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ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
iFi Micro iUSB 3.0 & Gemini USB Cable Reviews
Marantz M-CR611 Network CD Receiver Review
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Tuesday, 23 August 2016 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Sonore microRendu Ethernet to USB Streamer Review
In 2016 network file players and streamers are king. This is because just about everyone who has done comparisons has found that mass produced, consumer grade, off the shelf computers are not state of the art, by any stretch. There are those who still pay for premium playback software, cripple non essential functions, tweak with expensive power supplies and isolation devices to try to wrangle the best from their laptops or desktop machines. The amount of frustration often seen expressed on online message boards is astounding. Users become exasperated with disruptive commercial operating system updates, hardware incompatibilities, and a whack-a-mole approach. No surprise they often to turn to multiple layers of software, so called “digital” power conditioning, and even further out there solutions. If one has a large digital library, and especially a library with more than one system to ...
Monday, 01 August 2016 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Intona High Speed USB Isolator Review
It is no secret that digital audio transmitted via USB is not perfect. USB was never intended for high performance audio, but eventually overtook S/PDIF as the most common connection method. Virtually all digital sources components like streamers, file players, and servers have USB outputs, and no DAC manufacturer would be taken seriously in 2016 without a high quality USB input. USB has several key advantages over S/PDIF. First, it allows the DAC to acted as the master clock, which reduces jitter and improves timing accuracy. Secondly, and probably of more interest to the average audiophile, it allows for decoding of any format, and any resolution. Everything from Redbook CD and 24 bit PCM to DSD256. As to be expected in the audiophile market, products related to improving the sound of USB surfaced several years ago, and it continues to ...
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 ,  Written by Andre Marc
CLONES Audio Asher DAC Review
CLONES Audio, based in Hong Kong, has been one of my favorite small, artisanal hifi purveyors for a few years now. I was turned on to CLONES Audio by some very knowing ears. In my direct experience, their Gainclone amplifiers are something special. The products are superbly made, and the product line is well thought out.  The best part is the products are affordable. The proprietor of CLONES Audio calls himself Funjoe, and he is an especially talented designer and a very passionate individual. I’ve been around the block with a CLONES Audio components, including their 25p power amplifier, 25iR integrated amplifier, and others. I found the components to offer exceptionally high value considering the price, build, and sound quality.  CLONES currently has a very capable American importer with Mark Sossa of Well Pleased AV on board. This is most ...
Monday, 28 September 2015 ,  Written by Andre Marc
SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Filter And tX-USBhub Review
High-end computer audio is at the point of maturity where there is an entire cottage industry in for tweaks and enhancements. This is because as time has gone by, designers have identified vulnerable areas where noise, signal loss, and jitter can affect performance. Another reason is that is it has become a common belief that consumer-grade, multi-purpose computers are not the best environments for perfectionist audio. Unquestionably, the most common transmission lines for computer audio today are USB and local area networks via wired Ethernet (with WiFi approaching in the distance). Both are generally hospitable environments for audio, but they are not perfect. There is gobs of information on various computer audio forums about the issues that could affect USB and Ethernet, but in a nutshell it is sensitivities to both environmental and internally produced electrical noise which can cause ...
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
PS Audio, out of Boulder, CO, has been a major player in high end audio for decades. Their power distribution/conditioning units and digital source components have been go to products for droves of audiophiles who value high value and high performance. The lists of PS Audio’s innovations and market firsts are extensive and highly impressive. Their power cords have also been a mainstay in a highly competitive market. I personally use several throughout my systems, on everything from CD players to HDTV’s, with great results. PS Audio is known as a company constantly striving to push the envelope, bringing cutting edge products to the market based on sound engineering and at very sane price points. The Digital Link series of DAC models were a huge success for the company, which leapt ahead of many other manufacturers with the introduction of ...
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