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Letters to the editor: Hegel’s SoundEngine explained

By | October 27th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

“Hello John,

I just finished watching the Hegel Video. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You make it look so easy…but I assume it isn’t; making it look easy is very hard as far as my experience goes.

I very much appreciate your non-audiophile take on things and the gentle winks and nods. I hope your audience can enjoy many more of these very well made longer form films in the future.

Your approach brings a very much needed breath of fresh air to audio gear coverage.Read the full article

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A short film about the Meze 99 Classics

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

Sunday, Sunday here again, tidy attire. You read the colour supplement, the TV guide.

Music on, hi-fi world off. With six and a half days of the week devoted to hi-fi reviewing – couriers, packing/unpacking, setups/configurations, listening, note-taking, write-ups, photo/video shoots and associated editing – Sunday morning calls timeout on the day job: a chance to lazily read a few chapters of a book, to sip on a (very long) black coffee – until it goes cold – and to sink into music behind headphones.… Read the full article

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IFA 2018: Sony launch €8500, 2.5kg DMP-Z1 Walkman

By | September 1st, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , |

At €8500/US$8000/£8000, the DMP-Z1 is easily Sony’s most expensive Walkman to date. The press release tells us that it is a battery powered device. From the accompanying press shots scream a large gold volume knob with neighbouring 4.4mm balanced and 3.5mm unbalanced headphone outputs.

However, only on the ground in Berlin at IFA 2018 do we get to see just how big and heavy the DMP-Z1 actually is. Sat in a glass case, the new Walkman fails to be dwarfed by Sony’s TA-ZH1ES desktop headphone amplifier and apparently tips the scales at a whopping 2.5kg (5.5lbs)!… Read the full article

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OnSight: a video view of Voxativ loudspeakers

By | August 30th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

‘Made in Berlin’. Voxativ’s latest marketing slogan is as true as it is obvious. The loudspeaker company’s headquarters sit just south of Tempelhofer Feld, a former Berlin airport turned public park and a literal stone’s throw from neighbouring HEDD Audio.

A visit to the Voxativ factory tells us that there is far more to this piano black loudspeaker company than first meets the eye.

Voxatix has a formidable reputation for making high-resolution, high-end passive loudspeakers. But those single drivers don’t come from Lowther; they are designed and made in-house from paper and wood by founder Holger Adler.… Read the full article

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We eat first with our eyes

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

What’s the biggest problem with digital audio? For this audiophile, it’s that there’s nothing to look at whilst listening. Vinyl playback gives us the turntable and its rotating record plus a large sleeve with liner notes. But with music streaming from across our home network or from the cloud, from server to streamer, the format itself is invisible. We can’t look at a FLAC file – only its metadata.

Some streamers address this issue. Both the Naim Uniti Atom and AURALiC Aries G1 show metadata on their front panel; as did the Logitech Squeezebox Touch (RIP).… Read the full article

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15 ‘must-hear’ super-integrated amplifiers

By | July 17th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Go hard or go home. The clarion call of the maximalist audiophile compiling an audio system for ultimate sound quality irrespective of its floor- and rack-space requirements, the hairball of interconnects that joins one component to another or the numerous credit card swipes that brings them home – see above. A solid understanding of how to mix and match components is mandatory. Understanding equates to experience. Experience takes time.

Enter the minimalist, drawn to audio systems where the box count is driven south for shorter signal paths, fewer interconnects and fewer power cables.… Read the full article

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The Music-First Audiophile and Spotify Connect

By | June 22nd, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Missing: Richard D. James. I Care Because You Do. Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2. Drukqs. Four downright essential Aphex Twin albums and nowhere to be found. Missing too was Prefab Sprout’s Crimson Red (from 2013) and Luna’s debut Lunapark (from 1992). Missing from where exactly? Tidal.

Despite an advertised 50 million+ songs, for this electronic/indie music fan there are holes in Tidal’s library. Filling in those blanks is Spotify whose Ogg Vorbis-encoded lossy streams cast it as the Coke Zero of music rental services.… Read the full article

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A short film about HEDD Audio

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

Fernsehdienst. In what was once an old TV and VCR repair station situated next to Berlin’s busy Ringbahn, Klaus Heinz, formerly of Adam Audio, makes active loudspeakers under the name HEDD – ‘Heinz Electrodynamic Designs’ – where custom built/doped mid/bass drivers get crossed over with an Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeter. Heinz’s AMT is an extension of the pioneering work done by quantum physicist Oskar Heil who reportedly had a keen interest in audio.

With Heil’s original AMT patent expiring in the early 1990s, Heinz applied his own engineering smarts to Heil’s design (and apparently much to Heil’s consternation).… Read the full article

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Not for everyone: Audeze Mobius @ Superbooth ’18

By | May 7th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

Audeze’s Mobius is a Bluetooth headphone with LDAC and AAC support that can also be fed (losslessly) over USB or via 3.5mm-terminated analogue wire. Per Audeze’s modus operandi, Mobius features a planar-magnetic driver, making it this Californian headphone manufacturer‘s most affordable closed-back over-ear headphone to date. That alone is enough to make the Mobius newsworthy.

However, Audeze isn’t only pitching Mobius to music lovers but to gamers. Internal digital signal processing (DSP) engine powers head-tracking software (from Waves) to create a virtual listening room.… Read the full article

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RME ADI-2 DAC @ Superbooth ’18

By | May 6th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

German company RME have been serving the pro audio community for over twenty years so it makes perfect sense that we find at Superbooth ’18. Less expected were the Audeze LCD-XC headphones sat atop their display table that effectively served as a lead-in to their latest product, a box aimed at the home hi-fi market.

Derived from their ADI-2 Pro, RME’s ADI-2 DAC (€999) drops the Pro’s analogue inputs and associated ADC for a streamlined DAC and headphone amplifier that, phono stage and MQA support aside, has the potential to take on the Mytek Brooklyn at half the money.… Read the full article

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