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09 / 29 / 23

UK Audio Show At Staverton Park Hotel October 2023

UK Audio Show At Staverton Park Hotel Is Next Weekend
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 presentation. Learn more about the UK Audio Show 2023.



09 / 28 / 23

Is The Music BUSINESS Working Against Music Lovers

Is The Music BUSINESS Working Against Music Lovers
Do mastering engineers / music suffer at the hands of the lowest common denominator?
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
Have been trying my best to stop writing about music and audio gear, yet there's a voice inside of me saying you should, make that must, speak your truth. It's no secret that I read an abundance of industry inside information. This is not just high-end audio, it also pertains to musicians, recording studios, FOH / live performance, and mastering engineers (to name a few). What I find very interesting is that those who dare to speak up have many of the same concerns we audiophiles do!
---> Is The Music BUSINESS Working Against Music Lovers?



Forget The Specs Roger Skoff writes something that could change your mind completely.

Forget The Specs
Roger Skoff writes something that could change your mind completely.
Article By Roger Skoff
Until not very long ago, "spec sheets" were an important part of our audio hobby. You know what I'm talking about – those single-sheet write-ups that showed a picture of a product, gave a description of its features and qualities, and set down in detail such things as frequency response, measured distortion, signal-to-noise ("S/N") ratio, and so on. People used to pick them up at Hi-Fi Shows as reminders about products that had particularly caught their attention, or they would ask for them, supposedly "to show the Little Lady", as "get-out-of-the-store without-buying-anything" passes, when they'd auditioned something at their local HiFi dealer and either didn't want, or weren't yet ready, to buy them.
---> Forget The Specs.



09 / 27 / 23

RIAA Mid-Year 2023 Music Sales Report

RIAA Mid-Year 2023 Music Sales Report
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which claims to be advocates for recorded music and the people and companies that create it in the United States, has released their mid-2023 music sales report. The RIAA says, "In the first half of 2023, recorded music revenues continued to set new milestones and reflect the results of more than a decade of industry transformation. Total revenues grew 9.3% at estimated retail value to an all-time first half high of $8.4 billion. At wholesale value, revenues grew 8.3% to $5.3 billion. Paid subscriptions continued to be the strongest driver of revenue growth, increasing by more than $550 million and averaging nearly 96 million subscriptions during the period."

Streaming music is still king with revenues achieving a massive 84% of total recorded music revenues in the United States of Amrica. This is an impressive 10.3% growth YoY to a total income of $7,000,000,000. Physical sales of music once again showcase the strength of vinyl LP sales. "Revenues from physical music formats continued to grow, reaching the highest level since 1H 2013. Total physical revenues of $882 million were up 5% versus the prior year. Revenues from vinyl records grew 1% to $632 million and accounted for 72% of physical format revenues. For the third consecutive year, vinyl albums outsold CDs in units (23 million vs 15 million)."



09 / 26 / 23

Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2023 Show Report -- CAF 2023 premium luxury audio event coverage.

Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2023 Show In November
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.



09 / 25 / 23

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine September / October 2023

Australian Hi-Fi September / October 2023
Editorial: What It Means To Be Legendary
History Of Portable Audio: Part 1
Should You Buy A Single-Brand System?
MartinLogan Motion F20 Loudspeakers
Roksan Attessa Streaming Amplifier
T+A Solitaire T Wireless Headphones
Naim NSC 222 Streaming Pre & NAP 250 Amp
Best Live Albums And Music Reissues
High-End Review Of Perreaux's VP4
And Much More!

Within her editorial, Becky Roberts says "The answer to 'What's more legendary: Sir Jony Ive or Linn's Sondek LP12?' would probably be different depending on whether it came out of the mouth of a hi-fi enthusiast or a technology nut. Both have made a huge mark in their respective fields — Ive for being the chief design lead at Apple for over 20 years, and consequently behind some of the most landmark devices in consumer technology; the LP12 for being arguably the most iconic turntable of all time and incontestably an inspiration not only for future Linn products but also those from other hi-fi manufacturers. Their worlds have recently, somewhat unlikely I suppose, collided. Linn and Ive collaborated for a new 50th-anniversary edition of the Sondek LP12 record player, fittingly called the LP12-50 and set to ship between August and March in a limited batch of 250 units. It marks Ive's first non-Apple hardware project and Linn's first LP12 redesign of this scope."
---> Australian Hi-Fi September / October 2023 Issue.



