LATEST ADDITIONS

Review: Andrew Everard, Review: Paul Miller  |  Feb 28, 2022
hfnedchoiceRevised and refined, and now clad in metal, AudioQuest's USB noise filter is still a compelling upgrade for portable DAC users.

As we described in our review of AudioQuest's original JitterBug [HFN Oct '15], this little serial plug-in is not a re-clocker for digital datastreams, but rather a purely passive device (drawing no power from the USB hub) that provides transformer-isolation and RF filtering of both the 5V USB 'VBUS' and its differential data lines. The promise, according to AQ, goes something like this: 'the dual-discrete noise-dissipation circuits reduce internally generated RF noise for improved streaming audio, [reducing] jitter and packet errors'.

Review: Nick Tate, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Feb 25, 2022
hfncommendedBudget-conscious vinyl fans wishing to digitise their prized record collections will want to sample this sleek, affordable turntable solution from an illustrious German brand

Like any company that can trace its lineage over one-and-a-quarter centuries, German turntable brand Thorens has had its share of high and, well, not-so-high points. Now under the ownership of ex-ELAC MD Gunter Kürten, the last three years has seen a revolution in the brand's ambitions, with a burgeoning product range to match.

Ken Kessler  |  Feb 24, 2022  |  First Published: Mar 01, 1992
hfnvintageThe irrepressible Antony Michaelson is at it again, with pre and power amps from Michaelson Audio and Musical Fidelity. Ken Kessler listens

Upon my taking delivery of the review samples of Da Vinci, about which I was warned in mid-summer 1991, company founder Antony Michaelson launched into his usual tirade about the high-end, with barrels of venom for American ballbuster amps in particular.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Feb 22, 2022
hfnoutstandingPrimaLuna's tradition of user-tweakable tube amps continues, this time by 'tweaking' its own EVO 300 model with a solid-state output stage. Welcome, PL's first hybrid...

OK, OK, there are those who think 'hybrid' is a dirty word. If your glass is half-empty, it signifies compromise, or – worse – indecisiveness. If you're a cynic, then it's purely a commercial choice. But if your glass is half-full, then it's a convenient solution to various problems. As PrimaLuna has only ever made all-valve amplifiers, the company's first hybrid needs some explaining. More to the point, at £6198, the PrimaLuna EVO 300 Hybrid – clearly related to the all-tube EVO 300 [HFN Mar '21] – is its costliest product.

Review: Tim Jarman, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Feb 21, 2022
hfnvintageThey're British and they're obscure, but can these pre/power amplifiers lay claim to classic status when it comes to their all-out performance? It's time to find out...

British company Crimson Elektrik started life in the mid 1970s as a manufacturer of ready-built power amplifier modules. Using these, a home constructor could assemble a fairly decent and up-to-date piece of kit, needing only to add a power supply, connections and a cabinet. Complete amps followed in 1979, initially in kit form and later fully assembled. The latter, which were similar to the 1200 series amps seen here, were reviewed in the June '80 issue of HFN.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Feb 18, 2022
hfncommendedJBL is promising us 'great things from a small package' as it continues its theme of mixing pro heritage aesthetics with modern acoustic technology. Is the 4309 a blast?

The verdict was in almost before I started listening to the prosaically-named JBL 4309 speakers, yours for £1799 a pair in a choice of natural or black walnut satin wood veneers and with blue or black grilles over their mid/bass drivers. A visitor took one look at the speakers' horn-loaded tweeter and twin front-venting bass ports, and – before even a note had been played – opined that, 'They look like proper little rock-boxes'.

Johnny Sharp  |  Feb 17, 2022
The debut album from the Manchester-based soul band put Mick Hucknall's voice centre stage, while his lyrics reflected the new-found social conscience of mid-1980s UK. Yet it took an American producer and recording sessions in the Netherlands to make it all work

I'd like to leave behind seven or eight really good albums that can stand the test of time', Mick Hucknall told The Irish Times in 1996. 'That's what I was going for from my very first album.' At the last count he's managed 12, several of which can stake a claim to being 'really good'. However, while some have outstripped his debut in terms of sales, Simply Red's 1985 album Picture Book set a standard that he has arguably yet to surpass.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Feb 15, 2022
hfnoutstandingLaunched as part of Rotel's 60th anniversary celebrations, this is the latest version of the brand's flagship 'big integrated' amp – and there's rather more to it than meets the eye

Rotel's larger integrated amplifiers have always provided an attractive waypoint between the compact designs of hi-fi's affordable end and the monster amps of the high-end, offering plenty of power, an extensive feature-set and an entirely convincing performance. The new RA-1592MKII, selling for £2295 in black or silver finishes and claiming a 200W output, is no exception.

Steve Sutherland  |  Feb 14, 2022
The Dublin quartet's second album took three years to produce and cost them their record deal, but Steve Sutherland couldn't be happier to hear it once again

Before we get started, be warned: 'It's too easy for this album to turn you into a pretentious t**t.' These aren't my words by the way. They're from a book all about Loveless by an American chap called Mike McGonigal, who immediately goes on to prove his point by stating that the first time he heard the album in question, he felt, 'as if I'd been suspended upside down in a tank filled with beautiful fish'.

Review: Mark Craven, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Feb 11, 2022
hfnoutstandingA decade on from the brand-defining M1 DAC and Bricasti has poured all its latter day experience into a new flagship featuring bespoke DAC and clocking technologies

Bricasti Design is not an adherent to the 'keep your range rolling' philosophy. Likely informed by its professional audio heritage, it keeps new arrivals to a minimum. So the launch of the M21 DAC, a flagship D/A converter to replace the £9600 M1 of 2011 HFN Jun '11], is of interest particularly when you clock the updates the Massachusetts-based company has implemented, and its £17,249 price tag.

Pages

X