Gradient 1.4 Loudspeaker $7600 Review

September 30, 2022 Comments Off on Gradient 1.4 Loudspeaker $7600 Review

The Gradient 1.4s are thrifty, indeed, in the realm of high-end prices. And there really are no other speakers that I know of that can do exactly what they do. Like their ancestors, the Gradient 1.3s, they present the sound of recordings in a unique way. They are available in the USA, but not very widely as yet. When shows resume, I hope many people will get to hear them. Meanwhile, if you are really serious about getting your room out of your system and hearing recordings as they actually are, the Gradient 1.4s are, in the words of the Michelin Guides, worth a journey.




About Underwood HiFi: Founded in 1999 and still run by Walter Liederman, a 50-year audio industry veteran, Underwood HiFi was one of the first online-only audio dealerships, and is dedicated to providing extraordinary products at terrific prices, allied with unmatched customer service.

About Living Sounds Audio: LSA is one of three brands owned and sold direct by Underwood, with the others being Emerald Physics (speakers and electronics) and Core Power Technologies (AC line conditioning and cables). Elimination of middle-men enables these brands to be offered at amazingly low prices, backed by the reputation and service of Underwood Hifi.

United Home Audio SuperDeck

September 30, 2022 Comments Off on United Home Audio SuperDeck

Octave Jubilee Mono SE monoblock power amplifier $80,000 Review

September 29, 2022 Comments Off on Octave Jubilee Mono SE monoblock power amplifier $80,000 Review

Sonically, the Octave Jubilee Mono SE is in a class of its own. Having heard what it can produce with speakers more easily driven than mine, I have no doubt that most music lovers will find its bass convincingly complete and natural, its midrange marvelously full and smooth, and its highs heavenly. Unique among tube amplifiers in size, topology, stunning silence, and durability, the Mono SE will beckon to those who can afford it.

Giving the Octave Jubilee Mono SE the highest possible class-A listing in Stereophile‘s Recommend Components only begins to do justice to this amplifier

Zu Soul 6 Review

September 29, 2022 Comments Off on Zu Soul 6 Review

Swapping out the hard floor bolts for a pair of tall carpet spikes resulted in an easy gap, and filled out the bass to more preferable levels as well as improving the mid range response just a tad. One might consider that out of the box Zu speakers take a little more tinkering than your average speaker, but even the most basic setup efforts require adjustments of some level to achieve any type of bespoke experience. Roughly a quarter inch to ⅜ off the top edge of carpet provided plenty of balance to the sonic equation, allowing for the bass to reach deeper and with obvious benefits to the overall presence. How much bass exactly? Pumping a full range paper cone driver does have its limits on both sizes of the frequency range. With the coaxial tweeter, Zu looks to make up a lot of the compromises with the supplemental driver.

50 inch SUBWOOFER! 1st in USA

September 29, 2022 Comments Off on 50 inch SUBWOOFER! 1st in USA

Astell&Kern KANN MAX DAP $1300 Review

September 28, 2022 Comments Off on Astell&Kern KANN MAX DAP $1300 Review

After 3 weeks of listening to the Astell&Kern KANN MAX through a wide range of headphones and using it as my primary digital source with the Ampsandsound Kenzie Ovation Rev2, there is no question in my mind that it is one of the top 3 DAPs currently available regardless of price.

Operational quirks aside, there are items that need to be addressed by Astell&Kern when it comes to the UI. However, the KANN MAX is capable of driving almost anything in the headphone and IEM categories and delivering a state-of-the-art listening experience.\

ZMF Atrium Headphones Review

September 28, 2022 Comments Off on ZMF Atrium Headphones Review

Looking beyond the frequency response, the Atrium’s channel matching (like both the Vérité’s and the Utopia’s) is excellent. In terms of distortion, my measurements show that that the overall level is roughly the same between the Vérité and the Atrium, with both having slightly less distortion than the Utopia when tested at my approximately 85 dB frequency sweep level. The big difference, though, is that the Atrium’s distortion leans much more towards the second harmonic. Whereas third-order harmonics compete with the second-order ones, particularly in the bass, on both the Vérité and Utopia, the second harmonic dominates across-the-board (including the bass) on the Atrium. While I don’t want to read too much into such low-level differences, that might help explain why the Atrium’s bass sounds so smooth and clean.

Turn Orbit Theory

September 28, 2022 Comments Off on Turn Orbit Theory


September 27, 2022 Comments Off on NOBLE AUDIO VIKING RAGNAR $4,000 REVIEW

For a little under eight years, I have contended that the Noble Katana is one of the finest-sounding headphones made only outdone by the best of the over-the-ear Electrostatic headphones in airiness and detail, and the best over-the-ear Planar headphones in terms of bottom-end. Now, Noble Audio have outdone themselves with the Viking Ragnar. I can only think of a couple of price-no-object over-the-ear headphones that can stand up to the Ragnar sonically, in terms of speed, tonal balance, dynamic range, musicality, and soundstage, and none that surpass it. To my ears, it is simply the best IEM available, and among the very finest headphones period. And for those who prefer a little thump in their bottom end, there are the black foam eartips.

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