December 2014

Monthly Archives

  • DAR’s favourite bits of 2014 (Part 2: 5 – 1)

    Concluding the countdown of my Top 10 favourite audiophile moments of 2014. You can find spots 10 through 6 here. 5. AudioQuest Ethernet cables Easily the most controversial topic I’ve touched on this year. I used not to review cables at all but I’ve relaxed that policy for when special circumstances present, particularly if accusations of […]

  • DAR’s favourite bits of 2014 (Part 1: 10 – 6)

    No doubt about it: this year has been fantastic. 2014 was by far the most successful for both me as an audio journalist and the site itself since DAR’s inception four years ago. Visitor numbers marched ever upwards, especially in the final quarter of the year, nicely assuaging my fears that time away from home on the show […]

  • Roll your own VPI Nomad with Pro-ject and Schiit Audio

    When I reviewed the VPI Nomad turntable earlier this year I was mostly enamoured of its self-contained phono stage. It’s configured precisely to match Ortofon 2M series cartridges. A turn-key solution right out of the box meant no more fiddling with DIP switches or fussing over gain on a separate phono pre-amplifier. A 2M Red comes […]

  • Kruder & Dorfmeister K&D Sessions now a 24-bit download

    “There’s nothing worse in life than being ordinary”, proclaims Angela Hayes (Mena Suvari) in American Beauty, perhaps 1999’s most lauded movie. And few of the nineties’ musical genres were more ordinary than trip hop. What started with considerable promise – career-defining debuts from Bristol’s Portishead and Tricky – ultimately mutated into something that sounded so […]

  • Metrum loads Pavane DAC with in-house-designed R2R chips

    Cees Rujtenberg’s Metrum Octave, Hex and then MK2 Octave have made quite the splash in DAC circles these past few years. And rightly so – each model has contributed to redefining what’s possible at their respective price points. The undisclosed nature of each model’s ‘industrial’ decoding chips has helped to keep the whodunit mystery going […]

  • Calyx to introduce F and PaT smartphone DACs at CES 2015

    A PaT on the back. Leading the portable player conversation in 2014 has undoubtedly been Astell&Kern. Every other operator in the DAP niche has found itself playing second fiddle to the second generation AK100 / AK120 and AK240. However, the biggest barrier to entry for the majority of enthusiasts following the chatter is price. Those Astell&Kern […]

  • KIH #19 – DUI

    I think it’s fair to say that most hifi listeners who are involved enough to read reviews expect some type of emotional response from their system. Be it endorphins or adrenaline, the actual enablers are quasi drugs. They put us under the influence of altered blood chemistry. Chances are, we soon get used and inured […]

  • Dealbreakers of 2014: Pono promo, Calyx M and LH Labs GeekOut

    Reviewing, by its very nature, is mostly a subjective process. However, there are more helpful questions than “Do I like this?”. Asking oneself “What does it sound like?”, “How does it compare to rivals?” and “Who will like this?” are ultimately what lead to proper insight. But sometimes, no matter how good a product sounds […]

  • Girls aloud: gender issues in the hi-fi world #WAFgate

    In his piece entitled “How not to get women interested in audio”, author Marc Phillips’ starter for ten was “Do women like hi-fi?” A question he swiftly rebuts with the suggestion that we should “Stop worrying about this crap”. A little context here: Phllips is the long-term partner of Colleen Cardas, one of the most prominent women in […]

  • A land down under – the inception of DAR Australia

    My home is girt by sea. I live in what many locals refer to as the lucky country. And there’s no denying it: Australia is a wonderful place to live. And it’s not all snakes, spiders and sharks. For the most part the climate is glorious – no need to don six coats before heading […]

  • You too can become Fulla Schiit for only US$79!

    Just as the seasonal shopping season kicks into high gear, California’s favourite pun pushers have dropped their latest sprog, the Schiit Fulla DAC, into our collective lap. Fulla? An abundant supply of fecal matter. Stepping out at this year’s CanJam (at RMAF), the Fulla DAC joins a long line of dongle/dingus/doobrie DACs, a sub-species of […]

  • Final Audio Design Pandora Hope VI headphones review

    A lot of high-end headphones won’t even get out of bed in the morning without proper amplification. That’s an easy problem to solve for home listeners with desktop headphone amplifiers but it’s more of a conundrum for road warriors. Options are considerably more limited once we move away from the wall socket power and into […]