“Honey, I shrunk the LS50 Wireless” might be the snappiest way to describe KEF’s latest active loudspeaker: into a compact, Danish-fabric-wrapped cabinet, designed by one Michael Young and landing in five colour options, goes a new version of the British loudspeaker company’s Uni-Q driver array, internally juiced by Class D amplification – 70w for the mid/bass, 30w for the tweeter – and crossed over in a DSP engine that takes its binary feed from the (also internal) digital streaming board. An attractive hi-fi system in a box for apartment dwellers and bedroom producers.… Read the full article
The king is dead. Long live the king? Apple first introduced us to the Mac Mini in 2005 but updates to the headless Mac platform stalled in 2014. Four years later, with some pundits doubting the Mac Mini’s long-term viability, Apple has announced a refresh where a Space Grey chassis (with the same footprint as earlier models) houses a choice of 8th-generation 6-Core or Quad-Core CPU, up to 64GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory, a quad of Thunderbolt 3-compatible USB-C ports, HDMI 2.0 and optional 10Gb Ethernet.… Read the full article
Growing a set. There are, as Allen C. Guelzo quotes Gunther Schuller in his article on conductor Arturo Toscanini, “seven kinds of hearing: for harmony, intonation, dynamics, color, rhythm, balance and the architecture of a composition. Good orchestra leaders will have two or three of these ‘ears’; a great conductor will have four or five. Toscanini had all seven and even those who cursed his arrogance had to admit that they had never performed under a director who could get them to play so far above their own expectations.”
When audiophiles discuss sound, they often assume that everyone hears as they do.… Read the full article
I just finished watching the Hegel Video. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You make it look so easy…but I assume it isn’t; making it look easy is very hard as far as my experience goes.
I very much appreciate your non-audiophile take on things and the gentle winks and nods. I hope your audience can enjoy many more of these very well made longer form films in the future.
Your approach brings a very much needed breath of fresh air to audio gear coverage.… Read the full article
(The following is based on a true story)
Darko.Audio presents: A Short Film About the Hegel H590
Starring: the Hegel H590 integrated amplifier
Co-starring: Harbeth Compact 7 and KEF LS50
Special guest appearance: ALLO DigiOne Signature
Also featuring: The Smiths, Thin White Rope, Momus, American Music Club, The The, Planetary Assault Systems and Deadbeat.
Camera / colour: Line Kühl
Editor: Jana Dagdagan
Director: John Darko
Further information: Hegel Music Systems
Spotify. To hear snobs tell it, the Swedish streaming service has no place in the hi-fi world. According to this outmoded idealism, the high-end audio is a party where Spotify’s lossy (Ogg Vorbis) encoding doesn’t get you past the velvet rope.
Thankfully, an increasing number of high-end audio manufacturers are showing us that they firmly disagree.
Home is where the heart is.
Home is where the couch is.
Home is where the coffee machine is.
Home is where familiar music lives on an hard-drive or on a shelf; indie/alternative rock and electronic, please.
Home is where a range of familiar audio hardware is stored: in the cellar, in the upstairs hallway and in a kitchen corner.
Home is where a loudspeaker’s interaction with the listening room is known.
Home is where review units arrive and leave.… Read the full article
Keeping it honest: comparisons are the cornerstone of a good hi-fi review. Why? Because comparisons are also the cornerstone of the consumer decision process. Our decision trees tell us that it isn’t enough for us to enjoy the sound of a piece of audio gear in isolation. We also want to know if we might better enjoy something else.
In short: no A/B, no conclusion. No conclusion, no sale.
At the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, Chord Electronics took up residence in the Marriott Hotel’s tower – demonstrating the Hugo 2 TT (info here) with the TToby amplifier (info here) and loudspeakers – and in the CanJam area where the Hugo 2 TT fired directly into headphones.… Read the full article
At RMAF 2018, NAD teased their forthcoming C 658 network streamer where company Product Manager Greg Stidsen referred to it as a “[Bluesound] Node 2/i on steroids”. NAD’s press materials are calling it a ‘BluOS DAC’. Price = US$1499.
Like its more affordable, cousin the C 658 adopts the BluOS platform to offer support for up to 20 streaming services.
However, with a full-width chassis in play, the NAD eschews the Node 2i’s Burr-Brown DAC chip in favour of an ESS model to add balanced outputs, DSD/MQA support, an MM phono stage, a dedicated headphone amplifier outputting via a 6.4mm socket, two way aptX Bluetooth (send and receive), volume control plus two MDC expansion slots for ‘future formats’ or improved digital and analogue circuitry.… Read the full article
With RMAF 2018 coverage firmly in the bag, Jeff Dorgay and I discuss our favourite finds of the show – which aren’t all products – whilst springing into tangents on the idea of accuracy (again), why snake oil no longer persists, the scarcity of bad reviews and why we don’t divulge manufacturer plans.
Photos are included below for those who want to follow along with their eyes.