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May 2024


High-Performance Audio & Music Industry News Essential high-end audio news you need to know. Stay up-to-date on the latest audiophile and music industry news.

High-Performance Audio & Music Industry News
Essential high-end audio news you need to know.
Stay up-to-date on the latest audiophile and music industry news.



What Kind Of Music Do You Like? Roger writes why what you like is what you ought to buy.

What Kind Of Music Do You Like?
Roger writes why what you like is what you ought to buy.
Article By Roger Skoff
Many a long year ago a friend of mine asked me what kind of speakers he ought to buy. Complimented by his confidence in my judgment and wanting to be helpful, I asked him some questions to help me figure out what might be best for him. One of the first was "How much do you want to spend?" To which I got "It doesn't matter; whatever it costs." I should have known better – he was the local Maserati dealer, quite well off, and really could afford just about anything I might suggest. Next, I tried "What kind of music do you listen to? " and was told "Everything; I like it all, as long as it's good." Other questions about all the usual hi-fi criteria – imaging, soundstaging, timbre, transient attack and decay, harmonic richness, the whole thing – got equally vague answers until I finally asked him "Is there anything at all that you particularly like or want in the music you listen to?", That's when I hit the "jackpot": "Loud." He said, "I like it really loud!"
---> What Kind Of Music Do You Like?



audioXpress May 2024

No Truth. Just Joy.
Music and audio is one of the noblest endeavors.
Editorial By J. Martins
My experience of over three decades in the audio sector reinforced a conviction that no matter how hard we try, there is no way to achieve truth in audio, just joy. And that the latter is completely independent of the former. This is a fundamental principle on my standing about audio technologies. I care about good audio experiences and I believe that our efforts should be focused on eliminating bad sound, not so much about achieving exceptionally great fidelity — that illusive quest. Do I have a low bar when it comes to audio experiences? I just know when I find joy listening to music. That's why I admire product designers that manage to create great sounding products that are also affordable. The joy they bring to so many is incomparably more impactful than any $100,000 high-end piece of gear could ever induce. Of course, I respect the relentless pursuit toward faithful reproduction, ultimate fidelity, lowest distortion....
----> No Truth. Just Joy.



Australian Hi-Fi Magazine March / April 2024

New Hi-Fi Gear Is Pushing The Boundaries
Examining the relationship of hardware and software.
Editorial By Becky Roberts
Each and every year, new features and technologies arrive to push the boundaries of consumer electronics further than the year previous. Very few, however, tend to enrich our daily lives immediately, whether that's because they aren't instantly adopted by the masses or simply aren't useful on such a frequent basis. Thinking about how my listening habits have changed in recent years, I've realized that one fledgling feature has played more of a role in it than any other: Tidal Connect. For the uninitiated, Tidal Connect lets you 'cast' the service's catalogue to compatible audio devices from within the Tidal app, with the songs streamed from the internet instead of locally on your device. As Spotify Connect does for, well, Spotify; AirPlay for Apple Music; and Google Cast for Amazon Music (and others). These technologies let you control your music streaming playback from an app that's familiar to use, meaning you don't have to rely on separate dedicated app(s) developed for specific streaming products.
---> New Hi-Fi Gear Is Pushing The Boundaries.



Hi-Fi+ April 2024

Oligarch-Grade Products Will Continue
Time is proving 'interesting times' and that good audio remains in people's minds.
Editorial By Alan Sircom
Anniversary issues are always a time to look back, but it's also a good time to look forward and try to predict what the next few years will look like. Such predictions are prone to a lot of guesswork, and there are no spoilers, no giving away secrets, and no Tarot cards were harmed in the making of these dimly lit gazes into the near future. In the high-end, the trend for oligarch-grade products looks set to continue. Whenever we think audio has reached its price ceiling, someone builds a longer ladder! Most super-high-end systems top out at somewhere around £1m-£1.2m at present. I think in the next few years, we will see several systems that reach £2m, and possibly even more. Moving out of the stratosphere, there does appear to be some divergence in design between the three main markets of the US, Europe, and Asia. While that sounds like the most sweeping of generalizations (what holds in one Asian or European country doesn't hold for them all), the broad trends remain.
---> Oligarch-Grade Products Will Continue.



