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09 / 22 / 20

KEF LS50 Wireless II Active Stereo Hi-Fi Speakers

KEF LS50 Wireless II Active Stereo Hi-Fi Speakers
KEF's new LS50 Wireless II speakers ($2500) is the company's ultimate wireless hi-fi active / streaming speaker system to date. KEF's LS50 Wireless II is more than a high-performance loudspeaker; it is an excellent all-in-one speaker system for streaming from any source thanks to wireless compatibility with AirPlay 2, Chromecast and more. It also handles wired connections for your TV, games console, and turntable too! With the KEF Connect app you can stream Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, Qobuz, and Deezer or tune in to internet radio and podcasts. LS50 Wireless II has audiophiles covered with support for streaming music files up to 24-bit/384kHz, as well as MQA, DSD256, and Roon Ready is coming soon.

KEF's LS50 Wireless II is a breeze to set up thanks to the KEF Connect app. It is intuitive to use with any source in your home, and it allows simple over-the-air firmware updates that bring you new and improved features with the minimum of fuss. You can choose to operate LS50 Wireless II completely wirelessly at 24-bit/96kHz resolution for a clutter-free set up, or you can connect the two speakers with the supplied cable for 24-bit/192kHz resolution sound. Aided by KEF's bespoke Music Integrity Engine, a collection of bespoke Digital Signal Processing (DSP) algorithms are optimized for the Uni-Q driver, enabling it to deliver a perfectly timed performance, for better imaging and a tighter sound. Each tweeter is driven by a 100 Watt Class A/B amplifier while a dedicated 280 Watt Class D amplifiers power the mid/bass drivers. KEF's 12th Generation Uni-Q with MAT coax driver delivers excellent sound. The LS50 Wireless II is available in three matte finishes, carbon black, titanium grey, and mineral white, as well as a Crimson Red Special Edition.



Sonus faber Special Edition Il Cremonese ex3me Speaker

Sonus faber Special Edition Il Cremonese ex3me Speaker
Sonus faber has just introduced their new special edition Il Cremonese ex3me ($58,000) floorstanding speaker. Introduced in 2015 with the intention of completing the Sonus faber Homage Collection, the speaker was named after a traditional Italian violin, the Il Cremonese. The Il Cremonese violin is the foundation for a unique loudspeaker system characterized by new technical features with a precise performance target: absolute neutrality working around the behavior of both the top and bottom ends of the audio spectrum. Several new design solutions contribute to this limited run of 50 pairs embellished by the return of a traditional Sonus faber finish, the classic "Red Violin".

The overall aesthetic design of Il Cremonese ex3me does not stray from the original model, except for the detail of the tweeter- which diverges from the iconic "arch" of the D.A.D. system in favor of the protection grille applied in front of the Beryllium D.L.C. dome. The five-sided cabinet breaks the classic rules of Lute or Lyre shape. Spurious micro-vibration is grounded to the Zero Vibration Transmission system that mechanically decouples the entire loudspeaker from the floor using a combination of metal and elastomer isolation components inside of a multi-part coaxial spike assembly, called "Silent Spikes". The result is said to be an audible improvement in transparency and dynamics.



Bluesound Pulse Sub+ 8" Active Subwoofer

Bluesound Pulse Sub+ 8" Active Subwoofer
Bluesound hi-res wireless multi-room line of audio players has announced their Pulse Sub+ ($749), an active subwoofer to add deep bass to any wireless or wired Bluesound system. An 8" long-throw woofer and 150 Watt Smart Amplifier with DSP delivers low frequencies to 22Hz. It features the convenience of precision app control for ease of use. With BluOS onboard, the user benefits from simple and intuitive app controls for volume, crossover, and phase adjustment. For ease of placement, it comes supplied with a wall mount bracket and magnetic rubber feet. Offered in a choice of Black or White finish, the Bluesound Pulse Sub+ is configurable to a wide range of applications. Bluesound aimed for maximum output from minimal size, with dimensions being 18" X 11.8" X 5.75" (WxHxD).


Qobuz Live & Rhino John Coltrane Giant Steps

Qobuz Live & Rhino John Coltrane Giant Steps
To celebrate John Coltrane's 94th birthday, Qobuz Live weekly livestream series and Rhino will present a historic panel discussion on John Coltrane's groundbreaking 1960 album Giant Steps. They're celebrating the album's 60th anniversary with a panel of four leading saxophonists, representing successive generations of jazz talent shaped by Coltrane's influence, and moderated by two leading music historians versed in the African American musical tradition. This virtual roundtable also marks the release by Rhino of Giant Steps: 60th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (on CD and vinyl LP formats) and Super Deluxe Edition (download and streaming) featuring remastered versions of the classic Coltrane recording. Qobuz, the world's only true lossless Hi-Res Music streaming service and download store, will feature the new album on its platform in 24-bit/96kHz quality. This in-depth conversation will stream live across multiple channels, including Facebook Live, YouTube, and LinkedIn, plus it will be available afterward for on-demand viewing.

In other Qobuz news, they have announced a 10,000,000 funding raise in new capital to drive its momentum and consolidate its future developments. To support its international expansion ambitions, Qobuz is now present in 12 countries and is strengthening its managerial organization with the establishment of new management. This new funding will help their vast recruitment and international expansion plan for 2020 and 2021.


09 / 21 / 20

HiFi Media Issue 111 September / October / November 2020

HiFi Media Features News, Reviews And More
HiFi Media's latest issue features AV news, gadget news, plus reviews of the TAD-D1000MK2 CD / SACD / USB player, Audiovector R 3 Signature loudspeaker, Q Acoustics 3030i speaker, Arcam Solo Uno streamer with built-in amplifier, Denon Home 250 wireless speaker and IKEA Symfonisk Wi-Fi bookshelf speaker. Other reviews include the LG OLED55C9PLA 4K OLED TV, Strong SRT 8550 DVB-T2 receiver, Audio-Technica ATH-CK3TW & ATH-CKS5TW headphones, Jabees Firefly 2 IEMs, JBL Tune 120 TWS wireless IEM, and Audioquest DragonFly Cobalt USB DAC. MusicStyle features Weyes Blood "Between nostalgia and futurism," in memoriam Adam Schlesinger "Closing a top pop workshop," portrait of Fiona Apple "A cry for freedom," plus rock / pop album reviews. There's also a jazz Interview with Steve Swallow "The essence of my music making lies in bringing people together." Film Portrait gives a look at New Hollywood "About rebels, film studios and the chaotic streets of the metropolis," a portrait of DUNE "History is written on the sands of Arakis," TV Series of High Fidelity "What came first? Music or the misery," and DVD / BD movie reviews.

