MBL Noble Line N11 line preamplifier $14,600 Review

July 2, 2020 § Leave a comment

READ HERE

I switched to Nordost Titanium Sort Kones under the HDPlex LPS that powers my Roon Nucleus+ music server/streamer, external USB hub, and the final Sonore optical Module—MBL’s N11 preamp seemed an ideal match. Engaging Unity Gain provided the best bass control I’d ever heard from my system, save when I used the far more expensive D’Agostino Momentum HD preamp ($40,000), which in my opinion deserves a Product of the Year award. The N11’s Unity Gain also toned down the noisy top ends of some recordings, making for easier listening. Tonalities were spot on, the range of colors varied and intriguing, and the listening experience a joy.

ANDOVER AUDIO PM-50 $500 REVIEW

July 2, 2020 § Leave a comment

READ HERE

“I’m sure many of you haven’t heard about the US based Andover audio, certainly when it comes to headphones. But the team behind Andover comes from several famous companies such as Apogee Acoustics, Acoustic Research, Harman, Bose and a/d/s/. Since its formation in 2012, Andover Audio has provided its design and manufacturing services to the most recognized brands in automotive, telecommunications, and high-performance consumer audio. Andover is now focusing on its own branded products, blending innovative audio technologies with distinctive design.”

xDuoo TA-30 Tube Headphone amp and DAC

July 2, 2020 § Leave a comment

Tannoy Revolution XT 6 loudspeaker $1050 Review

July 1, 2020 § Leave a comment

read here

“The sound was relaxed and clear. Best of all, the voices, especially the gravelly voice of Miles—as performed by Carl Lumbly—were there in all their textural and tonal glory. This positioning, only 6″ from the wall behind them, seemed to make the 50–300Hz octaves smoother, more correct-sounding and better integrated than they were on stands in my floor system. I’m not sure why I wasn’t getting similar room reinforcement when they were placed on the stands; maybe the difference comes from the different listening positions. In any case, this should be one of the key takeaways from this review: the XT 6 should sound spectacular on your bureau or desk.”

LIME EARS PSI €625 REVIEW

July 1, 2020 § Leave a comment

Read Here

“Buttery smooth finish and bubble-free as you would expect in terms of finishing, however, what it did notice is the little change under lighting. Under indoor conditions, the finish has a darker look but when you shine the light on it then it has more brilliance in the shine. I suspect that is the translucent shell allowing natural sunlight to exaggerate the visual aesthetic.

Lime Ears have also gone for a wide nozzle ‘nub’ and a flat dual-bore finish so this is not a Vari Bore design since the two bores are of equal size. The bass switch to the base of the faceplate on each side is also very easy to adjust and not too close to the surface. The sockets are 2-pin 0.78mm and sit flush to the outer shell in an over-the-ear configuration for cable use.

Acoustic Signature Turntable Factory Tour

July 1, 2020 § Leave a comment

Clearaudio Master Innovation turntable system $28,000 Review

June 30, 2020 § Leave a comment

Read Here

“One of the more frequently played selections on my system these days has been the 2014 Deutsche Grammophon release of the Bruckner Symphony No. 9 under Claudio Abbado, available via online retailer Elusive Disc. There was a time when the de facto masterpiece to conduct for the closing call and testimony to one’s lifetime achievement as a conductor, and for people to remember one by, was the Beethoven “Ode to Joy” from the Choral Symphony. It is, of course, equally nice if one is memorialized by his/her work on Beethoven’s other symphonies, such as Bruno Walter for the Beethoven Sixth, or Carlos Kleiber on Orfeo for the Beethoven Fourth live. Those that chose some other composer’s work, albeit no less notorious than Beethoven in many minds, were often considered lesser figures, somehow a minor conductor whose confidence in his artistry extended not to the realm of Beethoven and found the established repertoire of Beethoven Cycles by names such as Furtwangler, Karajan, Toscanini too intimidating.’

GoldenEar’s BRX offers sky-high transparency

June 30, 2020 § Leave a comment

Wells Headtrip II Level II Review

June 29, 2020 § Leave a comment

Read Here

“Another interesting feat was that there was so much detail presented so cleanly and distortion-free that I found myself tending to listen a little louder than usual. This can be both a good and a bad thing, but it’s quite an impressive feat. It also meant that even at my more typical low listening levels, I was treated to tons of dynamics and auditory information that normally might be lost. I listen very quietly typically and it’s a rare trick for any system to be able to stay engaging at these levels, yet be free of absence or harshness when cranked a little higher.

All this is to say that the Headtrip Ref II sounds phenomenal when paired with the right headphones: namely headphones nearly as expensive as itself. When paired with sensitive or efficient headphones, my results as I’ve mentioned were workable, but not particularly useful. In a sense, rather than being a headamp which can drive anything – though technically it can – I think of it as a product designed with cost as no object, and with the singular purpose of sounding exceptional with the most difficult to drive planar magnetic headphones, and perhaps AKG K1000’s if you’re lucky enough to have a pair. In this purpose, the Headtrip is amongst the best I’ve heard, it stacks right up against other monstrously powerful headamps but also brings a level of refinement and sweetness that take it beyond mere technicalities.”

Valve Amplification Corporation (VAC) Signature Mk IIa SE Line Stage w/Phono $26,000 REVIEW

June 29, 2020 § Leave a comment

READ HERE

“When I finally got my hands on the VAC Signature Mk IIa SE line stage (w/phono), it triggered a few memories and I immediately began to pull together some interesting amplifiers for this review. This includes one of my most dependable and telling benchmarks, the Pass Labs XA100.5 Class A monoblock amplifier. I always keep a Pass Labs XA.5 or XA.8 amplifier in the stable as a reference point.

I also thought it would be appropriate to match up the VAC with a top flight Class A/B solid state amp. A close friend has been living with the Ayre Acoustics MX-R Twenty monoblock amplifier for over a year and has been extremely happy. I have spent a considerable amount of time in his listening room and it truly is a wonderful amp. He left it with me for an extended stay and for another comparison”

%d bloggers like this: