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08-22-2016 | By John Marks

John Marks' New Music: Speaking of Tannhauser...

[This time around, John Marks introduces us to a recording by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Andris Nelsons. He points to the dicey realm of talented musical parents and the unknown musical outcomes of their children. Like the proverbial "pastor's kids," perhaps they will be inspired by parents...and perhaps not. An artist... Read More »

08-14-2016 | By David W. Robinson

From the Positive Feedback Archives (1993): A Vintage Bruce Walker Cartoon!

Oh damn!! There goes my new dedicated power supply! . . . Read More »

08-13-2016 | By John Marks

John Marks Music Video: Matt Monro, “On Days Like These” from The Italian Job (1969)

[Late '60s let's-make-lots-of-money British mainstream studio action flick here (The Italian Job), generally well regarded for the acting and the action. John Marks of The Tannhauser Gate (http://www.thetannhausergate.com) discards the husk of the film and enjoys the fruit of the opening credits theme song. As always, his choices and commentary are a tasty treat to... Read More »

08-12-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Impressions:  Ilya Itin, Debussy, Preludes Books I and II in Quad DSD

For quite a while now I've been sitting on an advance copy of an important Quad DSD recording, waiting for it to be released commercially. Now, I'm glad to say, the time has come…at last! The album is music by Debussy, one of my favorite composers, his Preludes Books I and II. This is a... Read More »

08-11-2016 | By John Marks

John Marks' Vault Treasures: Blossom Dearie, Verve “Jazz Masters” 51

[In this week's "Vault Treasures," our trusty musical guide John Marks shares with us a jazzic voice that I was not familiar with:  Blossom Margrete Dearie, AKA "Blossom Dearie." Last week's brief essay covered Julie London, a person of real renown; but this week's "Blossom Dearie" is likely to provoke a "Say what?!" even from... Read More »

08-09-2016 | By Jeremy Kipnis

From the Kipnis Studios: The View from the Top (Digital Amplifier Company DAC DAC) - Part 1 (HS = High Spec)

"On a cost vs. sound quality basis (alone), Digital Amplifier Company DAC DAC may be the best digital to analog converter to come along in 3 decades; all the way back to the extremely costly & extraordinary $12,000 Stax DAC-X1t Vacuum Tube Output Reference D/A Processor (1989)!" Introduction There are an extremely wide range of choices... Read More »

08-06-2016 | By John Marks

John Marks: Anne Sophie von Otter Music Video

[John Marks is a lover of fine music videos. In our generation, a major new blessing has been the marriage of high-quality audio with high-quality video to provide us with both the sights and sounds of major performers presenting us with their artistry. It started with videotape and NTSC resolution, but progressed to DVD, and... Read More »

08-02-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Polish Jazz Forever

When the heads of Warner's headquarters learned of the sale of Polish Recordings, then—as Bartek Chaciński writes in the article Marka dużej wagi—they asked only whether it is a company that has Krzysztof Komeda's Astigmatic in their portfolio. This album is still among the best jazz recordings—not only in Poland but all over the world.... Read More »

07-29-2016 | By John Marks

John Marks: Q&A with Sergey Schepkin

[In this continuation of his assessment of the artistry of Sergey Schepkin, John Marks spends a few minutes with him discussing how his ongoing maturity as a performer has affected and deepened his understanding of Bach over the years. Every musician must decide the point at which it's worth recording a new set of performances... Read More »

07-29-2016 | By Dave Clark

Audio Ramblings - The Vandersteen Audio Quatro Wood CT Loudspeakers

A couple of years ago (wow, make that like 3 years and you can read it HERE) I had the pleasure of reviewing the Vandersteen Audio Quatro Wood loudspeakers here in our home. Yeah, we both fell head over heels for the speakers with the review being as positive as one could ever expect. Shortcomings?... Read More »

07-27-2016 | By Marc Phillips

Marc Phillips on the Music: The Avalanches – 'Wildflower' on LP

The Avalanches, Wildflower Astralwerks 2547900289 $19.99 for the two LP set "Is that serious music?" I remember my first wife asking me that question back in 1989 when I brought home Pixies' Doolittle and gave it an inaugural spin. I'd gotten all the way to the eighth song on the album, "Mr. Grieves," to the part where... Read More »

