RHA CL1: the Richard Dawkins of IEMs: insensitive, brilliant, and not everyone’s cup of tea

Pros:  Excellent clarity and treble extension, good quality and quantity of bass Cons: intimate sound-stage; recessed mids; some mids details fade, veil or disappear; underdriven by many DACs and DAPs; need forward mids to sound totally right List Price: £349.95 (on RHA’s website)($449.95 from Moon audio in USA) Acknowledgment The RHA CL1 was provided to... Continue Reading →

Blue Microphones Ella – the new first lady of planar magnetic headphones

Pros:  Crisp and detailed sound, good dynamics, excellent sense of musicality for a “neutral” tuning, exceptional spatial cues, good comfort, onboard amp circuitry to make the driveable by just about anything, ON+ mode for a more “analogue” sound Cons: Unusual headphone construction leaves you feeling like an extra from Dr Who, could do with a... Continue Reading →

Mee Pinnacle P1: breath rarified sound in this price bracket

Pros:  Clear, transparent sound, detailed, tight measured bass, sveldt and sexy metal shell, top tier price to performance ratio, brilliant accessories Cons: power hungry to get full performance, can be a touch bright List price: $199 (£139) Acknowledgment Thanks Tony at HiFi Headphones for letting me participate in the UK tour. It was fun as always.... Continue Reading →

The real cost of DIY

We DIY for many reasons. Some DIY because what they are looking for does not exist in the commercial products market (this used to be particularly true of the headphone market). Other DIYers start down the road of building their own equipment because they think they will trade blood, sweat, and tears for dollars saved... Continue Reading →

WTFamps and Timothy Cose, welcome!

Audio Primate would like to extend a warm welcome to Timothy Cose of Wauwatosa Tube Factory, or wtfamps. Tim builds tube amps without any formal electrical training and still has all his fingers. Good on Tim. I had a teacher in primary school who only had 4 fingers on one hand, he blew one right off in... Continue Reading →

Audio-Opus Opus #1: a transparent reference quality DAP and a great start for a promising company

Pros: Uber transparent black background, balanced out, easy operating system, build quality, up to 432 GB of storage, battery saving mode, nice leather case Cons: Android in name only, did not successfully scan all tags, operating system not fully featured List Price: £399 ($399), available from HiFi Headphones in the UK, Musicteck in the USA.... Continue Reading →

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