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Melco Server, Aqua Acoustic Quality DAC, Audio Valve Preamp, ATC Powered Speakers, JL Audio Subwoofers

By | October 19th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Entracte Audio’s room displayed a nifty little system centered around a pair of active ATC SCM 40A speakers ($CAD13,800/pair) supplemented by two JL Audio E110 subwoofers ($CAD2300 each). Preamp duties were handled by Audio Valve’s Eclipse preamp ($CAD6600), while the source consisted of a Melco music server ($CAD7300) being fed music files from an external hard drive, and the Italian Aqua Acoustic Quality La Voce S3 Discrete R2R ladder DAC ($CAD5500).

Though I felt the sound could have used an extra layer of harmonic meat on its bones, it was engagingly animated and dynamic, and capable of producing fast transients, startlingly deep bass, and a convincing sense of drama and scale.… Read the full article

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First Look Sunday: Dethonray DTR1 Prelude

By | October 19th, 2019|Categories: Headfonia|Tags: , , , , , , |

Disclaimer: This is part of our new First Look Sunday series, where we give our first impressions of new gear in our review queue.

Old School

In an era of big touchscreens, slim bezels, streaming apps and so on, we sometimes see devices that are solely aimed to sound great. The Dethonray DTR1 is one of them, but it takes things a step further in terms of raw functionality.

Back then we had the Tera Player which some people still happily use.… Read the full article

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Esoteric SACD Player/DAC, Audio Research Amplifiers, Acora Speakers, Cardas Cables

By | October 19th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

The Acora Acoustics room was another standout. The Canadian company has been building speakers for only a year, but they are on to something with their SRC-1 speaker ($CAD37,995/pair), whose enclosure, as per their marketing literature, is “handcrafted using granite by only the finest artisans in Canada.” Sure, they must be a pain to move around, but one could say the same of the amps that were powering them, the cinderblock-shaped Audio Research Ref 10/750Se amps ($CAD95,200/pair).

Mobility issues aside, what I heard of them being fed by an Esoteric E-02 phono preamp ($CAD12,000), an Esoteric N-03T network player, and an Esoteric Grandioso K1 SACD Player/DAC ($CAD40,000), all of it wired with Cardas, was a sound with rich overtones and great physicality.… Read the full article

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Jean Natais Turntable, Graham Tonearm, Miyajima Cartridge, Yamamoto Amplifier, Rethm Speakers, Ocelia Cables, Harmonix Accessories

By | October 19th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

The Hearken Audio room was showing the sort of gear that indulges my creative impulses. None of it looked boring, or robotically manufactured on an assembly line. Two of the displayed items in particular snagged my focus: the Jean Nantais Ultimate Lenco analog rig ($US17,500), outfitted with a Graham Audio 12″ tonearm ($CAD10,335; only arms of 10.5″ or more in length can be used) and a Tru-Lift automatic tonearm lifter ($USD275), a Miyajima Labs Saboten L low-output MC cartridge ($CAD6700), and a pair of 102dB-sensitive Rethm Saadhana speakers ($CAD24,000).… Read the full article

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Lumin Streamer, Mutec Master Clock, PS Audio DAC, Pass Labs Amp, GoldenEar Speakers, Gutwire and Siltech cables

By | October 19th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Another system that did a great job at communicating music’s gestalt was the one taking pride of place in the Toronto Home of Audiophile Ltd room. The system included a Lumin U1 streamer ($CAD8000), a Mutec Ref 10 Audiophile 10 MHz master clock with MC3+ smart clock/re-clocker/USB interface ($CAD7150 for both), a PS Audio DirectStream DSD DAC ($CAD9500), a Pass Labs XP22 preamp ($CAD14,000), a class-A, 30Wpc Pass Labs XA30.8 stereo amp ($CAD9800), and a pair of GoldenEar Triton One.R speakers ($CAD8000).… Read the full article

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The Pixel 4 isn’t getting the feature-rich RCS texting Google has pushed for

By | October 19th, 2019|Categories: TechRadar|

The new Pixel 4 phones might be loaded with the latest features and software care of Android 10, but Google is evidently still struggling in its push for Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging. 

Neither Verizon nor T-Mobile are supporting the new messaging standard for the Pixel 4, with Sprint the only clear carrier to support it, 9to5Google reports.

SMS has been the standard for text messaging for a long time, but as far as features go, SMS is from the smartphone stone age.… Read the full article

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Bakoon International AMP -13R

By | October 19th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Bakoon International AMP -13R

They say a lot of things about small packages. “Good things come in small packages.” There is a certain wisdom in that statement. Of course it rarely has an applicability to Heavy Weight Boxing! The professional athlete that goes 6’8″ and plays, basketball, football, soccer, or whatever rarely feels that they would be better off being 5’4.” There are plenty of situations where bigger is better but in HiFi, where there is a need and a proclivity of “bigger,” the occasion where something special shows up and is dwarfed by the average sized component requires close examination.… Read the full article

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Scenes From Day One of the Toronto Audiofest

By | October 19th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

A working musician: singer and flautist Caroline St. Louis (above).

Toronto Audiofest co-organizer Sarah Tremblay (above).

Isabeau Corriveau (above) was tireless on harp.

Wynn Audio’s Wynn Wong (above) with products from Tidal, Thales, and EMT.

Yamaha’s A-S3000 integrated amplifier ($CAD8000).

The Wadax Atlantis transport ($US45,000) measures its own vibrations.

Like last year, James Tanner (above) presented an all-Bryston system featuring the T-Rex, which consists of an inverted pair of Bryston’s model-T speakers sitting on top of another pair. On the right is another Bryston stack: The Middle T-Rex, a pair of Bryston Middle T speakers in a similar configuration.… Read the full article

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Top 500 SuperSonic List – Part 15

By | October 19th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

This is an ongoing project by Claude Lemaire of Soundevaluations

111. Count Basie, Live at the Sands (Before Frank). MoFi ‎– MFSL 2-401 (2013), (2×33 1/3 rpm). Genre: big band swing, jazz.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, and apparently that is exactly what happened to this original 1966 recording before Reprise finally release it in 1998—but only on CD at the time. Thankfully MoFi took it upon themselves to cut it on vinyl in 2013. It goes without saying that opening for Frank—flying at the top of the Rat Pack and at the apex of fame back then—must have represented the highlight of the Count’s career, and reciprocally the best warm up any cool cat could wish for.… Read the full article

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Schiit Modi 3 vs. Modi Multibit – A Schiit Shootout!

By | October 19th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

Schiit Audio Modi 3 vs Modi Multibit Review and comparison.

For anyone following along – we have been blind testing (double blind in some cases) a variety of products from different categories at Schiit Audio’s retail space in Newhall, CA. These monthly meetups take place with the help of some of the company’s staff, who hide which products we are listening to (hence “blind”) and carefully and quickly switch between options so the audience that gathers can get a better sense of the nuanced sonic differences.

In some cases the candidates for “best of” number around 4, like our pre shootout – which would technically be a blind A/B/C/D.… Read the full article

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