Secrets of Home Theater and Hifi logo

Audio / Video Showcase

Showcase 2022
Showcase 2022
In This Issue
Product Showcase

Sonus faber

Product Showcase


Product Showcase


Bluesound Logo
Just Add
The Hifi Amp Reinvented
Blue Sounds Hifi Amp
Introducing the new POWERNODE, the HiFi amp reinvented. Just add a pair of speakers and enjoy true high-fidelity sound. Source, control, and 2 x 80 watts of award-winning hi-res amplification come packed into the POWERNODE. Connect to streaming services, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay, and TV and gaming consoles, and playback in bit-perfect 2 channel, Dolby surround sound, or multi-roomconfigurations with a few taps of the BluOS Controller app.
Letter from the editor
John E. Johnson Headshot



n the early 1990s, I decided to start an on-line magazine that reviewed audio and video components, SECRETS of Home Theater and High Fidelity. It was the first such publication on the internet.

We have now been around for nearly 30 years, and much has changed since those first days. The last number of months have brought tremendous changes to our audio/video community. One major and devastating change has been the absence of the A/V shows that mean so much to the manufacturers we cover as an important part of letting our community know what is new.

I am therefore pleased to announce the launch of the 2022 SECRETS Audio/Video Showcase, which we have designed to provide A/V manufacturers a platform to announce and display their latest product offerings in a never- before- available presentation style. Manufacturers will be able to update and add to their showcase each month so you never miss a new product! The showcase is a heavily visual presentation, including imagery, animation and videos prepared by the AV manufacturers to showcase their products. Also, they are able to share details on the product developments: construction, technology and aesthetics.

The SECRETS Showcase is a unique annual digital magazine, sponsored by SECRETS of Home Theater and High Fidelity, but separate from our main site. The platform technology driving the showcase presents a magazine-like format that we think you will really enjoy. The SECRETS Showcase is accessible online with any device and without subscription, just like the main SECRETS website.

The SECRETS Showcase will launch in Spring 2022. This is a unique project, and there will probably be some changes as we proceed. And as always, we welcome your suggestions.


John E. Johnson, Jr.
John E. Johnson, Jr.
Product Showcase

Sonus faber

The new Olympica Nova embraces the authentic values that inspired the original Olympica line while adding a substantial amount of freshly developed technology, from new drivers and crossovers, to new cabinet structure and internal volume tuning, to a new exterior look. Of the seven models in the collection, three are all-new to the Olympica Nova line, including an on-wall model, a third and more powerful floor stander, and a larger center channel.
Paolo Tezzon headshot
Paolo Tezzon
Sonus Faber Brand Amabassador
Since 1983, many moments have marked the history of Sonus faber; the launch of the Olympica Collection 6 years ago is one of them. One of the first lines presented as a complete family of products, but above all, the very first one to feature original drivers, entirely designed in Sonus faber.

Olympica Nova is the second generation of the iconic family of 2013, improved in its form and substance, imbued with the timeless values that inspired us in creating the original line.

The result is a new Collection that embraces the most advanced technologies that already enhance our most prestigious creations.

Sonus faber has begun a complete update to their product assortment, focusing on the attributes which originally built the brand: technological innovation, long-term listenability and Italian craftsmanship. New launches have included Sonetto and Palladio Collections, a new line of Gravis subwoofers, the Electa Amator III and the Minima Amator II, all showcasing the brand’s dedication to innovation and its Italian heritage. The reinvention of the Olympica Nova collection is just the latest step in this evolution, and a new set of offerings that truly embody the brand’s stylistic manifesto.

Product Description

The walls of the new Olympica Nova collection are made with eight layers of bended wood, providing the cabinet with extreme rigidity. Inside the cabinet, carefully placed structural ribs are used as reinforcement to reduce vibration and to handle the overall power of the transducer’s movement. The original Olympica’s leather wrapped top panel gives way to a walnut or wenge wood panel set in a solid die-cast aluminum plate.
Product Showcase


The challenges of designing a subwoofer capable of chest-pounding output at the lowest frequencies, while maintaining effective thermal and energy management in a micro-sized enclosure, has always been the holy grail of subwoofer brands. Previous designs were flawed with weak output, distortion, and uncontrolled movement of the cabinet itself. But all that has just changed.
Gary Yacoubian
Gary Yacoubian
At SVS what we believe is that approximately two-thirds to three-quarters of humanity loves great sound and, whether they may know it or not, seeks it out in their life. But they haven’t really been shown the “math” of how they can have great sound in their living space. So, to me, that’s the most overlooked thing. And, you know, one company alone can’t change the tide of that, but I think we all need to embrace the fact that great sound is something that’s of great value to almost everyone. Yes, some people don’t care. They may be perfectly happy ironing while listening to talk radio, but they’re not the ones that I’m talking about here. The other three quarters go (or did go) to movies, went to concerts, went to other events that included immersive sound. Those people just need to be shown that they can have great sound in their living space that compares with or is even better than the sound that they’re experiencing out in the world. An SVS subwoofer is a perfect match for any brand/model speaker. We create wonderful uncompromised, aspirational, subwoofer experiences in the price ranges where people don’t normally get that.

