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High-End Audio / Audiophile / Immersivephile Premium Luxury Hi-Fi Equipment Reviews

August 2022

 

Timepieces, Cars, Opera, And Premium Luxury Audio

Timepieces, Cars, Opera, And Premium Luxury Audio
Roger Skoff writes about the future of our hobby and industry.
Article By Roger Skoff
I saw a cartoon on one of the audiophile sites on Facebook the other day that reminded me of something that I've been thinking about our industry for a long time: As a technology sector, we're a largely undiscovered wonder and glory. We've been able to accomplish fabulous things! We can, using only two or more channels of information, come very close to duplicating the experience of live music played within a venue of practically any size, by and with virtually any number of performers. We know an immense amount about an immense number of aural subjects, all related in one way or another to the correct and faithful reproduction of music. We know physics. We know acoustics. We know electronics – including things about electronics that other, less focused, technologies and disciplines have never yet even imagined.
---> Timepieces, Cars, Opera, And Premium Luxury Audio.

 

 

Hi-Fi+ Issue July 2022

Sounding Off About Big Shows
Does your system sound good to you?
Editorial By Alan Sircom
The first big European high-end audio show since COVID-19 was a much needed boost for many of us. While the pursuit of good audio is hardly a team sport, the chance to sit in front of a truly diverse range of systems in a very short time gives one the chance to reboot. And attending such a show after a long break, there's a sentence that sounds horribly impolite but is remarkably useful: "Does your system sound good to you?" Now, granted it's incredibly difficult to say this without sounding at best rude and arrogant and in some cases this could end in expulsion from the room, or worse. But, if taken at face value and without offence, it's an interesting question and one that should be said at shows.
---> Sounding Off About Big Shows.

 

 

Hi-Fi World August 2022

What Do Measurements Reveal?
The latest computer design techniques and measuring equipment.
Editorial By Noel Keywood
The Mission 770 loudspeaker was a ground breaker way back in the 1970s when most loudspeakers had paper or – at best – Bextrene cones. Think heavy, coloured sound – ponderous too. Then Mission appeared with their first product, the 770. Sporting a translucent drive unit pressed from polypropylene, it looked good and sounded good. Using the very latest computer design techniques and measuring equipment – explained to me by designer Peter Comeau – this update aims to be even more accurate and revealing than the original. You can read about it on p10. As regular readers know we rely on measurement to look at fundamental performance and I was pleased to see, when Peter Comeau showed me the 770's measured frequency response it was identical to ours.
---> What Do Measurements Reveal?

 

 

The Absolute Sound July 2022

Don't Call It Lifestyle
Bringing high-end audio to where many music lovers live.
Editorial By Robert Harley
I recently finished auditioning for review a most unusual product, one that invites an exploration of high-end audio values and the role of a music system in people's lives. That product is the Vantage Live from YG Acoustics, a pair of self-powered loudspeakers with streaming capabilities. Just plug the pair of speakers and a small control box into a wall outlet, run an Ethernet cable (or join a Wi-Fi network), connect a pair of tiny ST-type optical cables, and you're ready to play music via a phone or tablet. Audiophiles have a natural suspicion of a system that is so easy to set up and use; such a system must prioritize "lifestyle" over sound quality, the conventional wisdom holds. It's easy to dismiss the Vantage Live with that "lifestyle" pejorative, but that would be a mistake on several levels.
---> Don't Call It Lifestyle.

 

 

Pacific Audio Fest 2022 Show Report

Pacific Audio Fest 2022 Show Report
A great weekend of fine audio in the magnificent Pacific Northwest.
The Pacific Audio Fest (PAF) was held from July 29th through 31st, 2022 at the Doubletree Hilton Sea-Tac in Washington state. There were both new and used record vendors, a special headphone vendors section, plus the North American Luthier showcase too! Want to enjoy music up high, there was a private Penthouse Nightclub with great live music and a 360 degree view of Seattle! Happy Hour specials give you the opportunity to taste specialty Northwestern wines and beers. The premiere Pacific Audio Fest 2022 is the first major audio show promoted by exhibitors and music lovers for music lovers and exhibitors.
---> Pacific Audio Fest 2022 Show Report.

 

 

T.H.E. Show 2022 Report / Coverage  --  High-End Audio Show / Audiophile

T.H.E Show 2022 Report
T.H.E. Show's June Long Beach Luxury Audio Show
For decades, T.H.E. Show has been the event to attend for music lovers, audiophiles, and hi-fi enthusiasts alike. When first launched, T.H.E. Show was primarily a Las Vegas event an alternative to a non-industry operated CES. Featuring finely-crafted luxury audio products, T.H.E. Show is an upscale event for those who truly value music within their homes and on the go too. Operated in part by award-earning musicians and those who are enthusiasts, T.H.E. Show 2022 was the place to be in June to enjoy the very best high-end audio / video products. There are many events planned during their 2022 California event. Many leading brands exhibited, plus educational seminars and special features were not to be missed!
---> T.H.E Show 2022 Long Beach Report.

 

 

High-End Audio, Audiophile & Music Industry News

Hi-Fi And Music Industry News
Essential high-end audio news you need to know.
Enjoy the Music.com posts audiophile news virtually every day.

 

 

Thiele TT01/TA01 Turntable Review

Thiele TT01/TA01 Turntable Review
Listening experiences that entail such a beauty and perfection are rare.
Review By Matthias Böde
Under His Own Name – For almost three decades, Helmut Thiele developed in the background and for others. Now, with the sophisticated TT01 record player and the "Zero Tracking Error" TA01 tonearm, he has entered the league of super-turntables under his own name. The fact that not everything works as you would expect with this turntable, set up by the German "industrial designer" Helmut Thiele in the large STEREO listening room, becomes clear the very moment you first come into contact with it. If you lead the tonearm from its resting position over the moving record, its – at four exactly calculated points – ingeniously suspended base turns in such a way that the arm and the pickup on it is always exactly in line with the groove during its way over the LP. Thus, it traces records virtually exactly as their original matrix was cut.
---> Thiele TT01/TA01 Turntable Review.

 

 

Von Schweikert Audio Endeavor Special Edition Loudspeaker Review

Von Schweikert Audio Endeavor Special Edition Loudspeaker Review
The new apartment lounge speaker... going up and down the evolutionary ladder.
Review By Maurice Jeffries
From its inception nearly 40 years ago, Von Schweikert Audio has adhered fanatically to a unifying corpus of science-driven principles first championed by company founder and former chief engineer Albert Von Schweikert, sadly no longer with us. Albert's science-centered reimagining of modern loudspeaker design utilized applied psychoacoustic observations to explore, and better explain, how specific design choices influence what listeners hear in showrooms and household listening spaces. These psychoacoustic ruminations shaped AVS's unwavering insistence that good loudspeaker engineering treat crossover design and the minimization of phase, impedance, and hysteresis anomalies (about which more later), exceptional cabinet rigidity, and the mechanical time-alignment of the driver wavefronts as non-negotiables.
---> Von Schweikert Audio Endeavor Special Edition Loudspeaker Review.

 

 

JPS Labs Superconductor V Interconnects, Speaker Cables And USB Cables Review

JPS Labs Superconductor V Interconnects, Speaker Cables And USB Cables Review
Connecting to the Soul of Music.
Review By Paul Schumann
There has been quite a bit of discussion, lately, in this publication and other forums, about the current direction of the music industry. One of the hot topics is how popular music is recorded and produced. Many argue that the use of software, like ProTools, to snap everything to a grid and correct any "flaws" is robbing the music of its soul. Many times the result is music that, while initially appealing, quickly loses the interest of the listener. It is soulless music. The question is, what is this soul and how do we recognize it? I think most of the time, this occurs at a subconscious level. Why do we want to go see an artist in concert when we've already heard all of their songs multiple times in studio perfection?
---> JPS Labs Superconductor V Interconnects, Speaker Cables And USB Cables Review.

 

 

LUMIN U2 Mini Music Streamer Review

LUMIN U2 Mini Music Streamer Review
You can have your cake and eat it too.
Review By Paul Schumann
Shortly after I was born, my dad put together his dream audio system. It consisted of a Dynaco PAS preamp, an ST-70 amp, some DIY Jensen speakers, a Monarch automatic turntable, and a cartridge whose name has been lost with the passage of time. He set it up in the room next to mine and it resided there until my brother was born. At that point, I moved into what had been the stereo room, and his system was banished to the basement. He built a nice cabinet for it and put the electronics and records in a room that could be locked, but I'm sure it wasn't the same for him after that. At one point, he built some bookshelf speakers, placed them in the living room, and wired them to the system downstairs. It was a real pain to go down to the basement to flip the record, so I don't remember my dad using the setup often. Eventually, he bought a smaller system with a cassette player and used that in the family room.
---> LUMIN U2 Mini Music Streamer Review.

