2024 Review Magazine
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.
Florida International Audio Expo
Florida's Fantastic International Audio Exposition
funtastic Florida International Audio Expo 2024 took place from February 16th through 18th at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore Hotel. Attendees enjoyed their experience on 12 floors' filled with great luxury sound gear produced by the world's leading premium
brands. As their exciting fifth annual Florida International Audio Expo,
this was the opportunity for audio and music aficionados to discover this sensational
showcase of products that includes home and desktop stereo systems, record
players / turntables, headphones, loudspeakers, digital audio music streamers, Hi-Res Audio DACs, cables, amplifiers and
---> Florida International Audio Expo 2024 Show Report.
Occasional Column: The Musical Point
Achieving the artist's intentions of their audio art.
Article By Jules Coleman
Within my previous
article last month, I argued that modes of communication
could themselves be sources or initiators of meaning. An example illustrates the
point. An artist paints a portrait of a friend whom he knows well. Through a
range of artistic choices – pose, color, background, composition, etc. – the
artist hopes to capture aspects of his friend's character, personality, the
life she's lived, and perhaps his friend's self-conception as well. The
portrait may or may not do a good job of realizing the artist's intentions, or
may succeed in the eyes of some, but not in the eyes of others. Whatever the artist's or the subject's intention or
vision, once complete and available to an audience, viewers are likely to
respond to the portrait in the light of their interests in it. Those
interests may have little, if anything, in common with the artist's or the
subject's goals for the painting.
Occasional Column: The Musical Point Of View.
A dream of love for Valentine's Day.
By Roger Skoff
are you going to do for Valentine's Day? Take your honey out for dinner? Mail
her a card if she's far away? Enjoy a day or a night together if she's near? Or
– if you've only seen her from afar and want to open the door to closing that
distance – send her (or better yet, bring her) some flowers or a box of
chocolates? The dinner will be finished; the card may be treasured, and
even tied together in a ribbon with others as a memory, but eventually it'll
fade; flowers wilt; and chocolates are fattening (and, GAKK! With light,
dark, and white chocolate to choose from, what happens if you pick the wrong
one?). Another thing you might try is to forget the conventional way
of doing it entirely, and express your feelings through something that will not
only last, but that may do so more clearly and even more emotionally than you
might without its help. Obviously, the "something" I'm talking about is music.
Decisions In Our Buying Habits
Support those little guys wherever we can.
Editorial By Alan Sircom
The world is in the midst of a 'blandemic;' a bland uniformity that exists in all circles of society today. It's down to the little guys to kick against this sweeping tide of vapid mediocrity. And
it's down to the rest of us to support those little guys wherever we can. I wish I could lay claim to coining the term
'blandemic' but I heard it first on the radio in a trailer for a discussion about architecture. However, the term resonated and stuck with
me. In architecture, apparently, the problem lies with large corporations making increasingly similar decisions about their properties; an expansive head-office of steel and glass, with drab and uniform buildings throughout the rest of the world. This is perhaps best expressed by the increasingly vast hanger-like
'distribution centre' buildings springing up by main arterial roads, where the
company's logo and corporate colours the only differentiators between one big box and the
---> Decisions In Our Buying Habits.
From Smart To Intelligent
CES 2024 will focus on rethinking the core technologies.
Editorial By J. Martins
Developments in audio front-ends and MEMS microphones give us a broad perspective of an intense area of activity for the audio industry. After the world converted work-from home spaces into recording and live streaming studios, microphones for musicians, podcasters, and creatives continue to be in strong demand. And as the world got back on the move, many other interesting trends have started taking place.
There's now an interesting convergence with in-ear devices and the ability to capture the world around us — also because of the need to work from anywhere — demanding a combination of new technology and designs. Consumer hearables continue to be the
market's fastest and largest growing category, and microphones are at the core of these devices. And increasingly, artificial intelligence (AI) and trained models are being explored by developers as an efficient way to optimize the capture and recognition of voice (and other signals) in ways that were not previously
---> From Smart To Intelligent.
Enjoying The Music You Love
Listening to music via network streaming and active loudspeakers.
Editorial By Becky Roberts
remember this revelatory day in 2017 like it was yesterday. Following an ill-timed holiday, during which my colleagues had received the KEF LS50 Wireless, I walked into the test room and found the two speakers hooked up playing music.
