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06 / 30 / 22

HIFICRITIC Volume 16 Number 2 April / May / June 2022

HIFICRITIC's Latest Issue Is Now Available
HIFICRITIC's April / May / June 2022 issue features:
Editorial: We Welcome Back Hi-Fi Shows
Munich HIGH END Show Report
Mike Valentine: Purist Recorder Of Music
Magico A3 Loudspeaker
Marantz Model 40N Amplifier And Network/SACD Player
Icon 4Pro Passive Line Controller
Measuring Speakers – It's All About The Bass
Q Acoustics Concept 50 Speaker
Audiolab Omnia 'Just Add Speakers' System
Russell K Red 120 SE Floorstanders
Shaknspin Wow & Flutter Analyser II 
Mark Levinson No.5909 ANC Headphones
...And Much More!


Within his editorial, Martin Colloms says "Shows and concerts are largely recommencing. AXPONA 2022 was recently held in the USA with some success, while the Munich High End show came back after three years away, and Andrew Everard was there to take a look at some new exhibits and unfortunately old trends. And the UK show season is firing up again: the North West Audio Show took place in mid-June, and then we have the 2022 UK Hi-Fi Show Live back at the Ascot Racecourse Grandstand. Moving into Autumn, the UK Audio Show is at the beginning of October at the De Vere Staverton Estate, Daventry, while the biannual Audio Jumble audio 'swap shop' follows up its success in May with a return to The Angel Centre in Tonbridge, Kent on Sunday 2nd October. Expect the usual mix of bargains, curiosities and the odd ambitious price – so maybe not so far from a traditional hi-fi show, then." See what's within this issue of HIFICRITIC.



06 / 28 / 22

Spaced A-B Microphone Placements / Array

Spaced A-B Microphone Placements / Array
A recent paper from Florian Grond, Jack Kelly, and Wieslaw Woszczyk of the McGill University Schulich School of Music brings new insights to space microphone arrays. Titled "Spaced A-B Microphone Placements Of Higher-Order Ambisonics Microphone Arrays: Techniques for recording and balancing direct and ambient sound," they end by acknowledging that their findings may open more question than it answers.

"In acoustic music recording, spaced microphone positions typically give an impression of spaciousness and depth in the rendered sound scene. Inter-channel decorrelation, particularly at low frequencies, is thought to contribute to this effect, and cannot be achieved through coincident techniques. Higher order Ambisonics microphones have seen a rapid increase in popularity, despite their limitation as a coincident recording technique. In this article, recording and mixing strategies for the A-B spaced placement of HOA arrays are described combining the advantages of both: sound stage depth and stability, and the compatibility of b-format based mixing with respect to rendering for binaural and immersive 3D reproduction loudspeaker systems." Download the paper at this link (PDF).



06 / 27 / 22

UK Audio Show To Go Large In Major Development

UK Audio Show To Go Large In Major Development
This just in: A significant announcement from the organizers of The UK Audio Show reveals plans for a major expansion of this premier Audio Show. For 2023, organizers have announced that the show will occupy the whole of the Staverton Park Hotel complex at Daventry, as it increases its National and International status. Further plans include a major concert on the show's Saturday evening, along with an increased presence of keynote speakers, workshops and listening sessions during show days. Next year's event will also see a special zone, dedicated to manufacturers from a specific country under a new handshake scheme.

All the additions and enhancements will be added to our unique packages for exhibitors which includes dinner, bed & breakfast plus unlimited coffee/tea. Further details will be announced in due course, meanwhile exhibition space at this year's UK Audio Show is now 95% sold, pre-booking for the complimentary tickets is described as very brisk with in excess of 11% being new to show and press attendees now totaling 25. The UK Audio Show will take place at the Staverton Park Hotel on October 8th and 9th, 2022. Full details are online at ChesterGroup.org.



06 / 24 / 22

Fidelity Record Pressing to Launch Q1 2023

Fidelity Record Pressing To Launch Q1 2023
This just in: Fidelity Record Pressing (Fidelity), a state-of-the-art record-pressing facility constructed from the ground up in Oxnard (Ventura County), California, will launch in Q1 2023 as the country's premier vinyl production facility. Fidelity is owned by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab and Music Direct proprietor Jim Davis in partnership with the father-and-son team of Rick and Edward Hashimoto, vinyl engineers who have 60 collective years of vinyl-press experience. While Fidelity will help unclog the years-long backlog impacting the industry, its mission and organization remain distinct from all other pressing facilities.

