Audiophilia Eye Candy

by admin on November 12, 2012 · 26 comments

in Audiophilia Eye Candy

November 19 update

The TechDAS Air Force ONE Turntable. I snagged this image off my Facebook feed, specifically from hp’s new website HPSoundings (worth your time and subscription).

Imported from Japan by Graham Engineering (who is providing the arm), this air vacuum system is ‘…made out of pure aluminum and the material used for the middle chassis is super duralumin. The manual claims that this strong material was chosen to help eliminate unnecessary oscillation. A specifically designed glass surface is located directly below the platter. Graham brought a custom machined Harmonic Resolution Systems (M3X) isolation base to support the turntable. A flat, non-flexible (4mm-wide flat) polyurethane fiber belt is used with the platter.’

No price as yet. But…


Aug 9 update

I dropped by a local audio store the other day and spied these stunning beauties from Canadian manufacturer, RJH Audio (please excuse my iPhone photo — it does not do the speaker justice). This is their top model, the Reference One. They were not hooked up as they had just been delivered, but if they sound as good as they look? And, at a relatively reasonable $7000, they look like a super bargain. I’ll report back when I get a listen next week. They will also be showing at the upcoming Toronto Audio Show (TAVES).

The Reference One features Alnico magnets, no crossover and is 95dB efficient. Lots more information at RJH Audio’s website.

July 30 update

I was invited by Zesto Audio to drop by their room at the upcoming California Audio Show (another new and very welcome show). Unfortunately, we are unable to attend this year, but the idea of spending time in San Francisco for any reason is very alluring. It’s a show for our To Do list.

The Zesto email included some images of their gorgeous tube gear. I thought they were worthy of inclusion in our Audiophilia Eye Candy recurring post.

Above is the Leto Preamp. The Andros Phonostage follows the same beautiful form. I’ll be dropping by our local distributor to snag a review copy of both. Stay tuned. In the mean time, visit them at the CA show or Zesto’s website.

May 1 update

Some Danish loveliness in the form of a CD player and DAC. The Gato Audio CDD-1 - CD-player ⁄ DAC. Gato Audio describes it — At Gato Audio we are very pleased to announce the long awaited and very versatile CDD-1 CD player and D/A converter. It has now been delivered to our distributors and their dealers whom are ready to demonstrate its superior sound quality and stunning beauty.

Developing CD players and D/A converters is almost an art form, it takes loads of time and huge amount of patience to master the delicate mix of digital and analogue signal circuits. In the heart of the CDD-1 you will find the Philips CDpro2 mechanism, mounted in 1kg of machined aluminum suspended in a tripod of Sorbothane viscolastic material. A special clamp/lid solution secures and stabilizes the CD while spinning – all in the name of eliminating mechanical resonances.

The asynchronous USB and a coaxial S/PDIF digital inputs, able to accept up to 24bits/192kHz – ensures a extremely versatile use of the CDD-1. High definition music from digital streaming devices, computers or even directly from an iPad, will benefit from the ultra detailed D/A converter and analogue section of the CDD-1.

An ultra low jitter clock signal feeds the sample rate converter and the dual mono, dual differential coupled Burr brown PCM1794 DACs. Carefully selected I/V converters and analogue output stage – both optimized in hundreds of hours of listening and adjusting – ensures a clean, musical and spotless reproduction of the delicate signals.


Feb 27 update

An audiophile friend from Barcelona loves the coloured vinyl and his Clearaudio rig. Love his photographs. He has great taste in vinyl, analogue and wine. Trifecta!

From Good Things in Life blog.

Dec 11 update

Crayon Audio’s stunning CMA mono block power amplifiers. Not much about the sound, but these German beauties look so good.


Dec 1 update

The Mansberg ‘Sinus’ is a unique floor standing loudspeaker that combines a graceful appearance with high quality drivers. It is a four-way, five-driver speaker system, incorporating a 10″ woofer and dual 7″ mineral filled polypropylene cone midrange drivers in a sub-enclosure. The made-in-Holland Sinus is clearly a high-end loudspeaker - and looks like one.

What sets the Sinus apart is the philosophy of avoiding parallel surfaces while paying meticulous attention to cabinet design and construction. This design minimizes unwanted internal vibrations. Two of the units are sunken deep into the front of the cabinet, which not only looks striking, but also positions the drivers at precise angles for optimum imaging, both on- and off-axis. Due to the precise time alignment, low-level ambient cues integrate perfectly with primary sound staging. Superior components and meticulous configuration result in high frequencies which are detailed but not exhaustive, and a smooth life-like midrange.


