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Vimberg Amea Loudspeakers | REVIEW

by Marc Phillips in Loudspeakers

The Vimberg Amea (website) loudspeaker is a two-way, stand-mounted loudspeaker. I’m bringing this up first for a very good reason. When I first arrived at the front door of the Part-Time Audiophile headquarters more than two years ago, Scot Hull asked me what I wanted to review. The first thing out of my mouth was “world-class two-way monitors,” or something like that. If you know me, you know I love the little two-ways, especially when they don’t sound like two-way stand-mounted [...]


  • Acora Acoustics SRC-2 Loudspeakers | REVIEW

    November 14, 2020 // 12 Comments

    After living with Acora Acoustics SRC-2 loudspeakers in my listening room, I consider these speakers to be the newest member of a very small group of speaker systems that are the absolute state of the art in music reproduction. For the last few months, I have witnessed firsthand the incredible coherence, stunning presentation of spatial information, wide and smooth bandwidth, and limitless ability to reveal dynamic contrasts. The SRC-2s produced the finest sound I’ve yet heard in my system. [...]
  • Spatial Audio Lab M3 Sapphire Loudspeaker | REVIEW

    October 25, 2020 // 16 Comments

    A little history, before we discuss the Spatial Audio Lab M3 Sapphire loudspeaker. About fifteen years ago, I was auditioning loudspeakers one after the other, like somebody trying on an armload of pants in a department store fitting room. I auditioned speakers from Ohm (multiple models), Totem, Reference 3A (multiple models), PSB, Silverline, Merlin, LSA, Ascend and Omega. Some (Ohm, Merlin, Reference 3A) took up residence in my listening room for months or longer. Others entered and exited in [...]
  • Sonus faber Lumina III Loudspeakers | REVIEW

    October 11, 2020 // 3 Comments

    After spending the first 24 hours with the new Sonus faber Lumina III loudspeakers, here’s what I came up with. First, imagine you’re not an audiophile. You’re just a consumer looking for a nice pair of speakers for your probably mid-fi system, although your friends and family think it’s already pretty fancy and that you’re “really into your music.” You think to yourself that a nice pair of towers would probably suffice, slim and petite enough to blend into your surroundings and [...]
  • EgglestonWorks Hotel Speakers | REVIEW

    September 4, 2020 // 0 Comments

    This is a story about finding love. As with most modern day love stories this too involved me sliding into the DMs on social media. Can it get any more contemporary than that? This time it is EgglestonWorks’ Facebook page, and I am in search of a true connection. Words and Photos by Eric Franklin Shook EgglestonWorks is an American company located in Memphis, TN and a manufacturer of high-end loudspeakers that start from just under $5K and climb to over $150K a pair. They’ve been in [...]
  • I first met Jeff Joseph of Joseph Audio (website) back in 1992 at the first Stereophile show in Los Angeles. We were both still in our twenties at the time, as I later learned that we were both born in the same year. I shared an elevator with Jeff, noticed his name tag, and mentioned to him that I had recently heard his small Joseph Audio RM7 monitors at Soundworks in Maryland. I really enjoyed them and put them at the top of whatever audiophile wish list I had going at the time. “Those were [...]
  • The availability of streaming devices is endless, offering convenience and friction-free listening. We have become accustomed to a quick tap or voice command and the tunes start flowing. Although I am blessed with an incredible reference listening setup, it’s complicated. A mass of components, platforms, and cables working together to create a symphony. I’ve been on the hunt to find something simpler. Something that I could recommend to friends and family who are looking to build a small [...]
  • Dynaudio Confidence 50 Loudspeakers | REVIEW

    July 19, 2020 // 2 Comments

    I’ve spent a lot of time enjoying large, floor-standing, top o’ the line speaker systems. But it wasn’t until the Dynaudio Confidence 50 loudspeakers showed up at my place that I’ve been able to experience a pair of big boys in my current listening room. Bigger is not always better, but in the case of the C 50s it was still pretty awesome. Words and Photos by Dave McNair When these large coffins arrived, my bud Chris Livengood and I (mainly Chris) unboxed the beasts and wrestled [...]
  • Stenheim Alumine 2 Loudspeakers | REVIEW

    July 12, 2020 // 3 Comments

    Whenever I see a pair of two-way monitors with a high price tag such as the Stenheim Alumine 2 loudspeakers from Switzerland, I’m immediately intrigued and I immediately want to sit down and listen to them. That’s not the normal reaction for audiophiles or consumers in general, I know, and I’ve talked to countless people in the industry who confirm that expensive stand-mounted boxes are a particularly tough sell to customers who still believe that bigger is better when it comes to [...]
  • LSA 20 Statement Loudspeakers | REVIEW