09 / 22 / 23

UK Audio Show At Staverton Park Hotel October 2023

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 presentation. Learn more about the UK Audio Show 2023.



09 / 21 / 23

Gingko Audio Sextet Speaker System Review

Gingko Audio Sextet Speaker System Review
Enjoying everything the Gingko Swarm has to offer with many options available too!
Review By Brett Rudolph
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to review several different speakers and speaker systems. Each one has the character that sets it apart from the next. So, when you can audition speakers and have the designer help set them up and explain them to you, it aids in giving a full review. Therefore, when the opportunity presented itself late last year, I jumped at the chance. Usually, the first contact is a brief discussion on the product and a time to work out logistics. However, Vinh Vu from Gingko Audio, and I spoke more about the Sextet system's potential.
---> Gingko Audio Sextet Speaker System Review.



Gryphon Audio Essence Preamplifier And Essence Stereo Power Amplifier Review

Gryphon Audio Essence Preamplifier
And Essence Stereo Power Amplifier Review
Blown away by an amazing musical performance!
Review By Tom Lyle
The Gryphon Essence preamplifier and Gryphon Stereo power amplifier are gorgeous looking and beautiful sounding Danish high-end audio components. Those who can afford either or both of these components will not only enjoy stellar sound quality but most likely will also be able to enjoy the fact that they are the epitome of audio equipment that has a look and "feel" of luxury goods. Gryphon founder Flemming E. Rasmussen was responsible for the stunningly beautiful exterior of the rather large (and heavy!) Gryphon Essence preamplifier and Stereo Essence power amplifier. Good looks and operational refinement are especially true of the Gryphon Essence preamplifier. Its weighty infrared metal remote was only one indication of this Danish audio manufacturer's recognition of many audiophile's appreciation of the intangibles that are available on many preamps.
---> Gryphon Audio Essence Preamplifier & Essence Amplifier Review.



09 / 20 / 23

SouthWest Audio Fest Launches In March 2024

SouthWest Audio Fest Launches In March 2024
This just in: The SouthWest Audio Fest arises from the partnership of Gary Gill (Capital Audiofest) and Lou Hinkley (Pacific AudioFest/Daedalus Audio) and their success with the inaugural Pacific Audio Fest in 2022, which is destined to be an annual event for high-end audio in the Pacific Northwest serving the entire Pacific region. Now we are pleased to announce a new show for another underserved part of the country.... the SouthWest Audio Fest in Dallas, Texas. We have worked for over two years to secure a contract with an amazing event hotel, the Hilton/Anatole in Dallas. The inaugural show is slated for March 15th through 17th, 2024 and initially we are focusing on a small but solid regional show. We are confident that this show will grow and the Anatole has all the room we need.

With over 17 million people and exceptional wealth in this corner of Texas the local demographics could not be better for high end audio. Couple that with two major hub airports and the ability to get a non-stop flight to Dallas from almost anywhere in this country and beyond and we have an ideal location for a major high end audio show. Spring in Dallas is beautiful, the music and clubs amazing and the show venue, pure luxury. You can learn more at their website.



09 / 19 / 23

BPI's The New Music Democracy

BPI's The New Music Democracy
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI), a trade body with over 500 record labels / associate members across the UK that accounts for 85% of all music sold in the United Kingdom, has released their The New Music Democracy: How More Artists Are Benefitting From Streaming article. According to the BPI, they claim that a higher quantity of musical artists are realizing a measurable levels of success. This includes over 1000 of them from the UK, who in 2022 each accumulated over 20,000,000 audio streams of their music globally. This is an increase of ~15% YoY. Over 400 UK artists generated at least 100,000,000 audio streams of their music around the globe during 2022, while over 200 surpassed 200,000,000 streams.