September 24 update

Antelope Audio. ‘Zodiac Gold is an advanced digital audio converter engineered to deliver pristine audio with keenly articulated pitch and a spectacular soundstage. This unique sound is based on Antelope’s 64-bit clocking technology used by the world’s top audio engineers. A custom designed USB controller chip streams digital audio at 480 Mbits, supporting sample rates up to 384 kHz with native drivers. As a preamp, the device allows up to 8 input sources with auto-detection of active channels with ease and flexibility to connect to virtually any device. A dual-stage headphone driver architecture unveils every sonic detail, while the relay based volume control assures superb stereo imaging at any listening level. For enhanced user experience your Zodiac comes with aluminum remote control and friendly PC/Mac software panel.’


September 22 update

The Hungarian Bodor Audio Plus is debuting at the London Design Festival with a high-end product family. The complete system consists of a CD player, a power, a pre and an integrated amplifier and speakers. The system named “Presence” offers a unique musical experience which also includes a personalized service package.

The speakers look intriguing. I wonder how they sound?


August 2 update

I receive many press releases each week. A recent submission by Robert Koda led me to his website and the electronic home of some stunning amplifiers and preamplifiers. The photo above is the Takumi K-70. Robert Koda continues: ‘Contained in a triple chassis format, the K-70 is our flagship model and our vision of the ultimate amplifier. Incorporating vacuum tubes and transistors, this unit shares no similarity sonically or electrically to either technology. Instead, the K-70 reaches into the ether and delivers a sweeping sound of universal beauty and unbounded complexity.’

Robert, we hope you have a Canadian distributor. We’d love a review copy.

June 6 update

Simaudio’s Moon 750D 30th Anniversary CD Player and 600i 30th Anniversary Moon Integrated Amplifier.

I have observed with Canadian pride the rise and continued pursuit of excellence of Simaudio (photo credit) over the past 30 years. A real audio success story. Not only do Simaudio’s ‘Moon’ products sound spectacular, they look amazing, too.


May 21 update

Two of my favourite high end products, NuForce [an Audiophilia advertiser] and Amphion Loudspeakers from Finland, have joined forces at the 2011 Munich High End Audio Show.

From the NuForce Press Release: Look for NuForce at the High End 2011 show in Munich, Germany, May 19th to the 22nd. In addition to our electronic products partnered with Amphion speakers, we are previewing the Icon iDO and P-18 preamp.

The Icon iDO extracts audio data in its original digital form in USB Host Mode from iPod/iPad/iPhone, thereby allowing for the ultimate in bit-perfect, low-jitter music file playback. The iDO offers three outputs: analog RCA, coaxial digital, and 3.5mm headphones-out. The estimated list price will be between $249 and $299, with an anticipated shipping date around mid-July.

Housed in one 17″ chassis, the low-noise, high-performance Nuforce P-18 preamplifier improves upon the P-9 preamp with ultra low THD+N (<0.0004%), switch resistor network volume control, and independent gain settings for each input. The P-18’s estimated list price will be about $4800, with availability around the end of June.

May 3 update

From Good Things in Life Blog.

Spinning Elastica’s ‘Stutter’, 1994 US 10” Limited Edition Gold vinyl EP, on my trusty Clearaudio, using Grado Prestige Gold cartridge. A very golden affair!

March 30 update

Saw this gem on Atane Ofiaja’s Tumblr blog (@atane on Twitter). Made in Warwick, NY. And looking gorgeous. Might try to drop by this summer and have a listen. Rogers EHF-100 Amplifier. Audiophile quality. Half the price. Lifetime, transferrable warranty. iPod compatible.

March 13 update

We are putting the finishing touches to the review of the Focal - JM Lab Grande Utopia EM. One of the world’s most expensive speakers. Yours for 180K. Watch this space.

March 5 update

Swedish designer Jonas Eriksson has created the 76 Synthesizer iPad app. Certainly not high end audio, but very sexy nonetheless. I wonder what the future holds for high end audio and the Apple ecosystem?

Feb 27 update

‘The minimalist eye of Danish architecture and furniture design has been on inspiration for the design of the Rithm. By uniquely marrying the acoustic technology with a minimalist design, the Rithm can hardly be recognized as a loudspeaker.’ Not sure that’s a good thing, but looks good. More photos of this beautiful speaker if you click on ‘click to continue’.

Photo credit

Feb 26 update

Braun CE251. 1970s FM Tuner goodness. So beautiful.

