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LSA Diamond Headphones Review A revelation in detail and musicality. Review By Frank Iacone Living
Sound Audio is a company that Walter Liederman started with the intent to build
world-class speaker designs that are offered at real-world affordable
prices through Walter's retail outlet Underwood HiFi. As an extension of this
LSA began sourcing headphones made exclusively for them under their brand name
manufactured by Kennerton, a world-class headphone company that specializes in
designing and manufacturing dynamic planar drivers. The Diamond has an 80MM
Planar Magnetic Driver that has a frequency response of 10 to 55000 Hz with an
easy-to-drive 105 dB efficiency, making it easy to match with portable music
players and low-powered amplifiers. The Diamond is made using lightweight wood outer cups with
comfortable leather pads. Unique to the Diamond is the headband which adjusts
automatically on the user's head without moving the band. The design makes this
one of the most comfortable planar headphones on the planet. ---> LSA Diamond
Stereo Headphones Review.
Vertere Techno Mat
For Turntables Review A change almost comparable to a significant cartridge upgrade.
Review By Martin Colloms Call me a mat sceptic: it's not that I am against accessory mats but rather that I have tried numerous examples on my
highly-spec'ed Linn LP12, and so far have not found better than the current thin, designed and calibrated density, black wool felt example Linn provides. I recall extensive tests on the LP12 some eleven years ago
(July Aug Sept 2009 issue) where I even went as far as to check the sound difference for the Linn mat for the normal side up and then when inverted: yes, there was a small difference as felt manufacture involves laying the wool fibres such that there is a graded density with thickness. The
'correct' upper side is a better impedance match in the mid treble for the audio vibrations induced in the LP disc by the speaker-generated soundfield, and also from the stylus tip reaction while tracking the music
modulations. ---> Vertere Techno Mat
For Turntables Review.
07 / 25 / 23
UK Audio Show At Staverton Park Hotel October 2023
This year's very special UK Audio Show will once again take place at the Staverton Park Hotel on October 7th and 8th, 2023. With four established events, plus a new one, and the return of an old
favorite, let's raise a glass to the Chester Group and the enterprising UK industry. Manufacturers and distributors can now cover the whole of the UK, and local dealerships benefit from local promotion and sales.
Once again the Staverton Park Hotel will expand further, with brand new and unique attractions and the enduring support of the their team. According to the show
promoter, "Sales now ahead of last year... and even more unique attractions mixed with many exclusives!" And not to forget the Chester Group's New York Audio Show in September as well, plus a new alliance in Australia too! Come celebrate premium audio consumer products that is the attraction of High-End Audio & AV music/sound reproduction and
more about the UK Audio Show 2023.
07 / 24 / 23
Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2023 Show
Capital Audiofest (CAF), taking place at the Twinbrook Hilton (Rockville Maryland) from November 10th through 12th,
is the Northeast's favorite audio show! CAF started out in 2010 as a very casual show and has evolved into a well-organized and well-attended event that most everyone in the audio industry knows about. CAF is recognized as a fun, friendly and family-oriented show, where you often see families strolling from room to room listening to music, auditioning gear and browsing the multiple bins of vinyl records, CDs and accessories in the Atrium Marketplace. In the evenings we have live music in the bar and special live performers in the Theater, and local distillers offering tasting.
During the event will be wonderful live music plus
Enjoy the Music.com in once again sponsoring the Thursday night vendor / press party with live music and free drinks! In 2022 CAF had 92 listening rooms and over 50 booths spanning more than four floors of amazing audio gear, which was the largest CAF to date! CAF opened up many new floors during 2022 to make room for over 150 exhibitors representing hundreds of premium luxury audio brands from around the world. There may also be over 50 Atrium Marketplace vendors including at least two dozen vinyl/LP sellers, making the show a veritable Record Fair. Qobuz may once again set up a Listening Lounge in the Plaza II Ballroom, for show-goers to sample streaming and turntable set-ups with headphones, and just hang out and chill, with free
Wi-Fi. Learn more and see our Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2023 Show
report when it goes live.
World Premiere Review!
