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Top 50 Hi-Fi and High End Premieres of 2022

Top 50 Hi-Fi and High End Premieres of 2022
Top 50 Hi-Fi and High End Premieres of 2022

This year has become especially attractive in terms of the number of announced new products in the audio market – the removal of restrictions on movement after the epidemic, the holding of a number of “shock” AV exhibitions, the “awakened” development departments, all this made it possible to see a whole clip of Hi-Fi and High End components, from which even an advanced audiophile’s head can go round.

We’ve rounded up 50 of the most significant, important, and breakthrough new amps, streamers, DACs, speakers, and more coming out or announced in 2022 for you.

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50. Portable speaker Devialet Mania

790 euros

Frequency response – 30 – 20,000 Hz Sound pressure – 95 dB Wireless – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0. Weight – 2.3 kg

In principle, this debut has long been expected – following the revolutionary Phantom shelf speakers, the French developer Devialet released the Mania compact portable speaker. Acoustics is not cheap (790 euros), but for this money you get all the proprietary technologies, designed in a small (2.3 liter volume) case. Two push-pull woofers with 100 mm polymer cones and four full-range speakers (aluminum is used here), which are powered by their own amplifiers (2 x 38, 4 x 25 W, class D), controlled by proprietary SAM technology (four ARM Cortex-A53 processor). At the same time, even one Devialet Mania guarantees a three-dimensional effect – the Active Stereo Calibration (ASC) system works. Adding 95 dB SPL, 3,200 mAh battery (10 hours battery life), support for Spotify Connect protocols,

 

Why in the ranking – we have not yet seen such serious portable speakers.

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49. Acoustic systems Graham LS5/5f

 

$24,995

Frequency response – 40 – 20,000 Hz Sound pressure – 104 dB Sensitivity – 88 dB Resistance – 8 Ohm Weight – 35.5 kg

These legendary speakers were first produced for the BBC in 1967. Today we are waiting for an updated version – the cabinet is completely redesigned and devoid of resonances, the bass is driven by a long-throw 12″ woofer, supported by an 8″ midrange driver and an inch soft dome tweeter. The classics of the genre do not try to “dig deep” (frequency response starts from 40 Hz, although the body has become noticeably larger, and the bass part has received additional volume), but offers a solid sound pressure of 104 dB and, of course, the “same” full-bodied and rich sound era of rock and roll, which is impossible to forget.

Why in the ranking – the updated classic easily puts much more expensive competitors on the shoulder blades.

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48. Audeze CRBN Headphones

$4,500

Frequency response – 20 – 40,000 Hz Sound pressure – 120 dB Distortion – 0.1% Weight – 470 g.

Presented at the very end of 2021, Audeze CRBN has finally gone into the series and deserved the most flattering reviews from critics. Our portal was no exception – these headphones are impressive in full. Open design, push-pull electrostatic membranes made using carbon nanotube technology, excellent fit (the headband is also made of carbon) and a sound pressure of 120 dB – plus, of course, a hyper-realistic sound, it’s worth a lot.

Why in the ranking – for new approaches to design and excellent sound.

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47. Troy Audio Acapulco speakers

$36,000

Frequency response – 26 – 22,000 Hz Sound pressure – n/a Sensitivity – 97 dB Resistance – 8 Ohm Weight – n/a

Released in 1960, Altec Santana speakers deservedly received cult status. And now you have the opportunity to join the classics, only made at a completely new technological level – this is how Troy Audio Acapulco is positioned. The speakers use a GPA 415-8C Biflex speaker with an Alnico magnet system and a heavily modified super tweeter from Fostex. All internal wiring is Cardas.

Why in the rating – it’s hard not to fall in love with the warm analog sound of the model.

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46. ​​Esoteric Grandioso T1 turntable

$80,000

Rotation speeds – 33.3 and 45 rpm Drive – MagneDrive Weight – 62 kg

In honor of the 35th anniversary, Esoteric has released the first analog device in the company’s history! The Japanese did a great job – here they use the unique non-contact drive mechanism Esoteric MagneDrive System, which inductively synchronizes the rotation of the magnetic drive and the platter, providing silent and smooth movement. The magnetic suspension of the Magne-Float disc drastically reduces spindle friction by reducing the effective mass from 19 kg to almost 4 kg, which completely eliminates drive vibrations from the disc. But, along with a ton of technological innovations, the developers have not forgotten about the sound – it is gentle and surprisingly detailed.

Why in the rating – “water test” in the analog field from Esoteric turned out to be very successful.

