High-End Audio / Audiophile
/ Immersivephile Hi-Fi Equipment
Reviews And Think Pieces
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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.
How A Vinyl Record Is Made
We tour Quality Record Pressings / Acoustic Sounds vinyl LP pressing plant.
Enjoy the Music.com presents to you our tour of the Quality Record Pressings (Acoustic Sounds) vinyl LP pressing plant. We join plant manager Gary and owner Chad Kassem as they take us on a step-by-step journey through how a vinyl LP record is produced. As always, in the end what really matters is that you... Enjoy the
---> See how a vinyl LP record is made.
Think Of Your Loudspeakers As An Air Pump
Roger Skoff writes about a helpful new way to regard your
By Roger Skoff
Hanukkah, Festivus, or whatever else your winter gift-giving holiday may have
been is now over, and Santa or some other friendly spirit may have brought new
toys or goodies for you to play music on or to make your music listening even
more enjoyable. Either way, here's a thought that might help you to get the most
out of the new stuff – or even the old stuff, in case Santa brought the
Lamborghini instead of the new audio gear you really wanted. The first thing to remember is, even though what
we listen to is music, and that music (and sometimes even the gear we play it on
and/or the room we play it in) can have a strong effect on our emotions – the
truth is that what's making the music for us is just an air pump, the equipment
to power it, and the space for it to work in.
---> Think Of Your Loudspeakers As An Air Pump.
Artesania Audio Exoteryc Rack Review
A rack that answers an often asked question in audio.
Review By Rufus Smith
Is a rack
considered a component in the audio world, or is it just an accessory for
holding our equipment? When I purchased my first audio system, the only
requirements I had for a rack were that it was stable, supported the weight of
all my equipment, had enough shelves to hold all the equipment, and,
importantly, was cheap. The concept of vibration control was foreign to me, and
honestly, I believe my dealer had not heard of it either, as all the racks in
his store were the type that could find at any music store or chain electronics
store. Alas, my budget barely covered my equipment, so my first rack
was the same one found in college dorms or apartments across the country. The
stand, constructed out of concrete blocks and 1x12 pine boards, was everything a
college student needed. It was somewhat stable, infinitely adjustable, held all
the equipment, and was very cheap.
---> Artesania Audio Exoteryc Rack Review.
Meze Audio Elite Masterpiece Open Back Headphones Review
Meze's Elite headphones are a heavyweight champion in
Review By Frank Iacone
Antonio Meze leader designer and founder of Meze started ten
years ago with a simple headphone design that took the country by storm. The
year following they began working with Rinaro Isodynamic located in Ukraine whom
for over 30 years had been working on completing their hybrid array technology. Meze's Empyrean was the first to use the technology and
received worldwide awards for best-sounding headphones when it hit the market.
Priced at $2999, and still available, it is regarded as one of the best sounding
and most comfortable headphones. Three years in development the Elite has many of the same
features as the Empyrean with a more refined and new Rinaro designed driver.
---> Meze Audio Elite
Euphony Audio Summus Endpoint Review
How do you improve upon digital
Review By Tom Gibbs
From late 2019 into 2020, my personal life was an absolute
shambles, mostly due to a seemingly never-ending series of health crises that
quite nearly took me down with them. The only really positive thing (besides
living through it all!) that kept me grounded in my audiophile reality was the
arrival of the Euphony Summus Server. Which amazingly took an almost five-year
process from my first contact with Euphony's DaliborKasac — at the point when
he first reached out to me, I didn't really completely know what digital file
streaming was about. But I must give him credit: Dalibor — if anything — was
definitely persistent! Getting the Summus was an absolute godsend;
the absence of the recently departed Sonore Signature Optical Rendu streamer had
left a rather gaping hole in my system's audiophile credibility.
---> Euphony Audio Summus Endpoint Review.
