LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 14, 2013 0 comments
The Beast, "Der ultimative HighEnd Server", from ReQuest Audio of Switzerland is a music server and I must have lost the accompanying data sheet in my travels and have no other information besides "Coming Soon" on their website. Dammit! I do recall that ReQuest worked with MSB Technology and The Beast was on display in the MSB room. If I turn up more info, I'll update this pitiful post.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 14, 2013 0 comments
MSB Technology was pulling out all the stops with a stack of multicolored Analog DACs that Steve Plaskin recently reviewed (in just one color) very favorably. I'll be doing a follow-up review and the review sample Analog DAC is already here rarin' to go. If you're wondering why the follow-up, the reason is simple—interest. I wanted to hear the Analog DAC for myself after being repeatedly impressed at various hi-fi shows.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 14, 2013 5 comments
I was very happy to see and hear the Auralic Vega Digital Audio Processor ($3,500) that I so thoroughly enjoyed (see review) and continue to enjoy. The Vega was coupled with Auralic's Taurus preamplifier ($2,099) and two pair of Merak 400W monoblock amplifiers ($4,995/pair) driving a pair of YG Acoustics Sonja™ 1.2 speakers ($72,800/pair). All together, this system produced a clean, clear, and powerful musical portrait.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 14, 2013 0 comments
So often in Hi-Fi it’s as if we have no memory. Its as if we’re led around by the nose solely with whiffs of the latest and greatest (blame reviewers, I know). But there are companies and products out there that remind us of things past and Silbatone Acoustics (visit their website for a history lesson) is a champion among suchlike. For Munich 2013, Mr. Chung & Co. brought in a pair of Western Electric Mirrophonic theater speakers from 1936 and this room and this system not only reminds us of our shared hi-fi heritage, but it also serves to illustrate that progress in hi-fi is not always linear.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 14, 2013 0 comments
The active display in the Amphion consisted of a simple €10k setup featuring the Amphion Two15 professional monitors (€1500/each), Lindell Audio AmpX ($1,599.99), and the Antelope Audio Zodiac+ DAC/Preamp ($2,695). The desktop/near field (trendspotting again) strikes me as the new hi-fi frontier mainly because so many of us spend so much time in front of a computer monitor with terabyte-busting music collections of increasing quality. With speakers and systems like this Amphion-based rig, you can get exceptional near field performance without busting your bank account.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 14, 2013 0 comments
There's a whole bunch of buzz over the France-based totaldac components designed by Vincent Brient. There are a few versions of their R2R DAC including the totaldac d1-dual DAC (€9,900), totaldac d1-tube DAC (€6,960), and the d1-single DAC (€6,960). All of the versions can handle up 24/192 via asynchronous USB, Coax S/PDIF (BNC), and AES/EBU inputs, and 24/96 via Toslink. There's an integrated volume control as well as an adjustable 12dB/oct high pass filter and a 69-bit 2 or 3-way active crossover for taming your system's sound in-room. I encourage you to read more about totaldac on their website but from the bit I heard, I'd certainly like to hear more.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 14, 2013 0 comments
The Metrum Acoustics Hex NOS Differential DAC ($3,288.99 w/USB see review) sat in a lovely system that I went back to a number of times just to make sure I liked it as much as I did. And I did.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 14, 2013 0 comments
Copenhagen, Denmark based Audiovector was showing their Si 3 Avantgarde Arreté speakers that come in a passive version (€8,000/pair) and an active version (€13,000/pair). We listened to the active version and while I was there Jay Rein of Bluebird Music treated me to some tunes from an iPad using the Sennheiser BTD 500 USB Wireless Bluetooth Transmitter ($59.95) which uses the apt-X® audio codec streaming to an Arcam rBlink Bluetooth DAC ($249.00). If I was trendspotting, and I was, I'd point to another example of a simplified system along with the ability to feed your system music from a variety of sources including the ubiquitous iOS or Android-based devices.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 14, 2013 0 comments
You can just see the Playback Designs MPS-5 ($15,000) SACD/CD Player/DAC to the right of the left Leonardo Model 8 ($65,000/pair) planar ribbon speaker. These doorways to your music were being driven by the new to me Grandinote Demone mono power amplifiers (€30,000/pair) from Italy. I happened to sit with Grandinote's designer Massimiliano Magri and a very congenial woman who was introduced to me as his bodyguard while having a still water break and then we went to their room together where I got to see Playback Designs designer and DSD-pioneer Andreas Koch. This system was very easy to like and presented a big, sensuous sound to get lost in.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 14, 2013 0 comments
Devialet introduced four new versions of their D-Premier D/A integrated amplifier that so impressed John Atkinson (see review). If you are not familiar with Devialet I encourage you read JA's review for all of the details but to summarize Devialet rolls up a DAC, network player, integrated amplifier, and more into one slim, slick, and appealingly modern aluminum body. The new line-up offers the Devialet technology at various price points and power ratings with increasing levels of functionality. The Devialet 110 (€4990) sits at the entry end of the line and offers 110Wpc of output power. The 170 (€6990) ups the power rating to 170Wpc and adds an MM/MC phono input. The Devialet 240 offers, as you have probably figured out by now, 240Wpc and the 500 (€22,900) tops out at 500Wpc.

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