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.

Chord dave M SCALER Review

May 23, 2022 § Leave a comment

HIFIMAN ARYA STEALTH REVIEW

May 22, 2022 § Leave a comment

How good is the Arya Stealth?! Waw! It isn’t cheap or available to everyone but the performance for the price is highly remarkable.

The Arya Stealth’s tuning is very good. It’s pleasing, yet technically strong as well as musical and exciting. The Arya Stealth always has good body, presence, impact and depth. It’s very easy to understand why this headphone is getting so many recommendations. It’s an absolute award winner and in this price category, the Arya Stealth is hard to beat.

Perlisten Audio R5t Loudspeaker and D15s Subwoofer $7,000 Review

May 22, 2022 § Leave a comment

https://www.soundandvision.com/content/perlisten-audio-r5t-loudspeaker-and-d15s-subwoofer-review

In all other respects. The R5t’s performance when used in combination with the D15s subwoofer equaled or exceeded its performance au naturel. As noted earlier, I would have liked a little more top-end air, but in no way was the sound closed-in or dull. In fact, it may not even be the best choice for those who prefer a more forgiving, warm presentation. But freed up by the subwoofer from handling the bottom two bass octaves in my listening room, the R5t tower’s transparency, lack of coloration, and ability to throw a wide and convincing soundstage was beyond criticism.

But even that description doesn’t do full justice to the superb dynamic range capability of the Perlisten R5t/D15s combo, which was screamingly evident when I fired up the whole surround sound system (supported by non- Perlisten speakers for the center channel and surrounds). When I dropped the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Dune (2021) into the Oppo player, all Hades broke loose. The quiet scenes were effectively rendered, of course, but the opening bass attack of composer Hans Zimmer’s punishing score, the subterranean groans of arriving spaceships, the buzzing of the mosquito-like ornithopters, and the rescue of the spice-mining harvester from a sandworm attack, all of it played back at a higher level than most civilian listeners can tolerate, left me worrying about the structural integrity of my house.

JBL 4305P Speakers Review

May 22, 2022 § Leave a comment

KEF’s LS60 Wireless

May 20, 2022 § Leave a comment

PRO-JECT CLASSIC EVO TURNTABLE WITH SUMIKO AMETHYST CARTRIDGE $1,999 Review

May 20, 2022 § Leave a comment


The 9” EVO tonearm on the Pro-Ject Classic EVO turntable is one of my favorite designs on the market. It is well designed, light, and rigid. Plus, it is fully adjustable.

The supplied Sumiko Amethyst cartridge was very sweet sounding and undoubtedly was a major factor in the quality audible performance.

On the whole, this turntable was capable of the kind of high-end audio performance where you forget about the equipment and just let the music carry you away. I just wish it would pull this trick with greater regularity.

Bluesound NODE streaming music player

May 20, 2022 § Leave a comment

Schiit Freya+ Preamplifier $949 Review

May 19, 2022 § Leave a comment

https://www.audiophilia.com/reviews/2022/3/1/pf7d9nzv57kqcwifuwb5504y7ck100

Eventually, as my reviewing interests expanded, I realized that I must get a proper preamplifier in order to easily and efficiently compare two or more similar devices by using different lines in and just switching the lines on a remote. I first tried using a passive preamp with more than one input; they were touted as clean and transparent, generally do not require external power, and are much less expensive in general than active ones. But alas, I was not satisfied. I began to notice at audio shows and at other audiophile homes where active preamps were widely used, they offered a sound quality my system lacked; something more satisfying beyond just clean and transparent. I could not put my finger on what exactly was lacking, but I decided to hunt about for a proper preamp (and one with many inputs, not just two). My choice was the PS Audio BHK Signature ($6000)—with a tube front end. It remains my reference preamplifier. And I learned what had been missing: more body, textures, openness, separation of instruments, and warmth in varying degrees; additions that yielded a considerably more musical presentation. I have also heard solid state preamps that hit these marks in varying degrees, so, I am not concluding here that tubes are always necessary/best. But, as some say, a preamplifier is the heart of a fine audio system; I became and still am a believer in that

Rotel Michi X3 Integrated Amplifier $4999 Review

May 19, 2022 § Leave a comment

I have used the word smooth more than a few times describing the sound of this amplifier. This is an honest observation. And yet inner detail and clarity are all there. Bass is deep and impactful. Soundstage depth and width are excellent. Tonal balance and clarity are effortless yet relaxed. It sounds smooth, but doesn’t mask bad recordings. All the audiophile performance traits are there. But did I feel at times transients could be a bit sharper. Yes, but I was having too much fun listening to the music to worry. Yet the best way I found to describe the sound of this integrated amplifier is that it sounds smooth, musical, and detailed. I have heard smooth and musical solid-state amplifiers before, but they usually come off as trying to replicate the sound of a tube amp. They are usually expensive, and end up sounding colored. I don’t know what kind of alchemy the engineers at Rotel are putting into the Michi line, but whatever it is it is working quite well. This integrated amplifier drew me into the music from the get-go, and never let me go. This integrated amplifier is the best I have ever heard at just making you forget what you are doing and draw you into the music for a long listen.

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