Audes ST3000 Review

December 27, 2021 § Leave a comment

In addition, the Audes developers have decided to balance (or symmetrize) the mains voltage. That means that, instead of 230 volts between both “poles” (phase and neutral) or between the phase (outer conductor) and the protective conductor, they have realized 115 volts each between the two poles and the protective conductor. Of course, that still means that there are 230 volts between both “poles”. To illustrate this, imagine it on an electrical socket on your wall. The secondary winding is thus divided into two halves, which have an (artificial) center tap that is connected to the ground contacts. This is also the place to which all interferences are diverted. That‘s all, but the effect is enormous.

10th Anniversary KRS 4351

December 27, 2021 § Leave a comment

Chord Electronics unveils Anni

December 26, 2021 § Leave a comment

It benefits from both 3.5mm and 6.35mm headphone outputs, so two can listen simultaneously, plus 4mm banana-type loudspeaker outputs and it claims to deliver 10W of Ultima amplification, controlled by a fascia-mounted volume control that also doubles as an input selector switch for Anni’s two line-level inputs. A two-stage gain control for loudspeakers provides additional flexibility with a wide range of desktop monitors.

Anni comes in the CNC-machined high-grade aluminium casework that’s common to all Chord products with the company’s trademark polychromatic control spheres governing the power and gain controls and complementing the fascia-mounted volume control/input selector.

Anni is powered by a 15V external power supply and benefits from a 12V DC output, capable of powering the Qutest DAC and Huei phono stage when used with the new Qutest range power adapter (supplied).

Available to buy now for £1,200, and on test in the January 2022 issue of HFC, you can find out more about Anni here.

JVC DLA-NZ9 8K D-ILA Projector $24,999 Review

December 26, 2021 § Leave a comment

Wrapping up, the big question for me is: Are JVC’s new projectors a worthwhile upgrade if you already own one of the previous NX series models? The new DLA-NZ9 without a doubt delivers a better-looking image than my DLA-NX9, and I already thought the NX9 was one of the best projectors at any price point. Again, the difference wasn’t night and day, but there were appreciable differences when it came to image definition, contrast, and depth. The NZ9 also offers higher light output, quieter operation, and support for true 8K (not to mention 4K/120Hz for gaming) should that ever become a consumer option. And I know that the projector’s laser light engine will outlast a bulb by a considerable amount, so as a long-term projector it easily makes the case for itself.

Ultimately, one must weigh modest improvements in image quality against a substantial increase in features. I don’t think anyone upgrading will regret the decision, and I’ve already decided to take the jump myself by replacing my own NX9 with the new NZ9. I can’t think of a better recommendation than that. If JVC’s NZ9 provides the light output you need for your screen size, I can’t think of a projector that offers better overall picture quality at anywhere near its $25K price point.

Luxman P-750u Headphone Amplifier Review

December 26, 2021 § Leave a comment

Tidal Update Review

December 25, 2021 § Leave a comment

We also originally noted that Masters tracks and albums (all marked with an ‘M’ logo) could be hard to find, but Tidal has worked to make this less of a sore spot by offering a growing number of Masters playlists and increasing discovery of these hi-res streams. The Masters home page in the ‘Explore’ tab is a good place to start. Or you can type ‘Masters’ into the search bar, filter by ‘playlist’ and see curated selections for pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B and even for more niche genres such as K-Pop and latin. 

Masters-specific playlists expand past genre, too: there’s now ‘Tidal Masters: New Arrivals’ and ‘Tidal Masters: Essentials’, genre-specific (‘Tidal Masters: Motown’) and artist-specific (‘Tidal Masters: The Smiths’) options, plus ‘Master Edition’ Artist Radio and Track Radio stations, which allow subscribers to listen to an uninterrupted stream of Tidal Masters tracks based on their listening habits.

ALL NEW Abyss Diana TC!

December 25, 2021 § Leave a comment

Synergistic Research Ethernet Switch Review

December 25, 2021 § Leave a comment

ZELLATON Plural Evo Loudspeakers $69,750 Review

December 24, 2021 § Leave a comment

The midrange driver in the Plural Evo is used as a “widebander” and operates over a frequency range from roughly 90 to 7500 Hz. In short, the midrange driver is asked to do a lot. Low octaves in the Plural Evos are handled by two 11-inch drivers. “The woofer gives weight to the bass and helps to match the speaker to the size of the room,” said Michael. “There’s no compromise and the Plural Evos can play all types of music and capture a wide range of volumes from orchestra to small scale ensemble. All of this distortion free,” he emphasized.

The woofer in the Plural Evos, unlike the Klassik Series speakers, is open to the floor. “This arrangement,” said Michael, “helps the speaker better integrate into smaller rooms and allows them to be placed closer to walls.” Note that the speakers come “left” and “right” and should be placed so the vent at the bottom is placed to the inside, not outside of each speaker. Everything matters and Plural Evo owners are provided with two pair of rectangular foam pieces, one a little wider than the other, to help tune the speaker to the room. “The narrower piece,” Michael explained, “gives a more precise sound vs the wider piece that give a fuller sound.” For instance, the narrower foam in my room resulted in a more two-dimensional, flatter and compressed sound relative to the wider piece of foam. (But as Gideon pointed out, the narrower piece of foam might be the better choice in a larger room.) Inserting the wider piece of foam all the way into the slot on the bottom of the speaker reduced the bass output and lead to a loss of detail; by contrast, pulling the wider piece of foam as far out as possible produced a more detailed yet less “breathable” sound. So, the final position in my listening room was somewhere between the two extremes.


December 24, 2021 § Leave a comment

It was really hard to stop listening once I had my reference system going with the Core Power Technologies AV Equi=Core 1000, the sound was that good. Being a long-time tube lover I’m used to listening through that little bit of tube noise in the background and to have it removed was an absolute treat. From the moment I hooked it up, there was no question that the Equi=Core was having a huge effect. At a thousand Watts, the Equi=Core 1000 is perfect for demanding Personal Audio systems or for medium-sized two-channel loudspeaker systems. For a heavily amped multi-channel system you might want to move up to the Equi=Core 1800, and some amplifiers will demand a separate unit to themselves (though if you are running that kind of system, the added expense of another unit will be nothing as compared to the payoff in sound quality). As to value, at the current introductory price of $999, 

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