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February 2022


Florida Audio Expo 2022 Show Report

Florida Audio Expo 2022 Show Report
The Florida Audio Expo (FAE) 2022 took place February 18th through 20th at the newly refurbished Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore hotel. Attendee enjoyed the opportunity to experience 12 floors' worth of products from the world's leading audio brands. Live streaming feeds were available for those who could not attend in person, which featured sights and sounds during this event including interviews with industry experts throughout the weekend on the FAE's YouTube channel.
---> Florida Audio Expo 2022 show report.



High-End Audio, Audiophile & Music Industry News

Hi-Fi And Music Industry News
Essential high-end audio news you need to know.
Enjoy the Music.com posts audiophile news virtually every day.



Making Your Hi-Fi Gear Choice Roger Skoff tells a happy truth about hi-fi.

Making Your Hi-Fi Gear Choice
Roger Skoff tells a happy truth about hi-fi.
Article By Roger Skoff
Years ago, when people would ask me which CD player to buy, I always told them that, for CD players, there are only two purchase options that should ever be considered: Either the cheapest you can find or the very best you can possibly stretch your budget to afford. Don't bother with anything in-between, I told them. To make any kind of functioning CD player at all requires such a high level of technology that everything on the market is at least good. And, unless you want (and are willing to pay for) something truly exceptional, to pay more than the minimum for anything other than the very best you can manage may either be just to spend money needlessly or to pay extra for cosmetics; for bragging rights ("Look what, I've got!); for some final sonic nuance that you may particularly care about; or for something else, of value to you but not necessarily even performance-related.
---> Making Your Hi-Fi Gear Choice.



Video: Can Audiophiles Define Audio Nirvana?

Can Audiophiles Define Audio Nirvana?
Emiko takes a deep dive into trying to understand exactly what audiophiles are seeking in audio reproduction.
Video By Emiko
Emiko, a.k.a. ThatHiFiGirl and eCoustics (one of Enjoy the Music.com's online partners) have joined together on a new video series aiming to connect with the next generation of music lovers, audiophiles and hi-fi enthusiasts. Our goal is to inform, entertain and attract an entirely new audience that appreciates music, but is not quite sure how to begin its journey. If you're old enough you might remember the ad slogan, "Is it live, or is it Memorex?" The 1972 ad campaign for Memorex cassette tapes featured The First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald singing a high note that could shatter a goblet once during a live performance and again when played back via Memorex tape.
---> Can Audiophiles Define Audio Nirvana?



The Audio Analyst: The Promise of the New Year.

The Audio Analyst Episode 63
The Promise of the New Year.
Video By Greg Weaver
Greg Weaver's The Audio Analyst first appeared during 1988 as the title of a small, high-end audio publication that he founded that same year. The promise of the revived show schedule had most of us thinking we were finally back on track for a resumption of near normalcy in 2022. But with the cancellation of the inaugural AudioConLA in mid-January, it looks like we may be stating a backward slide yet again. The show schedule interruptions notwithstanding, there is plenty of content coming to the channel over the next year. Take a look....
---> The Audio Analyst: The Promise of the New Year.



How A Vinyl Record Is Made We tour Quality Record Pressings / Acoustic Sounds vinyl LP pressing plant.

How A Vinyl Record Is Made
We tour Quality Record Pressings / Acoustic Sounds vinyl LP pressing plant.
Enjoy the Music.com presents to you our tour of the Quality Record Pressings (Acoustic Sounds) vinyl LP pressing plant. We join plant manager Gary and owner Chad Kassem as they take us on a step-by-step journey through how a vinyl LP record is produced. As always, in the end what really matters is that you... Enjoy the music!
---> See how a vinyl LP record is made.



Treehaus Audiolab Phantom Of Luxury Loudspeaker Review

World Premiere Review!
Treehaus Audiolab Phantom Of Luxury Loudspeaker Review

A very high quality speaker with unique sound.
Review By Rick Becker
Tom and I had been thirsting for Capital AudioFest 2021 for a month. Being hyper-vigilant and feasting on the science about Covid made it an on-again-off-again decision. If we went for just Friday there would be fewer people and most of them would be old farts like us who not only had the vaccine, but also the booster. Then a distant family member died in upstate Connecticut. The funeral would be Thursday. Linda and I would have to drive through NYC at rush hour to get to Maryland that night. Tom would have to drive down from Rochester alone. It was just a plan, but it was do-able.... But who the hell is Treehaus Audiolab?
---> Treehaus Audiolab Phantom Of Luxury Loudspeaker Review.



