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audioengine a2 vs AVI ADM 9.1

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I'm considering a pretty major upgrade to my current desktop system. I currently have a Valab DAC

and a pair of AudioEngine A2's. The Valab has replaced a Cayin iDAC- way more detail, better dynamics and bass

AND very smooth-everything I read about it is true, a truly exceptional value for 200 bucks. The a2's are also an

exceptional value, but to my ears, at anything but a very low volume they start to sound a bit compressed, not surprising at only 15 watts a side. Now comes the crazy part-I'm thinking about replacing them with a pair

of ADM 9.1's. Keep in mind they will be on my desktop, albeit with some sort of stand to keep them at ear level,

but very close to where I will be sitting(about 3 feet in front of me and close to the rear wall). I'm assuming that this will provide me with better dynamics, even at fairly low volumes, and perhaps a bit more bass too.

Anyway, do you guys have any opinions on this-good, or way overkill and insane?


I just wish to append my post here-I don't want to sound like I'm dissing the A2's. These speakers are very, very good for their price range and well beyond that. I'm listening to them right now, and I'm asking myself

why I would want to upgrade at all-but unfortunately I think I've been bitten by the BUG (again), and

upgrading is the only known cure!


Rich W

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The 9.1s should work nearfield so that won't be a problem. If you don't go for them, look into some nearfield monitors like Dynaudio, Focal, Adam etc. at your pro audio store. They're designed for just the application you have in mind.


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  • 2 weeks later...

With all due speact to Audioengine or those giving you advice, whom indicated to you these were in the same league? Even the same universe?


First off I am not an employee nor have anay type of business arrangement with Avi. I am simply depressed the pair of Avi ADM9.1 are beyond my price range, but I live off a Social Security Disability budget. In this respect I hope to truly represent those whom are also on strict budgets. BUT these are worth every penny saved!


Recently I reviewed both the Audioengine A2 / A5 and Avi ADM9.1 (I actually purchasecd a pair of A5's two-years which what inspired me to write about Audio something i always wanted to do).


Both the A5 and A2 are prmarily driven directly through the PC-soundcard's 1/8" mini-jack hence they are susceptible to all the low quality DAC and other problems associated with PC soundcards (the A5 have an IPOD docking recharging station).


Their decent for their cost, and they better be sitting right and left on the monitor because the volume pots are on the speakers (back for A2). The use zip card and lowest quality interconnects for signal path. Below is my review which covers both in-depth the Audioengine A2 and A5 (this was long before I heard and was blown away by the Avi ADM9.1)



I heard my first true Audipphile sysytem back in 1991. And one that was matched and set-up correctly (very critical) this consisted of Apogee Stage full-range ribbon speakers, Krell KSA-250 stereo amp, and all Krell electronics front end including Krell MD-2 transport (all totaling about $30,00 with cables) back in 1991 that was a lot of money.


Weeks later I dropped over $10k on all pre-owned and Dealer Demo tube gear with Proac speakers then switched to Apogee Centuar speakers. Since then I've heard everything from Martin Logan electrostatic speakers driven by tubes, hybrid and solid state amps, as well as solid state amps considered the best such as Mark Levinson, Jeff Rowland, PASS, Bryston, Boulder, and vaccum tube amps such as Halcro, Jadis, Jolida, VTL, Audio Reaserch, etc. Many of these I've owned when I brokered high end gear for two years just to hear what I couldn't afford.


So this staement isn't to be taken lightly.


The Avi ADM9.1 are some of the most realistic, smooth, dynamic, engaging, transient, and reaklistic active speakers I've ever heard. They thrwo a soundstage even when set-up poorly and you never know where the sound is coming from. They image so good their very close to 360 radiating speakers and it costs many thousands to get those close to being accurate.


I would expect to spent at least $20,000 in seperates to come close to the quality of sound these speakers deliver. And they aren't simply active speakers.


Each houses a 250W mid/bass and 75W tweeter bi-amplifer, so each has it's own power cord making them true bi-amped enclusores. The main unit houses two TOSLINK inputs to accept any digital source inclusing PC to access the plethora of music files and streaming audio (which as we know are noe the future of music source medium). They have a single subwoofer out and Avi sells a matching Sub which gives them TRUE mind-boggling deep 20Hz from the beguilingly rated 60Hz.


