January 2016

Monthly Archives

  • Antipodes Audio DS music server review

    Though the bulk of my rig would be considered “high end” – Shindo amplification and DeVore Fidelity loudspeakers — my digital front end is decidedly 2010. Apple Macbook, two Western Digital 4 TB mirrored hard drives, and a cute little Halide HD DAC have provided this vinyl lover with hours of digital audio decency. Luckily, […]

  • KIH #30 – It’s showtime!

    The show must go on. True enough. But first it’s gotta kick off. Before it does, there’s homework to be done. In this instalment of keeping it honest, we’re on about how manufacturers might get the most from their tradeshow attendance. First off, why go at all? To gain new dealers/distributors; to meet with existing […]

  • On Australia Day, an Audioengine HD6 prize giveaway

    ‘Strayaaa Day. It’s a time for family. It’s a time for mates. For sinking tinnies and – for some – punching out darts. For others, it’s an excuse for over indulgence and an ultimately regrettable punch on. Back on the gentler side of the street, it’s a time for backyard cricket or a picnic. It’s an opportunity […]

  • Andrew Johnson (Andy Dog), 1959 – 2016

    January 2016 was a strong month for Death in the music industry: Mott The Hoople’s drummer Dale Griffin, Glen Frey of The Eagles and of course, the great David Bowie, all passed away this month. Notching up one more on Death’s tally sheet last week was Andrew Johnson, brother of Matt Johnson (the central and only constant member […]

  • MQA promises something for everyone

    What’s wrong with digital audio? According to many long-serving (suffering!) audiophiles, it’s digititus – a subtle sense of nervousness and agitation felt whilst listening to digital playback: music converted in the studio to digital and later decoded back to analogue via CD player or DAC. According to MQA’s Bob Stuart, the brickwall filters in a […]

  • Fifteen feet of pure white snow: a Zu Audio factory tour

    Against a Wasatch mountain backdrop, whose peaks host many of Utah’s most popular ski resorts, sits Ogden. It’s a thirty minute drive north of Salt Lake City and home to Zu Audio; of one of the USA’s more leftfield hifi companies. Zu chief Sean Casey designs his loudspeakers to maximise dynamics and tone. Consequently, each model is built […]

  • How to enable aptX Bluetooth audio on your Macbook, iMac

    Not all Bluetooth audio connections are born equal. The A2DP profile specifies that lossy codecs such as SBC, MP3, AAC and aptX can carry compressed audio data over Bluetooth from transmitter (smartphone, PC) to Bluetooth receiver (DAC, headphones, in-car headset, loudspeakers) with the former automatically selecting the best quality codec according to the receiving device’s technical specifications. That’s the theory. […]

  • Perception is not reality

    In my previous article, I made the case that all recorded music has a certain level of intrinsic production value applied to it, and that value has much more of an impact on the music’s ultimate fidelity than the sample-rate or codec in which it is delivered; two facets of digital music that typically dominate a large portion of current audiophile […]

  • ELAC tease Roon-enabled amplifier, speakers at CES 2016

    ELAC’s Discovery server’s form has seen a slight makeover since its RMAF ’15 debut. Functionally it remains the same. The internals still have Linux OS running on a Quad Core ARM processor. To ensure robust performance, ELAC’s modified version of Roon Core (the server component) runs on a dedicated EMC module whilst 8Gb RAM is reserved […]

  • CES 2016: Andrew Jones does it again with ELAC UB5

    Tucked away in the back streets of Tokyo’s district of Ebisu is Bar Martha – an audiophile’s drinking hole. The front door buries a murky picture of Tom Waits behind its only glass pane. Step inside and the request for ‘no photography’ is as polite as it is unobtrusive; blink and you’d miss it. One possible reason why lines […]

  • CES 2016: AudioQuest mobilise DragonFly Black, Red USB DACs

    UPDATE April 2016: The DragonFly Black is reviewed here. Critters 2.0. AudioQuest’s thumb-key-sized DragonFly USB DAC might not have been the very first of its kind but it ultimately came to be the poster child of USB dongle DACs to which all rival units would be compared. The 2012 original sold for US$249 but 2014’s updated DragonFly v1.2  married technical improvements to a […]