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Enjoy the Music.com posts audiophile news virtually every day.
Making Your Hi-Fi System Better
Roger Skoff writes about music and your
By Roger Skoff
Many years ago, when I was first starting XLO, I got a phone
call from a guy named Roy Harris, asking me what XLO cables sounded like. Not
realizing that the Roy Harris who had been a famous American classical music
composer was already long dead by that time, I was impressed (and, frankly, a
little prideful that someone of his imagined prominence would be considering my
cables) and tried to be as helpful as possible.... After another couple of rounds of him asking, and me trying to
explain to him that XLO cables were designed to be as neutral as possible and to
have as little sound of their own as possible in order to properly perform their
intended function of just carrying the music from one point to another without
addition, subtraction, distortion or any kind of change along the way, he
finally said: "No, no, no; you don't understand."
---> Making your
hi-fi system better.
Björn Ulvaeus Of ABBA Discusses Streaming Music's Transformation On Songwriting
Björn Ulvaeus, Swedish songwriter, musician, singer, guitarist, producer and a member of the musical group ABBA gave an excellent TED Talk. Björn Ulvaeus's songs, co-written with his ABBA partner and close friend Benny
Andersson, became some of the most famous hits of all time and selling more than 400 million records all over the
world. "Money, money, money... in the music business, there seems to be little left for the songwriters that fuel it" says TED Talk. "ABBA co-founder Björn Ulvaeus calls for the industry to support its most valuable asset, breaking down how the streaming revolution impacts creator royalties, careers and craft
— and outlines what can be done to truly thank artists for the music."
ABB's Björn Ulvaeus discusses streaming music's transformation on songwriting.
Kostas Metaxas Lecture On Purist Recording
During the Munich HIGH END Show years ago Kostas Metaxas, an award winning artist-designer as well as an electrical and recording engineer, was asked to lecture on purist analog tape recording techniques. Below is an edit including some recording excerpts. One of Kostas' biggest pleasures in life is recording music. It is an
indescribable pleasure — bliss. Particularly when all the planets are aligned —
when the musician is "in the zone", the audience is on the edge of their seats... you literally get "lost in the
music". "Sadly," says Kostas, "I wasn't able to release lots of this music, only use excerpts for Broadcast TV interviews, but the pure pleasure was worth it. From 2003 to 2008, I recorded over 300 concerts including covering
two Melbourne Jazz Festivals, two Bangalow Classical Music Festivals, over 50 Opera Australia Operas, The Asia-Pacific Chamber Music competition, and many others."
---> Kostas Metaxas
lecture on purist recording.
Accustic Arts Preamp III Review
Higher Goals... but how to hit them?
Review By Matthias Böde
new Preamp III, Accustic Arts wants to surpass their previous top
model. STEREO tested whether they were successful. Both the effort taken
as well as the financial commitment are considerable, in any way.... When the brand new top preamplifier from the
Southern German high-end manufacturer Accustic Arts finally arrived in our
office, already eagerly awaited, we had to swallow hard three times. First when
unpacking. The reason for this was that the device we took out of the box, with
its aluminum-covered housing featuring a striking cut-out logo in the lid,
looked incredibly impressive in a dignified way. It seemed as if the Preamp III
wants to replace its tried and tested predecessor Tube Preamp II MK2
simply by making it seem and look puny in comparison.
Accustic Arts Preamp III review.
World Premiere Review!
Vermouth Audio Reference Series Cables
Reference Balance Interconnect, Reference RCA Interconnect, And Reference Power Cord
A big box of cables from Bali.
Review By Dwayne Carter
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing a pair of
Audio Little Luccas MkII Limited Edition Speakers, along with their Red
Velvet, and Black Pearl Cables. They arrived in a large wooden crate, direct
from Bali. Meticulously packed and well cared for, the audio cables were
individually boxed and wrapped in cloth bags. We were impressed from the moment
we began unboxing until the moment we sent them back to Bali. The delivery of the Vermouth Audio's Reference
Series Cables prompted the same expectation. Vermouth Audio sent three of their
Reference Series Cables: The Reference Balance Interconnect, Reference RCA
Interconnect, and Reference Power Cord. Inside the thick cardboard box; each Reference Series Cable
(or cable pair) arrived in a separate, decorative cardboard box. Inside that
box, each cable (or cable pair) was tucked inside a heavy cloth bag, adorned
with the Vermouth logo.
