Enjoy the music? Not so easy when the loudest sounds at Munich High-End don’t spill from loudspeaker systems but people. For four days in May, the M.O.C. hosts 20K+ visitors and when a few hundred convene in the glass-lined atria or warehouse-like halls, the background din becomes a roar. A problem bent double (for some) when the music we’re exhorted to enjoy is mostly not to our taste or when even the quietest in-room conversation will interfere with a product demonstration.… Read the full article
Contiguous: “to share a common border or touching”. The traditional loudspeaker stand’s top and base plates act as common borders to its pillar/s. In unboxing the loudspeaker stand that Q Acoustics ship with their Concept 300 2-way standmount (US$4499/£2999), we are confronted with something completely different: three non-contiguous poles that don’t touch and have no ‘common border’ base plate. Instead, they are kept separate and held together by a series of contiguous and tensioned wires to meet the definition of tensegrity, a portmanteau of tensional integrity: “the characteristic property of a stable three-dimensional structure consisting of members under tension that are contiguous and members under compression that are not.”
It isn’t just smart engineering, inspired by the work of Bucky Fuller and Kenneth Snelson, that sets this loudspeaker stand apart from the steel-pillared norm.… Read the full article
Review loaners. Most units come and go within a three-month window. Others stick around for the long haul, ready to be plucked from the shelf to play comparative support in other reviews as required.
Peachtree’s nova300 integrated amplifier was reviewed by yours truly some two years ago but the review unit never went back to the manufacturer. It sat and waited….for this site’s turn towards video — a format that begs for boxes that transcend the usual black or silver to be featured.… Read the full article
Klipsch is one of the USA’s longest-running loudspeaker companies. Their calling card is horn-loaded drivers that keep sensitivity higher than average to broaden amplifier agreeability, thus putting a firm tick in the ‘positives’ column.
Concerned about horn honk – the horn’s vibration colouring the tweeter’s lower treble? Klipsch has lined the RP-600M’s (Tractrix) horn surround with a silicone composite to tame any colouration. Still – a quick listen might lead some listeners with certain types of music to dismiss the RP-600M’s 1″ rear-vented titanium tweeter as leaning too far in the direction of etched.… Read the full article
Life begins at forty? Not for the Compact Disc. The CD format was co-developed by Sony and Philips in 1979 but wasn’t shown to the public until 1982. The format picked up steam throughout the eighties to become the number one mainstream choice by 1990. Twenty-five years later, the CD is the music format equivalent of smoking indoors, its mid-nineties heyday as remote as a Counting Crows b-sides compilation.
CD sales have been in steep decline since 2008, giving way first to downloads and then to the now ubiquitous/dominant streaming services.… Read the full article
Engineer after engineer point to the impossibility of two loudspeakers recreating a live event at home. And yet some loudspeakers get closer others. One bass guitar-playing pal Down Under swore hard that the Zu Audio Omen sounded far more like his instrument of choice than did the KEF LS50. That’s likely a matter of tone. Zooming out to hear the full band, we look to the Zu’s higher dynamic contrasts as another approximator of live event truth.
I was reminded of these two trains of thought yesterday – high dynamics and heavy tone – as I sat down at Berlin dealer Max Schlundt for a brief listen to the Live 15 loudspeaker from Germany’s Ascendo. … Read the full article
Is it possible to recreate a live event with a pair of loudspeakers? Responding with a firm no and a cheeky smile is Jürgen Reis, MBL’s Chief Engineer of 35 years. A recent visit to the German manufacturer’s headquarters in Berlin saw yours truly sit down with Reis to get a beginner’s introduction to the MBL 101 Radialstrahler loudspeaker, their range of electronics, their customer base, how music has changed over the decades and – more importantly for this commentator – to pull back the curtain on the product design process.… Read the full article
Designed in Brooklyn, made in Poland, Mytek has removed the WCK IN/OUT and AES/EBU connectors from the rear of the Brooklyn DAC+ (review here) to make way for a 24bit/192kHz/DSD64-capable streaming board and a third Brooklyn: the Brooklyn Bridge (US$2995/€2995, previewed here).
The Brooklyn Bridge connects to a home network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi using the associated mControl smartphone app (iOS/Android), which in turn gives us direct access to cloud services – Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer and Spotify Connect – as well as local UPnP/DLNA and Roon servers.… Read the full article
In the above photo, we see Frank Schröder, a Berlin-based tonearm manufacturer of over twenty years, sitting on my couch (in Mitte) and not on his own, 6 km away in Charlottenburg. He has just installed a Zu/Denon DL-103r to a Rega Planar 2 turntable — because if anyone in the world knows how to properly align a cartridge, it’s Schröder.
This Berliner made his first tonearm at 14 years old, sold his first tonearm at 17 years old and joined the world of high-end audio exhibitors in 1999 at the High-End event in Frankfurt (before it relocated to Munich).… Read the full article
“The original name, in full, was Argo-Navis. This based on a constellation and in keeping with nautical themes that we have chosen for recent naming conventions. It is in recognition of ELAC’s headquarters in Kiel Germany, an important sailing centre. Hence Vela (sail) and Carina (keel). We used Argo for short but were challenged by someone registering the Argo name after we started using it.… Read the full article