Jonson Lee

As an audiophile and a voracious listener of all kinds of music, Jonson believes that the experience of being immersed in music is often something spiritual. Born and raised in Korea, he cut his teeth on western music mostly through the music of the 80s and the 90s. As of today, names that make his heart beat a little faster include Vladimir Horowitz, John Coltrane, Youn-Sun Nah, Francis Poulenc, Leonard Bernstein, Tannoy, and Magnepan. Jonson also runs a podcast and a YouTube channel about language learning, called SpongeMind.


  • MAF 2024: Heaven 11 Audio / PureAudioProject

    Prices listed in CA$. PureAudioProject speakers are offered through an interesting business model: the company sends you all the speaker parts and you assemble them. It’s a kit. But the speaker is an open-baffle design, so it costs less in parts than a conventional speaker, and since there are less parts, and they “snap” into…

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  • MAF 2024: Motet / PMC, Accuphase, EverSolo, Kimber Kable

    Prices listed in CA$. Like in all the other rooms, the Motet room was playing music when I walked in. I waited to take the seat dead center and when I did, I slipped on my critical listening hat. Right after the song that was playing ended, as luck would have it, the next two…

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  • MAF 2024: Villeneuve Audio VidĂ©o, Marchand Audio VidĂ©o / Fyne Audio, Luxman, AudioQuest

    Prices listed in CA$. If there had been an award given out at the Audiofest for “Most Vintage-Looking Component”, the Fyne Classic Fifteen speakers ($50,000/pr) in the Villeneuve Audio VidĂ©o / Marchand Audio VidĂ©o room probably would have won it. The design is a point-source system whereby a bass/midrange cone is coupled to a high…

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  • MAF 2024: Innuos, Asona Ltd / Apertura, Pathos Acoustics, Audio Analogue, Analysis Plus

    Prices listed in CA$. Gorgeous finish! That’s what I screamed inside my head when I first saw the standmount Apertura FortĂ© speakers ($9999/pr) in the Innuos / Asona Ltd room. The Forté’s have a high 93db sensitivity thanks in part to the neodymium magnet circuit used in its two 18 cm mid/woofer drivers. Atypically, both…

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  • MAF 2024: Absolu par Centre Hi-Fi / Technics

    Prices listed in CA$. I have fond memories of the Technics brand name. My dad’s very first turntable was the Technics SL-QX300—the first turntable I ever touched. As a kid seeing a record player for the first time, I was mesmerized by this foreign device and intrigued by how it was able to make sound.…

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  • MAF 2024: Audio Note UK

    Prices listed in CA$. I heard a classical orchestral piece in the Audio Note UK room (I will tell you what it was later) and noticed three things: 1. Timpani sounded like an explosion instead of a real timpani2. Decays sounded like an applied reverb instead of natural hall ambience3. The instruments sounded all over…

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  • MAF 2024: Studio Economik / Kii, Wattson Audio

    Prices listed in CA$. This was probably the most different room from the others of the entire show. There was no stack of electronics in sight, just a small Wattson Audio Emerson Digital network streamer ($2095) connected to all-in-one speakers outfitted with every signal input you can imagine. One component made up 90% of the…

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  • MAF 2024: Filtronique / Audiovector, Moon by Simaudio, Naim, AudioQuest

    Prices listed in CA$. This room looked more inviting to me than most other rooms I visited at the show. It looked like a private living room with plenty of space, so people waiting for a seat could just stroll around inside instead of waiting outside in the hallway, which was a relief. But it’s…

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  • MAF 2024: Corby’s Audio / Coherent Audio, Baetis Audio, Saturn Audio, Tough Nut Audio, Allnic

    Prices listed in CA$. As always when I enter an audio showroom, my eyes fall first on the speakers, as they did in the Corby’s Audio room. And the speakers there looked stunning. I would put them in my living room even if they made no sound. But they did make a sound, a glorious…

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  • MAF 2024: Hearken Audio / Trafomatic Audio, Reed, Etsuro Urushi, Yeti

    Prices listed in CA$. So many people! I screamed inside. The Hearken Audio room was packed all the way to the main corridor, with people bustling to get inside. The room was also narrow, with only a few seats. I waited my turn and got inside to see what all the fuss was about. The…

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  • MAF 2024: Art et Son, Chord Company / Neat Acoustics, Exposure, Chord Electronics, Innuos, English Electric

    Prices listed in Canadian dollars. Chord Company makes cables and is not to be confused with Chord Electronics known for making bestselling DACs. And Chord Company’s cables have quite the following, which includes me. I have tried 16 pairs of various interconnects and would include their Anthem cables in my top 3 cable products. In…

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  • MAF 2024: Hegel, MoFi Electronics, AudioQuest

    Prices listed in CA$. Norway-based Hegel has been steadily gaining popularity with its great-sounding and elegantly-styled products. Of the two rooms they hosted at this year’s Montreal show, one presented a static display of several of the company’s successful products, while the other had an active demo that included a pair of MoFi SourcePoint 8…

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  • MAF 2024: Essentia Technology / Q Acoustics, Norma Audio, Wattson Audio, QED

    Prices listed in CA$. The two most common questions Essentia Technology’s Scott Pugh received from visitors who heard the distributor’s demo when I was there were: 1) Is there a sub?, and, 2) Are the prices in US dollars? The answer to both was no—no sub, and prices were in Canadian dollars. It was one…

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  • MAF 2024: Lenbrook Americas / PSB Speakers, NAD, IsoAcoustics, AudioQuest

    Prices listed in CA$. Filling up a humongous room is always a challenge for an audio system. And Lenbrook’s was probably the largest room I’d ever seen at an audio show. The PSB Synchrony T800 Premium loudspeakers ($16,999/pr) looked tiny against the front wall even though they weren’t small. They were placed so wide apart you could have…

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  • MAF 2024: Emotiva

    Prices listed in US$. When I looked at the price sheet taped on the wall in the Emotiva room, I blinked. I couldn’t believe my eyes. An audio show doesn’t showcase entire sound systems for $4796. But that was the total cost of the system in the Emotiva room (excluding the cables). The all-Emotiva system…

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