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>> Breadcrumb :/Tag:Video

A short film about CD playback w/ Hegel, PS Audio & Pro-Ject

By | April 10th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Life begins at forty? Not for the Compact Disc. The CD format was co-developed by Sony and Philips in 1979 but wasn’t shown to the public until 1982. The format picked up steam throughout the eighties to become the number one mainstream choice by 1990. Twenty-five years later, the CD is the music format equivalent of smoking indoors, its mid-nineties heyday as remote as a Counting Crows b-sides compilation.

CD sales have been in steep decline since 2008, giving way first to downloads and then to the now ubiquitous/dominant streaming services.… Read the full article

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High street life with the Ascendo Live 15

By | April 9th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

Engineer after engineer point to the impossibility of two loudspeakers recreating a live event at home. And yet some loudspeakers get closer others. One bass guitar-playing pal Down Under swore hard that the Zu Audio Omen sounded far more like his instrument of choice than did the KEF LS50. That’s likely a matter of tone. Zooming out to hear the full band, we look to the Zu’s higher dynamic contrasts as another approximator of live event truth.

I was reminded of these two trains of thought yesterday – high dynamics and heavy tone – as I sat down at Berlin dealer Max Schlundt for a brief listen to the Live 15 loudspeaker from Germany’s Ascendo. … Read the full article

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OnSight: an afternoon with MBL’s Jürgen Reis

By | April 2nd, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , |

Is it possible to recreate a live event with a pair of loudspeakers? Responding with a firm no and a cheeky smile is Jürgen Reis, MBL’s Chief Engineer of 35 years. A recent visit to the German manufacturer’s headquarters in Berlin saw yours truly sit down with Reis to get a beginner’s introduction to the MBL 101 Radialstrahler loudspeaker, their range of electronics, their customer base, how music has changed over the decades and – more importantly for this commentator – to pull back the curtain on the product design process.… Read the full article

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A short film about the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge & AMP

By | March 27th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Designed in Brooklyn, made in Poland, Mytek has removed the WCK IN/OUT and AES/EBU connectors from the rear of the Brooklyn DAC+ (review here) to make way for a 24bit/192kHz/DSD64-capable streaming board and a third Brooklyn: the Brooklyn Bridge (US$2995/€2995, previewed here).

The Brooklyn Bridge connects to a home network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi using the associated mControl smartphone app (iOS/Android), which in turn gives us direct access to cloud services – Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer and Spotify Connect – as well as local UPnP/DLNA and Roon servers.… Read the full article

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Being Frank about vinyl

By | March 21st, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , |

In the above photo, we see Frank Schröder, a Berlin-based tonearm manufacturer of over twenty years, sitting on my couch (in Mitte) and not on his own, 6 km away in Charlottenburg. He has just installed a Zu/Denon DL-103r to a Rega Planar 2 turntable — because if anyone in the world knows how to properly align a cartridge, it’s Schröder.

This Berliner made his first tonearm at 14 years old, sold his first tonearm at 17 years old and joined the world of high-end audio exhibitors in 1999 at the High-End event in Frankfurt (before it relocated to Munich).… Read the full article

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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

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HiFiMAN’s Bluetooth Ananda-BT come with a USB twist

By | March 6th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Ananda. For Buddhists, a state of extreme happiness. For Chinese headphone manufacturer, a mid-tier headphone model: full-size, circumaural and open back with the 1-2 micron-thick ‘NSD’ planar magnetic diaphragm easing power thirst. At 25 Ohms input impedance and 103 dB input sensitivity, the Ananda demands no muscle amp. Pretty much any portable player (or integrated amplifier headphone socket) would do.

But which player? The tyranny of choice wades into view with numerous options from Astell&Kern, Sony, FiiO, iBasso, Shanling, Pioneer, Onkyo, HiBy, Opus or HiFiMAN’s own offerings.… Read the full article

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Tangled up in Bluetooth

By | March 4th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Like music streaming services, Bluetooth audio sound quality is determined by the codec that carries digital audio (the music) from source to destination; from smartphone to wireless headphone.

Unlike music streaming services, Bluetooth audio offers no lossless option — at least not yet. All codecs used for Bluetooth audio transmission are lossy. Before music can be sent from smartphone to wireless headphone, its file size must be reduced to meet Bluetooth’s (lower) bandwidth requirements. A small part of the original file is discarded.… Read the full article

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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

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A short film about CanJam NYC 2019

By | February 25th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

With up to 100 exhibitors in tow, we might see Head-Fi.org’s CanJam as the travelling circus of audio shows. This headphone-centric audio show now runs in six cities around the world and throughout the year: Denver, Singapore, London, Shangai, Los Angeles and, on the second weekend of February, New York.

CanJam NYC is now in its third year and in 2019 attracted 65 exhibitors. No high-end headphone store on the planet could hope to match that level of product audition potential but with 2200 attendees spilling through the doors of the Marriott Marquis at Times Square, background chatter was bound to intrude upon definitive product assessment.… Read the full article

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