The enthusiast's audio webzine

Patrick Dillon

I am a guitar playing father of one in Austin TX who makes a living in academia and has a passion for music making technology. Educated in experimental social science, I spent years tweaking my audio system while wondering why our understanding of people's response to music was so limited. I love to listen and to play, but I also want to know what makes music and its reproduction important to people.


Audioengine A5+ Wireless Speakers

Patrick Dillon enjoys a change of pace with the Audioengine A5+ wireless speakers, trying them out both with bluetooth and wired via computer and external DAC. His conclusion? “I could envisage a pair of these serving as an almost one-stop audiophile rig, paired with whatever digital device you have. Throw in some stands and you could be rockin’ the joint and having personal late night sounds for comparative chump change in the audiophile universe.”

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JWM Acoustics Alyson AML II

JWM Acoustics aims to deliver custom-designed products to meet the needs of individual audiophiles who purchase for the long haul. Patrick Dillon spends time with their standmount Alyson AML speakers and finds them capable of performance that marries unique style to exceptional musical resolution.

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PS Audio BHK Signature 300 Mono Amplifiers

When PS Audio set out to build a world-class power amplifier, nobody anticipated them using tubes in a design for the first time. The resulting hybrid monoblocks are big and powerful but how do they sound? Patrick Dillon takes a listen and feels the new amps are the best he’s heard in his rig.

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Charisma 103 Moving Coil Cartridge

“The Charisma 103 moving coil cartridge delivered rich, full-bodied sonics that made me spin record after record in simple enjoyment,” writes Patrick Dillon in his review of this modified Denon 103 from Charisma Audio. “It came alive without fussy adjustment or tweaking, a boon to vinyl lovers no matter their rigs. Whichever way you slice it, the Charisma 103 is great value. Unhesitatingly recommended.”

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Valvet A4 Class A Monoblocks

Patrick Dillon visits the world of Class A amplification with the Valvet A4 monoblocks. His conclusion? “When you hear them over an extended period of time on music you love, you come to realize there is something quite special about these amplifiers. … The Valvet A4s are capable of delivering musical reproduction that is as good as I can remember hearing. Class A all the way.”

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Bybee Gold RCA Adaptors

Patrick Dillon test-drives a pair of Bybee RCA adapters. He finds them position-dependent. But where they work, he concludes that “It’s these small incremental improvements in tone, timbre and decay that the Bybees repeatedly provided that has me quite impressed with their value. Taking them out is as noticeable as putting them back in.”

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Ice Age Audio Power Cables

Patrick Dillon explores the range of cables from father-and-son business IceAge Audio in his own rigs. Impressed by their performance-price quotient, he nominates them as a new value leader. “No magic here, no spoof science, just well chosen material, solid workmanship, and really sane prices.” The review concludes with a short Q&A with proprietor Rick Parker.

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Bryston BLP-1 Turntable

As the vinyl resurgence continues apace, Bryston enters the turntable market. Patrick Dillon gives their new offering, the BLP-1, a spin and reckons it sets the bar for sonics and usability at the price: “Here you have an investment in vinyl playback that will pay-off in the years ahead. If you place a premium on music and a simple life, here’s your ‘table.”

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Edifier H840: good sound for a song

“I never really consider myself a headphone user” writes Patrick Dillon as he starts his review of the Edifier H840 portable over-ear headphones. Nonetheless, he admits to regular headphone use anyway, and decides that “the H840s offer a bargain-basement price for a genuine taste of good sound. For all essential matters: sonics, ergonomics, and price, Edifier have a winner here.”

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PranaFidelity Fifty90 loudspeakers

“A couple of years ago at RMAF I lucked into a room on the quieter Sunday morning session… the sonics were excellent, the music interesting, and the vibe relaxed…” Patrick Dillon continues the journey by spending quality time with the PranaFidelity Fifty90 standmounts in his own listening rooms, concluding that “the Fifty90s are among the most memorable pairs I’ve had the good fortune to spend unhurried listening time with in my own home.”

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