Lab: Paul Miller

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 16, 2019  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingA little over half the price of the mighty H590 amp, in a slimmer design and with very similar facilities and output, this new arrival from Norway is a sure-fire bargain

They're clearly fans of the old buckled swash at Hegel: having evoked Master And Commander in announcing its £9000 H590 flagship amplifier [HFN Oct '18], the Norwegian company says it's calling the new H390 'Robin Hood'. Why? Well, it's all a matter of re-distribution of wealth, apparently, for the £4900 debutant takes much of the ability of its big brother, and makes it available to those of us of humbler means.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 09, 2019  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingLess of a 'Special Edition' than a cosmetic refresh, six years of continuous production has still brought changes to bear in ARC's flagship digital offering. We investigate...

At this stage in the decline of Compact Disc's popularity, is there still a demand for CD players like the Audio Research REF CD9 SE at a heady £14,500? Apparently so, as the original REF CD9 [HFN May '13] remains popular enough to warrant an update. The addition of the esteemed 'SE' suffix on this occasion, however, does not signal as radical a change as seen, for example, in the move from the REF 75 power amp to the REF 75SE. But what Audio Research has done makes it just different enough to warrant the new badge.

Reviews: Hi-Fi News Team, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 08, 2019  |  0 comments
This month we review and test releases from: Berliner Philharmoniker/Kirill Petrenko, Walter Wolfman Washington, Reto Bieri & Meta4, Fors Seulement and Netherlands Po/Marc Albrecht
Review: David Price, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 07, 2019  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingWith a nod to the past, plus the benefit of some 28 years' experience of design and manufacturing, Pro-Ject launches its most refined sub-£1000 turntable package yet

With that familiar sparkle in his eye, Pro-Ject's Heinz Lichtenegger unveiled a brand new CD player at the recent EISA Convention in Antwerp. What does this have to do with this new X1 turntable, you might ask? Well, he proudly explained that what he's now doing with CD spinners is precisely what he did with record players back in the early 1990s.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 04, 2019  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingTraditional 'resistor ladder' DACs are rarely seen these days but California-based MSB has made the technology its own and elevated performance to an entirely new level

Despite persistent rumours of the standalone DAC's demise, the industry continues to provide us with converters with capabilities far in excess of any digital sources commonly available. MSB's DACs fall into this category, and given the sheer brilliance of the Premier we're reviewing here, it's hard to fathom that this isn't even the top rung of the MSB family, coming in below the flagship Select and the Reference, and above the Discrete. That said, the bare-bones version is £19,500. Ulp.

Review: David Price, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 01, 2019  |  0 comments
hfncommendedThis French company's 'ecosystem' is founded on an extensive range of power and audio cables, but the brand's design philosophies also extend to an amp and CD player       

The world of high-end audio just wouldn't be the same without products like the Origine S2 from Neodio. It resides in that rarefied section of the hi-fi market where designers get to see their dreams fulfilled in large and beautifully appointed products. Head honcho Stéphane Even has energetically embraced the chance to make leading-edge, premium hi-fi products. As well as purveying expensive cables and isolating feet, his company makes the £15,000 CD player/DAC you see before you, alongside its companion A2 integrated amplifier.

Reviews: Hi-Fi News Team, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Sep 23, 2019  |  0 comments
This month we review and test releases from: Karen O & Danger Mouse, Madison Cunningham, Landgren/Wollny/Danielsson/Haffner, Fumio Yasuda and Boston SO/Andris Nelsons.
Review: Tim Jarman, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Sep 23, 2019  |  0 comments
hfnvintageWhile first to market with a portable player, Sony soon found itself overtaken by rivals. Its answer was a now-iconic machine, driven by a belt. But how does it sound today?

Sony's original D-50 'Compact Disc Compact Player', released in late 1984, was the first practical portable to reach consumers. Named to commemorate the company's 50th anniversary, the player's ¥50,000 price tag ensured that it dominated the market. However, the fact that it cost ¥100,000 to manufacture meant that this came at some expense to Sony.

Review: Adam Smith, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Sep 19, 2019  |  0 comments
hfncommendedThe inaugural product in Colorado-based Boulder's 500 series is this MM/MC phono preamp – fully balanced throughout, including the connection to your turntable

Modern phono stages seem to fall into one of two camps – those with multiple inputs, multiple gain options and a seemingly endless permutation of impedance and capacitance settings [see EAT E-Glo S, HFN Mar '17], and those, like the Boulder 508, that seek to minimise switching and variable gain in favour of one, potentially simpler, signal path.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Sep 16, 2019  |  0 comments
hfncommendedThis 'music server' is rather more than it might initially appear, and you can apparently use it alone, or with another music server model, the CX. So what's that all about?

One soon comes to realise that, in the new world of computer-based music playback, nothing is quite what it seems. What's more, the terminology used to describe the products designed to make it possible seems almost wilfully imprecise.

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