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Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest
2023 Show Report
Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest
2023 Event Coverage
The Salon Audio Montreal Audiofest 2023, scheduled from March 24th through 26th,
brought in more than 5000 visitors who want to hear, see and touch over 300 brands of audio products under one roof. It's the biggest get-together of audio/video industry manufacturers, distributors and retailers in Canada. Exhibitors are eager to share their passion for music with you by demonstrating some of the world's best sound systems from
$5000 to $500,000. Montréal Audiofest presented their 34th edition of its popular annual meeting at the Bonaventure Hotel in Montreal. Located in the heart of downtown Quebec, the recently renovated hotel will once again be transformed into a multitude of listening rooms to accommodate thousands of music lovers and nearly 100 exhibitors, representing more than 300 brands of products from the world of high-fidelity
---> Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest
2023 Show Report.
CanJam Singapore 2023 Show Report
Large attendance brings long wait times to hear personal audio gear.
CanJam Singapore 2023 Show Report By Kok Chieat Wong
With more countries opening up for international travel, CanJam Singapore 2023 saw more international brands exhibiting. This year, the sixth edition of CanJam Singapore was held at the same venue, Pan Pacific, on the 25th and 26th of March. Many companies will showcase their latest products and innovations in head-fi across all price
ranges. Same as last year, the event took place within the massive Pacific Ballroom, with booths spanking all sides and the
---> CanJam Singapore 2023 Show Report.
Hi-Fi And Music Industry News
Essential high-end audio news you need to know.
Enjoy the Music.com posts audiophile news virtually every day.
What Do You Listen For?
Roger Skoff writes about one of hi-fi's most basic issues.
By Roger Skoff
A great deal has been written about what music we do or should listen to. And even
more (every record or equipment review, for example) has been written about how
things sound, how we ought to listen to them, or what gear we should listen on.
To my knowledge, though, except for the occasional incidental reference relative
to some other subject, almost nothing has ever been written about what we actually
do or should listen for. The fact is that we don't just "listen". We
couldn't if we wanted to: Even in an apparently "quiet" room, the ambient noise
level – the sound that's constantly going on all around us while we speak with
or listen to others, listen to music, or just sit still, saying or doing nothing
– has been measured to typically average somewhere in the range of 45 to 50
dB. That's hardly a thunderous din....
---> What Do You Listen For?
New Frontiers In Wireless
Working in audio technologies has never been more exciting.
Editorial By J. Martins
Often I find myself explaining why I remain optimistic and enthusiastic about what we do at audioXpress and the audio industry overall, particularly to those who insist that the
"good old, golden days" are behind us and/or that "nothing is as it used to be." At the beginning of the year when I returned from CES full of energy and inspiration, I repeatedly heard the same statements,
"...but, there were hardly any audio companies left at CES!" And that's the reason why I explain—and strongly recommend — not to limit
one's perspectives. That's why I need to get out there, and follow the many professionals in the audio industry who are thriving and living the
"golden days" while others are just starting. Yes, nothing stays the same. Things evolve and in a world of technology,
that's precisely what you would expect>
---> New Frontiers In Wireless.
Pigeonholing Is Still Going On
We remain passionate about all things audio.
Editorial By Alan Sircom
It's strange. While a lot of audio is truly universal in its approach, there is still a lot of pigeonholing going on. Somewhere along the way,
it's easy to fall into the trap where you think one country has some kind of exclusive hold over what is and
isn't good in audio. Often, but not always exclusively, that just happens to be your home
turf. This is (hopefully) not simple xenophobia at work. While the mechanics of our listening mechanisms remain unchanged from country to country, we often grow up in very different musical environments and that can reflect in the audio we choose. That even holds across the years; recent studies suggest those who grew up with heavily compressed music from the
'loudness war' era are struggling to come to terms with the more realistic, less compressed sound of acoustic instruments and voices without auto-tune.
---> Pigeonholing Is Still Going On.
Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems Progression S350 Stereo Power Amplifier Review
The Dan D'Agostino S350 amplifier makes each musical selection sound spectacular!
Review By Tom Lyle
Dan D'Agostino Master Audio
products are not the most expensive audio components on the market, but in my
opinion, their audio products are some of the best sounding high-end
audio components I've ever had the pleasure of auditioning. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to review two
D'Agostino Master Audio components in the past. In 2017, I reviewed the
Lifestyle integrated amplifier, which had an onboard DAC and could also
be used as a streamer with its front-panel LCD metadata display. Also in 2017, I
Master Audio System's Momentum phono stage, which I was highly impressed
with its outstanding sound quality and very user-friendly front panel controls.
Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems Progression S350 Stereo Power Amplifier Review.
Songer Audio S1 Field Coil Point-Source
Singing a magnificent song.
Review By Bob Grossman
Do you remember as a kid when you
first heard an excellent quality music system? It was exciting, right? That
first time I heard music on a good stereo, I was completely mesmerized as if
real musicians were performing in the room! It was an emotional experience
beyond the thrilling sound. That feeling came back a few months ago at the
Capital Audio Fest when I visited the Songer Audio room and heard the S1
Speakers for the first time. I had been listening to music in many different
demo rooms with my good friend Ken Sternberg. We were also saying hello to
industry friends and taking in the excitement of the festival. Something magical
happened when we went into the Songer Room that distinctly grabbed our
attention, like the first time I heard a stereo 60 years ago.
Songer Audio S1 Field Coil Point-Source Loudspeaker Review.
World Premiere Review!
Alsyvox Audio Design Botticelli X
Planar dynamics redefined.
Review By Greg Weaver
The first week of September last year brought a highly
rewarding conclusion to an audio quest that was more than five years in the
making. Since my very first exposure to the Alsyvox Audio Design Botticelli
full-range ribbon loudspeaker — back in May of 2017 in Munich, it has been my
goal to spend some serious time in front of these gorgeous and utterly
remarkable sounding loudspeakers. I was first introduced to the seductive voice of these
remarkable Spanish planar dynamic loudspeakers at the 2017 "apostate" HiFiDeluxe
audio show held at the Marriott München. Just a ten-minute drive south, and
slightly west, of the Munich Order Center, home to the annual "High-End Munich",
the largest annual audio show on earth, this "overflow" audio event runs
coincident with the larger, more established event every year.
Alsyvox Audio Design Botticelli X Loudspeaker Review.
World Premiere Review!
Synergistic Research Master Fuse Review
Take a leap of faith and trust your own ears.
Review By Rick Becker
Weiderspahn was away at the Florida Audio Expo when news broke of their new
Master fuse so Kevin Sample stepped up and obtained permission for me to receive
some review samples. Having previously reviewed the Black, Blue, Orange, and
Purple fuses over the years I was eager to investigate this new version —
especially because of the hype that went along with the introduction. Obviously,
it is not named with a color. More alarmingly, it takes a large jump in price
over the Purple fuses that grace much of my system. But most importantly, it
claims to be such an improvement over the Purple that they recommend using only
one, primarily in your source component, two at most. This last point softens
the blow of the price jump. The Master is said to work well with lesser
Synergistic fuses that may already grace your system.
---> Synergistic Research Master Fuse Review.
World Premiere Review!
EJ Jordan Greenwich Loudspeaker Review
Twice as much of a good thing from the Lake District.
Review By Paul Schumann
One of the
things I love about audio is all the different ways your music can be delivered
to you. The choices for all the different components in the chain are endless.
Do you want to listen to vinyl? You can go direct drive turntable or belt drive.
What kind of cartridge do you want? Moving coil or moving magnet? What kind of
moving coil, low output or high output? What stylus shape do you prefer? Creators make a myriad of choices when they design an audio
component. The one that fascinates me the most is the venerable loudspeaker. Its
job is simply to convert electrical impulses into sound waves. Yet all you have
to do is peruse the pages of Enjoy the Music.com to see there are many
ways to accomplish this goal.
---> EJ Jordan Greenwich Loudspeaker Review.
Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 Stand-Mounted Loudspeaker Review
A sense of performance that gets out of the way of your music.
Review By Simon Lucas
Getting to 'Series
3' of the Bowers & Wilkins 705 stand-mounting loudspeaker has been a rather
more convoluted process than it might seem at first glance. You might imagine
that 'S3' replaces 'S2', which in turn replaced 'S1' (or perhaps just '705') –
but you'd be wrong. Getting to '705 S3' initially required there to be an original
'705', it's true. But after this, the entire 700 range (for reasons no one cares
to remember) became the 'CM' range. 'CM' didn't remain a thing for all that
long, and was replaced by the 'S2' range of 700 models. Then the 705 S2 (and the
702 S2 floorstander) were singled out for the Bowers & Wilkins 'Signature'
treatment – I reviewed the 705 Signature in issue 187 of this very magazine.
These 'Signature' editions ran alongside the 'vanilla' S2 models on which they
Bowers & Wilkins 705 S3 Stand-Mounted Loudspeaker Review.
