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About this blog

Hi Ya!
Not all ideas &  equipment that arrives on my desk will find their path to the Audiophile Style's frontpage.
Sometimes my reviews doesn't qualify for the spotligtht, sometimes the device doesn't fulllfill expectations, sometimes the blog can circumvent publishing schedules ... There are many good reasons to start a blog here. En plus -  reflecting on DACs or writing reviews about new recordings are nice options as well.
Feel free to enjoy!!

Entries in this blog

Podcast Recommendation - The Vinyl Archivist vs. PBTHAL chez Concert Buddy

https://vinylcommunitypodcasts.podbean.com/e/concert-buddie-mind-of-the-record-collector-patrick-pbthal/ Just came across an interesting podcast about Patrick from California, aka the vinly.archivist (https://www.instagram.com/the.vinyl.archivist/ ) and also known as PBTHAL (the real or who knows …) In a recent review / comparison of the newly published “Stop Making Sense” reissue from the Talking Heads, Darko.audio has digged into the qualities of “vinyl rips done right” comparing the

DuckToller

DuckToller in Podcasts

The Arylic BP50 Bluetooth Pre-Amp - modern age switch board for the next generation

The Arylic BP50 Bluetooth Pre-Amp The BP50 was send to me by Arylic’s European distribution for a thorough testing of the device and giving my honest judgement about it in this blog. Who are Arylic? Arylic is brand name for products designed and manufactured by a Chinese company called Rakoit. No - they don’t offer audiophile pleasures like Auralic and they aren’t close to that level of high-end audio (yet)! The company was involved in the first wave European distribution

DuckToller

DuckToller in BT Phono DAC Pre Amp

You can now pre-order the WIIM AIO amplifier - a real Bluesound Powernode challenger at 349€

Again bad news for the established brands like Cambridge, Moon or Bluesound that offer veritable AIO devices at equally veritable pricepoints.   WIIM, the Linkplay brand with an impressive pipeline of affordable and (inter)-connectable products, like the WIIM mini. WIIM Pro and WIIM Pro+,  during the last 2 years, have launched the pre-sales information for their latest product: An amplifier using the TI TPA325x chipset - well known from Aiyima, Fosi and Topping  (you may want to have a

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DuckToller in Amplifier

Arylic BP50 - Another Jack of All Trades in the post today

Bonjour encore! (was it Howard Carpendale who did the "denglish" transfer of it?)   This morning I received a package from Arylic, again. Another sort of "Jack of All Trades", this time for Bluetooth Audio outside of the recent LDAC and Qualcomm APTx Lossless cosmos. I have agreed to review it bc the promise of it seems to be very interesting for many people looking for a wireless digital solution on a budget suiting existing gear. No high-end guaranteed, only sheer functionality.

iFi NEO iDSD 2 - A second coming

168 IFi Audio announced yesterday an upgraded version of their “balanced” DAC, Pre- and HP-Amp NEO iDSD, called - who will wonder about that – NEO iDSD 2. I tried to have a short preview on the documents but gave up on quick & short and allow myself to show you more details on the available information than I was expecting this morning. The device is announced at 899 Euro/USD/GBP. I need to excuse my typo, initially I wrote 699. [ED

DuckToller

DuckToller in DAC PRE HP AMP

The audiophile friends travel blog – PART 2 - The Cubs are coming vs. Boys don't cry

Day 2 Present: Gloria, Dave Peter, Tom. Canadians at the Gite.   Our place to stay: Our Gite “Ty Josephine” chez “Les Gites de Kervac’h” – Erdeven - A range of fully equipped traditional houses, to be rented for a reasonable prices, dog friendly  & no pool - but the Ocean only 5 km away. Main activity : Welcoming the friends from Chicago at Port de Saint-Goustan in Auray Gloria and Dave (the Cubs) arrived from Chicago over Paris CDG early in the morn

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DuckToller in Travel log

The audiophile friends travel blog: PART 1- Who was where ?

The audiophile friends travel blog - Who was where ? A couple of friends from Germany, France, Chicago and Canada were at Erdeven, a small town close to the Quiberon peninsula at the French Atlantic coastline in the Brittany region.   Day 1 Present: Peter, Tom, Frisby & Isis (the Canadians – Nova Scotia & Labrador) The history: When the dates for the Munich Hi-End 2023 were announced the year before, I have sent out mails to Chris, my contributing colleague

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DuckToller in Travel log

Updates on the Arylic HD DAC – it’s (more) functional now! - PLUS WIIM Pro Plus in the store

I have some good news about the HD DAC: The firmware has got an update in March (4.6.509530.45 / 20230302) and it doesn’t brick the device anymore, at least with the unit under review. The 4stream app received as well an overhaul (3.1.18.230210) in February, and they included the 5Ghz network toggle that was missing and which was heavily criticized. Thumbs up for that!              The app itself still has a search engine on valium, but the app throughput i.e.  like Radio Pa

