December 23, 2020 § Leave a comment
December 12, 2020 § Leave a comment
“With the vast majority of headphones and in-ears I attached to the Arche I found no mismatch issues except with the highly sensitive 119 dB Earsonics EM10 CIEM. With EM10 there was a slight, low-level, hiss. With my most inefficient headphones, the Beyer Dynamic DT-990 600 ohm version, the Arche had more than adequate drive to produce high volume levels with lots of juice left over.
While not ergonomically perfect, the Focal Arche does most things right, both in terms of sonics and due to its built-in headphone profiles and amplifier options, making the Arche an impressive first-time electronic offering.
November 30, 2020 § Leave a comment
November 28, 2020 § Leave a comment
According to Little Dot, the fully discrete, symmetrical, pure class A amp circuit has better transient response and lower cross distortion than the asymmetric circuit, which makes the sound quality more sweet. You can find out more about the LD H1 hybrid design philosophy and the impact of it on the “sound” on the Little Dot product page. The beauty of a hybrid amp is that it in theory can drive headphones with an impedance between 16 and 600Ohm. We’ll be looking at the sound part later in this article.
The Little Dot LD H1 has a single ended RCA input, a 3-pin XLR input as well as a balanced 3-pin preamp output. Headphone-wise it has a 4-pin XLR balanced output and 6.35 SE output. Internally the LD H1 uses top quality components such as Philips BC Components electrolytic and coupling capacitors, as well as dedicated (German) Mundorf MCap EVO audio coupling capacitor.
November 21, 2020 § Leave a comment
October 20, 2020 § Leave a comment
“And that’s without recourse to the crossfeed control, which can occasionally just make things a bit confused. Listening to the recently released Oslo Philharmonic/Vasily Petrenko recording of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade [Lawo Classics LWC 1198; DXD], the impression is one of large orchestral forces, persuasively recorded, and a free-breathing, uncompressed and hugely dynamic sound.
I’ve also never heard the Oppo PM-1 headphones driven so convincingly: powered by the HA 200 they take on even greater weight and precision, which serves well a recording such as Snarky Puppy’s Live At The Royal Albert Hall set [Live Here Now; n/a cat no], with its large musical forces, tumbling rhythms and palpable audience presence. Even Ella Fitzgerald’s 1956 Live At Zardi’s set, from Qobuz [Universal/Verve 5798051; 192kHz/24-bit] sweeps the listener up in the atmosphere of the evening, the immediacy of the recording shining through.”
October 16, 2020 § Leave a comment
“The CMA Twelve also operates as a preamplifier, with both balanced XLR and single-ended RCA outputs. Unlike the CMA600i, the output from the DAC section can be switched to either line-level or variable output, a neat feature that I did find lacking in the earlier model. Another studio-friendly feature is the ability to switch the gain level of the preamp section from 14 dBu to 20 dBu. Questyle really has gone above and beyond with the included remote for the CMA Twelve, which I can honestly say is the best remote I’ve come across on a DAC/desktop device, at any price. Far from being simply a volume control, it allows for input switching as well as playback control when the CMA Twelve is paired with its companion QP2R+Super Hub SHB2 lossless audio player, which can be connected via the CMA Twelve’s inbuilt 5 GHz wifi functionality.
Straight out of the box, the CMA Twelve reeks of high-quality manufacturing, and (like its other family members) is probably the most solid-feeling piece of personal audio equipment I’ve encountered thus far. The black, sand-blasted aluminium casing is 10mm thick and constructed by Foxconn, the manufacturers of the iPhone. It’s a great-looking piece of gear, and the CMA Twelve straddles the line neatly between ‘hifi’ and ‘pro’ in terms of aesthetics.”