LATEST ADDITIONS

Steve Sutherland  |  Dec 17, 2021
Beginning life in East London, SARM's name is synonymous with artists keen to use the latest tech to push the potential of sound to excite. Steve Sutherland has the story...

The Boy couldn't get out of bed. The phone rang. And rang. And rang again. The boy turned over, tugged the pillow down hard over his head, and fell back asleep. The phone rang. And rang. And rang again. Eventually the ringing roused him. He'd had a heavy night and was feeling rough. He answered the phone. The voice on the other end, Irish, cursed him.

Review: James Parker, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Dec 16, 2021
hfnoutstandingThis London-based company may be a relative latecomer to the all-in-one streaming system market, but its debut models have style a-plenty – and performance to match

Given Cambridge Audio's track record in digital audio, it is perhaps a little surprising it's taken the company so long to enter the network systems arena. It was an early developer of add-on DACs in 1994 [see HFN Jun '21] and has been making streaming components for a good while, even going to the lengths of developing its own network audio hardware. The Cambridge catalogue currently caters for 'computer audio' enthusiasts with the entry-level £169 DacMagic 100 right up to the £4499 Edge NQ network preamp.

Peter Quantrill  |  Dec 14, 2021
Verdi holds the key to understanding the work of the old-school maestro, 80 this year. Peter Quantrill surveys a tumultuous career and finely honed legacy on record

I remember how my heart skipped a beat one hot afternoon in 1989 when, browsing through the stacks of a secondhand LP emporium in London, I pulled out Riccardo Muti's recording of Tchaikovsky's 'Little Russian' Symphony. It was a noisy Italian EMI pressing – 'La Voce del Padrone' – and there was a huge scratch in the middle of Romeo and Juliet on Side A.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Dec 13, 2021
hfnoutstandingThe latest additions to Chord Electronics' range don't immediately give up the secrets of what they do – but dig deeper, and you'll find they're intriguing digital components

There are times when one might think Kent-based Chord Electronics is being wilfully abstruse in its selection of model designations. After all, its flagship DAC is called DAVE [HFN Apr '16], and its pocket-sized DAC/player combination is the Mojo [HFN Jan '16] and Poly. Then there's the portable Hugo DAC/headphone amp, now in both Hugo 2 [HFN Aug '18] and less-portable Hugo TT (for 'tabletop') versions [HFN Dec '15], to which the company has now added two extra units, named 2go and 2yu.

Johnny Sharp  |  Dec 10, 2021
With like-minded producer Nigel Godrich onboard, the Brit band's experimental side came to the fore on their platinum-selling third album, released in 1997. And if you listen closely, you might just hear the sounds of ghosts wailing in the Somerset night...

Difficult second album? Been there, done that, sold the T-shirts. Now, about that blissfully easy third album...

Review: David Price, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Dec 09, 2021
hfncommendedThe artisan of high-end tube audio, Jadis, has imbued more than a little Gallic flair into this 'entry level' integrated. Serve with sensitive speakers for a taste of magic...

Until the mid-1990s, valve amplifiers were typically persona non grata. The '80s had been all about solid-state – from tweaky low-powered integrateds to mega powerful monster power amps – and tubes didn't so much as get a look in. By the turn of the millennium however, the pendulum had swung back and tube amps were reinvented as exclusive objects of luxury and desire, famed for their sweet and satisfying sound. How times change!

Steve Sutherland  |  Dec 07, 2021
For this fifth long-player, the thrash-metal pioneers transformed into heavy rock titans. Now the LP is out on 180g vinyl, Steve Sutherland relates its rocky birth

Lars Ulrich is not amused. 'Is this the test pressing?' he asks his manager, Peter Mensch. 'No', Mensch answers emphatically. 'That's the jacket, the cover that's going out across the country.'

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Dec 06, 2021
hfnoutstandingExposure returns to its roots with a full-width integrated inspired by the improved circuit design of the recent 5010 monoblock power amps. Does 'old school' still cut it?

Nostalgia doesn't come any better than this: an integrated amplifier that looks like it escaped from the 1980s, all minimalist and line-level and 440mm wide. But Exposure has been around for close to 50 years, so this isn't some exercise in retro from an arriviste brand with cod heritage. Rather, the 3510 is a device for reminding people like me of (hi-fi) life in simpler times.

Johnny Sharp  |  Dec 03, 2021
Johnny Sharp on the creation of the artwork for David Bowie's early '70s album Aladdin Sane

If you want to go to a fancy dress party as a rock star, there are plenty of different ways that you could 'do' David Bowie. But probably the easiest would be to paint a red, blue and silver lightning flash over your right eye. Kapow! Instant Bowie. Fancy paying tribute to the great man on your Facebook profile? A lightning flash should do the trick. You might even get away without dying your hair red or growing a mullet.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Dec 02, 2021
hfnoutstandingA new 800 series, and a return to the original 801 name, but the 801 D4's enhancements are more than skin deep

Some six years since the arrival of the Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond range, and over 40 years after the launch of the company's original 'no compromise' 801 model [Audio Milestones, HFN Jan '13], here we are with an all-new flagship lineup for the Worthing-based company. The timing's about right: in the rolling programme of upgrades, we've seen the 600 and 700 series replaced since the 800 D3 models broke cover [HFN Dec '15], and the company makes no secret of the fact that work started on these new 800s almost as soon as the last generation was released.

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