Taiko SGM Extreme Hi-Res Music Streamer Review

Taiko SGM Extreme Hi-Res Music Streamer Review
The best music server I've ever heard.
Review By Dr. Matthew Clott
Oh Snap! Did he just say that in the title? Did he use the "best" word as a reviewer? I didn't think they were supposed to do that.... A'yup. I did. But I qualified it! SGM has been evolving for over six years, changing development, changing production sources, and changing core processes of implementation. When Taiko, with Emile Bok at its' helm, fully took over SGM development and production, they raised the bar with an attitude of going stratospheric or going home. Emile made it clear to me during our conversations that he wanted to do it right, from layout to implementation, without concern for cost or limitations in manufacturing techniques or pretty much any obstacles that stood in their way. One look at the exterior and you're seriously impressed.
---> Taiko SGM Extreme Hi-Res Music Streamer Review.



Mola Mola Makua Line Stage Review

Mola Mola Makua Line Stage Review
A reference level hi-fi component that is a joy to own.
Review By Sam Rosen

On Mola Mola's website if you click on the Makua, the first thing you will notice is "Analog Design for a Digital Age" in bold under a picture of the Makua. It was this statement that first interested me in the Makua, and caused me to reach out to Mola Mola's USA distributor for a review sample. I am what many would describe as "digital audiophile." I grew up in a time where all of the music around me was on shiny discs. I listened to my first album from end to end on an iPod mini in a horrendously lossy format. I skipped buying CDs and went straight to MP3s. I believe that music, and the playback of music, should be convenient and easy. As I began my journey to becoming a more serious audiophile, I found it strange that it seemed like the more money you spent, and the better a component sounded, the worse the user experience would be for that component.
---> Mola Mola Makua Line Stage Review.



Ampsandsound Kenzie OG Rev 2 Headamp Review

Ampsandsound Kenzie OG Rev 2 Headamp Review
A new spin on an old friend.
Review By Gary Alan Barker
I have made it no secret that I am a huge tube fan. I have also made no secret of my love of ampsandsound amplifiers. The reason is that Justin Weber is one of the few designers of his generation that gets what tube amps are all about and almost more importantly, knows what music is supposed to sound like. What tubes are all about is musicality, and in this context, musicality means dynamic, open, natural-sounding, clear, resolute, linear, organic sound without the added hard edge produced by solid-state amplification. (I have stressed this often, but what tubes are not about is rolled off highs, anemic bass, and supposed pleasantness of high THD as is the misconception of modern non-audiophile engineers.) So it was with no little excitement that I greeted the news that I would be given the opportunity to review the newest revision of the amp that started it all>
---> Ampsandsound Kenzie OG Rev 2 Headamp Review.



Rotel A12MKII Integrated Amplifier Review

Rotel A12MKII Integrated Amplifier Review
The night the lights went out in Long Branch,
Is the Rotel A12MKII the ideal amplifier to build a $3000 stereo system around with 2 great sources? I would say you're foolish not to try it.
Review By Ian White
Have you ever been listening to your system and the lights go out? It's not a good feeling because there is always the risk that when the power comes back on that something will be amiss. I've used power line conditioners for almost 20 years but our experience with Hurricane Sandy here on the Shore was not a good one. My wife thinks that I missed my calling as a Weather Channel talking head because I'd scare the living crap out of everyone with my forecasts, but I had a bad feeling about Sandy with our home only blocks from the ocean and so many trees surrounding our property. We didn't tell anyone that we were expecting our third child (Jewish custom is to wait three months) at the time so it was on me to get the house ready and get anything of value out the way and on really high shelving in our garage.
---> Rotel A12MKII Integrated Amplifier Review.