Intent on capturing a particular segment of the vinyl market and meeting the demand for truly great-sounding LPs, Fidelity is strictly focused on quality — not quantity. It will be guided on a daily basis by on-site specialists who have the irreplaceable experience and superior expertise necessary to achieving its goal. Fidelity will also serve as the future production home of all Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab vinyl releases. Dedicated to making the best-sounding records available, Fidelity will give each step involved with the manufacturing and packing of LPs meticulous oversight and superb quality control. Below is Enjoy the Music.com's exclusive video from Chad Kassem's highly-respected Quality Record Pressings (QRP) facility in Salina Kansas.




The Challenge: Enjoying The Music On Mars

The Challenge: Enjoying The Music On Mars
While we humans take for granted the stability of planet Earth, Mars is a very different acoustic environment. To make things more challenging, the atmosphere changes quite a bit, and thus changes how sound waves propagate. From a recent technical paper called In Situ Recording Of Mars Soundscape, it says "Before the Perseverance rover landing, the acoustic environment of Mars was unknown. Models predicted that: (1) atmospheric turbulence changes at centimetre scales or smaller at the point where molecular viscosity converts kinetic energy into heat, (2) the speed of sound varies at the surface with frequency and (3) high-frequency waves are strongly attenuated with distance in CO2. However, theoretical models were uncertain because of a lack of experimental data at low pressure and the difficulty to characterize turbulence or attenuation in a closed environment."

"Here, using Perseverance microphone recordings, we present the first characterization of the acoustic environment on Mars and pressure fluctuations in the audible range and beyond, from 20 Hz to 50 kHz. We find that atmospheric sounds extend measurements of pressure variations down to 1,000 times smaller scales than ever observed before, showing a dissipative regime extending over five orders of magnitude in energy. Using point sources of sound (Ingenuity rotorcraft, laser-induced sparks), we highlight two distinct values for the speed of sound that are about 10ms-1 apart below and above 240 Hz, a unique characteristic of low-pressure CO2-dominated atmosphere. We also provide the acoustic attenuation with distance above 2 kHz, allowing us to explain the large contribution of the CO2 vibrational relaxation in the audible range. These results establish a ground truth for the modelling of acoustic processes, which is critical for studies in atmospheres such as those of Mars and Venus." Read the entire article at this link.



06 / 23 / 22

Historic Video: A Dream Of Audio Perfection

Historic Video: A Dream Of Audio Perfection
Stereo: Three dimensional sound.
The biggest contribution to music since Barnum & Bailey.
Throughout the years, even from the very beginning, there was audio gear... and critics soon thereafter. Audio gear evolved, just as audiophiles carefully adjusted our listening space to accommodate it all. Finding the best recordings can be a challenge, too! Here's a great look back at the beginnings of high fidelity home audio equipment, and the reviewers in hopes of finding gear that achieved sound perfection. Call it what you will, perfect sound forever or the absolute sound, audiophiles seek to reproduce music within homes that is indistinguishable from what was heard during the live event.
---> Watch A Historic Video About Audio Perfection.



Chisto Easy Groove Solutions Concentrate, Virgin Concentrate, Extreme, Enzycaster, Concentrate, Spray & Wipe, Disk Analoguer, and Hi-End Show-Gloss Review By Tom Lyle

World Premiere Review!
Chisto Easy Groove Solutions Review
Concentrate, Virgin Concentrate, Extreme, Enzycaster, Concentrate, Spray & Wipe, Disk Analoguer, and Hi-End Show-Gloss.
Review By Tom Lyle
For the last few years, I've been cleaning my records by using a VPI 16.5 wet/vacuum record cleaner. My record cleaning liquid of choice has been for quite some time a simple solution of distilled water and a surfactant (the surfactant reduces the solution's surface tension, making it spread more easily on the surface of the record). Before the VPI, I used a Nitty Gritty record cleaner, and before that, an Audio Advisor record cleaner. With those machines I've tried countless solutions sold by many different companies. None were worthy of a review.
---> Chisto Easy Groove Solutions Review.



06 / 22 / 22

Asahi Kasei Microdevices AK4499EX DAC Chip

Asahi Kasei Microdevices AK4499EX DAC Chip
Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation (AKM) new Flagship DAC, the AK4499EX stereo D/A converter, which includes Velvet Sound. This newly-designed DAC features a complete separation of digital and analog circuitry solution and is based upon the world-class predecessor AK4499 Current Output DAC. The chip design uses the latest high-quality sound technology and a completely separate digital / analog solution to achieve a "sound as if you were there" experience according to AKM. The analog characteristics also exceed those of the integrated D/A predecessor AK4499, allowing users to experience an unprecedented level of life-like sound.

When used in conjunction with the AK4191 the AK4499EX is said to be the ideal analog conversion solution for playback of ultra-high-resolution sound sources up to 1536kHz sample rate / 64-bit PCM or 44.8MHz sample rate DSD. SNR is an outstanding 135dB per channel (A-weighted), THD is -124dB, plus the AK4499EX + AK4191 two-chip solution provides high-precision D/A conversion with a low-jitter clock. Application for AKM's new AK4499EX DAC chip includes: Network Audio, USB DACs, CD/SACD Players, Wireless Speaker Systems, Soundbars, Digital Audio Players, Electronic Musical Instruments, Audio Interfaces, and Digital Mixers.



06 / 21 / 22

LEGO For Adults & Music Lovers: Jazz Quartet

LEGO For Adults & Music Lovers: Jazz Quartet
Get into your groove and compose a jazz masterpiece. Create your own LEGO Ideas Jazz Quartet ($99, model #21334) featuring brick-built figures of a pianist, bassist, trumpeter, and drummer in dynamic poses, plus highly detailed buildable models of their instruments – a grand piano, double bass, trumpet and drum kit. This collectible display model makes a cool treat for yourself and the best gift for other jazz lovers and music fans in your life. Separate building instructions are included for each musician and instrument, so you can share the joyful creative experience with family, friends or band mates. When the builds are complete, the quartet can be connected in whatever stage formation you prefer for display.

Welcome to LEGO Sets for Adults, a curated selection of stylish, premium-quality models worthy of your spare time. Whatever your interests, there is a building set for you. Build your own Jazz Quartet that features 1606 pieces to build as you feel the music. Recreate the atmosphere of an intimate jazz concert with this LEGO Ideas display model of a quartet on stage and in full flow. Build LEGO figures of the musicians in dynamic poses with detailed models of their instruments and place them together however you want. You can build this jazz band together with friends, family, or band mates. This buildable jazz memorabilia set measures over 7.5" high, 17" wide, and 6" deep and is made for display in your home, home recording studio, or music listening room.



06 / 20 / 22

The New York Audio Show Returns For 2022

The New York Audio Show Returns For 2022
If you love great music and want to hear it from some of the finest equipment around the world, the New York Audio Show 2022 takes place September 9th and 10th, 2022 at the Martinique Hotel in New York City. Operated by the Chester Group, shows like theirs are absolutely unique for discovering some of the very best in audio gear. Not only can you see, hear, and touch the very latest technology, you will be able to do so in a whole range of one to one rooms in complete comfort just like being at home. No pressures; just surrounded by like-minded enthusiasts be they visitors, exhibitors, press or industry who are all there for the same reason... to enjoy the music. Now heading towards its 10th year, Chester Group's New York Audio Show continues to represent the cream of the industry. To exhibit at the show, please contact Brian Dunne at (917) 679-1827 or via email.



06 / 17 / 22

Creem Magazine Is Back And Ready For Action

Creem Magazine Is Back And Ready For Action
From 1969 to 1989, Creem magazine was the go-to for 'alternative' music and band reviews, lifestyle articles, humor, and more! Millions of music lovers enjoyed Creem's sharper writings that cut to the bone of music and the industry. With 224 issues spanning well over 69,000 articles, you can subscribe to Creem right now and get access to all back-issue and future issues too! You can read the legendary takes from Lester Bangs, Cameron Crowe, Patti Smith, Greil Marcus, Dave Marsh, Jaan Uhelszki, Robert Christgau, Lisa Robinson and more.

Creem began in Detroit and was a great influence within the music industry. The magazine was far more than other publication's pretty boy covers and fluff pieces, instead, Creem promoted both local and national music artists who had distinctive voices and sound. The magazine's editor was credited as the first to use the term "punk rock" back in a 1971 article on Question Mark & the Mysterians. If you're looking for great music reviews, articles about bands and talented musicians, then Creem could be perfect for you. With this new reboot you also get access to all 224 past issues! You may also enjoy the documentary on the magazine's history that was released in 2020. Be sure to watch Creem: America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine as it reminds us that it's about having fun together with music!




