Ken Micallef  |  May 28, 2024  |  0 comments
Riviera Audio Labs’s founder Silvio Delfino and designer/engineer Luca Chiomenti introduced two world premiere components at their booth at High End Munich: the APL-1 Tube Line Preamplifier ($26,000) and the AFS-32 Hybrid Stereo Power Amplifier ($28,000).
Ken Micallef  |  May 28, 2024  |  0 comments
Ofra Gershman premiered Gershman Acoustics’s 30th Anniversary Black Swan speakers ($95,000/pair) at Munich, and a fine sight they were. The two-in-one speaker construction come with a specified frequency range of 18Hz–24kHz, 88dB/W/m sensitivity, and 6 ohms nominal impedance and stand 52" high by 15" wide and weigh 145lb each. Who says good things don’t come in large packages?
Herb Reichert  |  May 28, 2024  |  6 comments
In the months since I told my Lenco story in Gramophone Dreams #79, two of my friends have bought L75s, and now they're enjoying them more than their shiny movie-star decks. One told me he has put more than $2000 into a Lenco L75 he bought online for $350. When I asked how his hot-rodded Lenco compared to his fancy belt drive, he replied, "You can feel it. The Lenco's motor pulls like a team of Clydesdales. It makes my belt drive feel like a pony pulling a child's cart."

When I asked him what he thought his rebuilt Clydesdale deck, with its new bearing, Jelco tonearm, and Grado Prestige Gold cartridge, was doing that his well-regarded belt drive was not, he replied, in a low, serious voice, "I think it gets more of the first part of a note."

Jim Austin  |  May 24, 2024  |  12 comments
My first encounter with an Audiovector loudspeaker was at the 2019 Toronto Audiofest. Driven by colorful (both sonically and visually) Alluxity electronics, the R 3s sounded pure and very fine. As I sat listening to the R 3 Arretés, the R 8 Arreté, their big brother, sat quietly in the corner, seemingly pleased with the performance of its smaller sibling.

I ended up reviewing the R 8 instead of the R 3, which in retrospect hardly seems fair:It was the R3 I heard that day, the R 3 that attracted my attention and got me interested in the brand.

Ken Micallef  |  May 24, 2024  |  4 comments
German analog powerhouse Acoustic Signature roared into High End Munich with a trio of new products: two feature-packed phono stages and a cutting-edge tonearm. Their booth was a showcase of gleaming AS equipment, from precision tonearms and turntables, including the behemoth Invictus Neo, to meticulously crafted, matte-finish phono stages.
Ken Micallef  |  May 24, 2024  |  1 comments
Just out the hotel door and fully caffeinated, I was blown away by the looks, construction, and performance of Zavfino turntables and tonearms. As 1877Phono Zavfino, the company has for years supplied internal wire to major manufacturers; the brand also offers interconnects, speakers, and power cords to the public.
Ken Micallef  |  May 24, 2024  |  0 comments
Benny Audio, founded in 2017 and based in Gliwice, Poland, produces massive turntables that recall TechDas and Acoustic Signature. BA’s flagship Odyssey model, including 14" tonearm with direct wiring and power supply (€24,000), drew every eye in their Munich room as it spun vinyl with muscularity and deep-earth, saturated tone.
Ken Micallef  |  May 24, 2024  |  1 comments
While the upper floors at High End Munich were densely populated with manufacturer’s full-system demo rooms, smaller but no less worthy players filled stand space in the ground-floor Halles, from Halle 1 to Halle 4. Two such manufacturers were Remton Audio and Fonolab, both from Praque. They brought an array of analog-centric devices that had me drooling.
Ken Micallef  |  May 24, 2024  |  0 comments
Austrian analog manufacturer Korf Audio introduced their new flagship series of ceramic tonearms, the TA-AF series, at High End Munich, including the TA-AF9 “premium tonearm” (€3200) on static display at their booth but also live on a TechDAS V turntable in the Engstrom room.
John Atkinson  |  May 23, 2024  |  9 comments
In December 2023, I took the train from New York to Los Angeles to attend the Los Angeles & Orange County Audiophile Society's 30th annual Gala. I took the trip because it is both stimulating and satisfying to spend an afternoon in the company of more than 200 audiophiles and music lovers; I also wanted to see John Curl presented with the Society's fourth Innovation Award, by George and Carolyn Counnas of Zesto. John was given the award "for his groundbreaking contributions to the field of solid-state audio amplifiers, circuit innovation, mastering recorders and much more."

I first met John more than 40 years ago, at a Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago, where I was blown away by John's intuitive and innovative approach to circuit design.