Cyrus One HD
Int. Amplifier / DAC Review
The Cyrus One HD Integrated Amplifier is not inexpensive at $1,500 but nobody said that great sound quality would be cheap
Review By W. Jennings
Cyrus is a very interesting British audio manufacturer that
doesn't receive a lot of press coverage in North America; a reality that is starting to change because
it's hard to keep a secret for over thirty years. Very much like Croft Acoustics; another British manufacturer with a cult following, Cyrus have been engineering some of the best hi-fi in the world for over 30 years but without a lot of fanfare. The British press fall over themselves to review their extensive range of products and
it's rare to see any component not receive a "rave" review. The Cyrus One HD Integrated Amplifier hopes to continue that
streak. I have owned and enjoyed an original Cyrus One in the past so when a press tour of the new One HD was announced, I requested that I be included.
Cyrus One HD Int. Amplifier / DAC Review.
Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4 Standmounted Monitor Speaker Review
The latest generation of the British company's flagship speaker series is here; Ed Shelly has set about the smallest member of the range to see what makes it
Review By Ed Shelly
Series has long occupied a unique place in high-end audio. Such is the market
share that Bowers & Wilkins has of the total sales of speakers in this price
category that the models that result enjoy both a ubiquity and economy of scale
nothing else can really match. Insofar as a 'normal' member of the public can
envisage a high end speaker, it's generally the 800 Series that springs to mind.
For those more familiar with the high-end category, the 800
Series still holds considerable interest as a demonstration of design features
Bowers & Wilkins will no doubt trickle down its range in due course and are
likely to influence other manufacturers, too.
Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4 Monitor Review.
Nucleus+ Core Unit And XLCR Power Supply Review
Roon: A Short Story
Martin Colloms has become a Roon convert – Here he charts his path to
'Roonification'; using the company's Nucleus+ Core unit.
Review By Martin Colloms
I'd encountered Roon music playing and cataloguing software on a few occasions, as well as its predecessor, the Sooloos music storage and handling system, with its attractive graphical presentations of tracks, artwork and music cataloguing. Acquired by Meridian some years ago as the heart of its streaming solution, Sooloos was later spun off as a separate company, eventually becoming Roon in 2015. But the heart of the system has remained: an informative, easy to use music management system, based on extended metadata and intelligent cataloguing of content. It has seen several iterations bringing it to the present level of refinement – in fact to a level where I felt that I just had to try it
Roon Nucleus+ Core Unit & XLCR PS Review.
The Beasts In The Wall
Article By Grey Rollins
mother, despite being a well-educated woman and pretty level-headed in the
bargain, had one belief that was suspiciously close to being rank superstition.
Although she was perfectly willing to accept the conveniences afforded by modern
electrical appliances, those pesky little demons hiding in the electrical outlet
filled her with irrational fear. At some point in her life, she must have been
shocked badly by electricity, because she was deathly afraid of getting even the
slightest tingle, ever again. When I asked her what she was so afraid of, she
waved her hands vaguely in the air and tried to describe something with teeth
and a vicious temper and... I frowned, trying to make sense of her description. "Sounds
almost like you're describing tiny piranha." ... "Exactly," she said, folding her arms and sitting back, lips
drawn tight. And I never managed to dissuade her from that view. She went
to her grave thinking, somehow, that there was an extra-dimensional portal
between a river in the Amazonian rain forest and a power outlet....
---> The Beasts In The
Editorial By Art Dudley
Recently I received some new CD re-issues from JVC who have begun applying their very nice XRCD process to the RCA Victor catalog of classical recordings from the 1950s and
1960s. Among this batch was a personal favorite: Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony orchestra performing Beethoven's
Symphony No.7. I enjoy this one the most of all the Sevenths in my collection, and the fact that my copy is a mono LP isn't something I ever gave all that much thought to. In fact, until someone corrected me on the point, I half assumed that LM-1991 might be one of those recordings in the RCA catalog that never came out in stereo in the first place.
(I am not the sort of record collector who concerns himself with such details, although I am often thankful for the knowledge of those who
are.) I also remember thinking that a stereo version of this LP, with that big, gaudy LIVING STEREO banner across the top, must surely suffer by comparison in terms of its cover art, which is
Botticelli's La Primavera, reproduced on a sturdy fold-over sleeve the likes of which I haven't seen on any other
---> The Intro By Art Dudley.
