Mola-Mola Kula Integrated Amplifier Review

November 27, 2021 § Leave a comment

Meanwhile, if you have two turntables, or play older pre-RIAA records, you can set the Kula up for those too. You can even add polarity inversion of one or both channels, mono summing and just about anything else you’d need to play even the most arcane of recordings.

A wide range of adjustments are also available for other inputs, from renaming, adjusting relative level, designating an input as ‘direct’, or bypassing the volume control if the Kula is used with a preamp or AV processor. The digital option here is slightly unusual – yes, it has optical, AES/EBU and asynchronous USB, and can handle datastreams at up to 384kHz/32-bit and DSD512 via the last of these, but there’s no coaxial digital input, and the Ethernet connection allows the Kula to function as a Roon endpoint, a brief it fulfils rather well.

Unboxing the McIntosh C22 Analog Tube Preamp

November 27, 2021 § Leave a comment

Coturn CT-01 Review

November 27, 2021 § Leave a comment


November 26, 2021 § Leave a comment

The sole accessory that Beyerdynamic has bundled with the T1.3 is a 3-metre detachable cable, terminated in a 3.5mm single-ended jack with Beyerdynamic’s standard 6.3mm screw-on adapter included. The cable is covered with a woven synthetic cloth finish that makes it more than a little microphonic when rubbed on shirt collars. Like the T1.2, it attaches to both cups with forward-angled 3.5mm mono connections, which makes finding after-market cables a pretty easy prospect. And you’re probably going to want to find one – firstly because it’s fairly microphonic, and also because it’s fairly light-weight and prone to twisting/tangling. I know what you’re about to ask: “Why no balanced cable?”. Good question – with many other manufacturers offering a range of cable options with the flagship headphones to pair with a range of amplifier outputs, Beyerdynamic has offered just one single-ended variety with the T1.3. On one hand, the T1.3 is pretty sensitive and doesn’t need much by way of power to perform well. On the other hand, Beyerdynamic also manufactures their own headphone amplifiers, none of which are balanced designs nor offer balanced outputs. I did muse that it might be a house engineering philosophy thing, but then again, Beyerdynamic does offer a balanced XKR cable as an aftermarket option for a not-inconsiderable $145 USD.


Auralic Altair G2.1 Music Library/DAC Review

November 26, 2021 § Leave a comment

It’s also as adept when growling out some driving rock as it is when playing more hi-fi-show-friendly music. This review period coincided with the demise of ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, which almost inevitably led to a couple of evenings with me immersed deep in Texas boogie. I can tell you that from the slow-burn blues of ‘Just Got Back From Baby’s’ all the way through to the charging guitar solo of ‘Cheap Sunglasses’, this new Altair did proud the exhaustive Goin’ 50 compilation [Warner Bros 0603497851621].

Its analogue output drove the amplification, and thus the speakers, to suitably raucous effect, while still keeping those good-time rhythms rolling as the trio powered on. I even played the odd track – well all right then, quite a lot of them! – several times, just to immerse myself in all the thunder and snarl.

Andover Audio Model-One turntable with built-in speakers and Bluetooth

November 26, 2021 § Leave a comment


November 25, 2021 § Leave a comment

Flipping around to the back, there’s a pair of matching single-ended and balanced XLR inputs and outputs, while the panel on the left-hand side can be configured to suit the input requirement of the owner. Because I was able to review the Schiit Asgard 3 with their Multibit DAC input, and because I also have a review unit of Schiit’s own Bifrost 2 DAC in the house, I chose to tick the ‘phono card’ option on this review sample of the Jotunheim 2, which adds 42dB of gain to moving magnet cartridges, and features passive RIAA equalisation. Now I am more than a little bit “into” vinyl listening, but I was also curious to see how Schiit’s phono module performed, and how a phono-equipped Jotunheim 2 might pair with the Bifrost 2 to create a Voltron-like uber digital/analogue control hub for one’s desktop, or even two-channel hifi setup. 

 Wilson Alexx V Review

November 25, 2021 § Leave a comment

This has been done to make the speaker work better in many rooms and, honestly, I much prefer it over a speaker that has an audibly raised takeover point.

This design decision was the only minor observation that I could make. I wouldn’t even call it a flaw. In fact, if these speakers had any flaws, then I could not detect them. Just as well for a speaker that commands a starting price of 160.000 euros, I hear you say? Indeed, at that price level, one expects perfection. But if I have learned anything during all my years with audio equipment, it’s that perfection is rarely what one gets, even when the cost is no object.

Indeed, unless one desires the simple purity of a two-way or point-source speaker, and provided that one has the funds to obtain something in this price class, and the room supports them, the Alexx V ranks in the stratosphere where it is joined by only a handful of top-model speakers from brands such as Magico, YG Acoustics, and a few others.

NAD M10/PSB Alpha T20/Bluesound Pulse Mini 2i multiroom system Review

November 25, 2021 § Leave a comment

As far as control of the overall system goes, the BluOS control app proves about as capable and reliable as any alternative that doesn’t say ‘Sonos’. It looks clean and reasonably uncluttered, and the ability to integrate any number of streaming services and internet radio services is very welcome. It’s not the most intuitive, it’s true, and it’s possible to flummox it by switching inputs much more easily than it really should be – anyone who (like me) is disproportionately annoyed by electronics not doing what they really ought to is going to find themselves frustrated on occasion. But as far as organising and operating a wireless multiroom audio system goes, BluOS is one of the very best of the rest. Even if you decide your system should feature 64 players.

Headamp GS-X Mini Headphone Amplifier Review

November 25, 2021 § Leave a comment

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