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High-End Audio / Audiophile / Immersivephile Show Reports

February 2023


Florida International Audio Expo 2023 Show Report

Florida International Audio Expo 2023 Show Report
The fantastic Florida International Audio Expo 2023 took place from February 17th through 19th at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore hotel. Many attendees enjoyed their opportunity to experience 12 floors' worth of products from the world's leading luxury premium audio / hi-fi / stereo brands. The fourth annual Florida International Audio Expo was a chance for audio and music aficionados to explore an exciting showcase of products such as home and desktop stereo systems, headphones, loudspeakers, music streamers, Hi-Res Audio DACs, cables, amplifiers and more!
---> Florida International Audio Expo 2023 Show Report.



High-End Audio, Audiophile & Music Industry News

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.



Limitless Musical Pleasures

Limitless Musical Pleasures
Roger Skoff writes about technology and music.
Article By Roger Skoff
When performers or recording engineers talk about "cutting a track", those words can be the literal truth. Making a phonograph record – the first kind of sound recording – has always meant using some kind of a sharp object (most recently a heated cutting stylus), to cut a groove into the surface of some suitable material, and to wiggle that groove right, left, up, down, or, for stereo, in all of those ways, diagonally at the same time, for the purpose of recording sound. The recording material has ranged from Edison's beeswax to a special lacquer, and the finished recording has been everything from a wax cylinder through, currently, a heat-stamped vinyl disc, but the process, itself, has always remained essentially the same. It's always been to cut a groove into something, to modulate that groove analogously to the changes in air pressure at the recording microphone....
---> Limitless Musical Pleasures.



audioXpress Magazine February 2023

Where Do We Want To Go Next?
Using ChatGPT to mention audio enhancement applications.
Editorial By J. Martins
Among the biggest technology stories of 2022, it's impossible not to reference OpenAI. This artificial intelligence (AI) research company from San Francisco, CA, founded in December 2015, has focused on artificial general intelligence (AGI) applied to augmenting and outperform human skills. OpenAI cleverly made its efforts accessible to the general public as a way to simultaneously promote AI and improve it with actual human interaction — which in turn helps to reveal boundaries and usage restriction needs. Among OpenAI's most interesting efforts is a trained model for human interaction through text input called ChatGPT. Its proven uses span from helping us to debug code to answering questions, to writing essays about any topic and in any given suggested style.
---> Where Do We Want To Go Next?



Hi-Fi+ January 2023

Hi-Fi+ Welcomes A 2023 System Re-Evaluation
Periodic shake-ups of a system are beneficial.
Editorial By Alan Sircom
It's 2023 at last and most of us are glad to see the back of 2022, and perhaps a little trepidatious about what the New Year will bring. In the UK at least, as we haven't had a new Prime Minister in several weeks (at least, at the time of writing), we are looking forward to a year of hopefully fewer bumps in the road. The start of a year traditionally comes with New Year's Resolutions, that everyone is almost guaranteed to break sometime in early January. Even when I decided to game the system in my 20s and said my resolution was to drink more whisky, I quickly lost interest... and a couple of weeks. Fortunately, I'm no longer that guy.
---> Hi-Fi+ Welcomes A 2023 System Re-Evaluation.



DALI Kore Floorstanding Speaker Review

DALI Kore Floorstanding Speaker Review
Danish loudspeaker giant DALI had promised a state-of-the-art loudspeaker at the press event in Munich's MOC.
Review By Michael Lang
After the presentation of the DALI Kore, in a rare moment of complete agreement, the guests left the room with a big smile on their faces. HIGH END audio show, May 2022, Munich, Germany – for someone from the press, this equates to four hectic days, a race against time to discover as many exciting new products as possible, to have them explained to you and to get hold of at least a couple of short listening sessions from a suitable sitting position. Despite these circumstances, the DALI showroom was packed with press representatives when CEO Lars Worre and his team explained the background and aspirations of the Kore. This was quite necessary, considering that DALI is known for a down-to-earth pricing of its loudspeakers.
---> DALI Kore Floorstanding Speaker Review.



