As a long-time fan of Ron Sutherland’s superb 20/20 phono preamp ($2200), I was anxious to find out how much Sutherland performance Ron could squeeze out of his most affordable design, the new $895 KC Vibe.
Michael Jude Galvin
In the world of phono preamps, Ron Sutherland needs no introduction. He has consistently produced products that offer tremendous value and performance.
The KEF LS50W (“W” for wireless) is a fully active set of bookshelf speakers based on KEF’s award-winning LS50 compact reference monitors. For an extra $700, the $2199 LS50W looks to add a ton of value and performance, including dual-mono bi-amplification, wireless streaming, upsampling D/A converters, full DSP controls, a dedicated app, and a remote control.
While turntables have become so ubiquitous that the news of any new model is pretty much white noise, it’s time to pay attention. Starting with a price around $1600, the GEM Dandy PolyTable is George Merrill’s gauntlet and it’s nothing short of superb.
The “GEM” in GEM Dandy is none other than analog guru George E. Merrill who has been a fixture in the hi-fi business since the early 1970s. During that time, in addition to operating his hi-fi retail operation in Memphis, he has designed, modified...
“Tryin’ to make it real—compared to what?” - Gene Daniels
The Audience ClairAudient 1+1 Personal Reference Speakers are small-footprint monitors, designed for small rooms or desktops where only a reference-caliber loudspeaker will do.
1983. The compact disc is introduced and record companies everywhere rejoice at the prospect of selling everyone worse sounding versions of music they already own. The universe, however, seeks a balance. The same year, Naim unleashes the first Nait integrated amplifier and the product category is never the same. The runtish, low-powered amplifier was controversial on many fronts, but its astonishing degree of musicality was never in dispute. The Naim Supernait 2 integrated amplifier does not deviate from their unique path that began more than three decades ago.
On its website, respected British manufacturer Audiolab proclaims the M-DAC is the follow-up to the 8000 DAC, introduced all the way back in 1992. I have gathered that DACs were quite popular in that era because CD players had not become all that good yet. With the market now awash in quality DACs, I guess it is safe to say we are in a DAC renaissance. Here, we review the Audiolab M-DAC, which, at $899, turns out to be an audio bargain.
NAD launched its first direct digital amplifier, the M2, almost three years ago. As we have come to expect in audio and technology generally, however, it is never long before the state of the art trickles down to more modestly-priced products.