LATEST ADDITIONS

Review: Ed Selley, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 27, 2021
hfncommendedThe third portable player in A&K's 'alloy brick' KANN series boasts extended battery life, a higher powered headphone amplifier and compatibility with Bluetooth 5.0

With modern smartphones able to offer high-resolution audio playback, the market for dedicated portable audio players is now fairly niche. One of the biggest fish in this relatively small pond is Astell&Kern, which offers an extensive range of models priced between £625 and £3400. These are divided into four lines – KANN, A&norma, A&futura and A&ultima – with the £1099 KANN Alpha being the latest addition to the KANN series and slotting in between the existing KANN and KANN Cube players on price.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 26, 2021
hfnoutstandingWith deep roots in 'professional audio' and a novel discrete op-amp module as a key driving force, SPL is looking to bring a splash of colour to our audiophile universe

Well, it makes a change from the usual choice of silver or black… Yes, you can have the German-made SPL Phonitor xe USB DAC/headphone amp, which starts from £1899 depending on specification, in either of those colours if you want, but it's also available in the bright red anodised finish you see here. Not that it needs colour to catch the eye for the unusual battery of features makes it either intriguing or something of a head-scratcher: what do all those knobs and switches do? And then there's the pair of illuminated, retro-looking VU meters – this is clearly not your common or garden DAC/headphone amp.

Review: Tim Jarman, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 24, 2021
hfnvintageThis second-generation 16-bit machine hit the sweet spot for many when it came to sheer value for money, but does it make a bargain vintage buy? It's time to find out...

Has the 'perfect' CD player ever existed? While one model may boast the best transport, another the best DAC and yet another the most perfectly resolved ergonomics, so far I've yet to find all of these elements present in one machine. Sharp's DX-411H

Review: Mark Craven, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 23, 2021
hfnoutstandingThis flagship, fully balanced preamplifier comes with Bryston's BDA-3-inspired DAC plus updated BDP streaming platform and full network control. It's busier than it looks!

There's so much functionality under the bonnet of Bryston's BR-20 that you might wonder where to start. I would suggest the manual – this £7500 networked USB DAC/preamplifier isn't, it must be said, the most instantly intuitive of system hubs I've ever auditioned. But the effort is worth it though, because what the BR-20 can do, and how it does it, is quite special.

Steve Sutherland  |  Aug 20, 2021
In 1968 the band's road manager proposed putting a control room in a van, so creating the world's first independent mobile recording studio. Steve Sutherland hitches a ride...

We all came out to Montreux/On the Lake Geneva shoreline/To make records with a mobile/We didn't have much time/ We ended up at the Grand Hotel/It was empty cold and bare/But with the Rolling truck Stones thing just outside/Making our music there...'

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 19, 2021
hfncommendedTop integrated in Rotel's flagship Michi series leverages much of the P5 preamp and S5 power amp technology to realise a taller, heavier amp that aims to upstage the X3

Expect the unexpected: it will be the first lesson in the book if I ever get round to writing Hi-Fi Reviewing For Dummies. You see, just because something seems like something else, it doesn't follow that it is... Too many times I've stumbled across a speaker sitting in the middle of a range, and apparently using the same recipe of drive-units, that turns out to be a complete outlier – for good or bad – in the way it plays music. The same happens with amplifiers, too. So, just because one model seems little more than a bigger version of another, don't expect it to have the same kind of balance of qualities, only 'more so'.

Mike Barnes  |  Aug 17, 2021
It took over a year to create and when 'The Boss' first heard it, he threw the reference disc into a hotel pool. But the album went on to sell six million copies in the US and reach No 3 in the Billboard 200 chart, catapulting the singer from cult act to global star

In May 1974 rock critic Jon Landau's review of a Bruce Springsteen concert was published in Boston's The Real Paper. It included what became one of the most famous lines by a journalist in rock music history, 'I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen'.

Review: Mark Craven, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 16, 2021
hfnoutstandingTop passive floorstander in Paradigm's new Founder series is keenly, but not ambitiously priced. A high-end bargain?

My first, AV-focused, experiences of Paradigm were misleading. In times gone by the UK distribution of this 40-year-old Canadian company favoured a curious mix of its entry-level, compact loudspeakers and its far-from-entry-level subwoofers (including the 106kg Signature SUB 2, whose hexagonal cabinet featured six 10in woofers and a claimed 4.5kW of amplification). More recently, however, first with the Persona B standmount [HFN Oct '20] and now with its £5400 Founder 100F floorstander, I've discovered its grown-up side. And I like it a lot.

Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Aug 14, 2021
EISA, or the Expert Imaging and Sound Association, is an organisation representing 60 of the most respected special interest publications and websites from 29 countries that cover Hi-Fi, Home Theatre Video, Home Theatre Audio, Photography, Mobile Devices, and In-Car Electronics. Every year EISA's Expert Group members, including editors from this publication, test a very wide range of new products from their field of expertise before comparing results and voting to decide the cream of every product category.
Steve Sutherland  |  Aug 13, 2021
This month's 180g album reissue takes Steve Sutherland back to the '70s when, after a Knebworth concert, he'd become a Buckley fan and was passing the message on

Who else had a halcyon summer? Mine was in 1974. I'd just left school and was waiting to go to Uni. A few mates clubbed together and bought an old banger and we were off – three months of hi-jinx down to Cornwall and back bookended by a couple of legendary gigs: The Grateful Dead at Alexandra Palace in September; and the first Knebworth Festival, the Bucolic Frolic, in July. For a bunch of lads raised in Wilts in total awe of West Coast Rock, these were not mere gigs, they were pilgrimages, the Knebworth lineup akin to finding the holy grail.

Pages

X