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Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2022 Show Report
CAF 2022 premium luxury audio event coverage.
Capital Audiofest (CAF) started out in 2010 as a very casual show and 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 families strolling
from room to room listening to music and auditioning gear. You could also browse
the multiple bins of vinyl LP records, CDs, and hi-fi accessories in the Atrium
Marketplace. During the event there was wonderful live music plus Enjoy the Music.com
sponsored the Thursday night vendor / press party with live music and free
drinks for attendees! This year marks the largest CAF to date!
---> Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2022 Show Report.
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.
Music.com's Great Holiday Gift Guide 2022
Welcome one and all to Enjoy the Music's extraordinary 17th annual Great Audiophile Gift recommendations! We all love gifts, yet getting something special for a passionate music lover can be quite challenging! Our annual Great Audiophile Gift wish list brings you some truly spectacular ideas for music lovers. There are so many wonderful products we can recommend to our longstanding loyal readership. All recommended gifts this year are reasonably priced to be kind to your wallet. We have gifts that will make your vinyl junkie smile, plus a few surprises along the way! Everyone here at
Enjoy the Music.com wishes you and yours a prosperous, joyous, and healthy holiday
---> Enjoy the
Music.com's Great Holiday Gift Guide 2022.
Thoughts After T'giving: We Enter The December Holiday Season
Things past and yet to come.
By Roger Skoff
day of Thanksgiving is over, with the December Holiday season is upon us for the
next month or so, and a New Year about to come. That, alone, is something worth
being thankful for. That's not all, though: The past two years, despite rumblings
of continuing health outbreaks, possible new variants, and a possibly risky
coming winter, is no longer pandemic. We – most of us – have survived it and
can look forward to returning to good health and the ability to concentrate on
other things – if not more important, at least more pleasant. We've also
survived economic shutdowns, global shortages of goods, raw materials, and
energy, the hurricane season, the death of a queen, worldwide and even domestic
Thoughts After T'giving: We Enter The December Holiday Season.
"How Could He Betray Us?"
Our allegiance is to our readership.
Editorial By Robert Harley
A few months ago, I was speaking on the phone with a manufacturer who was pitching me on the idea of the magazine reviewing the
manufacturer's ambitious new product. After learning about the product during the call, it was obvious that Jonathan Valin was the ideal reviewer. Jonathan has extensive experience in, and enthusiasm for, the category; he has a large reader following; and his writing ability and style would perfectly fit with this potentially groundbreaking
product. But when I proposed Jonathan for the review, the manufacturer balked. Why? Because Jonathan had favorably reviewed another product in the same category. The manufacturer assumed that Jonathan had some sort of allegiance to the other manufacturer.
---> "How Could He Betray Us?"
The Golden Age Of Hi-Fi
Yes, you can have it today.
Editorial By Alan Sircom
It's almost a cliché for editors and writers in
today's audio world to proclaim it a 'Golden Age', but it's said for a reason. While that first Golden Age of Hi-Fi saw the birth and proliferation of stereophonic sound in the home and that second Golden Age was the start of that 1970s underground movement that became high-end audio,
today's audio world is one of huge scope; you can carry your entire your hi-fi system (and your music collection) in your pocket, or you can devote whole rooms to playing and storing your music. And people happily do
both! Similarly, when it comes to buying that hi-fi system, you can spend less on your sounds than the cost of a takeaway pizza, or more than the cost of fitting out and staffing a Michelin-starred restaurant.
---> The Golden Age Of Hi-Fi.
Wireless And Wired
The convenience of wireless audio transmission for all those applications.
