It is the time of year for gift giving! As many of us scramble to figure out what may be the perfect present for our family, buying gifts for your audiophile may have a more challenging task. With so many tweaks and electronics available to audiophile's, how is the non-audiophile to know what will bring joy to their audiophile? Enjoy the Music.com is proud to present our first annual Great Audiophile Gift suggestions. We have arranged them in price from lowest to highest, with some being so inexpensive as to make great stocking stuffers! And now we present to you our picks of Great Audiophile Gift ideas for the 2005 holiday season.
They say the best things in life are free... and who are we to argue? If your audiophile loves music on vinyl, they need to have a special tool to insure their cartridge is properly aligned. In the past decade or so we have gladly given away well over 10,000 high quality printed cartridge alignment tools. We will not attempt to count the many vinyl lovers who have downloaded our file to print themselves, or used our special Excel program to design their own alignment tool. If you want to give more free tools to your audiophile, Enjoy the Music.com® also provides downloadable strobe discs to insure proper turntable speed! To learn more about these free tools click here.
What could be a better present than one that lasts a lifetime? Especially when the gift is music! If you are confused with exactly which label has the best version on vinyl, or the mind-boggling array of digital music formats, fear not as Acoustic Sounds probably has the very best of them all in stock. A gift certificate could be the perfect choice so your audiophile can shop online and have his present delivered right to the home of office. No need for you to worry if it is a rare 6-eye, ffss, Decca, mono, stereo... Odds are he or she will know exactly which one is best and with your gift certificate they can experience the joy of music hour after awe-inspiring hour.
Price: Your choice
Virtually every audiophile knows about the benefits of resonance dampening. Sadly, some of them fall for those mega-buck Mystic Magic Magnite devices versus using what high-end car audio guys have known about for well over a decade! Dynamic Control of North America manufacturers a product called Dynamat that reduces/controls resonances. Their product line consists of many different versions for various applications. Your audiophile can read my review that dates back to August 1999 by clicking here.
Basically, resonances can reduce the sound reproduction quality of your audiophile's system and Dynamat provides easy to use solutions that can be applied, and removed as the ever-fickle audiophile may want to experiment. Depending on his or her needs, there are various products available. Most people should start with Dynamat Original as they can cut the sheet for whatever application they see fit. It could be inside chassis dampening, loudspeaker drivers' basket dampening, etc. Below are full retail list prices, yet have been able to find discounted pricing with some brief Internet searching.
Dynamat Original Speaker Kit
Dynamat Original Door Kit
Dynamic Control of North America www.dynamat.com
Earning our coveted Audiophile Product Of The Year Award 2005, Boston Audio Design's Mat 1 turntable mat is said to work wonders! By simply placing the mat on a turntable and then the vinyl record, Enjoy the Music.com®'s Rick Becker said, "Surface noise was greatly lowered, yielding much lower noise floor for the music. A wider, more apparent dynamic range emerged. The treble was more refined and the bass was much tighter." Rick goes on to say that if your audiophile has a Linn turntable, "I would very highly recommend — make that insist — that you try the Mat 1." You can click here to read the Mat 1 review.
Price: Mat 1 turntable mat $195
If your audiophile enjoys building his own equipment, below are a few great suggestions he can incorporate in his creations. You probably know finding just the right gift for the DIY'er can be challenging at best, downright mind-boggling at worst! Have no fear as Enjoy the Music.com® has some great gift ideas!
Eichmann Technologies' silver Bullet Plug is a great connector for audiophiles who love to save big money by making their own interconnects! This connector is a great approach to RCA/phono connection, with the only thing needed is your recipient's fave wire and some solder. The Bullet Plug connector is said to provide a faster, cleaner signal of high purity and detail. Why silver? Because it is one of the best conductors of electricity and the Eichmann contact pins are machined from hard drawn 4-nines pure silver rod, and then treated with Caig Preservit 5PL - which leaves a microscopic protective coating to prevent oxidation and enhance conductivity.
The V-Cap is a great part for DIY'er as they are considered by our reviewer, Scott Faller, to be among the best of breed. The new V-Cap is an oil impregnated metallized polypropylene (OIMP) design by Chris VenHaus. To quote Scott "These caps brought warmth to my system that was missing before. They allow tons of detail to come through while adding just the right amount of... something. These caps are very clean sounding." You may need to do a bit of background by asking for specific capacitor value needed, or peek into his DIY design as the V-Cap is offered in various specifications.
Virtually all kit builders make their own unit that control the volume of their system. In fact many regular, non-DIY audiophiles have found they can improve the sound of their music by changing the stock volume control. Danish Audio ConnecT (DACT) manufacturers stepped audio attenuators. Add to that the ease of making a simply passive preamplifier (volume control) and this is a perfect gift for virtually every audiophile! To quote Enjoy the Music.com Steven R. Rochlin, "The DACT CT1 uses extremely accurate surface mount devices (SMD) metal film resistors for 24-step attenuation. SMD devices are used in the military for their extremely high precision... and accurate within 0.05db! Because SMD are very small, the signal's path is about five times smaller than other typical non-SMD units. If there is one thing i have learnt over the years, it is that the shorter the signal path the better." Like the V-Caps, the DACT units are available in various types, but we have listed the part numbers for making a passive preamplifier seen in the link to the review below.
And that rounds out Enjoy the Music.com 's Great Audiophile Gift 2005 ideas. There is something to please virtually every audiophile no matter what their preference... or your budget. Bring the joy of music to your audiophile and show your support for the hobby. Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season and best wishes for 2006. Of course in the end what really matters to me is that we all....