Lab: Paul Miller

Review: Jamie Biesemans,  |  Sep 18, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingWith the 'proof of concept' SourcePoint 10 already under his belt, MoFi's Andrew Jones has engineered a more compact coincident driver array for the SourcePoint 8 cabinet

Speaking to designer Andrew Jones at High End Munich in May '23, he kidded that his latest loudspeaker could be considered the 'European' version of his larger SourcePoint 10 [HFN Apr '23]. 'People were often surprised by its size – it does host a 10in driver after all – so something smaller was needed', he explained. Cue the 'modest' SourcePoint 8, with its 8in version of the launch speaker's inaugural 10in coaxial driver.

Review: Jamie Biesemans,  |  Sep 14, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingThis Polish tech brand has already made waves with its OOR headphone amp and DAC-equipped ERCO. Now comes its most sophisticated digital offering yet – the Wandla

Does the world really need another DAC? Considering the ample offerings from traditional and emerging Asian hi-fi brands, you might be tempted to say, 'not really'. However, Poland's Ferrum Audio combines experience with a flair for innovation – its parent company HEM has been an OEM contractor for other manufacturers, possibly inciting its engineers to go one better for their own brand.

Review: Mark Craven,  |  Sep 11, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingOver 40 years have passed since the 8000A amp broke cover, but it's still recognisable in the flagship 9000A, despite LCD screen and DAC on board, and joined by a CD transport

While some manufacturers' product lines can become confusing as models tackling various price points and functionality are launched, relaunched and discontinued, Audiolab has, by contrast, a laser-like focus. It caters very much to the wallet-conscious audiophile, across a clearly delineated stable of amps and players/streamers, which kicks off with its 6000 series and progresses through 7000 and 8300 to the newly launched, flagship 9000 series. This currently comprises two models, auditioned here, but will be joined later this year by another.

Review: Ken Kessler,  |  Sep 04, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingDeVore's 'Orangutan' loudspeaker range now has a funky sibling – the aptly-named O/baby that extends the brand's high sensitivity DNA into a very compact cabinet

Even the name sounds like a clarion call: 'O/baby!', straight out of Austin Powers. It resides 'one from the bottom' in DeVore Fidelity's Orangutan range, with only the minuscule, 25x25x25cm micr/O sealed cube below it. But the O/baby is the one that screams 'Buy me!' at this jaded hack. How so? This trickle-down gem from DeVore, smaller than the O/93 [HFN Mar '23], just may be the answer to my bucket list dreams. Or would be, had I the £6298 for a pair. And £1398 more for the stands.

Review: Jamie Biesemans,  |  Aug 25, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingA mid-'80s audiophile favourite from UK brand Epos is reimagined by the go-to-speaker designer, Karl-Heinz Fink

Revivalist products are in the ascendant, but they range from the dubious, cashing in on nostalgia, to more respectful attempts aiming to recreate something remarkable from yesteryear. Rest assured – the ES14N is firmly positioned in the second category. In fact, it goes one step further by claiming to be both truthful to the design ethos of the original '80s speaker icon, while also improving on it.

Review: Andrew Everard,  |  Aug 18, 2023  |  0 comments
hfncommendedThe high-value Edwards Audio range from Talk Electronics now includes no fewer than four integrated amps, the IA1 also equipped with motorised volume and remote control

While there is a drive to bring (hi-fi) manufacturing back home to Blighty, some brands never left. One such stalwart is Edwards Audio, a sub-brand of the longstanding Talk Electronics range of full-width components. The Edwards Audio IA1 integrated amplifier on these pages is handmade in the UK – yes, designed, engineered and assembled here – and yet costs just £430. Still not convinced? Well, you can have a simpler version of the same amp, shorn of remote control, for £60 less, and you can even buy both versions in red, white or blue – but not all three at once – as part of a range of six acrylic colours in which Edwards Audio offers its full stable of products.

Review: Jamie Biesemans,  |  Aug 15, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingMarrying old-school Yamaha looks with new-fangled digital functions, the R-N2000A streaming amplifier offers convenience in a package to delight vintage devotees

Few audio brands have escaped the component shortages and wonky logistics of the last few years, including Yamaha, but the company is putting all that behind it with a slew of new products. The £2895 R-N2000A is in the vanguard of a new series from this venerable Japanese manufacturer, one or two sneak-previewed at High End Munich 2022. The 2023 show then saw the launch of its lower-tier R-N1000A and R-N800A network-attached amplifiers, sharing many features with the flagship model reviewed here. Yamaha is also offering a range of speakers to match, so if you want to go full Yammy then matching high-gloss piano black NS-2000A floorstanders are available to pair with the R-N2000A. This fits with the brand's efforts to re-establish its once-familiar position in the two-channel hi-fi scene.

Review: Adam Smith,  |  Aug 10, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingInformed by the design of Audio-Technica's AT-OC9 pick-ups and tuned to 'hit the midrange', is VPI's latest cartridge collaboration a no-brainer for its turntable owners?

When New Jersey-based turntable brand VPI wanted a cartridge (or three) to complement its range of decks and tonearms it was not inclined to waste precious time, money and effort on something that somebody else had been doing for years. So, rather than stray from its own speciality in 'large scale' engineering, it instead went knocking on Audio-Technica's door for the construction of its new £1250 Goldy MC.

Review: Mark Craven,  |  Aug 07, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingAmerican marque's flagship Motion tower is a three-way that showcases driver upgrades and a bold new aesthetic

Although MartinLogan is known for its electrostatic loudspeakers, culminating in the flagship Neolith [HFN Jul '16], and 'static/moving-coil hybrids [HFN Jan '17, Feb '18 & Nov '21], the Kansas-based brand has, since 2003, ploughed another furrow with conventional cabinet models targeted at a wider audience. And since 2010, MartinLogan's Motion range, now headed by the Motion XT F200 reviewed here, has employed a tweeter technology the company says offers 'electrostatic-like high frequency detail'. There's a strong suggestion that the move from specialist brand to mass-market competitor hasn't extinguished ML's raison d'etre.

Review: Tim Jarman,  |  Aug 04, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnvintageWith full-sized CD players stealing a march on portables in the late 1980s it was left to Sony to step up with a palm-sized marvel of a machine. How would it fare today?

The appearance of portable CD players in the mid 1980s presented buyers with something of a dilemma. Should they purchase a full-width model or one of the mobile machines, almost all of which could easily be connected to a full-sized system? A portable would be more versatile, but a large player would be expected to offer more facilities and better sound quality.

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