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Mum’s the word (until it’s not)

By | March 12th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , |

Coming up. Not Brit-rocking Suede’s third album but a paradoxical nod to the future where news items wouldn’t be news were we to announce them in advance. Still, the Internet generates a furious thirst among readers for more intel: “Do you know if Brand A is working on Product X?”; “When is Product X coming?”.

If I’ve no idea, the answer to such questions is easy: “I don’t know”. 

However, even if I do know, the answer is still: “I don’t know”.… Read the full article

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This Music-First Audiophile says “Thank You!”

By | February 23rd, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

A year ago, almost to the day – and with a professional working the camera – I dipped a tentative toe into pro-shot video production. The videos would be edited by yours truly, embedded in a text review to serve as a product preview (a more effective show and tell) with sound quality and comparisons reserved for the written word. Thank you, Olaf Von Voss for giving me the first push.

Then came Jana Dagdagan, fresh from her stint at Stereophile and keen to take on Darko.Audio’s video editing role.… Read the full article

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That’s Entertainment!

By | January 13th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

Darko.Audio’s biggest success of 2018 wasn’t website related. It took place over on YouTube where a collision of circumstances – a new contributor whose day job turned out to be a professional cameraman and the laying off of Stereophile’s video editor – saw yours truly kick video production into a higher gear.

I’d been shooting show reports and factory visits on a smartphone since 2016 but if videos were to stand in for the words and pictures found in feature articles, they would have to be shot and edited to a professional standard.… Read the full article

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Stand in the place where you live

By | December 29th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , |

“Stand in the place where you live
Now face north
Think about direction
Wonder why you haven’t before”

– R.E.M.

In the days sandwiched by Christmas and New Year, we find ourselves in the anteroom of the year ahead, looking back on the year soon to close. We sit between the future and the past.

Standmount loudspeakers coming my way in 2018 were evenly split between passive and active designs. From the former camp, the Harbeth Compact 7ES3, the ProAC Tablette 10 (and its Signature variant) plus a new found favourite in the DENSO Ten Eclipse 510Z MKII.… 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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Letters to the editor: KEF LSX, Mac Mini & music

By | November 3rd, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , |

“John — watching your LSX video, I had a eureka moment!  Some background, very briefly…  For years, I’ve been frustrated about the lack of Roon connectivity for the Naim Mu-so, which I use as a second sound system outside of my main lounge area.  Watching this video, I realized that I can use the same Chromecast hack with the Mu-so, which has both the optical in and the charging port!  

There has been lots of forum chatter about the lack of Roon on the Mu-so line, so maybe other readers will benefit from this insight. Read the full article

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Home is where…

By | October 25th, 2018|Categories: DAR, Home|Tags: , |


Home is where the heart is.

Home is where the couch is.

Home is where the coffee machine is.

Home is where familiar music lives on an hard-drive or on a shelf; indie/alternative rock and electronic, please.

Home is where a range of familiar audio hardware is stored: in the cellar, in the upstairs hallway and in a kitchen corner.

Home is where a loudspeaker’s interaction with the listening room is known.

Home is where review units arrive and leave.… Read the full article

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EarSpace w/ DeVore Orangutan Reference Four-Piece System

By | October 5th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , |

Jana Dagdagan (ex-Stereophile) is Darko.Audio’s video editor. She works pure magic with the already very good-looking raw footage sent to her by cameraman Olaf von Voss. Now she’s shooting her own.

This week, Dagdagan re-launches her own YouTube channel as EarSpace — videos dedicated to profiling hi-fi systems in situ, visually (with some very neat VFX) and aurally using a binaural head.

Dagdagan’s first EarSpace subject is John DeVore whose new Orangutan Reference Four-Piece System ($TBC) is launching as a prototype at the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, which starts today.… 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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Letters to the editor: Reader donations

By | May 29th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , |

A reader writes:

“Hi, John,

…Patreon. I’ve just pledged a couple of dollars to Steve Guttenberg for his daily Youtube videos and to The Majority Report – another youtube channel in the US. Seems like a great idea and a no-brainer to me as I get to directly support who I’m learning from, and $2 a month or $6 a month or whatever is so little, but if 500 people do that then, you’ve very quickly and easily got yourself a sizable and regular chunk of change.Read the full article

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