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Valve Audio Predator Integrated Amp
WLM Divas Speakers
Neeper Perfection One Speakers
Usher CP-6381 Speakers
B&O BeoLab 9 Speakers & BeoSound 3200 Audio System
Crystal Cable Dreamline Speaker Cables & Interconnects
Sonus Faber Guaneri Memento
Black Ravioli Pads
BIS Audio Speaker Cables & Maestro Interconnects
Grand Prix Audio Monaco Rack System
Gershman Acoustics Sonogram
This Month's Feature Gear
Audio Blogs
Feature Reviews
Valve Audio’s Predator Integrated Amp offers value for money

Vacuum tubes or transistors? Take your choice, or take both! Valve Audio may be a new name to most readers, so a little background is in order. Founder Schalk Havenga began as an audio repair technician and worked on many familiar brands such as Quad, Leak, Marantz and Audio Research before setting up an audio repair shop with his friend Gunther Graef. This company, HiFi & TV Services, became the service agents for Jeff Rowlands, who inspired Schalk to design his own amplifiers. He set up Valve Audio in 1994 with his first product, the Black Widow, a hybrid 200-watt power amplifier. << MORE >>

The WLM divas provide out-of-this-world sound whether your taste in amps is tube or solid state

Specialty high-end manufacturer WLM is located near the Swiss and German borders in Austria’s Alpine region. If you are a regular reader, you may recall two recent reviews, one of the company’s top-of-the-line model, the Gran Violas (reviewed in Vol. 16, No. 4) and the Auras (reviewed in Vol. 17, No. 1). Both of these models were designed for bi or tri-amping and had optional active external crossovers and modules to enhance the all-round sound. << MORE >>

Young and new in old-fashioned speaker design - Neeper Perfection One

I met the speakers’ designer, a, 28 year old Dane named Kim Neeper Rasmussen. To say that I was surprised by the man’s age is an understatement, because I expected to encounter a middle-aged man who has been around the industry for ages. After I had put my bias away, I learned about Rasmussen’s background. It seems he became interested in audio when he was only 12 years old ... After attending the 2005 CES in Las Vegas, he decided to design his own loudspeaker and Neeper Acoustics was born. The design goal was to create “a more complete speaker than anyone else in the world — complete in terms of design, materials and, of course, performance.”
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Everyman’s speaker - Usher CP-6381

Maybe it was the 10-degree rearward rake. Or the flawlessly radiused, seamless edges. Or the way the creamy white exterior melded so readily with my listening space. Whatever the reason, or the confluence of a number of sensate-evoking reasons, one word leapt into mind to describe the visual essence of the Usher CP-6381 speakers: Sensuous. Despite their size and finish—and these alone speak high-end—I wanted to believe that their allure could seduce even the most reluctant significant other. << MORE >>

Bang for The Buck - Bang & Olufsen combines fidelity, form and function with the new BeoLab 9 Speakers & BeoSound 3200 Audio System

This magazine is known for reviewing high-end audio, which often means corresponding prices. In my quest to cover this segment of the audio industry, I decided to evaluate the most handsomely-styled components available: the Bang and Olufsen speakers and a matching preamp/CD player/tuner.
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Dream a Little - Crystal Cable Delivers Clarity and Performance with their Dreamline Speaker Cables and Interconnects

In The Inner Ear’s last print issue (Vol 17 No. 4/2007), I had the opportunity to review Crystal Cables’ earlier high-end speaker cable — the Ultra. I remember it well, because its performance was extraordinary. The Ultras’ performance highlights included speed, transparency, resolution and a high degree of sonic neutrality. And just when I thought that these cables couldn’t be improved, Gaby van der Kley, Crystal’s president and founder, shocked the electronics industry (and me) with a new no-holds-barred design for the discriminating listener.
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Italian Grace - Sonus Faber's Guaneri Memento
When it comes to culture, style and tradition, it's hard to beat the Italians.

The loudspeakers under review here are ideal examples; I can't think of another loudspeaker manufacturer that has taken the time and effort to finish a product to the level of craftsmanship and refinement seen here. The Guarneri Memento is named in tribute to the art of the Cremonese violin makers of old, as are the other family members of the Sonus faber Homage Series of loudspeakers — the Amati Annicersario and the Stradivari Homage.
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Tweak du Jour - Are the Black Ravioli Pads stuffed with black magic ...
or complex BS ?

If you are looking for a great pasta recipe, this is not it. Neither am I about to evaluate the pasta known as ravioli. However, I'm about to tell you how to cook up, perk up, grade up an audio system with the help of these things they call Black Ravioli. They are made in Scotland, designed by Derrick Ethell and, although they are not edible, they are designed to complement and enhance the performance of audio and video components.
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The Wow Factor - BIS Audio is making a sound connection with their low priced, high performance cables.

Universal Music’s Nelson Poirier, a long-time audiophile and TIE reader recommended the BIS cables to me. Nelson is in charge of Universal’s Import division and his job responsibilities include auditioning all new releases as well as likely material from around the world. His audio system has evolved over the years and what began as entry-level high-end is now approaching super high-end. He auditioned the BIS cables in his system, promptly changed all his wiring, then called me and here I am undertaking another cable review! << MORE >>

Grand Prix Audio’s Monaco rack is a reference, period.
I often ask myself if “hype” is positive or negative. Typically, not a month goes by without some manufacturer claiming to have discovered yet another golden goose. From turntables to cables; from loudspeakers to magic little digital clocks, we have all seen and heard our fair share of sensational claims. “World’s best (fill in the flavour of the month blank)” ads grace many internet newsletters and fancy magazine spreads. Yet analysis of the state of high-end audio seems to prove the exact opposite: (mostly) all talk; no meat behind those superlatively exaggerated claims. << MORE >>
Gershman Acoustics makes its forey into the budget priced maketsplace
I first heard these speakers in April at the Festival Du Son, the Montreal Consumer Electronics Show — and I was impressed. Eli Gershman, principal designer of this family-owned business, has been designing loudspeakers for about 18 years. He has introduced new designs almost yearly, resulting in a line of loudspeakers that ranges from a mere $2,700 to a whopping $35,000. It is apparent to me that, in the process, Gershman has established a signature sound, that is consistently audible in each of the company’s models. The Sonograms under review are brand new and the lowest priced pair of speakers in the Gershman line-up. << MORE >>

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