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High-End Audio / Audiophile Equipment Reviews And Think Pieces
January 2020


Florida Audio Expo 2020 Show Report

Florida Audio Expo 2020 Show Report
Florida Audio Expo 2020 Show In Tampa, Florida.
The Florida Audio Expo is excited to announce their second annual show for 2020! This show is scheduled to be held on Friday February 7th through Sunday February 9th, 2020 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore. This Southeast show gives music lovers the chance to personally audition some of the industry's finest offerings, all taking place in sunny Florida. The show is free to the public too!
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New York Audio Show 2019 Report NYAS 2019 Show Report

New York Audio Show 2019 Report
NYAS 2019 Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com
Held at the Park Lane Hotel in Manhattan from November 8th through 10th, the New York Audio Show 2019 features the latest in high-end audio technology. This ranges from loudspeakers created to perfection, headphones with excellent fit and sound for you, to Hi-Res Audio digital sound for your home or on the go. Also featured were many state-of-the-art turntables for your beloved vinyl LP collection.
---> See our New York Audio Show 2019 report here.



Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2019 Show Report

Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2019 Show Report
CAF 2019 Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com
Capital Audiofest (CAF), launched in 2010 as a very casual show, has evolved into a well-organized and well-attended event. CAF is recognized as a fun, friendly and family-oriented show where you often see parents with children strolling from room to room listening to music, auditioning gear, and browsing the multiple bins of vinyl records, CDs and accessories.
---> See our Capital Audiofest 2019 show report here.



Why I Love Our Loyal Readership First and foremost, this entire site is for you! Let's work together.... Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin

Why I Love Our Loyal Readership
First and foremost, this entire site is for you! Let's work together....
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
In  a few months Enjoy the Music.com will officially be celebrating our 25th Anniversary. For those who've read the About Us info, you'll notice below all the site facts n' stuff that not a single word has changed for decades. And so it began 25 years ago...
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Enjoy The Music! Roger Skoff writes about the thing we love.

Enjoy The Music!
Roger Skoff writes about the thing we love.
Article By Roger Skoff
Ever since the Paleolithic era, when "hard rock" was a literal description, and humanity's catchiest tunes were played by rhythmically banging stones together, people have loved music. We've probably played it, sung it, chanted it, danced to it, and loved it for as long as we've had language – and maybe even longer, if animal behavior is any indication of the behavior of our far-most-distant ancestors.
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Stan Considers Microphony And Electronic Component Quality

Stan Considers Microphony And Electronic Component Quality
Article By Stan Curtis Of HIFICRITIC
We largely take it for granted that each generation of amplifiers will be audibly superior to those that came before even when occasionally they aren't. From my viewpoint as an erstwhile designer I do sometimes find myself doubting some of the claims when I can't find the evidence to substantiate a claimed improvement whilst applauding the efforts of designers who have spotted and solved a problem we old codgers missed or chose to ignore.
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A Look Back At 2019

A Look Back At 2019
As we plan for our 25th anniversary in 2020.
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
Virtual everyone within the high-end audio community agrees that 2019 was a banner year for our industry! There were a record number of well-attended events all around the world... for starters. Manufacturers are holding a record number of smaller events at their dealers' locations as well.
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Audiophiles Are Easy!

Audiophiles Are Easy!
Roger Skoff writes about gifts for the coming holidays.
Article By Roger Skoff
Do you have a lot of people on your Holiday Gift List? Do you want a suggestion for getting them all something that will always be appreciated? Try music. I know; that's what I said in my last article, but in that one I was mostly suggesting introducing "newbies" to our hobby and saying that giving them music to play or the equipment to play it on would be a great way to both "hook" them...
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Bombardier Global 6500 Business And Luxury Aircraft

Bombardier Global 6500 Business / Luxury Aircraft
Re-imagine business and exotic travel within the smoothest skies.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
With their campaign of "Dare to compare", Bombardier's Global 6500 aircraft (starting at $56M) enables you to fly for both business and luxury to locations all over the globe. By employing the reliable Rolls-Royce Pearl engine and generous fuel storage, you have an incredible range of 6600 nautical miles! Furthermore, get there fast at Mach 0.90 (690 mph) so you'll never be late to that important appointment. Yet is not just all about distance and speed.
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OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition

OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition
James, James Bond. Shaken, not stirred.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
Everyone loves a great action movie and James Bond is always up to the task. Bond's newest OMEGA timepiece has arrived with their Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition ($9200). With a full dossier of military-inspired details, this watch is loaded and ready to go! British agent 007's newest timepiece will be featured within the 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die, set to arrive in cinemas April 2020. Order yours now as initial shipments are nearly sold out.
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Rocket R Nine One Espresso Machine

Rocket R Nine One Espresso Machine
Modern tech delivers classic cup of caffeine.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
Rocket Espresso Milano's R Nine One ($6850) was developed to bring the very best of the company's commercial machine development program into a unit capable of outstanding results. Thermal stability fully saturates the group system is coupled with digital PID temperature control to produce a consistent cup of coffee goodness. Both Pre and Post infusion are controlled through a full pressure profiling system, with your choice of five preset programs or via manual control through the Rocket Espresso paddle system.
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Wine Cellar Innovations Bottle storage solutions at reasonable pricing.

Wine Cellar Innovations
Bottle storage solutions at reasonable pricing.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
Wine Cellar Innovations founder Jim Deckebach's love of fine wines and foods began in 1974 when he studied in France. He returned to the USA to manage a restaurant while also remodeling homes as a side gig. His first wine cellar project 1984 gave him the idea to produce custom wine cellars. In 1998 Jim Deckebach moved his business from the garage to the current 355,000 sq. ft. facility in Cincinnati. And so began a refrigeration department with test chambers for best wine aging.
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Reviewer In Focus Tom Lyle, Enjoy the Music.com's Senior Editor A deep look into the life of a true music lover.

Tom Lyle, Enjoy the Music.com's Senior Editor
A deep look into the life of a true music lover.
Article By Tom Lyle
To get to the point of my short diatribe, I have to give a bit of background information about myself. Please bear with me. At first it might sound a bit narcissistic, but it will help put my discourse into perspective. For a long time, I considered myself an audiophile. Even before I knew what the term audiophile was. I did know that I was a lover of the equipment that reproduced the music I listened to. But because of the types of music I listened to I always felt as if I was an outsider.
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Allnic H-7000 Vacuum Tube Phono Stereo Preamplifier Review

Allnic H-7000 Vacuum Tube Phono Preamplifier
Bringing you closer to the musical performance.
Review By Tom Lyle
I've been lucky enough to be able to review a variety of excellent preamplifiers during the last few years, from the more affordable to the quite extravagant. As with the Allnic H-7000 vacuum tube phono preamplifier, as reviewed here, I'm hoping that these different types of phono preamplifiers that I've reviewed might help some audiophiles make a decision as to which phono preamp might be best for their system's analog set-up.
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EMM Labs DV2 Integrated Digital-To-Analog Converter Review

EMM Labs DV2 Integrated DAC
A truly magical musical machine!
Review By Phil Gold
It's many years since I've owned a standalone DAC. When your CD Player is from EMM Labs it not only contains a world class DAC, but that DAC keeps improving sonically with regular free firmware updates. On top of that, EMM Labs has updated the XDS1 CD Player to V2 and now V3 with new physical components for a reasonable update charge. Without doubt today's XDS1 V3 shows remarkable improvements over the initial model I first reviewed in 2010.
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Pass Labs INT-25 Stereo Integrated Amplifier Review

Pass Labs INT-25 Stereo Integrated Amplifier
The most musical amplifier I've had the opportunity to listen to.
Review By Review By Neven Kos of hifimedia magazine
It's been a while since I've had an opportunity to listen to some of the Pass amps officially. The last one was, if memory does serve me, an integrated INT-30 amplifier, a review you had the opportunity to read in this magazine (No. 81 / 2010). My experience with Pass Labs amps is not extensive, but it may be relevant. Before that integrated amplifier in my listening room I enjoyed my own amps over the years, such as integrated amplifier INT-150, power amp x150.5, preamplifier X1 and Aleph P.
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Audio-Technica ATH-AWKT And ATH-AWAS Headphones Review

