Clearaudio Master Innovation turntable system $28,000 Review

June 30, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“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

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“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

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“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”

New Magico M9 Flagship Speaker $750,000

June 28, 2020 § Leave a comment

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New Magico M9 Flagship Speaker $750,000 Daul 15” Woofers

Lens Position: 142

Pro-Ject Audio Jukebox E Bluetooth integrated turntable system $499 Review

June 28, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“The Pro-Ject Jukebox E’s Bluetooth playback is via its own speaker terminals and not possible through the Line Out function, which only outputs the cartridge signal and nothing else. Nonetheless, being able to play my favorite tunes from my iPhone 11 was a good dose of casual fun. And there were sufficient spatial cues to be enjoyed.

Bearing in mind that the volume control functionality only works via the speaker terminals, there is more fun to be had. I put an Oppo BDP-105D Blu-ray player’s RCA analog outputs into the Line-in RCA jacks of the Jukebox E and it was unreal. There was the expected big sound of SACDs, such as the soundtrack to Star Trek: Nemesis and the Esoteric remastered and reissued Grieg Peer Gynt excerpts, coming even from the HDP6. Again, adjusting the volume and having the BASS and MUTE functions available via remote control just added to the value of the package.”

VIVID AUDIO KAYA 45 FLOOR-STANDING LOUDSPEAKERS $18,000 REVIEW

June 28, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“The KAYA 45 speakers are rated at 37 Hz bass extension (-6 dB) and this was more or less consistent with my measurements. So, as a “torture” test, I played a 40 Hz sine wave at 110 dB. The distortion measurement was only 4.57%. When it comes to bass distortion, we typically believe that 10% is when the distortion becomes audible. Also, for those who don’t have testing equipment, I can tell you that I get startled when running these tests because this is a much louder signal than you would be expected to hear during a normal listening session. It was very loud.”

MYTEK DIGITAL BROOKLYN BRIDGE STREAMING DAC £3,000 REVIEW

June 27, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“The Brooklyn Bridge is truly a jack of many a trade, and will suit, well, anyone looking for a compact do-it-all DAC plus pre-amp plus headphone amp. It even makes a good stab at vinyl when set to MM mode. For the most part it was tested as an audiophile stereo DAC though, and here it has mastered its trade. There are even sweeter sounding DACs if you have another £1,000 or so in your budget, but for under £3,000 it is very hard to better. And if streaming isn’t your bag or you already have that covered, the Brooklyn DAC+ is still available at around £800 less.”

Parasound Halo JC 1+ monoblock power amplifier $16,990 review

June 27, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“The bass guitar and kickdrum were reproduced with appropriate force and definition, though I felt I needed to remove the plugs from the Minos’ upper ports to optimize the system’s low-frequency reproduction. Mark Knopfler’s vocalizing sounded clean and appropriately husky. But what really enthralled me about this atmospheric track was the depth of the soundstage. Some of the instruments had been mixed with various amounts of reverb. The piano that accompanies the acoustic guitar at the beginning before the verse, for example, was set way back in the soundstage, behind the voice and marimba. The tunnel of reverb behind the guitar power chords in the interlude stretched way back behind the speakers. The Parasounds nicely separated the soundstage’s layers.”

FIRST REVIEW: Tekton 2-10 Perfect Set speakers

June 27, 2020 § Leave a comment

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