LATEST ADDITIONS

Julie Mullins  |  Nov 22, 2023  |  1 comments
Years ago, as a side gig with a friend, I started a small business importing and distributing high-end women's garments from European makers: swimwear, hosiery, bodysuits, underwear. At the time, the consistent fit and finish, comfort, and manufacturing quality we appreciated was hard to find stateside.

I never thought I'd see these two interests—women's undergarments and hi-fi—converge, until I started researching this review of the $4500 Audeze LCD-5 headphones, the company's current flagship.

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 21, 2023  |  0 comments
Photo by Laure Crost

We all have at least one cherished album that takes us back to the exact time and place we first heard it. Whenever we hear any of the music from that special album—regardless of whether it occurs months, years, or even decades later, of whether we hear it in the grocery store, on a car radio, or on a friend's playlist—we instantly reconnect with the feelings the music originally evoked within us.

Some of my old gear is boxed up in an offsite storage space, but almost all of my old LPs are within reach. I can reconnect with them and how they make me feel in a flash, with the drop of a needle.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 20, 2023  |  1 comments

Voxativ's Ines Adler and Christopher Cunningham brought the full Voxativ experience from Berlin to Rockville, including the new and revised Voxativ Ampeggio back-loaded horn with AC-1.9 full-range driver loudspeaker ($12,900/pair).

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 20, 2023  |  0 comments

It was hard to find focus in Victor Kong's room. Between the nearly invisible AER BD3B/650mm full-range open-baffle speakers ($9800/pair) and the various amps on static display—Sun Valley SV-1616D 300B integrated amp ($2450), or the Elekit TU-8900 ($3050) or Elekit TU-8850 ($1850) power amps—my palms felt sweaty, my head, dizzy. Is this SET-amp lover’s heaven?

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).

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