equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Filter And tX-USBhub Review
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
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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, 19 March 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Rein Audio impressed me when I had the opportunity to review their very fine sounding X-DAC last year. The German based company, just a few years old, has since developed a few more products, including a headphone amplifier and a series of high performance cables. They also decided to design, from scratch, a higher end DAC with a few more options at a slightly higher price point. This could be seen as a risky move, since the DAC market is pretty crowded and, needless to say, very competitive. Rein Audio developed the new X3-DAC, priced at $1280, to offer users a higher end experience, with several new features and upgrades over the X-DAC. First, the TosLink, Coaxial, AES/EBU, and USB inputs all handle 192 Khz, 24 bit data, and there is a pretty decent front panel LED display. There is ...
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 ,  Written by Andre Marc
I’ve enjoyed reviewing several Rogue products over the last few years. The Brodheadsville, PA based company makes beautifully built, excellent sounding tube preamps, power amps, and integrated amps. They have products that fit the budget of every audiophile, and have a reputation as a customer oriented company. I also especially like the fact that they market their products based on solid engineering, without any false bravado.In for review is the Rogue Ninety Nine tube preamplifier. The Ninety Nine has been in the lineup for a few years now, but I felt it maybe had not gotten as much exposure as some other recent Rogue products. This is the second Rogue preamp I have gotten in for review. Previously, I wrote very positively about the Rogue Audio Perseus Magnum. The Ninety Nine retails for $2595, with a $600 optional phono stage. ...
Thursday, 31 May 2012 ,  Written by Andre Marc
Rogue Audio Hydra Hybrid Power Amplifier Review
I have had a fondness for Rogue Audio’s products since I reviewed the Atlas Magnum power amp a while back. I recently reviewed the Perseus Magnum preamplifier.  Rogue products remind of classic muscle cars that came out of Detroit in the 1960’s. Ballsy, well made with pride, and very distinctly American. Rogue’s products are also a great counterpoint to those audiophiles who complain about no “affordable” high performance components being made in the U.S.A. They often use this excuse to purchase products made in Asia, essentially rewarding manufacturers who take their operations overseas. One look at the Rogue price list on their website and you can see just how affordable their entry point products are. They also have a proven track record of longevity, great customer service, and accessibility. Rogue is well known for their tubed electronics, which makes the ...
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