Editorial By J. Martins
Although unintended, this issue of
audioXpress offers a very interesting comparison between the thriving installation market and the complexity of consumer mainstream technologies, while also revealing the convergence trends. From wired to wireless, the two Market Updates featured in this issue detail technology evolving and adjusting to different requirements at its own
pace. In the process that will eventually lead us to a world of Wireless Audio, many efforts and even companies that pioneered the early streaming audio and multiroom systems have been left behind. And sometimes evolution serves up strange twists. Due to the mighty power of the mobile industry and the spectacular rise of smartphones, Bluetooth technology ended up being perceived by consumers almost as synonymous with wireless audio....
---> Wireless And Wired
Esoteric N-05XD DAC, Preamplifier, Headamp And Music
The new Japanese sound.
Review By Ran Xiang
Esoteric sound has normally been deemed as rather representative of the
so-called Japanese sound, which is to some nuanced, introverted, controlled and
detail-oriented, and to others thin-sounding, sharp, lacking body and bass shy.
Yet Esoteric's first self-developed Master Discrete DAC has definitely revised
the stereotype of the Japanese sound which was criticized as sounding like a
radish (think about the light flavor as well as the shape of a radish with a big
head on the top and a thin bottom end). N-05XD has inherited the traditional focus on details and
nuances, yet it is much fuller, more musical, and analog sounding compared to
their previous lineups utilizing AKM chips.
Esoteric N-05XD DAC, Preamplifier, Headamp And Music Streamer Review.
Vermouth Audio Studio Monitor Loudspeaker
A good-looking and great-sounding loudspeaker.
Audio is located in the Indonesian province of Bali, which is located east of
Java. Most know Bali as a vacation destination. In fact, in 2017, Trip Advisor
named Bali the world's top destination in its "Traveler's Choice
award." Bali again won this honor in January 2021. About 80% of Bali's
economy is tourism related. Vermouth Audio is part of the 20% unrelated to
tourism. They are a company that designs and manufactures high-end audio
connectors, cables, electronics, and, of the subject of this review,
loudspeakers. When I was given the opportunity to review Vermouth Audio's
Studio Monitors, which are distributed in the US by Believe Audio, located in
Hutto, Texas, I enthusiastically accepted their offer.
Vermouth Audio Studio Monitor Loudspeaker Review.
Gingko Audio VCS Toolkit Review
Improving your music system with little cost and no downside.
Review By Brett Rudolph
always a thrill when you are asked to review products from a vendor for which
you have already done an evaluation. It was exhilarating when your editor wrote
you and asked if you were interested in trying out the new version of something
you had been given a brief chance to try. Nevertheless, that is precisely what
happened when Vinh Vu of Gingko Audio asked if I would like to try out the
improved VCS Toolkit, it and I jumped at the chance. Gingko Audio is an audio company that makes various types of
components. These components range from the sextet modular speaker system and
the Clarissa LE speakers to the VCS Toolkit. In other words, from audio
components to vibration control devices to make things perform better than they
usually would inside your system, or so it claims. That is the subject of this
---> Gingko Audio VCS Toolkit Review.
Magnepan LRS+ Quasi Ribbon Floorstanding
A great speaker and a sure-fire nominee for one of
TAS' 2022 Product of the Year Awards.
Review By Jonathan Valin
Those of you who have been
reading me for the past 30 years already know that I am a huge fan of
Magnepan loudspeakers. Indeed, as I've noted in these pages many times before,
it was the Maggie 1U/D that set me on the road to the absolute sound. Before I
heard that first Magneplanar, I relied on published specs and magazine test
results to narrow down the speakers and electronics I was interested in. After
listening to it (in 1973) and being momentarily fooled into thinking I was
hearing someone playing a real concert grand (there happened to be a piano in
the room, hidden behind what I thought were decorative screens, which turned out
to be Magnepan 1Us), I realized there was a better way to judge high-fidelity
components — the HP way, the TAS way, the way that puts the closest
approximation of the sound of the real thing first and specs last.
Magnepan LRS+ Quasi Ribbon Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review.
Mojo Audio Mystique X SE Stereo
One of the most musical, engaging, and flexible DACs I've heard at any price.