    June 26, 2020 // 9 Comments

    So here it is, my first audio review in the COVID-19 world, and it’s a real game-changer. I’ve been listening to a lot of music using the LSA 20 Statement loudspeakers (website), yet as much solace as I’ve gotten from the music itself, I really haven’t been in much of a mood to write about it. Well, that stops now. There is hopefulness on the horizon. As a dear friend ended a recent email to me: “There is a collective grieving for the world as we knew it, but I believe [...]
  • “Are you busy right now?” said the text from Von Schweikert Audio’s Leif Swanson. “Come back to the room when you can. We made a change.” This was back at the 2019 Capital Audiofest where Von Schweikert Audio and VAC were once again showing off what I call The System, approximately $1.5 million worth of high-end audio gear that usually snags Best Sound at Show Awards by an almost unfair margin. The loudspeakers that are used in The System most of the time are Von Schweikert’s own [...]
  • This is the final entry borne from that magical In Living Stereo room at last year’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. I started with the precious, jewel-like Mactone MH-120 power amplifier and XX-7000 preamplifier, continued with the mighty yet affordable Hana ML phono cartridge and now I’m finishing up with the very product that lured me into that room in the first place—the Trenner and Friedl Osiris loudspeakers. As I’ve mentioned in those other reviews, I chose to cover the In Living [...]
  • Reviewing the Fern and Roby Raven II loudspeakers reminds me of April last year, when Eric Franklin Shook and I visited the Fern and Roby factory for an article and photo essay we put together for The Occasional. Since Eric and I were driving from different directions and he was running late, I met Christopher Hildebrand at his house in Richmond VA for breakfast. When I arrived, music was playing in his living room courtesy of a Linear Tube Audio Z10 integrated amp and Christopher’s entry [...]
  • Qln Prestige Three Loudspeaker | REVIEW

    May 15, 2020 // 5 Comments

    Last November at the 2019 Capital Audio Fest, I had a fantastic time hearing numerous amazing systems and meeting some great folks. One of the many rooms I enjoyed was hosted by Well Pleased AV and consisted of an Innuos music server, Vinnie Rossi integrated amp, and a pair of attractive yet modest looking Qln Prestige Three speakers. I found the sound to be instantly compelling.  My friend and fellow audiophile Grover Neville sat down with me to listen. After hearing about thirty seconds of [...]
  • Would I like to come visit the room at the 2019 RMAF to see the MartinLogan Motion 35XTi? Sure, I thought when I read the email from Devin Zell, MartinLogan, Paradigm and Anthem Marketing Manager. There was a phase of my audiophile life where I had nearly constant seat time with many of their ESLs. I even reviewed one of their active hybrid speakers, one called the Purity. Seems like ages ago, I thought, which is why I said yes so quickly. Then I thought of something completely crazy—Devin [...]
  • Volti Audio Rival, Revisited | REVIEW

    March 8, 2020 // 1 Comment

    A date with Volti Several years ago, I received delivery of a pair of deliciously fun loudspeakers, the Volti Audio Rival. Since that happy day, the Rivals have been in heavy rotation in my primary audio system here at chez moi. That’s kind of an odd thing to say, come to think about it, and saying that I have a pair of massive loudspeakers “in rotation” implies that I have many such. Which is pretty much the case. Honestly, I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but it [...]
  • Raven Audio CeLest’ Speakers | REVIEW

    March 1, 2020 // 4 Comments

    In recent years, it seems that a number of audio manufacturers have made the decision to expand their product lines well beyond whatever it was that put them on the map in the first place. Such a move is bold, but can also be dangerous. In the high-end arena, this has proved to not always be a great idea, this shift to becoming “everything to everybody.” I’ll, therefore, admit to a bit of concern when the editor asked me to review the Raven Audio CeLest’ loudspeakers, a well-known [...]
  • Daedalus Audio Apollo Speakers | REVIEW

    October 27, 2019 // 3 Comments

    Sometimes the timing of an audio review seems inadvertently auspicious. Such is the case of my latest project: the Daedalus Audio Apollo full-range speakers. I’ve had these lovely wooden wonders here in my home for a few months now, but other pressing projects, both audio and non-audio related, kept placing the review on the back burner. I’ve finally had the pleasure of getting a solid month of critical listening and note-taking in, and it’s time to put pencil to paper… Through no [...]
  • Fern & Roby Raven Loudspeakers | REVIEW

    October 19, 2019 // 0 Comments

    My adventures with the Fern & Roby Raven loudspeakers started last year, right before I left my house in Western New York to drive down to the Capital Audiofest in the suburbs of Washington DC. Minutes before I left, I double-checked the CAF website for the address so I could put it into the GPS and there it was, on the landing page, an image of a beautiful single-driver loudspeaker with glorious mid-century style wooden legs and a curiously wide baffle. It reminded me of a perfect pair of [...]
  • Olympica Nova from Sonus Faber | REVIEW

    September 5, 2019 // 2 Comments

    The new Olympica series from Sonus Faber features a number of innovations—new drivers and crossovers, new cabinet designs and new approaches to enclosure bracing and tuning. The result is breathtaking looks and elegant sound in a compact package. [...]
  • Sonus Faber Serafino Tradition | Review

    June 30, 2019 // 2 Comments

    With the Sonus Faber Serafino Tradition in your room, chances are high you will tend to let irrelevancies slide. Like food, water, and personal hygiene. Because you will have more important things to attend to. Like how unbelievably pretty these speakers are. That really is the first and last word — these loudspeakers are the best-looking that I have ever had the pleasure of seeing in my home. They’re embarrassingly well-made. Every aspect is attended to, and the whole is so [...]