SCHIIT LYR 3 HYBRID MODULAR TUBE HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER $500 REVIEW

June 13, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“Unlike many tube headphone amps that exhibit the rolled off high frequencies and bottom end that a seeming majority of electrical engineers think is the “tube” sound, the Schiit Lyr 3 produces a true audiophile sound with extreme linearity in both the low bass extending into the subsonic and the upper registers, while retaining the musicality of midrange to tame the occasionally aggressive precision of the Schiit Multibit DAC. Despite the use of a shared tube for both channels, the stereo separation was competitive with many dual mono amps I have heard, and while the soundstage is a bit shallower than I prefer, it does depend a lot on which headphone you listen to, as listening through the Katanas put me exactly where I wanted to be. As to power and dynamic range, I can’t imagine a headphone that the Lyr 3 couldn’t drive easily and produce clean clear concert level volumes for those who wish to damage their hearing. I did find myself listening to higher volumes than I would normally without any fatigue, and could easily get lost in the music for hours.”

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iFi Pro iDSD Review – Video

June 11, 2018 § Leave a comment

Dragon Inspire IHA-1 Tube Headphone Amplifier Review

June 10, 2018 § Leave a comment

SPL Phonitor X $3,299 Review

June 2, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“Phonitor X also features Voltair 120 volt rail technology, which SPL claims is “…four times as high as in standard audio designs. 120V Rail Technology is our reference technology developed and manufactured to run on an operating voltage of 120 volts, which corresponds to twice that of discrete operational amplifiers and four times that of semiconductor operational amplifiers.” Whether the high voltage is chiefly responsible for the X’s sound I can’t say, but it does sound awfully nice.”

MASSDROP CAVALLI TUBE HYBRID REVIEW

May 13, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“Before I talk about sound, I want to lay bare my preferences. I was at a meet a last year, and a guy there had a moded HD800 there with a few high powered tube amps (I don’t remember the names of the amps, sorry). They added a lot of warmth to the HD800, but I missed the deeper, tighter bass you can get with SS amps, and all the warmth seemed to be fighting with the natural signature of the HD800, and not working with it. Listening to it on my SS setup wasn’t any better. It was cold and ruthless. The guy called me back over and told me he wanted me to hear something. He broke out a hybrid amp (again, I don’t remember the name) and had me give it a listen. It was perfect. It was very linear, with very tight and deep bass, while adding just a touch of smoothness to the sound. To me, instead of trying to make the headphone something it wasn’t, it complimented the HD800, adding to the strengths of the headphone while smoothing out the rough edges. It made no effort to change the sound. Now, I am not saying this to dump on OTL tube amps, and I know, with different tubes, you can alter their sound quite a bit, but I want to be clear on what kind of sound I favor.”

Schiit Audio Magni 3 Review

May 10, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“You might lose a little in terms of ultimate fidelity but that’s more than compensated for by the well-balanced, musical sound. We just enjoy listening to music more when it’s fed through this box.”

Pass Labs HPA-1 Headphone Amplifier Review

April 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“Matt enthusiastically preferred the Pass to the Mjolnir. Matt and David sometimes differed in their reactions, a matter of taste, but keep in mind the Mjolnir was designed to emulate a classic triode circuit, which saturates a bit as things get loud. Single tone tests on the Mjolnir show predominance of 2nd and 3rd harmonic. However, harmonic distortion is a funny beast, sometimes it can manifest itself as presence, sometimes as warmth, and often as fat bass, very dependent on the material, so I’m not surprised at the sometimes apparently contradictory reactions depending on the musical source. Distortion is compression, it can subjectively soften dynamics, but when it’s enhancing a range, that range can seem louder and counter intuitively dynamics can appear to increase.”

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