06 / 16 / 22

The Music Industry Just Took A Backwards Step On Streaming Pricing... In Glorious HD

The Music Industry Just Took A Backwards Step On Streaming Pricing... In Glorious HD
Editorial By Tim Ingham
Founder Of Music Business Worldwide
Amazon's Echo Studio launched in Q4 2019 at a $199.99 price point in the US. "In 2019, Amazon launched Amazon Music HD, a high-quality audio streaming offering that is available to customers at a premium price in the United States. We believe the value proposition that streaming provides to consumers supports premium product initiatives." This, from Warner Music Group's pre-IPO filing last year, is a key part of the modern music industry's big sell to investors. Just you wait, it says: streaming is $9.99-a-month today, but tomorrow, oh man, the possibilities for building on this price-point are endless. Today (May 17), those possibilities hit the floor with a thud. A thud captured in stunning HD sound. It was a noise that hurt my ears – and reiterated a troubling power balance between music rightsholders and Big Tech.
---> The Music Industry Just Took A Backwards Step On Streaming Pricing... In Glorious HD.



Lindemann Limetree Phono II Phono Stage Review

North America Premiere Review!
Lindemann Limetree Phono II Review

Small package – Big impression!
Review By Clive Meakins
Lindemann is very well versed with digital technology and Class D amplifiers. For some people, they've been "flying under the radar" with their Phono stage. The Limetree Phono II is the successor to the well-regarded Limetree Phono. Being very candid; my initial reaction to the suggestion to review the Phono II was, "another relatively affordable Phono stage – I really hope it stands out from the crowd". What I will say at this point is that I'm very pleased I accepted the challenge! A Phono stage can make or break a vinyl-playing system – it needs to match the deck and cartridge electrically plus be a good match in terms of character. It's not hard to put together a couple of OpAmps with an RIAA correction network in between and voila, you have a Phono stage... but that's not to say it'll be a good one that makes systems shine. I've already hinted that auditioning the Phono II was a good use of my time so rest assured that if you are looking for a Phono stage at around €600, finding out more about the Phono II will be very worthwhile. The Lindemann Limetree range covers the Bridge, Network, Headphone, and Phono II....
---> Lindemann Limetree Phono II review.



06 / 15 / 22

Pacific Audio Fest (PAF) 2022 Show Report

Pacific Audio Fest 2022 Show Report / Update
The Pacific Audio Fest (PAF) is almost here and the hotel is nearly full, so don't be left out! Make sure you have booked your sleeping rooms for July 29th through 31st, 2022 at the Doubletree Hilton Sea-Tac in Washington state. PAF 2022 is the first major Northwest USA audio show promoted by exhibitors and music lovers for music lovers and exhibitors. Hosted in Seattle and serving the entire Pacific coast, from Los Angeles to Vancouver, BC, Seattle is a top tech hub and one of the fastest growing communities within the USA. In addition, it is a vacation paradise in the summer months. All of PAF's large vendor rooms are reserved as have most standard rooms and table spaces.

PAF show Director and Founder Lou Hinkley has nearly thirty years experience as an exhibitor in music trade shows and festivals with his company Daedalus Audio. The show collaborators include Gary Gill, Founder of Capital Audiofest, and other notables in the audio industry, together we will make this a fun and extremely high quality event for attendees and vendors all the while keeping this show to a scale that works for everyone. As with all industry-operated shows within the USA and Canada, Enjoy the Music.com is sponsoring the Thursday night exhibitor and press party, so free drinks on us! We look forward to seeing you here! You can learn more and see Enjoy the Music.com's Pacific Audio Fest (PAF) 2022 show report at this link.



06 / 14 / 22

AXPONA 2022 Show Report Final Update Featuring The First Floor  --  Audio Expo North America 2022 Show Report

AXPONA 2022 Show Report
Final Update Featuring The First Floor
Audio Expo North America 2022 Show Report
Show Report By Rick Becker
After breakfast in my room from the goodies in my food stash, I descended from the hotel directly to the 1st floor where there is a collection of boardrooms that to my mind are the perfect size for displaying large systems. Plenty of room for large speakers, but still realistic enough to be equivalent to a domestic listening room. Anything much larger than this and you'd probably use it as your indoor basketball court or to house a small car collection. As I rounded the corner to enter the cove of boardrooms a Clearaudio Double Matrix record cleaning machine was on silent and unattended display. With all the arms, buttons, and clamps it hinted at being very cool, but also very expensive — especially knowing what Clearaudio turntables sell for. Being constructed of aluminum suggests that it might be as quiet as my Nessie, which is a very endearing feature.
---> Final Update Featuring The First Floor At AXPONA 2022.



