Gear Reviews

The Vera-Fi Vanguard Scout Speakers

The Vera-Fi Vanguard Scout Speakers

$299/pair

Verafiaudiollc.com

Listening to The Knack’s “Africa,” I tried a trick that I’ve seen at more than one hifi show – I hooked this $300 pair of speakers to about $200k worth of gear. Read More >


The Focal Vestia no.1 Speakers

The Focal Vestia no.1 Speakers

After spending an afternoon with staffer Earle’s Focal Sopra 3s, just before firing up their new Vestia no.1 at my place, the level of sonic excellence they bring to a $1,198 pair of speakers seems amazing. Read More >


Teenage Engineering OB-4

Teenage Engineering OB-4

Portable music for those on-the-go

By Rob Johnson

I still remember my first stereo, a 1981 Sony Boom box, which served as a loyal companion from middle school through college. Read More >


Vera-Link: The most fun you can have for $199!

Vera-Link: The most fun you can have for $199!

Some of you may remember Mark Schifter for all the fun products he came up with during his tenure at Audio Alchemy. They made some incredible products that had cutting edge performance, in tiny enclosures, with tiny price tags to match. Read More >


Our System of the Year for 2023

Our System of the Year for 2023

We’ve decided to do something different this year…

How about giving out an award at the beginning of the year and start out on a happy note? Bam. Read More >


The XSA Labs Vanguard - a new paradigm.

The XSA Labs Vanguard – a new paradigm.

In case you’re wondering, XSA stands for “eXtremely Sexy Audio,” and the Vanguard monitors you see here, done up in bamboo are certainly that. Those of you that work with wood on a regular know how hard bamboo is to work with and get it to look right. Read More >


REVIEW: The LSA Signature 80 Speakers

REVIEW: The LSA Signature 80 Speakers

As mentioned in our TONE/Distilled review, the first track played on the LSA Signature 80s is The Art of Noise’s “Moments in Love. Read More >


The LSA VT-70 Integrated Amplifier

The LSA VT-70 Integrated Amplifier

There’s always something special about an EL-34 based tube amp, with a pair of output tubes per channel, and a pretty simple circuit. Read More >


The Penaudio Lumi Speakers

The Penaudio Lumi Speakers

Where so many manufacturers have fallen victim to designing a speaker line around a tweeter first, with each smaller model having progressively less bass as a result, Penaudio’s Sami Penttila does it old school, developing each model to be a unique entity. Read More >


The Naim Mu-So 2

The Naim Mu-So 2

Time flies when you’re having fun, the saying goes, and Naim’s Mu-so is an incredibly fun way to enjoy music.

The initial launch of the Mu-so at the Munich High End Show a few years ago raised the bar – dramatically for what can be called a desktop audio system. Read More >


The Technics OTTAVA-SC-C70MK2

The Technics OTTAVA-SC-C70MK2

Pushing the play button on the new Technics OTTAVA SC-C70MK2, with a MoFi copy of the Superfly soundtrack fills the room with a big, broad soundfield and a solid bass line. Read More >


REVIEW: The Clarus CODA DAC

REVIEW: The Clarus CODA DAC

It’s amazing how much DAC performance is available for $300 these days. Clarus Audio is much better known for their cables and power conditioners, but their first entry into the portable DAC/Headphone amplifier puts them squarely at the head of the class. Read More >


The Audio GE Teddy Speakers

The Audio GE Teddy Speakers

There are some fun speakers in the $1,000 – $2,000 range, and there are a lot more mistakes.

But there are a few true classics, transcending time, offering sonic value that is out of what you think would be possible for this price. Read More >


Leak's Stereo 130 Amplifier and CDT Disk Transport

Leak’s Stereo 130 Amplifier and CDT Disk Transport

With so many old things being new again, what could be more hifi fun than an update on a British classic?

You might mistake the new Stereo 130 for a vacuum tube amplifier from the late 60s or early 70s; it’s actually modeled after the original Leak Stereo 30, which was, in fact, a solid-state amplifier. Read More >


Rotel's CD 11 and A11

Rotel’s CD 11 and A11

Back in the late 1970s and early 80s, Japanese hifi manufacturer Rotel was one of the top value proposition audiophile brands. Read More >


REVIEW: Sonus faber Lumina 1

REVIEW: Sonus faber Lumina 1

Wow, a Sonus faber speaker you can pick up with one hand. Cool.

One of the biggest parts of evaluating high end audio gear, is a lot of lifting. Read More >