amplifier

Virtue Audio Sensation M451 Integrated Amplifier and Piano M1 CD Player

Virtue Audio Sensation M451 Integrated Amplifier and Piano M1 CD Player

Curiosity is an interesting thing. As an engineer I find myself drawn to new ways of building a standard design. Virtue Audio products may not be
completely “out-of-the-box” but at the very least the Sensation M451 and Piano M1 offer a fresh perspective. This past July I was visiting with the founder of Affordable$$Audio Mark Marcantonio. and as we were each savoring a bottle of Fat Tire beer and listening (myself transfixed) to a pair of modified Magnepan 1.6’s with Skiing Ninja crossovers I spied a half-sized black piece of gear in his rack. After an offer to pay for the pizza that would soon arrive I was able to secure the Virtue Audio Sensation M451 integrated amplifier for a weekend audition. Those two days have turned into four fascinating months.

Staff writer Stew Nelless (in italics) had already written up his impressions of the M451 as well as the Piano M1 compact disc player. After securing a Piano M1 myself the review morphed into a twofer, with the perspectives of both Stew and myself. read more…

Muse 6N11 Class A Tube Hybrid Headphone Amplifier

Muse 6N11 Class A Tube Hybrid Headphone Amplifier

From the time I was a kid I was fascinated with vacuum tubes. Maybe it was the filament glow coming from the otherwise darkened cabinet, or the precision of having to set the pins in just the right direction. Whatever the case may be, I could not help to have a passing thought of Thomas Edison going thru hundreds of different filament materials before finding one that actually worked. Move ahead to FDR’s fireside chats and the tens of millions of Americans who found hope in the warmly conveyed words of the President thru a tabletop radio-vacuum tubes and their yellowish glow unquestionably bespeaks “Americana.”

Specifications:

Frequency response: 10Hz-60KHz +/- 0.25dB
Signal/Noise Ra@o: >91dB
Dynamic range: 84.6dBA(300 ohm) 89.8dBA(33 ohm)
THD: 0.016%(300 ohm) 0.45%(33 ohm)
IMD + Noise: 0.045(300 ohm) 0.42(33ohm)
Dimensions: 79mm (D) X 79mm (W) X 44mm (H) // 3.1” x 3.1” x 1.75”
Shipping Weight: 0.55 kg // 1.2 lbs. read more…

Audioengine D1 USB DAC

Audioengine D1 USB DAC

How quickly do things change? Just a couple of years ago a headphone enthusiast could count the number of headphone DACs in a handful of seconds. Now, in the early months of 2012 the list is significantly larger and growing with each passing day.

Specifications:

DAC type: Dual Mode USB and Optical (SPDIF)
Inputs: USB/Optical (SPDIF)
Outputs: RCA stereo/3.5mm headphone
D/A converter: AKM4396
Optical receiver: CS8416
USB controller: TI1020B
USB: Type 1.1 or above
Full-scale output: 2.0V RMS (RCA and Headphone)
Output impedance: 47 ohms RCA, 10 ohms headphone
Power source: USB 5V
Power requirements: 200mA
USB power filtering: 2-stage redundant regulation
SNR: >110db
THD+N: <0.002%
Crosstalk: <-85db
Frequency response: 10Hz – 25KHz +/- 0.5db
Input bit depth: up to 24 bits
Input data rate: up to 192kpbs (optical), 96kpbs (USB)
Product dimensions: 3.5” x 4” x 1″ Shipping weight: 1.0lbs (0.5kg)

read more…

From the Pulpit

From the Pulpit

Of Carroll Shelby, phono cartridge loading, and my budget reference system…

Firstly, regarding Carroll Shelby: For those that may not know, Mr. Shelby passed away on May 10 (a day I will always remember as it is my birthday). Rather than try to sum up his life in a single page (which would be impossible to do), I just thought that I would draw attention to this fact and to my own limited exposure to his company and foundation. read more…

An Amplifier for all Mankind: Class D Audio SDS-440C Amplifier Review

An Amplifier for all Mankind: Class D Audio SDS-440C Amplifier Review

Specifications:

  • Two Channel Amplifier with adjustable gain
  • 220W RMS Per Channel into 8 ohms
  • 440W RMS Per Channel into 4 ohms
  • Size: 12″ X 12″ X 3.5″
  • Shipping Weight: 20 Pounds
  • MSRP: $665.00

read more…

Miniwatt S-1 Integrated Amplifier

Miniwatt S-1 Integrated Amplifier

Specifications:

  • Power Output: 2.5W+2.5W @ 8 ohms
  • Frequency Response: 30-20Khz (+-1db) Sensitivity = 500mV
  • Gain = 18dB
  • Residual Noise < 0.8mVac
  • Output Impedance: 8 ohms (Japan Z11- EI48*24
  • Output Transformers)
  • Input AC Voltage: 85-132Vac or 176-265Vac
  • Dimensions: 130 x 100mm
  • Weight: 1.5kg Input: RCA Jacks Output: Banana Jacks
  • AC: Standard IEC Jack with Fuse protection (2A Fuse)
  • Price: $229

I know I’m more passionate about affordable products then most people. I get both praise and ridicule for my attitude. Obviously as a writer for this magazine I’ve gotten over it from both perspectives. I still never thought I would have a $229 integrated tube amp in my system the big shock though is that I never thought I could enjoy it this much. I honestly thought that all the hype from Audio Circle and other forums was just fluff, I just knew that this little device wouldn’t memorize me as it has all these other audiophiles; well I guess I got fluffed too! It generally isn’t my style to let the cat out of the bag right off the bat, but this is a smoking piece of gear! read more…

Peavey IPR Series IPR 1600 Amplifier

Peavey IPR Series IPR 1600 Amplifier

More power/less weight are seemingly contradictory, yet awe-inspiring, dual features that are increasingly found in the most innovative and surprisingly affordable modern live sound amplifiers.

Case in point: Peavey’s IPR 1600 — the entry-level model of its lightweight, lowcost, and most-efficient Class-D sound reinforcement amplifier line — is a 2-channel, 800W per channel (2 ohms)/530W per channel (4 ohms) live sound amp with a net weight of around 7 lbs. at $299 street. read more…

Vista Audio i34 Integrated Tube Amplifier

Vista Audio i34 Integrated Tube Amplifier

Specifications: 

  • Power: 35Wpc Bandwidth: 15Hz-35kHz
  • Inputs: CD, Tuner, Aux.
  • Outputs: 4 and 8 ohm
  • Input sensitivity: 0.6Vrms
  • Tubes: 2xECC832, 4x E34L Toroidal transformers
  • Gold plated terminals Stainless steel chassis
  • Price: $980

When I was a kid I remember going down to main street with my grandfather to the appliance store. Inside was a vacuum tube testing machine, there he would plug in a couple of tubes from the console television in an attempt to be handy and save my parents a few dollars. To his credit and my thrill he pulled up a chair to the machine and had me stand on the cushion. From that point I was able to assist him in picking the proper socket for each tube. Had this occurred today I can imagine the horror of tube fanatics as we handled each tube without gloves. The most exciting part was watching the tubes glow after pushing the “test” button.

Some thirty years later with the help of the Vista Audio i34 integrated amplifier I have rediscovered my fascination for vacuum tubes. I’ve always been a solid state audio fan, but over the years I would occasionally wonder about a piece of tube gear in an advertisement. But it never went past a fleeting wishful moment…..until now. The Vista Audio i34 has definitely opened my eyes. read more…

Jungson JA88D(09) Amplifier

Jungson JA88D(09) Amplifier

Specifications

  • Power Input: 115V +/-10% (60Hz)
  • Output Power: 80w x 2, Class A (8ohm, RMS)
  • Frequency Response: 20-20kHz (-0.2dB) THD: ≤0.05% @ 1kHz, 1W
  • S/N ratio: ≥98dB
  • Input Impedance: 100kΩ Output Impedance: 8Ω Size: 19″ D ×17″ W ×7.5″ H
  • Net Weight: 64 lbs (29kg)
  • Price: $2300

As per last month’s article, I have been spoiled with a two piece system lately from Grant Fidelity of MBS-1 speakers and the Jungson JA88D(09)1 amplifier. These two pieces of equipment work magically together to produce a full, very musical sound, and I am sure part of the reason the MBS-1 speakers sounded so good was because of this class A amplifier. But I wanted to be able to test the JA88D(09) independently of the MBS-1 to be able to get a better overall sense of the amplifier and its sound qualities. With its 64lbs to lug around, I had my work cut out for me. read more…