McIntosh MP100 Phono Preamplifier / DAC Review
A serious piece of kit for an entry level vinyl setup.
Review By Gary Lea
If you are a reader of this esteemed publication it is not a
stretch to presume you are an audiophile and probably pretty deep into our
wonderful hobby. Having said that, I think you would be hard-pressed to find
anyone amongst us who has not heard of, listened to, or even owned McIntosh
components at some time in our audio journey. Right after college, and I started making reasonable money for
the first time, I moved up from a Yamaha integrated amp to a McIntosh MA6200
integrated unit. Sound-wise it was a toss-up between that and a comparable
Luxman. While Luxman was perhaps a bit more exotic, I just could not resist the
aesthetics of the McIntosh and I never regretted the decision. That was some 43 years ago and was the second phase of my
serious journey down the HiFi Highway.
McIntosh MP100 Phono Preamplifier / DAC Review.
OAD Ultrafidelity Vajra Power Amplifier Review
Flawless sound and million dollars looks.
Review By Greg Borrowman
the Australian-made OAD Ultrafidelity brand is new to the country, its founder,
owner and designer, Jon De Sensi, is an old hand in the high-end hi-fi business,
having been designing and building high-end audio equipment for several decades,
most recently under the MusicLabs Australia brand name. He is also well-known
for his willingness to help out other Australian audio designers, such as Redgum's
Ian Robinson, for whom he designed the digital-to-analog stages for the Redgum
RGCD2 CD Player. De Sensi is also well-known for "thinking outside the box", which may very well be why he is using slit-foil capacitors in the Vajra's
power supply (a first for any power amplifier anywhere in the world, he says) as
well as a very unusual transistor topology in the output stage that is rarely
encountered in the world of high-power audio amplifiers.
OAD Ultrafidelity Vajra Power Amplifier Review.
Westone Audio Mach 20, 60, And 70 In-Ear Monitor (IEM) Review
Westone's Mach 20 is a legitimate bargain!
Review By Kevin Venable
I first heard of Westone Audio when I was 30 years old. I was sitting in the
Alley, a courtyard between buildings, at Hollywood California's famous music
school Musician's Institute. My ears were filled with silicon my teeth gnawing
on folded cotton, looking at a pamphlet filled with various custom In-ear
monitors and ear plugs from brands like Ultimate Ears, Shure, and Westone Audio.
It was 2005 and little did I know this company whom I was first seeing mentioned
had helped invent the idea of in-ear monitors (IEMs) in 1985, 20 years prior to
my first ear impressions. I never did buy the IEMs I had the impressions made for as the
auditions I had never panned out into a touring gig and I slowly turned toward
electronic music and started DJ'ing leaving my dreams of playing guitar for a
living to gather dust.
Westone Audio Mach 20, 60, And 70 In-Ear Monitor (IEM) Review.
Interview With Tomasz Zernicki Of Zylia
Boston Audio Society meeting features immersive audio / volumetric recording.
Article by Alvin Foster
Anna Czerwoniec, marketing & sales director at Zylia, introduced Tomasz
Zylia CEO and co-founder. (Both have PhDs, not often the case in audio.) Zylia
is a new, innovative company supplying tools for video-audio production.
Zernicki's doctorate is in electronics, digital audio processing, and
telecommunications. His specialization is VR (virtual reality) production and
volumetric audio recording. He has made significant contributions in audio
compression standards such as MPEG, mph 3D, 360-degree audio, and music
production. Zernicki was awarded as an outstanding young scientist by the Polish
National Center for Research and Development, and was also selected as an
outstanding innovator by 'New Europe 100: Eastern Europe's emerging
technology stars' (selected by Res Publica, Google, Visegrad Fund, and the Financial
---> Interview With Tomasz Zernicki Of Zylia.
Acora Acoustics' Granite Loudspeakers
The origins and sound of granite.
TAS' Lee Scoggins Talks With Acora Acoustics Founder Valerio Cora
With the nearly universal consensus of praise and earning many show awards during the Florida International Audio Expo 2023, the Acora Acoustics, VAC, Oracle Audio, Aurender, LampizatOr, and Cardas Audio room was a sound to
behold! As one of the best-sounding exhibition room during the recent Tampa show, it brings us joy to showcase a very recent interview by The Absolute Sound's Lee Scoggins as he sits down with Acora Acoustics founder Valerio Cora. They both discuss Acora's relatively recent emergence in the audiophile world. Within this video, you'll discover why using granite as an enclosure plays a big role in the loudspeaker's overall performance and Valerio's beginnings with high-end
Acora Acoustics' Granite Loudspeakers.
