Announcements

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.

Note that this is different from my Most Wanted List. There’s stuff on both, to be sure, but if I had the dough, the lists would be closer to “unified”.

Hi-Fi

Loudspeakers

Amplifiers/Integrated amplifiers

Preamplifiers

Sources

Power

Cables

Rack, Isolation, Platforms, &c

Head-Fi

Amps

In-Ear

Over-Ear

  • Abyss AB-1266: best bass from a headphone, ever. ($5,500)
  • Audeze LCD-3 (Fazored)
  • Sennheiser HD-800: best detail retrieval of any high-end audio system, headphone or not.
  • MrSpeakers Alpha Dog: my default recommendation for reference-quality headphones, and one of the best values in audio’s high-end.
  • Focal Spirit Pro closed-back headphones: my new “affordable” reference headphone for real-world use and listening.
  • Beats by Apple Solo2

DAP

  • Astell & Kern AK240 digital audio player: expensive as all hell, but for “portable audio”, it does it all with no extra amp or DAC required.

Cables

Things you may have missed

  • Kyron-Dohmann-8
  • Newport-MSB-6
  • TT3
  • CT6A8999
  • CT6A5984
  • Haniwa-3
  • ANUK-0469
  • mercer-audeze-alo-ak
  • DSC01022
  • hi-fi-live-0189
  • margules-5
  • Rossi-Volti-1
  • uha-3346
  • BillEvansComplete
  • photo-5
  • Technics-1821
  • Devialet-Magico-4
  • Absolare-0726
  • Meridian-1
  • CT6A6066
  • dsc_0127
  • AXPONA-Gershman-Lamm-01713
  • CAF-Volti-4622
  • DSC_2147
  • pic1-2
  • High-End-Sonus-Faber-02636
  • Highwater-Sound-3
  • WOM-Sardinia-0026
  • Thrax-3119
  • Newport-Magnepan-0277
  • seattle-music-matters-2016-11
  • Physical-04900
  • MOMENTUM_II_Models
  • 19267999324_7da8e552f5_h
  • dsa-phono-ii-2
  • Chase Mission