Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

  • SoundStage! Shorts - Livio Cucuzza on Audio Research's Industrial Design (November 2018)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Audio Research Past, Present, and Future (October 2018)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - KEF's New R Series for 2018 (September 2018)
  • SoundStage! InSight - Simaudio Moon 390 Digital/Analog Preamplifier and Streamer (September 2018)
  • SoundStage! Shorts - EISA 2018-2019 Awards Introduction (August 2018)
  • 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)

To Hans Wetzel,

It was with smile on my face that I read your post-CES article. While I truly admire those companies that push the outer envelopes of audio performance with cost-no-object designs, a good amount of the shit being pushed onto the public is somewhat dubious at best.

If you want to read what happens when you suggest that a $200,000 speaker is overpriced, check out the comments under Stereophile's review of Wilson Audio's Alexandria XLF. I posted two well-though-out comments about how I thought the Wilson XLFs were drastically overpriced and you'd think that I just spat in Pope Francis's face.

Here's my first comment:

And the second:

Since most of these dopes who were flaming me know as much about speaker design and audio engineering as a shit I take in the morning, I opted out of adding anything else. It did seem that about half the people who posted actually understood what I said.

Take it light,
Jeff Henning

Jeff, you're fighting an uphill battle against legions of audiophiles, including many reviewers, like Michael Fremer, who penned the review you commented on. Name recognition and rave reviews seem to cement a product's quality in the minds of many folks. Michael Fremer's outgoing speakers were Wilson Audio MAXX 3s. A pair matched with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of Lamm Industries' electronics behind them were blazing away in one of the rooms at CES, and, without exaggeration, I couldn't listen to the setup for more than a minute or two. The tweeters were old inverted Focal domes that happen to ring like hell when they begin to break up, resulting in a really edgy and sharp top end. I followed two younger guys out of the room, and without provocation, one muttered to the other: "Those sounded terrible." It goes to show you that just because something is expensive -- $68,000 for the MAXX 3s -- it doesn't mean it's any good. Trust your ears, then ask what the price is -- I think you'll be shocked to find that there's more engineering (and better resultant sound) in products costing an order of magnitude less than either of those Wilsons. I would have thought that $200,000 would buy you bespoke drivers, but it looks like that would have pushed them over their intended price point. Maybe next time. . . . Hans Wetzel