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© Perfect sense 2018
4th of januari

Årets bästa produkter 2017


Årets bästa produkter 2017

De stora har sagt sitt

De mest tongivande magasinen och bloggarna sammanställer varje år vad de anser har varit de mest betydande produkterna under det gångna året. Här hittar ni hela listan, men också våra personliga tankar och kommentarer.

Läs först – lyssna sen. Vi har samtliga tillverkare för permanent demonstration och utlån – välkommen!

 

Årsbästa 2017

Stereophile

Ayre QX-5

 

Ayre QX-5 | “Digital hub” (DAC, streamer m.m.)

Motivering:

“Ayre Acoustics’ QX-5 Twenty Digital Hub D/A processor can take the place of a preamplifier in a digital-music playback system. That distinction owes as much to the Ayre’s 100-step digital-domain volume control as to its abundance of analog and digital inputs—the latter including Ethernet connectivity and adherence to DLNA/UPnP protocols, for playing locally stored files and streaming music from the Internet—and the QX-5 Twenty is certified Roon Ready.”

Vår kommentar: Ayre fortsätter att lansera intelligenta och djupt musikaliska produkter med sin speciella kombination av förnuft och känsla. QX-5 är inget undantag, vilken är en av de mest kompletta digitala källorna på marknaden. Enheten erbjuder en DAC av högsta klass förenat med en streamer redo för Roon, en volymkontroll av mycket hög kvalitet samt en hörlursutgång och en full uppsättning digitala ingångar. En nyhet mot slutet av året är att QX-5 nu finns i fyra versioner med olika egenskaper – allt efter dina behov. Vi älskar Ayre, och det gör även de som blivit ägare av QX-5 under året. En lika modern som framtidssäker produkt i absolut framkant.

Läs mer om Ayre QX-5 och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

Kii Three

 

Kii Three | Aktivt högtalarsystem

Motivering:

“As Kal Rubinson wrote when he reviewed our 2017 Product of the Year in the September 2017 Stereophile, “almost everything about Kii Audio’s Three loudspeaker is a refreshing splash of cool water.” That’s especially true if one defines refreshing—and splash and cool—as meaning “different.” And my oh my, is this year’s winner ever different. The three-way, six-driver Kii Three is distinct from most other loudspeakers—and all previous Products of the Year, as far as I know—inasmuch as it is self-amplified and -preamplified, DSP-controlled, and German. And, at $13,900/pair (stands additional), the Kii Audio Three is far less expensive than other products that have sat atop our annual vote. Take that, conformity!”

Vår kommentar: Vår mest populära produkt alla kategorier (!) under året är ett komplett och helaktivt högtalarsystem ifrån en ung tillverkare under ledning av en ledande konstruktör (Bruno Putzeys). Genom att förena nyvunna tekniska lösningar inom DSP och Klass D-teknik så har man skapat en tidsenlig framtidsprodukt som löser många av de moderna hemmens utmaningar och problem relaterat till placering och baskontroll. Neutralitet, linjäritet och homogenitet i särklass i kombination med imponerande dynamik och basenergi ger ett ärligt och korrekt system som spelar all musik på det sätt producenterna önskade. En ny epok har inletts, och det här är bara början.

Läs mer om Kii Three och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

Hifi+

Transfiguration Proteus

Transfiguration Proteus | Pickup

Motivering:

“There is a process of continuous development and improvement taking place at Transfiguration. Legendary designer Seiji Yoshioka keeps improving the performance of all the models in the line, but especially the flagship Proteus moving coil cartridge. While the Proteus still features an aluminium body, solid boron cantilever with PA diamond stylus, neodymium magnets, and an interna! impedance of just one Ohm, the principle changes are fewer coil windings, and the use of higher purity silver in those coils. The damper compound has also been changed, but Transfiguration keeps the chemical composition of its dampers a deep secret. Hi-Fi+ expert and Transfiguration aficionado Jason Kennedy was impressed the latest Proteus’ , “even greater realism and musical engagement in the context of remarkable image depth and scale” adding that, “I love the way that the Proteus can present such rich detail without any tendency to sound analytical.”

Vår kommentar: En av våra absoluta och mest självklara referenser liksom en produkt som konkurrerar med marknadens allra finaste pickuper till en i sammanhanget betydligt lägre prislapp.

Läs mer om Transfiguration och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

PS Audio DirectStream Memory player

PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player | Mediaspelare (CD/SACD/DVD-A m.m.)

Motivering:

“In the world of streaming audio, many think that spinning disc players must either move with the limes or fade away. PS Audio’s DirectStream Memory Player is very much a ‘move with the limes’ design. As the name suggests, rather than outputting data read directly from discs, the DirectStream outputs data from a very low-jitter buffer system that PS Audio calls a “Digital Lens”. And it does this with all manner of digital audio files pulled from a range of discs, including HDCDs, SACDs, DVD-Audio discs, HRx discs, Blu-ray audio discs, and even user-created CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL, and BD-R/ RE discs. In addition to discs, the Memory Player can also play files directly from USB thumb drives via a convenient front panel-mounted USB port. On the rear panel of the DirectStream Memory Player users will find an AES/EBU and three sets each of coaxial S/PDIF and 1 2S digital outputs, making it the perfect partner for PS Audio’s own highly-prized range of DirectStream digital converters. In his test of the DirectStream Memory Player, Hi-Fi+ Publisher Chris Martens found it “offered consistently superior low-frequency pitch definition and clarity,” and that it had “a notable edge in terms of capturing transient sounds of all kinds”, as well as delivering “both harmonic and reverberant information in the music.”

Chris concluded by saying, “lf you’ve bought into streaming source components in a big way, you may find PS Audio’s DirectStream Memory Player will force you-in the nicest, gentlest, and most rewarding way-to reconsider the sonic merits of disc-based music playback.”

Vår kommentar: En komplett mediaspelare som hanterar majoriteten av alla diskformat liksom uppspelning ifrån USB. En unik egenskap är möjligheten till avläsning av SACD för vidare avkodning av DSD-signalen via PS Audios DirectStream DAC, vilket är den perfekta partnern för en komplett duo som kan hantera alla tänkbara format och källor – idag och i framtiden.

Läs mer om PS Audio och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

Vertere Phono 1

Vertere PHONO-1 | RIAA försteg

“Reviewed in partnership with the Vertere MG-1 turntable and SG-1 tonearm (both strong contenders for turntable and tonearm of the year in their own rights), the Vertere Phono-1 impressed us for its ability to cope with ridiculously difficult cartridge loads quietly and enthusiastically. This one-input, single output, solid-state MM/MC stage is designed to have maximum flexibility in cartridge loading. It has two sets of DIP switches flanking the shielded central RIAA and preamplifier stages. lt’s use with less ‘impossible’ cartridges is almost completely noiseless and yet effortlessly dynamic and detailed. In testing the PHONO-1 Hi-Fi+ Editor Alan Sircom felt that “the PHONO-1 is one of the most naturally sounding phono stages l’ve heard in a long lime,” and even when used with a cartridge with an output of just 0.1 mV “the only imitation it presented was the phono stage didn’t go quite as loud as possible.” This is clearly a top-notch phono stage in a small package, with a price tag that utterly belies its actual performance. Think of the PHONO-1 as a truly high-end phono stage that forgot to get too expensive!”

Vår kommentar: Detta är kort och gott den mest övertygande produkt som vi har hört i klassen, med en maximal prisvärdhet som man inte tror är möjlig.

Läs mer om Vertere och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

The Absolute Sound

Ypsilon Phaethon

Ypsilon Phaethon | Integrerad förstärkare

INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER OF THE YEAR

“Ypsilon, the premium, near-mythic Greek electronics manufacturer has brilliantly grafted the electronic DNA from its agship Aelius monoblocks and PST100mk2 pre onto the small-canvas constraints of its sole integrated amp. The result is a 110Wpc, hybrid, line-level preamp/pure analog ampli er utilizing only three active gain stages—two of them with low-noise 6H30 valves operating in single-ended Class A for the input and driver stage, plus a unique in-house-built transformer attenuator. But specs alone don’t explain the alchemy NG heard. He’s auditioned pretty sumptuous feats of audio in this elite segment, but few have captured the earthy sense of “being there” like the Phaethon. It does this with wide color, vel- vety textural contrasts, micro-detailing, and vise-like grip. Quality of construction is Herculean—seventy heroic pounds of satin- nished aluminum and heat-sinking that would take the demigod himself to lug up Mt. Olympus. Includes a remote control, plus four inputs.”

Vår kommentar: Detta är en av de mest fulländade integrerade förstärkarna som vi har haft förmånen att lära känna. En förstärkare för den kräsna puristen och musikälskaren, med en prestanda som kommer mycket nära för- och slutstegen Ypsilon PST-100 MKII och Aelius II. Phaethon förenar närvaron och naturligheten hos rör med kraften och kontrollen ifrån transistorer.

Läs mer om Ypsilon och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

Audience Au24SX

Audience Au24SX | Kabelserie

SPEAKER CABLES AND INTERCONNECTS OF THE YEAR

“Audience’s latest fagship wire struck a uid and natural balance of ease, articulation, and immersiveness. It has a ripe midrange weight and sweetness, vivid dynamic contrasts, and a profound sensitivity to the nest volume gradations. Ultimately it possesses a brilliance factor that casts light into the deepest corners of the soundstage and restores air and lift to harmonics. A particular strength for Au24 SX cables is the often hard-to-manage blend of the transient, the tactile, and the reverberant. Flexible and easy to handle, too. In a word, superb.”

Vår kommentar: Audience har varit med oss ifrån dag ett, där man erbjuder oerhört transparenta, neutrala och väl balanserade kablar med ett pris- prestandaförhållande som är svårslaget. Detta är en tillverkare vars produkter vi gärna rekommenderar, vilka ofta ersätter betydligt mer kostsamma kablar i våra kunders system.

