Review: Andrew Everard,  |  Jun 21, 2024
hfnoutstandingA decade since the S3 was launched, and then surpassed by the MkII, this three-way has been reborn with trickledown tech from Magico’s flagship M9 loudspeaker
The latest version of Magico’s S3 speaker, which was first reviewed in these pages a decade ago [HFN Nov ’14], isn’t what you’d call a mild refresh. Just as the company’s MkII version was a major reworking of the original, so this new arrival has been comprehensively redesigned, drawing both on the technology of the flagship M9 model and the measurement abilities of Magico’s enhanced development tools. It’s yours for a couple of pounds short of £57,000 a pair in the five powder-coat M-Cast finishes Magico offers, or £66,000 in a choice of six high-gloss M-Coat shades, including the striking blue colourway pictured here.
 |  Jun 21, 2024
Exposure says it has added the ‘final piece’ to its mid-level 3510 series, with the launch of the £2500 3510 CD Player. Able to function as both player or transport, with digital outputs on Toslink optical and coaxial, the unit leverages the bespoke top-loading drive mech with sliding lid [pictured below] previously featured on Exposure’s XM CD [HFN Nov ’19]. Inside, a double-sided PCB hosts a bespoke clock, dual mono Burr-Brown PCM1704 DACs and a discrete analogue output stage feeding single-ended RCA connections.
HiFiNews  |  Jun 21, 2024
High-end amplifier marque D’Agostino Master Audio Systems has launched a successor to its Relentless monoblock [HFN Mar ’20] – two offspring, in fact. Both the Relentless Epic 1600 Mono (£XXX,xxx) and the Relentless 800 Mono (£XXX,xxx) feature a recognisable industrial design, albeit with comprehensively upgraded PSU, driver and power stages.
Review: Tim Jarman,  |  May 30, 2024
hfnvintageArriving in 1967, the Ravensbourne Stereo was the first transistorised amplifier to be introduced by Rogers Developments, and slotted into the manufacturer’s range between the existing HG88 integrated and Master pre/power models. At a time when the HG88 sold for around £46 and produced 15W in total from ECL86 tubes, the Ravensbourne was £64 and offered 25W per channel from modern silicon transistors.
Review: Andrew Everard,  |  May 24, 2024
hfncommendedInspired by Leema Acoustics' flagship Constellation series, this pre/power combination is the first fruit of the Welsh brand's new Quantum range. Does the Graviton have gravitas?

The tone of the announcement of the new Leema Acoustics Quantum range has the air of a Hollywood blockbuster: '25 years in the making…' it begins. But perhaps this hyperbole can be forgiven as this is the Welsh company's first new range in more than ten years and sees the technology of its flagship lineup simplified to reach more affordable prices. Here we have the first two Quantum arrivals, both available in silver or black – the Neutron preamp, with 13 inputs including a built-in DAC, is £1500, as is the Graviton stereo power amp, rated at 150W/8ohm. Buy the two together and you save £200, bringing the package price down to £2800.

Steve Sutherland  |  May 21, 2024
From a rock 'n' roll first to punk's earliest record, this Detroit studio was a pit-stop for the pioneers whose creations would shape music's history, as Steve Sutherland explains

There will be plenty of time to talk about Death in a moment. Right now, though, just you concentrate on ramming that speaker deep down in the toilet bowl and make sure the microphone is firmly propped underneath so the sound will bounce off the water and create an echo effect when it's sent back to the other speaker in the studio next door. Oh, and while you're at it, see that wooden pallet underneath the chair? Make sure it's mic'ed up because the foot-stomp is gonna drive the beat.

Review: Mark Craven,  |  May 20, 2024
hfnoutstandingComplete with a new streaming module, T+A's latest network-attached DAC/preamp is the perfect partner for its PA 3100 HV integrated and A 3000 HV power amplifiers

Tipping the scales at a hefty 26kg, measuring a portly 46cm deep and 17cm tall, and selling for £14,900, T+A's PSD 3100 HV appears every inch the flagship DAC/streamer/preamp. Except that it isn't – that accolade is reserved for the German brand's SDV 3100 HV [HFN Oct '19], which has been deemed its 'reference' model since its arrival in 2019 and remains available for £26,040.

Mike Barnes  |  May 17, 2024
Released in 1981, the third album from the UK kings of Gothic rock built upon the stark sounds of its predecessor, added even more melancholy, and contained a song that the band's leader and singer Robert Smith would later describe as 'life-changing'

From 1976, UK punk produced such a surge of energy that it was like riding a wave, both for musicians and fans alike. The Cure began in earnest in Crawley that year, as The Easy Cure, having grown out of a number of other bands dating back to their schooldays. Robert Smith was on guitar and vocals, Lol Tolhurst on drums and Michael Dempsey on bass. Their sound was sparse and urgent, fuelled by punk but with a finger on the pop pulse.

Review: Adam Smith,  |  May 16, 2024
hfnoutstandingThe most compact of three floorstanding models in what will ultimately be a four-strong range, PS Audio's 'triple ABR' aspen FR10 packs a deceptively huge punch

For a 50-year-old company that released its first loudspeaker barely two years ago, PS Audio has not been resting on its laurels. Coming swiftly on the heels of the flagship £30,000 aspen FR30 [HFN Jun '22] are a raft of junior siblings. First up was the £20,000 FR20 [HFN Apr '23] and now we have the baby floorstander of the range, the £10,000 FR10. As an aside, I don't think we'd be letting the cat out of the bag by revealing a fourth model is in the pipeline – the two-way, ABR-loaded FR5 standmount. If it isn't priced at £5000, I'll eat my hat.

Review: Mark Craven,  |  May 13, 2024
hfnoutstandingBuilding on the earlier D2 platform, Lumin's equally compact D3 model features a new processor, new DAC, LeedH volume control and support for increased file sample rates

It's not only loudspeaker brands playing the trickle-down technology game. Lumin's D3, its new entry-level streaming DAC, borrows liberally from the Hong Kong manufacturer's costlier network hardware, utilising elements both inside and out to effect a comprehensive upgrade on the previous D2 [HFN Jul '20]. Its maker says the D3 'brings the audiophile potential of music streaming within everyone's reach', and while the £2195 price tag makes that somewhat debatable, it certainly has plenty of appeal.