Yamaha A1000 Integrated Stereo Amplifier

Yamaha A1000 Integrated Stereo Amplifier

Specifications:

  • POWER OUTPUT: 120 WPC INTO 8
  • OHMS FROM 20 – 20,OOO HZ.
  • RATED DISTORTION: < 0.005% T.H.D. < 0.002% I.M.D.
  • RATED IHF DYNAMIC POWER: 320 WPC INTO 4 OHMS; 340 WPC INTO 3 OHMS
  • AMPLIFIER CLASS: CLASS AB OR AUTO CLASS A TO 10W / CLASS AB (SWITCHABLE)
  • DAMPING FACTOR: 90 ( 1 kHz, 8 ohms)
  • POWER BANDWIDTH: 10 – 100,000 Hz ( ½ power, 0.03% THD, 8 ohms) S/N RATIO: -106 dB (line inputs)
  • (IHF A NETWORK) -80dB PHONO MC -94 dB PHONO MM
  • DIMENSIONS: 17 1/8” W X 5 3/4” H X 16 3/4” D
  • WEIGHT: 28 LBS. 10 OZ.
  • PURCHASE PRICE: $600 IN 1984

The Yamaha A1000 integrated amp was their top model from 1982-1984, and offered almost all of the flexibility and performance of separates at a very attractive price. The fact that I still use it daily 25 years later speaks volumes for its build quality and durability*. In today’s market, an integrated amp with this level of performance would cost $2,000 or more. read more…

Assembling A Simple $1000 System

Assembling A Simple $1000 System

So, what is Flat Earth? Contrary to what some would have you believe, Flat Earth is not restricted to either Naim or Linn. This isn’t a concept defined by brand. Rather, it is a reflection of how people listen to music from their systems more a value judgement of what’s important in music reproduction. That is, dispense with the aspects of reproduction that you can not be sure of (e.g. soundstage, imaging & reproduction of the recording environment) and instead concentrate on the construction of the music. Is the bass in time with the percussion? Does the piece hang together as a whole? This, of course, is not to decry the ’rounder’ aspects of reproduction. Aspects such as soundstage etc. can enhance the experience. The Flat Earth approach simply gives primacy to the tune …

‒ From the Pink Fish Media web forum FAQ

Novelists must usually decide what degree of slavish accuracy would make their stories more alive, and what degree would make them less.” – Michael Cunningham

The term “flat earth” may be new to many readers. It is a somewhat obscure segment of audio whose philosophies contrast those of the “round earth” mainstream, whose foci is frequency balance, soundstaging, resolution and tonality. Not to denigrate the importance of those ideals. Flat earth’s ascension paralleled those of Linn and Naim. I consider myself a flat earther to the extent that I place more emphasis on the “big picture” derived through the timing, architecture and message, rather than the individual elements. read more…

Tweak City Audio Gizmo V1.0M Integrated mini-amplifier

Tweak City Audio Gizmo V1.0M Integrated mini-amplifier

Specifications

  • Output Connections: L/R channel speakers
  • Subwoofer out (RCA connection) Power Rating: 25WPC x 2 @ 4 ohms Class D amplifier
  • Voltage: 110V/220V
  • Shipping weight: 7 lbs (approx) Dimensions: 8″D x 2.5″H x 4.5″W Additional Features:
  • Digital Display
  • Separate Bass and Treble Controls
  • Subwoofer out
  • Rosewood cap
  • True 100 Hz crossover built-in
  • Volume +/-, Mute, Standby and Bass/Treble controls
  • Price: $119

Class D amplification has, in all honesty, a love/hate relationship in the audio community. On one hand, it is admired for what it can do with subwoofers, and in spaces where room is at a premium, i.e. the office. At the same time it is ripped by those who feel that power from a silicon chip has all the subtlety of a redneck neighbor. I’ll be the first to admit, that I don’t have a preference either way, I just want to hear the best sound possible for the dollars that have been exchanged. A month ago, I was presented with one of the more unique-looking integrated amps on the market, the Gizmo V1.0M. The amp is collaboration between Craig Chase and designer Doug Goldberg. It is the first product for Craig’s new company, Tweak City Audio. Some of you may recognize the screen moniker “Craigsub” on various forums, yes, it’s the same guy. Long time readers of A$$A may remember Craig as the guest writer and host of the blind speaker shootout printed some two years ago in the October issue. read more…

