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Jon Iverson Posted: Oct 21, 2015 3 comments
The British company Chord Electronics has always seemed to me to be audio's crazy uncle: Crazy like a fox, maybe, but definitely marching to their own tune. Their casework design often borders on the gratuitously provocative, challenging audiophiles' ideas about good taste. Yet many of my audio pals swear by the sound of Chord components, and I've heard them shine in many respectable showrooms.
Jon Iverson Posted: Sep 25, 2015 2 comments
There are dozens of music-playback programs for computers, touchpads, and smartphones, ranging from Amarra, Audirvana, JRiver, Pure Music, and VLC, which manage libraries or work with library software, to programs that are integrated with a specific distribution service: Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, and, of course, iTunes. Still others, such as Sonos, are integrated with a dedicated hardware product.
Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 29, 2015 8 comments
I've spent the last month recording songs for a pal's upcoming album. His act consists of powerful female and male singers, acoustic and electric bass, and acoustic guitars and mandolin. Jay-Z is funding the project, which is destined to transform the entire hip-hop/rap beat-driven pop landscape into an acoustic-music wonderland.

Okay, I jest about that last part.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
In the back room, O'Hanlon was running a demo with the Luxman D-06a playing his show mix CD. The Luxman retails for $9,900 and employs a pair of BurrBrown PCM1792A chips in a dual-mono setup. The USB input on back accepts PCM up to 32/384 and DSD to 5.6MHz, while SPDIF and optical accepts up to 24/192 PCM. Both balanced and unbalanced analog audio and SPDIF and optical digital out on the back.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 1 comments
Here is a tentative newcomer to the US from Madrid, Spain and parent company Wadax, and I'm hedging because the potential distributor said they were showing these to "probe the market" for a possible mid-2015 launch. The Mizik system comprises three modules, at $3,500 each, that stack either vertically or horizontally to form a complete system. The styling is obviously unique and the displays auto-rotate depending on which direction you stack them.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
The Cary spokesperson suggested I think of the TL300d as a standard tube preamp with a digital section added. There are four analog inputs and five digital inputs including aptX Bluetooth capability and streaming on the USB input. Like Cary Audio's new DAC 200ts, there is DSD 64/128/256 and PCM up to 32/384 and the company's Trubit Upsampling, allowing you to choose between seven upsamping rates.

Due sometime in April for around $8-9k.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
Aimed at the power portable user, the new Shift should be appearing in April for approx. $399 and features a luxurious leather covering on the case that attaches it to your portable. Can be used with a PC or phone, and can even charge an iOS device if needed.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
Replacing the HM901, the new s version has a redesigned aluminum body, tweaked analog section and quicker power up and down cycles. This is another premium player in the $1k price range and like the others, handles both PCM and DSD and features nice build quality. There is an SD card slot for up to 256GB of storage and stepped volume control on top. The new model should be appearing in the second quarter of 2015.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
Last year Bruno Putzeys simply held up a layered stack of circuit boards when describing his new DAC, but this year we were able to hear the DAC in Philip O'Hanlon's On a Higher Note room, shown above in the Makua preamp, with the bottom cover off and LEDs all aglow.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 1 comments
If you only need to add networking functionality to your system, the CXN will provide wired UPnP, wi-fi, USB Audio, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, aptX Bluetooth, and internet radio which is sent to either a digital out for your DAC or through its own dual Wolfson 24 bit DAC section. It will handle both PCM and DSD sources and upsamples all inputs to 24/384 for digital filtering if using the built-in DAC.

Price is $999 and it should be here in March.

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