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Halcro Eclipse Mono power amplifiers REVIEW

By | September 16th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

THE REVIEW BELOW APPEARED IN ‘AUDIO ESOTERICA‘ MAGAZINE, TOGETHER WITH AN INTERVIEW AND HALCRO TIMELINE. YOU CAN VIEW THE ORIGINAL MAGAZINE PDFs BY CLICKING THE IMAGE ABOVE. A FULL BENCHTEST AND EXTENDED REVIEW APPEARS IN THE OCTOBER/NOVEMBER ISSUE OF Australian Hi-Fi magazine, ON SALE SEPTEMBER 26 2019. 

Halcro is very likely the most famous Australian hi-fi brand you’ve never heard of. Indeed you’re likely to be more familiar with the name of the company that founded it — Minelab — than you are to be with Halcro, since you can buy a Minelab metal detector almost anywhere in the country… which isn’t true of Halcro, at least not yet.… Read the full article

MartinLogan Motion 60XTi speakers and 800X subwoofers; Benchmark D/A DAC3 B DAC, LA4 line amplifier, AHB2 power amplifier, and Star-Quad speaker and interconnect cabling

By | September 11th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

If you, like me, tend to associate MartinLogan with electrostatic transducers, you may be surprised to learn that their more traditional Motion line accounts for most of their sales. The upgrades to the Motion 60XTi speaker ($1599.99/each) are subtle, and termed “housekeeping” by the company’s Peter Soderberg. Designed by their head engineers, they are claimed to carry over the electrostatic voicing that distinguishes the company’s other models. Together with MartinLogan’s Dynamo 800X subwoofers ($799.99/each), Benchmark’s D/A DAC3 B D/A converter ($1699), LA4 line amplifier ($2499), AHB2 power amplifier ($2999), and star-quad speaker cables and interconnects, the system acquitted itself nicely on a 24/192 file of Lori Lieberman and the Matangi Quartet’s “Empty Chairs” and another hi-rez track from David Chesky, “Transcendental Tripping” from Jazz in the New Harmonic.

Read the full article

MartinLogan Motion 35XTi speakers and 800X subwoofers; Benchmark D/A DAC3 B DAC, LA4 line amplifier, AHB2 power amplifier, and Star-Quad speaker and interconnect cabling

By | September 11th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

If you, like me, tend to associate MartinLogan with electrostatic transducers, you may be surprised to learn that their more traditional Motion line accounts for most of their sales. The upgrades on the Motion 35XTi speaker ($649.99 each) are subtle, and termed “housekeeping” by the company’s Peter Soderberg. Designed by their head engineers, they are claimed to carry over the electrostatic voicing that distinguishes the company’s other models. Together with MartinLogan’s Dynamo 800X subwoofers ($799.99/each), Benchmark’s D/A DAC3 B D/A converter ($1699), LA4 line amplifier ($2499), AHB2 power amplifier ($2999), and star-quad speaker cables and interconnects, the system acquitted itself nicely on a 24/192 file of Lori Lieberman and the Matangi Quartet’s “Empty Chairs” and another hi-rez track from David Chesky, “Transcendental Tripping” from Jazz in the New Harmonic.

Read the full article

Paradigm Persona 7F loudspeaker and Persona SUB, Anthem STR preamplifier and STR power amplifier, Wolf Alpha 35X server, Torus RM20 power conditioner, Clarus Aqua cabling.

By | September 10th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

Paradigm’s Canadian-designed-and-engineered Persona 7F loudspeakers, which have beryllium diaphragms, anchored a system that received additional grounding from the Paradigm Persona SUB ($6500). The sub’s six 8″ woofers are powered by a 1700W “Ultra Class D” amplifier that, aided by DSP and other stuff, descends to a formidable 12Hz.

