March 2019
« Feb    
>> Breadcrumb :/Tag:Reviews

Have your Pi & eat it: Pro-ject’s Stream Box S2 Ultra

By | March 19th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

‘£600 is flipping expensive for a tarted up Raspberry Pi!’

Not quite the words of the forum poster but in line with the sentiment: that Pro-ject is ripping off customers by charging silly money for a Pi with open source software and a nice case. Fairy dust or what?

Actually, strip away the invective and we find a reasonable question. Pro-ject are quite open about the Stream Box S2 Ultra (Stream Ultra) being based on the (CM3 industrial version of a) Raspberry Pi running a customised Volumio operating system.Read the full article

A short film about the ELAC Navis ARB-51

By | March 14th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Instead of activating ELAC’s Uni-Fi series of passive loudspeakers (see here and here) celebrity loudspeaker designer Andrew Jones created an all-new active loudspeaker called Navis — formerly Argo.

“The original name, in full, was Argo-Navis. This based on a constellation and in keeping with nautical themes that we have chosen for recent naming conventions. It is in recognition of ELAC’s headquarters in Kiel Germany, an important sailing centre. Hence Vela (sail) and Carina (keel). We used Argo for short but were challenged by someone registering the Argo name after we started using it.Read the full article

Modern magic: Shanling’s $109 M0 DAP

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

Any accomplished photographer will tell you: the best camera is the one you have with you. A big expensive full-frame Canon is no doubt vastly superior to an iPhone’s in-built camera, but if the iPhone allows you to capture a beautiful sunset while the Canon sits at home on the shelf, which is the better camera at that moment? Similarly, if one stores a megabuck-DAP at home whilst frequently listening via a smartphone when on the go, something has gone awry.… Read the full article

Comments Off on Modern magic: Shanling’s $109 M0 DAP

A short film about the DALI Callisto 2C

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

What does a modern hi-fi system look like? If you’re Denmark’s DALI, a pair of active loudspeakers fed via a control hub fitted with a streaming module. No hi-fi rack full of amplifiers and DACs – they sit inside the loudspeaker – and no cable salad. In other words: unobtrusive.

Plus! The engineering prowess of a DSP crossover and an amplifier tailored to each driver’s input that no similarly configured and similarly priced passive loudspeaker system could touch. (Think about it: one of the most costly components of an outboard amplifier is its chassis).… Read the full article

Comments Off on A short film about the DALI Callisto 2C

Review: Auralic VEGA G1 Streaming DAC

By | February 20th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Auralic VEGA G1 Back Panel

The Auralic VEGA G1 DAC may take a little more explaining than your average DAC review but that’s because the proposition has evolved, just as the digital audio scene has. No longer just a digital converter from USB or SPDIF, the new VEGA is a DAC and streamer. The entire device is controllable from Auralic’s own Lighting DS app or as an endpoint for Roon, and the usual streaming services apply – even the recently launched Qobuz (for the US at least). … Read the full article

Comments Off on Review: Auralic VEGA G1 Streaming DAC

Gold Note CD-1000 MKII review

By | February 20th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

“You’ve got a what?!” said my ex-wife and daughter in unison. My son was even blunter: “Why are you reviewing obsolete technology?”. The object of their ire – Gold Note’s new CD player, the CD-1000 MKII. Did they have a point?

CD sales are struggling whilst streaming is powering ahead. And many with large CD collections have long since ripped them to a computer (haven’t they?) with the donor discs, at best, relegated to aesthetic service? And hasn’t the steady flow of new CD player models coming to market been reduced to a trickle?… Read the full article

Comments Off on Gold Note CD-1000 MKII review

Furutech ASB-1 Anti-static Brush

By | February 17th, 2019|Categories: Av2day|Tags: , , , , , , , |

A Clean Stroke of Genius

by Venoth Nair


When you’re a Malaysian, (like me) the biggest agony for us daily will be putting up with the dusty environment that we live in. The current thrust towards modernization has reared its ugliest downside which is the plumes of filth in our air which knows no end. This irritant affects everything under the sun, even us audiophiles with our equipment being coated in thick silt which aside from being an eyesore is also detrimental to our systems in more ways than one.… Read the full article

Comments Off on Furutech ASB-1 Anti-static Brush

A short film about the Innuos ZEN MK3

By | February 14th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

A custom motherboard (not off-the-shelf); a dual linear power supply from one Dr. Sean Jacobs; three asymmetrically aligned feet tuned to the resonant frequency of the chassis to combat microphonics — these are the core ingredients of the ZEN MK3 from Innuos, the middle unit in the Portuguse company’s current crop of server/streamers. Pricing starts at US$2599, €2099, £1899 for the full-width box (black or silver) fitted with an internal 1TB HDD. That’s mid-range 13″ MacBook Pro cash.

For those making use of the ZEN MK3’s in-built server functionality (UPnP, Sonos, Squeezebox, Roon), a larger hard drive might be required.… Read the full article

Comments Off on A short film about the Innuos ZEN MK3

Review: The ZMF Aeolus & Verite Headphones

By | February 5th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , , |

ZMF Headphones Aeolus Review

While the names for ZMF Headphones may get harder and harder to pronounce, its hard to deny that the bespoke manufacturer isn’t heading in the right direction. Founder Zach Mehrbach has two new headphones up to bat, the Verite ($2.5k) and the Aeolus ($1.2k). Both new cans follow much of the build and design signature of ZMF growing family of options, but each offer a different approach to high fidelity sound recreation. We slice and dice them both in our review here, and even rounded them out with the ZMF Pendant headphone amplifier.… Read the full article

Comments Off on Review: The ZMF Aeolus & Verite Headphones

A short film about the Meze Empyrean

By | February 1st, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

Headphones. Open-back. Planarmagnetic. High efficiency ([email protected]/1kHz). 31.6 Ohm input impedance. CNC-d aluminium structure. Carbon fibre upper headband with a winged leather lower headband to better distribute the headphone’s 430g. Rinaro-designed diaphragm (0.16g, 4650mm2) w/ two-part trace: switch-back for mid/bass, spiral for higher frequencies. Swappable earpads. €2999 all up with optional balanced cable going for €349. The full monty nudges three and a half large.

Those are the CliffsNotes on Meze Audio’s flagship headphone, the Empyrean, first caught by yours truly at Munich High-End 2018.… Read the full article

Comments Off on A short film about the Meze Empyrean