07-27-2016 | By Norman Tracy

Lone Star Audio Fest 2016 Show Report

We had a great time at Lone Star Audio Fest 2016. From my vantage point inside the event as an exhibitor and listener from Thursday afternoon through Sunday evening LSAF 2016 was once again any audiophile's candy store. The first paragraphs of my Positive Feedback report on LSAF 2015 (HERE) details the history of this... Read More »

07-26-2016 | By John Marks

John Marks' Vault Treasures: Julie London, 'Time for Love: The Best of Julie London'

[In this week's cross-published installment of "Vault Treasures" from his site, The Tannhauser Gate (http://www.thetannhausergate.com), John Marks shifts his attention to one of the lesser-known (today) singers of the 1950s, Julie London. Her story is a Hollywood-classic "I was discovered while doing something pretty mundane, and then I became a star." But her natural singing ability, unschooled... Read More »

07-26-2016 | By David W. Robinson

The Higher End:  The Passing of Winston Ma

David W. Robinson, with John Tucker Winston Ma at his garden:  A portrait. Bellevue, WA, 2001. There seem to be a number of passings in 2016 already. Sure, that's always true, statistically. But this has already been a bad year for notable music figures dying…David Bowie, Prince, Natalie Cole, Glenn Frey, John Berry, Merle Haggard,... Read More »

07-24-2016 | By Dirk Sommer

Chord DAVE, Part 2: The Interview With Rob Watts

Introduction:  Interviews to listen to... For the English version of the second and third parts of the review on the Chord DAVE, we have come up with something new:  You can listen to Rob Watts' comments on the individual pages of his presentation, and Mr. Roland Dietl's and my intermediate questions. Roland Dietl (left) and... Read More »

07-22-2016 | By Stephen Francis Vasta

Klaus Florian Vogt: Helden

It's refreshing not to have to cringe at a "new" singer's technical flaws, as I find myself doing more and more. Klaus Florian Vogt, in a program is mostly drawn from the Heldentenor (heroic tenor) repertoire, offers a clear, compact tone, a reliable legato, and some interpretive smarts. Vogt's actual instrument sounds, as recorded, more... Read More »

07-21-2016 | By John Marks

John Marks' Vault Treasures: Frank Sinatra, *Where Are You?*

[This week, John Marks touches on one of the truly great popular singers of the 20th Century, Frank Sinatra. Where Are You? comes to us from the later 1950s, and shows Sinatra maturing in his mastery. It also shows us just how great the recording arts had already progressed by this time. With his "Vault Treasures"... Read More »

07-21-2016 | By Tom Gibbs

Tales from the Dungeon, Part 1

"The more things change, the more they remain the same." - Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr What a load of crap! Sometimes, when things change, they seriously change, and things are nowhere nearly the same as they were! What I'm referring to here is my personal situation, where, in the space of a couple of months, we bought... Read More »

07-17-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Impressions:  From an Editor’s Notebook

In which our hero meditates… Some plaudits where plaudits are due I have several items that have been accumulating in my notebook for a couple of months now. One was a notion for a full review that didn't need to be done, since another PF reviewer (Marshall Nack) did the main lifting; the others were candidates for... Read More »

07-15-2016 | By John Marks

John Marks' New Music: Sergey Schepkin: J. S. Bach: The Six Partitas, BWV 825-830

[For this week's "New Music" selection, John Marks shares with us Sergey Schepkin's Bach:  The Six Partitas. I agree completely with John when he writes "Familiarity with at least some of Bach's masterworks is a matter of core Cultural Literacy..." Amen! Think of it as a matter of "cultural critical mass"...the truly worthy things that you... Read More »

07-15-2016 | By Marc Phillips

Jane Ira Bloom’s 'Early Americans'

"Carmine said one boy, here are two!" – Larry London, The Freshman I'm not sure why I started hearing the late Maximillian Schell's heavily accented voice in my head the first time I listened to Jane Ira Bloom's new CD, Early Americans. I suspect it had something to do with reviewing Todd Hunter's Eat, Drink,... Read More »

