Tag Archives: Schiit Audio

Parasound Halo JC 5 Power Amplifier | REVIEW

Though I received the Parasound Halo JC 5 Stereo Power Amplifier, designed by John Curl, along with the Parasound P 6 2.1 Channel Halo Preamplifier and DAC, I felt that each product was different enough that they warranted independent reviews. I’ll get into why I felt that way below, but first let’s dive into this refined beast of a power amp. John Curl has worked as Parasound’s premier designer since 1989. Before that he designed and built a variety of kit for the likes of The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Mark Levinson, Wilson Audio, and Mobile Fidelity. Mr. Curl has the audio pedigree to produce something special and the creativity and knowledge to implement an interesting design that I have never seen before in another amplifier. Under the Hood Parasound has an informative in-depth brochure where you can look under the hood of this Halo JC 5 Stereo Power Amplifier. I’ve never seen an amplifier use JFETs, MOSFETs, and bi-polar transistors all in one chassis. Everything about this 400W into 8Ω and 600W into 4Ω with 12W of pure Class A transitioning into Class AB oozes thoughtfulness and attention to detail. Stability into 1.5Ω ensures that the Halo JC 5 [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

AudioQuest Assortment with Graig Neville | REVIEW

[Editor’s note–I’d like to welcome to Graig Neville to the tricky, sometimes treacherous but ultimately necessary world of cable reviewing. As Graig fine-tuned his system into a reviewer’s reference, he chose an AudioQuest assortment to address his immediate needs because he’s used these products–and enjoyed them–in the past. This is his story.] Not Just Another Cable Review, or Wire We Doing This? Cable reviews are polarizing for most audiophiles. Can you hear cable differences? Is it all just voodoo? Is the Emperor wearing new clothes? If you think that all cables sound the same, then don’t waste your money on voodoo snake oil and stop reading now. Are you still reading but skeptical? Good, then read on about the AudioQuest assortment of cables and other devices that I received. When Stephen Mejias reached out to me to see if I would be interested in reviewing an AudioQuest assortment, I emphatically said yes! I was once a firm skeptic regarding cables in my early hi-fi days. I vividly remember standing in a showroom at a dealer in the Chicagoland area listening to some great speakers–Avalon or Aerial, my memory is sketchy back 30+ years. There was a gentleman standing in the [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Volti Audio Razz Loudspeakers, Part Two | REVIEW

When PTA Editor-in-Chief Marc Phillips asked me to co-review the Volti Audio Razz loudspeakers, of course I said I was interested. This would be my first official review for Part-Time Audiophile, and I’d be fulfilling an aspect of the hobby I’ve fantasized about since reading Audio and other review magazines while I was in college. Excited, I looked up the Volti Audio website and read up on the Razz. My excitement turned into consternation as I read the description. You see, I’ve had bad experiences with high-efficiency horns in the past. In my experience they are shouty, bright, uneven and can drill right into my ears. I can count on one hand how many horn-based systems I’ve heard that I considered listenable. And I can use just one or two fingers to indicate how many horn systems I’ve actually liked. But I decided to keep a firmly open mind. Marc was very favorable towards the Volti Audio Razz in his review, giving it his Editor’s Choice Award. Besides, I heard the Avantgarde Acoustics room at AXPONA a few years ago and their products were definitely one of those “fingers” I just mentioned. In other words, I knew a horn-based system [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Audeze LCD-1 Headphones | REVIEW

This is the story of the Audeze LCD-1 and my emotional rejuvenation. As the pandemic pushed me into a bit of a social lull, I turned to the arts. Days began to fly off the calendar like confetti. Before long, I noticed that I was feeling less and less. When I stop feeling the music is when you know I’ve stopped feeling. By nature I’m a people person. I need human interaction to breathe and think. I need to hear human voices, and see the eyes of someone friendly looking back at me. Don’t get me wrong, music is a powerful thing, but it could never supplant my need for intimacy and connection. Still, amidst my pandemic blues, I feared that music was also losing its potency and emotional currency. Words and Photos by Eric Franklin Shook Listening to music is such a large and consistent part of my life, and has always been fuel for my emotional fires. Countless days have been spent in front of my stereo system, reflecting on my life and relationships. In each therapy listening session, I am going through my emotional inventory, and feeling them one by one as a parade of artists seemingly [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Pitch Don’t Even: The Global Quest for a Lowering of the Standard Tuning Pitch