HIGH END Audiophile Event At MOC And International Parts + Supply 2024 Show Report Munich Germany

HIGH END 2024 At Munich M.O.C. Show Report
High End Society's HIGH END 2024 Event In Munich Germany
From May 9th to 12th, 2024, the 41st HIGH END trade show in Munich will once again shine a spotlight on luxurious premium music reproduction systems, inspiring listening enjoyment and exquisite audio technology. HIGH END continues to be one of the most important marketplaces and trading rendezvous for the audio industry, with many international trade visitors from around the world. Music lovers from over 90 countries visit Munich to discover high-performance audio industry trends, exchange views, learn the latest news, plus network and do business. For industry experts, audiophile enthusiasts, and music enthusiasts, the HIGH END four-day event in Munich will once again be a spectacular event.
---> HIGH END 2024 At Munich M.O.C. Show Report.



AXPONA 2024 High-Performance Audio, Luxury Premium Hi-Fi Stereo Audiophile Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com

AXPONA 2024 Show Report
Audio Expo North America (AXPONA) 2024 three-day experience featured a multitude of floors, with a total of approximately 200 listening rooms. Special showcases include the Expo Hall featuring The Record Fair, The Ear Gear Experience, and a variety of seminars. Whether you're a very serious audiophile, a newcomer to high-end audio or simply a music lover, you found everything you need to immerse yourself in your favorite sounds. The Ear Gear Experience is the place to go to find everything from open-back, closed-back, in-ear headphones and accessories, as well as cables DACs and players. You can also shop audio accessories, turntables, cables and more in the Expo Hall. Plus find new and vintage vinyl in AXPONA's own Record Fair.
---> AXPONA 2024 High-End Audio Show Report.



Montréal Audiofest 2024 Show Report

Montréal Audiofest 2024 Show Report
Canada's Montréal Audiofest 2024 Event Coverage
The Salon Audio Montreal Audiofest 2024, scheduled from March 22nd through 24th, will bring together over 5000 visitors who desire seeing, touching, and listening to over 300 brands of high-performance audio products all under one roof. As the largest show in Canada, you may experience the very best audio/video industry manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in Canada. Within each listening room, exhibitors are elated to share their passion for music with you by demonstrating some of the world's best sound systems from $5000 to $500,000. Montréal Audiofest is celebrating its 35th edition in 2024 and remains the must-attend event for audiophiles and music lovers.
---> Montréal Audiofest 2024 Show Report.



Southwest Audio Fest 2024 Premium Audio Show Report

Southwest Audio Fest 2024 Hi-Fi Show Report
SWAF's 2024 high-performance premium audio event coverage.
The Southwest Audio Fest (SWAF) arises from the partnership of Gary Gill (Capital Audiofest) and Lou Hinkley (Pacific AudioFest / Daedalus Audio) and their success with the Pacific Audio Fest event, which is destined to be an annual event for high-end audio in the Pacific Northwest serving the entire Pacific region. We are pleased to announce a new industry-operated show for another underserved part of the country... the Southwest Audio Fest in Dallas in Texas. The show promoters worked for over two years to secure a contract with an amazing event hotel, which is very safe, family friendly, and great weather in March too! Both Gary Gill and Lou Hinkley are confident that this show will grow and the Anatole has all the room a premium audio event needs.
---> Southwest Audio Fest 2024 Hi-Fi Show Report.



