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Jon Iverson Posted: May 25, 2016 4 comments
I first spied the Ayre Codex two Januarys ago, at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, and its scrappy proletarian vibe sure made it look different from any other Ayre creation. On learning that its price would be well under $2000, I was immediately curious what Charley Hansen and his gang—makers of the $3450 QB-9DSD USB digital-to-analog converter, plus a few five-figure amps and preamps—could create when cost is an object.
Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2016 7 comments
Many of you have seen the posts about Graham Nash touring the high end audio exhibits at CES earlier this month. The experience taught me this: it isn't how good you hear, but how well you listen.

I'm not sure what readers expected from this, and I certainly wasn't sure what to expect, which is why it was an attractive idea. Yes Nash ended up liking what he heard, but for those cynical enough to think he was just being polite, I'm here to tell you first hand that he was excited by the experience, and his enthusiasm was genuine.

Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 15, 2016 1 comments
The day was getting long at this point and we'd already listened to a couple hour's worth of music, but we wanted a little variety from the floor-standing speakers we had heard to far. So we popped into the Crystal Cable/Siltech room to hear This Path Tonight on a dimensionally smaller system.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 15, 2016 2 comments
CES being quite hectic and hotel rooms being what they are, I try not to do too much listening on the 29th and 30th floors of the Venetian (there are exceptions and the upper suites are a different story, sound-wise). But Vincent Galbo in the MSB room on floor 29 politely insisted I listen to the new Select DAC on the YG speakers they had set up, driven by MSB amps. He played a CD and it was some of the best sound I've ever heard at a show!
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 15, 2016 0 comments
I've recently had a great run with Chord products in my system including the Hugo TT DAC and now the small-sized Mojo (mobile joy) headphone DAC. On the opposite end of the spectrum from the Mojo is DAVE which the company says is the most advanced DAC they've made so far.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 15, 2016 11 comments
For some reason I liked this product the moment I saw it. And at $1,099, including a lifetime full Roon license (for $1,000 you get a lifetime limited Roon license), it became even more interesting once I started digging into the features. Essentially, you can run Roon on your tablet and use the DS-S101 as your endpoint without the need for a computer.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 15, 2016 0 comments
Audio Alchemy was relaunched again in 2015 with a stellar lineup of designers including Keith Allsop, Peter Madnick and Dusty Vawter. And it appears no expense was spared showing their product line up at CES. Occupying one of the larger suites, with co-exhibitor TAD, at the top of the Venetian only served to emphasize how compact the products are.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 15, 2016 0 comments
Here are a couple photos of the two products in the Lenbrook (distributors of NAD, PSB and Bluesound) suite that included MQA. Above is the Bluesound Vault 2 streamer and CD file ripper ($1,199) and below the NAD M12 Preamplifier/DAC ($3,499). Both units on display include the necessary firmware and software to decode MQA files.
Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 15, 2016 1 comments
We had spent the morning and early afternoon listening to systems in the big suites, and now it was time to downscale the room size and budget just a bit. I promised Graham Nash that we would try to mix up the types of products he heard, so we headed down to Devore Fidelity on the 30th floor of the Venetian.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 15, 2016 0 comments
One of my favorite new digital products, from an industrial design point of view, is the new all-in-one system from French company Micromega, designed by Daniel Schar. Assuming you have a nice flat place to put it (flat or on a wall), you can request a custom finish or go with standard black or bright orange as shown in the photo.

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