High-End Audio / Audiophile
/ Immersivephile Hi-Fi Equipment
Reviews And Think Pieces
Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest 2022 Exhibitor / Press Party
Enjoy the Music.com, high-end audio's celebrated online site
for over 26 years and a leader in providing industry news, hardware reviews, and show reports, is pleased to announce that we're sponsoring
Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest 2022 Exhibitor / Press Party. Show
exhibitors and members of the press are invited to join us for good friends,
delicious drinks, and magical music! The Salon Audio Montréal / Audio Fest 2022 celebrates the impressive 33rd edition of its popular annual meeting from March 25th through 27th at the Bonaventure Hotel. Located in the heart of downtown, the recently renovated hotel will once again be transformed into a multitude of listening rooms to accommodate
thousands of music lovers.
Enjoy the Music.com Sponsors Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest 2022 Exhibitor / Press
The Absolute Sound Joins
Luxury Audio Site Enjoy the Music.com
Enjoy the Music.com,
luxury audio's celebrated online site for over 26 years and a leader in
providing daily news, thousands of gear reviews, plus hundreds of show reports,
are pleased to announce The Absolute Sound as new partners. With nearly
50 years of expertise, The Absolute Sound is the seventh print magazine
to join our website as strategic partners. Furthermore, two vintage and four internet-based high-fidelity audio
publications are partners too. In total, an outstanding thirteen publications
are now partners as part of Enjoy the Music.com's strategy to promote
luxury audio that greatly benefits music lovers globally.
---> The Absolute Sound Joins Luxury Audio Site
Enjoy the Music.com.
If You And I Disagree About Audio, Who's Right?
Roger Skoff tells you who to believe.
By Roger Skoff
I am an audio expert. I've been in and around our hobby for so long that a person
born on the day that I became an audiophile could now legally collect Social
Security benefits. Since the mid-1950s, when I first got started, I've
seen our hobby grow and change – from tubes to transistors and back; from
point-to-point wiring to printed circuits, to chips and ICs; from mono to
stereo, and on to (a never very popular attempt at) multi-channel; from analog
to digital (and back to analog again, at the extreme high end); from horn
speakers, to cones, to ribbons, to electrostatics; to any kind or combination of
drivers and enclosures you can think of.
---> If You And I Disagree About Audio, Who's Right?
Salon Audio Montreal / Audio Fest
2022 Show Report
audio gear and more in Canada!
Audio Fest 2022 Coverage By Rick Becker
The Salon Audio Montréal / Audio Fest 2022 celebrates its impressive 33rd edition of its popular annual meeting.
Located in the heart of downtown Quebec, a multitude of listening rooms and
thousands of music lovers enjoy nearly 100 exhibitors, who represent more than 300 brands of products from the world of
high-fidelity luxury audio.
Salon Audio Montreal / Audio Fest 2022 Show
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.
Pass Laboratories XP-22 Line Pre & XP-27 Phono
Colossal soundstage and the pinpoint imagining prowess!
I began to assemble my first "real" audio system while still in high
school. I made it chiefly from DIY components and other "vintage" gear
I could scrounge from friends and family. At that time, I don't think I heard
anyone use the term "audiophile." All I knew was that I wanted to hear
music at home on a better system than the mass-market stuff sold at department
stores. This was also about the same time I discovered a
high-end audio showroom near my parent's suburban home. Every once in a while, I
would quietly enter their store. There was no way I would have been able to sit
in the comfy chair in front of one of the active displays and listen to a
system. But I did walk among the array of components on display, and when no one
was looking, turn the knobs up and down and flip the switches on the front
panels of a component or two while it was muted or its power was off.
Pass Labs XP-22 Line Pre & XP-27 Phono Pre Review.
