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KIH #57 – A lead on Leedh

By | May 23rd, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , |

Leedh inside. It’s Leedh alright, not lead. To acquaint yourself with the difference if you haven’t already, follow this link. It’ll take you to one of the most radical and original speakers you’ll ever have clapped eyes on. Today continues that story in the digital realm: same inventor Gilles Milot, same ‘discoverer’ Joël Chevassus, a regular contributor to my site and also publisher of his own French online mag Audiophile-Magazine.

A few days after I’d submitted to Darko.Audio boss John Darko the previous KIH instalment of my own tech discoveries of 2018’s HighEnd Munich show, Joël submitted his own.… Read the full article

Playback Pioneers 2018: Bruno Putzeys / Kii Audio

By | May 23rd, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Best in show awards as they relate to sound quality – this publication gave them up several years ago. Experience tells us that they’re a silly side effect of a play act undertaken by commentator and (unwitting) exhibitor. Show-based awards flatter both parties whilst remaining meaningless for the rest of us.

This audio reviewer’s self-imposed brief for Munich High-End 2018 was not only to take a snapshot of what’s new and to go long on video in the process but also to un/cover and profile manufacturers whose work stands out from the pack as markedly different.Read the full article

Playback Pioneers 2018: Metaxas & Sins

By | May 22nd, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

Best in show awards as they relate to sound. This publication gave them up several years ago. Experience tells us that they’re a silly side effect of a play act undertaken by commentator and (unwitting) exhibitor. Show-based awards flatter both parties but lack meaning for anyone else.

This audio reviewer’s self-imposed brief for Munich High-End 2018 was not only to take a snapshot of what’s new and to go long on video in the process but also to un/cover and profile manufacturers whose work stands out from the pack as markedly different.Read the full article

Darko.Audio podcast #6 – Munich High-End 2018

By | May 21st, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , |

In which John Darko, Aphex Twin fan, sits down for breakfast in Munich with Jeff Dorgay, Kiss fan, to chat about the world’s greatest audio show. Dorgay is the gregarious editor/publisher of TONEAudio. Please excuse our eggs and coffee.

This episode comes with an audiophile safety warning: both Jeff and John have little time for the demo-room deployment of Diana Krall or The Eagles.

Follow us on Soundcloud here and subscribe on iTunes here.… Read the full article

Arresting simplicity from the Rupert Neve RNHP

By | May 20th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

As a headphone enthusiast, I often find myself on the defensive. Fellow audiophiles want to know what misfortune drove me to use headphones for the majority of my listening, and which speakers I would use if I had a “proper” setup. Unintended condescension aside, I realize that high-end headphones remain something of a niche within a niche – and a lot of people just don’t quite “get it”.

Admittedly, I do know a few people who legitimately dislike the presentation headphones offer, and I can totally respect that perspective.… Read the full article

Hitting hard: concrete active loudspeakers from Gravelli

By | May 19th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

Sinks, tables, outdoor chairs and light fittings are just some of the products made by Prague’s Gravelli. The company’s USP is that each product’s base material is concrete.

Recently tapped by Austria’s EAT for a concrete turntable plinth, Gravelli has turned their hand to active loudspeakers. The Virtuoso standmount (€5000/pair) is a DSP-fuelled two-way whose enclosure is cut from concrete with each speaker tipping the scales at 16kg. Augmenting a front-facing 4.5″ full range driver is a pair of side-firing bass drivers: a 7″ passive, and a 5″ active.… Read the full article

Andrew & The Argo-nauts: ELAC @ Munich High-End 2018

By | May 19th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

It’s near impossible to talk about modern-day ELAC loudspeaker designs without talking about designer Andrew Jones. At Munich High-End, it’s impossible to talk about modern-day ELAC loudspeaker designs without talking to Andrew Jones.

Two years ago, we caught Jones talking about his imminent plans to activate the Debut and/or Uni-Fi Series. Since then, ELAC and Jones have opted for a completely new range of active loudspeakers. The Argo can be had as a 3-way B51 standmount (€2000/pair) or a 3-way F51 floorstander (US$4000/pair).… Read the full article

Time out of mind with AURALiC’s Leo GX, Aries G1 & Vega G1

By | May 18th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Last year at Munich High-End, AURALiC’s Xuanqian Wang, armed with an extensive Powerpoint presentation, introduced us to the Aries G2 streamer and Vega G2 streaming DAC. This year Wang was back in Germany, Powerpoint-free, with the more affordable G1 takes on Vega and Aries (as detailed here last week).

At the MOC, I asked Wang to explain the differences between the G1 and G2 versions. His answers came back with a refreshing hit of honesty:

Back in Aries/Vega G2 territory and the room’s main rig, Wang demonstrated another new product.… Read the full article

KIH #55 – Fresh fermentations

By | May 17th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: |

M-uniquipality. Nothing new under the hifi sun. Old wine in fancy new goblets. Take your pick. The feeling could be familiar; mutual even. But for HighEnd Munich 2018, it wasn’t entirely accurate. True, it took some digging to deflate but there were signs of true novelty I stumbled across without any plan. And let’s assume that I missed a lot. Let’s start with loudspeaker transducers. We’ve seen omnipolar tweeters before. Think Gallo’s CDT III, mbl’s Radialstrahler, Elac’s 4pi ribbon. There simply aren’t many which counteract the beaming so typical with conventional dynamic tweeters of the 1” dome sort.… Read the full article

Technics’ SC-C50 is an all-in-one for mainstreamers

By | May 17th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

Panasonic’s Technics brand is best known in audiophiles circles for its range of high-end direct-drive turntables. A few weeks ago we visited Max Kultur Technik in Berlin for a quick taste of the SL-1000R – the €15,999 flagship ‘table. Their SL-1200G is this reviewer’s daily drive.

The Japanese manufacturer is also hip to a high-end turntable’s uber-niche appeal. Last year at IFA, also in Berlin, we caught the launch of Technics’ SC-C70 all-in-one network/CD player. Some call it ‘lifestyle’. Others call it mass-market.… Read the full article