Audio-Technica ATH-AWKT And ATH-AWAS Headphones
Audio-Technica's new wood stereo headphones.
Review By Frank Iacone Of Headphone.Guru
Audio-Technica is known for building quality high-end audio products for both music lovers and audiophiles. The Japanese company takes pride in build quality headphones that offer the best sound possible in musical reproduction. The company has a reputation for building reference headphones with unique and often rare wood that is only available in Japan. Past renditions included the limited edition 65th anniversary Cherry Wood headphones which now have a cult-like following within the personal audio community. The new designs being reviewed continue with the beautiful designs of rare wood being used in both reference models.
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Furutech DSS-4.1 Speaker Cables and DPS-4.1 Power Cable Review

The Neoteric Listener
Furutech DSS-4.1 Speaker Cables And DPS-4.1 Power Cable
Review By Dean Seislove Of Positive Feedback
Cables have it rough. Last in thought, least in budget, forever to be put to work quickly, and then quickly overshadowed by flashier audio gear. When gushing about an audio system, who starts with the cables? Nobody ever, that's who. Such neglect is a crying shame. Cables bear the precious audio signal like a yeoman's cart dispatched by his ladyship. They're the pack mules in the trip down the Grand Canyon; the Pontoon boat floating down the Mekon river. Without cables, your audio system deluxe is just odd-looking furniture. Cables deserve accolades, no matter how much contrary nonsense is spouted off by cynics. I deny the cable deniers!
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Chord Electronics Huei MM / MC Phono Stage Review

Chord Electronics Huei MM / MC Phono Stage
Making music sound like music, which is what makes high-end audio high-end audio.
Review By Tom Lyle
In the past I've had the pleasure of reviewing two other components made by Chord Electronics from East Farleigh, Kent UK. In December of 2014 I reviewed the first version of their Hugo, a battery powered digital to analog converter. During January 2019 I reviewed their Symphonic moving coil phono stage, which in this case is more than noteworthy because the Huei phono stage that is being reviewed here is a smaller version of their excellent Symphonic phono stage.
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ProAc Response D2R Standmounted Speakers Review

ProAc Response D2R Standmounted Speakers
Updating a true classic loudspeaker.
Review By Phil Gold
When I moved to Canada in 1980, I bought Meridian M2 Active Speakers which I had originally heard in Edinburgh while I was attending the festival. They were so outrageously good I kept them for a very long time. Only when I found the ProAc Response 2 did I feel passive speakers had caught up and even overtaken the old M2s. That would be around the early nineties. The Stewart Tyler-designed Response 2 also lived in my system for a long time, finally giving way to a pair of Wilson Benesch Act 1 speakers when I moved into a larger home.
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Synergistic Research Foundation Cables Review

Synergistic Research Foundation Cables
Oracles house themselves within temples of the humble.
Review By Rick Becker
Like with climate change, it's hard to believe there are still cable deniers in this world, but they show up in the forums with a loud voice. You would think the multitude of High End cable manufacturers would be a clue. After all, if high end cables were all snake oil would so many companies exist? Would so many people buy them? And importantly, would brick & mortar stores, who build their reputations and depend on repeat customers, be selling them? At audio shows nobody runs generic power cords or interconnects.
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Magnepan 30.7 Panel Loudspeakers For Condos Review

Magnepan 30.7 Panel Loudspeakers For Condos
On the road at Audio Connections.
Review By Jules Coleman
On Wednesday, December 18 (2019), I joined Herb Reichert of Stereophile and Steve Guttenberg of Audiophiliac Daily, at John Rutan's retail store Audio Connections in Verona, New Jersey to listen to Magnepan's prototype / concept speaker, currently dubbed '30.7 for Condos' (hereafter, FC). Audio Connections was the latest stop in Magnepan's road show orchestrated by Wendell Diller and his spouse, Galina. Whereas pre-production listening sessions are ubiquitous, pre-production road shows are not! This begs the question: Why an elaborate road show in the case of 'for Condos'?
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Q Acoustics Concept 300 Standmount Speaker Review