TWS In-Ear Monitor (IEM)
year I gave the Noble Falcon Pro True Wireless IEM a well-deserved Headphone.Guru
2021 Product of the Year Award because it was the most convenient, most
comfortable, and best-sounding True Wireless IEM I had been given the
opportunity to listen to. Now, Noble has one-upped themselves by offering the
Noble FoKus Pro True Wireless IEM, a true audiophile quality multi-driver,
hybrid IEM bringing Bluetooth and True Wireless to a whole new level. Designed by the "Wizard" John Moulton (AU.D. CCC-A), one
look at the Noble FoKus Pro True Wireless IEM tells you that this is a much more
refined, much higher-end product than the Falcon Pro.
Noble Fokus True Wireless In-Ear Monitor (IEM) Review.
Best Integrated Amplifiers Below $3000
We've been listening to a lot of integrated amplifiers over the past 12 months, and these four are some of the best below $3000.
Review By Ian White
In our first collaboration video with
Tarun, A British Audiophile, we picked our best budget integrated amplifiers priced under
$1000. But what if your budget can be stretched a little further? We have listened to a wide range of amplifiers between $1000 and
$3000 over the past 12 months and while a number of other integrated amplifiers in this range were very impressive including the Rotel A14MKII and Cambridge Audio CXA61 — we were quite smitten with the
following.... The Ragnarok 2 continues Schiit's mission of offering American-made equipment that is both modular, well designed, and affordable.
---> Best Integrated Amplifiers Below
Ten Misconceptions About Loudspeaker Spikes
Clearing up misunderstandings regarding loudspeaker
Article By Norman Varney
I have been working
professionally in both the sound and vibration, and consumer electronics
industries for decades. As an acoustical engineer and manufacturer of mechanical
vibration isolation products, I feel compelled to address the misconceptions of
incorporating spikes (or any rigid materials) with loudspeakers and/or other
audio equipment. These misconceptions do not exist in the sound and vibration
industries, and are very rare in the pro audio world, however they are very
prevalent in the audiophile world. There are many physical, acoustical, and perceptual
disciplines involved here- we are only going to address the primary ones, and in
only a general way, meaning we won't discuss the secondary or additional
attributes that may come into play. There are some key concepts of physics to be
---> Ten Misconceptions About Loudspeaker Spikes.
Audio CD-35 II CD Player And USA Labs RS9 Music
Two very versatile, and impressive, performers.
Review By Bob Grossman
The Ayon Audio CD-35 II as reviewed here, is the latest introduction to a long lineage of CD players that have
been well regarded going back to the various models in the 3 and 5 series, along
with ideas derived from their special edition CD35HF. But the CD-35 II is more
than a CD player – it is also a fully functioning preamplifier and DAC. It is
a single-ended triode pure Class A design using a 6H30 and a 5687 tube for each
channel, and a GZ30 tube as a rectifier for the power supply. It is also a zero-feedback
design. Ayon Audio's CD-35 II built-in DAC can be used to play music files
from your computer via the USB connection. The DAC also has a coaxial RCA input
for S/PDIF, I2S, BNC, AES/EBU, and three other BNC inputs for DSD. For this
review I also evaluated the USA Labs RS9 music server to coordinate streaming of music
Ayon CD-35 II CD Player And USA Labs RS9 Music Server Review.
World Premiere Review!
FiiO E10K-TC And K3 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier Review
Going back to school.
Review By Paul Schumann
If you have
read any of my previous reviews, you know that I am a fan of Classical music.
Sure, I listen to rock, pop, and jazz, but classical music is where I will
always be grounded. I'm sure it is because I grew up listening to my father's
music. While he did listen to a mixture of stuff as I was growing up, it was
mostly classical, especially Bach. By the time I reached high school, I found
prog-rock, which of course had a heavy classical influence. And while my Dad
prefers his baroque music, as I got older, I started leaning towards the
romantics. I think it is fair to say that Brahms was my favorite composer
through my 20s, 30s, and 40s. But while I still love that music, there are only
so many times one can listen to Brahms Violin Concerto or Beethoven's 5th
Symphony before they lose their mystery. So, in my 50s, I started branching out
in my musical journey with 20th- and 21st-century composers. What made this
exploration possible was the internet.
FiiO E10K-TC And K3 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier Review.
