shigzeoNathan Wright

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Earsonics SM64 reviewed at ohm-image

While the bulk of shiggy’s headphone and earphone reviews have moved to ohm-image, expect a few good reviews to come to TMA. Shiggy’s most recent review is of Earsonic’s SM64. Earsonics are a favourite here at TMA and the SM64 seems to be the hit of the SM line. Why? Shiggy has this to say:
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Forza Audio Works Cables – An Introduction

Forza Audio Works is an up and coming cable manufacturer whose hardware is second to none. Forza has workmanship and quality control licked. Matthew, the man behind the brand is hard at work making pretty much every cable you would want.
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ALO Audio’s The International headphone amp/USB DAC in review

It’s off to the races again. This time, ALO have suited up their youngest and most exciting audiophile offspring, The International. This amp features at 24/96kHz USB DAC, discrete analogue/digital sections, a powerful battery, extremely low noise floor, and the must-have feature of the decade: balanced input and output. With all that under the bonnet,
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音茶楽 Flat4-楓 Ocharaku Flat4-KAEDE earphone in review

I have a hunch that Mr. Yamagishi, the former Sony headphone and speaker designer behind Ocharaku was drinking tea before he ever sipped into the idea of the Tornado Equaliser. That singular technology has since revolutionised the upgrade earphone market among price-conscious portable audiophiles in Japan. And with the introduction of Flat-4 SUI – and
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Triad Audio L3 Headphone Amplifier in Review

Triad Audio’s L3 is one of the biggest battery-powered carry-around headphone amps that TMA has gone over. The other, MST’s FiQuest, is a champion of customisation and performance. While not nearly as customisable as the FiQuest, the L3 commutes from HiFi component to road warrior with less hassle. It is also one of the handsomest
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Tralucent T1 portable headphone amp in review

Tralucent Audio came out of nowhere. Their unique 1Plus2 earphone began stirring up Headfi a few months ago; other audio forums have followed suit. Startlingly less uproarious is their excellent T1 amplifier, a 250$ piece of aluminium, solder, and bolts, that thumbs its nose at many a +400$ amp. It’s a pretty little thing, sporting
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iBasso DX100 Reference DAP in Review – Android to the rescue!

Truly audiophiling an iPod touch is no mean feat. It takes no less than a Cypher Labs AlgoRhthym Solo DAC, and a Vorzüge or ALO Rx class headphone amp. Throw in some shielded interconnects and your’re done. But at what cost? The once slim touch is now a knobby and unholy hamburger of aluminium and
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Review: OneSafe – Secure password manager and data vault

A couple of years ago apps that remembered your business cards and scanned your papers were the rage. It’s not so much that time has changed, it’s that the smartphone really is a computer replacement. Now, the haphazard storing of files in Notes and pictures doesn’t cut it. Lunabee Pte. ltd., makers of oneSafe, seem
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FitEar ToGo! 111 – This is Trance

Yesterday, I was asked by Musica Acoustics to shoot a new earphone, the FitEar ToGo! 111. The 111 is the ToGo! 334′s younger sibling. It was released sometime in the summer in Japan and has had very few legit sales channels abroad. This version is spread with a Musica Acoustics label. Evidently, Jaben have their
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Heir Audio 3.Ai and 4.Ai in Review

Heir Audio’s youngest children have been thrust into the thick of a do-or-die competition. Custom earphone manufacturers are pounding with exceeding energy toward the lucrative – and showy – universal earphone market. I see no end in sight – and to be honest, that is a good thing. Technology handed down from top-flight customs is
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MST FiQuest headphone amplifier and Cio MB DAC in Review

Two years ago, boutique manufacturer MST rocked headfi by teaming up with iBasso to create what was arguably the highest quality portable amplifier on the market. Getting one required some patience as MST are a small outfit with a few employees. Their FiQuest, which has been upgraded in the year 2012, is better than ever.
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Sony PHA-1 iDevice DAC and headphone amp in Review

About two months ago, the particulars of the Sony PHA-1 were leaked to the internet. About the same time, I suffered the second of what would become three intense bouts with an active stomach ulcer. In my circles, both made news. I’d would have to set up endless appointments with doctors that would cancel trips,
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ALO the Pan Am Headphone amplifier/DAC in Review

After an evening of Ghostbusters, it’s hard to want anything more than a date with the Sigourney Weaver of 1991. Keymaster? That’s me. Hell yeah! But, returning to my desk, I am met by another comedy great – or the likeness of one. Indeed, Bender lives on in ALO’s Pan Am, a wonderfully competent full-size
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Centrance DACmini PX Audiophile Desktop System in Review