And this IS literally the first time I've heard a true 60Hz and realized how adequatly deep that is for almost all music we play, with the exception of beep bass instruments found in orchestra's


They also have two analog RCA inputs to bypass the Wolfson DAC (although I would know why unless you has a really, really high end DAC like a Zanden) The Wolfson 8741 DAC which has to beat every Burr Brown and Phillips I've ever heard, in most stad alone DAC I've heard. No small feat but a result of the synergy Ashley has found in this combination of devices.


They cost around ten times what the Audioengine A2's do but your getting an entire versatile system which will easily out-perform systems (True Audiophile systems) costing up to and beyond in some cases ten times as much! I'd put that up to any test.


In my 20-years of Audiophile love/hate affair the ADM9.1 are a true repriev from mix and match Hell. They are louder then they have a right tobe, they have much deeper bass then they shoudl The are as smooth as silk in mids and highs casting an wide open soundstage with each performer and instrument fixed in 3-D space with uncanny accuracy. They future and ALL other manufacturers claiming Ashely is "controversial" may be in fear of their livelyhood. After all the best minds are supposed to contribute from outside of the norm, that is what separartes him and his products from the Herd. Your decision should be easy, listen if you can, if not run, don't walk to get a pair of ADM9.1's :)


Tecon Model 55 Sep (Burr Brwon DAC)[br]Peachtree Decco hybrid Phillips DAC)[br]ADM9.1 powered (Wolfson DAC)[br]Cain & Cain Abby passivw single driver[br]ADM-9.1[br]Assosrted cables

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A2's are a great desktop system. I run them with a USB DAC (EMU 0404), Very nice sound for when I am working, I listen to radioparadise most of the day (192K MP3!), I use the ADM 9.1 for my "serious system". I have had them about 3 weeks now, they are outstanding. I have replaced some well respected speakers (Living voice - £5K), amplifiers etc. Also have a load of quite useless cables, that I paid good money for in the shed. So for a desktop system, I think the A2's are great, with an external dac of some sort. I also have a foobar usb dac that also works good with the A2's and a little bit cheaper. I would not recommend the adm 9.1s on a desktop system to be honest.


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If you are looking for desktop (nearfield) speakers I would suggest the Focal XS system. Chris posted a nice review a while back. Not in the same league as the AVI but neither is the price and it is visually a very clean system as well. The satellites are on pedestals at ear height rather than sitting on the desk so imaging, etc. is right on.


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As I stated earlier I did buy the AE5's as my first foray back into "High End" if that can be considered as such. They were ok but as I read and delved into the topic once agagin I found there was much more out there to test. I've only been fortunate my previous publishing experience and my Editor has given me freedom to chose just about any products. Integrated amps with USB DAC's were next, soem were amazing for their cost the Tecon Model 55 is one such product, just unreal for it's affordability. Then came the Abby's a true artist with the power of transformations. Feed it the right signal and they becoem that event. The biggest surprise in the ADM9.1, not many things come along in Audio which challange the rules, the ADM9.1 do.


I am still on the outlook.


Tecon Model 55 Sep (Burr Brwon DAC)[br]Peachtree Decco hybrid Phillips DAC)[br]ADM9.1 powered (Wolfson DAC)[br]Cain & Cain Abby passivw single driver[br]ADM-9.1[br]Assosrted cables

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The ADM9.1's will be great but maybe overkill for desktop placement. Buy some AVI's for your main system unless sitting infront of the computer is where you spend most of your time.


HTPC: AMD Athlon 4850e, 4GB, Vista, BD/HD-DVD into -> ADM9.1

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Just want to thank everyone for their advice! I ordered a used pair of ADM 9.1's and they just arrived last night.

Sorry to say that my first impression was, well, disappointing. I hooked up the Valab Dac which had sounded so

good with the Audioengine A2's and gave a listen to some familiar tunes. Hmm, where's all that detail I heard about? Sure, there was more detail than the A2's, but not THAT much more.