Läs mer om Audience och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

Playback Designs Merlot

Playback Designs Merlot | DAC

“What propels the Playback Designs Merlot into the upper echelon of digital audio is its ability to bring clarity and resolution to images at the very lowest volume levels. Like a sonic zoom lens it can zero in and precisely describe the ne grit of a brushed snare, the singing rattles of a tambourine struck at the back of a symphony hall, or the ripple of air o the string from a concert harp. Music in any genre has a ripeness and an elasticity and acoustic openness. Sounding more like a digital/analog hybrid, the Merlot is able to hang onto digital’s obvious strengths—tonal neutrality, broad dynamics, and rmly resolved low frequencies—while preserving the harmonics, air, and uidity of a performance. Like all Playback gear it’s based on an open architecture and uses no o -the-shelf components, including the DAC chips. Supporting formats up to 24-bit/384kHz, as well as DSD64/128/256, the Merlot is also equipped with an excellent headphone amp. The Merlot DAC produced some of the most compellingly musical and elevated audio that NG has heard from a source component—digital or analog.”

Vår kommentar: Andreas Koch är tveklöst en av high-end världens främsta konstruktörer, där han både konsulterar hos erkända tillverkare som Nagra och BAT, men också erbjuder sina egna produkter under Playback Designs. Merlot är en DAC i mellanklassen som kort efter lanseringen bevisade sig erbjuda högre prestanda än den tidigare toppmodellen (med en prislapp som är flera gånger högre). En direkt konsekvens av detta blev utvecklingen av de nya referenserna under namnet “Dream Series” som lanseras under 2018. Merlot är en fantastisk DAC helt enkelt, med en kombination av utpräglade hifi-kvaliteter och självklar musikalitet.

Läs mer om Playback Designs Merlot och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

Zellaton Reference

Zellaton Reference MkII | Högtalare

“Over the last twenty- ve years JV has heard a lot of ne equipment at trade shows around the world. Only twice has he been stopped in his tracks by a sound so uncannily realistic it literally made him do a double take. The latest instance occurred just three years ago in Munich with an earlier version of our TAS Special Mention award-winner, the Zellaton Reference MkII. The Reference MkII is a three-way oorstander with a single 2″ true cone tweeter (not a dome or an inverted dome but a cone), a single 7″ mid/ woofer (which, by itself, covers the range from 250Hz to 6.5kHz—part of the reason why the Reference MkII sounds so much like a single-driv- er speaker), and three 9″ woofers, all housed in a unique, gorgeously nished, multi-layered, matrix-braced, open-backed enclosure. Every single one of the Reference’s drivers uses Emil Podszus’ handmade sandwich cones (which his grandson Manuel has improved by “using modern materials and sophisticat- ed, purpose-designed processes”). Utilizing a single type of driver made of precisely the same materials—rather than a mix of cones and domes made of a variety of materials, as is the case with almost every other dynamic or hybrid loudspeaker—is another reason why the Zellaton Reference MkII sounds so remarkably ’stat-like and of a piece. Of course, the main reason that the Zellaton Reference MkIIs are reminiscent of electrostats is the forehead-slapping realism with which they reproduce voices and acoustic instruments. This is in equal parts the result of extremely high resolution, extremely lifelike reproduction of timbre, extremely natural and linear reproduction of transients, and extremely low driver/box col- oration with none of the usual sense of the box or the backwave of the drivers selectively adding spurious, spring-like energy to the presentation. We expect hi- ’s to sound at least a little like hi- ’s. It is what they are, after all—and hell, we’re looking right at them. In spite of this, at its best the Zellaton Reference MkII makes you forget where the sound is coming from. A great loudspeaker—one that our founder, Mr. Pearson, would’ve admired, and one that clearly deserves a TAS 2017 Product of the Year Award.”

Vår kommentar: Våra mest extrema, välbyggda, kompromisslösa och på många sätt unika högtalare tillverkas av en liten tysk tillverkare med säte i München. Elementen bygger på ett patent ifrån 30-talet, vilket vittnar om en lång och genuin historia. Innan vi lärde känna Zellaton hos oss så insåg vi inte att det gick att förena en sådan extrem transparens och upplösning med dessa fantastiska organiska och naturliga kvaliteter. En referenshögtalare i dess sanna bemärkelse och ett slutmål för dig som söker din sista högtalare.

Läs mer om Zellaton och lyssna på dem hos oss.

The Ear

PMC Cor

PMC Cor | Integrerad förstärkare

“The name Professional Monitor Company implies that PMC is a manufacturer of loudspeakers and their presence on the amplifier battle field seems a bit odd, but with the cor they have proven to be capable of building not only the finest studio gear, but also of enabling owners of domestic PMC speakers to enjoy a close approach to pro sound. The cor is a traditional amplifier built around a Darlington type of circuit with only a single pair of power transistors for each channel, these deliver a healthy 95 Watts into 8Ω or 140 Watts into 4Ω. Its design brings to mind the golden days of hi-fi, when Lecson, Meridian and Mission were at their peak.
Listening to PMC fact.12 loudspeakers driven by the cor extended their capabilities and made them sound even more like large studio monitors. With this speaker the cor has no character of its own, it is an extension of the loudspeaker, for the most pure sound PMC is capable of, a natural partnership in every way. It also proved able to offer speed, dynamics, neutrality, tenderness and brute force on demand with loudspeakers from other brands. The cor is a mighty fine amplifier that will make you smile as long as you play your music. It is one of the most transparent and characterless amplifiers that I have had the pleasure to use at home. Recommended for both heart and soul.”

