One of my fondest memories as a teen was poring over the pages of the Tech Hifi catalog. Located on Route 35 in Eatontown, NJ, it was the closet thing the Jersey Shore offered to high end audio, and to me it represented the state of the art in home sound reproduction. The catalog lay out was organized around a number of systems starting with entry level in the front of the catalog, gradually building to what was touted as the NE plus ultra.… Read the full article
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Like many long-time TAS readers, I have been on a multi-decade quest to achieve the absolute sound—the illusion of hearing actual acoustic instruments playing in a wonderful concert hall—through my stereo system. After years of trying, I recently made a giant step forward towards that goal with the addition of the remarkable Zellaton Stage loudspeakers to my reference system. The Stage is a revelation, and in a couple of important sonic dimensions better than any loudspeaker I have heard in all my years.… Read the full article
The following is a press release issued by Magico. HAYWARD, CA (USA) | December 7, 2018 – Magico, the Leader in High-Performance Loudspeaker Design and Manufacture, is pleased to announce the M2 which expands the M-Series product lineup and features many ground-breaking engineering designs distilled from the M6 and M3. Our materials science research in the properties and applications of carbon allows the M2 to feature a new monocoque enclosure. Similar in construction technique introduced in the M6, it is formed using multiple layers of carbon fiber adding up to a 3/8” thickness.… Read the full article
Although Richard Vandersteen has gone on to design far more sophisticated, expensive, and ultimately “better”-sounding loudspeakers, the original Model 2 remains the inspiration and essential research project for all that’s followed over the past four-plus decades. Upon release in 1977 the Model 2 sold for $890 the pair and featured several innovative design elements that are fundamental to every subsequent speaker that Richard Vandersteen designed. First and most obviously was Vandersteen’s discovery that by minimizing the size and curving the edges of the baffle, he was able to virtually eliminate cabinet edge and grille diffraction issues to obtain a far …… Read the full article
With reviews of Wilson’s Alexia 2 loudspeaker ($57,900/pair) in the July issue, Constellation’s Centaur 500 amplifier ($55,000) in the October issue, and Tidal’s Akira loudspeaker ($215,000/pair) in the November issue, my system’s been inhaling some rarefied air the past few months. Accordingly, I felt I should live with some components priced within the reach of real-world audiophiles. As it happened, I was finishing up my review of the Constellation amplifier when MoFi Distribution’s Lionel Goodfield e-mailed me, asking if I’d like to review the new Diamond 11.2 loudspeaker from the venerable British brand Wharfedale.… Read the full article
The New Apartment Lounge: Mighty Midgets – The Gravity Defying Studio Electric M4 Monitor Loudspeakers
Great First Impressions
I’ll never forget the look on Greg Weaver’s face the moment he and I got to hear (at the AXPONA 2018 high end show) what Studio Electric and chief designer Dave McPherson’s latest thinking on what small loudspeakers, the diminutive M4, could do. Greg had that classic “I told you so” grin on his face, one that seemed to say, “Dude, can you believe how good this thing sounds?” a few seconds after Dave lowered the stylus of what I think was a Hana MC cartridge (here tethered to a Fern & Roby turntable/arm combo with ModWright Instruments supporting electronics) into the lead groove of Janis Ian’s dark reflections on the Holocaust “Tattoo,” from her seminal 1993 release Breaking Silence.… Read the full article
Elac Debut B5 $229 It’s little; it’s vinyl clad; it’s dirt cheap; and it sounds terrific. The B5 compact represents the first effort in what should be a long and fruitful collaboration between Elac and its celebrated VP of Engineering, Andrew Jones. The B5 is robust in the mid and upper bass, but the real difference is how everything comes together in such an exquisitely balanced and musical fashion. NG instinctively connected with the basic honesty of the B5 sound and was gobsmacked by its bargain-basement price.… Read the full article
German manufacturer Elac had a significant North American presence in the 1960s and ’70s, primarily with its Miracord automatic turntables. While it eventually disappeared from the US market, Elac never ceased to be a player in Europe, where it eventually shifted its primary focus from turntables to loudspeakers.
When Elac decided to reenter the US market a few years ago, its success was hardly assured. Faced with hundreds of brand names and thousands of models fighting for attention, it hired veteran speaker guru Andrew Jones to improve the odds.… Read the full article
I promise not to tell you that the 40th Anniversary Edition Harbeth P3ESR loudspeaker sounds like a bigger speaker than it actually is. It does not. Likewise, I won’t suggest that it offers a large portion of what Harbeth’s bigger, more expensive models do—I’ll leave that to the happy owners on the Harbeth User Group. But can I tell you it’s good value for the money? The current, non-anniversary version of the P3ESR costs $2195/pair (footnote 1), while the souped-up, tarted-up 40th Anniversary Edition goes for $2890/pair—prices I think are chickenfeed, considering all the timeless virtues and musical satisfactions I have discovered in both versions.… Read the full article