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45. Wilson Benesch Omnium Speakers

$169,000

Frequency response – 27 – 30,000 Hz | Sound pressure – 120 dB | Sensitivity – 89 dB | Resistance – 4.5 Ohm | Weight – 140 kg.

The culmination of thirty years of work by Wilson Benesch are the latest Omnium flagships. Featuring Semisphere Fibonacci Hybrid branded tweeters with silk and carbon domes, Tactic 3.0 isobaric bass, and a 13mm steel frame, the speakers truly synthesize the very best that has been developed by the renowned British manufacturer, and are best suited to characterize the proprietary approach to high-pitched sound. fidelity.

Why the rankings are probably the most transparent speakers of 2022

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44. Margules SF-220 30TH tube preamplifier

7,000 euros

Frequency response – 5 – 400,000 Hz Number of inputs – 4 Type – lamp Weight – 14 kg

Released for the anniversary of the Mexican company Margules, the SF-220 30TH amplifier not only sports an exquisite black finish and unusual design, but also offers exceptional performance characteristics for its price range. Distortion does not exceed 0.014%, the raise / fall time is within 6 μs, and the signal-to-noise ratio exceeds 80 dB. ANA (Neuro-Acoustic Alignment) technology, which comes from the fundamental principle that the human brain perceives sounds in favor of harmonic structure over fundamental tone, was developed by Margules herself – and the SF-220 30TH shows that it really works.

Why in the rating – bright design, great sound, new technologies – why not?

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43. Active speakers Lyravox Karlsson Tower

16,000 euros

Frequency response – 22 – 42,000 Hz Power – 2 x 500 400 and 100 watts per speaker Weight – 68 kg

Here, you get an “almost” complete system – modern speakers based on Accuton drivers with ceramic diffusers and a passive Scan Speak radiator (adding an AMT super tweeter will expand the frequency response up to 130,000 Hz, a full-fledged built-in Class D NCore amplification (2 x 500, 400 and 100W) with DSP and a chic look, what more could you ask for?

Why in the ranking – an example of ultra-modern development of acoustic systems

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42. Integrated amplifier Western Electrics 91E

$15,000

Output power – 2 x 20 W into 8 ohms Class – A Distortion – n/a Weight – n/a

In 2022, Western Electrics not only launched a revived version of the 300B tubes, but also launched a 91E tube amplifier using these tubes. The model operates in the band from 30 to 20,000 Hz, has a signal-to-noise ratio of 83 dB, is equipped with a built-in phono stage and a digital-to-analog converter. The sound of Western Electrics 91E, warm and saturated, perfectly emphasizes all the advantages of the tube circuit.

Why in the ranking – Western Electrics 91E makes you believe in the legend again

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41. Speakers Monitor Audio Concept 50

$60,000

Frequency response – 21 – 23,000 Hz Sound pressure – n/a Sensitivity – n/a Resistance – n/a Weight – 96 kg.

A supercar for the sound industry, the revolutionary Monitor Audio Concept 50 offers a ton of innovation. Four 7.9” woofers (mounted in pairs and radiating towards each other) are complemented by the “The Array” assembly for mids and highs, which employs six 4” speakers and a Micro Pleated Diaphragm AMT tweeter. All this splendor is enclosed in 3D-printed cases, and the sound of these unusual speakers at the presentation was really shocking (in a good way).

Why in the ranking – Monitor Audio Concept 50 can turn the whole industry

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40. McIntosh MDA200 digital-to-analog converter

$4,000

Chip – 32 bits Supported formats – PCM 32/384, DSD512 Weight – 12.7 kg

The McIntosh MDA200, a new DAC in the line of the most famous American company, has one “zest” that makes an extraordinary device out of a good one. The question is the possibility of a future upgrade, which for digital technology is a full-fledged “Achilles’ heel”. Well, now you don’t have to shuffle DACs like cards – in the case of the MDA200, you can simply remove the module with the chip (McIntosh DA2 is currently being assembled there) and install the updated solution. The circuitry used is modern – an 8-channel 32-bit chip, two coaxial ports, two optical, one USB-B port, one MCT (for connecting SACD / CD McIntosh MCT series transports), as well as an HDMI port with eARC audio return channel for TV connections. The Roon Tested badge from Roon Labs is also present,

Why in the ranking – finally a complete modular system for the most volatile sector of the industry

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39. Gryphon Commander preamplifier

$63,000

Frequency response – 0.1 – 1,500,000 Hz | Number of inputs – 4 | Type – transistor | Weight – 45 and 52 kg

The majestic Gryphon Commander is the best partner for the company’s flagship powerhouse. The ultimate two-block system with a total mass of almost a centner, a stunning bandwidth of one and a half megahertz – oh, the new developer of the company, Tom Møller, came off to the fullest. Of course, all the main “chips” of the brand are used in the Gryphon Commander – the “dual mono” configuration, pure class A, zero feedback and fully discrete circuitry.

