Rockport Technologies Avior II Loudspeakers $38,500 Review

December 7, 2019 § Leave a comment

“The Rockport Technologies Avior II is easily one of the finest loudspeakers I’ve heard in the last five years. It combines an expertly voiced tonal balance that I can’t imagine anyone disliking with the ability to resolve the finest details in recordings, from the top to the very bottom of the audioband. In fact, until you hear these speakers, you very well may never have heard genuine bass detail. When you combine an exalted level of sound quality with qualities of build and fit’n’finish that are in the top 5% of speakers in the high end, you also have a slam-dunk recommendation from me and an easy Reviewers’ Choice recipient. Skip the new car. Buy a pair of Avior IIs, and drive off into the sunset — in your old car — one very happy audiophile.”


December 7, 2019 § Leave a comment

You get some excellent depth on the CL2, no doubt about that. It is a closed headphone so it is not an expansive or super airy soundstage but it doesn’t lack in power and more than neutral of neutral sub 100Hz.

The dip in the lower-mids pulls back instruments as does the fade from 4k onwards. It is not dark though, there is a small boost from 8-10k but again, it is really that 1-4k boost that pushes everything front and center and can lead to percussion and some higher pitching vocals dominating the stage.

Lower pitching vocals can lose a little presence also, especially if pitching the same as surrounding instruments. They tend to sound a little diffuse and lacking in separation. If you need strong guitar work to resonate and step forward in staging presence the CL2 is not working to its strengths.

Audio Note DAC 5 Special Review $43,500 Review

December 7, 2019 § Leave a comment

“So, it’s not a DAC that can handle every file format in the known universe. If that’s the case, what is it supposed to be focused on? The goal of the DAC 5 in it’s two guises (Special, Signature), according to Qvortrup, is to wrest every last ounce of emotional, sonic engagement from 16-bit/44.1kHz (Redbook) files, and to be used as a bridge for one of the company’s CD transports, if not as a stand-alone proposition. In numerous discussions with Qvortrup and others at Audio Note UK over the years, the feeling one comes away with is that there is more than enough information to be retrieved from a CD, or Redbook file to compete sonically with any other format, if the digital-to-analog translation is handled properly. Properly, in this context, means building a technology altar where this service can be worshipped with what AN UK considers the finest D/A construction specifications possible”

Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL MZ3 Headphone Amplifier Review

December 6, 2019 § Leave a comment

“They’re at the current pinnacle of audio engineering excellence and a pair of headphones which I consider to be among the best I’ve ever had the opportunity to hear. Pairing them with the Linear Tube Audio MZ3 wasn’t merely because they cost roughly the same price, or shared the letter ‘z’ in thier name. it was because they were a holostic, sonic ecosystem. One complimented the other perfectly in my estimation. Does that mean the MZ3 didn’t play as nicely with other headphones that were current hungry or more difficult to drive? No. It came down to the 4z allowing every facet of what the MZ3 had on tap to be revealed without adding anything to its flavor. I can say without hyperbole that in my experience this is a headphone amplifier with few peers at this price point: it is an honest and forthright amp that does that unique job of bringing warmth to music without sacrificing resolution.”


December 6, 2019 § Leave a comment

“Treble-wise it’s the same story. The B50 has more detail, extension and air in treble with better articulation. You have more transparency and resolution in highs, resulting in a more open presentation. The distance is the same however; cymbals sounding from behind so they’re not the focal point.

Sound-stage is also better with the B50, thanks to its capabilities in the mid & treble sections. The sound has more room and width, and that creates more space between the elements of a song. This provides a better imaging with a more 3D staging performance. The overall transparency is quite good, despite the sound signature which is darker than many IEMs.”


December 6, 2019 § Leave a comment

“There is no such thing as the One Deck at this or any price. Turntables introduce a degree of observational and subjective nuance that is only matched by the loudspeaker in a system. Different turntables will work best in different systems, but in the case of the Air Force V, it is versatile enough to work its way into several very good systems and sound good. Unless you have rigged the sound of the system to make it work in a very narrow set of conditions – making it ideal for one kind of turntable and few others – the TechDAS AirForce concept and the AirForce V, will always come close to or top of the list. There are very few turntables that could lay claim to the same universality, and all those that do are generally more expensive than the V and receive near universal praise.”

AudioSolutions Figaro M Loudspeakers $7500 Review

December 5, 2019 § Leave a comment

“Starting at the low end — my primary complaint about the Figaro B’s sound — I cued up some hip-hop: “Practice,” from Drake’s Take Care (16-bit/44.1kHz FLAC, Cash Money). The bass drops at 0:54 in, deep synth tones pulsing and pounding through the woofers. The Figaro Ms handled the onslaught of low frequencies and maintained their composure even at high volume, providing me with deep, taut, detailed bass. I could easily distinguish the bass notes’ various pitches. The Figaros’ overall bass output didn’t overwhelm my room; in fact, for cabinets of this size, I was somewhat underwhelmed. The overall experience was satisfying, but bass-heads should know that the Figaro M is not the last word in bass slam and extension.”

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