Stereomojo is pleased to present our products of the year for 2007. Culled from the many reviews we published this year, these are indeed the "Best of the Best". You will notice that many of these were, and are, the very first reviews ever of the products represented here, which is in keeping with our mission to bring our readers products that others either ignore or do not know exist. We think this supports our position that there are many great components from all over the world that audio and music lovers would never know of if it were not for our efforts to bring them to you.
We want to thank you for supporting us with your kind emails, comments and personal greetings at various audio shows we attend.
Many of our reviews spring from suggestions from our readers. We want your input and opinion. Our all-new upcoming website will include many new features that you requested. We listen. Year 2008 will bring you more innovation and information. We are grateful for your readership.
James L. Darby
The AV-123 Strata Mini is a large 48" tall and features four drivers, including a big midrange ribbon that is rare in a speaker for only $1,999 per pair. But even more than that, each speaker includes a subwoofer in its own sealed enclosure powered by a dedicated 350 watt built-in amplifier for astounding bass that competes with speakers many times its price. Its curvaceous style, quality finish and overall musicality just adds to it remarkable value.
STRATA MINI REVIEW
Not only is this a new speaker for 2007, but a new company as well. The Gemme Audio Tanto is an outstanding speaker in every regard.
Its stunning, quality low end performance, reaching down below 30Hz, from a driver that is only 6.5" is a remarkable achievement and worthy of kudos.
But there is much more to the Tanto that makes it an easy choice for "Best New Speaker" for 2007.
GEMME AUDIO TANTO REVIEW
From Germany comes a table with such high levels of craftsmanship and technology for its $5,000 price that it is easily worthy for this award.
It is also very upgradeable and can even accommodate three different arms simultaneously. But it is the sound of the TW Acustic Raven One that sets it apart and makes it a super value.
TW ACUSTIC RAVEN ONE REVIEW
It tracks like a freight train at only 1 gram and requires no moving coil preamp or step-up device.
At only $1,500, it outperforms cartridges at twice the price and more. Big name people in Europe are singing its praises.
In a world's first review soon to be published, so are we! It may be the cartridge of the decade! Congratulations to Peter Lederman and Soundsmith.
Yet another new company with an outstanding product line of amps and speakers. At 77 pounds and almost 9' tall, the entry level LSA "Standard" integrated amplifier looks like brute, but there is nothing brutish about its sound. At only $3,000, the full featured, balanced, with MM phono input and remote control, sounds so refined yet powerful that it belies its upper "mid-fi" price. There is nothing mid-fi about its 150 wpc controlled by a superb preamp section that sports two 6922 tubes. Yes, it is a hybrid design that brings you much of the wonderful tube sound without tubes' inherent power power limitations. LSA makes two other versions; the Signature (also reviewed here and the Publisher's Reference integrated) and the Statement which elevates this model to even greater heights. We think the LSA Standard is a steal.
LSA STANDARD INTERGRATED AMPLIFIER REVIEW
Another new company and product, but this time from long-honored amp maker Steve Keiser who founded B&K and designed the breakthrough solid-state ST-140. Along with co-founders Rick Schultz and Mike Tseng, Luminance has produced what we thing is another breakthrough ampifier.The KST-150 is one of the fastest, in terms of its ability to reproduce music without typical slew rate distortion, amplifiers on the planet. That translates to some of the purist and most musical sound we have heard at any price. And oh yes, the 150 watt per channel stereo power amp only costs $2,995!
Proof positive that speed helps make one killer amplifier.
LUMINANCE KST-150 REVIEW
Are you detecting a theme yet? Products that present a very high level of performance for a very attractive price?
This time it's a gorgeous pair of monoblock amplifiers that look and sound like at least $6,000 each, but come hand-made and direct from Canadian Richard Dolan for only $6,500 per pair. Each amp puts out a strong 120 watts of Class D power via the B&O ICEpower module. Richard has somehow managed to minimize many Class D artifacts present in other Class D amps (many at much higher prices) and created a sound that is quiet, linear and very musical. The current amp has been updated since our review, implementing several improvements we suggested, yet the price has stayed the same. Our publisher acquired a pair of the new models in gorgeous silver finish to use as a reference.
DOLAN M-ONE REVIEW
It is safe to say that all of the products mentioned here are worthy of this special award. It is also safe to say that we have a bit of a bias toward analog sound reproduction - not that we view digital as a distant relative; we do not and it is improving by leaps and bounds. But everyone knows about digital players while most Americans (and a lot of the rest of the world, though not as egregiously) do not know turntables or records are even being made today, even though they have record collections boxed up in their basements or garages. There is something extra palpable and endearing about analog sound. The TW Acustic Raven One does it in a special way at a remarkable price, primarily because it is sold direct at a very thin profit margin and no dealer mark up. They have even held the line in spite of the plunging dollar. Something this special deserves special recognition.
Congratulations to Thomas Woschnick, designer, and Jeffrey Catalano, distributor.
Link to TW Acustic Info
high water sound, llc
274 water street 2f
new york, new york
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