Review: Tim Jarman, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jul 05, 2023
hfnvintageCompact, clever and priced to entice, this quirky little late-'80s machine caught the imagination of those buying into digital for the first time. How does it shape up today?

When Toshiba unveiled its lineup of new CD players in 1986 it was clear the format had come of age. Just three years after the first machines were launched onto the European market they'd gone from being exotic and expensive to something so accessible there was little point in any keen listener not owning one.

Review: Jamie Biesemans, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jul 03, 2023
hfnoutstandingDubbed 'The Conductor' and 'The Orchestra', respectively, Hegel's replacements for the decade-old P30/H30 pre/power amplifiers are flagships worthy of their names

By all accounts Hegel has been very busy over the last few years, which is a notion that might raise some eyebrows because – understandably – the Norwegian company went a little quiet during and after 2020. In fact, the V10 phono preamplifier [HFN Mar '21] has been about the only piece of hardware to escape the drawing board of Hegel's owner and master engineer Bent Holter since Covid. However, as industry insiders and the company's user base well knew, Hegel was battling the angry gods of software development to make its major integrated amplifiers Roon Ready.

Ken Kessler  |  Jun 30, 2023
This month we review: Allen Toussaint, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Sanctuary and The Yardbirds.
Ken Kessler  |  Jun 30, 2023
This month, we review: Kim André Arnese, Durham County Poets, Jeremy Mohney and R.E.O. Speedwagon.
Mike Barnes  |  Jun 29, 2023
This month we review: Sleaford Mods, Emma Tricca, Kele and Alasdair Roberts.
Steve Harris  |  Jun 29, 2023
This month we review: Walter Smith III, Christian Mcbride's New Jawn, Alex Sipiagin and Enzo Zirilli's Zirobop.
Peter Quantrill  |  Jun 29, 2023
This month we review: Lucile Richardot, Stéphane Degout, Anne de Fornel, et AL, Los Angeles PO/Gustavo Dudamel, Veronika Eberle, LSO/Rattle and WDR SO/Łukasz Borowicz.
Andrew Everard  |  Jun 27, 2023
This month we review and test releases from: David Chesky, Anders Jormin, Lena Willemark, Karin Nakagawa & Jon FÄlt, Stephen Layton/Trinity College Choir Cambridge, Fe Salomon and IST IST.
Review: Mark Craven, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jun 23, 2023
hfncommendedWhile not exactly an apex bovine of the wide-open prairies, the diminutive 'monitor' of Totem's new Bison series can still stampede with the best of the musical herd

Canada's Totem Acoustic is fond of a pun or two, promising a 'prairie-like', wide-open soundstage from its newest Bison loudspeaker range. You can't help feel, however, that while the name might fit the lineup's Bison Tower and Bison Twin Tower floorstanders, it's a bit of a mismatch for the Bison Monitor. Priced £2495, and available in White Oak, Satin White and Black Ash colourways, this two-way standmount/bookshelf model hardly possesses a muscular, bovine build. On the contrary, it's practically petite.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jun 22, 2023
hfnoutstandingFrom Germany's SPL (Sound Performance Laboratory) comes this multicolour USB DAC designed for both 'legacy' and computer connection. There's a volume control too...

Given that most of today's digital components seem to be multifunctional – streamer DACs, DAC/headphone amps and the like – it's unusual to find a product as simple in its operation as its design. Yet that describes the latest arrival from German manufacturer SPL, the £2499 Diamond DAC, available in silver, black or red like all the company's products. A back-to-basics DAC? Well, almost...