Article By Vincent Gallo
I just finished reading a copy of the famous
new magazine Sound Practices Number 2. I got my copy yesterday, the same day my agent informed me that I brown nosed myself
another job acting in a Hollywood movie. She told me I was cast along with Jeremy
Irons, Meryl Streep, Glen Close, and Wynona Rider — so I figured I deserved MILLIONS. I had to spend the whole day
on the phone with my agent and their lawyer. I told them The Gallo doesn't work for
less than a million a film. They offered 10,000. I took 15 K-that's $2,985,000 less
than each of the other actors was getting. With all this Hollywood-style schmoozing
to do, I couldn't just relax and sit around reading my new SP #2. The thing is that as soon as I got the job I started to worry. I've worked as an actor for
12 years but I still get it in my mind that I don't know what the hell I'm doing, and I
---> Sound Practices
Is CD Or Vinyl Better?
Article By Steven Schneider
VALVE Volume 2 Number
3 March 1995
I recently purchased the CD version of
the RCA High Fidelity Living Stereo reissue of Richard Strauss' Also Sprach
Zarathustra, Op. 30 [09026-61 494-2] and wanted to compare it with my brand new Classic Records (a mail order firm)
LP reissue [LSC1806] of the same 1955 recording session. The performance features Fritz Reiner directing the Chicago
Symphony. The equipment used for this review were a Revox 8226 CD player, a DUAL 5000 turntable, Signet
AM30s cartridge, Eico ST84 preamplifier, a custom built Macintosh MI 200AB triode stereo amplifier using 8005 output
tubes, and a pair of custom built three way JBL Hartsfield speakers. The test that I performed was an A-B test between
the CD and the record running simultaneously. This test was only conducted on the first side of the record
because it was too difficult to align side B of the record with the same place on
the CD. I also switched between both sources roughly every two minutes.
---> Is CD Or Vinyl Better?
Schiit Jotunheim Balanced Desktop Headamp
/ Preamp And Lyr 3 Hybrid Headamp / DAC / Phono Review
Configurable balanced and unbalanced desktop headamp, phono stage and stereo preamp.
Review By Jeremy R. Kipnis
names Mike Moffat (Theta Digital) and Jason Stoddard (Sumo) are legendary in
high-end audio circles. Both have been determined engineers seeking the highest
musical fidelity from their circuit designs and playback efforts, utilizing both
analog and digital components; near-on over 38 years now. But you may have
missed their combining forces, nearly 10 years ago (in 2010) in the form of a
new company featuring plenty of Schiit: A name chosen not for its apparent
resemblance to a similar sounding word, but rather to the proud German namesake:
---> Schiit Jotunheim / Lyr 3 Headamp / DAC
/ Phono Review.
FiiO M3K Portable Music Player Review
A mighty mite!
Review By Gary Alan Barker
The FiiO M3K brings to mind my first mp3 player. It was about the same size, though it lacked any kind of display much less a GUI, and it fitted a 10Mb SD card (rather than a micro SD card) and it was called an mp3 player because it couldn't play anything else mostly because a single wav file would be larger than its available storage. Things have come a long way since that first
player... albeit quite a bit smaller in size and quite a bit larger in storage capacity, up to 2TB should they become available. But there the similarity ends, the FiiO M3K employs an Ingenic X1000E processor and an AK3476A DAC capable of playing up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM files, as well as DSD, CUE and
LRC, and in a truly unique move it can also record via an incorporated
---> FiiO M3K Portable Music Player Review.
Furutech DSS-4.1 Speaker And DPS-4.1 Power Cable Review
By Dean Seislove
Cables have it rough. Last in thought, least in budget, forever to be put to work quickly, and then quickly overshadowed by flashier audio gear. When gushing about an audio system, who starts with the cables? Nobody ever, that's who. Such neglect is a crying shame. Cables bear the precious audio signal like a yeoman's cart dispatched by his ladyship. They're the pack mules in the trip down the Grand Canyon; the Pontoon boat floating down the Mekon river. Without cables, your audio system deluxe is just odd-looking furniture. Cables deserve accolades, no matter how much contrary nonsense is spouted off by cynics. I deny the cable
Furutech DSS-4.1 Speaker And DPS-4.1 Power Cable Review.
