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04 / 29 / 21

Hi-Fi World June 2021

Hi-Fi World's June 2021 Reviews & Think Pieces
Hi-Fi World's June 2021 issue features your chance to win an Exposure XM CD player worth £1395. Reviews within this issue include the Fink Team Kim loudspeakers, Ikko Music Patch ITM05 Mobile / DAC amplifier, Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 200m budget DAC, Leema Stream IV streamer / CD player, Audio Research Reference 80s power amplifier & Reference 6se preamplifier, iFi Audio Zen Can headphone amplifier, Russ Andrews Kimber Evolution 300 cable, and Chordscreen X speaker cable. Martin Pipe unravels the mysteries of BIC's Beam Box, an indoor VHF / FM aerial produced in America by a British company that wasn't British. Other reviews include the Musical Fidelity M3x vinyl phono stage, Paul Rigby reads 'all or nothing' which is a close look at mod legend Steve Marriott, Dan Clarke Audio Aeon 2 headphones... and more.

Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says "You see, valves are historical. And Audio Research’s latest Reference 80S amplifier that you can find on p10 raises a few nuggets. Being designed and manufactured in the USA it is a 'tube amplifier'. And Americans prefer to use what is made there, which historically was the 6550 output tube in Audio Research amplifiers. I was quite taken aback when they dropped the rugged and reliable 6550 a few years back, replacing it with the KT150 – made in Russia no less! The Reference 80S has four of them. The main reason is that the KT150 was designed from the ground up to be reliable, as well as sound good. Likely because of U.S. influence, since the Russian plant producing this valve is linked to New Sensor Corporation of Long Island, New York. This is run by Mike Matthews, who was a personal friend of Hendrix back in the 1960s when he was on the road touring in the USA, meaning before arriving in the UK." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World at this link.

 

 

Etsuro Urushi Bordeaux Moving Coil Phono Cartridge Review

Etsuro Urushi Bordeaux Moving Coil Phono Cartridge Review
Getting closer to the music etched into your LP's grooves.
Review By Tom Lyle
It was about a year ago that I reviewed the cartridge that's one step lower in Etsuro Urushi's line, their Cobalt Blue. In the review I said that the Cobalt Blue is "a super-transparent window into the recording that was etched into an LP's surface", praising this cartridge to the point where one might be led to believe that there is no better cartridge on the market. This is not the first time I've felt as though I have painted myself into a corner when reviewing a piece of high-end audio equipment, which happens more often than not when the equipment performs as well as the Cobalt Blue. In the back of my mind I must have known that there are better cartridges out there to be had, but the Cobalt Blue, with its excellent tracking, which I suppose has lots to do with its suppression of the record's surface noise, and just as importantly, its lifelike reproduction of instruments and voices, seduced me. How could it not? It seemed as if my favorite records never sounded better. I got lost in the music.
---> Etsuro Urushi Bordeaux moving coil phono cartridge review.

 

 

04 / 28 / 21

T.H.E. Show 2021 During June In Long Beach, CA

T.H.E. Show 2021 In California Is ON
This just in from T.H.E. Show: "We are delighted to be able to provide the following updates for you all regarding T.H.E. Show 2021. It IS taking place June 11 - 13, 2021 at the Hilton Long Beach, in Long Beach, CA and we are excited that at least two companies are making their audio show world premieres with us - and another few are making their T.H.E. Show debuts this coming June! Early bird ticket pricing is still available for attendees, so please get your tickets now at this link. Special hotel room pricing is available as well for those who wish to stay over on-site! Those rooms can be secured here (see their website for health and safety protocols).

We understand this year's show may be a bit different. Not withstanding, we are committed to putting on a fun and safe show for you all and are excited that so many of you, attendees, exhibitors, and press alike, have already booked your rooms and purchased your tickets to participate! We are grateful for your continued support, and we in turn, are grateful you have put your trust in us to continue supporting the audio industry and community.

We look forward to seeing you all at T.H.E. Show 2021, June 11 - 13, at the Hilton, Long Beach, CA!

Sincerely,
T.H.E. Show Team

 

 

04 / 27 / 21

HIGH END And International Parts + Supply 2021 Show Report Munich Germany

HIGH END Show In Munich Postponed Until May 2022
The parallel event, the IPS – International Parts + Supply, is also postponed.
The HIGH END 2021 trade show, planned to take place in Munich from September 9 to 12, 2021, has now been moved to May 2022 due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The HIGH END SOCIETY Service GmbH reached this decision after a reassessment of the current situation and in close cooperation with the Board of the HIGH END SOCIETY e.V.

The world's leading audio trade show will therefore return to its usual spring timeslot and be held at the MOC Event Center in Munich from May 19 to 22, 2022. The IPS – International Parts + Supply event, which was due to be held alongside the HIGH END, has also be postponed until the new year and will open its doors for the first time on May 19 and 20, 2022.

Although the halls and atriums of the MOC are fully booked and a detailed hygiene and infection protection concept has been carefully developed, the organiser believes that taking this action at an early stage is necessary given the current situation. "We have prepared for the event extremely well and were confident that the HIGH END and the new IPS would be able to take place this autumn despite the changing conditions," states Stefan Dreischärf, Managing Director of the event organiser, the company HIGH END SOCIETY Service GmbH. He regrets that all hi-fi fans will now have to wait even longer for the annual industry highlight due to the postponement. "That said, we have to adopt a far-sighted approach to maintain the trust of our exhibitors. Given the slow development on a global scale, we believe that the current situation is too uncertain. The risk of having to cancel the event at short notice is simply too high," explains the experienced trade show manager. Read more within Enjoy the Music.com's HIGH END 2021 web page.

