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High-End Audio / Audiophile / Immersivephile Hi-Fi Premium Audio Equipment Reviews & Think Pieces

May 2022


Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors T.H.E. Show 2022 Media And Exhibitor Celebration

Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors T.H.E. Show 2022 Media & Exhibitor Celebration
Enjoy the Music.com, high-end audio's celebrated site for over 26 years and a leader in providing premium audio and music industry news, hardware reviews, and show reports, is pleased to announce that we're sponsoring T.H.E. Show's Thursday night media and exhibitor celebration! To be held from Friday, June 10th through Sunday, June 12th at the Hilton Long Beach in Southern California, both show exhibitors and members of the press are invited to join us for drinks, music, and good times. For decades, T.H.E. Show has been the must-attend event for Southern California music lovers, audiophiles, and hi-fi enthusiasts alike.
---> Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors T.H.E. Show 2022 Media & Exhibitor Celebration.



Enjoying The Music Roger Skoff writes about what it's all about.

Enjoying The Music
Roger Skoff writes about what it's all about.
Article By Roger Skoff
We all read this publication; I even write for it, but have you ever thought about what our title actually means? For example, is "Enjoy the Music" an offer? Or an encouragement? Does it refer to any particular kind or genre of music? Or to the people who play it? Or to the gear that – if we listen in recorded form – it's played on? Is the emphasis on the music? Or on the enjoyment? Or is there not any emphasis at all? Should there be? And, if so, what? In the just-short-of 150 years since the invention of the phonograph and, coming with it, our first ability to record sound and make it into an enduring artifact, both music and the ways that people have experienced, enjoyed, and participated in it have changed radically>
---> Enjoying The Music.



Chip Fab Supply Chain Delays What's delaying new chip fabs to reinforce the supply chain?

Chip Fab Supply Chain Delays
What's delaying new chip fabs to reinforce the supply chain?
Yep... the supply chain.

Article By Ted Green, Chief Content Creator For Strata-gee.com.
Ever since supply chain shortages hit many industries, particularly in relation to the availability of integrated circuits or chips, there has been a massive scramble to increase capacity and to build new chip fabricating facilities (fabs) or factories. There has been a series of announcements from huge companies like Intel, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), Samsung, and others launching massive multi-billion projects to add more chip production facilities. There's just one problem... the equipment they need to build these facilities are themselves delayed.
---> Chip Fab Supply Chain Delays.



Q&A With Richard Chycki Award-Winning Recording/Mixing Engineer & Immersive Audio Specialist

Q&A With Richard Chycki Award-Winning Recording/Mixing Engineer & Immersive Audio Specialist
Best known in the surround-sound music community for his 5.1 surround mixes of Rush's back catalog, Richard Chycki continues to innovate in the realm of immersive audio with Dolby Atmos.
Article By Immersive Audio Album (IAA)
Richard Chycki is a multi-platinum mixer and engineer whose clients include such rock royalty as Rush, Aerosmith, Dream Theater, Skillet, Mick Jagger, Alice Cooper, Pink and many more. Known for his pioneering mix work in multichannel audio, prog icons Rush entrusted Chycki to remix the multi-million selling 2112 (1976), their career pinnacle Moving Pictures (1981), as well as A Farewell To Kings (1977), Hemispheres (1978), Signals (1982), Snakes & Arrows (2007) and Fly By Night (1975) in 5.1 surround sound. More recently, he's mixed Moving Pictures and The Tragically Hip's Road Apples (1991) for their respective 40th and 30th anniversaries.
---> Q&A With Richard Chycki Recording/Mixing Engineer & Immersive Audio Specialist.



audioXpress Magazine May 2022

The End Of Cheap Tubes
The Ukraine / Russia news is having a significant impact on the global supply of vacuum tubes.
Editorial By J. Martins
Every year, when I focus on this Glass Audio issue of audioXpress, I like to dive into the archives and revisit a selection of the issues that Ed T. Dell produced twice a year, beginning in 1988. In 1990, in his column "Valve Views," contributing author Ken Kessler wrote "As you sit there poring over the latest Glass Audio, perhaps a small part of you is wondering: Am I devoted to a branch of hi-fi so obscure it could disappear at any moment? Believe me, such doubts affect us all at times, and not only when you hear of another tube amp manufacturer (or tube manufacturer, for that matter) closing up shop." The harbinger was there, but this was shortly after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, in December 1989, leading to the end of Soviet Union, and Russian tubes flooding the market.
---> The End Of Cheap Tubes.



