Category Archives: Released in 2009

Perreaux éloquence 250i

Perreaux éloquence While claiming to be the most powerful integrated amplifier in the world seems a bit much given the specs, this certainly is an impressive piece of machinery. Not that amplifiers normally stream much except for the odd electron, this amp stands out thanks to an unusual approach to modularity allowing you to extend it with not only a RIAA module but also letting you add a 24bit/192KHz DAC with 5 inputs, including USB. In other words: It really does earn a place on this blog.

On the standard connectivity side there are balanced XLR inputs and the ever present iPod connector on the front; actually this is simply a 3.5mm analogue jack which accepts anything that can be squeezed in there. Nothing unusual there.

A bold statement from the land of the hobbits and  one to watch at that.

Sony STR-DA6400ES

Sony STR-DA6400ES Sony have announced a new line of home theatre receivers creaming the competition with a top model 7.1 receiver showing some rather unusual features.

The STR-6400ES is not just network enabled. It streams music from your network like most modern systems. IT relays internet radio through a SHOUTcast service along with a number of the discrete inputs on the system, such as CD, turntable and radio. It even sends video to a second zone with its own set of OSD menus for controlling the signal.

With a backplane measured in square meters and some rather impressive specs, this is not at all an uninteresting piece of equipment for those about to bedazzle their TV apparatus (apparatii?).

Last.fm Radio changes channels

Last.fm The now CBS owned social media service Last.fm announced yesterday that they will stop their free services in all but three countries. From naught to €3.00/month.

Even if Last.fm is not even remotely hi-fi, it is a truly interesting service that lets you share with fellow members, what you play. From this information it will suggest music, radio stations, that others with similar playlists as you enjoy listening to. In other words a more-of-the-same service based on statistics rather than metrics.

Until now Last.fm has been free with a paid subscription offering extended services such as specific artist radio stations. With this new initiative, however, I fear that many freeloaders will abandon the station and thus reduce the statistic number soup and consequently turn Last.fm into more of the same instead of offering us more of the same.

While it is perfectly understandable that such an undertaking costs money and that a user base of 30,000,000 users world wide must mean a hefty royalty check for artists, the decision does cause some raising of eyebrows.

NaimUniti

Naim have always been associated with extreme high end and baffled the world not long ago when they extended their product line to Bentley in-car hifi with KW-fed 11 speaker extravaganza and a price tag to fit the car. Well, none of that. Now Naim went out and did an all-in-one package for the home sporting some rather nice specs and a compactness leaving little else to be desired.

Naim Uniti The NaimUniti is a 50W integrated FM/DAB receiver with built-in CD transport and internet connectivity. It accepts USB devices, controls an iPod, reads CD-R discs and streams music from the network, including internet radio stations. Ogg Vorbis and Flac are supported as is Apple Lossless. On the input side there are 5 digital and 4 analogue. The latter including one specifically for the Naim Stageline phono stage for all that vinyl screaming for attention and so often forgotten in other solutions.

Lampizating a Squeezebox

Lampizator One of the all times most fascinating DIY web sites on electronics, has to be The Lampizator. Lukasz Fikus has made it his mission in life to put tubes into every half decent sound producing device on this planet. I am not sure when this happened, but at some point he started deviating, crossing the solid state line and getting dangerously close to SMDs and other very much untubular things. This is not a bad thing. Not at all. For now Lukasz Fikus has given us an extremely detailed view into how to tweak some niftiness out of the Logitech Squeezebox Duet. If you are interested in real modding, do yourself a favour and pay this man a visit and enjoy his ongoing endeavours.

Linksys Wireless Home Audio

Linksys Remote This time Linksys (by Cisco) has gone completely overboard in a Sonos-aspiring devices galore outfit leaving absolutely almost nothing left to want.

Like Sonos the Linksys WHA series consists of a receiver that connects to an existing sound system, a receiver with a built-in 50W amplifier and a super delicious touch screen remote. Additionally the WHA offers a more traditional remote, an iPod dock, wireless speakers for the WHA amplifier and a soon to arrive all-in-one device with a built-in CD drive.

Linksys DirectorThere are a few open questions, such as does it support flac and does the CD equipped station rip as well as play? If those two questions can be answered positively, I am sure Sonos will find themselves with a nice competitor here. Of course, the design is still a plus for Sonos which is definitely not the case for the Linksys. Nevertheless, this is an unusually complete package to introduce this suddenly.

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