 

 

Recording Engineer Al Schmitt Passes

Another Death: Recording Engineer Al Schmitt Passes
As old engineers, early high-end audio manufacturers, elderly hi-fi reviewers, etc are now reaching inevitability, it saddens us to report that 23 time Grammy winner Albert Harry Schmitt has passed. As an American recording engineer and record producer, he earned many awards for his work with Henry Mancini, Steely Dan, George Benson, Toto, Natalie Cole, Quincy Jones, and others. During his career, he recorded and mixed more than 150 gold and platinum albums, plus won more Grammys than any other engineer or mixer.

Al Schmitt was the first person to win both the Grammy and Latin Grammy for Album of the Year. He won his first Grammy in 1963 for engineering the Hatari! soundtrack by Henry Mancini. The song "Moon River" and its associated album won two Grammy awards in 1961 as well as an Academy Award for Best Song with its appearance in the classic film Breakfast at Tiffany's. He was awarded two Latin Grammy Awards in 2000 including Album of the Year. In 2005 he won five Grammys for his work on Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company, including Album of the Year, setting the record for most Grammys won by an engineer or mixer in one night. In 2006, he was given the Grammy Trustees Lifetime Achievement Award. The list of accomplishments goes on and on as his incredible efforts touched millions of music lovers globally. His book Al Schmitt on the Record: The Magic Behind the Music (available on Amazon) is a great way to learn more about the man, his genius, and his endearing love of music.

 

 

04 / 26 / 21

Abbey Road Studios Expands To London's Angel Studios

Abbey Road Studios Expands To London's Angel Studios
Abbey Road Studios' education arm, Abbey Road Institute, is expanding / relocating to London's Angel Studios during summer 2021. Angel Studios, famous for Grammy-winning albums from Adele and Sam Smith, set to continue as a commercial studio with a new recording space for artists and composers. After 40 years of recording, Angel Studios sadly closed their doors last year. With rumors of the storied location being turned into flats, the legendary Abbey Road Studios and Abbey Road Institute will be ensuring the music plays on in the historic building. Angel Studios, the birthplace of records by The Cure, Sam Smith, Adele, Siouxsie and the Banshees, One Direction and Robbie Williams, as well as iconic scores including The Lion King, Downton Abbey and Moulin Rouge, will reopen in Summer 2021 and become the new home for an expanding Abbey Road Institute.

Angel Studios will be the new flagship location for the specialist music school that boasts seven separate schools across the globe. Demand for the unique offering at Abbey Road Institute means the London school has outgrown its current home at the iconic St. John's Wood location, however students will continue to use the school's dedicated studio at Abbey Road alongside the new headquarters in vibrant Islington. The team is working hard to ensure the heritage of the Grade II building is intact and will be carefully restoring it to enable the school to move in and bring the space back to life. The existing studios will be returned to use, providing cutting edge facilities for the students to gain practical recording and mixing experience at Angel.

 

 

04 / 23 / 21

AVM CS 6.3 Streaming Receiver And A 6.2 ME Int. Amplifier

AVM CS 6.3 Streaming Receiver And A 6.2 ME Int. Amplifier
German manufacturer AVM (Audio Video Manufaktur) has launched their new CS 6.3 all-in-one stereo streaming receiver (top in pic) and A 6.2 ME integrated stereo amplifier ($13,995 and $8495 respectively). The CS 6.3 combines a CD player, streamer, DAC, integrated amplifier, and Class A headphone amp all within a single chassis. A quad DAC processes PCM signals up to 32-bit/384kHz as well as DSD up to only 128. A full range of digital and analog inputs facilitate integration into any system, and multi-room and pass-through capabilities provide additional versatility. AVM's CS 6.3 produces 250 Watts per channel stereo and can be controlled by iOS or Android apps.

AVM's A 6.2 ME (Master Edition) is a versatile Class A/AB stereo integrated amplifier designed to provide the "best sound quality attainable" says the company. All parts are as high-quality as possible given the price, and selected for their sonic characteristics. Utilizing a high-speed MOSFET output stage, it produces 180 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms. Other refinements include a discrete Class A headphone amplifier, black circuit boards with heavy gold traces, and speaker terminals machined in-house by AVM.

 

 

04 / 22 / 21

Abyss AB-1266 Planar Magnetic Headphones By JPS Labs Review

Abyss AB-1266 Planar Magnetic Headphones Review
The journey is the destination.
Review By Dave Hanson
The practice of building a home system and tweaking it to perfection is a time-honored tradition among music lovers and audiophiles. And I'm not just talking about buying equipment and is plainly evident within my review of the Abyss AB-1266 headphones and you'll soon learn. It's about perfecting the angle of the speaker. Damping the reflective surfaces of the room. Perhaps even rewiring the electrical sockets in search of that last one or two percent. Few understand this practice better than Joe Skubinski of JPS Labs, a man who has built a name for himself in the world of high-end cables... In his first headphone, the Abyss AB-1266 ($5495 for this Deluxe version and $4495 in Lite version), Skubinski has captured some of the magic of the personal journey to audio perfection and scaled it down to size.
---> Abyss AB-1266 planar magnetic headphones review.