Hi-Fi World May 2022

Many Great Articles And Reviews
Hi-Fi World's May 2022 issue features high-fidelity in futuristic form.
Editorial By Noel Keywood
Difficult to explain why a premium digital-to-analogue convertor should measure badly, especially from top Japanese manufacturer Teac. They don't clearly state what is different about the UD-701N, only listing technicalities such as optional one-bit or multi-bit operation. This doesn't say a lot, even to a digital engineer. Instead you are expected to listen and make up your own mind – not always so easy. Our Rohde & Schwarz UPV audio analyser however showed very clearly what this convertor was doing and how it differed from the norm – as set by ESS and their dominance of the world-wide market. You can find out on p10 about Teac's complex, specialised network DAC, including how it sounds unlike all else. Pushing technology very hard on another front comes NAD, with their C 399 Class D amplifier.
---> Many Great Articles And Reviews.



Hi-Fi+ Issue April 2022

We've Finally Done It!
Hi-Fi+ has redesigned our magazine.
Editorial By Alan Sircom
There! We've finally gone and done it! We have redesigned the magazine for the first time since it moved to its A4 size way back in 2009. In fact, if you compare Issue 205 (the last of the older look) with one 120 or so issues earlier, you'll see a very different magazine, in essence the changes to the magazine until today were more subtle evolution than root-and-branch change. We think the new look at once retains what was good about the magazine while also bringing the best of the 2020s... only without the fire tornadoes, murder hornets, global pandemics and escalating conflicts in Eastern Europe. Despite – or perhaps 'because of' – the never-ending and ever-unfolding sequence of horrors that are the 2020s, good audio has seen a powerful resurgence recently.
---> We've Finally Done It!



HIGH END And International Parts + Supply 2022 Show Report Munich Germany

HIGH END 2022 Munich Show Report
World's Largest Premium / Luxury Hi-Fi Event In The World.
From May 19th to 22nd, 2022, the 39th HIGH END trade show in Munich shined the spotlight on luxurious premium music reproduction systems, inspiring listening enjoyment, and exquisite high-end audio technology. For many years, the HIGH END has been providing both the big players in the industry and smaller owner-managed companies with their ideal presentation platform as the world's leading audio trade show. It is the perfect place to establish business relationships, expand networks and exchange ideas and experiences with other industry experts.
---> HIGH END 2022 Munich Show Report.



AXPONA 2022 Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com

AXPONA 2022 Show Report
Audio Expo North America 2022 Show
AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) 2022 took place from April 22nd through 24th at the The Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center. Sit, relax and surround yourself with the best in high-end audio equipment and gear by visiting AXPONA's 130+ Listening Rooms. Attendees were encouraged to experience rooms by listening and comparing the superbly designed, high performance systems and components from some of the world's most prestigious manufacturers. In all, hundreds of  global manufacturers, retailers, and brands gathered at AXPONA 2022 to showcase the newest high-end products and services to attendees.
---> Audio Expo North America 2022 Show Report.



Salon Audio Montréal / Audio Fest 2022 Show Report

Salon Audio Montreal / Audio Fest 2022 Show Report
Luxurious audio gear and more in Canada!
Montreal Audio Fest 2022 Coverage By Rick Becker
The Salon Audio Montréal / Audio Fest 2022 celebrates its impressive 33rd edition of its popular annual meeting. Located in the heart of the City of Montreal, a multitude of listening rooms and thousands of music lovers enjoy nearly 100 exhibitors, who represent more than 300 brands of products from the world of high-fidelity luxury audio.
---> Salon Audio Montreal / Audio Fest 2022 Show Report.



