LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 06, 2015 73 comments
Ed. note: ALL of the files are now as intended including "File 6" thanks to a replacement A/D converter from that company. So please listen to all files and vote for your favorite! lOne more note: there is a very low level of 60Hz hum, not really audible other than on headphones. This is a trade-off I accept because of the open sound of the cable compared to better shielded cables that are not as open.

Here’s your opportunity to compare ADCs (analog to digital converters) priced from $300 to $3995. They offer a wide range of features and enhancements that will be discussed in the reviews to be posted shortly.

Meanwhile, below are seven 96/24 files produced by five A/D converters. Why seven from five converters? One, the M2TECH Joplin offers a choice of 96/24 or 96/32 resolution (it can also do the conversion at 384/32 resolution but for the purposes of this shoot out we’re sticking with 96kHz).

Of course, though the conversion is at 96/32 the files are both 96/24 but it would be interesting to hear if recording at a higher bit rate and decimating it to 24 bits sounds better or worse than the one converted directly to 96/24.Two files were created using the Lynx Hilo but using different recording chains as described below.

So, what you will be hearing is a three minute excerpt from Vanish an upcoming Yarlung Records release by the percussion group Smoke & Mirrors, used with permission. The record was produced from an analog master tape. The image here is from the DSD version recorded simultaneously using that format.

The recordings were made using the Continuum Caliburn turntable and Ortofon’s new A95 cartridge mounted on the Continuum Cobra tone arm. The Ypsilon VPS 100 phono preamp and 10L step up transformer was used for six of the seven files. Vinyl Studio software for Mac recorded those six. The USB cable was WireWorld’s Platinum Starlight, while the Lynx Hilo connected via an Apple Thunderbolt cable. Do USB cables really make a difference? Perhaps in the near future we’ll test that with downloadable files.

One of the files was created using Channel D’s Seta® PIccola battery powered phono preamplifier sending a “flat” (no RIAA equalization) signal to the Lynx Hilo A/D converter and recorded using Channel D’s Pure Music software, with RIAA applied in the digital domain. So two of the files use the same converter but very different chains.

Lowest to highest price, the A/D converters are the HRT Linestreamer+, ($299.95), the P.S. Audio NuWave Phono Converter ($1,899), the Channel D Seta Piccola ($1,899, or $2098 as supplied including optional RIAA module), the M2TECH Joplin ($2,499), the Lynx Hilo ($2499) and the Ayre QA-9 ($3995).

These units have a wide range of operating features. For instance the P.S. Audio includes a built-in MM/MC phono preamplifier, two earlier versions of which was previously reviewed by analogplanet. The M2TECH includes a MM phono preamplifier as well as a variety of EQ curves. The Lynx Hilo is a pro audio product that’s both an A/D and D/A converter. Some of these units are DSD capable but more about that in the capsule reviews coming up.

We chose PCM over DSD because more readers probably have PCM DACs. So here are the seven files. Please listen and vote. These are large files and will take some time to download depending upon the speed of your internet connection.

File "1"

File "2"

File "3"

File "4"

File "5"

File "6"

File "7"

Analog to Digital Converter Shootout: Which Sounds Best? (All Files Now Corrected and Available)
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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 03, 2015 Published: Mar 02, 2015 58 comments
Quality Record Pressing (QRP) announced today that thirteen additional presses will soon go online at its Salina, Kansas facility after discovering them recently lying dormant in a Chicago warehouse.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 26, 2015 37 comments
If you think audio reviewers can be grouchy, search opinions of this performance of Mahler's 9th Symphony, his final complete work before passing away at age 51.

Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 25, 2015 Published: Feb 24, 2015 12 comments
It was twenty years ago, but not today. Close enough though. I was rummaging through some old files when I came upon a letter I'd received from Gary Shapiro, who is now President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, the group that among other things, runs the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 23, 2015 Published: Feb 22, 2015 46 comments
After reading analogplanet's Bruce Springsteen box set coverage a well-known audio designer excitedly came up to me at last December's L.A. and Orange County Audiophile Society Gala.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 23, 2015 5 comments
What can these two tow headed little brothers pictured on the cover know about Big Bill Broonzy? Obviously plenty as you'll hear on this inspired collaboration—the Alvin brothers' first together in almost thirty years.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 23, 2015 Published: Feb 22, 2015 8 comments
A reader in Europe sent a link to a European Onkyo site.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 22, 2015 7 comments
The further you get in time from this story the more focused, three-dimensional and confounding it becomes. How deep do you want to dig and how far down have you already dug?

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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 20, 2015 36 comments
A reader forwarded a new video showing Mark Knopfler, who had recorded his share of albums digitally, back in the studio recording to analog tape using tube compressors to achieve the desired sound based on sound not necessarily the latest technology.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Feb 20, 2015 Published: Feb 19, 2015 4 comments
California-based Triangle ART manufactures five gleaming chrome and gold plated high mass turntables as well as its own tone arm. The 'tables weigh from 40 to 850 pounds. Recently, Triangle ART introduced the Zeus MC phono cartridge, thus completing mechanical part of the analog playback.

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