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Friday, 24 May 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
 Transparent Audio “The Wave” Speaker Cable and “The Link” Interconnect Review
Transparent Audio, based in Saco, Maine, has enjoyed its position among the most respected audio cable makers for decades now. In an area with fierce competition, their power products and cables have been favored by those with state of the art systems. Their upper echelon products are amazingly expensive, in the tens of thousands. I happen to enjoy mid-tier offerings from Transparent, which serve my system very well.  Transparent also supplies cabling to high-end audio manufacturers, most notably, Wilson Audio, which uses Transparent wire internally in their speaker systems. A good number of speaker designers use Transparent speaker cables to voice their products as well. On top of that, many in the professional audio world, including some Grammy winning record producers and engineers, endorse Transparent. Transparent cables are unique in that all of their analog cables use bandwidth-limiting technology with ...
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
The very aptly named HiFiMan has been around since 2007, and I first became aware of the company from the ads for their high performance portable file players. They have developed into a one-stop shopping destination for portable audio lovers. In addition to players, they currently offer headphones, headphone amps, cables, accessories, and a DAC.I have seen many positive reviews from professionals and, more importantly, the user community, of HiFiMan products. Users often noted exceptional comfort, sound quality and value. The company is especially known for planar headphones. Planar ‘phones are noted for exceptional dynamics and resolution. For review, I received their $99 RE-400 In-Ear Monitors (IEMs). In the distant past, I have had iffy relationships with "ear buds." I was never able to find one that was comfortable or that stayed in my ears. I did discover, recently, that ...
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 ...
Friday, 29 June 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Wireworld Ultraviolet & AudioQuest Forest USB Cable Reviews
USB audio has been either all the rage, or a passing fad, depending on your perspective for the past few years in high end audio. Outputting audio from a computer via one of its USB ports to either an S/PDIF converter like the Musical Fidelity V-Link 192, or to a DAC with a buzzword friendly “asynchronous” USB input has become an officially approved audiophile connection. Many argued USB took a long time to come to the forefront as a high quality audio connection since it was designed for computer to peripheral (hard drives, printers, etc.) rather than for audio. But things have changed. Heaven forbid a manufacturer releases a source component, AV receiver, or DAC without USB connectivity. Can you say DOA?Since USB audio has gained wide acceptance, it was only a matter of time before "audiophile" grade USB cables ...
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 Review
A few years ago, a brand new product category appeared in high-end audio: the USB to S/PDIF converter. As a matter of fact, the explosive growth of computer audio has spawned multiple new product categories for audiophiles. These include the proliferation of USB DACs, “audiophile” grade USB cables, and high-end playback software.  The idea of using a consumer grade computer coupled with the products above as a source has taken foothold, and manufacturers have found a brand new market.For those starting from scratch, and no other digital sources other than a computer, buying a USB DAC with a single input may make sense. The makers of USB-only DACs have probably maximized the USB input to its maximum potential and there are no additional parts needed to accommodate multiple inputs. However, if one is determined to use a computer as a ...
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