Linkwitz LX521 Loudspeaker Review

Linkwitz LX521 Loudspeaker Review
I hope you have the opportunity to hear them.
Review By Rick Becker
It is no accident the Linkwitz LX521 speaker eventually landed in my listening room. It would have happened much sooner if I had not been so busy. The three Best Rooms awards you may have seen in their ads have resulted from my very favorable impressions at AXPONA (2022 and 2023) plus Capital Audiofest. I've been a big fan of open baffle speakers since my world premiere reviews of Tekton Designs' OB 4.5, PureAudioProject's Trio 15 TB, and Treehaus Audiolab's Phantom of Luxury speaker. Other major proponents of open baffle design include Nola and the now-named Clayton Shaw Acoustic Lab. And more recently, Songer Audio on the West Coast, plus a few I've likely missed. I don't normally read other writers' reviews of products I review. For that matter, I pretty much focus on doing world premiere coverage, but I wanted to get a first-hand listen to the Linkwitz in my own room.
---> Linkwitz LX521 Loudspeaker Review.



Nagra Classic DAC II, PSU Power Supply, And VFS Review

Nagra Classic DAC II, PSU Power Supply, And VFS Review
Bringing tears of joy when listening to special songs.
Review By Tom Lyle
In January 2021, I was fortunate to review Nagra's Tube DAC and Classic PSU power supply. In my review, I said that the owners of this vacuum tube Hi-Res Audio DAC will be able to appreciate the "sonic glory" of this "high-performance component." So, I was not surprised that the Nagra Tube DAC and its PSU power supply were awarded Enjoy The Music.com's Best Of 2021 Award. After I finished the review, I was not psyched to return the $40,900 package consisting of the Nagra Tube DAC, Classic PSU power supply, and VFS Classic base to the distributor. I was captivated by the sound quality this digital front end contributed to my system. My reference DAC, an EMM Labs DA2, is no slouch, but this Nagra Tube DAC package costs twice as much. It was not twice as good as the EMM Labs converter; it doesn't work that way, but the improvement in sound quality was significant. I jumped at the chance when I was offered the subject of this review, the relatively new Nagra Classic DAC II / PSU / VFS combo.
---> Nagra Classic DAC II, PSU Power Supply, And VFS Review.



Avantgarde Acoustic UNO SD Hornspeakers Review The luckiest I've ever felt was when reviewing the UNO SD speakers. Review By Tom Lyle

Avantgarde Acoustic UNO SD Hornspeaker Review
The luckiest I've ever felt was when reviewing the UNO SD speakers.
Review By Tom Lyle
In the mid to late 1990s, I heard a pair of Avantgarde Acoustic horn loudspeakers (hornspeaker) for the first time at a local high-end audio showroom. I don’t remember the model of the speakers I was hearing, but I do recall that they were powered by a pair of Single-Ended Triode (SET) monoblock amplifiers. I assumed that these amps were a perfect match for these sensitive speakers. Sadly, I was not impressed with what I heard that day. The speaker's biggest sin was an exaggerated midrange, epitomizing the "cupped hands" sound. Fast-forward to 2024, when I was offered a pair of Avantgarde UNO SDs for review in Enjoy the Music.com. I was skeptical, fearing I would experience something similar to what I had heard at that local dealer many years ago. Before these speakers arrived, I shared my experience with Avantgarde's North American distributor, American Sound of Canada, about my experience with their horn speakers.
---> Avantgarde Acoustic UNO SD Hornspeaker Review.



Orchard Audio Starkrimson Premium Mono Amplifier Review

World Premiere Review!
Orchard Audio Starkrimson Premium Mono Amplifier Review

A new personal benchmark for value.
Review By Ron Nagle
It was back in August 2020 that I reviewed the original Orchard Audio Starkcrimson Monoblock Amplifiers for Enjoy the Music.com. At the time I was very curious about their use of Gallium nitride (GaN) transistors. I can recall a time when these transistors created quite a buzz in high-end audio circles. Since then the owner and designer of Orchard Audio Leonid (Leo) Ayzenshtat has continued to improve upon the original TripathGaN monoblock amplifiers. Now in 2024, I see that they have a new amplifier they call Premium Monoblocks for sale at $1,249.95 each ($2,499.90 per pair). The most obvious physical change from the original is the amplifier's form factor. The body of the new amplifier is much larger, measuring 6" wide 9" deep, and, 3" high. The premium amplifiers are housed in slot-vented aluminum cases anodized dark black.
---> Orchard Audio Starkrimson Premium Mono Amplifier Review.



