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Audiophile Equipment Review Magazine High-End Audio

High-End Audio, Hi-Res Audio, And Audiophile Review Magazine.
Gear Reviews, Show Reports, Articles, Videos And More!

High-End Audio  /  Hi-Res Audio  /  Audiophile Equipment Reviews
January / February 2019

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Audiophile Industry News

Daily News: Essential High-End Audio Info
Enjoy the Music.com posts audiophile news virtually every day.


Florida Audio Expo 2019 Show Report

Florida Audio Expo 2019 Show Report
Show Coverage By Steven R. Rochlin
The Florida Audio Expo was excited to announce their inaugural show for 2019! This show was held on Friday February 8th through Sunday February 10th, 2019 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore. This new Southeast show seeks to give music lovers the chance to personally audition some of the industry's finest offerings, all taking place in sunny Florida.
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Interactive Music Xpo 1999 Show Report

Interactive Music Xpo 1999
IMX 1999 Show Report By Steven R. Rochlin
With many of us watching Nat Geo's "Valley of the Boom" series, we've been busy reworking the world's only computer media high-end audio reports from this time period. As perhaps the industry's only photojournalist to fully grasp the future of Internet technology and the possibilities it could deliver...
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Streaming Media East 2000 Show Report

Streaming Media East 2000 Show Report
Coverage By Steven R. Rochlin
Welcome to the only audiophile online magazine covering the future of Internet technology. Our Streaming Media East 2000 show report follows up on our previous coverage of last years Interactive Music Expo (IMX). This show embraces major broadband media and is being held in the heart of New York City.
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Rebuttal: Lossless Streaming Music
Why whine and cry about lossless audio, because anything is better than MP3.
Editorial By S.R.A.E.

I have some serious qualms with Enjoy the Music.com's Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin's recent editorial Lossless Streaming Music: Welcome To 20 Years Ago. First off Steven, you're certainly not the first person to realize that streaming Hi-Res Music on the Internet was possible decades ago. Who cares if you think you were the first to stream music online without the need for a plug-in, because what did you do with that technology?
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Lossless Streaming Music: Welcome To 20 Years Ago
Today we're only 10 years behind the curve, and here's why...
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin

Welcome to the February 2019 edition of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine. Yada yada new reviews, some other bits here and there you may enjoy in this issue, plus of course a wonderful think piece by Roger Skoff.
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Come To The Party!
Roger Skoff writes about spreading the fun and saving money in the process.
Article By Roger Skoff

Did you ever wonder how it could be that the Mid-Fi companies are able to sell a multi-channel, multi-function receiver for so much less than our High-End manufacturers seem to be able to sell almost anything at all?
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Where Do We Go From Here?
Classic Audiophiles Versus Modern Music Lovers

