smodtactical

Denafrips releases Venus II Dac

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The Venus II DAC is upgraded with:
1. TCXO - Temperature-Compensated Crystal Oscillator. This is the prime performance improvement that brings the Venus sonic performance very close to the Terminator DAC
2. MU Metal Shielding between the PSU and Main DAC board, like one found in the Terminator DAC. A metal sheet is added in between.
3. EVOX MMK caps
4. Germany Film Caps WIMA
5. Upgraded DSP board

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Venus II

YG announces partnership with Cambridge acoustic sciences

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"Ultra-high-end speaker manufacturer, YG Acoustics (www.yg-acoustics.com) announces an exclusive partnership with Cambridge Acoustic Sciences to develop innovative loudspeaker technologies, both to launch a range of new models and to continue the evolution of the existing YG Acoustic products.

Founded in 2002, YG Acoustics is recognized as one of the most prominent companies in the high-end audio industry, a pioneer whose technical advancements remain unmatched. YG Acoustics has a strong heritage of breakthrough technological innovations, such as our patented BilletDome tweeter, as well as other advances including ViceCoil, BilletCore, ForgeCore, DualCoherent, ToroAir and FocusedElimination. These, combined with world-class, in-house precision manufacturing capabilities, have allowed YG Acoustics to deliver generation after generation of industry-leading loudspeakers.

Cambridge Acoustic Sciences (CAS) provides state-of-the-art measurement...

Interview with Michael Borresen

Review of the Pass Labs X350.8 stereo amplifier

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Introduction
I have been thoroughly enjoying my Yamaha NS5000 speakers since I purchased them in early 2020. They have truly amazing imaging and a natural tonality that lets you settle into the music and really be convinced of the performances you hear. I have powered them with older Bryston 4BSST amplifiers in mono mode. I briefly tested a single 4BSST in stereo mode and was extremely impressed with further improvement in imaging, resolution and staging (likely due to better impedance matching). But despite the great sound I was getting I did wonder how far I could take sonic experience.
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Optimizing my front end with a Lumin u1 mini streamer (powered by a Keces P8 ext PSU) feeding a Audio GD DI20HE digital converter before going into my denafrips terminator dac certainly provided a fantastic source. I noticed when adding the lumin and agd devices a blacker background with more microdetails and holographic layering that...

Topping D90 MQA review by Oak Forest Audio

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SV member Mshenay at Oak forest audio has reviewed the Topping D90 MQA, please have a look:

XA150 monoblocks

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Audio gd has announced a new flagship, 150 watt mono block amplifier with 100 watts pure class A operation ! Please have a look. These look to be an incredible value.

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"Real Balanced Diamond Differential Design Pure Class A Mono Power Amp
A Lot K170/J74 Has Been Apply
Uses 4 Transformers (In Total 1700W ) And 180,000 Audio Grade Capacitors
Non-Feedback Output Stages In Total 48 Pc Output Transistors
Separate 8 Groups Pure Class A PSUs Power Supply
100W @ 8 ohm Pure Class A Power
150W @ 8 ohm / 300W@4 ohm / 600W@2 ohm Max Power
Can Custom Order Pure Class A Power As 30W/50W/70W/100W
Soft Start Power Design"

Denafrips announces new flagship DAC Terminator Plus

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Denafrips announces a successor to their prior Terminator flagship, Terminator Plus.

"The TERMINATOR-PLUS Digital Processing Board and R-2R ladder network arrays are completely isolated. The two boards are physically linked by the OCXO module. The physical isolation yields even lowered noise-floor and achieved higher signal to noise ratio.

The TERMINATOR-PLUS is equipped with two OCXO at audio frequencies 45.1548Mhz, 49.152Mhz. Encapsulated in a metal casing, located at the centre of the DAC, these OCXO are specially designed for high-end audio applications with ultra-low phase-noise and ultra-accuracy. "

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Read more here: Terminator Plus

Magico announces new M9 flagship

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Hayward, CA, June 2020 – A summation of our no-holds-barred assault on the limits of dynamic loudspeaker design, the new Magico M9 establishes new benchmarks in musicality, transparency and fidelity. This four-way, six-driver floor standing system features the world’s first loudspeaker enclosure to combine inner and outer skins of carbon fiber with a revolutionary aluminum honeycomb core. Included with the M9 is a state-of-the-art analog outboard active crossover, the MXO. Designed in-house, this carefully crafted unit handles bass/midbass frequency separation. In addition, the M9 benefits from our latest generation of Nano-Tec speaker cones, featuring Aluminum honeycomb cores. The result is a revelation, a loudspeaker that can present intense crescendos with unconstrained power, yet reproduce the most delicate musical passages with transparency and stunning microdynamic detail.

