Synergistic Research PowerCell SX Power Conditioner Review
October 29, 2020 Comments Off on Synergistic Research PowerCell SX Power Conditioner Review
The PowerCell SX comes with three options of power cord: the Atmosphere X Euphoria Level 3 cord (5’, $3995 if bought separately, total price $8495); the Galileo SX cord (5’, $6000 separate, $10,495 total); or the SRX cord (6’, $10,000 separate, $12,995 total). The SRX, Synergistic’s best currently sold power cord, is similar to the SR25 Limited Edition cord ($20,000, sold out): a long, flat, flexible, layered EM cell containing two smaller folded cells, one each for the hot and neutral conductors. Synergistic claims that the SRX provides state-of-the-art filtration of AC.
While all of these cords are actively shielded, their power supplies are internal — no external wires are used to deliver the shield’s DC bias. With the PowerCell SX, Synergistic also sent me Atmosphere X Euphoria Level 3 and SRX power cords, and a High Definition Ground Cable ($400) for use with my Active Ground Block.”
Monitor Audio Gold 200 Loudspeakers $5500 Review
October 29, 2020 Comments Off on Monitor Audio Gold 200 Loudspeakers $5500 Review
Eddie Vedder’s deep, resonant baritone in “Society,” from Into the Wild, sounded remarkably similar through the two pairs of towers. Switching back and forth between them, I was always treated to a consistently clean, open sound. The Monitors created a slightly deeper soundstage, this most evident when the backing singers harmonize with Vedder. Otherwise, whenever I thought I heard a difference, I’d then switch to the other speakers and not be so sure. Given that the Performa3 F206 is one of the best speakers I’ve heard, this is a testament to the quality of the Gold 200, which was never outclassed by its American counterpart.
As I listened to “m.A.A.d. city,” from Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city (16/44.1 AIFF, Aftermath/Interscope), the Gold 200s had a bit more bass oomph than the Performa3 F206es, whose sound was lighter in comparison. But Lamar’s voice was clearer through the Revels, as if it had been mixed a bit farther forward. And as clean as the Monitors sounded, the super-transparent Revels outlined Lamar’s voice more precisely. Ultimately, I appreciated how both pairs of speakers reproduced this track and could live happily with either — but if forced to choose, I’d pick the Monitor Gold 200s for hip-hop: Their weightier sound is, overall, better suited to the “
Yamaha WXC-50 streaming preamp with MusicCast
October 29, 2020 Comments Off on Yamaha WXC-50 streaming preamp with MusicCast
Audio Note UK TT3 turntable system $10,795 Review
October 28, 2020 Comments Off on Audio Note UK TT3 turntable system $10,795 Review
“On a subsequent to Soundhounds they demonstrated the Audio Note UK TT2 – I was impressed. This had the tactile speed and lightness of touch of the Voyd – it had the nimble bounce and energy of the Voyd – well – almost. The TT2 sounded more transparent and “locked in” in terms of pace. It had energy and pizzazz where some of the store’s high mass turntables sounded bloodless and overly polite to me in comparison. I was drawn to the sound of the TT2 over some dearer turntables from Linn, Clearaudio, and Oracle.”
EMPIRE EARS HERO $1,349 REVIEW
October 28, 2020 Comments Off on EMPIRE EARS HERO $1,349 REVIEW
“The Hero can be put down in a few sentences as a monitor with impactful, authoritative and extended lows. It has a beautifully smooth mid-range that puts upper mids lightly forward. Vocals
on the Hero stand out the most as its best quality in my opinion. The treble is a bit conflicting, as it can be on the edge of sharpness at times, but generally it has an agile top that delivers a great
sense of air.
Hero reaches deep into the sub-bass and does so with good drive. It has a slightly forward bass presence, that does not overshadow any other frequency range. Hero does keep its lows well”
VINYL: A COLLECTOR’S ITEM
October 28, 2020 Comments Off on VINYL: A COLLECTOR’S ITEM
YG ACOUSTICS VANTAGE FLOORSTANDING LOUDSPEAKER £39,990 REVIEW
October 27, 2020 Comments Off on YG ACOUSTICS VANTAGE FLOORSTANDING LOUDSPEAKER £39,990 REVIEW
“Last, let me reference the track ‘The Town Burns’ from John Williams’ original soundtrack for the film Rosewood [Sony Masterworks, 16/44.1]. ‘The Town Burns’ conveys a dark sense of foreboding conveyed in no small part by deep, very low-pitched percussion that seems, at times, to arise out of nowhere. Here, the powerful, but also tautly controlled and sharply focussed, bass of the Vantages comes into play. One moment the listener is following the track’s vocals and melodic lines and the next one is aware of the deep, potent, but never overblown or boomy, presence of very low-pitched percussion instruments that fairly bristle with ominous portent. Then, just as suddenly as they appeared, the low percussion sounds decay and vanish—as if inviting the listener to wonder is s/he even heard them at all. Great low bass is often this way; it’s not present until the music calls for it, and it doesn’t linger around once its impact has been heard and felt. The Vantages are great low-frequency performers.”
NAD Masters M33 Integrated Amplifier-DAC $4999 Review
October 27, 2020 Comments Off on NAD Masters M33 Integrated Amplifier-DAC $4999 Review
“When the Masters M33 arrived, I connected it to my home network with an Ethernet link, updated its firmware, and from that point on it worked without incident for the entire review process. After moving it back and forth between my two systems a few times, I found it easier to access my network with the Wi-Fi connection. I had no problem setting up and using the Masters M33, so intuitive and simple is its interface.
I used the M33 mainly with Qobuz as a streaming service, with either Roon or BluOS to manage playback. I also used its digital and analog inputs: the MM phono input with my Pro-Ject X1 turntable, and my Oppo Digital UDP-205 4K UHD universal BD player through its balanced (XLR) analog outputs. Although I primarily used a MacBook Pro computer to control the M33, I also installed and used the BluOS app on my Apple iPhone 6S and Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphones.”
Hidizs AP80 Pro
October 27, 2020 Comments Off on Hidizs AP80 Pro
Gryphon Audio Designs Essence Stereo Amplifier $22,990 Review
October 26, 2020 Comments Off on Gryphon Audio Designs Essence Stereo Amplifier $22,990 Review
“Having definitely answered, at least for my own purposes, the question “Is 50Wpc enough?,” I moved on to more typical audiophile fare to assess other aspects of the Essence’s sound. I went straight to what I’m sure has appeared in the recent Qobuz playlists of many audiophiles: Lido Pimienta’s Miss Colombia (16/44.1 FLAC, Anti-/Qobuz) and its first track, “Para Transcriber (Sol).” The Gryphon painted this track with vivid colors, impressive depth of soundstage, and with all its minute details intact. There was a magnificent amount of space around Pimienta’s voice at the beginning, with soundstage depth for miles, and enough ambience retrieval to make my listening room completely transform into another acoustic environment. Pimienta’s voice was also smooth and tonally perfect — the Essence reproduced this track with finesse and fidelity.
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