 

 

04 / 21 / 21

Chesky Records Whole Lotta Love In High-Res 24-bit/192kHz

Chesky Records Whole Lotta Love In High-Res 24-bit/192kHz
Coming May 28th is Chesky Records' Whole Lotta Love in true lossless high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz featuring Obed Calvaire, Bob Franceschini, Kevin Hays, and Orlando Le Fleming. Whole Lotta Love: The Music of Led Zeppelin album features the quartet playing jazz arrangements of some of Led Zep's most famous tracks like "Immigrant Song," "Kashmir," and "Whole Lotta Love." Due to the current social situation, the album is a departure from the traditional Chesky Records single microphone recording technique. Instead, they used multiple true high-resolution lossless 24-bit/192kHz ribbon mics while the musicians were in isolation booths to ensure their safety. The end result is said to capture the same natural, warm, and intimate sound of a jazz combo that you would get listening to them at your favorite jazz club.

 

 

04 / 20 / 21

Xavian Electronics Quarta Evoluzione Loudspeaker

Xavian Electronics Quarta Evoluzione Loudspeaker
Xavian Electronics has improved their Quarta Evoluzione loudspeaker (€11.990 per pair including 21% VAT) in the spirit of classic models with this name. They have improved the frequency response and overall sound quality, especially by adjusting the parameters and components of the crossover, more sophisticated internal damping, and other bits. The crossover now features 1% tolerance Mundorf resistors and 3% tolerance Mundorf and Jantzen voice coils and capacitors. Each pair is matched to within +/-0.5dB and there are two sets of loudspeaker wire binding posts for bi-amp'ing / bi-wiring. Xavian says "music blooms even easier and more natural than before. However, we have not forgotten the beauty for the eye, which is why all Evoluzione models are delivered at no extra charge in a deep glossy lacquer."

 

 

04 / 19 / 21

HiFi Media Issue 112 April / May / June 2021

HiFi Media April 2021 Luxury Home Audio / Video Magazine
HiFi Media's April 2021 issue features a memoriam of Tim de Paravicini while Alfred Vassilkov of Estelon talks about sound from the north. Reviews within this issue include the Grado Gold3 & Opus3 phono cartridge, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO turntable, Pass Labs HPA-1 headphone amplifier, SMSL SU-9 Bluetooth DAC, PMC twenty5.21i loudspeaker, and Erzetich Thalia portable on-ear headphones. Other gear assessments include the AudioQuest Niagara 1200 power conditioner & Monsoon power cable, Bose TV soundbar & Module 500 active subwoofer, Denon AVC-6700H 8K AV receiver, Bose QuietComfort noise canceling earbuds, Moondrop Starfield & Moondrop SSR in-ear headphones, and Sennheiser CX 300S in-ear headphones. There's also a special jazz interview with Lee Konitz where he says, "Music should come from the realm of the unconscious."

Within this month's editorial, Alan Sircom says, "In the month when we mark the anniversary of the beginning of the global pandemic of COVID-19, there are still no final solutions to this problem. All live public events are still being canceled, including consumer electronics shows which, in the current circumstances, as it is now best seen, are evidently of great importance to this industry, as virtual presentations have proved insufficiently effective. The pandemic continues to plague Europe and the world, and only further confirms how much we as humanity have not met these challenges. Some of the strongest EU markets are currently in full or partial lockdown (Germany, England, France...), population vaccination rate is very low (below 8% at EU level as I write this), problems with insufficient available quantities of the same vaccine, possible side effects after vaccinated, uncertainty about the possibility and mode of travel between EU countries, travel with or without a 'COVID-19 passport', hotel accommodation, etc." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi Media magazine at this link.

 

 

Pacific Audio Fest 2021 Show Report

Pacific Audio Fest Show Delayed Until 2022
This just in from the Pacific Audio Fest:
To all our friends in the hifi community,

With much heartache, Gary and I have decided to postpone the inaugural Pacific Audio Fest until 2022. This Wed morning we woke up to hear that Gov. Inslee had to roll back the reopening status for three counties in Washington state. This was a wake up call to the increasingly uncertain trajectory of finding our way out of the pandemic.

Up until very recently, it looked promising that we would be able to have the show as scheduled. We were looking forward to making PAF a fun, safe, and successful show for all involved. Unfortunately, given the current state of the pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding it, it has become clear that we may not be able to achieve these goals, and rather than risk the safety, time and finances of our supporters we must make this difficult choice.

We truly appreciate all the support and enthusiasm each of you has all shown for the Pacific Audio Fest. We made this decision after speaking with many of you about your concerns, and we thank you for sharing your candid feedback with us, and we are very appreciative of the support we have had in both this tough decision and for the show in 2022. EVERYBODY has stayed the course with us and we will work tirelessly to make this the best show for all.

As we've assured you all from the beginning, you will receive a full refund of your deposits and have the right of first refusal on the rooms and ads you previously selected. If you would like to roll your existing deposit forward, please let us know and we'd be happy to lock in your rate for 2022.

We are working with the hotel to shift our contract to similar dates in 2022, and as soon as those are locked in we will let everyone know.

For some of you, this may come as a relief; for others, perhaps not. We hope that no one feels they have wasted any effort or time with this. Know that you have all helped lay the groundwork for an amazing new show in 2022.

I am hoarse from talking about this with our exhibitors the past two days, and am encouraged by the connection and heart of the hifi audio community. Because of each of you, this hard and sad decision has turned into a feeling of resolve and belonging. Thank you and we look forward to when we can all gather to laugh and enjoy music together in the company of friends.

Until then, please don't hesitate to reach out to us as we continue to build this show.

