A new year brings a fresh batch of ‘givers’ to the yard. A firm thank you goes out to all who choose to share their findings with us.
Ryan K. writes:
Just wanted to say thank you for your approach to reviewing, as you’ve become my first in line, go-to guy when I inevitably begin my daily music & audio obsession.
Also wanted to thank you for your coverage on Raspberry Pi/DigiOne/Allo etc. as it pushed me to finally get a USBridge to replace my laptop as my streaming source via Roon. It’s not a drastic difference in quality but enough for it to be my favorite upgrade in some time. I’ve been researching streaming options for a while and until something comes along that can beat its quality for the price then I can now move my focus to cartridges or DACs or CD players (I forgot how good they can sound!) to scratch the itch.
PS. Love the podcast!
Trevor C. writes…
Thank you for the ongoing and informative guidance on room acoustics & treatments, which has been helpful to me as a regular reader who is feeling his way toward better sound. In the spirit of trying to give and not always just take:
Since you are a fan of at least a few things from Finland (Genelec, Morphology) maybe you already know about Konto Acoustics, but if not, I’m sharing a recent personal experience of mine as a new customer of theirs. (Disclosure: I have no affiliation or association with Konto whatsoever, other than being a customer; however, they did like what I did with my custom acoustic panel order so much they’ve asked to use an anonymous photo of it on their website).
A few months ago I moved from New York City to Helsinki, into a quite small family apartment with a lounge setup with badly compromised listening acoustics. Back in New York, I hadn’t gotten around to any acoustic treatments (apart from REW filters in Roon) for aesthetic and health reasons. With a toddler at home, I was particularly worried about flame-retardant chemicals that off-gas toxicity, often added to household and acoustic foams (I threw away some old Auralex foam for this reason; backstory on flame retardants in the US here).
Here in Finland, a few weeks ago I discovered Konto Acoustics, a company that makes all-natural acoustic panels from Finland’s vast supply of peat moss; they are certified non-toxic (salt is used as a flame-retardant) and have a very high sound absorption rating. Konto’s basic offerings seem to be in a similar price range as your 60-euro examples, This might be of interest to audiophiles looking for a certified nontoxic and eco-friendly product. It looks like Konto has teamed up with Genelec in at least a few instances:
Addressing the problem of aesthetics, especially for a multi-use family living room, I decided to pay extra for Konto’s print-your-own-image custom panels (maybe other manufacturers offer this sort of thing, too, I don’t know). I’d had Chinese calligraphy hanging on the wall in frames behind acoustically reflective plexiglass, which obviously was terrible. I sent Konto images of those calligraphy pieces to transfer onto the panels and am thrilled with the results, both visually and acoustically. The setup looks, to my eyes, really good, while it also dramatically tames the echo off my much-too-close back wall. As a result, my newly updated REW room-correction filters in Roon are also more effective. Good synergy from different approaches, at quite a moderate cost, particularly considering the improvement.
The possibilities of this custom printing option seem endless; other visually interesting installations Konto has done:
Thanks for reading, and best wishes for the new year.
David D. writes…
Warmest greetings for the New Year.
Although our musical tastes are sharply divergent – I can’t live without classical and jazz piano and classical all sorts [by which I include C20th and C21st composers] – I respect your site and the way you write and review.
One of the many things which I like about your site is the preference given to modestly sized equipment – which leads to this suggestion / request. I don’t know how you go about soliciting gear to be reviewed, but I wonder if you might consider the Lindemann Limetree headphone / pre-amp? I am intrigued by the reviews which I have seen, which suggest that this little box really does offer something special. However, those reviews have almost exclusively concentrated on it as a pre-amp, with only a glancing look at its headphone capabilities.
I am currently happy (more than happy) with the acclaimed Arcam rHead, which for the current UK price of £199 is probably unbeatable – but it doesn’t offer pre-amp facilities.
I have no connections with Lindemann. I happen to be a Church of England parish priest with a longstanding interest in both live and reproduced music.
Ian F. writes…
I have enjoyed reading your website since I discovered it in 2018, please keep up the good work. Found an article about the environmental impact of different music formats on “The Conversation” website and thought you might be interested.
John K. A. writes…
I just stumbled over this amp. It seems to have a cult status. I didn’t even know Dynaudio had made something like this.
It would have been really cool if you managed to track one down and make a video about it:
Col F. writes…
Just wanted to say I love the new formats you are running with on the site. I particularly enjoy the Youtube vids (Moffat and Stoddard had me in stitches) and hearing what you are listening to…I bought The Hold Steady off the back of it and have a number of your other listens on the ‘to buy’ list!
Congrats on the evolution of your site and thanks so much for your thoughts and insights, I thoroughly reading and watching.
Alun H. writes…
Hello John. Thanks for all this informative entertaining stuff. I didn’t know you could stream CD quality via Sonos until I watched your recent video. Qobuz now added to Spotify – streaming via a Sonos Connect in the living room (via Marantz and KEF) and Chromecast Audio in office headphone system (via Schitt Modi, Magni and AKG). Second Chromecast bought to form part of a cheapo bedroom system (yet to buy). Thanks v much!