SPECIFICATIONS

Driver complement:

1.10-inch...

New Denafrips products

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Denafrips is hard at work cranking out new products which include the Avatar CD transport, Athena flagship preamp and Thallo stereo poweramp.

Avatar:

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Technical Highlights
  • Proprietary FPGA DSP Processing Architecture
  • FIFO Buffer and Reclock with Internal Crystal
  • FEMTO Crystal...

MSB announces S202 Stereo amplifier

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"After the astounding success and performance of the S500 Stereo Amplifier, we set our sights on expanding that sound to more systems. Trickle-down technologies incorporated into a more compact, lower-power framework resulted in the S202. It’s capable of meeting our DAC’s ultra high dynamic range head-on with optimized architecture in the critical areas of audio performance, power supplies, and ultra low-noise design. The S202 includes a fully modular design, matched impedance input stage and an all billet CNC case. The highest value amplifier we’ve ever created, the S202 redefines excellence and sets a new bar in the industry."

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Magico announces new driver design

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Magico has release a short video highlighting a new driver design using an aluminum honeycomb layer. Check it out:


There is speculation that this may be a part of an upcoming magic of m series flagship tba next year.

Raal impression video from SV member 'Bloom'

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Please find an impressions video of the Raal Sr1a ribbon headphones from Andrew DiMarcangelo of Bloom audio.


His site is linked here: Bloom Audio

Denafrips announces new DDC, Iris and Gaia

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Denafrips based in China in partnership with Vinshine Audio out of Singapore has announced 2 new digital to digital converters.

The entry level Iris and flagship Gaia. More details and links below:

The Iris is approx: $472 USD and features:
Technical Highlights
  • Proprietary FPGA DSP Processing Architecture
  • FIFO Buffer and Reclock with Internal Crystal
  • FEMTO Crystal Oscillator
  • Optical Isolated All Digital Input Interfaces
  • Proprietary USB Audio Solution via STM32F446 Advanced AMR Based MCU
  • Licensed Thesycon USB Driver For Windows Platform
  • Driverless On Mac & Linux
  • External Clocks Input Supported

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The Gaia comes in at approx $1625 USD and features are as below:

Technical Highlights...

Rockna wavedream balanced signature vs Denafrips Terminator (with v3 dsp board)

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Please find this high end DAC head to head done by SV member Xecuter over here: Rockna Wavedream vs Denafrips Terminator

Interview with Parker Litchfield (Senior Engineer at Soundsmith)

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We are extremely lucky to have a very smart audio engineer in our discord community! His name is Parker and he has graciously agreed to do an interview. Hopefully we can make this a bit of regular feature so we can tap into his deep knowledge.

When did you first get into audio? What were your first experiences that pulled you into audio?

My first venture in audio started freshman year of high school. I hooked up my parent’s vintage Polk Monitor 7 speakers that were collecting dust to a Yamaha RX-500U and played music using my phone. I was happy to have a stereo. From there I started thrift shopping and picking up used and broken HiFi equipment. Eventually, I came across a turntable at the goodwill and purchased a shure M97XE cartridge. My first new audio purchase. From there I began collecting records and the rest is history. I guess what pulled me in was the curious nature of a high performance electromechanical system. It was truly fascinating to me at first, and still...

Yamaha NS5000 Impressions

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Beautiful and majestic. Two words that come to mind when thinking about the NS5000. And if I had to be brief with my overall thoughts I would simply state those two words and head back into my listening room.