06 / 13 / 22

Hi-Fi World July 2022

Hi-Fi World's July 2022 Reviews & Think Pieces
Hi-Fi World's July 2022 issue features the following:
Editorial: The Trouble With Loudspeaker Drivers...
Win A Pair Of PSB M4u 8 MKII Headphones
KEF Reference 1 Meta Loudspeakers
Acoustic Energy Ae1202 Loudspeakers
Atoll Signature ST200 Streamer
Connected Fidelity RF B
Pre Show Info North West Audio Show
Wireworld Oasis 8 Loudspeaker Cable
Martin Pipe On The Ariston RD80 Turntable
Pro-Ject X8 Belt Drive Turntable 
Meze Liric Headphones
...and much more!

Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says "The trouble with loudspeaker drive units is they send sound backwards as well as forwards. Long ago they realised that If a cone moved forward, compressing the air ahead of it, this air would race around to the back, cancelling sound – inconvenient. Some bright spark realised this could be prevented by putting the drive unit in a box – which is where we are today. Trouble is that trapped sound causes other problems. This has concerned KEF for some time – I recall they once had magic charcoal to counteract the problem – but all has gone quiet on that front. Now they have come up with Metamaterial. It's only for tweeters but certainly has quite an affect, You can read more about it on p11 where we review their new Reference 1 Meta stand-mount loudspeaker." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World at this link.



06 / 10 / 22

The Audiophile Society's Soul On Soul By Paloma Chesky

The Audiophile Society's Soul On Soul By Paloma Chesky
David Chesky's The Audiophile Society has announced a brand new album from Paloma Dineli Chesky titled Soul On Soul. Age is never her restriction, as a gifted voice that is way richer than any 14 year old could have. Paloma's incredibly diverse voice makes songs resonate in the listeners' ears and hearts. "Listening to her songs is like diving in a deep ocean at night, surrounded by the emotions that her blues conveys. Paloma's approach to melody urges you to go deeper and deeper into that ocean, and her voice gives you the passion to love a real but imperfect life," says the press release. Paloma is a very young girl raised in two distinct cultures, American and Brazilian.

When it comes to singing the blues, she is an old soul, a soul that has experienced years of wind and frost. But her innocence is somewhere in these songs and represents the courage of a young soul. You'll definitely be surprised by her understanding of the music, and her dynamic but controlled vocal expressions. Soul On Soul by Paloma Dineli Chesky, daughter of David Chesky, is available for digital download at The Audiophile Society.



HIGH END 2022 Show Report -- High End Society Munich Germany -- Show Report By Carlos Martin Schwab

HIGH END 2022 Show Report
High End Society Munich Germany
Show Report By Carlos Martin Schwab
The HIGH END Munich ambassador's press conference, which I attended because I appreciate the choice of Alan Parsons, a famed musician, and producer who does not come from jazz or classical, started badly: it was in German (with poor simultaneous interpretation into English) until Parsons got on stage and asked to continue in English. I asked him his opinion on loudness war, and he replied "I always considered the dynamics in my work. If someone wants to hear louder, just turn up the volume." The Germans have this thing about forgetting that the language of business worldwide is English, but the saddest thing was to start noticing what the press of HIGH END Munich prioritizes since out of more than 400 accredited people, there were no more than 50 people at the conference.
---> HIGH END 2022 Show Report By Carlos Martin Schwab.



06 / 09 / 22

The Art Of Listening

The Art Of Listening
The emotional power of sound.
Article By Frederick J. Ampel of Technology Visions Analytics
Original article was aimed at custom installers, yet this information is also beneficial to audiophiles and videophiles alike.
Listening to and experiencing an audio environment is a unique and intense multilevel encounter. Stephen Handel, Professor of Psychology at the University of Tennessee, put it as well as anyone in the preface to his wonderful book: Listening: An Introduction to the Perception of Auditory Events (MIT Press, 1993, ISBN13: 978-0262081795, $62): "Listening puts me in the world. Listening gives me a sense of emotion, a sense of movement, and a sense of being there that is missing when I am [just] looking. I am more frightened by thunder than by lightning, even though I know that thunder is harmless and lightning is deadly. I feel far more isolation living with ear plugs than living with blinders. Listening is centripetal, it pulls you into the world. Looking is centrifugal, it separates you from the world." Let's understand precisely what Handel is saying: If the audio system's re-creation capability is working correctly, it can and should pull the listeners into the presentation with the power to make them believe that they are "there," wherever there might be.
---> The Art Of Listening.



