meze-99-cover-top-2 TONY'S ELEMENT

Headphones – The 99 Classics from MEZE Audio [English]


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MEZE 99 CLASSICS HEADPHONES

Steve Erquiaga, may not be known to others than lovers of Café Paradiso, but that would be enough for anyone to fall in love with his playing, style and pure intrinsic love of music. The 99 Classics from MEZE Audio were evidently in tune with the beginning of my listening session using these beautiful headphones.

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“The Meze 99 Classics delivers perfect natural sound even to the pickiest of audio lovers. The walnut wood earcups, soft earpads, and the spring steel headband will make the 99 Classics an heirloom rather than just a pair of headphones.”

But before I start, I do have to admit that I allowed 70 hours of play time to break in the MEZE which I have also had the luck to review in the past.

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by Tony Pothitos

The guitar seamlessly well placed and musical and very well matched. The fact that it was not a superior recording made it even more interesting as the musical tones shed beauty of light on to our ears rather than scratchy guitar strings, which most of us expect from a headphone. Here the opposite ran through my mind, I immediately was adorn to the tonality and pure listening pleasure of the artist rather than the MEZE which seemed as though, in this space and time, did not even exist.

Ultimately, it had achieved in less than 4 minutes what other take years to achieve. For its listener to be sensitive and responsive to the actual notes themselves, the strokes of the fingers across the strings and fretboards. I actually believe I heard the pick guard a few times as well.

25 Scottish Songs (Op 108), Beethoven, was next. What a surprise that was. The Cello and voice switched microphones as the piano set the pace for such a complex piece to be played so eloquently and correct sonically. There is no doubt in my mind that if this system keeps us this momentum, I will have to get a system of this size and soul into my own home. The fact that the playful notes on this title were never exaggerated nor undermined by any size limitation, gave way to the musical refinement and that alone. A great sample to test a good headphone system.

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…would be the next dramatic event of the musical evening.

The piano and voice unlike the youtube video, was clearly abundant and sweetly enchanted by Edita in a piece we all know quite well. The falsettos were uniquely aggregated yet smooth as the soprano went up and down the scales as easily as a nimble cat does. Such accuracy and timbre involvement in the scales were very well planted with no resonance or reverberation in my ears or the area around me. This piece was quite involving and I don’t need to find out where, but my music producer has done a great job in finding pieces that are both a challenge to reproduce and a total enlightenment to listen to. Pure pleasure and spectacle as we visualize the entertainer give her best in heart, voice and soul. This album was very well taken by most listeners these months and more than a few will be acquiring it soon, to have it played and reproduced in the next months I am sure.

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…soon changed our mood.

It went from sweet to brutal force and male testosterone within a minute. Fast vocal moments and drums that are reminiscent of rumba, dance and vocal Africa in one. What a difficult title to reproduce indeed. The electrical current must be so well controlled as to not jump from one note to another without leaving spaces in time and bass, which relentlessly hit the listeners senses, as the voices fill the ear space within milliseconds. The switch in style within the song, allows the rhythm to be picked up and brought to another level, testing the system thoroughly for weak points and any high streaks being overly emphasized with these songs being played. I slowly realise this could be a statement from music producer and song tester for the Meze, telling me we need to get off our high horses for our everyday listening. It is vital we have a very endearing system that not only is correctly reproduced but that gives help to our high every day stress level to lower on every point available. Such a sweet reminder that less, is something better.

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…is a well know song. 

If you were a sailboat, I would sail you to the shore. A difficult piece due to its continuous highs. This was probably played as to see if I, or my 25 testers tired out after prolonged loud violins and voice, with only a backdrop of the bass. It passed the test in space and the song as you can hear on YouTube was fully appreciated by the test members.

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I’ve got a room with a view…

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…with Lou Dwals as seen here is a pleasant way to listen to instruments and the dissection of each from the lower hertz through the mids to the high pitches which are rare in this piece. Only endings of notes were so high, but very noticeable on the head system, which essentially showed the flexibility of the headphones approach to the vibes it was getting. A synergy made in heaven.