Zesto Audio Eros 500 Select Class A Monoblock Review

World Premiere Review!
Zesto Audio Eros 500 Select Class A Monoblock Review
The Eros 500 is a neutral, realistic, and natural-sounding amplifier.
Review By Robert H. Levi
The more I immerse myself in this hobby since I retired from the entertainment industry in 2008, the more certain I have become that the amplifier is the most important and telling piece of equipment in your system. It was in the late 1970s that J. Gordon Holt stated in Stereophile that one should buy a very good speaker that fits your needs and then bust your budget on an excellent amplifier. I have more or less followed that advice over the last half century of reproducing music in my home. Lately, however, with the maturation of really great tube and hybrid source devices, phono preamp sources and superb LP pressings, extraordinary phono cartridges, SACDs, much improved digital streaming with high resolution, and the maturing science of neutral and high-definition interconnectivity, I have confirmed that JGH was 100% right.
---> Zesto Audio Eros 500 Select Class A Monoblock Review.



Wells Audio Looking Glass II Level II Power Conditioner Review

World Premiere Review!
Wells Audio Looking Glass II Level II Power Conditioner Review
Feeling as if you can step into it and become part of the performance.
Review By Ron Nagle
If you are like me then you live in a multi-story apartment building, then you are contaminated with junk in the trunk-line. More than likely you are listening to your neighbor's dishwasher, air conditioner, foot bath or God knows what. As a consequence have you ever thought your expensive audio system has bad days when the sound is not so good? This is why some of us audio guys prefer to listen in the wee small hours late at night. Unfortunately, I have no choice, either fix my power source or become crepuscular like my cat. Fire up your computer and do a search, you will find Power Strips, AC line Conditioners, Surge Protectors, Re-Generators, and Noise-Canceling devices.
---> Wells Audio Looking Glass II Level II Power Conditioner Review.



eXtremely Sexy Audio (XSA) Labs Vanguard Loudspeaker Review

eXtremely Sexy Audio (XSA) Labs Vanguard Loudspeaker Review
Budget audiophile XXXtreme.
Review By Gary Alan Barker
eXtremely Sexy Audio (XSA) Labs is a new old audiophile manufacturer. Old because it is staffed by veterans of the industry with "over 110 years of combined experience in the audio, electrical, and aerospace engineering fields". And their first product to hit the market, the XSA-Labs Vanguard Loudspeaker is a classic indeed with a solid tip of the hat to the famous Rogers LS3/5a which was designed by the BBC to be the ideal studio monitor. Employing modern materials and manufacturing techniques to a proven time-honored design, the Vanguard features a 130mm treated paper cone woofer and a 28mm silk dome tweeter with a unique inverted Harsch transient perfect passive crossover using premium components and voiced to provide a balanced non-fatiguing sound signature with superb imaging and timing.
---> eXtremely Sexy Audio (XSA) Labs Vanguard Loudspeaker Review.



Soundsmith Zephyr MK III ES Phono Cartridge Review

Soundsmith Zephyr MK III ES Phono Cartridge Review
Unveiling the masterworks!
Review By Paul Schumann
Back when I was starting to get serious about audio equipment, a long-time audiophile friend of mine offered me his collection of back issues of The Absolute Sound. I was a fan of TAS and eagerly accepted. For the next few months, night after night, I read, from cover to cover, all of those issues in chronological order. It was a fascinating dig into the early history of high-end audio and the culture that developed around it. One of the important discoveries made by Harry Pearson and his minions, was the sonic superiority of the old RCA "Shaded Dog" and Mercury records. The acquisition of pristine copies of these discs became an obsession for many audiophiles because, with the exception of a few reissues by MoFi, the audiophile vinyl business wasn't in full swing yet.
---> Soundsmith Zephyr MK III ES Phono Cartridge Review.



Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour A special 4k video from Elton's Dodger Stadium show in 2022.

Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour
A special 4k video from Elton's Dodger Stadium show in 2022.
As the very last show within the USA by the legendary musician and singer Elton John, we're featuring his incredible recently uploaded 4k concert video! Taking place at Dodger Stadium on night three, this is his very last ever USA show with Brandie Carlile, Kiki Dee, and Dua Lipa. Other appearances include Bernie Taupin and Elton's family David, Zachary, and Elijah. As always... enjoy the music!
---> Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour!



