May 27, 2022 § Leave a comment

Hifiman used leather and a nicely padded memory foam headband on the R9 and I must say that it is very comfortable. Additionally, the skeleton of the R9’s headband is steel and features a good bending capability. Overall, I found it very comfortable and there were occasions when I used it for over 12 hours in a single day. Furthermore, the earcups of the R9 remind me of Fostex’s TH-900. The TH-900 had these wonderful dark pearly red cups made of Japanese Cherry Birch. The Hifiman HE-R9’s ear cups also feature a similar red to the TH-900 but are slightly lighter in color. 

The shapes of the earcups are unique and Hifiman states that this shape was specially designed for the driver, taking the acoustic properties into account. Moving on to the ear pads, well, these are one of the most comfortable pads that I used in my plus 10-year audiophile journey. The padding is thick, the memory foam is comfy and the clamping force is perfect. It is not too strong, not too light, just right. The pads cover my ears completely and provide very good isolation during listening sessions.

Burmester BC150 floorstanding loudspeaker €98,000 Review

May 26, 2022 § Leave a comment

The vanishingly low cabinet coloration not only acts to keep the BC150 fast, it keeps it extremely detailed too. This is a loudspeaker that throws the window wide open on your music. Pick an instrument, preferably a solo instrument on a well-recorded album; that instrument sounds detailed, articulate, and physically ‘there’ in the room, solidly placed within a wide soundstage that projects slightly into the room, but not so much as to be intrusive. It’s detailed and precise enough that colorations are more likely to be to do with the room than the speaker, and many of those are ‘nailed’ thanks to the rear-firing tweeter. The BC150 loudspeaker is an audio reproduction instrument of high-precision, and as such if your room has a bit of a mid-range hump, you’ll notice it more immediately here. Given the BC150 and the company it keeps, that’s no bad thing, as room acoustics should be a strong consideration at this level. But, regardless, listening to something like ‘Love in Vain’, by the Rolling Stones [Stripped, Polydor] and you get to hear Jagger’s voice unsullied by the speaker itself; other speakers seem to play something more like an impression of Mick Jagger by way of comparison.

Aurender N20 Music Server Review

May 26, 2022 § Leave a comment

Kenny Dorham’s legendary 1956 hard-bop album, ’Round Midnight at the Café Bohemia [Blue Note BLP 1524] was presented through the N20 with the wonderful intimacy and nuance that only come from live recordings made late at night in a jazz club, when the band is fully warmed up and really swinging. The stick and brushwork of Arthur Edgehill on cymbals was rendered with a fine, delicate, brassy sheen; Dorham’s trumpet was warm, sweet, and inviting, never biting. The Aurender N20’s fine rendering of space, atmosphere, and instrumental subtleties put me in the club with the audience. What a wonderful recording.

Summing up, I loved the musical experiences conjured up the by the Aurender N20. It presented the music with very high accuracy and precision, complete with the requisite muscle and horsepower to provide superb rendition of dynamic contrasts and shadings, but could temper and punctuate those dynamics with the delicate articulation of instruments and voices. The overall presentation was exceptionally uncolored and tonally accurate, yet rich with natural timbral warmth, three-dimensional weight and body, and fine gradations of instrumental or vocal textures. All this goodness was presented with clean, quiet, and very black backgrounds, refined, stable, and precise imaging, expansive soundstaging, and most importantly, nuanced, refined, and relaxed naturalness. 

Audio Note Cobra Integrated Tube Amplifier Review

May 25, 2022 § Leave a comment

The musicality pf this device is striking , even addictive. And you don’t need any technically sophisticated recording, because the Floyds have already sounded great. I did not expect, however, that the debut of the Led Zeppelin group would sound so well, rocking me with so much fire. I listened to the version remastered by Robert Plant and although it is not a particularly good version in terms of timbre, its resolution is excellent, much better than of all previous digital versions.

The sound had a weight and gravitated towards the lower midrange, there was also a lot of bass. The latter, however, was not exaggerated, and in its own special way it was actually an excellent basis for the sound, not overshadowing the midrange. In fact, the sound had great dynamics and scale, and was still warm at the same time. How was it achieved by Lithuanians and Qvortrup—I have no idea. But people from Leben achieved something similar. Again, the sound stage was wide and full, and the sounds placed by the recording engineer behind me, as in the “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” where they had a well-defined position, they were big-bodied, they didn’t seem fleeting.

Harbeth Audio P3ESR XD Loudspeaker $3290 Review

May 25, 2022 § Leave a comment


Harbeth is proud to advertise the ‘use anywhere’ adaptability of the speaker. As such, I’m guessing the P3ESR would be the dream desktop loudspeaker, taking convenience with superior sound to the nth degree. But there’s no doubt situated in a well treated room of appropriate size on the suggested stands is the way to go. I’d say the quality and adaptability of these bookshelf beauties would make the ideal entry level high end loudspeaker for budding audiophiles with catholic musical tastes who save a little and want to take a serious step forward in building a quality system. I know many companies attempt to manufacture such a speaker but I’ve not heard one in the size and at the price of the P3ESR XD that matches it for refined, musically immersive sound. They are a remarkable value. Also, their superior fit and finish belies their $3290/pair MSRP.