Wyred 4 Sound SX-500 Mono Amplifiers

Wyred 4 Sound SX-500 Mono Amplifiers

Specifications

  • MONO AMPLIFIERS SX-500
  • Typical THD+N 8Ω (10W out) 0.0027%
  • Power Output 8Ω @ 0.2% THD+N 250W
  • Power Output 8Ω @ 1.0% THD+N 330W
  • Output Idle Noise 80uV
  • Efficiency 4Ω 81% @ 500W Efficiency 8Ω 78% @ 200W
  • Frequency Response 20Hz–20kHz ± 0.3db
  • Lower Bandwidth 3.3Hz all loads
  • Balanced Input Impedance 60.4kΩ
  • Unbalanced Input Impedance 60.4kΩ
  • Dynamic Range 115db
  • Gain 27db
  • Sensitivity 2.1V
  • Output Impedance 5mΩ
  • Min Load 2Ω
  • Damping Factor (100Hz 8Ω) 2000
  • Max Output Current 35A
  • Price: $899.00 (Each mono)

A consensus is a relatively rare thing among audiophiles. Every now and then, reviewers actually agree about a given product. For example, the latest Magico (Model 6) speakers seem to be universally adored. Personally, I find that rather boring. Sure, I would happily take delivery on a pair, but as an audio journalist, reviewing such a product is not particularly interesting. The price tag alone ($160K!) means that review better be a rave! Anything short of that would be a huge disappointment.

In contrast, I find products that are both controversial and affordable to be very interesting. The new line of Wyred-4-Sound amplifiers meets both criteria nicely. By high-end standards, they are certainly affordable. At the bottom of their range, the ST-250 stereo amplifier delivers 125WPC into 8 ohms, with a retail price of $999 USD. For twice the money ($1999 USD), you can 4.5x as much power, 570 WPC! The current monoblock amplifiers offer 250 WPC, priced at $899/each. The dollar/watt ratio is impressive, all throughout the line. Even more appealing than that, the amps use the same Class-D switching module (the B&O Ice module) as many much more expensive products, such as those made my Jeff Rowland Design Group, Bel Canto, Red Dragon Audio, H2O audio, Acoustic Reality…and the list goes on. read more…

Trends Audio PA-10 Hybrid Tube Headphone Amplifier

Trends Audio PA-10 Hybrid Tube Headphone Amplifier

Specifications:

  • Vacuum Tube: 6DJ8/6922 series or 12AU7 series (exchangeable) Output Stage: MOSFET x 2
  • Amplification Gain: x3 (for Audio CD/DAC IN) x20 (for Audio PC/iPod IN) Signal-to-Noise Ratio: (SNR) 92dB
  • Power Output: 3.0 Watts per channel on 33 Ohm Headphone
  • Frequency response: 15 Hz -100 kHz -1db
  • Input Impedance: 100k Ohms
  • THD+Noise: 0.05% @ 10k ohm0.15% @ 33 ohm
  • Input: CD/DAC IN RCA (Left/Right) x 1 [3Vpp max.] PC/iPod IN RCA (Left/Right) x 1 [0.55Vpp max.]
  • Output Audio OUT RCA (Left/Right) x 1
  • Headphone OUT (3.5mm) x 1
  • Power Socket: (5.5mm/2.1mm) x 1
  • Power Supply: DC 24V-26.5V (max.) Dimensions: (W) 3” x (H) 1.70” x (D) 4.50” Weight: 13.4 oz
  • Price: $225

Having had a positive experience with the Trends Audio TA 10.1 amplifier, I was anxious to review the Trends Audio PA-10 Tube headphone amplifier when the opportunity presented itself. With a limited budget, building a respectable headphone system is the most economical way to enter the world of true high fidelity. Just add a Zune, an iPod, or a CD player, some quality headphones and you can assemble a nice sounding affordable audio system for just a few hundred dollars. read more…

Page 1 of 612345Last »

WordPress.org

Copyright © 2000-2018 HighFidelityReview – Hi-Fi systems, DVD-Audio and SACD reviews - HQ Hi-Fi Review Theme by ThemeShift.com