The BPI says, "Less-well known UK artists are also seeing huge numbers, incl. Yorkshire’s Asking Alexandria, Liverpool-born Banners, Scottish/US act Bishop Briggs, and Northampton singer-songwriter Bruno Major. Additionally highlighted are the huge streaming plays now needed to enjoy UK success, with even the 5,000th biggest track in the UK last year streamed nearly 5 million times.... The New Music Democracy: How More Artists Are Succeeding From Streaming provides an unparalleled and comprehensive overview of music streaming in the UK last year, when the market hit a record 159.3 billion audio streams, representing an unprecedented 86.1% of recorded music consumption in the UK, compared with 36.4% in 2016. The report draws on Official Charts Company data from the UK, as well as global streaming data from Luminate to track how UK artists fared overseas."



09 / 18 / 23

Toronto Audiofest 2023 Show Report

Toronto Audiofest 2023 Show In October
The Toronto Audiofest 2023 show, held from October 20th through 22nd, features one of Canada's best luxurious premium high-technology home audio and video showcase. The Toronto Audiofest is an acclaimed consumer electronics (CE) exhibition. It brings together hundreds of audio brands featuring top rated audio and video equipment from around the globe. Attendees may hear, touch, and compare various sound systems within many floors of demo rooms ranging from 240 to 2400 sq. ft. It is the perfect place to experience the ultimate in sound quality. If considering acquiring a complete sound system or only a new piece of equipment, the Toronto Audiofest 2023 is the place for you!

Virtually all visitors share one thing in common, they have a deep passion for music! While some are longstanding audiophiles, many others are music lovers and/or just curious to discover the benefits of better sound quality. Approximately 60% of Toronto Audiofest's visitors are under 55 years of age and 20% are female; and so this event encourages families to discover the show together. You may wonder what is the entrance fee? Since this event is operated by a non-profit organization, they are asking only $10 a day, or all three days for $20. If you want to contribute to their development, feel free to donate more. Learn more at our Toronto Audiofest 2023 show page.



09 / 15 / 23

audioXpress October 2023

audioXpress' October 2023 Issue
Editorial: Innovation Happening Every Day
Getting To Know Dutch & Dutch
Measuring Loudspeaker SPL Response
The AudioChiemgau ModeCompensator
Building A Minimally Baffled Dipole Speaker Part 2
Power Transformer Parameters, Selection, And Testing Part 12
Build The Popping Ps Filter
The Bitches Brew Open Baffle Live Edge Speakers
Passive Variable Acoustics
The Western Electric 91E Amplifier
And Much More!

Within his editorial, J. Martins says "On December 10, 1915, Danish engineer Peter L. Jensen and Edwin S. Pridham presented a groundbreaking invention to the public in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA. It was the first practical application of a moving-coil loudspeaker, using a horn to amplify the sound. They successfully took their invention to market, building speakers for public address systems and for radios under the Magnavox brand. Much earlier, British physicist, inventor, and radio pioneer Oliver Joseph Lodge described the concept of the dynamic loudspeaker and was even granted a patent for a dynamic, moving-coil loudspeaker concept. Ten years after Jensen and Pridham successfully demonstrated a moving-coil loudspeaker, in 1925, Edward W. Kellogg and Chester W. Rice applied for the first of many loudspeaker-related patents. The "Sound reproducing apparatus" was issued in 1926, and the "Loud-Speaker" patent was issued in 1929."
---> audioXpress' October 2023 issue.



09 / 14 / 23

Kronos Discovery Turntable Review Drive-by reviewing at Long Valley.

