LATEST ADDITIONS

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 01, 2018
hfnoutstanding.pngNagra’s monumental HD amplifier series reaches completion as its monoblock power amps are joined by this sensational, two-chassis, fully-balanced HD PREAMP

Nagra has, with the exception of the now-best-forgotten Pyramid amplifiers [HFN Feb ’05], a near-faultless track record. When you consider that the company leapt from professional tape decks to audiophile-grade valve electronics 20 years ago, the transition has been remarkable. With the second of its HD models, the HD PREAMP (joined by the HD DAC), one witnesses the completion of ‘Phase One’ of Nagra 2.0.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 01, 2018
hfnoutstanding.pngSharing the same chassis design as its 3010 series, but boasting double the clout, Exposure’s latest pre/power also offers modular MM/MC phono and DAC options

Available with silver (‘titanium’) or black front panels, both with black main casework, Exposure’s 5010 models replace the rather more overtly styled – and huge – MCX series, with their large outrigger feet, as the company’s flagship models. They sit atop a range running from the entry-level 1010 series through the 2010S2s and 3010S2s [HFN Dec ’14], with the half-width XM lineup as an alternative [HFN Apr ’18]. This top-end range is kept much simpler than its junior counterparts, for where those lineups extend to disc players and integrated amps, here we have just two models: the £2000 5010 preamp, and the £4550-per-pair 5010 mono power amps.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 01, 2018
hfnoutstanding.pngDesigned to match its compact DACs, Benchmark’s all-analogue headphone amplifier employs the same THX ‘Achromatic’ tech debuted in its 100W AHB2 power amp

With the boom in headphone listening outpacing even the uptake of new turntables, the hi-fi landscape has changed to a significant extent. Not only are hi-fi shows shining a spotlight on the personal listening experience but dedicated headphone events have spun out in their own right. And the hardware is changing, too: the market is awash with DAC/headphone amp combos, all the way from the tiny (and highly portable) AudioQuest DragonFly models [HFN Oct ’16], to the ‘transportable’ Chord Hugo 2 [HFN Aug ’18] and mains-powered units such as the iFi Audio Pro iDSD [HFN Sep ’18].

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 01, 2018
A dedicated stack that forms one of the most expensive digital playback systems on the market, Esoteric’s Grandioso P1/D1 is aimed squarely at fans of the SACD format

Let’s not beat about the bush: alongside the top-of-the-range, multi-chassis dCS Vivaldi pile [HFN Feb ’13] – I can think of no others in this category – the Esoteric P1/D1 combination SACD transport/mono DACs package will lighten your Amex by a worrying £49,500. That breaks down to £33,000 for the two-chassis player/power supply and £16,500 for the mono DACs. Oh, and if you really want to go the whole hog then the Grandioso G1 Master Clock, not supplied here, adds another £23,000.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 01, 2018
Streaming – schmeaming: for many audiophiles CD still rules the high-end digital roost and Métronome’s Kalista division has a champion in the new DreamPlay ONE

Despite being an SACD-phile, I am also a realist: in my library, CDs outnumber SACDs by greater than 100-to-1. In the real world, I suspect that CD players outnumber SACD players by a higher ratio still. So, when Métronome brings out a new integrated model – the Kalista DreamPlay ONE with a price of £32,000 – CD-only capability is par for the course.

Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 31, 2018
Saturday 10th to Sunday 11th of November 2018
Advance Tickets Are On Sale Now!

The Hi-Fi Show Live 2018 is a specialty high-end audio event organised by the passionate audiophiles that bring you Hi-Fi News & Record Review magazine every month. The world's oldest and most respected hi-fi magazine knows a thing or two about sound quality, so expect to experience some of the very best demonstrations ever attempted in the UK!

In a refreshing departure from the conventional hotel show format, visitors will be treated to a series of memorable high-end audio events.

A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 12, 2018
There’s something familiar about this latest album from the surfer-turned-environmental activist, who appears on the cover surrounded by artfully-arranged plastics from the sea. Trouble is, it’s not comfortingly familiar in its continuation of the feel-good Hawaiian-tinged sounds of past offerings. Rather, it’s just more of the same, with Johnson showing little sign of moving on or developing, but instead just resting on his laurels. Or his palm-fronds, or whatever.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 08, 2018
Whether or not it was intended as such, recorded while Allman was suffering from the liver cancer that finally claimed him in 2017 at just 69, Southern Blood serves as a suitable epitaph by combining a self-written opening track with nine takes on songs by friends and acquaintances. There’s a suitably dirty and authentic feel about the set, recorded in FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals and produced by Don Was.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 05, 2018
Is it just me, or is Van the Man having a bit of an Indian summer, seemingly banging out albums at a remarkable pace? Certainly even at 72 the old boy is showing no signs of slowing down, and this rootsy set of Chicago blues tracks, mixing covers and originals, is one of his strongest offerings of late.
Review: David Price, Lab: Keith Howard  |  Oct 01, 2018
hfnvintage.pngIt was an audacious design from a company with no prior reputation for making serious loudspeakers, yet it soon became a landmark product. How does it shape up today?

There's no such thing as the perfect loudspeaker, nor is there ever likely to be one. Most manufacturers don't even try – theirs is a volume business where the trick is to produce a good-sounding product at an affordable price. There's nothing wrong with this, as perfection can often be the enemy of the good. Yet sometimes hi-fi companies do reach for the stars, and attempt to come up with an innovative, no-holds-barred design.

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