June 17, 2021 § Leave a comment

Sound stage-wise the Hifiman HE-R10P scores very well in both width and depth, though the Susvara still outperforms it. For a closed headphone however this is really good and the layering and extension are really nicely done. What I am missing a bit in the R10P compared to the level of the Susvara is the note extension and decay, especially in the mid-section. Treble-wise the R10P is softer, very easygoing and more limited. It’s probably its least strong point, especially when compared to the Susvara.

As expected from a flagship headphone, the R10P also shines when it comes to PRaT, preciseness and detail rendering. You at all times get a very rich sound with excellent L/R balance and stereo imaging. From highs to lows, the R10P has a great dynamic feeling to it. The R10P produces a very clean sound, though the clarity could still be a bit improved (

AVM Ovation A 6.2 ME integrated amplifier $8295 Review

June 17, 2021 § Leave a comment


Call it bad memory or confirmation bias, but after a month of daily listening, I concluded that the AVM A 6.2 ME sounded a lot like those classic class-A amplifiers of yesteryore, which sounded like they had full control and weren’t leaving any information behind. They sounded musically right and complete. The AVM A 6.2 ME integrated sounded that kind of right, with a little fairy dust sprinkled on top.

Pure Fidelity Harmony Review

June 17, 2021 § Leave a comment

Aurender Music Servers

June 17, 2021 § Leave a comment

dCS • Bartók Digital-to-Analog Converter and Headphone Amplifier $17,250 Review

June 16, 2021 § Leave a comment


I discovered that in addition to a wide soundstage, definite strengths of the Bartók are transient attack and driving rhythmic energy, so I cued up Winds of War and Peace [Wilson Audio WCD-8823], with its (in)famous bass-drum explosions during “Liberty Fanfare.” The monstrous bass drum at the 1:00 mark was ultra clean and powerful. With the Bartók, I was hearing better separation of mallet strike, the drum head and bass-drum body resonance than I’d heard before, maybe even better than in the rooms using Wilson speakers at AXPONA. My modest system will never match the big Wilson speakers’ bass power, sheer volume or unflappable dynamics, but with the Bartók in the system, I was able to re-create a better impression of bass-drum tone. As an aside, I play trumpet in some local concert bands and I’ve performed “Liberty Fanfare” for several patriotic concerts. I’m always disappointed when our bass drum isn’t as awe-inspiring as the crushing whacks Lowell Graham and the National Symphonic Winds produced on this great Wilson Audio recording.

Focal Aria K2 936 loudspeaker $5990 Review

June 16, 2021 § Leave a comment


It is, as well, a speaker of paradoxes. Like those mighty Grand Utopias that sang like nightingales at that Montreal audio show, the K2 936 combines qualities that would seem to work against each other, but here they work together: smooth and dynamic. Power with finesse. Rich and detailed; warm and transparent. The K2 936 played all genres of music in a way that made them engaging to listen to. The Focals breathed the music in and out. They sucked me in with their whispers and pushed me back with their force.

I can’t imagine the average audiophile, or music lover, not liking the K2 936. That’s not to say it’s for everyone; it might not be the best choice for, say, a small, square room, or if it has to be placed against walls or fed by overly rich-sounding electronics. But in the right room, dialed in just so, the Arias offer the whole package: smooth highs, warm and detailed mids, bass you can feel and that can carry a tune.

Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC Feature Review

June 16, 2021 § Leave a comment

Audio System

June 16, 2021 § Leave a comment

Gold Note Mediterraneo £4,990 Review

June 15, 2021 § Leave a comment


Piano always presents a fine test of a turntable’s pitch stability and even with the standard PSU in use there is a sense of exemplary control and grip on Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Switching from the standard PSU to the aforementioned PST-10 delivers no immediate benefit to speed stability, but does reveal a little more detail in the recording. The sense of hammers hitting piano strings, the sheer mechanical force and impetus of the playing and the rich tonality of the stringed instruments in Variation 18 all reach a higher level with the PST-10 taking charge.

IsoAcoustics Delos 1815M1

June 15, 2021 § Leave a comment


It measures 455 x 45 x 380mm, and consists of a solid ‘butcher block’ maple wood platform, designed to eliminate interference from external and structural vibrations and offer a stable platform for the equipment with a low noise floor. It can support equipment weighing up to 29.5kg.

When in use under my record deck, there’s an immediate tightening up of the bass, which suddenly has more attack and punch. Listening to a half-speed mastered LP of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, the somewhat menacing heartbeat that precedes Speak To Me ramps in from nowhere and builds to a climax. The bass is noticeably firmer and tighter, while the vocals of Breathe are more clearly positioned and the complexities of the music flow more effortlessly.

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