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>> Breadcrumb :/Tag:personal audio

Ultimate Ears Live In-Ear Monitor:  King of the Hill

By | January 28th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.

LOUDSPEAKERS

Marten Bird Loudspeakers, Marten Duke 2 Loudspeakers, and REL Stadium III subwoofer.

ELECTRONICS

E.A.R. 324 phono preamplifier, two E.A.R. 890 amplifiers (ran as monos), E.A.R. 534 stereo amplifier, E.A.R. 912 Professional preamplifier, E.A.R. 834L tube line stage, E.A.R. HP4 headphone amplifier, Grado Battery headphone amplifier, and KingRex headphone amplifier.

SOURCES

Analog: E.A.R. Disk Master Turntable with two Helius Omega Tonearms.

Cartridges: Koetsu Rosewood Signature, London Reference and Grado Statement1.… Read the full article

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Fiio Redefines Performance-to-Price With Three New Digital Audio Players

By | January 14th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m rapidly developing a reputation as a Fiio fanboy. The thing is, I put a fair amount of effort into cultivating a relationship with them at a point when they were just really cracking into the North American market. And now, suddenly, they’re responsible for a rapid-fire release of multiple product offerings that are not only functionally beautiful, but loaded with audiophile features, and priced very attractively: what’s not to love? I’m a fanboy of any manufacturer who offers great products with cutting-edge technology, especially when they’re presented at prices I (or just about anybody else) can easily embrace!Read the full article

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The Fiio FH-5 In-Ear Monitors, with the LC-4.4C Balanced Cable

By | January 3rd, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.

LOUDSPEAKERS

Primary System: Zu Audio Omen Dirty Weekend Edition (stereo pair), Zu Audio Omen Dirty Weekend Bookshelf (single speaker for center channel and mono playback), REL T1 powered subwoofer, Definitive Technologies Powerfield 1500 subwoofer.

Secondary System: Magneplanar MMGs modded with custom-built stands and Peter Gunn’s (of Audio Asylum notoriety) custom outboard crossover mods (the crossovers cost more to build than the speakers cost second hand!), Klipsch RB-3 Compact Monitors, Audioengine A5+ Powered Loudspeakers, Audioengine B2 powered Bluetooth Speaker.… Read the full article

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The Fiio Q5 Portable Headphone Amplifier/DAC – Now With the New AM3B Amplifier Module

By | August 14th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Fiio Q5

As Fiio continues their push into higher-performance personal portables (and into the US market!), they’re releasing some technologically remarkable products that perform at a shockingly high level. And at price points that tend to be well below the cost of completing brands like AK, HiFiMan, and Sony. I’m continually impressed by the performance of the Fiio products I’ve had the pleasure to review over the last couple of years; they truly push the envelope for exceptional sound quality with cutting-edge features and at a price point that anyone can afford.… Read the full article

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Ultimate Ears Pro 18+ Custom IEMs – 3rd Edition

By | August 12th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

With their headquarters based in sunny-side California, Ultimate Ears was initially founded in 1995 by Jerry and Mindy Harvey. The former of which has played such an influential role in the design of headphones that within just a few years of UE’s induction, The Rolling Stones, Enrique Iglesias, and Faith Hill were loyal customers. A decade later, the company was acquired by Swiss electronic giant Logitech. Though an initially controversial move, the vice president of headphones, Phillipe Depallens, claimed that even with Jerry Harvey’s departure they have still managed to produce some of the best in-ear monitors the market has ever seen.… Read the full article

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Acoustic Research M200 High Res Audio Player

By | June 15th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.

LOUDSPEAKERS

Vandersteen Quatro Wood Carbon. Reimer Speaker Systems Tetons (with the Hi-Vi Isodynamic Planar tweeters and series crossovers) heavily treated with Marigo VTS Dots. 

ELECTRONICS

PS Audio BHK 250 amplifier, PS Audio BHK Signature preamplifier. Channel D Lino phono stage, and the Heed Thesis phono stage. DEQX PreMate + (preamp) Marantz 2230 receiver, and the Kora integrated.

SOURCES

Digital: PS Audio DirectStream DAC and DirectStream Memory Player, DEQX PreMate +, Mytek Brooklyn, Mytek Manhattan II, and an Oppo BD-105.… Read the full article

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RMAF 2017: Headamp Introduces the Gilmore Lite 2

By | November 16th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

headamp3

Headamp always has their great Blue Hawaii and GS-X amplifiers sounding excellent at RMAF but this year was an introduction of the much more affordable Gilmore Lite 2 at $499 USD.  Shipping in a few weeks time, this amp really impressed me for its price point.

This device uses the same circuit (!) as their flagship dynamic amp the GS-X Mark II driving even difficult magnetic planar designs with 1.5W of pure Class-A power. The casework is superb but the amber light on the front gives almost an industrial/steam punk kind of vibe.… Read the full article

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Shinola launches new Canfield Headphone Collection

By | November 14th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Shinola-FEATURED

The good people in Detroit at Shinola are keeping very busy indeed. The hand built leather goods, watchmaker, lifestyle products, and high fidelity stereo company has just announced they are entering the headphone market with four new models to choose from in the Canfield Collection.

Following the great success of their Runwell turntable, and  Runwell Bookshelf loudspeakers, Shinola is swinging for the fence once again in the audiophile/lifestyle market with two new over-ear headphones, and two In-Ear Monitors to choose from.… Read the full article

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World Premier Review of the Astell&Kern SP1000 A&ultima Series High-End Music Player

By | August 22nd, 2017|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Astell & Kern SP1000 A&ultima

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York has a slogan. “The improbable will be done right away. The impossible takes just a little longer.” The Astell&Kern SP1000 A&ultima Series High-End Music Player (or Digital Audio Player – DAP) took just a little longer to develop, but the impossible has been achieved. This sonic and technical tour de force still fits in the palm of your hand. Even the price is right, with no price increase over the last herculean effort from A&K in their AK-380, but providing a major leap in performance.… Read the full article

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Fiio X5 Gen III Digital Audio Player with F5 Balanced In-Ear Headphones: Great Sound at an Entry-Level Price Point

By | August 21st, 2017|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Last year I reviewed Fiio’s M3 DAP, which broke the mold and set new standards for great-sounding, CD-quality, microscopically sized DAPs at the sub-$100 USD price point. But if you wanted a more full-featured unit—especially on a budget—you were basically out of luck, with the only real competition starting at about the $500 USD mark. And if you want anything that most people consider truly respectable, try quadrupling that figure (at the time) for an Astell and Kern or the like.Read the full article

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