Rotel RA-6000 integrated amplifier $4499 Review
February 25, 2023 Comments Off on Rotel RA-6000 integrated amplifier $4499 Review
Neither Rotel’s website nor the RA-6000 owner’s manual give any specifications (power, gain, and output impedance for example) for their 1/8″ front-panel headphone output. So I asked Coates for more information. “The headphone output on the RA-6000 is designed to be used with most lower-impedance headphone designs. 32 ohms is the design reference, but there’s plenty of drive for headphones of slightly higher impedances as well,” he wrote in an email. “600 ohm, low sensitivity monsters need not apply, though! The rated output is 120mW into 32 ohms full bandwidth at less than 0.02% THD. Distortion rises quickly beyond that point, with a maximum rated output of 140mW [also into 32 ohms]. Output impedance of the headphone amplifier circuit is rated at 680 ohms.” (footnote 1) The specified gain at the headphone output is 14.8dB.
Those specifications caused me to wonder: What headphones might a typical RA-6000 owner use? I didn’t have a ¼” to 1/8″ adapter, so I reached for my use-it-all-the-time, works-with-every-amp Sony MDR-Z1R headphones, which employ dynamic drivers, cost $1798, and come stock with a 1/8″ plug. Their 100dB/ mW sensitivity and 64 ohm impedance classifies them as easy to drive, and their style suggests something a Brooklyn hipster might use if they owned a Rotel integrated.
2023 Volumio Primo network player and bridge
February 25, 2023 Comments Off on 2023 Volumio Primo network player and bridge
CH Precision • L10 Preamplifier and M10 Power Amplifier $104,000 Review
February 24, 2023 Comments Off on CH Precision • L10 Preamplifier and M10 Power Amplifier $104,000 Review
The spectral balance — the perceived evenness of tone from top to bottom — of these electronics is as ideal as I’ve heard, neutrality and transparency as absolutes. Again, I’ve cited Lamm products as exemplars here, but there is no doubt that they sound somewhat darker than the CH Precision L10 and M10. But the CH Precision take on neutrality is not the lean, gray, antiseptic kind of other so-called neutral electronics. The L10 and M10 are supremely balanced, never tipping one way or the other in pursuit of their neutrality. I’ve written in the past about the information gleaned from listening to different versions of the same recording. The equipment will or will not reveal the differences in the mastering and source materials, and they will make the recordings sound more alike or more different. The L10 and M10 were the very best at this that I’ve encountered, while never turning the music into an over-analyzed mess. And with the best versions of a particular recording, like the MasterSound SBM gold CD of Kind of Blue [Columbia Legacy CK 52861], it was easy to become involved in the music and forget about analysis. Again, the L10 and M10 come by this deep insight honestly, through purist means, and it has purely musical ends.
PRO-JECT PHONO BOX S3 B PHONO PREAMPLIFIER AND X2 B TURNTABLE $1799 REVIEW
February 24, 2023 Comments Off on PRO-JECT PHONO BOX S3 B PHONO PREAMPLIFIER AND X2 B TURNTABLE $1799 REVIEW
The Pro-Ject Phono Box S3 B phono preamplifier and Pro-Ject X2 B turntable combination is an excellent platform to build an analog playback system with. They produce an engaging and lively sound quality from vinyl records and are built to last. And to make them even better, there is a solid upgrade path to get even better sound quality out of both of them. The total combined MSRP price of the Pro-Ject X2 B turntable land Pro-Ject Phono Box S3 B phono preamplifier is $2,298 USD. For that amount, you get an excellent platform for playing records with a Sumiko Rainer MM cartridge pre-installed and the tonearm balanced. You also get a phono preamplifier which does a great job of extracting musical information out of vinyl records but also does it with a sense of energy and liveliness. That phono preamplifier will also let you connect two tonearms at once and adjust cartridge settings by pressing buttons on its face, which is a real rarity in its price range. And if you want to extend the performance of this combo, you can purchase it from an authorized Pro-Ject dealer for a Superpack which gets you an improved Sumiko MC cartridge and a Connect It Phono S mini-XLR cable at reduced pricing.