Within his editorial, Andrija Ćurković says "The echo of 2020's rough start is still resounding in our thoughts and is present in everyday communication. The eruption of the corona virus pandemic marked a new beginning, a new era of life in which our everyday habits went through revision and adapted to a new time, to a new 'normal'. If we add the Zagreb earthquake, which happened at the very beginning of the lockdown, to the equation, the stress was almost too much for many people. We were planning to hold our 25th Zagreb AV show this Spring. Unfortunately, it had to be cancelled like all other shows across the globe. This was a great blow to the business of consumer industry, and in the moment I'm writing this editorial, things aren't looking any brighter for 2021." See what's within this issue of HiFi Media at this link.



Lector Strumenti Audio Grounding Box

Lector Strumenti Audio Grounding Box
Lector Strumenti Audio's new Grounding Box (4700 including two cables) is based on the company's big Aamorph low noise capacitor built within their laboratory. The unit features large copper plate and a round disk made by copper fitted over pillar on top plate. The grounding capacitor is isolated by aluminum box and closed by silicium pills for to reduce humidity. Grounding Box offers a supply with very low noise ground (GND-Earth) terminal for optimal interface with your audio equipment. The product comes supplied with five terminal ground connectors that have internal passive electrical circuits to reduce ground loops. Lector Strumenti Audio says that their Ground Box provides a great improvement with ideal grounding terminal connection to produce better resolution, lower residual noise, and an overall cleaning of the audio spectrum. Groundig Box's casing is made with real wood 2cm thick, with an overall dimension of 30cm x 35cm x 16cm (LxDxH). Additional cables are ~175 and Spike Kit is 50.



09 / 18 / 20

HIFICRITIC Volume 14 Number 3 July / August / September 2020

HIFICRITIC's Latest Issue Features Reviews & More
HIFICRITIC's latest issue features retailer Absolute Sounds founder Ricardo Franassovici looking back on high-end culture wars and the early days of his company, Stan's Safari where he's not convinced by expensive streaming hardware, getting your record player's cartridge aligned perfectly for accurate tracking of the record groove, and having interviewed PMC founder Peter Thomas HIFICRITIC reviewer Kevin Fiske found himself intrigued enough to try some of the company's speakers. There's also a review of Bryston's BP-173 / 3B3, Focal Stellia, Clear, & Archie, Audeze LCD-X headphones, and Novafidelity / Cocktail Audio HA500H headamp / DAC / preamplifier. Keith Howard supplements his headphone experience with a kick in the posterior, an assessment of Keith Monks Prodigy record cleaning machine, plus HIFICRITIC's journalists round up their pick of the classical and jazz releases while Sound Stage has the inside track on the DSD revival from NativeDSD's Floor van der Holst.

Within his editorial, Martin Colloms says, "While becoming accustomed to isolating and social distancing from family, friends, fellow authors and neighbours, and not least from our supportive audio industry, a key part of not losing the plot is to stay in touch by phone email and social media. The HIFICRITIC team of freelance reviewers and journalists has devised ways to continue its investigations and writings, with new review product successfully sourced and delivered. I thank all our contributors and those involved in the magazine's production, who are supporting the HIFICRITIC project. Also, the readers who have contacted me with comments and suggestions. As our government might well put it, our audio and music examinations, evaluations and judgments have continued at pace!" See what's within this issue of HIFICRITIC at this link.



09 / 17 / 20

McIntosh MC830 Amplifier And C8 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

McIntosh MC830 Amplifier And C8 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier
McIntosh's new MC830 solid-state monoblock amplifier and C8 vacuum tube stereo preamplifier ($4000 and $3500 respectively) feature styling reminiscent of the company's 1950s and 1960s designs. McIntosh's MC830 is a monoblock amplifier with direct-coupled output that produces 300 Watts @ 8 Ohms (480 Watts @ 4 Ohms). A fast-responding dual scale Watt meter gives an accurate readout of power output for both speaker impedances. McIntosh Monogrammed Heatsinks add visual appeal and will keep the MC830 running cool for optimum performance. Both XLR balanced and RCA unbalanced input are included for connecting it your music system. To protect your speakers and overall system, the MC830 includes McIntosh's patented Power Guard technology and Sentry Monitor. McIntosh's patented gold-plated Solid Cinch speaker binding posts easily secure your speaker cables.

McIntosh's new C8 preamplifier is powered by four 12AX7a vacuum tubes housed inside stylish protective cages. The C8 comes with one XLR balanced and two RCA unbalanced analog inputs, plus a moving coil (MC) and moving magnet (MM) phono input with adjustable loading. Bass and treble tone controls help fine tune your music to your personal preferences. For outputs, the McIntosh C8 vacuum tube stereo preamplifier has XLR balanced and two RCA unbalanced; one of the unbalanced RCA outputs can be configured for subwoofer use to further enhance low frequencies. McIntosh's optional Hi-Res Audio DA2 Digital Audio Module can be installed and provides two S/PDIF coax, two TosLink optical, USB, MCT, and audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) connection. The DA2 is powered by a Quad Balanced eight-channel, 32-bit DAC. For personal listening, the C8 comes with McIntosh's High Drive headphone amplifier that has an abundance of power and flexibility to drive a wide range of headphones. Furthermore, the Home Theater Pass Through allows the C8 preamplifier to be seamlessly integrated into your home theater system, and Data Ports can send remote control commands to connected source components.