---> Vermouth Audio Reference Series
Alluxity Power Two Stereo Amplifier
Making great look, and sound, easy.
Review By Rick Jensen
Alluxity Power Two is a beautiful new stereo power amplifier from a fairly new
company. Alluxity, the brand, is manufactured by AVM-TEC. The company and brand
were formed in Denmark in 2010, and while the company is new, it has an
excellent pedigree. The head of AVM-TEC is Alexander Vitus-Mogensen, the son of
Hans-Ole Vitus of Vitus Audio. The goals for Alluxity products are to design
products that fit into the home (unlike so many current high-end products), that
sounds very good, and that is fairly priced but built with a focus on quality.
Those sound like relatively anodyne goals but, to jump ahead, they are achieved
with ease. And I might add that for me (being half-Danish by background, with
some relatives named Mogensen!) such modesty is not unexpected – hyperbole is
not part of the usual marketing of Danish products.
Alluxity Power Two stereo amplifier review.
Revisiting The NPS 1260 3D Enhancer Solution
Too good to keep a secret!
Review By Rick Becker
Schultz assured me that letting the NPS 1260 settle in for at least six weeks
would reveal the optimal performance, but what I heard in the first three weeks
was so phenomenal that I felt compelled to rush it into the July issue. In a
whirlwind go-around at the last minute with Enjoy the Music.com's
Creative Director, Steven R. Rochlin, we decided to publish
in July 2021 with a follow-up to be added in the August
issue. I've held off to the last minute again to give this goop as much time as
possible to do its thing, so here we go.... The description on their website makes a big issue of the "flow"
that NPS 1260 imparts to the music. I was beginning to feel that flow by the
time I concluded the initial review but not strong enough to make a big deal of
it. Now, at eight weeks out from the first application and six weeks out from my
final application, I'm ready to talk the talk.
Revisiting The NPS 1260 3D Enhancer Solution.
World Premiere Review!
Zu Audio Omen MK.II Floorstanding
A classic loudspeaker from Zu Audio that remains new.
Review By Ric Mancuso
this question of Sean Casey, owner and creator and founder of Zu Audio
loudspeakers. "You know, how did you come with the name for the company?" He
said, One evening having some conversation about birthing the company with his
wife, the name Zu popped into her head! It sounded cool and they came up with a
logo and from then on it was Zu Audio. Sean heard members of the industry say
never to disclose the origin of the name, fearing it would evoke a perception of
fictionalization, that would somehow undermine the brand's quality. What's in a
name? Well, Prince did pretty well with his symbol and his brand. Sean Casey's background in audio is an interesting one. He and Ray Kimber, both
Utah audio heads knew of each other and crossed paths involving PA's and sound
systems for clubs in the early days in Ogden. Ray of course started up Kimber
---> Zu Audio Omen MK.II
floorstanding loudspeaker review.
Beyerdynamic T5 Headphones (3rd Gen) Review
The 3rd generation beyerdynamic T5 headphones set a very high standard for closed-back models. Are they the best value as well?
Review By W. Jennings
recently sent the third generation beyerdynamic T5 headphones to
review. I felt particularly comfortable reviewing the next generation T5 because
I have owned both previous models and still have the previous pair of headphones
in my current collection. Right now, someone new to headphones is saying "but I
can't find any information on the earlier T5 models." I understand that level of
frustration. The previous models were called the T5p to
denote that they were portable. The times have certainly changed. When the T5 was first introduced, it was one of a pair of
flagships for beyerdynamic using their new "Tesla" technology. The T1 were
an open-back model with a 600-Ohm impedance. The T1 begged for a tube amp to
feed it properly and certainly was beyond the capabilities of most portable
players at the time of its introduction. The T5p was a closed-back design with a
32-Ohm impedance and came with a shorter cable with a 3.5mm termination and was
much more suitable for portable use as it was easier to drive well.
Beyerdynamic T5 headphones (3rd Gen) review.
Vacuum Tube Stereo Amplifier Review
Enjoying 1950s and 1960s American hi-fi sound.