Aric Audio Super 300B SET Stereo Power Amplifier Review

Aric Audio Super 300B SET Stereo Power Amplifier Review
To 300B or not to 300B, that is the Question.
Review By Ric Mancuso
Aric Kimball is an audio component designer and is a self-made audiophile. It is seldom to come across an audio designer who has eluded the radar among the audiophile community. His father somewhat inspired Aric to take a journey into the audio universe. Aric told me that his dad owned a Pioneer Rack system back in the 1970s that Aric had admired. Aric wanted to own one of his own. That compass point ignited his passion for ultimately designing his gear — a big step from the glitzy look of the Pioneer Rack system. I used to sell those in my previous life as an audio salesperson. Oh, those meters! So, I asked Aric who his mentors were and what components were his envy. He admitted to me that he had no mentors or any icons of audio that he worshipped. Here are a few answers to some questions I asked about his audio formative years.
---> Aric Audio Super 300B SET Stereo Power Amplifier Review.



FiiO M17 Portable Desktop-Class Music Player Review An organic-sounding high-resolution music streamer and Hi-Res Audio DAC.

FiiO M17 Portable Desktop-Class Music Player Review
An organic-sounding high-resolution music streamer and Hi-Res Audio DAC.
Review By Tom Lyle
Being an audiophile means that convenience isn't our number one goal. If you are anything like me, I am an audiophile because I love music and want to hear recorded music with the best sound quality possible. This is true even when I'm listening to recorded music when not sitting in the sweet spot in front of my audio system. This means listening through headphones, often using a portable digital audio player (DAP). Until the technology advances so that a small Hi-Res Audio DAP sounds as good as a large one, audiophiles will be listening to devices such as the FiiO M17. Like other top-tier DAPs, the M17 is a rather large, heavy digital audio player. It sports a plethora of features, some of which I found useful and others I found no use for.
---> FiiO M17 Portable Desktop-Class Music Player Review.



LessLoss BlackGround For Speakers Review A breakthrough loudspeaker signal conditioner.

World Premiere Review!
LessLoss BlackGround For Speakers Review
A breakthrough loudspeaker signal conditioner.
Review By Rick Becker
The original LessLoss BlackGround 10X Power Base was such a spectacular product it was an easy choice for an annual Blue Note Award in 2023. Then I received advance word of the new BlackGround for Speakers. Would that be as impressive as the original Power Base? Would it be simply an alternate choice? Or would there be diminishing returns with both of them in the system? Then I discovered there would be both a stereo version and a larger, more potent monoblock version of the new Speaker Base. How would these two compare? And while I'm at it, Louis Motek had two power cords above the base Prime cord that would improve the performance of the BlackGrounds. Should I try those, too?
---> LessLoss BlackGround For Speakers Review.



RSX Benchmark Series Cables Review

RSX Benchmark Series Cables Review
You owe it to yourself to try these out.
Review By Brett Rudolph
It's always an experience when you get the opportunity to review cables. They take a while to break in, and if they do their job correctly, they should disappear, leaving you with the ultimate playback system, where everything is perfect. In reality, of course, no playback system can be perfect — the components and speakers you use always impact the quality of the sound you hear. However, what people fail to realize is that, although sometimes subtly, the cables you use can and usually do impact the sound, as well. It seems like yesterday, but in reality, it was a few months ago when I first spoke to Roger Skoff, the designer and owner of RSX cables. Roger was involved in cable design for quite several years. The first brand of cables he launched was XLO, the brand whose most famous ad was a two-page spread showing just a loop of cable (no connectors) and, in small type, just the words: Looks like no other, sounds like no other, sounds like nothing at all.
---> RSX Benchmark Series Cables Review.



Listener Magazine The Intro

Listener Magazine The Intro
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 "I'm 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.



Sound Practices Magazine Fear Of Frying Or how I learned to stop worrying and love my home audio system.

