Antoine writes …
Hello John, I want to express my gratitude for your work and my admiration for your attitude. Your presence helped fuel my new interest (listening to music) in a way that I think is only possible when a passion is shared with other people. At a time when sharing with other people is difficult, it is extremely precious to me. I don’t feel like I belong to the audiophile community (if there is such a thing), but I can easily relate to you and your audience. At the same time, your professionalism is truly inspiring. You clearly won’t take crap from commentators and I never felt you would hesitate to take a stand or just say, “No, I won’t do that.” I can imagine it must be exhausting dealing with the internet and yet you continue to show up regularly with high quality material. Anyway, I just wanted to give positive feedback. Thank you again and good luck.
David writes …
Your “for beginners” podcast was very informative and also relevant to those who have “been around the neighborhood” for a while. VERY WELL.
I learned quite a few things that I still didn’t know (you never stop learning), and I thought the advice “to a friend” was so good that I just sent the link to podcast to “a friend of mine” who is considering his first return to hifi after the 80s!
I don’t want to tell him how to spend his money – just point him in a sane direction where he can make his own decisions.
Although I am an engineer and have repaired mixers (Neve) mixed, recorded and mastered music (and built my own class A and AB amplifiers – an audiophile for as long as I can remember) – thanks to your content and search suggestions, I’m thrilled with Qobuz (yes, high res! 🤣) my eclectic CD collection, Roon, a Zenith SE and a pair of Kii Threes. (And the guys at Kii are amazing – so super helpful and genuine).
I really don’t see myself wanting to change anything because I enjoy music so much.
All the best of the soggy northwest of England. Ah and thank you.
Drew writes …
Hey John – Just a quick note to let you know that I enjoyed the video on your top 10 favorite continuous mix techno albums!
As a lifelong electronic music lover, I can’t wait to discover them! There are a lot of artists that you listed that I have never heard of. Thanks for editing this video!
A suggestion for you would be to take a look at some of the early Juno reactors, such as the Transmissions, Bible of Dreams, and Beyond the Infinite albums. Sorry if you’ve heard / listened to these albums before, but I think they represent some of the amazing electronic music that was made in the early / mid 90’s and well worth listening to, especially on a good system!
Me: Thanks for the suggestions, Drew. I know Juno Reactor – they did a great job of remixing the Fatima Mansions in the 90s – but I haven’t heard any of their albums to speak of.
Andy writes …
Hi John – love your reviews etc. Your analysis and audio description powers are legendary. As an audiophile and also someone who makes a living recording audio (voiceover), I just discovered an amazing company – Sonosax from Switzerland. They are famous for their sound mixers used in the movie industry – but are quite legendary – From Jean Luc Goddard to the Bond films and Harry Potter have all used Sonosax equipment.
It is still a small private company run by the original owner Jacques Sax who still designs all of their products. I just came across an amazing little Swiss Army Knife product they made called M2D2 which is a bit bigger than an iPhone but is an amazing A / D converter, mic preamp, DA interface. It can be used as a very high quality portable headphone amplifier, a DAC for your main system (with XLR AES input and output). I am in love with this device and really hope you will contact Jacques and get a review model. I would absolutely love to hear your analysis – I feel like you will have the same enthusiasm about it as the Buchardt speakers! I have absolutely no connection with this business other than being a new customer and it is a total pleasure to buy something so high quality and where the guy who picks up the phone is the owner and designer in chief and was not acquired by a conglomerate.
These kind of societies are disappearing, even if Buchardt is a real breath of fresh air in this regard, and as an audiophile, the pleasure of owning is made more intense by this knowledge / it’s a bit like imagining that QUAD was still a small independent British owned company (for us Brits) manufacturing cutting edge products today. What a loss it was !! It still hurts. Here is a link on the product page.
Marc writes …
My name is Mark and I read your wonderful reviews and writings quite often and thank you for what you do. I have a problem that I need help with and am lost at the moment so any advice would really help me. I have very good stereo equipment and now I would like to find something that sounds just as good sitting in front of my computer as it does in my living room. My problem is, I don’t want to turn on a bunch of equipment every time I’m sitting in front of my computer. I’m looking for either a high-end active monitor or a very good integrated amplifier with integrated DAC to power my Raidho XT1 in near field listening. I would prefer to have an active monitor that turns on when I turn on Tidal, but a button for a built-in is also OK. I can spend up to 6K and would really appreciate any help you could give me. a few suggestions would also be helpful. Thanks in advance for any help you could provide.