JERN 11S Compact Loudspeaker Review A well-balanced speaker that presents a lovely neutral rendition of music. Review By Robert Jorgensen What is a
poor reviewer to do when he would rather put on some more music than write on
the review? My wife might say "Suck it up and get on with it". This could imply
that I do not want to say anything but that's not the case. I am just enjoying
the music too much. There is a bit of a backstory here. If I remember well, the first time I saw the JERN Speakers was
a couple of years ago at the ISE Exhibition in Amsterdam. Ole Lund Christensen,
whom I have known for 20 odd years, was banging away on a piece of steel, a
piece of aluminum, and his very heavy cabinets made of a special kind of cast
iron using a little hammer. There is a video floating around on YouTube where he
does it with a piece of aluminum and a piece of his special "Vibrakill" cast
iron. It was very instructive since both the steel and the aluminum
rang like bells and the JERN cabinet just gave a dull thud. As he explained that
was exactly the point of the demo. ---> JERN 11S
Compact Loudspeaker Review.
07 / 19 / 23
Reference Recordings' Sergei Kvitko
Schubert By Candlelight
Reference Recordings, for nearly 50 years one of the most innovative and respected independent labels in the music business, is proud to present pianist, composer, and producer Sergei
Kvitko's new album, Schubert By Candlelight — Live In Madrid. This album features a stunning collection of
Schubert's piano works. The album features thirteen piano works that showcase the beauty and depth of
Schubert's music, as well as the artistry and versatility of Kvitko, who is not only an award-winning, critically acclaimed pianist, but also a composer, arranger, and internationally sought-after producer and sound engineer. The album was recorded at Hinves Pianos, Madrid, Spain
during 2022. It was performed, produced, and engineered by Sergei Kvitko, assisted at the session by audio engineer Jorge Núñez Colell.
This recital reminds us that Schubert's music is imbued entirely by the beauty and sweetness of the melody yet is intensely spontaneous and unplanned. Writing in his diary, Schubert stated:
"Imagination — Man's greatest treasure, the inexhaustible spring at which we all refresh ourselves—be with us, even if few respect and honor you. You alone can save us from so-called
'enlightenment,' that hideous skeleton without flesh and blood." Robert Schumann, writing in his diary, contemplates
"And you, heavenly Schubert who left this world too soon — if ghosts and spirits and geniuses spoke to each other, they would speak like you; you are the celestial flowing spirit covered by its spring
07 / 18 / 23
The 'Sound' Of Renault By Jean-Michel Jarre
With car manufacturers using various electronic sounds, beeps, and buzzes for alerts within automobiles, it makes sense to bring in a professional musician such as Jean-Michel Jarre. Longtime and well respected musical artist, songwriter, and electronica pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre has joined forces with Renault, along with Ircam and the
Group's sound design teams, to develop two types of sounds for the brand's future electric vehicles. Specifically, VSPs (Vehicle Sounds for Pedestrians) and the Welcome sound sequence (which plays when you sit in the car). As an artist and engineer, Jean-Michel Jarre's contribution assists with the goals and challenges surrounding sound design.
The decision by French manufacturer Renault to enlist Jean-Michel
Jarre's services to develop the sounds for future electric vehicles started when the artist and Luca de Meo, Renault
Group's CEO, sat down during the International Motor Show in Munich in 2021. They were keen to work together straight away, on the sound experience inside vehicles and outside them: the Welcome sequence when you step into the car and the VSP (electric vehicles make no sound at slow speeds as their motor is silent). A crew from Ircam and a sound design team that is up to date on the latest technical and regulatory requirements and the issues associated with developing these sounds. This meeting between Jean-Michel
Jarre's world of sound creation and Renault's world of electric vehicles is an opportunity for the brand to stand out and assert itself in an underexplored and practically unexploited territory for expression.
07 / 17 / 23
audioXpress' August 2023 Issue
Editorial: The Perception Of Change
AXPONA 2023 Home Audio Show
SonicEdge Ultrasound Speaker Modeling And Application
Noise Cancellation In Automotive Audio
Designing A True Midrange Driver
Bass Reflex Performance Envelope Part 2
Instrumentation Amplifier-Based Preamplifier Line Stage
Power Transformer Parameters, Selection, And Testing Part 10
Electroacoustic Enhancement And Active Acoustics
Visiting The Western Electric Vacuum Tube Factory
And Much More!