Review By Sam Rosen
the last five weeks, I have had the opportunity to sit back and enjoy one of the
best amplifiers I have heard in a long time. It all started when I got a phone
call from the owner of ampsandsound, he said he had something new and special in
the works. I was intrigued, he then told me it was a direct heated triode, and
that it was powerful enough to drive speakers and my SUSVARA headphones. He then
said he was sending me a review unit in three weeks. The Rockwell arrived three
weeks later, and I can happily say it will not be leaving. The Rockwell is a single ended amplifier with zero feedback, and it employs direct heated triodes for its power tubes. Like the ampsandsound Bigger Ben, it uses a 6SL7 input tube, and it is tube rectified. The out transformers are massive and over spec'd and provide five output impedances (8, 16, 32, 100, and 300 Ohms). This allows you to match this amp to pretty much any
ampsandsound Rockwell stereo amplifier review.
Audio-GD R2R-1 FPGA PCM / DSD DAC Review
Review By Gary Alan Barker
is hard to properly express my excitement at receiving the Audio-gd R2R-1 FPGA
PCM/DSD DAC for review. It is no exaggeration to say that it is the culmination
of what I have been looking for in a DAC since I first became involved with the
Personal Audio community seven years ago, that is to say, an FPGA R-2R ladder
DAC that will decode DSD with a Current-Mode analog stage and Current-Mode
output to a Current-Mode amplifier, and to be honest the R2R-1 has not
disappointed. I hear you saying, "what does this all mean (at least that is
what I would be saying)?" To start with, there are two types of DAC used in
high-fidelity digital audio, multi-bit PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) and
single-bit Sigma-Delta (also referred to as Delta-Sigma). The most common
digital music recording is PCM and oddly enough the most common type of DAC is
Sigma-Delta because for whatever reason Sigma-Delta DACs are cheaper and easier
to manufacture and are able to decode PCM.
Audio-GD R2R-1 FPGA PCM / DSD DAC 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.
---> The Intro by Art Dudley of Listener.
The EMT 927 And EMT 930 Turntables
Plus a variety of tonearms and other bits.
Article By Heiner Jakobi
Introduced in 1951, the EMT 927 was a massive turntable with an aluminum chassis, measuring 67.5 x 52 x 21.5 cm with a weight of 80 pounds. The platter has a diameter of 44 cm and sits in an amazing precision ball bearing. The bearing shaft is 16.6 cm long and has a diameter of 2 cm! The motor itself is massive. It looks like an industrial motor, 13.5 cm in diameter and 20 cm long! It is a three-phase synchronous type with phase
shifter. A precision manufactured three-step pulley is mounted on the motor axis and a precision idler transfers the power from the motor to the inside rim of the platter. The idler wheel can be shifted to the 78, 45, and 33.3 rpm positions for speed change. The platter itself is extremely heavy and the mass is distributed mainly along the outer rim. A special motor brake allows for fine adjustment of the speed. The massive power supply can be switched for 110 / 120 / 220 V
---> The EMT 927
and EMT 930 turntables.
Acoustical QUAD Electrostatic Speakers
The original QUAD components were introduced around 1954...
Article By Dan Schmalle From VALVE Issue
4, April 1994
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.
---> Acoustical QUAD
Music History Meets Experiential AV:
Updates To The Grammy Museum
Immersive sound and interactive experiences.
Article By Dan Daley
Reprinted from Sound & Communications,
changes. And, because it does, so, too, must the GRAMMY Museum, the Recording
Academy's 30,000-square-foot combined gallery, repository and salon on the L.A.
Live campus in downtown Los Angeles CA. Opened in December 2008, the venue has
undergone periodic updates that reflect the relentless and ever-faster cycle of
pop music and the other genres it represents. Its most recent renovation,
though, costing $2 million, underscores just how much museum AV — and the
larger museum experience — has changed as a result of technology. It's not
dissimilar to how music production has mutated and evolved in the digital era.
---> Read more about
updates to the Grammy Museum.
Best Of 2020 Blue Note Awards
Enjoy the Music.com's September issue features our annual Best Of Blue Note Awards! We'll celebrate the many great achievements by audiophile manufacturers within the high-end audio. While we wait for our 2021 special issue,
don't miss seeing our 2020 Blue Note Awards featuring carefully chosen products that have earned special recognition. Our Best Of 2020 Blue Note Award celebrates the finest products we have reviewed during the previous 12 months. On September 1 (2021) we'll have our
exciting Best Of 2021 Blue Note
Awards for the world to see! As always... enjoy the music!
---> Read our
Best of 2020 Blue Note Awards.
