High-End Audio / Audiophile
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Reviews And Think Pieces
Florida Audio Expo
2022 Show Report
The Florida Audio Expo (FAE) 2022 took place February 18th through
20th at the newly refurbished Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore hotel.
Attendee enjoyed the opportunity to experience 12 floors' worth of products from the world's leading audio brands.
Live streaming feeds were available for those who could not attend in person,
which featured sights and sounds during this event including interviews with industry experts throughout the weekend on the FAE's YouTube channel.
---> Florida Audio Expo 2022 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.
Making Your Hi-Fi Gear Choice
Roger Skoff tells a happy truth about hi-fi.
By Roger Skoff
Years ago, when people would ask me which CD player to buy, I always told them that, for CD players, there are only two purchase options that should ever be considered: Either the cheapest you can find or the very best you can possibly stretch your budget to
afford. Don't bother with anything in-between, I told them. To make any kind of functioning CD player at all requires such a high level of technology that everything on the market is at least good. And, unless you want (and are willing to pay for) something truly exceptional, to pay more than the minimum for anything other than the very best you can manage may either be just to spend money needlessly or to pay extra for cosmetics; for bragging rights
("Look what, I've got!); for some final sonic nuance that you may particularly care about; or for something else, of value to you but not necessarily even
---> Making Your Hi-Fi Gear Choice.
Video: Can Audiophiles Define Audio Nirvana?
Emiko takes a deep dive into trying to understand exactly what audiophiles are seeking in audio reproduction.
Video By Emiko
Emiko, a.k.a. ThatHiFiGirl
and eCoustics (one of Enjoy the Music.com's online partners) have
joined together on a new video series aiming to connect with the next generation of music lovers, audiophiles and hi-fi enthusiasts.
Our goal is to inform, entertain and attract an entirely new audience that appreciates music, but is not quite sure how to begin its
journey. If you're old enough you might remember the ad slogan,
"Is it live, or is it Memorex?" The 1972 ad campaign for Memorex cassette tapes featured The First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald singing a high note that could shatter a goblet — once during a live performance and again when played back via Memorex
---> Can Audiophiles Define Audio Nirvana?
The Audio Analyst Episode 63
The Promise of the New Year.
Video By Greg Weaver
Greg Weaver's The Audio Analyst first appeared during 1988 as the title of a small, high-end audio publication that he founded that same year.
The promise of the revived show schedule had most of us thinking we were finally back on track for a resumption of near normalcy in 2022. But with the cancellation of the inaugural AudioConLA in mid-January, it looks like we may be stating a backward slide yet
again. The show schedule interruptions notwithstanding, there is plenty of content coming to the channel over the next year. Take a
The Audio Analyst: The Promise of the New Year.
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.
World Premiere Review!
Treehaus Audiolab Phantom Of Luxury
A very high quality speaker with unique sound.
and I had been thirsting for Capital AudioFest
2021 for a month. Being hyper-vigilant
and feasting on the science about Covid made it an on-again-off-again decision.
If we went for just Friday there would be fewer people and most of them would be
old farts like us who not only had the vaccine, but also the booster. Then a
distant family member died in upstate Connecticut. The funeral would be
Thursday. Linda and I would have to drive through NYC at rush hour to get to
Maryland that night. Tom would have to drive down from Rochester alone. It was
just a plan, but it was do-able.... But who the hell is Treehaus Audiolab?
Treehaus Audiolab Phantom Of Luxury Loudspeaker Review.
Taiko SGM Extreme Hi-Res Music Streamer Review
The best music server I've ever heard.
Review By Dr. Matthew Clott
Snap! Did he just say that in the title? Did he use the "best" word as a
reviewer? I didn't think they were supposed to do that.... A'yup. I did. But I qualified it!
SGM has been evolving for over six years, changing
development, changing production sources, and changing core processes of
implementation. When Taiko, with Emile Bok at its' helm, fully took over SGM
development and production, they raised the bar with an attitude of going
stratospheric or going home. Emile made it clear to me during our conversations
that he wanted to do it right, from layout to implementation, without concern
for cost or limitations in manufacturing techniques or pretty much any obstacles
that stood in their way. One look at the exterior and you're seriously
Taiko SGM Extreme Hi-Res Music Streamer Review.