Aric Audio Custom 300B PSET Amplifier Review

World Premiere Review!
Aric Audio Custom 300B PSET Amplifier Review

A music lover's amplifier.
Review By Paul Schumann
I have something to admit. I am a music lover. No, it's worse than that, I'm a certifiable music junkie. I listen to music at home. I listen to music at work. I listen to it in the car. I even hear music in my head when no music is playing. I'm always looking for new music to feed my addiction. My wife complains that my Christmas list is boring because all I ask for is music. Well, I do throw in a request for a pair of Berning 845 Monoblocks, but that never happens. Oh yes, my wife is a music junkie, also. She's always on the prowl for new music to add to her collection. Our tradition on Saturday and Sunday mornings is to listen to an album all the way through while eating our breakfast. It may be something brand new, or an album we haven't listened to in a long time. Usually, after our meal, we'll share what we think about it. Yes, music runs through our veins.
---> Aric Audio Custom 300B PSET Amplifier Review.



LampizatOr Baltic 3 Hi-Res DAC Review

LampizatOr Baltic 3 Hi-Res DAC Review
A new approach to Noval tube design from Poland.
Review By Greg Weaver
Founded near Warsaw Poland in 2010, while LampizatOr builds electronics and speakers, many are not aware of those offerings, as it was their exceptional tubed DACs that first put the company on the map. Owned and operated exclusively by its designer Łukasz Fikus, after hearing the disarming $17,250 Golden Gate DAC some seven years ago, then the even more engaging $27,000 Pacific DAC at a show during 2018, the reason for their success became apparent. Both these SET-based devices offered a conspicuous step closer to the undeniable naturalness, organic coherence, and space and dimensionality offered by the very best LP transcription systems. Łukasz and Lampizator North America principal Fred Ainsley have recently announced the launch of the nearly $50,000 Horizon DAC, which I will get to hear at its official launch during the third Florida Audio Expo in mid-February of this year.
---> LampizatOr Baltic 3 Hi-Res DAC Review.



Scansonic MB5 B Floorstanding Speaker Review

Scansonic MB5 B Floorstanding Speaker Review
Sit back and enjoy the music!
Review By Tom Lyle
A couple of months ago, Enjoy the Music.com head-honcho Steven Rochlin (his official title is Creative Director) emailed the writing staff inviting us to review the Scansonic MB5 B speakers. After viewing the photo of the MB5 Bs, but before reading anything else about them, I replied to his RSVP as quickly as I could. This was because the resemblance to the two different pairs of Raidho speakers recently reviewed in Enjoy the Music.com was uncanny. In July of that year, I reviewed the Raidho model TD4.2, and Matt Clott reviewed a pair of Raidho TD3.8s in December 2021's issue. The Scansonic MB5 B not only looks like Raidho speakers but is designed and manufactured by the same company. Scansonic is owned by the Danish high-end audio manufacturer Dantax, which owns Raidho and Gamut Audio. On their website, Scansonic claims that all Scansonic products are "built on the experiences, knowledge, and research gained from making Raidho speakers."
---> Scansonic MB5 B Floorstanding Speaker Review.



Jupiter Copper Foil Paper & Wax Capacitor\

Jupiter Copper Foil Paper & Wax Capacitor Review
Article By Jonathan Lo
The Jupiter HT line of capacitors utilizing aluminum foil in beeswax impregnated paper dielectric has been a favorite among audiophiles for quite some time. This unique dielectric and construction technique has resulted in an extremely unique capacitor that has emphasized an organic, natural presentation with the goal of minimizing synthetic, plasticky taste in many "modern" capacitors utilizing non-natural materials. The original Jupiter beeswax capacitor did have issues with the wax tending to melt at high temperatures, but the current "HT" version uses improved wax impregnation techniques and reinforced paper dielectric, resulting in temperature stability to 70 degree Celsius/158 Fahrenheit. It is proudly manufactured in U.S.A. with cryogenic treatment to top off with that proverbial cherry.
---> Jupiter Copper Foil Paper & Wax Capacitor Review.



