MartinLogan Masterpiece Classic ESL 9 Loudspeakers $6495 – Review

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” The ML could also dig deeper than the KEF. The very deepest bass in “Rock You Gently,” from the Warnes disc, was definitely less pronounced through the KEFs, making its sound seem a bit lightweight in comparison — it was missing the song’s subsonic foundation. The KEF’s lack of subterranean bass on this track tended to make Warnes’s voice more prominent in the mix — which was not a bad thing, as even the MLs couldn’t match the KEF’s ultrasmooth, ultrarefined midrange. In songs that have plenty of good but not superdeep acoustic bass, such as Adam Cohen’s “Love Is,” it was harder to tell the difference between the two speakers — but I still give the nod to the Classic ESL 9, which sounded slightly faster and tighter.”

Samsung Galaxy S8 Streaming Service

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“Owners of either new Samsung phone will also get access to special Samsung-only features, including the ability to upload and stream up to 100,000 of your own tunes to Google Play Music free of charge. That’s twice as much as regular Google Play Music customers get.”

UE 18+ Pro $1500 Review

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“While the UERM presented a mild U-shaped imposition on its midrange frequencies, the UE 18+ Pro brings the mids more to the forefront. However, the UERR is perhaps the most forward sounding and intimate of these three Ultimate Ears Pro monitors. While not the largest of soundstages, my preference leans towards the UE 18+ Pro’s rendering of midrange frequencies which sound natural and immersive. Mids are full-bodied which is something often lacking in balanced armature earphones”

Mark Levinson No.526 preamplifier $20,000 Review

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“The Mark Levinson No.526 costs more than 15 of the 21 preamplifiers listed in Class A of the current edition of Stereophile’s “Recommended Components.” Yet most of those are line-stage preamplifiers only—and many would see their prices raised above that of the No.526 if equipped with phono stages and DACs of commensurate value (in some cases, the manufacturer’s own onboard options). On the other hand, those who buy a pure line-stage preamp can then mix and match separate DACs and phono stages, based on their budgets and what sounds best in their system. ”

2017 Editors’ Choice: Power Amplifiers $1,000 – $3,000


“Basic solid-state power amplifiers are not, due to their essential nature (boxes with parts inside), sexy objects that inspire a lot of audiophile lust. The STA200 will never be accused of looking sexy or especially stylish unless you’re into stark minimalism. But if sound quality and solid-state reliability are your primary purchasing criteria, the STA200 should be on your radar. You may not be blown away by the STA200’s looks, but its sound turns it into one sexy beast.”

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