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More from Munich: Aries Cerat Symponia Loudspeakers, Cerat Erevus 5 Basshorn System, Achilleas Legend SET Amplifier, Impera II Reference Preamplifier

By | May 18th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

I quit smoking before cigarettes hit $5/pack. I sold my last car, a nickel green 1977 Mercedes 300D, for $500. But I have sold a lot of six-figure audio amplifiers, and clearly, the juicy audio good stuff—the super-exotic—blows everybody’s mind. 1893 Chateau Lafite Rothschild gear is out of the reach of the lumpen proletariat. But so what? It is still cool and spectacularly wild and a blast to listen to, which anyone can do at an audio show. Take the all-out Aries Cerat system Joshua Masongsong of Believe High Fidelity was showing at Munich 2019.… Read the full article

More from Munich: Aries Cerat Symponia Loudspeakers, Cerat Erevus 5 Basshorn System, Achilleas Legend SET Amplifier, Impera II Reference Preamplifier

By | May 18th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

I quit smoking before cigarettes hit $5/pack. I sold my last car, a nickel green 1977 Mercedes 300D, for $500. But I have sold a lot of six-figure audio amplifiers, and clearly, the juicy audio good stuff—the super-exotic—blows everybody’s mind. 1893 Chateau Lafite Rothschild gear is out of the reach of the lumpen proletariat. But so what? It is still cool and spectacularly wild and a blast to listen to, which anyone can do at an audio show. Take the all-out Aries Cerat system Joshua Masongsong of Believe High Fidelity was showing at Munich 2019.… Read the full article

Pass Laboratories XP-22 line preamplifier

By | May 17th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

For those who listen with their ears and not their brain, perfectionist hi-fi offers many surprises.

A friend called me up a few weeks ago and asked if the DAC we both own had received an automatic firmware update he hadn’t heard about; something had changed, it wasn’t good, and he couldn’t figure out what it was. His system’s sound was suddenly pale and unfocused.

There had been no firmware update.

The next morning, he called me again. He’d remembered that, earlier the day before, he’d swapped out a meter or so of the standard Ethernet cable connecting his network switch to his DAC with an expensive, audiophile one.… Read the full article

Exposure XVII preamplifier

By | May 16th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Thomas R. Marshall’s famous phrase, “What this country needs is a good five-cent cigar,” should be modified for the 1990s to be “What this world needs is a good $1500 preamplifier.”

It’s hard to find a good full-function preamp (ie, one that includes a phono stage) at a reasonable price these days. There are plenty of great preamps on the market, but they tend to be expensive or line-stage only—or expensive line stages. Moreover, many manufacturers are omitting phono stages altogether, on the assumption that people don’t listen to LPs anymore.… Read the full article

Totem Element Metal v.2, VTL TL 2.5i Preamplifier and ST-150 Amplifier, YBA Signature CD Player

By | May 15th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

It had been years since I last checked in with Totem Acoustic, the Canada-based loudspeaker manufacturer. When I showed up at the Totem room and was greeted by company president and longtime chief designer Vince Bruzzese, I didn’t know what to expect. In the event, what I got was some excellent sound from two compact towers placed very close to the front wall, and a short introduction to what appeared to be some interesting technology behind those impressive loudspeakers.

The compact towers I was hearing were the new, v.2 version of the Element Metal (€16,999/pair), which come in basic black and basic white.… Read the full article

Verity Audio Monsalvat Pro-4 Preamplifier, Amp-60 Reference Monoblocks, and Lohengrin IIS Reference loudspeaker system; Melco N1ZS/2A Music Server, TW-Acustic Raven Black Night Turntable; Dynavector XV-1 S MC cartridge; Cardas Cables, Quadraspire Rack

By | May 14th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|













Verity Audio Monsalvat Pro-4 Preamplifier, Amp-60 Reference Monoblocks, and Lohengrin IIS Reference loudspeaker system; Melco N1ZS/2A Music Server, TW-Acustic Raven Black Night Turntable; Dynavector XV-1 S MC cartridge; Cardas Cables, Quadraspire Rack | Stereophile.com


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EAT E-Glo Petit Hybrid Phono Preamplifier

By | April 21st, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

The European Audio Team, better known as E.A.T., has released a valve-based phono pre-amplifier, the E-Glo Petit. (Pictured above and below. Click on image for larger version.)

Offering both moving-coil and moving-magnet phono inputs, both of which can be adjusted to suit an extremely wide range of cartridge loading requirements for gain, impedance and capacitance, the E-Glo Petit’s circuitry is a hybrid design, using both 12AX7 valves and 2SK209 J-FETs, with not a single op-amp anywhere in sight. ‘With its fully discrete, op-amp-less design, we were able to achieve an outstanding sound in a small and compact form factor,’ says Jozefína Lichtenegger of E.A.T.… Read the full article

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High-Tech for Luddites: The CAD 1543 Mk II DAC, CAD CAT Transport, Trilogy Audio Systems 915R Reference Preamplifier and 995R Reference Monoblocks, and Verity Amadi Loudspeakers

By | April 17th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Both the name of the company and the look of their products belie what I found to be the company’s spirit. “CAD”—short, in this case, for Computer Audio Design, but more commonly denoting computer-aided design, evokes highly technical, inhuman stuff. The main CAD products on active display in this room at AXPONA—the CAD Audio Transport, the 1543 Mk II DAC, and various “Ground Control” boxes—are squared off and minimalist in design, resembling space objects from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The components’ green logos evoked, for me, nothing so much as the eyes of aliens come to abduct us.… Read the full article

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Parasound Zphono XRM Phono Preamplifier

By | April 15th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

Parasound’s new $1,199 Zphono XRM phono preamplifier (pictured above and below, click on images for larger versions) bridges the price gap between its entry-level  Zphono at $399 and its award-winning Halo JC 3 Jr, at $2,995. The new model includes balanced XLR outputs, a switchable rumble filter, a mono/stereo switch, plus a continuously variable load adjustment for moving-coil cartridges that allows adjustment between 50Ω and 1050Ω. Separate input jacks and independent circuits for MC and MM cartridges mean that you can use dual turntables, each fitted with a different cartridge.… Read the full article

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Good Enough to EAT: Forté Leather Edition Turntable with 12″ C-Note Tonearm, and the E-Glo Petit Phono Preamplifier

By | April 12th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

The room presented by importer Vana LTD of Lake Grove, New York, featured (in addition to some record cleaning fluid and Okki Nokki record-cleaning machines) analog components by the European Audio Team (EAT) and loudspeakers by Audio Physik.

Lovers of antique high-end automobiles in particular appreciate the aesthetic of the 200+lb Forté turntable, all gleaming chrome, mirror black, and leather. The table with the polished F-Note tonearm installed retails for $11,495, but looked like it cost considerably more; the photo above fails to capture the sheer scale of the thing.… Read the full article

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