Me: Hi Marc. Looks like you need a hi-fi consultant. Alas, it’s not me. As you noted in your email, I am a content editor (and nothing more). Sorry – and I wish you luck in finding the help you need.
Georges writes …
Love your videos! I have a question for you. I plan to buy the Apple TV 4K 2021. I also have a Schiit Modi 3+ DAC and an analog amplifier. Please tell how I can connect Apple TV 4k to Modi 3+. I am considering an HDMI extractor. Does this reduce the audio quality?
Me: An HDMI extractor is exactly what you need. And since this is your ONLY option, any concerns about its minor reduction in SQ (via Toslink) are moot.
Jonas writes …
Hi – I would just like to recommend you go to TIDAL and play this: Gesu No Kiwami Otomo – Jinsei No Hari. It’s pretty cool even though I don’t understand Japanese. It’s that weird rock, rap thing with a great acoustic band. My God. ??
Darren writes …
Good morning, John
I’m just wondering what you think of price comparisons when you consider brands that sell direct to the public. For example, should you compare a pair of Buchardt speakers at € 1,800 or a Decware amplifier at $ 995 with similarly priced items from companies that sell through distributors, or with more expensive items to account for additional costs ?
Me: You mean like a golf handicap? If a company can market a $ 2,000 direct-selling product that rivals a $ 4,000 competitor in build quality, feature set, and sound quality AND can offer a satisfaction guarantee of limited time refund AND can respond to global warranty issues seamlessly, so more power for them.
Mattéo writes …
I recently read your article / saw the video on the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1. Being a fan of your content, I think the following words from this article are the essence when reviewing equipment (in my opinion):
The purchase of the NAD and its connection to the Diamond 12.1 clearly reminded me how much the sound of a speaker can change with its electronics; that judging a passive speaker is risky when only one amplifier is used. And that too, according to the video below, even the DAC and streamer can tip the tonal balance in the wrong (or right) direction. When covering a passive speaker, we must try to keep in mind that what we are hearing is a complete system.
And that’s why I love watching your videos, that’s what makes your reviews unique. You are like a doctor who searches the whole human body, to say what is wrong with me. I think it’s called holistic medicine. You are like the doctor of holistic medicine in the world of hi-fi reviews. Keep up the great work !
Shun writes …
Thanks for all the work you are doing.
You mentioned that you would be doing an entry-level headphones video later this year. For this video, the $ 30 Koss KPH30i is insanely good.
Thanks again for the wonderful videos.
Toby writes …
When you decide to buy music, how do you decide which format (vinyl, CD, stream)? Is vinyl or CD still the first choice, given the choice? Is streaming still the best choice for you?
Me: If it’s a modern techno record, often vinyl is the option if I want a physical format. If this is an anniversary edition of an independent record from the ’90s or’ 00s, I will go for vinyl if the CD doesn’t offer additional tracks – however, the CD almost always contains additional tracks that the vinyl reissue never sees. But when it’s an icy classic, I buy both the vinyl and the CD.
Tom writes …
Have you ever known a major label to present a new release via a streamer (in this case Apple Music)? And not just in the ad at the end where distribution channels are often listed, but in the opening paragraph:
“Dear Deutsche Grammophon fan. We are delighted to announce the release of the new album from pioneering composer Max Richter; Exiles is out now and also available in the new high-quality spatial listening experience of Dolby Atmos on Apple Music.
Okay, aside from Tidal where some of the label owners were investors in Tidal.
Stay safe and keep doing what you do so well.
Max writes …
Hi Darko Audio,
I apologize for cluttering up your inbox, but I just wanted to say that I discovered your YouTube channel recently and found it both (1) practically useful (it ultimately helped me to choose a really usable DAC configuration for my iPhone) and (2) really interesting. So I just wanted to say thank you and appreciate what you are doing!