Lou Hinkley & Gary Gill

 

 

04 / 16 / 21

Nordost Odin 2 Tonearm Cable + For Turntables

Nordost Odin 2 Tonearm Cable + For Turntables
Nordost has just launched their new Odin 2 Tonearm Cable + (1.25 meter length is $12,999, custom lengths available). The Odin 2 Tonearm Cable + consists of four silver-plated solid core 99.999999% OFC conductors wrapped within a patented dual mono-filament suspension. This innovative and proprietary design by Nordost is said to "dramatically increases signal speed and reduces insulation contact by 85%". The conductors are individually shielded using Nordost's unique Total Signal Control (TSC) technology, allowing for 100% coverage and protection from external pollution including RFI / EFI and crosstalk. In order to combat noise, Nordost's O2 Tonearm Cable + takes a two-prong approach. Firstly, Nordost's Supreme Reference tonearm cable runs a fully isolated bond ground throughout the cable, which connects the chassis of the turntable and phono-stage, creating a secure, low noise connection between the two components. The second method is a versatile solution, ensuring that Nordost's tonearm cable will be able to address any grounding need, regardless of the unique construction of the components in the sound system.

Each Odin 2 Tonearm Cable + includes two detachable silver-plated ground whips complete with dual mono-filament technology and TSC shielding. Nordost's Odin 2 Tonearm Cable + is measured to precise mechanically tuned lengths and is terminated with Nordost's proprietary HOLO:PLUG Straight or 90º low-mass five-pin Din, RCA, or XLR connectors. These connectors have been produced to accommodate the cable's unique design. Nordost says that this "Supreme Reference-level tonearm cable eliminates noise and provides the low levels of capacitance needed to maintain the integrity of such fragile signals, ensuring a truly sublime vinyl listening experience."

 

 

04 / 15 / 21

audioXpress Magazine May 2021

audioXpress' May 2021 Issue Is Now Available
audioXpress' May 2021 issue features the new original Western Electric 300B vacuum tube, Using Chaffee's method of load lines, experimenting with tube sound, the Cranberry versatile stereo tube amp, and determining the real output current for Op-Amps. Other excellent articles within this issue include vibrato and tremolo, measuring vibration with piezoelectric sensors (part 2), noise is everywhere (even MC input transformers), plus the science and physics of high-end mic-preamp design (part 4).

Within his editorial, J. Martins says, "The original Glass Audio periodical was launched in 1989 and was published twice a year by Edward T. Dell Jr. "in the interest of high-quality audio reproduction using vacuum tube technology. Issue '0' was published in 1988 to promote and introduce the new concept, generating useful suggestions from readers —  and the positive response encouraged Ed Dell to move ahead. This was a seemingly strange endeavor for the small Peterborough, NH-based publisher, known then for The Audio Amateur and Speaker Builder periodicals. The compact disc (CD) had replaced vinyl as the mainstream format for music distribution, but tube amplification was still inspiring a select group all over the world." See what's within this issue of audioXpress.

 

 

Endow Audio T35 Point-Array Floorstanding Loudspeakers Review

World Premiere Review!
Endow Audio T35 Point-Array Loudspeakers

Exceptionally well made with impressive on- and off-axis sound.
Review By Brett Rudolph
Last month I had the fortune of being asked to review new speakers from Endow, which made their debut at the Florida Audio Expo 2020. Endow Audio's T35s loudspeakers, according to the company, represents the same quality at a substantially reduced price without cutting corners. Indeed, they are certainly visually a sight to behold.... The engineering itself was fascinating; Endow utilized multiple drivers in various phases and closed baffle in a very non-trivial design to allow for a very expansive off-axis listening field. Additionally, the speakers do not have any crossover built-in within the Point Array (read: no high pass filter), with the 12" woofer having a low pass filter. There are no filters above 100 Hz, which is a factor in sonic performance. These speakers do not suffer from the problems many speakers have where reproduction is hindered by crossover issues, which might negatively impact the overall sonics at specific points.
---> Endow Audio T35 point-array loudspeaker review.

 

 

04 / 14 / 21

T.H.E. Show 2021 During June In Long Beach, CA

T.H.E. Show 2021 During June In Long Beach, CA
T.H.E. Show (The Home Entertainment Show) 2021 is delighted to announce the public beta phase of their new app, with event tickets now on sale. You can now RSVP to T.H.E. Show to get your tickets, post photos from previous T.H.E. Shows, and chat with others about what you are looking forward to most about T.H.E. Show 2021! This event is your destination for all things audio, music, hi-fi, and lifestyle!

Designed to connect music, entertainment, tech aficionados, trade professionals, and media from around the world, T.H.E. Show's integrated state-of-the-art exhibit plans to showcase the latest products and innovations from industry-leading brands. Experience a variety of sounds ranging from $500 headphones to the $500,000 stereo setup. T.H.E. Show is set for June 11th through 13th at the Hilton Long Beach in California.

 

 

CEDIA Expo Sept. 2021 At The Indiana Convention Center

CEDIA Expo Sept. 2021 At The Indiana Convention Center
CEDIA Expo 2021, owned and produced by Emerald, will run from September 1st through 3rd at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. As always, the event will feature networking, CEDIA training, brand exposure, and product launches. CEDIA Expo is said to bring together thousands of home tech pros and nearly 500 exhibitors to the leading event in modern home audio and video technology. Immerse yourself in the explosion of connectivity of 4k streaming video and true lossless 24-bit/192kHz hi-res streaming audio. CEDIA Expo is your opportunity to stay informed, equipped and connected with a passionate network of home technology professionals.