Vår kommentar: Högtalartillverkaren PMC överraskade hifi-världen under 2017 med att lansera en integrerad förstärkare. Efter att ha levt med denna hos oss under året så har den fortsatt att överraska, där den inte bara är en perfekt partner tillsammans med den nya twenty5.serien ifrån PMC, utan även har visat sig trivas ypperligt ihop med flera andra av våra högtalare. Detta är en väldigt neutral och korrekt förstärkare med öppenhet, driv och engagemang som på många sätt påminner om högtalarna ifrån samma tillverkare. Sunt förnuft och ärliga intentioner utan att någonsin bli tråkigt helt enkelt.

Läs mer om PMC och lyssna eller låna hem Cor hos oss.

PMC twenty5.26

PMC twenty5.26 | Högtalare

“The next best thing to PMC’s finest domestic loudspeaker, the fact.12, the Twenty5.26 is an elegant and subtle design with sound quality that calmly gets under your skin and makes you want to listen for longer. The largest model in its range it has superb detailing in stainless steel plinth bars, custom made binding posts and lovely single piece spikes. The sound is even more beguiling, it’s highly transparent in an effortless fashion, and able to reveal the smallest things in the music as easily as the fundamentals. However it’s very hard to describe because it has so little character, as a result it reflects the quality of each recording you play with considerable precision. In many ways this is a speaker for all seasons, I tried all manner of music from electronica to Vivaldi and enjoyed all of it, heard new detail in most of it and rediscovered just how good some of the performances are. Separation of the different instruments and voices in any piece of music is very strong, it has the ability to open up the soundstage so that each piece of music can strut its stuff. If you love your music you’ll find it hard to resist.”

Vår kommentar: PMC’s nya twenty5-serien är inget mindre än en succé och vår mest populära under året. Väntetiderna har periodvis varit långa, men efter att ha utökat sin produktionskapacitet så är man nu ikapp med full kapacitet. Vi har också fått en dedikerad svensk distributör under året, vilket förhoppningsvis kommer att innebära korta leveranstider under 2018. Den nya twenty5-serien för en genuin tradition baserad på de speciella transmission-line lösningarna vidare in i framtiden. Man har även introducerat nya lösningar i form av Laminair, vilket på ett tydligt sätt förbättrar en redan ledande basåtergivning genom ökad definition och detaljering. Dessa högtalare spelar all musik på ett avslöjande, öppet och dynamiskt sätt utan att någonsin tippa över mot att bli överanalyserande eller dissikerande. En lika mogen som en i högsta grad modern och komplett serie högtalare.

Läs mer om PMC och lyssna eller låna hem dem hos oss.

Stereo+

Aurender A10

Aurender A10 | Streamer/server med DAC

Motivering (översättning ifrån norska):

“Om du har mycket musik lagrad digitalt, gärna högupplöst, så borde Aurender A10 ligga högt på önskelistan om du är ute efter en high-end avspelare till dina filer. Själv så anser jag att A10 låter så bra ifrån sin inbyggda hårddisk att jag funderar på om jag inte borde köpa långt fler högupplösta musikfiler och en Aurender”.

Vår kommentar: En av de mest kompletta digitala källorna idag, vilken kombinerar Aurenders väl etablerade streamer/server med en högkvalitativ DAC och fullt MQA-stöd. Allt-i-ett i toppklass helt enkelt.

Läs testen här (PDF).

Läs mer om Aurender och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

AV Showrooms

Ansuz D-TC

Ansuz D-TC | Kabelserie
Aavik U-300 | Helintegrerad förstärkare (m. DAC & RIAA)

Motivering: Se videklipp ovan (ifrån 3:50).

Vår kommentar: Ansuz och Aavik har seglat upp som två av världens mest intressanta tillverkare under senare år. Ansuz D-TC är en  extrem serie kablar och strömprodukter där man kanske har nått längre än någon annan i sin målsättning att minimera störningar, distorsion och resonanser. Resultatet är en nivå av dynamik, upplösning och transparens som vi sällan eller aldrig har upplevt. Aavik har med sina nya helintegrerade förstärkare U-300 och U-150 visat att framtiden för integrerade förstärkare inte behöver innebära några större begränsningar eller kompromisser. Det här är elektronik som använder den senaste teknologin i syfte att nå nya höjder av hifi-upplevelser utan att musikalitet, naturlighet och engagemang går förlorad (vilket vi har sett många exempel på under senare år). Produkterna ifrån dessa två systertillverkare har också en enastående synergi när de används tillsammans.

Läs mer om Ansuz och Aavik och lyssna eller låna hem produkterna hos oss.

Positive Feedback

Goldnote Mediterraneo

Goldnote PH-10

Gold Note Mediterraneo | Skivspelare
Gold Note PH-10 | RIAA

Motivering:

“I’m fully confident that anyone hearing the Gold Note PH-10 phono stage and Mediterraneo turntable will agree that both deliver sweet, sterling sound and exceptional value. Decidedly worthy of my highest recommendation and Editor’s Choice Award.”

Läs hela motiveringen här.

