Stereophile's Products of 2022 Accessory of the Year

Accessory of the Year

Fozgometer V2 ($400; reviewed by Michael Fremer in May 2022, Vol.45 No.5 review)

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Finalists (in alphabetical order)
AudioPraise VanityPro HDMI audio extractor ($1595; reviewed by Kal Rubinson in May 2022, Vol.45 No.5 review)
AudioQuest Dragon interconnect (XLR $11,900/1m pair, RCA $9500/1m pair; reviewed by Michael Fremer in September 2022, Vol.45 No.9 review)
AudioQuest Dragon Zero speaker cable ($27,500/8' pair; reviewed by Michael Fremer in September 2022, Vol.45 No.9 review)
Nordost QNet network switch ($3199.99; reviewed by Jason Victor Serinus in October 2022, Vol.45 No.10 review)

This outcome, to me, held a bit of a surprise: that the accessory category should be won not just by an analog accessory but by a setup tool, something that's only used for changing or adjusting cartridges. Perhaps the Fozgometer would be less popular in a vote among audiophiles in general than it was among hi-fi reviewers.

No matter. As these things go, the Fozgometer is insanely easy to use: Just plug in the cables, put on a test record, and look at the meter. By checking the amount of crosstalk and comparing L–R and R–L, you can tell if you've got your phono cartridge's azimuth adjusted right. If the reading is off, give it another tweak and try again. (The only problem: The meter doesn't indicate units. Are those dB we're reading? Are the actual numbers meaningful?)

Remember though: The Fozgometer has been around for years. What's new in V2?

For one thing, it's sensitive enough that you can take the output directly from your tonearm leads—no need to run it through a phono preamp first. It's said to be more accurate and to have higher resolution—I believe it. I'm sure the pointer bounces less on the meter, making it easier to read. I know from experience that that part is true.

The Fozgometer will be most useful for vinylphiles who change cartridges a lot or check their setup frequently. If that describes you, and you don't already have a digital oscilloscope at home and the knowledge you need to use it to set azimuth, you'll probably want to buy this $400 device.

About the Vote
This was an easy win for the Foz; the second-place AudioQuest DragonZero speaker cable was six votes back.

I don't know what was in the minds of voters (except my mind), but it's conceivable that the two AudioQuest cables that made the finals split the cable vote—or, for that matter, the AudioQuest vote. It seems to me that functionally, the Audiopraise VanityPro, which allows you to extract DSD and PCM audio content from an HDMI stream and output it via the connector of your choice—AES3; TosLink, RCA S/PDIF—makes a good case for itself. And the improvement wrought by Nordost's QNet network switch, in JVS's estimation, endows it with some serious audiophile cred.

Those other products, though, could not push this nifty cartridge setup gadget off its lofty perch. Congratulations, Foz and distributor Musical Surroundings.

COMMENTS
Jack L's picture

......seven categories: Amplification Component of the Year,.."qtd Jim Austin

My question is: did "each reviewer" already auditioned "EACH of the 3 items in the seven categories" in order to give valid & impartial nominations ????

Otherwise, how could it be a valid nomination in case the reviewer(s) concerned never auditioned those particular candidate components out of the seven categories he/she nominated ????

IMO, actual personal in-depth audition of a candidate components is crucial of valid & fair nomination given by the reviewers concerned.

Listening with own ears is believing

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

Jack L, do some reading.

Did you even read this article?

A priori?

Jack L's picture

Hi

I have read it. That's why I asked.

YOU think you read it but you don't seem to know what you are talking about !

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

A priori!

Jack L's picture

Hi

If I were a priori, you are a big mouthing posteriori !

Hahahahahaaha....

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...everything in your head?

Jack L's picture

Hi

Sure, better than a huge posteriori like you "listen to your great stereo with your head so far up your ASS all the time" as per your pal: johnnythunder!

Johnnythunder1: get your kissing cousin johnnythunder2 talk to me as yr mouth stinks like your ASS !

Hehehehehe

Jack L

johnnythunder1's picture

with your head so far up your own ass all the time.

David Harper's picture

ignore this guy. everything he thinks is wrong.

ChrisS's picture

...between Jack L and David Harper.

Hehe...!

Anton's picture

I don’t think it would be a conversation so much as simultaneous monologues.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Since when Stereophile Components of the Years becomes a stage for you bunch of polylogue-jokers ???

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...believing, Jack L!

Jack L's picture

Hi

If here were a library, reading books there is believing.

Here is Audiophile, so LISTENING is believing, right?

Besides, who wants to read any nonsense from "you bunch of polylogue-jokers" here ?

Hahahaha..

Listening to music is believing

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...Stereophile.

I can also read Herman Melville's Moby Dick on my computer.

Are we believing yet?

Jack L's picture

Hi

First off, what's Stereophile magazine in your "libray" to do with "Mody Dick" read from yr computer ??

Stereophile is about audio/music - we listen with our ears.
"Mody Dick" = The Whale, is an 1851 novel read by the eyes.

Apple to orange comparison ! Former is for real vs latter is a fiction. So you believe in fiction, be my guest ! I don't.

This is an audio/music venue, not for novels reading. Thanks but no thanks.

Listening to music is believing

Jack L

PS: I am never a novels reader since day one. Too busy with my music listening already ! What dragged me in to start my first novel reading was the billion-dollar top seller: "Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown in 2003. The thriller was sooo popular I got to wait a while for it from my neighbourhood public library !

ChrisS's picture

...go round and round.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Come on. You should be "WATCHING yr eyeballs go round & round in your mirror to look for yr ears - gone with the wind !

For no-ear YOU, reading is believing, pal. HEhehehe...

Jack L

Indydan's picture

Hey Jack L, why does everyone pick on you? Maybe it's because the L in Jack L is for LOSER.

For Jack L, SUCKING is believing.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Who cares, SOURgrapes !

What "everyone"?? The editor here is not a "LOSER" like YOU here as he does not "pick on" me.

YOU "sucking" "loser" is my believing !

Jack L

Indydan's picture

Hey JackOFF the Loser, keep sucking!

Jack L's picture

.

Indydan's picture

Hey Jack L, I am hearing from reliable sources that you pick your nose and eat it...

rschryer's picture

Btw, I'm eating dude. Gross.

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