WILSON AUDIO TUNETOTS WITH TUNETOT STANDS £11,500 REVIEW
January 31, 2021 Comments Off on WILSON AUDIO TUNETOTS WITH TUNETOT STANDS £11,500 REVIEW
To wrap up, I believe what the Wilson Audio team has done here is quite special. Have a small space like a flat in London or New York? Otherwise limited on space? Or just have a nice home office and want audiophile sound like your larger listening room? This is a really superb solution. It’s really hard to fault these stands. They improve the mids and highs, are built like a tank and look elegant with the monitors and the isolation bases. And Daryl informs me that the posts on the stands come in all the standard TuneTot colours.
iFi NEO iDSD DAC $699 REVIEW
January 31, 2021 Comments Off on iFi NEO iDSD DAC $699 REVIEW
Surprisingly, not really. For some reason I can’t explain, for the first two weeks I couldn’t get Qobuz to play above 96kHz. But then, suddenly I saw some known 192kHz tracks displaying 192 instead of 96, and it hasn’t been an issue since. No real issues with Tidal at all. In fact, the only concern so far has been when playing on shuffle off my hard drive or Tidal, whenever the format or resolution changes, there is a slight click audible. I’m sure will get resolved soon, as I haven’t heard that as an issue in my system with any other software or hardware in several years.
End result of all this was that having the NEO iDSD in my system was beneficial in all key areas. Sound quality was definitely a step up from my previous DACs, and in ways that I hadn’t taken as areas the older iDAC2 was deficient in. My system could be simplified; removing an active $1900 preamp and a $350 DAC while replacing them with one $699 device and improving sound quality substantially was my kind of deal. Now all I need to do is replace my notebook with a fanless, quiet mini PC or dedicated music streamer and my digital source will be set for a while. Not only is the NEO iDSD highly recommended, I’m actually spending my own money on it and buying the review sample.
Audionet Humboldt Amplifier Review
January 31, 2021 Comments Off on Audionet Humboldt Amplifier Review
Spendor D7.2 £4,500 Review
January 30, 2021 Comments Off on Spendor D7.2 £4,500 Review
All the modifications have brought about a subtle but worthwhile improvement to the performance, without throwing out Spendor’s trademark civilised sound. What we hear is more of the music and less of the cabinet and drivers. The previous model was already pleasingly neutral and open, but the D7.2 goes much further. It’s as if Philip Swift and his team have zeroed in on the weaker aspects of the older speaker and sorted them in a focused and surgical way. The result is a crisp, open and even-sounding loudspeaker that’s now impressively engaging and surprisingly dynamic – especially for a floorstander of this price.
When it comes to tonality, the original wasn’t the most transparent but was well integrated from bottom to top and pleasingly warm. The new model doesn’t wander far from this path, but does sound fractionally lighter and brighter; there’s a little extra sparkle right across the frequency range. The Yamaha DX7 synthesiser on Sade’s The Sweetest Taboo sounds more atmospheric, with a sense that you’re able to hear the harmonics a little better. There’s more space around vocals and a lighter and more spry sound to the cymbals. This is all subtle, but makes for a more lifelike sound – despite remaining smooth and sophisticated.
McIntosh MAC7200 stereo receiver $7500 Review
January 30, 2021 Comments Off on McIntosh MAC7200 stereo receiver $7500 Review
I was shocked by the sudden crashing transients that open “2049” from Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s score for Blade Runner 2049 (CD, Epic 19075800852), followed by eerie reverberant echoes and sustained new-age synth chords. The MAC7200 delivered the same explosive dynamics, beginning with a faint, staticky whine followed by crashing heavy-metal chords on another Hans Zimmer soundtrack, The Dark Knight (CD, Warner Sunset 511103-2)—specifically the track “Why So Serious?”
I enjoyed the line stage and amplifier’s tubelike warmth and highly detailed imaging in the title track “Going Home” from a CD reissue of The L.A. Four: Going Home (CD, East Wind 32-JD-10043), which placed Laurindo Almeida’s guitar to the left, Ray Brown’s standing bass just left of center, Shelly Manne’s drums slightly to the right of center, and Bud Shank’s alto flute and saxophone far right.
KEF vs KEF | LS50 Meta Review
January 30, 2021 Comments Off on KEF vs KEF | LS50 Meta Review
TAD Micro Evolution One Stand Mount Loudspeaker Review
January 29, 2021 Comments Off on TAD Micro Evolution One Stand Mount Loudspeaker Review
TAD’s new ME1 should be a destination for those wanting a small high-end loudspeaker with big sound capabilities. It is ultra-refined, accurate and articulate with near-full frequency range coverage. The way that it images and soundstages is uncanny. It can play softy or loudly, whilst remaining clean as the volume increases – a testimony to the inherent engineering talent at TAD. As befits a product of this price, it’s made to incredibly high standards; its fit and finish are perfection in the way that only Japanese craftsmen know how to do. Hear this definitive new small speaker if you possibly can.
Audio Research Corporation Reference 160S Stereo Power Amplifier $22,000 Review
January 29, 2021 Comments Off on Audio Research Corporation Reference 160S Stereo Power Amplifier $22,000 Review
The Ref160 gives off a lot of heat, but that comes with powerful tube-amp territory. ARC uses cooling fans to keep operating temperatures within optimal range and extend tube life. Since I placed the Ref160S in front of my equipment rack to make connecting it to and from my system easier, I did hear the fan during very quiet music passages, even with the fan speed set to low. I believe most users would place the amp in a more room-friendly position, and that would, no doubt, be farther away from the listening position. Let me add, the Ref160M/S aesthetics are a welcome change for ARC whose typical look has tended to be more industrial and functional. I liked the see-through faceplate, but I turned off the lighted VU meters, as I found them to be a little distracting. A friend thought they looked really cool and wanted to see them with their light level all the way up.
Is MQA a good thing?
January 29, 2021 Comments Off on Is MQA a good thing?
Focal Celestee Headphone Review
January 28, 2021 Comments Off on Focal Celestee Headphone Review
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