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>> Breadcrumb :/Tag:Video

Chord DAVE vs. PS Audio DirectStream?

By | January 16th, 2019|Categories: DAR, Head-Fi|Tags: , , , , , , , |

PS AudioDirect Stream vs Chord DAVE? The thirst for comparative data no doubt stems from both DACs’ use of an internal FPGA instead of an off-the-shelf DAC chip to handle data marshalling and upsampling as well as decode preparation and execution. But it’s the software that matters most. In the PS Audio, the mathematics comes from Ted Smith. In the Chord unit, from Rob Watts.

Both DACs offer a choice of balanced and single-ended outputs and pre-amplifier possibilities. Both offer USB, TOSLINK and BNC (on the DAVE) / coaxial (on the DirectStream) digital inputs.… Read the full article

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

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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Michael Zähl – from Conny Plank to Mark Ernestus

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

Best of 2018? We’ve done the professional. What about the personal? For that, we journey back to late April and a Kreuzberg kitchen. Serving tea is Mark Ernestus whose pioneering work with Moritz von Oswald as Basic Channel and Rhythm & Sound isn’t up for discussion. Not tonight. And not three months later at Berlin’s HAU Theatre sitting on a panel with Tresor founder Dimitri Hegemann, Underground Resistance’s (‘Mad’) Mike Banks and the Night Mayor of Detroit, to discuss how, during the Nineties, techno jumped from its Motor City birthplace to the German capital.… Read the full article

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Cables & consistency

By | December 11th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

Tell the Average Joe not versed in the double trouble of electrical noise and jitter that you dropped US$350 on a USB cable and s/he’ll likely question your sanity. Audiophiles know what Joe does not: that not all USB connections are born equal.

For this commentator, there’s no doubting the Curious USB cable’s audible superiority to vanilla wire – some of which doesn’t even meet the USB spec. The Curious also knocks out other audiophile-aimed offerings like AudioQuest’s Carbon. Old Yella lends music more pep, more detail and a better sense of space but without straying into the Carbon’s occasional brightness — a handful of reasons why the Curious has been my goto USB wire for the past three years.… Read the full article

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OnSight: a video view of the Linn Selekt DSM

By | December 10th, 2018|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

Boxen Gross. Big speakers? Not for this commentator’s first visit to the Kreuzberg hi-fi store of the same name. Instead, I’m here to meet one Guido Schuetze – Brand Ambassador for Linn in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – for an extended introduction to the Scottish company’s first foray into a more mainstream-friendly all-in-one device: the Selekt DSM.

At its heart, Linn’s Selekt DSM is a streaming DAC – with Ethernet, USB, 2 x TOSLINK, 2 x coaxial and HDMI ARC inputs – plus MM/MC phono stage with options for integrated 50wpc (into 8 Ohms) in-house-designed Class D power amplifier and/or upgraded Katalyst DAC.… Read the full article

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I’m chairman of the board!

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

“I’m bored.
I’m the chairman of the board.
I’m a Lincoln monologue,
I’m livin’ like a God,
I’m bored.”

— Iggy Pop


Hi-fi racks – we audiophiles use them to organise our components, to more attractively display them and, sometimes, to minimise the negative influence of vibrations, which not applied to mechanical devices like turntables but also electronics. Our amplifier and/or DAC’s circuitry can, to varying degrees, translate (airborne) mechanical vibrations into deleterious electrical noise – that’s microphony at work. The fewer the vibrations reaching our gear, the lower the electrical noise generated and the better the sound quality.… Read the full article

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Doorstop me if you think you’ve heard this one before…

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

“Stop me, oh, stop me
Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before
Stop me, oh, stop me
Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before
Nothing’s changed
I still love you, oh, I still love you
…Only
Slightly, only slightly less
Than I used to, my love”

— The Smiths


Microphony: where electronic devices turn mechanical vibrations into electrical noise. Tube amplifier owners and guitar amp rockers know the effects all too well.… Read the full article

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A short film about the Schiit Modi 3 DAC

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

“Saw it on the tube
Bought it on the phone
Now you’re home alone
With a piece of crap”

– Neil Young


The Modi 3 DAC. It’s a piece of Schiit  but it’s no piece of crap. Previewed (here) and reviewed with words and pictures (here), the Modi 3 might not have the portable prowess of the identically-priced AudioQuest DragonFly Black but what it lacks in go anwhere utility, it more than compensates us with broader connectivity – coaxial, TOSLINK and USB – and a tonally richer, weightier sound.… Read the full article

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EarSpace w/ Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature & Harbeth 40.2

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

New room, new broom, new possibilities and – for the hi-fi system owner – new challenges: standing waves and suck-outs in the low-end plus soundstage smear caused by wall, ceiling and floor reflections.

I’m now two years into my first Berlin apartment and I have my listening room dialled in so that it sounds pleasing to the ear but also looks and feels cosy enough to sit in when not listening to music. I work hard to keep the electronics tidy so that the room doesn’t appear overrun with audio gear and the (judiciously-placed) acoustic panels don’t have it looking like a sound lab.… Read the full article

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