LATEST ADDITIONS

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.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 12, 2012
A product with performance that is hard to beat at the price. Founded in 1988, Germany’s Lehmann Audio offers an extensive series of phono stages which employ technology drawn from its pro-audio range of mixing consoles and the like. All Lehmann phono stages are based around passive RIAA filter designs and, according to Lehmann, the differences between models can be found ‘in the quality of the parts and/or in the grade of sophistication of the circuit design.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 12, 2012
The full sized casework is matched by the large and lively sound. Uncomplicated Scandinavian design’ is how Primare defines its ethos and a quick glance at the R32’s front panel tells you that this phono stage is truly living Primare’s ‘brand values’. Since it measures 430x95x380mm (whd) and weighs a substantial 8. 5kg, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve been sold a power amp in the wrong box. Of course much of this weight can be attributed to the R32’s case, with its 8mm-thick front plate and solid feet.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 12, 2012
Some clever ideas but a little too laid back sonically. Established in 2003, Astin Trew is a British hi-fi company with a product portfolio that includes amps, CD players, cables and its first phono stage: the AT8000. Astin Trew’s philosophy is simple: ‘create very high quality mid-priced home audio products that convey the emotion and passion of real music as naturally as possible.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 12, 2012
An immensely flexible design but somewhat sterile in use. Whether you’re an audiophile on a budget or you have deep pockets to fund a seriously high-end system, it’s likely that Musical Fidelity has a range of products to suit. MF’s ever expanding M1 series sits above the entry level V series and offers a choice of half-width separates in well made cases, based on its more expensive M3 and M6 models.
Ed Selley  |  Jan 12, 2012
An ultra- sophisticated interface is paired with strong sonics to good effect. With over 15 years’ experience in stand-alone phono stage design, Creek Audio needs little introduction: its £185 OBH-18 model is a stalwart at entry level. The Wyndsor, a completely different beast, contains a level of user sophistication rarely seen in a phono stage.

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