Harmonic Resolution Systems Helix Footer

Harmonic Resolution Systems Helix Footer
Harmonic Resolution Systems' (HRS) new Helix ($450 for a set of three) is designed to significantly reduce the negative impact of air and structure-borne noise on your audio / video component performance. Naturally they can be used in combination with HRS Damping Plates when needed to control both top and bottom chassis noise. The very low profile design is virtually invisible under most components, so it is ideal when you wish to maintain the original look of the component. HRS' Helix is designed to obtain maximum performance from audio components with a stiffer (plate and billet) metal chassis construction. A natural gimbal system ensures intimate contact with chassis at every location to maximize energy transfer.



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.



09 / 16 / 20

The HiFi Summit Q4 2020 By Joe N Tell

The HiFi Summit Q4 2020 By Joe N Tell
The journey continues with The HiFi Summit Q4, from October 22nd through 26th, as 2020 has been a true test for many of us personally and professionally. Companies who have adapted to our new reality are seeing unprecedented growth. While we would love to get together for a physical trade show to talk with colleagues and friends, that's not possible quite yet. So now what? The Hi-Fi Summit, produced by Joe N Tell (Joe Mariano), is a digital trade show and online conference. Excellent seminars and group chat are joined by questions from viewers within their Lobby Discussion and YouTube live stream. You can see parts of their previous The HiFi Summit Q2 on Enjoy the Music.com at this link.



Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Carbon Edition Wireless Headphones

Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Carbon Edition Wireless Headphones
Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Carbon Edition over-ear wireless stereo headphones ($399.99) includes adaptive noise-cancelling. Since 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of Bowers & Wilkins first-ever headphone design, their new PX7 Carbon Edition highlights the use of carbon-fiber composite reinforcement in its construction. Special diamond-cut detailing on each ear cup creates a premium look, which is inspired by the company's original P5. Bowers & Wilkins says this new headphone delivers True Sound, offering maximum resolution while maintaining complete neutrality and tonal balance. The aim is to recreate your favorite music exactly as the artist intended whether with or without noise-cancelling selected.

The PX7 Carbon Edition's immersive soundstage is the result of a specification that includes bespoke 43.6mm drivers, specially designed, developed and tuned by Bowers & Wilkins' engineering team responsible for the 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers. To maintain sound quality, the PX7 Carbon Edition also supports the latest wireless codecs including Bluetooth aptX Adaptive technology, allowing the transfer of 24-bit/48kHz music wirelessly. Memory foam ear pads ensure that the headset has passive noise isolation. Active noise cancellation employs adaptive technology and is capable of intelligently sensing the background environment. Users can use the companion App to select an Ambient-Pass-Through feature, which allows certain external sounds to be heard without removing the headset.



09 / 15 / 20

Sennheiser HD 800 S Anniversary Edition Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S Anniversary Edition Headphones
To celebrate 75 years of audio history, Sennheiser has announced their Anniversary Edition HD 800 S stereo headphones ($1700) that is limited to 750 units worldwide. The HD 800 S Anniversary Edition comes in an exclusive matte gold colorway, each unit made truly unique by a laser engraving with the individual serial number on the headband. With a frequency range of 4Hz to 51kHz make the HD 800 S an audiophile and studio headphone. The diaphragm of the headphones is made with a 56mm transducer with duofol-transducer material to ensure exact music reproduction and reduction of resonances. Keeping total harmonic distortion to less than 0.02%, Sennheiser's innovative absorber technology reduces the so called "masking effect", an acoustic phenomenon that arises as the human ear is unable to perceive higher-pitched sounds that have low-volumes, while significantly louder sounds in a lower frequency range occur. 

The circum-aural ear cups were developed with meticulous attention to detail as well, as the design directs the sound waves to the ears at a slight angle, thus creating an impressively natural and spatial sound experience. Sennheiser's HD 800 S Anniversary Edition is handcrafted at the audio specialist's headquarters in Wedemark, Germany. Sennheiser uses glass-fiber strengthened plastic, a material valued in the aerospace industry, for the headphones' housing, making them particularly durable yet lightweight. The earpads are made from a soft vegan velour material for optimal wearing comfort, while the grid and grills have been crafted from a stainless-steel mesh. The matte gold yoke, decor ring and shell ring give the HD 800 S Anniversary Edition a uniquely elegant look.



Mytek Empire DAC / Streamer / Preamplifier

Mytek Empire DAC / Streamer / Preamplifier
Mytek proudly introduces the Empire DAC / streamer / preamplifier ($19,995) as an 'all out' assault on the state-of-the-art hi-fi. The streamer is Roon-ready and features internal Roon Core that can drive both this ultra-high performance unit and external Roon endpoints. There is a dual mono fully balanced differential analog preamplifier with an ultra quiet phono stage for both MC and MM cartridges. Going one step further, a high current, dual mono, fully balanced headphone amplifier is part of this extraordinary package.

Built around two ultra-high performance ESS 9038PRO Sabre DAC chipsets, this dual mono fully balanced circuit is capable of 32-bit/768kHz PCM, DSD512 and MQA while achieving dynamic range greater than 133dB. Both the DAC and preamplifier functions are controlled by a brand new MytekOS Platform, offering new functionality via easy software upgrades that will gradually be released in the future as the platform progresses. Mytek's Empire includes Wi-Fi and has an internet-ready control platform too. Furthermore, as a result of both its modular hardware design and software based platform, the Empire Streamer can be described as future proof. Mytek's Empire Series will be expanded upon with an addition of monoblock amplifiers planned for 2021.



Enjoy Reading Your Fave Hi-Fi Magazines Online
Everyone here at Enjoy the Music.com sympathizes with those affected by the recent health issue. Our hobby is one that can be enjoyed within the privacy, and security, of your home. We'd like to take a moment to remind our readers that many of our partner magazines offer online subscriptions. As always, in the end what really matters is that you... enjoy the music!