Will 360-degree audio change the face of old-school stereo 'philes?
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
Modern times bring modern solutions. First came recording audio over 100 years ago using a now-primitive needle scraping wax. Eventually we humans invented the microphone, to eventually amplifying musical instruments to the point of going full-out synthesizing via Moog and others producing 100% electronically-created musical instruments.
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The Three Building Blocks Of Acoustic Treatment
Time for a refresher.
Article By Bobby Owsinski
I've posted this before a few years ago, but I've been getting so many questions on acoustic treatment lately that I thought it was time for a refresher. While soundproofing the space where you have your recording gear set up can be an expensive and time consuming proposition, treating the acoustics of your room luckily can be quite the opposite.
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Revisit: DRM Wars Concern You!
A format war that hurts billions of music lovers!
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
My editorial earlier this month, New Formats On Two Fronts, concerned a few things including the buzz around the possible failure of the Blu-ray format and the war between it and HD DVD. Little did anyone realize that a week later the buzz would be about major players in the music resale industry wishing to do away with Digital Rights Management (DRM).
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Being Obsessed With Music
Plus world premiere reviews and much more within this issue.
Editorial By Tom Lyle
When I first rejoined the audiophile community around 1989 after a ten-year hiatus, the two largest audiophile magazines in those pre-internet days were "digest-sized". My friend and I used to joke that it was small to make it so one could slip a copy in one’s smoking jacket when not reading it.
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Celebrating Issue 235 Of Our Review Magazine
Time may change me, but I can't trace time.
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
Welcome to a bright and shiny new 2019! Usually an editorial is about informing you of reviews and think pieces within that issue. We could go all click-batey with some proprietary and unnecessary lossy compressed scheme that claims to be Hi-Res.
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Don't Apologize!
Roger Skoff tells how to bring new people to our hobby.
Article By Roger Skoff
If you go back many years ago, when I bought my first multi-thousand dollar preamp (a Klyne SK-5a), I remember telling my wife (Yes, I was married at the time) that it was a fine investment; that we would both enjoy the use of it; and that; over the many years that we would have it, it would cost only pennies a day.
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The Long View
Are audio systems too expensive?
Article By David Schwartz Of Gotham Audio
Is audio equipment too expensive? I've always thought so, but then, I grew up with a 1950s mentality. In 1958 my first (mono) system cost me about two hundred bucks to assemble. The only new items were pre-amp and power amp kits, purchased at a discount on Cortlandt Street, New York City's famous "Radio Row".
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Simple Steps To Improve Your Home Studio
The most important area that gets overlooked in most home studios.
Article By Bobby Owsinski
Probably the single most important area that gets overlooked in most home studios is the listening environment. While it's possible that you can get lucky with a balanced, even sound by just setting up a couple of nearfield monitors in your room without thinking much about it, usually that's not the case.
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Mono Maven
The Mono Maven explains why even fervent audiophiles should be grabbing up pre-stereo records.
Review By Leonard Norwitz
Dear Record Collector, Music-Lover, and Audiophile:
I'm sure you've noticed that the record bins are drying up, that you are adding few titles of any consequence to your collection, but instead only looking for better copies of what you already have, perhaps reduced only to purchasing new audiophile reissues? I have a solution that you may not have thought of, or having thought of it, dismissed it out of hand without investigation: Mono.
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World Premiere Review!
Triangle Art TA-200M Class A Monoblock Amplifiers

Enjoying the heart of music.
Review By Tom Lyle
The first orders of business after I received the two monoblock amplifiers designed and manufactured by the California company Triangle Art was unpacking them, and then I had to make plans to get them upstairs to my main listening room. The two very heavy boxes containing the monoblocks were shipped from California, first by train across the country, then once they arrived at a station on the East Coast, by truck to my home.
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Manley Labs Absolute Headphone Amplifier
The makings of a legend!
Review By Gary Alan Barker Of Headphone.Guru
Back in the late nineteen eighties I ran a small boutique by appointment only high end HiFi shop, and at that time our preamplifier of choice was the MANLEY (their first and only product at the time if my memory serves correctly), which we considered to be the finest audio product in the world.
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MrSpeakers Ether 2 Over-The-Ear Headphones
Evolution of a classic open back planar magnetic headphone.
Review By Scott Lombardo
From their humble beginnings of modifying Fostex T50RP headphones, to developing patented V-Planar technology and eventually creating ground up electrostatic headphones, MrSpeakers has continued to push the envelope while staying grounded to their roots. Now with their latest flagship offering, the Ether 2, MrSpeakers aims to cement their legacy in the world of headphones. Let's take a look and listen...
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Sumiko Rainier Moving Magnet Cartridge
Happiness is a warm (vinyl LP) hug.
Review By Paul Schumann
When I was kid in elementary school, one of my favorite times was when I had the chance to order books form the Scholastic Book Club. The teacher would pass out a little pamphlet with books to choose from, you would check the boxes of the books you wanted, then presto, they arrive about a month later. Of course, my parents would have to pay for them, but they were so cheap!
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Free Turntable Strobe Discs And Cartridge Alignment Tool

A Special Holiday Gift For Turntable Lovers
As a holiday gift to our worldwide readers, Enjoy the Music.com is giving away a free cartridge alignment tool and speed strobe discs! As an added bonus, we also have an Excel program so you can make your very own custom protractor to your specifications.
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World Premiere Review!
Chord Electronics Symphonic MC Phono Preamplifier

An ability to transfer the Gestalt of the music.
Review By Tom Lyle
The first thing one might notice in regard to Chord's Symphonic Moving Coil (MC) phono preamplifier is its eye-catching appearance. At least that's the first thing that I noticed, even though by now I should be accustomed to this: I've never seen a Chord component that uses a rectangular 17" wide cabinet.
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Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Station
Battery power comparo with Goal Zero Yeti 400, PS Audio DirectStream Power Plant 20 (P20) and Stromtank S2500.
Review By Tom Lyle
I've always been a proponent of some sort of power conditioning for one's high-end audio system. This is because no matter how "good" the power coming from your wall receptacle might be, unless your locale power company has set up a transformer in your yard, you are not only sharing power with many others, the power that you are using has traveled quite a distance before it finally arrives at your home.
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World Premiere Review!
MarkAudio-SOTA Viotti Tower