Home Visit Super Audiophile
February 24, 2023 Comments Off on Home Visit Super Audiophile
Aavik U-280 Integrated Amplifier/DAC REVIEW
February 23, 2023 Comments Off on Aavik U-280 Integrated Amplifier/DAC REVIEW
I’m not trying to be all Rod McKuen here, but this will give you an idea of what I heard with the Aavik U-280 and that huge assortment of products from Audio Group Denmark. I knew I was listening to a very low noise floor–I feel like I’ve had a lot of practice identifying low noise floors after spending the last couple of years investigating high-end audio grounding gear. I did learn, for example, that low noise floors have very little to do with putting your ear up to the woofer cone and trying to hear some sort of electronic presence. It’s more of the same philosophy about lowering the noise floor so that more music comes through. It comes across as lower distortion and razor-sharp transient images. It’s funny that in 2022, a lot of audio manufacturers are starting to talk about these same approaches in their ads and seminars and exhibition rooms. Audio Group Denmark is at the vanguard, it seems, and not the fringe.
Still, I was tempted. I was all set to cue an LP when suddenly I noticed that my ear was fairly close to the woofer of the Børresen Z1 Cryo and I thought well, I’m right here. Let’s see what happens with this Aavik U-280 and all the other stuff in the system
Sonus faber Sonetto III Loudspeakers $3999 Review
February 23, 2023 Comments Off on Sonus faber Sonetto III Loudspeakers $3999 Review
The differences did not end there, however. On the Lumina V, the percussive tom-tom drums, which seem to talk during the chorus, had wonderful attack-to-body transition, and never got lost to the background of the lead instrumentation and vocals. This character was similar in all aspects on the Sonetto III, except the space between the instruments was far greater, and the start/stop speed of everything was more defined. There may have been a hint of congestion at times in the upper bass with the Lumina V, however the Sonetto III had none of it and were extremely accurate. I would classify the Sonetto III to be dead-pan neutral in timbre. This works for them in many ways, however there is no hiding harshness when it is present in the recording with the Sonetto III. As “Small Things” grew to its dramatic ending, the Sonetto III grew with it, and maintained their composure at volumes louder than I would expect. This got me thinking this is what Sonus faber meant when they stated not to be fooled by their size. They did not sound as of they had 8″ woofers for sure, however they did sound rock-solid and were surprisingly room filling for their slight size.
Well, this is new!? Michael Jackson SCREAM Original Studio Multitracks
February 23, 2023 Comments Off on Well, this is new!? Michael Jackson SCREAM Original Studio Multitracks
AUDEZE MM-500 PLANAR MAGNETIC HEADPHONES $1,699 REVIEW
February 22, 2023 Comments Off on AUDEZE MM-500 PLANAR MAGNETIC HEADPHONES $1,699 REVIEW
If you’re looking for a fantastic pair of mixing headphones, look no further than these beauties. They are quite a step up from many other mixing headphones that I’ve heard and reviewed through the years. As well, if you’re an audiophile looking for a top-flight pair of headphones that will lay your recordings bare and allow you to experience them as the original artists’ always intended, these headphones will fit that bill to perfection. I can’t stress just how impressed I was with these headphones regardless of your personal use as they ticked off every box on the list of what I look for in a great pair of headphones! While the price point isn’t meant for newcomers, these headphones easily compete with other flagship headphones costing 2-3 times as much. You owe it to yourself (and your ears) to give these headphones an audition as you won’t be disappointed!
AMG Giro MK II Turntable With 9W2 Tonearm
February 22, 2023 Comments Off on AMG Giro MK II Turntable With 9W2 Tonearm
It’s time for us to show some love to AMG (Analog Manufaktur Germany), who make Großartig (great, that is) turntables and tonearms. The recently upgraded Giro MK II turntable is the focus of our current platter affection.
AMG, which was founded in Bavaria in 2011, is, as noted above, known for high-quality turntables and tonearms, and the MK II is an upgrade of the company’s original MK ’table that was first introduced in 2015. The company doesn’t overtax its production lines, as the other two higher-end turntable offerings in their current line are the ones dubbed Viella (28kg) and Viella Forte (48kg). Meanwhile, AMG’s tonearm lineup includes 9in and 12in models available as both standard (9W2 and 12J2) and upgraded Turbo versions (9WT and 12JT). The other entry in this tonearm lineup, the 9W1, is a slightly longer 9in arm compatible with Rega’s mounting geometry, but it is not typically paired with AMG ’tables.
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