The Intro By Art Dudley Of Listener Magazine

The Intro
Editorial By Art Dudley
"And terror like a frost shall halt the flood of thinking."
- W.H. Auden
By the time you read this my daughter will be four years old. This morning I took Julia to preschool, but when we got there I realized I'd forgotten to bring her lunch, so I told the teachers I would return with it later on. I went back at noon, brown bag in hand, and walked into the classroom just as everyone was settling down on the big story rug for a big story. When Julia saw me her face lit up and she shouted, "Daddy!" She jumped up and ran to me and gave me the biggest hug ever, in history. While she was hugging me she continued to say, "My Daddy! My Daddy!," and patted me on the back the way she does lately. All you parents out there know what I'm talking about, don't you?
---> The Intro: Editorial By Art Dudley.



More Than Meets The EYE Article By Joe Roberts

More Than Meets The EYE
Article By Joe Roberts
From Sound Practices Issue 3, Early 1993
In principle, everybody seems to agree that live music should be the reference by which reproduction is judged. However, one of the great dilemmas which confronts the audiophile is that you get so good at listening, so perceptive of nuance  and aware of the characteristics of the media, that you can't easily be fooled into believing there is live music in your room. Paradoxically, the better we learn to hear the farther we stray from oneness with "the music." Our real break with the audio past is in the ways we listen, not in the new technologies we use. Through methodical self-reflection and meticulous training, the modern audiophile has learned to listen in new ways and for new things. In the 20 or 30 years we have been developing these novel uses for our ears, we  have gotten very good at listening analytically and describing what we hear in a bizarre and specialized jargon which only makes sense to those of us in the club.
---> More Than Meets The EYE.



VALVE Magazine High Efficiency Speakers

High Efficiency Speakers
The continuing saga of a search for a loudspeaker for single-ended tube amplifiers.
Article By Dan Schmalle
Without a doubt, the single most revolutionary change to take place in audio in this decade is the widening acceptance of single ended topology as the most musically accurate form of signal amplification. The term revolutionary may be a bit mild. So much audio angst has been stirred up by the idea of going 'backwards' to 1920's technology that a new audio subculture has grown up around the concept, sharing information when the mainstream audio press turned a deaf ear to the topic. By now of course, the mainstream is listening. We see reviews of single ended amps in recent issues of every large publication. And the reviewers aren't saying "Gee this is cute" anymore. They're calling some examples of this 'old fashioned' technology the best there is.
---> High Efficiency Speakers.



Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Florida Audio Expo 2022 Happy Hours

Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Florida Audio Expo Industry Happy Hour
Enjoy the Music.com, high-end audio's celebrated online site for over 26 years and a leader in providing industry news, gear reviews, and show reports are pleased to announce that we're sponsoring Florida Audio Expo's Industry Happy Hour during their 2022 event in Tampa. Exhibitors and members of the press are invited to join us for complimentary food and beverages. Since 1995, Enjoy the Music.com has been a major resource for information about the consumer electronics high-end luxury audio industry and high resolution / streaming music on the internet. We are deeply honored for the opportunity to support the Florida Audio Expo 2022 show, and in teaming up to benefit our outstanding audiophile industry exhibitors and honorable members of the media.
---> Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Florida Audio Expo Industry Happy Hour.



AGD The Audion GaNTube Monoblocks Review

AGD "The Audion" GaNTube Monoblocks Review
Class D reaches the upper echelon of high-end audio.
Review By Rick Becker
Back at the turn of the millennium you could put together a pretty good audio system for $10,000, and you could listen to many of those components in a local brick & mortar store if you lived in a decent size city. Sure there was some stratospherically priced gear in the $10,000 to $20,000 range you might be able to see if you went to one of the audio shows on the left or right coasts. Then along came "quantitative easing" and the internet. Gear got more expensive, the brick & mortar landscape eroded and major as well as regional audio shows proliferated.
---> AGD "The Audion" GaNTube Monoblocks Review.



Synergistic Research Foundation Cables Review

Synergistic Research Foundation Cables Review
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.
---> Synergistic Research Foundation Cables Review.