Why in the ranking is simply the best pre-amplifier of the company.

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38. Linn Select DSM Streamer

$5 200 

Chip – Organik DAC Supported formats – PCM 24/384, DSD 256 Certification – Roon ready Weight – 9.5 kg

The latest generation of Linn Selekt DSM streamers offer amazing flexibility – for example, the user has the right to choose the configuration, digital-to-analog converter (if you don’t have money for a top-end Organik DAC, you can save money). The MM/MC phono stage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or AirPlay 2 streaming options and the Space Optimization room correction system are not forgotten either. The Linn Selekt DSM looks futuristic and sounds just as great.

Why in the ranking – branded DAC Organik DAC grabs a star from the sky

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37. Switch Nordost QNet

$3,199

Number of ports – 5 (three 1000BASE-T/100BASE-TX) | Weight – 880 g

What? Network switch for three thousand dollars? Who are audiophiles? Oddly enough, but all these epithets pass by when it comes to the new Nordost QNet. Housed in an aluminum case and fitted with a linear power supply, this sleek device really works – the firm’s precision-engineered noise cancellation circuitry takes digital streaming to a whole new level.

Why in the rating – if you don’t believe that network switches affect the sound, it’s time to check and make sure

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36. Channel D Lino C 3.3 phono stage

$3,799

Type – MC Scheme – current-mode Weight – 8.2 kg

An innovative phono stage operating in current mode, not voltage (current-mode) – Channel D Lino C 3.3, performs all tuning on the cartridge in automatic mode (with a head resistance below 100 Ohms) and guarantees a lively, “mercury” sound. In addition, a rechargeable power supply is also used here! Given the relatively low price, the model looks like a true gem of its sector.

Why in the ranking – in such an established market it is difficult to surprise, but Channel D Lino C 3.3 was able to

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35. Headphones Yamaha YH-5000SE

$4,999

Frequency response – 5 – 70,000 Hz | Sound pressure – n/a | Distortion – n/a | Weight – 320 g

Yamaha YH-5000SE headphones have an impedance of 34 ohms with a sensitivity of 98 dB – the model uses branded “orthodynamic” radiators, which, according to the developers, are “completely devoid of distortion.” The thinnest round diaphragm used in the drivers is distinguished by a voice coil, unique in shape, applied on both sides of the membrane. The open headphone housing is made of magnesium alloy, and the original stainless steel acoustic filter ensures optimal sound pressure and the formation of the correct directivity pattern. The open design and innovative drivers provide an incredibly compelling sound experience.

Why in the ranking – planars from Yamaha compete on equal terms with the most expensive headphones on the market

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34. PS Audio PerfectWave BHK 600 Power Amplifier

$32,498

Output Power – 2 x 600W into 8 ohms Class – AB Distortion – 0.1% Weight – 55 kg

With a damping factor of 700 units and an output power of 600 watts per channel PS Audio PerfectWave BHK 600 can rightfully be considered one of the most powerful devices on the market – it can handle speakers of any complexity. Inside the mastodon is a tube-semiconductor circuit (the input stage is built on hand-selected tubes, the terminal is on exclusive N-channel MOSFET transistors), a fully balanced design and a 1.6 kVA transformer.

Why in the ranking – “shock and awe” in front of you!

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33. DALI Kore speaker systems

$110,000

Frequency response – 26 – 34,000 Hz Sound pressure – 118 dB Sensitivity – 88 dB Resistance – 4 Ohm Weight – 110 kg

The biggest, most expensive and best speakers from DALI are the Kore. Twin 11.5″ woofers with Balanced Drive dual coils (the circuit improves the magnetic flux in the bass/midrange drivers and reduces harmonic distortion) and the latest SMC Gen-2 material, 35mm EVO-K Hybrid soft dome tweeter, ribbon super tweeter, enclosure from curved laminated wood panels with ebony veneer finish – you can list for a long time, it’s better to hear it once.

