Astell&Kern A&Ultima SP1000 is the new flagship player $3499

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” A&Ultima SP1000 is the new flagship player from Astell&Kern: Asahi Kasei AK4497EQ chipset; one DAC per channel for “wider soundstage and better stereo separation”; Octa-Core CPU for faster boot time, more responsive GUI (redesigned and now running on a 5″ ‘HD’ screen); greater output power; lower distortion; USB C connector for faster file transfer; 12 hour battery life. Stainless steel model (US$3499) available mid June. Copper version to come in July”

Shure SHA900 DAC/HP Amp $999 Review

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” The SHA900’s $1,000 price tag is definitely an audiophile price, but I do not see it as overpriced. It is very well built and the audio is top notch. The better the headphone, the better it sounds — and the DAC conversion is first rate as well. Airy, wide and deep soundstage with abundant detail.”

Paradigm Persona 9H Loudspeaker $35,000 Review

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” Finally, I’m not sure that a detailed explanation of the technology behind the ARC-2 system is really needed, and many audiophiles will rely on dealer setup. But, people and speakers do get moved, and high-enders love to tweak and fiddle. Accordingly be aware that you can readily find out the technical details and get some good high-tech reviews by putting “ARC-2 room correction” into your computer search routine.”

Sony Adds Quad DSD to Car Digital Media Player

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“It’s great to see another key player in the audio market supporting Quad Rate DSD playback. Especially when it comes to adding this capability to the car and mobile audio market. It does raise the question about what else Sony has planned in their support of Quad Rate DSD”


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“The M20 offers a straight -20dB of noise isolation using the APEX technology and the M15, which 64 Audio are pitching as the middle ground between bass attenuation and isolation. The M15 features a combination of dual ambient ports and modified internals to achieve -15dB isolation at 350Hz and an additional 4dB cut at 20Hz to achieve that compromise.”



“Focus here really is on the upper mids and highs but it’s not as if there is no more bass. Bass quantity still is good and bass sounds powerful with an impactful delivery. It isn’t the tightest or most detailed/layered bass however and it’s more impact/presence than it is quality. The mids and treble are very clear and sound lively with more forward and thinner vocals. Left/right balance and separation is very good and for the $109 price this IEM is going for it has a good level of detail and spaciousness”

Chord Electronics DAVE D/A processor $10,588 Review

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” The DAVE did indeed do well with piano. O’Riley’s notes were very well defined, placing the instrument solidly between and behind the speakers. I switched from Pure Music to the Tidal desktop app and called up Daniel Barenboim’s recent solo recording of Liszt’s arrangement of Solemn March to the Holy Grail, from Wagner’s Parsifal, from On My New Piano (16/44.1 Tidal HiFi stream, Deutsche Grammophon 289 479 6724). The deep tolling bass notes of Barenboim’s unique straight-strung piano sounded majestic with the DAVE in the system”

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