The Audio Analyst's Conversation With Parasound's
CEO David Sheriff
We welcome new leadership for a highly-respected luxury audio company.
Video By Greg Weaver (a.k.a. The Audio Analyst)
Today we hear from the new CEO of Parasound, David Sheriff. He took the time to outline his thoughts and plans for the future of one of
today's most respected audio manufacturers. Give him a listen and see what the future of Parasound
holds. On December 14th (2022) I received an e-mail from
Parasound's PR representative, Gorden Sell. It announced that Richard Schram had retired and sold the company he had founded in 1981 to an entrepreneur active in product growth and supply-chain management, David
---> The Audio Analyst's Conversation With Parasound's CEO David Sheriff.
Ayon Audio CD-35 II Signature CD Player / Transport Review
My new reference!
Video By Ana[dia]log
Sound has always caught my attention and fascinated me since I was a child. I was born and raised in Italy, in the Florentine countryside. My father is Italian but my mother was from the
USA. In fact, she was always playing cassettes and 45 rpm vinyl LPs of the so-called oldies from the 1950s and 1960s including The Beatles. This opened up a huge new world to my eyes and ears to various genres of music besides the classic stuff friends and I were listening in Italy while growing up during the 1980s and 1990s. The different sounds and
language had a great influence on my life and musical tastes. Fast-forwarding a few years, during college I finally started to have my musical independence and my own first (crappy) stereo.
Ayon Audio CD-35 II Signature CD Player / Transport Review.
Chad Kassem Shares Some Rare Blues Albums
Our good friend Chad showcases some very rare vinyl LPs.
Virtually every premium audio hi-fi music lover knows who Chad Kassem is. This is especially true if you love vinyl LPs, and moreso for fans of the blues. Our good friend Chad is a workaholic and fearless leader of Acoustic Sound, Analog Productions, and Quality Record Pressings
(QRP). Headquartered in Salina, Kansas, Acoustic Sounds is the world leader in audiophile music. CEO Chad Kassem founded the company in 1986, and since then his company has grown to become a global retailer of the largest selection of highest-quality music in a variety of
formats. Along with LPs, SACDs, reel-to-reel tape, and other forms of high-quality audio recordings, Acoustic Sounds offers turntables, cartridges, amplifiers, loudspeakers, and accessories
— all designed to exceed the expectations of premium audio enthusiasts, audiophiles, and music lovers
---> Chad Kassem Shares Some Rare Blues Albums.
SCORE: A Film Music Documentary
Thanks to Gravitas Ventures we have a great documentary about music within movies and how it 'moves' an audience.
which earns an impressive 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, showcases Hollywood's very
best composers as they give us a peek at the creative process plus the many
challenges of creating film music / scores. According to their website, "SCORE
is inspiring students around the world to pursue careers in music at a time when
funding for the arts is at an all-time low in public schools. An understanding
and appreciation for the arts are essential to a well-rounded education in our
modern media-saturated world, and the SCORE team is working to encourage
students to pursue their passions in music, music education, and film
---> SCORE: A Film Music Documentary.
What Is Important To Men And My Readers
Editorial By Herb Reichert
My first wife used to have this Madison Avenue market research job, and her main assignment was to do surveys-to find out what women wanted and what men thought was
important. Not surprisingly, she discovered that women desired economic security and
status in the community way more than sex or power or even love. Shockingly, sex
was usually seventh or eighth on the woman's list. What really surprised me, though, was what men claimed was important to them.
I mean, yeah, sex was always at the top (usually number one or two). But incredibly, right there on the top of the list next to sex and way ahead of money or power or even fame was music. I am not kidding you. And this wasn't only in
rock-till-ya-wear-dentures America, no sit.
---> The Intro: What Is Important To Men And My Readers.
The Dream I Want...
Article By Herb Reichert
From Sound Practices Issue 13
Sound Practices is really a lifestyle
publication, like Low Rider or Chevy World and the editor is really a lifestyle consultant.
And you know what? That really is a picture of me in the drawing above my
column. That's me in one of my dream lifestyles. I haven't started wearing a bow
tie but right now I'm sitting here, smoking my pipe and listening to 1/4 track tapes on
a Revox G-36. I want to be the calm poet listening to the voices in the wind. I believe you are what you aspire to be and
the only way to discover your aspirations is to travel a few untravelled roads. Me? I
have chosen to find my future self by following the various paths that music and
art lead me down. Lately, I have been exploring alternative source material like
tape and 78s and I have a good feeling about where it is leading me.
