Jon Iverson

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Jon Iverson  |  Jan 04, 2016  |  16 comments
The premise is simple: how would a seasoned musician react to the sound of their new album on a variety of audiophile systems at CES?

I tossed the idea to Graham Nash, and he agreed to participate in the experiment, more than a little curious about this thing called high-end audio. Graham is always full of energy and very articulate, so should provide some very interesting perspective for Stereophile readers.

Jon Iverson  |  Dec 22, 2015  |  0 comments
Apogee Electronics Corp. has been in business for 30 years, and I've always thought of them as one of the pro-audio companies responsible for moving digital in the right direction. They've made their mark in recording studios around the planet with digital-audio interfaces and master clocks that have long been considered some of the most technically and sonically advanced, and that were probably used in a high percentage of the recordings in your collection. So when I saw Apogee pop up at the consumer end of the market with a technically unique product, budget-priced at $295, it got my attention.
Jon Iverson  |  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  |  Sep 25, 2015  |  3 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  |  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.

Jon Iverson  |  Jan 16, 2015  |  1 comments
Ayre has been getting major exposure for their work with Pono, but have also been working on their own breakthrough device which grew out of that project, the Codex. Due to hit retailers in March for $1,500, inside will be an ESS Sabre ES9018 DAC chip that will handle PCM up to 32/384 and DSD128.
Jon Iverson  |  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.
Jon Iverson  |  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.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 16, 2015  |  0 comments
I was mightily impressed by the Cambridge Audio 851D Preamp/DAC when it was in my system last year, especially at its price point of $1,695! So seeing a new flagship streaming/preamp/DAC product piqued my interest.

A Cambridge rep explained that the new 851N is essentially a CXN and 851D put together, which is surprising since the price only jumps one C-note to $1,799 when it becomes available in March. See details on the 851D in my review and check out the CXN in the post below.

Jon Iverson  |  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.