2014 LA Auto Show

Hard to believe it is that time of the year again… The 2014 LA Auto show is upon us and we will be there reporting on the hottest trends in all things high-end audio, nay, automotive. Stay tuned for more!

| Permalink | Shows and Expos , Spotlight , Writer: Danny Kaey | Posted by Danny Kaey on Nov 17 '14

Streaming Music… Drobo FS

After a few months of waiting for HD prices to fall to reasonable levels - remember the flooding in Taiwan last year - I finally succumbed to my inner most desires and ordered 3 2TB Western Digital drives for my long overdue Drobo FS NAS.

So far, so good. After much research, I decided upon the Drobo NAS due to its simplistic, set it and forget it type setup and maintenance routine. Plug the drives inside the drive bay, install Drobo's SW on your Mac or PC, connect Drobo to network hub and voila, off you go. Brilliant. Simple. Easy! After Drobo configured the drives, I had a total of 3.4TB at my disposal, Drobo and the RAID 5 setup taking some overhead. Of course, the Drobo isn't the fastest NAS by any means: there are much, much faster options available, albeit, at far greater cost. In the end, for my purposes, ie. streaming music and Blu-ray rips (oh no!) across my house, this Drobo does just fine. So far, I have had no issues streaming 4 separate music sessions whilst watching a Blu-ray rip, all at the same time.

Highly recommended! A+++

| Permalink | Articles , Hard Drive Servers , Writer: Danny Kaey | Posted by Danny Kaey on Aug 25 '12


I'll keep my thoughtful and in-depth analysis simple: invent your own stuff.

| Permalink | Articles , Writer: Danny Kaey | Posted by Danny Kaey on Aug 25 '12

From Here To Infinity...

So, now that Josh has moved onto his lifelong pursuit of designing killer speakers at killer prices, readers are undoubtedly wondering: where's SonicFlare off to now?

Great question. My vision for SonicFlare isn't' really all too different from where it's been all these years: a sort of one stop shop where people can dig up juicy Hi-Fi reviews, Car reviews, opinion pieces and other sorts of informational items related to all the finer things in life.

Think of the "new" SonicFlare as a sort of destination for real world answers to all the pesky questions you've always had but weren't really able to find elsewhere. My affiliations with all the rags that have launched my publishing and reviewing career will still all be in tact of course. No burned bridges here, in fact, I will be linking most, if not all, my articles back to SonicFlare for further consumption.

For exciting, new and fresh content updates look no further than right here: SonicFlare. Do keep in mind that I have a real FT job as well, hence updates and that oh-so fresh content may sometimes lag; alas, I'll do my best to keep my fingers keystroke happy and full of real-world Danny Kaey opinions.

PS: for further reading and to get an idea for where I get some of my inspirations for, take a look at these fine folks: Daringfireball; Marco.org; The Verge; Hifistatement.net; Positive-Feedback Online; The Sartorialist; and of course, the fine folks at Top Gear.

Now, go enjoy that beautiful Saturday and I'll ping you guys soon enough.


Permalink | | Posted to Announcements | Writer: Danny Kaey

RMAF: Korg MR-2000

IMG 2995

Korg's MR-2000 DSD recorder in use by Todd Garfinkel, seen and heard at RMAF. Rumor has it that many more companies are working on DSD capable USB DACs, first pioneered by Andreas Koch and Jonathan Tinn of Playback Designs. Stay tuned for a forthcoming review of this killer recorder right here at SonicFlare. DSD rocks!

Permalink | | Posted to Show Superstars | Writer: Danny Kaey

RMAF: Soulution

IMG 3027

Soulution of Swiss fame and fortune (that's referring to the fortune you'll need to buy their products…) was on display with JMLab Grande Utopia's, showing off their capabilities in full force. Large scale dynamic rock or symphonic sounds presented no problem whatsoever for this combo, then again, at the price point, it shouldn't! The electronics alone, ie. amps, pre-, and disc player came in at a cool $200k...

Permalink | | Posted to DACs $5k and up | Disc players $10k and up | Systems $100k+ | Writer: Danny Kaey

RMAF: Ortofon A90

IMG 3012

Ortofon's A90 (sadly, no longer in production), perhaps the super cartridge of recent times, is truly a state-of-the-art rethinking of how freshly minted design ideas can positively impact age old technology. Sublimely superb sound (coming off the Wave Kinetics NVS 'table), I haven't heard anything better - no doubt, don't bother unless you have a top flight deck… Amazing! PS: this picture (as where all at the show) was taken with my iPhone 4; not bad, eh?

Permalink | | Posted to Show Superstars | Writer: Danny Kaey

RMAF: Wave Kinetics NVS Reference

IMG 3010

Wave Kinetics' NVS Reference is quickly gaining recognition and momentum as the new 'table on the market (to have). Headed up by none other than Jonathan Tinn (of Playback Designs & Evolution Acoustics), this latest venture is built as a "ground-up" redesign of whats possible in a modern day record player interpretation. Direct Drive, ridiculously crazy vibration absorption and control all make for a true SOTA experience. I know of a person who sold 3 top flight $60+k 'tables to get this one. 'Nuff said!

