August 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“When it comes to the purity of sonic deliverance Air Tight ATC-5 is anything but. One of the biggest surprises was the open, transparent yet always palpable sonic performance. Being all tube preamplifier one would expect the complete opposite.Yes, Air Tight ATC-5 is a single-ended preamplifier and as such it provides only RCA inputs. It was undoubtedly designed to fit within the Air Tight’s family tree of products and to be accompanied with other non-balanced front ends and power amplifiers.”


Balanced Audio Technology VK-53SE Preamplifier Review

August 26, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“BAT’s VK-53SE errs on the warm side of neutral. But to say that it lacks any specific capabilities because of this warmer personality is not really accurate because the information is still there — it just needs the right speakers and ancillaries to coax it out. If the buyer takes the time to do so, the VK-53SE can sound momentous — and, like all other BAT products, the VK-53SE is wonderfully engineered and built like a tank. It’s also one of the most ergonomically friendly preamps I’ve used, and highly flexible in its connectivity and customization.”

Zanden Audio Modern Line Review, Zanden Model 8120 Amplifier, Zanden Model 3100 Linestage,

August 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

Rega Fono MC Phono Preamp Review

August 3, 2018 § Leave a comment

EMM Labs DA2 Reference DAC and PRE Stereo Preamplifier Review

July 30, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“Ed Meitner and Emm Labs are legendary in both professional and consumer high end audio. One doesn’t become legendary without providing legendary products and experiences to customers for decades. That’s what EMM Labs has done and continues to do with its flagship DA2 and PRE. The world’s first 16xDSD signal processing along with a handful of other propriety features and legendary sound quality put the DA2 DAC on the top of the EMM Labs mountain and in a class with only a couple components in all of HiFi. Sonically the DA2 has a transparency and a soundstage that delivers on the promise of high end audio. Reproducing music with all its warts when warts are present and in all its glory for those rare recordings that really shine. The DA2 and PRE are in rarefied air no doubt at $25,000 a piece, but the best of anything is never inexpensive. ”

Burmester Phase 3 System

July 28, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“he sophisticated app for iPad, which came already downloaded on the iPad Mini that Burmester supplied, connected to my local WiFi network easily enough but presented some configuration issues that unfortunately impeded the 161’s functions requiring WiFi connectivity, such as streaming and Internet radio. A support call with a leader from Burmester R&D Digital confirmed that I was following the correct set-up steps but couldn’t determine why the 161 didn’t “accept” my local WiFi to complete and exit the app’s configuration mode. Fortunately, entering a few codes on the remote allowed me to bypass the home WiFi and run the iPad app and network player in “source” mode. Soon after, however, Burmester provided a more recent firmware update that resolved the local connectivity issue and allowed me to stream via my Tidal account. The app has a wonderfully user-friendly interface with intuitive navigation. You can build and edit playlists by tapping on selected albums and tracks, and sort and search easily. You can adjust phase and gain levels for different outputs. You can import files from an external USB drive and rip CDs. Essentially you can do it all within the app. Although the robust iPad Mini app presented some challenges as noted, these /should be fixable. The app really provides all you could ask for and, once all is connected, is blissfully easy to use.”


July 22, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“I am of two minds about the D’Agostino Progression, both of them good. First, I can’t help feeling that the Progression is just that – progress by D’Agostino. This series is not simply D’Agostino making more attainable products; it’s adding things to the amp concept, some of which I can’t help thinking will end up in the top line. Second, I have a distinct impression that these amps sound ‘almost’ as good as the big guns. In some respects, they may even sound better. Far from being Momentum-lite or MyFirstD’Agostino, the Progression amplifiers are well-matched, well engineered, and well nigh endlessly powerful for most modern systems. What’s great here is not just that D’Agostino managed to make something as attractive and as good sounding for almost half the price, but that for most people those more attainable Progression models are more than enough. In a straight fight, the D’Agostino Momentum models are the better products, but their biggest rivals are their little brothers.”

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