September 2014

Monthly Archives

  • Glove Audio A1 headphone amplifier / DAC review

    From a certain perspective it could appear that the development team behind the runaway success of iRiver’s Astell&Kern digital audio players are making it up as they go along. In early 2013 the AK100 arrived and despite selling in good numbers it was met with some fairly robust criticism: the exposed volume knob invited in-pocket damage and […]

  • NAD Masters Series M22 – Hypex nCore for the rest of us

    Greg Stidsen is the director of technology and product planning for NAD. That’s ‘New Acoustic Dimension’ for those able to recall the 1970s. Back then the company was headquartered in the UK. Nowadays NAD sits with PSB loudspeakers and BlueSound streamers under the Lenbrook Group umbrella in Canada. Stidsen’s role at NAD is to see […]

  • Removing the grain (Part 1 – WyWires and MrSpeakers)

    When audiophiles talk about ‘treble grain’ they’re often referring to a sandpaper-y vine heard in the upper-most frequencies; texture where there shouldn’t be any. What should present as ‘ssssss’ instead sounds like ‘shhhhh’. This can sometimes causes the component in question to sound a little dry. For example, I’d say the AURALiC Vega DAC (reviewed […]

  • Audirvana Plus 2.0 launches…finally!

    Into the wild this week goes the long awaited, long rumoured, won’t-be-much-longer-till-it’s-ready, absolutely-definitely-coming-soon, okay-here-it-is version 2.0 of Audirvana Plus. Say it with me: orrrdearrrrvarrrrna. Along for the ride comes a new logo and freshly decorated website home page that details developer Damien Plission’s ongoing commitment to memory play, bit-perfect playback, integer mode, SysOptimizer, and full […]

  • Eastern Electric ready Supreme and Junior MiniMax DSD DACs

    We’ve not seen new products from Hong Kong’s Eastern Electric Audio for some time but this month sees the release of two new DACs, each of which move with the times’ demand for DSD compatibility. The MiniMax Supreme takes the essentials of the forerunning MiniMax DAC Plus – a pair of ESS Sabre 9018 chips and […]

  • Robyn Hitchcock – fish, fanaticism and formats

    In a recent interview with Digital Trends, Robyn Hitchcock commented, “the LP seems very dignified and regal”. Hitchcock also nailed it in observing “The CD is slowly dying. And we know now, when something approaches extinction, it becomes fetishized.” The dominant format of the last 30 years is set to slowly slip from our collective consciousness. The foreseeable […]

  • Tidal to launch CD-quality lossless streaming in USA & UK

    Slowly supplanting the mainstream’s thirst for digital downloads the march towards streaming service domination gathers pace this week with news that CD-quality streaming from WiMP off-shoot Tidal is coming to the US and UK this Fall/Autumn. Tidal promises access to 25 million songs delivered in FLAC to its PC/Mac web player and Android app. iOS users […]

  • Peachtree Nova 125SE integrated amplifier & DAC review

    Last year I compared the Wyred4Sound mINT with the Peachtree Nova 125 when playing into Magnepan MMG. Both mINT and Nova 125 came in at around US$1500. They both practiced the art of convergence: keeping DAC, (basic) headphone output and integrated amplifier under one roof. They both had the juice and Class D drive for […]

  • KIH #17 – Audiophiles Anonymous

    AA. Audiophiles Anonymous. “My name is Adam. I’m an audio addict.” “Welcome, Adam.”… As I’d put it in a recent review for my site: Humans are terrifically adaptive. We get used to things very quickly. It’s why itinerant Indian sadhus may not stay in any one place longer than three days. After that, attachments set […]