07-15-2016 | By Dave Clark

Audio Ramblings - The Entreq Grounding Boxes

So if you have been following my ramblings over the years (of which I tend to ramble—hence the title of my column) it is obvious that one of my goals with our system is to minimize noise. Not my music per se, since much of it is noise, but the noise that rides in the... Read More »

07-13-2016 | By John Marks

A TTG Vault Treasure: John Marks on 'Clifford Brown with Strings'

[For John Marks' initial cross-publication to Positive Feedback of his Tuesday offerings on great recordings from The Tannhauser Gate (http://www.thetannhausergate.com), we offer the first of his columns:  Clifford Brown with Strings. As usual, John enriches our lives with recorded gems that we should all be aware of...and this time is no exception. Read on! Dr. David W. Robinson... Read More »

07-13-2016 | By Dean Seislove

The Neoteric Listener - The Eclipse TD508 Mk3 Loudspeakers

Standing behind him, Michaelis saw with a shock that he was looking at the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, which had just emerged, pale and enormous, from the dissolving night. "God sees everything," repeated Wilson. "That's an advertisement," Michaelis assured him - Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby They look like eyeballs to me. At first, they... Read More »

07-13-2016 | By Robert Schryer

Journeys in Audio Subjectivism – Part Six, John DeVore

DeVore Fidelity: Why Getting the Best Sound is all About Balance, or: "C'mon, John. Just once for the camera—Cheeeeese!"   "I began obsessing about hi-fi more than 40 years ago. I also love station-wagons with manual transmissions, shirts that actually fit, old stuff that looks futuristic and new stuff that looks retro. I'm also more... Read More »

07-09-2016 | By John Marks

Delmoni & Martorella: Chopin/Milstein

Delmoni & Martorella: Chopin/Milstein [One of the categories of music reviewing and commentary that John Marks brings to Positive Feedback from The Tannhauser Gate is that of music videos. With the global explosion of online videos driven by YouTube, music lovers and audiophiles have been given a great opportunity to see as well as hear great performances, and... Read More »

07-08-2016 | By Clark Johnsen

From Clark Johnsen's Diary - Sounding Out!

Many PF readers will be as surprised by finding this as I was. It's properly academic (in the more pleasant sense of the word), but also very au courant with political and cultural thinking and teaching in American universities. For whatever that's worth. Now have at it. Their opening salvo: Sounding Out!/ is a weekly... Read More »

07-08-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Impressions:  THE Show Newport Beach, 2016, Part 2 – Photographic Portraits and Moments

A portrait of the artist at play:  David W. Robinson with EveAnna Manley (photograph by Dave Clark) The second part of my THE Show report from Newport Beach 2016 shifts the focus (so to speak) from the event, the rooms, and the equipment, to the people in our high-end audio community. As an artist, I... Read More »

07-07-2016 | By John Marks

Respighi Impressioni brasiliane, La Boutique fantasque

Respighi Impressioni brasiliane, La Boutique fantasque Liège Royal Philharmonic, John Neschling, conductor BIS SACD 2050 [John Marks' first cross-published music review from The Tannhauser Gate (http://www.thetannhausergate.com) is of a composer near and dear to my heart for many years now:  Ottorino Respighi. I have many of his recordings various formats, including LP, CD, and SACD, but... Read More »

07-06-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Impressions:  THE Show Newport Beach 2016, Part 1, My Audio Oasis! Awards

Already! Already THE Show has come and gone! Where did June 9-12 go? The first post-Richard Beers event is in the books now, and the results are in. According to Maurice Jung, the new president of THE Show, and his staff, total attendance was nearly 10,400 over the four days. The “Industry Day” was Thursday,... Read More »

07-06-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

TARA Labs' Evolution Cables

The impact of tests in trade magazines is either described as none or of a sort that can change everything; it depends on whether or not the one who expresses such an opinion likes or does not like the press and/or reviews. But if you want to form your own opinion, it would be best... Read More »

