JL Audio Fathom f110v2 powered subwoofer Review

August 5, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“With a single subwoofer set up along the front wall, listening to the test tones during the D.A.R.O. calibration, which go well above 80Hz, I found it easy to hear the sub’s location. When I added the second sub, on the left sidewall, the test tones seemed to come from the whole left wall. When I added the third sub in the right rear corner, the test tone filled the room, with no identifiable source. That last situation is ideal, but I judged the first acceptable: It’s OK to have bass emerging from the part of the room where the main speakers are located. I eliminated the two-sub setup from consideration and limited my listening to one f110v2 along the front wall and the three-sub array, arranged as in the third bullet point above.”

Monitor Audio Bronze 100 review

August 5, 2020 § Leave a comment

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On the plus side, those changes in mid/bass and cabinet size help the speakers produce an output of impressive scale and authority. Play Hans Zimmer’s Interstellar OST and the Bronze 100s render a huge sound underpinned by a good hefty slab of bass. They can play loudly too, retaining their composure even when pushed to high levels with demanding music such as this.

The Monitor Audios are also clear and manage to dig up a fair amount of detail. On a dense and demanding track, such as Where We’re Going, they do a good job of separating the various instrumental strands and keeping them easy to follow.”

Cambridge’s CXN Review

August 5, 2020 § Leave a comment

VTL TL-6.5 SERIES II SIGNATURE LINE-STAGE AND S-200 SIGNATURE POWER AMPLIFIER

August 4, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“Let’s start with the latest version of the well-established TL-6.5. Wedging the full feature set and functionality of the company’s two-box flagship line-stage into a single chassis was no easy feat, requiring a vertical extension to the established casework used for the TL-7.5’s PSU and control section. The resulting box can be supplied in silver, black or two-tone mix, the latter making the most of the original’s elegant design and front-panel proportions. On the inside it houses a fully balanced and differential circuit built around a single pair of ECC82 tubes, used for the critical voltage gain. Paired with a sophisticated FET-buffered, high-current output stage, you could argue that this should be more properly described as a hybrid design, but frankly, I’m more interested in the performance than the labels. With its large and highly regulated power supply, what the 6.5 does is deliver the coherent dynamics and presence that make tube pre-amps so musically appealing, combined with an incredibly low noise floor and the ability to drive almost any load – both extremely unusual in a tube design. Even more unusual is the functional versatility, with a full suit of balanced and single-ended in and outputs, processor and tape loops, adjustable overall and individual input gain. Look inside and you find a mirror-imaged circuit, precision resistor ladders and more by-pass capacitors than you can shake a stick at. The package is topped off with a sensibly sized, full function remote and a display that you can actually see from across the room.”

 

 

 

PSB Alpha P5 Loudspeaker $399 Review

August 4, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“As with virtually every small monitor—that is, every two-way restricted to a single four- or five-inch woofer—spatiality and orchestral soundstaging were strictly small-scale affairs. The ability to define the full contours of an auditorium or to reach upstage to the furthest corner of an acoustic venue are beyond this segment’s purview. Nonetheless, within its limitations, P5 conveyed string section layering, orchestral depth cues, and image focus that outclassed much of the competition.”

Empire Ears ODIN and HERO In-Ear Monitors

August 4, 2020 § Leave a comment

KLH ULTIMATE ONE HEADPHONES REVIEW

August 3, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“Sonically, the KLH Ultimate One delivers a classic large-diaphragm dynamic driver sound. The soundstage (with the right music) is large, cohesive, and dimensional. Listening to my recent live recording of the local neo-old-timey band, Masontown, I noticed that the KLH Ultimate One reproduced all the subtleties of the recording. Compared with several of my reference headphones the KLH harmonic balance was quite close, with the exception being the bass, which was fuller and slightly less controlled than through the Focal Elegia or Abyss Diana Phi. Lateral focus and image definition was good through the KLH Ultimate Ones, but again the two reference headphones delivered a somewhat more precise and better-defined three-dimensional image.”

AURALIC SIRIUS G2 UNIVERSAL UPSAMPLING PROCESSOR £5,499 REVIEW

August 3, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“The traditional digital brightness and thinness that people associate with streaming begins to go away here. Interestingly, the more components you build into the AURALiC G2 stack, the more those criticisms of streaming became outdated and unfair. The graunch of guitars in the Puscifer track showed this in stark relief; the tone of the track takes on a truly malevolent disposition here, something it rarely does through Tidal.

Is there a downside? Sonically, I don’t think so. However, to get the best from the SIRIUS G2 does involve some fairly complex app-wrangling, matching the upsampler to your DAC’s performance and if you get technofear, terms like ‘Parallelize Sigma-Delta Modulator’ might send chills along your heatsinks. Everything is explained in multiple places, however, but you might feel the need to hand setting up over to an expert. That being said, it’s not complexity for its own sake, but digital matchmaking… almost like Tinder for DACs. ”

Allnic Audio A-2000 25th Anniversary Power Amplifier $9,900 REVIEW

August 3, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“Triode: I’m a big fan of SETs. With the right speakers and a great vinyl setup, there’s nothing I enjoy more in high end audio. The sweetness, the light, the layering of subtleties, the inner workings of musicians’ minds laid bare. All are heard under a quality SET setup. I found that less so under the push pull variety. So, although the folks at Allnic quite rightly suggest ‘SET like’ sound for its triode mode, it was more of an aspiration than a full SET experience. Beetles suggestion regarding the 200 hours break in may well add some delicacy to the triode sound. I wish I had the unit longer. ”

CHORD ELECTRONICS HUEI PHONOSTAGE £990 REVIEW

August 2, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“The Huei is not without criticism, but the criticism is functionality-led rather than performance-led. The polychromatic colour-coded controls are a clear indicator of set-up but do require a look-up table to determine precisely what ‘orange’ denotes in terms of loading. Also, even though they can be dimmed, this means the often fit-and-forget phono stage is potentially the most illuminated and colourful part of a whole system. Finally, there’s the power supply. In fact, Huei has a secondary switching power supply internally to create the operating voltages from the external supply, so whether you use linear or switch mode external it doesn’t matter; although changing the power supply will void the warranty! Not many people realise, and it’s not clear anywhere, really, that the main power supply is inside the unit and Chord just uses the external brick to feed ‘raw’ power into the product; the external power supply doesn’t directly power any of the audio electronics. However, the fact remains that audiophiles are allergic to ‘wall-warts’ and I hope this doesn’t put people off what is a stunning phono stage.”

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