This Is The Best Time To Be A Music Enthusiast Product development, reviews, and true lossless hi-resolution on the rise!

This Is The Best Time To Be A Music Enthusiast
Product development, reviews, and true lossless hi-resolution on the rise!
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
Over 25 years ago when I started Enjoy the Music.com there was very little info about high-end audio / audiophiles online. Today, that has all changed as we have thousands of websites from the latest and greatest gear to vintage audio, DIY, headphones, etc. In addition, we now have more manufacturers than in the history of our hobby! It is virtually impossible to keep up with it all, let alone report on every new piece of high-end audio equipment. I'd be slapped silly by not mentioning that true lossless high-resolution music, without the 'need' for typical music BUSINESS lossy compressed scams and schemes, is now mainstream and not limited to only a few niche' streaming music players. Without a doubt, this is the best time to be a music enthusiast! Way back when in the 1980s and 1990s there were only a tiny few small digest-sized print publications plus Audio and Stereo Review (to name a few) here in the States. Europe and other parts of the globe had their fave publications. It was like we were part of a super-secret hobby we all love. There was a tribal feeling about it all too!
---> This Is The Best Time To Be A Music Enthusiast.



06 / 08 / 22

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

T.H.E Show 2022 Long Beach Is This Weekend!
For decades, T.H.E. Show has been the even 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 from June 10th through 12th 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 is 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. With many leading brands exhibited, plus educational seminars and special features planned, this show is not to be missed!

Why just talk only about vinyl when you can talk about vinyl and booze from a leading expert who has written multiple books about it! Andr้ Darlington, author of Booze & Vinyl and Booze & Vinyl Vol. 2 will be appearing at T.H.E. Show Long Beach for two very special Happy Hour sessions of mixology, listening, and discussion. The launch of their brand new initiative, T.H.E. Headphonium, a dedicated space within T.H.E. Show featuring headphones and personal / portable audio. The inaugural Headphonium, presented by audio and home theater publication eCoustics. The brand new T.H.E. Headphonium will offer show attendees a more engaging and unique experience including the opportunity to listen to a wide cross section of the world's best headphones and portable audio equipment. Attendees will have access to a lifestyle lounge, bespoke professional photo shoots, live social media events, and more.
---> Learn more about T.H.E. Show 2022 in Long Beach (California).



06 / 07 / 22

The Association Of International Audiophile Publications Press Release

The Association Of International Audiophile Publications
Enjoy the Music.com, high-end audio's celebrated site for over 26 years and a leader in providing premium audio and music industry news, hardware reviews, and show reports, is pleased to announce that we're a Founding Member of the Association Of International Audiophile Publications (AIAP). The AIAP is a voluntary professional organization composed of high-end audio and video publishers from around the world. Framed in 2021, and officially launched in 2022, the AIAP has established an agreed ethical and professional set of principles to which all signatories have committed themselves. The AIAP is composed initially of ten audiophile publications from around the world, all dedicated to a set of ethical and professional standards. These have been organized as a Statement of Principles, which the founding member publications have all agree to adhere to as guidelines for ethical and professional operations at their publications.
---> Read the Association Of International Audiophile Publications press release.



AXPONA 2022 Show Report Second Floor Spectacular At Audio Expo North America 2022 Show Report

AXPONA 2022 Show Report
Second Floor Spectacular At Audio Expo North America 2022 Show Report
Show Report By Rick Becker
With still some time left in the day, I headed down the elevated walkway to the large conference rooms in the Conference Center. Breaking to the far left I started in Nirvana C, which I'll dub The CAT House. Convergent Audio Technology wasn't listed in the program or identified on the floor plan, but they were there in a big way. I've left the first couple of photos as wide as they were taken with my 35mm lens. The big rooms on this floor are roughly 25 feet wide by about 50 feet long. And the ceilings, as you can see are high — like maybe 15 feet. That works out to about 19,000 cubic feet. Now, go measure your listening room. See what I mean? CAT is all about tube preamplifiers with phono and tube power amplifiers. I lucked into a used CAT preamp early on in my audiophile life and it was a huge step up that I treasured for years.
---> Second Floor Spectacular At Audio Expo North America 2022 Show Report.



