December 2018
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KIH #63 – Passive struggles, active solutions

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

Dynamically challenged? Being referred to as dynamic speakers makes the breed distinct from planars like classic MartinLogan, Quad and Magnepan. Following nomen est omen, one might conclude that dynamics would be a dynamic speaker’s greatest forté. But speaker designer Pat McGinty (of Meadowlark) explains why they’re more challenged than you might think.

He begins by explaining what creates the notion of slow bass. “Three common causes are poorly aligned vented enclosures, cheap drivers and elements that cause poor electrical damping.Read the full article

Letters to the editor: Videos vs. words

By | November 21st, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , |

It seems our Chord Qutest, ALLO DigiOne Signature and KEF LSX video reviews really pushed back the email floodgates. What follows is a selection of missives from Darko.Audio readers around the world arriving in the past few weeks.

Dominik H:

Hi John,

Thank you for your review of Qutest. Actually, I have learned about Chord products thanks to your previous reviews and went along the way using Mojo and then Hugo2 for my setup during the last 12 months.

A year ago I was all into hi-end headphones and portable DAC/amps, but then I realized I prefer convenience over absolute sound quality and ended up owning and using B&W PX’s over Audeze’s and Apple AirPods over Westone UM Pro’s.… Read the full article

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On pragmatism and positivity

By | November 15th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

Ten thousand dollars. In the nineties, it would have bought us 500 new release CDs. Twenty years down the line, that same $10K would buy us 1000 CDs or 500 new release LPs. That’s generously assuming a $20 unit price for new release vinyl and $10 for silver discs. Used vinyl LPs are cheaper – yes – but only if your thirst for new music came to a halt during the decade that brought us Peter Gabriel’s So (1985), Joan Armatrading’s The Key (1983) or Billy Joel’s Storm Front (1989).… Read the full article

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The look of love: Rega, iFi & Cabasse

By | November 8th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

In locating a new laptop we might look for the fastest CPU, the largest amount of RAM and the biggest hard drive. Hang everything else – performance is paramount.

Not every buyer works this way. Apple has built its Macbook success on selling last year’s hardware by offsetting any (perceived) performance hit with a sleeker shell, an increasingly lower-profile keyboard and a more elegant operating system. As many Alienware owners will attest, beauty remains in the eye of the beholder.

No matter what fibs we might tell ourselves, buying decisions aren’t based on performance alone.… Read the full article

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Pause for thought: Apple’s 2018 Mac Mini

By | October 31st, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

The king is dead. Long live the king? Apple first introduced us to the Mac Mini in 2005 but updates to the headless Mac platform stalled in 2014. Four years later, with some pundits doubting the Mac Mini’s long-term viability, Apple has announced a refresh where a Space Grey chassis (with the same footprint as earlier models) houses a choice of 8th-generation 6-Core or Quad-Core CPU, up to 64GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory, a quad of Thunderbolt 3-compatible USB-C ports, HDMI 2.0 and optional 10Gb Ethernet.… Read the full article

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By | September 25th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

“We have a busy week ahead”, said the middle manager opening another weekly team meeting. He continued: “A week full of exciting challenges and opportunities”. We heard his words as neither remarkable or mundane until some weeks later when we realised all managers at the firm uttered the same words at every team meeting. Over time, repetition undermined their words’ motivational impetus and blunted their import. Managerial speak had quickly curdled to cliché.

For the lazy or pressed for time, clichés can serve as a crutch.… Read the full article

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Darko.Audio podcast #10 – Accuracy

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

As the sun went down on Berlin, it came up in Portland, just as Jeff Dorgay and I convened across Internet wires, Macs and microphones for another episode of the Darko.Audio podcast. Monday’s Euro sunset turned in a spectacular performance – enough for me to interrupt podcast recording midway to take four shots with a Canon EOS 200D camera. See above (but also below).

Question time: how accurate is my photo? How close is it to the actual event?

Framing a shot crops out reality’s width and height to render it instanstly compromised.… Read the full article

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KIH #61 – Let’s get physical

By | September 18th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , |

RIP. Rest in peace. That’s what many have said or thought about CD already years ago. My recent encounter with the Jay’s Audio CDT2 MkII looked at this reality in perspective; another RIP. Yes, sales of physical CD are down; way down. But the Redbook standard behind them which etched those well-known 16-bit/44.1kHz values in stone remains in place for 99.9999% of all available music. Not only is CD resolution very much alive, it is the de facto status quo.… Read the full article

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Letters to the editor: Paying it forward

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

Nicolas P. writes:

I write in relation to the observations of some of your readers on the pros and cons of WiFi versus wired. Because of the layout of my house and the headache that would be caused setting up a wired network I have no choice but to use WiFi.

I use an Allo USBridge which feeds a Chord Mojo on my main system. The USBridge really allows the Mojo to shine. Because the Allo Sparky has no inbuilt WiFi, I have had to resort to using a dongle.… Read the full article

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