September 26, 2021 § Leave a comment
When I introduced the REL subs and the DPS-4.1, I felt the power cords tightened the low-end spine of the system—not by an order of magnitude, mind you, but in a musically noteworthy way. There was a newly exposed, seat-of-the-pants energy from the Hans Zimmer soundtrack to The Thin Red Line, specifically on the brain-rattling Kodo drumming of “Air,” which added greater harmonic complexity and texture than before.
I acknowledge that the home-assembly approach of the DPS-4.1 is not for everyone, but for those who possess some DIY chops, Furutech just might have the power cord for you. All it takes is a little elbow grease, and you’ll be rewarded with a cord that performs on a par with some of the top contenders, at a considerable cost savings. Unreservedly recommended.
September 19, 2021 § Leave a comment
I can only give an enthusiastic thumbs-up to the superb products that HRS is manufacturing. Latvis’ consummate devotion to his craft has resulted in a range of devices that is more than worth auditioning. His HRS products offer a useful reminder that the task of isolating audio equipment cannot be dismissed as an ancillary consideration. It’s essential.
September 13, 2021 § Leave a comment
There was hum in my system! It was the dreaded 60 cycle hum. So was it caused by a faulty power supply, or a power transformer too close to a high gain amplifier? No, more likely the progenitor of this problem was electromagnetic coupling somewhere in the cabling. Experimentation narrowed my search for the source back to my preamp. As a rule, if the level of hum doesn’t change with changes in volume, then the problem is likely in a power cord or interconnect. In this case, swapping the power cord greatly reduced the audibility of the hum.
Hum, buzz, and static are probably the easiest noise issues to identify, but there are others, EMI and RFI among them, much harder to sort out. This is partly because they are more difficult to pinpoint when present but, interestingly enough, are very noticeable when removed. Anyone faced with system optimization will ultimately need to address noise issues and solutions. Noise masking of program material will increase fatigue, reduce dynamic range, waste amplifier power, increase distortion, and generate unnecessary heat. Noise can alter amplitude and phase, and inject spurious frequencies.
These are just some of the things that power conditioners are, ideally, designed to deal with, some more successfully than others. Power conditioners can, while removing noise, also change the character of your system, not necessarily for the better. As with any component, it is always best to audition a power conditioner in your own system before making your purchase.
September 8, 2021 § Leave a comment
How we sense what we hear is also a listening experience based on a different set of parameters than mechanical. Our perception of what we hear may be influenced by our mood and how our brain tells us we are feeling at any one point in time. Hearing perception is likely the reason my system sounded so spectacular after a three-week absence when logic and common sense tells me it should have sounded exactly the same as before.
September 5, 2021 § Leave a comment
HardPoint was designed with the clear goal of not compromising the sound or altering the tonal balance.
What it does do, as you can read in the review, is help the sound projection achieve more focus, clarity, and better harmonic density.
The decays and delays that are critical to recreating acoustic space are denser, and the perception of higher resolution allows for a more open and naturally relaxed sound that is not dynamically constricted.
September 2, 2021 § Leave a comment
After cleaning 50 LPs, Degritter tells you the foam filter needs cleaning. It’s straightforward to do, and – unlike some rival ultrasonic cleaners – there are no expensive pads or brushes that need regular replacement. If you stick to distilled water, Degritter is exceptionally cheap to run.
However, this is perhaps running away with the review. To clean, or not to clean, that is the question! Every serious audiophile playing vinyl eventually has to consider whether or not to invest in some form of wet record cleaning machine – especially once you start buying secondhand vinyl.
There’s an old argument about not cleaning records. This states that it’s less damaging to play at most use a record brush, and the only cleaning required is to remove crud build-up at the stylus. In fairness, wet cleaning LPs can be a messy and involved process. It’s potentially harmful too; ham-fisted wet cleaning can leave LP surfaces sounding noisy.