LATEST ADDITIONS

Review: Adam Smith,  |  Jan 18, 2024
hfncommendedInspired by Musical Fidelity's statuesque, near all-acrylic M1 turntable from 2004, the brand's new owners have reimagined the design to partner its massive Nu-Vista amps

There can be no doubt that retro is 'in'. From cars to kitchen appliances to hi-fi, many manufacturers are taking inspiration from the past and bringing famous and fondly remembered designs into the 21st century. The acquisition of the Musical Fidelity brand back in 2018 by Heinz Lichtenegger's Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH has given the company a very extensive and highly capable back-catalogue to mine. As a result, Audio Tuning (parent of the ubiquitous Pro-Ject marque), has taken the opportunity to boost its portfolio with a spot of retro fever.

Johnny Sharp  |  Jan 16, 2024
Arriving just a year after their 1986 debut Please, the British electro-pop duo's second album solidified their chart-topping status, thanks to a bigger production influenced by ZZ Top, a guest appearance from Dusty Springfield, and some classic tunes...

It's a malaise almost as old as pop music itself. Second album syndrome – the crisis faced by an artist writing the follow-up to a hit debut LP, when they realise that after having had their whole lives to come up with the contents of their first offering to the world, they now only have a few months to rustle up a fresh batch of equally strong material for the follow-up.

Review: Andrew Everard,  |  Jan 15, 2024
hfnoutstandingTaking both aesthetic and design cues from the flagship 159 monoblocks, the 218 power amp is the German marque's newest model, teamed here with the 077 preamp

Never accuse Berlin-based Burmester of timidity... In an interview published to mark the launch of its 216 and 218 power amplifiers, its Team Leader for Quality Management, Thomas Schneider, says, 'We have thought in exactly the right direction'. The 216 amplifier is part of what the company calls its Top Line, and while the 218 may look similar it's actually in the upper tier Reference Line, one step below the Signature Line that features the flagship 159 monoblocks and near-2m-tall BC350 speakers, yours for £233,000 a pair.

Martin Colloms  |  Jan 12, 2024  |  First Published: Jul 01, 1992
hfnvintageMartin Colloms hears two outboard DACs featuring 20-bit chips in custom circuits – Enlightened Audio Designs' DSP7000 and the PS Audio Ultralink

American specialists, like their UK counterparts, continue to develop new variations on the available digital technology to produce DACs with audiophile appeal. This review covers two of the more intriguing examples, using some of the most advanced devices available to designers. The Enlightened Audio Designs DSP7000 is based on the 20-bit Analog Devices chip, while PS Audio has chosen an Ultra Analog dual 20-bit converter. What bearing the two choices of technology will have on sound quality remains to be seen!

Review: Jamie Biesemans,  |  Jan 11, 2024
hfnoutstandingSeries 3 sees the eighth generation of B&W's evergreen 600 series, headed here by the 603 S3 floorstander

Bowers & Wilkins might be one of the largest loudspeaker manufacturers around, but surprisingly it doesn't have a very broad offering, fielding considerably fewer models than, say, KEF or Focal. Leaving CI products aside (and the iconic but no longer revolutionary Nautilus), there are only three main loudspeaker families coming out of Worthing, and as the 800 D4 series [HFN Nov '21, Feb '22, May & Sep '23] and 700 S3 series [HFN Mar '23] represent the most recent major updates, it was inevitable that the nearly 30-year-old 600 series would follow suit.

Peter Quantrill  |  Jan 09, 2024
Christmas entertainment, orchestral showpiece or a human drama? This farewell to the stage is all three, says Peter Quantrill, as he sits down with boxes of Sugar-Plum Fairies

How did Nutcracker ever catch on? Following the premiere in St Petersburg in December 1892, one critic delivered the coup de grace. 'First of all, Nutcracker can in no event be called a ballet. It does not comply with even one of the demands made of a ballet. Ballet, as a basic genre of art, is mimed drama and consequently must contain all the elements of normal drama.'

Review: Adam Smith,  |  Jan 08, 2024
hfnoutstandingWhen vinyl king, MoFi, finally made the move into hardware it sought out designers of proven pedigree – the MasterPhono is scripted by none other than Peter Madnick

MoFi Electronics has gone from strength to strength in the last few years, helped by the roster of designers drafted in to create its products. Spiral Groove's Allen Perkins worked on its UltraGold MC cartridge [HFN Jan '22] and MasterDeck turntable, while ex-TAD/ELAC Andrew Jones is responsible for its SourcePoint loudspeakers [HFN Apr & Aug '23]. Now comes the £5999 MasterPhono, a flagship phono stage from the pen of Peter Madnick, a designer best known for the iconic Audio Alchemy brand and his work as part of the Constellation Audio team.

Review: Tim Jarman,  |  Jan 05, 2024
hfnvintageWith the Danish company in the doldrums come the early '70s could this reimagined receiver with phase-locked loop decoder deliver on its promise of 'high fidelity' sound?

Bang & Olufsen's first move into the world of serious hi-fi came in 1967 with the introduction of the Beolab 5000 amplifier and Beomaster 5000 tuner [HFN Dec '12]. These defined the European state of the art at the time and were as successful as their high prices allowed. The company then distilled these two units into the Beomaster 3000, which offered similar qualities at a more accessible price. It lacked the sheer power and versatility of the Beolab 5000 but sold strongly throughout a long production run.

Review: Jamie Biesemans,  |  Jan 04, 2024
hfnoutstandingFollowing hard on the heels of Denon's DCD/PMA-1700NE SACD player/amplifier, this new network-attached DAC brings a host of streaming options – including HEOS

Our review of the Denon PMA-1700NE amplifier [HFN May '23] included the observation that the Japanese brand was missing a standalone streamer. A glaring oversight, it seemed at the time, as Denon in all other respects is a believer in offering similarly dressed separates for a neat hi-fi stack. So while you could pair the PMA-1700NE (or another PMA series amp) with a DCD series CD player or a Denon turntable, if you wanted to listen to your Tidal playlists you had to look elsewhere. The introduction of the £1399 DNP-2000NE closes the loop.

Steve Sutherland  |  Jan 03, 2024
This album showcases the rule-breaking, genre-busting band in their prime, says Steve Sutherland, as he soaks up the sounds of its 20 songs, reissued on 180g vinyl

My friends and I, we were suit-and-tie guys...' This is Darryl L Lewis speaking. Don't worry, it's unlikely you'll have heard of Darryl. He's one of the people that musician and record producer Questlove invited into the edit suite when assembling the footage for Summer Of Soul, the film he created in 2021 documenting the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which took place on six Sundays between June the 29th and August the 24th at Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park) in Harlem, NYC.

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