LessLoss C-Mark Entropic Firewall 640x / Bindbreaker
Products for pure sound.
Review By Rick Becker
Where do I begin? It's been such
a complex and intriguing journey. It started by chance with my rave review of
the High Fidelity Cables NPS 1260 3D contact enhancer. A stranger, Jörg
Stanislawski from Germany emailed me with nine questions about NPS 1260
which I promptly answered. Jörg says he reads internet magazines because the
German print magazines limit themselves only to products that have a distributor
in Germany. This cuts out a lot of products from other countries, particularly
those who deal factory direct. For Jörg the world is his marketplace. (See Step
1, above.) Before long, I learned all about how the beer industry in Dortmund
had shrunk down to two main breweries, and that I should avoid beer made with
malt extract, which is from the crap at the bottom of the vat. He also shared
how he ordered an amp from Decware here in the USA and was placed #400 in line.
LessLoss C-Mark Entropic Firewall 640x / Bindbreaker Review.
VPI Shyla Phono / Turntable Moving Coil Cartridge
A beautiful namesake and family addition.
Review By Bob Grossman
is a recently introduced stereo cartridge designed and branded by VPI. The
company is known for their extensive lineup of turntables, arms, and record
cleaning machines. VPI is having the Shyla sourced and manufactured by a
leading Japanese cartridge manufacturer so it is
fully compatible and complimentary to their lineup of equipment. VPI is upfront
about having it made to their specs by the highly regarded manufacturer Audio
Technica. It is a successful business venture and advantage for VPI to
corroborate with this respected manufacturer to modify, adjust, and improve
their regular ART 9 product to reflect the musical ideas of VPI designers Harry
and Mat Weisfeld. Harry has been the inventive mind in designing and developing
VPI turntables and other accessories for over forty years.
VPI Shyla Phono / Turntable Moving Coil Cartridge 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.
World Premiere Review!
Audio Sensibility Statement SE DC Power
An adventure in DIY land.
Review By Rick Becker
was almost to Syracuse on his way home with the Treehaus Phantom of Luxury
speaker that I had just given a rave review. I wanted them back. After dinner, I
fired up my reference rig with my Kharma speakers meticulously reinstalled and
it sounded like crap. Could the Kharma be that boxy sounding in
comparison with open baffle Phantom of Luxury? Or, wait... could it be.... Rich had picked up on my comment about replacing the captive
DC power cord in the separate power supply of my DAC and offered to solder the
two small wires for me. With my compromised vision and a soldering gun the size
of a vintage electric drill, I was afraid of buggering up something in the tight
quarters where the new cord had to be installed. I gladly accepted his offer
(which was hardly quid pro quo for writing the review).
Audio Sensibility Statement SE DC Power Cable 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.
Editorial By Art Dudley
Volume two of the Monumental five-volume set of Bob Dylan's
The Genuine Basement Tapes reaches an emotional climax with a plaintive song called
Not There" — no mean feat after the brilliant "Going to Acapulco" and three takes
of "Tears of Rage," one in waltz time. "I'm Not There" has appeared before, on
The Great White Wonder and on Volume One of The Newly Discovered Basement Tapes
on Surprise Records (the latter credited to Blind Boy Grunt and The Hawks), and while the version on
The Genuine Basement Tapes is the best sounding of the bunch, you still wouldn't mistake it for
anything other than a bootleg. About a third of the words are unintelligible, and as if that
weren't enough of an obstacle, the recording begins in mid-verse, with no clue as to
how much had been played before the tape started rolling. No way for technology to
fix that, I guess.
---> Listener Magazine The Intro By Art Dudley.
Editorial By Joe Roberts
In an age when the upward march of progress is taken for granted in most fields,
more and more audiophiles a e embracing obsolescent vacuum tube technology. The advance guard even seems to be moving further and further back in time,
reviving and reassessing circuits which first came to light in the 1920s! The sonic rationale for keeping the filaments lit is certainly apparent to readers of
this publication and discerning audiophiles in general. Although largely abandoned
by the "serious" engineering community, vacuum tube technology refuses to die because users still consider it useful and
appropriate. For most enthusiasts of other obsolescent technologies, everyday functional utility
is of secondary importance. Antique radio collectors treasure old radios precisely
because such things are not being made or used anymore.
