FiiO X5 3rd Gen Review

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” Still, there’s a lot to like about the X5 3rd Gen: its sound quality is pretty good, it supports a number of different file types, it gives you easy access to the most popular streaming services, and it’s built well too.”

Mark Levinson No.526 preamplifier $20,000 Review

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“The Mark Levinson No.526 costs more than 15 of the 21 preamplifiers listed in Class A of the current edition of Stereophile’s “Recommended Components.” Yet most of those are line-stage preamplifiers only—and many would see their prices raised above that of the No.526 if equipped with phono stages and DACs of commensurate value (in some cases, the manufacturer’s own onboard options). On the other hand, those who buy a pure line-stage preamp can then mix and match separate DACs and phono stages, based on their budgets and what sounds best in their system. ”

Accuphase C-3850 Preamplifier and P-7300 Power Amplifier $43,500 Review

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” When combined, the C-3850 and P-7300 become the heart of a soulfully solid, bottom-up sounding reproduction system. The solidity of the presentation from multiple sources (music and source equipment) appeared to be palpable in all cases. One of my first observations was the more forceful drive and vigor the Accuphase pair presented. Chris Isaak’s “Kings of the Highway” from the Heart Shaped World LP had the characteristically saturated soundstage it always has but with more expansion of the soundstage in all directions. Additionally, the added presence in the bass and lower midrange gave the music perceptively more powerful drive.”

Jeff Rowland preamps compared – Coherence II, Synergy IIi, Concerto and Corus

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“Ultimately it was felt by majority of the group that the Coherence II and the Synergy IIi, both with the BPS + external switching power supply, sounded best. While I shared some of this sentiment, I felt that none of the other amps could match the enormously impressive levels of transparency and resolution of the Corus, and its superb bass sealed the deal for me. I have been on a quest for more neutrality for some time now and for me, the Corus was the winner, even if it marked the start of a different sound signature for the Jeff Rowland brand.”

Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems Momentum Phono Stage Preamplifier $28,000 – Review

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“The Dan D’Agostino phono preamp has so many other positive sonic qualities that discussing them one by one could easily be the subject of a series of follow-up reviews for the rest of the year. Although, in my listening notes, after a while I began repeating myself, my notes centering on the fact that each record I played sounded the best I’ve ever heard it. Familiar titles sounded “new” again, and those less familiar titles let me hear what I imagined to be the exact intentions of the musicians, ”

McIntosh MP100 Phono Stage And Hi-Res Audio DAC $2000 – Review

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“McIntosh Laboratory had a good idea in combining an RIAA phono stage with a 24-bit PCM digital audio converter (ADC), as it makes a relative breeze of transcribing beloved records to a more convenient format. It also presents an opportunity to make informed decisions about the components and calibration of a turntable – I found myself making recordings of different decks to compare their sound signature easily, as well as comparing pressings and small geometry changes, for example.”

Audio Research Foundation LS28 Preamplifier Review

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” Every review should include at least one recording of a woman’s voice. I picked another fave, Shelby Lynne’s Just a Little Lovin’ (DSD64/DSF, Lost Highway/Analogue Productions). In the title track, the opening bass note literally shook the room and sounded like a believable part of the performance. The growling bass guitar provides a strong underpinning for this song, as it does for the entire album. Instrumental parts were reproduced with such delicate, detailed precision that they sounded quite real, and the textures of Lynne’s voice were reproduced with plenty of expression and feeling”

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