LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 12, 2015 0 comments
Aurender also had a listening room across the hall from their silent displays featuring none other than the ever-elusive Berkeley Alpha DAC Reference Series ($16,000). The Alpha DAC can handle PCM resolutions up to 24/192 and Berkeley recommends converting DSD to PCM prior to sending it to their DAC. So there! Inputs include AES, 2x S/PDIF (BNC 75Ω), and Toslink while outputs include RCA and XLR pairs.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 12, 2015 0 comments
ADL's GT40 got upgraded to α (alpha) status ($529) which includes the ability to record your LPs in 24/192 resolution (the GT40 was limited to 24/96) using the Cirrus Logic CS4270 DAC/ADC chip. The alpha version also comes with upgraded phono and volume stages according to the company. Inputs include USB Type B and an analog MM/MC input (RCA) and RCA outputs.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 12, 2015 1 comments
The Cocktail Audio X40 ($2695) is basically their X30 (see review) without the power amp. The X40 preamp/DAC/UPnP (DLNA) network player/server/CD player and ripper/FM tuner uses the ESS Sabre 9018 DAC, ESS is obviously having a busy year, and can handle up to 4TB of internal storage. The X40 also adds a MM phono input along with Toslink, Coax S/PDIF, analog RCAs, and USB for attaching storage devices. Outputs include RCA and XLR pairs as well as HDMI to connect to an external big-ass screen.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 12, 2015 0 comments
apologies for the SPS (shitty picture syndrome)

Portable players were everywhere at CES 2015. South Korea's Calyx was showing off their M headphone amp/DAC ($1000) which can handle up to 2TB of storage via its SD card slot (if there was such a thing). The M also has 64GB of internal storage, a 1GB Cortex A5 625MHz processor, and supports up to 32/384 PCM and DSD128 playback using the ESS Sabre ES9018S-2M DAC. There's a nicely large 4.65” OLED touch screen (HD-Resolution 1280x720) and using the M's micro-USB output you can also use it as a stand-alone DAC for your hi-fi. The company claims 5 hours of play time from the 3100mA battery.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 12, 2015 1 comments
The new Simaudio Neo 280D ($2200) asynchronous DAC supports native DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 (USB only) & PCM to 384kHz (32-bit on USB only). There are eight digital inputs including AES/EBU, S/PDIF x 2, TosLink x 2, USB, and Bluetooth aptX and you can add the Moon MiND module ($800 see review) to add network streaming capability. Slick. Outputs include single-ended RCAs and XLR pairs. The Neo 280D should be available by March.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 12, 2015 0 comments
Speakers? On AudioStream? Dynaudio was showing off their flagship Focus 600XD speakers ($13,500/pair) which are in fact wireless (or wired) speakers that include a 24/192 (wired) DAC (24/96 via WiFi) as well as a 150wpc amp per driver for 600W of total output power per speaker. Dynaudio rates the 600XDs down to 20Hz and there's also built-in DSP for adjusting the 600XD's output to their position in-room. I noted the sound from the 600XD's was clean, clear, involving and powerful. I also noted that Dynaudio was using the Aurender N100 network streamer as its source.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 12, 2015 6 comments
Very high on my "Can't wait to hear this in my system" list was the new Aurender caching N100 network streamer ($2499). Capable of handling up to 32/384 PCM and DSD128, the N100 offers Ethernet and USB inputs and a USB output as well as 120GB of SSD storage for caching. I've been very favorably impressed with Aurender's S10 music server (see review) and their less expensive X100L server (see review) in terms of both their build quality and more importantly their sound quality. In addition, the Aurender app is one of the user-friendliest around. Another cool feature of the N100 is the ability to stream from Tidal's lossless streaming service which is also controlled from within the Aurender app. You can even mix music from Tidal and your NAS on the same playlist! You can also opt for an optional 1TB SSD internal storage ($TBD).
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 12, 2015 0 comments
I recently reviewed the Primare NP30 and was quite impressed (see review). The I32 Integrated Amp/Network Player ($4750) pictured above includes the same network board as found in the NP30 while also pumping out 120wpc into 8 Ohms. In addition to the Ethernet and Bluetooth inputs delivered by the network board, the I32 offers 2 pair of XLR and 3 pair of RCA inputs. The I32 is offered in titanium and black.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 12, 2015 0 comments
Peachtree Audio was showing a number of new products at CES 2015 including the sonaDAC ($1500) pictured above. Sporting the ESS 9180 DAC, the sonaDAC can handle up to 32/384 PCM and DSD via USB. There's also pairs of Toslink and Coax S/PDIF inputs and single-ended and XLR outputs. Production units should hit the streets by March/April. There's also a matching 150wpc ICEpowered amp, the sonaAMP ($1000).
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 11, 2015 3 comments
photo credit: Jon Iverson

During and after every Hi-Fi show, we're inevitably asked, "What did you like?"

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