CanJam Singapore 2022 Show Report By Kok Chieat Wong

CanJam Singapore 2022 Show Report
Don't forget to buy a t-shirt.
CanJam Singapore 2022 Show Report By Kok Chieat Wong
As Singapore opens its borders to international travelers, CanJam was the first here to embrace the physical attendance of Head-Fi community and music lovers from all around the globe. Thanks Ethan and the team for the challenging work to bring another CanJam to Singapore. After two years of hiatus, we are glad to see many brands, distributors, and dealers taking part in the show. Did you get your "CanJam Singapore 2022" special t-shirts?
---> CanJam Singapore 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.



Seven Myths Of Digital Audio Dispelled

Seven Myths Of Digital Audio Dispelled
Be open minded and don't assume anything.
Article By Arjuna Das, Owner Of Mojo Audio
Everything in high-end audio is a compromise. No typology is best at everything. Every typology has its advantages and disadvantages. Digital is no different. Despite popular belief, there is not one type of DAC, quantization method, or CODEC, which is ideal for all situations, or better in all ways than others. Each has their advantages and disadvantages, and certain ones work better in certain situations. Over the years I have heard and read all sorts of myths and misconceptions regarding digital audio. I hope to dispel the seven most common categories of myths. I'm going to attempt to explain each typology in layman's terms so that all of you can decide for yourselves what compromises you want to make>
---> Seven Myths Of Digital Audio Dispelled.



Von Schweikert Audio Endeavor SE Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review

Von Schweikert Audio Endeavor SE Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review
Experiencing the joy of music!
Review By Dr. Michael Bump
Ah, describing sound with words. Alas, I am no William Shakespeare. Yes, words matter, but the listening experience matters more. Even for a professional musician and academic, crafting a written narrative that accurately describes an aural impression will, to a fair degree, remain a flawed science. When teaching a masterclass to my percussion students, I always struggle to convey musical truth through words. Ultimately, performance is the final arbiter of musical thought, which I find myself deferring to time and again. Musical aesthetics are inherently aural expressions, "organizing sound through time" (to quote Edgard Varese) via the construct of four fundamental properties of sound: Pitch, Intensity, Duration, and Timbre.
---> Von Schweikert Audio Endeavor SE Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review.



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.



Focal Celestee Closed-Back Headphones Review A wide front row soundstage with little depth.

Focal Celestee Closed-Back Headphones Review
A wide front row soundstage with little depth.
Review By Gary Alan Barker
It has been a long wait to get a review sample of the Focal Celestee Closed-Back Dynamic Headphone, over a year in fact, due to the extreme popularity of Focal's latest closed-back design, but it has certainly been well worth waiting for. Focal has a long history of designing and manufacturing some of the world's highest-performing loudspeakers and headphones. As a driver designer/manufacturer they have a certain advantage over those who need to outsource their drivers, and it has shown in their delivered product. One constant with Focal headphones going back to the original Spirit is a level of refinement of sound not found in comparably priced headphones, and on this score, the Celestee is no exception. The Focal Celestee Closed-Back Headphones are the latest offering in their closed-back designs, which are unique in that they offer the more open soundstage of open-backed headphones....
---> Focal Celestee Closed-Back Headphones 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.



Chord Mojo 2 Portable DAC/Headphone Amplifier Review

Chord Mojo 2 Portable DAC/Headphone Amplifier Review
Priced at $845, the Chord Mojo 2 needs to be spectacular to merit a strong recommendation. Does it deliver? In every way.
Review By W. Jennings
If you are a member of the Head-Fi community, Chord has been part of your life for the past decade with its award-winning, and often groundbreaking products. While many of the British manufacturers' products are very expensive, there are a growing number below $1,000 that merit serious attention from both headphone enthusiasts and music listeners looking to assemble a first-class system for either the home or desktop. Products like the Chord Mojo 2 offer a level of technical sophistication you don't see in very many products in the price range or even above it. Chord Electronics was founded in 1989 and spent its early years making amplifiers for the professional market. Today, they still operate out of their headquarters in Kent, but the product line has expanded to include both home systems and portable gear.
---> Chord Mojo 2 Portable DAC/Headphone Amplifier Review.