06 / 06 / 22

The Absolute Sound May / June 2022

The Absolute Sound's May / June 2022 Issue
The Absolute Sound's May / June 2022 issue features the following:
Editorial: One in Ten Million: Robert Harley reflects...
The Absolute Sound's Super Disc List
Report From The Florida Audio Expo
Rotel RA-1592 Integrated Amplifier
AVA DVA M225 Monoblock Power Amplifiers
Boulder 861 Int. Amp. & Factory Tour
darTZeel NHB-468 Monoblock & NHB-18NS MKII Pre.
TAD E1TX-K Loudspeaker
Wilson Audio Alexx V Loudspeaker
Gradient 1.4 Loudspeaker
Naim Audio Atom Uniti HE Headamp 
...and much more!

Within his editorial, Robert Harley says "It's easy to take for granted the existence of products that push forward the state of the art in music reproduction. Whether you have an antipathy toward mega-priced components or revere them, you probably don't think twice about the fact that someone had to conceptualize and then create them. But create them someone most assuredly did. And it's this path from concept to realization that we tend to gloss over without considering the highly unlikely set of circumstances, and combination of talents, required for the product to come into the world." See what's within this issue of The Absolute Sound.



06 / 03 / 22

The Weeknd And Binance Integrate Web 3.0

The Weeknd And Binance Integrate Web 3.0
Binance, the global blockchain ecosystem behind the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced it is the official sponsor of The Weeknd's "After Hours Til Dawn" tour and a

As a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Global Goodwill Ambassador, The Weeknd launched the XO Humanitarian Fund earlier this year to support WFP's lifesaving emergency operations in hunger hotspots around the world. To mark the launch of the tour, Binance will donate $2,000,000 to the XO Humanitarian Fund, which is administered by World Food Program USA. Additionally, The Weeknd and Binance are creating a specially designed NFT collection and five percent of its sales will be donated to the XO Humanitarian Fund. The Weeknd's "After Hours Til Dawn" tour will begin July 8, 2022. Binance.US is the official sponsor of The Weeknd's tour in the U.S.A. and Binance.com for the global portion of the tour.



06 / 02 / 22

AXPONA 2022 Show Report  --  Third Floor Thrills At Audio Expo North America 2022

AXPONA 2022 Show Report
Third Floor Thrills At Audio Expo North America 2022
Show Report By Rick Becker
Getting from the 3rd Floor to the Restaurant on the 2nd floor was a run-around, as only two of the four stairwells descended to the 2nd floor due to the architecture involving the restaurant and hotel offices on the 2nd floor. Going the other direction from the 2nd floor was no easier unless you took the elevator. The elevators at the show seemed to run smoothly, though I admit I used the stairs to descend from one floor to the other, so I didn't use the elevators often. But at least they all seemed to be working all the time, and there was an express elevator to the 14th, 15th, and 16th floors. Saturday Audio Exchange is open only on Saturdays, Thursday evenings, and Sunday afternoons to the public, but is open the rest of the week for internet business and phone orders. They also work behind locked doors on repairs — especially turntables, and on custom installations. Not your ordinary store. They remind me of Weekend Furniture up in the Adirondacks. Based in Chicago, they carry popular brands that more people can afford, but it is also possible to get into five-figure territory there.
Third Floor Thrills At Audio Expo North America 2022.



06 / 01 / 22

High-End Audiophile / Immersivephile Hi-Fi Gear Review Magazine

Enjoy the Music.com's June 2022 Luxury Audio Review Magazine
With our ongoing event coverage of AXPONA, plus the world's largest show HIGH END in Munich, we're also happy to announce Enjoy the Music.com's June luxury hi-fi Review Magazine is now available. This month we celebrate the integrated amplifier with reviews of Rotel, Soundastic, and Aavik, plus hi-res DACs from Chord and Canor. Vinyl LP lovers rejoice as we give you our expert assessment of Acoustical Systems' Aquilar Anniversary Tonearm & Palladian MC phono cartridge. If you love guitars, we've 'unearthed' a vintage Gibson factory tour video from 1967! All this and much more within our June Review Magazine.
---> See this month's Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine.



