December 2018
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PS Audio DirectStream (DS) DAC: Snowmass Upgrade

By | December 11th, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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Over four years ago, in May 2014, I reviewed the PS Audio DirectStream (DS) DAC. I ended up purchasing it and I still use it as my reference. Many times over these last four years I have been approached by other audiophiles asking why I have a DAC as my reference that is not ‘new’ and ‘up-to-date’ as compared to other DACs that have the newest DAC chip. ‘Oh no’, I say, ‘you are wrong’, ‘my DAC is only at most months old, it is yours that is old.’

My response is in fact, a fact, and that is what is so special about the DS DAC: Because its electronics are software based not hardware based, you get a new DAC every time PSAudio updates the software—and updates are free of charge.… Read the full article

PS Audio DirectStream (DS) DAC: Snowmass Upgrade

By | December 11th, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

static1.squarespace.jpg

Over four years ago, in May 2014, I reviewed the PS Audio DirectStream (DS) DAC. I ended up purchasing it and I still use it as my reference. Many times over these last four years I have been approached by other audiophiles asking why I have a DAC as my reference that is not ‘new’ and ‘up-to-date’ as compared to other DACs that have the newest DAC chip. ‘Oh no’, I say, ‘you are wrong’, ‘my DAC is only at most months old, it is yours that is old.’

My response is in fact, a fact, and that is what is so special about the DS DAC: Because its electronics are software based not hardware based, you get a new DAC every time PSAudio updates the software—and updates are free of charge.… Read the full article

Brahms: The Four Symphonies—DG Limited Edition 180g vinyl reissue

By | December 4th, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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I usually write music reviews, especially classical, with my classically-trained hat on, commenting on performance, interpretation, comparables, etc. My audiophile nature kicks in at times and posts commentary in each review, for sure, but the main event is always the music.

For this review, it’ll be primarily about the sound.

What is the lover of classical music, Brahms, von Karajan, the Berliner Philharmoniker, and especially of reissue vinyl, getting from yet another version of their legendary performances? Karajan’s Brahms cycle was released originally on vinyl by Deutsche Grammophon in 1964.… Read the full article

Our Favourite Christmas Albums

By | December 3rd, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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From all of us at Audiophilia, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  

Here are a few of our favourite Christmas albums, some you’ll know, some maybe new to you. All are spectacular, both in execution and musicianship. 

All recordings are on CD, with most on the streaming networks. Get them all in a queue for Christmas morning.  

Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019. And a very special thank you to all for your support in 2018. 

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speakertree.jpgRead the full article

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20/Sonatas K281 & 382—Seong-Jin Cho, piano/DG

By | November 28th, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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Seong-Jin Cho is the young Korean phenom who won the XVII International Chopin Piano Competition in 2015, joining such winning luminaries as Martha Argerich, Maurizio Pollini and Krystian Zimerman. A healthy ratio of winners of this particular competition go on to renown and legendary status.

Even though the 2015 competition was filled with very gifted pianists, Cho was the jury and audience favourite. He’s a very refined musician with a wonderful aesthetic and great technique. A worthy winner.

Cho has recorded several very well-received discs for DG, all reviewed in Audiophilia.… Read the full article

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker—DG/Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic

By | November 27th, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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Recordings of The Nutcracker usually come thick and fast around the holidays. Orchestras and ballet companies have made fortunes performing the perennially wonderful music and telling the story. If only Tchaikovsky knew? And, what about Disney?

I usually bin the idea of listening to the ‘Suite’, be it Nutcracker or Firebird—both Russian fairy tales sound much better in their original, ‘full’ guise. As for ‘Suites’, composers and publishers like to cover every financial angle, Stravinsky, especially! As for The Nutcracker, there is so much glorious music in the full ballet, it’s the way I think it should be enjoyed.… Read the full article

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Audiophilia’s Recordings of the Year 2018

By | November 22nd, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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As chosen by Audiophilia’s Publisher, Anthony Kershaw

Images link to Audiophilia review for your information. 

Available at most online sites. Reviews have to be published in Audiophilia during late 2017 to Nov 2018 and the recording released internationally in late 2017 or 2018. Media and label noted under the image on hover.

In no particular order.

  CD/DG

CD/DG

  CD/Erato

CD/Erato

  Vinyl/Newvelle Records (180g limited edition release)

Vinyl/Newvelle Records (180g limited edition release)

  Streaming/Tidal HiFi MQA

Streaming/Tidal HiFi MQA

  Streaming/Tidal HiFi MQA

Streaming/Tidal HiFi MQA

  CD/Navona Records

CD/Navona Records

  Vinyl/DG

Vinyl/DG

  Streaming/Tidal HiFi MQA

Streaming/Tidal HiFi MQA

  CD/Ropeadope Records

CD/Ropeadope Records

  Streaming/Tidal HiFi MQA

Streaming/Tidal HiFi MQA

Read the full article

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Audiophilia’s Products of the Year 2018

By | November 21st, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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Our writers are lucky to intersect with the gear we do. Even luckier to have the kit in our homes and review it for you. There are numerous requests for reviews that we just do not have the manpower to cover. Imagine the hundreds of amazing of pieces we miss?

With that in mind, please take into account our ‘winners’ and rate accordingly. The equipment chosen is for a list we admire unreservedly. We hope you get a chance to listen to the kit in your system.… Read the full article

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Classical Vinyl Box Sets you may not know that should be in your collection

By | November 14th, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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If you visit the top vinyl sales websites such as Elusive Disc and Acoustic Sounds among others, the quality vinyl lists are fairly similar. All the familiar suspects—RCA, Lyrita, EMI, Mercury, Blue Note, Argo, Decca—populate the must haves. And many fabulous reissues also are cross referenced (Testament, Speakers Corner, Classic Records, etc). 

I’ve been reviewing lots of cartridges and phono stages lately and have been deep diving into my vinyl collection to add a little spice to the reviewing process. 

I began the subject of this list in Vol 1 and continued with Vol 2 with individual record releases.… Read the full article

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Xavian Perla Esclusiva Loudspeakers

By | November 10th, 2018|Categories: Audiophillia|

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I was contacted by the marketing manager of Xavian Loudspeakers (Italian design/manufactured in the Czech Republic) requesting an Audiophilia review of the ‘Perla Esclusiva’, a stand mounted monitor from Xavian’s Natura range of loudspeakers and the recent successor to the original Perla.

We lost contact for some months after the initial request. Later, I was contacted informing me the newest iteration of the Perla was ready for review. The pair was shipped from the Czech Republic to the island in a solid, quality cardboard box (wrapped in cling film) with hard foam around the speakers ensuring safe passage.… Read the full article

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