September 2019
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A short film about the Schiit Freya +

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

The shortest distance between two points? That’s a straight line. In the hi-fi world, Occam’s Razor and financial prudence cast that shortest distance for digital audio enthusiasts as DAC with volume control wired directly into the back of a power amplifier or pair of active loudspeakers.

In my case, that’s the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge (US$2999) firing straight into the back of a pair of ELAC Navis ARB-51 (US$2000/pair). The resulting sound is quite a bit more resolving than the ELAC’s internal streaming module + DAC chips that are fed by the outboard Discovery Connect DS-C101W-G streamer (US$399).… Read the full article

Samsung Q90R and Q70R Soundbars with Dolby Atmos

By | September 19th, 2019|Categories: Av2day|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Pushing Above the Competition

by Venoth Nair


To usher in the new age of AV which currently revels with the birth of new visual formats such as HDR and Dolby Vision, the surround component has also been given a new flavour with the introduction of Dolby Atmos. Atmos which is an object-based surround format extends the periphery of surround sound by adding overhead channels to mix. These overhead channels introduce a sensational feeling of being in the thick of it, especially during epic sequences in blockbuster movies.… Read the full article

The McIntosh MHA150 is more than meets the eye

By | September 16th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

McIntosh Labs is, by all accounts, an iconic audio firm. Throughout their 70 years of operation, McIntosh gear has been reviewed countless times and their history thoroughly documented in a number of places – see former employee Roger Russell’s meticulous website coverage for what must be a definitive take on the subject.

I grew up listening to a MAC1700 receiver (from the late 1960s). That relatively modest McIntosh product, its tube tuner imbuing the numerous local jazz stations of the era with a strong sense of tone.… Read the full article

HIFI CRITIC Reviews Valhalla 2

By | September 12th, 2019|Categories: Nordost|Tags: |

Over the years, our Valhalla 2 range has captured the attention and praise of reviewers from the most highly respected publications in our field. Now, six years after its release, audiophiles are still shocked at the improvements V2 brings to their systems. In the most recent HIFI CRITIC issue, reviewer Andrew Harrison shares the transformation he experienced in upgrading his system from Valhalla to Valhalla 2 cabling:

“Valhalla 2 cables bring an extraordinary upgrade, addictively communicating the essence of music. The essential speed and transparency of Valhalla has been preserved, but with a more dynamic and tonally authentic sound in V2.Read the full article

Retro sound with JBL’s L100 Classic loudspeaker

By | September 8th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , |

Still retro in looks, the JBL L100 Classic’s heritage snakes back to 1970. Its role in those Maxell TV ads (here & here) lives on. “Night on a Bare Mountain”, the music used in the UK spot, was first to sound forth for this review. “Ride of the Valkyries” was used for the US version. Both are good markers for the revised JBL’s sound: big & bold.

The original L100 was JBL’s biggest seller of all time. The L100 Classic is that loudspeaker reinterpreted for the 21st Century.… Read the full article

Audioengine A2+ Review

By | August 26th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

Audioengine A2+ Review


The Audioengine A2 desktop speakers have been on “the scene” as long as the iPhone has been in existence. Though the iPhone has seen many iterations (and features, like a headphone jack) come and go, the Audioengine in my memory hasn’t changed much since it’s fall of 2007 release. What is new for the Audioengine A2+ Wireless is the addition of Bluetooth aptX.

What remains the same, and thankfully so, are the many features of the original A2 design that initially made it a hit, and kept the A2 platform in the conversation about desktop audio solutions for over a decade.… Read the full article

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dCS’ Network Bridge is ‘affordable’ excellence

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

Aston Martin, purveyor of upmarket automobiles; a brand that is synonymous with consumer desire, with James Bond glamour and with excellence. We pay a pretty penny but the best things in life don’t come for free (well, mostly).

This British car manufacturer once offered a small car, the Cygnet, for £30k. Hardly bargain basement pricing but certainly more affordable than their main range of models that started at £120k. As a rebadged Toyota IQ with Aston Martin branding, the Cygnet fooled no one.… Read the full article

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A Schiit Shootout – 5 Turntable Cartridges Compared!

By | August 14th, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , |

Grado Black 2, Nagaoka MP11, Micro-Acoustics 2002e, Decca Mk. V Maroon and Dynavector 10x5 review.

It was another warm Thursday afternoon where I found myself heading up to Newhall, CA to test out another round of gear at Schiit Audio’s retail establishment appropriately called the SchiitR. The subject of today’s scrutiny was a bit of twist however, as the budget-friendly audio company is in preparation for the launch of their first turntable called the Sol.

The long-anticipated turntable will not ship with a stylus/cartridge, so the team of all things Schiit reasonably predicated that it would be a cool experience to put some options back-to-back though a full loom of their own gear – starting with Sol and ending with a pair of Magnepan 1.7i ($2k) loudspeakers.… Read the full article

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Stereonet UK Reviews the Blue Heaven Tonearm Cable

By | August 8th, 2019|Categories: Nordost|Tags: |

We are pleased to share a great review that was posted last month on Stereonet UK Edition. Jay Garrett’s review is a comprehensive and detailed look at Nordost’s Blue Heaven Tonearm Cable. Once again, our Leif family does not disappoint! Upgrading the tonearm cable is the easiest way to ensure that you are getting the best possible performance from your turntable. See what the Blue Heaven Tonearm Cable can do for your analog rig today!

“The Nordost Leif Blue Heaven Tonearm Cable has made a noticeable difference to the sound quality we’re getting from our turntable.

Read the full article

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The exquisite Revel M126Be standmount loudspeaker

By | July 26th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

HI. HARMAN International is part of the mighty Samsung empire, having been swallowed in 2017 for an estimated $8bn. Who said there’s no money in audio? Revel is part of the HI group, but unlike Mark Levinson, Arcam, and others, it began life within HI as a high-end startup rather than an acquisition. That gave Revel access to huge resources from the outset. Perhaps no surprise that it flourished.

New products continue to flow at a healthy rate. That includes the two-strong PerformaBe range.… Read the full article

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