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September 2022


Best Of 2022 Blue Note Equipment Awards By Enjoy the Music.com

Best Of 2022 Blue Note Equipment Awards
Enjoy the Music.com celebrates the best high fidelity audio gear of 2022!
Presented by Enjoy the Music.com's staff
Enjoy the Music.com's Best Of 2022 Blue Note Awards celebrates the many great achievements by audiophile manufacturers within the high-end audio and Hi-Res Audio industry. Our 2022 Blue Note Awards is a culmination of more than two decades of reviewing and carefully choosing what products have earned special recognition for our annual awards. Our Best Of 2022 Blue Note Award celebrates the finest products we have reviewed during the previous 12 months. Recipients have been carefully chosen after much debate and consideration by our staff of reviewers. With each passing year our industry has experienced great advancements in technology including analog circuitry, vinyl LP and analog tape playback, digital-to-analog converters (DACs), headphones, loudspeaker design, plus of course portable media players, computer software and streaming media.
---> Best Of 2022 Blue Note Equipment Awards.



CanJam SoCal 2022 Show Report  By Emiko

CanJam SoCal 2022 Show Report
Aural adventures and dynamic innovations!
CanJam SoCal 2022 Show Report By Emiko
I'm chuckling as I write this. I honestly thought two days of headphones would be plenty. Ha! CanJam SoCal proved me otherwise. I arrived bright and early at the Marriott in Irvine, CA on Saturday, September 17th (day one of two) to a vibe! CanJam SoCal 2022 was bubbling with energy, smiles, laughter, and yes, audible music. Previous CanJams I had attended were somewhat more mellow and quiet but for whatever reason, this one was sprinkled with some serious magic. Now, full disclosure, I know what it is to put on an audio show. I'm Senior VP of T.H.E. Show. So my kudos and congratulations to the CanJam SoCal crew are heartfelt.
---> CanJam SoCal 2022 Show Report By Emiko.



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.



Interview With David Chesky On Music And his new venture the Audiophile Society.

Interview With David Chesky
On Music And his new venture the Audiophile Society.
Plus a very special half-off code for Enjoy the Music.com friends.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
The Audiophile Society is the brainchild of composer, pianist, and audio pioneer David Chesky. The new label will focus on bringing even more realistic three-dimensional recordings to market with their Mega-Dimensional Sound, The Audiophile Society's name for their unique two-channel 3D audio that can play on all existing two-channel stereo, while showcasing emerging artists working in a multitude of genres. The ultimate goal of The Audiophile Society is to change the way you hear music.
---> Interview With David Chesky Concerning Music.



Great Reviews, Blue Note Awards, Shows And More!

Great Reviews, Blue Note Awards, Shows And More!
Incredible growth and happenings within premium audio.
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
The first annual Pacific Audio Fest (2022) was a resounding success! There are so many wonderful stories I've been hearing from PAF that Show Director Lou Hinkley and Show Manager Gary Gill have already announced their 2023 event! That's what I call a great success story for 2022. When we add in longtime good friends like Marjorie Baumert of RMAF fame at PAF, it strengthens our industry's mission of delivering the best-sound music to our global fans. Next up is Capital Audiofest from November 11th through 13th at the Twinbrook Hilton in Rockville Maryland. Enjoy the Music.com's September issue celebrates our special Best Of 2022 Blue Note Awards! We're truly impressed by the many achievements of audiophile manufacturers within the high-end / premium luxury audio industry.
---> Great Reviews, Blue Note Awards, Shows And More!



Keeping It Real With Authentic Sound Quality

Keeping It Real With Authentic Sound Quality
Roger Skoff writes about the importance of true authenticity.
Article By Roger Skoff
When I was a kid Hi-Fi Crazy, I didn't have any money.  I had heard good sound, though, and I lusted after it almost to the same degree as I would lust after more conventionally lusty things in years to come. What I had heard was the, to me, mind-boggling and world-changing deep bass of a huge theater pipe organ played on a Bozak B-310 "Concert Grand" speaker (24Hz rated, with four 12" woofers in a 14 cubic ft. enclosure!), through McIntosh electronics, and I wanted that kind of sound for myself! Unfortunately, as a kid of 12, with no money and less-than-rich parents, I had to make do with what I could scrounge or improvise.
---> Keeping It Real With Authentic Sound Quality.