Permalink | | Posted to Show Superstars | Turntables | Writer: Danny Kaey

RMAF: Thöress

IMG 2992

No, this is not Hydra's latest ray gun, it is Thöress' F2A11 integrated amp. Labeling themselves as the "Puristic Audio Apparatus", it sure looks the part.

Permalink | | Posted to Integrated Amp $10k to 20k | Writer: Danny Kaey

RMAF: Allnic

IMG 3018

I recently re-discovered Allnic through a mutual friend and am sure glad I did! Allnic has the finest case work this side of Boulder, with electronics and design quality that is quite simply fantastic. Their H-3000 pre-amp was rocking' the room, though rumor has it their series 1500 integrated 300B amp will find its way to casa "K" soon enough… stay tuned, this could be the killer 300B.

Permalink | | Posted to Pre-Amps $8k to 20k | Writer: Danny Kaey

RMAF: Luxman SQ-38

IMG 3088

Another winning integrated from the house of Luxman is their SQ-38 tube amp, complete with a great sounding built-in headphone amp. Beautiful old world charm and craftsmanship (I sound like the guy from the HGTV channel!), this amp will be at home in a great variety of systems… Sweetness!

Permalink | | Posted to Amplifiers $6k to 10k | Writer: Danny Kaey

RMAF: Olive Music

IMG 3060

Since the music server revolution began a few years ago, Olive has worked hard at producing great quality lifestyle oriented music servers, the 04HD being their latest offering. Great quality, simple to use interface and a genuine high-end DAC all make for great sound!

Permalink | | Posted to DACs $1k to 5k | Disc players $2 to $5k | Writer: Danny Kaey

RMAF: Luxman PD-171

IMG 3080

Luxman's vintage decks, the PD-441 & 444, the mighty PD-555, all have long since left production lines, much to the dismay of long time fans and customers alike. In line with the recent vinyl resurgence, Luxman began working on a new model some ten years ago, incorporating all the manufacturing advances they accumulated over the years. The end result is the Luxman PD-171, a hefty beast, weighing in at around 50lbs, complete with Jelco arm that will sell for $6500. Sonics are superb and it sure looks like they will sell quite a few of these… well done!

Permalink | | Posted to Turntables | Writer: Danny Kaey

RMAF: Zu Audio

IMG 2989

As is typical with any show they attend, Zu Audio managed to upset the norm once again by having the "coolest" and "hippest" room. Sean and company are no strangers to audiofilia, hence one always expects them to rock the house. And rock it they did! On display, fresh off the factory floor, was their new Definition Mk IV. A definitive upgrade over the now discontinued Definition Mk II, the sound was at once recognizable as it was dramatically improved. Better definition, superior bass integration and treble that was no doubt touched by the hand that is the new tweeter assembly, music simply sounded amazing. At $12.5k not inexpensive, but considering the others at multiples of that, a real Hi-Fi bargain. More to come from Zu.

Permalink | | Posted to Speakers $10k-20k | Writer: Danny Kaey

SonicFlare goes to Denver... Oct. 14-16

Screen Shot 2011 10 10 at 8 07 01 AM

Look for the hottest, coolest and best show coverage with a few Easter eggs thrown in here and there...

Permalink | | Posted to Shows and Expos | Writer: Danny Kaey

Coming soon: B&W C5 In-Ear Headphones October 1, 2011
Coming Soon: B&W Zeppelin Air October 1, 2011
Preview: Zu Definition Mk 3 and Mk 4 September 28, 2011
Review: Rdio streaming at its best September 27, 2011
Rdio, Mog or Spotify? September 21, 2011
Review: Olasonic TW-S7 September 14, 2011
Newport 2011: Evolution Acoustics, Playback Designs & darTZeel June 10, 2011
Newport 2011: Channel D Pure Music June 10, 2011
Aston Martin DBS with BeoSound June 28, 2009
preview: 2012 myCOMAND Mercedes-Benz süper-system December 7, 2008
Mercedes-Benz & Harman-Kardon super systems December 2, 2008
Aston Martin DBS & Bang & Olufsen BeoSound December 1, 2008
Announcement & Status Update July 19, 2008
Review: ModWright Truth Transporter June 3, 2008
Preview: Trafomatic Audio Experience Head One reference headphone amp May 27, 2008
Review: B&W Zeppelin May 7, 2008
Preview: Zu Audio Presence April 14, 2008
Preview: STAX SRS 3010 Earspeaker System April 13, 2008
Preview: Modwright Truth Transporter April 7, 2008
Review: Audi and Bang & Olufsen premium sound systems March 17, 2008
Editorial: Freibier Volume 1, March 2008 March 7, 2008
Review: Fi X 2A3 February 28, 2008
Review: LessLoss DAC 2004 February 23, 2008
The Perfect Finish February 10, 2008
Salagar @ CES February 5, 2008
seen and heard @ CES, part III January 28, 2008
seen and heard @ CES, part II January 20, 2008
Clearaudio @ CES January 17, 2008
seen and heard @ CES, part I January 16, 2008
Modwright keeps on rockin' @ CES! January 14, 2008
Is Zune DOA? October 2, 2006
Acoustic Zen Adagio Jr. Followup w/ DK September 29, 2006
Zu Druids, NAT and the quest for synergy September 20, 2006