equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Simaudio 760A Power Amplifier Review
Bryston BIT-15 Isolation Transformer & Surge Protector Review
Carot One Titta Earbuds Review
In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
RHA MA750i In Ear Headphones Review
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Tuesday, 28 July 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Carot One Titta Earbuds Review
Carot One is an intriguing company out of Italy that makes a suite of interesting and reasonably priced products. A while back, I reviewed, and fell in love with, their Ernestolone integrated amp/DAC/Headphone amp. I loved the ergonomics, the build, and the glorious orange finish. Since that review Carot One has added a number of new products including more DACs, headphone amps, and even a phono preamplifier. The Italian company kindly sent me a pair of Carot One’s Titta earbuds to try out and evaluate. The sell for $79, and come very nicely packaged. I spent several months with them and used them in a variety of environments with a number of different devices. I have reviewed ear buds from HiFi Man and Paradigm, and RHA, and the competition is rather stiff in this area, especially with the proliferation of ...
Friday, 12 June 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
RHA MA750i In Ear Headphones Review
I’ve reviewed a number quality earbuds, all priced within reason, and designed for comfort and high quality sonics. Anyone interested in this product category will be aware you can spend practically as little or as much as you want. Cheap, plastic, sonically-compromised buds can be had for chump change, and “pro level” custom molded models can be had for a pretty penny. For me, personally, the sweet spot is between $150 and $200. Since my earbud listening is generally done is compromised situations like in the gym, airports, trains, or busy public locations, there are other things to consider aside from absolute fidelity. Important factors are comfort, construction quality, and the ability to isolate outside noise. Another essential ingredient for me is style in relation to how they are worn -- I much prefer a mechanism where the earbuds are ...
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Reviewed: MusicScope Analysis Software by Xivero
High-resolution digital audio is clearly here to stay, and many audiophiles have started to replace their CD titles with corresponding hi-res alternatives. They cost more, and are mostly in download form, although there is the odd DVD-A and SACD still released. DVD-As are easily ripped to a computer hard drive, as opposed to SACDs, which can be ripped, but with effort and specific hardware and software. The small and specialized DSD download market has also attracted some attention.As the high-resolution music market has grown, so have concerns concerning the provenance and mastering chain of these products. There have, unfortunately, been instances of Redbook CDs upsampled and offered as 24 bit downloads to capitalize on the growing market segment and on the typical audiophile’s eagerness to own multiple versions of the same title in search of the holy grail. Another factor ...
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Audio Art Cable Reviews
High performance audio cables are often the most controversial element of audiophile industry. This is generally due to the way they are marketed, and questionable claims made by wire manufacturers, and by the price escalation that has recently reached hard to fathom proportions. But one thing is beyond certain, the quality of cables vary just as much as the quality of any audiophile component. Skeptics love to take a stance against audiophile cables, and the amount of venom spewed is sometimes rather surprising. Anyone who has put any effort into assembling a system would know that good cables make a difference.It certainly costs more to design and assemble a high quality cable over mass-produced fare that often is included with electronic components. Better material, high quality copper and silver, and really good connectors don’t come cheap. And then we have ...
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 ,  Written by Andre Marc
DH Labs Mirage USB Cable Review
DH Labs -- run by Darren Hovsepian, hence the initials -- makes excellent analog cables, including interconnects, speaker wire, and power cords. They also make top-notch digital cables. I know this because I own and use every flavor of their digital wire, AES/EBU, TosLink, Coaxial, BNC, and USB as references. I consider them to be tremendous values and stellar performers. I often recommend them to friends looking for digital cables who don’t want to spend a fortune.One admission, though: the cable I use the least is the USB cable. That is because my digital sources, a Simaudio MiND 180D streamer, outputs AES/EBU, and the Simaudio Neo 380D DAC includes the MiND module, which precludes use of a digital cable. USB has not been a big part of my digital landscape.But that has changed a bit. I have a desktop set ...
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