The Basic Schiit: Modi Multibit and Vali 2 Review Jan21

The Basic Schiit: Modi Multibit and Vali 2 Review

Introduction When I first reviewed Schiit Audio’s original Modi/Vali stack many moons ago, I walked away very impressed to say the least. Not only was it a cost effective solution for the budding audiophile, but it sounded better than a lot of other systems for a fraction of the price. However, Schiit’s entry level stack still had some major drawbacks. First, the number of inputs and outputs on the Modi were quite limited preventing it really from being a general purpose standalone DAC. Secondly, though the Vali offered up some very pleasant analog warmth through its novel use of miniature tubes, you couldn’t really roll...

Dave’s Top 10 Albums Of 2016 Jan06

Dave’s Top 10 Albums Of 2016

As John Oliver aptly put it, “Fuck 2016.” While I am very happy to bid the year a not so fond farewell, I was at least able to take some comfort in some really fantastic releases this year. Interestingly, while Alex and my best of the year lists are usually pretty different, (“Do you likes it? Then I hates it!” -Alex) this year there was a surprising amount of overlap. Too much really, and so some albums that would probably have made my list ended up on the cutting room floor just to keep things interesting, which of course isn’t to say that any of the following are undeserving. Dynamically, I’m afraid the industry is still...

Angry Metal-Fi: The Best & Worst Sounding Records of 2016

Angry Metal-Fi is a series of articles that are cross posted on Angry Metal Guy and Metal-Fi as a collaborative effort to evangelize dynamics in metal. 2016 was another so-so year for dynamics in metal, with the number of hyper-compressed, brickwalled recordings far outweighing the number of well produced ones. Yet I still remain cautiously optimistic since our little Metal-Fi community is slowly but surely becoming not so little anymore, with more and more headbangers joining the cause everyday. But even more importantly, I see many of our readers transforming their passive aggressiveness toward poorly produced metal into outright...

Alex’s Top 10 Albums of 2016 Jan01

Alex’s Top 10 Albums of 2016

What’s ironic about 2016 is though it was a terrible year in general by most standards, it was a great year for metal. So good in fact that it was very hard to even come up “a list.” Like many of you, I keep an internal running tally of my favorite releases throughout the year. But this year that list pushed way past the two dozen mark, which made it very difficult to weed it down to just the ten records you see before you. I think that’s why to some extent many of the lists from all my favorite metal sites are so varied this year, with only a few common records between them. A good indicator that 2016 was indeed a...

A Tale of Two Strange Loops Dec28

A Tale of Two Strange Loops

Like I’ll bet many of you, I discovered Mithras‘ On Strange Loops via Mark L.’s fantastic review of it over on Angry Metal Guy. In his review back in October, Mark described Loops as “the most warped and transcendent death metal 2016 has yet produced,” and now with just a few fleeting moments left in the year, I still can’t find any real flaw in that assessment. Unfortunately, Loop’s production choices leaves a lot to be desired. Clocking in at a abysmal DR4, but really a DR3 once you take out the instrumental track “The Last Redoubt” out of the picture, Loops sounds like one hot garbled...

Review: iFi Audio USB iPurifier2 and DC iPurifier Dec26

Review: iFi Audio USB iPurifier2 and DC iPurifier

Introduction At the very tail end of my review of Sonore’s microRendu, I talked about testing two of iFi Audio’s iPurifier products with my own DIY music server. In this review I’m going to go into a lot more detail about exactly what they do and how they do it, but before I get to all of that, I want to talk about the two major traditional digital audio connection formats: AES/EBU, and the Sony/Philips Digital Interface, more commonly referred to as “S/PDIF.” Professional studios often need very long cables, and for that type of environment, the 110 Ohm, balanced AES/EBU format was created to connect digital devices without the worry of...