Von Schweikert Audio Endeavor SE Floorstanding Loudspeaker$25,000 Review

May 24, 2022 § Leave a comment


One might get the impression that I’m a “Fan Boy” of VSA. In that, I’m a huge fan of reality in the presentation of recorded music, and VSA makes the creation of such one of their primary objectives in speaker design, then by association, yes, guilty as charged.

Kevin Hayes of VAC has been quoted as saying VAC audio instruments are designed with the hope that they will one day be considered family heirlooms, handed down to the next generation, and I admittedly acquired my Statement 450S iQ amplifier with this in mind – an end-game investment, IMHO. Similarly, I consider the quality and investment of VSA speakers to be of the same league — a true heirloom investment, regardless of budget.

I felt privileged to acquire an example of the VSA team’s work, and now very excited to retain the Endeavor Special Edition in our home. My professional instincts told me they and I strive for the same outcomes in high-end musical reproduction, coming from similar perspectives. I thank them for their efforts and congratulate them on this exceptional achievement and offering within high-end audio. For me, it truly represents realism in the reproduction of recorded music. It is, in fact, a portal to experiencing the joy of live music.

HiFi Rose RS150B music server £3,899 Review

May 24, 2022 § Leave a comment

I tried another filter setting, it’s hard to choose when your favourite NOS (non oversampling) option isn’t available, and alighted on minimum phase, slow roll off, which turned out to be a little on the polite side. However combine this balance with the emotionally and musically raw ‘Pensacola’ by Joan Osborne [Relish, Mercury] and you have a surprisingly gripping, clear and powerful sound. This track often sounds too raucous and edgy but the Rose delivered its intrinsic message rather well, proving that full on exposure can mask the message if that recording isn’t cut for revealing systems

McIntosh MB20 Bluetooth Transceiver Review & Use Cases

May 24, 2022 § Leave a comment

Von Schweikert Ultra 55 Loudspeakers $100,000 REVIEW

May 23, 2022 § Leave a comment

Occasionally, when playing sonically darker recordings, I wished things were a hair brighter. I would MUCH rather have a smoother vibe than even the smallest amount of additional air or zing up there as long as the resolution is high, which is definitely the case for U55s. Furthermore, this was only in evidence when I used amps with an overly smooth or rolled off top end such as the Qualiton or the ampsandsound Nautilus. In a universe of options with regard to where the high frequencies should fall, given varying tonalities in amplifiers, source components and recordings, I’ll give the U55s chosen high frequency voicing an A+.

Midrange and the handoff to tweeters and woofers was invisible and seamless. Imaging was gorgeous and captivating. I got solid, floating-in-air, center images which is important to me. I heard lots of depth and space when it was there in a recording. There was a strong sense of a 180 degree arc of instrument placement that extended towards my listening spot and beyond speaker edges.

Like practically all the other elements of the Von Schweikert Ultra 55 performance, I found dynamic portrayal to be top notch, without calling any undue attention to that part of reproduction. VSA lists sensitivity at 89db. Although to my ear, this seems conservative, owing to the 5 watt Nautilus being such a surprise in how it powered the speakers.

IsoTek V5 Aquarius power conditioner

May 23, 2022 § Leave a comment

Oh, hell yes! It’s little wonder the EVO3 Aquarius proves popular with the Naim fraternity, because it has really good musical timing (more accurately, it gets out of the way enough to let the system play good timing), but the V5 Aquarius makes the EVO3 sound like it’s on strong antipsychotics. OK, so there’s no drooling or slurred speech involved, but where the EVO3 delivers good rhythm, the V5 is peppy, immediate and upbeat. It simply leaves the EVO3 behind. Given the EVO3 is already considered one of the most fast reacting power conditioners, and that the V5 leaves it almost for dead, this new chassis (and what it contains inside) is something of a revelation.

And the V5 reveals itself when playing some swampy country rock, such as Larry Jon Wilson’s ‘Ohoopie River Bottomland’ [Heartworn Highways, Light In The Attic]. This is a great and mostly unsullied recording, with an infectious beat but one that’s prone to getting lost in the ensemble. Any sense of reticence on the part of the power conditioner makes this track sound almost tired in the middle eight (the key change is so relaxed, you barely notice it until after it happens). Here, everything is just perfectly balanced and pitched. The EVO3 reacts fast to this kind of music, faster than many in fact, but the V5 just reacts faster.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Reviews category at Audiophilepure.

%d bloggers like this: