Gear Reviews, News, Show Reports, Articles And More!
Celebrating 25 Years Of Service To Music Lovers
First Watt Model SIT-1 Monoblock Power
The power of the First Watt digs deeply into the fabric of music to communicate soul, drama, and passion.
Review By Dick
Imagine a single-ended Class A power amplifier
comprising a single transistor, that is devoid of any feedback, and which
behaves similarly to a power triode? Does this scenario sound too good to be
true? Well, that's exactly what the First Watt SIT-1 is all about. It deploys a
unique type of device, a variant of the JFET, referred to as a static induction
transistor (SIT). It was invented in the early 1970s by Jun-ichi Nishizawa, a
true genius who is considered the "father of Japanese
microelectronics." The SIT enjoyed a brief audio career in power amplifiers
by Yamaha and Sony, but has continued to evolve since then mainly for UHF and
S-band applications in radar and communication satellite systems. It is a
voltage controlled device whereby the signal modulates the electrostatic
potential barrier produced by the gate – the grid like element of the SIT.
Unlike an ordinary FET whose current-voltage characteristics are pentode like,
those of the SIT are triode like. One important consequence of this is the low
output impedance even in single-ended operation. And because of its inherent
low-voltage and high-current characteristics, no output transformer is required
for matching the output stage to a loudspeaker.
---> First Watt Model SIT-1
monoblock power amplifier review.
Quad PA-One+ Triode Vacuum Tube DAC /
The quintessential audiophile tube amp for headphones.
Review By Gary Alan Barker
I reviewed the Quad ERA-1 Planar Magnetic Headphone I knew that Quad had made
the occasional tube amp over the years, but considered them to be a speaker
manufacturer, what I didn't know (until I had researched for the ERA-1 review)
was that they had started as an amplifier company, such are the pitfalls of
redefining loudspeaker technology and producing one of the best sounding and
highest respected speakers of all time, the ESL (Electrostatic Loudspeaker). As
fate would have it Quad is, in fact, an audiophile amplifier company who also
designs and builds speakers, hence when I discovered the Quad PA-One+ at RMAF
2018, I agreed to hold onto the ERA-1 until a review sample could be sent.
---> Quad PA-One+
triode tube DAC / headamp review.
audioXpress' June 2021 Issue
Is Now Available
audioXpress' June 2021 issue features:
Using Line Arrays to Control Directivity
KEF LS50 Meta Loudspeaker
Measuring Vibration with Piezoelectric Sensors (Part 3)
Noise Is Everywhere — Even In MC Input Transformers (Part 2)
The Science and Physics of High-End Mic-Preamp Design (Part 5)
Class-D Amplifier Output Filters For Next-Generation Audio Devices
Automotive Audio Solutions
Tech For The Automotive Framework
The Changing Automotive Environment in 2021
Vehicle Electrification And Active Noise Cancellation
And much more!
---> See what's within audioXpress' June 2021
RIAA Report Protecting Creators
From the RIAA press room: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) issued the following statement today by its Chairman & CEO Mitch Glazier on the release of the annual Special 301 Report today by the United States Trade Representative
(USTR). The 2021 Special 301 Report highlights both the contributions of American creators to U.S. job creation, wages and economic growth, as well as the continuing challenges we face around the world. Importantly, it also reflects the Biden
Administration's commitment to strong trade policies that protect copyright, boost our
nation's economic prosperity, and foster our cultural leadership. RIAA welcomes the report's focus on the role that creators and innovators play in creating high-wage jobs and fueling economic recovery.
---> RIAA report protecting creators and innovators.