Charisma Audio Musiko Turntable Review

World Premiere Review!
Charisma Audio Musiko Turntable Review
I strongly suspected when listening to the first song with the Musiko that I would buy it.
Review By Rick Becker
The Charisma Audio Musiko tonearm had already become part of my reference system back in May 2021. when it was incorporated into my Linn Project — a complete re-make of the fabled Linn LP12 using off-the-shelf, re-engineered parts from several after-market companies. These parts were sourced from Great Britain, Canada, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Colorado. By the time I finished, the only original OEM parts were the suspension springs and grommets, the belt, the sub-chassis nuts and bolts, and the wood plinth. While there were lots of lovely alternatives, I kept the original wood plinth out of sentimentality. I was quite proud of the results, having greatly improved on the original vintage table — not unlike the way Carroll Shelby made over the British AC Ace into the Cobra sports car, except I did it on a kitchen countertop and never got around to racing it. I nicknamed it the Bard for reasons I'll let you figure out.
---> Charisma Audio Musiko Turntable Review.



Black Ice Audio Fusion F100 Monoblock Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier Review

World Premiere Review!
Black Ice Audio Fusion F100 Monoblock Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier Review
Plus a great story about Jim Fosgate's Odyssey circuit.
Review By Ron Nagle
To tube or not to tube? Strange as it may seem, that age-old question is still relevant. Today new materials and innovative designs have taken vacuum tube audio components to a higher level. When I first saw the Black Ice Fusion F100 in room 504 at the Capital Audiofest, they were powered with Russian Tung-Sol KT150 beam tetrodes. This innovative tube is only one type of power tube the F100 can use, each with a different musical voice. This ability has a substantial fundamental advantage. Unlike solid-state amplifiers, you need not be stuck with one solid-state sound. Like a fine wine, the sound of vacuum tube audio components can appeal to many diverse tastes.
---> Black Ice Audio Fusion F100 Monoblock Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier Review.



LSA VT-70 Vacuum Tube Stereo Integrated Amplifier / Headphone Amplifier Review

LSA VT-70 Vacuum Tube Stereo Integrated Amplifier / Headphone Amplifier Review
Best of both worlds!
Review By Gary Alan Barker
This is one half of a two-part article, the other half can be found on our sister site HiFiAudio.Guru. Over the last few years after our good friend Walter Liederman took over control of LSA (Living Sounds Audio), LSA has introduced a host of amazing new products for both the Loudspeaker and Headphone market the latest of which is the LSA VT-70 Tube Integrated Stereo Amplifier/Headphone Amplifier. Having recently reviewed their LSA Discovery Warp One Stereo Amplifier and being a huge fan of tube amps, I was more than pleased to find out I would be given the opportunity to listen to and review the VT-70.
---> LSA VT-70 Vacuum Tube Stereo Integrated Amplifier / Headphone Amplifier Review.



Dali Katch G2 Wireless Bluetooth / 3.5mm Input Speaker Review

Dali Katch G2 Wireless Bluetooth / 3.5mm Input Speaker Review
Early thoughts on the Dali Katch G2 wireless loudspeaker is definitely a surprise for $499. Perhaps one of the biggest of 2022 so far.
Review By Ian White
One never knows when true beauty is going to reveal itself; it can come in many forms and when it is layered over something of real substance — the impact on your soul and life can be profound. The past few years have been hard. A lot of alone time. Music has helped soothed the soul; along with poetry, movies, and the desire for some joy. The $499 (USD) Dali Katch G2 is one of the most joyous and impressive components I've been able to try in many years. Dali is now distributed by Lenbrook Americas and that raises the stakes for this particular portable Bluetooth loudspeaker. Lenbrook is the parent company of NAD, PSB, and Bluesound and delivers far greater access to retail opportunities for this new speaker going forward.
---> Dali Katch G2 Wireless Bluetooth / 3.5mm Input Speaker Review.



