StereoLife Magazine - Displaying items by tag: converter

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.

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.

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.

Hegel HD30

When the D/A converters conquered the market, some saw it only as evolutionary dead end. For traditionalists, a DAC could only be a part of a CD player. However, people who ten years ago saw the future in combining the hi-fi with music files stored on a computer, were also not convinced that DACs are a final solution. Some time later, the servers playing music from built-in hard drive or external memory sticks were born, and then the first streamers appeared. Today, the situation is quite predictable. DACs are on the rise - they are better, bigger and more advanced. Hegel is one of the companies that knows the world of DACs very well. The Norwegians produced them when the market was not so big, and since then they have been constantly developing their products in this segment. I had a chance to review most of them - the HD2, HD11, HD 12, HD20 and HD25. Now the company has decided to reach even further with the new flagship model - the HD30.

Lumin D1

The name Lumin should be familiar for audiophiles and music lovers. While the company started its business not so long ago (the first product was launched in 2012), it quickly gained the worldwide brand recognition. The beginnings of Lumin were controversial because the first streamer was very similar to another product in this category, manufactured by Linn. However, it soon became clear that despite some external similarities, Lumin is a completely different device in terms of sound and its possibilities. From the very beginning Lumin's streamer had the ability to play DSD files and music from USB drives connected directly to it. These options weren't offered by the competition.

PS Audio Sprout

PS Audio is an American company, specialising mainly in the production of the high-end power components and accessories. Especially its regenerating power stations enjoy good reputation. They convert energy from the wall socket to the DC, and then rebuild it as an ideal sine wave, thus creating a perfect electricity to supply the best audio devices, which are extremely sensitive to power quality, such as analogue and digital sources or preamplifiers. A few years ago a completely new series of components appeared in the catalogue - things like digital-to-analog converters and phono preamplifiers. Here the Americans focused on modern functionality and sound quality, so that this line has grown to five devices and two extra boards. Some time ago we saw an information about the planned launch of an integrated amplifier equipped with a full DAC, phono stage for MM cartridges, headphoneoutput and Bluetooth connectivity - all in an elegant, modern box and at an extremely attractive price.

Denon DA-10

Until recently Denon's catalog centered on devices almost exclusively dedicated to usage in stereo and home cinema systems - amplifiers, players, streamers and micro-systems. The offering was supplemented with accessories and a wide range of headphones, very interesting headphones, we have to say. However the increasing trend pushing many sectors towards mobile devices caused also a change in the catalogue of this Japanese company, causing an avalanche of propositions with different purpose. So last year we saw a few novelties, like the CEOL series of systems, the Envaya speaker looking like a lady's purse, the elegantly sleek soundbar DHT-T110 or the HEOS wireless speakers. But Denon seems not to be stopping there, as they recently presented their first DAC/headphone amplifier. This device is not only small, but also looks splendidly placed on a desktop.