Mola Mola Makua Line Stage Review
A reference level hi-fi component that is a joy to
Review By Sam Rosen
On Mola Mola's website if you
click on the Makua, the first thing you will notice is "Analog Design for a
Digital Age" in bold under a picture of the Makua. It was this statement
that first interested me in the Makua, and caused me to reach out to Mola Mola's
USA distributor for a review sample. I am what many would describe as "digital
audiophile." I grew up in a time where all of the music around me was on
shiny discs. I listened to my first album from end to end on an iPod mini in a
horrendously lossy format. I skipped buying CDs and went straight to MP3s. I
believe that music, and the playback of music, should be convenient and easy. As
I began my journey to becoming a more serious audiophile, I found it strange
that it seemed like the more money you spent, and the better a component
sounded, the worse the user experience would be for that component.
---> Mola Mola Makua Line Stage Review.
Ampsandsound Kenzie OG Rev 2 Headamp Review
A new spin on an old friend.
Review By Gary Alan Barker
I have made it no secret that I am a huge tube fan. I have also made no secret of
my love of ampsandsound amplifiers. The reason is that Justin Weber is one of
the few designers of his generation that gets what tube amps are all about and
almost more importantly, knows what music is supposed to sound like. What tubes
are all about is musicality, and in this context, musicality means dynamic,
open, natural-sounding, clear, resolute, linear, organic sound without the added
hard edge produced by solid-state amplification. (I have stressed this often,
but what tubes are not about is rolled off highs, anemic bass, and supposed
pleasantness of high THD as is the misconception of modern non-audiophile
engineers.) So it was with no little excitement that I greeted the news that I
would be given the opportunity to review the newest revision of the amp that
started it all>
---> Ampsandsound Kenzie OG Rev 2 Headamp Review.
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!
Aric Audio Custom 300B PSET Amplifier
A music lover's amplifier.
Review By Paul Schumann
something to admit. I am a music lover. No, it's worse than that, I'm a
certifiable music junkie. I listen to music at home. I listen to music at work.
I listen to it in the car. I even hear music in my head when no music is
playing. I'm always looking for new music to feed my addiction. My wife
complains that my Christmas list is boring because all I ask for is music. Well, I do throw in a request for a pair of Berning 845
Monoblocks, but that never happens. Oh yes, my wife is a music junkie, also. She's
always on the prowl for new music to add to her collection. Our tradition on
Saturday and Sunday mornings is to listen to an album all the way through while
eating our breakfast. It may be something brand new, or an album we haven't
listened to in a long time. Usually, after our meal, we'll share what we think
about it. Yes, music runs through our veins.
Aric Audio Custom 300B PSET Amplifier Review.
LampizatOr Baltic 3 Hi-Res DAC Review
A new approach to Noval tube design from
Review By Greg Weaver
Founded near Warsaw Poland in 2010, while LampizatOr
builds electronics and speakers, many are not aware of those offerings, as it
was their exceptional tubed DACs that first put the company on the map. Owned
and operated exclusively by its designer Łukasz Fikus, after hearing the
disarming $17,250 Golden Gate
DAC some seven years ago, then the even more
engaging $27,000 Pacific DAC at a show during 2018, the reason for their success became
apparent. Both these SET-based devices offered a conspicuous step closer to the
undeniable naturalness, organic coherence, and space and dimensionality offered
by the very best LP transcription systems. Łukasz and Lampizator North America principal Fred Ainsley have recently
announced the launch of the nearly $50,000 Horizon DAC, which I will get to hear
at its official launch during the third Florida Audio Expo in mid-February of
LampizatOr Baltic 3 Hi-Res DAC Review.
Scansonic MB5 B Floorstanding Speaker Review
Sit back and enjoy the music!
Review By Tom Lyle
A couple of
months ago, Enjoy the Music.com head-honcho Steven Rochlin (his official
title is Creative Director) emailed the writing staff inviting us to review the
Scansonic MB5 B speakers. After viewing the photo of the MB5 Bs, but before
reading anything else about them, I replied to his RSVP as quickly as I could.
This was because the resemblance to the two different pairs of Raidho speakers
recently reviewed in Enjoy the Music.com was uncanny. In July of that
year, I reviewed the Raidho
model TD4.2, and Matt Clott reviewed a pair of Raidho
TD3.8s in December 2021's issue. The Scansonic MB5 B not only looks like Raidho speakers but is
designed and manufactured by the same company. Scansonic is owned by the Danish
high-end audio manufacturer Dantax, which owns Raidho and Gamut Audio. On their
website, Scansonic claims that all Scansonic products are "built on the
experiences, knowledge, and research gained from making Raidho speakers."
