May 2011

Monthly Archives

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    Quad 11L Classic standmount loudspeaker review

    With the UK still mired in the GFC, a domestic “Buy British” campaign is back on the agenda.  Not seen since the late 60s (Wilson-era), a campaigning for consumers to purchase local goods is seen as one of many tools to lift the British economy out of the doldrums; it’s been feeling a bit glum […]

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    Pro-ject DAC Box USB (Box Design Series)

    The caller was seeking advice on a budget NOS DAC (“Less than $500, please“).  I recommended he seek auditions/opinions on the TeraDak Chameleon and the Valab.  Maybe even a AU$50 Muse?  I couldn’t think of one mainstream manufacturer that had gone the NOS route with their budget DAC. The caller countered with “What about the […]

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    SOtM dX-USB HD Digital Audio Transporter DDC

    Yup, another one. The SOtM dX-USB HD Digital Audio Transporter DDC is a ~US$500 box that converts USB to S/PDIF. With offerings from M2Tech, MHDT Labs, Audio-gd and Audiophilleo, this (low-rent) market space is really hotting up. The dx-USB HD box is externally powered and handles USB data transfer via the much-vaunted asynchronous method – […]

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    Consonance Reference7 HD tube music server

    The guys at Consonance have hitched their wagon to the digital audio road train with the Sovtek 6H30 tube-infused Consonance Reference7 HD tube music server. It’s a hard disk music storage device AND a network streamer with both single-ended and balanced outputs. Here’s what Consonance refer to as “key functions”: Digital stream master network audio […]

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    Don’t trust hifi reviewers

    “Oh, you know what Bill’s doing, he’s going for that anti-marketing dollar. That’s a good market, he’s very smart.” – Bill Hicks. Don’t trust hifi reviewers. Correction: don’t trust hifi reviewers in isolation. Yup, I just wrote that. Every hifi reviewer has his own personal preferences as to what sounds good (to him). This subjectivity can […]

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    #nowplaying – Trentemoller XLR8R podcast

    It’s no secret that the DJ mix podcast is slowly killing the DJ mix CD. Free download vs store-bought CD – it’s impossible to compete with free, right?  Anders Trentemoller‘s entry into the Late Night Tales compilation series is due to drop any day now – but who will buy it? After (only now) hearing his 2010 XLR8R podcast, I […]

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    Anedio D1 DAC review (ESS Sabre 9018)

    One of the most cliched concluding lines of the (lazy?) hi-fi reviewer is “product X competes with items three or four times the price…“.  Luckily for the high(er) end, rarely are names named.  However, such phrasing underscores the importance of context.  If the Anedio D1 DAC (US$1270) were to be reviewed in isolation, claims that […]

  • trends

    Trends TA-10.2 SE ‘Class-T’ integrated amplifier review

    “Ha-ha-happiness – how could something so clean make such a mess?”– Frazier Chorus. “Hahahahahahahhahahaaaaa. hahhahahhahhhhhhhaaaaaaahhhaaaaaa…… …..ahahahhahhaaaaaaaahhhaaahaaah.” You hear that?  That’s the sound of happiness at the low end.  Not (necessarily) the low quality end, mind.  Just the low spend end.  Upstairs, they’re lugging $x000 muscle amps across empty floors and muttering intelligibly about the state […]

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    CYP AU-D150 DAC and USB Converter

    The CYP AU-D150 looks like an interesting little DAC.  It offers only mini-USB and optical inputs, but outputs can do simultaneous analogue (RCA) and digital (optical).  It’s both a USB-optical converter and a DAC!  A neat trick. What Hifi seemed to like it . There is currently no Australian distributor but the UK RRP is […]

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    Heed Audio Obelisk Si + Obelisk X2

    It ain’t easy overcoming force of habit. During them crazy-ass 1960s, DC-coupling in amplifiers was seen as a sub-standard topology (by some designers) but a cost effectivetopology (by some mass-producers); semi-conductors and capacitors were relatively expensive back then – less than ideal for a manufacturer’s bottom line.Furthermore, some companies took the DC-coupling idea and ran with […]

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    Sonos System 3.4 integrates Apple AirPlay

    Sonos – leading developer of wireless multi-room music systems for the home – has recently introduced Sonos System Software 3.4.  Sonos 3.4 makes it easy to play Apple AirPlay music sources all over the home as well as adding support for Apple iPad and Apple iPhone multitasking. “The cool AirPlay feature for music is sending […]

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    Peachtree Audio announce DACiT

    Peachtree Audio have announced their latest digital to analogue converter. The Peachtree DACiT features three digital inputs, USB, Optical, and Coaxial – all of which take advantage of the 24/192 ESS Sabre 9022 DAC chip. An all metal chassis and remote control round out the feature set. The USB port on the Peachtree DAC*iT supports […]

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    TeraDak TeraLink-X2 USB Audio Converter review

    You rip your CDs to a lossless format on your computer.  You buy an external DAC.  You USB-tether it to your computer and your digital audio journey begins.  (You and CDs – it’s over).  You are impressed by the convenience of it all – all your albums a mouse click or two away.  No getting […]