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  1. Might I suggest that the use of the AO200 as a desktop amp is limiting a full appreciation of its capabilities? As a retiree with modest disposable income, I very recently purchased the AO200. I'm using it in my living room system. It definitely punches far above its cost. It's driving my 6ohm, 86db Dynaudio Emit M10 bookshelves just fine in a 600 sq ft living/dining/kitchen area. It's subwoofer output is connected to my Quad subwoofer. I never have to go above midway on the volume. Source is a Paradigm PW-Link with ARC room correction software. Qobuz accessed through the Link's Play-Fi software is occasionally a bit glitchy and the optical/toslink connection downconverts all files to 16/44-48 file rates. Nevertheless, a well recorded piece sounds very good indeed. I do plan on replacing the Link but currently, truly affordable equip. with room correction capability is scarce. I now consider that capability a necessity. The ARC made a substantial upgrade in fidelity. IMO, the AO200 is a nice blend of transparency and tonality. It doesn't ruthlessly expose bad recordings but makes the difference clear between well recorded and the poorly recorded. I have a Marantz PM6005 Integrated and a Rega Brio (2017 model) both of which have died on me but if memory serves, it beats both those highly rated units in transparency, tonality and in its 'black background'. Midrange is where it shines with bass and treble nearly as good. Dynamics, imaging and soundstage are fine but not its strong points. Chip amps are definitely improving and the AO uses better quality parts from Japan and Germany and has an upgraded power supply. I'm bypassing the PW-Link's poor DAC by outputting the stream through the Link's toslink output to an Eastern Electric Tube DAC Supreme. Which then feeds the Amp. BTW, banana plugs will fit in the small binding posts but it is a very tight fit. I have a bit of a mashup of equipment but the amp is no longer the weak link in this system. I plan to at some point migrate the AO200 into my desktop system but currently I'm a happy camper with it in my living room system. Hopefully, some here may find my perspective on the AO200 worth consideration.
  2. Thanks so much for a wonderful article. I'm 71 and have been a fan of Bill Wither's music since first hearing it on the radio. I learned so much in this article about a man who always had his head on straight about life's priorities.
  3. My son-in-law likes the M10's gestault. In his review of the M10, John Darko spoke glowingly of the difference that the Dirac room correction software made in the M10's SQ. I'd love to see the M10 compared to Arcam's new SA-30 all-in-one. The Arcam lacks the M10's big display but may exceed it in SQ. The Arcam is in the same price range as the M10, also has Dirac, and, it too is fully MQA capable with network streamer capability. We are living in Audio's second 'golden age' and happily, one that exceeds the first in nearly every category.
  4. A wonderful and exhaustive review of a little understood area in the field of digital reproduction.
  5. John J, Clearly, in this area, your dream woman and you have different priorities. Sonos is known for their simple, intuitive interface, that's what she loves about her Sonos. You, as an audiophile, place SQ as your highest priority. She will never be happy with a more cumbersome interface. You will never be happy with Sonos' at best mid-fi reproduction. Your mission is to find a much higher fidelity alternative to Sonos, one that makes you both happy. Anything less will ultimately, leave you both unhappy and at worst, resentful. Sooner or later, that alternative will appear, indeed it may already exist.
  6. Talk about whiplash! Here's an option to the Adam Audio nearfield monitors I highlighted above; Morel Audio's Hogtatare Powered speaker - $199.00 (single) $369.00 (pair) indiegogo early bird special. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hogtalare-true-hifi-wireless-sound-for-everyone#/ ---- https://ideaing.com/ideas/hogtalare-speaker/ Pair these with the Node 2 and a sub and you'd have an impressive budget system. Lots of fine quality, budget priced cables out there too.
  7. Michael Lavorgna argues that, "Computer Audio Is Dead. And Streaming Has Killed It." That's especially true when budget considerations are a listener's highest priority. As a modest system is unlikely to have the resolution to reveal clear differences in source material. LOTS of choices out there, here's one possible budget/quality system: Used Blusound Node 2 - $350.00 ADAM Audio T7V 7" Powered Studio Monitor ( Nearfield) - $500.00 pair Frequency Response: 39 Hz - 25 kHz Definitive Technology ProSub 800 - High Output Compact 300W Powered Subwoofer Black- $278.00 - White - $219.00 - 76% buyers give it a five star recommendation, gets down into the 20s. Tight, impactful bass... Tidal or Qobuz subscription: $20. a month...
  8. Re: "completely computer-less operation from start to finish" Isn't the Aurender acs-10 itself... a dedicated, customized computer that's operating on proprietary software in an 'audiophile box'? Regarding the Aurender's $6k-7k price... I own an essentially brand new Asus VC66 MiniPC (i7, 500SSD - $850.00) and I'm getting ready to download Euphony's Music Server software @ $289.00 onto a USB stick. Then installed on my MiniPC, it will wipe clean the Windows 10 OS, turning the MiniPC into a dedicated Music Server. BTW, I'm going to buy the Samsung QVO M.2 SSD you profiled, turns out my Asus has an unused M.2 slot, thanks a lot for that. The Euphony OS is fully Roon Ready and reportedly comes very close to matching the fidelity of the Aurender. It can be controlled by either an iPad/iPhone or an Android tablet/phone. No monitor, PC needed. Several professional reviewers hold it in high regard. I'd love to see a comparative review between the $6-7k Aurender and someting like my $1139.00 Euphony setup. It would be interesting to see if you concluded that the Aurender offers 5-6 times more than does the Euphony... I understand that getting that last 10% increase in fidelity, requires a logarithmic increase in cost. I also see a trend among audio reviewers toward reviewing ever more astronomically priced gear. Just my opinion, but that seems like an excellent way to gradually decrease ones' audience. Please consider the above constructive criticism. I'm a longtime fan of this blog/mag but one who is feeling increasingly shunted aside by most reviewers in the gear they chose to review. I suspect I'm by no means alone in that perception.
  9. HI Richard, Thank you for the kind words. It sure would be interesting to compare your homemade Dueland cables to the Decware's. If memory serves, Jeff Place made some homemade Dueland RCA cables and spoke highly of them. Hey small world, I happen to have the open baffle Betsys but circumstance has prevented me from setting them up. When I'm finally able to do so, I'll be pairing them up with my Eastern Electric MiniMax Integrated Tube Amplifier. Sourced by my Yamaha PF-1000 TT and a yet to be acquired Parks Audio 'Puffin' Phono preamp. And yes, I'll be using Dueland cable in that rig too.
  10. Hello everyone, I have a kit to share that I put together for my aged parents. It may be of interest for those not blessed with lots of cash. IMO, far too much attention is paid in audiophile land to gear that costs far more than the average person can afford, yet there is lots of gear, that if not giant killers, provides far more "bang for the buck" than megabuck gear. Only rarely do I see a system consisting of such gear. Here's one for those who missed it: Mr. Fußball's budget system Warning: to do justice to the system I put together, I decided to post it up on a new website rather than here, so below is the link to it: A Budget Near Field System
  11. Hello all, new here with a question. I'm wondering as to the compatibility between my Korg DS-DAC using AudioGate 4 software and the new Sonore microRendu? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Warm regards, Geoffrey
  12. Hello all, new here with a question. I'm wondering as to the compatibility between my Korg DS-DAC using AudioGate 4 software and the new Sonore microRendu? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Warm regards, Geoffrey
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