Scansonic MB5 B Floorstanding Speaker Review.
Jupiter Copper Foil Paper & Wax Capacitor Review
The Jupiter HT line of capacitors utilizing aluminum foil in beeswax impregnated paper dielectric has been a favorite among audiophiles for quite some time. This unique dielectric and construction technique has resulted in an extremely unique capacitor that has emphasized an organic, natural presentation with the goal of minimizing synthetic, plasticky taste in many
"modern" capacitors utilizing non-natural materials. The original Jupiter beeswax capacitor did have issues with the wax tending to melt at high temperatures, but the current
"HT" version uses improved wax impregnation techniques and reinforced paper dielectric, resulting in temperature stability to 70 degree Celsius/158 Fahrenheit. It is proudly manufactured in U.S.A. with cryogenic treatment to top off with that proverbial cherry.
---> Jupiter Copper Foil Paper & Wax Capacitor Review.
Editorial By Art Dudley
"And terror like a frost shall halt the flood of thinking."
- W.H. Auden
By the time you read this my daughter
will be four years old. This morning I took Julia to preschool, but when we got there I realized
I'd forgotten to bring her lunch, so I told the teachers I would return with it later
on. I went back at noon, brown bag in hand, and walked into the classroom just as everyone was settling down on the big
story rug for a big story. When Julia saw me her face lit up and she shouted, "Daddy!" She jumped up and ran to me
and gave me the biggest hug ever, in history. While she was hugging me she continued to say, "My Daddy! My Daddy!,"
and patted me on the back the way she does lately. All you parents out there know what I'm talking about, don't
---> The Intro: Editorial By Art Dudley.
More Than Meets The EYE
Article By Joe Roberts
From Sound Practices
Issue 3, Early 1993
In principle, everybody seems to agree that live music should be the reference by
which reproduction is judged. However, one of the great dilemmas which confronts the audiophile is that you get so good at listening, so perceptive of nuance
and aware of the characteristics of the media, that you can't easily be fooled into
believing there is live music in your room. Paradoxically, the better we learn to
hear the farther we stray from oneness with "the music." Our real break with the audio past is in the ways we listen, not in the new
technologies we use. Through methodical self-reflection and meticulous training, the
modern audiophile has learned to listen in new ways and for new things. In the 20 or 30 years we have been developing these novel uses for our ears, we
have gotten very good at listening analytically and describing what we hear in a
bizarre and specialized jargon which only makes sense to those of us in the
---> More Than Meets The EYE.
High Efficiency Speakers
The continuing saga of a search for a loudspeaker for single-ended tube amplifiers.
Article By Dan Schmalle
Without a doubt, the single most revolutionary
change to take place in audio in this decade is the widening acceptance of single ended topology as the most
musically accurate form of signal amplification. The term revolutionary may be a bit
mild. So much audio angst has been stirred up by the idea of going 'backwards'
to 1920's technology that a new audio subculture has grown up around the concept, sharing information when
the mainstream audio press turned a deaf ear to the topic. By now of course, the mainstream is listening. We see reviews of single ended
amps in recent issues of every large publication. And the reviewers aren't saying "Gee this is cute" anymore.
They're calling some examples of this 'old fashioned' technology the best there
---> High Efficiency Speakers.
Music.com Sponsors Florida Audio Expo Industry Happy Hour
Enjoy the Music.com, high-end audio's celebrated online site
for over 26 years and a leader in providing industry news, gear reviews, and show reports
are pleased to announce that we're sponsoring Florida Audio Expo's Industry
during their 2022 event in Tampa. Exhibitors and members of the press are
invited to join us for complimentary food and beverages.
Since 1995, Enjoy the Music.com has been a major resource for information about the consumer electronics high-end
luxury audio industry and high resolution / streaming music on the internet. We are
deeply honored for the opportunity to support the Florida Audio Expo 2022 show, and in teaming up to benefit
our outstanding audiophile industry exhibitors and honorable members of the
Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Florida Audio Expo Industry Happy Hour.
AGD "The Audion" GaNTube
Class D reaches the upper echelon of high-end audio.
Review By Rick Becker
at the turn of the millennium you could put together a pretty good audio system
for $10,000, and you could listen to many of those components in a local brick
& mortar store if you lived in a decent size city. Sure there was some
stratospherically priced gear in the $10,000 to $20,000 range you might
be able to see if you went to one of the audio shows on the left or right
coasts. Then along came "quantitative easing" and the internet. Gear got more
expensive, the brick & mortar landscape eroded and major as well as regional
audio shows proliferated.
AGD "The Audion" GaNTube Monoblocks 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 I1 Universal Integrated
A new paradigm for the integrated amplifier
Review By Greg Weaver
was founded by Florian Cossy and Thierry Heeb, two alumni of the
highly influential and innovative Swiss high-end audio firm Goldmund. Given the
wide-reaching acclaim and the host of industry awards they have garnered since
their founding, it is hard to believe this company is just rounding out its
first decade! For reasons that will become clearer as you get further into
this evaluation, I must preface this examination by noting that my experiences
with their early offerings had left me somewhat wanting.
CH Precision I1 Universal Integrated Amplifier Review.
The Neoteric Listener
Furutech DSS-4.1 Speaker & 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 & DPS-4.1 Power Cable Review.
World Premiere Review!
Mojo Mystique EVO B4B 21 DAC (2021
It sounds like music.
Dr. Matt Clott
Audio, located in Albuquerque, NM, is the brainchild and passion of Benjamin
Zwickel, President, CEO, and chief designer. Although not as well recognized as
the big-name manufacturers, Benjamin has established his brand as a manufacturer
direct digital source alternative that offers enormous value in performance and
routinely hits way above its price point. Do not confuse this Mojo with the
Chord Mojo portable DAC... not the same. I have previously had a positive
experience with his DACs within my pre-reviewer days and I was thrilled at the
opportunity to formally review the Mojo Audio Mystique EVO B4B 21 D/A Converter.
Having gone through several iterations, the current model line-up nomenclatures
are all Mystique EVO 21 DACs.
Mojo Mystique EVO B4B 21 DAC (2021 version).
Music Has A Lot To Say...
If you're willing to listen.
Review By Mike Perez
What kind of headspace are you in when you are listening to music? Are you working out?
Relaxing in your favorite chair sipping a cocktail? Driving down a lonely road deep in thought? Or getting ready to dance the night away at your favorite club or hangout? Wherever you are, music always has some type of roll to play. As I write this, I have one of my go-to playlists working in the background because the ambient sound always helps me to get words on the page. The reasoning behind this article is that I was stricken with curiosity. I want to know what some of my friends, colleagues, and HiFi Industry Professionals are listening to at the
---> Music Has A Lot To
World Premiere Review!
Clarus CODA USB DAC / HeadAmp
High-performance USB-DAC with headphone amplifier and MQA.
Review By Rick Becker
through pens, twistos, and a highlighters
To find the vintage die cast letter opener,
Veteran of bills and invoices opened by my father and his
father before him
And me after both of them. Some things last forever.
Old tools and such.
Most businesses, like most people, music and audio gear come
Today this tarnished brass blade is used to carefully open
The tucked-in end flap of the point-of-sale box
Containing the new Clarus CODA.
A first batch sample of the hi-rez USB DAC with headphone amplifier...
Clarus CODA USB DAC / headamp review.
Black Cat Graceline Level-2 Interconnect & Speaker Cable
Worth every freaking penny because your system will appreciate it.
Review By Tom Lyle
In March of
2019, I reviewed Black Cat's 3200 interconnect, speaker, and digital cable in Enjoy
The Music. I was very impressed by these relatively affordable cables. The
Graceline (by Black Cat Cable) Level-2 interconnects and speaker cables reviewed
here are a considerable step up from those cables in sound quality. In case one might not have heard of Black Cat cables, and even
if you have, I strongly suggest one read the "We
Ask 10 Questions..." interview with Chris Sommovigo, which appeared in
November 2020's issue as part of the celebration
of Enjoy The Music's 25th Anniversary. In this interview, I learned
that Mr. Sommovigo is a very knowledgeable, level-headed designer and inventor.
Some of his cables were very sonically successful, such as his digital cable, of
which he sold several of his designs to Kimber Kable.
Black Cat Graceline Level-2 interconnect & speaker cable review.
Audiophile Gift 2021 December
Audiophile Gift 2020 December
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