Review By Dr. Matthew
Benjamin Zwickel of Mojo-Audio asked me to review his updated Mystique X SE DAC
I jumped at the chance. My last experience with his equipment represented some
of the best performance at any price, much less the huge bang for the buck it
was at around $10K (in fact, the DAC was named the Mystique Evo B4B). The X
signifies Benjamin's next evolutionary advancement. The closest I can compare is
the Porsche 911. Take a thing and focus on making that thing the best it can be,
limited only by the technology and advancements of the time. Don't look left or
right, just ahead; make that thing better and better over time. There is both
logic, and elegance, in this design principle that has worked well for both
Porsche and Mojo-Audio.
Mojo Audio Mystique X SE Stereo DAC Review.
Ohm AE 2000 Floorstanding Speaker Review
A pleasing alternative to the typical loudspeaker
Review By Michael Lang
The Legacy of Mr. Walsh –
Almost 50 years after the debut of the famous Ohm F omni-directional speaker, a
modern successor finds its way into our office – the Ohm AE 2000. No one can deny the legendary status the omni-directional
speaker Ohm F carries. This icon of loudspeaker history has stirred up far too
much dust since its first debut in 1972 for that. Unfortunately too late for the
man who did the basic development and calculations for this groundbreaking
loudspeaker, Lincoln Walsh. He sadly already passed away one year before the
first model built according to his ideas was unveiled. The CLS driver of the speakers visually somewhat resembles
familiar traffic cones and is often called the Walsh driver after its inventor.
It not only looks completely distinct when compared to conventional speakers, it
also works completely differently.
Ohm AE 2000 Floorstanding Speaker Review.
World Premiere Review!
Synergistic Research Foundation SX Cables
Affordable products, due to a rising tide of innovation, deliver greater musical satisfaction.
Review By Rick Becker
When Andy Weiderspahn sent me Synergistic Research's new tweak, the Carbon Tuning discs, and told me this was technology built into their Atmosphere series cables, the handwriting was on the wall, but I didn't see it. He said it would bring the Foundation series cables up closer to the performance of the Atmosphere Excite XS, a cable that was more than four and a half times more expensive. I tried the Carbon Tuning Discs and found he was pretty much telling the truth. At $200 for a pair of Gold and a pair of Purple, anyone could try them on whatever brand cable they owned. They even had their usual 30-day money-back guarantee.
---> Synergistic Research Foundation SX Cables Review.
Vincent Audio SV-737 Hybrid Stereo Integrated Amplifier Review
An amp that's truly exciting and fun to listen to.
Review By Francisco
As far back as I can remember, I
have been wanting to listen to a Vincent Audio amp. My curiosity about tube
Hybrid solid-state amps is the first reason. They say if you think about
something long enough, you create what you are thinking about. The Vincent Audio
SV-737 came to my door a few months ago. This black, heavy, 47-pound
well-appointed integrated amplifier took pride of place in my system
immediately. With a little help from my son, it fit right in my audio rack. Ah
strength, beauty, age, the realm of youth. Once installed there was no need to
install my outboard DAC or Bluetooth device. Those units are built into this
amp. There are also six pairs of single-ended / unbalanced RCA inputs that are
thankfully mounted a bit further apart than the ones on my Marantz amp.
Vincent Audio SV-737 Hybrid Stereo Integrated Amplifier Review.
Editorial By Art Dudley
Volume two of the Monumental five-volume set of Bob Dylan's
The Genuine Basement Tapes reaches an emotional climax with a plaintive song called
Not There" — no mean feat after the brilliant "Going to Acapulco" and three takes
of "Tears of Rage," one in waltz time. "I'm Not There" has appeared before, on
The Great White Wonder and on Volume One of The Newly Discovered Basement Tapes
on Surprise Records (the latter credited to Blind Boy Grunt and The Hawks), and while the version on
The Genuine Basement Tapes is the best sounding of the bunch, you still wouldn't mistake it for
anything other than a bootleg. About a third of the words are unintelligible, and as if that
weren't enough of an obstacle, the recording begins in mid-verse, with no clue as to
how much had been played before the tape started rolling. No way for technology to
fix that, I guess.