Vimeo For Music Content
From the IFPI press room: Recording industry takes action against Vimeo for making available infringing music
content. IFPI, representing the recording industry worldwide, together with its Italian national group FIMI and the Italian anti-piracy organisation FPM, has coordinated a legal action on behalf of its record company members against online content sharing service Vimeo in Italy. The action is based on Vimeo's failure to prevent unlicensed music appearing on its
platform.... Record labels invest heavily in discovering, nurturing, and promoting artists. The making available of unlicensed sound recordings harms their ability to secure a return on their investment which is crucial to their ability to invest in new
---> Action against Vimeo for infringing music
Siltech Classic Legend Series Of Cables
Siltech's Classic Legend Series is a revision of the company's multi-award-winning Classic Anniversary Series, which was first launched in 1997. As the company's best-selling product line, the new Classic Legend series
incorporates innovations including the latest development of silver-gold alloy called G9. G9 is said to provide better conductive qualities and improved cable run-in times, meaning far less time is needed for the conductors and insulators to achieve their optimum performance. A new three-layer insulator approach consists of Teflon combined with PEEK
(polyether ether ketone). Their research has found that combining specific insulation materials can deliver significant reductions in distortion and improvements in
---> Siltech Classic Legend series of cables.
Sonova Acquires Sennheiser's Consumer Division
Sonova Holding AG has signed an agreement to acquire the Consumer Division from Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG (Sennheiser).
According to the press release, "The Sennheiser Consumer Division, which concentrates on the business of headphones and hearables for private customers, is an excellent fit with
Sonova's strategy to lead innovation in hearing experience and to engage consumers early on their hearing journey. The strength of the brand and the well-established complementary distribution network of the Sennheiser Consumer Division represent strong assets to further the strategy of Sonova. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and expected to close in the second half of calendar year
---> Sonova acquires Sennheiser's consumer division.
Opinion: Matter Of Trust
Marc Rushton explores the delicate balance between press freedom and industry
Editorial By Marc Rushton, StereoNET Founder & Publisher
The hi-fi and home cinema industry
has not traditionally partaken in paid-for reviews – where manufacturers give
money to 'journalists' to 'review' their products. That's partly down to the
liberal publishing ethos that prevails in the English-speaking world and because
hi-fi tends not to be sold on platforms such as Amazon, where this practice is
commonplace. Until now, that is. StereoNET makes no secret that we are funded by
the industry – including retailers, manufacturers, and importers/distributors.
That's because we are a commercial business with salaried staff and freelance
contributors to pay, the latter being our major expense. We're proud of this, as
the particular way it is done gives us the last word. We can review anything we
like from anyone, and conversely, any brand can approach us to request a product
---> Opinion: Matter Of Trust
by Marc Rushton.
Audiophiles KILLED High-End Audio
And Young Audiophiles Answer 10 Hi-Fi Questions
According to Andrew Robinson, audiophiles "KILLED high-end audio" and the death of high-end
audio. In what he's calling part two of
his video entitled, "High-End Audio Isn't The Same Anymore", Andrew breaks down how audiophile and enthusiasts alike helped to kill the hobby we all claim to love and support so
much. He says he's guilty as charged, are you? Plus we have young audiophiles answering 10 hi-fi questions by
The Next Best Thing Studio on YouTube. Instead of Enjoy the Music.com adding more commentary here, best bet is to watch the video....
Audiophiles killed high-end audio.
Karan Acoustics KAS 600 Stereo
KAL Reference MK3 Preamp Review
Enjoying all genres of music at the highest level of fidelity.
Review By Gregory Petan
It seems like a lifetime ago I
reviewed the Karan Acoustics KAS 450 stereo amplifier. My conclusion was
"This is an amplifier I could live with for the long haul,"
and was planning on adding it to my system. If not for a train wreck of
an experience with a speaker manufacturer who took a $20,000 down
payment for new speakers after I sold my reference, I would have happily
added the KAS 450 to the system. Failing to fulfill his promise to
deliver my new speaker in eight weeks, I had to sell one of my
amplifiers in order to fill in the speaker gap left for the next 10
months. When the new speakers finally arrived, the varnish crackled not
just once, not twice, but three times, each taking a month in between to
Karan Acoustics KAS 600 amp & KAL Reference MK3 preamp review.
World Premiere Review!
Charisma Audio Musiko Tonearm, Soundeck, And Audio Machina Accessories
A killer combination forced me to overcome my fear and buy the review sample.
