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Wells Audio Commander Level II Preamplifier Review

Wells Audio Commander Level II Vacuum Tube Line Stage Review
The Commander is in a club of one.
Review By Sam Rosen
A little while ago I reviewed the Wells Audio Cipher. I asked Jeff Wells, the owner of Wells Audio, to tell me more about the Cipher, and he more or less described it as his preamp circuit, with a single fixed input coming from the DAC. I was so impressed with the smooth analog nature of his DAC that I asked him if I could review his preamp. A few months later, a Commander Level II arrived at my door. The Commander Level II is Jeff Wells' mid-range preamp. The standard level I, sells for $3999, the level II (my unit) sells for $9000, and the Level III sells for $18,000. Each version has the same base design and circuit, and each upgrade introduces higher end and more expensive discrete parts into the build process. According to Wells Audio these improvements lower the noise floor, increase the dynamic range, and dramatically improve the experience.
---> Wells Audio Commander Level II Tube Line Stage Review.



Rotel Michi X3 Integrated Amplifier Review

Rotel Michi X3 Integrated Amplifier Review
More than the sum of its parts. Review By Francisco Duran.
Review By Francisco Duran
This has been one of the hardest reviews I have ever done because the MichiX3 integrated amplifier really surprised me. Out of the box and into my system it performed so well that I was at a loss for words. Not so much as in spectacular audiophile terms, but because it just went straight to work and played music, all kinds of music, and from all kinds of sources in such a relaxed but inviting manner, critique just kind of went out the window. But unless you have been living under an audiophile rock for the last few years, you probably have seen, even in passing, a review of the latest Rotel amplifiers. In fact, I have recently written about their neat A14MK.2. A solid performer, the sound signature of that unit being quite different from its big brother, the Michi X3.
---> Rotel Michi X3 Integrated Amplifier Review.



HIGH END And International Parts + Supply 2024 Show Report Munich Germany

HIGH END 2024 At Munich's M.O.C. Show Report (Updated 05/17)
From May 9th to 12th, 2024, the 41st HIGH END trade show in Munich will once again shine a spotlight on luxurious premium music reproduction systems, inspiring listening enjoyment and exquisite audio technology. HIGH END continues to be one of the most important marketplaces and trading rendezvous for the audio industry, with many international trade visitors from around the world. Music lovers from over 90 countries visit Munich to discover high-performance audio industry trends, exchange views, learn the latest news, plus network and do business. For industry experts, audiophile enthusiasts, and music enthusiasts, the HIGH END four-day event in Munich will once again be a spectacular event. It is the perfect place to establish business relationships, expand networks, exchange ideas and experiences with other industry experts.
---> HIGH END 2024 AT Munich's M.O.C. Show Report.



AXPONA 2024 High-Performance Audio, Luxury Premium Hi-Fi Stereo Audiophile Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com

AXPONA 2024 Show Report (Updated 05/21)
Audio Expo North America (AXPONA) 2024 three-day experience featured a multitude of floors, with a total of approximately 200 listening rooms. Special showcases include the Expo Hall featuring The Record Fair, The Ear Gear Experience, and a variety of seminars. Whether you're a very serious audiophile, a newcomer to high-end audio or simply a music lover, you found everything you need to immerse yourself in your favorite sounds. The Ear Gear Experience is the place to go to find everything from open-back, closed-back, in-ear headphones and accessories, as well as cables DACs and players. You can also shop audio accessories, turntables, cables and more in the Expo Hall. Plus find new and vintage vinyl in AXPONA's own Record Fair.
---> AXPONA 2024 High-End Audio Show Report.



High-End Audio & Music Industry News

USA Department Of Justice Sues Live Nation / Ticketmaster

USA Department Of Justice Sues Live Nation / Ticketmaster
According to the Department Of Justice within the United States of America, "Live Nation-Ticketmaster's Exclusionary Conduct and Dominance Across the Live Concert Ecosystem Harms Fans, Innovation, Artists, and Venues: The Justice Department, along with 30 state and district attorneys general, filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ticketmaster LLC (Live Nation-Ticketmaster) for monopolization and other unlawful conduct that thwarts competition in markets across the live entertainment industry. The lawsuit, which includes a request for structural relief, seeks to restore competition in the live concert industry, provide better choices at lower prices for fans, and open venue doors for working musicians and other performance artists."
---> USA Department Of Justice Sues Live Nation / Ticketmaster.



Reference Recordings Brahms Reimagined Orchestrations

Reference Recordings Brahms Reimagined Orchestrations
A new and very imaginative album from critically-acclaimed music label Reference Records, Brahms Reimagined Orchestrations [RR-152] features three compositions by Johannes Brahms, in an outstanding interpretation from Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony. This very high-quality album features the first recording of American composer and Kansas City native Virgil Thomson's 1957 / 1958 orchestration of Brahms: Eleven Chorale Preludes for organ, op 122. It also features the wonderfully enchanting Black Swan, composer Bright Sheng's orchestration of the Brahms Intermezzo for solo piano, op. 118, No. 2, plus the beloved and spectacular Arnold Schoenberg orchestration of the Piano Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, op. 25. Notes writer Ken Meltzer states: "Schoenberg's orchestration is a respectful and affectionate tribute by one great composer to another. It is also a beautiful and at times thrillingly entertaining piece. And to the extent it presents both composers at their least inhibited, the Brahms / Schoenberg Piano Quartet offers a valuable insight into the personalities of two of concert music's most influential figures."
---> Reference Recordings Brahms Reimagined Orchestrations.