Acoustical Systems Aquilar Anniversary Tonearm & Palladian Moving Coil Phono Cartridge Review

Acoustical Systems Aquilar Anniversary Tonearm & Palladian Moving Coil Phono Cartridge Review
The a golden age of analog playback.
Review By Robert C. May
Acoustical Systems Aquilar Anniversary Tonearm, and their Palladian cartridge are exceptional pieces of audio equipment. Beautifully engineered, when mated they present state-of-the-art analog performance, allowing the listener to simply sink into the music. For quite a while now, my good friend, philosophical colleague, and fellow reviewer Jules Coleman and I have been having an ongoing conversation about what we have dubbed, perhaps somewhat pretentiously, but certainly tendentiously, the philosophy of audio. In this branch of the philosophical tree, the philosophical issue that has animated our discussion is this: In what terms can we truthfully and fruitfully describe the experience of listening to an audio system? Jules and I have discussed this question from the four corners of the philosophical landscape, epistemology and metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics, and our conclusion has been maddingly philosophical – it is complicated, and we had better keep talking about it!
---> Acoustical Systems Aquilar Anniversary Tonearm & Palladian Moving Coil Phono Cartridge Review.



Soundastic Reference Stereo Integrated Amplifier Review

Soundastic Reference Stereo Integrated Amplifier Review
From Poland, a passive pre with solid-state output.
Review By Ric Mancuso
The founder, head engineer of Struss Audio and designer; the late Zdzisław Hrynkiewicz-Struss 1951 to 2021, Started up Struss Audio about 40 years ago dating back to the early 2000s. He passed away recently, and the company has reformed under the name Soundastic. Their first product in the line is the model Reference, which is the subject of this review. Struss began his career at the Polish Academy of Science as a specialist in Engineering and Electronics. Zdzisław was inspired by the work of the late Finnish professor and top-notch audio engineer Matti Otali. Matti passed away in 2015. Matti had collaborated with Phillips and other audio manufacturers. The basic designs are based on the concept of a three-part amplifier. Zdzisław and Struss Audio held many patents for amplifier designs, which have been incorporated into the Reference integrated amplifier.
---> Soundastic Reference Stereo Integrated Amplifier Review.



Aavik I-180 Integrated Stereo Amplifier Review

Aavik I-180 Integrated Stereo Amplifier Review
You call this entry-level?
Review By Michael Lang
With the integrated amplifier from the entry-level 180 series, Aavik took a radical turn: leaving behind heavy castles of aluminum in favor of natural materials and shapes derived from musical instruments. Aavik is the electronics side of a company-triumvirate, the other two being Borresen as a loudspeaker brand and Ansuz as a supplier of cables and accessories. Regular STEREO readers might be familiar with Aavik thanks to the impressive U-300 integrated amplifier equipped with a phono stage and DAC. Or maybe also due to the D-180 DAC or R-180 phono preamp, which has already received excellent reviews recently. The device featured here has almost nothing in common with the U-300 – neither the martial exterior nor the idea of amplifiers having to have "everything under one roof" made its way into the here and now. Beyond that, no stone was left unturned either!
---> Aavik I-180 Integrated Stereo Amplifier Review.



Video: Recently Discovered 1967 Gibson Guitars Factory Tour

1967 Gibson Guitars Factory Tour
The more that things change....
Video By Gibson Guitars
In the fall of 2020, Gibson unearthed an unmarked reel while digging through vault archives. Intrigued by the discovery, Gibson TV producers took that reel and had it digitally remastered. Gibson was founded in 1894 and has been synonymous with creating, shaping, delivering, inspiring, and owning the 'share of sound.' In 1906, Gibson realized the benefits and power of music and music education. Instead of using traditional sales-reps to sell instruments, Gibson engaged with teacher agents to get guitars in the hands of students of all ages. Gibson realized early on that getting instruments into the hands of those with a desire to make music is a truly life-changing event.
---> Recently Discovered 1967 Gibson Guitars Factory Tour.



Sound Practices Magazine: The History Lesson

History Lessons
Article By Joe Roberts
From Sound Practices Magazine

There is a lot of confusion regarding the cultural significance of vacuum tube audio in general and single-ended audio in particular. All of a sudden, we are confronted with a harvest of new stuff which apparently has a lot to do with very, very old stuff. Some mainstream journalists were quick to dismiss the whole phenomenon as a "retro" movement, a term of pointed disdain in high-tech circles signifying an unnatural preoccupation with an imagined past. "Now is better" is the cry of the old guard rallying in defense against this blast from the past. Well, now is better. But "now" is composed of our collective and individual past experiences and it offers a diverse set of possibilities for the future. The rise of single-ended amplifiers is a NOW thing. You can build one of these so-called "retro" amplifiers with parts manufactured last week and designed after the Intel 486 chip was well on its way to obsolescence.
---> Sound Practices: History Lesson.



High-End Audio Reviews & Audiophile Articles

High-End Audiophile Review Magazine

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