CH Precision I1 Universal Integrated Amplifier Review

CH Precision I1 Universal Integrated Amplifier Review
A new paradigm for the integrated amplifier platform.
Review By Greg Weaver
CH Precision was founded by Florian Cossy and Thierry Heeb, two alumni of the highly influential and innovative Swiss high-end audio firm Goldmund. Given the wide-reaching acclaim and the host of industry awards they have garnered since their founding, it is hard to believe this company is just rounding out its first decade! For reasons that will become clearer as you get further into this evaluation, I must preface this examination by noting that my experiences with their early offerings had left me somewhat wanting.
---> CH Precision I1 Universal Integrated Amplifier Review.



Furutech DSS-4.1 Speaker Cables and DPS-4.1 Power Cable Review

The Neoteric Listener
Furutech DSS-4.1 Speaker & DPS-4.1 Power Cable Review
Review By Dean Seislove
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!
---> Furutech DSS-4.1 Speaker & DPS-4.1 Power Cable Review.



Mojo Mystique EVO B4B 21 DAC Review

World Premiere Review!
Mojo Mystique EVO B4B 21 DAC (2021 Version)

It sounds like music.
Review By Dr. Matt Clott
Mojo Audio, located in Albuquerque, NM, is the brainchild and passion of Benjamin Zwickel, President, CEO, and chief designer. Although not as well recognized as the big-name manufacturers, Benjamin has established his brand as a manufacturer direct digital source alternative that offers enormous value in performance and routinely hits way above its price point. Do not confuse this Mojo with the Chord Mojo portable DAC... not the same. I have previously had a positive experience with his DACs within my pre-reviewer days and I was thrilled at the opportunity to formally review the Mojo Audio Mystique EVO B4B 21 D/A Converter. Having gone through several iterations, the current model line-up nomenclatures are all Mystique EVO 21 DACs.
---> Mojo Mystique EVO B4B 21 DAC (2021 version).



Music Has A Lot To Say... If you're willing to listen. Article By Mike Perez

Music Has A Lot To Say...
If you're willing to listen.
Review By Mike Perez
What kind of headspace are you in when you are listening to music? Are you working out?
Relaxing in your favorite chair sipping a cocktail? Driving down a lonely road deep in thought? Or getting ready to dance the night away at your favorite club or hangout? Wherever you are, music always has some type of roll to play. As I write this, I have one of my go-to playlists working in the background because the ambient sound always helps me to get words on the page. The reasoning behind this article is that I was stricken with curiosity. I want to know what some of my friends, colleagues, and HiFi Industry Professionals are listening to at the moment.
---> Music Has A Lot To Say...



Clarus CODA USB DAC / HeadAmp Review

World Premiere Review!
Clarus CODA USB DAC / HeadAmp Review

High-performance USB-DAC with headphone amplifier and MQA.
Review By Rick Becker
Fingering through pens, twistos, and a highlighters
To find the vintage die cast letter opener,
Veteran of bills and invoices opened by my father and his father before him
And me after both of them. Some things last forever.
Old tools and such.
Most businesses, like most people, music and audio gear come and go.
Today this tarnished brass blade is used to carefully open
The tucked-in end flap of the point-of-sale box
Containing the new Clarus CODA.
A first batch sample of the hi-rez USB DAC with headphone amplifier...
---> Clarus CODA USB DAC / headamp review.



Black Cat Graceline Level-2 Interconnect & Speaker Cable Review

Black Cat Graceline Level-2 Interconnect & Speaker Cable Review
Worth every freaking penny because your system will appreciate it.
Review By Tom Lyle
In March of 2019, I reviewed Black Cat's 3200 interconnect, speaker, and digital cable in Enjoy The Music. I was very impressed by these relatively affordable cables. The Graceline (by Black Cat Cable) Level-2 interconnects and speaker cables reviewed here are a considerable step up from those cables in sound quality. In case one might not have heard of Black Cat cables, and even if you have, I strongly suggest one read the "We Ask 10 Questions..." interview with Chris Sommovigo, which appeared in November 2020's issue as part of the celebration of Enjoy The Music's 25th Anniversary. In this interview, I learned that Mr. Sommovigo is a very knowledgeable, level-headed designer and inventor. Some of his cables were very sonically successful, such as his digital cable, of which he sold several of his designs to Kimber Kable.
---> Black Cat Graceline Level-2 interconnect & speaker cable review.




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