Tag Archives: featured



KEF LS50 Loudspeaker, $1499.99/pair


Stereophile-LS50Winner: OVERALL PRODUCT OF 2013



Design Two-way bass reflex
Drive units Uni-Q driver array:
HF: 25mm (1in.) vented
aluminium dome
LF/MF: 130mm (5.25in.)
magnesium/aluminium alloy
Frequency range (-6dB) 47Hz – 45kHz
Frequency response (±3dB) 79Hz – 28kHz
Crossover frequency 2.2kHz
Amplifier requirements 25 – 100 W
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m) 85dB
Harmonic distortion
2nd & 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)
<0.4% 175Hz-20kHz
Maximum output 106dB
Nominal impedance 8Ω (min. 3.2Ω)
Weight 7.2kg (15.8lbs.)
Dimension (H x W x D)
(with terminal)
302 x 200 x 278 mm
(11.9 x 7.9 x 10.9 in.)


SOtM sDP-1000


SOtM sDP-1000 DAC and Pre-Amplifier, $2900.00

AudioStream’s Greatest Bits Class A:

Key Features
32bit/192KHz PCM
DSD support
OLED display
Remote control
Battery power supply
Optional Ultra low noise linear power supply

USB input
USB specification 2.0 or higher
USB audio class 2.0
32bit/192KHz PCM & DSD playback
Native ASIO support
Optical, Coaxial, AES/EBU input
Max bit-depth : 24bit
Sampling rate : 32KHz, 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 88.2KHz, 96KHz, 176.4KHz, 192KHz
Coaxial, BNC : 75Ω
AES/EBU : 110Ω
Balanced input
Max input voltage : 4 Vrms
Input impedance : > 10kΩ
Frequency range : 20~20KHz @ ±0.1dB
Unbalanced input
Max input voltage : 4 Vrms
Input impedance : > 10kΩ
Frequency range : 20~20KHz @ ±0.1dB
Balanced output
Output voltage at 0dB : 3.8 Vrms ±5%
Output impedance : 47Ω ±5%
Frequency range : 20~20KHz @ ±0.1dB
THD : < 0.003% @ 1KHz, 0dB
Unbalanced output
Output voltage at 0dB : 3.8 Vrms ±5%
Output impedance : 47Ω ±5%
Frequency range : 20~20KHz @ ±0.1dB
THD : < 0.003% @ 1KHz, 0dB
Volume control
Setting range : -75 ~ +10dB, 0.5dB step

sDP-1000_black-1500x1000 sDP-1000_Rear-1500x1000sDP-1000_Front-1500x1000

KEF R900

KEF R900 Loudspeaker, $4999.98/pair

KEF’s R900 is exemplary. Its sound is linear and coherent from bottom to top, offering more than a glimpse of what the best loudspeakers offer, and at what must be considered an affordable price. It has no real shortcomings, only an abundance of strengths — and an emphatic recommendation from a writer usually allergic to such things.

Design Three-way bass reflex
Drive units Uni-Q driver array:
HF: 25mm (1in.) vented aluminium dome
MF: 125mm (5in.) aluminium
Bass units:
LF: 2 x 200mm (8in.) aluminium
Frequency range (-6dB) 35Hz – 45kHz
Frequency response (±3dB) 40Hz – 28kHz
Crossover frequency 400Hz, 2.9kHz
Amplifier requirements 25 – 250 W
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m) 90dB
Harmonic distortion
2nd & 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)
<0.4% 80Hz-20kHz
Maximum output 115dB
Nominal impedance 8Ω (min. 3.7Ω)
Weight 29.5kg (65lbs.)
Dimension (H x W x D)
(with grille and terminal)
1130 x 240 x 365 mm
(44.5 x 9.4 x 14.4 in.)
Dimension (H x W x D)
(with grille, terminal & plinth)

r900white r900walnut r900rosewoodRSeriesWalnut RSeriesRosewoodRSeriesBlack

SOtM sMS-1000U


SOtM sMS-1000U Music Server, $2750.00

AudioStream’s Greatest Bits:

Key Features
Easy Web GUI
Logitech Media Server & MPD
Automatic ripping of CDs
Automatically downloads cover art
SMB(Microsoft) file sharing
DLNA server, NFS server

Vortexbox 2.0 (Based on Fedora Linux)
2Tbyte 3.5inch SATA interface HDD
Slot-In DVD-RW  USB specification 2.0 high speed
USB output model
USB audio class 2.0 support
Digital output model
AES/EBU: Output impedance 110Ω, Minimum output voltage 2Vpp
Coaxial: Output impedance 75Ω, Minimum output voltage 0.5Vpp
Optical: Output power range -21dBm ~ -15dBm, Peak emission wavelength 650nm
Analog output model
32bit/192KHz DAC chip
Balanced output voltage : 1.9Vrms
Unbalanced output voltage : 0.95 Vrms
THD+N : 0.002% > @ 1KHz
Output band width : -3dB@100KHz




