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Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
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Thursday, 14 April 2011 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Arcam rDAC Review
Arcam has been one of Britain’s leading high end audio companies since the mid 70’s. They became known for great sound and super reliable amplifiers but soon branched out to make components for every application. They also became known as cutting edge designers of digital gear, with their CD, and later DVD players consistently being rated at the top of their product categories. Arcam AV receivers are considered state of the art, and one has long been on my shopping list. The one product category that Arcam has not been involved with for some time is Digital Audio Converters. Now that has changed with the introduction of the rDAC. If timing is everything, then Arcam has nailed it, as there could not have been a better time to introduce a $479, three input, well built and attractive converter. With the ...
Monday, 15 November 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
About a month ago I set out to record one of my favorite bands, The Clientele, from the soundboard, during a local club gig.  I brought my Sharp Minidisc recorderand had the sound man give me a line out, and I was ready to go. Or so I thought. To my horror, when I got home, I found out the minidisc had failed and the audio was fragmented and distorted. I decided I was done with optical recording media. I then set out to find the best cost effective solution for recording live events and archiving old analog recordings from cassettes and reel to reel tapes. There are a number of solutions out there, from pricey, pro level broadcast quality gear, to hand held, lightweight gadgets that use flash memory or small internal hard drives.The history of home base recording ...
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Channel Islands Audio VDA-2 DAC Review
Channel Islands Audio (CIA), has been around for a number of years producing high value, versatile audio components and accessories. Their Class D switching amplifiers have gotten rave reviews for their small footprint, efficiency, and sound quality. CIA also makes passive preamps, power filters, and upgrades to other manufactures products, like the Logitech Squeezebox and Wadia iTransport (and Squeezebox Duet) power supplies, which by all accounts, dramatically improve the performance of both. CIA also makes a DAC with the same design principles as many of their other products, simplicity, excellent build quality, and all made in the U.S.A. Dusty Vawter, head honcho at CIA, has a long history in high end audio, and is very customer oriented. CIA sells its products both direct from the factory, and through Music Direct, the well known audiophile e-tailer. The VDA-2, which sells for ...
Monday, 25 January 2010 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Hegel HD10 DAC Review
I'm pleased to see a number of high-end audio manufacturers designing equipment for computer audio use. Even more encouraging is watching a brand hitherto unavailable make its entry. Hegel (www.hegel.com) is a Norwegian hi-fi company whose products have recently been introduced into the United States thanks to the efforts of national sales manager Ben Gosvig, who runs the American operation from Fairfield, Iowa. Gosvig was kind enough to send two of the latest Hegel products for review: the HD10 DAC and H100 integrated amplifier (review coming soon).I think most audio hobbyists can see the benefits of an outboard DAC – a stand-alone unit can handle error correction, jitter reduction and the digital-to-analog conversion better than most digital players that house a transport and DAC under the same roof. Bring such refinement to computer audio and the opportunities for sound improvement ...
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Trends Audio PA-10 Tube Headphone/Pre Amplifier Review
Trends Audio is a relatively new company that is part of the now established Chinese high end audio market.  They are also among the new breed that are trying to gain acceptance in Western markets. Many have already done so as you may have heard of Shanling, Melody, Audio Space, Antique Sound Lab, Eastern Electric, and a host of others. Chinese designers have been steadily improving the performance, reliability and the build quality of their gear.  Many of the products produced in China can compete with the most exotic American and European brands in terms of sound quality. This all spawns from a deep passion the Chinese have had for high fidelity going back decades.  I saw this first hand when I visited Hong Kong and Mainland China last October and was quite surprised at how many Hifi shops were ...
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