April 2015

Monthly Archives

  • zu_axpona_2014_2

    6moonbeams #2 – April 2015

    If variety be the spice of life, many an audiophile would prefer it if you just held back on the cayenne. Difference is often met with bemusement. The Zu Audio guys nearly always cop a handful of quizzical looks each time they unleash a Nick Lowe or Four Tet record. Last year I detailed how Sydney Audio Club gives over […]

  • kef_reference_2014_main

    KEF Reference – an engineer’s perspective

    Kent Engineering and Foundry. KEF was founded by ex-BBC engineer Raymond Cooke in the 1970s; Cooke was one of the first to apply computer-modelling techniques to loudspeaker design, continued to this day by KEF’s R&D team who remain based in Kent despite the company now being owned by Hong Kong’s GP Acoustics. Almost twelve months […]

  • vinnie_rossi_lio_5

    Vinnie Rossi LIO review (Part 1 – Ultracapacitor power)

    Isolation. Prior to announcing the eponymously branded LIO at the New York Audio Show last September, Rossi made amplifiers, DACs, headphone amplifiers and phono stages under the Red Wine Audio (RWA) banner – its calling card was battery power. I’ve reviewed several RWA integrateds: the 30.2 LFP-V Edition (here), the Signature 15 (here) and the […]

  • schiit_yggdrasil_1

    At last! Schiit release multi-bit Yggdrasil DAC

    Lust for life. Schiit Audio have had their statement DAC in the pipeline for as long as DAR has been covering this Californian company’s range of less costly, high value products. That’s three years at least. Maybe four. Each time I visit the Schiit booth at US trade shows I ask Jason Stoddard “When?”. Each time he replies […]

  • thepowerofone_main

    The power of one: convenience or compromise?

    Dis-integration. Rolling loudspeaker amplification, DAC and headphone listening into a one chassis comes with clear advantages: 1) only a single power cord is required to juice the entire playback chain – good news if you’re a fancier of ‘audiophile’ wire – and 2) the need for analogue interconnects is eradicated; shorter signal paths and tidier aesthetics […]

  • amorphousandrogynous

    Noel Gallagher’s ‘lost’ Amorphous Androgynous album

    “Is this real? Does it matter?” (The) Amorphous Androgynous is one of the many alter-egos used by Gaz Cobain and Brian Dougans, who are probably best known as The Future Sound Of London (FSOL). Amorphous Androgynous first appeared with 1993’s Tale of Ephidrina but wouldn’t be deployed again by Cobain and Dougans until 2002, by which time […]

  • oppo_pm-3_1

    OPPO factory tour and PM-3 headphones review

    “Magnets, bitch!”. Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman isn’t the only one to get excited about the powers of attraction. The rise and rise of Audeze and Dan Clark’s Fostex-modifying MrSpeakers brands are indicative of planar magnetism’s pulling power. Planar magnetic designs differ from their dynamic driver brethren. A patterned array of conductive material – often very […]

  • lou_reed_creativecommons

    Lou Reed’s New York, Magic & Loss sound terrific in hi-res

    Rock n roll suicide. Point to many of the big careerist musicians worshipped by Gen-Xers and you’ll find wild variations in artistic quality. After knocking the commercial ball out of the park with his first album for EMI, Let’s Dance, David Bowie slipped into a creative coma with the double-whammy of 1) the extraordinarily patchy Tonight and […]

  • vinyl_is_cool_3

    “Vinyl is cool but digital isn’t,” says the mainstream press

    The mainstream press tends to favour two types of audio-related story. The first is often a veiled attack on hi-res audio; any piece of hardware that promotes the virtues of bit- and sample-rates higher than 16bit/44.1kHz is called out as either snake oil, ludicrously expensive or both. At the root of the Pono backlash we find inverted snobbery. Apparently, […]

  • omega_super7_MKII_main

    An affordable single-driver standmount from Omega Loudspeakers

    Cutting back. It’s official: Omega Loudspeakers’ Louis Chochos has let the axe fall on this Hoyt Bedford sub-brand, originally created as an outlet for his more affordable single driver implementations. You can read this reviewer’s 6moons take on the Type 1 Hoyt Bedford from 2011 here. Note: the Type 1 were a larger standmount that shipped […]

  • ak120_newlife_7

    New tricks for an old dog with Glove Audio, ALO Audio and AURALiC

    If you’re favourite headphones need a healthy dose of power to get out of the bed in the morning then you might find an Astell&Kern DAP wanting – such is the compromise of keeping everything under one roof. Adhering to the two-channel rhetoric of choosing one’s loudspeakers first and then finding suitable amplification later doesn’t translate to the […]

  • resonessence_labs_INVICTA_3

    Resonessence Labs INVICTA review

    Contenders. The AURALiC Vega and the Resonessence Labs INVICTA Mirus – I’ve spent considerable lounge time with both. Each D/A converter centres on ESS Sabre silicon. The INVICTA Mirus banks a home field advantage with Resonessence Labs founder Mark Mallinson sharing brotherly blood with ESS’ Martin Mallinson. At this point, your eyeballs are encouraged to take a diversion […]