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Cambridge Audio DUO MC/MM Phono Headphone Preamplifier Review

By | January 16th, 2019|Categories: Innerfidelity|

Cambridge Audio DUO Phono/Headphone Preamplifier Review

Space. The Final Frontier.

Gene Roddenberry had William Shatner (as Capt. James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise) narrate the opening to the sci-fi episodic Star Trek and anybody who watched the original series from 1966 to ’69 growing up or in syndication – as I did in the mid-‘70s – can probably never forget Shatner’s voice, timbre or cadence as he proffered forth that line.

Much like Star Trek, space, for audiophiles or headphone enthusiasts alike, has become the final frontier as urban homes and condos continue to shrink in size and those of us with music and gear fetishes deal with the continued drop in square footage.… Read the full article

Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital DAC/Preamplifier

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

Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital DAC/Preamplifier

Pro-Ject, which hails from Austria, has been in existence since 1990. And while it isn’t the first audio firm to specialize in small modular components, it has been especially focused on miniaturized high-performance audio. Currently Pro-Ject has five different “lines” of components—the RS Line, DS2 Line, S2 Line, Classic Line, and Elemental line. All of these Pro-Ject boxes were designed to be used in conjunction with one another to form complete miniature systems. The Pre Box S2 Digital is from the S2 Line, which also includes a streamer (the Stream Box S2 Ultra), a disc player (the CD Box S2), …… Read the full article

McIntosh C2600 Tubed Preamplifier Review

By | January 9th, 2019|Categories: Audiostream|

Struggle. We all have at least a couple in one form or another as we live our lives, be they verb or noun. My father taught me that while struggle in life was inevitable, it was about how we dealt with it that mattered the most. Regardless, there is struggle and it is real for many for us… and at many different budget levels. What struggle am I referring to you ask? The struggle for an end-game preamplifier of course.
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QUAD PA-One+ Headphone Amplifier and Preamplifier Sneak Peek

By | January 5th, 2019|Categories: Innerfidelity|

I’m old school in many, many ways, but I’m also a fierce adopter of new technology as well – just at my own pace and in my own way. I’m not on anyone’s bandwagon, I tend to march to my own drummer.

So, when an old-school company starts coming out with new gear, I tend to pay attention because I feel – like me – they’ve taken a beat to assess the latest and then come out with something in their own way and in their own time.… Read the full article

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MBL Noble Line N11 Preamplifier and N15 Monoblock Amplifier

By | December 17th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

MBL Noble Line N11 Preamplifier and N15 Monoblock Amplifier

MBL’s Noble Line electronics sit midway between its ultra-expensive Reference Line offerings and its least costly Corona gear. Though the Noble N11 preamp and N15 monoblock amps aren’t stripped down compared to their Reference counterparts, they do differ in price, size, power, and mode of operation. The enormous $106k/pr. Reference Line 9011 monoblocks, for example, one of the world’s great amps, generate 840W/50A/100V into a 4-ohm load, have a signal-to-noise ratio of 118dB and distortion of under 0.001%, and run in Class AB.… Read the full article

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ATC CDA2 Mk2 CD player-preamplifier

By | December 6th, 2018|Categories: Stereophile|

In the early 1990s, the Compact Disc was all the rage, and vinyl records were being executed en masse. Thirty years later, and oh, how our tables have turned. Mint first pressings of tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley’s 1957 album Hank Mobley (Blue Note BLP 1568), which once could be had for $40, now bring upward of $8000. Each. Vinyl continues to enjoy a global resurgence of popularity, while CD sales have plummeted to all-time lows.

What happened? Apparently, yesterday’s pops and ticks are today’s “warmth,” Record Store Day exclusives, and skyrocketing vinyl values.… Read the full article

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Gryphon Audio Designs to Demonstrate Zena Preamplifier in Chicago

By | December 3rd, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Gryphon Audio Designs to Demonstrate Zena Preamplifier in Chicago

The following is a press release issued by Gryphon Audio Designs. December 3, 2018 – Gryphon Audio Designs are proud to demonstrate their new Zena preamplifier in Chicago on Saturday 8 Dec. @ 2:00 and 4:00pm at Kyomi Audio. Your hosts will be Professor George Vatchnadze (a celebrated concert pianist and classical music recording artist, owner of Kyomi Audio) and Philip O’Hanlon (Chief Fun Officer from On A Higher Note) playing a wonderful collection of hand curated music on a Gryphon system.… Read the full article

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AVM Ovation PA 8.2 modular preamplifier

By | November 29th, 2018|Categories: Stereophile|

The digital ground seems to shift weekly. While firmware and software updates over the Internet somewhat slow the constant upheaval, when you do buy something, you just know that as soon as you plunk down your cash, something new will come along.

So, especially with preamplifiers, why not produce a design based on modules that the user can swap in and out, to custom-configure the preamp to that user’s current needs while leaving room for later expansion? Why pay for six inputs’ worth of stuff when at present you need only two?… Read the full article

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Boulder 1110 Preamplifier and 1160 Power Amplifier

By | November 28th, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , |

Boulder 1110 Preamplifier and 1160 Power Amplifier

There are a number of top high-end electronics manufacturers that you can trust to put out an excellent new preamplifier and amplifier even before you audition them. If you have listened to such manufacturers’ products over time, you also find that real improvements in the new series are always there but generally subtle. You also detect that the company’s equipment tends to be consistently “voiced” in ways that prioritize a given mix of sound qualities. The best manufacturers keep this voicing as limited as possible, but it is always there.… Read the full article

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Pass Labs XP-12 Preamplifier and XA25 Amplifier

By | November 22nd, 2018|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , |

Pass Labs XP-12 Preamplifier and XA25 Amplifier

Sometimes an audio review boils down to a single clarifying moment—an instant that crystallizes what you were hearing from the very beginning but were struggling to capture in words. I’d been listening to the Pass Labs XP-12 linestage preamp and XA25 amp for weeks. It was obvious they were very special, but special how? Finally the answer appeared in, of all places, a gelato store that I frequent. I was looking at the rainbow array of flavors—a bright cartoon cacophony of color.… Read the full article

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