Audio Art SC-5 ePlus Cryo Treated Speaker Cable

November 30, 2019 Comments Off on Audio Art SC-5 ePlus Cryo Treated Speaker Cable

“The Audio Art SC-5 ePlus Cryo Treated speaker cables deliver a very transparent, neutral, uncolored and non-fatiguing presentation of whatever is served up. Employed with good electronics, speakers, and source material, it provides a rich and detailed experience for the listener. Teamed up with reference level equipment and media, at once, it paints a vivid, robust and sensitive aural masterpiece. 

And although traditionally, I have used a bi-wiring configuration with my speakers, I found that with the SC-5 ePlus Jumpers in play, I didn’t miss the double runs of cabling which can be costly; one run is perfect. 

Summed up, the Audio Art SC-5 ePlus Speaker Cables and jumpers enhance the audio experience, delighting and warming one’s senses as the music plays on. And on a cold, wintry days like today, that’s a good thing; it just might mirror the sensory pleasures of that sunny, open aired drive down the coast on Pacific Coast Highway.”


PrimaLuna Evo 100 DAC Review

November 30, 2019 Comments Off on PrimaLuna Evo 100 DAC Review

“My PS Audio DirectStream DAC cost twice as much as the Tube DAC, and thanks to a built-in volume control, could directly drive a power amplifier (but not two). Unlike most DACs, it uses neither tubes nor solid-state devices in its output section; in fact, it has no output section, directly driving the output cables with the output of the digital output filter. Balanced as well as unbalanced outputs are available. PS Audio has updated the operating system several times, each time making non-subtle improvements to the DAC’s sound. The cost of the upgrades? Nada. As in free. Just download them, copy them onto an SD card, insert the card into a slot on the back of the DAC, and turn the DAC on. It upgrades the operating system, and voilà, you’ve got a new, improved DAC. Snowmass, the latest version of the operating system (the systems are named after 14,000-foot Colorado mountains), was installed on my DAC.

On “Folia Rodrigo Martinez,” the initial cascabel whacks were similar to the tube DAC, while the percussion came through with even more detail. Bass extended quite low, with excellent pitch definition. The overall sound was a bit brighter, but not even slightly etched. The music glowed with powerful energy.”



Mytek Liberty DAC $1000 Review

November 29, 2019 Comments Off on Mytek Liberty DAC $1000 Review

“As the Liberty will be used by many as a high‑quality headphone amplifier, Mytek have included a “reference high‑current, high‑transient headphone amp” capable of supplying up to 3W (and 300mA) of power into headphones of any impedance, including very low‑impedance designs. I tested the Liberty’s headphone amp with a wide variety of headphones, including Sony MDR7509s, AKG K701s and K812s, Sennheiser HD650 and HD25s, and in‑ear IE800s. The performance was flawless with them all: there was more than enough volume for all of the headphones I used, and the sound quality was excellent, with powerful bass, airy open high end, precise mid‑range details and inky‑black backgrounds.

The Liberty’s ability to handle a wide range of different PCM and DSD signals and files, as well as being amongst the few converters able to handle the new MQA format, certainly gives it an advantage amongst the competition. However, given its intended role in the hi‑fi market I’m surprised that Mytek haven’t either equipped it with a remote control as standard, or offered one as an optional extra. That would not only enhance the user experience, but would also help it compete against the likes of RME’s ADI‑2 DAC. Overall, though, despite some unexpected bench test results, the Liberty is an excellent converter, and its compact size and connection versatility make it an attractive option for anyone who needs a high‑quality and easily portable reference‑grade converter and headphone amp.  “

Manger p1 loudspeaker $14,995 Review

November 28, 2019 Comments Off on Manger p1 loudspeaker $14,995 Review

“Our recommendation for setup is: The distance between speakers should be 9 feet maximum. The distance from the wall behind should be 2.3 feet or larger. It can be closer (however), as the speaker is sealed and tuned with a low Q, so the increase of bass with a closer distance works without getting boomy. Listening position can be very close as the Manger driver already radiates in far-field behaviors at around 0.45 feet. We recommend a toe-in with the drivers crossing about 1.6 feet in front of your listening position. This gives you a very precise three-dimensional image which is absolutely [stable].”

