Newsflash: Schiit Loki DSD add-on
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…
Review: Nordost "System", QB8, Qx4, Qv2 and Norse 2
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+++
Newsflash: GEEK USB Awesomifier for Headphones
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.
Newsflash: LessLoss announces DFPC Reference!
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:
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+++
Review: LessLoss DFPC Signature power cable
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...
Review: B&W Z2 AirPlay streamer
“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...
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!
Newsflash: Nordost Valhalla Series 2!
Preview: LessLoss DFPC power cables
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.
Best audio listening chair: Eames
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+++
Preview: Bowers & Wilkins Z2 AirPlay / WiFi Hi-Fi
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.
Preview: B&O BeoPlay H6 headphones
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!
Preview: Schiit Audio Mjolnir headphone amp
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!
Preview: Schiit Audio Gungnir DAC
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...