07-05-2016 | By Gary L Beard

A System Approach: Benchmark Media Comes to gb's Tune Saloon

For a number of months, I've been jamming to the sounds of the Benchmark Media Systems DAC2 HGC D/A converter and AHB2 stereo amplifier. While a bit late to the review party; I am anything but a groomsman, because listening to this gear is the ultimate reward for my time. BM builds serious professional equipment;... Read More »

07-03-2016 | By Steve Lefkowicz

T.H.E Show Newport 2016 (Part 1)

I know I always start my show report with some kind of a rant about the state of the high-end audio as both an industry and a hobby. Not this time. After spending four full days at T.H.E Show Newport 2016 (if you include the "press and VIP" day on Thursday), I can say this... Read More »

07-01-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Jacek Gawlowski

A Kingdom for a Horse - Mastering According to Jacek Gawlowski We know who a sound engineer and a sound director are, as well as we are aware of the role of a producer. But how about a mastering specialist? Jacek Gawłowski, a Grammy award winner of the year 2014, will be our guide through... Read More »

07-01-2016 | By John Marks

Bricasti M1 "Limited" Digital-to-Analog Converter

Yes, what you see is what you get (if Santa Claus really likes you, that is): A Bricasti M1 Digital-to-Analog Converter with gold-plated casework. United States Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price, $15,000. (Why do I hear echoes of Auric Goldfinger gloating, "No, Mr. Bond; I expect you to die!") Bricasti is a Massachusetts, USA company that... Read More »

07-01-2016 | By Larry Cox

THE Show Newport

I'm late for the party: Many have already posted their thoughts on Irvine's, er Newport Beach's "THE Show" from early June. I intended to post earlier but my pictures turned out poorly and I have been too busy. The first thing every intelligent or at least conscious reviewer should say is... it's hard to draw conclusions.... Read More »

06-30-2016 | By Dave Clark

Focal and Headphones

So the news got out early, and we goofed by not having the right day nor time to attend the Press Event at The Source AV in Torrance, but in the end everyone has either read somewhere that, yes Focal is now making headphones. Well they were already doing that, but the news is that... Read More »

06-28-2016 | By Dean Seislove

The Neoteric Listener - The WyWires Platinum Series

And, now, a quick audiophile word association game. What comes to mind when you read the following? Belt drive turntables Quad DSD Marantz Model 9 Electrostatic loudspeakers High End Cables  If you're like me, all of those items produced definite responses, most likely shaped by plenty of articles and opinions like the one you're about... Read More »

06-26-2016 | By Marc Phillips

Marc Phillips Music Review: Ingvild Koksvik’s Og sangen kom fra havet

I absolutely adore Ingvild Koksvik. A small part of that is because she's this beautiful and almost ethereal creature wandering through vast Norwegian landscapes and singing in this clear and goosebump-inducing voice that is sounds like it's from a dream, one of your favorite dreams, the kind that make you regret you eventually woke up—and... Read More »

06-20-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Brief Impressions: Fiona Joy's Into the Mist in Quad DSD from Blue Coast Records

Fiona Joy - Into The Mist I have been spending some time with several new titles from Cookie Marenco's Blue Coast Records, all in Quad DSD. One of them was by an artist that I've developed a great deal of affection for, Fiona Joy. The album is entitled Into the Mist, and for me, that... Read More »

06-20-2016 | By Scott Dedo

Riva S Wireless Bluetooth Speaker: a Layman's Review

"Hey, check this out," Dave said as he pulled a sleek silver and black gizmo from a sturdy little nylon sleeve. "It's a Riva portable speaker," he said, tapping a glowing touch-button. A rich, whirly arpeggio emanated with a surprising bit of rumble to it. He rattled off some technical-sounding descriptions that were over my... Read More »

06-17-2016 | By Dave Clark

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016, Part Five

T.H.E. Show Newport, the conclusion! From Part One... Second year at the same location, the Hotel Irvine, room 441, and with us arriving late Wednesday afternoon after a full day of teaching. Tired, exhausted... and bittersweet as this was the next to last week before we retired as educators. Daunting task. Set up a room—a hospitality room... Read More »

