar Of HiFiMedia
Recently Grado Labs revamped their phono cartridges line, upgrading entry-level Prestige series to fourth iteration (number 3 as in Black3, Gold3, etc., counting the first versions without number as the first generation), and upgrading and rearranging Reference and Statement series into two lines, new Timbre line (midrange wooden bodies cartridges) and top of the line Lineage series (Aeon3, Epoch3, and Statement3). Inside the Timbre line, there is now a new model, entry-level Opus3, made in both high and low output versions (4mV and 1mV), which also differs in being made of Maple....
---> Read our Grado Labs Gold3 & Opus3 phono cartridge 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.

 

 

Listener Magazine

The Intro: Listener Magazine
Editorial By Art Dudley
Is Tony Rice the "best" guitarist in bluegrass music? Before you scold me for looking at the world that way — stuffing artists into neat little pigeonholes and ranking musicians the way most people rank baseball players—bear in mind that I don't do it half as much as I used to. And since kids can be forgiven for thinking like that, I have let myself off the hook for all those nights I drove around town with my pals, arguing over whose guitar heroes were the "best," like some adolescent McLaughlin Group in plaid flannel shirts.
---> Read more of Art Dudley's intro from Listener.

 

 

Sound Practices Volume 2 Number 3 Issue 7 Fall 1994

Fashion Is The Devil
Article By Joe Roberts
From Sound Practices Vol 2 No 3 Fall 1994

For a while there, triodes were the biggest craze to hit audio in a decade at least. After years of nothing more exciting than new digital formats, the single ended amplifier exploded onto the local marketplace and captivated the attention of audiophiles and industry gums. It was different, it was new, it was classic, and it was HIP. At first, triodes had the ultimate qualification for hipness going on — you couldn't buy the stuff even if you had the money. You either had to build 'em yourself or import some exotic electronics from a foreign land.
---> Read Fashion Is The Devil by Joe Roberts.

 

 

VALVE Magazine High Efficiency Speakers

Triode Amplifier Operating Points
Article By Paul Joppa
From VALVE Volume 2 Number 5 May 1995
How do you choose a good operating point (supply voltage, current, and load impedance) for a vacuum tube? For ordinary tubes, used in an ordinary way, it's simple -- you just look it up in your RCA handbook. But suppose you want to use an unusual tube (e.g. the 6CK4 television vertical amplifier)? Or suppose you just want to try breaking the rules?
---> Read Triode Amplifier Operating Points?

 

 

Cayin HA-300 Headphone Amplifier Review

World Premiere Review!
Cayin HA-300 Headphone Amplifier Review
Simply ravishing as Cayin dares to dream big with their new flagship amplifier and delivers!
Review By Dave Hanson
The 300B is a bit of a holy grail when it comes to tubes. Ask any fan of the tube and they will likely gush about the 300B's ability to shine a warm spotlight on the midrange, deliver huge bass impact and project a massive soundscape. So when I heard Cayin was gearing up to release a 300B-driven headphone amp this year, I was extremely excited. Cayin is one of those companies that has a reputation for over-delivering on value with every product. Their iDAC-6, iHA-6 and HA-1A Mk2 are all very well-regarded desktop components when it comes to bang-for-buck performance.
---> Read our Cayin HA-300 headphone amplifier review.

 

 

Monoprice Monolith Liquid Platinum Headphone Amplifier Review

World Premiere Review!
Monoprice Monolith Liquid Platinum Headphone Amplifier
The Legend Returns: Monoprice resurrects a Cavalli Design that captures the imagination.
Review By Dave Hanson
The Liquid Crimson was one of Cavalli Audio's most legendary designs. Evolving from a tube hybrid circuit that first spawned the DIY EHHA, then later the Liquid Fire and finally the solid-state Liquid Carbon, the $2850 Crimson was an audio show darling. The details absolutely floored people. The bass impact was massive. The mids were full and glorious. The treble was sweet and intoxicating. The stage was wide open.  It was a piece people loved to talk about because it didn't just do everything well, it did it in a way that was special.
---> Read our Monoprice Monolith Liquid Platinum headphone amplifier 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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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