 

 

Marantz CD60 CD COmpact Disc Player Review / Quick Take

Marantz CD60 CD Player Review
The Marantz CD60 CD Player has me very impressed out of the gate but will it seal the deal with pricier amplification and loudspeakers? Stay tuned.
Review By Ian White
Back in February, I spent some time with Marantz so I could experience the new Marantz 40n Network Integrated Amplifier. The $2500 amplifier drove multiple pairs of Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers in the hotel space with relative ease and I left after two hours of listening thinking that Marantz needed to introduce something less expensive to match it. There were other CD players on display in the room but they were priced well above what I was thinking. I was hoping to see the 40n connected to something like the brand new Marantz CD60 that was just introduced at HIGH END in Munich for $999. There are plenty of people who will shake their head at something like the Marantz CD60 in 2022 with streaming owning 85% of the market right now — but I'm not part of that group. Not even remotely. I started buying CDs in 1984 when my father brought home a new Yamaha CD player from Bay Bloor Radio and after almost 38 years of purchases, my collection approaches almost 2000 CDs.
---> Marantz CD60 CD Player Review.

 

 

Questyle M15 In-Line USB DAC / Headphone Amplifier Review

Questyle M15 In-Line USB DAC / Headphone Amplifier Review
A true mini powerhouse for personal audio.
Review By Gary Alan Barker
Questyle has a long history of leading the pack in engineering and design as well as sound quality. Their revolutionary patented approach to Current Mode Amplification has become so ubiquitous with sound quality that even ESS now offers Current Mode output from their DAC chips, which every manufacturer that I've talked to says is far superior to the voltage mode output. The introduction of the Questyle M12 heralded Questyle's launch into the in-line USB DAC / amplifier market with a product that while clearly better sounding than the competition lacked the power to properly drive over-the-ear headphones. Well, Questyle listened to their fans and has answered with the Questyle M15 In-line DAC/Amp. The Questyle M15 is simply the M12 squared, in other words, the M15 contains two of Questyle's patented CMA (Current Mode Amplification) SiP modules, for a total of four CMA amp engines.
---> Questyle M15 In-Line USB DAC / Headphone Amplifier Review.

 

 

Video: Strength In Numbers For Premium Luxury High-End Audio

Strength In Numbers
Emiko aka @thathifigirl discusses hi-fi and building a community on social media.
Video By Emiko
While every social media platform has its share of trolls and naysayers that are only interested in spreading negativity and making themselves feel better hidden behind a computer screen, the rest of the community is there to learn from others and become part of something bigger that only adds to their enjoyment of hi-fi and music listening. Emiko @emikomusic takes a look at the growth of the audiophile community on Instagram and YouTube and offers some helpful tips on how to maximize your time and make new friends in high places.
---> Strength In Numbers.

 

 

The Audio Analyst Episode 78 Featuring Greg Weaver And Musician / Reviewer Dr. Michael Bump

The Audio Analyst Episode 78
Featuring Greg Weaver And Musician / Reviewer Dr. Michael Bump
Video Report By Greg Weaver
Today's conversation is with yet another audio friend, one I met when he joined the masthead of Enjoy the Music.com. Today you'll meet Dr. Michael R. Bump, a musician, composer, and Professor of Music for approaching forty years. And he is an audio equipment reviewer for Enjoy the Music.com too! Think about what his experience as a musician, composer, and teacher may bring to the skill sets of a reviewer!
---> The Audio Analyst Featuring Greg Weaver And Musician / Reviewer Dr. Michael Bump.

 

 

Listener Magazine: The Intro

Listener Magazine: The Intro
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.
---> Listener Magazine: The Intro.

 

 

Try A Screen Driven Driver Stage

Try A Screen Driven Driver Stage
Article By Rikard Berglund
From Sound Practices Issue 8
Some output tubes (211 and 845) need a very high drive voltage with low distortion. Some tube freaks have used the 300B tube as a driver but it is very expensive. Others have tried to use a triode connected EL34 but it is not linear enough. A pentode driven on the screen grid is very linear. I have tried this concept in a new driver stage, as shown on the accompanying schematic. The first two tubes V1 and V2 form an asymmetrical mu-follower. V3 is a screen grid driven pentode. Adjust the potentiometer R9 to 350V DC at the plate of V3. You can use many different tubes for V3. I made distortion measurements for some different tube types with the results given in table 2. EL36 and 5881 are the two best tubes. The linearity of these two tubes in this "enhanced" mode is even better than for a 300B tube used as a driver.
---> Try A Screen Driven Driver Stage.

