D’Agostino Momentum Phono $28,000 Review

July 31, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Next up was Beethoven: Violin Sonata from Wilson Audiophile recordings. It was Father’s Day, and I was enjoying a moment in my listening room. I had a conversation with Daryl Wilson the day prior and I was remembering his late father and thought the best way to honor David Wilson was to listen to one of his best recordings. The truth is that I hadn’t listen to this LP since a few days after RMAF 2013 when David and I had spoken, and he was so kind to sign the cover. If you love chamber music, I encourage you to dust off this LP. I could feel the presence of the piano and violin’s wood in my room as I closed my eyes. The background was pitch black and tonality of the instruments was potentially the best I had heard in my room. It brought out the best of my Wilson Audio Alexia Series-2.”

Fyne Audio F500 Review

July 31, 2019 § Leave a comment

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‘Of all Fyne Audio’s technologies present, the first you’re likely to notice is the work of its BassTrax design. Without going entirely overboard, the F500s dish out an impressive portion of low end, with sufficient punch to deal heavy kicks and the smoothness to feed bubbling pulses and luscious pedals.

It makes for a warm, welcoming sound that benefits the midrange with its body as well. Whereas many standmount speakers can sound small, the F500s give that middle register real purchase with the support coming from the octaves below. Such profound bass can sometimes feel detached, but this is a cohesive performance, with a smooth line drawn through the frequencies.”

Schiit Audio’s Modi Multibit DAC Review

July 31, 2019 § Leave a comment

Audio Research Corporation Reference 160M Monoblock Amplifier $30,000 Review

July 30, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“For a bigger difference, you can choose, with the touch of a button, triode mode rather than Ultralinear. In triode mode, the REF160M is very reminiscent of the sound of the ARC Classic 60 and Classic 150 (which came wired in triode). The presentation is markedly leaner, a bit more midrange-centric (and more detailed in the mids), a bit drier, less extended, and less full and powerful in the bass and the treble—a presentation that in some (not all) ways is closer to classic ARC (or classic ARC triode). Of course, you lose half of the amp’s power in triode, but 70W is still enough to drive most speakers with a relatively high sensitivity (such as the M3s) to thunderous levels. All things considered, I preferred Ultralinear with the Magicos, though triode had (and has) its appeal, as did that 4-ohm tap”

CD vs. NAS

July 30, 2019 § Leave a comment

Magnepan LRS loudspeaker Review

July 29, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Things got genuinely spooky when I put on the Electric Recording Company’s new LP reissue of The Country Blues of John Lee Hooker (Riverside/Electric Recording Company RLP 12-838). It was a promo copy, loaned by a friend, and the sound was recording-studio clear in a way I rarely experience from any home hi-fi. Hooker sang dramatically, swinging for expression between loud and whisper-soft. He strummed at his guitar with that signature John Lee Hooker beat. Intimacy, rhythm, and absolute clarity dominated the experience. Hooker’s singing voice had throat and lungs. His vocal inflections were roller-coaster rides. Wow!”

Parasound Zphono XRM Phono Preamplifier Review

July 29, 2019 § Leave a comment

Can a 3D printed enclosure get low?

July 29, 2019 § Leave a comment

Soulution 330 Integrated Amplifier $22,500 Review

July 28, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“High-end audio is so often about compromises, trading one quality for another. What sets the Soulution 330 integrated apart is its ability to strike just the right balance of musical and technical elements within a winning feature set, and to manage to deliver the sonic goods beautifully across so many recordings and styles. Moreover, the company has succeeded in keeping so many of its best sonic characteristics while paring down parts and pricing. The integrated gets out of the way of the music in the right ways but delivers the right stuff. This exquisite Swiss integrated might still cost a pretty penny but if you have the coin, I’d highly recommend auditioning it. For those yearning for Soulution’s Swiss sound and tech built-to-last, with the 3 series there’s never been a better time to invest in some of the finest solid-state around.”

MONITOR AUDIO GOLD 200 FLOORSTANDING LOUDSPEAKERS REVIEW

July 28, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“But while they have no difficulties describing the scale of the Saint-Saens piece, nor in defining a convincing and easily understood stage for the performers, these speakers don’t escape the confines of their own beautifully finished cabinets as convincingly as they might. Everything that happens on the stage is explained in full and in detail, but it all seems to happen between the two towers. Stereo focus is impressive, but there’s no getting the information to expand much beyond the speakers no matter how much fiddling with positioning is indulged in. There’s great unity and coherence to the Monitor Audio Gold 200s, but there’s relatively little of the wide-screen element some similarly sized speakers can deliver.

Which simply goes to demonstrate that nothing’s perfect (but we knew that all along anyway, right?), least of all in the world of loudspeakers. And whilst the Gold 200s are short of perfect, just like all their rivals, they demonstrate some real strengths and areas of convincing expertise. As suggested earlier, there’s no ripping up of the Monitor Audio rule-book going on here, let alone the wider Loudspeaker Manual – but in terms of finessing and honing a long-in-the-tooth technology the Gold 200s are an unarguable, categorical success.”

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