Jon Iverson

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Jon Iverson Posted: May 06, 2013 4 comments
You know what's fascinating? As digital audio technology matures, DAC design is not converging on a single most popular or overall best approach. Multiple design paths continue to thrive, new ones are still appearing, and each variation on the DAC theme has its adherents and side trails: bitstream, non-oversampling, upsampling, various filters, DSD playback options, and on and on.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 01, 2013 352 comments
Register to win a Schiit BiFrost USB and Modi DAC (MSRP $449 Bifrost; $99 Modi) we are giving away.

Bifrost is the world's most affordable fully upgradable DAC, featuring 32-bit D/A conversion, a fully discrete analog section, and a sophisticated bit-perfect clock management system, together with one of the most advanced asynchronous USB 2.0 input sections available, as well as SPDIF coaxial and optical inputs, all with 24/192 capability.

[This sweepstakes is now closed]

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Jon Iverson Posted: Feb 28, 2013 262 comments
Register to win a set of V-Moda M-80 Headphones (MSRP $230) we are giving away.

"Masterfully tuned by a legion of legendary musicians, producers and DJs, M-80 packs unique materials, professional acoustics, natural noise isolation, ultimate ergonomics and military-level ruggedness into a design 53% smaller than its now legendary, over-ear sibling, Crossfade LP."

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Jon Iverson Posted: Feb 16, 2013 683 comments
Register to win an Benchmark DAC2 HGC Digital-to-Analog Converter (MSRP $1995) we are giving away.

"Benchmark has just raised the bar with the new DAC2 HGC, defining a new reference. With over 15 new features, the DAC2 HGC packs more processing power in the same DAC1 series form factor."

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Jon Iverson Posted: Feb 01, 2013 213 comments
Register to win an Audience aR2p Adept Response Power Conditioner (MSRP $695) we are giving away.

"The Audience Adept Response aR2p power conditioner is designed to elevate the performance of your audio system and provide superior power protection. It’s ideal for single-component applications like monoblock amplifiers, receivers, video projectors and video displays and plugs directly into a power outlet with no separate power cord required. The aR2p is hand-built with premium-quality high-current components throughout."

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 21, 2013 48 comments
Register to win the Fela Kuti Box Set Compiled by Ginger Baker from Turntable Lab (MSRP $99) we are giving away.

"The second curated box set of long-awaited reissues from Fela Kuti is finally here! This time around, Knitting Factory Records has enlisted frequent Fela collaborator Ginger Baker to take the honors in selecting 6 classic LPs from the godfather of afrobeat's illustrious catalog. Baker's selections for this set include his own collaboration record, Live with Ginger Baker from '71, Roforofo Fight from '72, Confusion and Alagbon Close from '74, He Miss Road from '75, and Na Poi from '76."

[This Sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 17, 2013 0 comments
Two of the products I most wanted to see in the flesh at the show didn't actually arrive due to the exhibitor's respective shipping services. The first was Antelope's Rubicon DAC, lost by DHL; this time it was the Mimer music server from Bladelius, lost courtesy of UPS.

Too bad, because the photo in the brochure is quite enticing. The Mimer is essentially a wall-hung touchscreen device about 7.5 inches wide by 13.5 inches tall. You can see by the photo of a photo how the touchscreen display is arranged for album cover art and control/navigation. The chassis looks about an inch thick and inside is an upgradable hard drive for storing music as well as support for NAS and USB drives, 32/348 files, 4 SPDIF inputs, Wi-Fi and ethernet, internet radio and Spotify, headphone amp, multi-room support and analog input (for the built-in analog preamp).

Though I'm sure many will differ, I've always been partial to music servers that have always-ready built-in navigation screens like Meridian's Sooloos as apposed to relying on iPad apps. I'm hoping to get my hands on the Mimer in the future and see if it lives up to the photo and spec sheet.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 17, 2013 0 comments
This is the first time I've taken a close look at the Gato products from Denmark. Though the company has a rich history at home, tracing their roots back through GamuT to other brands, the Gato moniker is now making inroads around the US. They manufacture speakers, amps and the $8,000 CDD-1 that I spotted in their room at the Venetian.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2013 3 comments
Musical Fidelity had a large multi-room suite atop the Mirage, with multiple systems set up and optimized. One system was set up around the new M1SDAC which retails for $1,499 and should be here by April.

Inputs include all the usual digital suspects including USB that can handle 24/192. Since the M1SDAC also functions as a preamp, it has analog inputs which are sampled at 24/96. Outputs included unbalanced analog and digital.

But what caught my ear was the Bluetooth capability that allows you to wirelessly connect your Bluetooth device if it has audio files on it. Once received wirelessly, the Bluetooth stream is upsampled to 24/192 by the M1SDAC. Tempo Marketing's John Quick asked me to pull out my iPhone to see if there was some music I'd like to hear. Sure enough I had an uncompressed CD rip of Roxy Music's first album and within seconds it was playing over the system, tracks being controlled from my seat. Maybe not CD quality, but it sounded pretty good with a bit of crunch on the top end.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2013 0 comments
Priced at $3,250 and available now, the compact and sturdy DAC 8 features 4 coax SPDIF inputs, BNC, AES/EBU and USB all capable of handling 24/192 data. Both balanced and unbalanced outputs are available along with a small remote that can control input selection and volume.

T+A employs aggressive jitter management, multiple filter options, and runs eight 32 bit Burr Brown converters. All analog stages are fully discrete and I'm going to guess it sounds pretty good too.

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