HIGH END 2024 At MOC Reaches New Heights

HIGH END 2024 At MOC Reaches New Heights
The High End Society's HIGH END 2024 high-end audiophile show in Munich reaches new heights with a total of 22,198 visitors during the four day event. While the visitor statistics were a touch above last years, with 11,237 trade visitors and was higher than public attendance numbers of 10,373 for the first time. Music enthusiasts traveled from 108 nations to HIGH END 2024. There were 588 media representatives who traveled to Munich to discover the latest in high-performance audio gear and immersive music. According to the show promoter, "The HIGH END 2024 saw overwhelming visitor traffic on the first public day, where visitor crowds were so large at times that sections of the atriums had to be temporarily cordoned off to prevent the aisles and rooms from being overfilled." Space within the MOC covers more than 30,000 square meters in the four halls and three atriums, and HIGH END 2024 visitors experienced fantastic demonstrations of exclusive hi-tech audio and hi-fi products.
---> HIGH END 2024 At MOC Reaches New Heights.



audioXpress June 2024

audioXpress' June 2024 Issue
Editorial: Different Listening Perspectives
Using Multiphysics Simulation For Electrovibroacoustic Analysis
Dimensional Reduction For Vibroacoustical Simulations
Measuring MEMS Microspeakers
A Low-Feedback Triode Amp With Zero Output Impedance
Classic Hollow-State Hi-Fi Before 1950
Moving Audio Into An Era of AI And SDV
Integrated Audio Development Frameworks
Crafting Immersive Driving Experiences
Car Audio Tuning And Upgrading
And Much More!
---> audioXpress' June 2024 Issue.



audioXpress         Australian Hi-Fi Magazine

Hi-Fi+ Magazine        



High-End Audio Show Reports

HIGH END Munich 2024 Audiophile Show Report
HIGH END Munich 2024


AXPONA 2024 High-End Audiophile Show Report


Montreal Audiofest 2024 Show Report
Montreal Audiofest 2024


Southwest Audio Fest 2024 Premium Audio Show Report
Southwest Audio Fest 2024


Florida International Audio Expo 2024 Show Report
Florida International Audio Expo 2024


Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report (CAF 2023)
Capital Audiofest 2023


Toronto Audiofest 2023 Show Report
Toronto Audiofest 2023


UK Audio Show 2023 Report
UK Audio Show 2023


Pacific Audio Fest 2022 Show Report
Pacific Audio Fest 2023


Australian Hi-Fi Show 2023 Highlights Report
Australian Hi-Fi Show 2023




---> More Show Reports 



Avantgarde Acoustic UNO SD Hornspeakers Review The luckiest I've ever felt was when reviewing the UNO SD speakers. Review By Tom Lyle

Avantgarde Acoustic UNO SD Hornspeaker Review
The luckiest I've ever felt was when reviewing the UNO SD speakers.
Review By Tom Lyle
In the mid to late 1990s, I heard a pair of Avantgarde Acoustic horn loudspeakers (hornspeaker) for the first time at a local high-end audio showroom. I don't remember the model of the speakers I was hearing, but I do recall that they were powered by a pair of Single-Ended Triode (SET) monoblock amplifiers. I assumed that these amps were a perfect match for these sensitive speakers. Sadly, I was not impressed with what I heard that day. The speaker's biggest sin was an exaggerated midrange, epitomizing the "cupped hands" sound. Fast-forward to 2024, when I was offered a pair of Avantgarde UNO SDs for review in Enjoy the Music.com. I was skeptical, fearing I would experience something similar to what I had heard at that local dealer many years ago. Before these speakers arrived, I shared my experience with Avantgarde's North American distributor, American Sound of Canada, about my experience with their horn speakers.
---> Avantgarde Acoustic UNO SD Hornspeaker Review.



Nagra Classic DAC II, PSU Power Supply, And VFS Review

Nagra Classic DAC II, PSU Power Supply, And VFS Review
Bringing tears of joy when listening to special songs.
Review By Tom Lyle
In January 2021, I was fortunate to review Nagra's Tube DAC and Classic PSU power supply. In my review, I said that the owners of this vacuum tube Hi-Res Audio DAC will be able to appreciate the "sonic glory" of this "high-performance component." So, I was not surprised that the Nagra Tube DAC and its PSU power supply were awarded Enjoy The Music.com's Best Of 2021 Award. After I finished the review, I was not psyched to return the $40,900 package consisting of the Nagra Tube DAC, Classic PSU power supply, and VFS Classic base to the distributor. I was captivated by the sound quality this digital front end contributed to my system. My reference DAC, an EMM Labs DA2, is no slouch, but this Nagra Tube DAC package costs twice as much. It was not twice as good as the EMM Labs converter; it doesn't work that way, but the improvement in sound quality was significant. I jumped at the chance when I was offered the subject of this review, the relatively new Nagra Classic DAC II / PSU / VFS combo.
---> Nagra Classic DAC II, PSU Power Supply, And VFS Review.



FiiO M17 Portable Desktop-Class Music Player Review An organic-sounding high-resolution music streamer and Hi-Res Audio DAC.

FiiO M17 Portable Desktop-Class Music Player Review
An organic-sounding high-resolution music streamer and Hi-Res Audio DAC.
Review By Tom Lyle
Being an audiophile means that convenience isn't our number one goal. If you are anything like me, I am an audiophile because I love music and want to hear recorded music with the best sound quality possible. This is true even when I'm listening to recorded music when not sitting in the sweet spot in front of my audio system. This means listening through headphones, often using a portable digital audio player (DAP). Until the technology advances so that a small Hi-Res Audio DAP sounds as good as a large one, audiophiles will be listening to devices such as the FiiO M17. Like other top-tier DAPs, the M17 is a rather large, heavy digital audio player. It sports a plethora of features, some of which I found useful and others I found no use for.
---> FiiO M17 Portable Desktop-Class Music Player Review.



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