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Focal’s Got A Brand New Can – CES 2019

By | February 13th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , |

Focal Stellia Heaphone

With the PR machine in full gear, the reaction to Focal’s new closed-back headphone called Stellia has mostly been about its color. The $3k can now sits just under the flagship Utopia ($4k) and above most of the remaining product line of hifi personal audio. The Stellia does borrow much of the driver tech from the Utopia, mainly its M-shaped beryllium dome transducer and suspension harness.

The color isn’t particularly off putting to my tastes. The diversion away from audiophile black and silver is a nice change up in a sea of consistent color schemes.… Read the full article

UE Now Lets You Take Your Own Impressions At Home – NAMM 2019

By | February 4th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , |

Ultimate Ears CSX Line

Over the years, if there is one thing that Ultimate Ears Pro has realized about their custom in-ear products is that the doorway to entry is blocked by a significant barrier. Getting ear molds done and locking in a proper fit for the user is tedious at best, and downright intrusive at worst.

Many strides have been made by UE specifically over the years to remedy this. From partnering with 3D scanning tech, electronic storage of ear molds, and 3D printing to speed up delivery times, the OC-based company has always kept forward progress firmly planted in the products they release.… Read the full article

A New Twist On Earplugs – NAMM 2019

By | February 1st, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

It should come as no surprise that earplugs show up on coverage of this year’s National Association of Musician’s Merchants (NAMM). Hearing protection ought to be found in the pocket of any audiophile’s journey to a loud concert or venue. Still, there are several hangups about filling your ear with any material, and the resulting sound is never close to natural… no matter what the sales pitch says.

Loop earplugs hopes to change some of that. Not only do they offer some interesting aesthetics over your typical foam-in-the-ear look, the circular shape of the device provides both form and function.… Read the full article

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New Digital From NAD & Nagra – CES 2019

By | January 22nd, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , |

Wilson Audio Sasha DAW speakers

Two of the digital highlights from CES this year came in the form of the all-in-one M10 NAD streamer ($2,499) and new Nagra DAC X ($64,500). Both releases were securely lodged to the trimmed 29th floor of the Venetian in Las Vegas and made for interesting talking points, even though they clearly target two different markets.

Nagra DAC X

The new DAC updated from Nagra includes a separate power supply and a custom delta sigma chipset. Along with a custom USB design, the Switzerland-based manufacturer decked out the internals with a total of 37 individual power supplies for everything on the inside.… Read the full article

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SVS, The Prime Pinnacle & A New 13 – CES 2019

By | January 17th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , , |

SVS Prime Pinnacle

A New Floorstander

It’s always a thunderous stop at the SVS room. Focusing on both monster subwoofers and audiophile 2-channel has been the play for the past few years, hence their presence in a Venetian listening room suite at CES this year. The big talking point: a new set of Pinnacle Floorstanders.

The product spread is getting progressively wider for the site-direct company, recently launching a range of wireless prime speaker options as well as filling out the sub line with a the new 3000 series a few months back.… Read the full article

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Technics New SL-1200MK7 & SL-1500C Turntables – CES 2019

By | January 15th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , , |

There was quite a bit of buzz all week at CES about the new Technics SL-1200MK7 turntable. The proposition perhaps sat in a more inviting manner than even the new audiophile-oriented SL-1500C table did.

The 1200MK7 is more of a DJ-targeted turntable, and the first update in a long while to have a price tag closer to a grand at $1200. Let’s not forget that a DJ actually needs two tables to do the job properly, which puts some of the more recent Technics releases in this category in a somewhat spicy cost bracket for a pair.… Read the full article

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The Elac Carina Series – CES 2019

By | January 14th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Elac Carina Bookshelf Loudspeaker

A new speaker line from Andrew Jones

It is now a sight that the general audio press is becoming more familiar with, but still enjoys at much as the first release (at least for this individual). Andrew Jones and the Elac team crowded into a listening room talking about a new loudspeaker series. At CES this year its a new take on the formula with the addition of a JET folded ribbon tweeter called Carina.

The Carina series starts with 5″ bookshelf for $1.2k (per pair) and includes a center ($849) and floorstander ($1.2 each).… Read the full article

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AudioQuest, Folk Heros and Mythical Creatures – CES 2019

By | January 11th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , |

AudioQuest Mythical Creatures

The first official day of 2-channel at CES started in the Venetian on Wednesday morn. It was my second presentation by engineer Garth Powell of AudioQuest in the past few years, which is always a well-spoken and entertaining affair to attend. The subject of today’s coffee talk was two new series of speaker cables named after Folk Heros and Mythical Creatures.

While it’s clear that the debate over cables on the fringes of audiophile comment sections and forums shows no signs of slowing down, it is worth mentioning that most sensible audiophiles don’t jump to either radical edge of the argument with much haste.… Read the full article

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Hollis Audio Labs – CAF 2018

By | December 22nd, 2018|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , |

Hollis Audio Labs Monitors

Open-baffle servo subs, Parasound amps, open-baffle DIY monitors, and software. Quite a pleasing ensemble.

The large room in Plaza One on the main floor of Capital Audiofest felt more like a laboratory than your average audio show room. Erected behind a floating Stonehenge of GIK absorption and diffusion pannes, was a modestly sized system, consisting of crafty looking open-baffle monitors, sitting atop an equally crafty looking pair of open baffle subwoofers. On the floor gathered around and connected: a smearing of power conditioning boxes, speaker cables and a pair of Parasound Halo A23 stereo amplifiers.… Read the full article

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Rollo Audio, Arion Audio, Lamm Industries, Aqua Acoustic Quality – CAF 2018

By | December 19th, 2018|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , |

Arion Audio loudspeakers

The Arion Apollo speaker system is a four-piece, two-biscuit… ahem, sorry I was hungry while writing this — two channel loudspeaker system. It comprises of two “full-range” line-source dipole towers and a pair of DSP controlled open-baffle Balanced Force Transducer (BFT) bass modules. Decoupling the bass modules from the line-source towers allows for optimum room placement, which is often different from optimum high-frequency driver placement.

If you noticed, I put the term “full-range” in quotes in the previous paragraphical description. I did that to underline a point.… Read the full article

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