Within his editorial, J. Martins says
"As I always like to say: I know that I know nothing, but
I'm always learning. (Plato would agree if he had said it) Unfortunately, in the life of a magazine editor I have long learned that there is
never enough time to just study and learn. I strongly admire people who have devoted their whole career to study, research, and publish what they learned (many times combined with teaching).
That's what I always like about attending conferences, where here and there you come across people and work that shake the foundations of our knowledge and
understanding. That was the case recently, when I — together with our technical editor Jan Didden, and a good number of audioXpress authors — attended one of the opening sessions of the 154th Audio Engineering Society (AES) International Convention, held at Aalto University in Espoo, Helsinki, Finland, from May 13th through 15th." ---> audioXpress' August 2023
07 / 14 / 23
Pacific Audio Fest 2023 Show Report An audio triumph in the Pacific Northwest!
PAF 2023 Show Report By Greg Weaver First, my apologies
for this report's tardiness. Within days of returning home to the Midwest, I
came down with some kind of flu or cold (not you-know-what 19) that had me out of
commission for some ten days. Once I was on the mend, I got right back to work.
Here is my take on my experience in Seattle... pardon the delay. My flight from Chicago to the Seattle-Tacoma International
Airport arrived more than forty minutes ahead of schedule. As I collected my
checked bag and headed out to catch a ride to the Doubletree by Hilton, less
than half a mile from the airport, I was treated to the beautiful weather that
late June in the Pacific Northwest had promised! After checking in, saying hello to all the
friends and colleagues I ran into in the halls, getting settled into my room,
and washing up after the trip, I joined in the welcoming meet and greet on the
fourteenth floor at Maxi's. Good food, free drinks, and great conversation set
the tone for what would turn out to be an amazing show! ---> Pacific Audio Fest 2023 Show Report.
07 / 13 / 23
World Premiere Review!
Verdant Audio Blackthorn 1 Monitor
Speakers An over-achieving monitor with a musical performance well beyond its' modest size. Review By Dr. Michael Bump I first had the pleasure of meeting Scott
Bierfeldt, President and Chief Designer
at Verdant Audio, at AXPONA 2019 in a
by-chance meeting. I was planning on heading out earlier than expected on
Sunday, as the snow was starting to come down (attendees may recall), and I was
a bit nervous about the six-hour mark. drive home to the cornfields of Missouri.
Nevertheless, the rooms beckoned me back for one more quick tour that morning,
where I happened to walk by a familiar blue glow within the Verdant Audio room.
At the center of a very attractive system were a
pair of stunning Art Audio Quartet 845 push-pull monoblocks. I was familiar with
Art Audio from an introduction years prior to their 50-Watt SET Adagios, and was
aware that Verdant Audio had re-introduced the UK company to the U.S. earlier
that year as the sole domestic distributor. Needless to say, my curiosity was
piqued stepping into the room noting several examples of Art Audio pieces, as
well as the premiere of two monitor designs created by Scott, under the Verdant
Audio name. --->
Verdant Audio Blackthorn 1 monitor speakers review.
Concert Ticket Pricing In Europe Versus USA
According to Statista, "With concert ticket prices on the rise in the United States, some fans have decided they would rather pay for a flight and a cheaper European concert ticket than for a more expensive ticket to the same show on homeground. The following chart looks at Daily Mail analysis of ticket sales on Ticketmaster to show just how much more expensive tickets can be in different cities in the U.S. compared to Europe, with Beyoncé's Charlotte show costing more than three times that of the Stockholm
"It's not only Beyoncé charging supreme prices in the U.S. though," says Statista,
"Madonna's gig in New York City cost $2,666 versus London's $1,838, while Bruce Springsteen tickets were more than fivefold in Newark at $537, while
Copenhagen's cost $96 this year. This chart uses data for selected concert tickets with comparable seating in the U.S. and Europe. Read more about this at
07 / 07 / 23
Hi-Fi+ July 2023 High-End
Editorial: Cult Of Personality
Chris Thomas 1949 – 2023
Waversa Systems Digital Audio Streaming Solution
MOON by Simaudio North 791 And 761 Pre/Amp
Engström Arne Mk 2 Integrated Valve Amplifier
Quiescent T100MPA Mono Power Amplifier
Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Floorstanding Loudspeaker
Leben CS300XS Integrated Valve Amplifier
Allnic Audio D-10000 OTL / OCL DAC
SoundSpace Systems Robin Floorstanding Loudspeaker
Network Acoustics Muon Pro Ethernet Filter
And Much More!