Change is happening fast in the residential technology space. Breakthrough innovations, fueled in part by a growing IoT market, are getting faster, smarter and more intuitive with every iteration. Competing on the cutting edge requires that you understand current technology. Get a glimpse of what's to come from thought leaders engaged in the rapidly changing environment. CEDIA claims to offer the professional development you need with in-depth training led by industry experts and visionaries, designed to grow your skill set, knowledge base and bottom line. Take advantage of a variety of sessions and topics to create a customized training program(s).

 

 

04 / 13 / 21

ESS Technology 32-bit/768kHz SABRE ES9033Q DAC

ESS Technology 32-bit/768kHz SABRE ES9033Q DAC
ESS Technology's new SABRE ES9033Q DAC handles 32-bit/768kHz, DSD512, as well as TDM and DoP formats. While the ES9033Q is a two-channel DAC chip, it can be employed in mono balanced mode as well. This new chip has a dynamic range of 122+dB (A weighted) with DRE and -108dB of THD+N per channel. It also features a very useful 2Vrms line driver output stage resulting in "an optimum system performance" says the company. In addition, system designers can save on the total bill-of-materials (BOM), board space and power consumption by taking advantage of the ES9033Q's built-in phase lock loop (PLL), eliminating the need for an external crystal or oscillator.

There's no need to decode lossy proprietary formats as ESS Technology's ES9033Q includes eight pre-programmed filters that are designed to preserve the time-domain response while providing the best imaging and accurate signal preservation possible. A stereo de-emphasis filter can also be set if required. This not only ensures accurate timing, it also provides a variety of settings depending on the sound 'personality' desired. The ES9033Q can be programmed using various input methods including I2C, SPI, and hardware modes are available. It also features ESS' proprietary HyperStream II modulator that gives their DACs "legendary sound quality". HyperStream II modulation allows for timing jitter to be pushed out of the audio range so the resulting soundstage is pure and consistent.

 

 

04 / 12 / 21

The HiFi Summit's Q2 2021 Online Trade Show

The HiFi Summit's Q2 2021 Online Trade Show
The HiFi Summit's third online trade show, taking place from June 24th through 28th, seeks to deliver the best possible experience for attendees. This time around, Joe Mariano truly wants to connect with you and the audio community. Seminar speakers will take the time after their sessions to answer attendee questions in the VIP video chat. They've made videos specifically to introduce you to their brand and products.

When it comes time to upgrade your system or to recommend products to others, remember that these companies are the ones who thought it was important to interact with customers and potential customers. They felt that it was worth their time and effort to participate. "I applaud them for their courage, conviction, and belief in us. I am proud to be a part of this audio community," says Joe Mariano of The HiFi Summit. In addition, you the audience and enthusiast can decide which products will win awards for Most Innovative, Best Design, Best Presentation, and Most Desirable.

 

 

04 / 09 / 21

SoundCheck 19 Multi-Channel Measurements Systems

SoundCheck 19 Multi-Channel Measurements System
With modern times comes modern solutions for immersive audio / immersivephilesTM, which is already in millions of automobiles and hi-res 192kHz true lossless high-end audio systems. SoundCheck 19's new release of Listen Inc.'s flagship audio test and measurement system offers additional functionality for multi-channel measurements. This includes a new multi-channel RTA, WASAPI-exclusive mode, and AmpConnect 621 control. Additionally, the inclusion of room acoustics measurements offers increased capability for those looking to evaluate devices in real-world situations. The original ANSI S1.11-2004 Class 0 standard compliant, single-channel RTA has been enhanced to show multiple channels simultaneously. Settings for these can be configured independently, e.g. adding different weighting curves, and the power-averaged response displayed. This is a convenient way to view many measurements across a wide range of applications.

The optional RT60 Room Acoustics module enables measurement of the reverberation time and clarity of any room or space with fully calibrated signal paths. Another enhancement is the option to use WASAPI-exclusive mode with Windows 10 audio devices, allowing SoundCheck to bypass the Windows audio engine. SoundCheck 19 supports AmpConnect 621, Listen's new high resolution (up to 192kHz) multi-channel audio interface. The absence of front panel knobs also provides an added level of test integrity by ensuring that settings cannot be inadvertently adjusted outside of your test configuration. SoundCheck 19 with AmpConnect 621 is a simple and cost-effective solution for automotive and immersivephileTM setup measurements with a six-microphone array, sound power measurements, etc.
Note: Immersivephile(s) is TM by Steven R. Rochlin.

 

 

04 / 08 / 21

EMM Labs CDSA SE Stereo SACD / CD Player Review

EMM Labs CDSA SE Stereo SACD / CD Player Review
The gold standard!
Review By Phil Gold
I'm going to say upfront that this machine is capable of the best digital sound it has been my pleasure to hear, the best by some margin. It will open your eyes to the stunning potential of SACD, so often hidden by mediocre implementations, and can go head to head with exotic vinyl spinners for ultimate fidelity. There is no aural sugar coating, artificial warmth or hyped up dynamics designed to impress in the showroom. This is the real McCoy — a machine dedicated to extracting the maximum accuracy from a two channel SACD signal. But it is not the user-friendliest piece of equipment, it won't do multi-channel or DVD-Audio, and who knows where SACD is heading!
---> EMM Labs CDSA SE stereo SACD / CD player review.