Why the rankings are not just the most important speakers for DALI, but also one of the most significant developments in the High End industry

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32. Integrated amplifier Audiolab 9000A

£ 1,999

Output power – 2 x 100W into 8 ohms Class – AB Distortion – 0.0004% Weight – 11.2 kg

A relatively affordable novelty from Audiolab, the 9000A integrated amplifier not only captivates with its pleasant design (the front panel is decorated with a color display that displays various information, including volume level, active input, input bit rate parameters, and much more), but also has a built-in DAC module on the eight-channel chip ESS Technology Saber ES9038 PRO, working with signals up to 32 bit / 764 kHz and DSD512. Four powerful transistors in each channel give out 100 watts and develop a current of up to 15A. The Audiolab 9000A is a full dual mono concept with separate power supplies for the left and right channels. The power supply of the amplifier is equipped with a low noise 320VA toroidal transformer and a capacitor bank with a total capacity of 60,000uF.

Why in the ranking – quality is rarely relatively affordable, but Audiolab has achieved this

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31. Wireless speakers KEF LS60 Wireless

$6,999

Frequency response – 26 – 36,000 Hz Power – 500, 100, 100 W in each speaker Weight – 31.2 kg

As they say, a small step forward for KEF and a giant leap for the wireless active loudspeaker industry. The ice has broken – now full-length speakers can flaunt full music playback capabilities – from built-in amplification to Hi-Res streaming signal reception options. The LS60 Wireless speakers deliver everything from the twelfth generation of Uni-Q branded speakers, woofers from the renowned Blade (Uni-Core Force Cancelling), full built-in amplification (Class AB on the treble and D on the other bands) and extensive streaming capabilities ( from AirPlay 2 to Roon 24/384) – bravo!

Why in the ranking – the speakers look exquisite and (for their sound) are relatively inexpensive – by the standards of industry standards, of course

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30. Integrated amplifier Luxman L-509Z

$9 495

Output Power – 2 x 120W into 8 ohms Class – AB Distortion – 0.007% Weight – 29.3 kg

The release of a top integrated circuit from the Japanese Luxman is always an event. The L-509Z was no exception – at the price of “per kilogram” of weight, the model breaks records, captivates with its full-bodied sound and generally claims the best price / quality ratio in its group. Luxman L-509Z is equipped with a LECUA electronically controlled volume control, the power itself consists of three cascades of four parallel transistors operating in a push-pull. The power supply with a 600VA power transformer and a filter with a capacitor bank with a total capacity of 80,000 microfarads can easily handle even complex loads, and the proprietary LIFES feedback circuit works to increase the transparency of the sound – it is the first to be used in both a preamplifier and a power amplifier .

Why in the ranking – “new old” from Luxman – is always an event

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29. J.Sikora Reference turntable

$47,000

Rotation speeds – 33.3 and 45 rpm Drive – belt Weight – 108 kg

An updated version of the giant J.Sikora Reference turntable sports an 18kg laser-cut cast iron platter. The cabinet uses a range of vibration dampening materials, from aluminum to bronze and copper. Ceramic inverted bearing and 4 DC motor complete the picture, and the sound of the device is so emotional that it is hard to forget.

Why in the ranking is an impressive turntable in any respect

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28. Sutherland Engineering Little Loco Mk2 Phono Stage

$3 800

Type – MC Scheme – current input Weight – 6.8 kg

Current rather than voltage operation is becoming the standard for high-end phono stages, and Sutherland Engineering’s Little Loco Mk2 uses current input circuitry. In addition, the model’s arsenal includes excellent circuitry with maximum separation of the power supply from the main correction circuits, separate paths for the left and right channels, and an amazing presentation that can breathe new life into your vinyl record collection.

Why in the ranking – with Sutherland Engineering Little Loco Mk2, records become similar in sound to the sound of a magnetic tape

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27. Speakers MoFi SourcePoint 10

$3,699

Frequency response – 42 – 30,000 Hz Sound pressure – n/a Sensitivity – 91 dB Resistance – 8 Ohm Weight – 21 kg

So, MoFi decided not only to release reference editions on vinyl, but also to show everyone what kind of sound these LPs should have with the help of SourcePoint 10 bookshelves. – the drivers have been created specifically for this model. Due to the large area of ​​the paper cone, it was possible to expand the acoustics working area up to 42 Hz. The tweeter in the MoFi SourcePoint 10 starts at 1.6 kHz up to 30 kHz, it uses a 1.25” soft dome and a powerful Twin-Drive magnet system. The complex multi-faceted front panel of the speakers minimizes the diffraction of sound waves.

Why in the rating – for their price, the speakers look so attractive that it’s time to run to the store

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26. Multiplayer TAD-D700

n/a

Formats – SACD/CD Chip – Burr-Brown 24/192 Weight – 26.5, 13 kg

The flagship TAD-D700 disc player targets the Japanese market, a place where audiophiles prefer physical media over streaming. As a result, there was no place “on board” for either a USB port or an Ethernet connector. Despite these shortcomings, the model turns out to be outstanding precisely in its main incarnation – an accurate clock generator Ultra-High-Precision Crystal Generator (UPCG on an SC-cut chip), a patented Master Clock circuit, which is distinguished by an ultra-high signal-to-noise ratio (it reaches 115 dB), a huge remote power supply, an improved proprietary optical transport, a chassis made of 6 mm plates – everything literally screams about quality.