Centrance’ entrance at TouchMyApps is the Mac mini-sized DACmini PX, an all-in-one DAC/headphone amp/power amp that plays with the big guys. Most of you already know Centrance and are familiar with their excellent USB DACs for guitar, microphone, and headphones. You know that their audio devices are free of noise. You know that they put
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ALO Continental V2 headphone amplifier in review

I have high blood pressure. I get excited easily. For my weight and height, I have a large bum. Fortunately, after applying minus 6 and minus 5 contacts to my eyes, my vision is good – I can tell a masterpiece when I see it. I’m certainly not one. The ALO National is. But for
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Ultima V for iPad – hook, line, sinker

Imagine how disappointed this Ultima idiot was to discover that Ultima V for iPad is nothing but a fan page – sort of. Its author links to various Ultima sundries: Ultima news, fonts, upcoming games, maps, and does it in the classic Ultima style, that promises something dark – something role playing – under the
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Etymotic delivers Awareness app to Android and iOS

Audiophiles are already aware of Etymotic, the company that single-handedly invented the world of inner earphones. Their ER4 series revolutionised portable audio before you were born. I can think of no other name to which my silly bicycle hat is tipped to more often. God bless you Etymotic. Well, their rather well-known app collaboration with
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MyST 1866 Wireless DAC and headphone amp for your iPhone

Last month, Musica Acoustics had me photograph their new MyST 1866, a portable DAC unit from MyCroft that Dimitri was very excited about. The lad is almost always lost for words about cool new things, so I patted him on the shoulder and took the unit to my office. I shot the thing. I turned
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FitEar To Go! 334 earphone in Review – nonpareil

Zip, ziiiip, wiiiiii, a mosquito. Chuka chuka chuka katakatatata, the Tsukuba Express plowing back to Akihabara. Click click click, my evil shoe-wearing neighbours on the eighth floor dancing up a spell. Summer’s heat amplifies each sound. So does after-work debauchery. So does Arcade Fire. And Markus Schulz’ Progression, Vibrasphere’s Lungs of Life, etc. and so
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Vorzüge VorzAMPpure and VorzAMPduo headphone amps in Review – There’s none more black

Okay, apes, it’s time to toss bones to the firmament. It’s time to beat on your mates and rip sinews from the teeth of angry panthers. Evolution’s catching us up again. This time, however, it’s the Germans, not Americans, who are pressing us to the edge of the audiophile solar system. The eponymous VorzAMP has
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GoVibe Porta Tube+ valve headphone amp/DAC in Review – beautiful in blue

There’s nothing wrong with cheap. I eat cheap. I wear cheap. I make cheap jokes. And for the longest time, Jaben shipped mainly cheap amps to my cohort: the masses, God bless ‘em. But Jaben have gotten off that kick. They’ll ring the charity bells in another season. Today is the day of the Porta
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Ortofon eQ5 earphones in Review – an earphone for all time

I hated dolling out a mere GRAB to the Ortofon eQ7. But good build quality, acceesories, and sound alone didn’t do the trick. It could have been easier to wear, and the cable could have been a LOT better. It could have been the eQ5.
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Audiophile Friday #1: Cypher Labs Algorhythm SOLO vs Venturecraft Go-DAP Unit 4.0 – Digital Output

Last week I half-arsedly introduced two accessories made specifically for the iDevice audiophile, the Venturecraft Go-DAP Unit 4.0 and the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo. Both are able and willing to replace larger, more expensive and decidedly untransportable HiFi gear, but only one is worthy of doing so.
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ALO The National headphone amplifier in review – a new class

After having created perfection in the Rx, ALO are free to experiment. Their first experiment, The Continental, is quite a hit, especially as it packs valves under the bonnet for a truly classical sort of listen. But as ALO explain, the use of limited valves means that the Continental has a shorter time on this
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Audiophile Friday Intro – A look at the AlgoRhythm SOLO and Venturecraft Unit 4.0

Today, I’d like to briefly introduce two remarkable iDevice accessories: the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm SOLO and the Venturecraft GoDap Unit 4.0, both portable units that output SPDIF digital signals to high-end audio equipment. iPhone zeitgeist, marked as it was by cute bunny-eared cases, vibrators, and farting apps, has obviously evolved.
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Digizoid zO2 Personal Subwoofer in Review – who let the dogs out?

