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05-22-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Impressions: AXPONA 2016 and my Audio Oasis! Awards, Part 2

In part two, I cover the balance of my Audio Oasis! Awards for AXPONA 2016. As I said in part one, these notes are presented in no particular order, and so there is no greater or lesser in the sequence. Read on… ModWright/Ryan Loudspeakers/Aurender/PS Audio/Cardas/Shunyata/Massif Audio/GIK Acoustics/Audioquest room A portrait of Dan Wright of ModWright,... Read More »

05-22-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Clones Audio 25iR Integrated Amplifier

Funjoe, the owner of CLONES audio, left his well paid job of a graphic designer to take on his life's true passion—audio. He is not the first as there were others before him like Silvio Pereira of Audiopax to name one, and he won't be the last, but surely he is among few who made such... Read More »

05-22-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Audio Alto DMI 3H Integrated Amplifier

I'll elaborate on that later but let me start with information that products by Slovenian company Audio Alto are custom made—to be exact they are made to satisfy first of all needs and expectations of their designer, who says that "they reflect my [sound] philosophy". It's not only about perfect reproduction of the sound that preserves... Read More »

05-20-2016 | By Brian Moura

Jenna & Alex: Live Concert Broadcast in DSD

Jenna Mammina and Alex de Grassi (Photo: David Pappas) On April 21st, a bit of music history was made as singer Jenna Mammina and guitarist Alex de Grassi performed an hour long concert that was broadcast live over the Internet in Direct Stream Digital (DSD) 5.6 MHz Stereo. The concert was the first of its... Read More »

05-20-2016 | By Brian Moura

New Sony Receiver with 5.1 Multichannel DSD 5.6 MHz Playback

Sony STR-DN1070 AV Receiver with 5.1 Multichannel DSD 5.6 MHz Playback Sony Electronics has expanded their DSD series of High Resolution Audio products with the release of the new STR-DN1070 Audio Visual receiver. Sony describes the STR-DN1070 as a 7.2 Channel Home Theater AV Receiver with High-Resolution Audio and Video plus Native Multichannel Native DSD... Read More »

05-19-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Impressions: AXPONA 2016 and my Audio Oasis! Awards, Part 1

In which our hero meditates… [Sketch by Robinson, c. 1989, during a particularly boring faculty meeting…] So…another audio show in the books, and it's time to share the highlights as I heard them. I would normally have had these out to you all a couple of weeks ago, but lost that time to a necessary... Read More »

05-16-2016 | By Dave Clark

Audio Ramblings - The PS Audio BHK Signature 250 Stereo Power Amplifier

So back on track here… got the Aurender review (a truly wonderful product—read that HERE) done and so on to another product that I loved so much, I ended up buying the review sample… the PS Audio BHK Signature 250 Stereo Power Amplifier. Bought it? What about the legendary Clayton M200 amplifiers? Are you selling... Read More »

05-15-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Images of the High End Exhibition 2016 - Part 3

Tape cassettes recorded directly from an analog master tape, the so-called "Master Compact Cassette". And the box! The Hemiola Records company specializes in reel analog tapes that are master tape copies. The Tone Tool turntable, Sprocket model. Prices starting from €108 900—without the arm, of course. The Swiss Goldmund is a synonym for high-end. The person... Read More »

05-15-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Images of the High End Exhibition 2016 - Part 2

The Italians from Pathos have a sense of style—in the photo there is the new INPOL Heritage integrated amplifier, which resembles the INPOL topology developed by the company. In the system there was also the Endorphine CD player and Frontiers speakers. The inexpensive TEAC TN-300 turntables in any color and with a USB output. Mark... Read More »

05-15-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Images of the High End Exhibition 2016 - Part 1

Hideaki Nishikawa-san, the TechDAS constructor, is signing a printout with the May High Fidelity cover. "Japanese style? – Sure, with pleasure…" Einstein has prepared a premiere – The Tonearm, presented on the Air Force III turntable. The German Trigon company does not often surprise us with new products, but now demonstrated a few novelties at... Read More »

05-15-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

High End Exhibition 2016 - Munich, Germany

The original plan was completely different: the Old Pinacotheca (German: Alte Pinakothek - collections of paintings from the 14th to the 18th century), the New Pinacotheca (German: Neue Pinakothek - a collection of European art from classicism to art nouveau), perhaps even the Deutsches Museum (Masterpieces of Science and Technology)—the largest museum of this type... Read More »

05-15-2016 | By Matt Olivas

Foundations of Burden by Pallbearer

When listening to this album, I found it difficult to do so with a strict, examining state of mind. I wanted to capture all of the technicalities and mechanical bits within each song, so that I could later articulate what those ingredients did to either help or hurt the album. I wanted to listen to... Read More »

05-11-2016 | By Dave Clark

Audio Ramblings - The Aurender N100H Music Streamer and More

I have become quite lazy and it is all to blame on the technology that we use today to get our music out into the room. It all started with CDs allowing me to sit and listen to something like 60 mins of music while never stirring. Of course a lot of time I never... Read More »

05-04-2016 | By Marc Phillips

The 3.5.7 Ensemble’s Amongst the Smokestacks and Steeples

One of the advantages of writing about LPs and turntables for the last 18 years is that sometimes records just show up in my mailbox without warning or reasonable explanation. I know nothing about Chicago's Milk Factory Productions, and even less about The 3.5.7 Ensemble, but my intuition tells me that the same intrepid individual... Read More »

05-01-2016 | By Maurice Jeffries

AXPONA 2016: Bodies, Motion, Sound

Ever since the annual AXPONA/Chicago high-end show relocated in 2014 to the jazzy Westin O'Hare, located just down the street from the show's former home, the far more modest Doubletree Inn, I have approached this annual event with a combination of cautious optimism and mild trepidation. You see, whatever its shortcomings as a hotel (tired... Read More »

05-01-2016 | By Maurice Jeffries

High End Audio in the Age of Uncertainty

Plus a Few Album Recommendations Component Droughts, the Grumblings of Privileged Men, and Happy Endings For longer than I care to remember, I don't have any components to review, a situation I find both annoying and liberating. Liberating in the sense that I needed a respite - as well as the kind of perspective that... Read More »

04-24-2016 | By Brian Moura

Nativ Touchscreen Music System Tops Fund Raising Goal

Nativ Sound, an audio start-up based in Hong Kong working on a family of elegant touchscreen music components, has announced that they have passed their $100,000 fund raising goal on Indegogo in one week. This exceeds the company's original goal of reaching that milestone in 2 months. Nativ's family of music system components includes Nativ... Read More »

04-24-2016 | By Andy Schaub

The MOON Neo 280D and the MiND of Simaudio

"Shine on you crazy diamond"  - by Pink Floyd First of all, I should say that I like the Simaudio MOON Neo 280D ($2200) very much and that, with the optional MiND module, it provides for a one-box media server solution, WiFi support, DSD256-capable DAC, and all. Having said that, I did run into a... Read More »

04-24-2016 | By Karl Lozier

Music from Prokofiev, Sylvia, Gabrieli, and More!

Prokofiev, Scythian Suite & Symphony No. 3. Orchestra: Sao Paulo Symphony. Conductor: Marin Alsop. Recording: Naxos NBD0047 There certainly are significant differences in the music composed by Prokofiev compared to those famous Russian composers that preceded him. It is our good fortune to have his compositions available now. Yes, he turned out those compositions needed by performers in the... Read More »

04-24-2016 | By Robert S. Youman

Axpona 2016 – Into The Mystic

Hark, now hear the sailors cry Smell the sea and feel the sky Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic And when that foghorn blows I will be coming home And when the foghorn blows I want to hear it I don't have to fear it and I want to rock your gypsy... Read More »

04-24-2016 | By Bob Neill

Notes of an Amateur: Ibragimova’s Mozart x 2; Return of Eighth Blackbird; Violist Paul Neubauer; Max Reger; and New Music for Flute and Piano.

