Tag Archives: Digital

Trying To Decide on a Streaming Service

I suppose, technically, streaming might be traced back as far as 1999 when the service Napster first arrived as a peer-to-peer service. History recalls Napster almost immediately being consumed in legal troubles over copyright infringement. Shortly after their inception, they were forced to suspend their services and were ultimately acquired by Rhapsody – although the service is now called Napster. Streaming hardly stopped there, however. 

It might be at least partially true that young kids with earbuds helped make streaming what it is today. With services like Pandora and Spotify, services who grew exponentially at the hands of mostly younger-ish, non-audiophile listeners, streaming became firmly entrenched as a means to listen to a song. 

Audiophiles, however, in the early days remained circumspect. We still used physical media. Then came Tidal

Now, suddenly, we had a way to stream a CD quality song from the Internet. We marveled at the availability of, what, an entire world of music right at our fingertips. Perhaps best of all, we could enjoy all this music each month for the cost of a standard CD purchased at a music store. As Tidal gained popularity, audiophiles signed on in droves. Suffice it to say today, streaming is the predominate method audiophiles employ for digital music. 

Tidal, for a while anyway, was about the only choice. While CD quality, presumably at a bitrate of 1411 kbps and the familiar 44.1 / 16, was initially offered, Tidal soon enough teamed up with the highly controversial format called MQA

Not long after Tidal and MQA partnered, the audiophile world suddenly heard about a new game, one from France called Qobuz. For US based audiophiles, we heard how marvelous this new European service was and our big question was simple – when would it find its way to the US?

From day one, the very instant Qobuz hit US shores, it made an impact in the choices audiophiles made for streaming services. And here is where it gets really fun, Qobuz has actual high-resolution music, all the way up to 192 / 24 or 9216 kbps. And Tidal? Remember MQA? Audiophiles suddenly had two platforms about which they could disagree. 

For my purposes, I signed on to Tidal at some point before the availability of Qobuz in the US. Here’s the rub, however – I am not especially a fan of streaming. I prefer a physical CD copied to my server. Why? Simple. On my system it sounds better than streaming. Noticeably better. Dramatically better. And to a point, I like owning my music. For whatever that’s worth these days. 

I was very content to continue to buy CDs, copy and enjoy them. I used Tidal for really one purpose, discovering new music I could then purchase. Peripherally, I could also play a song I did not have in my library if a visitor was in the audio room and made a specific request. 

I started thinking about streaming recently because of something I usually don’t even notice – the cost of Tidal. I have seen the monthly $19.99 charge to my account for who knows how long. It is just something to which I typically pay very little attention. When the July charge showed up in my financial information, I became curious about what the other services offered and their associated fees. I decided to start looking at alternatives. 

While I realize Amazon and now even Spotify offer higher than 320 kbps bitrates (Amazon even offers HD), I never really considered using either of them, or the other similar services. There’s also compatibility with my equipment issues. For my purposes, the decision was singular – Tidal or Qobuz?

For most listeners who plan to use streaming as their predominate way to play a song, having a variety of packages makes sense. Want to download music? Qobuz fully supports downloads. Tidal does as well but my sense is they are a little less convenient in the effort. 

Considering cost, Qobuz has multiple packages where Tidal has two main offerings – less than CD quality and CD Quality. As previously mentioned, Qobuz offers hi-rez up to 192 / 24 and Tidal has MQA. 

I’m not one to place a huge emphasis on two music plans that have, at their lowest common denominator, a difference of about $5.00 but that’s pretty much the bottom line. A monthly basic cost for Qobuz is $14.99 per month. That can be brought down to $12.49 if you pay yearly. Tidal is steadfastly $19.99 per month for CD quality. Qobuz offers other packages at higher yearly costs with increased features. Tidal has two plans however, they do have videos for those interested in a video aspect. Personally, I’m only concerned about music. 

So far, I see both services as pretty much even. Here is where we reach the fork in the road – deciding on a format. 

There are those who will champion MQA. They feel it is a superior format in every way, at least as compared to standard CD quality. I’m sorry but I’m not one of those believers. I have heard music played in MQA that sounded amazing. I’ve heard MQA sound okay, nothing to get really excited about. I’ve heard MQA sound positively dreadful. 

I can also say the exact same thing about CD quality and high-resolution quality. Face it, some recordings sound better than others regardless of the format. I said the exact same thing in the 1970’s when I first started buying albums. My guess is recording quality will always be variable. 