I'd read about these "wireless LS50s" when they were announced the November prior, and now here they were in front of me — just two regular-sized speaker cabinets plugged into the power sockets behind them, and to one another via an Ethernet cable; no transmitter box, no source physically tethered to them. Where was this music coming from?
'Only' Bluetooth, their top-panel input display revealed, though their killer feature was undoubtedly integrated Wi-Fi and network
I'd tested powered and active speakers from the likes of Dynaudio, Dali, Linn and Meridian before, none of them had combined such an assortment of features in such an elegant and accessible (~$4,000) two-box format — primarily as they
hadn't integrated Wi-Fi streaming, either at all or as smartly.
---> Enjoying The Music You Love.
Phillips Design OH-16 Omnidirectional
Giving you all the music you love.
Review By Dwayne Carter
Design made a bit of a splash at AXPONA in April of 2023, with their inaugural
display of the Phillips Design OH-16 Omnidirectional three-way loudspeakers.
Unable to attend AXPONA 2023; I was more than pleased with the opportunity to
review a pair. These stylish loudspeakers arrived via freight, in a crate much
larger than anticipated. Receiving a well-traveled demo pair, it is unknown
whether standard production (consumer) speakers will be shipped the same way. Once unlocked, the crate door swings out to reveal both
speakers. While well-designed, it still required two people to maneuver the
speakers from the crate. Weighing 78 lbs each; while not extremely heavy, the
round speakers require careful handling. With wood (usually teak) slats towards
the top, and the 12" carbon fiber composite cone located on the bottom;
careful handling is a must. Once in place in the Audio Room (thanks for the
help, Timmy), the protective cloth covers were removed to reveal the speakers. To say the Phillips Design OH-16 omnidirectional three-way
loudspeakers are unique would be an understatement.
Phillips Design OH-16 Omnidirectional Loudspeaker Review.
Børresen X2 Floorstanding Loudspeakers Review
Fantastic-sounding sleek speakers.
Review By Tom Lyle
The Børresen X2 is the smallest
speaker in Børresen's X-Series. Even though it is Børresen's smallest speaker
in that line, it is a floorstanding speaker 3.5 feet tall and weighs 80 pounds.
Børresen's website calls the X2 intro-level speaker. At $8,800 a pair,
whether one considers this price entry-level is debatable, but everything is
relative – compared with the other speakers in Børresen's X-series, the X2 is
reasonably priced. And as you'll read in this review (spoiler alert!), I
have nothing but praise for the Børresen X2. After unpacking the X2s, I discovered that this slim, stylish
2.5-way floorstanding speaker had quite a small footprint. Viewed from above,
the speakers are more or less triangular. The X2's front baffle is about one
foot wide, but its cabinet narrows as it reaches its rear panel, which is a mere
one inch wide. This narrow rear panel appears slightly wider at points to
allow for the speaker's ports, three round cylinders near the top of its
cabinet, and three near the bottom. At first glance, I thought that the ports
resembled exhaust pipes!
Børresen X2 Floorstanding Loudspeakers Review.
FiiO R9 Flagship Music Player, Streamer, Headphone Amplifier, And Hi-Res Lossless DAC Review
May the Cube be with you.
Review By Paul Schumann
I've been having a bit of an existential crisis the last
couple of years over one basic question: Am I a Luddite? As a young man who grew
up with a dad who worked for IBM, I felt I was always willing to embrace new
promising technologies. During the late 1970s, we had a prototype for a home
computer for a few months. If you wanted to do anything with it you had to
program it yourself. In my senior year of high school, I built a Heathkit
digital stopwatch to time my friends at track meets. In 1986 I bought a second-gen
CD player when you could still find only a handful of CDs in the record store.
At the same time, however, I stubbornly hung on to the Dynaco stuff I was using.
Why? Because nothing I was listening to in the audio stores
sounded nearly as good. Well, there was the Conrad Johnson and Audio Research
gear, but it was out of my price range. But it seems that through most of my
adult life, I've straddled the divide between "they don't make them like they
used to" and "new and improved".
