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02 / 17 / 20

Florida Audio Expo 2020 Show Report

PureAudioProject, Pass Labs, And VPI Big sound and luxurious style at reasonable pricing.

PureAudioProject, Pass Labs, VPI And Luminous Audio
Big sound and luxurious style at reasonable pricing.
It's always a joy to be greeted by the always-happy Ze'ev Schlik of PureAudioProject speakers, and here at the Florida Audio 202 is no exception. As one of the very first magazines to review their speakers, the Trio 15 TB open baffle back in April 2015, our reviewer Rick Becker said, " I'm hedging my bet on buying the review sample of the PureAudioProject Trio 15 TB speaker. Not because it is not a great speaker, especially for its price (only $3750!), but because I'm in awe of the potential of the design...."
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Rave'in' 'Bout Raven Audio At Flordia Audio Expo 2020 Silky smooth sound meets great resolution.

Rave'in' 'Bout Raven Audio At Florida Audio Expo 2020
Silky smooth sound meets great resolution.
With an incredibly smooth and musical sound, Raven Audio was at the Florida Audio Expo 2020 with two systems. One featured a Mytek Digital Brooklyn DAC+ ($2199), Raven Audio Blackhawk / Nighthawk MK3 vacuum tube integrated amplifier, Ce'Lest tower speakers, and Soniquil cabling throughout. System two has a pair of Raven Audio Silhouette MK2 Reference preamplifier and Silhouette MK2 monoblock amplifiers ($15,995) driving the Corvus Reference loudspeakers. Once again Soniquil cabling was used throughout.
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Bryston And Audeze Rooms With little info to go on...

Bryston And Audeze Rooms Plus Nagra Audio Too
With little info to go on...
Sometimes you forget to take notes, or your smartly ask the exhibitor(s) to help by e-mailing you a gear list. Alas, sometimes when covering rooms things simply 'fall apart'. No worries, as these things happen from time to time. Bryston had their typical solid-state gear, while Audeze has truly amazing Nagra Audio gear with their extra-special planar magnetic headphones!
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Musical Surrounding At Florida Audio Expo 2020 DS-E1 optical cart. and Rogue Audio's impressive Cronus Magnum III!

Musical Surrounding At Florida Audio Expo 2020
DS-E1 optical cart. and Rogue Audio's impressive Cronus Magnum III!
Garth Leerer of Musical Surroundings fame is always very welcoming and informative, with his room at Florida Audio Expo 2020 being most impressive too! A highlight of this room is the DS Audio, a division of Digital Stream Corporation, E1 Optical Cartridge System ($2750). Before i get more into the other bits, lemme spit at ya some cool things about this photo cartridge. It dices, it slices, it makes thousands of Julienne fries. Oh, wait, please allow me to start again.
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64 Audio Tia Fourte And U18t In-Ear Monitors (IEM) Review

64 Audio Tia Fourte And U18t In-Ear Monitors
Serving an audiophile well in their personal audio journeys.
Review By Smit Patel Of Positive Feedback
With just a decade of experience, 64 Audio have quickly grown to become a tour de force in the world of portable audio. Part of their ascension has stemmed from their firm desire to challenge traditional audio standards with innovations and ground-breaking technologies. The pinnacle of their knowledge has culminated in the Tubeless In-Ear Audio (tia) technology that comprises open balanced armatures within acoustic chambers, and a single bore design to give incredible levels of transparency and resolution.
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Win Bottlehead Crack 1.1 OTL Headphone Amplifier Kit Win an OTL vacuum tube headamp valued at 315!

Win Bottlehead Crack 1.1 OTL Headphone Amp Kit
Win an OTL vacuum tube headamp valued at $315!
Bottlehead and Enjoy the Music.com are giving away their easy-to-build Crack 1.1 OTL vacuum tube headphone amplifier kit ($315 on up depending on options). For decades, Bottlehead has been providing wonderful DIY kits, usually based around vacuum tubes (hence company's name Bottlehead), and with kit naming being a bit, ummm, edgy. From Wikipedia: "Crack affects the brain chemistry of the user causing euphoria, supreme confidence, alertness, increased energy – and a craving for more crack."
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STEREO Magazine's English Edition Going Pure Website

STEREO Magazine's English Edition Going 100% Website
As the second magazine to go pure web play during 2020, Canadian magazine NOVO High-End being announced on January 14th (2020), the English language version of Germany's highly popular STEREO Magazine is going from PDF to pure website starting immediately. As the second magazine, and surely not the last, to go 100% online for easy reading, Enjoy the Music.com continues our partnership with STEREO Magazine and we look forward to reading their excellent articles and reviews online.

Every other month we will be sharing one of their reviews within Enjoy the Music.com's longstanding Review Magazine. The big question is, which print magazine will be next during 2020 to go pure web, as we have some hints yet can't say for now. We welcome more magazines to the web as Enjoy the Music.com celebrates our 25th Anniversary as a pure internet website; thus predating both Google and Yahoo(!).

 

 

Rickie Lee Jones Performs During AXPONA 2020

Rickie Lee Jones Concert During AXPONA 2020
Rickie Lee Jones, scheduled to perform at AXPONA 2020 show, is an longtime classic audiophile favorite as she spent a lifetime dancing with her muse. She is said to be, especially by elderly audiophiles, the most iconic American female singer-songwriter of her most popular time during the late 1970s and very early 1980s. A seasoned humility brings her performances an authenticity that only long-enduring musicians achieve. Her artistry is brilliantly underlined with her new 2019 album Kicks. The album spans two decades (1950s to 1970s) of pop, rock and jazz, presenting her unique and sophisticated interpretations of songs that were pivotal to her musical journey.

In Jones' voice and songs, we saw smoky stocking seams, love being everything but requited. And it was during these years that Rickie Lee's song, "Easy Money" (1979) caught the attention of one musician and then the music industry. The song was recorded by Lowell George, the founder of the band, Little Feat. He used it on his solo album Thanks, I’ll Eat It Here. Shortly thereafter, Warner Brothers auditioned Jones and quickly signed her to the label. Her AXPONA 2020 performance is scheduled for Saturday evening from 8pm to 9:30pm and you can buy tickets here.

