A World of Amazing Sound
We scour the globe for exceptional products, ignoring fads, hype, and marketing-driven consensus. Here is an introduction to a few of our favorite brands.
Antonio Meze struck audio gold with his 99 Classics headphones, released in 2015 at a jaw-dropping low price. Now firmly established as a must-own brand, the company has consistently delivered higher performance at extremely attractive prices.
Homegrown digital audio favorites Bricasti hail from Massachusetts. They wowed us with the spectacular M1 SE streaming DAC and achieved a new performance pinnacle with the dual-mono, tri-signal-path M21. We cannot say enough good things about this company and the products they produce. They honor New England’s heritage as a hi-fi capital of America.
The biggest speaker brand in Germany, and one of the biggest in the EU, Canton has kept a low profile in the US until now. The new Reference series, which we usually have in the Garage for demo, pulls off the nearly impossible: grab-you-by-the-throat slam, authority, and chest-thumping bass extension, coupled with silken refinement and tonal balance. One of Tim’s “desert island” speakers.
NAD was founded in England in 1972 as New Acoustic Dimension. Their breakout product was the 3020 integrated amplifier (1977), which arguably did more to fuel the hi-fi boom of the late 70s and 80s than any other single product. Owned since 1999 by Canada’s excellent Lenbrook Group, they continue to stay ahead of the competition with fantastic performance and future-proof features, at very attractive prices.
When Verdant Audio was selected to premiere the new Wilson-Benesch Discovery Z3 speakers at the 2022 AXPONA show, they chose Canor Audio to provide the power and source selection. The biggest brand most audiophiles have never heard of, Canor have been building components for other top brands for three decades. They have stepped out of the shadows in the last few years, and we are incredibly excited to have these tube-solid state hybrids in our stable. Just phenomenal.
China has produced so many excellent audio brands and products in recent years that it’s hard to pick just one. We love Questyle because the current-mode amplification (CMA) they use in their headphone DAC-amps is to us the very definition of “the better mousetrap.” If you wanted one component on a desktop to use with a laptop/PC and headphones, this would be near the top of our list.