Print Partner Magazines

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine

Hi-Fi+ Magazine

Hi-Fi+ Magazine





HiFi Media Magazine

HiFi Media Magazine


Hi-Fi World Magazine

Hi-Fi World Magazine





Vintage Magazines

Sound Practices Magazine

Sound Practices Magazine


VALVE Magazine



09 / 14 / 20

Futuresource Consulting Audio Collaborative Event

Futuresource Consulting Audio Collaborative Event
This just in: Futuresource Consulting is delighted to announce that their well renowned Audio Collaborative event will be shifting to an all-virtual experience for the first time in six years. With health and safety being of prime importance during the coronavirus outbreak, Futuresource must ensure all co-workers, exhibitors, thought leaders and attendees feel at ease to best experience and deliver the range of fascinating topics lined up. Taking place over the 4th and 5th November, Audio Collaborative 2020 will continue to be an event to share industry insights, engage with global brands and define the future of the audio industry within the "new normal". Thought-provoking panels and presentations have been designed to ensure audio brands emerge from the crisis as stronger, better positioned, more valuable businesses.

What to expect with your virtual seat:
Keynotes and panel discussions Wherever you are in the world, engage with a storm of fascinating talks and panels presented by the Futuresource analyst teams and world-class industry-leaders; they'll be revealing the latest insights and developments set to impact the future of audio.

Product showcase Explore what the mix of brand partners' have to offer through a range of personalized pages with product information and video demonstrations throughout the course of the two days.

Live Q&A's and Networking - Engage with other brands, thought leaders and business connections you care about with live interactions, Q&A discussions and networking opportunities throughout the event.



audioXpress Magazine October 2020

audioXpress' October Issue Is Now Available
audioXpress' October 2020 issue features testing electroacoustical systems, extracting input referred op-amp noise models, design considerations for a hollow-state mixer, GeerFab Audio D.BOB digital breakout box, and dealing with communication challenges. Other great articles include enabling high-quality voice conferencing, getting started with automotive audio bus (part 1), high end Class D audio board for Arduino MKR family, desktop speaker system using recycled coffee cans, ultra-low distortion microphone buffer amplifier (part 1), and a market update installation concerning evolving residential installations.

Within his editorial, J. Martins says, "Now more than ever, our activities as magazine publishers only make sense when combined with daily news and article updates on our website audioxpress.com plus our email newsletter The Audio Voice, which continues to gain a growing audience every week. Given the difficult circumstances of a global pandemic that have caused our digital activities to grow exponentially, our website is visited by more than 10,000 unique visitors every day, while our newsletter now reaches nearly 20,000 mailboxes and probably twice as many readers who follow us through our social media channels. In fact, in many regions of the globe, that's how many readers follow and know about audioXpress (and its sister publication, Voice Coil)." See what's within this issue of audioXpress at this link.



09 / 11 / 20

RIAA Mid-2020 Music Revenue Statistics

RIAA Mid-2020 Music Revenue Statistics
This just in: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today released its mid-year 2020 report showing growth in paid subscription streaming more than offsetting revenue declines in other areas of the U.S. recorded music market, and detailing ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the market for music. Among the key findings, total first-half 2020 revenues from recorded music in the U.S. increased 5.6% to $5.7 billion. Paid streaming subscriptions continued to drive the growth as the number of paid subscriptions increased by 24% to more than 72 million on average, growing subscription streaming revenues for first-half 2020 by 14% versus first-half 2019. At the same time, with advertising markets slowing across the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, growth in ad-supported streaming revenues slowed dramatically. Physical sales, including vinyl albums and compact discs, were also affected by the pandemic and fell 23%. You can see the RIAA report PDF here.



Siltech Classic & Royal Signature Crown Ethernet Cables

Siltech Classic & Royal Signature Crown Ethernet Cables
Siltech's new Royal Signature Network Crown and Classic Network Ethernet cables (1349 and 749 respectively) are a product of the company's engineers taking a unique approach when designing network cables. According to Siltech, "Many manufacturers focus on data rate and making their cables as 'fast' as possible without appreciating that audio data does not need to be lightning fast. Much more important is the consistency of the transfer rate and the integrity of the data transferred. For all digital cables, transmission accuracy depends on the cable topology, materials, and termination. Poor impedance matching or geometrical inconsistency causes reflections and echoes in the data stream, while crystal boundaries or grain in the conductors causes micro-distortions."

"Any imperfection impacts the accuracy of the critical clocking and amplitude information, " says Siltech. "It's also easy to overlook that higher frequency signals are more vulnerable to outside interference. Siltech's new network cables benefit from our use of superior materials, specialist construction techniques, and top-quality shielding and insulation. Our proprietary G9 silver-gold was chosen for the Classic Network cable's conductors, while our S8 mono X-tal silver was selected for the Royal Signature Network Crown model. Individually shielded pairs and Teflon by Dupont insulation prevent external interference corrupting your delicate digital signals on both cables. For an optimal signal transfer, each cable also features robust, impedance-matched RJ-45 connectors."



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.



09 / 10 / 20

NAD C 298 Amplifier With Purifi Eigentakt Amplification

NAD C 298 Amplifier With Purifi Eigentakt Amplification
NAD Electronics announced a new value-priced high-performance amplifier that uses Purifi Eigentakt amplification technology. Their C 298 ($1999) is a two-channel, 185 Watts per channel @ 8 Ohms (340 Watts @ 4 Ohms), amplifier that can be bridged to 620 Watt monoblock. The new NAD amplifier is a compelling upgrade for modest systems that need flexibility to drive the most demanding loudspeakers on the market. NAD has moved away from linear power supplies and Class AB output stages, and instead developed circuits based on switch mode power supplies and Class D output stages. NAD's advanced work in this area has created what the company feels is some of the best performing amplifiers regardless of basic design principle.