 

 

02 / 13 / 20

Florida Audio Expo 2020 Show Report

Suncoast Audio Room 12-13 Florida Audio Expo 2020

Suncoast Audio Room 12-13
Suncoast Audio store with MORE SUNnsational gear!
Florida Audio Expo 2020 had local dealer Suncoast Audio, located at 7353 International Place, Unit 309, within SUNsational Sarasota (Florida), with Fyne Audio F-702 speakers in Piano Gloss Walnut ($8995 per pair) being powered by the prestigious Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amplifier ($9000). As in their other 12th floor room, digital front-end was Aurender yet this time their W20SE music server / streamer ($22,000) feeding Hi-Res Music to the LaScala MkII Optologic DAC ($7700).
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Suncoast Audio Stenheim Room 12-12 Florida Audio Expon 2020

Suncoast Audio Stenheim Room 12-12
Sunny Sarasota store with SUNsational gear!
As with many high-end audio shows, and the Florida Audio Expo 2020 is no different, as there were local dealers who also showcased gear. Suncoast Audio is located at 7353 International Place, Unit 309, within sunny Sarasota (Florida) and had three exhibit rooms. Within Stenheim Room 12-12 during the very, very beginning of the show i stopped by and say a truly lovely setup!
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Chord Electronics 2go And 2yu Hi-Res Music Streamers

Chord Electronics 2go And 2yu Hi-Res Music Streamers
Chord Electronics has announced 2go (ฃ995), a high-performance streamer/server designed to transform Hugo 2 into a fully featured Wi-Fi and Ethernet-enabled device. In addition to Hi-Res music streaming, 2go also benefits from 2x 2 TB-rated SD card slots for digital storage and playback, enabling Hugo 2 as a high-capacity solid-state digital music server (using MPD), all from a compact, space-saving and highly portable device. 2go is more than just an enabling device for Hugo 2, however. Chord Electronics has also developed 2yu (ฃ449), a digital interface that connects to 2go to provide four digital outputs (USB, TosLink optical, S/PDIF coaxial and BNC), effectively making 2go and 2yu a standalone Chord Electronics streamer/server, to be used with any compatible DAC or digital-input device. The 2go/2yu duo can also benefit from the Hugo M Scaler's 768kHz upscaling.

2go brings the benefits of both wireless convenience (2.4GHz Wi-Fi and A2DP Bluetooth) plus the stability and performance of wired (Gigabit) Ethernet connectivity, the latter offering set-up-free plug and play operation. 2go also benefits from comprehensive audio interfacing and offers Tidal, Qobuz and Internet radio playback with Spotify (and others) earmarked for the future. 2go is also Roon Ready, offers gapless audio and DoP/Bit Perfect support, as well as being fully DLNA-compliant (server/renderer) and AirPlay-ready.

A key feature of 2go is its auto-switching input function: every audio interface is always on, therefore switching between inputs is as easy as hitting ‘play' on the chosen control point app; 2go convenience-switches between all its inputs automatically, giving a seamless user experience when playing music from different sources or even streaming services. Based around a powerful triple-core audio processor, 2go's proprietary streaming circuit has been skilfully engineered into a slender chassis which offers Micro USB charging of the internal batteries, a power on/status/battery/network indicator, 2x 2 TB-rated SD card slots, a Gigabit Ethernet port and an IR window; an internal voice engine also allows for audible status information.

2yu is a designed-for-2go digital interface enabling 2go as a fully-fledged standalone streamer, independent of Hugo 2. 2yu boasts 2,000 MIPS (million instructions per second) of processing power, an integrated sample rate converter, plus a low-jitter audio phase lock loop. 2yu connects directly to 2go to add TosLink optical S/PDIF, coaxial and BNC (both 75 Ohms) digital outputs, plus a cleverly integrated USB-A output. Like the Hugo 2, 2yu features four polychromatic spherical controls governing output selection, power, mute and dim functions.

 

 

Sonus Faber Gravis III Active DSP Subwoofer

Sonus Faber Gravis III Active DSP Subwoofer
Sonus faber has launched their new Gravis III ($2750) active subwoofer system. This is the latest addition to the Sonus faber Gravis collection of active subwoofers dedicated to the reproduction of low frequency, designed to match all Sonus faber full-range loudspeakers collections. Aesthetically, Gravis III follows the style of its predeceasing products, with the body enriched by a black leather covering and discreet Piano black wooden finish. However, the subwoofer's top finishes of Weng่ and Walnut matte create the connection to the newer Olympica Nova collection. The removable fabric grille with metal pins covers a powerful 10" ultra-long throw driver including a Tri-laminated sandwich cone diaphragm with a layer of honeycomb in between, managing the driver's excursion and resistance flexing. The stiffness of the cone merged with its extreme lightness allows the subwoofer to produce the tightest and most accurate bass reproduction possible.

An internal Class AB amplifier produces 600 Watts into an 8 Ohms and is aided by further linearized due to a specially designed Digital Signal Processor, implemented in the input preamp stage, that allows adjustments in order to optimize dynamic impact and sonic reproduction depth, satisfying every application need. Many input options are available at the Gravis III subwoofer backplate. Both high speaker and low-level RCA / XLR signals are accepted. The LFE signal can be fed to the subwoofer through the shared XLR or RCA. If avoiding cables back to the receiver/preamp/processor, Gravis III integrates a wireless receiver to pair with the optional transmitter, allowing complete connectivity without long wiring runs. The Gravis III is fully controllable by means of a dedicated, user-friendly app. The user can choose among four presets or modify the cutoff frequency and the acoustical output phase for seamless integration with the main loudspeakers. Delay, parametric filters and limiters are also available for the most accurate sonic performance calibration. A simple self-calibration procedure is also available to achieve ideal subwoofer performance in relation to the acoustic of the listening room.

 

 

7RAY Featuring Triple Ace Jazzy Zoetrope LP

7RAY Featuring Triple Ace Jazzy Zoetrope LP
For nearly 30 years, Pro-Ject has been known for offering the best in luxury audio listening equipment, but now the brand is excited to extend its listening offerings with a new audiophile vinyl LP created under the Pro-Ject label! This first-of-its-kind record boasts different recording styles beautifully blended in collaboration with Austrian musician and audiophile 7RAY featuring Triple Ace Jazzy Zoetrope. Carefully crafted as Pro-Ject's debut in recording, the vinyl is available as an audiophile 180 gram double LP and a direct master tape copy. The record is easy listen with great atmosphere, an instant Jazz classic.