Vår kommentar: Få tillverkare erbjuder en så hög nivå av prestanda och musikupplevelse som Gold Note i prisklassen. Man tillverkar i princip allting själva (inhouse) och erbjuder på vinylsidan hela kedjan av pickuper, tonarmar, drivverk och RIAA-försteg, vilket ger full kontroll. Italiensk känsla i konstruktion och design kombinerat med insyn, neutralitet och medryckande musikalitet ger produkterna en sällsynt hög grad av lyssningsglädje. RIAA-försteget är inget annat än ett fynd.

Läs mer om Gold Note och lyssna eller låna hem produkterna hos oss.

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4th of december

Årsbästa 2016


Årsbästa 2016

De stora har sagt sitt

De mest tongivande magasinen och bloggarna sammanställer varje år vad de anser har varit årets mest betydande produkter – årsbästa 2016!

Läs först – lyssna sen. Vi har samtliga tillverkare för permanent demonstration och utlån – välkommen!

Hifi+

huvudbild_ayre-ax-5_hifi-plus_amplifier-of-the-year-2016

Ayre AX-5 Twenty

Integrerad förstärkare

Motivering:

“In making the AX-5 Twenty, Ayre Acoustics pulled together many important elements of design from existing higher-end Ayre amps into what has become the company’s only integrated ampli er, following the recent end of the brand’s entry-level 7 Series. The 125 watt per channel AX-5 Twenty uses Ayre’s VGT (variable gain transconductance) approach in its preampli er stage, a design  rst seen in the company’s top KX-R preampli er. This uses a pair of doublepole silver-contact rotary switches, connected to an array of precision, handselected resistors. This is not a stepped attenuator, however: these resistors alter the transconductance of two pairs of complementary JFETs in the power amp’s input gain stage. The all-balanced signal is then fed into a form of gateable bridge network of bipolar transistors; Richard Baker’s ‘diamond circuit’ that Charles Hansen of Ayre discovered languishing in an electronics book dating back to the birth of transistors. The ‘Twenty’ modi cations add better thermal control and AyreLock output voltage regulation. In our test, Alan Sircom suggested what the AX-5 Twenty delivers is “absolutely stunning amounts of detail retrieval, always staying the right side of ‘forward’, but with a  ne sense of musical order and a good deal of enjoyment thrown in for good measure.” However, it isn’t overly bright or detailed. “A lot of this”, says Sircom, “comes down to that  uid naturalness normally associated with valve amps, but this time without the associated softness in the bass or a laid-back treble, and with a lot of power in reserve.”

Läs testen här.

Läs mer om Ayre och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.


Innuos - Hifi+ server of the year 2016

Innuos ZENith MkII

Streamer- och mediaserver (med inbyggd CD-rippning)

Motivering:

“Innuos has made a name for itself in a surprisingly short time, with the range of ripping music servers  first appearing in 2014. Originally intended for the custom install market, the Zen range of music servers quickly found their way into the homes of people wanting high performance music servers without having to compromise and build something from off-the-shelf parts. The ZENith MkII is the top model in Innuos’ three-strong server range, and features a linear power supply (rare in computer-side products, but good for sound quality), built-in ripping capabilities, and an architecture built around the robust, much lamented, and still widely supported Squeezebox platform. In listening, Jason Kennedy was deeply impressed, stating that, “This revealed that the ZENith delivers a highly coherent, vibrant, and engaging sound that hangs together very well indeed. It delivers instrument timbre, reverb, and more importantly does so in such a fashion that it sounds like musicians playing together.”

Läs testen här.

Läs mer om Innuos och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

 

The Absolute Sound

Raidho D5.1 Product-of-the-year-2016

Raidho D5.1

Högtalare

Raidho D5.1 vinner inte bara The Absolute Sounds “Product of the year” utan även deras allra finaste utmärkelse “Editors Choice”.

PS. De mindre modellerna är lika bra…

 

Audio Alchemy The Absolute Sound product of the year 2016

Audio Alchemy DDP-1

Försteg med DAC & hörlursförstärkare

Motivering:

“The DDP-1 combines a preamplifier, DAC, and headphone amplifier into a half-width chassis. With a wide array of digital and analog inputs and a superb user interface, the DDP-1 is a highly capable and versatile centerpiece of a system that’s a pleasure to use on a daily basis. The DAC section is particularly impressive, featuring a new version of Alchemy’s Resolution Enhancement DSP that improves the sound of digital. The DDP-1 sounds like it should cost more, with a resolution and transparency that rival more expensive products. Its presentation is remarkably transparent, clean, dynamic, and resolved by any measure, and even more so considering the component’s reasonable price. The DAC section is more upbeat and forward than the somewhat laid-back linestage. Upscale metalwork and beautiful industrial design round out this compelling package.”

Audio Alchemy DPA-1/DPA-1M

Stereo-/monoslutsteg

Motivering:

“Audio Alchemy, the small company that made a big splash in the 1990s is back, but now with much more sophisticated technology and products. This time around the alchemists have mated a Class D Hypex output module (the best there is) with a Class A input stage built from discrete FETs, with design from original Alchemy co-founder Peter Madnick. The result is the DPA-1, a stereo switching amplifier outputting 125Wpc into 8 ohms and 200Wpc into 4 ohms. The DPA-1M monoblock simply bridges two of these modules for greater output power. Sonically, both amplifiers have a lively and upbeat sound, powerful rhythmic drive, wide dynamic expression, and rock-solid visceral grip in the bottom end. Soundstaging and transparency are also excellent. Useful features include a gain switch, clipping indicators, and softstart warm-up. Great sound and terrific value make the DPA-1 TAS’ Power Amplifier of the Year.”

