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August 2001
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

Enjoy the Music.com    Best of 2001 Award

Best of 2001 Awards
by Editor, Steven R. Rochlin
As Chosen by the Staff at Enjoy the Music.com
Click here to e-mail the staff

 

Enjoy the Music.com   Best of 2001 Award

Analog

Clearaudio Sigma Cartridge
Clearaudio Sigma Cartridge
www.clearaudio.de
Price: $1,100
Click here to read the complete review.

 

Most of the ($10,000) Clearaudio Insider cartridge beauties are here. A high class cartridge at an affordable price. -- Vangelis Lazarou

 

Bottom line: If you are looking to pump new life and excitement into your analog playback system, and are willing to put forth a little bit of effort and patience, the money spent on this Clearaudio Sigma may very well be the best money you’ll ever throw at your system. -- Oswaldo Martinez

 

 

Enjoy the Music.com   Best of 2001 Award

Phono Stage

Lehman Audio Black Cube
Lehmann Audio Black Cube
www.lehmannaudio.de
Price: $695
Click here to read the complete review.

 

(Advantages over original Black Cube unit) With more transparency than my original (Black Cube) unit, tighter bass, greater soundscape depth with more precise imaging. Not imaging as in all smaller pinpoints but proper better imaging as in the size and shape of the image with it's surrounding ambience better defined while also being more delicate. -- Steven R. Rochlin

 

Enjoy the Music.com   Best of 2001 Award

Digital

Audio Note DAC 5 special
Audio Note DAC 5 special
www.audionote.co.uk
Price: £19,500 UK, approximately $33,000 USD
Click here to read the complete review.

 

i shall make no excuses for the extreme pricing of the Audio Note DAC 5 Special as a Ford automobile would surely get you to the store and back, though it is nowhere near the same experience as driving my, er um, a Ferrari for a "leisurely tour" around the countryside. Consider the difference of watching a great love story on television versus living it for oneself. In one situation you do get a bit involved, yet your soul is not fully satisfied whereas the other situation is a deeply satisfying experience... -- Steven R. Rochlin

 

Enjoy the Music.com   Best of 2001 Award

Pre-amplifier

Lamm Model LL2 line Pre-amplifier
Lamm Model LL2 line Pre-amplifier
www.lammindustries.com
Standard version $3,990; deluxe version $4,290
Click here to read the complete review.

 

Considering its price point, the LL2 line stage's level of performance is nothing short of sensational. Its blend of tonal neutrality, speed, control, and harmonic purity add up to a sure recipe for musical excellence. It is capable of competing in the highest audiophile arena, while its slight spatial reticence and textural softness are easy to live with. It should readily integrate with a diverse range of systems. -- Senior Editor, Dick Olsher

 

 

Enjoy the Music.com   Best of 2001 Award

Integrated Amplifier

Manley Labs Stingray
     Manley Labs Stingray
     www.manleylabs.com
Price: $2,250
Click here to read the complete review.

A lovely design with matching soul, minimal but well-chosen parts, and an honest approach. And that's just the designer of the Manley Stingray integrated amp! The Stingray itself is, if anything, even finer. Using eight EL84 tubes( four per channel), a couple of 12AT7 input tubes and a pair of 6414 driver tubes, the Stingray is cheap to run but sounds like heaven. It looks like it too. The chrome chassis with black knobs and support feet is classy, as is the gold-plated, back-lit faceplate. And with 50 watts a side the Stingray has enough power for most normal installations. Best of all, the little Manley is one of those rare, more than the sum of its parts products. With surprising bass, a nuance and sense of detail with a joyful, musical personality. The Stingray is my favorite integrated... and is probably the best way to spend $2,250 on audio gear. -- Todd Warnke

 

The Stingray has, as of now, ascended to the throne as my reference at its power and price points. The Stingray is much more than just “a catch of the day,” I hereby nominate it as integrated amplifier of the year. -- Senior Editor, Dick Olsher

 

 

Enjoy the Music.com   Best of 2001 Award

Amplifier

Wavelength Audio Duetto
Wavelength Audio Duetto
www.wavelengthaudio.com
Price: $5,250
Click here to read the complete review.

 

During the review process, I purchased more than one hundred records and I think that says it all. When a component makes you hungry to find new music and not necessarily from artists or styles that you've liked in the past, it's providing you with more than just a fine listening experience, it's providing you with an education and a most valuable one in my opinion. -- Ian White

 

Enjoy the Music.com   Best of 2001 Award

Loudspeaker

Avantgard Acoustics Uno Hornspeaker
Avantgard Acoustics Uno 1.5 Hornspeaker
www.avantgarde-acoustic.de
Price: In white ABS with SUB 217 PRO $9,970
Click here to read the complete review.

 

It is not just "another" horn. It is not just "a very good speaker". Uno is something really exceptional among the others. It is the most dynamic, most analytical and the most room compatible (horn) I have met. But most of all plays live music! -- Vangelis Lazarou

 

What i am trying to say here is that beware... these speakers are so transparent that they will, i repeat, will tell you about the synergy of your system or lack thereof. In my listening room the Unos unbelievable all out clarity and immense dynamic capabilities was enough for me to part with my own hard earned cash. You just might too. -- Steven R. Rochlin

 

 

Enjoy the Music.com   Best of 2001 Award

Accessory

PS Audio P600 Power Plant
PS Audio P600 Power Plant
www.psaudio.com
Price: $2,395
Click here to read the complete review.

 

For most people this would be more than enough. In my system I would need a P1200, or need to use a combination of a P600 and another power plant in order to have my projector and amp plugged in at the same time. As in my previous review, the PS Audio P600 was a tremendous improvement in the sound of my system and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for an improvement to the AC supplied to his or her audio or video equipment. Benefits over the P300 were: cooler running, more outlets, and higher voltage capacity. -- Brian Bloom

 

 

Enjoy the Music.com   Best of 2001 Award

Other

The Complete Guide to High-End Audio by Robert Harley
The Complete Guide to High-End Audio
By Robert Harley
www.hifibooks.com
Price: $19.95, hardcover $29.95
Click here to read the complete review.

 

This man knows the technical stuff and explains it extremely well. The book is very well written and well laid-out too. It is a 'must read' audio primer for the serious enthusiast. This book will make it easier to discern good audio engineering from sheer marketing hype. --  George Pappas

 

"The Complete Guide to High End Audio" by Robert Harley and Keith Jarrett is a must read for both the novice and seasoned high-end enthusiast. Everything is covered in the book from basic electronics to the new emerging formats such as SACD and DVD. The authors did an exceptional job in presenting technical issues in an easy to read and easy to understand format even for those of us that are technology challenged. I really recommend the book for those who are contemplating getting involved in the wonderful world of high-end audio. The book will also prove to be a wonderful source for those trying to wring out that last bit of performance out of their systems. Highly recommended. -- Rufus Smith

 

Yes! It is a complete Guide to High-End Audio... -- Vangelis Lazarou

 

The Complete Guide to High-End Audio gives you a great foundation to start on, or even fills in the gaps for those of us who already have a decent amount of audio mumbo-jumbo in our heads. It is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about audio, and in the long run, get more bang for the buck. For $29.95, it would be false economy not to buy a copy. -- Rob Selina

 


 

And there you have it, our Best Of 2001 awards. While there were many other great units, the above were voted as the best by our writers. Of course in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the music (Roger Waters Radio Kaos on vinyl right now),

Steven R. Rochlin

 

"...Who is the strongest
Who is the best
Who holds the aces
The East
Or the West..."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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