Thursday, August 17, 2017
High End 2017
in Munich
Brand New
Video Series
NAD C 368
DAC-Integrated
New Integrated
Anthem STR
Vandersteen
Model Seven Mk.II
Ayre Acoustics
QX-5 DAC
Paradigm's Flagship
Persona 9H
Newsflash:
Merging NADAC ST-2 on SoundStage! Ultra ... Read the review
Onkyo's A-9010 on SoundStage! Access ... Read the review

Sponsors

201004_ae_radiance3Price: $3000 per pair

Website: www.acoustic-energy.co.uk

Thom said: Their sound was as crisp and detailed as I might want, but never shrill or overpowering. When bass was called for, they stepped up and produced. And they look attractive -- my wife likes them better than anything else I’ve had in my listening room.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! review.

The gist: Thom's new reference speaker.

201007_argon3_black_b_300hPrice: $2795 per pair in black or white (add $200 per pair for real-wood veneer)

Website: www.amphion.fi

Philip said: Amphion’s Argon3 is the finest-sounding bookshelf speaker I’ve ever reviewed for the SoundStage! Network. It has outclassed my longtime reference, PSB’s Platinum M2. The torch has been passed. 

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! review.

The gist: The third time's the charm for the Argon.

201005_aperion_ng_bPrice: $149 each

Website: www.aperionaudio.com

Colin said: As surround or background-music speakers, Aperion Audio’s Intimus 6-IC is a winner. I would never suggest that the 6-ICs replace conventional loudspeakers in a conventional system, but then the 6-IC was never intended to be all things to all people. Keeping its inherent limitations in mind, I can say that the Aperion Intimus 6-IC is a most satisfying in-ceiling loudspeaker.

Read the SoundStage! Xperience review.

The gist: Wow is this product a great value!

201003_audioengine_p4Price: $249 per pair

Website: www.audioengineusa.com

Kevin said: . . . the P4 is a great speaker and an incredible value. You’re going to have to spend a lot more -- a whole lot more -- to achieve the measures of sound quality and packaging convenience afforded by the Audioengine P4.

Great Buy

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Get your motor running with the tiny Audioengine P4.

201005_bluecircle1Price: $4900-$6500 per pair, depending on finish

Website: www.bluecircle.com

Doug said: Kudos to Gilbert Yeung and Blue Circle Audio for trying something unique and producing the BM2. It’s an intriguing design well worth listening to for the distinctive things it can do.

Read the SoundStage! review.

The gist: Gilbert's slant on the Ohm Acoustics loudspeaker.

bw_684Price: $1100 per pair

Website: www.bowers-wilkins.com

Randall said: The B&W 684 was a treat to have in my system. It was nice to have a well-designed, very affordable speaker on hand to deflate my speaker snobbery.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! review.

The gist: Are B&Ws best speakers at the lower price points?

201010_bwPrice: $1500 per pair

Website: www.bowers-wilkins.com

Jeff said: The best audio products make bad recordings sound tolerable, good recordings sound better, and great recordings sound sublime. Irrespective of source or perceived quality of amplification, the B&W CM5 did this. It made a case for spending what it takes to get the speakers you want and, if need be, scrimping on everything else.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: You just can't go wrong with a CM-series B&W.

Compact WZ-5 SEPrice: $4500 per pair

Website: www.grantfidelity.com

Colin said: The Compact WZ-5 SE Collector’s Edition isn’t a totally bad speaker, but it doesn’t perform at anywhere near the level of such peers as the Definitive Technology Mythos ST, PSB Synchrony One ($4500/pair), or even the less-expensive Paradigm Studio 100 ($3599/pair).

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Just not very good.

201003_focus_fc9_bPrice: $1999 per pair

Website: www.focusaudio.com

Philip said: . . . the FC 9’s greatest asset is its sound: pure, powerful, and precise, a collection of traits that made for an engrossing listening experience. If you have the space and are in the market for a well-designed, gorgeously crafted pair of floorstanding speakers, you should hear the Classic FC 9.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! review.

The gist: Focus competes with the Paradigms and PSBs of the world.

201011_focus_fp50Price: $4300 per pair

Website: www.focusaudio.com

Doug said: The Prestige FP50 is not inexpensive, but it will be ideal for a particular type of listener: someone who wants exceptional refinement of build quality and sound in a loudspeaker that will complement a smallish listening room.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Almost SOTA sound, but needs a sub.

201006_jbl_440hPrice: $1800 per pair

Website: www.jbl.com

Thom said: The LS60 has a lot going for it. It’s an extraordinary speaker -- but it’s not what old-timers such as I have come to expect from JBL. The LS60 is extremely well mannered; whereas older JBLs could be compared to the Delta Tau Chi fraternity in National Lampoon’s Animal House, the LS60 reminded me of the classic dining clubs of Oxford or Cambridge . . .

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Excellent, but not classic, JBL sound.

KEF XQ40Price: $4500 per pair

Website: www.kef.com

Aron said: From top to bottom, KEF’s XQ flagship is an exceedingly well-built, classically styled tower that sounds as good as it looks. It may not be the last word in neutrality across the entire audioband, and it might require some close attention in being paired with other audio gear, but the best things in life are never easy, and I have yet to hear a speaker in this price range that can match its low-end prowess.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Xperience review.

The gist: Great-value speaker with innovative KEF technology.

201006_legacy_frontPrice: $1385 per pair

Website: www.legacyaudio.com

Ron said: Never once did I find the Legacys fatiguing, or the information they presented distracting. Instead, they took me places I’d never been before. I enjoyed the ride every step of the way.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! review.

The gist: The littlest Legacy makes a big splash.

201010_ml_motion12Price: $1499.95 per pair

Website: www.martinlogan.com

Ron said: . . . the Motion 12 did the midrange very well indeed. If MartinLogan made a point of focusing on this aspect of music reproduction in the design of the Motion 12, then I can hardly fault that choice. Ultimately, the Motion 12 shines where it matters most.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: MartinLogans for everyman.

201003_polk_rtia1Price: $339.95 per pair

Website: www.polkaudio.com

Aron said: The Polk RTi A1 offers an impressively wide soundstage filled with convincingly solid bass performance, tremendous dynamics, well-focused voices, and a clean, detailed top end.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! review.

The gist: Polk produces perhaps their highest-value loudspeaker yet.

201007_psb_image_t6_300hPrice: $1199 per pair

Website: www.psbspeakers.com  

Philip said: The T6 performed extremely well in so many areas that, for its asking price of $1199/pair, it’s very difficult to beat. There are other speakers I would consider over the T6, but all of them cost at least twice as much.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! review.

The gist: Image beats Platnium for less money.

201006_tannoy_cherryPrice: $3600 per pair

Website: www.tannoy.co.uk

Kevin said: The midrange was warm, the treble sweet, the bass tight and articulate. Every speaker has its strengths and its weaknesses, and in the Definition DC8 the former far outweigh the latter. Tannoy has done a great job; they’ve built a loudspeaker that practically guarantees the company’s continued success and longevity. 

Read the SoundStage! review.

The gist: New-age Tannoy retains old-Tannoy charm.

Von Schweikert Audio UniField 1Price: $3995 per pair

Website: www.vonschweikert.com

Philip said: In terms of precision and soundstaging, it is the finest speaker I’ve ever reviewed. It embodies a unique approach to cabinet design, and comes from the workshop of a man who has spent years fine-tuning his craft.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Coaxial driver in a great box designed by Albert himself.

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