Within this month's editorial, Alan Sircom says
"We have a cult of personality in high-end audio. Unlike almost every other branch of consumer electronics – where the product is created by a team of engineers and industrial designers – a lot of high-end audio is the result of one very bright person at the helm of a small company making incredibly specialist products for a small, but select clientele. This has its upsides and downsides. The great advantage in the audio industry's need to have some kind of close contact with the designer is that they are very close to direct customer feedback. When the guy making the thing is the same guy demonstrating the thing at a show, they are only a few sentences from getting a full break-down of their products by those who use them daily. This kind of direct 'focus group' feedback is something large corporations pay handsomely to obtain."
what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+
magazine at this
07 / 06 / 23
Pass Labs X260.8 Monoblock Amplifier Review Prestigious power, glorious grace, and terrific transparency.
Dwayne Carter Pass Laboratories, Inc., is a name that most audiophiles
utter, after describing a product that comes close to perfection. "XXX
amplifier almost sounds as good as the Pass Labs XXX model". We've
all done it. Fortunately, "as good as" will have to wait. Thanks to the good
people at Pass Laboratories; I get the real thing. As the world was on pause, my
listening room entertained a pair of Pass Labs X260.8 monoblock amplifiers. In full disclosure, I would like to admit that I have been a
fan of Pass Labs products for many years. I've never owned or reviewed any of
their products, so I was looking forward to this delivery.... The Pass Labs X260.8 monoblock amplifiers require two people to
move. I know most amplifier manufacturers recommend this, but this is the first
time I heeded their recommendation. Luckily, my good friend Michael was able to
help me wrestle these beasts into place. --->
Pass Labs X260.8 Monoblock Amplifier Review.
Enjoy the Music.com's July
Review Magazine With additional show coverage this month plus new premium audio gear reviews, our July issue is HOT for the summer (note: only valid within the Northern Hemisphere; as it is Winter for our friends in Australia). We've completed our coverage of AXPONA,
the Australian Hi-Fi Show, HIGH END, and T.H.E. Show; look for our coverage of the Pacific Audio Fest show shortly. As always, in the end what really matters is that you... enjoy the music. ---> See Enjoy the Music.com's
July 2023 Review Magazine.
Let's Talk About Luxurious Premium Audio Shows Hi-fi shows and what they ought to be. Article
By Roger Skoff If
you're an audiophile, you've almost certainly either been to a high-fidelity
audio event (Hi-Fi Show) or wanted to go to one. Back in the days before I got into the industry, every time
– the Consumer Electronics Show
– came around (There used to be two of them
– Las Vegas and Chicago), I would always ask my industry friends if they had
gone to it; how they liked it; what had been the hit of the Show; and what new
great stuff I should hunt down and buy for myself. Invariably, the answer I got was that they had been too busy
working their own exhibits to actually go and see or listen to anybody else's;
and that they had effectively seen or heard nothing. NO FUN! That was back years ago, when hi-fi was – following the
great hi-fi boom of the late 1950s and 1960s when stereo LP records were first
introduced, and the second boom in the 1980s, when CDs came along offering "perfect
sound forever," a common interest.... --->
Let's Talk About Luxurious Premium Audio Shows.
Pacific Audio Fest 2023
Report Enjoy hearing premium audio
gear in Seattle at PAF 2023. The Pacific Audio Fest (PAF) 2023, which took place at the Doubletree-Hilton
Sea-Tac / Seattle from June 23rd through 25th, is the USA's very best Northwestern premium audio event. There
was live music Friday and Saturday nights, with NW regional wine and beer
tastings, and ~80 rooms of quality audio, Marketplace, Record Fair, HeadZone and much more! Renowned audiophile and reviewer Greg Weaver
spent Friday and Saturday evenings presenting his curated after-hours music sessions. ---> Pacific Audio Fest 2023 Show Report.
T.H.E Show 2023 SoCal Report T.H.E. Show's June Orange County music and luxury
audio show in California. T.H.E. Show SoCal 2023 (The Home Entertainment Show) took place at the the Hilton Orange County Costa Mesa from June 9th through 11th.
