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  1. tmallin

    BlueSound PowerNode 2i

    I've been recommending the $900 BlueSound PowerNode 2i to a few people who were looking for the core of a thoroughly modern music system with decent performance for not too much money. Just add speakers. Those who purchased it have been ecstatic. Most online reviewers have been enthusiastic...
  2. tmallin

    iPad as a Streamer Into Benchmark DAC3

    The iPad Pro (as well as some other, lower cost new iPads), has a USB-C connection these days. The largest capacity iPad currently available has 1 TB of storage on board, room enough for at least 1500 CDs. Such an iPad costs about $1,500. Some iPad Pro users have suggested using a general...
  3. tmallin

    My Current Audio Systems

    Here are brief descriptions of my current audio systems. I will try to keep these up to date as components and configurations change. If components I've talked about in threads of Tom's Corner are not listed here, you can assume that I have either sold those items or that they are currently...
  4. tmallin

    Dutch & Dutch 8c Speakers

    Given the wide range of "walk on water" reviews and comments, I just had to get a pair of Dutch & Dutch 8c speakers to further simplify my system. I suggest reading the review by Mitch Barnett (mitchco) first--it's the most thorough and rigorous by far, I think. But there are reviews in...
  5. tmallin

    Roon and the Roon Nucleus+

    I am cross-posting below a few posts dealing with this new topic which as first wrote as part of my thread dealing with the Lumin X1. I fear that they otherwise might get "lost" since nothing in the title of that thread indicates that it deals with Roon. Anything further I have to say about Roon...
  6. tmallin

    Lumin X1: Enabling an Even Simpler Yet Better Sounding System

    I have replaced the Lumin U1 Mini + Sbooster Power Supply with the two-chassis top-of-the-line Lumin X1. Not that there was anything "wrong" with the U1 Mini with Sbooster Power Suppy. The X1 just takes the performance to a yet higher level and adds an extremely competent DAC to the streaming...
  7. tmallin

    Salamander Designs Archetype 2.0 Rack + One Extra Shelf

    My Goals for an Equipment Rack I'm not pretending that this is the best rack out there in any category. But it happens to meet my needs and seems to me to represent an excellent balance of price versus performance. For my purposes an audio equipment rack should: provide a stable platform for...
  8. tmallin

    Gradient 1.4 Speakers: Downsizing, Simplifying, and Changing

    Bottom Line at the Top I'm now the proud owner of a pair of the Gradient 1.4 speakers in the all-white finish. I've had them in my listening room for a few weeks now. My bottom line so far is that, for my tastes, these are the best speakers I've yet owned, on balance as sonically pleasing and...
  9. tmallin

    Lumin U1 Mini Digital Transport + Sbooster Power Suppy

    Lumin on My Radar The Lumin products started appearing on my personal audio radar following the problems I encountered with my Auralic Aries G2 (as described in this post in the Auralic's thread). Now, most high-end streamers are not known for ease of use or reliable functioning. Those who use...
  10. tmallin

    My Electrostatic Headphone Adventures

    Background My recent electrostatic headphone purchases are not my first foray into electrostatic headphones, not by a long shot. I was an early adopter of the Koss ESP/6 electrostatic headphones many decades ago, back in 1968. Yes, they were heavy and uncomfortable, with considerable clamping...
  11. tmallin

    My Clean Power Adventures

    My clean power adventures go back to the writings of Enid Lumley in The Absolute Sound, beginning, as I recall, in the early 1970s. It was Enid who introduced me to the idea that the sound of an audio system could be improved by properly orienting two-pronged 120-volt electrical plugs with...
  12. tmallin

    Headphones Reconsidered: NAD Viso HP-50 & Mr. Speakers Ether II

    What Has Come Before My two prior headphone threads, "Sennheiser HD 800 S Headphones + SimAudio Moon Neo 430 HA Headphone Amplifier" and Audeze LCD-4z Headphones review most of my experience with headphones over the decades, from the early Koss ESP 6 and 9 electrostatics and Sennheiser 414 and...
  13. tmallin

    A/V Room Service Equipment Vibration Protectors (EVPs)

    A/V Room Service Equipment Vibration Protectors (EVPs) Part 1 My Anti-Vibration Experience I suppose most audiophiles have tried a number of racks and/or accessory “feet” in an attempt to eke subjectively ever-better performance from their systems. I'm no exception. As with most types of...
  14. tmallin

    DSPeaker Anti-Mode X4

    Part 1 Background My comments will not be able to assess all the X4's capabilities. My current system uses it strictly as a DSP equalizer for a pair of stereo speakers. I'm not using the subwoofer or crossover functions since I don't use subs. I'm not using the headphone function since my...
  15. tmallin

    CD Ripping: Sound Quality Comparisons Between File Playback & Optical Disc Playback

    I finally decided to rip my 1,000+ CDs to files. I know, I know—I'm 10 or 20 years behind the times on this. It's not that I hoped to get much better sound this way than the Tidal equivalent. But it finally occurred to me that if I ripped my CDs to files, I could probably store or even donate...
  16. tmallin