Why in the rating – even the absence of a USB interface does not make the device less desirable!

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25. Conrad-Johnson ART88 preamplifier

$28,000

Frequency response – 2 – 100,000 Hz Number of inputs – 4 Type – lamp Weight – 15 kg

Introduced for the 45th anniversary of the American brand Conrad-Johnson ART88 looks like the “ultimate” amplification device in many ways. The design is “double mono”, each channel uses an amplifying stage built on parallel sections of a PCC88 double triode, connected to the output through a buffer stage on the second PCC88 lamp. This circuit design guarantees an output impedance of 190 ohms and a THD of 0.25%, which, together with 25 dB of gain level, provides a stunning performance. CJD Teflon Capacitors and Vishay Metal Film Resistors are the finishing touches to the overall image of magnificence.

Why in the ranking is a real gift for the anniversary of the brand

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24. Accuphase A-300 Power Amplifier

2,970,000 yen per pair

Output Power – 1 x 125W into 8 ohms Class – A Distortion – n/a Weight – 46 kg

Built around twenty MOS-FET transistors in a push-pull configuration, the Accuphase A-300 monoblock does not aim to impress you with its output power – it delivers “only” 125 watts into an 8 ohm load. But work is provided in pure class A, and with a drop in speaker impedance, the power of the device increases many times – at 4 ohms Accuphase A-300 produces 250 watts, 2 ohms – 500 watts, 1 ohm – 1 kW. The Accuphase A-300 power supply is based on a powerful toroidal transformer and a capacitor bank with a total capacity of 100 thousand microfarads. The damping factor of the amplifier reaches 1,000 units, which allows the novelty to cope with the heaviest load.

Why in the ranking – the crystal sound of the model can surprise even seasoned audiophiles

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23. Headphones Meze Audio Elite

$4,000

Frequency response – 3 – 112,000 Hz Sound pressure – 101 dB Distortion – 0.05% Weight – 430 g.

Headphones are not called Elite for nothing – they look “one hundred percent”, but they sound so luxurious that, after listening to them, you can hardly return to lower-quality counterparts. Yes, Meze Audio’s price is high, but the innovative 75 gram Isodynamic Hybrid Array drivers (which took ten years to develop) really work!

Why in the ranking – these headphones simply have no flaws!

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22. Fleetwood Sound Company Deville Speakers

12,600 

frequency response – n/a Sound pressure – n/a Sensitivity – 94 dB Resistance – 8 Ohm Weight – 16.3 kg

Fleetwood Sound, a division of the famous OMA (the company will be highlighted in our rankings), recently released old-fashioned Deville speakers. Very expensive bookshelf speakers look like loudspeakers from the fifties of the XX century – they use an 8” paper woofer and a horn HF design with a 3D printed bronze splitter. The speakers sound surprisingly gentle, their sonic signature literally takes you to another era.

Why in the rating are unusual speakers with a peculiar sound that will clearly find their fans

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21. Streamer and server Antipodes K50

$17,500

Outputs – Ethernet, USB, I2S, AES3, S/PDIF Formats – PCM 32/768, DSD512 Certification – Roon ready Weight – 19 kg

The top device from the New Zealand company, the Antipodes K50 model, offers “full stuffing” – up to 24 TB of storage capacity, any possible digital outputs and support for signals up to native DSD512. When you turn on the device in the path, the jaw literally falls off – the difference between it and a well-tuned PC for playing music turns out to be so significant that the question of the adequacy of the price of an audiophile server does not arise. Bravo.

Why in the ranking – finally, the quality of streaming can compete with disc players

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20. Power amplifier BAT REX 500

$45,000

Output power – 2 x 500W into 8 ohms Class – AB Distortion – n/a Weight – 63.5 kg

The flagship of Balanced Audio Technology, designed by Viktor Khomenko BAT REX 500, is capable of delivering up to 1 kW into a 4 ohm load – a full-fledged “dual mono” design (even two power cables), a new power supply topology (Push SuperPak) with the most capacious BAT battery in history SuperPak capacitors in the filter, an upgraded protection circuit without fuses … Add N-channel MOSFETs in parallel – and you get just a “Swiss knife” for any speaker system.

