SoundStage! HiFi

  1. There’s a whole world -- a universe, even -- of hi-fi that exists and thrives out of sight of most North American and European audiophiles. We often bandy about the cliché that globalization has made the world smaller, but we fail to take into account that the world is actually really big -- for every audio company we’re familiar with, there are five others operating at the periphery of our Internet-enhanced consciousness.

  2. As I write this on June 24, 2017, I’m on a flight from Oslo, Norway, to London, UK, where we’ll have a five-hour layover in London before flying home, to Canada. Sitting next to me is our chief videographer, Chris Chitaroni; beside him is the second cameraman for this trip, Jeremy Prudhomme. Oslo was the final destination of an 11-day, multi-country trip to visit three hi-fi companies and shoot videos for our YouTube channel. Those videos should begin pouring out in August, and will be viewable at

  3. Reviewers' ChoiceEdmund Meitner’s experience in audio long predates EMM Labs, the company he founded in 1998. Briefly, in the 1970s and early ’80s, Meitner designed audio signal generators and a distortion analyzer for Amber Electro Design, and was also the chief audio designer at Olive Electrodynamics, for a team that developed the world’s first automated multitrack recording console. Every time I measure speakers at Canada’s National Research Council, I see an Amber analyzer he helped create, still in use in the lab adjoining the NRC’s anechoic chamber. Meitner’s first shot at consumer audio was with Meitner Audio, which he founded in 1982, and where he developed the PA-6 preamplifier, STR-50 stereo amplifier, MTR-100 mono amplifier, and CD-3 CD player. I remember these products well -- they were true high-end hi-fi components in small, compact cases, and were all reasonably priced. Ed Meitner was designing affordable lifestyle products before most others had thought much about it.

  4. SoundStage! UKWhen you’re past 30 -- or so it should be -- a bruised ego should be no more of a concern than a splinter, a slow episode of a favourite TV show, or being put on hold by some call centre where English is not the main language: a minor irritant. You’re not some 14-year-old worried about being cool. But I suppose it depends on one’s levels of insecurity, and I consider myself neither mortally hypersensitive nor brazenly immune to slurs.

  5. Recently, when I visited the MPS Records website, I got the feeling the label might be in a transition of some sort. I’ve reviewed some of its vinyl releases, and wanted to find information about any upcoming LP releases, as well as details about the availability of reissues on reel-to-reel tape. Since those links no longer appear on the site, I can only assume that MPS is reevaluating its position about both formats. The three recent vinyl releases from MPS I discuss here make me eager to hear more from the label’s back catalog.

  6. Recommended Reference ComponentIn 2009, the French manufacturer Devialet set the audio world on its ear with the introduction of the D-Premier DAC-integrated amplifier. Priced at $15,999 USD, this unique component housed in its slim, shiny case many features, including: a digital preamplifier section that could accept digital as well as line- and phono-level analog signals via an onboard analog-to-digital converter (ADC); a high-powered digital signal processor (DSP) that could perform real-time processing of digital music signals, for things like equalization and room and speaker correction; the Magic Wire, a combined digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and gain stage; and an innovative amplifier topology named Analog Digital Hybrid (ADH).

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