Added to that $926.95 System: A $289 Turntable and $359.94 Worth of Speaker Footers?

In this month’s photos of the system I wrote about last month in “A Feature-Rich, Fully Modern Hi-Fi System You Can Begin, Live, and Grow With -- for $926.95,” keen-eyed readers will notice two additions: a turntable, and footers for the speakers. The turntable shouldn’t be a surprise -- I mentioned last month that I was thinking about adding one -- but as you’ll read below, for this system update the turntable and footers go hand in hand.

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A Feature-Rich, Fully Modern Hi-Fi System You Can Begin, Live, and Grow With -- for $926.95

In the last few years I’ve reviewed some very expensive hi-fi gear (all prices in USD): Constellation Audio’s Revelation Taurus Mono amps ($40,000/pair) and Revelation Pictor preamplifier with optional DC filter ($23,000); EMM Labs’ DA2 Reference digital-to-analog converter ($25,000); Muraudio’s SP1 speakers ($14,700/pair) -- and, still to come EMM Labs’ Pre preamplifier ($25,000) and MTRX2 monoblock ($85,000/pair).

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"SoundStage! Hi-Fi" Inducted into EISA

If you’re reading this article before August 15, you won’t see a new menu option on this site that says “EISA.” But on or after August 15, it will be there -- you’ll be able to click it and see submenu items, including one for the EISA 2018-2019 product-award winners, as well as another for an EISA-related video that we produced. But even if you’re reading this before August 15, at the top you’ll see EISA’s logo alongside our SoundStage! Hi-Fi logo, as well as elsewhere on our site.

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The Best of High End 2018 -- €10,000 and Up

Last month, I wrote about the best products at High End 2018, in Munich, priced under €10,000. This month I share my picks for the best products from High End 2018 priced at €10,000 or higher. (All prices in euros or USD.)

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The Best of Munich's High End 2018 -- Under €10,000

Exploring High End 2018 throughout all four days of the show (May 10-13) with five other SoundStage! Network reporters -- the biggest team we’ve ever sent to Munich, Germany, where the show is held each year -- I could have sworn that the 2018 edition was High End’s biggest show yet, based on the many new products introduced. But on May 23, when the High End Society released the statistics for HE2018, there were some surprises: totals of 530 exhibitors and 19,899 visitors, which respectively represent drops of 2% and 7% from HE2017. It reminded me that perception and reality don’t always coincide.

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Muraudio's SP1 Loudspeaker -- Way Outside the Box Again

How Muraudio’s new SP1 loudspeaker ($14,700 USD per pair) came to be is probably best summarized by the old adage “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The SP1 was one of the five products I wrote about last month, in “The Best of Montreal Audio Fest 2018.” However, the interesting commercial and technical stories behind it deserve more than the few words I gave it in that editorial, especially when those stories are about a brand I thought wouldn’t last more than a couple of years.

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The Best of Montreal Audio Fest 2018

From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, Montreal’s annual Salon Son & Image (SSI) was my favorite hi-fi show. There were always plenty of exhibitors and thousands of visitors -- a combination that made the event bristle with excitement. Nor did it hurt that Montreal is a great place to visit. I loved going there each spring.

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McIntosh Laboratory XRT2.1K and Sonus Faber Aida -- Two Flagship Tower Speakers Introduced in Two Days

With well-known audiophile brands Sonus Faber, Audio Research, and McIntosh Laboratory -- all now owned by the McIntosh Group -- all on display at a luxe SoHo townhouse converted to a showroom and renamed World of McIntosh (WOM), you’d be forgiven for thinking that all of those companies’ products are made in the same factory. But Sonus Faber is based in Vicenza, Italy; Audio Research in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and McIntosh in Binghamton, New York.

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Unexpected -- The Best of CES 2018

I didn’t think I’d be writing anything at all about the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas January 9-12. After all, toward the end of my report on last year’s show, “The Best of the Worst CES in Decades: 2017,” published in this space last February, I wrote: “[W]e’ve decided that, unless something changes, we won’t be there [next year], because we feel there’s little value for us or our readers.” What changed?

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The 2017 Products of the Year -- One-Sentence Summaries

It’s time to announce the SoundStage! Network’s Products of the Year -- the best of the best products we reviewed in 2017. To be considered for a POTY award, a product must have been reviewed on one or more of our five main editorial sites -- SoundStage! Access, SoundStage! Hi-Fi, SoundStage! Simplifi, SoundStage! Ultra, SoundStage! Xperience -- and have received a Reviewers’ Choice award. Those products that qualify then went to our selection panel of five of our senior staff, who chose the winners based on the contents of those reviews.

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