This special concept live studio album (recorded at Pro-Ject's HQ in Austria) offers the ability to hear a direct comparison of recording styles. The production used the top analogue recording equipment with reduced and thoughtful mic'ing techniques to capture the essence of what Pro-Ject's mission and commitment to quality sound. This is a landmark case in Pro-Jects recording capabilities, using real analog tape with reduced microphony, capturing live in true stereo with no compression or extensive editing – truly recreating a live performance.

 

 

Stromtank S2500 Battery Power Supply Review

World Premiere Review!
Stromtank S2500 Battery Power Supply

The joys of a pure sine wave with battery power.
Review By Tom Lyle
I've been stricken with something I like to call an "audiophile illusion of grandeur" for quite some time. It started long ago, when I first discovered that the AC power supplied to my stereo system was less than adequate. This wasn't too difficult to figure out, because in the daytime my system sounded lousy, at least compared to how it sounded at night. This continues to this day. This is because my home shares the power my electric company provides with many customers, including commercial establishments, homes, and more. As a result, the sound of my system suffers.
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02 / 12 / 20

StereoPravda SPearphone SB-3.5 In-Ear_Monitors Review

StereoPravda SPearphone SB-3.5
Audiophile in-ear monitors reviewed.
Review By Alan Gary Barker Of Headphone.Guru
The SPearphone SB-3.5 is the latest product of Russian manufacturer StereoPravda, one of the more unique IEM manufacturers I have come in contact with. Their no-compromise, no-holds-barred approach to audio has made them unique in several ways. For one, their IEMs are not jewelry, they are not even pretty, if that is what you are looking for, then look elsewhere. Also, since they are designed to fit deep into your ear canal, along with their almost comically large speaker cables, they are not exactly comfortable, and I, for one, would be hesitant to wear them out jogging.
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Florida Audio Expo 2020 Show Report

Synergistic Research At The Florida Audio Expo 2020

Synergistic Research
A tweak here, an improvement there....
Oh... my... goodness! There were so many diverse bits of gear and tweaks within the Synergistic Research room at the Florida Audio Expo 2020 that I'm not sure where to begin! Ted Denny was running a wonderful A/B comparo where you could hear the gains within a system made by using their products. A tweak here, another one there and it really all adds up to musical delights!
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Benchmark Media Systems Plus Audeze, Focal, Grado, HiFiMAN, MEZE and Sennheiser At Florida Audio Expo 2020

Benchmark Media Systems
Plus Audeze, Focal, Grado, HiFiMAN, MEZE and Sennheiser.
A highlight of many shows is visiting Benchmark Media Systems. This year during the Florida Audio Expo 2020 they were headphone city as a ROON server was streaming Tidal with their lossy MQA files and true lossless Qobuz too. Yes, they were really streaming! As you'd expect, a variety of headphones were available to listen to Benchmark's DAC3 B ($1699) Hi-Res Audio DAC and HPA4 ($2999) stereo headphone amplifier.
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AGD And Ocean Way Audio AT Florida Audio Expo 2020

AGD And Ocean Way Audio
Alberto Guerra of AGD was at the Florida Audio Expo 2020 with his just reviewed by us amplifier and a slew of other great gear. Frankly, was truly curious if Rick Becker's review within this month's Review Magazine was spot on. You know I'm always curious to double-check things, plus Rick bought the review samples so that served to make me that much more curious.
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Enjoy the Music.com And MAYORS Celebrates Luxury Timepieces During Florida Audio Expo 2020

Enjoy the Music.com And MAYORS Celebrates Luxury Timepieces During Florida Audio Expo 2020
In 2020 Enjoy the Music.com is celebrating our 25th Anniversary and wanted to do something extra special. During the Florida Audio Expo we worked closely with MAYORS Jewellers, the Southeast's leading multi-brand retailer of jewelry and luxury timepieces retailer, for an exciting evening devoted to mechanical timepieces. For those unfamiliar, MAYORS has 17 stores within Florida and Georgia and is owned by Watches Of Switzerland, a leading luxury timepiece and jewelry company for over 50 (!) years, and so it took a bit of doing to make this event happen>
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<-- No Pic Here: Read Why... -->
Editorial: FLAX 2020: Fantastic Fun In Florida!
And as my final show report....
A Heartfelt Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin

 

 

Qobuz Streaming Music Celebrates One Year In USA

Qobuz Streaming Music Celebrates One Year In USA
Qobuz, the certified Hi-Res Music streaming and download service, is celebrating the one year anniversary of its US launch. By serving the audiophile community with in-depth exclusive editorial content, personalized customer service, and a carefully curated catalog that includes not only all mainstream music but also deep representation of jazz, classical and other specialist genres, Qobuz has become the unquestionable choice of the American audio enthusiasts.

Since arriving in the US from France in February 2019, Qobuz has staked its claim on music and sound connoisseurs by ditching lossy, unnecessarily low-quality MP3s in favor of a fully lossless, high-quality catalog (files are up to 24-bit/192kHz), forging more high-end hardware partnerships than anyone else, and maintaining a download store that allows listeners to support creators by buying their music to own.

 

 

02 / 11 / 20

Chord Electronics ULTIMA PRE 2 Stereo Preamplifier

Chord Electronics ULTIMA PRE 2 Stereo Preamplifier
Chord Electronics has launched its second ULTIMA stereo preamplifier following the introduction of the flagship model in 2018. The new ULTIMA PRE 2 (ฃ12,500) directly replaces its predecessor, the CPA 5000. Modernized to complement the new Chord ULTIMA mono power amplifiers, the new ULTIMA PRE 2 uses the company's striking new aesthetic, which benefits from a redesigned bolt-less fascia, featuring a 28mm-thick aircraft-grade aluminum front panel. Forming part of the company's flagship Reference range, this unit features the latest proprietary ultra-high-frequency power supply and ultra-low-noise circuitry, delivering an incredible noise floor performance of below -130dB. With highly flexible for today's high-end audio systems, the new ULTIMA PRE 2 preamplifier offers four pairs of fully balanced XLR inputs, four pairs of unbalanced RCA inputs, plus two completely independent record loops. Each input has six levels of gain which can be individually selected to prevent large changes in volume when switching between inputs; all settings are microprocessor-stored, even when the power is removed.

