LATEST ADDITIONS

Mike Barnes  |  Nov 19, 2021
Produced by Rick Rubin, this fifth studio album for Warner Bros marked a change of style for the American group, with less heavy metal and a more melodic bias. And it propelled the Peppers to superstardom, with over 90,000 copies sold in the UK alone

The Red Hot Chili Peppers were formed by a quartet of friends in 1983 at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles: singer Anthony Kiedis, bass player Flea (aka Michael Balzary), drummer Jack Irons and guitarist Hillel Slovak. However, Irons and Slovak were also in a band called What Is This? and when they got a deal the pair quit.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 18, 2021
hfnoutstandingArguably the most durable model in the Kudos catalogue, the C20 has witnessed a graceful 12-year evolution

As is so often the case, last time I was at a hi-fi show – c'mon, you remember shows – I was amused by the reaction of a visitor. Having listened to a fully active system using Naim electronics and a pair of Kudos Titan speakers, 'Hmmm,' he said to no-one in particular, and with deadpan seriousness, 'Not bad for a stand company…'. Well, stands may have been the beginnings of Kudos, but it's come a long way since then.

Review: Tim Jarman, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 16, 2021
hfnvintageIt may have been based on a machine from Dutch giant Philips but this was the first CD player from a specialist high-end British manufacturer. How will it sound today?

Compact Disc enjoyed a halo of glamour in its early years that the more established formats had lost. Talk of laser beams and digital electronics, those holographic rainbows on the disc surface – not to mention all the smart new hardware – brought an interest in top quality listening to a whole new demographic.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 15, 2021
hfnoutstandingOriginally inspired by Class D maven Bruno Putzys, the innovative Mola-Mola brand returns with a fully integrated version of its separate amp, DAC and phono technologies

Never judge a book by its cover… or an amplifier by its industrial design. Take the Kula integrated amplifier from Groningen-based Mola-Mola – at first glance you may raise an eyebrow at this relatively compact, if solidly-built and undeniably stylish, integrated amplifier's £9900 price-tag. Then, complete with optional onboard DAC (£5999) and £1799 MM/MC phono stage, it adds up to just under £17,700 – well, that should raise the other brow into an expression of some shock.

Steve Sutherland  |  Nov 12, 2021
Buy this reissue for the title track, says Steve Sutherland, but who was John Barleycorn? The unsparing details will be no surprise to all who have seen The Wicker Man…

Police Sergeant Neil Howie steps inside the bakery. He has flown here, to Summerisle, a small, remote Hebridean island, on a one-man seaplane to investigate the whereabouts of Rowan Morrison, a young schoolgirl who's reported missing. He's been to the school, the church, the library, the pub, the graveyard, even to the Laird of the island's manse, but every local he questions is infuriatingly vague, reluctant to divulge any helpful information.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 11, 2021
hfnoutstandingBuilt as a 'box within a box', and promising a slicker all-round performance, Auralic's G2.1 series now extends to the fully-fledged Altair streaming DAC/preamplifier

We've commented previously on the similarity – at least in styling – between many of the products in the Auralic range, and here's another head-scratcher in the form of the Altair G2.1. It's only a little more than the Aries G2.1 'Wireless Streaming Transporter' [HFN Feb '21] – £4599 plays £4199 – yet this model, designated a 'Digital Audio Streamer', is a much more comprehensive product. It comes complete with onboard DAC, a preamp that allows it to drive a power amp or a pair of active speakers directly, and there are even analogue inputs – a line level and MM phono – to reinforce that role as a complete system hub.

Peter Quantrill  |  Nov 09, 2021
There's so much to enjoy – and a lot to go wrong – about recorded versions of a symphony facing in several different directions at once, says Peter Quantrill

Saint-Saëns had been organist of the Madeleine Church in Paris for almost 30 years when he wrote the last of his five symphonies – the first two unnumbered – in 1886. But the commission for it came from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and he conducted the premiere at St James's Hall in London.

Review: Mark Craven, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 08, 2021
hfnoutstandingHot off the production line, this flagship of MA's 7th-gen Silver range marks a significant uplift in performance

By now, there's surely not an audiophile alive who doesn't know that Monitor Audio's Platinum loudspeaker series is its pinnacle, and that as you move down through Gold, Silver and Bronze the prices become friendlier and the technology trickles. Silver – a range that's been rolling for over 20 years – represents the sweet spot in this hierarchy, and, says the UK company, is its most popular series. Judging from the performance, build quality and elegant design of the £1725 Silver 500 7G, I can't imagine this popularity waning.

Steve Sutherland  |  Nov 05, 2021
From The Beatles to Kate Bush, Sir Edward Elgar to Kayne West... this year sees the north London studio celebrate 90 years of history and hits. Steve Sutherland on Abbey Road

We could begin at 8.54pm on the 25th of June 1967, when the cameras cut to the studio about 40 seconds earlier than expected to discover producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick scrambling to hide a bottle of Scotch whisky beneath the mixing desk. They'd been taking a tot to calm their nerves before the tricky task of mixing the audio for the live worldwide broadcast of The Beatles' contribution to Our World, the first ever live global television link.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 04, 2021
hfnoutstandingWith the DS 003, DS Audio delivers its 3rd generation technology in a system one-tenth the price of its flagship Grand Master. Can it hope to offer a taste of its authority?

Attesting to what I firmly believe is a 'hi-fi truth' – that differing technologies have innate sonic traits, eg, valve vs transistor – is this latest DS Audio 'optical' cartridge, the £4995 DS 003 with matching energiser. It replaces the £5050 DS 002 [HFN Jun '17], so there's even a slight price reduction.

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