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News, Reviews, and More: June Edition
By Music Direct Brand Ambassador Bes Nievera

As summer nears, we're keeping tabs on some of the best news from our industry on products we proudly support. Among the stars of the moment:

Wharfedale continues to receive accolades for its newly revamped line of speakers, including its revived Linton floorstander. Part-Time Audiophile Editor Marc Phillips remarked on the new arrival, ultimately awarding it among the best of show. Among his observations: "These are the speakers I would have killed for twenty years ago when I was a journeyman audiophile and wanted great, classic British monitor sound for a reasonable price." Meanwhile, The Absolute Sound's Drew Kalbach raved about the Diamond 11.1 Bookshelf speaker, saying, "Over a large range of musical styles, the Wharfedale Diamond 11.1s never failed to keep me engaged. They always did my favorite records justice. They just sounded simple and good. I can't really ask more from a speaker of any price."

Acclaim for Chord Electronics's Qutest DAC continues to pour in, this time from The Absolute Sound's Steven Stone: "I've been reading about and hearing about Chord digital products for a number of years, but the Qutest was my first hands-on experience with a Chord DAC. I know that Chord's flagship products have become many audiophiles' reference standards. And while I did not compare the Qutest with its higher-priced brethren, I did hear that it possesses a certain 'rightness' to its sound that I could live with happily for a long time. The Qutest is both neutral and incisive – just like my favorite of its filters says it will be."

Our Friends at SVS earned another 'attaboy' for the remarkable SB-3000 subwoofer, courtesy of writer Greg Handy of Home Theater Review who notes, "The SVS SB-3000 is a powerful subwoofer that excels in terms of form, functionality, and performance."

Mark Levinson's all-new No. 5805 integrated amplifier drew instant reactions during show stops in Florida and at AXPONA. Stereophile's review in the upcoming July issue, and written by new editor Jim Austin, speaks to the amp's goodness: "If I were to decide tomorrow to leave the world of high-end audio and settle down...I'd very seriously consider a product such as this...There's little or nothing to fault."

We've uploaded several new videos for our new Arcam products, including the amazing SA Series amps and versatile CDS50 player. The all-new Pneuance bowed at Music Direct, and Doug Deutser brought the product into focus. Cambridge Audio's Bob Scranton also gave us his take on the all-new Cambridge Audio Alva TT, an all-in-one audiophile analog rig.

My colleague Josh Rudner was among the attendees at a dealer-invite event for Sound United (parent company for the Denon and Marantz brands) in New Orleans, complete with a performance by the Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band during happy hour. "We got a real feel for Sound United's commitment to great sounding stereo solutions," Josh says, "starting with the Denon DCD-1600NE SACD/CD player, PMA-1600NE integrated amplifier, DNP-800NE network audio player, and DP-450USB turntable. This system was especially engaging and a lot of fun to listen to!" Marantz' Pearl Series of components (the last masterpieces under designer Ken Ishiwata's tenure before he left Marantz this past May) also got the show treatment.

May 31, 2019

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