Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

  • SoundStage! InSight - Simaudio's $118,888 Moon 888 Mono Amplifiers (June 2018)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Totem's Tribe Tower (May 2018)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Amphion's Three Newest Argon Loudspeakers (April 2018)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Making the Hegel Mohican CD Player (March 2018)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Estelon Lynx Wireless Intelligent Loudspeaker (March 2018)
  • SoundStage! InSight - McIntosh's Five New Solid-State Integrated Amplifiers (January 2018)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Amphion's Krypton Loudspeaker (January 2018)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Anthem STR Preamplifier and Power Amplifier (December 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - McIntosh Laboratory MA252 Integrated Amplifier (November 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Hegel H90 and H190 Integrated Amplifiers (October 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - How Hegel's SoundEngine Works (October 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight  - Estelon History and YB and Extreme Loudspeakers (September 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - What Makes Hegel Different? (August 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Estelon Extreme Legacy Edition Loudspeaker (July 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Amphion Overview and Technologies (July 2017)
  • SoundStage! Insight - Totem Acoustic Signature One Loudspeaker (June 2017)
  • SoundStage! Encore - The Cowboy Junkies'
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- Anthem's STR Integrated Amplifier (May 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- Paradigm's Perforated Phase Alignment (PPA) Lenses (March 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Paradigm's Persona 9H Loudspeaker (March 2017)
  • SoundStage! InSight -- Contrasts: Dynaudio's Contour and Focus XD Speaker Lines (February 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - New Technologies in MartinLogan's Masterpiece Series
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Dynaudio/Volkswagen Car Audio (December 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Gryphon Philosophy and the Kodo and Mojo S Speakers (January 2017)
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- What's a Tonmeister? (November 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - AxiomAir N3 Wireless Speaker System (December 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 90 (November 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Gryphon Diablo 120 Integrated Amplifier (October 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Dynaudio History and Driver Technology (October 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - The Story How Gryphon Began (September 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Devialet History, ADH Technology, and Expert 1000 Pro (September 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - Devialet's Phantom Loudspeakers (August 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - McIntosh Home Theater and Streaming Audio (July 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - McIntosh MC275 Stereo Amplifier (June 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - McIntosh History and Autoformer Technology (June 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - NAD Viso HP50 Headphones (May 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - GoldenEar Technology's Anechoic Chamber (May 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - PSB's M4U 4 Earphones (April 2016)
  • SoundStage! InSight - GoldenEar Technology's Triton Two+ and Three+ Loudspeakers (March 2016)
  • SoundStage! Shorts -- KEF's LS50 (February 2016)

To Hans Wetzel,

I just read your latest editorial. I was once the crazed, obsessed "audiophile" (I do have the addictive gene, I believe.) I would lust and spend above my means for the next, best flavor of the month.

Eventually, doing that lead to having very little money left to spend on new music. Listening became more like work, less like pleasure. Well, times and priorities have changed. The "audiophile" system is gone. It’s been replaced with a PC, some powered speakers, a headphone amplifier-DAC, and headphones. This is located in the family room, and the family uses it. Decisions on equipment purchases are not based solely on how something sounds. Sure, I want good sound, but will the wife, daughter, and son be able enjoy the system as well? The major considerations are ease of use, features, price, and sound, in no particular order. Now having said all that, I can still get a little crazy over this piece or that thingamabob because of something the audio press has written. When I feel that craziness coming back, I remember back a few years ago when I served the equipment. Those weren't really fun times. The pleasure truly comes when the music serves me!

Great read and keep up the good work,

Jay W.

Jay, glad to hear that I'm not alone. I was really looking forward to reviewing the Cabasses that are mentioned and pictured in the article (you’ll be able to find my review in Ultra Audio, our sister site, on the 15th of this month). But after seeing those (beautiful) 124-pound beasts leave my listening room, I never want to review something that big again. They're huge! If I had that dedicated listening room, perhaps, but not for a normal city apartment.

I'm finding that I derive the most pleasure from products that sound good and are thoughtfully designed. For that reason, Audioengine's little A5+ remains a favorite of mine, despite the fact that a pair only costs $399. My bamboo review samples looked great, had everything one needed right in the box, and sounded pretty good, to boot. They weren't the best in any individual respect, but as a package, it was so livable, as I wrote in my review. It's no surprise to me that you've replaced your traditional hi-fi setup for a computer-based setup with powered speakers. We have at least one powered desktop speaker review in the pipeline, and possibly another, so stay tuned. It's pretty crazy just how good some of these small desktop solutions can sound. . . . Hans Wetzel