December 2018
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NextDrive Spectra X Review

By | December 9th, 2018|Categories: Headfonics|Tags: , , , , |

8.3Score$189.99NextDriveDisclaimer: The NextDrive Spectra X sent to us is a sample in exchange for our honest opinion. We thank the team at NextDrive for giving us this opportunity. To read more about NextDrive Products Review on Headfonics click here. Earlier in the year, I reviewed the NextDrive Spectra DAC with good marks. Today, I will […]

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Burson announces opamp-rollable DAC, headphone amplifier

By | December 7th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , |

Swing and Playmate. Channelling the ghost of Hugh Hefner, Melbourne’s Burson Audio’s have announced two new models: the respectively-named digital pre-amplifier (US$399) and 2-watt headphone amplifier w/DAC (US$399).

The Swing sports a line-level output to run as a DAC and variable gain RCA outputs for pre-amplifier duties. Inside, a sextet of Burson’s ‘Maximum Current Power Supplies’ (MCPS) each juice six different stages of the DAC.

However, with its headphone output occupying more internal real estate, the Playmate gets one less MCPS and a single set of variable gain RCAs.

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Bricasti Design M21 DAC

By | December 6th, 2018|Categories: Audio news, Dagogo|Tags: , |

Massachusetts-based Bricasti Design’s claim to fame is in the design and manufacturing of professional components for recording studios, its product line comprising the Model 7 Stereo Reverb Processor, the Model 7M Mainframe Stereo Reverb Processor, the Model 15 Stereo Power Amplifier and the Model 28 Monoblock Amplifier. In the consumer section, the company’s M1 dual-mono digital-to-analog converter showcases the company’s expertise.

Earlier this year, Bricasti Design released its next-generation DAC, the M21 Platinum. Retailing for $19,000, the M21 offers the following:

  • an advanced architecture that allows the selection and evaluation of digital music via three independent conversion paths: 24 bit delta sigma, 20 bit ladder dac and true 1 bit DSD for DSD.
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Doorstop me if you think you’ve heard this one before…

By | December 5th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , |

“Stop me, oh, stop me
Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before
Stop me, oh, stop me
Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before
Nothing’s changed
I still love you, oh, I still love you
Slightly, only slightly less
Than I used to, my love”

— The Smiths

Microphony: where electronic devices turn mechanical vibrations into electrical noise. Tube amplifier owners and guitar amp rockers know the effects all too well.… Read the full article

A short film about the Schiit Modi 3 DAC

By | November 29th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

“Saw it on the tube
Bought it on the phone
Now you’re home alone
With a piece of crap”

– Neil Young

The Modi 3 DAC. It’s a piece of Schiit  but it’s no piece of crap. Previewed (here) and reviewed with words and pictures (here), the Modi 3 might not have the portable prowess of the identically-priced AudioQuest DragonFly Black but what it lacks in go anwhere utility, it more than compensates us with broader connectivity – coaxial, TOSLINK and USB – and a tonally richer, weightier sound.… Read the full article

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Schiit Modi 3 DAC review

By | November 29th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

What can you buy for a hundred bucks? A month of takeaway coffees. Four vinyl LPs. Or a DAC – a digital to analogue converter – from Californian hi-fi company Schiit Audio. Their name is a Dad joker’s dream ticket; so brace yourselves.

This metal box is called the Modi. According to Norse mythology, Modi (‘brave’) was son of Thor. In the Schiit DAC world, this is Modi’s third outing, this time with three inputs: USB, coaxial and TOSLINK. Digital in, analogue out for a highly affordable US$99!… Read the full article

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PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player and DirectStream DAC Review

By | November 27th, 2018|Categories: Dagogo|Tags: , , , , |

PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player/Transport

The CD transport would make an interesting business school case study. Its market performance over the years has seemingly had relatively little to do with the product’s own identity and functionality and has instead been at the mercy of the shifting winds of how high-end audio approached digital playback. Briefly: early consumer CD playback was via CD players, which served what we later came to view as the separate transport and DAC functions. Digital output via TOSlink and S/PDIF as interface protocols were offered subsequently.

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A short film about the Chord Qutest

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

Value for money isn’t the preserve of inexpensive products — it can exist at any price point. Chord Electronics’ Hugo 2 is a DAC that edges out similarly-priced rivals on detail retrieval and spatial cues to take up residence in a many a two-channel enthusiast’s hi-fi system, seemingly flying in the face of its internal rechargeable battery and high-quality headphone output that give users go-anywhere possibilities. Where we go, Hu-go. That spells Value with a capital V, italicised and emboldened.… Read the full article

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PS Audio announce Snowmass update for DirectStream

By | November 12th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

PS Audio’s DirectStream DAC is like no other DAC. We might best think of it as an audio computer where between its suite of digital inputs – that includes an optional Roon/Spotify enabled streaming board – and its discrete DSD-decoding output stage sits not an off-the-shelf D/A chip but an FPGA that runs code written by one Ted Smith.

And that same code is also field updatable. Just as upgrades to the likes of Audirvana Plus and JPlay can bring improved sound quality to Macs and Windows PCs deployed as digital transports, software updates to the DirectStream DAC can also elevate its sound quality.… Read the full article

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Mytek teases Brooklyn Bridge streaming DAC

By | November 5th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

On my office desk sits a most well-connected DAC — a book-sized slab of electronics with options for MQA, DSD, analogue or digital volume attenuation, Apple remote control hijack, single-ended or balanced outputs; on the rear panel for connection to an amplifier (like the Mytek Brooklyn Amp) and on the front for driving low- or high-impedance headphones. Heck, it even has an MM phono stage. That DAC is the Mytek Brooklyn Plus. US$2195. Review here.

If I want to stream digital audio to the Brooklyn Plus, I must call on a third party device for hook-up to one of the Plus DAC’s numerous digital inputs: USB (hello Sonore microRendu), coaxial (hello ALLO DigiOne), TOSLINK (hello JustBoom DigiHAT) or AES/EBU (hello AURALiC Aries G1).… Read the full article

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