Goldmund Mimesis 15/Prana Active Loudspeaker £70,000 Review

September 28, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“What these speakers deliver is all the scale and power of the music – as much as that CD-quality limitation on the USB input will allow. Playing the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s recording of the overture to Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte [from Linn Records CKD 460], the Pranas’ rhythmic ability certainly sweeps the listener along with the music, while there’s entirely appropriate weight and scale to the sound.

Yet for the diehard audiophile, the Pranas may be found to lack that vital blend of musical force and window into the event that’s the hallmark of many a fine, if conventional and less convenient, set-up of amp and speakers.”

Sony NW-A55L $220 Review

September 28, 2020 § Leave a comment

“If you’re looking for a sonic upgrade over your phone, the Sony will offer it across the board. It has a next-level maturity when it comes to delivering clarity, cleanliness and weight, and its well-timed sprightliness and more than a hint of dynamics save it from mimicking the often flat presentation you get from a phone’s output.

The NW-A55L confidently bops along to the grooves that underpin D’Angelo and The Vanguard’s Ain’t That Easy, driving the bassline with impetus while giving the rest of the track its fair share in the spotlight. We play Lubomyr Melnyk’s Pockets Of Light, and it diligently unravels the dynamics to ensure the long passage of piano playing sounds rightfully captivating rather than repetitive.”

Technics SL-G700 Network/SACD player REVIEW

September 28, 2020 § Leave a comment

iFi PowerStation AC Line Conditioner Review

September 26, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“Interestingly, the PowerStation feeding the source components excelled at the very characteristics—high frequency resolution and dynamics—that I found problematic with it feeding the power amps. That is not a contradiction; it’s a reminder that a power amp places quite different demands on a conditioner than do source components. When audiophiles speak of “lowering the noise floor,” it’s often not about the no-music, barely audible hiss from the loudspeaker. The oxymoron here is that inaudible RFI can interact with electronics processing audible-range signals, and thus become audible as a blurring of subtle textural, spatial, and temporal information. Permit me to compa”

Verity Audio Otello Floorstanding Loudspeakers $19,795 Review

September 26, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“Each instrument occupies a defined space with the front soundstage. As the piece continues, the music slowly fades until we only the organ playing pianissimo remains. Soprano Nancy Keith’s comes in, and her voice helps fill the space. Once the men’s and women’s choirs join her, we get an accurate picture of the size of the hall’s immersive sound. As the choruses and the organ swell, the music expands and gloriously fills the chamber. The Otello’s presented an immersive listening experience that wrapped around the speakers and broadened into my room, giving me the impression that I was seated orchestra center in Meyerson Hall.

While the upper frequencies were airy and extended, they were also sweet and delicate. On the Analog Productions 45rpm reissue of Bill Evans’ Sunday At The Village Vanguard [Analog Productions/Riverside Records, AJAZ 9376], Evans’ playing was quick and light but did not give up any body. I also loved how the Otello’s treated cymbals. The cymbals on Buddy Rich’s Buddy Rich And His Sextet – Blues Caravan [Verve, V6-8425] have the right amount of sheen and extension without sounding metallic, clangy or glassy. They got them just right.”

Yamaha A-S2200 Integrated Amplifier Review

September 26, 2020 § Leave a comment

McIntosh MA9000 $11,000 Review

September 25, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“We switch to records and are pleased by the quality of this amplifier’s phono section. Both the moving magnet and moving coil sections are decently quiet and have enough gain for the cartridges we’re using. The amp’s appealing character shines through, though there’s the expected subtle drop in outright clarity compared to the line stages. This performance will be good enough for all but the most committed of vinyl purists.

We play a range of music from Bob Marley’s Catch A Fire and Four Tet’s There Is Love In You to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and the McIntosh sounds happy regardless. Despite all the power on tap, this brute also has a sensitive side. It has enough finesse not to bulldoze through tracks that require subtlety, coming across with a surprising lightness of touch when required.

SENNHEISER MOMENTUM TRUE WIRELESS 2 RECHARGEABLE EARBUDS REVIEW

September 25, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“I also used the earbuds for phone calls and listening to my audio book collection, streaming direct from my Android phone. They make a huge difference. I could shut out ambient noise so that I could hear the sources much, much clearer. With the Transparent Hearing on, I could understand conversation better as well.The Bluetooth distance surprised me. I was able to listen to music streaming from my phone to the earbuds at the other end of my house.


Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series Anniversary Edition Lineup Review

September 25, 2020 § Leave a comment

NOBLE ZEPHYR HYBRID IN-EAR MONITOR PROTOTYPE $1,450 REVIEW

September 23, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“Once again Noble Audio has struck gold with the Zephyr Hybrid In-Ear Monitor, especially in the musicality department. I have always held that a great speaker, headphone or IEM should perform well with all genres of music, and above all always impart an enjoyable experience, and in this, the Zephyr is a clear winner, providing a rich, colorful, exciting and engaging experience, with a huge three-dimensional soundstage, extreme clarity, speed, and detail, warmth, and musicality without veil or coloration and yet very forgiving of source electronics, which is a must in an IEM that will mostly be used with portable devices.

I must thank Jim Moulton and Noble Audio for this little glimpse into the future in allowing me to listen to a truly fantastic prototype of what I believe will be a best seller, my only regret is that it must come to an end. I look forward to a return of HiFi Shows and the opportunity to hear their new Sultan which promises to be another epic victory in the Noble showcase. Two thumbs up!

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