Rafe Arnott

Rafe Arnott  |  Nov 24, 2018  |  2 comments
The Hollies 1969 Parlophone cover of the Bobby Scott/Bob Russell-written ballad “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother…” couldn’t have been a more fitting parable to have sprang to my limited mental faculties when I started writing this review because it kept running through my head as I cursed, sweated and struggled to move the prototype 95-pound CH Precision I1 integrated amplifier first from my car into my house and then into place on an amp stand in front of my hi-fi bench.
Rafe Arnott  |  Nov 22, 2018  |  6 comments
When Bel Canto’s Michael McCormick reached out to me to see if I would be interested in reviewing their freshest-of-the-fresh e.One Stream ($1,599 USD MSRP) I was ecstatic and within a couple weeks I had a production unit land on my doorstep.
Rafe Arnott  |  Nov 20, 2018  |  1 comments
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of those completely made-up events – the unicorns of shopping discounts if you will – for online or bricks-and-mortar sales to whip the populace into a consumer buying frenzy a good month before Christmas blitzing really hits your pocketbook.
Rafe Arnott  |  Nov 15, 2018  |  4 comments
Upgrade-ability. In the digital realm, unlike the analog kingdom, upgrading a component has turned into a vastly simpler, quicker and in most cases free proposition to drastically improve the sonic performance of a high-fidelity source component.
Rafe Arnott  |  Nov 13, 2018  |  6 comments
At roughly $40,000 USD (based on current exchange rates), for each bespoke, 190-pound Chord ULTIMA mono bloc and the matching ULTIMA reference preamplifier, this system will set you back $120,000 USD.
Rafe Arnott  |  Nov 08, 2018  |  1 comments
For those audiophile souls whose hearts beat a little faster when they know there’s a hi-fi show to attend, then either reset your pacemakers, put down that whisky, or throw on a sweatband because – steady on now – there’s two shows this weekend on either side of the pond as our British kin love to call the Atlantic Ocean.
Rafe Arnott  |  Nov 07, 2018  |  2 comments
The steady drumbeat of progress out of Binghamton, New York continues as McIntosh Labs trickles down the technical improvements from their top-of-the-line mono and stereo power amplifiers to their midrange offerings with the new $7,000 USD MC312 Power Amplifier, shipping now.
Rafe Arnott  |  Nov 05, 2018  |  47 comments
I often get asked what music I use when I’m assessing components for review, so I thought it was time to commit to page space a small fraction of the many albums I call upon or discover in the course of reviewing gear.
Rafe Arnott  |  Nov 03, 2018  |  4 comments
Sub·lim·i·nal – /səbˈlimənl/ Adjective (of a stimulus or mental process) below the threshold of sensation or consciousness; perceived by or affecting someone's mind without their being aware of it. This is the definition of subliminal courtesy of Google’s online dictionary and is an apt descriptor for how the Aqua Acoustic Quality La Voce S3 Discrete DAC ($4,750 USD MSRP) ingratiated its way into my mind as I spent extended listening sessions with it over the past couple months.
Rafe Arnott  |  Nov 01, 2018  |  10 comments
What do you do if you’re one of the largest, most successful speaker manufacturers on the globe with one of the all-time, best-selling stereo wireless speaker designs currently in production? If you’re KEF you follow up with a new design packed with the latest state-of-the-art streaming, amplification and wireless technology, make it more compact and drop the price.

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