---> Fellow Travelers By
Triode Amplifier Operating Points
Article By Paul Joppa
How do you choose a good operating
point (supply voltage, current, and load impedance) for a vacuum tube? For ordinary
tubes, used in an ordinary way, it's simple — you just look it up in your RCA handbook. But suppose you want
to use an unusual tube (e.g. the 6CK4 television vertical amplifier)? Or suppose
you just want to try breaking the rules? I struggled with this problem recently, and I've concluded that then really is a
single "reference" operating point for any given (triode) tube, and that variations around that point have
similar effects for all triodes. I've only studied single-ended Class A triode circuits with zero grid current (actually
Class A1), but that covers a lot of audio circuits of interest. Mostly, I've looked
for conditions that provide the maximum power output. Even for preamps, I think that's a good tradeoff operating
---> Triode Amplifier Operating Points.
YG Acoustics Hailey 2.2 Floorstanding
The middleweight contender....
Review By Phil Gold
Cards on the
table. I've owned the YG Carmel and the YG Carmel
2, each of which I've reviewed in these pages in January 2012 and July 2015
respectively. You can read them here and weep. I'm addicted to
the ultra-high resolution, low distortion, lightning reflexes, dynamic range and
the holographic imaging of the Carmel speakers. They are not for everyone.
Due to the particular way they are constructed from billets of aircraft grade
aluminum, they cost a lot of money, and due to their relatively small size, they
don't reach down all that deep. The sealed box design does provide a superbly
fast accurate bass, but while the quality is high, the quantity is limited.
YG Acoustics Hailey 2.2 Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review.
DIY Tube Tweaker Thursday
New York Noise 2002 Audio Design Exhibition
Show Report By Steve R. Rochlin Of Enjoy the Music.com
Welcome to the official virtually live coverage of the nyNOISE Audio Design Exhibition festival and show held in New York City at Arlene Grocery (a NYC rock club). The 2002 show was held on Saturday, June 1 in New York City at Arlene Grocery (a rock club). Hosted by JC Morrison and Blackie Pagano, 2002 marks the fourth consecutive year they have both sponsored this event so others may bask in the glory of DIY audio.
---> New York Noise 2002 Audio Design Exhibition.
Audio Research DAC9 Digital-To-Analog
An organic sound that draws you into the music.
Review By Tom Lyle
past summer I was in a showroom auditioning a new line of speakers that included a system that was made up of mostly Audio Research components. Even though I heard four other products from that same line of speakers that day, it was their smallest model that impressed me the most. As it just so happens, this system included the Audio Research DAC9 digital-to-analog converter that is the focus of this review. I heard Audio Research's DAC9 within other systems that day, too, and I was so impressed that the next day I sent a request to obtain a review sample. Those who know me are aware that I'm mostly an analog kind of guy, and to have a music epiphany that included a digital component surprised me.
Audio Research DAC9 Digital-To-Analog Converter Review.
Audience aR6-T4 Power
With upgraded frontRow powerChords and standard powerChord
Review By Dr. Matthew Clott
opportunity to review new models of familiar equipment is similar to catching up
with an old friend. I have enjoyed, owned and respected Audience cables and
conditioners since the original Adept Response was released and the "Original"
powerChord first hit the proverbial scene. The Au24 power cables were the
epitome of neutrality and their speaker wire and interconnects magically
conveyed the full auditory picture in an inconceivably thin cable that defied
logic and belied current trends of bigger must be better cable etiologies.
Audience aR6-T4 Power Conditioner Review.
Fear and Loathing in America:
The iBasso DC03 DAC / Headphone Amplifier
Helped Me Process The Capitol Assault
A portable USB DAC that plugs into your smartphone to improve the sound quality of headphone listening on-the-go.