Because, however, I have always been leery of MQA, I decided full-fledged, if there is such a thing, high resolution recordings are a better mousetrap. So, the scales tip towards Qobuz. However, my DAC is not MQA capable so I’m not getting “Master Quality Authenticated” anyway. Theoretically, at best I’ll get 192 / 24 from Tidal but my guess is most often it will be at 96 / 24. Either way, still better than Red Book CD. 

As it stands, I am still riding the fence. I have subscribed to Qobuz and like Tidal, more or less struggle with making the app work seamlessly. Chalk that up to inexperience. It is also fair to say that manifestly, this has only succeeded in me spending an extra $15.00 per month with a not as yet declarative outcome. Here again, that is not a concern to me. 

What is a concern is sonic quality. While I find Tidal and Qobuz to be mostly equal in that regard (my opinion varies), here again, neither of them measures up to a CD copied to my server. Basically, I am right back where I started, just fifteen bucks a month poorer. 

Original Resource is Audiophile Review

Denafrips Terminator DAC

Located in Guangzhou, China’s third-largest city and the birthplace of Cantonese culture and language, Denafrips is focused on developing high-end-audio equipment at competitive price points. Since its inception in 2012, the company has grown to over 40 employees. The owner and founder, Mr. Zhao, has managed to assemble a team with deep knowledge of both analog and digital circuits. Almost everything is done in-house with full control over product quality and manufacturing costs. Global sales and marketing are handled by Alvin Chee of Vinshine Audio in Singapore, who also provides direction regarding specifications and quality control. Denafrips is best known for its own line of R-2R DACs, in which the $4498 Terminator currently sits second from the top, eclipsed only by the Terminator-plus. 

For PCM digital-to-analog conversion, the choice of an R-2R design fits perfectly with Denafrips’ philosophy of emphasizing sound quality over measurements. According to Mr. Zhao, total harmonic distortion at levels lower than 0.003% has almost no perceptible effect; indeed, excessive pursuit of low distortion levels per se may have an adverse effect on sound quality. Therefore, his first priority is to minimize digital-conversion artifacts without exceeding this distortion guideline. The end result sought is smooth, analog-like sound quality. 

The R-2R resistor ladders are discrete and contain about five hundred 0.005% precision resistors per channel for 26-bit resolution. The Terminator is capable of reproducing PCM up to 1.536MHz and DSD up to 45.2MHz (DSD1024) in native mode. The PCM digital-to-analog conversion scheme is based on sign-magnitude technology, which was introduced in the early 1990s by Burr-Brown in chip form. Such designs have also been referred to as “push-pull,” since there are two identical DAC sections per channel, with negative and positive polarity digital words being handled by separate sections. The net effect is to add and subtract voltage from the resistor ladder starting from the zero-crossing point, thereby resulting in smaller steps as bit switches are turned on and off. On average, the smaller step sizes result in less transient-induced noise and greater precision at low-levels. Execution is critical, so no expense was spared in the Terminator, as in deploying Crystek FEMTO clock oscillators designed specifically for high-resolution audio applications to ensure that the DAC clock is independent of the input signal. 

Denafrips Terminator DAC Rear Panel

Native DSD decoding is performed via a programmable FPGA and represents a complete break from the constraints imposed by traditional chip-based DSD bitstream decoding. All of the advanced number crunching, including oversampling and filter functions, is performed by a STMicroelectronics microcontroller running an ARM computer processor. The microcontroller is also used to implement a proprietary USB decoder, which, based on my listening tests, is far superior to the industry-standard XMOS solution. And that is great news, since the bulk of my digital files stream off my laptop through the USB input.

This is one beefy DAC, weighing in at 42 pounds. Essentially, all the weight is due to a massive linear power supply, featuring dual toroidal power transformers and ultra-low-ESR capacitors. The power supply is enclosed in a thick metal-alloy enclosure located underneath the DAC board, with an additional steel-plate divider between supply and DAC. There is a full gamut of digital inputs on the back panel, including USB, I2S, and every SPDIF type known to man. Both RCA and balanced XLR analog outputs are provided

The front panel is logically laid out. Selections are made via a series of pushbuttons. In addition to input source selection, mute, and phase reversal, oversampling (OS) or non-oversampling (NOS)modes can be toggled on and off.  In OS mode, oversampling takes place up to 1.536MHz. DSD is converted in its native resolution with no upsampling. One of two digital filters (slow and sharp) may be selected for PCM playback via the mode button, though the initial default selection is the slow filter. There is no volume control or remote control. I didn’t object to having to change settings on the front panel manually, but with my limited vision, I found the status-indicator LEDs way too small and faint for comfort.