Forgotten Audiophile History This series explores little-known stories of twentieth century audio technology, sound experiences, and radio chicanery. There are some ideas so compelling that you want to drop everything and take up the cause full-time. The fact that it gives you a reason to drop all that job, house, and spouse baggage is an extra bonus. Ideas like this correspond to something akin to the hot-crazy-matrix, where the idea is so distractingly lovely that you may find yourself at a Berlin conference surrounded by neo-Nazis particularly interested in tuning forks. It happens. Words by Nan Pincus In 1989, Pavarotti, Birgit Nilsson, Joan Sutherland, and Plácido Domingo got seduced by one such idea, namely that if the international standard for middle C was lowered from 262 Hz to 256 Hz, (and correspondingly, the tuning for the A above middle C would be lowered from 440 Hz to 432 Hz) classical music would be restored to its place as the pinnacle of art and civilization, and the world would stop decaying like an antebellum tooth. In this case, the hot crazy lady was Helga Zepp-LaRouche, a German woman with no musical pedigree, who got the financial resources and the type of [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Schiit Audio Magnius Review

The Schiit Audio Magnius is an affordable balanced headphone amplifier and preamplifier offering up to 6.0W RMS per channel. It is priced at $199. Disclaimer: The Schiit Audio Magnius sent to us is a direct purchase from their website. We thank the team at Schiit Audio for shipping it safely and quickly. To read more […]

Original Resource is Headfonics

MAGNIUS, The New Beast from Schiit Audio

VALENCIA, CA — A new little beast from Schiit Audio arrives today in the form of a headphone amplifier/preamplifer. And it shall be called MAGNIUS! Jason Stoddard of Schiit Audio was so kind to provide us with some detailed insight on the new technologies implemented within the new Magnius. JASON: “The Magnius introduces our all-new ZZZ Technology™, with our exclusive Super-Nested-Opamp-Recombinant-Electronics topology (SNORE™). Because composite amplifiers have been around a long time and they aren’t super exciting. Just kidding… having some fun with some other “big name” technology. We make our own buzzword lingo, so feel free to razz on us.” Okay, you gotta admit that was funny. No razzing from us. Here’s the real scoop, the Magnius is a high-power (6-wpc @ 16-Ohm), super-high-performance headphone amp/preamp with both balanced and SE preamp outputs. At its $199 USD, the Magnius carries a price that is 45-150% LESS than competitive products made overseas, and yet it is still  designed and built in California, USA. Mind-boggling! Yes. $199. The new Magnius Headphone Amplifier stacks perfectly with Schiit’s recently released Modius DAC which also retails for $199 USD. Making the pair a sweet DAC/Headphone Amp/Preamp combo for only $398 USD (See Mom! I [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Valve Amplification Company Sigma 170i Integrated Amplifier | Review

Valve Amplification Company Sigma 170i Integrated Amplifier Review by Lee Shelley (Disclaimer: I’m a photographer by profession and I have many clients in the high end audio industry. I have shot for Valve Amplification Company in the past. My impressions and conclusions in the following Valve Amplification Company Sigma 170i Integrated Amplifier review are unaffected by this, but I felt you should know.)  At the 2018 Capital Audiofest, there was a huge buzz about the new $150,000 Statement 450iQ integrated amplifier from Valve Amplification Company, and rightly so. It’s an enormous and visually stunning product that looks to redefine the category. However, I was more excited to see and hear the new $14,000 Sigma 170i integrated that was being shown at the same time. Why? The combination of real-world size and real-world price while offering 85w/ch of pure tube goodness. Here was a product the dedicated audiophile can afford and is still worthy of building a system around. The technical details are as follows: 85w/ch into 4, 8 or 16 ohms 4 line level inputs with an option for one to be an MM/MC phono input Speaker Taps for 4, 8 and 16 ohms 1 X 12AX7, 5 X 12AU7 and [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

ZYX Ultimate 100 Phono Cartridge | Review

There is something about a curry. Sorry, but for some reason when I started making serious notes about the sound of the ZYX Ultimate 100 moving coil phono cartridge, I thought of food. I love Indian food. I find it incredibly satisfying. It must have something to do with the sheer number of spices that have to be skillfully blended to result in a concoction with the effect of a single, complex explosion of flavor to the taste buds. Other culinary experiences are of a simpler nature. A piece of fresh fatty tuna sashimi that melts in your mouth. The bowl of perfectly prepared black beans and rice. Lightly steamed, fresh organic broccoli served with a squeeze of lemon. Homemade flour tortillas, hot off the pan. In a vinyl oriented system, I like to think of the phono cartridge as not only being the first part of a complex chain to retrieve information out of the groove, but also the spice that defines a certain kind of cuisine one might choose to metaphorically use when cooking up one’s system. Hisayoshi Nakatsuka: Parts Unknown To those of y’all unfamiliar with the ZYX brand (pronounced ZICKS and made in Japan), it’s a company devoted [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile