Three Reasons Why the SoundStage! Network Has So Many Websites (Important Lessons for Aspiring Online Hi-Fi Publishers)

Last month, I wrote about our 25th anniversary of online publishing. In that article I described how we began, how the SoundStage! name came about, the events that took place before we secured the soundstage.com domain name for the initial website, and some of the other things that helped us to get off to a pretty good start.

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The 2020 SoundStage! Network Products of the Year—in One or Two Sentences

It’s that time of year again. We are pleased to announce our annual SoundStage! Network Products of the Year, which have been selected from the Reviewers’ Choice products reviewed in 2020 on one of our sites: SoundStage! Access, SoundStage! Hi-Fi, SoundStage! Simplifi, SoundStage! Solo, SoundStage! Ultra, or SoundStage! Xperience.

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We Are 25 Years Old — And Some Other Things You Might Not Know About the SoundStage! Network

November was going to be a really big month for us — it marked the 25th anniversary of the SoundStage! Network. But with all the COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, resulting in people being cooped up in their homes, businesses shutting down, travel being restricted, and events being canceled, we decided to postpone all the plans we had made for celebrations until next year. However, I still think it’s worth marking the milestone here this month by highlighting a few interesting things about our founding that many people — including most of our writers, since I’m the only person who’s been here from the beginning — don’t know.

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The Purifi Puzzle, Part Two: The Measured Performance of the SPK5 Loudspeaker

So far, I’ve written four articles about Denmark’s Purifi Audio and their products. The first, “Audio Video Show 2019: Coffee with Peter Lyngdorf,” was published in November 2019 on SoundStage! Global, while I was attending the annual show in Warsaw, Poland. That conversation with hi-fi entrepreneur Lyngdorf was when I first got intrigued about his new venture, Purifi Audio, and the company’s products.

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More Measurements? Here's Why . . .

If, last year, someone predicted that millions of people around the world would be told to leave their offices and work from home for the foreseeable future, I suspect that most of those people would have found the prospect unbelievable. But the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent global lockdown have made the unbelievable a reality; in fact, it’s the biggest experiment in working from home the world has ever seen. When almost everything and everyone was locked down, many companies had to quickly make other changes in how they operated, to adapt to a sudden “new normal” that’s unlikely to return to the old normal anytime soon -- if ever.

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The Purifi Puzzle, Part One: The Measured Performance of the Eigentakt Amplifier

On June 1, in “Purifi Audio’s Pint-Sized Powerhouses,” I described a bit of the history and technology behind Purifi Audio’s class-D 1ET400A amplifier module and PTT6.5W04 midrange-woofer, which Purifi sells as OEM parts to other manufacturers. I also gave my impressions of the sounds of the speaker and amplifier evaluation kits Purifi sent me, as listened to in a typical two-channel setup. One kit was the Eigentakt stereo amplifier, a small, DIY-type case housing two 1ET400a modules, a Purifi-designed gain board, and a Hypex power supply. The other was the SPK5 loudspeaker, which marries the PTT6.5W04 midrange-woofer to a Mundorf air-motion transformer (AMT) tweeter in a basic enclosure mostly made of plywood. At the end of that article, I wrote that I hoped to have both products measured, and the results posted online, by “July 1 or, at the latest, August 1.”

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Why I Prefer Vinyl

“You could tell a lot about a man by the books he keeps -- his tastes, his interest, his habits.”
-- Walter Benjamin, Illuminations: Essays and Reflections

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Bryston's Benchmark -- the 4B Power Amplifier

Last month, Jeff Fritz conducted a SoundStage! Talks video interview with Bryston Ltd.’s VPs of marketing and sales, respectively James Tanner and Gary Dayton. Mostly they talked about Bryston’s Cubed series of amplifiers, now comprising nine models that range in power output from the 2.5B³ stereo amp’s 135Wpc ($4295, all prices USD) to the 28B³ monoblock’s 1000W ($24,390/pair). The Cubed line includes the B135³ integrated amplifier, which costs $6695-$8195 depending on the options selected (e.g., a DAC and phono stage) and is specified to output 135Wpc.

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Purifi Audio's Pint-Sized Powerhouses

After assembling in my listening room the best-sounding stereo system I’d heard anywhere, and writing about it in April, I did something to that extraordinary setup that most audiophiles might find unthinkable: I disassembled it. I needed the room to explore some cutting-edge products with features and technologies that might get me close to the sound quality of that ca.-$150,000 system (all prices USD) for a lot less money. The first of those products was Anthem’s STR preamplifier ($3999), whose extensive features I still haven’t fully explored.

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Anthem STR Preamplifier -- "Extraordinary" . . . or Not?

Diego Estan was recently assigned the unenviable task of reviewing Anthem’s STR preamplifier ($3999 USD) for sister site SoundStage! Access.

Unenviable? Anyone who wants to thoroughly review the Anthem STR has to write a lot. The STR is not only a robust analog preamplifier with plenty of inputs and an astonishing number of customization options, it also contains a topflight DAC section with a rich feature set of its own, a phono stage compatible with moving-magnet (MM) and moving-coil (MC) cartridges, an analog-to-digital converter, a powerful DSP engine, Anthem’s proprietary Anthem Room Correction (ARC) Genesis processing, and the most advanced support of subwoofers I’ve seen in any hi-fi product. A lot.

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