Bryston Middle T Active Loudspeaker System

Around five years ago, established Canadian electronics manufacturer Bryston began making loudspeakers. This began as a pet project of James Tanner, VP of Sales and Marketing, who wanted a reference speaker for his own use. To achieve the level of performance he desired, the speaker developed was a fully active design. The performance of that speaker was so good that Bryston decided to bring it to market. However, because of the complexity and added cost of active speakers, they decided to first offer it as a passive model. Now that Bryston has been producing their full range of loudspeakers for a while, they’ve introduced fully active versions of their top models, the T series.

Read more ...

Totem Acoustic Sky Tower Loudspeakers

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

Vince Bruzzese founded Totem Acoustic in 1987, in Montreal, Quebec. Last year, to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary, Totem released the Signature One, successor to Totem’s very first speaker, the Model One. Jason Thorpe reviewed the Signature One on this site in April 2018.

Read more ...

Studio Electric M4 Loudspeakers

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

Although Studio Electric LLC was established in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2006, founder David MacPherson can trace his career as a speaker designer back 20 years before that. In 1985, he began making speakers for the professional market under the brand name MacPherson, Inc., which he remained involved with until 2005.

Read more ...

Hegel Music Systems H590 Integrated Amplifier-DAC

Note: Measurements can be found through this link.

Reviewers' ChoiceMy relationship with Hegel Music Systems has now spanned six years -- almost all of my admittedly brief reviewing career. While the Norwegian company has been around since 1997, its dramatic uptick in popularity seems to have coincided with my own introduction to the brand in 2012, through their H300 integrated amplifier-DAC ($5500 USD, discontinued). Integrated amplifiers with built-in digital-to-analog converters are now commonplace, but it’s fair to say that in 2012 Hegel was one of the first to make one. At the time, $5500 was no more chump change than it is now -- but cramming a top-shelf DAC, a high-quality preamp, and a 250Wpc (into 8 ohms) amplifier into a minimalist box of standard size (17”W x 4.7”H x 15”D) and including a nice, all-metal remote control was genuinely good value -- so much value that I bought one for myself.

Read more ...

Pro-Ject Audio Systems Classic SB Turntable

Pro-Ject Audio Systems, of Vienna, Austria, makes a turntable model for everyone. Their lower-priced models range from the Essential ($299 USD) through the Debut Carbon ($449, the model I bought) to the Esprit ($599) and beyond. The features and bundles vary -- claimed improvements in motors, platters, and cartridges account for the rises in price. Visually, however, many of Pro-Ject’s turntables look similar, with 8.6” tonearms (though of varying materials), and glossy, rectangular plinths of MDF, the latter sometimes available in colors other than red, black, and white (as in the Debut). Many models come with the same dustcover.

Read more ...

Gryphon Audio Designs Diablo 120 Integrated Amplifier-DAC

Note: Measurements can be found through this link.

Reviewers' ChoiceThe Gryphon. Just say it -- the name rolls regally off the tongue, sounding as mythical as it is. How do you live up to such a name? By producing audio components that look and sound beautiful. Gryphon Audio Designs’ reputation for excellent sound quality had for years been on my radar -- when offered the opportunity to review their Diablo 120 integrated amplifier-DAC ($15,450 USD as reviewed, with DAC option), I couldn’t say no.

Read more ...

T+A Elektroakustik DAC 8 DSD Digital-to-Analog Converter

Herford, a town in the lowlands of northern Germany, is the home of T+A Elektroakustik. T+A -- aka Theory and Application in the Field of Audio Technology -- is an engineering- and science-based, family-owned and -operated business that has been designing and building audio equipment in Germany since 1978, and collaborates with universities and technical schools in the design of powered speakers and digital signal processing (DSP). Other than the music itself, their current product lines include just about everything required for the reproduction of two-channel audio: turntables, media players, disc players, DACs, amplifiers, integrated amplifiers, loudspeakers, interconnects, speaker cables, power cords, and power strips.

Read more ...

Muraudio SP1 Loudspeakers

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

Reviewers' ChoiceMy experiences with Muraudio’s new, unconventional, two-way, stand-mounted hybrid loudspeaker, the SP1, began last March in Montreal, where I saw and heard its debut at the Montreal Audio Fest. (A single hybrid speaker has drivers based on different technologies; in the SP1’s case, electrostatic and dynamic.) We covered the SP1 on SoundStage! Global during the show, and I included it in “The Best of Montreal Audio Fest 2018.” In May, impressed by the innovative ideas that had gone into the SP1’s design, I wrote and published “Muraudio’s SP1 Loudspeaker -- Way Outside the Box Again,” and promised a full review of the speaker in June.

Read more ...

Analysis Plus Silver Apex Speaker Cables and Interconnects

I’ve been using Analysis Plus speaker cables and interconnects in my reference system for many years now, but was a bit shocked when I realized that it had been more than ten years since I’d last reviewed and bought anything from them. In 2007, when I reviewed the newly introduced Black Oval 9 speaker cables and Micro Copper Oval-In interconnects, I noted that Analysis Plus had not substantially revised the designs of any of their cables in the roughly ten years since they’d been introduced. Now, another eleven years later, the bulk of their cable designs remain essentially unchanged. But as I also said in 2007, Analysis Plus has stated that they believe in producing well-built, properly engineered cables whose high quality is “scientifically verifiable” through measurements.

Read more ...

Monitor Audio Silver 200 Loudspeakers

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

Reading SoundStage! Global’s coverage of the High End 2018 audio exhibition, in Munich, Germany, I was amazed and dismayed at how exclusive so much of it is. High End is the biggest event on the audio calendar, where companies, journalists, and consumers congregate each year to discover the industry’s latest and greatest -- but many of the new products introduced at HE2018 retailed for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Read more ...

More Articles ...