Deep Core 1800 Power Conditioner

December 5, 2019 § Leave a comment

I’ve always experienced power line conditioning products to have a more noticeable effect on vacuum tube gear than solid-state, and the Deep Core offers the same result. Interestingly enough, regardless of circuit topology in the source component, the Deep Core had a more profound effect on lower priced gear, no doubt because these components do not have as sophisticated power supplies as those further up the range.

Proof for the snubbing effect took no more than powering up my vintage Dynaco Stereo 70, which always makes a nasty click through the speakers. Via the Deep Core, tweeter destroying clicks are a thing of the past. My mid 80s vintage Linn LP-12 is guilty of the same offense. Again, its crimes pardoned with the Deep Core in place. If you happen to be riddled with noise in your environment from an older furnace or appliance somewhere, the Deep Core may be the only thing that cleanses the artifacts these things produce from your listening environment.

Power products are basic – you either hear the difference they make in your audio system or you don’t. Some change the sound without necessarily improving the presentation or revealing more musical detail.”

Sonarworks True-Fi

December 4, 2019 § Leave a comment

“The app can’t work miracles, though, and my 20-year-old CD of Spem In Alium by Thomas Tallis sounds only marginally clearer. With its single-minded focus on creating a neutral sound, the app doesn’t provide much in the way of manual controls, other than an ‘age’ slider and simple +8/-8dB bass tweak.”

IsoAcoustics Gaia III for Turntables

November 14, 2019 § Leave a comment

dCS Rossini Master Clock Review

November 14, 2019 § Leave a comment


“dCS feels that listening tests have proven to their engineers that having a dedicated master clock delivers superior sonic results over a DAC alone acting as the system’s master clock. The current dCS clock features the latest iteration of the company’s multi-stage Phase-Locked-Loop (PLL) system, outfitted with multi-stage power regulation and housed in an “aerospace-grade machined aluminium chassis fitted with tuned acoustic damping panels [to] reduce magnetic effects and vibration.” Special crystals are employed in clock systems which are chosen for their oscillation accuracy over both short and long-term timing domains. At dCS (and many other high-end companies), these crystal oscillators are pre-aged. They are “… selected for long term stability and then individually calibrated over a wide temperature range to ensure consistent optimal performance. [The] Rossini Master Clock uses a sophisticated microcontroller system to ensure smooth frequency correction as the temperature changes, and this approach gives a more stable result than either oven-controlled crystal oscillators (OCXO) or even atomic clocks,” according to the company.”

dCS • Rossini 2.0 Digital Playback System $24,000 Review

November 3, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“What this truthfulness emphatically does not mean, however, is that nothing stands out in Rossini 2.0’s intrinsic sound. It displays impressive speed, bass depth and power, midrange color and heft, and an inherently natural way with tone and transients. It’s more transparent, and less obtrusive, than any collection of digital electronics I’ve heard, other than the Vivaldi 2.0, that is. It’s just that, on the one hand, it revels in the fireworks of Keith Richards’ Main Offender [Virgin V2-86499] as readily as the gentle, lilting instruments lines of Thelonious Monk’s Plays Duke Ellington, so nailing it down to a base signature is difficult, if not impossible. Yet, the resolution is so high that discerning the differences between the JVC K2 remaster of the Monk album [Riverside RCD-201-2] and the earlier regular issue [Riverside OJCCD-024-2] is a cinch, with the remaster displaying meatier individual notes — a virtue with Monk’s playing — and a more up-front and vivid presentation.”

IsoTek EVO3 Aquarius AC Power Conditioner Review

October 29, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“All genres of music benefitted from the addition of the IsoTek Aquarius, but truth be told, the fullest realization of its potential occurred while listening to purist, uncompressed acoustic music with naturalistic tonal, ambient, and reverb characteristics. A favorite example of mine is Laurel Massé’s a cappella rendition of the Quaker hymn “How Can I Keep from Singing?” [Feather & Bone], recorded in the superb acoustics of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in New York. Via the Aquarius, the spaces between images seemed to open up and the entire cavernous hall seemed to exhale in relief, as if, after holding its breath, it could finally inhale again.”

50 Greatest Bargains in High-End Audio – 2019

October 22, 2019 § Leave a comment

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Cables, Power Products, and Accessories
AudioQuest conductive fiber record brush, $22.95
Caig Deoxit contact cleaner, $32.95
Shunyata Research Venom 14 AC power cord, $95
Synergistic Research Foundation Series, $499/$599

Excel Sound Corporation Hana SL phono cartridge, $750
GoldenEar Technology SuperSub X subwoofer, $1249
Monitor Audio Silver 300 loudspeaker, $2000
Schiit Audio Yggdrasil DAC, $2399
Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2 loudspeaker, $2500
Vandersteen Audio Model 2Ce Signature II loudspeaker, $2700
First Watt F7 power amplifier, $3000
Wyred 4 Sound SX-1000R monoblock amplifier, $3598/pr.
Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo, $4000

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