Shared Dreams At OJAS  A very special audiophile exhibit at Lisson Gallery In NYC. Article By Danko Suvar Of HiFiMeida

Shared Dreams At OJAS 2022
A very special audiophile exhibit at Lisson Gallery In NYC.
Article By Danko Suvar
I'm sure many audiophiles would like to publicly demonstrate their systems to an admiring (if the system is exotic and expensive) and appreciative (if it sounds good) audience. Devon Turnbull is a lucky audiophile who did it, he got an invitation to participate in an exhibition of modern sculpture artists at the prestigious Lisson Gallery, which has branches around the world, and three galleries in New York. Since his audio components are a bit like modernist sculptures, and he has been designing, assembling and selling them to a specialist demanding audience for more than 15 years (as a company OJAS). They were a natural choice for such an exhibition.
---> Shared Dreams At OJAS 2022.



audioXpress Magazine July 2022

The Good, Bad, And Real Assessment
Adapting our economy to a remote / online model.
Editorial By J. Martins
The Good, the Bad, and the Real Assessment Over the past few weeks, we finally had the opportunity to attend the first trade shows since the start of the global pandemic, more than two years ago. And when I say trade shows, I mean real trade events with a significant number of exhibiting companies attending, and large numbers of visitors who were there to do business. Events with large numbers of new product unveils. Whatever we say about our own — and our economy's — adaptability to a remote, online model, when people were confined at home and business needed to continue, nothing really replaces actual interaction at a trade show. Because it's not about the things we plan and need to do. It's mostly about the discovery, the unexpected, and everything that no one could have predicted.
---> The Good, Bad, And Real Assessment.



The Absolute Sound September 2022

From The Editor: A Summary Judgment
Because an effect has no rational explanation, it doesn't mean it's nonexistent.
Editorial By Robert Harley
In this issue's Letters column, reader Barney Vincelette laments the tendency of some audio companies to invent apparently fantastical explanations of how their products work. I must agree with Mr. Vincelette that some of the technical descriptions stretch credulity. Yet it would be a mistake to brand these products as shams. First, to summarily label a product as snake oil we must make an a priori determination of what phenomena can and cannot be perceived by the human brain when listening to music. Mr. Vincelette cites the example of cable lifters that elevate a cable above a carpeted floor. Cable lifters reportedly reduce the effect of the carpet's electrostatic field on the signal traveling down the cable. The electrical field must be so weak that it couldn't possibly affect the signal, Mr. Vincelette reasons.
---> From The Editor: A Summary Judgment.



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.



Review: Aavik  S-280 Streamer, U-280 Unity Integrated Amp with built-in DAC, Ansuz Acoustics Mainz8 A2 AC Power Distribution Bar, Mainz8 A2 AC Ansuz Power Cords, Speakz Speaker Cables, Digitalz Ethernet Cable, PowerSwitch A2 Ethernet Switch, Darkz C2t Isolation Footers, and Titanium Balls for Ansuz Acoustics Darkz C2t.

Aavik Acoustics System Review
High-end audio equipment is made by those who love music.
Review By Tom Lyle
Aavik S-280 Streamer, U-280 Unity Integrated Amp with built-in DAC, Ansuz Acoustics Mainz8 A2 AC Power Distribution Bar, Mainz8 A2 AC Ansuz Power Cords, Speakz Speaker Cables, Digitalz Ethernet Cable, PowerSwitch A2 Ethernet Switch, Darkz C2t Resonance Control Devices, and Titanium Balls for Ansuz Acoustics Darkz C2t.
The subjects of this review feature components and accessories from two of the three brands designed and manufactured by The Audio Group Denmark, which acts as an umbrella company for Aavik Acoustics, Ansuz Acoustics, and Børresen Acoustics. The company was started by two Danes, Lars Kristensen, and Michael Børresen, who first met more than 20 years ago. Aavik Acoustics designs and manufactures many types of high-end audio components, such as amplifiers, DACs, phono stages, and streamers. Ansuz Acoustics products consist of what most audiophiles would call high-end audio accessories, cables, power distribution, streaming accessories, and resonance control devices.
---> Aavik Acoustics System Review.



