Simaudio 390 Review

May 20, 2019 § Leave a comment

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Pushing the 390 a little more, “The Dark” from the latest Thrice album Palms, delivers thundering toms and brooding guitars with enough space to hear how well the 390 can unpack even the most complex modern recordings. There’s plenty of air, detail, as well as bass extension as the track manically swings between the quieter verses and heavy chorus. The overall sound that the 390 produces reminds me again why the previous 380D DAC that the 390 builds on was such an amazing value. (you can read the original 380D TONE review here for additional listening reference: http://www.tonepublications.com/review/simaudio-neo-380d-dac/) It’s clear that Simaudio has eclipsed the already excellent 380D with their latest release.”

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Turntables (and more) at High End Munich 2019

May 20, 2019 § Leave a comment

Dali Callisto 6 C Wireless Loudspeakers $5,747 Review

May 20, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Master volume can be adjusted via the app, the Sound Hub’s remote control or volume knob, or by swiping across the top front of either Callisto speaker. Any way you go, data is relayed to the Sound Hub so that all components remain fully synchronized, and a row of white LED indicators on the 6 C’s front reflect the adjustment. While DALI’s remote handles the system’s control basics, I found myself relying on the BluOS app for everyday use. Compared with many other wireless control apps I’ve encountered, this one proved extremely easy to setup and use. It instantly recognized the NPM-1 module installed in the Sound Hub and making a wireless connection with a Bluesound Pulse 2i speaker in my kitchen was a simple matter of selecting it in my iPhone’s Wi-Fi setup panel and entering my password. The app features two control panels: one for selecting individual players (or multiroom player groups) and a second for playback sources like streaming apps, Internet radio stations, or UPnP servers. (BluOS has already been covered in-depth in multiple Sound & Vision Bluesound and NAD product reviews.) For my purposes, I linked the app to my Tidal, Qobuz, and TuneIn accounts. I also verified that both the DALI Sound Hub and Bluesound Pulse 2i worked as Roon endpoints,”

Astell & Kern KANN Cube $1,499 Review

May 19, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Spending time with the Cube makes one realize the level of flexibility it offers owners. While it was initially easy for me to experience the Cube as a portable player, in today’s networked home it fits in as media server too. Hooking it up to the KEF LSX Wireless Speaker System I have at home was a snap, with the Cube seeing the LSX immediately. Playback through the two-channel wireless KEFs was less warm or analog-sounding than through wi-fi with Roon, but that’s a direct reflection of the Cube’s accuracy to source and its pull-no-punches playback ethos. This is a device of incredible resolution to its sonic signature; there’s no sweetening to the sound happening with the Cube. What you hear is what’s on the recording, great or not-so-great.”

Klipsch Forte III speakers Review

May 19, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“I also heard another pair of Forte IIIs at a friend’s apartment with a very high-end Japanese Shindo Haut Brion tube amp, and the sound was to die for. I heard similar treble sweetness with solid state amps such as the Schiit Aegir, First Watt J2 and F7, and a Pass Labs XA100.5 in my large listening room.

The Forte IIIs’ effortless sound with high volume listening was expected — lots of big speakers can do that — but the Forte III also excelled with late night quiet levels. Detail and dynamics were consistent, regardless of volume level. The Forte IIIs let you feel the music.”

Wilson Audio Wamm Master Chronosonic

May 18, 2019 § Leave a comment

Ifi iOne Nano – Review

May 18, 2019 § Leave a comment

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Unlike the iDSD or their larger “Micro” series DAC, the iOne doesn’t also contain a headphone amp, so it’s a different animal form the rest of the companies DACs. Listening to headphones on a laptop you’ll want to combine it with the (stackable) iCAN. This is battery powered, so it will work, but it can’t charge via USB and thus could catch you out. Although the iCAN’s 70+ hour battery is supremely impressive if it could share the iOne’s USB cable to charge it would be perfect (v2 request :P). This also makes me wonder how long it would be until the convenience of bluetooth gets added to the Nano iDSD, where both DAC & amp are combined and the device is battery powered… Hmm 🙂

Adding the iOne to a home audio / entertainment system would probably have it surrounded by powered USB ports from a receiver or games consoles etc. however, using it to add Bluetooth to an aging hifi system might not be as easy to start. You would have to buy a USB power plug and a decent length USB cable. There is a cable included in the box, but it’s only long enough to place the iOne within a few 10cm of a powered USB port. It won’t reach anything from a power socket and it wasn’t long enough to reach the back of my desk from the desktop PC, directly underneath it. Although I’ve amassed many USB cables over the years this isn’t a particularly common type any more, so I do wish there was alonger one in the box. These tend to be needed for what you get them with (printers, scanners etc.) so you will probably will have to buy one for mains power as well as the plug”

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