SoundStage! HiFi

  1. Reviewers' ChoiceThe last two MartinLogan components reviewed by the SoundStage! Network were the BalancedForce 212 subwoofer, on this site, and the relatively conventional Motion 35XT loudspeaker, on SoundStage! Access. They proved so good that each received a Product of the Year award. However, as most audio enthusiasts know, MartinLogan is best known for their electrostatic loudspeaker (ESL) models, most of which are hybrid designs that combine an electrostatic panel for the high- and midrange frequencies with a conventional dynamic woofer.

  2. On April 1, 2016, we published “Myriad Questions About MQA,” my article about Master Quality Authenticated (MQA), a digital music format for high-resolution music files developed by Meridian Audio and now spun off as MQA Limited. (Audiophiles define high-resolution music file as a PCM digital file with a bit depth and/or sample frequency higher than the Compact Disc standard of 16 bits and 44.1kHz, aka 16/44.1.)

  3. Note: Measurements taken in the anechoic chamber at Canada's National Research Council can be found through this link.

    Reviewers' ChoiceAfter I’d listened to KEF’s Blade Two loudspeaker ($24,999.99 USD per pair) for my April 2016 review of them, I sent back the review samples. KEF couldn’t have had them more than a day when they sent me an e-mail confirming receipt -- and asking if I’d like to review the Reference 3.

  4. A little more than a year ago I visited my friend Mike, whose audio system is similar to mine. We both like vintage tube gear, and he has a matching Eico power amp and preamp. He recently had his mid-1980s AR turntable refurbished, and his CD player is a Yamaha CD-N500. We settled down to an evening of drinking wine and listening to music, most of it on vinyl. Mike’s is a great-sounding system, and he’s since made some upgrades, including a pair of Klipsch Heresy speakers. I’m eager to make the long drive to hear it again.

  5. Following the fairly conclusive evidence in February at the Tonbridge Audiojumble in the UK that reel-to-reel tape is back with a clearly definable cult, my mind started wandering toward the renewed attention being paid to cassettes. As I mentioned last month, there’s a tangible glimmer of activity on the cassette front. However, unlike open-reel, which always was and always will be elitist / exclusive / expensive, cassette has its own intrinsic justification: it was a mass-market format.

  6. Recommended Reference ComponentWe’d never seen Brent Butterworth so enthusiastic about a set of earphones as he was about the Audeze iSine10s in his March 2017 review for SoundStage! Xperience. He felt that this idiosyncratic design offers such high performance and value that, as he declared in his review’s final sentence, “This is $4000 worth of sound for $400.”

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