Kronos Discovery Turntable Review
Drive-by reviewing at Long Valley.
Rick Becker Investigates A Treasured Turntable.
It was supposed to be a nearly five-hour trip but my wife missed a turn on the shortcut and took the Shooting Brake through an all-terrain parking lot to buy lunch at Subway. Then there were accidents on I-80 to slow us down. Nevertheless, Bill Parish was all smiles, as usual, when we pulled into GTT Audio to get a listen to Louis Desjardins' latest masterpiece, the Kronos Discovery turntable. Bill had sent me his GTT video newsletter with a pow-wow after David W. Robinson, Editor in Chief and Senior Writer Maurice Jeffries of Positive Feedback had spent an afternoon listening to the new turntable. Emails flew and Louis sent me a copy of Alan Sircom's review in HiFi+ magazine. I emailed Louis and told him I thought it was a very good review. He replied that he thought it was an Excellent!
---> Kronos Discovery Turntable Review.



LampizatOr Amber 4 Stereo DAC / Preamplifier Review

LampizatOr Amber 4 Stereo DAC / Preamplifier Review
It's hard to imagine a more musical DAC in its price.
Review By Rick Becker
A decade ago LampizatOr was not yet on my radar. My review of the LampizatOr Amber 4 stereo DAC / preamplifier, as seen here, is a testament to their efforts over the years. It wasn't until the New York Audio Show in 2014 that I first heard one. The rig was totally comprised of gear that was new to me. The only familiar thing was Lyle Lovett singing "North Dakota." I didn't have much to say about the sound quality, which is neither good nor bad. Spring forward to November, at the Capital AudioFest 2021 and there were more than a handful of their various DACs on display. LampizatOr has become a top brand, and while they are best known in the US for their DACs, they offer four levels of "turnkey" systems in which everything, including cables, is made by LampizatOr. Their speakers feature open baffle midrange and tweeters with enclosed woofers, much like the early Tekton Design speaker I found so delightful back in 2009. Today, I dare say they are at the leading edge of DAC design.
---> LampizatOr Amber 4 Stereo DAC / Preamplifier Review.



09 / 13 / 23

PBS Special: Dolby Atmos Music Experience

PBS Special: Dolby Atmos Music Experience
As the many decades-old stereo format begins to feel the competition of truly immersive music, the just-released PBS special showcases the benefits. Many modern musicians and sound creators are enjoying the advantages of delivering truly life-like sound as we experience in real life situations. Today's audiences can hear music in a full 360-degree immersive experience. According to PBS, "Many of the major music streaming services are now offering spatial music playlists with more immersive versions of some of your favorite songs. The Dolby Atmos Music format is heralded as important an innovation as the advent of stereo recordings in the 1960s. Special correspondent Mike Cerre reports for our arts and culture series, CANVAS." As stereo enthusiasts become ImmersivephilesTM, the new generation of music lovers will be able to enjoy sound in a revolutionary new way unlike that of their grandparents. Learn more and watch the very informative PBS video at this link.



09 / 12 / 23

IFPI Recognizes The Benefits Of Using AI For Music

IFPI Recognizes The Benefits Of Using AI For Music
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), with hopes of being the collective voice of major recording labels and the industry globally, are seeking some form of transparency on artificial intelligence (AI) systems to ensure "the lawful use of copyright-protected content." Just as drum machines and MIDI back starting in the 1980s are to this day a way to use technology to avoid the need for a live musician, with the ongoing advancements of AI the IFPI hopes the European Union can point out technological progress and make laws accordingly. While they hope to establish a responsible AI framework, technology will progress on many fronts to greatly benefit the music industry. Since there are AI-generated 'songs' being streamed today, it is another way for record labels to maximize profits while reducing (or eliminating) the need to pay royalties to musicians, writers, audio engineers, etc. This, in turn, will help bring increase profits for major music companies that rely on music as their sellable product.

From AI and 'virtual' artists such as Breezers, Miquela, Daddy's Car, etc., this non-human innovation and creativity brings about new business opportunities that can better maximize profits without having to pay (or deal with) human artists. While we can agree copyrighting / protecting musical works by actual humans have earned the right to be protected under the law, it begs the question if AI-created artists also deserve such protection under the law. The IFPI has good things to say about AI too; "AI in its different forms offers new and innovative tools to support the cultural sectors, from systems that assist the creative process to those that help optimise consumer engagement, identify content quickly and accurately, assist with scheduling, automate, and enhance efficient payment systems and more."