For late-night and personal listening, the ULTIMA PRE 2 preamplifier also includes two low-distortion low-noise fascia-mounted 6.35mm (1/4") headphone outputs, designed to exploit the full potential of today's high-quality headphones. Fully balanced A/V bypass circuitry for direct connections to A/V processors is also included, plus 12 Volt remote triggering outputs at the rear of the unit, to activate compatible power amplifiers or A/V processors on power-up. Chord Electronics' renowned aircraft-grade aluminum casework, available in Jett Black or Argent Silver finishes, offers a reassuringly high-end and entirely non-resonant enclosure for the electronics.

 

 

02 / 10 / 20

AXPONA 2020 High-End Audio Show Report

AXPONA 2020 High-End Audio Event Feat. Live Music
AXPONA 2020 show is North America's largest event for audiophiles, manufacturers of high-end audio equipment, musicians and music lovers. The three-day experience features over 200 high fidelity listening rooms, providing guests the enviable opportunity to experience the newest technology in high-end consumer audio products. Attendees are encouraged to go from room to room and sit, listen and compare the various systems. The Expo Hall and Ear Gear Experience play host to thousands of products and accessories from cables to headphones to LPs and SACDs. Beyond the exhibits, AXPONA includes live musical performances and educational seminars with industry experts and demonstrations.

During AXPONA 2020 on Friday, April 17th from 8pm to 9:30pm, Chicago bluesman Toronzo Cannon will defy all expectations. The blistering guitarist, soulful vocalist, singular songwriter and city bus driver fuses his muscular, rock-inspired blues guitar playing with his original, keenly detailed slice-of-life songs, blazing his own blues trail. With the 2016 release of his Alligator Records debut, The Chicago Way, Cannon burst onto the international stage as one the most electrifying bluesmen to emerge from Chicago in decades. You can register for the show here, and learn more about AXPONA 2020 high-end audio show at our report's main page.

 

 

02 / 06 / 20

Hi-Fi+ Issue 180 February 2020

Hi-Fi+ February 2020 High-End Audio Magazine
Hi-Fi+ magazine's February 2020 issue features a fond farewell to our good friend Malcolm Steward. Event coverage this issue is the 019 Tokyo International Audio Show, which is the fast-growing show at the heart of Japan. Gear reviews include the AURALiC Sirus G2 universal upsampling processor, Krell K-300i integrated amplifier, Mark Levinson No. 515 turntable / tonearm / cartridge combo, Triangle Borea BR03 stand-mount loudspeakers, Thorens TD 1601 semi-automatic turntable, Zesto Audio Andros 1.2 phonostage preamplifier, Norma IPA-70B integrated amplifier, Gold Note IS-1000 Deluxe integrated amplifier, Etymptoc ER2SE/ER2XR in-ear monitors, Nordost Valhalla 2 Phono Stage + dedicated phono cable, Critical Mass Systems QXK equipment support system, KLH Ultimate One open-back headphones, and Allnic Audio ZL-5000 power cord.

Within this month's editorial, Alan Sircom says, "It's one of the less enjoyable tasks of being an editor, but you do get to write obituaries with alarming regularity. Such is the case this month. As we went to press, we learned of the passing of Malcolm Steward, contributor to this magazine and stalwart of UK audio reviewing from the 1980s until late 2015. Malcolm's writing career came to an end as the result of a serious road traffic accident that he was not expected to survive; in typical Steward fashion, he was too charmingly curmudgeonly to quit that quick." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ magazine at this link.

 

 

Florida Audio Expo 2020 Show Report

Florida Audio Expo 2020 Is This Weekend
Florida Audio Expo 2020 happens this weekend, Friday through Sunday, February 7th through 9th, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore. Free admission grants access to 66 exhibitors — up from last year's total of 41. Many of these exhibitors will unveil new products, giving attendees the opportunity of being among the first to experience some of the best high-performance audio equipment — electronics, loudspeakers, turntables, headphones, and more — from all over the world.
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GIK 4A Alpha Panel Diffusors Review

GIK 4A Alpha Panel Diffusors
One of the best values to treating any good listening room.
Review By Rick LaFaver
I have always been a staunch advocate of adding room acoustic devices as an integral part of any high quality sound system. That is unless you listen within an anechoic chamber or a padded cell. There are many different ways to handle standing waves whether it is DSP, diffusion, wide spectrum, or narrow spectrum absorption. GIK 4A Alpha Panel Diffusors are a great way to improve your listening room and here's why: Two of the most important elements in creating the foundation of any great listening room are choosing a world class speaker and an acoustic treatment plan that tames any anomalies in your room of choice.
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02 / 05 / 20

exaSound Audio Design Delta Music Server

exaSound Audio Design Delta Music Server
exaSound Audio Design will premier their new new Delta Music Server (starting at $2999) at the Florida Audio Expo in Tampa this weekend. Featuring an Intel i9-9900 8-core CPU for heavy-duty DSP processing and upsampling with Roon, this unit operates silently to not interfere with your listening room's noise floor. High-performance hardware and exaOS lightweight operating system facilitate streaming to virtually all USB DACs and Roon-supported audio devices. Roon Core delivers intelligent management of music content stored on hard drives, NAS, and from streaming services Tidal and Qobuz. UPnP server offers bit-perfect Hi-Res Music streaming up to DSD512, PCM 32-bit/768kHz and DXD. A 7" touchscreen offers ease of use and welcome user experience.

Massive, completely silent aluminum hardware means there are no moving parts required. Passive convection cooling ensure silent operation for maximum upsampling and digital processing performance. Audio-optimized, low-latency, high-efficiency, light-weight reliable and unbreakable operating system is what exaOS claims to provide. exaSound Audio Design's Delta Music Server is also completely customizable with your choice for Intel CPUs from i3 to i9-9900. Bit perfect CD ripping also also provided. RAM and SSD storage size is also customizable, and you have a choice of black or silver casing finish. Dimensions are 10.3" x 10.3" x 10.8" and the unit weighs 21 lbs.