Completely at home within the modern environment.
Review By Clive Meakins
Back in June 2016 I reviewed the MarkAudio-SOTA Viotti One, this was the launch speaker produced by the company. Mark Fenlon – the chief designer – has been creating loudspeaker drivers for years and is now a big part of the MarkAudio-SOTA which is a collaboration between Steve Chen's SOTA Acoustics and MarkAudio Loudspeakers. I was most impressed with the Viotti One, the initial flagship product.
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Schiit Jotunheim Balanced Desktop Headamp / Preamp And Lyr 3 Hybrid Headamp / DAC / Phono
Configurable balanced and unbalanced desktop headamp, phono stage and stereo preamp.
Review By Jeremy R. Kipnis
The 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...
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FiiO M3K Portable Music Player Review

FiiO M3K Portable Music Player
A mighty mite!
Review By Gary Alan Barker Of Headphone.Guru
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 10 Meg 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...
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How A Vinyl Record Is Made

VIDEO: How A Vinyl Record Is Made
Quality Record Pressings vinyl LP pressing plant tour.
Enjoy the Music.com and Enjoy the Music.TV 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.
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McIntosh C2600 Vacuum Tube Stereo Preamplifier With DAC And Phono Stage Review

McIntosh C2600 Vacuum Tube Stereo Preamplifier
With DAC, Phono Stage And Headphone Amplifier

A newfound family heirloom. For a lifetime... and longer.
Review By Tom Lyle
The McIntosh name can bring up all sorts of memories, images, assumptions, and yes, yearning for many audiophiles and non-audiophiles alike. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about McIntosh components is their history. One of the first pieces of high-end equipment I ever owned was a McIntosh MC-30 monoblock, a pair of which powered speakers in my basement system in the 1970s while I was still in high school.
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Falcon LS3/5A Classic Small Two-Way Monitor Reborn

Falcon LS3/5A Classic Small Monitor Reborn
Resurrecting the old classic BBC LS3/5A that lives up against classics.
Review By Joseph Ki Cheong Ming

It is no secret that Malcolm Jones did most of the design and development of the legendary KEF drive units such as the B139, B200, B110, T15, and T27. He left KEF in 1974 having just completed the famous Reference Series 104 system and thus began work on an active professional monitor plus his new company Falcon Acoustics Ltd.
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Stromtank S2500 Battery Power Supply

Stromtank S2500 Battery Power Supply
The joys of a pure sine wave with battery power.
Review By Tom Lyle
I've been stricken with something I like to call an "audiophile illusion of grandeur" for quite some time. It started long ago, when I first discovered that the AC power supplied to my stereo system was less than adequate. This wasn't too difficult to figure out, because in the daytime my system sounded lousy, at least compared to how it sounded at night.
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Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems Momentum Lifestyle

Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems Momentum Lifestyle Integrated Amplifier With DAC And Audio Streaming
Only for music lovers, because that is the MLife's raison d'ętre – to enable the listener to revel in one's love of music.
Review By Tom Lyle
Many audiophiles are familiar with the name Dan D'Agostino, by virtue of him being the founder, CEO, and chief engineer at Krell which he founded in 1980. The products made by Krell, which included everything from power amplifiers to SACD players and speakers, were some of the best high-end components available.
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Pass Labs XP-12 Preamplifier & XA30.8 Stereo Amplifier Review

Pass Labs XP-12 Preamplifier & XA30.8 Stereo Amplifier Review

Pass Labs XP-12 Preamp And XA30.8 Stereo Amp
Impressed by Pass Labs' INT-60 integrated amplifier, Kevin Fiske decides to check out the XP-12 and XA30.8 pre-power combo.
Review By Kevin Fiske
Having much admired the Pass Labs Int-60 integrated amplifier, which combined one-box practicality with a refined Class A performance that made it well worth Audio Excellence status, I subsequently asked the UK distributor if I might try a Pass Labs A30.8 power amplifier. With a stereo output of nominally 30W/ch, it had more than enough grunt on paper to drive my relatively efficient speakers (and quite a few less efficient designs besides).
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