J. Ford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jul 01, 2013
This is not some random attack on ABBA’s canon; Landgren is Swedish, he played horn on Voulez Vous and has been friends ever since with Benny Andersson, who gave this project his blessing and plays piano on ‘When All Is Said And Done’. Plus this was recorded in Polar Studio A – ‘it’s in the walls’. Besides, many tracks barely nod to the originals, retaining only a few lyrics while transfunking the chords into new territory. ‘Money Money Money’ and many others gain tight rap sequences; the verses of ‘Thank You For The Music’ are thrillingly re-souled (though nothing could save the choruses).
J. Ford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jul 01, 2013
192KHZ/24-BIT ALAC/FLAC/WAV, Rhino/Elektra (supplied by www. hdtracks. com) To hear ‘Turn Of The Century’ and ‘Awaken’ at 24-bit/192kHz was a near pant-wetting prospect for this reviewer who once fought daily with a sibling for possession of this seminal 1977 album by the Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman and White line-up. But the high-res files deliver the lesson that more bits don’t fix a mix.
J. Ford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jul 01, 2013
Check your levels before launching Morph – the opening kick-drum/bass note is pushed up to knock you down! The surround mix of this 2006 inter-Dan album from the funky-fingered Fagen won a Grammy, and the 24/96 stereo version remains a production showcase, laying fruity layers of backing vocals across crisp and cruisy grooves even when the matter under consideration is considerably grave – even the eponymous giant cat turns out to represent a growing brainwashed malaise hanging over America. This disquiet perhaps infuses a particularly pedestrian plod into several pieces, the groove pinched so anal tight as to squeeze out its swing. Elsewhere this could be Aja Dan: ‘Security Joan’, ‘Brite Nightgown’ and ‘H Gang’ are friction-free, while the hi-hat opening to ‘Mary Shut The Garden Door’ is breathtaking in both performance and portrayal. A semi-classic, in fine form.
John Bamford and Paul Miller  |  Jan 15, 2012
New to the British hi-fi scene, this exquisitely formed pre/power amp combo is highly compact thanks to the use of Class D modules and switched mode power supplies Once you’ve got the hi-fi bug it seems it’s impossible to shake it off. Certainly this is the case for John Young, who has recently launched a new electronics marque, Acoustic Imagery, based in Warminster. Acoustic Imagery’s first products are these D400M Class D monoblock power amplifiers and a partnering active preamp called, simply, the Pre Amplifier. With a sharp eye, as ever, on the latest developments on the hi-fi scene, HFN has secured the first samples for a world exclusive test.
Ed Selley and Paul Miller  |  Jan 15, 2012
Pro-Ject enters the keenly contested media streamer category with the latest member of its compact Box range, a design based on the StreamUnlimited platform. The market for network media streamers has expanded dramatically in the last 12 months and with it the number of units available to choose from. Although the process of buying high quality music via download is still somewhat lacking in choice, the advantages of well implemented network audio are becoming apparent to an ever wider circle of buyers.
Ken Kessler and Paul Miller  |  Jan 15, 2012
You want big valves? Really big? NAT has cooked up a monoblock with a mortadella-fat QB 5/1750 tetrode, and a preamp worthy of the honour. Enter Utopia and Transmitter Any reservations I may have had about Eastern European amplifiers were put to rest by the NAT Se1 MkII reviewed in Aug ’10. It was time, I thought, to stop treating the former Communist Bloc as if it were the equivalent of China circa 1993. If anything, countries like Serbia, Bulgaria and others under the grip of the Commies for a half-century had a much better chance at conquering the high-end than the Chinese did, because they had greater hands-on experience.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 14, 2012
Audel gets down to basics with a speaker that combines contemporary design with traditional craftsmanship Italy has a prized reputation for flamboyant and uniquely styled luxury goods. The nation’s passion for design is woven into the very fabric of its culture. That’s why the country’s cars look like Ferrari Enzos rather than Ford Cortinas and why the men driving them are probably wearing Gucci loafers, rather than grubby sneakers. For a new high-end hi-fi company to be launched and get noticed is no easy task, especially in the loudspeaker market, where, to some, looks can be as important as sound, and where rivals include exotic brands such as Sonus faber and Zingali.
John Bamford and Paul Miller  |  Jan 14, 2012
Featuring a hefty outboard power supply and an elaborate belt-driven disc transport, Burmester’s flagship CD player proves a cost-no-object audio masterpiece Attend any major international hi-fi fair and Burmester Audiosysteme is sure to be wowing the audiophile crowd with its range of opulent, chrome-finished audio exotica. Alongside the likes of Dynaudio and Clearaudio, Burmester is one of Germany’s premier high-end audio marques. It’s a thriving company, its brand name revered among the audio cognoscenti around the globe. Such is its stature in its home market it was even invited to develop luxurious in-car sound systems for Porsche and Bugatti.
Paul Miller  |  Jan 14, 2012
EAT revives an old idea from NAD in the 1980s, but with a modern execution. Welcome the E-Flat belt-drive turntable with its, er, flat carbon fibre tonearm The wife of Pro-Ject’s CEO Heinz Lichtenegger, Jozefina, is one of the gutsiest individuals in hi-fi today. Not only does she insist that the turntables under her EAT Forté banner are high-end, while hubby’s Pro-Ject concentrates on the affordable, she’s had the sheer guts to revive a much reviled form. Flat tonearms are as old as hi-fi itself, the E-Flat’s arm following Connoisseur’s CS1, the wooden Grace G-714, an early Grado, the back half of the ‘hinged’ Dynavector DV-507 and many others.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 12, 2012
This dimunitive design produces a very pleasing sonic performance. A quick glance at Clearaudio’s product range shows that the company prides itself on using quality materials to house its audio electronics, and the Nano Phono certainly continues in this vein. Its case is formed from a solid CNC-machined aluminium block which makes the Nano feel surprisingly heavy, despite its diminutive size.