AGD Andante Preamplifier
& Vivace Monoblocks Review
AGD's Andante and Vivace will transport you to the musical venue.
is always an honor when a manufacturer asks me to review their product. It is,
after all, their 'baby'. They have poured their heart and soul into it. And
often times, the smaller the company, the more heart and soul is to be found
within. Such was the case with the AGD The Audion monoblocks to which I not only
gave a very positive review, but also bought as my new reference. The Gallium
Nitride Power MOSFETS in this Class D power amp were not only acoustically
outstanding, but the visual design of these diminutive monoblocks also spoke to
the tube-lover within me.
Read our review of the AGD Andante Preamplifier And Vivace monoblocks.
PureAudioProject's Quintet 10
Open-Baffle Loudspeaker Review
Look ma, no boxes! I spent 100 days and nights with PureAudioProject's Quintet 10 open-baffle speakers — and found that they are sonic shape-shifters of the highest order.
Review By Rogier van Bakel
and "oenophile" don't just sound similar. The words have this in common
too: they describe a world where subjective judgments of quality must rule
without a chance of different opinions being resolved. After all, no one can
make valid generalizations about what the ideal power amplifier or the perfect
pair of speakers sound like — any more than a wine lover can claim with
universal authority that a bottle of 1979 La Mission Haut Brion is better than a
1988 Château Léoville Barton, or vice versa.
Read our review of the PureAudioProject Quintet 10 speaker.
Nordost Valhalla 2 USB 2.0 Cable Review
Plus a quick test of Nordost's Heimdall 2 Ethernet
Review By Phil Gold
I've had little use of high-end digital cables until quite recently. A long string of CD Players from Denon, Meridian and several from EMM Labs were all one box affairs – put a silver disc in slot A, take analog balanced output at the other end. When I ultimately moved to an outboard DAC, the EMM Labs DV2, I used the proprietary EMM OptiLink glass cable which provides galvanic isolation (electrical independence) from the source, as does its USB input. But I was so impressed with the exaSound Delta Server I reviewed recently that I bought one for myself. The DV2 does such a superb job removing jitter on all its inputs that I'm hard-pressed to hear any differences when I connect the XDS1 to the DV2 using OptiLink or AES/EBU connections. And this is a highly resolving system with Nordost Valhalla cables powering and linking the DV2, a Soulution 5100 stereo power amplifier, and YG Hailey 2.2 loudspeakers.
---> Nordost Valhalla 2 USB 2.0
Andover PM-50 Stereo
A strong contender for a completely balanced $499 planar magnetic
Review By Bowei Zhao Of Headphone.Guru
Headphones typically come sounding like a true full open or closed set. One offers unparalleled soundstage whereas the other offers intimacy. It's not often you have it both ways and will have to make the hard decision of choosing one or the other. As one of Head-Fi's top contributing posters, I've encountered countless new audiophiles coming to my doorsteps for help finding a superior sounding headphone with the soundstage and clarity benefits of an open headphone but needed a bit of isolation. There are closed-back headphones with emulated surround but the term gimmick comes to mind fairly quickly. And thus, the question remains on the table, what can be recommended at a cost-effective range with comfort, soundstage, and that cherished forward mid-range. Can you have it both
ways? Well, the prelude to that came one late evening when I got a ring from my editor.
---> Andover PM-50
Welcome To Enjoy the
Special 25th Anniversary Edition
This month's magazine will be followed by a very special Blue Note Award issue in September.
By Steven R. Rochlin
there was more time within a day. While that might may sound like a weird way to
start off an editorial during this site's 25th Anniversary issue, 25
years is a very short period of time. With each passing day, there are
times the many ideas that never came to fruition haunt my mind. There are,
literally, hundreds of ideas that have come and gone over the past 25 years.
This month's Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine celebrates the
first part of our 25th Anniversary celebration. During September we'll
bring in Part 2 with a very special Blue Note Awards magazine.
Read Steven R. Rochlin's special 25th Anniversary editorial.
Looking Towards The Future
Enjoying the past 25 years of hi-fi, and looking forward to the
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
Enjoy the Music.com celebrates our 25th Anniversary this
month, I want to focus more on the future than the past. During my 20th Anniversary message, there were highlights of progress within the high-end audio
community. Within this month's editorial, I'll be focusing on the next 25. While
many of us enjoy amazing music via our turntable and dare we add reel-to-reel
system, the future of streaming music is brighter than ever! For some of you
reading this, there was a world of music pre-Internet as we searched through
that book within the record store to order rare albums.
---> Read Looking
Towards The Future.
Audiophile Gift 2020 December
Note: We have magazine issues dating back to 1999.
See our archives section for all reviews.