• 2019 Golden Ear Awards: Andre Jennings

    2019 Golden Ear Awards: Andre Jennings

    Graham Engineering Phantom III Tonearm $7000–$7900 Since the introduction of the original Phantom B-44, this “stable” uni-pivot tonearm has been an excellent performer with superb build-quality that speaks to its durability and longevity. Through a ...
  • KEF R11 Loudspeaker

    KEF R11 Loudspeaker

    As any hi-fi enthusiast knows, there’s no shortage of attractive loudspeakers out there nowadays. But beauty only goes so far if the sound isn’t up to snuff. Happily the KEF R11, the flagship of the ...
  • 2019 Golden Ear Awards: Jonathan Valin

    2019 Golden Ear Awards: Jonathan Valin

    MBL 101 X-treme Loudspeaker $260,000 In honor of the 101 X-tremes’ tenth anniversary, I invited these new and improved versions of MBL’s 2000-pound, twin-chassis flagship loudspeakers back into my listening room. Comprising two Radialstrahler columns—each ...
  • 2019 Golden Ear Awards: Alan Taffel

    2019 Golden Ear Awards: Alan Taffel

    Lyra Etna Cartridge $8995 Jacob Heilbrunn raved about the SL version of this mc cartridge, but that model’s very low output renders it a specialty product for use only in systems with very-high-gain phonostages. The ...
  • 2019 Golden Ear Awards: Andrew Quint

    2019 Golden Ear Awards: Andrew Quint

    T+A Elektroakustik DAC 8 DSD Digital-to-Analog Converter $4450 Many digital audio experts maintain that it’s just not possible to optimize decoding of both PCM and DSD data streams with a one-lane architecture, even though there ...
  • 2019 Golden Ear Awards: Julie Mullins

    2019 Golden Ear Awards: Julie Mullins

    PS Audio Sprout100 Integrated Amplifier $599 Even when I’m not doing critical listening, I still find myself returning frequently and fondly to the super-sounding and retro-stylish Sprout100 integrated amp, a new and improved version of ...
  • Ortofon MC Century Phono Cartridge

    Ortofon MC Century Phono Cartridge

    In an early February editorial entitled “Vinyl Revival Marks the Tone of Our Times,” the Financial Times observed that “audiophiles claim analogue vinyl sounds better than digital downloads or CDs.” Indeed they do. One of ...
  • 2019 Golden Ear Awards: Neil Gader

    2019 Golden Ear Awards: Neil Gader

    Aesthetix Mimas Integrated Amplifier $7000 The Mimas is, to my way of thinking, an old musical soul, though at a glance you wouldn’t think so. Hip and striking in its clean precision machining and uncluttered ...
  • 2019 Golden Ear Awards: Robert Harley

    2019 Golden Ear Awards: Robert Harley

    Wilson Benesch Eminence Loudspeaker $235,000 The Eminence is a nothing short of a technical tour de force in advanced loudspeaker design. With its in-house-made carbon-fiber enclosure, custom drivers, isobaric woofer loading, innovative tweeter, and no-compromise ...

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