HiFi Reviews

Review: NAD D 3020 V2 Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC and Bluetooth

I owned an original NAD 3020 back in 1980 and I loved, loved, loved it. Everything about it including its $135 price tag. The new NAD D 3020 V2 clocks in at $399 which, when adjusted for inflation, costs the same as the original (give or take some cents).  The “D” in the new one’s […]

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Review: Micromega M-150 All-In-One Integrated Amplifier

My great-grandmother on my father’s mother’s side loved Chiclets, especially the red ones. She didn’t speak much English, dressed only in black after her husband passed, and perpetually rolled rosaries between her thumb and fingers, the speed of the passing beads based on what was on her mind or on the TV. A woman in […]

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Review: HoloAudio Azure Headphone Amplifier

What kind of idea are you? The Analyst? Are you the detail hound looking to plumb the depths of your favorite recordings? Or maybe the Sensualist? You’re looking for a dynamic, captivating and more physical listening experience? While no one is any one thing and we all likely look for a balance of talents, I […]

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Review: Quad VA-One Integrated Amplifier / DAC

Listen here: I like tubes, I like integrated amplifiers, I like integrated amplifiers with DACs, I like Bluetooth, and I like well-made stuff. Seeing as the Quad VA-One is all of the above (and more), I like the Quad VA-One.

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System Review: PS Audio Sprout100 + ELAC Debut 2.0

It’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve been thinking about writing a system review for years. It’s also the case that I’ve wanted to review this particular system for years as well. On one hand, every component review is a system review, on the other hand reviews are rarely presented as such. This is all […]

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Review: Ayre EX-8 Integrated Hub

Last year, I reviewed and compared six streaming integrated amplifiers as Editor of AudioStream. I find value in these types of comparisons both as a doer and as a reader because comparative listening to like-components allows us to readily hear the sonic flavors baked into each one. From there, we can decide which matches our […]

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Micromega M.A.R.S. Room EQ

I know some people poo poo on DSP and I get it for analog purists. But within the realm of digital, poo poo’ing on DSP is like refusing to use post-processing on your digital pics. The Micromega M-One offers the optional M.A.R.S. (Micromega Acoustic Room System) Room EQ system and to my mind if you’re […]

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Progress Report: Ayre EX-8

Do you like simple? I like simple. Let’s make a system hardware checklist: Ayre EX-8, DeVore Fidelity gibbon X, sonic Transporter i5 (Roon Core), NAS (music storage), iPad remote (Roon), and a router. Check.

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System Review: The Barn (Mine)

I  like system reviews. What better inaugural system to review than my very own? I’ve taken great care, over many years, to end up with this exact mix. This system gives me pleasure every single day and I’m going to tell you why.

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In Barn: Ayre EX-8 Integrated Hub

Ayre EX-8 Integrated Hub (starts at $5,990.00 /  $7,850.00 with optional network board). I like to call this type of component a Streaming Integrated Amplifier because it offers a Roon-Ready Ethernet input (and DAC)  so all you need to add is some music and a pair of speakers and you are off to the races. […]

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