High End Audio

add news feed

tweet a story

Much has been written about the guys at Zu Audio.  Their sometimes anti-audiophile antics have a way of polarizing the hi end crowd from time to time. A quick trip...
Much has been written about the guys at Zu Audio.  Their sometimes anti-audiophile antics have a way of polarizing the hi end crowd from time to time. A quick trip...
about 2 hours ago
The 2013 Burning Amp, the DIYAudio forum's "annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and self-reliance," got off to a slow start. Although a semi-hidden posting about the one-day, all-volunteer e...
The 2013 Burning Amp, the DIYAudio forum's "annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and self-reliance," got off to a slow start. Although a semi-hidden posting about the one-day, all-volunteer event, held in six rooms at San Francisco's Fort Mason Center on Sunday, October 6, appeared months ago, the email blast to the Burning Amp mailing list only went out late on October 3.
about 2 hours ago
In a recent email, a reader, having read my review of the Monitor Audio Silver RX6 loudspeaker in the June 2012 issue, said that he'd like to see it compared with the similarly priced Wharfedale Diamond 10.7 ($1299/pair) and Epos El...
In a recent email, a reader, having read my review of the Monitor Audio Silver RX6 loudspeaker in the June 2012 issue, said that he'd like to see it compared with the similarly priced Wharfedale Diamond 10.7 ($1299/pair) and Epos Elan 10 ($1000/pair). That sounded interesting.
about 2 hours ago
Long experience has convinced me that many audiophiles' stereo systems substantially underperform compared to what they could sound like. This is not because people haven't spent enough money on their electronics or speakers.
Long experience has convinced me that many audiophiles' stereo systems substantially underperform compared to what they could sound like. This is not because people haven't spent enough money on their electronics or speakers.
about 3 hours ago
The Audiophiliac felt the Earth move when he donned JBL's hot new 'phones!
The Audiophiliac felt the Earth move when he donned JBL's hot new 'phones!
about 5 hours ago
Meridian Audio has announced the introduction of the easy to install Distributor 3, a seamless way of distributing audio from a central location to three additional “zones”. A zone can be built from... Visit the Ultra High-End Audio a...
Meridian Audio has announced the introduction of the easy to install Distributor 3, a seamless way of distributing audio from a central location to three additional “zones”. A zone can be built from... Visit the Ultra High-End Audio and Home Theater Review for more...
10 about 6 hours ago
When a manufacturer baptises a new audio component in honour of a Greek goddess whose name literally means “beautiful voice” and follows that up with a five-figure price tag on it, this represents a... Visit the Ultra High-End Audio a...
When a manufacturer baptises a new audio component in honour of a Greek goddess whose name literally means “beautiful voice” and follows that up with a five-figure price tag on it, this represents a... Visit the Ultra High-End Audio and Home Theater Review for more...
28 about 6 hours ago
Daniel Kumin has posted a review of the NAD D 3020 hybrid digital integrated amplifier ($499) at Sound and Vision. His conclusions: “If I thought otherwise linear electronic components had “a... Visit the Ultra High-End Audio an...
Daniel Kumin has posted a review of the NAD D 3020 hybrid digital integrated amplifier ($499) at Sound and Vision. His conclusions: “If I thought otherwise linear electronic components had “a... Visit the Ultra High-End Audio and Home Theater Review for more...
about 5 hours ago
Jerold O’Brien has posted a review of the Ortofon MC Vivo phono cartridge ($399) at TONEAudio. His conclusions: “Extension at both ends of the spectrum is better than one might expect from a... Visit the Ultra High-End Audio and...
Jerold O’Brien has posted a review of the Ortofon MC Vivo phono cartridge ($399) at TONEAudio. His conclusions: “Extension at both ends of the spectrum is better than one might expect from a... Visit the Ultra High-End Audio and Home Theater Review for more...
about 5 hours ago
Looking at speakers at high-end audio shows often gives one the impression that audiophile speakers are designed to exclusively appeal to audiophiles. I’m a card-carrying audiophile, so sure, I think 73-inch tall, 600+-pound Wilson...
Looking at speakers at high-end audio shows often gives one the impression that audiophile speakers are designed to exclusively appeal to audiophiles. I’m a card-carrying audiophile, so sure, I think 73-inch tall, 600+-pound Wilson Alexandria X2 Series 2 speakers in “Fly Yellow” are drop-dead gorgeous. But the average dentist, business executive, or banker would probably think they’re monstrosities. Meaning that, even if they could afford to buy a pair, they wouldn’t consider living with them. Few “civilians” subscribe to high-end speakerdom’s form-follows-function aesthetic. Which is why I smiled when I spotted the Davone Ray speakers at last year’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. On stands, the speakers didn’t come up to my waist, and their curvy styling, inspired by the iconic Charles Eames chair, stopped me in my tracks. Since the Danish-made Ray stands out in the overcrowded world of rectangular box speakers, I’m guessing non-audiophiles might be intrigued. Moreover, the sound did not disappoint. MA Recordings’ Todd Garfinkel used a pair to demo his music, and I was totally smitten. The Rays projected a deep and wide soundstage, and the bass was more potent than I’d have expected from such a modestly sized speaker. I returned to listen again and again, so I was curious about how the sound would hold up at home. Unique Design Coming in at just 28.5″ high mounted on its stand, the Ray is small in stature. Granted, its modern styling won’t be a great fit with all decors, but its spouse-acceptance factor should be well above that of most full-range audiophile speakers. The Ray sports a black cloth grille mounted on a plywood frame—something you won’t find on many speakers. Remove the grille, and you’ll see the front baffle is covered with nicely finished real black leather (the rear panel is leather-clad, too). I asked company founder and aeronautical engineer Paul Schenkel about why he opted for genuine leather. He said he prefers natural materials—not for sonic reasons, but for the quality they impart. The Ray boasts just one (coaxial) driver, and it’s unique to this design. The driver incorporates a 1″ Illuminator silk-dome tweeter that sits in the center of an 8″ Volt woofer. No wonder the Ray produces a more coherent soundstage than speakers with a row of drivers arrayed over their front baffles. I’m sure other high-end speakers utilize a single coaxial driver, but the only one that immediately comes to mind is the Thiel SCS4. I remember being knocked out by the SCS4′s precise imaging, but the Ray is a more full-range design. The powdercoat-black-finished solid-steel stands are also works of art. Their curves perfectly complement the speakers, and while I first thought the stands looked too spindly to securely support the Davone, there’s almost no give when I nudge the speaker with my finger. The Ray’s curved, walnut-veneered, sixteen-ply beechwood cabinet is fitted with medium-density fiberboard front and rear baffles. Impedance is listed at 7.5 ohms, yet it gets down to 4.1 ohms at 20kHz. A Cardas speaker-wire clamp accepts spades, bare wire, and, in a pinch, banana plugs. The backside also sports a large bass port, so don’t even think of placing the Ray near a wall. This speaker needs room to breathe. The Joys of Cooking The Ray’s even-tempered balance is its prime virtue, but its big-as-life imaging is what kept me grabbing records. Older 1960s recordings, like the live Modern Jazz Quartet works with Jimmy Giuffre, sound wide-open. There’s a lot of “leakage” between mics on these albums, so when you play speakers as time-coherent as the Rays, you feel like you’re in a huge sound space. The solidity/presence of Guiffre’s clarinet, as well as that of the drums, bass, and piano, is nothing less than thrilling. The Rays more completely conjure the recording ven
121 1 day ago