Synergistic Research Foundation
Oracles house themselves within temples of the humble.
Review By Rick Becker
Like with climate change,
it's hard to believe there are
still cable deniers in this world, but they show up in the forums with a loud
voice. You would think the multitude of High End cable manufacturers would be a
clue. After all, if high end cables were all snake oil would so many companies
exist? Would so many people buy them? And importantly, would brick & mortar
stores, who build their reputations and depend on repeat customers, be selling
them? At audio shows nobody runs generic power cords or interconnects.
---> Synergistic Research Foundation Cables Review.
CH Precision Ethernet Streaming HD
By Marshall Nack Of Positive Feedback
It's winter time. Want to
know the best tweak for the season? Humidity. Get a humidifier and maintain
about 35% RH at the equipment rack. Not only does it make you feel better, it
will make the equipment perform better. Sound travels through air: consider it
the final wire in your system. About a year ago, CH Precision sent around an email
introducing Ralph Sorrentino, their new Brand Ambassador for America.
CH Precision Ethernet Streaming HD Board Review.
World Premiere Review!
Dynamic Sounds Associates Amp I Review
Class-A tour de force!
Review By Greg Weaver
had the pleasure of writing about Dynamic Sounds Associates gear for over 16
years now, with my first take on the original Phono-ONE phonostage appearing
back in November of 2004! Since that time, I've reviewed, or used as reference,
the superb Phono II phonostage (with the Phono III coming on deck soon!), the
I Linestage, and now, I am privileged to bring you the world premiere review
of the exceptional Amp I monoblocks. The engineering mind behind all
these fresh and exceptional designs is one Dr. Douglas Hurlburt, whom I first
met while living in southern Maryland during the early to mid-nineteen nineties.
Dynamic Sounds Associates Amp I Review.
Producing a very convincing airiness and generosity of orchestral music.
Review By Michael Lang
Burmester is not the largest hi-fi company, both
in terms of revenue and number of employees. The manufacturer also does not have
the ambition to offer the most expensive products in the high-end market at any
price – nevertheless, there are only a few other consumer electronics
companies worldwide that evoke a similar desire and enjoy a reputation as good
as this manufacturer does, founded by Dieter Burmester in 1978. However, the
first step towards this was not made by loudspeakers, as Burmester only started
producing these in 1994 with the model 949, but by the legendary preamplifier
777, introduced in the summer of 1977.
Burmester B38 floorstanding Speaker Review.
Nagra Tube DAC And Classic PSU Power
Sonic glory... worth it!
is a Swiss audio equipment manufacturer that has been in business for over 65
years. Their professional portable tape records were an industry standard for
many decades, even appearing as props in many films and television shows. Their
reputation was rock-solid even before they started manufacturing high-end audio
equipment in the 21st Century. Because of this, and because of the fine high-end audio
components they've been designing and manufacturing since 2012, I suppose there
are many audiophiles, and plenty of non-audiophile, who might add the Nagra Tube
DAC and its matching Classic PSU power supply to their systems without an
audition, or without reading reviews on the subject.
Nagra Tube DAC and Classic PSU Power Supply.
LampizatOr MM2 Moving-Magnet (MM) Phono
Beautiful to behold and a joy to use.
Review By Brett Rudolph
have always been one of my favorite sources for my playback system. They are
highly customizable, straightforward to use. They tend to offer a great bang for
the buck, especially on the entry-level ones. In fact, you can purchase a more
expensive turntable, start with a reasonably inexpensive cartridge that sounds
great and move into higher performance ones over time, if you wish. Of course,
there is a downside. They do require a bit more care and feeding than their
digital brethren. The two main types of cartridges on the market are moving
magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC). They both have their advantages and
disadvantages. However, as a rule, moving magnet cartridges tend to be less
expensive to date.
LampizatOr MM2 moving-magnet (MM) vacuum tube phono stage review.
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