09 / 11 / 23

Universal Music Group And Deezer Artist-Centric Model

Universal Music Group And Deezer Artist-Centric Model
Universal Music Group (UMG) and Deezer are launching an artist-centric streaming model that is designed to better reward the artists. This ensures payments go to music creators who music fans value the most. This new system was developed by the two companies using their respective deep data analysis to develop an economic model that better reflects the true value of artist-fan relationships. "The collaboration to launch an artist-centric model is driven by the companies' recognition that the current music streaming model needs to be re-imagined. While streaming has been the most significant technology advancement in music in many years, a flood of uploads with no meaningful engagement, including non-artist noise content, has necessitated reassessment of the approach that platforms, labels, and artists take to foster a thriving music ecosystem."

Both desire to focus on artists, with Deezer attributing a special 'double boost' to what they define as "professional artists". In addition, assigning a double boost for songs that fans actively engage with will reduce the economic influence of algorithmic programming according to the press release. Demonetizing non-artist noise audio... Deezer is planning to replace non-artist noise content with its own content in the functional music space, and this won't be included in the royalty pool. Furthermore, the size of the catalog available on digital platforms has exploded in recent years, from 90 to over 200 million pieces of content in the past two years alone. As part of the artist-centric model, Deezer intends to apply a stricter provider policy to ensure quality and a better user experience. This includes steps to limit non-artist noise content.



09 / 08 / 23

Hi-Fi+ September 2023

hi-fi+ September 2023 High-End Audio Magazine
Editorial: Welcoming Both New And Longstanding Audio Companies
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS W/Burmester Audiosysteme 
Gold Note DS-1000 EVO Streaming DAC
Sonus faber Guarneri G5 Stand-Mount Loudspeaker
Kudos Audio Titan 808 Floorstanding Loudspeaker
Karan Acoustics Master Collection POWERb Amplifier
Java Hi-Fi Single Shot Integrated Amplifier
Davone Reference One Floorstanding Loudspeaker
Børresen X3 Floorstanding Loudspeaker
Balanced Audio Technology VK80i Integrated Amplifier
Stack Audio AUVA 100 Loudspeaker Isolators
And Much More!

Within this month's editorial, Alan Sircom says "Are there too many companies in audio? We are approaching Audio Show season for the end of 2023, and at each event there are seemingly dozens of new brands offering products, but a finite number of buyers, many of whom buy from the same companies they always bought from. Is that sustainable? This year is going to be especially interesting. Those long product development cycles used by bigger brands stalled during the pandemic lockdowns, and in more than a few cases, the products those designers weren't developing in 2020 and 2021 are the ones that aren't arriving in the stores this season. Meanwhile, the keen enthusiast with an idea and a passion had months to themselves to perfect their new product." See what's within this issue of hi-fi+ magazine at this link.



09 / 07 / 23

Ayon Audio CD-35 II CD Player And USA Labs RS9 Music Server Review

Ayon Audio CD-35 II CD Player And USA Labs RS9 Music Server Review
Two very versatile, and impressive, performers.
Review By Bob Grossman
The Ayon Audio CD-35 II as reviewed here, is the latest introduction to a long lineage of CD players that have been well regarded going back to the various models in the 3 and 5 series, along with ideas derived from their special edition CD35HF. But the CD-35 II is more than a CD player – it is also a fully functioning preamplifier and DAC. It is a single-ended triode pure Class A design using a 6H30 and a 5687 tube for each channel, and a GZ30 tube as a rectifier for the power supply. It is also a zero-feedback design. Ayon Audio's CD-35 II built-in DAC can be used to play music files from your computer via the USB connection. The DAC also has a coaxial RCA input for S/PDIF, I2S, BNC, AES/EBU, and three other BNC inputs for DSD. For this review I also evaluated the USA Labs RS9 music server to coordinate streaming of music from Qobuz.
---> Ayon CD-35 II CD Player And USA Labs RS9 Music Server Review.



