"The World's Best Audio System," TWBAS for short, now means two things: In the pages of Ultra Audio, it's an ongoing feature that examines some of the best audio equipment available today. You'll find articles and equipment reviews by Jeff Fritz as he maximizes his audio system. In the real world, it's now an event that will showcase topflight equipment from around the world. In March 2009, six manufacturers will set up more than $250,000 worth of equipment in Jeff Fritz's "Music Vault," the name Jeff uses for his custom-designed listening room. That first of many TWBAS events will be reported on here and throughout the SoundStage! Network. TWBAS is where you'll find the very best hi-fi there is.

Feature article - 2010/06/01
Simaudio Moon Evolution 750D Digital-to-Analog Converter-CD Transport by Jeff Fritz
"Nor can I recommend Simaudio highly enough. Their Moon Evolution models are costly in absolute terms, but actually less expensive than many products made by Sim’s competitors, especially those based overseas. The retail prices of Simaudio’s products are directly correlated to the manufacturing costs, unlike what I believe is the case with some of the crazy-priced brands."


Feature article - 2010/03/01
How Close Can I Get for Half the Price or Less? -- Paradigm Reference Signature S2 v.3 Loudspeakers by Jeff Fritz
"In high-end audio, the ratio of price to performance is often a sticky subject. Audiophiles seem to generally agree that, as the price increases, returns diminish. In other words, the degree of improvement in performance does not increase linearly with the degree of increase in cost. When you spend, say, twice as much money for a set of loudspeakers than you would for a different set, you don’t get sound that is, subjectively, twice as good."


Feature article - 2009/09/07
The Great North American Loudspeaker Tour: EgglestonWorks by Jeff Fritz
"Somewhat quietly, EgglestonWorks has been producing high-end loudspeakers for many years. Although their recent low profile has led some to wonder just what the company is up to these days, I can happily report that I saw lots of cabinets under construction, and speakers in all stages of assembly. Their newest iteration of the Ivy, the Signature, is an impressive statement loudspeaker, and it’s fitting that it’s made in Memphis, a city with such a rich musical heritage."


Feature article - 2009/09/06
The Great North American Loudspeaker Tour: Rockport Technologies by Jeff Fritz
"I concluded my visit to Rockport Technologies at Andy Payor’s lakeside cabin, just outside Rockport, Maine. He took me there after the listening session at the factory because he said that it’s often the place that provides him with the creative inspiration that fuels his development of his products. In its beauty, it was spectacular."


Feature article - 2009/09/04
The Great North American Loudspeaker Tour: Paradigm Loudspeakers by Jeff Fritz
"If you own or are looking to purchase a Paradigm product, you can rest assured that your new toy has been through quite
the process -- from inception to design and engineering, to manufacture, to testing, and finally to your door. I think I was as impressed by the Paradigm facility as I was the Sub 2 subwoofer. And when you read my review of the Sub 2 on October 1, well, you’ll know just what that means."


Feature article - 2009/09/03
The Great North American Loudspeaker Tour: Verity Audio by Jeff Fritz
"Companies that have a clear vision of the product they want to make before they set out to design, manufacture, and market it are typically tightly focused and goal-oriented. Verity Audio has built a line of loudspeakers that all share a unique family resemblance in terms of sound, appearance, and technical design. Each model is rightly considered compact in size and elegant in appearance when compared with most other competing speakers."


Feature article - 2009/09/01
The Great North American Loudspeaker Tour: YG Acoustics by Jeff Fritz
"It’s counterintuitive, I know, but after my listening session with the Anat Reference II Professional, I can attest to it: Cold, hard science, devoid of any skewed artistic whims, can result in a product that elicits raw emotion from a listener. The sound of the YG Acoustics loudspeakers is wholly matched by the precise processes used in their design and manufacture -- just as Yoav Geva intended."


Feature article - 2009/08/28
The Great North American Loudspeaker Tour: Wilson Audio Specialties by Jeff Fritz
"I was greatly impressed by the sound of Wilson Audio’s Alexandria X-2 Series 2 and Thor’s Hammer loudspeaker system. But I was just as impressed with the Wilson factory, and the company’s commitment to make their speakers in the US with the highest levels of quality and efficiency."


Feature article - 2009/04/01
TWBAS 2009: The Event by Jeff Fritz
"I hope you’ve been following the 2009 installments of 'TWBAS.' If so, this is probably not the article you thought I’d be writing. It’s not the article I thought I’d be writing. TWBAS 2009 was a huge success on almost every level, but the nature of the quest for the highest-end audio injected some unanticipated twists and turns into the proceedings."


Feature article - 2009/03/01
TWBAS 2009: The Arrival by Jeff Fritz
"Ever imagined what it would be like to listen to the hi-fi system of your dreams right in your own home? No practical, financial, or logistical limits -- just the best
audio system you’ve ever envisioned? That’s basically what 'TWBAS' 2009 is all about."


Equipment review - 2009/02/01
Rock-Solid Power: Classé Audio Omega Omicron Mono Amplifiers by Jeff Fritz
"But when I listen to Classé Audio’s Omega Omicron Monos, I’m reminded again of what Einstein said: 'Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.' It occurs to me that, as far as power-amp perfection goes, maybe a design as complex as the Omicron’s is as simply built as possible."


200901_weiss_minerva.jpg (2535 bytes)Equipment review - 2008/10/15
Sea Change: Weiss Minerva Digital-to-Analog Converter by Jeff Fritz
"...without any qualification, the Minerva-MacBook combination provided the best sound I’ve heard in my system, which has included the best CD player I’ve heard, the Audio Research Corporation Reference CD7. The Weiss-Apple also handily beat my prior disc-spinning reference, the Esoteric UX3-SE SACD/DVD-Audio player. Hands down, this is the real deal."

More? See the Archives.


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