Audio Research REF150 Power Amplifier, $12,995

Stereophile 2013 Recommended Components Power Amps: Class A (Tube)



POWER OUTPUT: 150 watts per channel continuous from20Hz to 20kHz. 1kHz total harmonic distortion typically 0.6% at 150 watts, below 0.03% at 1 watt. Approximate actual power available at ‘clipping’ 160 watts (1kHz). (Note that actual power output is dependent upon both line voltage and ‘condition’ i. e.: if power line has high distortion, maximum power will be affected adversely, although from a listening standpoint this is not very critical.)
POWER BANDWIDTH: (-3dB points) 5Hz to 80kHz.
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: (-3dB points at 1 watt) 0.5Hz to 120 kHz.
INPUT SENSITIVITY: 2.0V RMS BAL for rated output. (24 dB Bal gain into 8 ohms.)
INPUT IMPEDANCE: 300K ohms Balanced.
OUTPUT POLARITY: Non-inverting. Balanced input pin 2+ (IEC-268).
OUTPUT TAPS: 16 ohms, 8 ohms, 4 ohms.
OUTPUT REGULATION: Approximately 0.6dB 16 ohm load to open circuit (Damping factor approximately 14). OVERALL NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: 14dB.
SLEW RATE: 13 volts/microsecond.
RISE TIME: 2.0 microseconds.
HUM & NOISE: Less than 0.1mV RMS – 114dB below rated output (IHF weighted, input shorted).
POWER SUPPLY ENERGY STORAGE: Approximately 1040 joules.
POWER REQUIREMENTS: 105-125VAC 60Hz (210-250VAC 50Hz) 730 watts at rated output, 900 watts
maximum, 420 watts idle.
TUBES REQUIRED: 4 – Matched pair KT120 – Power Output; 4 – 6H30 Driver.
DIMENSIONS: 19″(48.3cm)Wx83⁄4”(22.2cm)Hx191⁄2”(49.5cm)D.Handles extend 11⁄2”(3.8cm)forward.
WEIGHT: 75 lbs.(34.2kg) Net; 90 lbs.(41kg)Shipping.

ref150black ref150coverless ref150silver


Audreal PA-20

Audreal PA-20 Pure Class A Power Amp, $1995.00

The Audreal PA-20 is a pure class A amplifier that will perform as well as any amp you can buy, better than most. The press is comparing it to amps at six times the price and it is the winner. We just love it, you will too!

The following is a preview from Terry London of the full review to come in hometheaterreview.com later this year:

As a professional reviewer I have the great pleasure to audition many fine sounding pieces of equipment on an ongoing basis. These days I rarely get profoundly surprised when a new piece comes in for review. However, this is exactly what happened when the Audreal PA-20 Pure Class A Amplifier, which retails for less than $2K, took its place in my reference system for the reviewing process.

The first striking aspect of the Audreal PA-20 Amp is the quality of its build construction and physical appearance. The casework/heat sinks, along with the blue light front power meters look like amps that cost easily triple the price of PA-20. As we know looks are not everything, it’s the sonic performance that’s the most important. This is where the real profound surprise came when listening to the PA-20. The Audreal PA-20 offered the following sonic qualities:

1) The overall tone/timbres were silky and sweet which leads to a liquidity that allows you to relax and connect with the music in an emotional way.

2) This is one quiet amp that has a very low noise floor which leads to great transparency and micro-details delivered in a natural way, not in an analytical or hyper-detailed way.

3) The high frequencies of this amp are very airy, open & extended with just the right amount of body and decay.

4) The PA-20 produces a large layered sound stage with excellent location of individual players with excellent image density and air around them.

5) From the lower mid’s down to the lowest frequencies this amp delivered taut/accurate bass that controlled the two eight inch woofers of my Lawrence Audio Cello speakers with precision.

My system, when I’m not using tube amps, is powered by a pair of very highly regarded Pass Labs XA-60.5 class A Mono Blocks that retail for over 12K. The sonic performance of the Audreal PA-20 Amplifier was on par with the much more expensive pair of Pass Lab’s Mono Blocks! If you told me that the PA-20 retailed for five to seven thousand dollars based on physical appearance and most importantly it’s sonic performance I would still think you were getting a superlative sounding amp for that much larger sum of the money.

The Audreal PA-20 Amplifier is one very natural musical sounding solid state amplifier. When you figure in its build quality & performance and what this amp is sold for I believe it’s one of the greatest bargains on the market today. Highly recommended.

Terry London, Staff Reviewer: hometheaterreview.com