Review By Rick Becker
Just when I thought I was done with my Linn Turntable Project,
Bernard Li of Charisma Audio called and asked if I'd like to try his new Musiko
tonearm, which conveniently was already on the USA side of the border. George
Merrill had been playing with it on his new Gem Dandy PolyTable down in
Tennessee. Bernard knew I was impressed with it when I saw it at the last
Toronto and other shows during 2019. Dropshipping it from George would save two
border crossings and give me a chance to hear it. Charisma Audio's Musiko arrived in a well-crafted wooden box. Inside, the
various components and tools were neatly partitioned in foam. A long Plexiglas measuring tool was taped to the outside bottom of the box to be used in
measuring and drilling a blank arm board to the proper specs. The 9.33" tonearm
has a 222mm pivot to spindle distance, same as a Rega, but you will need to
enlarge the main hole on a Rega table and drill new holes to mount the flange.
Charisma Audio Musiko tonearm, Soundeck, and Audio Machina accessories review.
World Premiere Review!
Rogue Audio RP-9 Vacuum Tube Stereo Preamplifier
Exceeding the listener's expectations.
Review By Bob Grossman
Audio's RP-9 is the latest flagship preamplifier from the ingenious
designs of the American manufacturing workshop of Mark O'Brien. Having an
interest in doing this review of the new RP-9 was a simple decision as a
long-time user of the Rogue RP-7. I have been using the remarkable
powerhouse Rogue Apollo Dark Amps for several years as both a sonic and output
upgrade to my previously owned Rogue 180 Amplifiers that were used to run Magnepan 3.6
speakers. I replaced the Maggie 3.6 speakers with their 20.7
models several years ago and needed more powerful amps. I wondered if the
increased musical experience of moving further up in the Rogue Amplifier line
was going to be repeated with their new preamplifier by going from the RP-7 to
the RP-9 model. However, before proceeding and hearing the RP-9, I
wondered what was going on since the RP-7 has received numerous accolades, recognition, and
rewards. Could designer Mark O'Brien improve upon the noteworthy RP-7 that I
have been enjoying?
Rogue Audio RP-9 vacuum tube stereo preamplifier review.
Allnic Rose Moving Coil Phono
The essential elements of what makes music sound so good!
Review By Tom Lyle
I agreed to
review the Allnic Rose low-output moving coil cartridge largely because its
reputation precedes it. This cartridge is designed and made by the same company
that makes the award-winning Blue
Note Best Of 2020 H-7000 vacuum tube phono stereo preamplifier that I
reviewed that year. After listening to this phono cartridge for only a couple of
weeks, I was already quite impressed, even before it was fully broken in.
During the first few weeks of listening to this phono cartridge, for some
reason, I thought that its price was $5999, which I thought was fair, given how
impressed I was so early in the review. One can imagine how surprised I was when
I discovered that this Allnic Rose cartridge sells for $2900. I had to
recalibrate my way of thinking. To make things easier on myself, I attempted not
to think about how much this cartridge cost but simply reviewing the cartridge
and telling you about my experience with it in my system.
Allnic Rose moving coil phono cartridge review.
STEREO Exclusive First Worldwide Review!
Cambridge Evo 150 Integrated Streaming Amplifier Review
Remarkable. Truly remarkable.
Review By Tom Frantzen
Perfection – Cambridge Audio recently dropped quite a bombshell. Not in the
literal sense, of course, but the newly presented Evo 150 simply has it all and
could (r)evolutionize many a living room. STEREO reports to you with the
exclusive, worldwide first review! The Cambridge Evo 150 is the larger of two models, both of
which Cambridge Audio itself labels as "All-in-One". It comes at a
price of around 2500 Euros, the very similar Evo 75 – lacking the XLR input
and having about half of the output power, which should still be sufficient in
most cases – will cost 500 Euros less. The likewise slightly different DACs in
both devices are each hailing from the top supplier ESS Sabre. Going with our own naming conventions, what we have here
should of course be thought of as an integrated amplifier with a built-in
network player, an "integrated streaming amplifier" in short. It is
worthy to note that the British company will also supply an optional, suitable
CD drive with a proprietary interface in the course of this year.
Cambridge Evo 150 integrated streaming amplifier review.
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