The

Music Room

Magazine
Hi-fi news, views & solutions.
Tuesday, 21st May 2019
#22

Latest

News

Getting high in Munich: 2019 Show Report

How High is High? Aspiration audio in an age of high technology. What is the high end?

These are practical questions the astute audiophile needs to define because the marketing machines cloud the issue (as they are handsomely paid to do).

Munich has deservedly become THE annual showcase of all that is good, bad and ugly in high-end audio, and the trends are there for all to see. I hope this is a useful and insightful overview based on our 40 years of experience of trends!

We will save for later our High End system consisting of a turntable under £1500, amplifier under £2500, loudspeakers under £5000, so allowing for cartridges, cables Etc, a ten thousand pound system that is a Giant Killer.

By Jack Lawson • 17th May ’19
News

The Collection

We are very proud of our inner circle. Designers and manufacturers motivated by pride in their products and cutting edge technology and craftsmanship. It is for this reason we are most delighted to introduce “The Collection”: a concept and brochure first […]

By The Music Room • 21st May ’19
News

ProAc & Primare

A marriage made in heaven and celebrated everyday at The Music Room.

It has been announced today the What HiFi best floorstanding loudspeaker under £2,000. ProAc’s DT8. Congratulations to the Team Tyler, a remarkable accomplishment against the […]

By Jack Lawson • 11th Oct ’18
Feature

Strictly for the few... Esoteric with a capital "e".

The Music Room opened 39 years ago with a motto and a non-commercial model that we hope makes us worth discovering.

By enthusiasts, for enthusiasts.

That means that we do not sell mass-produced, household names, or High Street products that we would […]

By Jack Lawson • 6th Aug ’18
Insight

They come in pairs and men love them.

What comes in pairs and are beloved by men? Loudspeakers, of course.

Loudspeakers are the components which most reproduce your music and interact with listener, room acoustics and décor. Unfortunately, most manufacturers pursue the cheapest route to the […]

By Jack Lawson • 14th May ’18
News

We're at Munich High End 2018

We're at Munich High End 2018, arguably the industry's most important event. A nice chance to catch up with manufacturers and colleagues old and new. A tiny taster below from day one below, with a full report when we're back home. Make sure to follow us […]

By The Music Room • 11th May ’18
News

ATC makes a welcome return to The Music Room.

We are delighted to be reappointed by ATC after a gap of 9 years. There could not be a better time and a more synergistic partnership. The Music Room offers artisan audio for the price of High Street Hi-Fi.

Put simply, you can buy a branded loudspeaker […]

By Jack Lawson • 12th Dec ’17
Equipment Review

Abyss AB-1266 Phi: beyond hi-fi.

The Abyss AB-1266 Phi headphones are among the finest headphones on the planet. Manufactured in USA, almost entirely in-house, using proprietary techniques, highest quality materials and patent pending technology. The more I listen to them, despite my […]

By Douglas Whates • 16th Nov ’17
Insight

Digital audio file formats demystified.

Digital audio can be recorded and subsequently encoded in a variety of formats and qualities. When you're downloading a file from a download site or streaming from an online subscription service it can be hard to know which file format to choose from the […]

By Douglas Whates • 15th Aug ’17
Insight

Streaming demystified.

To stream is to use a device known as a streamer to access music from online subscription services such as Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music, as well as audio files on any PC/Mac/NAS or other such devices on your home network, and play it back through your […]

By Douglas Whates • 15th Aug ’17
Insight

The real bargains.

The Music Room is upmarket and sells expensive Hi-Fi, but survives as the cheapest source of real Hi-Fi. Today’s online economy does not fool the discerning buyer. There is good reason to buy new from franchised dealers apart from the faking and fraud […]

By Jack Lawson • 14th Aug ’17
Music Review

Igor Stravinsky / The Rite of Spring – MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis

MUSIC:
*****
SOUND:
*****

A bold new interpretation that dares to delve deeper into the music.

Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring is probably the supreme musical masterpiece of the twentieth century. It has received excellent performances in the studio and live concerts issued on vinyl […]

By Jack Lawson • 21st Jun ’17
Feature

Turning the Tables

Truth, says The New York Times, is based on facts. The revival of vinyl has seen soaring sales but mainly of appliances under £100 that might be called record players but they are record grinders.

Every dealer claims to be an enthusiast. Every […]

By Jack Lawson • 26th Apr ’17
Insight

MQA: the lossy codec no end user asked for or needs.

I’m not going to work up to a punchline with this rambling essay. I’ll lay my cards on the table right here in the opening paragraph and reveal that I’m skeptical about MQA, and you should be too.

If you’re wondering what MQA is then you are one of the […]

By Douglas Whates • 25th Apr ’17
Equipment Review

Unison Research Max 1

Unison MAX-1 loudspeakers now on dem. Italian flair, gorgeous cabinets and the golden age sound you thought had gone forever. This could be for you. Read on.

The JBL 4425 studio monitor was launched in 1985. It employed a compression driver, bi-radial […]

By Jack Lawson • 5th Apr ’17
News

Esoteric P-05X/D-05X

On their 20th anniversary Esoteric, world leaders in CD and digital players, released a Super Audio CD Transport and DAC at a relatively accessible price point. What it lacked in overkill components it had in immersive natural sound. In 2007, the P-05 […]

By Jack Lawson • 3rd Apr ’17
News

ABYSS AB-1266 Phi headphone–the best just got better.

In Brief. Shipping dates of Diana ($3,000) and AB-1266 Phi ($4,950) coming soon. As before AB-1266 will be available with or without the leather case and desk stand. Upgrade to Phi drivers direct to the factory expected to cost $1,500 plus one-way […]

By Jack Lawson • 3rd Apr ’17
Equipment Review

ProAc Tablette 10

At first glance it is an ordinary loudspeaker but ProAc has never made anything ordinary. In fact, the tenth “tablette” since 1979 is a breakthrough product and one which answers the needs of our time. To the best of my knowledge it is the first sealed […]

By Jack Lawson • 29th Nov ’16
Insight

How much for a needle?

Record players are a return to real Hi-Fi in terms of emotionally involving sound and a lifestyle activity, not a peripheral. You focus on music, play throughout rather than surf tracks or relegate music as a background abstraction.

With the welcome […]

By Jack Lawson • 19th Oct ’16
Music Review

Luce Trio: Pieces, Vol. 1

MUSIC:
*****
SOUND:
*****

A profound, understated album which successfully straddles the classical/jazz divide.

On paper this album is a recipe for disaster: a jazz trio of alto sax, electric guitar, and double bass improvising over themes by Baroque and early music heavyweights […]

By Douglas Whates • 17th Oct ’16
Music Review

Faure: Requiem (The Choir of King's College, Cambridge)

MUSIC:
*****
SOUND:
*****

Sublime music, captured in vivid sound.

Arranged here in its original liturgical score and played with the sound of a 19th century French Orchestra (which is very distinctive), this is a feast for the soul as well as for the ears. Vivid recording captured […]

By Jack Lawson • 17th Oct ’16
Equipment Review

Bring out the best in your headphone with Unison Research SH

A few short years ago dedicated headphone amplifiers were few and far between. With the explosion in popularity of high-end headphones all that has changed and we’re now seeing headphone amps from a wide variety of manufacturers, old and new.

When news […]

By Douglas Whates • 17th Oct ’16

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