March 2015

Monthly Archives

  • tidal_relaunch

    Jay-Z relaunches Tidal with superstar power #TIDALforALL

    “Artists are not products”. “To re-establish the value of music”. “Tidal puts the power back into the artists’ hands”. “Better experience for both fans and artists”. “Beginning of a whole new era”. Those are direct quotes from the re-launch of Tidal, re-branded as “the first artist-owned music entertainment platform”, that took place at Moynihan Station in New York just a […]

  • pro-ject_debut_carbon_1

    Challenging the universal superiority of vinyl

    Can o’ worms. Radiohead fans are a sensitive bunch. Don’t believe me? Sit one down over drinks and try challenging their favourite band’s artistic merits. You’ll be met with a long face at best, your beer in your lap at worst. It isn’t just Radiohead. This experiment works just as effectively with Red Hot Chilli Peppers […]

  • rotel_14

    Rotel Electronics – a Zhuhai factory tour

    Did you know Rotel began life as a Japanese OEM manufacturer for Sylvania TVs in the 1950s? The Japanese electronics company didn’t switch to audio gear until the following decade soon after Tomoki Tachikawa, now 91 years old, founded the company in 1961. Did you know that Rotel was originally called Roland? Unable to register […]

  • MIA_in_the_PRC

    MIA in the PRC

    Gentlemen (and ladies), start your violins because I’m about to call out one of the bigger downsides of travelling in the name of hi-fi: finding time to write whilst away from home. You’re presently reading the first post on DAR in over five days; an unusually long period of radio silence for this website. Why so long M.I.A.? Along with […]

  • dbpoweramp_OS_X_3

    dBpoweramp comes to OS X

    Yes, it’s true: OS X tends to the get the lion’s share of developer love when it comes to ‘audiophile’ music playback software. Channel D’s Pure Music, Sonic Studio’s Amarra and Audirvana+ are all OS X only. If you’re a Windows user, JRiver Media Centre, JPlay, XXHighEnd and Foobar are solid alternatives. However, the tables […]

  • alo_audio_int_optical_edition_2

    ALO Audio update International+ with ‘Optical Edition’

    First generation Astell&Kern DAP owners who considered the original International+ a case of close-but-no-cigar might want to take a look at the updated ‘Optical Edition’ from Portland manufacturer ALO Audio. The International+ ‘Optical Edition’ maintains the diminutive size of its forerunner which means an original AK100 or AK120 can still be rubber-strapped to its back without either protruding. […]

  • master&dynamic_mh40_7

    Master & Dynamic MH40 headphones review

    Substance or style? It’s easy to cast a suspicious eye over something that dares to transcend the purely functional; or headphones that pay more than lip service to form. Master & Dynamic’s most obvious point of difference in the crowded portable-friendly headphone space is their striking industrial design, predominantly the work of Chief Product Officer […]

  • crimson_red_vinyl_2

    Global feedback: Pro-Ject Debut Carbon vinyl vs. digital

    It must be confusing for the newcomer joining the audiophile conversation for the first time. Should he go vinyl or digital? The former’s inherent tactility and collectability seem appealing until he reads of vinyl’s surface noise, a more limited (theoretical) dynamic range and inner-groove distortion. Digital heads will be point to their FLAC/ALAC files’ absence […]

  • mp3tag

    mp3tag arrives on OS X (sort of)

    2007. That was the year I switched from a Windows laptop to a Macbook. Just as Windows users began wincing their way through Vista, I jumped from XP to OS X Tiger, foraging Finder for files, surfing Safari across the web (which would quickly be replaced by Mozilla Firefox and, later, Google Chrome) and ingesting images with iPhoto. On the audio […]

  • ponoplayer_faulty

    UPDATED! Testing the PonoPlayer/Kickstarter returns process

    A merchant isn’t judged solely by the product that it sells or by the method with which it is sold. After-sales support and service also matter, particularly when things go wrong. With a high-street dealer there’s a store to revisit whilst click-only operations sit behind email addresses, hopefully with return shipping details at the ready. The casual Kickstarter user […]

  • kef_soundofbusiness

    The sound of business being done

    The sound of business. The David Byrne song of the same name made it to the first 6moonbeams playlist for a reason. Diana Krall, Patricia Barber, Jazz at the Pawnshop, “Keith Don’t Go” and Dark Side Of The Moon – they’re the sound of business at audio shows. Let us not forget, shows are not a public service: the […]

  • pikes_peak_3

    Climbing Pikes Peak with the PS Audio DirectStream

    Is PS Audio’s Paul McGowan the Steve Jobs of American hi-fi? Not only does he like to ‘think different’ but also he knows how to spin his products’ points of difference with marketing verbiage that’s more commonly found in the world of consumer electronics than the high-end audio ghetto. Case in point: PS Audio’s press release […]

  • 6moonbeams#1

    6moonbeams #1

    Do enjoy the music you hear at audio shows? In the main, I do not. My tastes are more closely aligned with FactMag and The Quietus than Just Jazz Guitar or Gramophone. Not every audiophile subsists on a diet of Jazz At The Pawnshop or Harry Belafonte but you wouldn’t know that from wandering the halls of […]