DuckToller

DuckToller in Streamer - DAC

The long promised iFi iDSD Signature & NEO iDSD review (Part 4) - The Red Elephant

The red elephant & the art of product life cycle enhancement There is an elephant in the room, and it is kinda red. PART IV: The micro iDSD Signature by design is a transition product between the good-ole iDSD Black Label edition and the new streamlined iDSD Diablo. This might explain why it comes with a limited availability. The Diablo may show the new direction of iFi products - it comes in aggressive Lamborghini Red as the king of the purist design hill, a top-o

DuckToller

DuckToller in DAC - Reviews

A recent Qobuz offer - 2 month free testing gift code (expired)

Bonjour Blog readers! I have received information from Qobuz that right right now the standard 1-month trial has been enhanced to a 2 month sequence, using this link and the code below. Though, I have no idea how long the offer will be valid, you better redeem asap ;-) I have also understood that this offer is limited to the 24 countries Qobuz operates and read that it may work adding that gift code to your existing subscription. The link works only without VPN, or at least us

DuckToller

DuckToller in Music & Playlists

The long promised iFi iDSD Signature & NEO iDSD review (Part three) - NEO iDSD

NEO iDSD (around 700-800 $) : HIGH HOPES I need to underline that iFi had understood some of the critical input raised by the reviewers and made changes to the package and the firmware selection. The recent incarnation of iFi neo iDSD comes along as the  iFi Audio Performance Edition at 799$ MSRP. The NEO iDSD Performance Edition now does include now the iPurifier3 USB B reclocker plus the SPDIF iPurifier and gives you a firmware choice that allows you to use all capabilities of the B

DuckToller

DuckToller in DAC - Reviews

An Xmas Mixtape for the AS readers / members chez Qobuz

How boring ;-) Stop right there! The tapes are coming back …. Just click here … https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ep365-the-return-of-the-cassette-tape/id1048766030?i=1000586927145 https://www.reddit.com/r/audiophile/comments/zdovki/the_return_of_the_cassette_tape/ https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-start-cassette-collection/ It’s a thing. And it brings up memories. I had roughly 2 decades in my life in which I was working with tapes. From cutting mu

DuckToller

DuckToller in Music & Playlists

The long promised iFi iDSD Signature & NEO iDSD review (Part two) - iDSD Signature

Great expectations, high hopes & the elephant in the room iFi Audio Micro iDSD Signature & NEO iDSD review The Micro iDSD Signature - Great Expectations Contents Part two: Signature review Exhibt 2:  4.4mm balanced output Pentaconn Exhibit 3: The GTO filter Signature review Last November I was kind of surprised when I read the announcement of a Signature edition for the iFi Micro iDSD. Great expectations had been raised instantly about this shiny new

DuckToller

DuckToller in DAC - Reviews

The long promised iFi iDSD Signature & NEO iDSD review (Part one)

I have re-read my 2021 review about these two iFi devices, which I wrote between December 20 and Mars 21,  and found that the work is likely worth to be published, even it is seemingly kind of old news, as the Neo iDSD has already received a revamp.   I will make a series of entries out of the material, starting today with Part 1 1. Review intro and overview 2. The Micro iDSD Signature - Great Expectations 3. NEO iDSD -  HIGH HOPES 4. The red elephant & the art of product life

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DuckToller in DAC - Reviews

DA, DAW, AIO and nCore

I have already posted the pics and the links for the Audiophonics.fr DA and DAW all-in-one amplifier here. Here are the links to Audiophonics . DA250NC and DAW250NC . From my personal experience with AIO amplifiers, the integration of different PCBs with specialized services & functions, like DAC input /output, Wifi and BT input isn’t easy-peasy at all. You’ll get something wrong in the firmware, and your units suddenly lose a lot of their value. No UPnP/DLNA? Meh! Spdif in

DuckToller

DuckToller in Amplifier

Arylic UP2STREAM HD DAC – A blog rant

The company has sent me this device, the Arylic UP2STREAM HD DAC and the S50+ Pro Pre-amp / Streamer / DAC in return for giving it a thorough and honest review. With the HD DAC board I received a remote control and the Arylic acrylic case option (no pun intended). I was asked to publish the review this week, starting yesterday, and the company was aware of my findings. I’ve produced a set of pictures that you’ll find in the galleries, a work which may underline my serious enthusiasm to revi

DuckToller

DuckToller in Streamer - DAC

An introduction to ALAN BANGS - BFBS / WDR Radio DJ and TV presenter - and a playlist

