LEGACY AUDIO SIGNATURE SE TOWER SPEAKERS $6,995 REVIEW

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“In case you didn’t notice, I really enjoyed my time with the Legacy Audio Signature SE Tower Speakers. They certainly lived up to the “big speaker, big sound” mantra but they could do so much more than that. Not only did they fill my room with big, booming sound but they also delivered more quiet passages with incredible nuance and delicacy. Their very neutral overall character was incredibly flattering to good recordings while still remaining tolerant of poor sources.”

Accuphase DP-560 REVIEW

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“The full name of the DP-560 player is the MDS SA-CD Player. MDS refers to a technology that Accuphase has been developing for years – the Multiple Delta-Sigma – and means that a few DACS are connected in parallel. Thanks to this, their quantization errors are minimized and dynamics is improved. At the time when the ESS Technology ES9018S reigns, it is really simple – there are eight DACs in each circuit and they can be used to decode multi-channel signal or be connected in parallel for stereophonic signal; the latter option is used by many manufacturers.”

Ampsandsound Agartha Vacuum Tube Stereo Amplifier And Headamp $3600 Review

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“The only real knock on the headphone output is the relatively high amount of background noise. There was a distinct transformer buzz that was quite audible when music wasn’t playing. It was easily drowned out by music, but still faintly noticeable if you were really, really zoned-in on it. If you don’t need the world’s blackest background this should be just fine, and I think the amplifier’s many positive traits definitely outweigh this negative, but some people demand absolute silence from their amplifier, and those folks would likely be a bit annoyed by this hum,”

MCINTOSH LABS MB50 STREAMING AUDIO PLAYER £2,750 REVIEW

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” The McIntosh MB50 is a remarkably versatile device. It’s a first toe in the streaming waters for many McIntosh users, it’s the obvious next step for MHA150 and MXA70 users, and for some it might be their first McIntosh product. It’s capable of standalone use, although I’d recommend using it in conjunction with an amp or headphone amp, and it communicates to the outside world effortlessly using the Play-Fi app. It’s not without idiosyncrasies – the lack of wired DLNA streaming seems a notable exclusion – but the potential for using this as the start of an ad hoc Play-Fi network does offer future promise. Recommended.”

 

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JBL S9300 LOUDSPEAKERS £10,000 per pair REVIEW

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” That bass is what makes this a JBL: not just how much there is, but its voicing. Those used to the anaemic low-frequency response that passes for “accuracy” in so many modern speakers – often those with a lot of small drivers – will find the S3900s’ lower register fulsome, even heavy. But what it isn’t is flabby. That’s where care in set-up and placement is so crucial. Get either wrong and you could be listening to a detached, overblown mess – which just means that you haven’t tried hard enough. Listen to the vigour and attack in Isserlis’s bowing and it’s pretty apparent that the bottom-end isn’t holding back – or holding back the rest of the range. ”

Nordost • Qkore Grounding System Review

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“Along with all of the obvious sonic benefits of the Qkore system, there are a couple of practical matters that are worth pondering. The first is specific to audiophiles living in apartments or in houses like mine, where adding a separate ground line connected to a ground rod sunk in the yard isn’t feasible. (In my case, it would be impossible to add the wiring to the outlets in my listening room, or add new dedicated lines.) Qkore settles the issue, providing a clean separate ground when no other option exists”

ALO AUDIO CONTINENTAL V5 PORTABLE TUBE HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER $1,200 REVIEW

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” Vinnie of Red Wine Audio set out to create a smaller device with more power, cooler running, better portability and a more defined battery charging status than the CDM. On that front, the Continental V5 has certainly succeeded and redefines a new slice of the market for those looking for hi-end quality for a fraction of the price of the original Continental Dual Mono”

Linear Tube Audio ZOTL40 Mk. II Power Amplifier $5800 Review

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“I’ve left the best for last. My gut-level reaction to a particular audio component is driven by its dynamics, its ability to coax the full spectrum of emotional nuance from a given recording. It starts with microdynamic nuances, and these the ZOTL40 was able to convincingly bring back to life. It didn’t shy away from giving full scope of expression to macrodynamics, either. When the occasion demanded, each orchestral climax was reproduced with plenty of startle factor. But keep in mind that the ZOTL40 is nominally a 40Wpc amplifier and should therefore ideally be matched with speakers of at least 88dB sensitivity, unless you’re happy to listen in a small room at low-volume levels.”

Abyss AB-1266 Phi headphones $4495 Review

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“Many headphone connoisseurs consider the Stax SR-009 electrostatic headphones ($3825 + dedicated amplifier) to be the best-resolving of all candidates for best headphone. My numerous but brief auditions of this venerable classic suggest that the SR-009 does indeed generate the most beautiful and fascinating midrange, but it also sounds identifiably electrostat-like—and, hence, less natural than the Abyss AB-1266 Phis, which appear to have almost no sound of their own.”

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