A few issues back, in my review of the Mark Levinson No.26 and No.20 (May 1988, Vol.11 No.5), I mused on the fact that the preamplifier, being the heart of a system, had a more significant effect on sound quality in the long term than, say, the loudspeakers. It was worth spending more on a preamplifier, therefore, than on loudspeakers. Needless to say, this viewpoint was regarded by many readers as dangerously heretical. I decided, therefore, to investigate the sonic possibilities of budget-priced preamps in this issue, even the most expensive being less than one-tenth the price of the Mark Levinson.… Read the full article
Some audio products deliver truly superb sound of a kind that really makes all the frustrations of building a high-end system worthwhile; they also require exceptional attention and care. The Counterpoint SA-4 is a case in point. With the right speakers, it competes for the title of “Most Transparent Amplifier Available at Any Price.” On the other hand, this amplifier steadily loses output power as speaker impedance drops; it must be carefully matched to the right speaker. Then, and only then, can it produce one of the finest musical experiences available.… Read the full article
This is a system I could listen to every day and twice on Sundays. Which is exactly what I did at Capital Audiofest. On Friday, I poked my head in for a listen, Saturday, much of the same. Sunday morning I was there first thing to gather some final impressions of the system and snap some photos when I was called away for an urgent show-going responsibility. So I finally return on for my “twice” listen on Sunday, along with some photos — and I am noticing as the show is winding down, that the Daedalus, Linear Tube Audio and LamizatOr room is still rather busy.… Read the full article
The super cool Rudy Dupuy of Dupuy Acoustique (in Congers, NY) says he used to make loudspeakers, but then he realized that the time-delayed and out-of-phase reflections from the wall behind the speakers always sabotaged any hope of loudspeaker coherence. So he stopped making speakers and developed the tunable Phase Restoration Acoustical Panel (PRAP). As Rudy tells it, “The PRAP can render a higher level of musical realism than any standard rig—no matter the cost.” As the Dupuy brochure tells is, “The PRAP addresses a structural deficiency inherent in the listening room acoustics that directly affects the reproduction of recorded music.… Read the full article
The Meze Audio Empyrean is one of the most talked about headphones ever since the news got out. And now it’s time to review it!
Disclaimer: The Meze Empyrean was bought from Meze Audio and sent to me by Dune Blue in the Netherlands. Meze Audio for the moment is an advertiser on Headfonia.com.
The Romanian company no longer really needs an introduction. Meze Audio has become famous and big over the last few years, their recipe for success?… Read the full article
Late on Friday at the New York Audio Show, I found myself explaining to an audiophile friend, also in attendance, my reaction to the big room sponsored by ESD Acoustic, and to their huge, extravagant, ostentatious five-way horn system—the one my colleagues Sasha Matson and Ken Micallef described in detail, and about which my colleague Herb Reichert contrasted his favorable experience here in New York with his unfavorable experience at the 2018 Munich show. As configured, the system as displayed would cost some $800,000 here in the United States.… Read the full article
Though Danish manufacturer Gamut Audio has been making electronics for recording studios since 1982, the official establishment of its retail consumer division didn’t occur until 1995. Even so, I’ll bet those of you who’ve been around this industry for some time will have likely only become aware of the name recently, with its escalating profile over the past several years. The man responsible for driving this ever-increasing presence since 2012 is 42-year-old chief designer and CEO, Benno Baun Meldgaard. Initially hired in 2011 as a repair technician and design consultant, he found himself inordinately troubled when the company’s then RS5 …… Read the full article