So, out comes the Toslink cable I purchased. Only to realize that my HP 1070 PC does not have an optical out.

Wait! The trusty Cayin iDAC has a optical out, so it's USB to the Cayin, then optical to the ADM9.1's.

NOW I'm hearing something! What an improvement. Now these speakers sound seriously good.

But I'm guessing that the USB to Cayin to optical may not be the best way to go. I'm getting dropouts which

I would bet are from the USB. Now I must find a way to get optical out from my PC. Any suggestions?


Rich W


Rich W

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Having done a little research it appears that getting a toslink connection for my PC might be a lot more difficult than I thought, or didn't think-maybe I should have considered this BEFORE I bought the ADM9.1's :-)

Has anybody heard the M-Audio Transit? I see that it has toslink out, which is what I need.


Rich W


Rich W

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Why would you purchase the ADM9.1 based on the Wolfson 8741 DAC and then use another? There was a reason Ashley serached ans tested thousands of DAC and eneded upo with the one he did, wired the way it is?


One exception, bypaassing that DAC through the Analog RCA's has it's reasons, and I think your learning two things, First you haven't heard is DAC if I've read correctly so passing jugement on tha system is like driging a Bugatti Veyron with a ford engine on flat tires, Second break-in isn't myth. You can't screw with the laws of Physics expecially in the digital microchip world. Microchips are made to operate at a nominal temp relative to the current passing through. And while that current is so low it seems meanginless applied applied to our little digital brain would cause massive seizures a.k.a. Electroconvulsive Treatment. Its amazing the traces in micorchips simly don' fry, instead some of that energy must be lost as heat, more loast is known as Leakage. This is why modern processors require a large mass of copper affixed to them to dissipate that heat or they would fry in nan-seconnds. Although now they shutdown or "Thermocyccle" back. That's why PC can fit in Laptops and that's why they slow when things get hot, in Audio we don't have this "Thermothrottling" we have sound, distortion, or failure. I digress.


Burn-in albeit microchips, or mosfetts occur in the first weeks, until the material finally stabablizes and acquires it's "sonic signature" no one knows this sound until it occurs, perhaps the best in enginners in the industry have a prediliction for what will occur, an sound idea upon immediate testing, but Burn-in is critical. Anyway my point is this, IF your motherboard doesn't have TOSLINK out buying a TOSLINK dependent avtive speaker system was (pardon my terseness) missing the entire point of the designers intent and criticizing its sound because your not using it as directed, intended is unfair to thsose whom may read a negative comment and be silly anough to have that deter then from what are some of the best sound avtive speakers ever made. At any price.


It's no wonder you werern't impressed, for some odd reason tried mix apples and avacodos. Difficult in any argument, almost impossible in HighEnd just ask anyone whom purchased the less the wrong cables lately or found the right ones. As those whom drolled over some of the Audio Reaserch or Counterpoint models from the early 1990s and that was in-house design effort. Many were great, some disjointed, and some literally explosive


I have three suggestions the first will cost the price of a TOSLINK IF your PC has a TOSLINK output USE it! Two get a new or used motherboard with TOSLINK that will not only solve the Audio problem, it will most likely improve your PC by leaps and bounds. In 99.99999999999999999999999% of all cases people fai to see its the motherboard NOT the CPU which has the largest impact on PC performance, even the graphics card can do more for your system then replacing a CPU. (I'm here to help and have extenisve PC knowledge) 3rd and this is a far reaching and no real resolution, but if you insist on a USB protocall get a devilsound DAC.


I've mated the devislound (USB DAC) which is a true value for its performance and is in opposition to the Wolfson DAC's high oversampling DAC. devilsound uses quite a complicated system given its size and power draw from the USB. First a USB fed Burr Brwon PCM2706 is employed simply as a USB reciever eschewing it's DAC stage, the Low Jitter stream is then fed to twin Analog Devices 1851 DACs for NOS bliss.