 

 

Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference Turntable For Sale.... Again

Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference Turntable For Sale.... Again
As seen in the retro-futuristic classic movie A Clockwork Orange, the Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference turntable (£4000) in now available for sale. In Alex's (Malcolm McDowell) bedroom in A Clockwork Orange we find a stunning turntable on which he plays his beloved Beethoven records. This, the Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference Turntable, is an award-winning piece first produced in the 1960s and was selected by Stanley Kubrick himself to appear in the film. This iconic turntable, which also appears in the hospital scene as well as in Alex's bedroom, was first designed and manufactured by the late David Gammon in 1964. Gammon's son Michael told us how it came to appear in the movie: "In 1969 Stanley Kubrick visited my father at his Borehamwood factory and asked him if he could purchase a Hydraulic Reference to use in his latest film project. He let Stanley have the turntable".

Their turntables have been widely used in numerous television commercials and in many films: The Skeleton turntable was used in the X-Men: First Class (2011) and Creepshow (1982) and the Hydraulic Reference Turntable can be spotted in The Look Of Love (2013) as well as A Clockwork Orange (1972). Various turntable parts were also used in another Stanley Kubrick production, 2001 A Space Odyssey. These turntables are still handmade to order today exclusively through Film And Furniture website. They are hand built to the same design and specification as they were in 1964, with an individual serial number featured on each product.

 

 

T.H.E. Human Side Award-Winning Documentary

T.H.E. Human Side Award-Winning Documentary
Please join us today as T.H.E. Show will make available their new award-earning video T.H.E. Human Side. T.H.E. Human Side is a documentary short film about enjoying the music and what is means for you. They will have a live interactive chat running, so you'll be able to comment and ask questions as you watch. This documentary had a private, limited premiere at T.H.E. Show 2019 but has never been seen by the global public. We hope you will enjoy this celebration of the human spirit in audio and music as we look forward to T.H.E. Show 2021 this coming June 11th through 13th at the Hilton Long Beach, CA.

 

 

04 / 07 / 21

Pacific Audio Fest 2021 Show Report

The Pacific Audio Fest 2021 From July 30 Through August 1
"Covid has obviously thrown more wrenches into the audio show schedule. Considering the constantly changing dates of some shows this year we want to assure everyone that if we cannot safely hold the Pacific Audio Fest on our scheduled dates (July 30 -- Aug. 1 2021) then we will simply refund all deposits and plan on similar dates for 2022," says PAF's Lou Hinkley. "We will not change our dates in 2021 because doing so would intrude on the long established show dates of RMAF and Capitol Audio Fest, and our belief and policy is that we are all in this together. Our firm policy is 100% refunds in case of a Covid cancellation and vendors will have first right of refusal in 2022 on the rooms they reserved. We strongly feel this is the only way to deal responsibly with everybody in the audio community."

Held at the Doubletree Hilton Sea-Tac Washington, it this time it looks like PAF will have a good shot at holding the show as planned and they'll make an announcement around May 1 to confirm the situation. That should give everyone enough time to adjust their plans if need be. Lets is all hope that the progress of the last month continues and we can get close to normal, or the new normal, by the end of July. Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive, the Pacific Audio Fest will be a great and fun show for everybody! Enjoy the Music.com's Pacific Audio Fest (PAF 201) show report will be online shortly after the event.

 

 

RMAF Show 2021 Show Report

RMAF Show 2021 From October 8th Through 10th
Featuring the most luxurious destination for America's high-end audio, personal audio, and immersive sound exhibition, plus excellent weather too, the family friendly Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center is Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest's (RMAF) 2021's home in Denver. Celebrating RMAF's very special 17th continuous Denver event, more than any other American audiophile show, attendees can enjoy the beautiful atmosphere and consistently glorious weather. All are welcome and questions are encouraged. Many exhibit spaces will, in total, feature more than 200 high-end audio, video, personal audio, and immersive sound  brands. Many exhibitors continue to come back each year to showcase the very finest of high fidelity luxury audio gear. Come experience many major household audio brands from around the world during this truly international showcase of luxurious lifestyle for music lovers.

RMAF opened exhibitor registration on Monday, March 15 and is begin assigning proprietary rooms. As you may remember, those exhibitors who participated in RMAF 2019 will have the first opportunity to claim their same rooms or request a change. Beginning on Monday, April 12, exhibitors who are new to RMAF and those who are returning after a hiatus will be able to reserve any rooms not yet claimed by 2019 exhibitors. "Because of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 information and mandates, we are not accepting payments for exhibit space until May 17," says

 

 

04 / 06 / 21

The Science of Rock N' Roll Exhibition For Sale

The Science Of Rock N' Roll Exhibition For Sale
Rasmus Auctions has been tasked to sell the Science Of Rock N' Roll Exhibition. This is a complete liquidation auction of the exhibition and includes a 10,000 sq/ft space that provides a fresh look at the history of rock from the perspective of science and technology. This is offered in its entirety to include rights and title to all exhibits, light, sound, show, fixtures, trademarks, artwork, materials, and intellectual property. Hard assets are stored on four tractor-trailers and kept in exhibition cases designed for touring.

"Rock n' roll is as much a product of science and technology as it the offspring of the blues, R&B, hillbilly and jazz," says the exhibition's website. "Scientific discoveries have had an incalculable effect on how we make, listen to, sell, acquire, perform, share and enjoy music. The more You think about it, the more fascinating it gets. The Science of Rock N' Roll tells the story of rock n' roll from a different perspective: how our need to make music has led to new technologies and how those technologies ended up changing the way we make music. We hope you will enjoy this new spin on rock history."

