Tag Archives: DCS

Wilson Audio ActivXO & WATCH Dog Subwoofer | Review

Does a 260-pound loudspeaker that packs an 8- and 10-inch driver need any re-enforcement in the lower octaves? Add in a delicious amplifier that can generate 500 watts at 4 ohms with ease and you are off to the races, right? The engineer in me is always looking for opportunities to continue to move closer to that moment when the music was recorded. The release of a new Wilson Audio ActivXO stereo crossover designed by John Curl tickled my interest. I was fascinated to see what would happen if I added a pair of 211-pound Wilson Audio WATCH Dog subs and Wilson ActivXO into my room. Could these elevate my system further? If so, in what ways and by how much? Wilson Audio ActivXO: Do I really need subs? Over the years I have listened to musical systems where they added a set of stereo subs to various loudspeakers. In the setups that were done correctly, it was not about more bass. Instead, it was about creating more space. By “space,” I mean that feeling when you close your eyes and the associated soundstage grows and takes you a few steps closer to that feeling of being there at that moment [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Rosson Audio Design RAD-0 Headphone | REVIEW

To some, describing a headphone as “fun” is akin to the kiss of death. The calling for linearity occasionally spurs dynamic swings in opinions, and even greater judgments in the comment sections and forums. Whatever your preconceived notions of the term are, the Rosson Audio Design RAD-0 is a fun headphone to behold, to hold… and to hear. If you take a look through the company website, the first thing you might notice is that there appears to be a wide array of customizations and one-offs associated with the single-model headphone brand. And why not? At an asking price of $2,600 a piece, there appears to be enough margin to squeeze out some really cool bespoke feelings for purchasers. Rosson Audio Design even goes as far as to individually number each piece. My review sample was labeled 39/100 on the outside case.  For those who haven’t been following the market trends of modern audiophile headphones for the past 20 years, founder Alex Rosson got his start in the personal audio industry with Audeze. The influence of those designs can be felt throughout the RAD-0, but in a way, some of the differences feel like an extension, rather than a facsimile [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Leslie Ann Jones, dCS Legends | The Vinyl Anachronist

With the first round of our coverage of the dCS Legends series, I did an interesting and possibly misguided thing. When I mentioned the recording engineers honored by dCS, I’d trot out their Grammy-winning LP and listen to it. Why would I do that when we’re talking about dCS, a company at the pinnacle of digital playback? Unfortunately, I still haven’t had seat time with the dCS Bartok that the rest of our staff adored, so I have to come up with a purer way to acknowledge the work of the next honoree–Leslie Ann Jones, Director of Music and Scoring at Skywalker Sound. It just makes sense to listen to the Grammy-winning output of Leslie Ann Jones by streaming Qobuz, especially when you consider the Skywalker Ranch technology that has flowed into the entertainment industry. (Does anyone else miss getting blasted by that THX demo in big movie theaters?) But when you look at the Grammy winners, you’ll notice a lack of the bombastic: Alben Berg: Lyric Suite by Kronos Quartet, Dianne Reeves’ Goodnight and Good Luck, and three other mentioned above. I own the Alban Berg album on CD, but as I mentioned I decided to stream it. I [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Wilson Audio Pedestal | REVIEW

Over the years, we’ve tried endless numbers of tweaks to get the most out of our components. Some work, others don’t, and some behave as un-wanted tone controls. It’s a puzzle that every audiophile loves to solve. The one piece that always seems to have a high hit rate are devices that help with reducing vibration. These usually take the form of platforms for our components, feet that go under our components, or fancy weights that sit on top of our components. When Wilson Audio announced their new Wilson Audio Pedestal isolation foot with some impressive test results, I was intrigued. Wilson Audio will not reveal who they tested against, and your guess is as good as ours. It doesn’t matter because test results only give you one piece of the puzzle. For me, it is always a combination of measurements and listening that gives you the complete picture. Naturally, when the Utah-based company was kind enough to loan me five sets of Wilson Audio Pedestals, I jumped in foot first! Could these elevate my system further? What would their impact be with and without the platforms I was already using? How about my components that don’t use platforms and [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC | REVIEW

Before I jump into the Mola Mola Tambaqui, I have to share a delightful tidbit of deadpan humor from my roommate. While amusing on its own, it ended up more prescient to the little DAC on review here than I expected. I’ll preface this by saying I have an unfortunate habit of stress-buying exotic furniture, an idiosyncrasy my beleaguered roommate has grown well-accustomed to at this point. “I don’t think we could have vegans in our house again if we bought this,” I said as I gingerly brushed the recycled antler lamp. Fuzzy. Yup, they were real antlers. “Vegans aren’t environmentalists,” came his sardonically dry response. Yikes. While my roommate’s proclivities may tend more towards the tree-hugger than the plant-eater, I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that an antler lamp wasn’t precisely the right choice for our quirky mid-century loft. I departed the Moroccan Imports and Lodge Furniture store–how could I NOT go in with a name like that?–antler lamp-less. Words and Photos by Grover Neville When I returned home, I performed my regular ritual of flipping on my Manley Snappers, reaching for a record, Ghost in the Machine by the Police in this case, and… finding myself stumped. I [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Bowers and Wilkins Formation Duo Loudspeakers | Review