 

 

02 / 04 / 20

Glass Audio America Bob Carver 2180i Stereo Integrated Amplifier

Glass Audio America's Bob Carver 2180i Int. Amp.
Wyred 4 Sound Licenses Bob Carver Corp.; Forms Glass Audio America
EJ Sarmento, President and Founder of Wyred 4 Sound, is pleased to announce the formation of Glass Audio America, LLC for the purposes of manufacturing a complete line of vacuum tube and other products under exclusive license from The Bob Carver Corporation. Production of these new products will be in Mr. Sarmento's newly expanded facilities in Astacadero, California. Frank Malitz will continue his base of operations in Chicago, Illinois. Earning multiple Product of The Year Awards spanning over a decade, Wyred 4 Sound is an innovative company that prioritizes engineering excellence while pinpoint focusing on long-term reliability and class leading value. Seen here is a rendering of the new Glass Audio America Bob Carver 2180i (target price of $4000), which is a 180 Watt per channel integrated amplifier that will be introduced at the Florida Audio Expo February 7th through the 9th in Tampa, Florida.

Producing 180 Watts per channel by employing KT 120 tubes, this integrated amplifier has parallel capability for mono, with optional preamp bypass, so it doubles the power to 360 Watts. The preamplifier vacuum tubes are proudly on display through the front left glass panel. Due to the design of this integrated amplifier, and unlike bridging, the performance will be enhanced if the two channels are paralleled. Each Glass Audio America 2180i stereo integrated amplifier is carefully handmade in California, USA.

 

 

02 / 03 / 20

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine January / February 2020

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine January / February 2020
Celebrating 50 Years Of Gear And Music Reviews
This issue of Australian Hi-Fi Magazine features news, reviews, and Tom Waters, of the Sydney Audio Club, tells the story of a well-traveled audiophile who's gone from hi-fi to home theatre... and returned! Hi-Fi Deconstructed has Hugh Grant, of Hugh Grant fame, thinking there's something wrong with movie theatre sound. Rod Easdown disagrees. Gear reviews in this issue includes the Exposure 2010S2 D integrated amplifier, Pro-Ject X-1 turntable, Gold Note DS-10 DAC / network player / headamp, Blue Satellite ANC headphones, Focal Kanta No 3 loudspeakers, and Ayre Acoustics EX-8 integrated hub.

Within his editorial titled The Future Is Future..., Greg Borrowman says, "Keen-eyed readers may have noticed something slightly different about our first issue for 2020. No, it's not that we've updated our '50 Year' anniversary logo — though we're very proud of that logo, as we know of only one other hi-fi magazine in the world that's been able to celebrate a 50th anniversary. No, what you should have noticed is that there's now a 'Future' logo above the barcode. Yes, Future Publishing Overseas, the Australian outpost of the giant UK-based publisher Future plc, is the new owner of Australian Hi-Fi Magazine." See what's within this issue of Australian Hi-Fi Magazine at this link.

 

 

HIGH END 2020 Show Report Munich Germany

HIGH END 2020 Brand Ambassador Alan Parsons
HIGH END 2020 show opens their doors and will welcome exhibitors and visitors from all over the world from May 14th through 17th in Munich, Germany. With exhibitor space already fully booked months in advance, this year's HIGH END show marks it's 39th time and 17th at M.O.C. As during the past 20 years, longer than any other North American magazine, Enjoy the Music.com once again reports on HIGH END in Munich. This internationally renowned exhibition has firmly established itself as a global event over nearly four decades. High End Society is very happy to announce that Alan Parsons will be this year's brand ambassador for their HIGH END 2020 Munich international hi-fi show! For this world renown British musician, sound engineer, and producer, they also brought back a reunion with his predecessor Steven Wilson. Both musical artists know each other from their joint work on Steven Wilson's album The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories). Enjoy the Music.com's HIGH END 2020 show report will be at this web page.

 

 

02 / 01 / 20

High-End Audiophile Review Magazine

Enjoy the Music.com's February 2020 Review Magazine
High-End Audio / Audiophile Equipment Reviews And Think Pieces

Win Bottlehead Crack 1.1 OTL Headphone Amplifier Kit Win an OTL vacuum tube headamp valued at 315!

Win Bottlehead Crack 1.1 OTL Headphone Amp Kit
Win an OTL vacuum tube headamp valued at $315!
Bottlehead and Enjoy the Music.com are giving away their easy-to-build Crack 1.1 OTL vacuum tube headphone amplifier kit ($315 on up depending on options). For decades, Bottlehead has been providing wonderful DIY kits, usually based around vacuum tubes (hence company's name Bottlehead), and with kit naming being a bit, ummm, edgy. From Wikipedia: "Crack affects the brain chemistry of the user causing euphoria, supreme confidence, alertness, increased energy – and a craving for more crack."
---> Read More

 

 

Is Being An Immersivephile The Next Evolution In Musical Bliss?

Is Being An ImmersivephileTM The Next Evolution In Musical Bliss?
We live in a world that bathes us in sound from all directions.
Thought For Food (Strike That, Reverse It) By Steven R. Rochlin
Wikipedia says that "Modern stereophonic technology was invented in the 1930s by British engineer Alan Blumlein at EMI, who patented stereo records, stereo films, and also surround sound." Many of us agree going from single channel mono to stereo brought forth many aural / spatial benefits. Two ears, two speakers; seems very simple on the surface doesn't it? It also meant there was a bit more effort involved by the home listener going from mono to stereo in achieving the very best from this new 1930's audio playback format. Naturally the music loving press followed along.
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Cirque pour les Oreilles Roger Skoff writes about technology and enjoyment.

Cirque pour les Oreilles
Roger Skoff writes about technology and enjoyment.
Article By Roger Skoff
Have you ever seen the Cirque du Soleil? Whether you see it live or in one of its many televised performances, it's a wonder and a glory... and an incredible feat of work. Trained circus performers — already athletes of the highest skill and at the peak of physical fitness — work for months with coaches, choreographers, musicians, and costume and scenic designers to produce a show that's truly remarkable; in many ways, genuinely awesome; and always entertaining.
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CH Precision I1 Universal Integrated Amplifier Review

CH Precision I1 Universal Integrated Amplifier
A new paradigm for the integrated amplifier platform.
Review By Greg Weaver
CH Precision was founded by Florian Cossy and Thierry Heeb, two alumni of the highly influential and innovative Swiss high-end audio firm Goldmund. Given the wide-reaching acclaim and the host of industry awards they have garnered since their founding, it is hard to believe this company is just rounding out its first decade! For reasons that will become clearer as you get further into this evaluation, I must preface this examination by noting that my experiences with their early offerings had left me somewhat wanting.
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AGD The Audion GaNTube Monoblocks Review

AGD "The Audion" GaNTube Monoblocks
Class D reaches the upper echelon of high-end audio.
Review By Rick Becker
Back at the turn of the millennium you could put together a pretty good audio system for $10,000, and you could listen to many of those components in a local brick & mortar store if you lived in a decent size city. Sure there was some stratospherically priced gear in the $10,000 to $20,000 range you might be able to see if you went to one of the audio shows on the left or right coasts. Then along came "quantitative easing" and the internet. Gear got more expensive, the brick & mortar landscape eroded and major as well as regional audio shows proliferated.
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Pro-Ject X2 Vinyl LP Turntable Review

Pro-Ject X2 Vinyl LP Turntable
Easy to set up and very easy to use. You will not be disappointed.
Review By Tom Lyle
As the technology advances, it's only natural for any decent audio manufacturer to take advantage of this new technology. And so, when Pro-Ject was faced with improving upon their Debut and Xpression series of turntables, which are both very successful designs, they decided to, in their words, "improve on the technologies that had already been established". As a result, Pro-Ject introduced their X1 and X2 turntables. The X2, the subject of this review, besides many other improvements, makes the most of higher quality raw materials to use in its production (even though they are more difficult to source).
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High-End Audiophile Review Magazine

Read All Articles, Reviews, And Show Reports
We have many more reviews, show reports, and think pieces than shown above, so be sure to read this month's edition of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine at this link.

 

 

01 / 30 / 20

Florida Audio Expo 2020 Show Report

Countdown To Florida Audio Expo 2020 Next Weekend
Florida Audio Expo 2020 happens next week, Friday through Sunday, February 7th through 9th, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore. Free admission grants access to 66 exhibitors — up from last year's total of 41. Many of these exhibitors will unveil new products, giving attendees the opportunity of being among the first to experience some of the best high-performance audio equipment — electronics, loudspeakers, turntables, headphones, and more — from all over the world.

Lossless Hi-Res Music online streaming service Qobuz returns as the FLAX's official streaming service, and David Solomon, Chief Hi Res Evangelist, Qobuz USA, will host his famous Flash DJ sessions throughout the show. Again, there is no cost to attend FLAX 2020; however, attendees are encouraged to register in advance, so that we can ensure that Expo 2020 doesn't exceed the hotel's maximum daily capacity. See registration link here. Note: Saturday is already at full capacity(!).

 

 

Pathos Acoustics Classic Remix Integrated Amplifier, Headphone Amplifier And DAC

World Premiere Review
Pathos Acoustics Classic Remix Integrated Amplifier / Headphone Amp w/DAC
Combining the musicality of tubes with the drive of solid-state amplification.
Review By Dr. Panagiotis Karavitis
Yours truly spent a dozen years in Italy studying and tasting some dolce vita in cities like Rome and Florence. He fell in love with the bell paese and everything beautiful coming from that country; most of all the style. Italians have this way of creating that transcends typical "good taste" into something deeper, sophisticated and cool at the same time. Think about Maserati and Alfa Romeo, Armani and Valentino and you get the idea. The same can be said for their high fidelity audio products.
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01 / 29 / 20

Schiit Releases Their New Unison USB Interface

Schiit Releases Their New Unison USB Interface
Schiit Audio announced the immediate availability of their Unison USB input ($150, or $200 if installed by Schiit) for all of its upgradable DACs (Bifrost, Gungnir, and Yggdrasil.) Unison USB is Schiit's unique, proprietary USB input that is the result of two person-years of development. Running on a general-purpose Microchip microprocessor (rather than a typical XMOS or C-Media solution), Unison USB provides superior UAC2 performance at very low current draw from the host, as well as complete electromagnetic and electrostatic isolation.

All models of these DACs, regardless of age can be upgraded to Unison USB. Gungnir requires a motherboard firmware re-flash, which means it needs to come back to Schiit for the upgrade. Bifrost and Yggdrasil can be upgraded by any competent technician, or can be sent back to the factory, at the owner's choice. If a customer chooses to have Schiit do the upgrade, they can continue to enjoy their DAC until it is ready to be upgraded, thanks to Schiit's upgrade queuing system. All new Gungnir and Yggdrasil models will now include the Unison USB input standard. Gungnir cost increases to $899 for the delta-sigma model, and $1299 for the Multibit version. Yggdrasil increases to $2449.

 

 

Qualcomm Next-Gen Smart Speaker Technology SQ

Qualcomm Next-Gen Smart Speaker Technology SQ
Qualcomm is improving next-generation smart speaker sound quality, as demanded from consumers worldwide. In the last two years, it has become clear that richer sounding audio playback is the #1 most important feature for smart speaker shoppers. In Qualcomm's State Of Play 2019 consumer audio report, published earlier this year, research showed that the demand for great sound quality — already the top-ranked driver for smart speaker purchases — actually increased year-over-year since 2018. In fact, consumers care more about their audio experience than they do about speaker price.

Integrating superior audio capabilities for richer, more immersive listening experiences into the next generation of smart speakers will be one of the most powerful ways to appeal to consumers — helping to expand the reach and scale of this exciting product category. Advanced, highly integrated technologies like our Smart Audio 400 Platform enable brands to build better performing smart speakers with more sophisticated use cases at all tiers. As this next wave of devices start hitting the shelves, shoppers can expect a wider selection of smart speakers to choose from — and with improved listening experiences. higher volume playback without distortion and higher-quality audio that does justice to all your favorite tunes is the goal. Richer connectivity — to the cloud, and to other devices. All these features will be combined with ever-smarter services from Alexa — and not just in the smart speaker category, but across all types of smart devices.

