LATEST ADDITIONS

Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 21, 2020
hfnedchoiceRecognising that mainstream gear is being equipped with both RCA and XLR sockets, Atlas has developed a 'balanced' version of its Equator cable.

Judging by the increased number of XLR sockets seen on hi-fi separates in recent years, 'balanced' is rapidly becoming the new black. Balanced signal transmission has its benefits over long runs in suppressing common-mode interference and maintaining the topology between a balanced pre and power amp, for example, although many would debate that the extra circuit complexity outweighs the benefits.

Steve Sutherland  |  Aug 20, 2020
'Anything, anytime, anyplace and for no reason at all...' was how Frank Zappa described his musical style, but how did he set about achieving his production goals when working the studio faders? Steve Sutherland reveals the method behind Frank's fruitcake facade

Since lockdown you will doubtless have failed to escape the endless, and really rather tedious, Facebook/Instagram invitations to make lists. First Gig Attended. Ten LPs That Changed Your Life. Best Guitar Solo Of All Time. Yadda yadda zzzzz. Anyway, if you can't beat 'em... I'm joining the party fashionably late. Try this one on for size. List the Ten Weirdest LPs Ever Made and why they are so weird. I'll get you going if you like.

John Atkinson  |  Aug 19, 2020  |  First Published: Jan 01, 1986
hfnvintageJohn Atkinson lives with Krell pre- and power amplification

Streetwise. Now there's a word. I suppose you could say that in a hi-fi context it means being aware of the unwritten myths, such as 'image depth is due to microphony in valve amplifiers' or 'Class A amplifiers sound better than ones operating in Class B' or 'the only truly great preamplifiers use valves'.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 18, 2020
hfnoutstandingAlongside its range of turntables, Pro-Ject's diverse Box series of hi-fi separates – from streamers to phono preamps – has come to define the 'world vision' of its founder

One of the nicest by-products of the vinyl revival is the constant flow of affordable phono stages, essential to allow newcomers to adapt to LP playback the line-level-only integrated amps that have proliferated since 1983. Thorens, Mobile Fidelity, Musical Fidelity, NAD, Cambridge – there are too many to list, but the go-to brand for me is the one that also 'owns' the entry-level turntable market: Pro-Ject.

Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Aug 14, 2020
EISA, or the Expert Imaging and Sound Association, is an organization representing 60 special interest magazines from 29 countries that cover Hi-Fi, Home Theater Video, Home Theater Audio, Photography, Mobile Devices, and In-Car Electronics. Each year, EISA expert group members, including editors from this publication, receive previews of the latest products, an extended process that culminates in a vote on which products are worthy of the prestigious EISA award.
Review: Mark Craven, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 14, 2020
hfnoutstandingArcam's flagship integrated amplifier combines Class G amplification with features including network streaming, AirPlay 2 and offboard Dirac Live room correction EQ

Arcam is still headquartered in Cambridge, from where it took its original name, but the audiophile marque is now part of Samsung's global consumer electronics empire, through the latter's acquisition of Harman International, which had added Arcam to its portfolio in 2016. And amid these management-level changes, Arcam's product line has also undergone a refresh. The brand has withdrawn, for the time being, from the peripherals market, jettisoning its R series of docks and DACs.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 13, 2020
hfnoutstandingDespite shedding all 'non-essential cosmetic adornments' EAT's B-Sharp still cuts a dash in the world of plug-and-play turntable solutions. Does it sound as slick as it looks?

Conditioning has, I believe, led the cynics among us to assume that 'plug 'n' play' is a sexy euphemism for 'lowest common denominator' or 'user-friendly-enough for anyone to appreciate'. After all, this is what freed normal souls from going crazy with pre-USB computer peripherals. Today, it welcomes newcomers to vinyl, referring almost exclusively, in a hi-fi context, to turnkey turntable/arm/cartridge packages, because every other audio source has always been plug 'n' play.

Mike Barnes  |  Aug 11, 2020
Released in November 1983, the band's third album for RCA Records went to No 1 in the UK, No 10 in the States' Billboard chart and was later certified platinum. Not bad for an LP recorded and mixed in part of a North London church in just three weeks...

In the post-punk era of the late '70s many new wave groups chose a name beginning with 'the' to differentiate themselves from what had gone years before. And often their choices were deliberately low key, which gave us names like The Trainspotters, The Members and The Tourists.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 10, 2020
hfnedchoiceCan't choose between tubes and transistors? Vinnie Rossi may have the answer with the L2i-SE integrated amplifier, which deals with that conundrum in a unique manner

So overwhelming is the matter of choice when putting together a system that it can cause as much anguish as pose a fun challenge. What type of speakers? MM or MC pick-up? Integrated or separates? These usually sort themselves out due to space or budget, but 'tubes versus transistors' almost calls for a leap of faith – unlike 'digital versus analogue' because most enthusiasts can manage two sources. The valve/solid-state conflict, though, may find a cure in the Vinnie Rossi L2i-SE integrated amplifier, the 'SE' standing for 'Signature Edition'.

Christopher Breunig  |  Aug 07, 2020
One of the few Japanese musicians to have made a long career in the West, with a Boston tenure of 29 years. Christopher Breunig looks at his life and wide discography

Atough game of rugby football put an end to the hopes that a young Japanese boy would become a concert pianist. Seiji Ozawa, then 15, was mad about the game but severely damaged his hand in a scrum. When his piano teacher suggested he might think of conducting instead, he had never even seen a symphony orchestra, live or on television.

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