Naim Nait XS 3 Integrated Amplifier Review

December 13, 2019 § Leave a comment

“Mind you, the Nait XS 3 is no one-trick pony. As I said, the phono stage is the eye-catcher, but that sonic balance is maintained across the line inputs too, and slotting it into my system in place of the Naim Supernait 2/HiCap DR I’ve been using off and on for quite a while now, was less of a hardship than I was expecting – or is that dreading? True, the XS 3 doesn’t quite have the resolution and swagger even of the Supernait 2 alone, let alone when HiCapped, but this is a decidedly fast and punchy little amplifier by any standards. It certainly has a useful extra turn of speed over the XS 2, as was confirmed by a recent brief back-to-back listen, despite also offering a richer, more solid delivery of lower frequencies.”

Rega Planar 10 Turntable Review

December 13, 2019 § Leave a comment

“Last but not least is the new RB3000 tonearm. This may look very similar – polished finish notwithstanding – to the old RB300 of 1983, but Roy says the bearing housing and spindle are better than ever. This is thanks to a new manufacturing process claimed to give a micron-perfect fit, resulting in a friction-free tonearm. Like its radical forebear, it too has a one-piece headshell, armtube and bearing housing – one of few such designs to boast this on sale even now. It is made of aluminium rather than magnesium –à la SME – because Roy says the former is far easier to work with. Apparently, it can be shaved down to far lower thicknesses than magnesium and still be strong and stable. This, in turn, means that weight can be taken off where possible, making for a more sensible effective mass – so it can track a wide range of cartridges.”


December 12, 2019 § Leave a comment

“I like the sound quality of the UMC-200’s DAC, but subtle details are often lost in the music. I did not notice this so much over the years until I heard the DAC (DA1) in the McIntosh C49 that I reviewed earlier this summer. The PS Audio DirectStream DAC has a warmer, more analog sound. Any digital harshness seemed to melt away from the music. The sound stage was open and very 3D, both in width and depth. Its sound is no doubt flavored a bit by its conversion of all digital inputs to DSD. “


December 12, 2019 § Leave a comment

“The general tuning is to the neutral side but with a high musicality factor and a smooth-ish delivery. With the switch “off” you get a more neutral, balanced an linear tuned sound. Flick the switch “on” and the sub bass comes in to play without changing anything else from bass to mids. Flicking the switch doesn’t dramatically change the sound signature it just makes the low end leaner, bigger, deeper and more impactful. I have to say I keep the subs switched on almost 100% of the time, it’s just more fun. But if you want the sound signature for some songs or sources to be less bass deep, then just use the Aether R with the neutral setting.”

SVS Pinnacle 3.5-Way Floorstanding Speakers Review

December 12, 2019 § Leave a comment

“While manufacturers like ELAC and Magnepan offer a sense of refinement and harmonic complexity the Pinnacle lacks, the Prime Pinnacle counters with scale, rhythm, dynamics, and real low end extension. If you are looking for a speaker that does music and HT equally well, the Pinnacle is an absolute no brainer. If you’re building an audio only system and can’t fit a sub, yet want near full range performance at an affordable price, the Pinnacle may be your only choice. If you’re looking for an audio only speaker to convey the subtle nuances of a saxophone, the complex textures of a cello, or the harmonic richness of a French Horn, and can either utilize a sub or just don’t value what’s available under 40Hz, your options widen significantly. Considering the risk free trial opportunity SVS offers, it’s tough to pass up the chance to give them a try and see if they work for you.”


December 11, 2019 § Leave a comment

“I began my listening tests with the Balanced filters, the Medium Balanced tips, and the stock single-ended cable with the FiiO M11. Pulling up “Can-Utility and the Coastliners” (Genesis – 16/44.1kHz) on Qobuz it became instantly obvious that tip selection would have to come first. For the Balanced tips, I found the large to be the most comfortable and provide the best seal, but the sound was not what I was looking for in my neutral setting. The midrange was a bit pronounced and the bass was more in the background than I expected.”

Master & Dynamic MH40 Over-Ear Headphones: 5th Anniversary New Wireless

December 11, 2019 § Leave a comment

“If you have the original MH40 you will probably want to upgrade to these new ones; otherwise if you are looking around for an exceptional  pair of wireless headphones at only $299 you should check these out. I loved the original MH40s. Now wireless, even better. Very highly recommended.

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