iFi Go Bar Dongle DAC Review

iFi Go Bar Dongle DAC Review
The iFi Go Bar Dongle DAC is late to the party and $329. Does it offer enough to warrant that kind of pricing? Learn why we think it does.
Review By W. Jennings
It may be hard to believe, but iFi Audio have stayed out of the Dongle DAC frenzy over the past two years; their focus has been on the desktop side with the high-powered Diablo ($999) and Gryphon DAC/Headphone Amplifiers. They did introduce the iFi Go Blu DAC / Amplifier which certainly qualifies as a portable device but it is still on the larger side, requires recharging, and never really appealed to the USB or Lightning crowd looking for a true Dongle DAC. The iFi Go Bar Dongle DAC aims to change all of that. iFi Audio is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2022 and the British brand now offers more than 50 products in the portable, desktop, and accessories categories including a number of award-winning DACs, phono pre-amplifiers, and headphone amplifiers.
---> iFi Go Bar Dongle DAC Review.



Rogue Audio Pharaoh II Integrated Amplifier Review

Rogue Audio Pharaoh II Integrated Amplifier Review
A new King is crowned!
Review By Ric Mancuso
Rogue Audio has once again upped the ante with their Pharaoh II hybrid integrated amp. I'm always a bit wary of the 'New & Improved' versions of any products that come to market. I seem to gravitate to original models (brands) of most premium products. Why do you ask? Well, because Herculean engineering efforts usually go into the development and production of a groundbreaking design. The Pharaoh I was launched in 2013, nearly ten years ago! It has been my reference amp for years. I have seen the evolution of many Rogue Audio products over time and had asked Mark O'Brien, designer and owner of Rogue Audio, periodically if there was going to be a revamp of the now classic Pharaoh. His answer was always, not at this time.
---> Rogue Audio Pharaoh II Integrated Amplifier Review.



SVS 3000 Micro Subwoofer Review

SVS 3000 Micro Subwoofer Review
Sonic dynamite in a small package.
Review By Maurice Jeffries
I have a confession to make! Steven R. Rochlin, the Creative Director and guiding light at Enjoy the Music.com, had to beg, and I mean beg, to get me to review the exceptionally fine SVS 3000 Micro Subwoofer. Not that I dislike subwoofers. Quite the contrary! When properly dialed in, a well-designed sub can greatly enhance the low frequency performance of sonically bass-shy systems, and even improve the performance of great full-range systems by distributing all that bass energy more evenly throughout the listening room. There's just one caveat: to enjoy the sonic benefits of a good subwoofer (or two, many audiophiles, and SVS, insist that double subs deliver the best sound) one must have the raw acreage to house an enclosure that typically eats more floor space than even very large tower designs.
---> SVS 3000 Micro Subwoofer Review.



Usher R-1.5 Stereo Amplifier Review

The Bargain Class A Usher R-1.5 Stereo Amplifier Review
A high performer at any price!
Review By Juan C. Ayllon
The Usher R-1.5 stereo amplifier is built like a tank. Its utilitarian industrial design bears a striking resemblance to the Threshold 300 Stasis designed by audio guru Nelson Pass, which should come as no surprise. In 1972 Usher Audio's owner and head engineer, Lien-Shui Tsai, built the first Usher R-1.5 amplifier as a copy of the e300 Stasis amplifier whose patent expired, and its designer, the venerated Nelson Pass, had welcomed others to use it. It began as a fun project, however, it soon became a hit with customers and eventually many audio enthusiasts throughout Taiwan became proud owners of this phenomenal amplifier.
---> The Bargain Class A Usher R-1.5 Stereo Amplifier Review.