The post Denafrips Terminator DAC appeared first on The Absolute Sound.

Original Resource is Articles – The Absolute Sound

Grimm Audio MU1 Music Server | REVIEW

The Grimm Audio MU1 (website) is an idiosyncratic product. This is not a term I typically associate with music servers or digital sources—the truth of the matter is that most of them are simple devices. [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Moon Announces Upgraded and Updated 280D Streaming DAC

The following is a press release issued by Moon Audio.

MOON’s 280D streaming DAC has been upgraded and updated to increase its already formidable connectivity options. At the heart of the 280D is the industry leading MiND2 streaming module, now featuring Spotify Connect and AirPlay 2, plus Tidal Masters, Deezer Hi-Fi, HIGHRESAUDIO* and Qobuz Sublime+ music services.

The MOON 280D is designed to deliver an outstanding high-resolution streaming experience from these integrated music services and its extraordinary digital engine decodes native DSD up to DSD256, as well as PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz, including DXD. The fully balanced analogue stage features an exceptional third order filter for lifelike transparency. It is MQA certified, Roon Ready and has Bluetooth aptX connectivity.

The integrated MiND2 module (MOON intelligent Network Device) provides a superlative way of organising, streaming, and listening to music and allows playback of all the most important music file formats.

The 280D can be operated by remote control or MOON’s intuitive app, the MOON MiND Controller, which is available in iOS & Android versions. This beautifully designed app is simple to use and allows music files to be played from digital services, computers and NAS drives. It is regularly updated by MOON to provide extra features to the existing list.

A couple of the most popular recent additions to the app are: Tidal’s My Mix, which creates the perfect playlist for a listener by using an algorithm to comb the Tidal library based on their most recent listening patterns and saved music collection. And Spotify Connect, which is opening the door to the world of MOON sound quality for the 350 million Spotify users by linking to the Spotify app.

Extended system control is available via SimLink when connected to other MOON products. As well as seamless connectivity and intuitive operation, the 280D delivers the renowned natural and detailed MOON sound.

 

FEATURES:

 

  • Fully asynchronous
  • Supports native DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 (USB only).
  • Supports PCM up to 384kHz (32-bit on USB only).
  • Seven digital inputs: AES/EBU x 1, S/PDIF x 2, TosLink x 2, USB x 1 and Qualcomm aptX audio for Bluetooth x 1 – for usewith virtually any digital
  • An eighth digital input is through the MiND 2 streaming module (via WiFi or Ethernet).
  • Front panel LED indicators to show active input and input signal PCM sampling and DSD
  • Analogue stage: fully balanced differential circuit for increased dynamic range and headroom and higher resolution, aswell as improved signal-to-noise
  • AirPlay 2
  • Roon
  • Tidal Masters, Deezer Hi-Fi, HIGHRESAUDIO and Qobuz Sublime+ music
  • MQA
  • Spotify Connect
  • Multi-room synchronised

 

Available in a black or signature MOON two-tone finish, the 280D is designed and manufactured in Canada and comes with a 10-year warranty.

RRP: £2,950

*HIGHRESAUDIO although available in the UK, is not available in all countries.

The post Moon Announces Upgraded and Updated 280D Streaming DAC appeared first on The Absolute Sound.

Original Resource is Articles – The Absolute Sound

Merason Frerot DAC with Pow1 LPSU | REVIEW

My review of the Merason Frerot DAC is the first time I’ve ever done a formal review of a stand-alone digital-to-analog converter. I do have plenty of experience with DACs over the last few years, [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra multi-channel amplifier Review

 

When my sister and I were children, we had a self-propelled spinning ride in the backyard that I recall as the “Whirlybird,” and it still exists in the form of the Twirl-go-round. It was nearly as much fun as the barrel furniture chair in our family room that my sister and I would give each other rides on until we were dizzy. I think the spinning barrel ride at Six Flags amusement park, with the floor that dropped out, leaving the riders pinned to the wall, did me in for spinning rides. I still like going fast, but in a mostly straight line!