Läs testerna här.

Läs mer om Audio Alchemy och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

joseph audio prism - The Absolute Sound Product of the year 2016

Joseph Audio Prism

Högtalare

Motivering:

“Six years ago, after our review of the Joseph Audio Pulsar, many audiophiles were very interested in owning a pair, but at $7000 the Pulsar was outside their budgets. The newer Prisms should shake a good portion of those fence-sitters off their posts. While we can’t and won’t try to give you a numerical percentage of the Pulsar’s performance that is equaled by the Prisms—as in, “They deliver 85% of the Pulsars’ performance!”—we will go down on record saying that the Prisms have similar sonic qualities with an overall performance level that ranks up with the best small monitors we’ve heard. No, the Prisms aren’t as visually prepossessing as the Pulsars. But in many domestic and professional listening environments the Prisms’ less blingy exterior may be a positive attribute. After all, once you close your eyes, it’s all about the music.”

Läs testen här.

Läs mer om Joseph Audio och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

EAR

Spec RSA-M3EX

Spec RSA-M3EX

Integrerad förstärkare

Motivering:

“Except for the most traditional amplifier designers almost all brands offer Class D amps today. They are efficient, do not need a lot of heat sinking and are not that sensitive to loudspeaker loads. The hardest part of designing a decent Class D amp is to make sure the sound is fluid and easy on the ear. Most sound too technical for my ears, with overwhelming detail and clarity, even tight bass, but they lack emotion. Not the SPEC RSA-M3Ex amp I had the at home for some time, playing through my big PMC fact.12 loudspeakers, it sung as well as my trusty Pass Labs Class A amplifiers. The stereo image was among the best I have heard in my room, spread out from wall to wall, deep and high. The amplifier combines speed with loud explosions of sound when asked for, but stays delicate as well on small jazz combos or female vocals. It is hard to believe this is a true Class D amplifier since so much emotion reaches the listener. This might be because the design goal of the SPEC brand is to create an amp that matches the performance of a 300B triode amplifier, but without the restrictions of the tube power capabilities, the high cost and limited lifetime. This Japanese product has a soul, a musical soul, making it the one and only Class D amp I had at home thus far that I would really like to own myself.”

Läs testen här.

Läs mer om Spec och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

 

Enjoy the music

Audience Au24SX Enjoy the music 2016 - Best of 2016

Audience Au24SX

Kabelserie

Motivering:

“The SX series of cables from Audience represent a new pinnacle of achievement in a distinguished, established product line, and by no small degree” says Greg Weaver. “While not the “sexiest” looking cable you may see, their execution and finish is exemplary. These are not cheap cables, by any stretch of the imagination. But at their price, they have to be seen as more than merely the genuine bargain that they represent. Make no mistake about it, these delightfully thin and otherwise unassuming looking cables are world-class.”

Läs hela testen här.

Läs mer om Audience och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

 

Soundstage

PS Audio DS Jr

PS Audio DS Jr

DAC + streamer

Motivering:

“What makes the DSJ special isn’t merely technological, but that that technology is used in the service of outstanding sound quality to make it among the best-sounding DACs I’ve heard.”

Läs hela testen här.

Läs mer om PS Audio och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

 Mola Mola Kaluga

Mola Mola Kaluga

Slutsteg

Motivering:

“They’re sonic heavyweights, and one of the best-measuring, best-sounding amplifiers available at any price.”

Läs hela testen här.

Kommer under tidiga 2017!

Positive Feedback

Aurender N10 Positive Feedback Brutus Award 2016

Aurender W20

Streamer/Mediaserver

Motivering:

“It’s certainly the largest-capacity and most technically sophisticated music server that I’ve heard to date. An amazing accomplishment, and clearly worthy of one of my Brutus Award this year.”

Läs hela omdömet här.

Läs mer om Aurender och lyssna eller låna hem den hos oss.

 

PS Audio BHK

PS Audio DS DAC + BHK Signature preamplifier + BHK Signature 250 Amplifier

DAC + Försteg + Slutsteg

Motivering:

“We bough the review samples…”

Läs hela omdömet här.

Läs mer om PS Audio och lyssna eller låna hem enheterna i den nya serien hos oss.

 

Playback Designs Sonoma

Playback Designs Sonoma

Streamer + DAC + A/D-omvandlare

Motivering:

“There is simply no question that Andreas Koch’s Sonoma system provides world-class performance and very intelligent modularity, allowing audiophiles to pick-and-choose the specific configuration that they prefer.”

Läs hela omdömet här.

Läs mer om Playback Designs och lyssna eller låna hem enheterna i den nya serien hos oss.

 

Balanced Audio Technology

Balanced Audio Technology VK-53 SE + VK-255 SE + VK-P12 SE

Försteg + Slutsteg + RIAA-steg

Läs hela omdömet här. En fullständig recension kommer under tidiga 2017.

Läs mer om BAT och lyssna eller låna hem enheterna i den nya serien hos oss.

Audionet VIP G3Audionet VIP G3

CD/SACD/DAC

Motivering:

“The VIP G3 provided flawless and very high quality playback of a broad array of genres and labels…”

Läs hela omdömet här.

Läs mer om Audionet.

 

High Fidelity

Polska High Fidelity gör utförliga och ingående recensioner med imponerande bredd, och har under året tilldelat flera av våra produkter deras utmärkelse “best product 2016”:

  • Audionet PLANCK | CD/DAC | Läs hela recensionen här
  • Exogal Comet+ | DAC m.m. | Läs hela recensionen här.
  • PS Audio NuWave DSD | DAC | Läs hela recensionen här.
  • Ubiq Model ONE | Högtalare | Läs hela recensionen här.
  • Metronome Kalista | CD/DAC | Läs hela recensionen här.

 

AV Showrooms

Nola Brio AV Showrooms product of the year 2016

Läs mer om Nola och lyssna eller låna hem dem hos oss.

Raidho D-4.1 Product of the year 2016

Läs mer om Raidho och lyssna eller låna hem dem hos oss.

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Categories:  Utmärkelser
12th of mars

Utmärkelser


Årsbästa – 2015!

De stora har sagt sitt

De mest tongivande magasinen – Hifi+, The Absolute Sound och Stereophile har sammanställt vad de anser varit det senaste årets mest lyckade produkter.

Läs först – lyssna sen. Vi har samtliga tillverkare för permanent demonstration och utlån – välkommen!

Hifi+

Products of the year

Huvudbild_PS_Audio_04

 

PS Audio DirectStream DAC

Motivering:

“Many contemporary DACs are arguably PCM-centric, but the DirectStream DAC takes a different tack, converting all incoming digital audio data streams to DSD format,  upsampling them, and proceeding from there. Whether you prefer listening to PCM or DSD format files (or both) there is no arguing with the sublime results the DirectStream DAC achieves. We were and are greatly impressed by the unit’s richly detailed and highly nuanced presentation—a presentation that somehow manages to capture much of the fluidity, ease, and sonic grace of today’s finest analogue audio components. In short, the DirectStream DAC offers the full spectrum of digital benefits, yet also sounds somewhat like a reel-to-reel analogue tape deck, sans tape hiss, of course. Better still, as the underlying ‘operating system’ software of the DirectStream DAC continues to be updated, this already excellent sounding DAC continues to get even better over time. (Reviewed in Issues 125 & 128).”

Läs de båda testerna hos Hifi+ här och här.
Mer information om PS Audio.

 

Raidho D-1

Raidho D-1

Motivering:

“We’ve long been fans of Raidho’s ported two-way standmount concept. Starting with the C-1, and then the C-1.1, Raidho’s earlier standmount designs featured a stepped baffle with a sophisticated ribbon tweeter, and distinctive aluminium oxide-coated ceramic cone driver. But a couple of years ago, the company replaced that aluminium oxide coating with one and a half carats of industrial diamond, turning the bass driver black and making the Raidho D-1 as far above the C-1.1 as the C-1.1 is above most standmounts. It makes a clean, bright – yet not forward – sound with outstanding imaging properties and surprisingly deep bass. Paradoxically for a small loudspeaker it works best in free space in a big room, and when placed properly makes you wonder if you need anything bigger. Starting at £15,000 per pair with stands, the D1 is not the cheapest standmount option around, but when has the best ever been the cheapest! (Reviewed in Issue 105).”

Läs testen hos Hifi+ här.
Mer information om Raidho.

 

Jeff Rowland Continuum S2

Jeff Rowland Continuum S2

Motivering:

“The Continuum 2 manages to combine Jeff Rowland’s legendary build quality with high performance and very green power credentials. This £8,000 400W per channel integrated amp manages to deliver the goods without turning into some kind of heating element thanks to a set of well-executed Class D amplifier modules. Jeff Rowland was one of the first true audiophile brands to embrace Class D, and those extra years of expertise in working the technology have resulted in outstanding sound quality, with a wonderful sense of ‘holographic’ enveloping soundstages, and a very transparent overall performance. Of course, no discussion of Jeff Rowland is complete without talking about the scalloped aluminium front panel, the rich black side and top plates, and professionally finished rear panel block. This is not only for decoration, as the non-resonant properties of the case are a factor in the Continuum 2’s excellent performance. (Reviewed in Issue 120).”

Läs de båda testerna hos Hifi+ här.
Mer information om Jeff Rowland.

 

Crystal Cable Absolute Dream

Crystal Cable Absolute Dream

Motivering:

“Like most of the winners in this cable section, Crystal Cable Absolute Dream loudspeaker cable is probably best thought of as just one link in a far longer chain. This is best used in context of a complete Absolute Dream cable system. Nevertheless, the monocrystal combination of gold-plated silver and silverplated copper cables, clothed in Kapton and PEEK dielectric, and all wound in a speci c, noise-busting rope lay, is arguably the most obvious product in the Absolute Dream line up. This cable has a sense of absolute authority over the sound, and throws open both the detail and the musical themes in any piece of work. This is a cable that shows the power of music and does that through outstanding image separation and tonal beauty. Expensive, yes, but if you already have the best audio system possible, this can help raise the bar another notch! (Reviewed in Issue 96).”