06-17-2016 | By Dave Clark

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016, Part Four

T.H.E. Show coverage continues... with more. From Part One... Second year at the same location, the Hotel Irvine, room 441, and with us arriving late Wednesday afternoon after a full day of teaching. Tired, exhausted... and bittersweet as this was the next to last week before we retired as educators. Daunting task. Set up a room—a hospitality... Read More »

06-17-2016 | By Dave Clark

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016, Part Three

T.H.E. Show coverage continues...  about half way there! From Part One... Second year at the same location, the Hotel Irvine, room 441, and with us arriving late Wednesday afternoon after a full day of teaching. Tired, exhausted... and bittersweet as this was the next to last week before we retired as educators. Daunting task. Set up a... Read More »

06-17-2016 | By Dave Clark

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016, Part Two

T.H.E. Show coverage continues... with a second page. From Part One...  Second year at the same location, the Hotel Irvine, room 441, and with us arriving late Wednesday afternoon after a full day of teaching. Tired, exhausted... and bittersweet as this was the next to last week before we retired as educators. Daunting task. Set up a... Read More »

06-17-2016 | By Dave Clark

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016, Part One

Second year at the same location, the Hotel Irvine, room 441, and with us arriving late Wednesday afternoon after a full day of teaching. Tired, exhausted... and bittersweet as this was the next to last week before we retired as educators. Daunting task. Set up a room—a hospitality room with an audio system hitting well over a... Read More »

06-16-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Krakow Sonic Society Meeting 103 TARA LABS Evolution Series

Expensive cabling systems have become something 'common'—both for you, the readers of High Fidelity, and for us, the members of the Krakow Sonic Society. On one hand one might consider it a 'sign of our times', the average price of products of high-end companies sky-rocketed, but it's also also a sign of catching up with... Read More »

06-16-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Acoustic Revive Interconnect and Power Cable

It seems that High Fidelity was one of the first magazines in the world, and surely outside Japan, that received  Acoustic Revive cables based on PC-Triple C copper and published such a review (No. 126, October 1st 2014). The Japanese magazine Audio Accessory, printed their review a month before us in their September issue, dedicated... Read More »



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X350.8 Front View Final
Pass Labs X350.8 Stereo Amplifier...

08-19-2016 | By Robert S. Youman

"When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes. When you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours. That's relativity." - Albert Einstein I have auditioned, reviewed, and owned... Read More »
Ultimate Ears Reference Remastered...

08-15-2016 | By Smit Patel

With their headquarters based in sunny-side California, Ultimate Ears was initially founded in 1995 by Jerry and Mindy Harvey. The former of which has played such an influential role in the design of headphones that within... Read More »
Violectric V281 Amp

08-15-2016 | By Smit Patel

Headed by Fried Reim, Violectric specialises in a wide number of reputable amplifiers which have caught the attention of many in the avid world of personal audio such as the Violectric V281 Amp under review here. Being the... Read More »
Aequo Audio Enesis Loudspeakers

08-11-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Ivo Sparidaens, Concept Manager, and Paul Rassin, Marketing & Communications Manager, are members of a six person team of a Dutch company Aequo Audio that designed Enesis loudspeakers. It's the only product of this... Read More »
Fritz Carrera BE Loudspeakers

08-09-2016 | By Francisco Duran

The drivers on the new Fritz Carrera BE Loudspeakers have been used in one combination or another in more than a few speaker designs to varying degrees of success, and usually costing many times more than the new Fritz... Read More »
Cadenza Red
Ortofon Cadenza Red

08-02-2016 | By John Hoffman

Several years ago I had the pleasure of an extended visit of the Ortofon Cadenza Bronze in my system. The Bronze is a remarkable cartridge in every facet, and it was with no small regret when my acquaintance with it ended.... Read More »
Linnenberg Elektronik Vicace 2 and...

07-26-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Linnenberg Elektronik offers thousands of products and most of them come from the Far East. China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan quickly conquered a market segment that seemed to be reserved for DIY products. DACs designed... Read More »
The Maggie 1.7i in the House
High End Audio in the Age of...

