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Amphion Argon 3S loudspeakers | Review

By | February 9th, 2019|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , |

Amphion Argon 3S

Better living through chemistry

As a practicing chemist (or rather, “purveyor of chemical knowledge”), I’m quite keen on all things chemistry. My interest was piqued, therefore, several years ago when I first noticed the offerings of the Finnish company Amphion. As far as I could tell, the operation crafted speakers for both the pro audio and high-end consumer communities, and more importantly, they named their home audio products after chemical elements!

Yes, lots of companies do this sort of thing. Haven’t we all seen the “silver, gold, or platinum” edition of this product or that?… Read the full article

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Naim Uniti Atom All-In-One Audio System | Review

By | January 20th, 2019|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , |

“All in one, and one for all!” Wait, what? Ha! You’ve just been introduced to my new tagline for Naim Audio’s nifty combined audio system, the Uniti Atom. It’s an all-in-one audio system, as in high-end meets lifestyle. As in “I want this thing, and so should everyone else.”

So let me explain…

I’ve dealt with combined audio systems before. I suppose I’m a bit biased against them, but for no good reason. Audiophile purist snobbery perhaps? Maybe my issues hearken back to my youth, when brick and mortar department stores like Montgomery Ward or J.… Read the full article

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CAF 2018: Harbeth, Rogers Fidelity, Acoustic Signature and the Experiment

By | November 25th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

You may have already read about the great mystery in Room 323 at the Capital Audiofest from Eric Franklin Shook of PTA and David Blumenstein from Dagogo. These two audio scribes conducted a sonic experiment of sorts, borne from the idea that something in the sound of this system—Rogers Fidelity 34S1 amplifier and PA-1A phono stage, Harbeth 30.2 Anniversary loudspeakers, Acoustic Signature Double X turntable, Bel Canto DAC, Accusound cables and Wolf Audio music server—didn’t quite click.

Eric approached me first—he knew I was a big Harbeth fan and thought I’d be particularly interested in the changes he and David made to the system.… Read the full article

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Command Performance AV; Focal, Naim, EAT – CAF 2018

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

Focal

This was by far my favourite budget system of Capital Audiofest 2018. If you consider it’s a complete system which includes Focal and Naim and clocks in at just a hair under $18K, if you don’t count in the component rack and audio cables.

When so much of the audio show can be a rattling cage full of systems with most individual components costing $20K alone, to see a more down to earth budgeted system at a show, is more than a breath of fresh air.Read the full article

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Audio Advice: Music Matters 2018, and 40th Anniversary Celebration

By | October 15th, 2018|Categories: Analog planet, Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

audio-advice-000191

Audio Advice celebrates forty years in business by pulling out all the stops during their annual Music Matters event.

Music Matters, is an annual celebration of music listening. However this year is an extra special event as Audio Advice not only celebrates their love of music, but also 40 years in business. With nearly twice as many brands as usual on hand to meet with customers and demonstrate some of the most exciting audio gear on the planet, everyone was ready for this year’s event to be bigger than ever.… Read the full article

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Qobuz x Electronica for Audiophiles

By | September 27th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

French streaming service Qobuz will soon launch in the USA. On sound quality, their standard tier is similar to Apple Music or Spotify: lossy compressed that’s called lossy for a reason. Of greater interest/import to those who care for greater audio nourishment is Qobuz’s Hifi tiers that offers CD-quality streaming – no data is thrown away. For hi-res fanciers upping to Qobuz’s Sublime tier, data rates are higher than Tidal’s MQA-powered Masters streaming but call for no MQA-capable DAC.

Whatever your streaming quality preference, there exist numerous ways in which to listen to Qobuz at home or on the go.… Read the full article

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CEDIA 2018: QOBUZ launching in USA, Roon support coming

By | September 8th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , |

We are making our first trip to CEDIA to mix it up this year. CEDIA is home to more than 20,000 home tech pros and 500+ exhibitors who convene to geek out on the latest in connected technology. Internet of things (IoT) devices are invading our homes and more and more all of our prized audio systems are getting connected. In my house it is “Alexa turn on turntable” to get some tunes rolling on my control system.

Our first CEDIA stop, paying a visit to David Solomon, Chief Hi-Res Music Evangelist at QOBUZ.… Read the full article

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EISA awards 2018/19 ring the bell for Future-Fi

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

EISA. The European Image and Sound Association is a conglomerate of (some of) the world’s finest tech journalists who annually bestow awards on the best in in-car electronics, mobiles devices, home theatre, photography and hi-fi equipment, the latter being our focus here.

The EISA award winners in the hi-fi category for 2018/19 are as follows:

  1. Micromega M-One M150 for ‘High-end innovation’
  2. Focal Clear for ‘High-end headphone’
  3. Sennheiser HD660S for ‘headphone’
  4. Harman Kardon Citation 500 for ‘Smart loudspeaker’
  5. Q Acoustics 3050i for ‘Best buy loudspeaker’
  6. ELAC Adante AS-61 for ‘Loudspeaker’
  7. Technics SL-1200GR for ‘Turntable’
  8. Chord Electronics Hugo 2 for ‘DAC’
  9. Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra for ‘Streamer’
  10. NAD M32 for ‘High-end amplifier’
  11. Pioneer A40-AE for ‘Best buy amplifier’
  12. Primare I15 Prisma for ‘Amplifier’
  13. Yamaha R-N803D for ‘Stereo receiver’
  14. Marantz ND8006/PM8006 for ‘Stereo system’
  15. Dali Callisto 6C & Sound Hub for ‘Wireless system’
  16. Naim Uniti Atom for ‘All in one system’
  17. Denon CEOL N10 for ‘Compact music system’
  18. Pro-Ject Juke Box S2 for ‘Analogue music system’
  19. iFi Audio xDSD for ‘Portable DAC/headphone amplifier’

That’s the news but what’s the story?… Read the full article

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15 ‘must-hear’ super-integrated amplifiers

By | July 17th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Go hard or go home. The clarion call of the maximalist audiophile compiling an audio system for ultimate sound quality irrespective of its floor- and rack-space requirements, the hairball of interconnects that joins one component to another or the numerous credit card swipes that brings them home – see above. A solid understanding of how to mix and match components is mandatory. Understanding equates to experience. Experience takes time.

Enter the minimalist, drawn to audio systems where the box count is driven south for shorter signal paths, fewer interconnects and fewer power cables.… Read the full article

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Wheel love with the Naim Uniti Atom

By | July 13th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

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

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