FiiO E10K-TC And K3 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier Review

FiiO E10K-TC And K3 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier Review
Going back to school.
Review By Paul Schumann
If you have read any of my previous reviews, you know that I am a fan of Classical music. Sure, I listen to rock, pop, and jazz, but classical music is where I will always be grounded. I'm sure it is because I grew up listening to my father's music. While he did listen to a mixture of stuff as I was growing up, it was mostly classical, especially Bach. By the time I reached high school, I found prog-rock, which of course had a heavy classical influence. And while my Dad prefers his baroque music, as I got older, I started leaning towards the romantics. I think it is fair to say that Brahms was my favorite composer through my 20s, 30s, and 40s. But while I still love that music, there are only so many times one can listen to Brahms Violin Concerto or Beethoven's 5th Symphony before they lose their mystery. So, in my 50s, I started branching out in my musical journey with 20th- and 21st-century composers. What made this exploration possible was the internet.
---> FiiO E10K-TC And K3 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier Review.



09 / 06 / 23

Audio Engineering Society Celebrates 75 Years

Audio Engineering Society Celebrates 75 Years
During the New York Audio Engineering Society (AES) 2023 event, they will be celebrating their historic 75th anniversary. In anticipation of an incredible convention this fall, the AES ha dedicated extra special resources since it is also the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop. From October 25th through 27th, the New York AES will be held at the Javits Convention Center.

AES wants you to kick off a new era of experiences with them and join leading manufacturers and engineers demonstrating the latest solutions and products. There will also be a very comprehensive selection of workshops, panels, demonstrations, training, papers and so much more! The Audio Engineering Society welcomes you on its 75th Anniversary to a new era of experiences! Created by the industry, for the industry, the AES as a non-profit volunteer based organization designed to inspire, educate, and promote the technology and practice of audio.



09 / 05 / 23

Spotify Finds Gen Z prefers Sad Music This Summer

Spotify Finds Gen Z Prefers Sad Music This Summer
They say music reflects society. And if that is true, then society is rather sad as popular online music streaming service Spotify says this is a "bummer summer". According to Spotify, "Lana Del Rey's song "Summertime Sadness" stuck in your head? You're not alone. On Spotify this summer, sad songs are getting us in our feels, thanks to our listeners who are unapologetically expressing their emotions. "Sad" is the most-searched term for Gen Z listeners on Spotify globally, and they're tuning into our sad playlists — including pop-infused sad hour, R&B-inspired All The Feels, rap-heavy tear drop, sad sierreño, sad girl country, and sad girl starter pack — more than any other age group."

Spotify's research also says, "To match the vibe in the U.S. and Canada, we launched bummer summer, the ultimate lineup of moody jams and soul-filling songs. Complete with tracks from d4vd, Frank Ocean, Phoebe Bridgers, Lana Del Rey, Big Thief, and Billie Eilish, the playlist echoes the honesty and transparency that Gen Zs emulate in their lives and listening—and harnesses the ability of emotive, lyrical music to enhance any mood. Gen Z listeners are seeking tracks that evoke feelings of nostalgia, wistfulness, and wanting — songs that feel like a warm embrace. "It's important to note that not everything sounds like Billie Eilish's 'What Was I made For?'" says Lizzy Szabo, Spotify Senior Editor for Indie Music. "Though that was one of the breakout sad songs of the summer — probably the biggest — and was given a lot of extra context from being in the Barbie movie. It really took this feeling of nostalgia and met it with current issues and feelings."



09 / 01 / 23

High-End Audio, Audiophile, Immersivephile Hi-Fi Gear Stereo System Review Magazine

Enjoy the Music.com's Best Of 2023 Blue Note Awards
This month we celebrate our very exciting Best Of 2023 Blue Note Awards! Be sure to join us for more fun and bonus content within our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We truly appreciate our readers and thank you for your continued support over the decades. As always, in the end what really matters is that you... enjoy the music!



