:: HRT HeadStreamer
The consistently growing family of Music Streamers has delivered its latest member: the HeadStreamer!! What is a HeadStreamer? It is a high-resolution and very high audiophile standard USB digital-to-analogue processor meant to be used with headphones. Imagine a Music Streamer II in an enclosure of approximately half its size with a 3.5mm mini-jack output for headphones - a HeadStreamer. Same high-resolution capability and brilliant sound that so many of you have already experienced. The amplifier section within the HeadStreamer is more than powerful enough to drive even very ambitious headphones, while the output level (volume) control remains serviced from your host computer. Small, very portable and supplied with a 0.5m USB cable which will enable the user to conveniently connect and enjoy all the music from a laptop while on the move or a desktop machine while at home or in the office. Furnished in a suitable soft carrying pouch, the new HRT HeadStreamer has just started shipping and costs £145 Inc. VAT in the United Kingdom.
:: conrad-johnson HD3
As we started with USB digital-to-analogue processors this time around, we may as well continue in the same fashion. conrad-johnson design may be a leading force within the American and global high-end arena, but that does not mean they are not doing their best to reflect contemporary trends. And, of course, improve as much as possible on what others may have achieved in a given field. As a positive consequence of such an ethos, we are pleased to announce the HD3 High Definition Digital Decoder in its full and official name. HD3 is an unusually modest in size (compared to other cj-d products), but looks very elegant with the chassis being more deep than wide. While Bill Conrad and Lew Johnson wisely chose to implement an already proven and well respected solution for the "first stage" (DAC) of this product, the rest of the design incorporates their proprietary analogue/output stage with the usual refinements (capacitors, resistors) and well placed individual power supply circuits wherever of benefit. Although this is a discrete (solid-state) solution from conrad-johnson, rest assured an extremely musical, natural and transparent 3D sound with "correct" harmonics and low distortion is not going to disappoint. The new conrad-johnson HD3 is now available and the UK list price has been set at £1,995 Inc. VAT.
NB. In order to enable the UK list price to remain as low as possible (UK price excl. VAT is below the US list price) this product will be available only directly from Audiofreaks or the Audiofreaks Online Store.
:: CARDAS AUDIO MYRTLE WOOD CABLE SUPPORT BLOCKS
Cardas Audio have recently discontinued all their single and double notch myrtle wood blocks (small and large) which have become almost a "staple-diet" high-end ancillary gadgets over a number of years. Designed by George Cardas to support interconnect (small) and loudspeaker (large) cables away from the floor, carpet or other surfaces, they made an easily noticeable sonic improvement to every audio system, regardless of quality level and aspiration. We were fortunate to acquire the complete remaining inventory of Cardas myrtle wood blocks from the manufacturer and are offering those, soon to be generally unavailable, inexpensive "upgrades" at very reduced prices through the Audiofreaks Online Store.
AUDIOFREAKS & AUDIOFREAKS PRODUCTS IN THE PRESS...
It was most gratifying to notice that our fairly modest presence at the NAS2011 in September generated equally positive comments in the audio press as when we had much more ambitious presentations. For over 20 years we did our best to convey to the general music love/audiophile public how size, power or cost of an audio system has very little (if anything) to do with the character of the sound one deems to be correct and wishes to hear at all times. Our sincere "Thank You" to all those who visited our small room at the NAS2011 and expressed their sentiments in a positive manner.
Hifi News included the HRT Music Streamer II+ into their Yearbook 2011 and What Hi-Fi? magazine declared the HRT Music Streamer II as the best DAC in the "up to £200" category.
Hifi+ chose (prudently?) to shy away from the usual annual awards and offered a plethora of "Recommended Components" instead. It was good to see a number of Audiofreaks products mentioned in almost every segment of the hardware divisions.
Finally, a most positive surprise arrived from within the pages of the latest issue of The Absolute Sound! Jonathan Valin declared the conrad-johnson GAT line preamplifier and ART mono power amplifier as "one of the very best" and "highly recommended"!!! What a "transformative" and, dare we say, unexpected, acclaim from one of the most seasoned TAS reviewers. Good news indeed!!