Anyone who thought 2021 was going to be so much better than 2020 was not in Washington D.C. on January
6th (2021). Having travelled from New Jersey the day before to spend time with the folks at Linear Tube Audio (you can check out our coverage on Instagram) in Takoma Park, I decided to also pay a visit to my best friend from college who resides in the
city. I lived in Washington D.C. for almost 10 years and commuted through Union Station for work for almost two years. For those who
don't know the city well – it sits less than two blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
iBasso DC03 DAC / headphone amplifier review.
Noble Falcon Pro True Wireless
One of the best IEMs I have heard under $400.
Review By Gary Alan Barker
the short four years that I have been writing for Headphone.Guru, I have had
opportunity to listen to a host of Bluetooth IEMs, several of which I use on a
daily basis for telephone communication, but none that I would deign to use for
regular music listening despite the significant improvements that have been made
to Bluetooth over the last few years, preferring a wired option generally opting
for my Noble Katanas or Zephyrs. This all changed when Jim Moulton offered to
send me a pair of the new Noble Falcon Pro True Wireless IEMs, flagship model of
the FALCON series, utilizing a hybrid driver configuration featuring a 6mm
titanium coated driver for impactful sub-bass and bass, and two Knowles BA
drivers for mid and high frequencies.
Noble Falcon Pro True Wireless IEM review.
Gryphon Audio Essence Preamplifier
And Essence Stereo Power Amplifier Review
Blown away by an amazing musical performance!
Review By Tom Lyle
Gryphon Essence preamplifier and Gryphon Stereo power amplifier are gorgeous
looking and beautiful sounding Danish high-end audio components. Those who can
afford either or both of these components will not only enjoy stellar sound
quality but most likely will also be able to enjoy the fact that they are the
epitome of audio equipment that has a look and "feel" of luxury goods. Gryphon
founder Flemming E. Rasmussen was responsible for the stunningly beautiful
exterior of the rather large (and heavy!) Gryphon Essence preamplifier and
Stereo Essence power amplifier. Good looks and operational refinement are
especially true of the Gryphon Essence preamplifier. Its weighty
infrared metal remote was only one indication of this Danish audio manufacturer's
recognition of many audiophile's appreciation of the intangibles that are
available on many preamps.
Gryphon Audio Essence preamplifier & Essence amplifier review.
CH Precision — A Postscript
Three months after the dust settled on last
issue's marathon project covering CH Precision's all analogue A1.5, P1, L1, X1 amplifier system, some more aspects came to
Review By Martin Colloms
While I was in the thick of considering the CH Precision A1.5, P1, L1 and X1
late last year, such was the complexity and range of settings and modes and connections, and not least power supply options, that a considered overview was somehow just out of reach. Moreover, those continued and complex evaluations were inevitably constrained by particular circumstances in that more extended trial and error methods to establish quality limits could have added value, for example exchanging multiple cables in all positions, signal, and loudspeaker, and also mains connection methods, whether central or extended line. Then there is the matter of optimising the choices and subsequent alignment of anti-vibration frames and optional intermediary
CH Precision — A Postscript.
Articulating the many aspects of beauty in hi-fi audio.
By Dr. Jules L. Coleman
audiophiles are a diverse and peculiar lot. So much so that some might think
that self-identification is the only thing we share. If there is something
distinctive about being an audiophile, what is it? Sometime last year, I found myself contemplating this question
when reflecting on the untimely death of Art Dudley. I did not know Art
particularly well, but I had a kinship with him dating back to his days at the
helm of Listener
magazine. No one could read anything Art had a hand in
without coming away impressed not just by his love of music but also by the fact
that he had given a great deal of thought to what he wanted from an audio system
and why. Others on the Listener staff were similarly inclined. For me,
this ongoing iterative reflection about the nature and value of audio made Listener
the most interesting read in audio when they were in business.
---> Articulating the many aspects of beauty in hi-fi audio.
Audiophile Gift 2021 December
Audiophile Gift 2020 December
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