September 20, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“This was readily apparent when Dirac was engaged, as the ultimate volume that could be achieved was lower still. While I pushed the M10 hard and had noted that the sides of the chassis were hot anytime I touched it, the M10 was unflappable and never shut down. Most importantly, the M10 had also managed to redeem itself with regards to the dynamic bite I had noted in the context of The Police track. All it took was bypassing my mains conditioner and plugging the M10 directly into the wall, as NAD recommends. This transformed it. The overall sound was more enjoyable immediately and put the M10 and Atom far closer than I would have thought possible. Ultimately, for my room, my system, and my ears, the Atom’s slightly more forward and/or lively presentation is the one I would pick, but I can easily imagine someone else preferring the M10, which seems to have better analog playback, greater access to internet radio stations (and better at searching for them), and a more neutral sound.”


Innuos ZEN MK3

September 10, 2019 § Leave a comment

432 EVO Master Music Server

September 9, 2019 § Leave a comment


September 5, 2019 § Leave a comment


” also contrasted the NDX 2 with and without the XPS DR power supply, it sounds very good indeed without the supply but the extra control that the XPS DR brings does give everything more power, weight, and authority. Dynamics benefit from this and bass lines have a solidity that brings substance to the whole picture. It’s not essential and I enjoyed the streamer with its onboard supply for some time before adding the XPS DR: however, going back proved to be a less enjoyable experience. I’m told that the 555 PS represents a considerably bigger jump but it costs £2,600 more so you’d want a decent result even in the high-end world of diminishing returns.”

Simaudio Moon 390 Network Player and Preamplifier $5300 Review

September 1, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“You, the reader, must decide for yourself if the 390 is right for you. For my own system, I require more balanced inputs, and already have an excellent phono preamp. Simaudio could make the 390 more modular so as to offer more flexibility to the customer, offering for instance different combinations of inputs. This would, however, make the 390 considerably more expensive. I would recommend that Simaudio consider some factory break–in for the units, thus alleviating some of the burden on the customer. I’d also suggest they improve their MiND app.

NAD M10 Streaming Amplifier Review

August 17, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Whatever, the M10 chugs it out with excellent clarity, as one might hope from a musical all-rounder, and when one switches to something rather more focused, such as the carefully crafted pop of B A Robertson on his 1981 Bully For You album [Cherry Red CDMRED 679], the ability of the player/amp to dig deep into the mix of a track like ‘In The Bar At The Munich Hilton’ – we were still all a bit Cold War back then! – is consistently informative. Mind you, just as enjoyable is the exuberance with which it plays ‘Hey Presto’, probably the only musical tribute to Tommy Cooper and Paul Daniels in one song.

From the same era, The Alan Parsons Project’s concept album The Turn Of A Friendly Card [Sony BMG 82876815262], with its pounding rhythms and swirling synths and strings, pushes the M10 almost as hard as did the Saint-Saëns, with the title suite building from gentle piano and woodwind through to the full-on rock opera treatment of the final movement. The NAD M10 is entirely in control here, as one might hope, even able to blast out the music at old-school prog levels if required.”

McIntosh MS500 Music Server $6,000 Review

August 7, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Ethereal vocals are something I genuinely vibe on. That and vocal overdubs, gated mics and hyper-realistic studio-space decay to instruments or voices during playback. I love that sense of the space of the recorded event being captured on a track or album. it adds an atmospheric layering to the cuts that imbues you-are-there realism to listening sessions because of the sense of placement attached to each performer. Invitation by Heather Woods Broderick (TIDAL, FLAC 16-bit/44.1kHz) is just such a listening experience for me through my system with the 500. Hearing it through a dCS Rossini or totaldac spoils me for the big, spacious sound that each of those models is capable of relaying in my system. But, even though the MS500 clocks in at about a third to a quarter of the price of those two DACs, it is capable of giving you a taste of what those who can afford to invest heavily in a music-playback device like the aforementioned are getting. It would be foolish to say it sounds close, it doesn’t, but it sounds so fun, energized and smooth that it puts you in mind of those heavier hitters because of the sheer enjoyment it elicits when listening through it. The fact that it presents instruments and vocals in a rocksteady image with fantastic pitch accuracy certainly helps the McIntosh digital cause. ”

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