High-End Audio / Audiophile
& Music Industry News
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11 / 19 / 20
RHA TrueControl ANC Wireless Earbuds
RHA has just introduced their TrueControl ANC ($239.96) wireless earbuds featuring the Qualcomm AptX sound signature with advanced active – and adjustable –
noise cancellation. They have a 20-hour battery life plus listeners can use the new RHA Connect App to
customize their listening experience. RHA's TrueControl uses a passive noise cancelling design and ANC technology to eliminate outside noise. External microphones record the world around you, then target these noises with anti-sound. Their EQ has been meticulously tuned so that your music sounds immersive and natural. If you need to stop for a chat or hear an announcement, hold the left earbud to activate Quick Aware, which immediately pauses your audio and switching on full Ambient mode.
The natural contours of the TrueControl provide wearing comfort and astonishing passive noise cancellation by following the natural shape of your ear. Supplied with seven pairs of RHA silicone and three pairs of aerospace-grade Comply Foam ear tips for a perfect
molded fit. Their app allows you to customize button controls, change EQ balance, switch languages, and update firmware. The case doubles as a charging device and itself can be changed via USB C connection.
Manley Labs Absolute Headphone Amplifier / Preamplifier
Rare Form: Manley creates a Masterpiece that looks and sounds like nothing else!
Review By Dave Hanson
I had the pleasure of meeting Manley Labs VP of Engineering and Design, Zia
in the CanJam exhibit at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2018. While I was more than
familiar with the Manley name, this was the first time I had seen them in the
personal audio section of the show, so naturally I was quite curious about their
debuting flagship headphone amplifier, the Manley Labs Absolute Headphone
Amplifier ($4500). Zia was very generous with his time, and walked me through
the devastating and inspiring story behind the amplifier's creation.
Read our Manley Labs Absolute headphone amp / preamp review.
11 / 18 / 20
END And IPS Show In Munich 2021
The HIGH END, the internationally renowned audio exhibition, is the undisputed leader when it comes to impressively setting the tone for top-class music reproduction.
When combined with the launch of HIGH END's International Parts + Supply show (IPS), it
brings together gear manufacturers and parts producers and distributors all in
one location. HIGH END in Munich has been providing ideas and impetus for producers, sellers, and consumers of high-quality consumer electronics for four
decades. On the four days of the 2021 event, September 9th
through 12th, the entire world of audio experts and professionals gather in Munich to visit hundreds of exhibitors from more than 40 different countries as they showcase their latest innovations in the halls and atriums of the MOC event
HIGH END 2021 show plans to open their doors and welcome exhibitors and visitors from all over the
world in Munich, Germany. With exhibitor space already fully
booked months in advance, this year's HIGH END show marks it's 39th time and
17th at M.O.C.
As during the past 21 years, longer than any other North American magazine, Enjoy
the Music.com once again reports on HIGH END in Munich. This internationally renowned exhibition has firmly established itself as a global event over nearly four
decades. Once online, you can see Enjoy the
Music.com's HIGH END 2021 show coverage at this link.
11 / 17 / 20
Tacet's The Koroliov Series Vol. XXIII
Tacet's new recording The Koroliov Series Vol. XXIII
features the music of Johann Sebastian Bach with Partitas Part 1 BWV 825, 826, 830. Evgeni Koroliov performs on the piano for this two CD set [0265-0, with barcode 40 09850 026501]. There's one cycle of Johann Sebastian
Bach's keyboard works that Evgeni Koroliov has not yet recorded and that's the Partitas. Part 1 is out now with BWV 825, 826 und 830. Because Koroliov takes his time, they
don't fit onto one CD, but that's no real loss for the listener. As is often the case with TACET, you pay for one CD but get
Composers such as Ligeti and Kurtág have praised
Koroliov's Bach interpretations, as have many reviewers the world over as well as countless listeners. At a time when many people have to live in isolation, separated from family and friends, this music is refreshing to the soul. No tinkling on the keyboard, no drama; instead, reflection and immersion in the beauty of the detail and of the whole. You enter into an intimate dialogue with Bach through the medium of Koroliov and you become completely absorbed in the interaction between these two artists.
There's no better way to pass the time.