 

 

04 / 05 / 21

Gold Note Audio PH-1000 MM / MC Phono Stage

Gold Note Audio PH-1000 MM / MC Phono Stage
Gold Note Audio's new PH-1000 MM/MC phono stage (€9600) is the best phono stage the company has ever offered and is 100% made within Italy. Featuring a Class A headphone output, it also provides +40 EQ curves preset, four adjustable custom EQ curves, and an optional high-quality Class A line preamplifier. Besides the amazing amount of 40 EQ curves available, you can customize the EQ curves manually by adjusting three main parameters. With seven gain and 12 load levels, as well as six capacitance options, the PH-1000 can drive the most exotic of cartridges easily.

All the functionalities are managed through discrete audio-grade components and sealed single switches, always shortening the signal path to deliver superior audio quality and extract even the finest details from the vinyl record. Gold Note Audio's PH-1000 offers three independent inputs, two unbalanced RCA and one balanced XLR. There are also two other inputs, one RCA and one XLR, that can be used either for the external load plugs for even finer control of the load, or as line inputs on the PH-1000 with preamplifier. Add the other functionalities, such as the headphone output, a stereo / mono control with phase inversion, L/R channel swap, and rumble subsonic filter.

 

 

04 / 02 / 21

FLAC Lossless 24-bit/192kHz Zappa Albums On Qobuz

FLAC Lossless 24-bit/192kHz Zappa On Qobuz
Qobuz has partnered with UMe and Zappa Records to provide dozens of Frank Zappa albums for the first time in true lossless Hi-Res Audio. Totaling 29 albums spanning all phases of Zappa's groundbreaking career, the new five-week campaign will span a series of drops between now and May 7th, with classic and influential albums released for download and streaming in true lossless Hi-Res Music quality for the first time in history. Beginning April 2, fans will be able to stream and download nine albums exclusively on Qobuz. The albums will be available in native 24-bit/192kHz Hi-Res Music FLAC format. Each will include an extensive PDF digital booklet, a feature only available on Qobuz's streaming apps. On April 1 more Zappa album will drop. Also of note is that Qobuz is running a program now through May 15th called 'Qobuz music gifts,' where they're offering a wide array of Hi-Res albums for free download.

 

 

04 / 01 / 21

High-End Audiophile Hi-Fi Gear Review Magazine

Enjoy the Music.com's Special April Review Magazine
This month's Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine features some special goodies for April 1. We also have a glorious variety of great gear reviews, thoughtful think pieces, and more! See Enjoy the Music.com's April Review Magazine at this link.

 

A Primer: Attending An Audio Show

A Primer: Attending An Audio Show
Plus a few tasty bits of insider info you need to know.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
Hi guys and gals in AudioLand. With all these show reports contained within the Enjoy the Music.com pages, i felt you would be interested in what it takes to cover shows as a humble writer looking to get scoops on all the groovy gear. First comes making all the arrangements. The airline tickets, the hotel reservation, the rental car... Nothing hard with that except being a bit strenuous on your wallet. Have you seen what these hotel rooms cost? Almost 300 sheckles for the 'phile City show... each night! Hmmm, being short on cashola i guess it will be fun staying at the YMCA for me again this year....
--->A Primer: Attending an audio show.

 

 

Digital Audio Consumption Grows, Even In A Pandemic Article By Ted Green, President Of The Stratecon Group, Inc.

Digital Audio Consumption Grows,
Even In A Pandemic
Article By Ted Green, President Of The Stratecon Group, Inc.
In new data from eMarketer, we learn that digital audio continues to grow even in the wake of a global pandemic. And by grow, they mean that the time users spend listening to this type of content continues to increase. Early in the pandemic, this didn't necessarily look like it would be the case, as homebound consumers turned to traditional TV or social media (or both) leading many researchers to suggest digital audio would lose some ground. Many market researchers, including eMarketer, had predicted that digital audio would be hit hard by the pandemic. Why would they think that? Because conventional wisdom had it that most users enjoyed listening to this kind of content during their commute to/from work.
---> Digital audio consumption grows...

 

 

CH Precision — A Postscript

CH Precision — A Postscript Review
Three months after the dust settled on last issue's marathon project covering CH Precision's all analogue A1.5, P1, L1, X1 amplifier system, some more aspects came to mind.
Review By Martin Colloms
While I was in the thick of considering the CH Precision A1.5, P1, L1 and X1 late last year, such was the complexity and range of settings and modes and connections, and not least power supply options, that a considered overview was somehow just out of reach. Moreover, those continued and complex evaluations were inevitably constrained by particular circumstances in that more extended trial and error methods to establish quality limits could have added value, for example exchanging multiple cables in all positions, signal, and loudspeaker, and also mains connection methods, whether central or extended line. Then there is the matter of optimising the choices and subsequent alignment of anti-vibration frames and optional intermediary supports.
---> CH Precision — A Postscript.

 

 

Avantgarde Acoustic Duo XD Hornspeaker Review

Avantgarde Acoustic Duo XD Hornspeaker Review
Blow Up! – With the Duo XD, Avantgarde Acoustic shows what horn technology and a perfectly matched active woofers... are able to do to the sound.
Review By Matthias Böde
Yes, you have read the measurement results from our lab correctly (in case you checked them): For 94 decibels of sound pressure at a distance of one meter, this speaker needs just 0.07 Watts of power. Seven Watts would be somewhat normal, 0.7 Watts already a sensation – but 0.07 Watts reads like a typo. It is completely true though! This is made possible by the large horn at the top end of the Duo XD, coming from the specialist Avantgarde Acoustic, based in a small town in the Odenwald mountain range in southwestern Germany. This horn is connected directly to the amplifier without any intermediate crossover and visually symbolizes the phenomenal efficiency with its huge opening of 67 centimeters.
---> Avantgarde Acoustic Duo XD hornspeaker review.

