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Well Pleased AV, Innuos and QLN – RMAF 2018

By | October 10th, 2018|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , , |

As I came upon the Well Pleased AV room on the 5th floor of the short tower of the Marriot Tech Center, I could hear the familiar drone of Eddie Vedder’s voice calling to me from the hallway. The track was Long Nights from the Into the Wild soundtrack. An interesting pick, considering it wasn’t the “hit” or even one that gets played very often.

But Mr. Vedder sounded clean and clear, more “right there”, less haze, and more immediacy than most I had heard that weekend.… Read the full article

RMAF 2018: Innuos Statement at Well Pleased AV

By | October 7th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Well Pleased AV was showcasing some spectacular sound, courtesy of some Qln loudspeakers, their Prestige Three floor standers. Some details: 8Ω, 87dB, down to 28Hz, $9,999/pair. Unassuming appearance, but with spooky-good imaging, the Qln speakers made the music eye-poppingly entertaining, and the overall sound in the room was a strong entry for best-in-show.

The other leading-role lineup in this room included the LinnenberG Telemann Pre ($5,600), the LinnenberG WIDOR amplifier ($19,000 — 150w @ 8Ω/250 @ 4Ω), an Aqua Hi-Fi Formula xHD DAC ($16,500), a Gigawatt PC-4 EVO+ power conditioner (10,300), and a whole loom of Swisscables.… Read the full article

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The sunset makes a fence out of the forest

By | July 30th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

We didn’t see the wood for the trees.

The trees?

In April, Innuos announced their two-box ZENith Statement streamer/server.

A month later, the Portuguese manufacturer demonstrated the prowess of the new flagship model at Munich High-End 2018 by A/Bing it against the ZENith MKII SE (review here). Their MOC demo system was arrestingly simple: a BXT-loaded pair of Kii Three actives controlled by a Kii Remote.

The difference between the two Innuos units was clearly audible to anyone in attendance, yours truly included.… Read the full article

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AXPONA 2018: Best of The Show, Wrap-Up, and Why I am an Audiophile

By | June 12th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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(From most high to least high) David Solomon, Steve Guttenberg, Eric Franklin Shook

Audio shows are more than new gear releases and demonstrations to me. They are a chance to connect with the strange personalities that embody what it means to be an eccentric. Sometimes our interests can be socially unfortunate, but it’s during these few moments of the year at audio shows where we audiophiles can feel normal in our priorities, lusts, and musical tastes.

AXPONA 2018 proved to be our largest display of geekdom yet.… Read the full article

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Innuos introduce ZEN MK3 music servers

By | May 16th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

Portugal’s Innuos continue their push for the broader appeal of dedicated low noise digital audio supply with a smart and professional approach to audio show presentations that don’t bewilder curious newcomers with endless tech talk – it’s there if you want it but only after CD-ripping and a user-friendly OS have made first contact.

Sporting fully-branded attire at Munich High-End 2018, the highly personable Innuos team walked visitors through their disarmingly simple range of MK3 servers with the recently announced Statement model enjoying very favourable A/B comparisons with the ZENith MKII SE in the adjacent prefab listening room.… Read the full article

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Innuos announce ZENith Statement server/streamer

By | April 11th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , |

Last year we positively raved about the ZENith MKII SE from Portugal’s Innuos. Limited to 100 units, the Roon-capable server/streamer extracts the very best performance from every DAC it touches. That includes DACs used by this commentator since the MKII SE review, further cementing my belief that one’s digital budget should be split more evenly between source and DAC.

And yet the best Innuos streamer/server is about to get a whole lot better. The forthcoming ZENith Statement is a two-box digital source for high-end-flying audiophiles.… Read the full article

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DAR’s favourite bits of 2017

By | December 28th, 2017|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

This (and not that). Filtering (and not just summarising). Explaining why. Just as the Sieve of Eratosthenes removes all divisible numbers to leave only prime, choosing the best audio products of 2017 is a process of elimination – one that leads us to the prime cuts of the year (just as it did last year).

Remember though: awards are more than a bit silly. Best amplifier below ten grand? Assuming best even exists, no reviewer on the planet has the time to hear/audition more than a handful in any given price range.… Read the full article

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Capital Audiofest 2017: Well Pleased AV takes us backstage

By | December 10th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , |

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Death, Taxes, and Good Sound from Well Pleased AV. Three things in life you can be assured of. I say this because in typical fashion Mark Sossa has brought us something new to gawk at and exhibited it with showstopping results. Namely his latest addition of Rethm loudspeakers. Mark was demoing a system of familiar electronics carried over from previous audio shows in 2017, and the new entry level Bhaava loudspeakers from Rethm. At the heart of the Bhaava tower is a retro 7” Boston/Philips Hi-Q driver, a transducer underutilized in its heyday, now finding new life in a horn loaded tower.

Read the full article

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Richer sounds with the Innuos Zenith MKII SE

By | October 31st, 2017|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , |

DAC manufacturers and their marketing departments like to KISS: to keep it simple, stupid. Their DAC’s clock and data buffers will eradicate any jitter. USB port galvanic isolation and/or internal power supplies will minimise electrical noise disturbances. The implication is that said DAC’s sound remains independent of source; any PC/Mac/streamer will do.

It’s a nice idea – but reality tells us that the romantic appeal is short-lived. Experience debunks the theory to show us first hand that no two digital sources sound alike.… Read the full article

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QLN, Audio Hungary, Aqua, Innuos, AntiCables: Leave Us Well Pleased – RMAF 2017

By | October 13th, 2017|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , |

by Eric Shook

Another Unassuming Room Wows Again.

Small rooms with small speakers don’t always draw the biggest crowds, and that’s a really sad thing, because more than a fair share of my favorite rooms at audio shows are the under 60 watt amplifier, bookshelf speaker, and simple system variety. There’s a good market for bedroom or second room systems out there. Also, systems for people who don’t want the imposing presence of audio equipment as it pertains for living room decor.… Read the full article

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