iFi Audio Pro iDSD Signature USB DAC/Headphone Amp Review
February 28, 2022 Comments Off on iFi Audio Pro iDSD Signature USB DAC/Headphone Amp Review
This Signature version of iFi Audio’s flagship DAC/headphone amp may look a bit much for some tastes – I think I prefer the more understated styling of the ‘standard’ model – but there’s no denying the appeal of its rich, weighty, controlled and highly informative sound. Just don’t get caught up in all those filters and adjustments because this is a headphone amplifier that’s made for sitting back and enjoying.
OSD Black Trevoce 12 EQ DSP Subwoofer $600 Review
February 28, 2022 Comments Off on OSD Black Trevoce 12 EQ DSP Subwoofer $600 Review
Starting out in the music room, I first streamed Steven Wilson’s “King Ghost” from his album The Future Bites (24-bit/96kHz FLAC, Qobuz). The swells of bass in this song were rendered in a clean and very dynamic manner. There was also a distinct fullness to the low end that added warmth to the overall sound and provided a solid foundation for the electronic drums, synths, and ethereal vocals to float upon. Comparing the sub’s performance with EQ switched off, the bass came across notably muddier, and dynamics were muted as well.
The same qualities I noted in the Wilson track carried over when I next spun “Valley” from The Orb’s 1995 album Orbus Terrarum on CD. This electronic track features truly deep, subsonic bass, and I was impressed with how much of it I was hearing with the Trevoce 12 in my setup. The cascading rise and fall of the synthesized bass line had a clean quality, while the occasional low slam of percussive elements was conveyed with impressive power and tactile impact. I was also able to push the volume to near-uncomfortable levels and not experience loss of clarity—the sub tracked the loudness increase in an easy, agile manner.
Mark Levinson No 5909 Review
February 28, 2022 Comments Off on Mark Levinson No 5909 Review
Nordost QSOURCE Linear Power Supply $2749 Review
February 27, 2022 Comments Off on Nordost QSOURCE Linear Power Supply $2749 Review
Multitasking in audio—as in life—often proves a poor choice. Many LPS models can be adapted to drive multiple devices, but this very often results in a watered-down version of the single device performance. When I ordered the fittings to attach a second device to my CH Precision X1 External Power Supply, it was not as good as when only one CH device was attached. When I listened to the Fidelizer Nikola powering two devices, then turned one off, the sound improved. With these two power supplies, a single connected device was the way to go.
The QSOURCE has six outputs, four of which are dedicated to the Nordost QPOINT product (sold separately). The remaining two can be adjusted to variable output voltages and are suitable to replace the wall-warts used by many music servers, NAS drives, etc. I powered up the QSOURCE with two devices attached, then switched one off, with the expectation that it would follow the pattern and show an improvement—but it didn’t. The QSOURCE is the exception to the multitasking rule.
Prima Luna EVO 300/Floyd Design Integrated Review
February 27, 2022 Comments Off on Prima Luna EVO 300/Floyd Design Integrated Review
PrimaLuna’s vacuum tube amplifiers are all built with point-to-point wiring (except for the small auto-bias board that eliminates the need to bias the output tubes) and feature a fanatic level of attention to detail. Those arguing point to point wiring can’t compete with the consistency offered by printed circuit boards have never looked inside a PrimaLuna! The EVO 300/Floyd still uses point-to-point wiring, but there are three PCBs now. These boards are 2.4mm thick with 105um gold-plated copper traces, for maximum longevity and highest signal integrity.
Fit and finish elsewhere is equally fantastic. PrimaLuna has always set the standard for execution, using their signature dark blue metallic for the chassis, mated to a thick aluminum front panel with silver or black anodizing. The only thing feeling out of place on recent PrimaLuna products is the control and selector knobs. The rough, pebbly finish does not look as “finished” as the smooth ones used in earlier PL products. This is truly my only complaint with the EVO300/Floyd, but it is something that other PL owners have talked about online. Perhaps offer an upgraded, machined pair of knobs as an add-on?
Destination Audio GM70 Introduction
February 27, 2022 Comments Off on Destination Audio GM70 Introduction
SHANLING M9 REVIEW
February 26, 2022 Comments Off on SHANLING M9 REVIEW
Now the other aspects are done with, we can focus on the sound output. The Shanling M8 is still a wonderful player and I still recommend it if you can find it at a bargain. However, the M9 takes the M8’s sound and refines it to be incredibly balanced and wide. To be honest, I was expecting this model to be an update in terms of software, design and hardware (CPU and RAM), and I expected to hear a similar sound. I was wrong.
The M9’s sound is like a perfected M8. The mids are cleaner, the stage is wider, layering is better, bass performance has been improved and the player doesn’t sound as warm as the M8. It has better texture and fidelity, with better definition and transparency in mids and treble. This I think is one of the best DAPs you can find in the market right now.
RDacoustic Hybrid diffuser
February 26, 2022 Comments Off on RDacoustic Hybrid diffuser
Super Hi-End System
February 26, 2022 Comments Off on Super Hi-End System
World Premiere Review!Aric Audio Custom 300B PSET Amplifier $6995 Review
February 25, 2022 Comments Off on World Premiere Review!Aric Audio Custom 300B PSET Amplifier $6995 Review
The rectifiers are two 6CG3 damper diodes that are quieter than regular tube rectifiers and can handle the extra current. The power supply is connected to the amplification unit via two Speakon connections, which I have to say, are the most intense power connectors I’ve seen in a home-use amplifier. The amplifier section of the Custom 300B PSET starts with 6SN7 input tubes in SRPP mode. Those are coupled using Audyn True Copper foil coupling capacitors to triode-strapped 6V6 driver tubes. The drivers are then coupled to the 300Bs using custom-made interstage transformers. This is where it gets really interesting and makes the Custom 300B PSET so unique.
You then have the choice of running the amp in either SET mode with one pair of 300Bs or PSET mode with four 300Bs. As you can imagine, in PSET mode you have twice the power. Plus those four 300Bs in quad formation look so cool. There are a lot more great features in this amp that I won’t go into detail about here. I must add, this is a beautiful amplifier. Both bases are constructed of alternating light and dark woods, and cool retro ammeters on the front of the amplifier unit.
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