ARCAM: irDAC D2A test review

Edd Harris writes: In 1976 when two passionate Cambridge University students founded ‘Amplification and Recording Cambridge’, now formally known as ARCAM (since 1980), the companies main focus was firmly on producing high performance technologies for the blossoming record production industry. Little did the founders know that their reference quality journey would lead them into the […]

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PS AUDIO: The additional linear region of a tube is wasted once you pass over a certain level. Wasted, that is, on linear performance – but valuable on another front – headroom in an amp

Paul McGowan:  Most tube power amps have an advantage over most solid state amps: high voltage.  If we look at a typical tube vs. solid state design, that tube design might have up to ten times more voltage than the solid state design – at least in a preamplifier.  The tubes need the high voltage […]

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Setup matters

Paul McGowan writes: There are very few pieces of hifi kit that won’t benefit from a great deal of care and attention. But one benefits far more than anything else I can think of. The turntable. Vinyl’s playback is almost entirely dependent on proper setup. Getting the arm and cartridge combination playing nice together is […]

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I’m A Bluesman (CD) by Johnny Winter

His first album of new material in almost eight years in 2004 was certainly very much in the straightforward blues-rock mold, emphasis on the “blues” over “rock.” The songs here are a mixture of originals, contributions from past and present sidemen. A fantastic collection of good-natured blues-rock, and the acoustic “That Wouldn’t Satisfy” that provides […]

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ARCAM: irDAC-II Compact High-performance 24/192 DAC Asynchronous USB – Bluetooth aptX – DSD128 – Headphone Amp

  They say ….. For over 3 years, the irDAC has been regarded as one of the best and most affordable DACs available, anywhere. It has won industry accolades all over the world including two consecutive What Hi-Fi awards. Replacing the irDAC, the new irDAC-II continues the story, adding advanced Bluetooth connectivity, headphone output, DSD128 […]

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PS AUDIO: Think of how great your music system would be if you used the exact reverse of equipment used to record the event in the first place.

Paul McGowan writes: We now understand part of the reason why we can outperform test equipment as critical listeners; we are able to use the identical playback systems for both live and “recorded” music.  The same ear/brain mechanism that we use to process what our ears pickup is used to process the memory of what […]

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From the archives: Folk music: A quiet revolution

Neil McCormick writes: “‘Thank you. I’m Laura,” mumbled the pale and pretty 21 year-old, nervously collecting the award for Best British Female Solo Artist at this year’s Brits. It is not often award winners feel compelled to identify themselves, but you could almost hear a nation muttering “Laura who?”Self-styled acoustic folk singer Laura Marling had […]

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Open baffle vs. closed box. Most loudspeakers are trapped inside sealed boxes where the woofer’s rear wave cannot interfere with its front wave. But, there is another type of speaker called an open baffle that has no box. Find out what Paul thinks of open baffle loudspeakers. Watch Now

Paul McGowan writes: Most loudspeakers are trapped inside sealed boxes where the woofer’s rear wave cannot interfere with its front wave. But, there is another type of speaker called an open baffle that has no box. Find out what Paul thinks of open baffle loudspeakers. Watch Now

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Neil Ardley and his New Jazz Orchestra: On The Radio – BBC Sessions 1971 (CD)

We are told: This debut release of Neil Ardley and his New Jazz Orchestra BBC broadcasts from 1971 measure a year of change for the band’s musical director. The first session captures the full majesty of the NJO at the height of its powers in a ‘Jazz Club’ session from February with a 20-performer line-up […]

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