Why in the rating – the model may well be considered a turning point for the company

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19. Dan D’Agostino Relentless Epic 800 Power Amplifier

$194,500

Output Power – 2 x 800W into 8 ohms Class – A Distortion – n/a Weight – n/ a

There are few devices on the market with a comparable price – but the Dan D’Agostino Relentless Epic 800 is able to impress you not only with its price. This ambitious model flaunts 800W of power into 8 ohm loads – and that’s in pure Class A! Accordingly, when the resistance is halved, the power also doubles exactly – 1,600 watts at 4 ohms and 3,200 watts at 2 ohms. The power supply has a well-shielded power transformer with a power of almost 4 kW, and the total capacitance of the filter capacitors is 400,000 microfarads. At the output, 84 specially selected transistors work, heat is removed through a unique passive radiator made of copper and aluminum and made in the form of a Venturi tunnel.

Why in the ranking – simply because we have before us – the culmination of the developments of a well-known company

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18. Acoustic systems Estelon Forza

$149,000

Frequency response – 25 – 60,000 Hz Sound pressure – n/a Sensitivity – 88 dB Resistance – 3 Ohm Weight – 150 kg

Estelon Forza was shown at the end of 2021, and in 2022 the model finally went into production. Before us is the culmination of the corporate approach – a closed acoustic design, a diamond 1″ Accuton tweeter, 8″ and 7″ CELL ceramic midranges and a pair of 11″ woofers. The speakers require an amplifier of remarkable power, but when paired with the right partner, they enchant even the most sophisticated listeners.

Why in the ranking – luxurious Estelon Forza clearly demonstrate that the synthesis of design and High End sound is possible

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17. Speakers TAD-CE1TX

$24,000

Frequency response – 34 – 100,000 Hz | Sound pressure – n/a | Sensitivity – 85 dB | Resistance – 4 Ohm | Weight – 29 kg

2014 model replacement, CE1 changed to TAD-CE1TX. The bookshelves with an incredibly mobile and sparkling sound use completely new speakers. The woofer is an 18cm MACS II diaphragm, CST driver for midrange and treble, combining a 14cm magnesium alloy diaphragm and a 3.5cm beryllium dome. Cases made using SILENT technology are the finishing touches.

Why in the ranking – the little ones TAD-CE1TX claim the status of bestsellers of a famous company

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16. Digital-to-analog converter Abendrot Audio The COLT

$55,000

Chip – n/a Supported formats – PCM 24/192 Weight – 11.5 kg

For its decade, Abendrot Audio introduced The COLT DAC, a super-expensive device that only handles signals up to PCM 24/192. When creating the novelty, the developments of the proprietary True Audio Master Clock and the original patented signal conversion technology were used. Abendrot Audio The COLT achieves a signal-to-noise ratio of 115 dB and demonstrates such sound detail that it can drive an unprepared music lover crazy.

Why in the ranking – Abendrot Audio The COLT rethinks approaches to converting audio from digital to analog

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15. EMT JSD Novel Titan MC Cartridge

$7,760

Type – High MC Resistance – 16 Ohm Compliance – low

EMT’s new cartridge, the JSD Novel Titan MC, features the company’s proven high output (1mV) circuitry, 16 ohm impedance, and low compliance. The device uses a sapphire cantilever, silver coils, an AlNiCo magnet system and is packaged in a luxurious diamond-coated titanium case. The sound of the EMT JSD Novel Titan MC is truly mesmerizing.

Why in the ranking – this EMT head makes vinyl sound like a master tape

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14. Speakers Perlisten S7t

$7,990

Frequency response – 32 – 22,000 Hz Sound pressure – 117 dB Sensitivity – 92 dB Resistance – Ohm Weight – 55.7 kg

Nowadays, you rarely see speakers of such “growth” and weight for the indicated amount. And Perlisten S7t shine not only with their dimensions or “checkered” speakers (using a DPC-Array of 28 mm beryllium tweeter and a pair of TPCD drivers, as well as four Textreme TPCD woofers), but also with an absolutely brilliant performance that clearly stands out from its price range.

Why in the rating – speed, attack and resolution – exceptional

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13. Clearaudio Reference Jubilee turntable

$30,000

Rotation speeds – 33.3, 45 and 78 rpm Drive – belt Weight – n / a

To mark the 40th anniversary of Clearaudio, the Reference Jubilee turntable was released – the table itself is made of panzerholz wood composite, steel and acrylic. It uses a grand 26kg platter and Clearaudio Ceramic Magnetic Bearing (CMB). The structure is driven through a belt by a 24V DC motor. 84 dB “signal-to-noise ratio” with an error of 0.05% – the merit of the Optical Speed ​​Control system. The Clearaudio Reference Jubilee sounds obscenely great, the turntable simply has no flaws.