07-26-2016 | By Maurice Jeffries

First Impressions   As I reported in Part 1 of this installment, I first encountered the Maggie 1.7 loudspeakers (recently upgraded to its current 1.7i iteration) during a brief audition at Audible Elegance, a respected... Read More »
Audiomat D1 Transport

07-22-2016 | By Paul Candy

You have not accidentally stumbled into the archives of PF. The subject of today's review is indeed a $9000 CD transport and the year is 2016 not 1996. Why would anyone buy such a thing now that CD is on the wane? Audiomat... Read More »
SVS SB-2000 Subwoofer

07-21-2016 | By Victor Chavira

I value ground trembling sensation of well-executed extreme low frequency as much as any audio nut. For the majority of my listening, though, extreme low frequency is not essential to musical satisfaction. However, lately I... Read More »
Morrical on the Hardware: Wall...

07-19-2016 | By Brad Morrical

Introduction Wall Audio is a brand that is not well known to many people, even in the audiophile world, but Andreas Wall has been designing and building high end products for more than 30 years. However, he has a very good... Read More »
Stage III TRITON Schematic small
Stage III Triton Power Cord

07-18-2016 | By Marshall Nack

You know how you can tell in 10 seconds if a component has it? Alas, it doesn't happen all that often—the good ones are few and far between. Just like the players in this industry—those who know real sound are few and... Read More »
Exogal Comet Plus DAC

07-14-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

In this particular case one word explains it all... Wadia (www.wadia.com). This iconic American brand for years has been synonymous with high-end digital source, as it specialized in Compact Disc players, both integrated... Read More »
The Chord DAVE DAC, Part 1

07-07-2016 | By Dirk Sommer

As reported in the News Section of HiFi Statement, I didn't have much chance to listen to some music when developer Rob Watts visited me with the Chord DAVE. But fortunately, I didn't have to wait too long for a second... Read More »
Puro BT5200 Headphones

07-01-2016 | By Victor Chavira

One day while browsing at the local Fry's Electronics superstore I noticed the mindboggling variety facing headphone customers. An entire aisle display was stocked full of headphones of every size, shape, and color. How does... Read More »
conductor virtuoso 1
Burson Conductor Virtuoso and...

06-29-2016 | By Steve Lefkowicz

There's been a long, and I think unfortunate trend in the upper reaches of high-end audio over the last fifteen years or so. It is the moving of high end audio from an endeavor based on making gear whose principle raison... Read More »


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industry news
RMAF 2016: Update on changes at this year's show

The Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest (RMAF) has been notified by the Marriott Denver Tech Center (DTC) that second phase renovations...

GamuT Audio and Lavish Audio Announce Listening Event with the Incredible ZODIAC Reference Loudspeaker!

Lavish HiFi in Santa Rosa, CA, is hosting a special free listening GamuT event from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, September 30th & Saturday...

Jimi Hendrix *Machine Gun* to be released on SACD, digital download, LP, and CD

Jimi Hendrix Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 Out September 30 On CD, 2 LP 180 Gram Vinyl, High Resolution SACD And...

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Occupy Hifi
[a]pendics.shuffle: Crazy Music Connection By Michael Mercer

[a]pendics.shuffle: The name jumped off the screen during some late-night online record shopping. One day I'll share...

Music is My Favorite Drug By Michael Mercer

I love experiencing great sounding music. It's my favorite drug. The high is everlasting, and the withdrawals are...

Music Never Fails Me By Michael Mercer

OccupyHifi readers know it's been a trying year for me. Ok, that's puttin' it rather mildly. Pardon my French, but it's...

HIFI Statement
Audio Exclusiv 103 MC Pickup By Wolfgang Kemper

Die kanadische Manufaktur Charisma Audio hat es in nur wenigen Jahren zu viel Anerkennung gebracht. Bei uns werden die...

Audeze LCD 4 Headphone By Dirk Sommer

Ich denke, der iPod war Schuld: In der letzten Dekade ist mobiler Musikgenuss wieder ungemein populär geworden. Das...

XTZ Divine 100.33 Speaker from Sweden By Peter Banholzer

XTZ dürfte Hifistatement-Lesern schon seit Anfang des Jahres bekannt sein: Da testeten wir einen kleineren...

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