Ken Micallef  |  Nov 20, 2023  |  0 comments

Japan’s Technical Audio Devices Laboratories, Inc. (TAD) brought several products to CAF, including the US debut of the TAD Grand Evolution One (GE1) floor-standing speakers ($65,000/pair) and new TAD C1000 preamplifier ($24,950).

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 20, 2023  |  2 comments

Dan Wright of ModWright Instruments Inc., partnered with Cardas Audio, Acora Acoustics, and Woodsong Audio to bring his new compact, affordable 9-series products, which are "based on our Reference Designs," Wright told me in a preshow email.

John Atkinson  |  Nov 17, 2023  |  0 comments
When we introduced Stereophile's Product of the Year awards in 1992, we decided that, unlike some other publications' awards schemes, we would avoid what the late Art Dudley once described as the "every child in the class gets a prize" syndrome. We decided to keep the number of categories to the minimum. That way, in Loudspeakers, for example, high-value minimonitors would compete with cost-no-object floorstanders. In Analog Products, turntables would compete with tonearms, phono cartridges, and phono preamplifiers. And in Amplification, single-box integrated amplifiers would go up against separates. In Budget Product of the Year, we lumped everything together, recognizing products from every category that offered the best sound for the buck. The overall Product of the Year, meanwhile, would be the winner of all the winners—a single product, unless the voting resulted in a tie.

To be considered for our 2023 awards, products must have been subjected to a full review or considered in a column published from the November 2022 issue through the October 2023 issue. Each product was subjected by the reviewer to a thorough evaluation over a period of weeks or months—plus, for regular reviews (not columns), a session in my test lab.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 17, 2023  |  2 comments

Fast-talking, smooth-walking, Brit-expat Robin Wyatt is one of the best setup men in the game. Showcasing unique gear that he operates to perfection, his rooms typically capture best-in-show performance.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 17, 2023  |  5 comments

Walter Swanbon of Fidelis AV Distribution brought not only the Harbeth loudspeakers and Pure Fidelity turntable I raved about in recent Stereophile reviews, but also a couple brands I was unaware of until now. Walter always gets great room sound, so I was looking forward to a discovery.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 17, 2023  |  5 comments

Command AV's Jeff Fox was running two rigs at CAF, including a large scale assemblage in the Democracy suite, where the sound matched the beauty of the hi-fi. Jeff's setup included the day-glow red J.Sikora Standard MAX Special Editon turntable ($19,995) and J.Sikora KV MAX 12" Tonearm ($14,500) mounted with an Aidas Mammoth Gold Cartridge ($8650). From thence the signal ran to a Doshi Audio Evolution phono stage ($20,995). Digital front-end duties were handled by an Aurender N30SA server ($25,000), a Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Series 3 ($28,000), and a Berkeley Audio Design Alpha USB Series 2 digital interface ($2495).

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 17, 2023  |  15 comments

Nexus Audio Technologies' Walter Schofield presented a rig consisting of the VPI Avenger Direct turntable with Fatboy tonearm ($36,000), VPI Shyla cartridge ($2500), and Primare R35 MM/MC phono preamp ($2000); the 432 EVO Master Music Server with Roon core endpoint ($18,000); the Primare PRE35 Prisma DM36 streaming preamplifier featuring the new DM36 advanced DAC module with MQA processing ($5250); and two Primare A35.2 stereo amplifiers ($3900 each) bridged to mono. Walter also presented the Stenheim Alumine Two.five Loudspeakers ($23,500/pair) in their North American debut, a full loom of interconnects, power cables, and speaker wire by Anticables, and a Pangea Audio Vulcan Five Shelf audio rack ($250).

Jim Austin, Tom Fine  |  Nov 16, 2023  |  30 comments
On September 27, 2023, executives from Apple Corps and Universal Music Group held a press event at the Dolby Theater in Manhattan. The event included Dolby Atmos demos of forthcoming Beatles releases. It included some big news—although the biggest news wasn't obvious at first.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 16, 2023  |  0 comments

Amplifier manufacturer Linear Tube Audio was seemingly everywhere at the show. LTA appeared with Daedalus Audio in the Randolph Room, with PureAudioProject in Room 825, with Credo Audio and Audioshield Distribution in Room 730, and with Audeze, Meze, iBasso, and ZMF in the Headphone Lounge; LTA debuted the new Velo ($2100) headphone amp at the show.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 16, 2023  |  2 comments

Hitting the show circuit without their usual running buddy, Greg Roberts of Volti Audio (who is taking a much deserved break), BorderPatrol's Gary Dews and Triode Wire Lab's "Triode Pete" Grzybowski joined forces with Living Voice Loudspeakers of Long Eaton, Derbyshire, UK.