Enjoy Reading Your Fave Hi-Fi Magazines Online
Everyone here at Enjoy the Music.com sympathizes with those affected by the recent health issue. Our hobby is one that can be enjoyed within the privacy, and security, of your home. We'd like to take a moment to remind our readers that many of our partner magazines offer online subscriptions. As always, in the end what really matters is that
you... enjoy the music!
11 / 16 / 20
Great Audiophile Gift Ideas For The
2020 Holiday Season
Enjoy the Music.com celebrates our
15th annual gift ideas to give your audiophile!
the Music.com proudly presents our 15th annual Great Audiophile Gift recommendations! We all love gifts, yet getting that something special for an audiophile can be quite a challenge.
Enjoy the Music.com's annual Great Audiophile Gift wish list brings you some truly spectacular ideas for music lovers. There are so many wonderful products we recommend!
All recommended gifts this year are very reasonably priced too! We have gifts that will make your vinyl junkie smile, plus a few
surprised along the way!
---> See Enjoy the
Music.com's our Great Audiophile Gift 2020!
AGD Productions The Audion Monoblock Amplifier
New GaN technology that brings Class D amplifiers into the upper echelon of performance.
Review By Michael Zisserson Of Positive
What's new in audio? Not much in
the past 40 years or so. When was the last technological shake-up in audio?
Compact Disc, maybe? From there, digital technology has spawned endless formats
of claimed resolving power that is rarely capitalized on. What I have had a
hankering for is not another format war, rather, HARD technology. Like
the birth of the solid-state transistor that knocked vacuum tube amplifiers on
their heels. To my surprise, such a technology flashed into existence a
couple of years ago, that is truly revolutionary, and I have been oblivious of
its existence until now.
Read our AGD The Audion mono amplifier review.
Noble Sultan In-Ear Monitor (IEM)
A beautiful treasured piece of IEM art.
Review By Frank Iacone Of Headphone.Guru
Jim Moulton contacts me and asks me to personally review a Noble IEM I know I am
in for an exciting adventure into John Moulton's newest creation. The nickname
Wizard, as John is known as, is well and truly justified, so when the good
doctor works on a creation it is almost guaranteed to be groundbreaking in
design and sound spectacular.... The
new Sultan with its lustrous coverings is a beautiful treasured piece of art
designed in the typical Noble handmade fashion created one at a time for the
most discrete and select listener.
Read our Noble Sultan in-ear monitor (IEM) review.
11 / 13 / 20
Underwood HiFi & LSA Discovery DPH-1 DAC/Preamp/Headamp
As the first within a series of new budget-class products, Underwood
HiFi and LSA Discovery DPH-1 DAC, preamplifier, and headamp ($799) brings great versatility
at an attractive price. A full-featured Hi-Res Audio DAC is mated with a remote controlled preamplifier and low-noise headphone amplifier. An XMOS asynchronous USB input is part of four digital inputs using the AKM AK4118 digital input receiver and AK 4495 DAC. It decodes PCM to 24-bit/192kHz as well as DSD. Full-featured preamplifier control center is complete with a rotary encoder volume control and has both vacuum tube and solid-state unbalanced RCA outputs. The tube buffer stage is based on a GE NOS tube. Both outputs can even be run simultaneously into an amplifier or line-in enabled integrated amp to give you both solid state and tube sonics. The LSA Discovery DPH-1 will be followed up shortly with a Peter Madnick designed MM/MC phono stage, then followed by a Volumio-powered music streamer, and amplifier.
audioXpress' December Issue
Is Now Available
audioXpress' December 2020 issue features Remembering Jeff Bagby, QuantAsylum QA401 / QA451, Mastering Wireless Multi-Tone Testing, The Puffin Phono DSP By Parks Audio, Build A Passive Moving-Coil Step-Up Device, Getting Started With Automotive Audio Bus (Part 3), Acoustical Design Of A Multi-Purpose Room, Simple Improvements To Legacy Differential, Circuit Designs For A Hollow-State Mixer, and Comparing IMD (and THD) Measurements.
Within his editorial, J. Martins says, "With this December 2020 edition we are proud to conclude another year of progress in helping to construct a better publication, more relevant to its readership. And in the constant search for the most relevant topics, we have been looking at industry announcements and developments in the ever more critical area of wireless audio. But either we did too good a job last year or there
isn't much more to report for now, especially considering that we didn't have industry events and there were no major product innovations in the category this year. There were some announcements, particularly early in the year at CES 2020. But nothing has resulted as yet."
