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    KIH #48 – Taking aim at the albatross

    Birdie. Double eagle. Albatross. I recognized the emailer. The last I’d heard from him went back a good decade. At the time, Pat McGinty’s fortunes had intersected with Lady Chance in a foul mood. His relocation, of Meadowlark Audio from California to upstate New York, had–literally enroute driving East on the highway with his belongings […]

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    Modern life isn’t rubbish: Gold Note’s IS-1000 super integrated

    After twenty five years working the more traditional end of the high-end audio business – turntables, pre- and power amplifiers, loudspeakers – Florence’s Gold Note is set to introduce its first super integrated amplifier. The IS-1000 will house pre- and power amplifier stages, MM/MC phono stage, DAC and network streamer, all in a single box. […]

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    Updating: the Astell&Kern way or the Schiit way

    For signs of manufacturing success in the audio industry we might look to the number of new and revised models coming to market. The first port of call for headphone listeners on the go might be South Korea’s Astell&Kern, who have this week announced an update to one of their more affordable digital audio players […]

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    Devialet’s two faces: Lost Recordings, Gold My Phantom

    November 2016. High-end audio manufacturer Devialet announced their intention to enter the vinyl business. In collaboration with music Fondamenta, previously unheard live recordings would be pulled from the vaults, tidied up and pressed to 180gm vinyl in limited runs of 900 (at over €120 a pop). For the ultra-wealthy, extremely limited edition lacquers offer up […]

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    Campfire Audio announce Polaris hybrid IEM

    Clean, incisive and open – that’s one way to describe the overall gestalt of an all balanced armature-equipped IEM, especially when compared to their warmer, punchier dynamic driven counterparts. How about the best of both worlds? A hybrid IEM might be the answer — one that combines balance armature (BA) and dynamic driver in a […]

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    Going ’round the bend: DAR turns 7

    DAR turns seven years old this month. That’s seven years of turning up every second day (or thereabouts) with thoughts on the world’s best audio gear. The name might read Digital Audio Review but turntables and vinyl are welcome. This past year has seen a stronger focus from yours truly on products that build a […]

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    CONFIRMED! FLAC support coming to the iPhone (sort of)

    Three months ago we asked if iOS would add native FLAC to the iPhone and iPad? With Apple this week announcing the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, we have our answer: yes – kinda. Eyeballing the audio specifications for the forthcoming iPhone 8 and iPhone X, we see: “Audio formats supported: AAC-LC, HE-AAC, HE-AAC v2, […]

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    Roon comes to the KEF LS50 Wireless

    One. The greatest hifi product of the last five years? KEF’s LS50 Wireless (US$2199) stand head and shoulders above the rest. Why? These loudspeakers are a complete high-end audio system in a box. With one eye on the more expansive world that exists beyond the audiophile ghetto, audiophile tweakery has been shown the door in […]

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    What the Sam Heck is IFA?

    Up above. A pair of loudspeakers enjoy equal static demo status as a motorbike and a piano. Yamaha’s display at the Messe Berlin in 2017 is typical of IFA – “the world’s leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances”, according to its organiser. IFA? Internationale Funkaustellung. Translating from German to English: Internationale = […]

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    Deezer ends Sonos exclusivity, joins hands with MQA

    More news from IFA 2017. French streaming company Deezer has announced that its CD-quality streaming tier – previously dubbed “Elite”, now “Hifi” – will soon be freed from Sonos exclusivity for accessibility from its desktop and mobile apps, as well as devices from hardware partners such as Bluesound, LG, Onkyo, MOON by Simaudio, Yamaha, Devialet and […]

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    IFA 2017: Technics’ SP-10R turntable, SC-C70 all-in-one

    Smart cities. Smart life. Better living tomorrow. TV. Home AV. Digital imaging. Small kitchen appliances. Personal care. Ladies’ beauty. Male grooming. Oral care — these are the categories by which Panasonic Europe subdivide its product range for display at IFA 2017, where the Japanese giant occupy the entirety of the first floor of Halle 5 […]

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    On hitting Rock Bottom

    Florence, Italy. In the height of the summer season, it’s easy to lose oneself among the thousands of tourists that flock daily to the Duomo; or who wander room to room at the Uffizi Gallery; or casually stroll the Ponte Vecchio. It’s far too hot to walk any faster, the sun far too intense to […]