Focal Clear Mg $1490 Review

August 31, 2021 § Leave a comment

The Focal’s transparency is highlighted by the sizable lift in performance when we switch to our reference Naim streamer/Burmester amplifier combo. Here, we’re aware of a greater sense of control and dynamic expression. There’s clearly even more information and we’re pleased with the way the Focals arrange it with control and composure.

Tonally, they’re full-bodied in a manner that eludes most rivals, and this presentation results in instruments and voices coming through in a more natural and engaging manner. The overall balance is a little on the fuller, rounded side, but not so much that it affects the Focal’s ability to convince.


Mark Levinson No.5105/Ortofon Quintet Black S MC Review

August 31, 2021 § Leave a comment

A large part of a record player’s tonality comes from the cartridge, and here the Ortofon Quintet Black S delivers exactly what we’ve come to expect from the Danish brand’s more premium offerings. It’s a clean, even-handed performer that errs slightly on the cooler side of neutral, which suits the turntable’s character well. When mounted in the No.5105, we have no issue with the cartridge’s detail resolution or its ability to track low-level instrumental strands in a complex piece of music. It’s a good choice for the turntable design and works well in context.

This Mark Levinson sounds big-boned and composed no matter what we throw at it. There’s good insight when we play Orff’s Carmina Burana, the turntable able to communicate the over-the-top drama of this piece well. Singers come through with a convincing presence and there’s no issue in revealing subtle instrumental or vocal textures.

Hiby R2 / R3 Pro Saber Overview

August 31, 2021 § Leave a comment

Dan Clark AEON 2 Headphones Review

August 30, 2021 § Leave a comment

The lack of graininess and restriction the AEON 2s possess is spooky good. Thanks in part to their extreme comfort and light weight, with the cumbersome factor lifted, it’s so much easier to enjoy the music and not feel like I have a pair of cans (the tomato soup kind, not the headphone kind) on my head. I suspect that this will go a long way to entice a potential user. Even after hours of sitting in the chair listening while editing, these are lovely headphones.

Basis Audio 2200 Signature Turntable & Vector 4 Tonearm $8000 Review

August 30, 2021 § Leave a comment

And while I’m sure that Conti’s Transcendence and other stratospherically priced designs may take you steps beyond the 2200/Vector 4 ($18,410 with Reflex Clamp, Calibrator Base, and Cable Isolation), I must report that never in my almost four decades as an audiophile have I lived with a record player like this one—so across-the-board uncolored, transparent, coherent, and seemingly responsive to whatever frequency, dynamic, ambient, tonal, spatial, ambient, and other microscopic information may be pressed into vinyl grooves. 


August 30, 2021 § Leave a comment

I keep getting asked to post more high-end audio system photos, so here is another 50+ photo set of high-end audio gear galore, with plenty of renowned brands to enjoy

Göbel Audio • Divin Noblesse Loudspeakers $220,000 Review

August 29, 2021 § Leave a comment

Along with that low-frequency speed and definition come transparency and dimensionality. Anybody who has worked with positioning their own speakers will know what that means. Bringing clarity to the bottom end automatically declutters the midbass, midrange and on up. I differentiate midbass in this instance because that’s the range that imbues music with so much of its drive and energy, life and vitality. Gaining that clarity at source (as it were) even before you work with room placement is fundamental to the Divin Noblesse’s overall sound, its lucid presentation and coherent sense of musical energy and presence. You’ll often hear speakers described as well integrated or contiguous, seamless or even-handed, but in the case of the Göbels that goes well beyond the absence of tonal discontinuities and deep into the realm of musical energy and projection. The same substance that imbues Michael Kiwanuka’s kick drum with such solid impact applies right up the range, whether it’s cello, a pianist’s right hand, violin or bells. There’s no wispiness or thinness at the top, no pared-away or etched quality to the midrange 


August 29, 2021 § Leave a comment

Always present, full and heavy. Bass is one of the most important characteristics of this headphone. The dynamic driver does a good job in regards to upper and mid bass. But it doesn’t have any impressive sub bass presence/rendering. Quality wise the bass in regards to detail, speed and layering isn’t the strongest. It’s more fun with good impact than it is technically strong bass. It gets your feet tapping and head nodding, but your ears will be left wanting more precision. At least my ears.

KRONOS AUDIO Launches Discovery

August 29, 2021 § Leave a comment


August 27, 2021 § Leave a comment

As long as you have the physical space to accommodate them, there’s very little downside to Acoustic Energy AE520 ownership. They play no favourites where types of music are concerned – from full-on symphony orchestras to voice-and-guitar demos, they locate the fundamentals of a recording with real tenacity and are endlessly, easily listenable in the process. They’re as enjoyable and as information-packed at very low volumes, and they don’t get shouty or coarse when you turn the wick up – they simply get louder. 

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