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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

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

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

CES 2019: Qobuz opens US beta

By | January 9th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , |

“Total Blam Blam” or “Where Are We Now?”. If Qobuz’s entry into the US market were a David Bowie song, it would very much fall into the latter camp. The planned official launch at RMAF 2018 was stalled at the eleventh hour (and for reasons unknown). Only at the end of 2018 was it rescheduled for Q1 this year and tier pricing announced.

And if Qobuz’s presence at CES 2019 is anything to by, the French music streaming company’s plans seem to be once again on track: a public beta is now open to anyone wanting to try before they buy.… Read the full article

Future-Fi at CES 2019: the NAD Masters M10

By | January 8th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Future-Fi at home – it’s about minimising audio hardware’s physical intrusion and maximising its ease of use. Slipstreaming neatly into a steady flow of shoebox-sized streaming amplifiers (like Naim’s Uniti Atom and Linn’s Selekt DSM) comes NAD’s Masters M10 to which we just add loudspeakers.

The M10 weighs 5kg, measures 215 x 100 x 260 mm and features 1) a BluOS streaming module, powered by a 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 CPU for Roon, AirPlay 2, MQA, bi-directional aptX Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and (eventually) full Dirac Live room correction plus 2) back panel inputs for analogue sources, coaxial digital (TOSLINK, S/PDIF), USB storage devices and HDMI ARC, all routed via 3) an unnamed ESS Sabre DAC chip and 4) 100wpc Hypex nCore amplifier circuit.… Read the full article

Vinyl DJs rejoice! Technics announce SL-1200 MK7 turntable

By | January 8th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

When Panasonic re-booted the Technics SL-1200 in 2016, they did so for audiophiles as the SL-1200G/AE; and with a build quality and a multi-thousand dollar price tag to match.

When the Japanese company issued the US$1500 SL-1200GR* a year later, they took aim at audiophiles once again, albeit those on a tighter budget. Cashed-up DJs might have taken the bait but this was hardly the affordable workhorse of yesteryear.

Anyone wanting to pick up a pair of DJ-friendly, direct-drive turntables for under a grand would still need to do battle with the scattershot used market (the original SL-1200 was discontinued in 2010) or drop cash on one of the many Hanpin/-type clones spilling via Pioneer, Reloop, Denon, Audio Technica et al.… Read the full article

CES 2019: Tidal Masters coming to all Android devices

By | January 7th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

After almost twelve months of being exclusive to the LG V30 smartphone, its descendants and the Essential phone, Master support, powered by MQA, will soon roll out to the Tidal app used by all other Android devices. (Sorry, iOS users – you’ll have to wait).

However, unlike the LG models and the Essential device, Tidal Master support for Android is limited to MQA’s Core Decoder where 24bit/44.1kHz and 24bit/48kHz streams are unfolded to 24bit/88.2kHz and 24bit/96kHz respectively. What your Android smartphone does with these unfolded, higher sample rates remains device dependent.… Read the full article