September 2015

Monthly Archives

  • An international tale of one thousand high fidelity men

    Part 1- Familiarization and purchase.  My first visit to San Francisco’s Audio Vision SF came at the beginning of March 2015. Having joined a containership, I had just arrived in San Francisco. Alas, the American stevedores had been on strike for almost a month and the vessel’s schedule lay in ruins. I spent five nights in a hotel and had enough time to […]

  • Google Chromecast Audio set to disrupt audio streaming space

    Huge company, tiny product. Google have today announced an audio version of their popular Chromecast streaming device. Chromecast Audio connects to your wifi network and streams audio from the cloud – Deezer and Spotify are on board from the get go – and local network storage via Google’s own app. Per its video-dealing forerunner, remote […]

  • Aurender N100H music server/streamer review

    For the entry-level digital audiophile the appeal of a consumer grade PC serving double-duty as music server/streamer/player AND handler of everyday tasks is compelling. The option of later re-deployment as media server or straight-up office workhorse only underscores its utility and, therefore, value. However, such machines weren’t designed with optimal digital audio playback in mind. […]

  • DAR turns 5, seeks new blood

    Five years. Not just the name of a David Bowie song but the duration of DAR’s existence to date. Half a decade of audiophile-focussed news, reviews, audio show reports, editorial commentary and music suggestions. Something to be proud of. Happy birthday to us. DAR might not have have reached the five year marker had I […]

  • David Bowie, Five Years 1969-73 is a total blam blam!

    The best $20 that I’ve spent so far this year wasn’t on music or audio equipment but a walking tour of Berlin. Specifically, a David Bowie-themed walking tour of Berlin. Bowie decamped (with Iggy Pop) to the then-divided German city in the late 1970s to escape a Los Angeles lifestyle that near wiped him off the map physically […]

  • Aqua Hifi La Voce S2 review: new tricks from an old dog

    Not all audiophiles subsist on a diet of nicely recorded, thoughtfully mastered material. I’d wager most don’t. Most likely that most audiophiles choose music irrespective of the mastering engineer’s prowess with dynamic range compression. The Loudness War might be an ongoing pain in the proverbial but to allow one’s playback hardware to dictate the material […]

  • CLONES Audio’s Power Station: a linear PSU for the Mac Mini

    Hands up how many of you use a consumer-grade computer as your digital audio playback device? Keep those hands aloft if that same computer is a Mac Mini? Yep – thought as much – that’s plenty of you. No quarrel from me either. The Mac Mini is Apple’s least expensive OS X entry-point, a not unattractive […]

  • Properly affordable audio announced for RMAF 2015

    Ordinarily I don’t announce details of upcoming audio shows. Commentary usually arrives after the fact and only about events that I’ve attended in person. Being there serves as its own filter. For this year’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest I’m making an exception. Here’s why: a year after planting the seed, allowing it to germinate and then watering it, properly […]

  • Onkyo, Pioneer announce MQA-equipped XDP-100R DAP

    Readers following not only digital audio, head-fi or vinyl playback but all three will have noticed that Pioneer is on a bit of a roll this decade. Their successes might be spotty but when they hit, they really hit. Exhibit A: the SP-BS22-LR standmounts, designed by TAD’s Andrew Jones, re-defined what was possible from a street price of US$129, […]

  • Think about the future: an *active* KEF LS50 loudspeaker?

    When KEF introduced the LS50 monitor – a modern day re-imagining of the legendary LS3/5a – it was intended as limited production run. KEF’s Hong Kong production facility would make enough to satisfy demand throughout 2012, not un-coincidentally KEF’s 50th anniversary in the loudspeaker manufacturing game, but once it was gone, it was gone. With […]

  • Eversound Essence: an espresso hit in a venti capuccino world

    Petits fours. Take Average Joe for a wander ’round the average audio show or high-end store and he’d be forgiven for concluding that peak performance comes from big boxes: 8ft monoliths powered by trunk-sized monoblocks, a pre-amplifier that costs more than your average car and a D/A converter that arrives in three pieces, all stitched together by […]

  • IsoAcoustics: taking Focal & Audioengine to new heights

    Those setting down (active) monitors on a (work) desk must resolve the issue of speaker height/angle – having each speaker fire sound directly at one’s ears is critical to proper soundstaging and tonality. A similar rationale sits behind in-room stands. Getting speakers up off a desk surface has additional benefits: it dials down the interference of […]

  • AK Connect turns Astell&Kern portables into UPnP streamers

    As I write this I’m gliding the surface of a Sunday afternoon with The Cocteau Twins’ beatific Heaven Or Las Vegas, played back in 24bit/96kHz PCM on an Astell&Kern AK120 II (reviewed here) driving HiFiMan’s HE400-S planar-magnetics. Nothing novel about that. At least, not until you learn that these hi-res files don’t reside on the DAP itself, […]

  • Get a room: Vinnie Rossi LIO and Magnepan MMG

    If you’ve six hundred dollars or so set aside for a new pair of speakers, options are abundant: Wharfedale Diamond 220 or 10.1, Usher S520, Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, Monitor Audio MR2, Q Acoustics Concept 20, KEF Q100, Polk, PSB, Jamo, Dali, Paradigm, the list goes on…a market segment that could easily overwhelm the unsuspecting newbie, such is […]

  • DAR prize giveaway #4: OPPO PM-3 headphones

    Do you like headphones? Do you like free stuff? If you find yourself answering in the affirmative to both of these questions then you’re gonna dig this: a chance to win a free pair of OPPO headphones. “How so, Sir?” you enquire. The generous folk at Interdyn in Melbourne – Australian distributors for Rotel, Pro-Ject and […]