Mozart, Sonatas for Violin and Piano, Alina Ibragimova, violin. Cédric Tiberghien, piano. 2 CD's. Hyperion CDA 68091. Most of us know when we're hearing the real Mozart and not a near miss, we know in our heads and elsewhere what is required of a genuine Mozart performance. Today we have the composer's Sonatas for Keyboard... Read More »

04-13-2016 | By David W. Robinson

Impressions: A Note from an Editor's Backside

Things can pile up. From time to time, especially when I get too busy, miscellaneous projects and notes accumulate. They don't warrant a major article, but they are items that I should mention to you. And this is a brief and very different sort of flash for you. Ergo 21 As a writer and editor,... Read More »

04-03-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Sikora Reference Turntable

Lublin is a city in the south-east part of Poland and the capital of Lublin Voivodeship (province). The name  Lublin, exactly the same as today which is quite rare, first appeared in chronicles in 1228. Just like Kraków comes from the name of Krak, a legendary ruler residing on Wawel Hill, also Lublin comes from... Read More »

04-03-2016 | By Bartosz Pacula

Seong-Jin Ho - The Man and His Music

The winner of the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition The 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition which took place between the 1st and 23rd October 2015 in Warsaw was a tremendous artistic and, in a way, commercial success. It was not a coincidence—the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute responsible for organizing the competition, in cooperation... Read More »

03-27-2016 | By Dave Clark

Audio Ramblings - The Daedalus Audio DiD, iFi USB and DC iPurifiers, and Modified Rega Arm from audiomods

So in my last Audio Ramblings, I wrote… "Not sure how this came about, but man do I have a lot of stuff here to review… the PS Audio BHK250 amplifier and their AC12 and AC5 power cables, the Aurender N100H streamer, the Entreq Poseidon Grounding box and cables, several items from Synergistic Research (Black... Read More »

03-25-2016 | By Wojciech Pacuła

Pylon Audio Sapphire 23 Loudspeakers

Considering the present times and other Pylon Audio products, 23 loudspeakers from the Sapphire series have untypical proportions. If they had been produced a few years ago, that would not have been strange. At that time, almost all loudspeakers offered by Pylon Audio, Monitor Audio and other manufacturers representing the base and medium price ranges... Read More »



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Audio Sensibility Cables: Musings...

05-24-2016 | By Bruce Kinch

"I can cable an entire audiophile system for $1000" This was back in May of last year, and I was on the phone with Steven Huang of Audio Sensibility Cables, based in Toronto, Canada. I'm an old-school audio cheapskate, and... Read More »
LampizatOr Euforia

05-23-2016 | By Larry Cox

Apparently, I left a few readers in the lurch by closing my LampizatOr Euforia review saying I'd discovered a difference making change and that I'd follow-up the review, but was too lazy to rewrite it before posting. I've... Read More »
Audioengine P4
Audioengine P4

05-15-2016 | By Paul Baterina

My girlfriend had surprised me with the Audioengine P4 as a birthday present. I've had them for a couple of years now, and I have to say, it's one of the best gifts I've ever received. A little about myself, I have a huge... Read More »
Marigo Labs Iridium v1.0 Power

05-11-2016 | By Robert S. Youman

I was introduced to various Marigo Labs wire products back in the early 1990s. Ron Hedrich, owner and chief designer, was just minutes away in the north shore suburbs of Chicago. Later, Ron moved body and and soul to the... Read More »
ZeroUno DAC Review – Part 2

05-06-2016 | By Roland Dietl

Introduction to Part Two Having described the sound of the ZeroUno in the foreground in the first part of this review, I will in this second part of my report consider the technical details of the DAC. During the time I have... Read More »
The Mytek Manhattan

05-04-2016 | By Dave Clark

Gee, what happened to the time? Yeah, that construct or concept that continually moves forward. Not only forward in the sense of progress (for some for sure, and for others… uh, 2016 people) but also in the sense of "where... Read More »
ZeroUno DAC Review – Part 1

05-04-2016 | By Roland Dietl

In early February I picked up a large wooden box in the office of HiFi Statement. With the active support of Dirk Sommer, we both lifted the crate into the trunk of my car. After arriving at home and unpacking everything... Read More »
Verity Audio Sarastro IIS

05-01-2016 | By Dirk Sommer

I had hoped that testing the Verity Sarastro IIS would be fun rather than hard work, but I would never have expected this premium speaker to also reveal some interesting things about the acoustics of my listening room. The... Read More »
The Mytek Brooklyn DSD DAC

04-27-2016 | By Dirk Sommer

About four years ago, the Mytek 192-DSD-DAC impressed me with its sound in a way that caused me to abstain from purchasing expensive D/A converters for quite a while. This is not bad at all in times of rapid new... Read More »
Audio Consulting Silver Rock...