Product Description

3000 Micro is like a magic trick— small enough to fit anywhere and capable of delivering breathtaking bass from a shockingly compact 10-inch enclosure. For the first-time ever, a micro subwoofer that does not compromise on performance.
Product Showcase


Rotel has enjoyed an outstanding success with the re-introduction of the Michi brand and will now add the Michi X3 Integrated Amplifier and Michi X5 Integrated Amplifier to its existing portfolio of pre & power amplifiers.
Daren Orth headshot
Daren Orth
Chief Technology Officer of Rotel
We are very excited about the introduction of the X3 and X5 Michi amplifiers. The X3 and X5 are a natural extension of the ground-breaking work we have achieved with the relaunch of the Michi brand. These Integrated Amplifiers represent the best of Rotel and represent nearly six decades of engineering excellence, with products manufactured to the highest quality standards and offered with unsurpassed value.

Product Description

Rotel audio products are known worldwide for their quality, reliability, value, and, above all, exceptional sound reproduction. Since 1961, Rotel has utilized the resources of its formidable international design team and has manufactured its products in its own sophisticated production facilities. Rotel proudly offers a complete range of electronics that have consistently received critical acclaim and coveted industry awards. With substantial investment in new technologies and manufacturing, Rotel is prepared to meet the challenges of an evolving specialty electronics marketplace.

A word about the current state of audio shows

Audio Show Logos

fter a year-and-half of dealing with the scourge that is COVD-19, this fall looked to have a semblance of a chance of audio shows returning and having some measure of safe attendance. Over this trying time for everyone, I’ve heard some people pontificate that the audio show, as a necessary form of getting attention and buzz, is dead.

Companies don’t need to spend the money and effort to announce or showcase their products in this internet connected age. Virtual shows will be all the rage and you can watch all this stuff on your connected device whenever the whim strikes you. So best to knock off audio shows altogether they say. They are the equivalent of an appendix, old, of little use and simply meant to be cut off and discarded at the earliest convenience. Personally, I think this line of thinking is nuts. Humans are social creatures and I for one miss the interaction with industry colleagues and company reps, both when talking about the business at hand and to just plain catch up or horse around.

Complexity vs. Simplicity – The Audiophile’s Dilemma…

by Glenn Young
Statue of a monkey holding a skull

hese are the days when anything goes (with apologies to Sheryl Crow)….

Every audio system can supposedly be enhanced with the newest electronic gadget. And the variety, price, and sheer abundance of gadgets just grows and grows and grows.

Once upon a time, every audio amplifier had a phono input – for monophonic ceramic cartridges. And then the moving magnet transducer burst upon the audio scene with RIAA equalization and not one but an unimaginable plentitude of TWO discrete channels. Shortly after, the quadrophonic cartridge was introduced with its own decoder now offering FOUR channels of audio program.

Not to be dismissed so easily, though, the stereo contingent fought back with the lovely high-end extension of the (now lower output) moving-coil stereo cartridge. And along with that came the entire pantheon of moving-coil step-up transformers, and electronic pre-preamplifiers. I remember fondly the Sony HA-T10 transformers and the Mark Levinson moving coil pre-preamp. These devices still needed the RIAA equalization and phono input of the typical receiver or integrated amp, though. And those were the SIMPLE old days.


Now a Word from the East Coast

by David A. Rich, Ph.D.
George Washington Bridge and Statue of Liberty with speaker in the middle

n the 60s and 70s loudspeaker sound came to be characterized by geographic location.

JBL, out of Los Angeles, became known as offering the “West Coast” sound while a group of Boston speaker companies, principally Acoustic Research, offered the competing “East Coast” sound.

East Coast speakers were characterized as having an in-room response that declined in the upper midrange and treble. The West Coast JBL speakers went the other way, with a prominent midrange and top-end, making them the speakers of choice for rock fans, but reviews in objective and subjective audio magazines were not very positive to models like the popular JBL L100 Century. This at a time where some noted that reviews in audio magazines were so watered down the conclusion said little more than “of all the speakers we tested, this was one of them”.