Feb 2 update

Our reader Ivan wanted Valves (Brit speak for tubes). You got it, Ivan. A shot taken by our own Rick Nickel of some serious corona on the tubes on my Audio Research amplifier. If you click on the photo, you’ll see some detail. Rick has real skill and a superb camera.

To begin, a lovely shot of some Denon headphones. Makes me almost want to buy expensive headphones.

photo credit

{ 2 trackbacks }

Reviews / Testimonials | Rogers EHF-100 Amplifier
04.12.11 at 9:30 am
In the Trenches: Wes Bender Studio NYC — Audiophilia
08.25.12 at 12:30 pm

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

vclements 02.01.11 at 7:49 am

Great image…but you can see the photographer in the reflection.

admin 02.01.11 at 8:37 am

He’s a PS free shop, I guess. I love the shot, though.

Cheers, a

Ivan Lee 02.02.11 at 12:55 am

Show me valves (tubes)!

admin 02.02.11 at 7:09 am

Your wish is our command, Ivan.

Cheers, a

Andy Fawcett 02.03.11 at 4:12 am

Based on the colour of those tubes, I’d say they’re way out of bias and predict a catastrophic failure sometime in the next week. ;-p

admin 02.03.11 at 10:02 am


Actually, when one does let go, it’s a hell of a bang. Like a shotgun going off.

The tubes were biased by my German Setup Man, Rick Nickel, author of the photograph! LOL

Rick does our photography, changes my light fixtures and tunes up the BMW. He’s invaluable to me! ;)

A little help from PhotoShop intensified the corona.

Ivan Lee 02.03.11 at 5:31 pm

More Valves (aka Tubes)!!! More Audiophile porn!

marvin fox 02.03.11 at 5:54 pm

Nice photo of tubes shimmering.Brings back memories when I had my CJ MV-125 amplifier and watching the tubes glow in the dark bringing a warm feeling to me especially in the cold winter as the tubes heated up the room.

Matt 02.05.11 at 10:01 am

Nice valves. The closest I’ll ever get to something like that is if I buy a Nixie Tube clock :-)

When do we get to see the Fab Audio Model 1’s?

Mark 02.06.11 at 3:36 pm

What are the make and model # of the Headphone amp AND the Denon headphones?

They look fantastic!


admin 02.06.11 at 3:46 pm

Hi Mark.


Andy Fawcett 02.26.11 at 10:30 pm

Can’t say I share your enthusiasm for the Braun … I keep expecting toast to pop out of it. ;-)

admin 02.27.11 at 6:33 am


I love the clean, Bauhuas lines. Beyond the Oz sensibility, possibly?

Definitely, my kind of toaster. :)

Marvin fox 02.27.11 at 6:40 pm

Show a nice McIntosh MR78 Tuner glowing in the dark.Or a MC2105 Amp with the meters and the blue showing in the dark. Great photos.

@munishp 02.28.11 at 3:28 pm

Can anyone tell me which Dennons they are and what they are connected too?

Brian hiatt 03.05.11 at 12:54 pm

Headphones are hooked up to a Mac specific apogee audio interface called th “duet” I have this and love it. Not sure it’s really audiophile grade but it is pro audio grade.

vclements 03.06.11 at 6:45 pm

76 Synthesizer iPad app:
Not a great image, but wow that app indeed looks cool and certainly does raise curiosity as to what the future holds for quality audio via portable devices.

John 04.01.11 at 4:19 am

Sorry I am an Apple fan but what the heck does an Ipod have to do with audiophile gear?

Ed 04.07.11 at 1:49 am

That’s no iPod; that’s an Apogee Duet.
I like the Braun tuner & would like to see more pics of their equipment.

nunhgrader 07.25.11 at 8:54 pm

I absolutely love the tuner - wonderful pics here - thanks!

Narcis 05.02.12 at 1:35 pm

LOL!!! Yes, Anthony; trifecto!!! Nice to see you liked that picture. Cheers mate!

MARTIN APPEL 07.31.12 at 4:05 pm

I’ll have an opportunity to hear the ZESTO LINESTAGE and PHONOSTAGE at Wes Bender Studio/NYC next week. He’s quite excited about these pieces and I’m looking forward to the session. I’ll keep you informed.

admin 08.09.12 at 10:18 am

Good stuff. You’re so excited about them, you’re ’shouting’ their names ;)

rorie 08.09.12 at 11:31 am

iphone or not, it is a great shot!

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