Best Of 2023 Blue Note Award By Enjoy the Music.com

Best Of 2023 Blue Note Equipment Awards
Enjoy the Music.com celebrates the best high fidelity audio gear of 2023!
Enjoy the Music.com's Best Of 2023 Blue Note Awards celebrates the many great achievements by audiophile manufacturers within the high-end audio and Hi-Res Audio industry. Our 2023 Blue Note Awards is a culmination of more than two decades of reviewing and carefully choosing what products have earned special recognition for our annual awards. Our Best Of 2023 Blue Note Award celebrates the finest products we have reviewed during the previous 12 months. Recipients have been carefully chosen after much debate and consideration by our staff of reviewers. With each passing year our industry has experienced great advancements in technology including analog circuitry, vinyl LP and analog tape playback, digital-to-analog converters (DACs), headphones, loudspeaker design, plus of course portable media players, computer software, streaming media, and more.
---> Best Of 2023 Blue Note Equipment Awards.



Review: Aavik  S-280 Streamer, U-280 Unity Integrated Amp with built-in DAC, Ansuz Acoustics Mainz8 A2 AC Power Distribution Bar, Mainz8 A2 AC Ansuz Power Cords, Speakz Speaker Cables, Digitalz Ethernet Cable, PowerSwitch A2 Ethernet Switch, Darkz C2t Isolation Footers, and Titanium Balls for Ansuz Acoustics Darkz C2t.

Aavik Acoustics System Review
High-end audio equipment is made by those who love music.
Review By Tom Lyle
Aavik S-280 Streamer, U-280 Unity Integrated Amp with built-in DAC, Ansuz Acoustics Mainz8 A2 AC Power Distribution Bar, Mainz8 A2 AC Ansuz Power Cords, Speakz Speaker Cables, Digitalz Ethernet Cable, PowerSwitch A2 Ethernet Switch, Darkz C2t, Resonance Control Devices, and Titanium Balls for Ansuz Acoustics Darkz C2t.
The subjects of this review feature components and accessories from two of the three brands designed and manufactured by The Audio Group Denmark, which acts as an umbrella company for Aavik Acoustics, Ansuz Acoustics, and Børresen Acoustics. The company was started by two Danes, Lars Kristensen, and Michael Børresen, who first met more than 20 years ago. Aavik Acoustics designs and manufactures many types of high-end audio components, such as amplifiers, DACs, phono stages, and streamers. Ansuz Acoustics products consist of what most audiophiles would call high-end audio accessories, cables, power distribution, streaming accessories, and resonance control devices.
---> Aavik Acoustics System Review.



Audio Note UK M2 Line Stage / Preamplifier And Conqueror Power Amplifier Review

Audio Note UK M2 Linestage / Preamplifier And Conqueror Power Amplifier Review
Taking the road less traveled.
Review By Paul Schumann
Hi-fi audio emerged in the 1950s with the introduction of the LP record. As the business evolved and stereo became the norm, acoustic suspension speakers gained popularity due to their smaller footprint in the family room. What followed after that can be called an arms race between audio manufacturers to build more powerful amplifiers. This continued as hi-fi became high-end audio. It was not uncommon to see on the pages of print magazines reviewing amplifiers rated at 400 Watts per channel or more. But not all music lovers were following this path. While the audio business was trending towards the more powerful tube and solid-state amps, an underground movement in Japan was extolling the virtues of the old low-powered Western Electric amps when paired with speakers of the same vintage.
---> Audio Note UK M2 Preamplifier & Conqueror Power Amplifier Review.



Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems Progression S350 Stereo Power Amplifier Review

Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems Progression S350 Stereo Power Amplifier Review
The Dan D'Agostino S350 amplifier makes each musical selection sound spectacular!
Review By Tom Lyle
Dan D'Agostino Master Audio products are not the most expensive audio components on the market, but in my opinion, their audio products are some of the best sounding high-end audio components I've ever had the pleasure of auditioning. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to review two D'Agostino Master Audio components in the past. In 2017, I reviewed the excellent-sounding Momentum Lifestyle integrated amplifier, which had an onboard DAC and could also be used as a streamer with its front-panel LCD metadata display. Also in 2017, I reviewed D'Agostino Master Audio System's Momentum phono stage, which I was highly impressed with its outstanding sound quality and very user-friendly front panel controls.
---> Dan D'Agostino MAS Progression S350 Stereo Power Amplifier Review.



FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Music Streamer, Preamplifier, And Headphone Amplifier Review

FiiO R7 Desktop Digital Music Streamer, Preamplifier, And Headphone Amplifier Review
A superb DAC, streamer, preamplifier, and headamp designed for music lovers.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin
When FiiO sent me an e-mail showcasing their new R7 desktop stereo music streamer, preamplifier, and headphone amplifier it was perfectly timed. As a longtime classically-trained musician, I've been using a slightly 'outdated' source unit to stream music to play along to tunes. This could be via headphones/IEM or through a stereo pair of QSC KS10.2 mains and KS112 subwoofers thanks to the R7's true balanced XLR outputs. In addition, this is a relatively portable piece of gear, which means when it wasn't being used for the percussion / drum set, it was easy to bring it into my home audio system or use it as a dedicated desktop headphone amplifier when tinkering with mechanical timepieces upstairs within my workshop.
---> FiiO R7 Desktop Streamer, Preamplifier, And Headamp Review.



LampizatOr Horizon DAC 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.



Metronome Technologie Le Player 4+ DAC / CD Player Review

Métronome Technologie Le Player 4+ DAC / CD Player Review
The persistence of memory.
Review By Maurice Jeffries
In an act of musical and marketplace bravery, the esteemed French electronics firm Métronome Technologie has taken the bold step of offering music lovers still wed to physical media a device many long ago consigned to the dustbin of audio history: a dedicated CD player. When Toronto, Canada-based audio distributor / dealer Wynn Wong of Wynn Audio and our Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin contacted to gauge my interest in reviewing Metronome Technology Le Player 4+ CD player / DAC, I thought that they both must be crazy. What sane manufacturer would dare to offer a dedicated (and pricey) CD player in a market dominated by digital servers, streamers, music streaming services, and outboard DACs to that most fickle of consumers, the modern audiophile?
---> Métronome Technologie Le Player 4+ DAC / CD Player Review.



Synergistic Research Master Fuse Review

Synergistic Research Master Fuse Review
Take a leap of faith and trust your own ears.
Review By Rick Becker
Andy Weiderspahn was away at the Florida Audio Expo when news broke of their new Master fuse so Kevin Sample stepped up and obtained permission for me to receive some review samples. Having previously reviewed the Black, Blue, Orange, and Purple fuses over the years I was eager to investigate this new version — especially because of the hype that went along with the introduction. Obviously, it is not named with a color. More alarmingly, it takes a large jump in price over the Purple fuses that grace much of my system. But most importantly, it claims to be such an improvement over the Purple that they recommend using only one, primarily in your source component, two at most. This last point softens the blow of the price jump. The Master is said to work well with lesser Synergistic fuses that may already grace your system.
---> Synergistic Research Master Fuse Review.



Vermouth Audio Studio Monitor Loudspeaker Review

Vermouth Audio Studio Monitor Loudspeaker Review
A good-looking and great-sounding loudspeaker.
Review By Tom Lyle
Vermouth 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.



Volti Audio Razz LE Loudspeaker Review

Volti Audio Razz LE Loudspeaker Review
Sometimes good things come in large packages.
Review By Ron Nagle
A buzzing bell sound sends me to my front door. Outside two large boxes hide a sweaty, smallish UPS delivery man. I can see a faint smile cross his face as he tells me, "My father wanted me to be a doctor." Now I have two mini monoliths inside my front door. The boxes each weigh about 97 pounds and stand five feet tall. I can see my significant other giving me the look that means, I've been bad. I'm thinking, don't get your knickers in a twist, I can handle this. I downloaded the unpacking instructions. And using the instructions as a guide I peeled away the three cardboard boxes that held the speakers. This unpacking thing is a job for two people and four hands. Volti Audio is a brilliant creation by loudspeaker engineer Greg Roberts. He seems to be the CEO, CFO, Chief Designer, the guy who sweeps the floor and sends out for pizza.
---> Volti Audio Razz LE Loudspeaker Review.



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