Newsflash: Schiit Loki DSD add-on

Loki front prelim 1

Schiit announces Loki: a $149 DSD DAC add-on piece that is slaved between your existing DAC and source to give you DSD playback. Neat. Full PR below…


| Permalink | Accessories , Announcements | Posted by Danny Kaey on Sep 10 '13

Review: Nordost "System", QB8, Qx4, Qv2 and Norse 2

Tyr2 Spk Ban rgb

Nordost… not much needs to be said about this cultbrand. Launched by affable Joe Reynolds back in 1991 (!), Nordost had become one of, if not the most respected brands of high performance Hi-Fi cables. Recently all cables have been upgraded to Version 2 (V2) status, prompting a delivery of the entire ensemble at casa K for review. Link to full review at Postive-Feedback Online is here, and a German version will be available at my other home away from home, Hifistatement shortly as well. Meanwhile, enjoy a few snippets and all the gorgeous hi-res images. Drool factor 4. A+++


| Permalink | Accessories , Articles , Interconnects $1k and up , Power Cables , Show Superstars , Speaker Cables $2k and up | Posted by Danny Kaey on Aug 23 '13

Newsflash: GEEK USB Awesomifier for Headphones

Geek colors

Light Harmonic, the folks that brought us various cables, DACs and other industry leading products announces their very first Kickstarter project, the GEEK USB Awesomifier for your favorite variety of 'cans. Hit hyperspace for more info.


| Permalink | Accessories , Announcements , Components | Posted by Danny Kaey on Aug 23 '13

Newsflash: LessLoss announces DFPC Reference!

03 LessLoss DFPC Reference USA 1000px

Stop the press. Stop the press. LessLoss announces their latest efforts in reference power cable design: the aptly named DFPC Reference. Having just reviewed the DFPC Signature series, I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of this new reference: should be a hum-dinger. Read their official PR below:


Permalink | | Posted to Accessories | Announcements

Newsflash: Wilson Audio hi-res recording downloads

This is certainly left-field, alas, Wilson Audio has just recently announced the reissue of their coveted, quite remarkable recordings in hi-res formats, 24/176.5 FLAC.  Of course, everyone automatically associates WA with their extraordinary speakers - I sure do - yet, everyone also seems to forget the fact that David Wilson got his start with Wilson Audio by making these first rate recordings in true WA fashion: great care and time was spent optimizing the mic placement, sourcing the recording venue, etc.  Look for a review of the first 3 cuts shortly.  Should be fun.  First impression?  A+++

Permalink | | Posted to Accessories | Announcements

Review: LessLoss DFPC Signature power cable

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When, in March of this year, I met up with Louis Motek, proprietor of LessLoss, an offer was made I simply couldn't resist: "Care to evaluate the latest series of DFPC Signature power cables?".  "Sure", I replied, with seemingly zero hesitation.  5 PCs were promptly dispatched to casa Kaey and soon after the listening fun began.  No matter the source, a calmness and certain sense of ease was leveled at the system, each track appearing that much more tuneful, nay, tasteful.  Powered via Nordost's otherwise exquisite power conditioning line consisting of the QB-8, QV-4 and QV-2, these LessLoss cables appeared to do precisely what they said they would: lower the noise floor and reduce apparent HF transmissions to/from the system.  For more detailed impressions read the review at Positive-Feedback Online, where, you guessed it, I highly recommend these puppies.  Well done team LessLoss, highly recommended.  A+++.  Bonus: hit the space link to read a conversation with Louis Motek...


Permalink | | Posted to Accessories | Articles | Power Cables

Review: B&W Z2 AirPlay streamer

Z2 C5

“Hey, what do you recommend I get for speakers around $400?” A query I hear all too often from my fellaz. “Ok, let’s see here… do you expect magic?” Is, quite frankly, the answer I give back most of the time. I mean seriously, what do you expect to get sound wise for $400? Then again, technology has marched on considerably over the past decades, in particular as it relates to boom boxes, aka. that thang you use to listen to music… background music that is. After all, even as far as technology has progressed, it’s still – nearly – impossibly to recreate a true stereophonic image via a shoebox, no matter how many fancy drivers and DSP you put in there. Punch warp drive to read the rest...


Permalink | | Posted to Accessories | Articles | Components | Systems | iPod Accessories

Update: LessLoss DFPC Signature power cables

Arriving late last week from Hawaii, a nice little non descript USPS box awaited me… Contained with the magical package were 5 LessLoss DFPC Signature edition power cables, for me to review and spend time with.  My current reference line of cables are Kubala-Sosna's Emotion series, Nordost's latest Norse series' Frey 2 (with QB8 and QX4 power distribution products - amazing!) and Zu Audio's power cables.  Thus, being able to re-audition the latest generation of LessLoss's DFPC Signature power cables was a welcome gesture.

And so it goes… unbox, unplug, replug, listen.  First impression…?  Clarity, calm and calamity all at once.  Dynamics galore, quiet, smooth back ground.  These cables are rumored to be giant killers for less than giant killer prices.  Let's see what happens in a week or so.  Stay tuned!

Permalink | | Posted to Accessories | Articles | Power Cables

Newsflash: Nordost Valhalla Series 2!