 

 

Radio Shack's Realistic System 200 Stereo Review

Radio Shack's Realistic System 200 Review
Tremendous features and an authentic value!
Review By Mark Rochlin
Today I received the most amazing unit to evaluate, the Realistic System 200! New for 1988, this unit represents a new peak of the Tandy / Radio Shack line and continues the tradition of quality and value that makes Radio Shack famous and guarantees their continued success. Their System 200's ingenious design revolves around both sonic excellence and ease of use. Styled in a custom made faux walnut-looking rack with matching speakers, this unit will enhance the style of your living room. Radio Shack has taken the unique approach of enclosing the entire unit within one single chassis. This allows them to invest into their system where it counts, the internal electronics.
---> Radio Shack's Realistic System 200 stereo review.

 

 

AGD The Audion MKII Monoblock Amplifier Review

World Premiere Review!
AGD The Audion MKII Monoblock Amplifier Review
The Audion MkII takes this prized monoblock to the next level.
Review By Rick Becker
To be a successful manufacturer it is imperative to know when to draw the line on product development and call it ready for production. The problem is most designers know the creative process can go on indefinitely. Technology rarely stands still. What is cleverly called "passion" often can be arguably described as an obsessive-compulsive addiction to perfection. Those who cannot draw the line and commit to even small-scale production become artisans of serial, unique products, no two of which are alike. A clever way to avoid this trap is modular construction. Alberto Guerra was thinking several chess moves in advance when he came out with his stunning Vivace monoblock Class D amplifiers with GaN MOSFET transistors.
---> AGD The Audion MKII monoblock amplifier review.

 

 

Audience adeptResponse aR6-T4 Passive Power Conditioner Review With Audience's frontRow powerChord

Audience adeptResponse aR6-T4 Passive Power Conditioner With Audience's frontRow powerChord Review
Reacquaint yourself with the art of deep listening.
Review By Dr. Michael Bump
I recently came across an article written in early March 2020 by LA Times Staff Writer, Randall Roberts. The write-up, entitled, The Lost Art of Deep Listening: Choose an album. Lose the phone. Close your eyes, is offered as a challenge (to those who are otherwise not of an audiophile persuasion) to listen with all manner of intent as if binge-watching all seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy (which I admittedly have done now on three occasions). The assignment: Clear your schedule for the next three hours of all distractions. Choose three full recordings from your collection and put them in an ordered queue (as if you were programming a triple feature binge-watch). Then, close your eyes, and just listen... Roberts reflects, "There was a time when listeners treated the mere existence of recorded sound like a miracle – a wonder, a kind of time travel. Vintage images from the space age, recalling couples seated around their high-fidelity systems as if being warmed by a fireplace."
---> Audience adeptResponse aR6-T4 passive power conditioner with Audience's frontRow powerChord.

 

 

FiiO FD5 Flagship Dynamic In-Ear Monitors (IEM) Review

FiiO FD5 Flagship Dynamic In-Ear Monitors (IEM) Review
You can teach an old dog new tricks!
Review By Paul Schumann
As I approach the big 6-0, I have become more mindful of the choices I make and how I spend my time. I am constantly asking myself, "How can I get the most out of this day?" Sure, I still waste too much time on Facebook and YouTube, but I still try to block out some time each day for something that will challenge me in some way. It might be trying a new recipe, coming up with a new teaching strategy, working on a new audio equipment project, listening to a new challenging piece of music, attempting a new yoga pose, or watching a new show. Included in this endeavor is reviewing new and different pieces of equipment. Thanks to Steven's benevolent leadership, I have been able to listen to, and write about a wide variety of high-end pieces of equipment from all over the world.
---> FiiO FD5 flagship dynamic in-ear monitors (IEM) review.

 

 

Sennheiser HD820 Closed Back Stereo Headphones Review

Sennheiser HD820 Stereo Headphones Review
Following on from his review of the classic open-back HD 800 headphones from Sennheiser in the last issue of HIFICRITIC, Keith Howard now assesses the closed-back version HD 820.
Review By Keith Howard
This is a rhetorical question because I don't pretend to have an answer to it. Why did it take Sennheiser so long, in the wake of the successful launch of the HD 800 in 2010, to develop a closed-back version? A glance at the HD 820 ($2399.95) is enough to tell you that that's what it is – but we had to wait a further eight years for it. Could it be that Sennheiser was diverted into serving the burgeoning mobile audio market? Or that developing a closed-back sibling to the HD 800 proved tough? Having spent a month measuring and listening to the HD 820, I reckon the latter is at least a realistic possibility. Because if you expect the HD 820 to provide HD 800-like sound quality (but with improved isolation of external sound), you're destined to be disappointed.
---> Sennheiser HD820 stereo headphones review.

 

 

High-End Audio Reviews & Audiophile Articles

High-End Audiophile Review Magazine

Read All Articles, Hi-Fi Gear Reviews, Etc.
We have more wonderful high-end audio equipment reviews, think pieces, etc within this month's Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine available at this link.

 

 

 


 

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