Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2018 HiFiMan had two new products on display this year: one for the budget-minded, and one not. First, for the entry level, is the new Sundara planar headphone which will retail for $499. Josselin Marvie from HiFiMan explains that "We spent some time designing this headphone to be more reliable and comfortable, so we have a new headband design which is more lightweight as well. We also have new cups, and everything

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 13, 2018 The three best lower-cost systems that I heard at CES were this one ($7,105 total) and others from Chord/Spendor and Music Hall; thanks in no small part to Totem's founder, Vince Bruzzese, whose extensive traveling has brought him in touch with a treasure chest's worth of eclectic titles that he searched out on Tidal and then purchased in physical form, this one was hands down the most musically enjoyable. When

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 14, 2018 In the room sponsored by distributor Musical Surroundings, I spied Clearaudio's new Concept Active turntable ($2,600 to $4,400, depending upon choice of three plinths, three tonearms, and three cartridges). The version I saw was $3,200 in black and silver with Concept tonearm and Concept MC cartridge. This all-in-one, ready-to-play system incorporates a high quality internal phono stage and headphone amp. I took a brief listen through Audeze LCD-3 headphones equipped

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Jon Iverson  |  Jan 13, 2018 The sign up above said GoldenEar Technology, but when I walked in it looked like any normal hotel room. No big banners, black cloth draped along the walls or spotlights. And then at the far end I spotted company president Sandy Gross sitting on the couch and a single bookshelf speaker sitting on a stand. That was it. But as soon as I introduced myself, Sandy jumped up and starting talking

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Ken Micallef  |  Dec 28, 2017 One of the better things about bookshelf loudspeakers is that they're innately portable. Though not generally considered the sort of music-reproduction machines you'd bring to a party, a 12-step group, or a Burning Man rave (though you certainly could), high-quality bookshelf speakers are overlooked tools in the eternal work-in-progress of introducing lovers, friends, and family to our beloved lifestyle. So during the first week or three of breaking in the Quad

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John Atkinson  |  Jan 16, 2018 I was working on our video coverage of the 2018 CES with our resident videographer Jana Dagdagan, and as video is such a time sink, I wasn't able to visit as many rooms as I usually do. But one room I managed to visit and that stood out when it came to sound quality was Constellation's. Jon Iverson already blogged about this room, which featured the Revelation Series Pictor preamplifier and Taurus

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Kalman Rubinson  |  Jan 8, 2018  |  First Published: Jan 9, 2018 In May of 2016, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) was sold to EVA Automation in a deal that included Classé Audio and the US distribution of Rotel Electronics. Since then, production and distribution of B&W and Rotel products has continued but not so for Classé. Initially, the new management announced that production and distribution of current products would continue but that all newly announced products, prototypes of which

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Jana Dagdagan  |  Sep 21, 2017 In June, I visited headphone manufacturer Audeze's factory in Southern California (they've since moved) and capture an abridged version of the making of a pair of Audeze LCDi4 in-ear planar magnetic headphones ($2495). In the first part of this video, which is narrated by first Sankar Thiagasamudram, Audeze's founder and CEO, we begin with the making of the LCDi4, followed by the testing, burn-in, and packaging. This is followed by the

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J. Gordon Holt, John Wright  |  May 9, 2017  |  First Published: Feb 1, 1968 The RS-212 is one of the most impressive-looking tonearms we've seen in many a moon. Our first reaction to it, in fact, was much the same as our reaction to the first big, professional Ampex tape recorder we ever saw: it reminded us of one of those precision-engineered and cleanly styled electronic devices you see in hospitals and industrial laboratories—devices which make no attempt to

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Dick Olsher  |  Oct 10, 2017  |  First Published: Aug 1, 1987 High fidelity took a giant step forward in 1956 with Peter Walker's introduction of the Quad ESL. Walker's research efforts had been motivated by his firm belief in the superiority of the electrostatic dipole over the box loudspeaker, but actually to take the economic plunge and market such a speaker was surely an act of bravery. After all, those were the pre-stereo, pre-audiophile days of the mid '50s,

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