“The original name, in full, was Argo-Navis. This based on a constellation and in keeping with nautical themes that we have chosen for recent naming conventions. It is in recognition of ELAC’s headquarters in Kiel Germany, an important sailing centre. Hence Vela (sail) and Carina (keel). We used Argo for short but were challenged by someone registering the Argo name after we started using it.… Read the full article
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
“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 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
To describe the Kii Three as a pair of loudspeakers is to do then a gross disservice. Even calling them active loudspeakers, where DACs and bespoke-fit amplifiers sit inside each two-piece cabinet, sells them short.
The Kii Three stands alone with a unique proposition: loudspeakers that are as close to room agnostic as you’ll find anywhere and at any price. Guaranteeing consistent performance in almost ANY room – even small rooms – an internal DSP engine exploits noise cancellation to deliver a cardioid dispersion pattern for a large portion of the frequency spectrum with the end user customising low-bass output according to boundary proximity.… Read the full article
Naim review cliche #1: to headline the article with the pun-heavy “What’s in a Naim?”. It’s as tired as David Byrne features topped with “Still Making Sense”; a well-worn wink at the ex-Talking Head frontman’s most well-known eighties release (Stop Making Sense).
I’m as guilty as the next guy, headlining my coverage of the Naim Uniti Atom and Nova’s 2016 US debut with – you guessed it – “What’s in a Naim?”. Never again (is what I swore the time before).… Read the full article
Why do digital audio players exist? Simply put: because many smartphones just don’t sound very good. They aren’t designed to satisfy audiophile sensibilities. Furnishing the mass market with thinner smartphones loaded with more resolving cameras is a higher priority for manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola, Huawei and Sony than delivering better sound quality through the 3.5mm headphone socket. A socket that Apple kicked to the curb two years ago.
And so smartphone users looking for better sound quality on the go often resort to a second device: a dedicated portable music player that’s engineered to sound as good as possible and that, more often than not, adds support for hi-res audio.… Read the full article
M is for music that you already own.
In the business of DAC design, Schiit Audio’s Mike Moffat and Jason Stoddard aren’t fans of (what they call) the phantom formats that allow the music industry to endlessly recycle its golden years. Stoddard and Moffat mocked DSD with the (original) Loki and their ‘no, thank you’ on MQA is firmer than a drill sergeant’s handshake.
M is for Moffat.
Ask the charismatic duo about Femto clocks and you’ll likely receive an F-word laden reply: fa-fa-fa-fa-fashion.… Read the full article
Happy Accidents will happen (time and again). The entry-level IEM buyer doesn’t just hope for them, s/he depends on them. With so many lesser-known brands, notably from China, launching new models by the dozen, and daily, not even the most dedicated Head-Fi reader and/or full-time reviewer could keep abreast of developments.
For this porta-fi fiend splitting his time with two-channel gear, chance encounters with possible giant killers is often left to spare time, browsing comments sections and social media feeds. … Read the full article
Ninety degrees. The last loudspeaker to ask for a quarter turn from my pair of Atacama Nexus 6 stands was the Rogers LS3/5a. They’re wider than they are deep. This month, that very same stand turn angle has been executed once more for the identically-sized ProAc Tablette 10 (€1400/pair) – the British manufacturer’s tenth iteration of their smallest standmount, in production since 1979.
It isn’t just this new Tablette’s LS3/5a-aping dimensions (16cm deep, 19.5cm wide, 30.4cm tall) that mark the 10 out as wholly different to previous versions.… Read the full article