February 2014

Monthly Archives

  • PS Audio to ‘rescue’ PCM with DirectStream PerfectWave DAC

    PerfectStorm. I recall one reviewer praising PS Audio’s MKII PerfectWave DAC with not only superlatives but by claiming that it contrasted the MKI as sounding ‘broken’. Hmmmm – not so sure I agree there. The MKII PWD is better than the original model, yes, but it doesn’t render the MKI redundant. If you own one, […]

  • KIH #6: (Over)-loading the room

    OMG. That needs no deciphering. Except to explain what context to say it in. Today I’ll suggest something I’ve thought about and worked with over the past year. To come right out and say it plain, big speakers suck. WTF? Generalizations are never right. Neither is this one. Let’s qualify to make sense. If you […]

  • Antipodes Audio DS Reference review (6Moons)

    Backstory. I first met Mark Jenkins at the Melbourne Audio and AV Show last year. I’d heard of Jenkins’ Antipodes Audio but thought they were strictly a cable company. How wrong I was! Jenkins had made the jump across the ditch from Auckland to showcase a prototype of his (subsequently released) DX music server in […]

  • ALO Audio ready ‘The Key’ portable USB DAC/headphone amp

    The super-budget DAC category seems almost unstoppable at the moment. Joining Audioengine, HRT and Audioquest in the sub-$200 portable DAC/headphone amplifier fray is Portland’s ALO Audio. ‘The Key’ is an anodized aluminium USB-key-sized unit complete with end cap to protect the direct-connecting Type A input plug – no USB cable required. It’s USB 2.0 compliant […]

  • DSD vs PCM with Resonessence Labs Herus DAC & Steely Dan

    FOMO. Fear of missing out. I’ve been using the Resonessence Labs Herus in various system configurations for a good few months and not once have I been troubled by FOMO. Fear of missing out on a better sound from bigger, badder, more expensive DACs — e.g. Resonessence Labs’ own INVICTA Mirus, the AURALiC Vega, Metrum […]

  • Tricking out the V-Moda Crossfade M-100 headphones

    VFM = value for money. The holy grail of any purchase, no matter if it’s $100 or $10000, people dig the sensation that they scored a high return on their dollars down. A high performance/price quotient sparks brand connection. V-Moda had me at hello. The V-Moda Crossfade M-100 that I carefully picked out in Tokyo […]

  • Blu-ray audio with the Essence HDACC (Part 1 – 48kHz)

    Features wise, the Essence ‘HD Audio Center’ (HDACC) is a tall glass of water. Let’s dive in. It’s a remote controllable digital pre-amp with balanced and unbalanced outputs. Recalling Mytek’s equally tricked out Stereo192-DSD DAC, the HDACC’s remote drives a menu system that features (among other things) bypassable digital volume attenuation, bypassable sample rate conversion […]

  • Clones Audio ready ‘reference’ Sheva DAC

    They call him Funjoe. A humorous nickname for someone who makes seriously good hifi products. How do I know? The Clones Audio 25i integrated is a smashing little Gainclone descendant that I’d peg as superior to the NAD D 3020, the Rega Brio R and Wadia’s 151PowerDac Mini. The formal review train will tumble down […]

  • GoldenEar Triton Seven loudspeaker review

    AON = All or none? With coverage of the Aon 2 standmount bagged and tagged some two months ago I wondered what possibilities lay upstream in the GoldenEar range. The Aon 2 is a delicious, entry-level solution for small rooms – but small rooms only. With a 7m x 4m listening space to fill, would […]