Video: Stereo Wars Of The 1970s

Stereo Wars Of The 1970s!
The hi-fi receiver wars of the 1970s.
Video By Lenny Florentine Of Just Audio

One of our 'next door neighbors' tipped us off to this excellent video featuring the stereo wars of the 1970s. According to Lenny Florentine of Just Audio, "Join us for our adventure into the past when we visit the Receiver Wars of the 1970s. See how stereo brands competed with each other to be the biggest and the best! "We did our best to get you the most accurate information possible. Forgive any mistakes :). We also ask for your opinions and thoughts on the war and what your favorite vintage stereo's were! Enjoy!"
---> Stereo Wars Of The 1970s!



Are Music Streaming Services Starving Your Favorite Artists?

Are Music Streaming Services Starving Your Favorite Artists?
Emiko aka @thathifigirl takes a hard look at how much musicians earn when their songs are streamed.
Video By Emiko
You might think paying $9.99/month for a Spotify or Apple Music subscription is enough for all entities involved to make a pretty penny. The hard truth for musicians is they don't even make a penny when one of their songs are streamed. Just how little is paid to artists per stream may surprise you. How much is paid to musicians per stream varies by music service and a number of other factors. On average revenue earned by musicians from streaming is around $0.004 per stream according to a number of industry sources we cross referenced.
---> Are Music Streaming Services Starving Your Favorite Artists?



Listener Magazine: The Intro
Editorial By Art Dudley
Passions run high among music lovers. We vilify "bad" musicians (the ones we dislike), and we elevate marginally functional savants with a couple of 2-minute singles and some album filler under their belts. When it comes to more unique and productive figures like Phil Spector, Jimi Hendrix, Wilhelm Furtwängler, John Cage, or [insert your own heroes and villains here], music fans either revere them as gods or dismiss them as meaningless. Sometimes there are shades in between, but perspective is at a premium. This tendency to paint things black or white spills over to the equipment we use to play back our favorite recordings. i've seen the cognoscenti dismiss people on the basis of no more information than their choice of power amp, though I suspect few of us are quite so one-dimensional in truth.
---> Listener Magazine The Intro By Art Dudley.



W.A.F. By Joyce: The Art Of The Deal

W.A.F. By Joyce
The Art Of The Deal
From Sound Practices Magazine

When friends call they often ask, "So what kind of system are you listening to these days?" Recently I've been a little hesitant to answer. I wonder, shall I make them terribly envious as I describe the wonderful system we had last week, or must I stick with the facts as they stand? "A boom box," I end up answering honestly, because the truth is that we are currently listening to a $69 Hitachi boom box. Invariably, our friends respond in shock, "But I thought you guys had a world-class system." That's right, I’m thinking, world-class system, which means that right now our system is all over the world. "Our system," I explain, "is currently in transit." Audio equipment, I've discovered, is always in transit. Even when it's sitting solidly, right there in your living room, seemingly immobile on its sharp little tippy-toes, it's actually already on its way somewhere else.
---> W.A.F. By Joyce: The Art Of The Deal.



Tech Tips And Other Unsolicited Advice  --  VALVE Magazine

Tech Tips And Other Unsolicited Advice
The 75 Minute Restoration
Bill called a couple Saturdays ago to tell me that he had traded a Mac 1700 (a hybrid receiver, with tube tuner and solid-state amp) for a Scott 340 receiver. The person he traded with acknowledged a greater value for the Mac than the Scott and offered to pay a set amount for service by yours truly to balance the deal. Would I be available this weekend to do check it out? I asked Bill if it ran and he said yes. Knowing that the weak point on Scotts was their coupling caps, I suggested he run it for a while, constantly monitoring the output tubes for red plates. He called back a bit later and said that one tube's plate had started to glow red, at which point he turned the 340 off. I said bring it by and I'd get it going. Well, he brought it by the next day. I knew Bill had to get back, but I told him I could probably get the receiver going while he waited.
---> Tech Tips And Other Unsolicited Advice.



