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Audio Ramblings – The Small Green Computer sonicTransporter i5 Music Server and the ultraRendu and digitalRendu Units

By | January 13th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.

LOUDSPEAKERS

Vandersteen Quatro Wood Carbon. Reimer Speaker Systems Tetons (with the Hi-Vi Isodynamic Planar tweeters and series crossovers) heavily treated with Marigo VTS Dots. 

ELECTRONICS

PS Audio BHK 250 amplifier, PS Audio BHK Signature preamplifier. Channel D Lino phono stage, and the Heed Thesis phono stage. DEQX PreMate + (preamp) Marantz 2230 receiver, and the Kora integrated.

SOURCES

Digital: PS Audio DirectStream DAC and DirectStream Memory Player, DEQX PreMate +, Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, and an Oppo BD-105.… Read the full article

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JPLAY Femto for Windows, and UPnP vs. DLNA in a Computer-based Music Server Setup

By | January 1st, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

JPLAY Femto

Marcin Ostapowicz of JPLAY contacted me a couple of months ago; JPLAY had just released the latest iteration of their superb computer-based music playing system, now billed as JPLAY Femto. Would I be interested in taking a listen? Of course, was the answer—JPLAY has definitely been my go-to software choice for making baseline comparisons between DACs, servers and other music playing software—its ease of use, superb musicality and rock-solid performance makes it a no-brainer for me. While my currently-in-use digital setup still is governed by the Sonore UltraRendu streamer/renderer, it’s always been instructive and informative to make sound comparisons between sources, etc., with JPLAY—it’s that good, and darn close in sound to the very best I’ve heard.Read the full article

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CAF 2018: Amphion, Benchmark and the Beauty of the Setting Sun

By | November 26th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , |

Amphion is focusing more on the lifestyle aspect of their products,” Trevor Fedele said to me as I entered his exhibit room at the 2018 Capital Audiofest. Trevor is part of the sales and marketing team for this Finnish loudspeaker manufacturer—I think he may have been referring to my pleasant reaction to the beautiful lighting of the room, a layered glow that reminded me of a sunset on the west coast of somewhere gorgeous.

Amphion has created a quiet little niche for themselves over the last few years—their loudspeakers are well-built and attractive, and they offer strong value.… Read the full article

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Improved Digital Conversion the CH Precision HD Upgrade

By | November 13th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

CH Precision HD Upgrade

What’s New?

I’ve calculated that every time I leave my apartment, it costs me $50 on average. In an odd way, that makes me feel patriotic, like I’m doing my bit to keep the consumer economy humming. Doesn’t it make me a good citizen?

It was late summer and the doldrums had set in, so I went perambulating this time in virtual space, where I gravitate to audio related sites. I opened the CH Precision website, clicked on the NEWS tab…Holy cow, what is all this stuff that nobody told me about?… Read the full article

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Wavelength Ethernet Spacelator | RMAF 2018

By | October 10th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Wavelength Ethernet Spacelator prototype

Gordon Rankin of Wavelength Audio is no stranger to controversy. He’s the guy that single-handedly brought computer-based audio into the realm of high-fidelity with “asynchronous USB”, and most such products today either use his work or leverages his ideas. That’s a nice way of saying that he had to slog through an unending bog of nonsense from partially informed but fully opinionated audiophiles that have, at various times, hailed him as both heretic and hero. So, when he introduces a new product like the “Wavelength Ethernet Spacelator”, you just have to cringe along with him.… Read the full article

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Audio Ramblings and the AQVOX SE Switch – A Step in the Right Direction

By | August 24th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.

LOUDSPEAKERS

Vandersteen Quatro Wood Carbon. Reimer Speaker Systems Tetons (with the Hi-Vi Isodynamic Planar tweeters and series crossovers) heavily treated with Marigo VTS Dots. 

ELECTRONICS

PS Audio BHK 250 amplifier, PS Audio BHK Signature preamplifier. Channel D Lino phono stage, and the Heed Thesis phono stage. DEQX PreMate + (preamp) Marantz 2230 receiver, and the Kora integrated.

SOURCES

Digital: PS Audio DirectStream DAC and DirectStream Memory Player, DEQX PreMate +, Mytek Brooklyn, and an Oppo BD-105.… Read the full article

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AXPONA 2018: Benchmark stays smooth with Martin Logan

By | May 21st, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Benchmark-Featured

Audiophiles like smoothness. Audiophiles don’t like rough edges, bumps or dips in frequency response, falloff in off-axis listening, hot treble, or exaggerated bass. Linear playback without attention being drawn to any particular part of the bandwidth is the hallmark of well-designed components, and a well-curated sound system, one that works well together as far as I am concerned.

Benchmark-1

The… well, errr… Benchmark.

That’s what Benchmark Media had put together in Chicago for AXPONA this year in room 670 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel: a smooth, curated system.… Read the full article

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McIntosh Labs launch new MS500 Music Streamer and MCD600 SACD/CD Player

By | May 16th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

MS500-Angle-Right-Featured

MS500 Music Streamer

Binghamton, New York is a very busy place based on the number of announcements that come across my desk regarding McIntosh Labs product launches. The most recent salvo fired across the digital frontier from the American high-fidelity icon is the company’s latest SACD/CD player – the MCD600 – and the company’s first foray into new streaming tech with the Linux-based MS500. This is a solid one-two punch for digital-audio, and SACD/CD purists looking to solidify their sources holistically with existing McIntosh preamplifiers, and amplifiers, and for those who were waiting for a computer-audio solution from the big blue meters people.… Read the full article

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JCAT USB Isolator – Enhancing USB Audio Playback to the Nth Degree

By | May 15th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.

LOUDSPEAKERS

Primary System: Zu Audio Omen Dirty Weekend Edition (stereo pair) with custom outboard Tianle Heil AMT Supertweeters, Zu Audio Omen Dirty Weekend Bookshelf (single speaker for center channel and mono playback), REL T1 powered subwoofer, Definitive Technologies Powerfield 1500 subwoofer.

Secondary System: Magneplanar MMGs modded with custom-built stands and Peter Gunn’s (of Audio Asylum notoriety) custom outboard crossover mods, Klipsch RB-3 Compact Monitors, Audioengine HD6 Powered Loudspeakers, Audioengine B2 powered Bluetooth Speaker (for music out by the pool!).… Read the full article

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Munich High End 2018: totaldac shows off d1-twelve DAC and new USB GIGAFILTER

By | May 9th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Totaldac-Munich-2018

What to expect in Munich at High End 2018.

For those who’ve followed my path meandering through digital audio, and streaming in particular with Tidal Hi-Fi, the name totaldac might be a familiar one. I’ve been hooked on Vincent Brient’s designs for more than a year now, and have been sharing the joy of computer-based high-fidelity with friends, and family since Brient sent me his d1-integral DAC/server/headphone amp for a long-term review. I’ve published two parts so far, with the third instalment coming up in the next edition of The Occasional magazine coming out later this month.

Read the full article

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