These new designs are very linear over a wide bandwidth and provide consistent performance into all speaker loads, providing a dramatic advance over previous models. Innovative Asymmetrical PowerDrive fully utilizes every last Watt available with its vast reserves of dynamic power available to accurately reproduce musical transients without distortion or compression. Purifi is a Danish technology company that has taken a fresh look at every aspect of amplifier performance and found many seemingly small non-linearities that can make a dramatic difference in the overall sound. The Eigentakt modules are manufactured by NAD under license from Purifi, allowing NAD to optimize these specifically in combination with the custom designed power supply and input stages of the C 298. Selectable XLR balanced or RCA unbalanced inputs make the C 298 a natural for virtually any hi-fi system.



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

World Premiere Review!
Goldmund Mimesis 11 Digital Hub / Pre & 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.



09 / 09 / 20

Maserati's MC20 Features Sonus Faber Surround System

Maserati's MC20 Features Sonus Faber Surround System
Bonded by their commitment to excellent craftsmanship, technological advancements and time-honored traditions, the Maserati and Sonus faber collaboration fuses powerful performance with symphonic sounds to blend the unique voices of these authentic Italian brands. Maserati and Sonus faber are thrilled to reveal the Maserati MC20 model, powered by Sonus faber audio. According to the press release, "The Maserati MC20 features 695 Watts of power with specific characteristics true to the Sonus faber philosophy and pursuit of natural sound reproduction. The Sonus faber tuning allows the listener to distinguish the different instruments and elements on the track, offering the experience of a live music performance from the comfort of the vehicle. Sonus faber's audio system for the MC20 vehicle cabin is designed and engineered in Italy just like Maserati, bringing the real Italian excellence to life." The MC20 model will be available for pre-order beginning September 10th and featured at authorized dealer showrooms beginning in 2021. Key features of the Sonus faber audio system include:

All transducers are crafted without compromise using natural materials as much as possible, and rare earths to maximize efficiency and reduce weight 

Three tweeters, two surround tweeters, three midranges, two surround midranges, and two woofers are all located for a perfect frequency response and precise sound stage reproduction.

Pure Sound - Dual DSP State of the art high power amplifier with 695 Watts. Electronic components used in this amplifier are specifically selected to deliver the best in car sound performance.

Each speaker is driven by a dedicated power tailored Class-D amplifier stage. 100W for woofers, 60W for midranges and 45W for the tweeters and surround speakers.

The high voltage power supply stage is capable to deliver more than twice the current required from the amplifier at maximum volume for unprecedented dynamic range.

Lightweight die cast aluminum amplifier chassis. 



Inside Facebook Reality Labs Research: The Future of Audio

Inside Facebook Reality Labs Research: The Future Of Audio
This just in from the Internet social media powerhouse Facebook: "The audio team at Facebook Reality Labs Research is working on novel technologies to enable both audio presence and perceptual superpowers, letting us hear better in noisy environments with our future AR glasses. In the latest entry of our Inside Facebook Reality Labs series, we take you behind the scenes with the team for an in-depth look at their current demos and prototype technology...."

"At Facebook Reality Labs Research, we're building the future of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). FRL Research has brought together a highly interdisciplinary audio team made up of research scientists, engineers, designers, and more, all striving to improve human communication through radical audio innovation. The mission of the team is twofold: to create virtual sounds that are perceptually indistinguishable from reality and to redefine human hearing. To do that, the team focuses on delivering two new capabilities: first, audio presence the feeling that the source of a virtual sound is physically present in the same space as the listener, with such high fidelity that it's indistinguishable from a real-world source; and second, perceptual superpowers technological advancements that let us hear better in noisy environments by turning up the volume on the person sitting across from us while turning down the volume on unwanted background noises." You can read Facebook's entire article about their Reality Labs Research at this link.



Sony SA-Z1 Hi-Res Near Field Powered Speaker System

Sony SA-Z1 Hi-Res Near Field Powered Speaker System
Originally unveiled during Rocky Mountain Audio Festival 2019, Sony's SA-Z1 ($7999.99) lets you enjoy astonishingly faithful sound reproduction that's definitively clear and expressive, and delivers the subtle nuances of every track with an incredibly rich near-field listening experience. Sony's SA-Z1 brings together Sony's legendary audio expertise, with first-of-its-kind custom componentry and benchmark audio technologies. Thanks to a trio of accumulated acoustic, electronic and signal processing technology, SA-Z1 recreates music with exceptional presence and coherence.

Sony's SA-Z1 also features an acoustic structure with its coaxial layout and time-alignment control, the SA-Z1 achieves both broad frequency response and accurate waveform at the same time. The electronic circuitry and signal processing architecture in the SA-Z1 have been developed using the latest expertise from across Sony to reproduce High-Resolution Audio with ultimate fidelity. Take control of your sound. Tune it to your listening environment and your personal preference with lossless adjustment for both active and passive sound characteristics.



09 / 08 / 20

Sonus Faber Launches Lumina Speaker Collection

Sonus Faber Launches Lumina Speaker Collection
Sonus faber is proud to announce their Lumina loudspeaker collection, the new line conceived on the notion that now, more than ever, it is important to savor time for ourselves and celebrate life's precious moments. The new Sonus faber Lumina series consists of the Lumina III floorstander, Lumina I bookshelf / surround, and Lumina Center channel speaker ($2199, $899, and $699 respectively). "Lumina" in Latin means "light", but also a source of energy and life. Lu also means 'luxury', 'mi' means minimal design, and lastly 'na' means 'natural'.

Sonus faber's Lumina series all feature a 29mm high definition DAD tweeter, with the Lumina III floorstander adding a 150mm paper cone midrange driver, and two 150mm paper cone woofers. The Lumina I compact bookshelf speaker has a tweeter and 120mm paper cone midrange / woofer driver. The Lumina Center I speaker has a tweeter and two 120mm paper cone midrange / woofer drivers. Available cabinet finishes for the Lumina series includes black, wenge, and walnut.



Rotel RSP-1576MKII Pre And RAP-1580MKII Processor

Rotel RSP-1576MKII Pre And RAP-1580MKII Processor

Rotel RSP-1576MKII Pre And RAP-1580MKII Processor
Rotel's RSP-1576MKII and RAP-1580MKII ($3499 and $4999 respectively) join the company's family of home theater / immersive Hi-Res Audio components, including license for best-in-class Dirac room correction technology ensuring accurate room calibration. The RSP-1576MKII is designed as a multi-channel immersive preamplifier, leveraging audio performance engineered utilizing Rotel's proprietary Balanced Design Concept built on an in-house manufactured toroidal transformer, with low distortion noise rejection circuit layout and acoustic tuning of all critical audio circuits. Control system integration of both the RSP-1576MKII and RAP-1580MKII is made easy with RS232 and IP Ethernet controls including software updates, three assignable independent 12V trigger outputs, wired IR input/ output, and available custom rack mount kit.

Rotel's RSP-1576MKII supports up to 7.1.4 channels of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio formats using the latest Texas Instruments quad-core DSP. The surround processor utilizes an array of six audiophile grade Wolfson DACs and is fully licensed for DIRAC Live Full room correction software and includes a measurement microphone. Other features include seven HDMI 4K HDR video inputs and two HDMI 4K HDR video outputs. Audio inputs including balanced XLR, PC-USB (24-bit/192kHz), TosLink optical, S/PDIF coaxial, unbalanced RCA analog, iPod USB, apt-X Bluetooth, 7.1 multi-channel input, and for a vinyl turntable. Both models are available in silver or black chassis colors.


09 / 04 / 20

Digital Amplifier Company Cherry DAC DAC 3

Digital Amplifier Company Cherry DAC DAC 3
Digital Amplifier Company's new Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming Cherry DAC DAC 3 heralds in a new version of their acclaimed digital-to-analog converters. Higher audio performance is promised with their new DAC DAC 3 as this project is focused on creating high-performance Hi-Res Audio within your home audio systems. Improvements provided by the Cherry DAC DAC 3 further reduces the signal path, improves the output stage circuits, optimizes the power circuitry, plus it adds an input selector. Single-to-noise is an outstanding 130dB!

Digital Amplifier Company believes a great DAC should have short signal paths, pristine power supply design, ultra high audio performance, and true balanced, DC coupled outputs. Shorter analog signal paths have been achieved by eliminating the TL option. Plans are to offer a version with both S/PDIF coax and TosLink optical inputs. Included is an expansion interface to accommodate volume control, and might also incorporate our patent pending "gain past one" algorithm to allow boosting overly quiet recordings.



Discogs Mid-Year 2020 Marketplace Report

Discogs Mid-Year 2020 Marketplace Report
According to Discogs' mid-year 2020 report, "This year has brought its fair share of challenges. In January, we could not predict the global COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on small businesses. However, the data in the Discogs Mid-Year Marketplace Analysis and Database Highlights 2020 proves that music fans are resilient, active, and enthusiastic. Discogs has become an online haven for sellers and buyers across the consumer music economy."

"Thanks to a thriving vinyl community, the first half of 2020 has been the best six-month period we've ever seen. Across the Marketplace and Database, our Community has rallied during this bizarre time in history. We're excited to share the data we collected from the platform that reveals this year's physical music sales so far. Growth in global physical sales in the Marketplace is up 29.69% compared to the first half of 2019. With a 33.72% increase, vinyl sales have once again crossed a landmark milestone. To put that in perspective, this means that over 5.8 million records were sold between January and June." You can learn more within their mid-year report PDF at this link.



09 / 03 / 20

Hi-Fi+ Issue 186 September  2020

Hi-Fi+ September 2020 High-End Audio Magazine
Hi-Fi+ magazine's September 2020 issue features Meet Your Maker with Rune Skov from Gryphon Audio Designs. Equipment reviews include the Bowers & Wilkins 705 Signature stand-mount loudspeaker, Hegel H95 integrated amplifier, Moor Amps Angel Pre / Angel 6 preamplifier & power amplifier, Audio Research Reference 160 stereo valve power amplifier, Jern11 stand-mount loudspeakers, and Primare 15 Series CD transport, streaming DAC, phono stage plus integrated amplifier. Other gear reviews include the Xavian Corallo Esclusivo stand-mount loudspeaker, Audiobyte Hydra Vox / Hydra Zap headphone amp/DAC & supercapcitor power supply, Norma HS-IPA1 integrated amplifier, Schiit Audio Aegir stereo power amplifier, B.Audio B.DPR One / B.AMP One preamp/DAC & power amplifier, T+A Solitaire P / HA 200 planar magnetic headphones and headphone amplifier / DAC, and German Physiks Pion N3 ZF power cord.

Within this month's editorial, Alan Sircom says, "In recent months, the ruinous forces beyond our control have created something of an unexpected boon in some sectors. Zoom, for example, was a computer program that hardly anyone used at the beginning of 2020. And in the audio world, the enforced stay-at-homer who absent those concerts and festivals they would have attended this year has decided there's more to life than a basic wireless mono loudspeaker." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ magazine at this link.



Hi-Fi World October 2020

Hi-Fi World's October 2020 Reviews & Think Pieces
Hi-Fi World's October 2020 issue features your chance to win a pair of Q Acoustics 3030i loudspeakers worth 329. High-end audio equipment reviews within this issue include the Klipsch The Fives active loudspeakers, Bricasti Design M3 DAC, Astell&Kern SE200 PMP, Leak Stereo 130 / Leak CDT CD Transport, Chord Electronics Ultima 6 power amplifier, Rega Aphelion 2 phono cartridge, and Meze Rai Penta 3 in-ear monitors.

Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says, "Great to see the brand name of Leak re-launched. In this issue on p10 you can read about the new Leak Stereo 130 amplifier, an update on the original Stereo 30 transistor amplifier launched in 1963 57 years ago no less. Reviewer John Pickford is new to Hi-Fi World, but as a long term Leak owner better placed to understand how the new Stereo 130 compares with its predecessors. A lot has changed over the years between these amplifiers, but a lot has not. We still have transistors and casework of similar dimensions with knobs on front that humans can twiddle. It's easier and more direct than using an app and future proof too." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World at this link.