Crystal Cable Monet And Diamond Network Ethernet Cables Review

Crystal Cable Monet Network Ethernet Cable Review
With just a taste of their Diamond network cable as well.
Review By Dr. Matthew Clott
Asking an audio reviewer to review a network cable is sort of like asking a car reviewer to review an alternator belt or a particular gasoline (although gasoline would likely equate more correctly to power cords in this scenario). I might even liken speaker cables or interconnects to tires if I continue the analogy; which have a more direct connection to the signal path, or similarly connect the engine, chassis, and suspension to the road. Under most circumstances, I humbly and politely pass when asked to formally review cables. Not because I don't think they make a massive difference in the system's performance (which they unquestionably do), but because in most cases cables affect an overall sense of voicing and presentation that is personal and subtle....
---> Crystal Cable Monet Network Ethernet cable review.



Furutech NCF Clear Line AC Power Line Optimizer Review

Furutech NCF Clear Line AC Power Line Optimizer Review
A skeptic gets his comeuppance.
Review By Paul Schumann
If you've read any of my previous reviews, you know that I'm a bit of a skeptic when it comes to audio. More than one time I've read about some amazing piece of gear, rushed down to the high-end audio parlor (remember those?) to take a listen, and came away disappointed. It's not that it always sounded bad (although, sometimes it did), it just didn't wow me as I was expecting. Where I especially cast a wary eye is an accessory item that promises to improve the overall sound of the system. The Furutech NCF Clear Line is just such a product. So when Steven asked if anyone wanted to review it, of course, I said yes. Okay, full disclosure here, I have been wanting to review a power conditioning device for quite a while. One area I have been remiss in the development of my system is the AC end of things. I've almost bought one a couple of times, but always backed off. Then during the middle of summer, when the AC quality goes dramatically down because of all the air conditioners I start kicking myself. Yet I never seem to pull the trigger on getting one when I have the chance.
---> Furutech NCF Clear Line AC Power Line Optimizer review.



Acoustic Solid Xtended-MPX Turntable + WTB-370 Tonearm Review

Acoustic Solid Xtended-MPX Turntable + WTB-370 Tonearm Review
Fulfilling your desire to hear more and more of your favorite records.
Review By NOVO (Was Canada HiFi Magazine)
We live in an age where the price of entry to audiophile sound can choke a good-sized bull-moose. As wonderful as $500,000 level two-channel systems can sound, none of it gets my adrenalin flowing. Why...? 'Cause I can’t afford it. What does kickstart my heart is when established audio companies with six-figure components release sensibly priced gear where I can clearly see — and hear — that their cutting-edge technology has trickled down to more affordable products. When my editor at NOVO asked if I’d like to review a mid-level Acoustic Solid 'table, I was more excited than a lifer stuck in a penal colony when the latest sealed issue of High Society magazine is slid into his cell.
---> Acoustic Solid Xtended-MPX Turntable + WTB-370 Tonearm.



Sennheiser HD 660 S Over-Ear Headphone Review

Sennheiser HD 660 S Over-Ear Headphone Review
If it ain't broke, fix it anyway.
Review By Dave Hanson
Updating a much-loved product like the Sennheiser HD 650 is a tricky task. But having spent nearly 75 years in the audio business, Sennheiser understands the importance of reading the tealeaves. The personal audio industry is in a period of tremendous growth and no single segment is growing faster than the portable devices category. So with that, Sennheiser made a bold move. While many companies would have left well enough alone, Sennheiser took one of their most popular products, the somewhat hard-to-drive HD 650, and updated it with and easier to drive design. The result is the new Sennheiser HD 660 S ($499). While the original could be a bit fussy with amplification – holding back some of its potential until you plugged it into the perfect tube amp – the HD 660 S skips all the fuss and sounds good with just about anything.
---> Sennheiser HD 660 S Over-Ear Headphone Review.



Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III Integrated Amplifier With MM / MC Phono Stage Review

Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III Int. Amp. w/ Phono Stage Review
Excellent build quality combined with the sonic performance of vacuum tubes.
Review By Ron Nagle
The name Cronus is past down to us from an ancient Greek myth. Krónos was the leader and youngest of the first generation of Titans. I did my usual on line peeking and sleuthing and found images of the Cronus, a very retro looking open frame amplifier. But while all of those pictures looked like the subject of this evaluation they were actually photos of an earlier version of the Magnum II amplifier. So these photos were taken before I ever got my hands on this review sample. This story is about the new extensively upgraded Cronus Magnum III. When I opened the box and peeled back the packing I lifted (grunt) an impressive 55 pound amplifier from its cardboard container.
---> Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III Int. Amp. w/Phono Stage.



Schiit Mani MM / MC Phono Stage Review

Schiit Mani MM / MC Phono Stage Review
A thrill for any newcomer and satisfy most too.
Review By Rick Becker
The word went out on Facebook that my son-in-law Justin wanted a turntable for Christmas to try out the LP craze. Apparently the fine Sony noise cancelling headphones I gave him for Christmas last year planted a seed and the seed has sprouted. The $90 turntable on his list was a turnkey unit with cartridge and built in phono stage. All he would have to do is connect it to his mid-fi surround sound receiver. But you and I both know I couldn't let him go down that dead-end road. He's now 40 and steeped in debt from earning his MBA at Northwestern. He commutes to work by train almost an hour each way and puts in long hours of hard mental work. Then he comes home each day to put on his "World's Greatest Dad" hat. He deserves a better turntable.
---> Schiit Mani Stereo MM / MC Phono Stage.



Charisma Audio Musiko Tonearm, Soundeck, And Audio Machina Accessories Review

Charisma Audio Musiko Tonearm, Soundeck, And Audio Machina Accessories
A killer combination forced me to overcome my fear and buy the review sample.
Review By Rick Becker
Just when I thought I was done with my Linn Turntable Project, Bernard Li of Charisma Audio called and asked if I'd like to try his new Musiko tonearm, which conveniently was already on the USA side of the border. George Merrill had been playing with it on his new Gem Dandy PolyTable down in Tennessee. Bernard knew I was impressed with it when I saw it at the last Toronto and other shows during 2019. Dropshipping it from George would save two border crossings and give me a chance to hear it. Charisma Audio's Musiko arrived in a well-crafted wooden box. Inside, the various components and tools were neatly partitioned in foam. A long Plexiglas measuring tool was taped to the outside bottom of the box to be used in measuring and drilling a blank arm board to the proper specs. The 9.33" tonearm has a 222mm pivot to spindle distance, same as a Rega, but you will need to enlarge the main hole on a Rega table and drill new holes to mount the flange.
---> Charisma Audio Musiko tonearm, Soundeck, and Audio Machina accessories review.



T.H.E. Human Side Award-Winning Documentary

T.H.E. Human Side Award-Winning Documentary
A short documentary about the human connections in hi-fi and music.
Video By T.H.E. Show And Produced / Directed By Rose City Media Group
T.H.E. Show's new award-earning video T.H.E. Human Side is a documentary short film about enjoying the music and what is means for you. In 2018, they were approached by an attendee of T.H.E. Show who was asking about podcasting for high-end audio. After sitting with him and hearing all of his stories, his adventures with his friends, and the incredible history behind all they spoke about, T.H.E. Show charged their production team with making a web series to chronicle their stories. At that time, they never could have known that the web series would take off the way it did and grow first into an award winning documentary short and now, soon to be a feature film! This documentary had a private, limited premiere at T.H.E. Show 2019 but has never been seen by the global public.
---> T.H.E. Human Side award-winning documentary.




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