 

 

Grammy Awards TV Show Reaches A New Low

Grammy Awards TV Show Reaches A New Low
While many music lovers and musicians globally appear to not be satisfied with the current state of the music industry, "Music's Biggest Night", a.k.a. the Grammy Awards TV show, wound up being the least watched broadcast in its' history. While the live audience accounted for an impressive 18.7m on Sunday night within the United States, overall it is down 6% as compared to 2019 according to Nielsen data. This is a decline of 1.2m viewers as compared to 2019. Yet it gets worse as the music industry loves the critical 18 to 49 year old consumer, and in that regard a mere 5.4% of viewers in this category watched CBS's broadcast of the Grammy 2020 TV show live.

But wait, there's more as while there were a grand total of ~307.3m people within TV households, Nielsen alludes that the Grammys 2020 audience was 18.7m, which means just 6.1% of the overall TV viewership within the USA bothered to watch. In fact this is the lowest number of eyes watching the Grammy Awards since 2013. Enjoy the Music.com will allow our wise and musically talented readers to further speculate why this TV show has declined to new lows.

 

 

01 / 28 / 20

AES Honored With Technology & Engineering Emmy Award

AES Honored With Technology & Engineering Emmy Award
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has honored Audio Engineering Society (AES) for "Development of Synchronized multi-channel uncompressed audio transport over IP Networks" in the 71st annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards. The award will be presented within a special ceremony at the upcoming NAB Show at the Wynn Encore Hotel and Spa on Sunday, April 19th, 2020, in Las Vegas, NV. The distinction for "Development of Synchronized multi-channel uncompressed audio transport over IP Networks" cites the AES alongside ALC NetworX, Audinate, Kevin Gross, QSC, Telos Alliance and Wheatstone. AES's AES67 standard for high-performance streaming audio-over-IP interoperability was introduced in 2013. AES67 compliance allows audio content interoperability between the proprietary IP-based audio networking protocols developed by the Emmy co-winners: RAVENNA, Dante, Q-Sys, Livewire+ and WheatNet-IP. Co-Emmy-winner and AES Fellow Kevin Gross led the AES67 Standards effort and is the chair of the AES Technical Committee on Network Audio Systems. 

"The improvement from audio networking born in the mid-1990s to new IP-based solutions emerged as a simultaneous invention from the honored companies," says Kevin Gross. "While collectively this represented a technical improvement, interoperability was not addressed until the AES initiated the X192 project on audio interoperability. Thank you, Steve Church, Rich Zwiebel, Philip Lawo and Andreas Hildebrand – leaders at the honored companies who understood the potential for a standard to take audio networking to the next level – and thanks to then AES Standards Manager Mark Yonge, who mentored the standard process." Colleen Harper, AES Executive Director, said "AES67 is an essential protocol that established a standardized language for audio transport, employed every day in the broadcast world and beyond. Its introduction in 2013 fundamentally changed the broadcast audio landscape and paved the way for recent similar developments for video, and we are honored to be awarded with a Technical & Engineering Emmy alongside our industry peers."

 

 

01 / 27 / 20

Amazon Music Has Achieved ~55 Million Paying Customers

Amazon Music Has Achieved ~55 Million Paying Customers
On September 17 (2019) Amazon Music HD, perhaps the first mainstream Hi-Res Music streaming services to offer true lossless audio, let customers access and stream more than 50 million songs in High Definition (HD) audio. Subscriptions start at $12.99 per month for new subscribers, with current subscribers to Amazon Music paying only $5 per month plus their regular plan fee. In about four months, Amazon now claims to have achieved ~55 million paying customers to their online streaming music service globally. This marks a nearly 50% year-on-year growth within many markets including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

"We're proud to reach this incredible milestone and are overwhelmed by our customers' response to Amazon Music," said Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music. "Our strategy is unique and, like everything we do at Amazon, starts with our customers. We've always been focused on expanding the marketplace for music streaming by offering music listener's unparalleled choice because we know that different listeners have different needs. As we continue to lead in our investment in voice with Alexa, and in high-quality audio with Amazon Music HD, we're excited to bring our customers and the music industry even more innovation in 2020 and beyond." You can enjoy a 90 day FREE trial of Amazon Music HD at this link.

 

 

01 / 25 / 20

Happy Lunar New Year 2020 -- Year Of The Rat

Happy Lunar New Year
May the Year Of The Rat bring you and your family joy, abundance, and prosperity.

 

 

01 / 24 / 20

KEF Is Now Shipping Their KF92 Active Subwoofer

KEF Is Now Shipping Their KF92 Active Subwoofer
KEF's new KF92 subwoofer ($2000) features twin 9" drivers aligned in a 'force-cancelling' configuration. Two massive 9" drivers are powered by an immense 1000 Watts of power. Optimized with KEF's Music Integrity Engine, KEF's KF92 subwoofer delivers astonishing levels of deep and controlled bass according to the company. KEF says, "To reproduce serious bass you need a completely different kind of loudspeaker, one which can cope with huge pressure. KF92 is engineered to blast out huge chunks of lower frequency energy, yet is subtle enough to pick out the delicate details of a double bass. KF92 ensures you don't just feel the air move - you feel the sound move you."

Two 9" drivers are positioned back-to-back in a force-cancelling design which cancels out the reactive forces which stress conventional subwoofers. This configuration keeps their KF92 perfectly balanced so all you'll hear is deep and clean bass at sound pressure levels of up to 110dB. The 9" driver was designed and engineered conceived specifically for the KF92. They feature a hybrid aluminum/paper cone and an oversized motor system and voice coil. KEF's research into digital sound processing - Music Integrity Engine - is the brains behind KF92. Intelligent Bass Extension optimizes the relationship between the amplifier, drivers and cabinet, while placement-dependant EQ allows for seamless integration into any room. With 1000 Watts (RMS) of Class D amplification (500W RMS per driver), this aid in creating immense power, and thus delivering incredible levels of control. Furthermore, it also improves timing accuracy and dynamic response, producing a more detailed sound closer to that in the studio.

