LATEST ADDITIONS

Steve Harris & Paul Miller  |  Feb 05, 2009
There’s some controversy over who produced the first separate digital-to-analogue converter for CD users, but the honour is most convincingly claimed by Arcam, which launched its original Black Box back in 1989. By 1991, you could buy something smaller and cheaper, though as it came from California it had a grand-sounding name. The Audio Alchemy Digital Decoding Engine was the size of a small paperback, with a rudimentary plug-top power supply. In this country, Cambridge Audio wasn’t far behind, launching its original DacMagic in 1994.
Keith Howard & Paul Miller  |  Feb 05, 2009
The last time I was fortunate enough to have a dCS upsampler at home it was the Purcell, which was limited to upsampling PCM to PCM. Since then dCS has become a staunch advocate of DSD – the 1-bit, 2. 8224MHz coding system used in SACD – and so the Upsampler half of the Scarlatti pairing here (the other being the Scarlatti DAC) offers upsampling to either PCM or DSD. It’s the user’s choice, with dCS’s preference being the latter.
John Bamford & Paul Miller  |  Feb 04, 2009
In the run up to Christmas 2007 my 14-year-old daughter announced one evening over dinner that she’d like a record player. What brought this on I don’t know. She takes little notice of the hi-fi system in our living room, using it only to deliver ‘big sound’ when watching one of her favourite music channels on TV. I’m not sure that she’s even clocked the Townshend Rock Reference that’s been sitting on the top shelf of my equipment rack since before she was born.
Andy Whittle and Paul Miller  |  Feb 04, 2009
The TD 2030 sits just below the top of Thorens current range of turntables and retails for £1725 including the TP 300 VTA tonearm, but no cartridge. Thorens, thoughtfully, includes a pair of cotton gloves to keep your dabs off the acrylic plinth during setup, so gloves on and off we go. Since the acrylic plinth has no suspension, it’s a simple matter to position the deck on a suitable surface/table, and the plinth can then be levelled by screwing in/out the tip of each of the three feet. The heavy platter is an aluminium affair, weighing in at a substantial 6.
Andrew Harrison and Paul Miller  |  Jan 30, 2009
If you’re going to invest in a new moving-coil cartridge, who better to turn to than the first company to produce the MC cartridge – Ortofon. As discussed in last month’s ‘On Location’ report [Dec ’07, p112], Ortofon of Denmark has been building fixed-magnet cartridges since day one of the LP record, and it has continued to innovate, priding itself on high production runs with consistently high quality. From the late 1970s, one name at Ortofon became associated with refinements to the art which were realised in legendary cartridges such as the MC20, the MC3000 and MC5000, the Rohmann and Jubilee – Mr Per Windfeld. Now retired, it befell new Chief officer of Acoustics and Technology, Leif Johannsen, to honour the company’s long-term designer with a high-end design that would bear the PW name.
David Berriman & Paul Miller  |  Jan 17, 2009
When I reviewed the CD-2 CD transport/player last year [HFN, April ’08], I liked its clean, smooth sound quality, especially when set to the internal DAC’s native 24-bit/192kHz rate. Although a CD player, it is principally intended as a transport (being built around a high-quality Pro2 CD mechanism). The DAC chip included, while good, is not a high-end device, yet Bel Canto managed to extract a very pleasing performance from it. I wondered what Bel Canto could do given a bigger budget for the processing and analogue circuits.
Richard Stevenson & Paul Miller  |  Jan 17, 2009
There is something about the Italian high-end that gets my juices flowing. It’s the style, the grace, the sheer passion that goes into the design – and the absolute certainty that there will flaws of epic, forehead slapping proportion. Exhibit A – the Audia Flight Pre remote control. Utterly gorgeous, CNC-machined from an aluminium billet and offering an innovative multifunction interface that keeps the button count to a luxurious minimum.
Christopher Breunig & Paul Miller  |  Jan 06, 2009
It was something of a surprise to open NAD’s substantially sized packing box to find the PP 2 is only 135 x 35 x 70mm (whd). The review sample came in a dark grey metal enclosure but a lighter ‘Titanium’ finish is available too (see picture). All you have to do is connect tonearm leads either to the MM or MC pair of labelled rear RCA phono input sockets, and switch accordingly, attach the arm earth lead to a screw terminal and plug in the ‘wall-wart’ mains transformer. Mains-on is indicated by a small green front-panel LED.
Andy Whittle and Paul Miller  |  Jan 06, 2009
Flying mole – now there’s an interesting name that would appear to fly against the face of convention. In this case, it’s the convention of Class A/B transistor amps and thermionic devices that glow in the dark. I am not even certain that they have moles in Japan. I’ve been to Tokyo a number of times and haven’t seen moles on the menu, so can only assume that they do not.
Paul Miller  |  Jan 05, 2009
Just one of some 20 Pro-Ject ‘Box’ series components, this little number is essentially an outboard – and self-powered – USB soundcard. Priced at just £75 and built into Pro-Ject’s now-familiar wrap-around casework, the hardware also comes with some software on a mini CD. Dubbed ‘Direct Streaming Technology’ this is an installer for Foobar2000, a media player that, on PCs at least, avoids the default Windows Kernel mixer. The idea is to stream ripped CD media over USB at its native 44.

Pages

X