LATEST ADDITIONS

Johnny Sharp  |  Jul 12, 2021
Johnny Sharp on the creation of the artwork for Hot Rats, Frank Zappa's second solo LP

The '60s were coming to a messy, slightly bitter end, and so were Frank Zappa's The Mothers Of Invention. Deep in debt after six studio albums and fed up with paying the wages of a nine-piece band who didn't always seem to be fully on board with his creative vision, Zappa was starting to become disillusioned.

Review: Ken Kessler, Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jul 09, 2021
hfnoutstandingAfter nearly a decade in production, KEF's iconic LS50 compact monitor has been comprehensively updated. We compare the original with the latest 'Meta' variant

Hardly a curse, but it's still a massive challenge for any manufacturer to improve on a smash hit. I don't care if you're talking about cars, cameras or cookers – whatever the classic, the follow-up is metaphorically referred to as 'that difficult second album'. KEF faced this with the LS50 which (terrifyingly) will be ten years old in 2022. In the interim, there have been active and wireless versions of the speaker, but the passive original [HFN Jul '12] is a much-loved default purchase in the under-£1000 sector. The new LS50 with the Meta suffix (£999) is KEF's The Godfather Part II. Yes, it's really that good.

Steve Sutherland  |  Jul 08, 2021
Part record label, studio and direct-to-disc recording facility, the home of Third Man in Nashville also houses a Voice-O-Graph recording booth. Steve Sutherland explains...

Ithink I was born in the wrong generation. I probably should have been around in the 1800s, or 1930s. I am a lost soul in this time period, with the Internet, with digital technology and so on. This is not my place to be.'

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jul 06, 2021
hfnoutstandingThe most popular range of MMs on the planet – Ortofon's 2M series – has just got a new chief. All hail the Black LVB 250, anointed by none other than Beethoven himself

One body and 'motor', but different styli or cantilevers: I'm not sure which of the latter two choices is more important if a manufacturer wants to create a range from a primary design with an upgrade path. Ortofon has no such doubts and is taking no chances with the 2M Black LVB 250. While it looks like the circa-£95 2M Red I have been using for years as my reference entry-level MM cartridge, save for the colour, this new flagship for the 2M moving-magnet family comes in at a heady £829. That, however, accounts for the top-of-the-range 2M magnet and coils, new suspension and cantilever.

Steve Sutherland  |  Jul 05, 2021
Steve Sutherland listens to the 1980 live album by the American rock singer/songwriter, now in a deluxe vinyl set with extras, and recalls some of its cadaverous lyrics

Enjoy every sandwich.' It was certainly weird as pay-off lines go, but somehow perfect. Famous last words, or advice from the knowingly soon-to-be deceased, are usually offered up with at least a modicum of deep philosophical profundity – sometimes religious, sometimes self-pitying, sometimes peaceful and sometimes panicked, but invariably they are long premeditated and polished for posterity.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jul 02, 2021
hfnoutstandingClassé is back with a bang – its third-generation Delta amplification carrying 'does what it says on the tin' model designations, and sounding as thrillingly no-nonsense as ever

When it comes to prosaic model naming, Classé has it nailed: its latest Delta series preamp, selling for £9999, is called 'PRE', and the matching monoblock power amps at £10,999 apiece, are called 'MONO'. The only other model in the lineup is the Delta stereo power amp, at £11,999, which is unsurprisingly called 'STEREO'.

Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jul 01, 2021
hfnedchoiceThe speaker with no sweet spot arrives on our shores, offering a sound that's as distinctive as its aesthetics

Few loudspeakers are as instantly recognisable as the 'Radialstrahlers' – directly translated 'radial emitters' – designed and built by German brand MBL. At every international hi-fi show their appearance draws crowds while the all-encompassing sound of those iconic 'melons' keeps visitors rooted to their seats. Am I giving away the punchline? Not really. Few seasoned audiophile travellers will not have heard these incredible music machines, but we have still waited a decade for them to reach these shores and be explored, inside and out, Hi-Fi News-style.

Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jun 29, 2021
This month we review and test releases from: The Bitperfect Collection Vol.1, Hilary Hahn, Radio France PO/Mikko Franck, Robert Len, Origamibiro and Renaud Capuçon, Stephen Hough, LSO/Sir Simon Rattle.
Ken Kessler  |  Jun 28, 2021
This month we review: Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Lavern Baker, Kris Drever and Stephen Dale Petit.
Ken Kessler  |  Jun 28, 2021
This month, we review: Bobbie Gentry, Octave Records, The Eagles and The Guess Who.

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