Why in the ranking – we have not met such an elegant performer for a long time

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12. CH Precision D1.5 universal player

n/a

Formats – SACD, CD, MQA-CD Chip – n/a Weight – 22 kg

“Under the hood” of the model is a transport with a proprietary Mechanically Optimized Reading System (MORS) mechanism, a reinforced anti-resonance system (with a frame weighing 2 kg), which provides precise data reading. The CH Precision D1.5 uses PetER’s proprietary upsampling system to achieve incredible results in any playing field. The signal-to-noise ratio exceeds 120 dB even on CD, and distortion does not go beyond 0.002%.

Why ranked – CH Precision reinvents both DAC and disc player

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11. Headphones Stax SR-X9000

$6 200

Frequency response – 5 – 42,000 Hz Sound pressure – 100 dB Distortion – n/a Weight – 432 g

The development of the SR-Omega model and simply the best Japanese headphones for today. Stax SR-X9000 uses a new generation of MLER-3 emitters – fixed mesh electrodes with thermocompression connection. With a 20% increased radiation area, you can forget that we are listening to music with headphones – with the Stax SR-X9000, the performance is more like being at a concert!

Why in the rating – Stax SR-X9000 sound so good that you forget about the sound in the headphones and as if you are present at a concert

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10. Klipsch Jubilee 75th Anniversary Edition Speakers

19,999 

Frequency response – 18 – 20,000 Hz Sound pressure – 125 dB Sensitivity – 105 dB Resistance – 8 Ohm Weight – n/a

The Klipsch Jubilee speakers were released for the 50th anniversary of the legendary Klipschorn, and recently the time has come for the “improved” anniversary release of the Klipsch Jubilee 75th Anniversary Edition, now timed to coincide with the company’s birthday. Unlike other top-of-the-line Heritage speakers, the Klipsch Jubilee features a two-way design with a giant tweeter/midrange horn and bass module built around a 15” woofer. In the frequency range from 300 to 20,000 Hz, a K-693 compression driver with a 5-inch titanium diaphragm works, the low-frequency section has a hybrid acoustic design that combines a reverse horn and a phase inverter, which allows it to work from 20 Hz. Klipsch Jubilee 2021 are active speakers, all electronics are placed in a separate unit containing a crossover filter and a processor.

Why in the rankings – Klipschorn’s reimagining deserves applause

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9. D/A Converter and Streamer dCS Rossini Apex

$34,130

Chip – dCS Ring DAC Supported formats – upsampling up to DSD128 Weight – 15.6 kg

dCS Rossini Apex uses an updated proprietary dCS Ring signal converter with upsampling of all signals to DSD format. Both the analog stage of the system and numerous power supplies have been completely redesigned. The model combines a DAC and a network streamer – and in all forms it performs stunningly great. dCS Rossini Apex is the kind of digital progress you’ve been waiting for.

Why in the ranking – because we have one of the best digital-to-analog converters in general

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8. Speakers Paradigm Founder 120H

$8 499

Frequency response – 22 – 20,000 Hz Sound pressure – n/ a Sensitivity – 92 dB Resistance –  Ohm Weight – 41.7 kg 

Almost forty-two kilograms of “live weight”, 1″ AL-MAC ceramic tweeter, 6″ AL-MAG midrange and three solid 8″ CARBON-X woofers with Active Ridge technology, Shock-Mount system that reduces the mutual influence of the bands – after this magnificence price I would like to test the model again. Yes, the Paradigm Founder 120H revolutionizes our pricing, both in terms of technology and luxurious full-size sound.

Why in the ranking there is, without exaggeration, a record price / quality ratio

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7. Acoustic systems Børresen M1

$100,000

Frequency response – 40 – 50,000 Hz Sound pressure – n/a Sensitivity – 87 dB Resistance – 6 Ohm Weight – 14.1 kg

The “to die for” bookshelves are Børresen’s most ambitious project yet. How do you like the 3D printed zirconia speaker baskets? Or unique membranes with zero resonance? It’s better not to remember about patented magnetic systems without iron content … The development funds were well spent – according to those who heard, the sound of the Børresen M1 is almost no different from the real performance. We are looking forward to floor-standing speakers from the same model range of the company!