Raven Audio Reflection MK2 Integrated Amplifier Review

World Premiere Review!
Raven Audio Reflection MK2 Integrated Amplifier

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. 



09 / 02 / 20

ELAC Uni-Fi 2.0 Line Of Home Loudspeakers

ELAC Uni-Fi 2.0 Line Of Home Loudspeakers
ELAC announced their Uni-Fi 2.0 line of home speakers consisting of the UB52-BK three-way bookshelf, UC52-BK three-way concentric center speaker, and UF52-BK three-way concentric floorstander ($599.98 per pair, $399.98 each, and $599.98 each respectively). This new line builds upon the success of the first-generation Uni-Fi family and incorporates a variety of new features and technologies. Notable new features of the Uni-Fi 2.0 line-up include a newly-developed 4" concentric driver. A new wide-surround tweeter enhances it's low and high frequency extension allowing for improved blending with the midrange driver. An entirely new mid-range design features a larger diameter voice coil, new aluminum cone profile, new low-profile surround, and an all-new neodymium magnet assembly. Elac's single piece aluminum dished cone results in improved stiffness. Combined with an oversized magnet, large diameter voice coil, and extended pole piece, these changes result in improved accuracy and bass dynamics.

All models feature a sophisticated crossover that improves response linearity, improves driver integration and delivers a nominal impedance for compatibility with virtually all AV receivers. Every Uni-Fi 2.0 enclosure is engineered with thick MDF outer walls and a luxurious black ash vinyl finish. Specially located internal bracing adds stiffness and strength to the cabinet's outer walls, reducing the cabinet vibration that causes unwanted coloration. Relocating the vents to the front on the bookshelf and center speakers allows for greater freedom of placement, even in restricted places like a cabinet or up close to a wall.



Marantz Model 30 Stereo Integrated Amplifier And SACD 30n Networked Disc Player With HEOS

Marantz Model 30 Stereo Integrated Amplifier
And SACD 30n Networked Disc Player With HEOS
For Europe, Marantz has announced their Model 30 stereo integrated amplifier and SACD 30n Networked SACD / CD player with HEOS built-in (2700 each). These new models continues the renowned heritage of exquisite Marantz amplifiers, which are tuned by the Marantz Sound Master who channeled his passion, experience, and extraordinary ear into the amplifier design. The Model 30 solid-state stereo integrated amplifier has independent pre-amplifier and power amplifier section, with toroidal transformers feeding power dedicated to pre-amplifier and amplifier section. Marantz HDAM technology ensures low noise and extended frequency range. A linear volume control with new electric volume system ensures accurate tracking. The unit produces 100 Watts per channel @ 8 Ohms (200W @ 4 Ohm) to drive any speaker. An MM/MC Phono input provides selectable MC input resistance.

Marantz's SACD 30n is built to meet all the requirements of the modern audiophile who wants to combine a large digital music collection with the leading online music services. The SACD 30n is future-proofed, accepting file formats all the way up to 11.2MHz quad-DSD and 384kHz/32-bit PCM via USB-B/USB-DAC. This new networked SACD / CD player includes HEOS. Marantz proprietary CD / SACD mechanism provides excellent data reading while the HEOS network solution is aided by Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, and Bluetooth capability. You have access to a wide array of services including Spotify, Amazon Music HD, and Tidal. High resolution audio streaming up to FLAC HD 192 and DSD5.6 is supported. USB-B DAC Mode supporting PCM up to 384kHz and DSD11.2MHz. Marantz Musical Mastering is for pure analog audio from any digital source. A low noise fixed level and independent variable output means you can use the SACD 30n as the centerpiece of your audio system. A high quality headphone amplifier has low, medium, or high output to mate with virtually any type of in-ear monitor or headphones. The unit is controllable by remote, iOS / Android app and leading voice control services too. Both Marantz models are available in Black and Silver Gold.



Bowers & Wilkins New 600 Series Anniversary Edition Speakers

Bowers & Wilkins New 600 Series Speakers
The new Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series Anniversary Edition shares the same blend of value and sound quality as its six forebears and features new and improved components to ensure it can continue to set the standard for high-performance sound quality at an accessible price point. The 600 Series Anniversary Edition range features four models that combine advanced technology with discreet style, adding a new oak finish to complement the existing matte black or matte white finishes. An additional red cherry finish is available as a special order. All Anniversary Edition speakers also include a new celebratory logo inscribed on the tweeter surround in either light or dark finishes, depending on the color of the rest of the speaker.

The new range includes S2 specification Anniversary Edition versions of the 607, 606, 603 and the dedicated HTM6 center channel speaker. The 603 S2 Anniversary Edition ($1999.98 per pair) floorstanding speaker features the Decoupled Double Dome aluminum tweeter, a 6" FST Continuum Cone midrange driver plus two 6.5" paper-cone bass drivers. The 606 S2 Anniversary Edition ($899.98 per pair) is suitable for stand-mount or bookshelf use, which combines the new aluminum tweeter with a 6.5" mid/bass driver. Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition ($699.98 per pair) compact stand-mount or bookshelf speaker has an aluminum tweeter and 5" Continuum Cone mid/bass driver. The HTM6 S2 Anniversary Edition ($799.99 each) compact high-performance center-channel speaker mates the aluminum tweeter with dual 5" Continuum Cone mid/bass drivers.



KEF Metamaterial Absorption Technology

KEF Metamaterial Absorption Technology
Loudspeaker manufacturer KEF has created a new Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT), which is a highly complex maze-like structure that eliminates unwanted sound from the rear of driver, resulting in a purer, more natural performance. "Like an acoustic black hole", KEF's Metamaterial Absorption Technology is mathematically optimized to absorb the maximum of sound in a minimum of space. Metamaterials are specially developed structures that use existing materials in such a way that they exhibit new properties. MAT's tuned channels absorb 99% of the unwanted sound from the rear of driver, compared to around 60% absorption from loudspeakers using different approaches. KEF always pushes the technological boundaries in its mission to create the best possible sound; MAT is the physical manifestation of that drive. The result of a joint development project with the Acoustic Metamaterials Group, MAT breaks completely new ground in loudspeaker design. You can read KEF's AES convention paper 10341 PDF at this link.