    Audeze LCD-4z Headphones

    First, let me refer readers to my prior thread on all-things-headphones related. While titled "Sennheiser HD 800 S Headphones + SimAudio Moon Neo 430HA Headphone Amplifier," it actually also discusses much more, including my experience with headphones going back several decades (such as the...
  17. tmallin

    Benchmark HPA4 Headphone/Line Amplifier

    The Importance of Low Noise and Distortion Some experts believe that modern amplifier technology has reached a state of development such that the only real differences are related to subtle frequency response differences caused by the varying interaction of speaker loads with amplifier output...
  18. tmallin

    Benchmark AHB2 Amplifier

    If you've been looking at my other recent threads (Oppo, Benchmark, Auralic, Harbeth) you'll know that I'm now using a pair of Benchmark AHB2 amps in bridged mono configuration to drive my speakers, the Harbeth Monitor 40.2. To my mind, these are unquestionably the best sounding and performing...
  19. tmallin

    Harbeth Monitor 40.2

    The Harbeth Monitor 40.2 speakers are, for me, at least, end-game speakers. With these I can sail happily through my Golden Years. They have the sound of music as I've always dreamed it would sound at home. Back to the Future Last December I began listening again seriously to my Harbeth...
  20. tmallin

    Auralic Aries G2 Wireless Streaming Transporter

    I'm a Spinner and a Streamer, But Not a Ripper As I recently wrote in another thread dealing with the Oppo UDP-205, I do not use a computer to store, catalog, or serve up music in my system. At least not yet. So far I prefer dedicated audio box solutions for music listening. I kind of...
  21. tmallin

    Oppo UDP-205 Blu-ray Disc Player

    I debated long and hard whether to make this change from my Electronic Visionary Systems (EVS)-modified Oppo BDP-105D. Its immediate predecessor, the BDP-105, is the subject of this prior thread of mine. The Oppo UDP-205, which is Oppo's successor to the BDP-105D, has been the subject of a...
  22. tmallin

    Apple Airport Express as Internet Audio Streaming Receiver

    The Apple Airport Express is not much talked about these days. Even within Apple's stable of products, it would seem to have been superseded. The Airport Extreme is a more recent and supposedly better performing router, but, try as I might, I could never get the Extreme to work at all with my...
  23. tmallin

    Benchmark DAC3 DX

    My appreciation for my Benchmark DAC3 DX has only grown over time. No, it is not perfect, but my wish list for its improvements is not sonic, but functional. I hear nothing "wrong," nothing "missing" from its presentation. Of the DACs I've used, it is peerless in terms of revealing the...
  24. tmallin

    The Lowly Toslink

    Toslink is the Rodney Dangerfield of digital cables. It just can't get no respect. It gets so little respect, in fact, that my cursory search of What's Best titles show only three articles with "Toslink" in the title. It's either assumed to be an also-ran (or worse) or it's just a yawner for...
  25. tmallin

    Audio Equipment I Have Owned

    Updated 2/9/20: I will turn 68 this year. Audio has been a hobby of mine for almost 55 years. I got my first component stereo system--AR-4x speakers, AR-XA turntable, Dynaco SCA-35 tube integrated amplifier, Shure M91E cartridge--for the discounted package price of about $250 around 1965-66...
  26. tmallin

    If It's Spring, It Must Be Time for New Speakers (and More): Janszen Valentina Active

    First, let me emphasize that I find nothing wrong with the Stirling LS3/6 + AudioKinesis Swarm Subwoofer System I've been using. Each of the parts is still a great bargain and together they make a great truly full-range bargain speaker system, in my opinion. My decision to move on is strictly...
  27. tmallin

    Kanex Pro HDMI Audio De-Embedder

    "What the heck is THAT?" I can hear you say. Don't worry, I'll explain. I recently swapped out my Lyngdorf TDAI-2170 for a new Benchmark DAC-3 DX to perform DAC duties. The Lyngdorf is one of the few two-channel audio electronics boxes which has HDMI inputs (they are optional, but my unit has...
  28. tmallin

    ART EQ355 Equalizer Added to Stirling LS3/6 + AudioKinesis Swarm System

    I am by no means a newby to measuring the frequency response of my home audio systems, nor to using electronic equalization to alter the response of those systems. Here's a list of "equalizers I've known and used" at home, starting from the earliest, not counting tone controls on preamps and...
  29. tmallin

    Sennheiser HD 800 S Headphones + SimAudio Moon Neo 430HA Headphone Amplifier

    "Headphones? I thought you said that speaker reproduction was so much better?" Yes, I did say something like that recently. For years I barely listened to headphones, even though I had two top Grado models from a decade or two past, the HP-1 and RS-1. The sound never seemed all that...
  30. tmallin

    Stirling LS3/6 + AudioKinesis Swarm Set-Up

    Attached are some photos of the current audio set-up in my upstairs converted small (161" L x 132" W x 103" H) bedroom. The center front of the main Stirling LS3/6 speakers is 34" from the wall behind them, and 22" from the walls beside them. The speakers stands are about 15 7/8" high. These...

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