Sunday, November 29, 2015

And speaking of headphones....$55k Sennheisers are here..

You know you want to hear them..some has:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Pass Labs introduce Headphone Amp

Press release  just out from Pass, a company whose products I like, though this is at the pricey end for the occasional headphone user like me:

Pass Labs’ HPA-1 Headphone Amplifier is capable of delivering full-range dynamics across the entire frequency range, even when driving headphones that present difficult loads in terms of impedance, power consumption or both.
Pass Labs’ designers knew that in order to stand out from the crowd, and satisfy their demanding customer base, the HPA-1 had to establish higher standards for audio performance. That has been accomplished first, by the conceptual approach of designing the HPA-1 as a real Class-A power amplifier, and not as an accessory offering only incremental performance gains. Second, by cutting no corners in circuit design, while omitting unnecessary frills. Thirdly, by sparing no necessary expense in execution.
The foundation of the HPA-1’s engineering is a custom, low-noise shielded toroidal power transformer feeding a discreet low noise regulated power supply for the audio circuits. The importance of the power supply is often overlooked and plays a large part in overall performance of the amplifier. The HPA-1’s amplifier circuits are low-feedback, wide-bandwidth discreet designs employing J-Fet input stages and Class A-biased direct-coupled MOSFET output stages. The HPA-1 easily drives headphones presenting loads from 15 to 600 Ohms, particularly excelling on planar headphone designs. The sound is rich and detailed.
The HPA-1 has a single high-quality headphone jack on its front panel, two sets of single-ended analog inputs via RCA jacks on the rear panel, and also a set of switchable “Preamp” line-level output jacks on the rear panel. There are no compromises with the HPA-1 when used as a stereo preamp and it will compete against contemporary preamplifiers. The rear panel holds the power switch and fuse. Volume control is via a hefty rotary knob connected to an ALPS Potentiometer. The other front-panel controls are three pushbuttons, to select inputs or to engage the Preamp output.
The substantial casework is the customary and well-recognized brushed aluminum shared with other Pass Laboratories products. Dimensions are 4.5” H x 11” W x 13” D; weight is 14 lbs.
The HPA-1 is available now at US MSRP $3,500.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

New tagging options for your collection from BLISS

Need a way to tag images to your ripped music? Apparently it's more of a problem than people realize. Cue BLISS, an audiophile's effort to create a solution for normal people -- in this case, the effort of fellow HiFi'Zine writer Dan Gravell, who knows his onions, so to speak. Best described as an 'artwork finder', this can work with your untagged or rare music files to determine the right options. Seems like a good idea, but what do I know.....find out MORE HERE

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Audioholics on where to spend for better performance

A mix of straight talk and anti-audiophile commentary from the guys at Audioholics. Like every other review, take this with a pinch of salt but there's more than a few nuggets of truth here in my view:

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tara Labs to offer cable loans to audiophiles

Most folks recognize that it's difficult to really audition cables unless you can try them in your own rig. The Cable Co has for many years run a loaning library for a small fee and this seems sort of similar -- pick up to three cables to try, pay a deposit,  listen, ship back and decide which if any to buy, you are out shipping only once you return them. Hey, are these guys really the Cable Co in disguise?  Oddly, the system matching form that you can complete to get recommendations has lots of options but neither of my amps are listed,  am sure that's nothing more than an inconvenience. Harder for some will be making the initial preference choice between neutral or warm sonics.  An interesting development, though once again Canadians are left out.


TARA Labs is now introducing its Cable Loaner Program. This innovative and new program will make our product line of speaker cables, interconnects, digital and power cables available to anyone who want to listen and compare our cables in their home.

“Listening to a demo cable in your dealers showroom may not let you hear how it'll really sound once you bring it home and use it in your audio system.”
To know how the cable will sound, you need to listen to it on your own audio systems components. Your equipment, your music, your home!

TARA Labs now offers you this great opportunity! We have a wide variety of mid to high-end audio cables available for home demonstrations.

For additional information, please visit our website:
Or contact us at:

*Cable Loaner Program is only available in the USA.

Audio Desk ultrasonic knock off for $1k?

Seems noisier and perhaps spins a lot faster but it's interesting that someone has figured out there's a market out there for a standalone utrasonic that has most of the automatic features of the $4k models. No idea on quality, and am sure these guys won't send me a review sample but it could be a sign that the price of these tools is going to drop.