Fear Of Frying
Or how I learned to stop worrying and love my home audio system.
Article By Joyce
Despite the fact that I've been married for years to an audio geek extraordinaire; despite the fact that back in college I owned the mini-component audio system that was the envy of the entire fourth floor of my dorm; despite the fact that I have artfully wielded a soldering iron (okay, so his arm turn in a cast, and mine was twisted behind my back, no matter), I still find that nobody takes me seriously as an accomplished, dues paid-in-full, audio aficionado. I really resent this. All I have to do is walk into a room full of "audiophiles" and the conversation goes something like this, "Yeah, this 655 output to primary voltage resistance is very musical. Oh, hi Joyce, bake anything interesting lately? Great. Like I was saying, try an unfilamented 90LX cap to ground next time and blah, blah...." Okay, so maybe electronics manuals aren't my favorite bedtime reading and maybe I was diagnosed with math anxiety at the tender age of eight. None of this means I don't like music, beautiful, tuneful MUSIC.
---> Fear Of Frying.



Triophoni: Triode Triumph Article By Dan Schmalle Of VALVE Magazine

Triophoni: Triode Triumph
Article By Dan Schmalle
This month I will take the opportunity to show off a little (Oh brother, not again...). I have today been putting the finishing touches on my latest amp project, a pair of triode output power amps called Triophoni. Since I spent a fair amount of time writing up a blurb to advertise them I will use excerpts from said blurb to describe them: 6CK4 cathode type triode valves operate class AB1 push-pull as the output tube. This tube exhibits low drive and plate voltage requirements, allowing for fewer drive stages than the typical triode amplifier, helping to reduce phase shift. A triode's transfer curve is more linear than that of a pentode. This helps minimize amplitude, harmonic and phase distortion, resulting in the incomparable triode sound. The triode also exhibits low effective plate resistance, which minimizes....
---> Triophoni: Triode Triumph.



SVS SB-2000 Active Subwoofer Review

SVS SB-2000 Active Subwoofer Review
A reasonably-priced high quality 12" powered subwoofer system.
Review By Tom Lyle
At times I must come off as some sort of audio-curmudgeon, such as when I became upset when I noted some audiophiles calling a component a preamplifier rather than a line stage. There have been other times, too, that I've gotten upset over someone using what I consider the incorrect nomenclature for an audio component or part. Thankfully, I've gotten over that preamplifier versus line stage episode. But I'm still working on the fact that some sell speakers that they call "subwoofers" yet don't go below 20 Hz. "Sub" what? Thankfully, there's no reason to have any ill will in regards to the SVS SB-2000, since SVS claims that it reaches down to 19 Hz and might even reach lower depending on one's room size and its placement in one's room. What makes this SVS SB-2000 subwoofer even better is that it is rather small, measuring only about 14.5" x 14.5" x 15.5". The sub's depth is a little greater when attaching its curved grille, but even still, this is quite a small subwoofer when one considers how deep it reaches into the bass region with its 12" woofer and 500-Watt internal amplifier.
---> SVS SB-2000 Active Subwoofer Review.



Sennheiser HD 660 S Over-Ear Headphone Review

Sennheiser HD 660 S Over-Ear Headphone Review
If it ain't broke, fix it anyway.
Review By Dave Hanson
Updating a much-loved product like the Sennheiser HD 650 is a tricky task. But having spent nearly 75 years in the audio business, Sennheiser understands the importance of reading the tealeaves. The personal audio industry is in a period of tremendous growth and no single segment is growing faster than the portable devices category. So with that, Sennheiser made a bold move. While many companies would have left well enough alone, Sennheiser took one of their most popular products, the somewhat hard-to-drive HD 650, and updated it with and easier to drive design. The result is the new Sennheiser HD 660 S ($499). While the original could be a bit fussy with amplification – holding back some of its potential until you plugged it into the perfect tube amp – the HD 660 S skips all the fuss and sounds good with just about anything. And while there's a bit of a cost in terms of overall scalability, the headphone provides an intriguing option for an increasingly mobile audience.
---> Sennheiser HD 660 S Over-Ear Headphone Review.



Wells Audio Commander Level II Preamplifier Review

Wells Audio Commander Level II Vacuum Tube Line Stage Review
The Commander is in a club of one.
Review By Sam Rosen
A little while ago I reviewed the Wells Audio Cipher. I asked Jeff Wells, the owner of Wells Audio, to tell me more about the Cipher, and he more or less described it as his preamp circuit, with a single fixed input coming from the DAC. I was so impressed with the smooth analog nature of his DAC that I asked him if I could review his preamp. A few months later, a Commander Level II arrived at my door. The Commander Level II is Jeff Wells' mid-range preamp. The standard level I, sells for $3999, the level II (my unit) sells for $9000, and the Level III sells for $18,000. Each version has the same base design and circuit, and each upgrade introduces higher end and more expensive discrete parts into the build process. According to Wells Audio these improvements lower the noise floor, increase the dynamic range, and dramatically improve the experience.
---> Wells Audio Commander Level II Tube Line Stage Review.



Rotel Michi X3 Integrated Amplifier Review

Rotel Michi X3 Integrated Amplifier Review
More than the sum of its parts. Review By Francisco Duran.
Review By Francisco Duran
This has been one of the hardest reviews I have ever done because the MichiX3 integrated amplifier really surprised me. Out of the box and into my system it performed so well that I was at a loss for words. Not so much as in spectacular audiophile terms, but because it just went straight to work and played music, all kinds of music, and from all kinds of sources in such a relaxed but inviting manner, critique just kind of went out the window. But unless you have been living under an audiophile rock for the last few years, you probably have seen, even in passing, a review of the latest Rotel amplifiers. In fact, I have recently written about their neat A14MK.2. A solid performer, the sound signature of that unit being quite different from its big brother, the Michi X3.
---> Rotel Michi X3 Integrated Amplifier Review.



Karan Acoustics KAS 600 Stereo Amplifier And KAL Reference MK3 Stereo Preamplifier Review

Karan Acoustics KAS 600 Stereo Amp And
KAL Reference MK3 Preamp Review
Enjoying all genres of music at the highest level of fidelity.
Review By Gregory Petan
It seems like a lifetime ago I reviewed the Karan Acoustics KAS 450 stereo amplifier. My conclusion was "This is an amplifier I could live with for the long haul," and was planning on adding it to my system. If not for a train wreck of an experience with a speaker manufacturer who took a $20,000 down payment for new speakers after I sold my reference, I would have happily added the KAS 450 to the system. Failing to fulfill his promise to deliver my new speaker in eight weeks, I had to sell one of my amplifiers in order to fill in the speaker gap left for the next 10 months. When the new speakers finally arrived, the varnish crackled not just once, not twice, but three times, each taking a month in between to fix.
---> Karan Acoustics KAS 600 Amp & KAL Reference MK3 Preamp Review.



Rogue Audio RP-9 Vacuum Tube Stereo Preamplifier Review

Rogue Audio RP-9 Vacuum Tube Stereo Preamplifier Review
Exceeding the listener's expectations.
Review By Bob Grossman
Rogue Audio's RP-9 is the latest flagship preamplifier from the ingenious designs of the American manufacturing workshop of Mark O'Brien.  Having an interest in doing this review of the new RP-9 was a simple decision as a long-time user of the Rogue RP-7.  I have been using the remarkable powerhouse Rogue Apollo Dark Amps for several years as both a sonic and output upgrade to my previously owned Rogue 180 Amplifiers that were used to run Magnepan 3.6 speakers.  I replaced the Maggie 3.6 speakers with their 20.7 models several years ago and needed more powerful amps. I wondered if the increased musical experience of moving further up in the Rogue Amplifier line was going to be repeated with their new preamplifier by going from the RP-7 to the RP-9 model. However, before proceeding and hearing the RP-9, I wondered what was going on since the RP-7 has received numerous accolades, recognition, and rewards. Could designer Mark O'Brien improve upon the noteworthy RP-7 that I have been enjoying?
---> Rogue Audio RP-9 Vacuum Tube Stereo Preamplifier Review.



