• Pursuing the Ultimate Music Experiences

    Audio Federation

  • Pursuing the Ultimate Music Experiences

    Audio Federation

  • Pursuing the Ultimate Music Experiences

    Audio Federation

Today

Acapella Atlas, Audio Note M9 and Kegon, EMMLabs XDS1, HRS SXR and M3X, Nordost Odin

 

 

Welcome

To a hassle free listening environment with some of the best audio reproduction equipment on the planet

All women, men, couples, singles, straight, gay (LGBTQ), young, old, newbie, experienced (even cynical), and races of audiophiles and all musical tastes (rock, pop, country, classical, techno, opera, house, jazz, heavy metal, new age, folk, ancient, hip hop, etc.) are most welcome.

Our Showrooms

Our Showrooms

Our showrooms overlooking the eternal green wonderland of Palo Alto, California.

Laaaid Back Listening

Laaaid Back Listening

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

Who We Are

We're married. We're both audiophiles without any self-control. And we love it.

Neli

Neli

Rock and roll
Grateful Dead live
Opera
Answers phone and runs store
Extreme volume
Swimming, yoga, weight training
Sports

Mike

Mike

Rock and roll
Early Pink Floyd live
Electronica
Blogs and lifts heavy things
Normal volume
Weight training, yoga
60's sitcoms, romantic comedies

What We Do

We are active throughout High-end Audio

We are a wife and husband high-audio audio dealership, importer, bloggers, therapist and advice line. We’ve started magazines, and currently run an online marketplace, and have attended at least 40 hifi shows and posted show reports of most of them, with a bazillion photos. We currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area (Palo Alto, Silicon Valley) in the U.S. and run our store out of our home, usually with at least one million dollar system for our customers to enjoy.

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-Century Modern

Our current rental is an Eichler with 3 listening rooms. The main listening room is 18x13 feet; with an entire wall of glass, but otherwise much like your typical suburban listening room; and with a view of a backyard with actual green grass [rare during this multi-year drought].

15 years in the business

15 years in the business

As we move around looking for the right place to live, optimal for both us and our customers, we get to meet the nicest people.

Palo Alto, California

Palo Alto, California

Our store and home is about 2 miles from the GooglePlex, 2 miles from Stanford, and 4 miles from Facebook. We are just an hop and skip from 101 - this location provides easy access and a comfortable, down-to-earth suburban listening environment.

Mountain Chateau (Previously)

Mountain Chateau (Previously)

We have 3 listening rooms. Our main listening room is 24 feet tall; octagonal; glass, stone, wool and wood; and with a view of Boulder, downtown Denver and other assorted front-range towns. We've held hundreds of shootouts here on the best gear in the world, the results usually posted on the blog.

Store

Store

We are happily authorized dealers for a few exceptional brands, most of which we have carried for over 10 years: Acapella Audio Arts, Acoustic Zen, Audio Note U.K., Elrod cables, EmmLabs, Harmonic Resolution systems (HRS), Lamm Industries, Loricraft, and Nordost

Boulder, Colorado (Previously)

Boulder, Colorado (Previously)

Our store and home is outside Boulder in the foothills. We are at 7200 feet (Boulder is about 6000 feet above sea level) and we are about 7 minutes from Broadway, the main street in Boulder. This location provides some of the quietest, and most beautiful, backgrounds in high-end audio.

Bespoke Hi-Fi System Design

Bespoke Hi-Fi System Design

Why doesn't everyone do this? Before we tell you what we think you need, we actually ask you what kind of sound you like. Lots of slam? Detail? Emotion? What kind of music do you like to play? What else do you have in your system? How large is your room?

Use the Ears, Luke

Use the Ears, Luke

We listen. We think about what we heard. We try and figure out things. Things like what stages of audiophile maturity do we all go through? What makes music drug-like, and cause cool hallucinations? (and how can we all get some of that!). To infinity and then crank it up some more.

Our specialty: the State-of-the-art

Our specialty: the State-of-the-art

We are some of the world's primary experts on state-of-the-art gear. This typically means ridiculously expensive [but not always], paying attention to extremely small details, and using holistic system design techniques. "It takes a system"

Blog

Blog

We have one of the most well-known and longest running blogs in high-end audio. We started in 2005 and have over 1200 posts. The blog explores all aspects of the deeper meanings of being an audiophile the pursuit of the ultimate music experiences.

Shows

Shows

Exhibited 17 rooms at 11 shows. We also posted 38+ massive show reports typically with over 1000 photos each. We started with CES in 2002 and the most recent was the Newport Beach show in May 2014. Sometimes controversial (we've mellowed over the years) we pay particular attention to the extreme high end.

Ultimist

Ultimist

A high-end marketplace and hangout, this extravaganza of show photos, information and real-time news from a hundred or so high-end audio blogs is still just getting started. Welcome to the future.

What We Sell

Exceptional brands, exceptional products

Acapella Audio Arts

Acapella Audio Arts

/ Acapella Audio Arts

A decades old speaker manufacturer from Germany, Acapella builds extremely high-quality dynamic hybrid-horn speakers using their unique tube-based plasma (ion) tweeter, literally the best in the world

Lamm Industries

Lamm Industries

/ Lamm

Lamm builds very high-end amplifiers and preamps. Their gear is amazingly economically priced in today's marketplace and extremely well-reviewed. From Brooklyn, New York.

EmmLabs

EmmLabs

/ EmmLabs

EmmLabs builds world-renowned solid-state digital gear as well as the world's best solid-state amplifier. Musical with resolution, sounds more like music than any other solid-state. Out-performs the competition by a country mile. From Canada.

Audio Note U.K.

Audio Note U.K.

/ Audio Note

Audio Note is one of the largest high-end audio manufacturers and builds everything from kits to $250K Gaku-On amplifiers. Tube-based and pioneering new extremely simple and effective circuit designs.

Nordost

Nordost

/ Nordost

Nordost builds extremely clear sounding and true to the music cables.
The ones to beat.
From the USA.

Harmonic Resolution Systems

Harmonic Resolution Systems

/ HRS

HRS builds highly effective equipment racks and vibration control equipment. It not only works to add detail to the midrange and tighten up the bass, its effectiveness is consistent across all kinds of equipment.

From The Blog

Audio Federation at CAS 2017

[Yes, we are going to Newport 2017 this Spring as well, and I’ll post where we will be when the […]

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Listening room photos March 2017

[Still have a hard time writing 2017. Or ‘2’ for that matter :-)]   This is the main listening room […]

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How sound at sea-level is different than sound at elevation

How is sound at sea-level different than sound a mile or more above sea-level? I’ve spent 50 years at least […]

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A Year Without CES

In the last 15 years, this is the second year we have not gone to CES. Miss it? A little. […]

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10 questions reveal whether you are an audiophile

10 questions reveal whether you are an audiophile MakeUseOf has a fun click-bait article.   The article is fun and […]

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RokBlok - A New Spin, on Vinyl (LoFi fun)

[Another Kickstarter In the ‘never thought of THIS’ category! Not sure how ultimately useful this is, LPs themselves are not very […]

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Audio Note M10 Line Signature preamplifier

Neli had the opportunity recently to help unpack and setup Audio Note’s new Level Six linestage preamplifier, the M10 Line […]

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StällDesk - The Standing Desk, Reinvented.

StällDesk – The Standing Desk, Reinvented. An audiophile friend of ours from way back [I bet he still remembers the pain […]

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