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Wednesday, 07 April 2010 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Element Cable Apollo Speaker Cable Review
Evidence of my recent obsession with evaluating high end audio cable with silver conductors can be found in my two part affordable silver cable overview (LINK), and (LINK), and with my Kimber silver overview (LINK). Element Cable's Silver Serenade interconnect was featured in Part One of my overview, and I found it to be an incredible value and a superb performer punching well above its weight class. I also noted that Element also had a Signature line, priced somewhat higher, and meant to compete with flagship offerings from the very best. It is from the Signature line that I will conclude my silver cable evaluations for the foreseeable future.  And it will end with a bit of twist, with silver speaker cables, as opposed to interconnects. This will actually be my first encounter with a pure silver speaker cable, although ...
Wednesday, 03 March 2010 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
Klipsch Image X10i Headset Review
You can blame or thank Apple, because the iPod and iPhone have created a worldwide demand for in-ear headphones. There are hundreds of ear-bud phones and their ilk on the market, but few are engineered to produce audiophile-grade sound like Klipsch's Image X10i in-ear headphones. It makes sense that a company whose built its name and reputation for innovative loudspeaker designs would step slightly to the side and put that knowledge into a high-end headset. The Image X10is are Klipsch's lightest in-ear headset, with an in-line microphone and a 3-button remote for taking phone calls and controlling files on iPods, iPod touches and iPhone 3GS. Although the X10is are Apple compatible, the audience for these headsets is the music-loving audiophile with an iPod or iPhone stuffed full of tunes. With a suggested sticker price of $349.99, it's doubtful casual listeners ...
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 ...
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 ,  Written by Todd Whitesel
RS Audio Cables Review
Can there be a more polarizing topic among audiophiles than cables? Audio forums are filled with animated chats, debating the validity and effectiveness of after-market speaker cables, interconnects and power cords. Non-believers affirm there is nothing to gain by paying additional money for cables – “wire is wire.” Others have spent thousands of dollars on cables and swear the improvements are real. And judging by the number of cable manufacturers and different designs offered, there certainly is a market of consumers hungry for – or at least very curious about - wiring upgrades. The skepticism, however, is not surprising, considering the movement toward designing audiophile-grade cables didn't take full flight until the 1980s. Ever since, hobbyists and manufacturers themselves have been engaged in lofty discourse over what cables actually do to the sound of an audio system – if anything. ...
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