Wharfedale Evo4.2 Review

March 30, 2021 Comments Off on Wharfedale Evo4.2 Review


Wharfedale’s Evo4.2 is not the complete all-rounder, but I am not sure that’s what the company intends. What this gentle giant can do is deliver certain types of music in a manner that is largely beyond most rivals at the price and if you are happy with its style and can work with its demands it will delight, making it definitely worthy of a thorough audition at the price.


Audio Research • Reference 6 SE Preamplifier $17,000 Review

March 30, 2021 Comments Off on Audio Research • Reference 6 SE Preamplifier $17,000 Review


The Reference 6 did an admirable job of reproducing the sound of one of the world’s great halls. But this is a disc that reveals the entirety of the musical benefits of the Reference 6 SE, the walls expanding and the hall boundaries becoming distinct, the dynamic range growing wider and more pronounced at the macro end, the overall resolution an absolute to my ears. I have heard this music reproduced to even greater effect, with a system featuring the Wadax Atlantis Reference DAC and Robert Koda K15 line stage at the 2019 High End show coming to mind; but that’s topping a couple hundred thousand dollars for just those two components. For a tenth of the cost, the combination of Reference 6 SE and Neodio Origine CD player came affordably close to the otherworldly sound produced by

seriously, and seriously expensive, state-of-the-art products.

Q-Tip’s massive vinyl collection

March 30, 2021 Comments Off on Q-Tip’s massive vinyl collection



Finally, I’d like to note that the headphone amplifier feature of the ALTAIR G1 is much improved over the one in the original ALTAIR. AURALiC seemed to add the headphone feature in the original ALTAIR as just a throwaway convenience and did not care about its performance much. But, the improved headphone sonic performance in the ALTAIR G1 makes me think that AURALiC considers it as one of the important features of the product now. Clarity and transparency were the sonic attributes that were noticeably improved when listening using Massdrop X Sennheiser HD6XX headphones through the ALTAIR G1. Midrange sounded solid, treble was extended but not excessive, and bass was plentiful and well defined. The sense-of-space presentation was no slouch either, although as noticeable on some tracks, this seemed to be the area that could use some improvement. But overall, the headphone feature of the ALTAIR G1 is respectable and should satisfy casual to moderately serious headphone listeners.


March 29, 2021 Comments Off on FOCAL CLEAR HEADPHONE REVIEW


There is a general expectation of soundstage with open headphones, unfortunately, the Clear does not meet that expectation. Instruments are placed closer to you and high up, rather than spread out in front of you. That said, the instrument separation is good. While it’s not the best option for orchestral music, the soundstage doesn’t cause any fatigue in any music genre.

KRS 4344 in his hobby room

March 29, 2021 Comments Off on KRS 4344 in his hobby room

Icon Audio HP8 MkII Signature Headphone Amplifier Review

March 28, 2021 Comments Off on Icon Audio HP8 MkII Signature Headphone Amplifier Review


I started with a record I recently imported from Japan, Julie IV, Ima Boku Ha Shiawase Desu (I’m Happy Now), the fourth solo album by former Tigers and PYG vocalist Kenji Sawada. This record is a unique album in his discography as he strays away from the pop-rock he was known for on his previous outings and embraces a more intimate folk and country sound. Much of the album features dueling acoustic and electric blues guitar, as well as various piano and organ overdubs. One of the first things I noticed was how well the HP8 portrayed different instruments harmonic qualities. The last time I listened to this album on my speaker setup, the various guitars tended to blend into one another, but here they were individual voices with their own timbral characteristics. I could hear the different picking styles employed as well.

Aurelia XO Cerica XL Loudspeakers $11,000 Review

March 28, 2021 Comments Off on Aurelia XO Cerica XL Loudspeakers $11,000 Review


By describing the Cerica XL’s bass as slightly rich, I’m not sugarcoating a shortcoming. The Aurelias’ bass was plenty tight, and worked perfectly—I wouldn’t change a thing. Just listen to Gord Sinclair’s lithe bass guitar in the title track of The Tragically Hip’s Fully Completely (LP, Geffen 4704109). Sinclair’s bass playing is understandably underrated, given that this band’s sound orbited around the late Gord Downie’s singing. But Sinclair’s got the chops. Through the Cerica XLs I could hear his bass’s warm, rich growl with a touch more roundness than I can from my Focus Audio FP60 BE speakers. Admittedly, the Focus Audios are minimonitors, but they punch far above their weight, and I’ve never found their bass lacking in any way. So yeah—the Cerica XL was just a bit warmer down there.

DCA Aeon 2 Noire Review

March 28, 2021 Comments Off on DCA Aeon 2 Noire Review


March 27, 2021 Comments Off on AYA AUDIO SIREN REVIEW

The treble is very bright in the Siren with good definition and extension. It’s also articulated and nicely separated. But in busy tracks, the treble tends to be a bit mixed and congested. This doesn’t happen usually but happens to depend on the recording.

So the treble is a bit aggressive and forward and it’s the focal point of the Siren. If you like to hear your cymbals in front, then this is your answer. While I think this presentation is a bit over the edge, I think there are people who would like this certain character. Once again, there’s a good resolution and transparency here, a strong suit of the Siren.

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