The Entry Level #5 Contacts

Sidebar: Contacts

Audioengine. Tel: (877) 853-4477. Web:
Head-Direct. Tel: (347) 475-7673. Fax: (718) 766-0560. Web:
Music Hall, 108 Station Road, Great Neck, NY 11023. Tel: (516) 487-3663. Web:

WillWeber's picture

Hi Stephen,

A fun read. Glad you weren't run over; someday headphones will be illegal in public I suppose.

I think you oughta share that meatloaf recipe! You already gave part of it, and it is enticing, so come on...



Stephen Mejias's picture

Hi Will.

I'm glad you enjoyed the column.

I promise I'll post the complete recipe as soon as I finish the Munich show report and get caught up with everything else.

lucien's picture

Hi Stephen,

For a total newbie system, I’m curious how you would compare the AudioEngine A5’s from last month with the NAD amp with PSB Alpha’s from this month’s column for a newbie looking for an entry level setup to play LP’s (with a separate phono stage) and an iPod in a small room at respectable “the kids are asleep” volumes. Cost is a huge consideration, and the A5’s are self-contained for the price of the NAD even before the speakers enter the picture. I figure in a couple years I’ll upgrade the whole setup again either way.

Any thoughts on comparing June and July’s columns for someone just looking to get in the game?

I really appreciate your choices of products and your style. It’s nice to dream about speakers that cost as much as the minivan I need to buy, but practical advice on something attainable is always welcome.


sgibson389's picture

Your review has me rethinking my notion that I need 30, 80 or more gigs of music with me. Looking at the models of mp3 players it seems to be going away from hard drive based players to memory card based players. Thanks for the good review, I will be considering the HiFiMan products.

SPACE CASE's picture

"This would be the best meatloaf the girls ever."  -S. Mejias

A rich morsel of accidental comedy.  But in all seriousness, I am in merely in the zygotic phase of my audiophilia and I have enjoyed the first 5 installments of your column- which I chain-read between tasks at work.  (I am the Logistics Manager at Musical Surroundings... perchance we shall cross paths at an expo in the not-too-distant) 

Maybe a completion of my chain-reading sesh will answer this, but what do you think are the best all-around speakers available for under $300?  (Zygotic, as previously stated.) You have spoken reverently enough about the Wharfedale Diamonds that I have given them the top seed at present. 

Hi five!


xkaapie's picture

Stephen, wonderful column, blog and insights on affordable Hifi!

You pose too many questions for us to ponder!

You are moved to tears by the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1

Addicted to the Audioengine 5's

Dancing to the Daytons!

Prisoner of the PSB!

It is wonderful and I agree 100% with you that there are so many affordable ways to listen to great music in today's world, so many possibilities for our hard earned dollars. The only problem is in todays Audio retailing world, there is no physical place out there in all of our cities to audition these wonderful choices all together at one time, THIS IS THE DILEMMA OF HIFI TODAY!!!!!!,

Could you be a pal, as you have heard all of these and let us know the answer to the following questions....... do the Wharfedale's trump the Audioengine5's????

Best regards,


Stephen Mejias's picture

Thank you for the kind, thoughtful words.

Could you be a pal, as you have heard all of these and let us know the answer to the following questions....... do the Wharfedale's trump the Audioengine5's????

No, the Wharfedales don't trump the Audioengines, but neither do the Audioengines trump the Wharfedales. That's not a cop out. It's just that the two speakers are very different tools, offering different sets of strengths for different applications. In an ideal world, we'd be able to own both -- the powered Audioengines are obviously more versatile, can be used on smallish desktops or for computer and media applications; while the Wharfedales provide a real good taste of the nuance and sophistication provided by even the most expensive high-end loudspeakers. 

If you're looking for versatility, power, good sound, and fun, go for the Audioengines. If you're purely interested in sound quality, go for the Wharfedales.