04-26-2016 | By Marshall Nack

There are times when High End audio puts me in mind of the ancient Greek myth of Sisyphus. Condemned to an eternity of boulder rolling, he slowly pushed it uphill. Then, when the pinnacle was in sight, he watched helplessly,... Read More »
Victoria 7
From the Kipnis Studios (KSS):...

04-19-2016 | By Jeremy Kipnis

Common Beliefs  "GLASS Speakers? Oh, they MUST sound bright and edgy!" "Anyone using GLASS to make a speaker has to be using it only as a gimmick." "I can see right through the speaker. So it must not be properly engineered... Read More »
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Backert Labs Rhumba 1.1 Linestage

04-16-2016 | By Michael Wechsberg

I reviewed the first product from Delaware-based Backert Labs, the Rhythm 1.1 Linestage, over a year ago in Issue 76 (HERE). I thought designer and preamp specialist Bob Backert hit a home run with this well-built and... Read More »
Acoustical Systems Aquilar Tonearm

04-10-2016 | By Dirk Sommer

I haven't introduced new tonearms to you for many years, which was due to the fact that—among the rest—really new solutions are extremely rare. Mostly, new models are about variations in the materials mix, in combination... Read More »
JPlay Logo
JPLAY for Windows: The Final Piece...

04-07-2016 | By Tom Gibbs

Earlier this year I reviewed Fidelizer, an optimization software package designed to reduce the number of active background processes in Windows computers being used for high-resolution music playback. When first approached... Read More »
Wells Audio Majestic Amplifier

04-05-2016 | By Francisco Duran

I'm not going to tell you what I did on my summer vacation. (Maui) I'm not going to tell you what I got for Christmas. (Schiit Audio Vali 2). I am going to get right to the crux of the matter and tell you about the Wells... Read More »
Aurender N10 Music Server

04-03-2016 | By Robert S. Youman

My recent reviews for the Devialet 400 and 800 Integrated Amplifiers generated plenty of emails and comments. Thanks to all the readers who took notice and had an opinion to voice on these components—both yeah and nay.... Read More »


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industry news
Wyred 4 Sound Statement Amplifier

Wyred 4 Sound is proud to showcase its all-new flagship stereo amplifier, the STATEMENT, at T.H.E. Show, Newport, June 3-5, 2016 in Irvine,...

OPPO Digital Releases Sonica Wi-Fi Speakers

“Where Sound Takes You” OPPO Digital, renowned for award-winning universal disc players and personal audio products, announces that a...

Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs, LLC announces the Gold series Christine Reference Preamplifier

Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs, LLC announces the Gold series Christine Reference Preamplifier at $12,400. Presented at T.H.E. Show...

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Occupy Hifi
Quality Headphone Gear For The Rest Of Us Pt. 1 By Michael Mercer

I love writing about what we audio geeks call "reference-level" audio components. By reference-level we mean...

Needed An Audible Time Machine Tonight By Michael Mercer

I cherished this spectacular article Harry Pearson wrote for his HPSoundings blog a couple years ago about his stereo...

BANNERS Wraps Itself Around My Heart By Michael Mercer

I needed music tonight, and I needed something new. As I drove home in the early-morning hours, cruising at the kinda...

HIFI Statement
Resonessence Labs Veritas By Dirk Sommer

Schön, dass der deutsche Vertrieb es möglich gemacht hat: Der Resonessence Labs Veritas, der erste D/A-Wandler für...

Transrotor JR Tamino By Dirk Sommer

Mit seinen Topmodellen spielt Transrotor auch international in der aller höchsten Analog-Liga. Einen zu diesen...

HIGH END 2016: Messerundgang mit Helmut Baumgartner By Helmut Baumgartner

Eine neue High-End-Disziplin: Marathonlauf mit Kamera. Auf den letzten High-End-Messen hat unser Fotograf diese...