See what's within this issue of audioXpress.
11 / 12 / 20
Power Two Solid-State Stereo Amplifier From Alluxity
Monarch Systems Distribution's new Power Two from Alluxity ($7800) marks the third solid-state amplifier from the company. The Power Two produces 200 Watts into 8 Ohms and 400 Watts into 4 Ohms per channel stereo. The monolithic machined chassis is small and compact, with a Scandinavian minimalist design ethos. All input and amplification circuitry is linear, however, and no switching or Class-D circuitry is used within the audio path. The
amplifier's input section is differentially balanced and features discrete gain stages, designed and built in-house by Alluxity, to significantly reduce noise and distortion.
Control and status are available via a full-color, front panel LCD touch screen. The Power
Two's casework is machined from a solid billet of aluminum and is available in four colors as standard: silver, black, white, and titanium orange. Custom colors are available for an additional fee. Both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) inputs are available. Dimensions are 17.1" x 4.1" x 12.4" (WxHxD) and it weighs 38.5 lbs.
FiiO FH5 In-Ear Monitor Review
An Exit From The Entry Level: FiiO's FH5 is a high-end IEM through and through.
Review By Dave Hanson
FiiO brand is really synonymous with high bang-for-buck value in the personal
audio world. For many people, FiiO is a launching pad – the first "audiophile"
amp or DAC they ever own. For me personally, it was the FiiO E6 – just a
tiny little pocket amp that was supposed be an improvement relative to my phone's
headphone jack. Viola, my first dedicated headphone amp! I would later pick up
the E17 amp/DAC, the E09K amplifier, X3 II DAP and finally X5 III DAP. For the
most part all of these products shined at their price point.
Read our FiiO FH5 in-ear monitor (IEM) review.
11 / 11 / 20
Schiit Vali 2+ Vacuum Tube Hybrid Headamp
Schiit Audio just announced their Vali 2+ hybrid vacuum tube headphone amplifier and preamplifier ($149). They are seeking to push the price / performance ratio for affordable tube amplifiers to a new height. Offering higher power and lower noise than its predecessor, Vali 2+ is said to provide a great way for music lovers to experience true vacuum tube performance. The higher power and lower noise floor mean Vali 2+ is better-suited for a wide range of headphones, including hard-to-drive planar magnetic designs and sensitive in-earn monitors (IEMs). A NOS (new old stock) tested, matched 6BZ7 tube is supplied with every Vali 2+ so that customers can get started listening right away, but Vali 2+ also will accept many tube types, including 6922, ECC88, 6CG7, 6N1P, amongst others.
The primary performance differences between Vali 2 and Vali 2+ come from the inclusion of a driver stage, and matched, paired devices used in the output stage. This allows the amplifier's Coherence vacuum tube / transistor hybrid gain stage to be more free from output stage loading, which more accurately reflects the tube's performance. That, together with increased power supply filtering and some gain optimization, result in an amplifier with an even lower noise floor as well. For convenience, Schiit's Vali 2+ retains their Vali 2's single-tube design, which allows owners to easily and inexpensively experiment with different types of tubes, and also its preamp outputs, which allows the owner to connect the amp to a set of desktop powered monitors or a speaker power amp to create a complete desktop system. A gain switch also provides more flexibility for hard-to-drive and insensitive headphones.
ESS Technology ES9842 PRO 768kHz /
DSD512 ADC Chip
ESS Technology announced their new series of SABRE PRO and SABRE ADCs with an ultra-low noise floor bandwidth of 200kHz. This is up to 10 times wider than the competition according to ESS Technology, which in turn enables higher resolution at higher sample rates. The ES9842 PRO provides four channels of ADC with a DNR of 122dB and 116dB of THD+N, whereas their ES9822 PRO is a two channel ADC with a DNR of 125dB and 117dB of THD+N. When the ES9842 PRO's four channels operate in parallel, as a mono channel ADC, they provide +128dB of dynamic range, which is the best performance within the industry today. The SABRE PRO ADCs also uses
ESS' patented HyperStream-II modulator that gives SABRE DACs their legendary sound quality.
