Before I get into this issue, please allow me to mention that this issue marks Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine 19th year online, and 23rd for the site in general. Am truly overcome with gratitude for the wonderful outpouring of efforts from the high-end audio and music industry! Naturally thanks also go out to our worldwide readers, partner magazines, reviewers, and far too many others to try and thank on a personal level within this editorial. First up is Max Westler, a talented music writer who penned a very heart-warming article about our good friend Wayne Donnelly who passed away. Wayne was Enjoy the Music.com's longtime music and equipment editor for many years. His contribution to the industry, and infectious love of music, will be missed.
Am truly humbled that many industry experts and critics have brought our worldwide readers a variety of educational articles within this edition of our Review Magazine. We first have Bobby Owsinski's wisdom as he shares his thoughts on How To Listen Through A Song. Next up is Frederick J. Ampel of Technology Visions Analytics with his article The Art Of Listening and the emotional power of sound. A very special partner magazine article by Douglas Brown of NOVO HIGH END brings us Sonic Qualities That Audiophiles & Audio Critics Look For In High-End Audio Two-Channel / Stereo Systems. We also bring back an old fave Are You On The Road To... Audio Hell by Leonard Norwitz and Peter Qvortrup. Lastly, our very own Roger Skoff aptly titled article The Music Goes 'Round And 'Round... And It Comes Out Here" talks about the ever-changing music formats.
Getting our fill of retro-fun, we have just posted for the first time Heiner Jakobi's Sound Practices article about the EMT 927 and EMT 930 turntables plus a variety of tonearms and other bits. Introduced in 1951, the EMT 927 was a massive turntable with an aluminum chassis weighing, in total about 80 pounds. The early version of the EMT 927 (remember that in the studios the 927 was named R-80!) had no phono EQ built in and no PS to feed one. An EQ had to be ordered as a separate unit, called the EMT V-133, or V-83 in studios. If that whetted your appetite, then you'll appreciate a walk through EMT's turntable history.
With their exquisitely handmade speakers from Italy, Sonus faber is celebrating their 35th anniversary by presenting something truly special to members of the press. Enjoy the Music.com's Phil Gold reports on this celebrated this Italian manufacturer's anniversary. During this seminar he was also introduced to Lorenzo Belloli, founder of Bassocontinuo, which is an Italian manufacturer of equipment racks ranging from the relatively inexpensive Classic line all the way up to custom finished racks with your choice of many leather finishes and metals. They even make racks to precisely match Dan D'Agostino Momentum amps! Phil also had the chance to hear a big audio rig with Sonus faber's Lillium speakers. His comment was simply "Magnificent!"
Of course we know you love gear reviews, and without further delay am happy to report we have a world premiere review of VPI Industries' Voyager MM/MC phono stage. In 2017 company founder Harry Weisfeld hired an electronic engineer named Mike Bettinger. Harry admired Mr. Bettinger's award winning Arion amplifier so much that he purchased that amplifier for his personal use. The Voyager Phono stage amplifier is the high performance device that evolved from this collaboration. Next up we have EMM Labs DA2 DAC where Editor Tom Lyle asks "What is the best high-end DAC made today?", The answer will likely start a debate among audiophiles, as there's more than one answer to that question. Yet there is no doubt that EMM Labs' converters will be mentioned quite a few times. Why? Because not only has EMM Labs' Ed Meitner been there since the beginning of the implementation of the SACD (Super Audio Compact Disc, just in case you've forgotten) but also because he's one of the world's leading experts in digital converter design.
Next up is ATC CDA2 Mk II CD player, external DAC, headphone amplifier and preamplifier. Reviewer Paul Schumann agrees that ATC's CDA2 Mk II is an interesting product since it is a CD player, DAC, headphone amp, and preamplifier all in one box. There are a lot of pundits out there who are declaring the death of the old Redbook CD, but Paul has an awful lot of them that he's not getting rid of them any time soon. Paul also checked out the Grail T5 loudspeakers and the first thing he noticed listening to the T5s is how smooth they are. He can attribute this to two things: the soft-dome tweeters and the simple crossovers utilized within the T5 speakers. You can read our World Premiere review of the Grail T5 within this issue of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine.
Dave Hanson has quite a bit to say about the HeadAmp Gilmore Lite Mk2 as it makes a very strong case for the feature photo next to the term "reference amplifier" in the Encyclopedia Britannica. At $499, it is reasonably priced, astoundingly capable and it is completely transparent to the gear around it. Dave says it is the perfect control group: an amplifier that doesn't editorialize the sound, it just provides the precise amount of power your headphone needs in an instant – all Class-A, up to 1.5W into a 50 Ohm load. But the Gilmore Lite Mk2's attributes as a piece of reference gear don't end there.
We snuck in yet another VPI Industries review, this time from our partner magazine Headphone.Guru with their assessment of the VPI Prime Scout turntable. Frank Iacone says that Mat Weisfeld, son of founder Harry Weisfeld, has been busy at VPI in creating new products and updating the company's current products in celebration of VPI's 40th anniversary. The VPI Prime Scout replaces the longtime production model, the Scout. The changes made are a welcomed improvement, offering a new quieter motor and better. The new Prime Scout features a new and improved motor with an aluminum platter replacing the acrylic platter found on the Scout. In addition, the new cue mechanism is now made in America, and still standard on the table is the JMW 9-inch uni-pivot tone arm. The new base is attractive and also has better feet making adjustments and leveling the table easily.
Oh, and before I round up this editorial, we also have a world premiere review of the much-anticipated Dynaco ST-70 Series 3 vacuum tube stereo amplifier. Jeremy Kipinis says, "Classic name Dynaco... and their famous model Stereo ST-70 tube amplifier, which was originally designed and manufactured by David Hafler in 1959. Its goal has been musical involvement with audiophile sound quality at an affordable price, throughout it's 350,000+ unit run and ownership by three different companies. And that nearly 60 year legacy has been carefully and lovingly updated to provide both a 21st Century technology version of this tried and true-sounding design, and an essential nod to all the elements that have made this amplifier so successful for six decades!"
Everyone at Enjoy the Music.com hopes you love what we have to offer within our August 2018 issue. Next month is our very special, and exciting, annual Blue Note Awards! This award is highly coveted as the industry knows we only award ~15 products per year, and so they are quite rare indeed! While you wait, see our 2017 Blue Note Awards at this link.
We very much appreciate you reading Enjoy the Music.com, joining our social media pages, and of course recommending us to your music loving friends. We look forward to seeing you at RMAF 2018 in Denver during October. We're sponsoring RMAF's Thursday night industry and press party plus all seminars too! As always, in the end what really matters is that you...