While the Avi ADM9.1 sound phenomenol with its native Wolfson 8741, inluding fast transsients, well controlled bottom end which re-write how an honest 60Hz must sound, astoundingly accurate midrqange and a sounstage which is as suble as the recording studio, but whin it images are everywhere. Well defined, at different voluames details your not even supposed to hear come through. Eeven if not set-up in the ideal conditions they are comparative to 360-degree transducers, dare I say in this respect they sound a bit like the mbls I heard so long ago? YES


Now the Avi ADM9.1 mated with the devilsound DAC gives you an ethereal chamber like effefct dropping to the nether regions of the studio, I hate the world palpable but performers, their instruments make there sense known asif toucable. Beath, moisture into the mic, inhaling all have anatural resonance, perhaps slowed a bit but still ring true. Your drawn in by deep layers of midrange and upper bass. Highs may be slightly rolled compared to the detail Avi Wolfson DAC, and the devilsound may not be as aggressive, but the devilsound doesn't drag the Avi ADM9.1 down to any level, it simply conveys other aspects of the recording which were not there before.


I hate to see anyone unhappy with a speaker system I find it almost impossible to be unhappy with the ADM9.1 unless your last system were Apogeee Diva's driven by a literal (seperate climate controlled) room filled with OTL amps.


I made suggestions and I must reiterate the least expesnive route eliminates any potential signal dedgradation from other components no matter how "good they sound in their own right." Your not dealing with high voltages and USB has voltage carriied on it which can introduce a whole new set of problems which is why the optical link is best IMHO. Tell me the name of the board in you PC I'll find you a thousand replacement all under $100 in secdonds. Easy too uinstall and anyway it's alwauys good to blow out that dust and get some decent Thermal Paste down between CPU and cooler :)


Tecon Model 55 Sep (Burr Brwon DAC)[br]Peachtree Decco hybrid Phillips DAC)[br]ADM9.1 powered (Wolfson DAC)[br]Cain & Cain Abby passivw single driver[br]ADM-9.1[br]Assosrted cables

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Hi, I had one of these lying about and I put it on my laptop, with ASIO4ALL as the output and it worked pretty good with the ADM9.1s. I only listened to a couple of songs and to be honest I couldnt really tell any difference between that and my squeezebox. One would hope that the data it gets on the USB connection , gets sent on to the speakers without any data corruption. I was using the asio4all driver but I see this one has a new asio driver that may be worth trying as well. The unit has a DAC in it as well as being able to drive headphones!, but I would ignore all this stuff. Behringer are a pro audio supplier who can produce units like this as they are all made in China. For 30 USD worth a try I think.






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Wow Liquid3D, to say that you're passionate about these speakers might be the understatement of the year!

But, believe me, I understand. Anyway, that first post I made after listening to the speakers was after a LONG day at work and I was pretty tired-also the Valab DAC was not warmed up for very long. I'm listening to that combination now and it is sounding VERY good indeed.



As far as the toslink goes, I did a little hunting online and found this: http://www.audiotrak.net/products/prodigyhd2/. It cost about $95.00 and does have a toslink out(24/96) connection. I don't know if this is an ideal solution, but at least it will get me started.

The main reason I want to do the toslink is to listen to the 24/96 files that I have. The way the valab is sounding right now I could definitely live with that for the rest of my 16/44.1 files.

Just a thanks to dib for mentioning the Behringer USA202. It looks interesting, but I already ordered the Audiotrak sound card.



Rich W

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Yes I do get passionate. You see I was deeply into High End Audio for many years and have literally listened to several million dollars worth of gear pass through my Listening rooms, but I was never really content. It was more of a shared hobby and love of music then anything else wich drew me into this world. Then I discovered much too late there was some nefarious element out there smiling to your face as they profited from your passion. Sure we all know its there, perhaps lurking in every corner of consumerism. After all isn't this ethnocentrical country, supposedly the Wealthiest country on the planet, but a failed experiment in Capitalsim not Democracy? Even Democracy has deeper Social values. Freedom was the worst thing that may have ever happened to us, its been used as a Politicians speach to reaffirm why we follow one of two types of herds off proverbial cliffs and laying wounded at the bottom we cannot even afford Healthcare because we are no longer part of the UK which has the sense of Socialsim. Capitalism and Socialism are not good bed-fellows, at least not for the 1% of the country controlling 90% of its wealth. What's this got to do with music? Well the best speakers still are built in the UK and the most ineffcient amplifiers in the USA. The Audio industry in the USA reminds me of the Auto industry, except you find more of the wealthiest Americans driving forgien cars, what do we have the Corvette a.k.a. the banana waiting for a corner, their not even smart enough to buy a Bugatti Veyron....I digress and for those saying Love or Leave it, I'm staying and going to pull the satin off your speakers.


After all it was several well-to-do businessman who simply didn't want to pay taxes and therefore started a war. Shortly thereafter the same thing happened over slavery today we are all equally enslaved by our own material greed ensured by dishonest Politicians we all seem to loathe, yet vote in everey so often. You think four to eight years would be long enough to suffer, not for us Americans, perhaps were still guilty over aliminating the native people and destrying the land? Stop me when I've not stated facts. When I suffered s severe spinal injury after racing mountian bikes,a sport I picked up when I found myself listening to the same two CDs over and over in front of my obsession. And then several montha later struck by a drunk driver leaving me permenantly disabled, I began to see things differently. I liquidated my Audio system (it was a luxury) and kept one electronic device, my PC. This so I could write and stick to my research in Neuroscience.


I rememberwriting those letters asking people like Dennis for a used, or refurbished amp and how he failed to return any emails at least to say "I'm sorry I can't." I guess jumping on the 300Bandwagon has you forget all the little people. Yet in the PC community, and now in this new element of a true High End one that doesn't equate to High Cost, I found so many new friends. There's something about a hobby where the amount you spend has little to do with where you stand, and it really had nothing to do with quality of sound anyway. That took talent and theres something about designers who can build affordable gear. Sure they want to sell it but they want everyone to hear great music, its obvious the road they followed was paved with humility,.


So when I hear a system almost exactly in size to one of my first systems which cost beyond $12k; a customized Cary Audio 6550 amp with triode switch and a specially installed set of hand wound transformers, Audible Illusions pre-amp (actually considered a bargin) and a $3000 SONY x777 source or Merdian 208 driving Proac's best and each of the components mentioned cost more then the ADM9.1 yes I get passionate, but I think appropriately so.


Maybe I haven't heard the right $2,000 (approx.) in components yet, but I've gone budget just for the comparison. I've tried to build less costly systems using Spica's, Rogers, old Missions, countless tube and transistor amps, enough cables to re-build every suspemsion bridge in the country etc etc. Over ten years later I'm finding "affordable audio" is growing and it takes much more telanet to build it at a lower cost then the opposite. I find it admirable a company like Tecon have found the right manufacturing facility to build their Model 55 for just $398 shipped. A 5Wpc single ended pentode integrated amp with on-board Burr Brown USB DAC. Or a speaker company like Tekton for building a highly respectable line of very affordable full range, single driver monitors. Their $350 Fostex FE167E 6" at 94dB is absolutely stunning in black laquer. Take these two alone and you have a system which really impresses at just $1100.


It's these and and systems like the ADM9.1 from Avi which blow me away, anyone can build something with an unlimited budget, but it better sound unlimited, these systems defy the laws of Physics without any attempt to manipulate them. So I am passionate when Integrated amps sound respectable for the first time, but not the Boulders or Krells whom are simply jumping on their Integrated Bandwogon and insulting us by simply combining two of their already overpriced objects, then call it progress. Shame on them especially in this economy...


Tecon Model 55 Sep (Burr Brwon DAC)[br]Peachtree Decco hybrid Phillips DAC)[br]ADM9.1 powered (Wolfson DAC)[br]Cain & Cain Abby passivw single driver[br]ADM-9.1[br]Assosrted cables

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As a fellow ADM9.1 owner I'm too lazy to read through your posts above so you may have answered this question: are you using a PC or Mac ..?

If PC, which software are you using ?



HTPC: AMD Athlon 4850e, 4GB, Vista, BD/HD-DVD into -> ADM9.1

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I'm currently using a Windows XP Pro in 32-bit mode. The motherboard is the Foxconn Black Ops, processor is the ole Kentsfied Q6600, overcloakable to 3.4GHs however I run it at 2333MHz, along with 2GB of DDR3-1600 dropped to 1333MHz. Sold my power hungry Nvida 260 now running the ATI 3870. CPU is watercooled with a D-Tek Fuzion triple radiator and LAING D38-Vario pump, Danger Den Resvervoir, 1/2ID tubing.


Just sold a few PSU's they were drawing current from inadequate circuits and frying, so from PCPower&Cooling 1.2KW to a prototype unit 1Kw and a 780W protiotype unit as well.


I have heard the MAC "works" better with the ADM9.1 but I don't know how this translates? After all if I'm streaming via a TOLSLINK what's the difference? The Black Ops was/is a top end mobo it ran almost $400 new and cam with an Audio riser card sheilded, no on-board chip. In fact I couldn;t get the Optical drive to run until I installed the Riser card which doesn't have the TOSLINK on it....


Why do you think the MAC is superior beyond perhaps Prima Facie reasons such as a better Audio system? I mean albeit an integrated amp with on-board DAC, external DAC or the ADM9.1 all supposedly eschew the EMI saturated primarily multi-channel on-board Audio solutions...


Tecon Model 55 Sep (Burr Brwon DAC)[br]Peachtree Decco hybrid Phillips DAC)[br]ADM9.1 powered (Wolfson DAC)[br]Cain & Cain Abby passivw single driver[br]ADM-9.1[br]Assosrted cables

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I have to commend some of the comments for Liquid 3D.


Over the years I have dabbled in the High End World, what fascinates me is, as happens ever so often, a low cost products arrives that redefines the value equation.


For me it is like comparing a caterham super 7 to a ferrari with all the expensive extras.


One is lightweight, raw,exciting and simple the other becomes an overblown, overcomplex excerise in design and weight. And people will pay for the security on the basis that by spending more things must be better. Wrong.


Expensive things can be good but not always. I have not heard the AVI speakers but AVI have always built interesting products based around good logic and design rather than trying to appease a price point.


The bulk of the problem is the HiFi press who continue to support fat manufacturers who inturn support them with large marketing budgets.


Whether this is capitalist malaise we can debate elsewhere, the key is to listen without prejuidice and not be swayed by reassuringly large price tags.






Trying to make sense of all the bits...MacMini/Amarra -> WavIO USB to I2S -> DDDAC 1794 NOS DAC -> Active XO ->Bass Amp Avondale NCC200s, Mid/Treble Amp Sugden Masterclass -> My Own Speakers

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Shows how much I like this site. I'm here for pain control, I have a severe spinal injury from rascing MTBikes years ago and a badly damaged Liver from the plethora of non-narcotic pain relievers the medical community force on pateints based on THEIR own fears someone else might get addicted. The same doctors don't give a dam about our addictive society, which they perpetuate as Class Status addicts. Nor do they care the NSAID they do prescribe cause more damage to other organs (such as my Liver from Steroid injections and Tylenol laced pain meds) because their in relations with the Pharmaceutical giants. Once medicine became a for profit business and no where is there a more rampant model of the ramifications for such a business then here, health Ccare became Health profiteering. Again I digress. Sorry I'm still in pain.


To respond to your comment, Thank you. I totally agree, you have hit the nail right on the head. I have been reading the Absolute Sound and Stereophile at least 20-years and there is no doubt the Highest of the High End drives the industry. We must determine whether consumers are being excluded based on a willingness to pay the exhorbitant ticket price High End Audio asks and if that price is just too costly whom will inform us. No industry practicing solid business ethics (giving the consumder a quality product at reasonable cost and wait for their definate return) should be based on a model which asks what are people "willing to pay."


You don't always get what you pay for, however; its difficult to make that comparison if both the industry which builds the product and the industry which purportedly tests and reports on those products are finaincially dependent upon one another in a way which often harms the consumer and perpetuates myths. I have bo idea why a magazine like Sensibly Priced Sound or Affordable High End do not exist, especially in our economy. Fortunately logic and a financial reality perpetuating more and more Direct Sale websites are beginning to have some impact. I'm not saying every type of sound system should be under such and such a price, I respect and understand physics will determine and dictate cost on certain levels. For example, when we require a system capable of reproducing a realistic 20Hz ~ 20kHz and by that I mean a complex orchestral recording. But is there a venue in which we can get an accurate picture of what that would look like in both cost and ergonimics? For example what's is the least costly system out there capable of such a feat? Shoudl that be so difficult and does it have to cost at least $50k or a $100k?


Undoubtedly nefarious relationships between manufacturer and product testers, will exist. I have seen this first hand in my working at another website. Fortunately for me I found a Belgium based website www.madshrimps.be with a most honest editor in John Meys. I have yet to see someone work as hard as he does for little to nothing. His site only supports itself, no one is actually paid a salary. I began there 6-years ago as a Freelance writer and contacted company Reps personally here in the USA and some in Germany. I have never been offered any money and one reason the majority of my articles are so positive is because I have the freedom to research and write about products I would want to live with. I do not request items I think are unaffordable and I survive on a fixed income of Social Security Disability, well below the poverty level for a single male in the USA (thats a book in itself). I ONLY contact those manufacturers whose product I would want own. Those I research, I research very thoroughly.


Back to what you said. Stereophile sees a very large number of readers interested in its budget sections and reviews, but ultimately it seems they prefer the Highest of High End. Why, I surmize there is a very esoteric club who can afford these high priced items. There just enough people to support a relatively small industry, which could be much larger. All of this translates into revenue, but there's much more to it. From what I gather many of the writers began in relatively high paid careers, and were Audipophile cogs in the machine for some time. Ultimately they began witing as means to position themselves to hear and eventually attain the highest costing items. Many products are regurarly offered at Cost to reviewers after the review. And what does that say to the Readers when they write "...so I bought them.." (at an exorbitent price). I'm not saying their untalented, the proof is in their test reference systems, some adding up to seven figures and then there are the specially constructed / wired listening rooms? All this on a writer's salary?


No pun intended I wonder if there's a square footage and past salary requirement to be hired at some High End rags. The bootom line is that most of the people whom subscribe to these magazines will not hear, let alone own the costlier items in their lifeltime. I began reading Stereophile as a "Dream Subsciber" one who reads about what they'll never have get a narcotic effect from the article, then sit down to listen to a which does just enough to keep you reading (wishing).


Recently I've been reviewing and writing about the best thing to happen in Audio since Paul Voigt. PC-Audio, and Entry level audio manufacturers are no longer waiting for a slow "trickle down" affect to improve affordable High End Audio. Manufacturers such as Lovecraft Designs, Tekton, Tecon, Avi, Rega, Chord, Peachtree, and many others are "seeding the Audiophile clouds" allowing the technology and build quality to pour down into our living- and PC-rooms. A merger is occurring in which high End is slowly infusing systems built to extract the music medium eclipsing all others, Internet based digital music files. Nary an Audiophile out there can resist the urge to find more music, at least as a true music lover. There is one exception, if you've hit that wall (as I did) when you find yourself listenting to outrageously priced hardware rather then music, you either "exit stage left" or you become humbled. You have what alcoholics describe as "spiritual awakening." In this process many still find pleasure in their hobby while simultaneously looking for value in their hardware. They become closer to their wives, families and spend more time with their children. And as their legs heal from "sweet spot" atrohy they find they are able to hit a ball to their son or daughter. And some actually venture outside, yes where trees grow and the sun shines. You can still induge your inner child's desire play with or take apart electronic stuff and with freed income you can buy a Jet Ski or Snowmobile, bring your family to dinner and actually talk. Its called balance and we need much more of it, even though our hobby has been saddled with the moniker "High End" this doesn't have to = "High Cost."


Tecon Model 55 Sep (Burr Brwon DAC)[br]Peachtree Decco hybrid Phillips DAC)[br]ADM9.1 powered (Wolfson DAC)[br]Cain & Cain Abby passivw single driver[br]ADM-9.1[br]Assosrted cables

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  • 5 months later...

Just wanted to say what a joy it is to read all of Liquid3D's posts. To call them insightful and articulate would be a gross understatement. Just as knowledgeable about life as he was about electronics. I would have loved to have been able to talk with this guy, but was shocked and saddened to read of his death. RIP.


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  • 2 months later...

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