The new SABRE PRO ADC offers incredibly fast sample rates, handling PCM sampling rates up to 768kHz and DSD rates up to DSD512. Utilizing the optional RAW data output or custom Serial PCM interfaces, sample rates up to 24MHz are supported when combined with an FPGA. This allows for a highly customizable solution for the most demanding of systems. Their new SABRE PRO ADCs are said to be ideally matched with existing SABRE PRO DACs such as the ES9038PRO. "Together, these parts make the most acoustically transparent signal processing loop available" says ESS Technology.
11 / 10 / 20
Hi-Fi World's December 2020 Reviews & Think Pieces
World's December 2020 issue features your chance to win Chord Company loudspeaker cables worth £600. Gear reviews include the Spendor Classic 4/5 standmounts, Acoustic Energy Ae520 loudspeakers, Primaluna Evolution 400 valve amplifier, Musical Fidelity M8xi amplifier, Nva AP10H headphone amplifier, Sharp SC-700 Casseiver from the 1980s, Nva Ls7 loudspeaker cables, Elipson Chroma 400 Riaa Bt budget turntable package, and iFi AudioZen Phono.
Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says, "People want power and in this issue we've covered two ways of getting it. The old way, from a valve amplifier producing 80 Watts and the new way, from a transistor amplifier delivering a scorching 600 Watts. Phew! It took two of us to lift the valve amplifier, PrimaLuna's Evo 400 (31 kg) you can find on p10. But it was worth it. A wonderful sound, the Evo 400 came over as fast and filigree detailed – one reason the EL34 is popular in the Far East. PrimaLuna also get powerful bass from their amplifier plus, of course, that liquid valve sound with convincing stage depth."
See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World
at this link.
11 / 09 / 20
Hi-Fi+ November 2020 High-End
November 2020 issue features reviews of the Naim ND 555 and PS 555 DR Power Supply, DartZell CTH 8550 Mk 2 integrated amplifier, Simaudio Moon 860A V2 amplifier, Burmester B38 floorstanding loudspeaker, Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grand Reference floorstanding loudspeakers, Primare R35 Solid-state MM/MC phono stage, Chord Electronics ULTIMA 5 stereo amplifier, Finite Elemente CarboFibre Isolation Base, Funk Firm Houdini Decoupler, Silversmith Audio Fidelium loudspeaker cables, REL Carbon Special Subwoofer, IsoTek EVO3 Super Nova Mains Conditioner, and LA Sound "Corium" interconnect and loudspeaker cables.
Within this month's editorial, Alan Sircom says,
"Fate, it seems, has a fine sense of ironic humour. Usually, I travel a lot, both short and long-haul flights in my annual schedule. OK, so not so much British Airways named a Boeing after me, but I racked up a fair few tens of thousands of miles each year. Anyone who flies a lot knows the risks of Deep Vein Thrombosis, and many of us perform a lot of exercises in flight as a result. No flying, no problem, I thought... but a rookie error in my working arrangements ended in a pulmonary embolism and almost a week in the hospital."
what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+
magazine at this
11 / 05 / 20
Kimber Kable Carbon 8 Interconnects,
Carbon 18 XL Speaker Cables, Ascent Power Cables,
And Select Copper USB Cable
Mega-transparent, plus satisfying every other trait one would expect.
Review By Tom Lyle
said that the best way to test audio cable is to rewire one's entire system with
that brand or model. This way one will be able to hear the difference in sound
quality with any influence from other types of cable, and truly hear its
affects. Kimber Kable (not a typo, Kimber likes to replace the "C" in cable with
a "K") is one of the only brands of cable that I have found where I could
replace once interconnect in my system, and hear a very distinct improvement of
the sound of my system due to this one cable change.
Read our Kimber Select, Carbon, and Ascent review.
11 / 02 / 20
New Articles, Gear Reviews, 10
Questions, And More!
Enjoy the Music.com's November Review
Magazine features a variety of gear reviews including luxurious Italian speakers, a world premiere turntable review, more Linn LP12 tweaks, an impressive amplifier, and outstanding speaker
cables. Enjoy the Music.com also continues adding to our popular 10
Questions series featuring leading high-end audio manufacturers. We also have a special think piece from monitor engineer Becky
Pell. See Enjoy the Music.com's
November Review Magazine at this link.