The availability of streaming devices is endless, offering convenience and friction-free listening. We have become accustomed to a quick tap or voice command and the tunes start flowing. Although I am blessed with an incredible reference listening setup, it’s complicated. A mass of components, platforms, and cables working together to create a symphony. I’ve been on the hunt to find something simpler. Something that I could recommend to friends and family who are looking to build a small engaging setup that is available at a fraction of the cost of my reference room.  When Bowers & Wilkins announced the Formation Duo Bookshelf system (website) taking cues from the 705 D2 and 805 D3 series, it got my attention. B&W Formation Duo Series The Formation Series was the first major project after B&W was purchased by Eva Automation in 2016. As they embarked on the B&W Formation series, the Eva team focused on the wireless voodoo and the B&W crew in the UK focused on the speaker design. Crushing Wireless Latency The Formation Series products are completely wireless. No cables required outside of a power cable. When Eva got started on the development, the best wireless technology they could find was hindered by [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Jeff Rowland Design Group Conductor Phono Preamplifier | Review

  Having a Jeff Rowland Design Group product in my reference system reminds me, in a roundabout way, of one of the greatest hi-fi systems I’ve heard. This happened nearly a decade ago, at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. I had just received my Trenner & Friedl ART monitors—yes, I’ve owned these little gems for almost ten years now—and I was invited to Bob Clarke’s Profundo room to meet Peter Trenner and Andreas Friedl. (This was the first time I had met Bob as well, come to think of it.) Bob had brought Trenner & Friedl’s newest version of their $175,000 flagship speaker, the Duke, all the way from Austria to Vegas at considerable cost, and after a couple of hours of listening and drinking and even dancing with Colleen, I came to the conclusion that every single track we played sounded glorious, and these were perhaps the finest speakers I’d heard up to that point. (I’m sure they still are, but it’s been a while.) The system behind these magnificent speakers was quite simple. Obviously, everything was wired up with Cardas Audio Clear (T&F uses Cardas for their internal wiring), using a dCS Puccini transport as a [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

dCS Legends: Al Schmitt and Steely Dan’s Aja | The Vinyl Anachronist

When I first read about the dCS Legends series, which celebrates Grammy-winning engineers, I was surprised at just how many of these classic recordings I own and how I have a personal story for almost every one. When you glance at this list, you see Al Schmitt‘s name at the top, and that always reminds me that he had a lot to do with making Steely Dan’s Aja such an iconic recording. Over the years I’ve owned several versions of Aja–if I remember correctly, it was the second Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs LP I ever bought, right after Supertramp’s Crime of the Century. Strangely enough, I no longer own the MoFi LP. I have the MoFi CD, and an old LP that I found at a flea market that wound up being in fair condition at best. I do play that Steely Dan CD a lot, but one day I will find a killer remaster on vinyl. When I bought the MoFi LP back in the late ’70s, I wasn’t really a Steely Dan fan. The only reason I purchased it–at the whopping cost of $17.99–was because my buddy Dan was standing next to me at Licorice Pizza when I [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

dCS Expands Legends Award

dCS’s Bespoke Bartok DAC
dCS’s Bespoke Bartok DAC

Cambridge, UK (May 5, 2020)—Launched last year at AES, the dCS (Data Conversion Systems, Ltd.) Legends Award campaign has acknowledged the efforts of recording, mixing, and mastering engineers who have strived throughout their careers to deliver a quality music listening experience possible. Since then, the Legends Award has been bestowed upon Bob Ludwig, Al Schmitt, Tony Faulkner and Chuck Ainlay. Now dCS has announced the next round of honorees.

Bob Ludwig Receives dCS Legends Award

In the coming months, the dCS Legends Award campaign will highlight Frank Filipetti, James Guthrie, Leslie Ann Jones, George Massenburg, John Newton, Elliot Scheiner, Mark Wilder and the late Ed Cherney, who dCS also honored with a contribution to the COVID-19 Relief Fund established by the Recording Academy and MusiCares.

While honoring noted engineers, the program is also intended to underscore the growing industry trend toward ‘studio quality’ high-resolution streaming services. “We are overwhelmed by the positive response that our Legends Award campaign has received from both music professionals and enthusiasts alike,” said David J. Steven, managing director. “We have been working closely with the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing to identify and tell the incredible stories behind a diverse group of legendary engineers, and we plan to continue this effort through the remainder of this year.”

dCS Legends Award • www.dcsltd.co.uk

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com