SPARKOS LABS ARIES HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER REVIEW

April 4, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“The SparkoS Labs Aries Headphone Amplifier far outperformed expectations and is one of the most musical solid-state headphone amplifiers I have heard and not artificially so (through rolling off the highs or compromising tonality, timbre, and detail). In fact, I would almost be willing to remove the “solid-state” caveat, and everyone knows I am a tube guy (though not for the reasons most people would suppose, a proper tube amp should have the same linearity of tonal balance that a solid-state amplifier does). It clearly has the ability to easily drive any headphone short of an electrostatic or ribbon headphone which require special purpose-built amplifiers.”

AUDIO RESEARCH DAC 9 TUBE DAC $8,500 REVIEW

April 4, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“I was also impressed by the DAC 9’s build quality. It was apparently designed to last a lifetime and could become a legacy product. There are a lot of serious Audio Research fans out there and I can see why after my time with the DAC 9. It will hold its value like all other Audio Research components before and after.

The unit was packed up and shipped back some time ago. I still remember the performance of the DAC 9 like it was yesterday. This is one of the few components I have reviewed that I think about often because of how great it was. The tube analog stage doesn’t put a halo on the sound but it did make everything that passed through there sound like authentic music. I am not sure if you can offer higher praise for a DAC!”

Rega P10 Turntable | Review

April 3, 2020 § Leave a comment

Cyrus soundBuds review

April 3, 2020 § Leave a comment

https://www.whathifi.com/us/reviews/cyrus-soundbuds

“The little flip-top case is pleasantly small, has a useful LED display for battery life and is thoroughly pocket-friendly. It might not take kindly to being dropped from a great height, so Cyrus has supplied a little velour bag, which is a nice touch at this price point. The soundBuds are also IPX5 rated, meaning that they should withstand a sweaty spin class at the very least.

Bluetooth pairing is easy, helped along by in-ear voice prompts, and once achieved, connection is strong throughout our tests. There’s no app support and no active noise cancellation onboard, but the mic works well during calls and when we ask Siri for a weather forecast. All in all, it’s a fuss free approach.”

Shunyata Research Hydra Alpha A12 Power Conditioner and Venom NR-V10 Power Cord $4498 Review

April 3, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“As I write this, I’m somewhat amazed that, in the context of the gear usually reviewed on SoundStage! Ultra, my $95k stereo system would be considered a fairly modest one. But I’m just as amazed that the level of sound quality I now hear in my room can compete with virtually anything out there, with only the subtlest differences separating it from the state of the art. The fact that Shunyata Research’s Hydra Alpha A12 power conditioner and Venom NR-V10 power cords got me that much closer to the state of the art for only about 5% of the cost of my system is a testament to what Caelin Gabriel and his company have accomplished. That makes these products not only an easy recommendation from me, but one of the best values in high-end audio. If you buy them, you’ll be acting as a responsible steward of your stereo budget, and increase your enjoyment of your music as you get closer to true ultra-high fidelity.”

Focal Chora 806 Loudspeaker $990 Review

April 2, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“As this review wound down I found my admiration for the Chora 806 increasing by the hour. It struck me as a loudspeaker that didn’t attempt to win over ears based on a couple of strong attributes. Rather, it’s an efficiently well-rounded package of solidly engineered performance that touches a multitude of sonic bases and serves the music and the listener well—a fitting reminder that even in 2020, there’s still a lot of life left in the little two-way compact monitor. I can’t imagine any compact enthusiast with $799 to spend being anything but thrilled with the Chora 806. ”

Core Power DEEP=CORE 1800 and Core Power Cables $1295 Review

April 2, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“The Diamond Power Cord gets my recommendation if you are a believer that after market power cords make a real difference. If you do, go try one, I think you will likely end up keeping it. If you don’t, I do not believe this power cord will change your mind, but I doubt any power cord will. For me Core Power got a three for three. Great work Mark and team!

To wrap up, when speaking with Walter and Mark from Core Power, they both shared with me why they wanted to get into the cable business. They told me that they watched as cable prices soared over the past few years, and they wanted to bring value back to the consumer. While I was skeptical at first by their lower prices, after spending time with them I have come to the conclusion that they are well built, well designed, and priced right. I have left incredibly impressed, and will likely add more Core Power cables to my system over the next few months.”

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