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True to source

By | June 9th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , |

Got the itch for a new piece of audio gear? Chances are you’ll visit your local hi-fi dealer for a demo. Will you take your measurement kit with you? Most dealers would tell you to take a hike. Like me, you probably neither own the hardware to take measurements nor the technical nouse to interpret the results. (And if you did, you’d probably find more satisfaction with another hi-fi publication).

On an in-store blind test to compare A and B, the dealer might be more accommodating…but is such a scenario realistic?… Read the full article

Freshly squeezed streaming!

By | June 5th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The dead don’t die. Logitech put a bullet in the Squeezebox Touch (pictured above) back in 2012 but the software ecosystem lives on: Logitech Media Server (LMS) continues to enjoy community development and distribution as a free download under a GNU GPL; software client SqueezeLite can be installed to turn the host device into a virtual Squeezebox, complete with hi-res audio support up to 384kHz and – even more crucial – gapless playback.

Squeezelite on a Raspberry Pi gives us a virtual Squeezebox for a fraction of the originals’ pricing.… Read the full article

When accuracy is overrated

By | May 28th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

What do large chunks of modern pop music (and techno, house and indie rock) and Munich High-End have in common? Both are LOUD. Modern music suffers from high levels of dynamic range compression. The Munich show delivers high levels of background noise. Pointing a camera and its microphone at an audio show and its conversational roar, in Munich multiplied and distorted by the echo of the M.O.C.’s exhibition halls, might be faithful to the real event but wait: is it enjoyable to watch/hear?… Read the full article

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KIH #67 – A change is as good as a rest?

By | May 22nd, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Definitive Audio, the distribution and retail arm of speaker house Living Voice, were relinquishing their long-standing Kondo franchise for the UK. “We have always followed our heart because that’s where music communicates. It is fundamental that we feel a powerful connection to the brands we represent. Over the years we have enjoyed a good working relationship with Kondo and it is now time for us to move on and make way for someone who feels as passionate about their new designs as we do about their originals.Read the full article

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How best to audition loudspeakers?

By | April 25th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

A bitter pill to swallow: every single piece of a loudspeaker system adds colour to the sound. Adding the most colour of all is the room — it’s the lens through which we hear our loudspeakers. Its colour isn’t fixed. By adding/removing furniture, acoustic panels and bass traps, we can shift its audible impact. And for those with uncorrectable shortcomings, time allows us to get to know the room’s characteristics – the lens’s optics – to better mentally separate its colour from the loudspeaker’s.… Read the full article

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In absentia: an AXPONA 2019 preview

By | April 11th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

AXPONA is the USA’s largest regional audio show. It takes place this weekend at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center in Chicago. I won’t be there. Ha! As with every year, this Stateside event is too close to Munich High-End to justify punching a 12-day hole in my review schedule: five days to get to and from Chicago; five days to report on what I saw; and two or three more days for the double dose of jetlag to subside.… Read the full article

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5 reasons why the iPhone is a poor choice for portable audio

By | April 5th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , |

Pragmatism vs. Idealism? I practice the former to show the latter the door. In the laptop world, that means Apple: a Macbook (Standard/Air/Pro) has been my primary work tool for the past 13 years. I tried switching back to Windows in 2018 with the Microsoft Surface Book 2. The hardware is terrific (coil whine aside) but the operating system (still) makes me twitch. Back to the Mac…

When it comes to smartphones, I’m not in love with Google’s Android operating system; that hardware providers and telcos are permitted to install their own software layer and/or apps spoils any UX consistency.… Read the full article

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Everybody knows…

By | March 31st, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: |

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded.
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.
Everybody knows the war is over.
Everybody knows the good guys lost.
Everybody knows the fight was fixed.
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.
That’s how it goes.
Everybody knows.

Read the full article

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F.U.S.E vinyl box set to sell for £300!

By | March 29th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Dimension Intrusion. A 1993 album from Richie Hawtin released under his F.U.S.E alias, first via his own Plus 8 imprint and later via Warp as part of their Artificial Intelligence series — electronic music refashioned for home listening with sci-fi movies a strong influence.

Twenty-five years on, original CD copies of Dimension Intrusion are still relatively easy to come by. The 2LP version not so much. Even harder to find are vinyl copies that haven’t done a tour of duty in a DJ box.… Read the full article

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