This was the destination where music, entertainment, tech, and media meet in an integrated, state-of-the-art experience trade show. Spotlighting a breadth of brands spanning from classic industry leaders to up-and-coming rising stars, T.H.E. Show
2023 was no ordinary luxury audio event. T.H.E. Headphonium section specialized on personal / portable audio
including DAPs, headphones and more, and was presented by Enjoy the Music.com partners
eCoustics! For vinyl LP lovers, an expanded section this year called T.H.E.
Vinylonium featured a variety of outstanding vintage and budget LPs to rare and high-end audiophile
editions. ---> T.H.E Show 2023 SoCal Report.
HIGH END 2023 Munich Show Report High End Society's Event In Munich Germany From May 18th to 21st, 2023, the very special 40th HIGH END trade show in Munich
will once again shine the spotlight on luxurious premium music reproduction systems, inspiring listening enjoyment and exquisite 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 2023 Munich Show Reports.
World Premiere Review! LampizatOr Horizon DAC Review A new benchmark!
Review By Greg Weaver My history, and fascination, with Łukasz Fikus and
his Poland-based LampizatOr heralds back to my first exposure to the Golden Gate's
introduction at AXPONA 2015. It may be significant to point out that this timing
is eerily coincident with my choice to begin to more deeply explore the validity
of digital audio as a source. To that point, in my system, digital file playback
had shown no real ability to favorably compete with my analog reference system,
sonically or with the breadth and depth of my LP collection. Keep in mind,
Norway's Tidal, the first music streaming service to offer at least Redbook CD
quality streaming had just launched in the US that previous October, and – I
was not an early adopter. --->
LampizatOr Horizon DAC Review.
World Premiere Review! Metronome Audio Le DAC 2 Review The Spice must flow.
Review By Paul Schumann It's no
secret that Hollywood has become the land of the sequel. Nine of the top ten
grossing movies from 2022 were sequels. I excluded The Batman because it
technically wasn't a sequel, but it was a reboot, for goodness' sake. Now I'm
not going to bash sequels out of hand. I watch a bunch of them myself. My big
complaint is when a sequel is done by a different set of writers and a new
director and is so different from its predecessor in tone and theme that about
halfway through I throw up my hands and ask, "Why am I watching this?". One sequel I'm looking forward to watching is Dune: Part 2.
While they call it a sequel, it's more of a continuation of the first movie with
Denis Villeneuve and his team completing the task. Even though I've only seen
2.5 minutes of it in a trailer, I am incredibly hopeful that this crew will
bring the ship safely into the harbor. Yes, I could be wrong, but like Fremen, I
believe. ---> Metronome Audio Le DAC 2 Review.
ATOLL ST200 Signature Streamer / DAC / Preamplifier Review Wonderful tonality with transparency and speed.
Review By Neven Kos There
aren't many devices like the ATOLL ST200 Signature. It's a streamer, a DAC, and
a full-blooded preamplifier in one case. And while trends dictate that DACs /
streamers be incorporated with one kind of volume control or another, it is
clear that they rarely represent a real preamplifier solution and volume control
takes place most often in the digital domain, mainly by reducing resolution. Few
have built-in analog volume control systems, and even rarer devices like the
ATOLL Electronique ST200 Signature, have a built-in and right preamplifier. Add to this the volume control performed by a resistor
network, which is a more precise solution than a conventional potentiometer, and
it will become clear to you that the ATOLL ST200 Signature is a well-designed
and elaborate device. --->
ATOLL ST200 Signature Streamer / DAC / Preamplifier Review.
I Never Met A 2A3 Amp That I
Didn't Like Article By Editor Joe Roberts
From Sound Practices
Issue 15 Nothing in audio is a sure deal but if I were
forced to come up with a foolproof recommendation to stake my name on, I would have to go with the classic no-brainer:
"It's hard to build a bad 2A3 amplifier." There might be some bad ones somewhere
but I have to say that every 2A3 amp I ever had the pleasure to hear was at least pretty
good and some were downright amazing. My introduction to triode amps came with restoring a few Brook 2A3 amps of the
early 1950s, which I didn't get to hear until they were certified antiques in the early
1980s. Even in the late 1940s / early 1950s when they were current models, the Brook
designs were a throwback to prewar technologies (see Sound Practices
issue 2), valued by a few purists who knew that those newfangled pentodes were nothing but a sell
out. ---> I Never Met A 2A3 Amp That I Didn't Like.