Review and Lab: Paul Miller

Review: Andrew Everard, Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Dec 02, 2022  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingAimed at very high-end headphone users, dCS's Lina Network DAC, Master Clock and Headphone Amplifier might also be the ideal compact system front-end for audiophiles

Headphone use has changed in recent years, from something to be endured through necessity to its own subset of hi-fi listening, with no shortage of ambitious and upmarket hardware currently available. Now dCS is on that bandwagon, for while it's been busy launching its APEX DAC technology for its 'full-size' offerings [HFN Jun '22] it's also developed the Lina, which is not so much a headphone amp as a complete playback system.

Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 24, 2022  |  0 comments
hfnedchoiceTaking its Carbon range to 'the next level', and celebrating Kimber Kable's 40th anniversary en route, the Carbon 18XL is its latest flagship.

Kimber is a stalwart of the cable scene, emerging alongside Monster and AQ in the late '70s but with its own spin or, more accurately, twist on things. The open-weave geometry, variable-diameter copper stranding and Teflon insulation of the now-classic 4TC speaker cable defined not only its lumped parameters but also informed its 'voicing' – a warm but richly detailed sound that won the hearts of many a budding audiophile.

Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 21, 2022  |  0 comments
hfnedchoiceThis 'entry-level' interconnect at the foot of the Californian brand's new Mythical Creature range leverages familiar concepts and materials.

For over 40 years AudioQuest's founder and guiding light, William 'Bill' Low, has been on a journey of discovery, exploring the properties of different conductors, dielectrics and geometries to not only offer as transparent an 'analogue link' as possible but also isolate that link from an increasingly hostile RF/EMI-strewn environment. Bill also has a flair for the dramatic, invoking the spirit of the 'ThunderBird' in this entry-level Mythical Creature interconnect.

Jamie Biesemans, Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 02, 2022  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingSteampunk styling meets luxury audio as the masters of touchscreen streaming launch one of the most tactile and flexible all-analogue integrated amplifiers ever seen!

Say what you will about HiFi Rose, the fledgling brand hailing from Seoul in South Korea, it sure knows how to capture the attention of audiophiles. First by launching remarkable do-it-all streaming players featuring huge touchscreens and options galore, and now this 'steampunk' integrated amp which left Internet forums speechless for about 15 seconds. Quite an achievement in this day and age... and those pundits hadn't yet seen the baffling rear of the RA180 with its sixteen loudspeaker terminals!

Review: Ian Harris, Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jul 22, 2022  |  Published: Aug 01, 2003  |  0 comments
hfnvintageIan Harris and Paul Miller hear the amps that crown MF's 20th anniversary

The kW and kWP are the final models in Musical Fidelity's 20th anniversary Tri-Vista series, and are intended to be the ultimate expression of the company's skills as amplifier builders. In contrast to the nominally 'real world' SACD player and integrated amp, the pre and power amps have been built on a totally cost-no-object basis – to borrow MF's own words, they're 'simply the very best we can do'.

Review: Andrew Everard, Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jul 11, 2022  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingInspired by 1980s behemoths, PS Audio's inaugural loudspeakers have a sound to match their striking looks

At a time when every new high-end product seems to come with an extensive backstory, the legend behind the 'aspen' FR30, the first speakers from Colorado-based PS Audio, still takes some beating. The £28,000-a-pair floorstanders have, we're told, been '50 years in the making', which places their beginnings just before that of the company itself, started by Paul McGowan and Stan Warren in 1973. In between times, McGowan left, worked with Arnie Nudell of Infinity Systems and then bought back the PS Audio name in the late 1990s, becoming its CEO. So we can safely assume that what is now realised as the aspen FR30 has been in the works for all that time.

Review: Andrew Everard, Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jul 07, 2022  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingLockdown afforded dCS's engineers the time and space to look at the implementation of its iconic Ring DAC afresh. The APEX upgrade is tested here in its flagship Vivaldi DAC

You know that old saying about the devil making work for idle hands? While the periods of lockdown over the past couple of years left a lot of hands idle in the hi-fi industry, the wisest turned this fallow period to good use, regrouping and rethinking. That's certainly the case with the engineers at Cambridgeshire-based Data Conversion Systems, better-known as dCS.

Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  May 26, 2022  |  0 comments
hfnedchoiceOnce in the vanguard of the late '70s hi-fi cable revolution, In-akustik now has a vast catalogue. We test the top Reference/Micro Air interconnect.

Only one issue ago we reviewed an interconnect cable whose core thesis focused on achieving a low capacitance and dielectric loss by utilising an 'air' insulation. That was Kimber's new flagship 'Naked' interconnect – a cool £12,700 per terminated metre [HFN Mar '22]. Somewhat more affordable, but also leveraging the 'air dielectric' theme, is the NF-204 Micro Air interconnect from Germany's most prolific cable manufacturer, In-akustik, based in Ballrechten-Dottingen.

Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Apr 11, 2022  |  0 comments
hfnedchoiceKimber Kable has championed high quality dielectrics and open-weave cable geometries since the late '70s, but now it's gone 'naked'.

Cable aficionados will already know that the best insulation is no insulation at all, with air (in lieu of a vacuum) providing the best and most cost-effective dielectric. Did I say 'cost effective'? Kimber's new flagship 'Naked' interconnect costs a cool £12,700 per terminated metre – either with heavyweight gold-plated WBT RCAs or XLRs finished in a choice of Wenge or Purple Heart woods. For longer runs, 1.5m sets cost £15,150 or £17,600 for 2m. This is very 'high-end'.

Review: Ken Kessler, Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Apr 04, 2022  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingIt's taken three years, but it was worth the wait: D'Agostino's Relentless Preamplifier has arrived, and it's as much of a revelation as the matching power amplifiers

You gotta love items with absolutely perfect names: 'Land Rover Defender', 'Rolex Explorer', 'Fender Jazzmaster'. When founder and chief engineer, Dan D'Agostino, dubbed his assault on the high-end 'Relentless', with cost-no-object flagship monoblock power amps [HFN Mar '20], he might have been referring to himself, as that is how he approached the task. With this matching three-chassis Relentless Preamplifier (£159,500), he's raised the bar once more.

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