August 28, 2022 § Leave a comment

 The exceptional clarity of the ISP Core 16 had the added benefit of improving the sense of imaging and sound-staging, which further drew me into the source material. While the core sound signature of the ISP Core 16 was completely neutral, you could easily tailor the sound to your liking by adjusting the target curve via Dirac Live. Despite its amazing degree of customizability, the ISP Core 16 proved surprisingly easy to configure and operate via a web browser or the StormRemote app. The fact that the Core 16 is upgradeable to HDMI 2.1 shortly is just icing on the cake. If you don’t think you’ll ever need more than 16 channels, the ISP Core 16 is the sweet spot in StormAudio’s lineup and a bargain in the reference-level preamp category. The PA 16 MK2 amplifier was equally impressive, driving my 13 speakers with authority from a single slim chassis. The PA 16 MK2 did little to color the sound, instead simply presenting things as they were on the source. If you are looking for absolute top-tier performance in your theater system, I highly recommend taking a look at the StormAudio ISP Core 16 pre/pro and PA 16 MK2 amplifier. I did NOT want to ship these babies back.

Conversations With a Audiophiles

August 28, 2022 § Leave a comment

The Digital Side Of My Immersive Atmos Music System

August 28, 2022 § Leave a comment

At first blush this system appears complicated. However, I’ve done all the legwork and know what works and what doesn’t. Most people can also use a single music server and an iPad for playback. I have to use everything because I have to understand how it all works and test it, so I can write about it. 

The easiest route to Atmos music is to use something like an NVIDIA SHIELD with a hard drive full of MKV files, connected to a processor like a Lyngorf MP-40 or Trinnov Altitude16. For most people, this is all they’ll need and it can double as a home theater processor. I’ll write more about this option at a later date. 

As an audiophile who loves music and understands technology, I had to implement the best system I could put together. This involved a mix of consumer and professional software, state of the art digital signal processing, and professional hardware. A system like this doesn’t exist as a package or from a traditional high end audio manufacturer. Perhaps soon we’ll see music servers and 12 channel DACs from our favorite companies, to play immersive audio. 

Can vinyl records be made in an environmentally friendly way? – BBC News

August 28, 2022 § Leave a comment

Vivid Giya G1 Spirit $69,000 Review

August 26, 2022 § Leave a comment

I have liked every Vivid loudspeaker that has graced my system but the G1 Spirit is clearly in another league to those and most loudspeakers around. It redefines what a loudspeaker can do by eliminating so much of the distortion that is found with many of its competitors. The styling is not to all tastes but this is a fundamental part of why it is so successful at doing the job of turning an electrical signal into an acoustic one, a regular box shaped speaker will never be able to do this so well. If you really want to hear your music at its very best the Giya G1 Spirit is very hard to match.

Marantz Model 40n Streaming Integrated Amplifier $2,499 Review

August 26, 2022 § Leave a comment

Alexis Cole’s “Something So Right,” from The World’s Greatest Audiophile Vocal Recordings, Volume 2 (16/44.1 FLAC), sounded sophisticated and gorgeous. Cole’s voice, backed by the warm sound of Marvin Sewell’s guitar strings, came across as relaxed and liquid with beautiful midrange bloom. All of the sonic images were large and solidly planted against a quiet background. At the same time, the high-frequency glissando of Sewell’s fingers sliding between notes was cleanly reproduced without being grating, a common failing of components that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

If pushed to identify a minor quibble I had with the Model 40n’s sound, it would be that it produced a smidgeon less detail than some of its competitors. NAD’s C 399 integrated streaming amp, which I reviewed for the June/July 2022 issue and still have in-house, reproduced Sewell’s guitar strings on “Something So Right” with slightly more vibrational spring, though the difference was subtle and would likely go unnoticed without a contemporaneous comparison. Indeed, absent such a comparison, the long and metallic low-level dynamics of cymbal decays seemed fully resolved on the title track from Billy Cobham’s Total Eclipse album

Vinyl goes green

August 26, 2022 § Leave a comment


August 25, 2022 § Leave a comment

Let’s be clear on it from the beginning: the Diana TC is an impressive sounding high-end headphone. For such a small full sized headphone, it delivers a huge sound from the 63mm planar magnetic drivers. To be honest, the Diana TC is an easy headphone to review. As long as you have some well-performing amps available, the TC will impress.

The Diana TC has a more neutral tuning. It’s that typical reference high-end tuning, but with a smoothness in the delivery, making it a very musical headphone as well. The TC is a highly transparent headphone and that makes the choice of amplification very important. It’s one of the reasons why we’re focusing on this so much in the next chapter of the review.

Karan Acoustics Master Collection POWERa Mono £79,995 Review

August 25, 2022 § Leave a comment

To summarise the Karan Acoustics Master Collection POWERa Mono in musical terms, I need ‘Spitfire’ from Public Service Broadcasting’s Inform Educate Entertain album [Test Card]. It’s not a demonstration quality track; just a pounding rhythm coupled to some noisy samples from the 1942 British movie, The First of The Few. It’s easy to get it wholly wrong on a big system, but get it right, and I’m back building Airfix kits; and this got it so right, I could smell Humbrol enamel!

The only downside to these amplifiers is that they spell the end for Karan’s existing KA M line of power amps. While these big power amps are not in the same sonic league as the Master Collection models, they are (somewhat) more affordable. I doubt something like the KA M 2000 would be a steppingstone to the POWERa Mono (and there will likely be a POWERb line that would make such jumps even harder to justify). Nevertheless, it would be nice to have something more attainably priced in the Karan portfolio just to make the Master Collection even more of a goal for some.

7Hz Crinacle Salnotes Dioko Review

August 25, 2022 § Leave a comment

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