 

 

The Venerable Dynaco Stereo 70 Vacuum Tube Stereo Amplifier

The Venerable Dynaco Stereo 70
Article By Dan Schmalle
Said to be the most popular tube amplifier ever made, the Dynaco  Stereo 70 has been around for over thirty-five years. Its early popularity was due to a reasonable price coupled with good quality iron and a sound seemingly liked by all. A simple circuit consisting of a then new RCA 7199 sharp cutoff pentode medium mu triode driving a pair of 6CA7/EL34's per channel, with a GZ34/5AR4 for B+ , made for an easily built, easily adjusted kit It has also been a platform for more modifications than any other piece of gear made. The mods have ranged from simple recap jobs to full redesigns ala Joe Curcio and Audio Research. Some examples of kit built mods are shown on this page. All the mods are naturally done to correct perceived deficiencies in the original circuit and so tend to group around said deficiencies A list of interesting modification articles, reviews and related info is at the end of this article. The two most common areas of attack seem to be the power supply and the driver stage.
---> The Venerable Dynaco Stereo 70.

 

 

Is digital audio really better than analog?

Senseless Ramblings
"In A Time Of Universal Deceit
Telling The Truth Is A Revolutionary Act." – George Orwell 
Plus... Is digital really better than analog?
Plus there's a cold war happening and you're part of it... sort of.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
So let's being with the upcoming hi-res initiative, shall we? For years Apple has demanded record labels send them digital music that are hi-res (read: at a resolution higher than 16-bit/44.1kHz). Sure we all know the major music labels <cough> might have misrepresented <cough> the resolution of said files, since currently selling 'hi-rez' music files have been proven by various magazines, which have analyzed the frequency spectrum of said files, publishing their test results accordingly. Upsampling a CD or 44.1/16-bit file to 96kHz/24-bit does not really make it a hi-res file in the opinion of many within the high fidelity audio and recording / mastering industry.
---> Is Digital Really Better Than Analog?

 

 

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers Featuring Chris Sommovigo, Designer And Engineer At Stereolab  10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers Featuring Chris Sommovigo, Designer And Engineer At Stereolab

10 Questions For High-End Audio Manufacturers
Featuring Chris Sommovigo, Designer And Engineer At Stereolab
This month we're featuring Chris Sommovigo, Designer And Engineer At Stereolab. In 1992 Chris Sommovigo introduced to the world the first truly precision-made 75 Ohm digital coaxial cable under the brand name ILLUMINATI, and has since designed more than a dozen other digital cables for the market – either for the Illuminati brand, for Stereovox, or for other brands (such as Kimber Kable and i2Digital). His digital cable designs remain among the most sought after and popular designs in the world.
---> Read Our 10 Questions To Chris Sommovigo.

 

 

Black Cat Graceline Level-2 Interconnect & Speaker Cable Review

Black Cat Graceline Level-2 Interconnect & Speaker Cable Review
Worth every freaking penny because your system will appreciate it.
Review By Tom Lyle
In March of 2019, I reviewed Black Cat's 3200 interconnect, speaker, and digital cable in Enjoy The Music. I was very impressed by these relatively affordable cables. The Graceline (by Black Cat Cable) Level-2 interconnects and speaker cables reviewed here are a considerable step up from those cables in sound quality. In case one might not have heard of Black Cat cables, and even if you have, I strongly suggest one read the "We Ask 10 Questions..." interview with Chris Sommovigo, which appeared in November 2020's issue as part of the celebration of Enjoy The Music's 25th Anniversary. In this interview, I learned that Mr. Sommovigo is a very knowledgeable, level-headed designer and inventor. Some of his cables were very sonically successful, such as his digital cable, of which he sold several of his designs to Kimber Kable.
---> Black Cat Graceline Level-2 Interconnect & Speaker Cable Review.

 

 

Woodstock '99 Concert Report Including coverage of the riots.

Woodstock '99 Concert Report
Including coverage of the riots.
Woodstock 1999 Show Report By Steven R. Rochlin
Since the recent 2022 documentary about Woodstock '99 in Rome, New York, I've noticed quite a bit of interest in my below live daily report posted back in July 1999. I've posted the highest resolution photos possible. My daily live concert report includes many photos and commentary on the Woodstock riot during the final hours of Woodstock 1999. Don't forget to tell your friends about us as we are independent media and refuse to allow the "spin doctors" their way.
---> Woodstock '99 Concert Report By Steven R. Rochlin.

 

 

Beyerdynamic T5 Headphones (3rd Gen) 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
I was 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.

 

 

Vermouth Audio Reference Series Cables Review Reference Balance Interconnect, Reference RCA Interconnect, And Reference Power Cord

World Premiere Review!
Vermouth Audio Reference Series Cables Review
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 Vermouth 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 cables review.

 

 

 

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