Chord Poly Dac Review

March 23, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“Six months later I had access to a beta of Chord Electronics’ GoFigure app that, for iOS users at least, takes the hassle out of Poly setup: GoFigure exploits Poly’s Bluetooth connection for device config and operational mode change-ups (of which there are several). I began with Poly in Network Mode, connected to my home wifi network. Per the pinhole setup method, once rebooted, Poly’s LED flashes blue (on and off) whilst searching for the home network and locks green once connected.”


Chord Qutest Dac Review

March 22, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“Hold down both the input and filter buttons during the first 16 seconds after the Qutest has powered up – then you can select 1V (red), 2V (green) or 3V (blue).

Through the small circular window is another multicolour display representing the sampling frequency of the file being played – red for 44.1kHz, green for 96kHz, dark blue for 192kHz, purple 384kHz, white for DSD.”

Ayon Stealth DAC and CD-T II Signature CD Transport Review

March 11, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“The DSD upsampling function is a 995 euro option for the CD-T II transport. Personally, I would leave it out when purchasing it, but this is very much a relative matter. I know that there are many DSD fans out there and depending on personal taste and system matching, one might have a view different from mine. As with virtually all aspects of these two high tech products, the choice is yours, all the options are there, for the user to freely choose between.”

Aurender N100H Caching Network Streamer Plus X725 USB DAC / Amplifier Review

March 9, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“I’m a sucker for the French Impressionists. No, not the painters, the composers – Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Sometimes Eric Satie is lumped into this category, but he doesn’t have enough recorded works to really be part of this group. If I would have to pick only one piece of music to represent this subgenre, though, it would be Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe. I have many recordings of this work in my collection, my favorite digital version, which also happens to be my favorite analog version, is the Living Stereo issue conducted by Charles Munch. His Boston Symphony Orchestra recorded this for RCA that was originally released in 1960. I have a Red Book CD versions ripped from the two-layer SACD and an older CD, and a DSD file of this on my hard-drives, and all of them sound incredible. I’ve read that some aren’t as enamored as I am of this recording, mostly because of the tape hiss that’s been faithfully reproduced. I suppose I’m used to it. It doesn’t bother me at all. I played both the 16-bit and DSD version through the N100H, sometimes connected to the X725 and sometimes not, and I had the same impression of their sound quality as I did when listening to the Peter Gabriel, but on this album it was amazing to hear how well the N100H was able to handle these real instruments recorded in a real space.”

McIntosh Laboratory MA9000 Integrated Amplifier-DAC $10,000 Review

March 9, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“Overall, the Devialet D-Premier’s primary traits of transparency, resolution, and a slight coolness were fully revealed in comparison to the McIntosh MA9000’s closer, more intimate sound, the latter displaying denser, more tangible images. Which will you prefer? As obvious as were the differences between these sounds, the differences in how these two integrateds are styled and built are even greater. The Devialet is sleek, compact, and European; the McIntosh is substantial, bold, unabashedly American. I can appreciate either look, my preference depending on the day and my mood. Devialet’s amps have received many awards from the SoundStage! publications over the years — and the McIntosh equaled them. High praise indeed.”


February 16, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“If you’ve bought into streaming source components in a big way, you may find PS Audio’s DirectStream Memory Player will force you—in the nicest, gentlest, and most rewarding way—to reconsider the sonic merits of disc-based music playback. Streaming sources can be very, very good, but in many cases and in many ways, the DirectStream Memory Player often proves to be that extra ‘Nth degree’ better, in the process helping music to sound more vivid, emotionally rich, and alive.”

AVM Ovation MP 8.2 CD player-D/A processor Review

January 25, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“I could stream all day about streaming—but here I should mention a glitch I encountered, perhaps five days in, when using a wireless connection between the MP 8.2 and my router: The AVM suddenly, and for no apparent reason, dropped the connection. I was busy with something else when that happened, so it wasn’t until a couple of hours later that I shut down the system, remade my Ethernet cable connections, rebooted the system, and set about remaking the wireless connection. It worked for less than one full song, then the AVM again dropped the connection.”

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