The room also featured the premiere of the production version of the Wolf Alpha 35X music server ($9295), which was previously shown at the Hong Kong show in prototype form. The company’s Joe Parvey told me that the 35X includes $1200 retail worth of Stillpoints products, including patent pending ground plane enhancement.… Read the full article

Channel Islands Audio C-100S Power Amplifier

By | September 10th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Channel Islands Audio C-100S Power Amplifier

One of the more egalitarian aspects of high-performance audio is that not all manufacturers are multi-national corporations. Some are smaller, more focused operations such as Channel Islands Audio, which opened its doors in 1997, 22 years ago. Founded by designer Dusty Vawter—who began his audio career as the head of the technical service department at Audio Alchemy—Channel Islands Audio (CIA) specializes in well-built, high-performance audio components manufactured to last for more than one product cycle. What’s more, the components are not outrageously priced; those in CIA’s “Classic” line all retail for under $600.… Read the full article

Accustic Arts Amp II Mk 3 Stereo Power Amplifier

By | August 9th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Accustic Arts Amp II Mk 3 Stereo Power Amplifier

Over a decade ago, as I was traveling through Germany, I picked up an audio magazine at a train station to try and kill some time. Leafing through the periodical, I happened upon a review that announced with not atypical Teutonic certainty that the “loudspeaker is the slave of the amplifier.” Somehow or other it’s a statement that has stuck in mind through the years. I’ve seen some highly touted solid-state amplifiers wilt under the strain of trying to drive inefficient loudspeakers that feature punishing loads.… Read the full article

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Futterman H-3A power amplifier

By | August 8th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

It is not at all unusual these days to find manufacturers producing “matched” speakers and amplifiers that are designed specifically for one another. But it is very unusual to find this being done by an amplifier manufacturer who doesn’t make loudspeakers. The Futterman H3-A is one of these rarities—an amplifier designed primarily to complement one of the best, and one of the hardest-to-drive loudspeakers on the market: the KLH Model Nine.

The H-3A is unusual in another respect, too. It is probably the closest anyone has come to combining tube and transistor technology, for although it uses vacuum tubes, its output circuit and its lack of interstage capacitors and output transformer have more in common with transistor amplifiers than with tubes.… Read the full article

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Dynaco Stereo 120 transistor power amplifier

By | July 9th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

One by one, the major amplifier manufacturers have acceded to the pressures of the marketplace and introduced “solid-state” models, whether or not these happened to sound as good as their previous tube-type units. Dynaco was one of the last of the hold outs, preferring, according to their advertisements, to wait until they could produce a solid-state unit that was at least as good as their best tube types. Now, they’ve taken the plunge at last, with their Stereo 120.

Price-wise and power-wise, the Stereo 120 is the equivalent of a pair of Dyna Mark IIIs, but there the comparison ends.… Read the full article

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Constellation Revelation Series Pictor Linestage, Andromeda Phonostage, and Taurus Monoblock Power Amplifier

By | July 5th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

Constellation Revelation Series Pictor Linestage, Andromeda Phonostage, and Taurus Monoblock Power Amplifier

Constellation Audio burst onto the high-end audio scene in 2010 with the highly acclaimed, ultra-expensive Altair linestage and Hercules mono amplifier (reviewed in Issue 215). The company followed up with the equally well-received but lower-priced Performance Series that leveraged trickle-down technology from the top Reference Series. The Altair and Hercules have since been updated (Issue 260) at even loftier prices, so Constellation continues to develop and refine its product lines in both price directions, mostly downward I hasten to add—the $9900 Inspiration Preamp 1.0 being a good example.… Read the full article

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CH Precision M1.1 power amplifier

By | June 25th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

CH Precision’s massive, versatile, technologically sophisticated, 165 lb M1.1 power amplifier ($54,000 configured for stereo) can easily crush your foot if you’re not careful when installing it. But the more important consideration is this: Can this cool gray techno-square sing and dance without stepping on its own feet?

Unlike their playfully mischievous neighbor darTZeel, whose corporate sense of humor runs so deep that the LCD readout on their NHB-18NS preamp displays the messages foreplay and climaxed when working its on/off switch, Swiss manufacturer CH Precision is all business.… Read the full article

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