LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 11, 2016 8 comments
How much time do you spend at your bathroom sink? If the answer is "a lot", then Denon has a set of speakers for you. The HEOS 1 ($199/ea.) are wireless and Bluetooth endowed and can pass PCM resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz (AIFF and DSD support are coming soon). The HEOS app supports Internet Radio and a number of streaming services including the only one that really matters, Tidal.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 11, 2016 2 comments
I already covered the RoonReady ELAC Discovery Music Server DS-101 ($999) at CES 2016 (see ELAC Are On Fire!) so I'm only going to say one thing:
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 11, 2016 1 comments
I covered Nagra's Classic DAC ($14,995) at CES 2016 (see report) but I went into the Nagra room anyway because I like looking at, listening to, and ideally touching the Nagra gear.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 11, 2016 0 comments
I always enjoy my visit to the CAD room mainly because CAD's proprietor, Scott Berry, is an interesting guy to talk to and the system that finds his DAC paired with electronics and speakers from Boenicke Audio is a pleasure to listen to. His CAD 1543 MKII DAC (£7,200) is a R-2R resistor ladder DAC using 16 NOS Phillips TDA 1543/N2 chips (because the company "believes that sigma delta technology used in current DAC chips does not sound as natural as resistor ladder technology"). The CAD 1543, which supports PCM resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHZ, is non-oversmapling with no output filtering. I'd recommend a visit to the CAD website since it goers into some details about the company's approach to DAC design.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 11, 2016 2 comments
When I go into the dCS room at any hi-fi show, I know that two things are going to happen: I'm going to hear great music and it's going to sound great. The former, and in many ways the latter, are due to dCS' John Quick. While I often make fun and sometimes complain about the music played at hi-fi shows since it falls somewhere between absolutely dreadful, painfully cliché'd, and "Really? Are you kidding me?" (especially in Munich), some people actually enjoy music. John Quick enjoys music.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 11, 2016 0 comments
The Vermeer Audio Two Universal Control Center (€18,000) is a network-ready DAC/preamplifier offering digital (Ethernet, asynchronous USB, Toslink, AES, Coax S/PDIF) and analog inputs as well as a tube driven analog output stage with volume control. The Two can handle PCM resolutions up to 32-bit/284kHz and DSD64 and sends its converted bits out via analog RCA or XLRs.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 11, 2016 2 comments
Korea's SOtM (Soul Of The Music) had their new sMS-200 mini network player (about $450) on silent display. The tiny sMS-200 (105 x 53 x 150mm) is RoonReady (trending) while you can also run Logitech Media Server, Squeezelite, MPD & DLNA audio Renderer (not trending). If you Roon, all you need is a box running Roon Server attached to your music library and a USB cable to connect the sMS-200 to your DAC-O-Choice. The sMS-200 will be available in 1-2 months.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 11, 2016 0 comments
When attending hi-fi shows, you sometimes come across a product in-use in a number of rooms, something sitting there silently doing its job largely unheralded because it's not part of the system being highlighted (i.e. the company did not necessarily pay to have it put there). One such case in Munich was the preponderance of Melco servers. Here's a Melco server feeding the CH Precision C1 Reference Digital to Analog Controller (£18,500) and while I didn't keep count, because I'm an idiot, I think it's fair to say that Melco outnumbered any like device.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 11, 2016 0 comments
Playback Designs new Sonoma line consists of four products; Merlot DAC (€6,500), Syrah Music Server (€6,500), Pinot ADC (€7,500), and the OpBox Modification Kit for the Oppo Player (€1,050). As I tried to capture in images, the Sonoma line comes housed in a lovely, wavy-topped chassis and those waves were modeled from a photo of a mountain range inspired by the Sonoma mountains, i.e. wine country.

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