Schiit Mani MM / MC Phono Stage Review

Schiit Mani MM / MC Phono Stage Review
A thrill for any newcomer and satisfy most too.
Review By Rick Becker
The word went out on Facebook that my son-in-law Justin wanted a turntable for Christmas to try out the LP craze. Apparently the fine Sony noise cancelling headphones I gave him for Christmas last year planted a seed and the seed has sprouted. The $90 turntable on his list was a turnkey unit with cartridge and built in phono stage. All he would have to do is connect it to his mid-fi surround sound receiver. But you and I both know I couldn't let him go down that dead-end road. He's now 40 and steeped in debt from earning his MBA at Northwestern. He commutes to work by train almost an hour each way and puts in long hours of hard mental work. Then he comes home each day to put on his "World's Greatest Dad" hat. He deserves a better turntable.
---> Schiit Mani Stereo MM / MC Phono Stage.



Chord Mojo 2 Portable DAC/Headphone Amplifier Review

Chord Mojo 2 Portable DAC/Headphone Amplifier Review
Priced at $845, the Chord Mojo 2 needs to be spectacular to merit a strong recommendation. Does it deliver? In every way.
Review By W. Jennings
If you are a member of the Head-Fi community, Chord has been part of your life for the past decade with its award-winning, and often groundbreaking products. While many of the British manufacturers' products are very expensive, there are a growing number below $1,000 that merit serious attention from both headphone enthusiasts and music listeners looking to assemble a first-class system for either the home or desktop. Products like the Chord Mojo 2 offer a level of technical sophistication you don't see in very many products in the price range or even above it. Chord Electronics was founded in 1989 and spent its early years making amplifiers for the professional market. Today, they still operate out of their headquarters in Kent, but the product line has expanded to include both home systems and portable gear.
---> Chord Mojo 2 Portable DAC/Headphone Amplifier Review.



Charisma Audio Musiko Turntable Review

World Premiere Review!
Charisma Audio Musiko Turntable Review
I strongly suspected when listening to the first song with the Musiko that I would buy it.
Review By Rick Becker
The Charisma Audio Musiko tonearm had already become part of my reference system back in May 2021. when it was incorporated into my Linn Project — a complete re-make of the fabled Linn LP12 using off-the-shelf, re-engineered parts from several after-market companies. These parts were sourced from Great Britain, Canada, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Colorado. By the time I finished, the only original OEM parts were the suspension springs and grommets, the belt, the sub-chassis nuts and bolts, and the wood plinth. While there were lots of lovely alternatives, I kept the original wood plinth out of sentimentality. I was quite proud of the results, having greatly improved on the original vintage table — not unlike the way Carroll Shelby made over the British AC Ace into the Cobra sports car, except I did it on a kitchen countertop and never got around to racing it. I nicknamed it the Bard for reasons I'll let you figure out.
---> Charisma Audio Musiko Turntable Review.



Black Ice Audio Fusion F100 Monoblock Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier Review

Black Ice Audio Fusion F100 Monoblock Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier Review
Plus a great story about Jim Fosgate's Odyssey circuit.
Review By Ron Nagle
To tube or not to tube? Strange as it may seem, that age-old question is still relevant. Today new materials and innovative designs have taken vacuum tube audio components to a higher level. When I first saw the Black Ice Fusion F100 in room 504 at the Capital Audiofest, they were powered with Russian Tung-Sol KT150 beam tetrodes. This innovative tube is only one type of power tube the F100 can use, each with a different musical voice. This ability has a substantial fundamental advantage. Unlike solid-state amplifiers, you need not be stuck with one solid-state sound. Like a fine wine, the sound of vacuum tube audio components can appeal to many diverse tastes.
---> Black Ice Audio Fusion F100 Monoblock Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier Review.




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