Latest News

References

What’s a reference?

It’s an excellent question, isn’t it? Glad you agree. So, lemme explain where I’m coming from. What I’m not saying about a reference is that this product is the be-all, end-all of its type or in its class. What I am saying is, rather, that a particular product is familiar and one that I can use as a reliable barometer to judge other products.

My targets for references tend to be high-performers, but I’m under no illusions that they couldn’t be bettered. In some cases, bettered significantly. Just wanted to put that out there.

Some of this stuff is very expensive. I get that. Some of it may be too expensive. I get that too. But this is the stuff I’m most familiar with because, well, this is also my stuff. Yes, I own it all. I think it’s important for a review to own his reference gear.

Hi-Fi

Loudspeakers

Amplifiers

Preamplifiers

Sources

  • BorderPatrol Analogue DAC SE ($2k)
  • Bel Canto Design CDT-3 transport ($2k)
  • Bricasti Design M1 Limited Edition ($16k)
  • Innuos ZENith computer server ($4,250)
  • UHA Phase 9 reel-to-reel analog tape machine (starts at $6,000)
  • Kuzma Stabi R turntable, with Kuzma 4Point tonearm and ZYX Ultimate Omega X SB2/Zn cartridge

Power/Distribution

  • Pi Audio Group Uberbuss
  • Pi Audio Group Digi Uberbuss

Cables

  • Triode Wire Labs Spirit interconnects, American speaker cables, various power cords.

Rack, Isolation, Platforms, &c

Personal Audio

In-Ear

Over-Ear

  • Sennheiser HD-800: best detail retrieval of any high-end audio system, headphone or not.
  • AKG K7XX: An awesome crowd-sourced update to a classic.
  • Focal Spirit Pro closed-back headphones: my “affordable” reference headphone for real-world use and listening.

Things you may have missed

  • Lone Star Audio Fest 2019 Hootenanny