Indeed. Digizoid dub this diminutive piece of plastic a ‘personal subwoofer’. I’d dub it a personal wolf pack – that is, if wolfs were known for barking. They probably growl, so maybe the metaphor stands. Which is more than I could do the first time I heard the zO2, which floored me. I’ve been mopping
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Gizmon iCa iPhone camera case in Review – Barnack would be proud

Steve Jobs (RIP) may have publicly glibbed that the iPhone 4 was “like a beautiful old Leica camera”, but he never saw the Gizmon iCa coming… No one did. And I’m glad. Perfectly succinct designs, such as the iPhone and the iCa, are obvious only after debut. Why is that? As I sip diluted tea
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GoVibe VestAmp+ in Review – Jaben’s Coming of Age

GoVibe products have come a long way, thank God. Remember the Hippo Box+? Rife with mis-labelled parts, a broken website, and costing a pretty penny for what, essentially, was just a battery box, it was embarrassing. It sounded good, though, and therefore got away with a TAP. Today, GoVibe, together with its cheaper Hippo branch, is
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Fischer Audio DBA-02 MKII in Review – Bittersweet

Fischer Audio have updated their best-selling DBA-02. And what an update it is. The DBA-02 MKII is a delightful earphone replete with comfort and an accessory kit that is the envy of the earphone world. How about its sound, you ask? I’ll be singing praises soon enough. First, let’s yabber about WOWs.
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MF Player Pro-radical HiFi in Review – Certainly radical

If you want radical sound from your iDevice, you could pop in Iggy Pop’s New Values. Or, if you can’t keep pace with Iggy, why not check out MF Player Pro-radical HiFi. It is a ‘radical’ break from the traditional clean-cut – and often labelled ‘sterile’ – Apple sound. It’s an HiFi app in every
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Snapseed in Review – Moving mountains for online photographers

If you needed better encouragement to buy Snapseed than an enthusiastic TouchMyApps review, I can think of no better endorsement than Apple’s own knighting of Nik Software’s Snapseed as iPad app of the year 2011. But if you need a second opinion – and after a long time with Snapseed, I feel that my opinion is
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Beyerdynamic T50p Manufaktur hitting the IFA; sporting sexy new leather

Beyerdynamic have been kicking out new products at what amounts to breakneck speed. Their new flagship 32Ω ultraportable headphone, T50p, was released last year has quickly developed a strong following among music lovers. At the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) Berlin, from September 2-7 of this year, Beyer will unveil the T50p Manufaktur, a customisable version of the
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MEElectronics A151 inner earphone in Review – KICKASS!!

MEElectronics are hit makers. The M6 and M9 earph0nes defined perfection within their price points, sporting great build quality, good sound, and an impressive array of accessories. With the introduction of the A151, MEEl have outdone themselves in a number of areas, making on of the truly must-have earphones. Caveats aside (and yes, there are
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Photojojo iPhone SLR Mount turns your iPhone into Nikon or Canon mirrorless camera

Photojojo’s new iPhone SLR Mount may just turn  your iPhone into the elusive (and rumoured) Canon/Nikon mirrorless camera system. It is a case, threaded filter ring, extension tube with aperture coupling and included Nikon or Canon mount. It is fair to guess that since the lenses share no electronic coupling with the iPhone itself, you’ll have to
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Sleek Audio CT7 custom earphone in Review – masterless sound

In 2009, Sleek Audio officially released the CT6, their first custom earphone. At its introductory price of 300$, the single driver earphone dominated the budget custom earphone world with great sound and a slew of innovations at a great price point. A LOT has happened since then, and while the CT6 remains a great earphone,
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Eight apps for a broken arm

After breaking my arm a couple of months ago, I learned a bit of biology. Bones are serious buggers, you know; they don’t just Lego into place after snapping. But even at 31 and five fingers down, I applied myself very fastidiously to apps that I could use one-handed. At first, they may seem eclectic,
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Gay Cure app pulled from App Store – expect precedential backlash

Not that it’s my strong suit or anything, but I certainly take issue with Apple’s wording of Exodus International’s Gay Cure rejection letter, which went something like this: “We removed the Exodus International app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.” (Cult of Mac emphasis
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Ricky Gervais gets an iPad 2 from Jony Ive, yeah!