Great Think Pieces, 10 Questions, And Reviews!
This issue features many great articles and
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
As we round the corner into the winter
season (and snowbird season here in sunny Florida), on the heels of Enjoy the
Music.com celebrating our 25th anniversary, we have another great issue for
your reading pleasure. This year we've been hiring many seriously knowledgeable
people to help with one-off articles we know many of you will enjoy. A few
examples include in April we featured Dennis Baxter, who has spent over 30 years
as a sound designer contributing to hundreds of live events including 9 Olympics
Read Great Think Pieces, 10 Questions, And Reviews!
What are they, and how can they help you to feel
Article By Becky Pell
humans have a range of different brain wave states and speeds, each relating to
a different state of consciousness, be it waking, sleeping, or somewhere in
between. Binaural beats are a phenomenon whereby we can voluntarily create
different brain waves using external sound sources, thereby inducing the
associated mental state. First, let's take a look at the different states of
consciousness which we most commonly experience.
---> Read Becky Pell's Binaural Beats article.
Digital Amplifier Company MEGAschino MK2 Mono
Magnificent monoblocks from Tommy
Review By Rick Jensen
I have been a tube guy all my life since I bought and built a Dynaco SCA-35 with
money from my paper route at age 14. That said, I've owned some fine solid-state
amps and preamps over the years – a Phase Linear 700, the Quatre DG-250 (mine
didn't blow up on me, but did when my brother-in-law took it to college), an
Aragon 4004, and several lesser lights. But normally, my system has been
tube-based; conrad-johnson preamplification and Music Reference amplification
for most of the last two decades. I've reviewed and/or had in the home for extended periods some
very fine non-tube amps, too, from Linn, Mark Levinson, conrad-johnson, and
---> Read our Digital Amplifier Company MEGAschino MK2 Mono
Sonus Faber Olympica Nova V Floorstanding Speakers
Faithful reproducing that sounds like music.
I first heard speakers from Sonus faber's Olympica Nova series during
second visit to the World Of McIntosh Townhouse, located in the Soho
neighborhood of downtown New York City. Before I left this wonderful audiophile
playhouse, I couldn't resist requesting a review pair of their top model in the
Olympica line, the Nova V. As part of their brief explanation of what I was hearing that
day, I was told that this 37-year-old Italian speaker manufacturer upgraded this
speaker line with new crossovers and drivers, new cabinet structures, internal
volume tuning, and many other updates. Of course, the speakers' cosmetics
were also refined by Sonus faber's team of designers, giving them a new more
---> Read our Sonus Faber Olympica Nova V
World Premiere Review!
Fallbrook Audio TR-1 Turntable
The affordable Fallbrook TR-1 vinyl spinner made in California.
Review By Ron Nagle
As I write
this the TR-1 is selling with an introductory price of $649 that represents a
$100 savings over the normal price of $749. Along with that, there is an
optional dust cover temporarily priced at $100. I would strongly advise getting
that dust cover, it will make your TR-1 table cat-proof. The Fallbrook people
tell us the turntable is, "proudly hand-assembled with many locally sourced
parts." Now I'm not certain what that involves. Let us step back a bit and take
a broad look at the vinyl player market. There are some affordable turntables in
the market place. To introduce a new and affordable turntable at this point is
most certainly a venture that represents a bold move.
---> Read our Fallbrook Audio TR-1
Gingko Audio Sextet Speaker
Enjoying everything the Gingko Swarm has to offer with many options available too!
Review By Brett Rudolph
years, I have had the opportunity to review several different speakers and
speaker systems. Each one has the character that sets it apart from the next.
So, when you can audition speakers and have the designer help set them up and
explain them to you, it aids in giving a full review. Therefore, when the
opportunity presented itself late last year, I jumped at the chance. Usually, the first contact is a brief discussion on the
product and a time to work out logistics. However, Vinh Vu from Gingko Audio,
and I spoke more about the Sextet system's potential.
---> Read our Gingko Audio Sextet
speaker system review.
All Articles, Reviews, And 10 Questions
have more wonderful high-end audio equipment reviews, think pieces, etc within Enjoy
the Music.com's November issue available at this link.
Previous High-End Audio News
For previous high-end audio and music industry news