---> Casual Reactions: The Dream I Want....
A day with the Cary tube preamplifier.
Article By Dan Schmalle
Gil Loring called Sunday to remind me that he wanted to come by Monday and
audition his Cary preamp on my system, as he was writing a review for Audio Observatory.
Well that meant a day off for me, so I said sure! Busman's holiday, anyway. First we picked an amp and speakers
for our very subjective session. We ran the SE 10 amp thru the Optimus 990's for
a bit, but Gil felt the highs were
a bit rolled off, so we switched to the Triophoni amps thru the Magnepans. As a control we started with my modded Citation 1 in the system. I used a neat thrift find for software, an RCA
Red SeaI from the Prokofieff Series, Symphony No.3 and the Scythian Suite, by Erich
Leinsdorf and the Boston [LSC-2934].
---> Cary'd Away.
Best Integrated Amplifiers Below $3000
We've been listening to a lot of integrated amplifiers over the past 12 months, and these four are some of the best below $3000.
Review By Ian White
In our first collaboration video with
Tarun, A British Audiophile, we picked our best budget integrated amplifiers priced under
$1000. But what if your budget can be stretched a little further? We have listened to a wide range of amplifiers between $1000 and
$3000 over the past 12 months and while a number of other integrated amplifiers in this range were very impressive including the Rotel A14MKII and Cambridge Audio CXA61 — we were quite smitten with the
following.... The Ragnarok 2 continues Schiit's mission of offering American-made equipment that is both modular, well designed, and affordable.
---> Best Integrated Amplifiers Below
Ten Misconceptions About Loudspeaker Spikes
Clearing up misunderstandings regarding loudspeaker
Article By Norman Varney
I have been working
professionally in both the sound and vibration, and consumer electronics
industries for decades. As an acoustical engineer and manufacturer of mechanical
vibration isolation products, I feel compelled to address the misconceptions of
incorporating spikes (or any rigid materials) with loudspeakers and/or other
audio equipment. These misconceptions do not exist in the sound and vibration
industries, and are very rare in the pro audio world, however they are very
prevalent in the audiophile world. There are many physical, acoustical, and perceptual
disciplines involved here- we are only going to address the primary ones, and in
only a general way, meaning we won't discuss the secondary or additional
attributes that may come into play. There are some key concepts of physics to be
---> Ten Misconceptions About Loudspeaker Spikes.
Rotel A12MKII Integrated Amplifier Review
The night the lights went out in Long
Is the Rotel A12MKII the ideal amplifier to build a $3000 stereo system around with 2 great sources? I would say
you're foolish not to try it.
Review By Ian White
Have you ever been listening to your system and the lights go out?
It's not a good feeling because there is always the risk that when the power comes back on that something will be amiss.
I've used power line conditioners for almost 20 years but our experience with Hurricane Sandy here on the Shore was not a good
one. My wife thinks that I missed my calling as a Weather Channel talking head because
I'd scare the living crap out of everyone with my forecasts, but I had a bad feeling about Sandy with our home only blocks from the ocean and so many trees surrounding our
property. We didn't tell anyone that we were expecting our third child (Jewish custom is to wait
three months) at the time so it was on me to get the house ready and get anything of value out the way and on really high shelving in our
---> Rotel A12MKII Integrated Amplifier Review.
World Premiere Review!
FiiO E10K-TC And K3 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier Review
Going back to school.
Review By Paul Schumann
If you have
read any of my previous reviews, you know that I am a fan of Classical music.
Sure, I listen to rock, pop, and jazz, but classical music is where I will
always be grounded. I'm sure it is because I grew up listening to my father's
music. While he did listen to a mixture of stuff as I was growing up, it was
mostly classical, especially Bach. By the time I reached high school, I found
prog-rock, which of course had a heavy classical influence. And while my Dad
prefers his baroque music, as I got older, I started leaning towards the
romantics. I think it is fair to say that Brahms was my favorite composer
through my 20s, 30s, and 40s. But while I still love that music, there are only
so many times one can listen to Brahms Violin Concerto or Beethoven's 5th
Symphony before they lose their mystery. So, in my 50s, I started branching out
in my musical journey with 20th- and 21st-century composers. What made this
exploration possible was the internet.
FiiO E10K-TC And K3 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier Review.
Audiophile Gift 2022 December
Audiophile Gift 2021 December
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See our archives section for all reviews.
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