StereoLife Magazine - Displaying items by tag: analog

David Nauber - Classé

The most recognizable brands in the world of audio equipment are usually the ones that can set trends and focus the attention of the audiophile community and sometimes shock with original ideas or products better and more expensive than anything we've seen before. However, there is a group of companies that do the same, often outperforming the achievements of famous brands, and directing their offer to dedicated music lovers. Classé is just such a manufacturer. The Canadian company has had to deal with many turbulences recently. It was acquired by a big corporation, and it showed the world three hi-end devices made in a completely different factory. It all sounds pretty weird, but when you look at the Delta series, it's hard not to smile. They are wonderful - beautiful, powerful, modern, and made in such a way that it is hard to improve anything in their design. That is why I decided to find out what is going on at Classé.

McIntosh C53

McIntosh announced its new preamplifier ready to serve in a home audio system for many years - even decades - all while delivering unmatched audio quality. Following the digital audio precedent set in McIntosh's current line of solid-state integrated amplifiers, the C53 stereo preamplifier features an upgradeable digital audio module. But unlike their integrated amplifiers that use the DA1 Digital Audio Module, the C53 is the first product to use McIntosh's new, more advanced DA2 Digital Audio Module.

Audiolab 6000A & 6000CDT

When Audiolab launched the iconic 8000A in 1983, it swiftly became Britain's favourite 'step-up' from the budget amps of the time. Its crisp ergonomics, high-quality engineering, useful range of facilities and excellent all-round sound won it a legion of fans, cementing its place as one of the British hi-fi scene's most significant products. 25 years on and the company is set to repeat the feat: the new 6000A is the ideal amp for modern music lovers seeking premium-level performance, build quality and facilities at an affordable price.

Schiit Audio Lyr 3

Schiit Audio announced the introduction of its third-generation Lyr headphone amp/preamp. Lyr 3 is using Schiit's new Coherence hybrid single-tube/solid state architecture, new Continuity constant-transconductance output stage, the same modular design as Jotunheim. The company also announced the availability of a Multibit DAC card for the Jotunheim and Lyr 3, creating the first all-in-one Multibit DAC/ balanced headamp and preamp.

Western Electric WE 300B

Western Electric announced that the WE 300B electron tube will re-enter production this year, in time for its 80th Anniversary. The famous triode was developed at Bell Labs in 1933 in the form of its predecessor, the 300A, which was modified, patented, and then produced at many historic works facilities beginning in 1938. The 300B has journeyed from the original New York tube shops to the legendary Hawthorne Works, Allentown Works, Kansas City Works, then the Huntsville Works.

Chord Qutest

Chord Electronics has launched their most advanced compact DAC called the Qutest. A highly accomplished standalone device, the new Qutest is based on the latest proprietary Rob Watts' FPGA technology developed for the class-leading Hugo 2 DAC/headphone amp. Qutest uses an all-new precision-machined aluminium chassis and includes several new features, including fascia controls.

Luxman L-509X

Luxman just released a new flagship class AB integrated amplifier, the L-509X offering the performance of separate amplifiers/pre-amplifier housed in a single chassis. The L-509X is perfect for the discerning audiophile who seeks a high quality, high power multifunctional but simple system. The unit features a newly designed highly specialized chassis. The L-509X delivers not only in terms of extraordinary sonic characteristics but also with top-tier design and second-to-none build quality.

iFi Audio iDAC2 Micro Unboxing

iFi Audio is one of those brands which came up with the right products at exactly the right time. It all started with just a few devices in small metal boxes, each designed to do one thing - a phono stage, headphone amplifier or a D/A converter. Then the catalogue expanded and another product line was launched. Now iFi Audio also makes small hi-fi systems with their own speakers, but the Micro series will always be a bit special.

John Franks - Chord Electronics

Just as we were finishing the review of two DACs by Chord Electronics, we had an opportunity to meet the founder of the company and ask him some questions about the technology used in the latest devices and his idea of a perfect sound reproduction so to speak. John Franks is not a musician or self-taught electronical engineer as it often happens, but an avionics engineer who knows his trade very well. This job and everything that goes with it, has been translated into the world of high-end audio equipment. The company was founded in 1989 and since then it has been associated with technical innovation and brilliant design. Chord's sources and amplifiers are not only intriguing to look at, but also full of stuff you won't find anywhere else.

Chord Hugo & Hugo TT

Mission, B&W, KEF, Castle, Celestion, Rogers, NAD, Acoustic Energy, Naim, Spendor, Harbeth or ProAc are only a few companies whose names all audiophiles should associate with what might be called the British school of sound. Absolutely, this does not mean that the products of all these brands sound the same. You can distinguish here, at least, a couple of trends, but there is no denying that in this part of the world a lot of audiophile legends were created. Recently, another British company reminded us about itself. So far Chord Electronics were mainly engaged in hi-end gear for home use, but thanks to a small, functional headphone DAC everyone heard about it. This DAC was of course the Hugo. Hugo TT is its bigger brother - a typical desktop model, with an expanded functionality. Since we didn't have a chance to review any of them, we took both and decided to compare them.