---> The Intro by Art Dudley Of Listener.
Who made me? Everybody's talking... I think it is art.
Article By Herb Reichert, Audio Note
Reckon me this
Sound Practices readers.
"Who in world of audio fringe persons am I writing for?" The editor is not deep into
market research and Joyce just says they get letters from a "broad spectrum". So who in
audio hell is reading this and what are they really interested in? My best guess is that
you guys are really smart (or at least hard working), really love music and are
probably more than a little eccentric. In any event, let me start by thanking you and
SP for giving
me the opportunity to learn to write and practice my shaving on someone else's
beard. I don't know your faces, I have never been in
your basements, so I just write about my own experiences, hoping there is something
that I have done or learned that will inspire others to action. A lot of audio writers hope
to educate and opinionate their readers. Me? I would rather see some action.
---> Casual Reactions By Herb Reichert.
Triophoni: Triode Triumph
Article By Dan Schmalle
This month I will take the opportunity to show off a little
(Oh brother, not again...). I have today been putting the finishing touches on my latest amp
project, a pair of triode output power amps called Triophoni. Since I spent a fair amount of
time writing up a blurb to advertise them I will use excerpts from said blurb to describe them:
6CK4 cathode type triode valves operate class AB1 push-pull as the output tube. This tube exhibits
low drive and plate voltage requirements, allowing for fewer drive stages than the typical triode
amplifier, helping to reduce phase shift. A triode's transfer curve is more linear than that of a pentode. This
helps minimize amplitude, harmonic and phase distortion, resulting in the incomparable
---> Triophoni: Triode Triumph.
The Audio Analyst Episode 61
Guilty Treasures: Supertramp Crime of the Century.
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. As many
Enjoy the Music.com readers know, Greg Weaver has been involved within the high-performance audio industry for more than five
decades. This episode features Supertramp's 1974 extraordinary
Crime of the Century, which is somehow today one of the most overlooked, underrated, and slighted albums from its era. To my ears and mind,
"Crime" unquestionably represents the zenith of the bands' efforts, their unparalleled Magnum Opus. Today, I am excited to introduce you to the unbridled brilliance of this defining, straight-ahead art-rock
The Audio Analyst: Supertramp Crime of the Century.
High Five For Hi-Fi!
An introduction to hi-fi for people who
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. In our inaugural episode, Emiko covers the basics of what it means to be an audiophile and what "hi-fi" actually means. Future episodes will cover the building blocks of putting together a high-end system and how new listeners can actually have fun on their journey. That is allowed.
---> High Five For Hi-Fi!
Nucleus+ Core Unit And XLCR Power Supply Review
Roon: A Short Story
Martin Colloms has become a Roon convert – Here he charts his path to
'Roonification'; using the company's Nucleus+ Core unit.
Review By Martin Colloms
I'd encountered Roon music playing and cataloguing software on a few occasions, as well as its predecessor, the Sooloos music storage and handling system, with its attractive graphical presentations of tracks, artwork and music cataloguing. Acquired by Meridian some years ago as the heart of its streaming solution, Sooloos was later spun off as a separate company, eventually becoming Roon in 2015. But the heart of the system has remained: an informative, easy to use music management system, based on extended metadata and intelligent cataloguing of content. It has seen several iterations bringing it to the present level of refinement – in fact to a level where I felt that I just had to try it
Nucleus+ Core Unit & XLCR PS Review.
AGD Tempo di GaN Stereo Amplifier Review
Worthy of the highest recommendation.
