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converter, dac, marantz, meridian, nad -

A DAC is a must for anyone who truly appreciates content delivered as it was intended to be heard. Utilizing a DAC may be very different than the audio setup you are already familiar with. A DAC is not really an audio source, nor is it an output device or a pre-processor. A DAC converts digital content to an analog format for playback on a home stereo system. The quality of the conversion process differs by the quality of the DAC. While some newer audio/video receivers like Sony’s ES line and Yamaha’s Aventage line boast high-quality internal DACs, this is not the case for most other products with built-in DACs.

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Gizmodo recently published a controversial article claiming that the coming of 24-bit audio to iTunes "will be bad for users."  We immediately went to Brian, president of Gramophone, for a response, and here's what he has to say: "This ain’t so simple. At first glance 16-bit should be more than enough. There are 65,536 gradations of volume (just like gradations of color across the spectrum) possible with 16-bit audio. That’s a whole lot. 16-bit audio (what we currently have) is reported to have a dynamic range of 96 decibels. Once again, that’s a lot. Who can possibly hear that many gradations? No one. But there’s a...

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audioquest, gramophone, headphones, nighthawk, product, review -

It’s been a relatively slow Friday morning here at Gramophone, so I took the opportunity to wander around the show room. While I busied myself initially harassing a few of our Design & Build team and accidentally incorrectly cutting a piece of vinyl flooring, I remembered that we recently got in the new Nighthawk, AudioQuest’s first pair of headphones. Quickly I ventured into our Cloud Room to listen. The Setup: The AudioQuest Nighthawk, a Meridian Prime headphone amplifier, an Arcam drDOCK, iPod Touch and hazelnut coffee. The Music: Miles Davis, Trentemøller, Whitney Houston, Sacred Harp Singing, Boyz II Men. (This iPod had an eclectic collection, to say...

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By Lauren Dragan Music lovers looking for the ultimate headphone listening experience have more options today than ever. Many high-end audio aficionados prefer the sound of open-backed headphones above all others. What makes open-back so special? How do you know if they’re right for you? Here are a few pointers to get you acquainted. First, a word on what open-back means: open-backed headphones have exterior shells that are not made of solid material in the way that most headphones are commonly designed. Whether it’s mesh or fabric, open-back headphones allow air into (and some sound out of) the space between...

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audioquest, ear buds, earbuds, headphones, in-ear, m4u2, monitors, nighthawk, noise cancelling, noise isolating, on-ear, over-ear, psb -

By Geoffrey Morrison There has never before been the variety, and quality, of headphones available as there are right now. For every budget and style, there are great sounding headphones. The rampant enthusiasm in the audiophile community for this new golden age is spreading to the mainstream. Here are a few terms and basics to know as you consider what to buy. “Over-ear” Headphones These are the big earmuff-style headphones. As their name implies, they go over your ear. They tend to be fairly heavy, but the ones that totally surround the ear tend to be quite comfortable for extended listening because...

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