Daniela’s words gave me permission to move the p1s closer to the wall behind them. As I inched the speakers back, the bass region began to fill in. In my final position, with the speakers about 6′ apart and only 12″ from the cabinet-backs to the front wall, Frank Sinatra’s voice (LP, In The Wee Small Hours, Capitol W581) and Vladimir Horowitz’s piano (44.1 FLAC, Horowitz at Home, Deutsche Grammophon/Tidal) displayed their proper tone. My Stereophile test CD and trusty iPhone dB meter verified that 50Hz, 100Hz, 1kHz, and 5kHz were all reproduced at the same level.


November 28, 2019 Comments Off on AAW CANARY REVIEW

“This is the universal version but the fit and seal are very good due to the Canary’s relatively compact size. I was looking for some sort of venting feature given the use of a dynamic driver but could not find one. I am guessing the 6mm size and push-ball isobaric technology renders one moot. Otherwise, the Canary seals as good as a balanced armature ventless driver shell with excellent passive background noise isolation.

The Canary is not quite a custom universal in shape, so there are not so many aggressive curves in its design. However, it is rounded enough with a thickish nozzle to sit securely in my ear. Even with the stock smallish silicone tips, I do not feel they are loose though they do stick out a little from my ear due to its fairly deep dimension.”

Manley Neo-Classic 250W Monoblocks $14,599

November 27, 2019 Comments Off on Manley Neo-Classic 250W Monoblocks $14,599

“In the end, how would I summarize these amps? They have great control, power, and coherence. They possess great extension in both high and low, and do it effortlessly. At no time did I feel they were straining. Reflecting on my time with these amps made me think of a great resto-modded automobile. For those who do not know what that is, a resto-mod usually consists of a classic car body with basically everything else redone to modern standards. These amps on the outside look like a classic amp, but beneath the surface they have been tweaked to modern standards without losing what made them originally special. If I had one criticism with these amps, it would be that although not clinical, they did not possess a classical tube amp bloom, or what some would say warmth. That type of musicality in an amp is subjective, and they did so many impressive things while I listened to them their strengths far outweighed a little warmth here and there when it came to reproducing human voices. What you get with the Manley Labs amps is classic workmanship, honest reproduction, and a hint of a vintage vibe that more people are coming to appreciate. It is not the newest product on the block, it is a tried and true application that prides itself on reliability, power, and control. These monoblocks are serious audio products that EveAnna and her team have made, but they also understand the joy of music and what these components can bring to the end user. Tubes rule! Give it a try. Take care!


November 27, 2019 Comments Off on MEZE AUDIO RAI PENTA $1099 REVIEW

“The Rai Penta has a low impedance of 20Ω which allows them to sound beautiful with just about every portable source out on the market today without hissing or noise filling the black spaces in your music tracks. According to Meze, these drivers are meticulously tuned to provide a super high-resolution response with a frequency range of 4Hz to 45kHz. Visually and physically beautiful, these were a pleasure to get to test.

The MMCX cable they come with is a high-quality silver-plated copper cable consisting of four wires, each with 20 strands of pure silver Litz. The included cable is terminated in a 3.5mm plug and the connectors are very well made to provide a lifetime of listening pleasure. As an aside, Meze also offers a balanced 2.5mm and balanced 4.4mm cable as an option.”

dCS Bartok DAC/headphone amp

November 26, 2019 Comments Off on dCS Bartok DAC/headphone amp

Focal Kanta No3 Loudspeaker £9000 Review

November 26, 2019 Comments Off on Focal Kanta No3 Loudspeaker £9000 Review

“Other vaguely contemporaneous rock tracks flowed out from the Kanta No3 loudspeakers as my enjoyment of what they could do grew. The driving rhythm section of Genesis surged through the title track from Abacab [Virgin CBRCD 102], with all those keyboard stabs swirling and jangling through the mix. Meanwhile, the slow burn of Steely Dan’s ‘Babylon Sisters’ [from Gaucho; MCA 0602498605103] was wide open and slinky, with a lovely focus on the instruments and the backing vocals in particular.

This big, focused and layered sound was also very well-suited to the lush production values of a spot of yacht rock – well actually, perhaps the ur-yacht track, Toto’s ‘Africa’ from Toto IV [CBS 450088 2]. Forget the noticeable whiff of cheese and give up on trying to work out what on earth the lyrics are banging on about. Through the Kanta No3 the smiles begin with that opening percussion, grow with the great thump of bass, and continue throughout the taut gutsy sound, the synth fills beautifully clear, as are the vocals and those lyrics. Oh well, you can’t win them all!”

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