They Come in Threes…

Audio Brand Logos

e whine and complain about all manner of periphery details, as they relate to the hobby we all profess to love. Things like Digital versus Analog, Tubes versus Solid-State, Double-Blind Testing versus Subjective Listening, blah, blah, blah! In this hysteria-fueled world that we live in today we can get ourselves wound into pretzels or foamed into a lather over these frankly trivial matters that, at the end of the day, mean bupkis! No dear readers, you are being led down the audio primrose path

The left hand is holding your attention with these nonsense arguments, pitting good souls against each other, while the right hand… Ah, the right hand is quietly managing a much more nefarious and global conspiracy. One that is slowly tearing at the fabric of the audio community without our even being aware. Beware, my friends. Beware of audio companies whose names are only Three-Letters-Long.
Recommended Products

SECRETS Recommended Gear


elcome to our new Secrets Recommended Gear! Here you will find an annually updated list of component recommendations brought to you from our staff, encompassing every product category that we cover. Not simply just our Best of the Year Award choices, but long term recommendations that will be chosen from products that we’ve actually reviewed and found compelling enough to place them on this list. Once a product is chosen it will remain on the Recommended Gear list until it is discontinued by the manufacturer. An archive of each year’s list will remain on the Secrets Website for those shopping for used gear and wanting to research older choices.

Products chosen will fit into one of these 4 tiers:



These components provide excellent performance and represent a superb value with a focus on the entry level. Everyone looking to set up a great affordable system can rely on these choices.


The upgrade choice. This gear exhibits superior design and performance in every detail. A significant step up over Essential class.


Reference Standard components. These choices provide cream of the crop performance with no compromises.


This is an elite category for price-no-object components. Dream gear for most of us. Ultimate works of art and craftsmanship.
The Secrets Recommended Gear list features outstanding examples of products in their respective categories and price levels. We believe that any of our Recommended choices will provide you with a superior experience for years to come. Enjoy!
Collage of featured audio products
Sponsor Brands
Paradigm Logo
For over twenty-five years Paradigm has set the standard for sonic excellence in every product category we offer. Our focus on providing the best in performance and value continually pushes the boundaries in speaker design.
Sonus Faber Logo
Sonus faber is an Italian manufacturer of handcrafted speakers, headphones, and other high-end audio equipment based in Arcugnano, Veneto, Italy. The company was founded in 1983 by Franco Serblin.
SVS Logo
SVS is making immersive audio more inclusive than ever and re-energizing people’s desire for awesome sound with a passionate, expert approach, and unrivaled customer support.
Rotel Logo
For those of you who may not be familiar with Rotel, we are a family owned, 46-year-old business, who’s success has been earned by devoting our efforts to nothing else but making audio/video products for fanatics like ourselves.
Martin Logan Logo
MartinLogan strives to satisfy our customers on every level. The MartinLogan Custom Shop is no exception. We have custom built one-of-a-kind speakers for discerning listeners around the world and would love to include you in this exclusive group.
NAD Logo
In 1972, a new kind of audio company was born. NAD took form when a large group of audio-industry importers in Europe, all music lovers, set out to develop products that cut through the industry hype.
DALI logo
DALI, Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries, grew out of Scandinavia’s leading audio retail chain in 1983, based on the observation that customers often requested a combinations of size, shape, performance and price that existing brands could not offer.
Pass Labs Logo
Pass Laboratories, Inc. was founded in 1991 by Nelson Pass. Operating out of his shop at home, Pass developed prototypes of a single-ended Class A amplifier design.
Become a sponsor brand
To participate in the SECRETS Showcase, please contact Carlo Lo Raso or Cynthia Johnson-St Denis
Become a sponsor brand
To participate in the SECRETS Showcase, please contact Carlo Lo Raso or Cynthia Johnson-St Denis
Secrets Logo
To participate in the SECRETS Showcase, please contact Carlo Lo Raso or Cynthia Johnson-St Denis
Editor- in- Chief

John E. Johnson, Jr.


Carlo Lo Raso

Managing Editor

Cynthia Johnson St. Denis


Chris Eberle
Jim Clements
Robert Kozel

Senior Editors

Chris Groppi
David A Rich
Jim Milton
Glenn Young
Piero Gabucci

Editorial Team

Craig Chase
Doug Pyper
Francisco Licon
Gene Hopstetter
Indiana Lang
Jared Rachwalski
Jason Crawford, aka “Georgia”
Jay Haider
Kieran Coghlan
Mel Martin
Michael Jude Galvin
Mike Osadciw
Peter Lo Raso
Rick Schmidt
Taps Das
Todd Cooperider
Tyler Stripko
Yongki Go


Brian Florian
Stacey Spears
Sumit Chawla
Tracy Strom

Secrets of Home Theater and Hifi logo
Audio / Video Showcase
Thanks for reading our Showcase 2022 issue!