Martin Colloms

Martin Colloms  |  Jan 12, 2024  |  Published: Jul 01, 1992  |  0 comments
hfnvintageMartin Colloms hears two outboard DACs featuring 20-bit chips in custom circuits – Enlightened Audio Designs' DSP7000 and the PS Audio Ultralink

American specialists, like their UK counterparts, continue to develop new variations on the available digital technology to produce DACs with audiophile appeal. This review covers two of the more intriguing examples, using some of the most advanced devices available to designers. The Enlightened Audio Designs DSP7000 is based on the 20-bit Analog Devices chip, while PS Audio has chosen an Ultra Analog dual 20-bit converter. What bearing the two choices of technology will have on sound quality remains to be seen!

Martin Colloms  |  Dec 22, 2023  |  Published: Feb 01, 1998  |  0 comments
hfnvintageThe Indian company has reworked its hybrid electrostatic speaker ready for production as the Arca. It's an ambitious project, says Martin Colloms

When they weren't playing, I found the appearance of these loudspeakers to be disconcerting because their normally exposed electrostatic elements are shrouded in a black cloth hood to keep out the dust. But when the cloth is removed, and the elements are exposed for use, their silvery perforated stator elements are presented in striking full view.

Martin Colloms  |  Nov 21, 2023  |  Published: Oct 01, 1992  |  0 comments
hfnvintageThis slim design offers the traditional benefits of transmission line bass loading yet manages to overcome the drawbacks, says Martin Colloms

New ideas are being introduced at Celestion to bring its upmarket SL series into the 1990s. The first example, designed by Bob Smith, was the 100 [HFN Nov '91] followed now by the 300 reviewed here. This is a £1000 floorstander that aims to bring improved bass extension, power handling and superior dynamics to the genre, while sensitivity remains below average at 84dB/1W. A remarkable aspect of the 300 is its transmission line loading, a first for Celestion, and developed with an unusually authoritative theoretical approach, by the designer Martin Roberts.

Martin Colloms  |  Sep 28, 2023  |  Published: Jun 01, 1997  |  0 comments
hfnvintageMartin Colloms shows some ART appreciation as the US company celebrates 30 years with a statement single-ended line-only preamp

Conrad-Johnson's 'Anniversary Reference Triode' has been some time in the making. In fact, an early version was developed seven years ago which has since been used as a lab reference. The ART is simply a remote-controlled line preamplifier, which at £15,000 is priced far beyond any previous Conrad-Johnson offering in this sector. It will be made in a limited edition of just 250 – probably just right for a modest production run at this elevated price level.

Martin Colloms  |  Aug 21, 2023  |  Published: Aug 01, 2003  |  0 comments
hfnvintageAfter years of development, the US company has come of age with a design that's a landmark in speaker engineering, says Martin Colloms

It was a thought-provoking discussion with Avalon president Neil Patel on the virtues of absolute tonal accuracy in a speaker, and how to achieve it, that led to an opportunity to evaluate the Eidolon. It was to prove illuminating to discover just how closely his objectives had been realised in this design.

Martin Colloms  |  Jul 07, 2023  |  Published: Apr 01, 1993  |  0 comments
hfnvintageIts components may work in all-Naim systems, but in this review of the company's latest pre/power Martin Colloms looks at the alternatives too

Neither I nor the Editor could remember when HFN last reviewed a Naim amplifier so, to redress the balance, we are covering the company's latest pre and power duo here. Priced at £1880, the NAC 82 carries the full remote control first seen on the top-of-the range NAC 52 preamp. An optional extra board (around £120) provides analogue disc input (MC or MM).

Martin Colloms  |  May 23, 2023  |  Published: Jun 01, 1998  |  0 comments
hfnvintageDoes enormous power always make musical sense? Martin Colloms hears a new stereo power amp from a designer who begs to differ

DNM's long-awaited update to the PA3 power amplifier has finally arrived. Fully regulated, the PA3 S reflects the uncompromising approach of its designer Denis Morecroft. Offering just 23W per channel but costing £3750, this stereo power amp has undergone a long gestation, the reasons for which Morecroft outlines in our interview boxout.

Martin Colloms  |  Apr 25, 2023  |  Published: Aug 01, 1991  |  0 comments
hfnvintageMartin Colloms hears the FET nine/e and SA/3.9e from Threshold – a company that can lay claim to being one of the founders of the high-end...

Threshold has been making high-quality amps for many years, its preamps showing early use of FET circuitry and the power amps distinguished by an output stage design which Threshold calls 'Stasis', a kind of active Class A operation. Company founder and chief designer, Nelson Pass, remains fully involved and his signature appears on the circuit diagrams included in the excellently documented operating manuals supplied with the units.

Martin Colloms  |  Dec 16, 2022  |  Published: May 01, 1997  |  0 comments
hfnvintageThe no-compromise 2010 preamp and 2020 DAC are part of the US manufacturer's ongoing 2000 series project. Martin Colloms listens

Boulder's founder and chief engineer Jeff Nelson gained his first audio engineering experience with studio mixing desks and the design of a professional cartridge tape unit. This led to a constructive interchange with the late Deane Jensen, the audio transformer wizard and the originator of a classic 'operational amplifier'. This was not an integrated circuit but one implemented at good power and wide bandwidth via the use of discrete devices.

Martin Colloms  |  Nov 18, 2022  |  Published: Aug 01, 1995  |  0 comments
hfnvintageThe company is famed for its giant-killing budget CD players, but what can it do for £3000? Martin Colloms hears one of its high-end machines

Marantz is noted in the UK for its decade-long success in producing a chain of fine CD players at moderate prices. If sometimes contradictory on other matters, the audio press were almost uniform in singing their praises. But the success Marantz has enjoyed in Japan is less well known. By all accounts, high-quality audio remains very healthy there and Marantz engineer Ken Ishiwata has finely honed his skills in creating a range of high-end CD players that have achieved record sales in each directed market niche.

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