Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 27, 2022  |  0 comments
Gone are the days of blacks and grays. Thanks in large part to the new face of Wilson Audio, color reigned supreme in Audio Reference Munich's impressive Atrium spread.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 27, 2022  |  0 comments
New components in Wilson's other eye-candy exhibit may have been limited to the new Nordost QNet 5-port internet switch and QSource Linear Power Supply, but that didn't prevent a miracle from happening. In a room that D'Agostino's Bill McKiegan had warned me rarely delivered good sound, VTL's Siegfried II Series II monoblocks and top-level line TL 7.5 Series III and TP 6.5 Series II preamplifiers, seen here with Nordost’s Dennis Bonotto, sounded extremely musical and inviting.
Michael Fremer  |  May 26, 2022  |  3 comments
Years ago, at a San Francisco Audiophile Society gathering, I was lucky enough to spend time with the late, brilliant electrical engineer Roger Modjeski, whose Music Reference RM-200 Mk.II hybrid stereo tube amp is among my most prized hi-fi treasures. I asked him what he knew about transimpedance phono preamplifiers. He grabbed a piece of paper and a pencil and drew a detailed transimpedance phono preamp circuit, quipping, "These have been around forever, but until recently no one has paid much attention to them."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 26, 2022  |  0 comments
In celebration of Esoteric’s 35th anniversary, the company’s Shota Terai offered a sneak preview of the Grandioso T1, the first turntable in Esoteric's long history. Due to be finalized soon, the T1 employs the company's "patent-registered unique contact-free Esoteric MagneDrive System that inductively synchronizes the rotations of a magnetic driver and platter, realizing a quiet and silky-smooth rotation at an extraordinarily accurate rotation speed."
Julie Mullins  |  May 26, 2022  |  3 comments
My first stop in the Munich High End venue's huge halls, or Halles, was a treat—and not only because the Hegel folks had a box of Norwegian chocolate hearts to taste. Hegel introduced a couple of new analog components, the Hegel Reference H30A Reference power amplifier and the P30A preamplifier, which supersedes the P30 preamp. Hegel CEO, founder, and lead designer Bent Holter (right) was on-hand along with Anders Ertzeid "VP of This and That" (aka VP Sales and Marketing, left) to share details. The amp and preamp are both analog designs—the A stands for analog.
Julie Mullins  |  May 26, 2022  |  0 comments
In the US market it isn't every day you see big, shiny red speakers—cars, yes—but less often flagship floorstanders. Here, a pair of tall, Danish flagships, the Audiovector R11 Arreté Titanium speakers clad in red enclosures graced the room. A model above the Audiovector R8 Arreté that Jim Austin reviewed, they use the company's Quasi Dual Drive Avantgarde Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeters.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 25, 2022  |  0 comments
Richard Strauss: Orchestral Works
Boston Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Andris Nelsons, cond.; Yuja Wang, piano; Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Deutsche Grammophon 486 2049 (7 CDs, auditioned as 24/96 WAV), 2022. Various prods. and engs.
Performance *****
Sonics ****½

At last, a box set of the orchestral works of Richard Strauss to rival the classic analog traversal from German conductor Rudolf Kempe and the Staatskapelle Dresden: a heaping helping of orchestral blockbusters, 93 tracks of music that, for color, splash, dynamic impact, fantasy, romance, wonder, and thrill, are without peer in the classical canon.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 25, 2022  |  9 comments
Holger Stein may be one of the softer-spoken men in the audio business, but he's hardly shy when it comes to attracting attention. For eye candy alone, Stein Music's new Bob XL Plus Ultimate loudspeaker (€348,000/pair) had few rivals at Munich High End.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 25, 2022  |  0 comments
Vitus Audio, now in its 27th year, introduced its forthcoming entry-level RD-101 Mk.II DAC/Streamer ($15,000, release date TBD) at Munich High End. The unit sports a redesigned streaming module—the old one is obsolete—a newly optimized power supply, and significant noise reduction. There's also a new DAC chip, the ESS9038 Pro, which replaces the 9028 Pro.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  May 25, 2022  |  0 comments
Will wonders never cease? With Andrew Jones designing MoFi loudspeakers, Allen Perkins designing their turntables, and their latest fabled designer catch, Peter Madnick, designing their new Master Phono preamplifier ($5000), I can't but wonder if Mobile Fidelity, aka MoFi, is poised to take over the world. Madnick, whom you may recall as the former Design Manager for Constellation and ELAC and the founder of Audio Alchemy, has been in the audio business for 50 years and has designed over 400 products in the past 40 years.