Review By Rick Becker
Alberto Guerra took a dive into high-end audio using his background in the development of GaNFET transistors as his springboard to
success. In bold strokes he premiered his
Avant-Garde style Vivace monoblock putting out 100 Watts into 8 Ohms, 200 Watts
into 4, and the Art Deco-like simulated tube design of The Audion, another
monoblock putting out 85 Watts into 8 Ohms and 170 Watts into 4 Ohms. The clever
ploy of inserting the power modules into the glass of vacuum tubes and featuring
them prominently in his designs, allowed for easy user upgradeability when new
power circuits were developed. And indeed, one was developed two years later. Pull out the old tube; plug in the new one. Suddenly you have
a new, improved amplifier at a relatively small cost with a boost of power and
an increase in sound quality.
AGD Tempo di GaN Stereo Amplifier Review.
Aavik R-180 Phono Preamplifier Review
To Invent: It seems as if Michael Borresen was born with a special passion for tinkering and inventing. With his smallest phono preamplifier Aavik R-180, he impressively demonstrates this once again.
Review By Michael Lang
Finally, something different!
That was my first impression when taking a look at the new devices from Danish
manufacturer Aavik. They are more compact than what we are used to from hi-fi
and high-end and have only three buttons, but feature numerous curves and a
housing that is not bursting with aluminum. The value of a device is not
measured by its looks and its weight at Aavik. Instead, the design is
Scandinavian in its straightforwardness and simplicity – not wholly without a
reason, though, as we will discover later. In addition, a large display with red letters, which of course
can be dimmed or switched off, is to be found. It even allows older listeners to
recognize the selected settings from a distance. By the way, the two larger
models R-280 and R-580 are characterized by the same simplicity.
---> Aavik R-180 Phono Preamplifier Review.
Raidho TD 3.8 Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review
Wonderfully cohesive and engaging.
Review By Dr. Matthew Clott
art of weaving pros allows us to convey description, imagery, opinion,
impression, and emotion. Yet Raidho's TD 3.8 floorstanding loudspeaker, as
reviewed here, lends itself to the elegance of the
solitary word; my notes are awash with them.... "Behold, Shimmer, Brilliant,
Wow, Delicious, Holographic, Cohesive, Decompressive." I think I made up the
last one, but I'll explain later.... Raidho, as a company, has gone through some changes. The Raidho
of old has matured, retaining much of the DNA of its' previous incarnation while
looking to the future with a redefined path. This metamorphosis has resulted in
some voicing changes and a slightly different design philosophy yet retained the
passion for physical beauty and all-out audiophile performance without
Raidho TD 3.8 Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review.
Are Your Ears Good Enough?
Roger Skoff answers the question.
By Roger Skoff
recently wrote within one of the Facebook audiophile groups to ask if, before
going to all the effort and expense of putting together a good high-end audio
system, people ought to have their ears checked to find out if they can hear
well enough to make it worthwhile. Does that sound reasonable to you? Another thing about ears and hearing that's
happened to me more times than I can count, and that I suspect has probably
happened to you, too, is that I've mentioned – or even played – a
recording or some hi-fi product or even a full audio system to a non-audiophile
friend, and had him tell me something like " I'm sure that's fine for you, a
golden-eared hi-fi buff, but I'm just an ordinary person, so I (whichever the
case may be) didn't / couldn't / probably wouldn't hear the difference."
---> Are Your Ears Good Enough?
Rick Becker's Holiday Gift Guide 2021
The Elite 8
Eight special holiday gifts for audiophiles.
Article By Rick Becker
One of my biggest pleasures of the year is
to look back at the products I've reviewed or seen at shows and make
suggestions for Holiday Gifts for your beloved audiophile.
Unfortunately, some of these require special knowledge or data such as
the size and value of fuses, so they won't qualify as surprise gifts but
I strongly believe they will be treasured nonetheless.
Rick Becker's Holiday Gift Guide 2021.
Audiophile Gift 2022
Audiophile Gift 2021 December
Audiophile Gift 2020 December
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