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Probably my favorite of all the passages played was the next. Paspala, with her interpretation  was simply divine. The accordion does not play, but dance on the floor as the vocals sway with the movement of the wind and strings. A very hard find musically these days, and again an invitation to my ears and mind into a state of musical bliss. This in effect with the setup was the night’s performance special. I am not sure when this will end, but I can’t wait to hear what is next while loving what I am listening to now. That is the fun of having other people pick the music they wanted tested rather than you picking your own personal favorites, which means you like everything you pick. The Meze wanted me to explore avenues I had not in the past and as such blessed me with languages of notes and pleasure I could not get from a speaker in my home. Even if millions were spent, there is no guarantee of the sound we can get from a room and its acoustics. A headphone, an enclosure around our ears, is the absolute advantage of owning or even listening to a Meze. It is made for us, not for others, nor for big rooms or small, but our head, where our ears are, which ultimately are the only listening objects for music. Unless you watch the video that plays along with it. So when someone asks you why a headphone, now you have the absolute answer other than its portable, its made for my specific head and those of anyone’s, the same does not hold true with speakers, needing not only a special room, but special amplifiers and special cables, and then clear electrical current and then front end components which in the end come to one result. A so so system. With the Meze you get it all in one. With only one negative which can be surpassed easily. It is only for you. If you want others to enjoy it, simply connect more Meze together and have nothing to fear from any system!

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….is the live performance of what I heard on the next explosion of notes. Paspalia as harsh as she wants to push her voice, does it with such soul that shouting seems to be a cry of love than distress, bringing to our senses the excitement yet not the negativity with such high pitch maddening cries normally bring. The microphone right on her lips are heard in the recording, the tapping of her feet, and the piano are all geared towards the emotion of the artist and brings with this emotion, a true judge of a well-played piano in full sizes. I expected the more economical headphones here not able to confront the size of the piano, but was pleased of the job they did. Very well executed by both artists.

Ready or Not, was not only a surprise to hear, but to feel the age I must be to actually remember this album. I remember it very well on CD many, many years ago, back to the late 80’s when it seemed “Ready or Not” was meant for the listeners, meaning the music was here to change the future of how we will be listening to rap and rhythm in the future.

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We all should hear the bass, the speed of vocals and the background, all at once with imagery and space within our head. This could have been the hardest off all for the headphones to coordinate due to the excursion of the speakers inside, not even having time to reset after the quick, millisecond spurts between instruments and voices. If I were not drenched in sweat or tired after intense listening of this track, this would be a feat! I wish I could have heard the entire album, one by one, so the next track was played despite what was picked for me to listen to! Specifically, “Strumming my pain with his Fingers” where on this album is taken to another level, ready or not. Sensational song, sensationally remixed with musical abilities on the best could have. Loved the sensation that the Meze gave me. I was smiling and couldn’t be happier with what I was experiencing.

Last on the list of regeneration music was…

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a Gift, which I have also found on YouTube for your enjoyment. This was a perfect ending to a musical evening which was accompanied by the best of everything that could be.

This was the one of the many evenings my friends and colleagues had with the Meze. For more listening adventures, please come back for more.

 

Tony Pothitos


Tony’s Playlist

A/A Artist Album Song Media Duration
1 Steve Erquiaga Cafe Paradiso J.S. Bach Presto (violin sonata#1) Flac 44.1/16 4:03
2 L. V. Beethoven 25 Scottish Songs (Op 108) The Sweetest Lad Was Jamie Flac 44.1/16 3:16
3 Edita Gruberova Kunst Der Koloratur Les Filles De Cadix (Leo Delibes) Vinyl 3:33
4 Dizzy Gilespie Swing Low Sweet Cadillac Swing Low Sweet Cadillac Vinyl 7:17
5 Katie Melua Pictures If You Were A Sail Boat Flac 44.1/16 3:40
6 Lou Rawls At Last Room With a View Flac 44.1/16 & vinyl 4:00
7 Elli Paspala Sti Lampsi Toy Feggarioy Youkali Vinyl 5:30
8 Tania Tsanaklidoy Mama Gernao Gyftaki Vinyl 4:30
9 The Fuges The Score Ready Or Not Flac 44.1/16 4:00
10 Joe Louis Walker The Gift The Gift Vinyl 4:37

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The Meze Experience !

 


Official Site:

MEZE Headphones

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