You want to get off the equipment merry-go-round? I want it to move faster! Major changes to the system at a frequency of approximately every three weeks is a comfortable pace for me. I keep things moving and always interesting! I cover much more ground in a typical review period than the average reviewer. I usually build no fewer than 12, and often as many as 15, discrete systems during a review. I do not conduct rushed reviews of only several weeks. In association with the amplifier under review I used seven different speakers: Legacy Audio Whisper DSW Clarity Edition (hybrid, quasi-line source), King’s Audio Kingsound King III (electrostatic), Ohm Walsh Model F (omnidirectional), Vapor Audio Joule White (dynamic), Salk Sound SS 9.5 (dynamic), PureAudioProject Trio15 Horn 1 (hybrid, horn), Aspen Acoustics Lagrange L5 MkII (hybrid dynamic, under review). For each of these speakers I made several discrete systems in order to optimize performance. I know how this amp sounds with a wide range of speakers.

I do not waste my life tweaking systems, I build systems. I have concluded that tweaks are for those who wish to have change but do not wish to spend money and/or are nearing the end of their system building phase and wish to collect media or enjoy the music on a static system. If you elect to use proper room treatment (panels, baffles, and bass traps, not baubles and trinkets), then the real changes come with components  like the Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra Amplifier. It is a waste to divert money toward tweaks when components such as this exist.

Anchoring

Let’s say you do not wish to ride the equipment merry-go-round; you are smarter than that! You made your decisions a while back, and you have anchored your system in good quality gear that will always sound good, products that will hold their value. The operative word here is anchored, as in unchanging, unless you have tubes in your components, in which case your sound is assured to change for the worse over time as tubes degrade. As state-of-the-art sound, which due to technological advancement improves, the anchored system does not progress, but slides backward in relative sound quality.

There is a tendency for audiophiles ignorant of the radically huge performance spectrum of systems — and the powerful improvements conferred by new technology — to anchor to their rig’s current performance. They are proud: “I got off the equipment merry-go-round,” not realizing they have stalled while the standard for good sound continues to improve. Sometimes, there is no other option, but if one does not have clear impediments, I do not suggest intentionally fossilizing the rig.

Google “anchoring effect in psychology”: The anchoring effect is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered. Once an anchor is set, other judgments are made by adjusting away from that anchor, and there is a bias toward interpreting other information around the anchor.

Anchoring can be a problem for audiophiles. Case in point: despite class D amplifiers being invented in the 1950s and having undergone extensive improvement by audiophile interests, such as ICEpower, for more than 20 years, it is still seen by many as a studio technology, designed to cut corners and save space and weight, a cheaper alternative, harsh and “digital” sounding, and not ready for prime time. It’s time you weighed anchor, because you are dragging. The term “anchors aweigh” means the anchors are cleared and the ship is ready for sailing. As of January 2021, these caveats are no longer applicable, at least to certain class D amps.

I attempt to actively resist anchoring to old perceptions about audio systems, as I do not find it to be advantageous, at least not in terms of pursuing the best sound. There are influencers, such as industry members with vested interests, who do not want the paradigm to change, as it could be damaging to their business. There are audiophiles who do not want the paradigm to change because it would adversely affect the resale value of their amplifier. There are some who anchored to an experience of hearing a class D amp from five or more years ago. The only way I have found to re-anchor is through new experiences; technical and anecdotal evidence often is not enough. Without a new experience, how does one find the impetus to shift their perception fundamentally?

In order to investigate for myself and avoid anchoring to an old paradigm, I revisit genres of gear to see what has been happening. It’s pretty easy to tell whether a genre has advanced or is in stasis. I do comparisons between genres of amps to determine whether there has been progress. class D amplification has seen major progress, and the i.V4 Ultra is a great example.

The post Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra multi-channel amplifier Review appeared first on Dagogo.

Original Resource is Dagogo

Innuos Zen Mini Mk.3 Music Server with LPSU Power Supply | REVIEW

Do I really need a music server like the Innuos Zen Mini Mk. 3 at this point in my life? I’m still pretty old school when it comes to physical media. I have large CD and LP collections, and I’ve envisioned keeping them until the day I die—at least the LPs, anyway. The CD collection is starting to lose its charm because it has doubled or even tripled in size over the last few years thanks to my chores as a jazz reviewer. They’re all over the place. There is something incredibly appealing about putting my entire collection of digital music on a hard drive and accessing everything through an app on my iPhone. I think about it all the time, in fact. It goes back to my days as an import and distributor, when I’d see other exhibitors running the entire show from a seat in a corner in the back of the room. I was always the guy who had to float near the front of the room, next to the system and yet somehow out of the sound field to avoid distraction, swapping out CDs and LPs after nearly every track. No wonder my feet hurt so [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Qobuz, UMe and Zappa Records to Offer Iconic Frank Zappa Albums in Hi-Res for the First Time

Qobuz, the music lovers’ Hi-Res streaming and download provider, has partnered with UMe and Zappa Records to provide dozens of Frank Zappa albums for the first time in Hi-Res Audio.

UMe, the global catalog company of Universal Music Group, and Zappa Records are launching today a Hi-Res reissue campaign on Qobuz totaling 29 albums spanning all phases of Zappa’s groundbreaking career. The five-week campaign will span a series of drops between now and May 7th, with classic and influential albums released for download and streaming in Hi-Res audio quality for the first time.

Ahmet Zappa, representing Zappa Records, said, “Qobuz’s awesome combo platter of Hi-Res Audio and the ability for fans to immerse themselves into the album art of their favorite musicians is an incredible listening experience and a perfect fit for Zappa Records. As far as I’m concerned, the ‘z’ in Qobuz stands for Zappa and we know fans of the ‘World’s Finest Optional Entertainment’ are going to love the Zappa Qobuz experience. As FZ said: ‘Music is the Best!’”

“Frank Zappa was passionate about making his music sound as good as possible and we are excited to continue that legacy by releasing several of his albums in Hi-Res Audio with Qobuz,” said Bruce Resnikoff, President & CEO of UMe. “Fans on Qobuz canexperience Frank’s genius in the way he would have wanted his music to sound.”

Beginning April 2, fans will be able to stream and download nine albums exclusively on Qobuz. The albums will be available in native 24-bit Hi-Res FLAC format. Each will include an extensive PDF digital booklet, a feature only available on Qobuz’s streaming apps. The assortment includes the second album from the original Mothers of Invention, Absolutely Free, first released in 1967, and Halloween 81, documenting Zappa’s famed holiday residency at New York City’s Palladium, in both full box set and edited ‘highlights’ versions. 

On April 1, Ahmet Zappa and Joe Travers, the Zappa “Vaultmeister,” will join Qobuz Chief Hi-Res Evangelist, David Solomon, and the Qobuz team for a livestream discussion. This upcoming event is part of Qobuz’s weekly Qobuz Live series that features hot topics, brands and personalities in the music-lover and audiophile worlds. The livestream will cover the story of Zappa Hi-Res archives, the importance of audio quality, and the upcoming Zappa Hi-Res catalog releases. Additionally, Travers is curating an exclusive annotated Zappa playlist for Qobuz, which will be released later in April.

According to Qobuz USA Managing Director Dan Mackta, “Presenting the work of iconic artists in the best possible quality is our reason for existence. Frank Zappa’s music continues to inspire listeners all over the world and Qobuz is honored to be able to promote his artistic vision.” 

See the list of Hi-Res Frank Zappa albums to be released exclusively on Qobuz April 2, and listen to Frank Zappa on Qobuz HERE.

Absolutely Free 

Burnt Weeny Sandwich  

Bongo Fury  

Chicago ’78

Zappa In New York (40th Anniversary Deluxe)

Orchestral Favorites (40th Anniversary)

Halloween 81

Halloween 81 Highlights

The Mothers 1970 Box Set

About Qobuz

Founded in Paris in 2007, Qobuz is the world’s first Hi-Res music streaming service and a pioneer in high-quality sound. Launched in the US market in 2019, and available in 11 other countries worldwide, Qobuz is designed to meet the needs of music connoisseurs and audiophiles. Offering an exceptional range of exclusive editorial content written by a team of experts, in addition to liner notes and a catalog of more than 70 million titles, Qobuz is the undisputed choice for the most discerning music lovers. For more information: qobuz.com

The post Qobuz, UMe and Zappa Records to Offer Iconic Frank Zappa Albums in Hi-Res for the First Time appeared first on Headphone Guru.

Original Resource is Headphone Guru

Exogal Pulsar IR Unit Review

Exogal was formed by several principals of the former Wadia who felt that the company’s PowerDAC idea still had potential. These seasoned audio and business veterans proceeded to make what has been a well-received DAC featuring its own algorithm that converts all incoming signals. I reviewed the Comet DAC in 2015, followed by another product from Exogal, the IonPowerDAC, in 2019. The PowerDAC is a second unit to be used solely with the Comet, and it provides two more banks of processing for the DAC as well as a super-clean integrated amp at 100wpc with a voltage-regulated volume control. I have found the Exogal products to provide consistently good sound with a variety of ancillary equipment and have been happy to use them in systems for reviewing since they arrived.

The Comet features a small display with a small IR remote control for basic functions such as ON/OFF and VOLUME +/-. The company expected customers would download the ExoRemote app onto their smartphone or tablet for a full experience. When the behemoth smartphone companies decided to change the purpose of certain Bluetooth features upon which the ExoRemote relied to supply Bluetooth connectivity, the app was rendered incompatible. Consequently, the Comet’s smallish window has become the only indicator available to owners to verify basic functions.

Exogal had two options, only one viable for the company: (1) recall all units and rebuild them, which, because there are thousands of units in the field, would likely result in the company being bankrupted; or (2) develop an independently designed remote control to allow access via the small window. Neither of these are ideal, and only one is practical for the company. An owner might say the company is required to re-establish all the conditions upon which the unit was sold. Were that to cause mortal financial damage to a company, I would agree that it is not a viable option.

Remedying the situation, Exogal introduced the Pulsar, a small USB-powered IR to Bluetooth receiver that will restore remote functionality to all Comet units, and complete with new features, enhanced capabilities, such as the capacity to operate multiple units and allowing for use with a learning remote, as well as more concealed placement than traditional IR receivers. The handheld remote for the Pulsar is physically identical to the old remote, although the lens of the transmitter on the front is clear.

According to the Owner’s Manual, the new Pulsar was equipped with “laser etched micro-lenses” which capture the IR signal from diffused IR signals. I tested this by placing the Pulsar off to the side of the Comet and behind a blocking object that completely hid the Pulsar, and yet it captured all signals without fail. Various red and green lights indicate status in setup, and the remaining blue, pulsing light, which shows once a link is established, can be turned off.

The particulars of setup are covered in the Manual. My unit arrived prior to the hard copy of the Manual’s dissemination, so at one point in my attempts to pair the unit with the Comet, the Puslar lost power even though connected via the Comet’s USB Charger port. Jeff Haagenstad, Exogal’s CEO, explained to me that this was not a malfunction, but instead a characteristic of contemporary very low-powered devices that when given inappropriate commands to sometimes need to sit unconnected for a few minutes to reset themselves. After about a three-minute wait for the unit to reset, plugging the Pulsar back into the USB Charger port brought it back up. Do not panic if you mess up commands in setup and the unit goes dark. It will recover and allow for the pairing process to be completed. This should not be an issue for anyone with access to the instructions.

Pulsar IR Unit in Exogal CEO Jeff Haagenstad’s office system

Operationally, the Pulsar has been perfect. Volume control through the Pulsar is uninterrupted and is faster than the previous Bluetooth remote.

I realize it is a frustration for a person to pay for a fix for a component that has lost functionality, but Exogal was blindsided by an industry-wide hardware change away from supporting their Bluetooth software remote.

My conclusion in regard to the Pulsar is that it does as advertised, and is a well thought out solution to an intractable problem.

I hope that Exogal navigates this choppy period with continued support from the users community to a future in which it can release more products. The company has shown creativity in product development, which is more impressive than companies that mindlessly clone and drone on with well-worn designs. I have not been apprised of future developments, but I would not be surprised if the company continues to be forward looking in term of its PowerDAC technology, while reducing the chance of being blindsided by something as seemingly innocuous as a Bluetooth connection.

 

Copy editor: Dan Rubin

 

The post Exogal Pulsar IR Unit Review appeared first on Dagogo.

Original Resource is Dagogo

Denafrips Pontus II DAC | REVIEW

I’ve been on a hot streak lately with getting components to review that have sounded excellent despite the current difficulties in hearing something beforehand. For a reviewer, it’s one of the many great things about hi-fi shows. So when our fearless PTA leader Scot Hull put out the word amongst the troops for who wanted to take a shot and review an affordably-priced DAC from the Chinese electronics firm Denafrips (website), I thought sure! Why not? And then something strange happened during my time with the most excellent Denafrips Pontus II DAC.  I started listening to a lot of music in digital form, not because I had to turn in a review on the DAC, no. I WANTED to listen to digital. Whuuut?To my way of thinking, DACs are the most stealthy of source components. There are no knobs to turn, no stylus to clean or arm to drop on a record, and a dearth of switches or buttons to press. Certainly no choice of regular bias or chrome tape–remember those? You might get a selection of anti-aliasing filters if you’re lucky. There is not much romance in Ye Olde DACs. They sit there quietly waiting to be asked out [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile