Displaying items by tag: hiend - StereoLife Magazine

Audio Physic Cardeas 30 LJE

I guess that each of us likes making oneself a gift. Some people do it at the first opportunity, others wait for specific achievement - a promotion at work, running a marathon, passing an exam or losing weight. A new watch, family trip or just a day for small pleasures may be the prize. But can you imagine what gift would you make if your very successful company celebrated its 30th anniversary? For sure, it would be something special. Such an extraordinary occasion has been celebrated recently by Audio Physic. Did the crew open a bottle of good champagne or at least go for a beer and a schnitzel at the local tavern? I guess so, but first of all, they have done one more gift for both themselves and the loyal fans of the brand - a limited edition of their best speakers.

Manfred Diestertich & Dieter Kratochwil - Audio Physic

Audio Physic is one of those companies driven by consequence, consistency and obstinacy. It's not the world's biggest loudspeaker manufacturer, but every audiophile must have heard of it at some point. German speakers are often treated as a reference in terms of resolution, dynamics and soundstage, and not without reason. No loss of fine detail - the company's slogan - can be found not only on the front of every Audio Physic speaker, but also in its sound. Not long ago almost every model in the catalog was upgraded to "25" version to celebrate company's 25th anniversary. Another five years flew by and to honor these three decades of chasing perfection, the designers gave us something really special - Cardeas 30 Limited Jubilee Edition - which might actually be as perfect as it looks. Majestic floorstanders are limited to just 30 sets, and the first one just arrived at our listening studio. But first, we got a chance to meet its makers - Manfred Diestertich and Dieter Kratochwil.

Ray Kimber - Kimber Kable

Audiophile cable market may seem very complicated at first glance - hundreds of brands and products, and the only thing that seems to be connecting them all is the general purpose. However, among new companies and those whose products are now fashionable for some reason, there is a number of manufacturers who have their permanent place at the table. Audioquest, Nordost, Monster Cable, Cardas Audio, Van den Hul or Kimber Kable have largely created this market and continue to shape it to the greatest extent. In most cases, the whole philosophy of the company is linked with their founder, and therefore we were extremely happy to meet one of the legends of the cable world - Ray Kimber.

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.

Yamaha NS-5000

Next summer Yamaha is brining the next generation of NS-5000 loudspeakers. Yamaha has explored in the past few years various possibilities for implementation of new technologies and materials, that would make a key elements in the making of the next generation of the speakers. Primal goal was the natural sound that inherits all the best attributes from the legendary NS-30 and NS-20 speakers released back in the 1968. Yamaha wants to bring a balanced sound across the entire bandwidth and overwhelming low distortion. Photos by Yamaha.

Sennheiser HD 630VB

Sennheiser's world of headphones is actually 70 years of chasing the white rabbit. The story of headsets bearing this logo - the name of the brand's founder - started for good in 1968, when the world's first open-back headphones, HD 414, revolutionized the market. By the end of 1969, over a hundred thousand pairs of them were sold, and more than ten million unto this day. The introduction of unipolar electrostatic headphones in 1977 was the next milestone for the German engineers. I am speaking about the 2000 model, which in some ways was the ancestor of one of the best headsets in the world - the Orpheus HE 90/HEV 90 electrostatic headphones, presented in 1991. As regards the equipment for home and personal use, the company has focused on designer Momentum series and lifestyle Urbanite headphones, introducing new wireless and in-ear products from time to time.

Naim Statement

In a couple of days we will have an opportunity to listen to Naim Statement amplifier in a controlled environment - during a special weekend show in Wrocław, Poland. Of course the Statement has been presented to the audience at many big hi-fi shows all over the world, and thanks to Doug Graham and Jason Gould from Naim Audio we had a chance to listen to it during the last High End show in Munich, but to be left alone with it for a couple of hours - that should be quite something!

Equilibrium Ether Ceramique

Audiophiles rarely agree with one another. They even divide their community into various groups that are sometimes incomprehensible even to their members. The same kind of sound can be a true discovery for some people and a complete failure to others. Examples of such situations can be multiplied indefinitely. Therefore we found it quite strange and unique that everyone seemed to speak one voice about one of last year's exhibition at Audio Show in Warsaw. Especially remarkable that show's visitors emphasized the sonic excellence of loudspeakers made by so little known manufacturer from Poland. The name of the main company is Audiothlon but it has two brands under its wings. Historically the first one was Enerr, making power cables, conditioners and accessories. The second brand is Equilibrium making speaker and interconnect cables, and whole loudspeakers. While the cables are fairly well known and have been reviewed a couple of times, speakers evolved rather quickly. We couldn't wait to see them in the final form. The Ether Ceramique is the pinnacle among the speakers designed to fit normal and smaller listening rooms.

AudioQuest NightHawk

New headphones by AudioQuest use earcups made from a revolutionary new material known as Liquid Wood - actual wood that has been combined with reclaimed plant fiber, heated, liquefied, and processed in such a way that it can be injection molded. NightHawk is also the first completely original production headphone to use a 3D-printed part - a biomimetic grille that uses a complex diamond-cubic latticework to diffuse sound and defeat resonances. More info is coming soon. Photo by AudioQuest.

Auris Audio Adagio 300B

Some time ago we were contacted by the Auris Audio company, after we saw their products at this year's High End show in Munich. These unknown tube amplifiers from Serbia accompanied by small Boenicke Audio showed such an addictive sound, that we were very enthusiastic about having a chance to listen to these devices more closely. It was unusual situation and the surprise is all the greater, because this fresh company presented several other products - preamplifiers, integrated amplifiers, power amplifiers and even a couple of DACs and headphone amplifiers. We could have expected that at least dozens of distributors will be willing to promote this brand in their countries. Indeed Auris Audio aroused so much interest that we had to wait a few months for the first amplifier for the review.