August 2014

Monthly Archives

  • PS Audio DirectStream review (Part 2 – Around The World)

    “A show report is not – NOT — a review”. Those are the resolute words of very occasional DAR contributor and regular Part-time Audiophile show coverer Mal Kenney. They are words that ring almost every bell inside this reviewer’s head. When harvesting thoughts for show reports one is more-often-than-not faced with multiple components culminating in a […]

  • Underworld’s 20th anniversary remaster on 24/96 Blu-ray

    Ride the sainted the rhythms. In 1998 Underworld enjoyed a minor chart hit with “Underneath The Radar”. Selling more in the USA and (especially) Australia than their UK homeland, their’s was funky pop number none too dissimilar to that which dominated Top 40 countdowns in the late 80s. By the time the decade came to a close […]

  • R.E.M.’s Chronic Town EP now available in DSD and hi-res PCM

    New adventures in hifi. This week in 1982, R.E.M. released their debut EP. That’s right: the prologue to Murmur, Chronic Town is now 32 years old. Let that sink in for a moment: thirty–two. Makes you feel kinda old and creaky doesn’t it? In terms of release formats, Chronic Town has had a bit of a […]

  • PS Audio DirectStream review (Part 1 – Ted Talks)

    Bun in the oven. In December 2013 a white paper landed in my inbox – it detailed a new DAC to be launched the following year by Boulder, Colorado’s PS Audio. It was to be called the Theorem. “Attached please find a confidential document on Theorem, PS Audio’s revolutionary new D to A Converter scheduled […]

  • Audiobyte HYDRA X+ LiPo battery-powered USB converter

    A buddy in Melbourne and I have been discussing USB converters of late. (No, his name is not Barry). Mark seeks a solution that’ll bring him a noticeable uptick in tonal colour and acoustic mass. One might loosely refer to this as presence. This writer’s direct experience with some of the more established players in […]

  • KIH #16 – Tweety bird meets super sweety

    Tweety bird meets super sweety. Super tweetie that is. But why the meet? If our hearing gives out at maximally 22kHz when we’re young—and likely is down to 15kHz by the time we sink untold coin into our hifis—why bother with add-on tweeters? Isn’t one enough? And whilst we’re at it, how about the upper […]

  • HEOS by Denon launches in Australia, mainlines Spotify et al

    Australian story. On the fourteenth floor of a rather anonymous building in North Sydney sits the headquarters of D&M Innovations (formerly Avega); these guys comprise the software company behind Denon’s all-new HEOS wireless audio system whose branding sees the latter name enjoying greater prominence than the former. The HEOS platform is the culmination of almost […]

  • Building a bridge to the man in the street

    The man in the street (TMITS); the poor fella must be feeling punch drunk right about now. In the early noughties he was told by the music industry that MP3s were transparent to the original CD; and so he bought/ripped/torrented them by the truckload. Ten years down the line, those same industry marketing bods – including some […]

  • Wyred4Sound Remedy S/PDIF reclocker review

    Barry: Hey John – how are you? John: G’day Barry. I’m well. Long time no see – you still enjoying your new hifi setup? B: I’m glad you asked: yes…and yet sometimes no. Have a seat. J: [Sitting down]. Oh? What seems to be the problem? B: It’s a tricky one. You’ll see that I […]

  • Alpha Design Labs ready GT40α and Stratos digitizers

    Tokyo’s Furutech puts out a more affordable line of products under the Alpha Design Labs (ADL) banner that made serious waves some years ago with its GT40 – a tidy unit that housed headphone amplifier, MM/MC phono stage and USB DAC under one roof, giving users a single-box solution for digitizing vinyl (or ANY analogue source). Inputs were […]

  • TotalDAC announce in-line filtered Ethernet cable

    Electrical noise – it’s bad mmm kay? Electromagnetic interference (EMI) travels into your home courtesy of your friendly electricity company. It’s also the result of your own foolishnes. That dimmer switch you installed might be great for creating an intimate late night vibe (boom chicka-wow-wow) when showing off your Captain Beefheart rarities but it’s sure as […]

  • Isotek Evo3 Premier power cable for MacMini

    Press releases. Sometimes news of fresh meat comes direct to my inbox, after which the game isn’t one of copy-and-paste regurgitation. Key points have to be digested and disseminated. One can only get to the meat of the product announcement by stripping away marketing department spin. Think of it as skinning, gutting and then de-boning. That leaves us with only flesh. […]

  • Audio-gd overhaul Digital Interface for 2014 edition

    Audio-gd’s Kingwa has a bit of reputation for changing his product line up at a moment’s notice. Blink once and that PCM1704-based DAC you were saving for has been discontinued. Blink again and it’s been replaced by an ESS Sabre-chipped version with balanced outputs. One of Audio-gd’s more enduring products, the Digital Interface re-clocker (reviewed […]

  • TotalDAC D1 filtering USB cable review (6Moons)

    For someone who said a year or so ago that he didn’t review cables I seem to have relaxed that conviction in recent months. What’s been catching my attention of late is creative thinking in dealing with the elecro-magnetic interference (EMI) that can add small amounts of distortion to the sound of hi-fi components: Louis Motek’s LessLoss DFPC […]