Läs de båda testerna hos Hifi+ här och här.
Mer information om Crystal Cable.

The Absolute Sound

Golden Ear Awards

CH Precision

CH Precision M1 Monoblock Amplifier and L1 Linestage Preamplifier (with X-1 Power Supply)

Motivering:

“This deluxe, Swiss-made, bridgeable, high-current monoblock amplifier and two-box (separate power supply) dual-mono linestage preamp—authored by the same engineers, Florian Cossy and Thierry Heeb (the C and H of CH Precision) who designed Goldmund’s distinguished electronics back in the day—seem to have some of the same sonic DNA as that of another Swiss company, Soulution. Like Soulution’s 701/711 amplifiers and 725 preamplifier, the M1 and L1 are ultra-fast on transients, ultra-high in resolution, ultra-low in noise and coloration, and quite beguilingly beautiful in timbre. CH Precision’s amp and preamp use no global negative feedback at their default setting (although users can add as much or as little NFB as they choose by means of menus accessed via the LED screens built into the front panels of both units). Personally, I chose not to use any NFB, as I think feedback slows these astonishingly “fast” electronics down. When they are configured in their default positions, I would be hard put to choose between the M1/L1 and Soulution’s 711/725 in every regard save for the bass, where the SMPS-powered Soulution (the CH Precision uses an extraordinarily high-quality transformer-based power supply) still holds an edge in weight, power, and color. When it comes to resolution and speed, however, the two fight to a virtual draw. Indeed, with a slightly less dark (i.e., “bottom-up”) balance the CH Precision may draw ahead by a nose in these two areas. (Then again, it may not.) Which should you choose? Well, that depends on your speakers, your source, your room, and you. One thing is certain: Those shopping for the best in solid-state need to listen to both these marques.”

Läs testen hos The Absolute Sound här.
Mer information om CH Precision.

Aurender W20

Aurender W20

Motivering:

“Aurender’s top-of-the-line W20 is the most feature-laden and capable turn-key music server on the market. It also happens to have the best music-management app, an important consideration when choosing a server. Load the W20’s internal hard drive (up to a whopping 12TB) with music, connect one of its many digital outputs to a DAC, link a tablet to your wireless network, and you’ve got virtually unlimited music. The W20’s seamless integration with Tidal’s streaming service greatly expands its functionality. You’ll need, however, a Mac or PC with an optical drive to rip to the W20. The W20’s sound quality is outstanding, due perhaps in part to its 128GB of internal cache memory and other performance-oriented design tricks.”

Läs testen hos The Absolute Sound här.
Mer information om Aurender.

 

Huvudbild_Raidho_01

Raidho X-1

Motivering:

“The diminutive Raidho X-1 brings you exactly the same Danish hand-made ribbon tweeter found in Raidho’s $220,000 flagship D-5. This is one of the greatest high-frequency transducers yet devised, combining stunning speed, detail, and resolution on the one hand, with silky smoothness and ease on the other. When used as intended, in a smallish room at moderate playback levels, the X-1 is nothing short of stunning. The treble resolution, transient performance, soundstaging, liquidity, smoothness, ease, and freedom from etch are world-class—which is saying a lot for a $6400 speaker. But when you push the X-1 to louder playback levels, or play music with heavy low-frequency content, the X-1 runs up against the laws of physics. The 4″ mid/woofer’s excursion is limited, causing the X-1 to sound congested in the bass when pushed outside its performance envelope. A moderately sized room and a judicious hand on the volume knob will keep the X-1 within its comfort zone. If you have the appropriate application and expectations, I don’t think that you’ll find a finer sub-compact loudspeaker than the Raidho X-1.”

Läs testen hos The Absolute Sound här.
Mer information om Raidho.

Stereophile

Klass A+ och A är de högsta klassificeringarna i Stereophiles klassiska ranking.

Digitalt


Klass A+

Mediaserver: Aurender N10

DAC: PS Audio DirectStream DSD
DAC: Ayre DB-9 DSD

CD-transport: PS Audio Perfect Media Player

A/D omvandlare: Ayre QA-9

Klass A

Mediaserver: Digibit Aria
CD/DAC: Metronome CD8T Signature
CD/DAC: Aesthetix Romulus
CD: Ayre CX-7E

 

Analogt

Klass A+

RIAA: Ypsilon VPS-100 (världens finaste RIAA…)

Klass A

Integrerad förstärkare: Ayre AX-5 Twenty
Integrerad förstärkare: Ayre AX-7E
Integrerad förstärkare: Mark Levinson 585

Försteg: Ayre KX-R Twenty
Försteg: Ayre K-5XE
Försteg: Ypsilon PST-100MKII

Slutsteg: Ayre MX-R Twenty
Slutsteg: PS Audio BHK Signature 300
Slutsteg: Ypsilon Aelius
Slutsteg: Octave Re290

Skivspelare: AMG Viella 12
Skivspelare: Ayre/DPS

Tonarm: AMG 12J2, AMG 9W2

Pickup: Transfiguration Proteus
Pickup: Kiseki Purpleheart
Pickup: Ortofon Anna
Pickup: Ortofon A95
Pickup: Ortofon 95th anniversary SPU

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Categories:  Artiklar Utmärkelser