April 11, 2021 § Leave a comment
It drove my 52 ohm Focals just as well as my 300ohm Sennheisers, and I would certainly recommend this amp for statement headphones like the Sennheiser HD800/HD800S, Audeze LCD-3/4, the HIFIMAN HE1000 or the Focal Utopia. With 800 mW x2 of Class A power on tap (a number up there with many solid state designs), it has plenty of gain for all of them. This amplifier is, of course, just an amp, no frills attached, so it may not suit those looking for compact desktop all-in-one solutions with DACs, streaming, or other state-of-the art digital audio applications. If you have all those bases already covered in your chain, or want a high end headphone section for your main system, the Icon Audio HP8 MkII Signature is one of the best sounding headphone amplifiers I have heard, and its polished looks certainly makes it easy on the eyes as well as the ears.
April 9, 2021 § Leave a comment
I threw a number of genres and headphones at the CMA Twelve and the results were all good. It is worthy of the flagship moniker. The option of single-ended and two balanced connection styles makes it accessible to a wide array of headphone choices. The switchable BIAS allows for an even wider choice of headphone or two-channel pre-amp options. The DAC is very clear without being overly bright and uses a favorite DAC of mine, the AKM 4490. I came to enjoy the front panel LED layout as it did not take long to be able to glance at it and know the type and bit rate of the file being played. A good thing for a Roon radio user. Given the build quality and track record of Questyle, I would expect the CMA Twelve to have pride of place in your headphone listening space for many years to come. Highly
March 28, 2021 § Leave a comment
I started with a record I recently imported from Japan, Julie IV, Ima Boku Ha Shiawase Desu (I’m Happy Now), the fourth solo album by former Tigers and PYG vocalist Kenji Sawada. This record is a unique album in his discography as he strays away from the pop-rock he was known for on his previous outings and embraces a more intimate folk and country sound. Much of the album features dueling acoustic and electric blues guitar, as well as various piano and organ overdubs. One of the first things I noticed was how well the HP8 portrayed different instruments harmonic qualities. The last time I listened to this album on my speaker setup, the various guitars tended to blend into one another, but here they were individual voices with their own timbral characteristics. I could hear the different picking styles employed as well.
March 25, 2021 § Leave a comment
Unlike the other models in the range, this is a headphone amplifier/DAC lacking any kind of network connectivity, let alone the internal storage options also produced by Novafidelity. But if that makes the HA500H sound a bit bare-bones for the money, it’s anything but. This is a particularly flexible device for those committed to headphone listening, not to mention one capable of exceptional performance.
With casework and design likely to remind those with a long memory of the much-lamented Oppo HA-1 headphone amp (HFC 390), which like some very fine headphones became a victim of its parent company’s decision to withdraw from the audio market to concentrate on mobile phones, the Novafidelity offers a wide range of options for the headphone listener. For starters, it’s both a headphone amp and a DAC, and with its built-in volume control can also be used as a preamp straight into a power amplifier or even active speakers. Both unbalanced and XLR balanced outputs are available, with the HA500H also having the same choice of analogue inputs, so that it can be fed straight from a source component or the line outputs of a conventional amplifier.
February 26, 2021 § Leave a comment
February 15, 2021 § Leave a comment
You read the review, I can’t find anything bad about it. Yet again with JDS Labs, you get a solid bang for your buck. EL Stack II offers many input options, features a balanced, accurate, and airy presentation. Technical aspects such as PRaT, resolution, stereo imaging, instrument separation, resolution are all excellent for the price. The black aluminum build quality, small footprint and easy-to-use operation makes it a brilliant candidate. Don’t forget that JDS offers one of the best customer service in the industry so if anything bad happens, they got you covered. Definitely give these a try
February 11, 2021 § Leave a comment
The MHA200 takes advantage of unique McIntosh technologies to create the best possible personal listening experience. The Unity Coupled Circuit transformers have been adapted to produce 4 headphone impedance ranges of 32 – 100, 100 – 250, 250 – 600, and 600 – 1,000 Ohms at 500mW so that virtually every headphone can receive legendary McIntosh sound quality and performance.