The Intro By Art Dudley Of Listener Magazine

The Intro By Art Dudley
When I first heard about the Internet, I thought it was a load of crap.
Editorial By Art Dudley
When I was five years old, grocery stores began selling a product called Happy Nut, which I considered ingenious: peanut butter shaped into quarter-pound sticks, like butter, and filled with a core of grape jelly. With Happy Nut on the butter dish, one did not have to bother opening two jars (or even one!) before enjoying a healthy, satisfying meal: It was a simple and time-saving matter of dipping one's knife, spreading one's spread, and eating. The fact that the Happy Nut logo was a picture of a monkey was icing on the cake. To my five-year-old consumer consciousness, nothing made more sense: This was the pinnacle of modern achievement. From the moment I first saw it, I could not imagine life without Happy Nut.
---> The Intro By Art Dudley.



Grank Ilusion Editorial By Joe Roberts

Grand Illusion
Article By Joe Roberts
From Sound Practices Issue 9, Fall 1995
Way out on the paranoid fringes of contemporary American thought, miles beyond even the craziest audiophiles, there are some scared technology worshippers who believe that an international elite bad guy network of power-hungry conspirators has been conducting massively funded, wildly successful experiments with holographic imaging technology. The claim is that gizmos exist for creating 100% real-looking motion pictures in 3-D space, 4-D if you count time as a D. These infernal devices can materialize illusions that can pass through our senses as reality itself! Yikes! The above-mentioned whistle blowers are trying to warn us that fancy hologram projectors will play a central role in the ultimate power grab in all of human history, planned to go down at the turn of the millennium. Over the generations, many predictions were made about the year 2001, the dawn of the new Aquarian age, and in five years we'll be there. The sinister plot intends to take full advantage of all the symbolic weight we loaded onto the coming of the 21st C as a weapon against the mind.
---> Grand Illusion Article By Joe Roberts.



Acoustical Quad Acoustical QUAD Electrostatic Speakers -- VALVE Magazine

Acoustical QUAD
The original QUAD components were introduced around 1954...
Article By Dan Schmalle From VALVE
This month's demo is a very special one. Through the generosity of Eric and Dave we will audition what is to many vintage buffs the ne plus ultra of vintage high fidelity systems, an entire QUAD system. It will be composed of the QUAD FM Tuner, QUAD Multiplex Decoder, QUAD 22 Control Unit, two Quad II Power Amplifiers and two QUAD ESLs. All of these components are in very nice shape and will be set up as originally intended right down to the KT-66 output tubes. Acoustical Manufacturing Company, makers of the Quality Amplifier for Domestic use, was started by Peter J. Walker in London in the late 1930's. The original QUAD components were introduced around 1954. At the time the loudspeakers, while revolutionary in their construction and accuracy, were rather poorly received in an era of horn speakers with giant sized bass response.
---> Acoustical QUAD.



Van den Hul The Frog MC Phono Cartridge Unit Review

Van den Hul The Frog MC Phono Cartridge Review
Smooth and soothing sounds for vinyl lovers.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin
Over the past five years i have been fortunate enough to avoid the digital wars. Let the other guys deal with DVD-Audio, SACD, HD DVD and Blu-ray as i sit back and enjoy my 8000+ and growing vinyl collection. Almost a year ago my review of the Oracle Delphi MK V turntable with Oracle-SME 345 tonearm proved that vinyl indeed has much to offer music lovers worldwide. While attending the recent Munich High End show (2007), i was chatting with Aalt Jouk van den Hul (A.J.) at some press event for another manufacturer. Have known A.J. for well over a decade, as he attends many shows, and we have sat down and enjoyed some nice conversations about music, audio equipment... whatever.
---> Van den Hul The Frog MC Phono Cartridge Review.



Analogue Artisan A1 Series Turntable With Remote Control VTA/SRA Mongoose Tonearm And Pod Review

Analogue Artisan A1 Series Turntable Review
Remote VTA / SRA Mongoose Tonearm & Pod
Truly reference sound quality with astonishingly low distortion.
Review By Tom Lyle
Brian Calaio, the owner and chief engineer of Analogue Artisan and I have two things in common. The first is our love of music; the second is that we both believe that once a high-end audio system gets to a certain level of refinement, everything contributes to the sound of the system. The problem is that if the manufacturer of a component believes that everything makes a difference, and designs equipment with that maxim in mind with no regards for price, things can get a bit hairy, that is, very expensive.
---> Analogue Artisan A1 Series Turntable Review.



