Perlisten S4b Loudspeaker £7200 Review

August 18, 2022 § Leave a comment

If you’re partial to electronic music where effects are thrown across the soundstage, then you’ll appreciate this speaker pairing’s ability to lock in step for such acrobatics. With ‘100’ by Jon Hopkins [Contact Note; Linn Records; 96kHz/24-bit] it was a delight to follow the synthesiser effects as they moved smoothly between the speakers.

Not that such production techniques are new-fangled, as proven by the woozy breakdown of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ [Led Zeppelin II; Atlantic; 96kHz/24-bit]. Coming after two minutes of hard-hitting blues rock framing Robert Plant’s triumphant vocals, this near-psychedelic section felt like it was from another planet. Perlisten’s small(ish) cabinets concocted a wall of sound bigger than you might expect, casting Plant’s wails high and wide. Then Jimmy Page let rip on his Les Paul and I was grinning from ear to ear.

Parasound HINT 6 Integrated Amplifier $3,200 Review

August 18, 2022 § Leave a comment

I listen to a lot of classical recordings and the HINT 6 really surprised me with how well it dealt with complicated orchestral pieces; instruments had excellent separation and I found myself often lost in how vivid the combination was. Voices were never lost in the mix and very easy to place.

The midrange resolution was also rather superb; Maggies excel with the human voice and the HINT 6 did not disappoint; texture, timbre, and so much presence with most recordings.

I also own a pair of vintage Klipsch Heresy II’s and I wanted to see if the HINT 6 had the headroom to drive them with rock, heavy metal, and other complex electronic pieces that can really load the room.


August 18, 2022 § Leave a comment

Mark Levinson No. 5909 $999 Review

August 17, 2022 § Leave a comment

The vivacious production of Toto’s Rosanna gives the Mark Levinsons a sonic canvas on which to truly showboat – those drums biting, vocals rich, and guitar lines and keyboards infectiously musical. They lap it up as enthusiastically as a dog eats spilled ice cream. No part of the frequency spectrum is given undue priority, and that, coupled with the headphones’ attention to detail and brisk nature, makes the No. 5909 utterly compelling to listen to in a way lesser wireless headphones are not.

They aren’t just concerned with having a good time, either, as impressively shrewd when delivering the subtle dynamics and lingering harmonics of Ludovico Einaudi’s piano playing, and when asked to convey the woodwind textures and hit the climactic heights throughout The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey soundtrack.

HiFi Rose RA180 Integrated Amplifier Review

August 17, 2022 § Leave a comment

The high-pass crossover function allows you to filter the output of one of each amplifier pair – there are two amplifier modules per channel in the RA180 – above 600Hz-6kHz. You might choose to use this function to limit the bandwidth of the amplifier feeding the treble arm of a bi-amped speaker, for example, or set it to the top 6kHz filter before driving a supertweeter.

A typical stereo amplifier features four loudspeaker terminals. The RA180? Sixteen, which is astonishing even if you consider the A/B speaker option (note that’s an ‘either’, not an ‘and’, option, as you cannot enable the A and B pair at the same time). As previously mentioned, there are not two but four identical amplifier modules in the RA180 for a claimed total of 4x200W. But you’ll only use the four together when utilising one of its specialised speaker modes, either to bi-amp a pair of speakers (two amplifiers per channel) or bridging each pair into a higher-powered stereo configuration, where the claimed output becomes a whopping 2x400W.

FiiO M11 Plus ESS DAP $700  Review

August 17, 2022 § Leave a comment

7Hz x Crinacle Salnotes Dioko Planar Magnetic IEM $99 Review

August 16, 2022 § Leave a comment

At first listen, I heard an overall neutral IEM with a gentle lift in the treble and bass, a signature some may call “u-shaped.”

The Dioko’s sound reminded me a lot of the Timeless (which I constantly compared during my evaluation), albeit with a slightly smoother lower treble and a cleaner midrange. That said, while the former has excellent detail and resolution for the price point, the latter is better in both departments.

PrimaLuna Evo 300 Hybrid $7295 Review

August 16, 2022 § Leave a comment

There are a number of areas that we feel are open to criticism. The most obvious of these is its inability to portray dynamic contrasts convincingly. There isn’t the requisite level of dynamic expression we would expect from a product of this price. The result is that this amplifier sounds restrained, almost as if it is gently compressing the music signal, losing excitement in the process. Want to listen to Beethoven’s Fifth or Help! by the Beatles with some of the energy taken out? No, neither do we.

A side effect of this is that regardless of the partnering speakers, we find ourselves constantly playing with the volume level. It’s a struggle to find the point where the music displays the required sense of life without pushing the volume level too high for comfortable listening. This is an amplifier with clearly defined upper limits. Push it hard and things become harsh and edgy very quickly.

Combine these shortcomings with relatively poor rhythmic drive and the inability to communicate changes in musical momentum well, and it’s no surprise to find that our musical enjoyment is diluted.

Dan Clark Audio Stealth $4,000 Review

August 16, 2022 § Leave a comment

Wireworld Horizon Review

August 15, 2022 § Leave a comment

Play Kid Cudi’s Day And Night and there’s a more believable texture to Kid’s vocal and less of a rough surface to the track’s synths. The cable just helps to deliver a more satisfying overall sound: bass notes sound fuller and weightier and the song doesn’t sound as tonally grey. There’s more space around the different elements too.

Switch to Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven and the cable helps to communicate the harmonics of the piano and the differentiation between key strokes. The ebb and flow of the track is communicated with greater clarity. Notes sound natural and realistic. The speaker cable doesn’t allow dynamics to shine quite as brightly as the very best at the money, though, and there’s a slight emotional disconnect from the music.

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