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Hi-Fi Centre to Host Vancouver Audio Festival 2019

By | April 24th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hi-Fi Centre to Host Vancouver Audio Festival 2019

The following is a press release issued by Hi-Fi Centre. Hi-Fi Centre is pleased to host the Vancouver Audio Festival 2019. Friday April 26th 5pm-9pm Saturday April 27th 10am-5pm This year we have curated a selection of systems which are guaranteed to make you smile whether you are a die-hard audiophile or a casual listener. Demonstrations are not time limited allowing you to enjoy each system for as long as you wish. Manufacturers reps will be on hand to present their products and answer all your questions.… Read the full article

AXPONA 2019: Personal Audio

By | April 24th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

AXPONA 2019: Personal Audio

AXPONA 2019, held in the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg, Illinois, was one of the best run, best organized, and most enjoyable audio shows I have ever attended. While the Chicago-area weather outside was, especially on the closing day of the show, pretty frightful owing to a freakish mid-April snowstorm, the atmosphere inside the show was warm, convivial, and full of good audio camaraderie. Nowhere was this more in evidence than in the Ear Gear Expo located in a medium-size ballroom adjacent to some of AXPONA’s largest demonstration rooms.… Read the full article

AXPONA 2019: Analog Sources

By | April 23rd, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

AXPONA 2019: Analog Sources

Following on the heels of last year’s success, AXPONA 2019 was even more upbeat and enjoyable for showgoers and exhibitors alike. The available space was expanded to accommodate more offerings and, as a result, the attendees had more options for listening, looking, and shopping. Due to the size of the show and a second coverage area assignment, there are new products (such as the items in the Expo Hall) that are not covered in this report because of time constraints. Frankly, there were more items than one individual could cover in the analog offerings alone.… Read the full article

Bowers & Wilkins Launches Line of Powered Wireless Loudspeakers

By | April 22nd, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , , |

Bowers & Wilkins Launches Line of Powered Wireless Loudspeakers

Venerable British loudspeaker manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins has introduced a new line of powered wireless loudspeakers, called Formation, that will bring the company’s technology and aesthetic to a new generation of listeners. The Formation series is based on an advanced new wireless technology, developed entirely in-house, that could be a game-changer in the segment. I attended a press trip to the company’s factory in the south of England to get background on the technology and marketing direction of Formation, to experience the new products firsthand, and to see how Bowers & Wilkins’ premium 800-series products are manufactured.… Read the full article

AXPONA 2019: Loudspeakers $20k and Up

By | April 19th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

AXPONA 2019: Loudspeakers $20k and Up

Sonically AXPONA 2019 was a 180-degree change from the last trade show I attended, in Denver. Where RMAF was a nearly uniform disaster, AXPONA was a nearly uniform success. Oh, next to nothing sounded spine-tinglingly realistic at the Chicago show, so if you were an “absolute sound” kind of listener you might’ve been slightly let down. On the other hand, if the drama, detail, and color of music were your first priorities (i.e., if you were an “as you like it” or “musicality-first” kind of listener) AXPONA would have proved a consistent delight.… Read the full article

AXPONA 2019 – Andrew Quint on Loudspeakers under $20,000

By | April 18th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , |

AXPONA 2019 - Andrew Quint on Loudspeakers under $20,000

At the end of a major audio show, there’s often a sense of depletion, a let’s-pack-this-stuff-up-and-go-home kind of exhaustion. Not so at 4 p.m. on Sunday at AXPONA 2019. There was, instead, a vibe of slightly giddy accomplishment as the big loudspeakers were returned to their wooden crates and the unsold LPs re-boxed. The consumers, too, seemed happily weary, having had a comprehensive exposure to an industry that is flourishing as it adapts to new technologies and to the requirements of younger sound-conscious music-lovers.… Read the full article

2019 Editors’ Choice Awards: Integrated Systems

By | April 17th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

2019 Editors' Choice Awards: Integrated Systems

Riva Arena/Festival $249 (optional Arena battery, $99)/$499 Riva’s two, wireless, multi-room systems in the Wand series offer stunning sound quality from small packages. The compact Arena ($249) and the larger Festival ($499) are both easy to set up and use; just connect via Google, AirPlay, or Bluetooth, and begin streaming music. Both have deeper bass than expected from their compact enclosures, and both play loudly with ease. The Festival is particularly impressive. With 200W of power, a solid wooden case, and a maximum SPL of 106dB, it almost sounds like a pair of floorstanding speakers.… Read the full article

Eric Bibb: Global Griot

By | April 16th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Eric Bibb: Global Griot

Exploring the themes of unity, inclusiveness, and social justice from a spiritual perspective, Eric Bibb delivers a double-disc masterpiece in Global Griot, an album ideally suited to the temper of progressive times, or “challenging times,” in Bibb’s words. Recorded in a dozen studios around the globe, Global Griot finds Bibb immersed in the West African tradition of history and storytelling while addressing issues relevant to all cultures. Singing with deep feeling, commitment, and authority over mostly acoustic soundscapes occasionally fleshed out by horns, background singers (a Griot Choir on “Gathering of the Tribes,” for instance), koras, even pedal steel (on …… Read the full article

2019 Editors’ Choice Awards: Loudspeakers $100,000 and up

By | April 15th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , |

2019 Editors' Choice Awards:  Loudspeakers $100,000 and up

Lansche No.7 $105,000–$113,000 depending on finish With its massless corona-plasma tweeter, the Lansche No.7 brings something different to the upper-end-loudspeaker arena. This driver works by modulating a plasma field surrounding an electrical arc, producing sound with no moving parts. Transparency, delicacy, resolution, and transient fidelity are stunning. A pair of 4" midranges and dual 8.7" woofers are optimized to blend with the massless tweeter—that is, to sound quick and clean, at the expense of conveying a sense of weight, body, and dynamic impact.… Read the full article

The 12 Most Significant Power Amplifiers of All Time

By | April 12th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , |

The 12 Most Significant Power Amplifiers of All Time

Kondo Audio Note Ongaku Resurrecting a Lost Art Hiroyasu Kondo resigned his position as an audio circuit designer at CBS to follow his dream of creating an amplifier that delivered “natural sound” free from “mechanical” artifacts. Kondo’s research led him to revisit the long-abandoned single-ended triode (SET) designs that were the first amplifiers built at the dawn of the electronics age. His enthusiasm for SET amplifiers was based on both reason and emotion. The engineer in him preferred the inherent simplicity and lower parts-count of SETs relative to other amplifier types—at least as long as high power was not a …… Read the full article