Articles

Iron Maiden - Senjutsu

Never before have Iron Maiden fans had to wait so long for a new release from their favorite band. A lot has changed in the world during the six years that have passed since the release of "The Book Of Souls", so one could quietly hope for changes in the Englishmen's work as well. And since the release of the "Brave New World" over two decades ago, they give malcontents a lot of reasons to complain - mainly because the band still plays the same stuff. And even though I'm a fan of Iron Maiden's music, I have to admit there's some validity to that.

How to connect a computer to a stereo system

Ten years ago, listening to music from the computer was regarded in the audiophile circle as cheap entertainment designed for people not interested in the quality of sound and audio equipment. That way of thinking was popular for a reason. Firstly, the quality of the files. When the high-speed internet was not widespread, music was only available in highly compressed MP3 files. Data transmission speed wasn't the only problem. If someone decided to purchase one of the first portable MP3 players, they probably wouldn't have had more than 32 or 64 MB of space. Secondly, hardly anyone used something more serious than plastic speakers for $10. Using the computer as a signal source was regarded as a perversion. Thirdly, having the audio files meant that they were illegally downloaded from the network, which is obviously unethical.

Agnes Obel - Aventine

Agnes Obel is a Danish artist currently living in Berlin. In 2010 she presented the first album called "Philharmonics". The title was a bit of a surprise because this music has absolutely nothing in common with a symphony orchestra. Agnes independently wrote the songs and played instrumental parts in them. She also sang, recorded, and produced all the material. Those were extremely intimate compositions with an absolutely minimal number of instruments.

Sony CDP-101

Even the longest journey has to begin with the first step. For Sony, one of these steps was to release the CDP-101 player, which launched the adventures of the Compact Disc format. So this is genesis - the first audiophile CD player. The device was released in 1982 and followed by the first compact album - reissued "52nd Street" by Billy Joel. Sony was ahead of their partner in creating the CD format because Philips unveiled its first player a month later (it was the CD-100). This player was based on a CX-20017 16-bit D/A converter made by Sony (like most of the electronics used for the construction of this machine) and the KSS-100A laser module. These days the CDP-101 was one of the most advanced devices for general commercial use with 34 chips onboard.

Pylo - The Woman

The melancholic mood of the rain outside the window is probably the best time to listen to rock music in British style. So I put on the second EP of a young, five-piece guitar band named Pylo from the picturesque city of Bath into my CD player. The first mini-album, "Bellavue", meant that their music was compared to the works of legends such as Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, and The Verve. This statement kindles the appetite for a journey through the nooks and crannies of contemporary guitar music.

A visit to Audiothlon

For most people, an amplifier or speaker is an object like everything else, but for music lovers they mean a whole lot more. What's important is not only how audio equipment looks or sounds, but also who designed it, how and where it's made, what is the philosophy behind it. The name Audiothlon may not say much to most audiophiles, but some will surely know Equilibrium and Enerr. These are the two brands owned by Audiothlon, much like Audiolab and Luxman are owned by IAG. Equilibrium makes hi-end speakers and a variety of cables, and Enerr's specialty is everything related to power - distributors, conditioners and of course power cables. They are all made in the same factory located in Zielona Góra in Poland. Since we were the first journalists licensed to get inside with our cameras, we took quite a lot of pictures and tried to get the best understanding of how all these products are made.

Audio Video Show 2015

Audio Video Show in Warsaw is the second biggest hi-fi show in Europe, and this year it just got bigger. Some say it's not much smaller than High End in Munich now and we are not surprised. The event was able to grow so much thanks to the new venue. In recent years the show was held in three hotels in Warsaw, but even four or five hotels wouldn't provide the necessary room for 135 exhibitors and more than 10,000 visitors we had this year, so the organizer of the show replaced one of the hotels with... The Polish National Stadium. Not the football pitch of course, but rather 60 VIP rooms and many, many stands located on the corridors. For the first time in history, the Audio Video Show included a special headphone zone with more than 50 brands showing their products and allowing visitors to listen to every one of them, much like the CanJam, but to us - even more interesting.

High End 2014

The largest exhibition of audio equipment in Europe is behind us so we are getting back to normal operation. Before this happens, we wrote a small summary of the whole event. The form of our reports is forced by the size of the exhibition. Even before exploring the MOC halls we came to the conclusion that it's impossible to see it all, but we tried nevertheless. We could of course focus on ten, twenty or thirty rooms with the most anticipated new stuff or just the most expensive equipment, but what kind of report would it be, if you have hundreds or thousands of companies and you only pick a few dozens? So we hope that our gallery at least allows you to catch the climate of High End and see some interesting devices. For now all the photos have been posted, also on our profile on Instagram. If you are interested in our impressions of the exhibition, if you were out there somewhere or you want to go to Munich next year, we hope it would be an interesting lecture.

IFA 2013

The next edition of one of the biggest events in the electronics industry has been launched. IFA is the largest exhibition of consumer electronics in Europe and probably one of the two or three events of this scale in the world. The huge complex of Messe Berlin has been occupied by hundreds of companies producing almost everything, starting from accessories for mobile phones, and ending on giant TV's, refrigerators and complete home theater systems. Berlin turns into one big electronics store, but there are no sales because everything is fresh and new.