All Things Must Pass: The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records Documentary

All Things Must Pass: The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records Documentary
Thanks to Gravitas Movies you can now enjoy this special documentary about Tower Records.
For this week's Film Friday Enjoy the Music.com is featuring All Things Must Pass: The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records. Established in 1960, Tower Records was once a retail powerhouse with 200 stores, in 30 countries, on five continents. This documentary, directed by Colin Hanks, is about the rise and fall of this once great retailer. Many music lovers within the world are familiar with Tower Records, the company that advertised its East 4th Street and Broadway New York City location as "The Largest Record-Tape Store in the Known World". This documentary also offers insights into the critical upheavals in the 21st-century recording industry and music business.
---> All Things Must Pass: The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records Documentary.



Watch The Vinyl Nation Documentary Thanks to 1091 Pictures, we can all enjoy experiencing an inspiring documentary about the vinyl LP.

Watch The Vinyl Nation Documentary
Thanks to 1091 Pictures, we can all enjoy experiencing an inspiring documentary about the vinyl LP.
Thanks to 1091 Pictures, we can all enjoy seeing the recent vinyl revolution. Not that the vinyl LP was ever a dead format, far from it! With that said, "dig into the resurgence of vinyl records, the diversification of vinyl fans, and the connective power of music. The vinyl record renaissance over the past decade has brought new fans to a classic format and transformed our idea of a record collector: younger, both male and female, multicultural. This same revival has made buying music more expensive, benefited established bands over independent artists and muddled the question of whether vinyl actually sounds better than other formats.
---> Watch The Vinyl Nation Documentary.



eCoustics' Favorite Hi-Fi, High-End Audio, And Headphones At CES 2023 Exciting time in Las Vegas during CES 2023.

eCoustics' Favorite Hi-Fi, High-End Audio, And Headphones At CES 2023
Exciting time in Las Vegas during CES 2023
Brian and Emiko returned from CES 2023 in Las Vegas after scouring the convention floor for the latest in hi-fi, home theater, and home/portable audio. They discuss some of their favorites from CES, along with more high-end audio we got exclusive access to off-site. Within eCoustics' video Part 2, Brian recaps CES 2023 with Senior News & Home Theater Editor Robert Silva who spent four days in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show 2023. He covered everything TV & Home Theater related on the convention floor, and got exclusive access in some private demos where he gained further insights about what to expect this year and beyond.
---> eCoustics' Favorite Hi-Fi, High-End Audio, And Headphones At CES 2023.



Magnepan Ultra-Wideband Bass System Review By Tom Martin Of The Absoute Sound And hi-fi+ Magazine

Magnepan Ultra-Wideband Bass System First Listen
Tom Martin given his expert opinion on this new bass system from Magnepan.
Video By Tom Martin
From our good friends at The Absolute Sound and hi-fi+ comes Tom Martin's recent video about the Magnepan Ultra-Wideband Bass System with 16 woofers. Magnepan is setting out to solve more than one of the much maligned bass problems within some high-end audio loudspeaker setups. Tom Martin is a long-time audiophile and began his reviewing career after acquiring the The Absolute Sound magazine in 1997 (and hi-fi+ magazine in 2002). He has worked closely with Harry Pearson and Robert Harley at TAS and with Roy Gregory and Alan Sircom at hi-fi+. Since Tom and his teams expanded the TAS and Plus platforms in the digital domain, he has served as Chief Content Officer.
---> Magnepan Ultra-Wideband Bass System First Listen.



Video: Primare A35.8 Multi-Channel Amplifier Review

Primare A35.8 Multi-Channel Amplifier Review
An eight-channel amplifier for both audiophiles and immersivephiles.
Video featuring hi-fi+ Editor Alan Sircom and Terry Medalen of Primare
hi-fi+ Editor Alan Sircom speaks to Terry Medalen of Primare about the new A35.8 eight-channel amplifier. This bridgeable amplifier modules allow for a wide range of stereo and multi-channel system designs. Terry also argues why Dolby Atmos might just be the audiophile choice of the future. Meanwhile, those who just want stereo can use the A35.8 as the ultimate bi-amplified option with 1500 Watt on tap to drive almost any stereo loudspeaker you can think of with power reserves to spare! With all eight channels, the Primare A35.8 features 150 Watts per channel @ 8 Ohms and 300 Watts @ 4 Ohms. Analog inputs include both unbalanced RCA and balance XLR. Has Primare just made the ultimate in multi-channel amplifier flexibility? Let's find out.
---> Primare A35.8 Multi-Channel Amplifier Review.



Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Florida International Audio Expo 2023 Happy Hours

Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Florida International Audio Expo's Industry Happy Hour
Enjoy the Music.com, high-end audio's celebrated online site for 28 years and a leader in providing industry news, gear reviews, and show reports is pleased to announce that we're sponsoring Florida International Audio Expo's Industry Happy Hour during their 2023 event in Tampa. Exhibitors and members of the press are invited to join us for complimentary food and beverages Thursday night at the hotel lobby. Since 1995, Enjoy the Music.com has been a major resource for information about consumer electronics, including the high-end premium luxury audio industry and high-resolution / streaming music. We are deeply honored for the opportunity to support the Florida International Audio Expo 2023 show, and in teaming up to benefit our outstanding premium audio industry exhibitors and many members of the press.
---> Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Florida International Audio Expo's Industry Happy Hour.



The Intro For Listener Magazine

The Intro For Listener Magazine
Editorial By Art Dudley
Passions run high among music lovers. We vilify "bad" musicians (the ones we dislike), and we elevate marginally functional savants with a couple of two-minute singles and some album filler under their belts. When it comes to more unique and productive figures like Phil Spector, Jimi Hendrix, Wilhelm Furtwängler, John Cage, or [insert your own heroes and villains here], music fans either revere them as gods or dismiss them as meaningless. Sometimes there are shades in between, but perspective is at a premium. This tendency to paint things black or white spills over to the equipment we use to play back our favorite recordings. i've seen the cognoscenti dismiss people on the basis of no more information than their choice of power amp, though I suspect few of us are quite so one-dimensional in truth.
---> The Intro For Listener Magazine.



Sound Practices Issue 12 Alien Influences By Joe Roberts

Alien Influences
Editorial By Joe Roberts
These days there are more audio magazines around than ever before, yet one has to wonder about the very future of print in an age where more than anybody wants to know about most topics is accessible for free on the Internet. Paper magazines are expensive and resource-thirsty to produce and circulate. It costs a few dollars to print up a magazine and a few more to mail it, then it takes days if not weeks to get where it's going. The same information minus the paper wrapper can be disseminated electronically in seconds for almost free. For that reason alone, paper media are more or less doomed to eventual extinction, sooner or later. It is an old story how economic considerations drove electronics design from the $20 tube to the 20 cent transistor. Well, the same forces are assuredly at work in the information delivery business.
---> Alien Influences.



September's Meeting At VALVE Magazine

This Month's Meeting @ VALVE
Editorial By Dan Schmalle
September's meeting was another of our small and therefore very informal meetings (which are among the most pleasant we have). Dave and Steve supplied the audition pieces, a PAS 3 stereo preamp, a Fisher 50C mono preamp, a McIntosh MC40 monoblock, and a wacky Hungarian bookshelf speaker made to look like a book, called the Musical Encyclopedia. The PAS 3 was brought In response to the requests for a tube preamp to use Instead of my Apt/Holman. In an NB comparison of Beethoven's Violin Concerto on vinyl, the two sounded pretty close, with the expected results of a slight sweetening of the strings with the PAS and a slight increase In detail and transient clarity with the Apt.
---> This Month's Meeting @ VALVE Magazine.



Making Your Hi-Fi Gear Choice Roger Skoff tells a happy truth about hi-fi.

Making Your Hi-Fi Gear Choice
Roger Skoff tells a happy truth about hi-fi.
Article 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 performance-related.
---> Making Your Hi-Fi Gear Choice.



Video: Can Audiophiles Define Audio Nirvana?

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 tape.
---> Can Audiophiles Define Audio Nirvana?



Scansonic MB5 B Floorstanding Speaker 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.



Treehaus Audiolab Phantom Of Luxury Loudspeaker Review

World Premiere Review!
Treehaus Audiolab Phantom Of Luxury Loudspeaker Review

A very high quality speaker with unique sound.
Review By Rick Becker
Tom 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

Taiko SGM Extreme Hi-Res Music Streamer Review
The best music server I've ever heard.
Review By Dr. Matthew Clott
Oh 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 impressed.
---> Taiko SGM Extreme Hi-Res Music Streamer Review.



Rotel A12MKII Integrated Amplifier Review

Rotel A12MKII Integrated Amplifier Review
The night the lights went out in Long Branch,
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 garage.
---> Rotel A12MKII Integrated Amplifier Review.




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