 

 

Silversmith Audio Celebrates 20 years With FIDELIUM

Silversmith Audio Celebrates 20 Years With FIDELIUM
Silversmith Audio is celebrating their special 20th anniversary by announcing their new line of FIDELIUM loudspeaker cable. This new series is said to represent a 330% performance increase over the company's previous PALLADIUM speaker cables, yet at 1/10 the price. The skin-effect characteristics of Silversmith Audio's FIDELIUM alloy are up to 33 times superior to those of copper or silver says the company. The FIDELIUM speaker cable, already at less than a thousandth of an inch thick, is claimed to perform as if it were 5.5 times thinner, thus experiencing less frequency dependent attenuation and phase distortion than even a 0.00018 inch thick copper or silver ribbon, or 64 gauge wire.

The speaker cable design gains further sonic advantage by avoiding the significant sonic degradation caused by traditional spade and banana connectors. As a simple yet elegant solution, the cable itself is notched to facilitate connection to most binding posts. Geometry and alloy advancements contribute to the new FIDELIUM cable's performance. FIDELIUM speaker cable is offered in lengths and prices from four foot at $795 to ten foot at $1395.

 

 

Sonos Quickly Responds To The Error Of Their Ways

Sonos Quickly Responds To The Error Of Their Ways
With the recent reports of Sonos 'bricking' many millions of older units due to the company's new and more modern product offerings, public outcry was unleashed and now Sonos has responded. Their e-mail we received is as follows:

We heard you. We did not get this right from the start. My apologies for that and I wanted to personally assure you of the path forward: First, rest assured that come May, when we end new software updates for our legacy products, they will continue to work just as they do today. We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence, and we are not taking anything away. Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we intend to honor that investment for as long as possible. While legacy Sonos products won't get new software features, we pledge to keep them updated with bug fixes and security patches for as long as possible. If we run into something core to the experience that can't be addressed, we'll work to offer an alternative solution and let you know about any changes you'll see in your experience.

Secondly, we heard you on the issue of legacy products and modern products not being able to coexist in your home. We are working on a way to split your system so that modern products work together and get the latest features, while legacy products work together and remain in their current state. We're finalizing details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks. While we have a lot of great products and features in the pipeline, we want our customers to upgrade to our latest and greatest products when they're excited by what the new products offer, not because they feel forced to do so. That's the intent of the trade up program we launched for our loyal customers.

Thank you for being a Sonos customer. Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. I hope that you'll forgive our misstep, and let us earn back your trust. Without you, Sonos wouldn't exist and we'll work harder than ever to earn your loyalty every single day. If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,
Patrick Spence
CEO, Sonos

 

 

01 / 23 / 20

Falcon LS3/5A Classic Small Two-Way Monitor Reborn

Falcon LS3/5A Classic Small Two-Way Monitor Reborn
Resurrecting the old classic BBC LS3/5A that lives up against the older classics.
Review By Joseph Ki Cheong Ming
It is no secret that Malcolm Jones did most of the design and development of the legendary KEF drive units such as the B139, B200, B110, T15, and T27. He left KEF in 1974 having just completed the famous Reference Series 104 system and thus began work on an active professional monitor plus his new company Falcon Acoustics Ltd. When Falcon announced making LS3/5A, using all-new drivers that were said to 'voice' to the original KEF 15 Ohm drivers (B110-SP1003 and T27-SP1032), a desire was set on fire waiting in anticipation among all LS3/5A enthusiasts! My pair finally came after four gruesome months of waiting. This pair arrived and is the 25th pair of LS3/5A within my collection.
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SD Association Celebrates Their 20th Anniversary

SD Association Celebrates Their 20th Anniversary
While many mainstream music lovers now stream their music via an online service, audiophiles also enjoy true lossless Hi-Res Music downloads for the highest of sound quality. Portable audio fans rely on both internal and external memory to store their fave tunes. And with that said, the SD Association (SDA) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary with a mission to reinvent the memory card. This has made life easier for consumers and businesses globally. Throughout the years, SD memory cards evolved, expanded capabilities, are faster, and became the number one card of choice. Today, these cards play a critical role in a variety of devices and uses unimagined 20 years ago.

The trusted family of SD memory cards give consumers and business users a choice, increase the usefulness, value and longevity of numerous consumer electronics by offering unprecedented portability, upgradeability and interoperability. SD memory cards have become the de facto storage device for billions of products in this mobility era when more storage is required. By 2023 and beyond, enterprises, machines, industries, consumers, science, and more will be generating 103 Zettabytes per year, according to IDC. Data generated by consumers and businesses, whether it is from smartphones, tablets, laptops, drones, or automobiles, rely on SD memory cards to keep their music, movies, and photos safe and always accessible.

 

 

01 / 22 / 20

Schiit Jotunheim R For Raal / Requisite Headphones

Schiit Jotunheim R For Raal / Requisite Headphones
Schiit Audio's new Jotunheim R is the world's first and only direct-drive amplifier for the Raal / Requisite ribbon headphones. Jotunheim R eliminates the need for a speaker amplifier and interface box to drive these very low impedance ribbons, and thus substantially simplifying a Raal / Requisite system and while offering the potential for higher performance. Pricing for the Jotunheim R is as just an amplifier is $799, add in an internal True Multibit DAC card at $999 total, or with the external Bifrost 2 DAC at $1399. This one-box solution is said by Schiit Audio to be ideal for professionals who want to use the Raal / Requisite headphones for portable mastering. It also provides professional-level protection, with over-current and over-temperature shut-off.

Jotunheim R features Schiit's exclusive, unique Nexus gain stage, which debuted on Ragnarok 2. This inherently balanced, differential discrete stage handles both balanced and single-ended inputs seamlessly, and provides very high performance. In Jotunheim R, the Nexus output stage delivers up to 14A RMS per channel at visible clipping, a current level that is usually only seen in speaker amplifiers. Jotunheim R was developed when Jason learned of the need for a super-high-current amplifier for the Raal / Requisite headphones. After several revisions the final product resulted in an all-new amplifier, the Jotunheim R, which shares only two parts with Jotunheim: its potentiometer and bottom chassis. Schiit Audio's Jotunheim remains in production for conventional headphones. Like all of Schiit's products, Jotunheim R is designed and built in California.

 


 

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