LATEST ADDITIONS

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 27, 2022
hfnoutstandingMoving-coil pick-ups are inherently 'balanced' and Pro-Ject is determined to reveal them at their best with this balanced-wired version of the X2 deck and phono preamp

One burning question is begged by the arrival of Pro-Ject's X2 B turntable and Phono Box S3 B phono stage: why did it take so long for the industry to simplify a balanced vinyl-playing front-end? It's not like balanced operation wasn't adopted by high-end listeners decades ago as superior to single-ended for both line-level sources – DACs and top-flight CD players – and pre-to-power amp connections. MC cartridges are inherently balanced. So why the wait?

Ken Kessler  |  Oct 25, 2022  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1993
hfnvintageAn old circuit with a modern look versus a new design with retro styling as Ken Kessler hears valve amps from Papworth and Sonic Frontiers

Contrary to the practices of most specialist companies, some still believe that small is beautiful. Despite the continuing displays of excess from across the Pond, enough manufacturers realise that the only way to get quality sound into certain homes is to 'down-size'.

Review: Mark Craven, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 24, 2022
hfnoutstandingNow owned by AudioQuest cable's parent company, GoldenEar has added the compact Bookshelf Reference X to its range – the final design from longstanding CEO Sandy Gross

Looking at the BRX (Bookshelf Reference X) loudspeaker, it's easy to feel slightly unnerved by the amount of, well, 'technology' that's been squeezed into its compact dimensions. But then we should remember it hails from American brand GoldenEar, a company that – under the auspices of founder Sandy Gross – has always seemed to approach loudspeaker (and subwoofer) design a little differently to many rivals.

Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 21, 2022
hfnedchoiceThis 'entry-level' interconnect at the foot of the Californian brand's new Mythical Creature range leverages familiar concepts and materials.

For over 40 years AudioQuest's founder and guiding light, William 'Bill' Low, has been on a journey of discovery, exploring the properties of different conductors, dielectrics and geometries to not only offer as transparent an 'analogue link' as possible but also isolate that link from an increasingly hostile RF/EMI-strewn environment. Bill also has a flair for the dramatic, invoking the spirit of the 'ThunderBird' in this entry-level Mythical Creature interconnect.

Review: Adam Smith, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 20, 2022
hfnoutstandingJapan is home to more boutique cartridge brands than any other hi-fi territory, and the Harmony, brainchild of vinyl addict Yasuo Ozawa, is a product of this artisanship

According to the dictionary placed at my elbow, the definition of 'harmony' is 'the process by which individual sounds are joined together or composed into whole units or compositions'. That, and the obvious association with the world of music, probably explains why it's appeared in the name of more than a few domestic and pro-audio brands and products over the years. This particular celebration of 'Harmony' comes in the form of Shelter's flagship moving-coil cartridge which, at £4300, is far from the costliest pick-up on the high-end scene.

Review: Tim Jarman, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 19, 2022
hfnvintageThe first CD player from the Japanese brand to boast real 'kerb appeal', this mid-'80s machine also inherited key technology from previous models. How does it sound today?

Any early Compact Disc player from Matsushita (Panasonic/Technics) holds a particular fascination. The company was excluded from the top table when the CD format was created, in spite of (or perhaps due to) its pre-eminent position as the world's largest producer of electronic consumer goods.

Review: Jamie Biesemans, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 17, 2022
hfncommendedJust as Marantz's 40n integrated takes its design cues from models of yesteryear, the partnering CD 60 player confirms the brand's commitment to the 'legacy' silver disc

Is there really a CD revival on the horizon? Rolling Stone magazine kicked off the year bristling with optimism about the return of the Compact Disc but, behind the hype, there's little dispute that this physical format offers great lossless fidelity and costs next to nothing secondhand. Until audio hipsters cotton on to the trend, of course... Sound United, owner of the Marantz and Denon brands among others, concurs, which is why it's launching not one but two CD spinners in 2022. We're not going to talk about the entry-level Denon DCD-900NE here, but about the still very affordable £749 Marantz CD 60.

Steve Sutherland  |  Oct 14, 2022
On the 60th anniversary of the hit 'Telstar', Steve Sutherland tells the tale of the man behind the music and his pioneering home studio above a shop in North London

You may have read recently about the discovery of a British warship that sank in 1682 off our eastern coast which is being hailed by those who know as the 'most significant historic maritime discovery since the raising of the Mary Rose in 1982'. Well, happy as I am for Her Majesty's hyped-up historians, there's another treasure trove currently being examined that, for me, knocks that watery wreck into a cocked hat.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 13, 2022
hfnoutstandingNot all Wilson Audio's loudspeakers are man-sized floorstanders and its most compact models have been crying out for a partnering, flexible active subwoofer. Meet LōKē...

Wilson Audio's product naming strategy has always raised eyebrows, but the new LōKē reinforces its love for puns. This £9500 powered subwoofer's moniker either shows that it's the baby sister to Wilson's gigantic Thor's Hammer, or it's a play on 'Low Key'. Or maybe not. Whatever the rationale, its pronunciation is helped by diacritical marks to ensure we do not rhyme its name with 'woke'…

Peter Quantrill  |  Oct 11, 2022
A midsummer pageant of seduction and celebration, dressed in French and English costumes – Peter Quantrill explores the history of this 'dramatick opera' on record

Yokels in drag, flying scenery and orange trees: even by the lavish standards of theatrical entertainment in late 17th century London, The Fairy Queen dazzled spectators of its premiere at the Dorset Garden Theatre. 'The Court and Town were wonderfully satisfy'd with it' said one contemporary source – and no wonder – 'but the Expences in setting it out being so great, the Company got very little by it'.

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