Focal Kanta No1 Loudspeakers $5999 REVIEW

June 17, 2019 § Leave a comment

READ HERE

“I’ve reviewed many Focal speakers over the years, and listened to more, and with all of them, two things have stood out: prominent highs and very punchy upper bass. This has resulted in what I call a Technicolor sound — not so far from strict neutrality to sound unnatural, but far livelier than what I typically hear from my reference speakers, Revel’s Ultima2 Salon2s ($21,998/pair), which exaggerate no frequencies, and which I and most listeners would describe as dead neutral.

Connected to the Constellation Revelation Taurus Monos or the JE Audio VM60s, the Kanta No1s sounded similar to but slightly different from other Focals I’ve heard. Yes, there was the same liveliness, but the highs weren’t quite as tipped up — and the upper bass, while punchy enough, didn’t seem as overemphasized. Granted, the lowest bass was missing — I heard nothing below 40Hz, which is only to be expected from a pair of two-way minimonitors. But low bass aside, the first thing I thought was: These are the most neutral-sounding Focal speakers I’ve heard.”

Advertisements

Schiit Audio Aegir Class A Power Amplifier $800 Review

June 17, 2019 § Leave a comment

Read Here


These non-harmonic, annoying, and aggravating distortions are vanishingly low in the Aegir. Class A operation, wide bandwidth frequency-response, and DC coupling combine to produce an exceptionally natural sonic picture, one both high-resolution and pure in its production of instrument tonality. Harshness glassiness, steeliness, and other un-natural sonic artifacts are simply gone. Soundstage depiction is literal and faithful to the recording: pan-potted, mono, studio-constructed stereo images are revealed as such; naturally recorded orchestra music that captures the hall ambience and size and depth of the venue is clearly depicted.

If one only considers the Aegir’s sonic performance per se, it would qualify as a stone bargain for those of High-End audiophile sensibilities. Add its music-making abilities – its boogie factor, “PRaT,” drive, dynamics, involvement, foot-tapping, ass-shaking, head-bopping, and “Air”-instrument-inspiring performance – (areas in which the UK school- Linn, Naim, Rega, et al., have long ago set the template) and you have a sonic/music-making ”

Gold Note IS-1000 Integrated Amplifier and Streamer $5500 Review

June 16, 2019 § Leave a comment

Read Here

“Up to this point, I’ve been deliberately holding off on the contentious, “Well, is the IS-1000 better than buying each function as a standalone product?” conversation. Product comparisons are fun, but there are endless product combinations, and achieving system synergy is always a challenge. The IS-1000 is designed for each function to align for the best possible sound. The IS-1000 is a true high end product in build and sonic quality. It’s convenient, yes, but it also certainly on par with separates or an integrated amp near or even substantially above its price point. For those who can relate to those sentiments, the IS-1000 is a beautifully styled, intelligently designed product that can satisfy the needs of all but the most critical listener. Gold Note continues to offer products that I have no problem recommending.”

CLEAR TUNE MONITORS DA VINCI X $2400 REVIEW

June 16, 2019 § Leave a comment

READ HERE

“The decay on the X drivers has a very nice balance with just a hint more length to the low-end drivers moving to something much quicker and slightly drier by the time you get to those two top-end smaller BA drivers. It prevents the X from sounding sterile even though I still would class the timbre as quite neutral.

It gets that neutral quality through a midrange and treble driver combo that primarily focuses on clarity and speed rather than trying to outdo the low-end in richness and warmth. As a result, instrumental separation is excellent and imaging cues are dead easy to pick up and seem very accurate to my ear.”

Planar 8 turntable £2,450 Review

June 15, 2019 § Leave a comment

Read Here

“It was obvious to me that as the listening sessions wore on, the 8 with Apheta 2 in tow was a step or two ahead of the Regas I had hosted before. The ability to keep the beat is present and well, and probably superior to its predecessors. Of all the turntable combinations I have in my collection, the 8 seemed to pull closest in the same direction as the Roksan Xerxes, sounding similar overall in presentation.

While I didn’t feel there was anything to severely criticise with the 8’s performance, no (affordable) turntable I know of yet has been all things to all men. The 8, as with the Xerxes and some other more detail and warts-and-all oriented designs won’t be the best thing for you if you’d rather have a more velvety or laid back (relatively) performance. Several screechier solo violin LPs just sounded less aggressive on an LP12, and if voices could be compared for sexiness over vinyl replay, I would prefer the TD124 with Apheta 2 for playing Shelby Lynne’s Just a Little Lovin.”

DALI Callisto 2C Active Digital Speaker System $4750 Review

June 15, 2019 § Leave a comment

Read Here

“Later my mind was blown, again. I did some close-in-time comparisons between the Callistos running off their included (generic, 2-conductor 18AWG) power cords, and a pair of AudioQuest NRG-Z3 (3-conductor, thick) cords. I had no idea AC cables could make such a large difference in the sound. It wasn’t just emerging from a blacker background; everything was more crisp and exciting. The soundstage was better defined, and the music seemed louder. Instruments had more separation, and their individual characters stood out more. And voices seemed to be “flesh-and-blood present” in the room with me. The incredible realism, accuracy, and liveliness that I had been enjoying for one month with the Callistos went one step further in the right direction.

Do not even consider running your Callistos with the included power cords. Since you are running D/A processor, preamp, power amp, and speaker off a single cord, it needs to be a premium one. Is it crazy to spend $500 on a pair of AC cords for a sub-$5000 system? Not after hearing the sonic improvements they bring. You may be able to find less expensive AC cords that also work well, so experiment. I was a doubter before; I thought at most AC cords could filter some noise, but no more. With a complex unit like the Callisto, they can actually render across-the-board improvements that add up to a serious upgrade. On both solo and choral vocals, a real acid test for any system, the realism was uncanny. Every emotion and delicate touch the singers were putting in there came across clear as a bell. On Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Scarecrow” from the album Peepshow, the sound was so intimate I felt Siouxsie was trying to seduce me (though it’s not a love song). I never even realized how much she hams it up before; it’s on the border of overdone.”

AUDIOVECTOR QR5 FLOORSTANDING LOUDSPEAKERS REVIEW

June 14, 2019 § Leave a comment

READ HERE

“It’s one of those speakers that lets you relax with the music and that’s clearly not a bad thing, I like the way that it is pretty well unflappable even at higher levels and that the bass is so fulsome. This could overawe smaller rooms but with only about 40cm behind them the balance was very even in my medium sized space. I tried a track that is notorious for its sibilants, another Patricia Barber number called ‘A Touch of Trash’ [Modern Cool, Premonition]. On this the vocals did seem a little cleaner than usual, the emphasis on S sounds didn’t disappear, but they were reduced enough to stop it being a distraction. Lou Reed’s classic ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ [Transformer, RCA Victor] sounded appealingly open and his voice projected well over the fabulous tone of the double bass. It lacked a little of its edge perhaps, but none of its innate charm. Another bass heavy track, Hadouk Trio’s ‘Vol De Nuit’ [Live à FIP, Mélodie], showed how well the Audiovector can produce deep clean lows while giving the ‘voice’ in the piece, an oud, the space to express itself in a clear fashion.”

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Reviews category at Audiophilepure.

%d bloggers like this: