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    Primare’s Prisma party

    Scandinavia’s most underrated hifi manufacturer? The case for Sweden’s Primare is strong. Perhaps it’s their products’ understated looks that have kept the brand flying beneath this commentator’s radar until now… Prisma is the company’s smartphone controlled, network audio platform, one that carries support for Bluetooth, Apple Airplay, Spotify Connect and GoogleCast, and is included in all three products […]

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    ELAC’s Adante AF-61 loudspeakers, Discovery Q music server

    For active demos of their Adante AF-61 floorstanding loudspeakers (US$5000/pair) at Munich High-End 2017, ELAC deployed the talents of designer Andrew Jones as well as Peter Madnick, the (former) head of Audio Alchemy, whom ELAC acquired at the end of 2016. Those aren’t ordinary bass drivers that sit below concentrically-aligned tweeter and midrange drivers; 6-inchers are tucked away inside the box […]

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    RHA introduce MA650/MA750 aptX/AAC Bluetooth headphones

    Freedom and convenience. Two words that jump off the page when reading the press release for RHA’s newly announced duo of Wireless IEMs: the MA650 (€100) and the MA750 (€150): “The MA650 Wireless pairs RHA’s 380.1 dynamic driver with Bluetooth and aptX™ for immersive wireless listening experiences with 12 hours playback…high grade aluminium housings and a noise isolating […]

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    Mytek Digital talk Brooklyn Amp, Clef MQA/Bluetooth DAC

    Clean&direct. That’s how we might best describe the personality of the Mytek Brooklyn DAC (reviewed here). You don’t buy the Brooklyn because of its full MQA support but in spite of it: a powerful headphone amplifier; a decent-sounding MM phono stage; an analogue volume control; a compact chassis. At Munich High-End 2017, Mytek Digital launched the Brooklyn amplifier — and […]

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    Constellation Audio tease Leo ‘smart’ speaker

    Bluetooth loudspeakers aren’t generally poorer sounding than two loudspeakers and an amplifier because of their lossy transmission protocol. Their weakness is in their deployment: singularly with right and left channels spilling from the same point in the room. DSP is often used to improve the sense of channel separation. However, two loudspeakers offering proper s t e r e […]

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    High-end audio’s hypernormalisation

    In the lobby area of Munich High-End 2017, an small exhibition of album cover art. To name five of these contemporary, almost-classic artists: Fever Ray, Manic Street Preachers, Muse, The Klaxons, Caribou. Journey upstairs to the listening rooms that U-shape wrap the two atriums and you’ll hear nothing of the sort. This contradiction, like that […]

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    Roon announce Nucleus server

    We’ve heard a good deal about Roon Ready endpoints this past year – devices made by third party manufacturers that play catch on a Roon (RAAT) stream. Roon Ready hardware partners number around 65. Now it’s time to turn our attention to the device that dispatches the the ones and zeroes: the server box that runs […]

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    How to add MQA support to AudioQuest DragonFly Black/Red

    Munich High-End 2017 felt like a victory lap for MQA. Content licensing deals are now in place with all three major labels – Sony was announced with a whisper last week – as well as independent provider Merlin. From May 15th’s press release: “MQA and Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the independent label sector, have today […]

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    Tidal, Spotify Connect coming to KEF LS50 Wireless

    Little and large. The shiny Muon reach for the stars in performance, physical stature and price: £140,000/pair. Being passive loudspeakers, their amplification is external. At Munich High-End 2017, that came from Arcam: “An AV950 preamp processor feeds 3 x P49 per side – a two-channel class G power amp switched into bridged monoblock mode. Each one can deliver 1kW at 0.0001% […]

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    The sounds of Munich High-End 2017 (Part 1)

    David Bowie’s Low, Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness On The Edge of Town, Miles Davis’ Tutu, Björk’s Homogenic, Radiohead’s In Rainbows, The Beatles’ Abbey Road, U2’s War, Nirvana’s Nevermind, Johnny Cash’s American II, The Velvet Underground & Nico, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions, Massive Attack’s Mezzanine… These titles (and more) formed […]

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    Munich High-End 2017 starts today

    Munich High-End is the biggest and best event on the audio show calendar. To the M.O.C. last year, came 518 exhibitors from 42 countries and 19,489 attendees. You can find DAR’s 2016 coverage here, 2015 here and 2014 here. Readers’ attention is drawn to how bright and airy the host venue and how more stylishly dressed its […]

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    DAR & Roon – Songs for Europe

    A little over one week ago, DAR readers were invited to submit their top 3 hifi demo cuts with a view to winning a lifetime’s worth of Roon. The reader response was nothing short of electric. Entries now number almost 150 with two weeks left to run on the competition. I used the first 100 submissions to […]

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    How loud do you listen?

    Real talk from the real world: “We have very thin walls and floors, and someone upstairs is walking around, using furniture and pulling chairs across the floor, sitting down, standing up constantly (I can hear every move they make) after midnight until sometimes 3am. It’s loud and disrupting my sleep (it’s non stop and they […]

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    Classic Album Sundays, CanJam Europe come to Berlin

    Twenty – the number of years since Radiohead released OK Computer. Next month sees the release of OKNOTOK, an expanded anniversary edition that features album-era b-sides and a handful of previously unreleased cuts. For this 20th anniversary remaster, XL Recordings returned to the original analogue tapes but we know not yet if a hi-res digital […]