Crazy how the world’s worst boss still receives tribute from the rich and famous, though admittedly, a gift from Ive (an iPad 2) ain’t quite centre stage at the Golden Globes. Gervais got another gift that day, signed boxing gloves from Mike Tyson (remember him?). Evidently, the old biter wants to get on Gervais’ show.
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Touchgrind BMX coming Spring 2011

Remember Touchgrind, the excellent skateboard simulator? My fingers still dance awkward steps across my iPod when I’m looking up hard dictionary words like ‘cluster’ and ‘shill’ ’cause Touchgrind rocked them to the memory core. It made this crappy sk8tR into something special, and kept my hands busy in the best ways possible. Well, come this
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MST Audio supporting Red Cross Japan with proceeds from Red Tide sales

I’ve been following #Japan on Twitter since the horrible earthquake and corollary tsunami last week. Among the myriad voices, the Japanese audiophile community has been rallying support. MST Audio, maker of the fabulous FiQuest headphone amp, will be donating 32% of the proceeds from their new, limited edition Red Tide interconnect cable, to the Japan
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hippo box+ headphone amp in review – petty in pink

Just slightly bigger than iBasso’s fabulous T3, hippo audio’s second self-branded portable headphone amp is a diminutive, but well-punctuated statement product. iBasso’s effects-be-damned neutral sound is damned in return as the box+ sways the portable audiophile with ‘rich’ sound, the sort made possible only through a Butterworth low pass filter: the sort of sound that
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Valentine’s news flash: My Virtual Girlfriend saving Korean marriages

For those with nagging girlfriends and high maintenance wives, Valentines Day and its spendy accouterments: flowers, chocolate, cards, pricey dinners, and lingerie (hey, it ain’t all bad), can tear a man apart. If the cold February chill doesn’t kill you, your bruding-er half will. Recently, my church, The Globe’s English Evangelical Papal Ministry Synagogue, has been
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blueSLR Wireless Camera Control in Review – Gotta have it iDevice camera trigger

While certain Canadian icons such as RIM and maple syrup slide in popularity, Sonomax’s unique custom earphone, and XEquals’ BlueSLR, a gotta-have-it dongle that turns your iPod touch/iPad/iPhone into a remote shutter release for your camera, are hoisting the Canadian flag to new technological heights. For me, the latter rocks simple reason that: I always
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Nocs NS200 headset in Review – Deep ear action

Nocs, a Swedish company out of… Sweden, have left a tasty impression in my ears this winter with the NS200 headset. While not flashy, the NS200 scores with lively sound and good headset implementation that impresses this Toucher with great audio performance, and a tasty remote control.
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Woz’s got a White iPhone 4 and it ain’t Apple’s

Evidently, he got a nice part set from some clever kid in New York. Illegal shmelegal. Hell, I’ve got to pay some third party lending company to even get an iPhone 4 in Korea, so bugger it all. Sorry for the Flash video. Engadget via 9to5Mac.
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CES 2011′s best: Sonomax’s SoundCage 4-minute custom earphone

Recently, I Hanseled my way around CES 2011 looking for a place to sit. On my quest to find a comfy chair, I managed to lose myself under a pile of crumby marketing handouts, and half naked girls dancing to show off the features of a … wired router. Amid crappy tablets and massage chairs,
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Fx Photo Studio in Review – 181 dimensions of iPhoneography

If you brave the world of photography (or merely want to) armed with the all the bravado of a point-and-click iPhone, FX Photo Studio (FXPS) is for you. If you happen to run into the wind, with a 2000$ tripod strapped to your back with an iPhone in your front pocket, FX Photo Studio is
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Home Design 3D – CAD for the Pad [Video]

Useful apps are no longer a minor contingent at the App Store. The newest CAD app for iPad, Home Design 3D, follows on the shirtsleeves of the semi-successful design app, Home 3D for iPad, but already looks a lot slicker. ‘Course it ain’t always easy to make an app that runs as well as it
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Equalizer in Review – accurate, full featured, but in need of an overhaul

If anything came too late to Apple’s iDevice line, it was proper equalisers. EQu blew me away, but the App Store’s first equaliser, Equalizer, only really nudges my inner audiophile that can get by Equalizer’s gamey interface. Feel free to discuss Equalizer in our forums.
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Westone 4 earphones in Review

Whether it’s Metallica, DJ Tiesto, Iggy Pop, Melody Gardot, or Aphex Twin belting around the spinning innards of your cassette player, it’s gonna sound fab from the Westone 4, and it’s not just that new product sheen either. No, it’s the fact that Westone nailed everything in this, the first universal earphone fitted with four
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