T+A Elektroakustik DAC 8 DSD High End D/A Converter Review

March 21, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Much like any top DAC these days, digital filters offer the listener a customized sound. Want a softer, gentler approach? Done. Want an etched, lean performance? You got it. I spent a few days reading the manual and pressing buttons. I settled on one filter and left it for the duration of the review. I did the same when reviewing the Mytek Manhattan DAC II; the MQA setting, which the T+A does not offer (an MQA software update is in the works). I used Qobuz, primarily, as a streaming service via Roon on my Antipodes CORE Music Server. With Qobuz, there is no MQA support, but some seriously amazing hi res recordings available from the ever growing Qobuz catalogue. You won’t miss it.

Here we get a choice of four oversampling filters, used only for PCM audio (the 8 plays DSD, too, up to 512). There are two Finite Impulse Response filters and two Bezier interpolations. My choice was the ‘BEZ 1’ (blue LED), which is said to produce results ‘similar to an analogue system’. All four filters offered refined, superior sound, with enough variation to satiate the most nit picking listener. ‘A Bézier curve is a parametric curve that uses the Bernstein polynomials as a basis.’ Deep MIT dive here. To me, ‘BEZ 1’ sounded as detailed as the three other filters but with an even more pleasing musicality. ”

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JBL Synthesis L100 Classic Loudspeaker Review

March 21, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“The trickling keys of Red Richards’ piano sounded so close to the real thing that it made me laugh a little during the recording. Likewise, for Howard Johnson’s alto saxophone. The only caveat I had during my listening test with this record was that the bass did lack that last quarter or half octave of range, which cost it a touch of scale, though its dynamics and upper registers were on absolute point. Aside from that, the L100 Classic ranks as one of the more coherent three-way loudspeakers I’ve ever heard.”

Tidal Launches MQA-Ready iOS App

March 20, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“The music streaming service TIDAL today launched an iOS app that supports the playback of high-resolution MQA-encoded music on the iPhone and other Apple devices
Master-quality titles are available for streaming and downloading through TIDAL Masters with a TIDAL HiFi subscription, which costs $25.99/month through the App Store or $19.99/month via tidal.com.

Audeze LCD-4z Planar Magentic Headphone $3995 Review

March 20, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“In many respects, the Audeze LCD-4z comes surprisingly close to the performance of the best electrostats in fine-detail retrieval, transparency, coherence, openness, and clarity. It should appeal to those who want top-tier performance in an easier-to-drive and more comfortable package than the in LCD-4. While its price tag may be a bit daunting, when compared to reference headphones, as well as loudspeaker systems costing many times more, the LCD-4z is arguably something of a bargain. If you want the best, make sure you audition the LCD-4z”

My listening room

March 20, 2019 § Leave a comment

Grado PS1000e Review

March 19, 2019 § Leave a comment

https://www.whathifi.com/reviews/grado-ps1000e

“Don’t be tempted to skimp on partnering equipment. While Grado provides a 6.3mm to 3.5mm adaptor to allow the PS1000es to be connected to a smartphone, we wouldn’t recommend it. While you’ll get a decent sound – those headphones are usefully sensitive at just short of 100dB for a milliwatt signal – you really won’t get a sense of just how good these Grados are.”

Focal Elegia Review

March 19, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“This enveloping design lends itself to an immersive sound. Play something with a wide soundfield and you feel in the middle of the music. Effects at either end of the presentation are clearly coming from a wide left or wide right position, making for a big, spacious sound. Massive Attack’s Angel is a classic bass test track but also interesting for its placement of sounds deep in the mix, with distant drum parts and effects. The Focals deliver those instruments faithfully, picking up the position of parts with impressive accuracy.

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