From Nordost's Press Release, earlier today: Today Nordost introduced its new Valhalla 2 Reference Cables line-up, which consist of analog, digital, and tonearm interconnects, as well as loudspeaker and power cables. The new Valhalla 2 range uses upgraded Dual Mono-Filament technology, along with an innovative proprietary connector called the HOLO:PLUG. The HOLO:PLUG is a patent pending connector, designed to be the best possible interface between the cable and the component. Perfect signal integrity can be measured throughout the system. Designed to transfer every last nuance of detail, the HOLO:PLUG is a miracle of mechanical and electrical integrity.


Permalink | | Posted to Accessories | Announcements | Interconnects $1k and up | Power Cables | Speaker Cables $2k and up

Preview: LessLoss DFPC power cables

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Incoming: long time reader and fan of SonicFlare, Louis Motek, of LessLoss fame,  is sending us his latest power cables for inspection.  I have known Louis for at least six or seven years and have always been fascinated by his approach to audio: nothing but the best, no detail is overlooked, his passion clearly shining through.  Since those early years, LessLoss has grown to be quite a formidable player in the world of audio.  Not satisfied with power cables, he has since moved into interconnects, speaker cables, power distribution and management systems whilst also maintaing a foot in the digital playback domain, courtesy of the acclaimed DAC 2004 and his latest - soon to be released - Laminar streamer.  


Permalink | | Posted to Accessories | Articles | Power Cables

Best audio listening chair: Eames

Eames lounge black xl

When in doubt, the Eames lounge chair and ottoman have stood the test of time.  60 years of time.  Icons of modern industrialist design, I know quite a few 'philes who own this classic.  If you have the space, this is the one chair that will relax you and ooze you into that musical feeling.  I prefer the Eames aluminum groupo avec ottoman, alas, that's just me (I aptly named them my "captain's chair").  Still, featuring an all black design, these should be killer.  Price? TBD.  Lastly, if you are in the US, they are made and manufactured by Italy's Vitra, thus no, no, no for US availability except for grey imports.  DWR is the official licensee for all things Eames in the US.  Cheers ya'll! A+++

Permalink | | Posted to Accessories | Announcements

Preview: Bowers & Wilkins Z2 AirPlay / WiFi Hi-Fi

Z2 C4

The folks over at Bowers & Wilkins are busy.  Back in the day they launched the Zeppelin all-in-one iPhone/iPod premium portable Hi-Fi.  Having received tons of accolades over the years - who could beat the sound quality? - B&W does it again and recently launched the Z2 box which, considering it adds AirPlay and WiFi streaming (though the Zeppelin does that too now), becomes an even hotter SonicFlare recommendation.  Typically B&W impresses with trickle-down technology to capture your latest beat.  Let's see what happens, arriving sometime next week at SF headquarters for a full review.  Stay tuned.

Permalink | | Posted to Accessories | Announcements | Integrated Amp under $1k | Systems Under $1000 | iPod Accessories

Preview: B&O BeoPlay H6 headphones

Beoplay h6 headphones xl

Head over heels following our fancy Aston Martin DB9 review, B&O's lifestyle brand, BeoPlay, is announcing their latest crown jewels, the H6 headphones dressed up in classic black or suave beige.  Anodized aluminum and real leather coupled with B&O's leading sound quality ingredients and you have yourself some serious success potential.  Should be fun, especially considering the svelte $500-ish price point.  Stay tuned for more! 

Permalink | | Posted to Accessories | Announcements | Headphones - Full Size

Preview: Schiit Audio Mjolnir headphone amp

Mjolnir 01

Hot off the trails of its companion, nay, brother… son… partner (?), Schiit audio will soon be afforded with yet another review right here on these phine pages: Mjolnir, is supposed to be among the finest of dedicated headphone amps - retailing for a mere $749.  Well, heck, I can't believe it - what's taken them so long? Having heard Mjolnir and Gungnir at various shows over the last year or so, call me impressed - for starters.  Let's see how these puppies will do long term.  Stay tuned!

Permalink | | Posted to Accessories | Spotlight | Systems

Preview: Schiit Audio Gungnir DAC

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Folks, this will be hot: Schiit audio's latest and greatest Gungnir DAC… paired with their Mjolnir state of the - current - art, headphone amp, this should be a block-rockin' party.  For $749, made in America, how could it not be.  Stay tuned...

Permalink | | Posted to Accessories | Spotlight | Systems

CES: Audirvana January 17, 2013
Audiav Zirconia - Nice Rack! January 14, 2010
Review: B&W Zeppelin May 7, 2008
Preview: STAX SRS 3010 Earspeaker System April 13, 2008
Quantum Physics Noise Disrupter February 9, 2006
RealityCheckCD Duplicator of the Gods January 25, 2006
Loricraft PRC-3F record cleaning machine December 28, 2005
NixiChron Tube Clock December 20, 2005
Enjoy the Music 2005 Audiophile Gifts December 7, 2005
Audiodesksysteme CD Improver December 5, 2005
Earbud Clip Headphone Wrangler October 27, 2005
Marigo Labs CD Stabilizer Mat August 15, 2005
Walker Audio SST Innovative Applications July 27, 2005
Vibrapod Isolation Devices July 13, 2005
Review: Disc-It! CD Storage July 6, 2005