Why ranking is a stunning example of a cost-no-object approach

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6. Gryphon Apex Stereo Power Amplifier

$99,000

Output power – 2 x 210 W into 8 ohms Class – A Distortion – 0.02 Weight –  265 kg

The monstrous Gryphon Apex uses 128 high current bipolar transistors, a 2,080,000 uF capacitor bank, and four custom-made 2,000 VA toroidal transformers. Up to 1,800 watts into 1 ohm load, all in pure class A with zero feedback – we are at the pinnacle of Gryphon engineering, offering a transparent and extremely lively sound.

Why in the ranking – purebred Gryphon. Apex, despite its monstrous appearance and weight, pumps air in liters and gives so much “brilliance” that your head is spinning

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5. KEF Blade One Meta Speakers*

35,000 euros

Frequency response – 35 – 35,000 Hz Sound pressure – 117 dB Sensitivity – 88 dB Resistance – 4 Ohm Weight – 57.2 kg

State-of-the-art speakers – 25 mm MAT dome tweeter, 125 mm midrange (coaxial assembly – Uni-Q) and four 225 mm aluminum woofers with force cancelling technology. KEF uses a Single Apparent Source scheme and achieves incredible stereo width. And the exceptional timbre accuracy makes it possible to rank the model among the “golden pantheon” of modern speakers.

Why in the ranking are the best columns of the company for today. Plus, they sound fantastic!

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4. Cabasse Rialto Wireless Speakers

$2,980

Frequency response – 30 – 27,000 Hz Sound pressure – 121 dB Integrated Amplification – 300, 300, 450W Weight – 9 kg

No, you heard right. Cabasse Rialto cost exactly as much as it is written – at the same time, they develop an incredible 121 dB of sound pressure and use, in addition to 13 cm BCI coaxial assembly, also 17 cm HELD (High Excursion Low Distortion) woofers. The built-in amplification of more than a kilowatt of power will make your legs dance on their own, and the traditional proprietary clarity will allow you to believe in the impossible. We add all possible streaming options and support for the 32/764 stream – and here it is, a must have.

Why it’s in the rankings – Cabasse Rialto revolutionizes the wireless speaker market by offering construction and quality that used to cost ten times more

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3. OMA K3 turntable

$  363,000

Rotation speeds – 33.3 and 45 rpm Drive – direct Weight – 400 kg

A giant of giants – The monstrous Selective Laser Melting cast iron case houses a specially recreated Neumann record-cutting motor replica (which took over a thousand hours of labor to build). 25mm oil priming bearing, 3D printed aluminum tonearm – the list is long. It’s better to see once. And hear.

Why in the ranking – we have not yet seen such a monstrous turntable, except for TechDAS AirForce ZERO

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2. Wilson Audio Alexx V speakers

$135,000

Frequency response – 20 – 32,000 Hz Sound pressure – 120 dB Sensitivity – 92 dB Resistance – Ohm Weight – 226.8 kg. 

Wilson Audio Alexx V uses new QuadraMag mids and CSC tweeter; one speaker weighs almost 227 kg and consists of four cases. The basis is a bass module with two drivers with a diameter of 26 and 31 cm, a system of three boxes is mounted on it in a “skeletal” mount on two side brackets. The declared 20 Hz lower frequency response is not a joke, but 92 dB of sensitivity allows you to use not only amplification mastodons in tandem with speakers. There are speakers on the market that are more transparent or dynamic than the Wilson Audio Alexx V, but none at the price listed or higher will deliver such a coherent and natural soundscape.

Why in the ranking – a synthesis of the latest approaches from one of the most respected speaker manufacturers in the world could not be ignored

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1. Integrated amplifier Aavik I-880

67,000 euros

Output Power – 2 x 200W into 8 ohms Class – A Distortion – 0.007% Weight – 36 kg

A creation by Flemming Erik Rasmussen, founder of Gryphon Audio, who now collaborates with Michael Børresen to create audio masterpieces at Audio Group Denmark. This is a reimagining of traditional amplifiers – innovative circuitry and four 500-watt power supplies keep the output stages always class A, no matter how much current the power amplifier requires. This eliminates the time delays inherent in the increased induction of many windings and eliminates parasitic capacitances. A branded circuit with Tesla coils is “strung” on this miracle – 132 and 311 such coils work in the main circuits, and another 20 and 4, wound with zirconium cable, complete the picture. However, innovations are not limited to this – the Aavik I-880 arsenal also uses a volume control based on LDR (Light Dependent Resistor), which has a record low noise level due to the absence of switches and relays, and an analog crossover for perfect subwoofer docking is not forgotten. Product presentations confirmed its reference status.

Why in the ranking – Aavik 880 is the perfect combination of proven technology and tomorrow’s trends, and the names of the developers do not allow you to doubt the stunning result

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