Q Acoustics Concept 300 Standmount Speaker
A life of harmony.
Review By Michael Lang Of STEREO Magazine
Standmount speakers often lose a lot of their sound potential because they are placed in cabinets or on shelves. Q Acoustics' Concept 300 won't let that happen. Strictly speaking, the Q Acoustics Concept 300 is not a British speaker at all, because its creative father is Karl-Heinz Fink, one of the world's most respected and busy loudspeaker developers – who lives and works in Essen, Germany.
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CH Precision Ethernet Streaming HD Board Review

CH Precision Ethernet Streaming HD Board
Review By Marshall Nack Of Positive Feedback
It's winter time. Want to know the best tweak for the season? Humidity. Get a humidifier and maintain about 35% RH at the equipment rack. Not only does it make you feel better, it will make the equipment perform better. Sound travels through air: consider it the final wire in your system.
About a year ago, CH Precision sent around an email introducing Ralph Sorrentino, their new Brand Ambassador for America.
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icOn4 AVC (Autoformer) Passive Preamplifier Review

icOn4 AVC (Autoformer) Passive Preamplifier
Life-Changer Audio icOn4 passive preamplifier.
Review By Martin Colloms of HIFICRITIC
Andrew Harrison recently reviewed two passive preamplifier/control units, namely the earlier series Life-Changer Audio icOn2 earlier this year (HIFICRITIC Vol 13 No1) and also the Bespoke Audio Company Pre-amplifier in (Vol 13 No2). Now a new and even more interesting version of the icOn series from that irrepressible designer and manufacturer Pál Nagy.
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Audeze LCDi3 Portable In-Ear Headphones Review

Audeze LCDi3 Portable In-Ear Headphones
Incredible portable audio any way you want it!
Review By Peter Pialis Of Headphone.Guru
I absolutely loved the iSine20 when I reviewed them a few years ago. I found them to really shake things up in the portable market space with their full-sized headphone sound and transparency. Well, never to rest on their laurels, Audeze has just released their follow up; the LCDi3.
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Raven Audio Osprey MK3 Tube Integrated Amplifier Review

World Premiere Review!
Raven Audio Osprey MK3 Tube Integrated Amplifier
Fanatic attention to every detail.
Review By Ron Nagle
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pounded, weak and weary, with a tap, tap, tapping on a darkened Qwerty. Now with many a quaint and curious tome proffered, still, I must type evermore. The Raven Audio people are a Texas based company. Raven's products are made in the town of Onalaska, Texas. They are a manufacturer sharing some manufacturing facilities with the aerospace industry. And the aerospace people manufacture some things that are classified as, "only on a need to know basis."
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Metronome Le Dac Digital-To-Analog Converter Review

Metronome Le Dac Digital-To-Analog Converter...
...and the Technicolor Dream.
Review By Paul Schumann
Those of you who have read some of my previous reviews know that I am in some ways a throwback, sticking with my compact discs while some audiophiles have moved to uncompressed digital files and others have embraced the vinyl side. I have a lot of CD's, and by god, I'm going to still listen to them. A few years ago I purchased the iFi Audio iDSD, and that opened up my world on how far digital has come in the last decade.
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SVS Pinnacle 3.5-Way Floorstanding Speakers Review

SVS Pinnacle 3.5-Way Floorstanding Speakers
These speakers can rock, plus produce excellent macro and micro dynamics too!
Review By Dr. Matthew Clott
SVS came on the scene several years ago and impressed everyone with their range of high performance subwoofers. They established themselves as a high value to performance product and sold primarily dealer direct. Their subwoofers come in multiple sizes, multiple price points and in both sealed and ported versions to seamlessly mesh with home audio and home theater systems. With their success, speaker production was an obvious progression and they introduced a 5.1 HT system, bookshelf speakers, dedicated surround speakers and floorstanders.
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ZMF Verité Closed Back Over Ear Headphones Review

ZMF Verité Closed Back Over Ear Headphones
ZMF's closed-back flagship is the perfect blend of fun and precision.
Review By Dave Hanson
Last year, the ZMF Verité took the flagship headphone landscape by storm. It was the first headphone to bring beryllium-coated drivers to the 300-Ohm format. The result was a punchy, precise and musically intoxicating combination which garnered a 2019 Enjoy the Music.com Blue Note Award. Also, you can read my World Premiere Review of ZMF's Vérité open back headphones at...
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Monitor Audio Platinum PL 100 II Standmount Speaker Review