In my formative years (1978 - 88 or so) there had been one outstanding Radio DJ for me, an Englishmen from Dartford / Kent (by chance the hometown of Mick Jagger), presenting radio shows from Cologne and Essen, Germany: Mr. Alan Bangs (born 1951),    working for BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Service) and WDR (West German Broadcast): For young DuckToller he took over musical education from Wolfman, whose US Top 40 I had heard almost every Sunday afternoon when I was 12, but Al

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DuckToller in Music & Playlists

Update - WIIM mini HD Streamer - a success story

Update -  WIIM Mini Streamer: The WIIM Mini Streamer is a cheap - puck sized - device for streaming Hi-Res Audio up to 192kHz/24bit from your home network or mobile phone to your DAC or preamp. It is a budget wise investment for multiroom scenarios - think  BlueSound Node or Sonos. Plus, it is easier to setup than any RPI3/4 solution. The device was bought chez Amazon France for 99 Euros in April 2022. For the record: I have had two trips to Germany, a quite miserable Covid infecti

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DuckToller in Streamer - DAC

Saturday evening was a testing one.

The setup of the device via Bluetooth using the WiiM HOME app did work smoothly. But I rather like BubbleUPNP for playback cues. JRIVER and FOOBAR detected the device sans fault. Checking out the killer feature of the WiiM, the 24bit 192 hz digital output to an external DAC. It didn't work at the beginning  with native bitrates, but worked well with 24bit 96hz, though. Or with down sampled streams from JRIVER or BubbleUNPN. As it didn't work out with the Toslink cable provided by

DuckToller

DuckToller in Streamer - DAC

TOSLINK - I stand corrected!!!

I stand corrected: The Toslink cable provided by WIIM does work with 24bit - 192 kHz files. Just tested it together with the two new short digital cables that arrived yesterday, no difference by performance except for my personal Bias for the shortest one of 50 cm. It's quite handy ;-) Possible reason for my fail: Firmware update in the meantime or multiple human mismatch. Prefer the first option ;-) However, it is important to underline that you won't need to add another cable to

DuckToller

DuckToller in Streamer - DAC

Pretty much excited to get the WIIM mini Airplay 2 in my hands tonight.

What's that ? It's kind of chromecast on XTC for music lovers. A lightweight puck of 48 gramms, infused with technology of from Linkplay Technolgy Inc, Newark, California,  who owns the brand Wiim, which once was called WiimU and has its home in Nanjing, China, somewhere between Shanghai and Wuhan. Funny thing is, I bought it at Amazon.fr from a company called Arylic-Eu.com, which is the brand name of Rakoit.com, another Chinese enterprise from Shenzhen. This company has contact

DuckToller

DuckToller in Streamer - DAC

PuRiFi based Surveyor by JGC & Rose Handwerk

Joachim Gerhard Collection & Rose Handwerk: PuRiFi based speaker design   Some of you may have heard about Joachim Gerhard, the créateur of Michael Fremer's beloved Audio Physic Virgo speaker and founder of Audio Physic, Sonics and Suesskind Audio. In Europe he is often referred to as the "German Pope of High End Speakers" ... Nevermind, this century there has already seen a German Pope of the Catholic Church - from Bavaria - whose reign didn't last as long as Joachim G

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DuckToller in Loudspeaker

THE AIRPULSE A80 - short review with measurements

THE AIRPULSE A80 active desktop speakers - short review with measurements The Airpulse A80 horn-loaded Ribbon Tweeter design active desktop speaker is the youngest and smallest sibling of the Airpulse family designed by Phil Jones, produced and marketed by Edifier International. It may be available in the US starting 599 $. European prices are around 699 €. While her inner values are broadly identical with the recently reviewed Airpulse A100, the Bluetooth stack of the A80 has evolved

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DuckToller in Speaker

The new Airpulse A80 & Airpulse A300 pro

There had been members suggesting more reviews on active bookshelf speakers after the Airpulse vs Kanto reviews and when Airpulse asked me about reviewing the new A80s I felt it would make sense to report about them here in the forums.     Last  week I have received the fancy blue coated A80 active desktop speakers from Airpulse, they are the smaller sibling of the already reviewed A100 and sell for 699 USD. These two may have some smaller technical differences only, wh

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DuckToller in Speaker

Like a late November afternoon sky: About DACs and smartphones - an opinion:

Could we relate to DACs performance somehow like to a fall afternoon’s beautiful cloudy sky? I assume It may lie in the eye of the beholder which picture carries more beauty for him or her while obviously there are objective criterias to define a picture's qualities. For example, I’ve selected 2 fall sky images I took with my then smartphone in  2016 and 2018 The technical quality is limited, the impression may suit you or not. But is as much in line how I saw the sky as I could c

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DuckToller in Opinion




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