FiiO R9 Flagship Music Player, Streamer, Headphone Amplifier, And Hi-Res Lossless DAC
Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors
The 2024 Florida International Audio Expo's Happy Hour
Enjoy the Music.com,
high-performance audio's celebrated online site
for 29 years and a leader in providing show reports, industry news, and high-end
premium audio gear reviews,
is pleased to once again sponsor Florida International Audio Expo's Industry
Happy Hour. During their February event in Tampa, on Thursday evening both exhibitors and members of the press are invited to join us at the second-floor registration area for complimentary food and
beverages. Since 1995, Enjoy the Music.com has been a major resource for information about
consumer electronics, including the high-performance luxury audio industry and
premium high-resolution / streaming music. We are
deeply honored for the opportunity to support the Florida International Audio Expo
for the third consecutive year in a row! Enjoy the Music.com continues to
sponsor more high-performance audio events than any other publication within the
Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Florida Intl Audio Expo 2024.
Editorial By Art Dudley
Until eight or nine months ago, Listener
Magazine rented office space U on the second floor of what used to be the Oddfellows Hall in Oneonta, New York. Our two rooms were toward the back of the building, right next to a spacious and well-equipped
kitchen. judging from what we found in the building, hot meals were a key part of every Oddfellows meeting, along with a thoroughly bizarre ceremony involving elderly men dressed like David and Goliath and a skeleton in a black cardboard coffin.
(And thus evaporated all mystery surrounding the group's name.) The important thing here is the kitchen, in which we kept a
coffeemaker. One day it was my turn to wash it. I had been rinsing the carafe under running water for several minutes when I recognized a sound: Someone was speaking to me, and apparently had been for several minutes. I turned off the tap and there was my then-assistant, Kim Harmer, gabbing away in my direction. I stopped, smiled, and told her I hadn't heard a single word she'd said. Kim started over from the top.
---> The Intro Editorial By Art Dudley.
At The Edge Of Science
The sonic explorations of Kondo-san.
Article By Joe Roberts
Audio experimenters have uncovered many
gaps in the models textbook science brings to bear on electro-acoustical phenomena.
This can be a source of bafflement and embarrassment to authorities in the field, but
our ears have proven their value as a most subtle evaluation device - one which hears
things that can't be there. Many scientists take the comfortable and logical way out
and deny the possibility of unmeasurable "new" audio phenomena. For example, in the Spring 1991 issue of The Skeptical Inquirer, Fred E. Davis gave
us "Hi-Fi Audio Pseudoscience," an article committing cables, AC cords and
conditioners, CD treatments, and novel uses for digital clocks to the shady realms of mysticism
and the powers of suggestion. He doesn't claim to have done much listening. Surely
not worth the trouble based on mathematical models. Yet most of this study was based on "skimming through three or four
audio magazines." Very rigorous method indeed!
---> At The Edge Of Science.
The original QUAD components were introduced around 1954...
Article By Dan Schmalle From VALVE
This month's demo is a very special one. Through the generosity of Eric and Dave we
will audition what is to many vintage buffs the ne plus ultra of vintage high fidelity systems,
an entire QUAD system. It will be composed of the QUAD FM Tuner, QUAD Multiplex Decoder, QUAD 22 Control
Unit, two Quad II Power Amplifiers and two QUAD ESLs. All of these components are in very nice
shape and will be set up as originally intended right down to the KT-66 output
tubes. Acoustical Manufacturing Company, makers of the Quality Amplifier for Domestic use,
was started by Peter J. Walker in London in the late 1930's. The original QUAD components were introduced around 1954. At
the time the loudspeakers, while revolutionary in their construction and accuracy, were rather poorly
received in an era of horn speakers with giant sized bass response. A very interesting
interview of Peter Walker can be found in The Audio Amateur, 3/1978. I won't rehash the entire article
here (we do have it in the library), but a few select plums from the article help to explain the design
---> Acoustical QUAD.
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.
DALI Kore Floorstanding Speaker Review
Danish loudspeaker giant DALI had promised a state-of-the-art loudspeaker at the press event in
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
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.
All Things Must Pass: The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records
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
All Things Must Pass: Tower Records Documentary.
Limitless Musical Pleasures
Roger Skoff writes about technology and music.
By Roger Skoff
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
---> Limitless Musical
Great Audiophile Gift 2023
Audiophile Gift 2022 December
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