Monitor Audio Platinum PL 100 II Standmount Speaker
Heart of platinum.
Review By Michael Lang Of STEREO Magazine
Recently we tested the Gold 200 from Monitor Audio. But we wanted more than gold – and ordered the Platinum PL 100 II standmount speaker from the Brit's top series. This compact two-way speaker from England deserves a price for its meticulous attention to detail that we haven't seen anything like in a long time. The Platinum 100 is manufactured neatly and lovingly right down to the last screw.
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Great Audiophile Holiday Gift 2019 Special Holiday Edition By Enjoy the Music.com

Special Holiday Edition!
Great Audiophile Gift Ideas 2019
50 great gifts for music lovers!
Welcome to Enjoy the Music.com's 14th annual Great Audiophile Gift recommendations! We all love gifts, yet getting that something special for an audiophile can be quite a challenge. Enjoy the Music.com's annual Great Audiophile Gift wish list brings you 50 web pages filled with some truly spectacular ideas for music lovers. Prices start at around $10 and reach to a still reasonable $500 or so. Sure we snuck a few $$$ bits, yet still under $800. Be sure to visit this page as we have a free gift especially for you!
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Guerrilla Tactics For The Audiophile Home

Guerrilla Tactics For The Audiophile Home
From Sound Practices Issue 1, Summer 1992
The first time you find him in the kitchen wearing your frilly apron and baking a newly spray-painted amp chassis in the oven you think it's kind of cute. You keep an open mind despite the fumes and try to sympathize with his need for a hammered metal look finish. Then on a dark night you stub your toes on that same chassis lying in the middle of the living room floor and you think, Not so cute. Might as well face the truth. For every audiophile in the world, there's an afflicted spouse, housemate or friend. And, sooner or later, we all must learn the guerrilla tactics necessary for survival in the audiophile home.
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VALVE Magazine Dinkin' Around: Tech tips and other unsolicited advice.

Dinkin' Around
Got an H.H. Scott LT-110 (the kit version of the 350) in the shop last week that was misbehaving badly, just a buzz would come out. After a couple tubes and an alignment of the RF and IF/limiter stages, mono sounded great, stereo wasn't stereo and had a bunch of growlies. When I got to the 19kHz transformer on the multiplex board, there was no signal coming out, and the slugs seemed to spin freely. Ah hah! I said (actually I said Shit!). Opened up the can and realized I was witnessing the work of the Gods. Apparently a previous alignment had been performed by Hercules.
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Pathos Acoustics Classic Remix Integrated Amplifier, Headphone Amplifier And DAC

World Premiere Review
Pathos Acoustics Classic Remix Integrated Amplifier / Headphone Amp w/DAC
Combining the musicality of tubes with the drive of solid-state amplification.
Review By Dr. Panagiotis Karavitis
Yours truly spent a dozen years in Italy studying and tasting some dolce vita in cities like Rome and Florence. He fell in love with the bell paese and everything beautiful coming from that country; most of all the style. Italians have this way of creating that transcends typical "good taste" into something deeper, sophisticated and cool at the same time. Think about Maserati and Alfa Romeo, Armani and Valentino and you get the idea. The same can be said for their high fidelity audio products.
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Falcon LS3/5A Classic Small Two-Way Monitor Reborn

Falcon LS3/5A Classic Small Two-Way Monitor Reborn
Resurrecting the old classic BBC LS3/5A that lives up against the older classics.
Review By Joseph Ki Cheong Ming
It is no secret that Malcolm Jones did most of the design and development of the legendary KEF drive units such as the B139, B200, B110, T15, and T27. He left KEF in 1974 having just completed the famous Reference Series 104 system and thus began work on an active professional monitor plus his new company Falcon Acoustics Ltd. When Falcon announced making LS3/5A, using all-new drivers that were said to 'voice' to the original KEF 15 Ohm drivers (B110-SP1003 and T27-SP1032), a desire was set on fire waiting in anticipation among all LS3/5A enthusiasts! My pair finally came after four gruesome months of waiting. This pair arrived and is the 25th pair of LS3/5A within my collection.
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Bob Ludwig On Digital Audio