09 / 01 / 20

High-End Audiophile Review Magazine

September Blue Note Awards Issue!
Enjoy the Music.com's annual Blue Note Awards Review Magazine is now online. This month features think pieces, reviews, and our annual Blue Note Awards too! Our Best Of 2020 Blue Note Awards celebrates the many great achievements by audiophile manufacturers within the high-end audio and Hi-Res Audio industry. Enjoy the Music.com's annual Blue Note Awards September Review Magazine.



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.
---> See what products earned our Best Of 2020 Blue Note Award.



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.



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.



High-End Audiophile Review Magazine

Read All Articles, Reviews, And Blue Note Awards
We have wonderful reviews, think pieces, videos, etc within Enjoy the Music.com's September issue featuring our Best Of 2020 Blue Note Awards.


08 / 31 / 20

Bottlehead Moreplay Preamplifier DIY Kit

Bottlehead Moreplay Preamplifier DIY Kit
Bottlehead's Moreplay Preamplifier kit ($399) is a retro-nod to the company's Foreplay preamplifier, which was their most popular kit of the late 1990s and early 2000s. A poll on the Bottlehead Forum indicated great enthusiasm for the reintroduction of a cost effective AC powered preamp that could be an easy entry into the world of tube audio. Paul Joppa and Paul Birkeland used their many years of experience with the previous designs and developed the Moreplay. The gain stage is a single 6V6 beam tetrode, wired as a triode. But the devil is always in the details, and this preamp is no exception there, either. Many of those details were chosen to maximize the signal to noise ratio in a wide variety of situations.

There are three pairs of inputs. A three-position selector switches both signals and grounds, to help minimize the possibility of ground-current noises. The grounds are bypassed to the chassis with small capacitors to reduce radio-frequency noise pickup. The selector is followed by a balance control which feeds the input grid of the tube directly. The gain stage is very simple; just a triode with a resistor plate load and a bypassed cathode resistor for bias. The output is capacitor coupled to a low-resistance volume control. The power supply is a voltage doubler with two additional stages of resistor-capacitor filtering. The signal ground is connected to the chassis plate through a low-impedance ground-lift network to further reduce ground current noise. The power transformer can be wired for a variety of power-line voltages from 100V to 240V. 



08 / 28 / 20

Stack Audio LINK II USB Network Bridge

Stack Audio LINK II USB Network Bridge
The original Stack Audio LINK, launched in early 2019, was introduced as a high-performance USB audio reclocker and network bridge. Their new LINK II ($895) is available now and will ship with new software, while existing LINK owners can upgrade to the new software platform should they wish to. Boasting support for streaming music services like Qobuz, Spotify, and Tidal, the LINK's USB component was both isolated and optimized for use with the vast array of USB DACs on the market. The original LINK, despite being in its infancy, received universal praise from customers and critics alike. This success has provided Stack Audio with both the confidence and resources to evolve and improve the LINK's hardware and software design, ease of use, and most importantly its performance.

The result being the new LINK II. The critical master clock circuit has been upgraded, the new "heartbeat" of the unit. This addition has reduced the clock's noise levels by an astounding 50%, giving more clarity to the output than ever before. Operating system software has been streamlined. With its smaller footprint fewer computing resources are necessary to better the performance. For our many Roon users, the software has been further optimized for this much-loved application. Open Home protocol support, this is so the LINK II appears as a OH zone. While the LINK OS previously worked with UPnP, Roon, and Airplay, in addition to the previously supported software, the new LINK OS now supports Squeezelite and Liberspot (Spotify Connect). Furthermore, the new OS will soon support HQ player end point. DSD256 now supported a step up from DSD128 in the original LINK.



Rotel A11 Tribute And CD11 Tribute Honors Ken Ishiwata

Rotel A11 Tribute And CD11 Tribute Honors Ken Ishiwata
Rotel Electronics just revealed their special edition A11 integrated amplifier and CD11 CD player ($799 and $599 respectively). Both models are tribute versions in celebration of Rotel's longstanding partnership with the late audio legend Ken Ishiwata. The A11 and CD11 were chosen as two of his favorite products and the Rotel team felt that the Class AB 2 x 50 Watt A11 integrated amplifier and CD11 CD player represented the perfect base for elevating products that were already excellent, yet updating them into something even more special. Rotel's A11 Tribute and the CD11 Tribute result is an increase in resolution and detail, while delivering a more musical presentation with both improved rhythm and timing. There's a special badge in honor to the man whose total passion for music was the impetus that inspired their creation.

Internally, specially selected improved components were chosen to offer higher performance throughout the signal path. In the amplifier stage, all 10 capacitors and two resistors in the signal path were changed. Custom damping materials were added to the A11's mechanical chassis to reduce ringing and further isolate/insulate and dampen any vibrations within the product. Rotel's CD11 CD player has eight capacitor changes and one resistor change were made in the DAC stage, while in the power supply all nine capacitors were changed with improved components. A great deal of thought was given to the damping of internal vibrations with custom damping material added to the top cover to eliminate vibration and ringing, while further changes were made to the mechanical and electrical grounding of the CD player.


08 / 27 / 20

The HiFi Summit Q4 2020 By Joe N Tell

The HiFi Summit Q4 2020 By Joe N Tell
The journey continues with The HiFi Summit Q4, from October 22nd through 26th, as 2020 has been a true test for many of us personally and professionally. Companies who have adapted to our new reality are seeing unprecedented growth. While we would love to get together for a physical trade show to talk with colleagues and friends, that's not possible quite yet. So now what? The Hi-Fi Summit, produced by Joe N Tell (Joe Mariano), is a digital trade show and online conference. Excellent seminars and group chat are joined by questions from viewers within their Lobby Discussion and YouTube live stream. You can see parts of their previous The HiFi Summit Q2 on Enjoy the Music.com at this link.



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.




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