Ken Micallef  |  Feb 18, 2024  |  0 comments

Japan's TAD had two rooms at FLAX, including the large Bayshore ballroom, which itself contained two systems, each with two pairs of speakers. Both systems wowed me.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 18, 2024  |  1 comments

Dealer Scott Walker Audio, which has showrooms in Anaheim, California, and Keller, Texas, and Synergistic Research presented several new products at FLAX including the Synergistic Voodoo streamer erver ($14,995); the PowerCell 8 SX conditioner ($3495); and SRX USB ($5995), Ethernet ($5995), and XL Power cables ($13,000).

Mark Henninger  |  Feb 18, 2024  |  4 comments

MBL is best known for its striking Radialstahler omnidirectional speaker systems, first introduced in 1979, but the company has made electronics to accompany its speakers since 1986. On the Tampa Terrace at the Florida International Audio Expo, MBL showed off a system featuring the new Cadenza C41 network player ($11,100).

Mark Henninger  |  Feb 17, 2024  |  4 comments

I'm used to demoing SVS at AV trade shows, but not at high-end two-channel affairs like this Tampa show. The debut of the Ultra Evolution series speakers represents the dawn of a new era for a company that made its name designing high-performance subwoofers and affordable, high-performance speakers. With video.

Ken Micallef  |  Feb 17, 2024  |  0 comments

In the photo above, worker bees Megan Bovaird and Matt Bochicchio welcome you to the sixth annual Florida International Audio Expo (FLAX), held this year and all non-COVID years at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, in Tampa, Florida.

Tom Fine  |  Feb 16, 2024  |  16 comments
Back in August, I received an email from Editor Jim Austin. Subject line: "Want to do a big review?" He had my attention. Jim wrote that he had visited Bowers & Wilkins parent company Masimo Consumer in Carlsbad, California, for a demo of the brand-new B&W 801 D4 Signature and 805 D4 Signature loudspeakers. (That visit was chronicled by Jim in the September 2023 Industry Update section.) B&W had offered Stereophile the first US review of both products—look for John Atkinson's review of the 805 D4 Signature in the coming months—and Jim thought the big 801s would be "right up my alley."

Indeed! The voice of my full-range system in the living room is a pair of B&W 808 speakers, ca late 1980s. The smaller-scale system at our house upstate features a pair of B&W 805 D2s. So, outside of my mastering studio, most of the music I listen to is through Bowers & Wilkins speakers. I am accustomed to and enjoy B&W sound and styling.

Jim Austin  |  Feb 15, 2024  |  7 comments
A different kind of stream: Route 140 Wrentham at Pendleton Road Eagle Brook; image by Ernst Halberstadt, 29 March 1973, Wikimedia Commons

I recently received a letter (not yet published) suggesting a need for a glossary of newer hi-fi terms. Some audiophiles raised on physical media, it seems, are perplexed by descriptions of the new streaming landscape. Just yesterday, all we had to worry about was DACs and transports. Today we have servers, streamers, players, streaming DACs, and all that. That immediately struck me as a good idea, allied with a second reason: To avoid confusion, it makes sense for the industry to standardize the nomenclature. When we see the word "streamer," for example, we should all be thinking about the same thing.

So, here's a brief glossary of streaming-related devices.

Jason Davis  |  Feb 14, 2024  |  6 comments
When Editor Jim Austin asked me to review the new Rogue Audio DragoN monoblock amplifier, my first thought was, "Isn't that Herb's beat?"

The DragoN monoblock is the latest amplifier from Rogue Audio's Mark O'Brien. The DragoN is a hybrid of tubes and class-D, using Hypex's class-D NCore module in the output stage. Hence the big N in the name of the product.

Robert Baird  |  Feb 13, 2024  |  5 comments
Van Halen: Van Halen
Warner Bros./Mobile Fidelity UD1S 2-032 (2 45rpm LPs). 1978/2023. Ted Templeton, prod.; Donn Landee, Krieg Wunderlich, engs.
Performance ****½
Sonics ****½

I remember the day I walked into radio station WTGP, "The Great 88," at Thiel College and saw the Van Halen jacket for the first time. Drummer Alex Van Halen was a stereotypical blur. Bassist Michael Anthony acted the part of the metal bro. But that guitarist holding a ramshackle Stratocaster crisscrossed with electrical tape? On the back cover was a hairy-chested dude in profile, athletic tape on his knuckles, bent over backward in high-heeled boots.

Jim Austin, Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 12, 2024  |  12 comments
Dear audio show exhibitors: This one's for you. As members of the press who have spent decades covering audio shows, we've developed a clear sense of what works for us and—we think—for other show attendees. We ask your indulgence as we share our observations about how to mount a successful exhibit and get the best coverage possible from Stereophile and, presumably, other publications.