August 2015

Monthly Archives

  • Resonessence Labs INVICTA: the ultimate demo DAC

    We’ve all been there. You turn up to an audio show (or high street store), a few choice vinyl records under one arm, fully ready to demo that pair of loudspeakers you’ve been Jonesing for, only to spy a turntable’s isn’t situ. Time for plan B. You scrape your bag for a CD before holding it triumphantly aloft. […]

  • AudioQuest NightHawk headphones review (TONEAudio)

    Put on a pair of AudioQuest’s NightHawk in-store, at a Head-fi meet or at an audio show and you’ll swear they are the single most comfortable headphones you’ve ever worn (bar none). What’s less apparent at first blush is the their civilised, deferential sonic demeanour. See – these headphones are Jeeves to your Bertie Wooster and like […]

  • Antipodes Audio update entry-level DS music server

    Antipodes Audio servers might not look like much from the outside. To the casual observer they look like a fairly standard PC. However, it’s their internals, designed specifically to keep jitter AND noise as low as possible from the outset, that bring the sonic goods. A neat side-effect of a low-noise music server design is that post-USB corrective […]

  • Roon Labs prep 1.1 update, RoonServer, iPad RoonRemote

    ‘Round here, Roon Labs’ subscription-served software application is already a strong contender for product of the year. Of course, the development team didn’t go from zero to hero during May’s launch alone. Years spent working the software side of the (Meridian) Sooloos has informed what we see today, which in this commentator’s opinion is downright marvellous. I’ve already […]

  • Mytek Manhattan DAC review

    You’ve heard the old saying “Never judge a book by its cover”? That’s exactly what I did on a recent trip to Mytek Digital. Located in the New York City borough of Brooklyn — Greenpoint to be exact — Mytek HQ resides on a typical urban street behind a crumbling brown facade that looks to be […]

  • Manunta / m2Tech ready Evo Two DDC, clock and PSU

    Seen and not seen. The m2Tech perched atop AudioNext’s Munich High-End stand this year wasn’t so much blink-and-you’d-miss-it but a case of (almost) mistaken identity. The hiFace line and Evo stack looked precisely like m2Tech gear but the branding read ‘Manunta’. What gives? So the story goes, despite offering his range of digital audio products […]

  • KIH #25 – What do measurements really tell us?

    Measurements. They can be used in one-upmanship fashion. Magazines and reviews which do them are serious, scientific and objective. Those which don’t, aren’t. Doug Schneider of the SoundStage Network for example says, “I don’t take magazines too seriously that don’t do them.” Can measurements predict performance? Doug who prides himself on taking the best loudspeaker […]

  • A stand-off down under: PureMusic vs. JRiver vs. Audirvana+

    “Bits are bits”. It’s the number one mantra turned meme to infect mainstream thinking on digital audio. Number 2? “It’s just ones and zeroes, mate”. The corollary: if all binary data gets from point A to point B – and error checking mechanisms ensure it does – then data transmission is all that matters. Case closed. […]

  • Dieter Burmester, 1946 – 2015.

    Some days you wake up to a ‘to do’ that list reads: 1. “Bits are bits – only part of picture”; 2. “Schiit Wyrd review”. And after a first hit of coffee you set to writing. Other days you wake up to a similar ‘to do’ list only to find yourself distracted by a headline […]

  • Roon review (Part 2b – Walking on Airplay)

    In Part 2 we saw how Roon comprises three components – a library-managing Core, a (remote) control Client and a playback Endpoint – all of which can be installed and run on a single machine. Alternatively, Roon duties can be spread across two or more machines on a home network: running the Roon installer, all […]

  • Chord Electronics Hugo TT DAC & headphone amplifier review

    WAF. Watts And Franks. Rob and John. The Odd Couple of high-end audio – friends, whose professional relationship stretches to twenty years. Through the haze of arrival jet lag that weighed heavy during the Munich press launch for Dave – Chord Electronics’ forthcoming statement D/A converter – I recall Franks grinning his way through a […]

  • Wu-Tang headphone amplifier Clan drops into Sydney

    “Are you ready to be Woo’d?” read the display illuminating the window of Addicted to Audio’s freshly-minted Sydney-side retail store. The occasion? Jack Wu, the “Woo” in Woo Audio, had journeyed from Brooklyn to Newtown in support of his down under distributor. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Woo Audio make an extensive range of tubed-up headphone amplifiers for which Addicted to Audio’s founder George […]

  • Tidal streaming (sorta maybe) comes to OPPO Digital 103/5/D

    America is not the world*. OPPO Digital’s BDP-10x optical disc players are so much more than just that. The ‘Swiss Army Knife’-cliché-inducing 105D (US$1299) spins all manner of optical discs (SACD, DVD-A, Blu-Ray, CD), streams Pandora, handles USB- and S/PDIF-inputted D/A conversion by way of an ESS Sabre 9018 chip, drives portable-friendly headphones and, most […]

  • Roon review (Part 2 – The Whole of the…)

    Connections. A Roon installation on a Mac or PC might appear to be a single application but it isn’t. It comprises three separate (but connected) components: core, client and endpoint. The core handles the library and sends digital audio data to the endpoint, usually a direct-connected DAC. The client interfaces between the two. With only […]

  • A+ Remote: an iOS remote control app for Audirvana+

    For the Apple Mac owner about to get fresh with digital audio the journey almost always begins with iTunes. And why not?iTunes talents as an all-rounder remain unsurpassed even despite the year-on-year weight gain of additional resource-hungry features: artwork addition and tagging are a cakewalk. Ditto playlist creation, CD-ripping (with legacy hardware), library browsing and playback control, the latter two […]

  • Synergy Audio sells itself at New Tech ’15

    By their very nature, lesser-known and fledgling international hifi brands landing down under require a leg up with promotion and positioning. The local distributor must seek out appropriate dealers, organise sales staff training, push out adverts, organise listening/awareness events, converse with press, conduct regional audiophile society demos…the list is never-ending. Distributors of bigger, more well-established brands have […]