Electrocompaniet ECI 6 DX MKII Integrated Streaming Amplifier Review

Electrocompaniet ECI 6 DX MKII Int. Streaming Amp Review
A Norwegian thoroughbred with power and lossless hi-res streaming music finesse.
Review By Phil Gold
You may have heard of Dr. Matti Otala of the Tampere University in Finland. Even if you haven't, the fine sound that the best transistor amplifiers are capable of today is a direct result of his pioneering work in the seventies on Transient Intermodulation (TIM). This is a type of distortion, previously unidentified, produced by early transistor amplifiers which made them so tiresome to listen to. Per Abrahamsen and Svein Erik Børja read Dr. Otala's paper and set out to design a transistor amplifier that would minimize TIM. Their 25 Watt amplifier, introduced in 1976 really did change the world and won their new Norwegian company, Electrocompaniet, many fans and customers including Bruce Swedian (Michael Jackson's producer). He used Electrocompaniet amps to master Michael Jackson's albums HIStory and Invincible. Electrocompaniet amplifiers found their way into many recording studios around the world including Abbey Road.
---> Electrocompaniet ECI 6 DX MKII int. streaming amp review.



HEDD HEDDphone Headphone Review

HEDD HEDDphone Headphone Review
Meet the New Boss?

Definitely Not the Same as the Old Boss
Review By Trav Wilson
Can a pair of headphones be priced at almost $2,000 and still be considered a bargain or even a good buy? I've been wondering about that a lot of late. It depends on your perspective, I suppose. And your pocketbook. The HEDD HEDDphone might make you reach for your wallet. What if those headphones compare favourably with the absolute top-tier performers; including some that are priced significantly higher and some more than twice as much. What if they are a real contender in materials, craftsmanship, and (most importantly) sound reproduction? Make no mistake about it – the Heinz Electrodynamic Designs HEDDPhone belong in the top tier of headphones available. Several of the best headphones come from long-established German headphone companies; including Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, and Ultrasone
---> HEDD HEDDphone stereo headphone review.



Oracle Audio PH200 Mk III Phono Preamplifier Review

World Premiere Review!
Oracle Audio PH200 Mk III Phono Preamplifier Review

A quiet background, and extended response, making instruments sound real.
Review By Tom Lyle
I'll start this review of Oracle Audio Technologies' PH200 Mk III with a disclaimer, of sorts: My first truly "high-end" turntable was manufactured by Oracle. It was a used, heavily modified Oracle Delphi, a version of one of their first turntable models, which replaced my trusty AR. On the AR was a Grace G-707 tonearm, which I then used on the Oracle. I was in audiophile heaven. This Oracle Delphi was my "reference" turntable rig for quite some time, although I didn't use the term "reference" back then. In many ways, I miss that turntable. It certainly turned heads when "citizens" saw it perched upon the top of my equipment rack. Fast-forward to the 21st Century; the Delphi was long gone, but I was lucky enough to review the first version of Oracle's Paris turntable, which came with a modified and re-branded Pro-Ject 9cc tonearm.
---> Oracle Audio PH200 Mk III Phono Pre Review.



Audeze LCD-R Headphones Plus Schiit Jotunheim-A Amplifier Review

Audeze LCD-R Headphones Plus Schiit Jotunheim-A Amplifier Review
Here's a killer 1-2 combination that will have you smiling the entire time.
Review By Peter Pialis
When I first heard of Audeze's first foray into a headphone utilizing ribbon drivers, my heart jumped. Traditionally a pioneer in the world of planar magnetic headphones, the possibility of hearing what this world-class producer of personal audio could do with ribbon drivers.... I still very much put the LCD-4 / LCD-4z in my personal "Top 5 Headphones of All Time", but the ability to experience a brand new technology within the ecosystem of the Audeze experience was something that really just appealed to me. Ribbon-based drivers usually end up with very low impedance headphones and the LCD-R are no different. Coming in at a very low 2 Ohms, these headphones required a special dedicated headphone amplifier that can handle extremely low impedance. So the folks at Audeze and Schiit Audio put their heads together for this venture and came up with the Jotunheim-A amplifier.
---> Audeze LCD-R Headphones Plus Schiit Jotunheim-A Amplifier Review.




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