Bob Ludwig On Digital Audio
It is hard to make an unmusical sounding LP (ticks and pops aside),
but it is easy to make a rotten-sounding digital recording.
From BAS Volume 18, Number 4    October 1989
It seems that my opinions about recording systems are being misquoted in certain quarters, so I'd like to set the record straight. First, I want you to know that I am a musician. I played first trumpet in a symphony orchestra before I was employed professionally as an engineer. Maybe I speak with forked tongue?! When the CD was invented (and I mastered the first CD ever mass-produced in America, Born in the USA) I stopped buying vinyl records.
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Pass Labs XP-12 Preamplifier And XA30.8 Stereo Amplifier Review

Pass Labs XP-12 Preamplifier And XA30.8 Stereo Amplifier
Impressed by Pass Labs' INT-60 integrated amplifier, Kevin Fiske decides to check out the XP-12 and XA30.8 pre/power combo.
Review By Kevin Fiske
Having much admired the Pass Labs Int-60 integrated amplifier, which combined one-box practicality with a refined Class A performance that made it well worth Audio Excellence status, I subsequently asked the UK distributor if I might try a Pass Labs A30.8 power amplifier. With a stereo output of nominally 30W/ch, it had more than enough grunt on paper to drive my relatively efficient speakers (and quite a few less efficient designs besides). I left it to Pass Labs to suggest an appropriate pre-amp, and was sent the first XP-12 to land in the UK.
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Wells Audio Milo Headphone Amplifier Review

World Premiere Review!
Wells Audio Milo Headphone Amplifier
Mixing up a mean synergy sauce.
Review By Dave Hanson
Before I reviewed the JPS Labs Abyss AB-1266 ($5,495) earlier this year, designer Joe Skubinski arranged for me to borrow the massive Wells Audio Headtrip amplifier ($6999) to drive his power-hungry headphones during the evaluation. After a short introductory phone call with Jeff Wells, the Headtrip arrived promptly at my doorstep and I was immediately taken by the sound. It seemed that no matter what headphone I plugged into the massive Wells amplifier, they would absolutely light up and sound better than I ever thought they could.
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Rogue Audio RP-7 Tube Preamplifier Review

World Premiere Review!
Rogue Audio RP-7 Tube Preamplifier
A very flexible and fantastic high-end vacuum tube preamplifier.
Review By Tom Lyle
It was about a decade ago when I last reviewed a component manufactured by Rogue Audio. I distinctly remember my time spent with that preamp because I was very impressed with its sound quality. But when I un-boxed their new RP-7 preamplifier it looked as if it was made by a different company.  As good as their older component looked, the Rogue Audio RP-7 seemed as if its fit and finish was light years better than the older unit.
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PureAudioProject Trio15 Horn1 Open Baffle Design Speaker Review

PureAudioProject Trio15 Horn1 Open Baffle Design Speaker
A trip down the rabbit hole.
Review By Paul L. Schumann
First of all, let me be totally upfront with you my dear readers, this is the first review I've written in a long time, so if I come off as an old curmudgeon, I apologize. In the business of high-end audio, the one constant is change. So when Steven asked me to review the Trio15 Horns, I knew I'd be in for a challenge. After so long, could I still use the reviewer part of my brain?
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ZMF Vérité (Verite) Over Ear Headphone Review

World Premiere Review!
ZMF Vérité Over Ear Open Back Headphone Review

Technically Glorious!
ZMF's new flagship combines stunning resolution with uncompromising musicality.
Review By Dave Hanson
Since the release of the Focal Utopia back in 2016, the personal audio community has more than a passing curiosity about Beryllium drivers. Brands like Periodic Audio and Campfire Audio have dipped their toes into the fray and experimented with it in some excellent sub $1000 releases (the $299 Periodic Be and the $799 Campfire Cascade), to name a couple, but no one has really launched another ultra-endgame flagship with a different take on what beryllium drivers can do. That all changes with the release of the ZMF Vérité over ear open back headphones.
---> Read More



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