I first heard the NS5000 at the toronto audio fest 2019. I recall a massive huge hall and jazz ensemble music playing.. It was a triangular corner of the hotel that must have had 20 foot high ceilings and a 50 x 40 foot floor space. I noticed the yamaha sign and was curious. Why was yamaha here? Are they displaying their instruments at an audio show. No. They make speakers? Wow. Please excuse my naivety… I set my eyes on these 2 black polished boxes. I looked around expecting some massive floor standers somewhere but couldn’t find them. As I proceeded deeper in the room I was immediately struck by how real the band sounded. The tonality was just right… piano keys ringed with a pleasing crispness, saxophone blossomed and dynamically scaled in its sound through the halls the...

Impressions of the Spendor D7.2

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I had the opportunity to visit a true gentlmen recently at Vinyl Sound in Richmond hill, Ontario. Daniel Kuburovski the owner of this audiophile haven who enthuastically invited me to audition his spendor D7.2 on the phone when I asked him about them. This was a stark contrast from another store I called that same day that hung up on me mid sentence.

Daniel's service from that call to the end of my visit was first class and easily the best interaction I have had at an audiophile store. For that alone this store should be praised.. but of course what about their wares?

The spendor D7.2 is a relatively small wood floor stander that was powered by dual 3010S2 Mono Power Amplifiers and a prima luna evo 100 preamp as well as a cambridge audio digital player.

The stature of this speaker belies the sound it produces. Going through my normal test tracks such as Nicholas gunn - Veracruz I was astonished at the massive soundstage cast by these diminutive 40 lb towers. Images were well...

Terminator DSP board upgrade impressions

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After having my terminator dsp upgrade board for months and never getting around to finally upgrading it the day finally came. The upgrade process was pretty straight forward... probably the toughest part was sliding the denafrips beast out and back into my rack! I took out 2 screws, popped the top... took the old dsp board out (was pretty stiff in there) and replaced it with the new board.

Once everything was hooked up I listened with the HD800S (did listen to reference tracks before the upgrade). Immediately what was more apparent was simply more detail retrieval... reverberations, echoes, minute sounds were now much more easy to perceive in my standard nicholas gunn test tracks. There was a great separation of musical elements and more of a 3d holographic presentation. Soundstage grew slightly. Overall music is now more engaging, immersive and easier to connect with emotionally.
The Denafrips terminator is a superb dac and this upgrade board makes it even better! Please keep...

Impressions of the Talis S300

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So heard the Talis by T+A electroakustic at Angies audio corner. They were connected to an N100h network player and T+A PA3100 integrated amp and dac. Nate the rep there was super helpful in quickly getting things connected and setup and I listened to Tidal. Now he didn't do fine room adjustments and didn't actually listen to them and adjust them at all so they were just placed about 8 feet apart in a medium size room (I would estimate 25 feet x 20 feet but irregularly shaped and lots of openings to other rooms.

Starting with nicholas gunn - veracruz my main test track I was immediately impressed with the transparency and detail retrieval. This is the kind of detail I heard from speakers with beryllium drivers like the sopra 3 or persona 9h. The treble had a slight sparkle as I heard water flowing in other tracks on the same nicholas gunn album. The center image was incredibly strong and defined and simply sounded clean and pure. The soundstage was quite expansive and although...

Impressions of the Sonja 1.3

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I had the privilege of hearing the YG Sonja 1.3 system at my local dealer just a few days ago and was thoroughly impressed by these towering imposing looking speakers. The gentlemen who I will call 'R' was firstly extremely inviting and very knowledgeable. What I really appreciated about him is his kindness, preparedness (he prepared my playlist of songs ahead of time) and his very easy going personality. I really enjoyed asking him questions not only about this amazing system but about audio in general.

His system consists of the following:

YG Sonja 1.3
PS Audio BHK Amplifiers
PS Audio Direct Stream DAC (and streaming with built in bridge)
AudioQuest Firebird Speaker Cables
Audioquest Firebird Power Cables on Amps
Audioquest Dragon Power Cable on DAC
Audioquest Fire Interconnects
Audioquest 20 Amp Wall Sockets
Audioquest Vodka CAT Cables
Audioquest Niagara 1200 Power Conditioning
Audioquest PowerQuest 2 Power Bar
His room was approximately 16 feet by 22 feet by...
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