LATEST ADDITIONS

Review: Adam Smith,  |  Nov 17, 2023
hfnvintageSurprisingly advanced yet appealingly affordable, this semi-automatic flagship deck from 1985 sought to unseat Rega's market-leader. How does it sound today?

Vinyl fans in the early '80s were well catered for when it came to affordable turntables. If your budget was tight, the capable NAD 5120 made a fine starting point. But if you could stretch your funds a little further then there was only one choice: the Dual CS 505 [HFN Feb '13]. First introduced in 1981, it proved to be a robust and reliable performer at its bargain price of £75.

Review: Ken Kessler,  |  Nov 16, 2023
hfnoutstandingHow to upgrade the 'ultimate' optical pick-up? By fitting the Grand Master with a single-piece diamond cantilever and stylus. We take the GM Extreme for a drive...

It's too easy to presume, just because only one change separates a new model from an earlier one, that assessing it will be a breeze. DS Audio's £18,995 Grand Master Extreme optical cartridge differs from its stablemate solely in its cantilever/stylus assembly. Aside from a different body colour for easier identification, I wrongly imagined that a side-by-side shoot-out with the earlier Grand Master [HFN Feb '21] would suffice, and that a couple of LPs' worth of listening would reveal all. Silly me.

Peter Quantrill  |  Nov 14, 2023
Oratorio, opera, or both? Peter Quantrill looks at Handel's Christian tragedy, and the stagings and recordings that have given it long overdue recognition as his masterpiece

It is, apparently, impossible to write about Handel's penultimate oratorio without quoting the composer's own gloomy view of its failure at the box office when it was first performed at the Covent Garden Theatre, London, in March 1750. 'The Jews will not come to it because it is a Christian story; and the Ladies will not come because it is a virtuous one.'

Review: Ken Kessler,  |  Nov 13, 2023
hfncommendedThe baby of MartinLogan's Motion range features a compact version of the brand's second-generation 'Folded Motion Tweeter' – this little box is full of big surprises!

How time flies: it's just over a decade since MartinLogan applied its expertise with hybrids to box-type systems instead of the usual electrostatic-panel-plus-cone-woofer which defined most of its models. Even though MartinLogan started out with a full-range ESL – the legendary CLS [HFN Feb '87] – its engineers swiftly excelled in the black arts of combining two speaker technologies, so the Motion range created a whole new field for them to plough. In this case, it's a cone woofer and a 'Generation 2 Folded Motion Tweeter', found here in the £1395-per-pair Motion B10 standmount model.

Steve Sutherland  |  Nov 10, 2023
From skating palace to orchestra HQ and home to The Beatles and Dr Who theme too. Steve Sutherland on the facility that played a unique part in pioneering British music

You can argue all you like over the greatest single ever released. You can trade opinions on the greatest debut album ever made, and dispute the greatest guitar solo ever recorded... You can bandy words over most things. But when it comes to the greatest TV show theme ever, there's only one winner: Dr Who.

Review: Mark Craven,  |  Nov 09, 2023
hfncommendedBased on the slimmer, lookalike TA1, the TA2 features twice as many output transistors, a far beefier PSU and three times the output... All this, a DAC/preamp and FM radio too

You shouldn't even need to see the £1099 price tag of Emotiva's BasX TA2 to understand it's one of the American manufacturer's entry-level products: the clue is in the name. Yet this integrated amplifier is about more than just covering off the 'basics', not least as it's positioned as a step up from the £669 BasX TA1 [HFN Nov '22].

Steve Sutherland  |  Nov 07, 2023
This landmark album rewrote the folk rulebook, but that didn't stop the band splintering before it was released. Steve Sutherland hears the recent reissue on 180g vinyl

Way back in the day, I was telling Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead about one of those weird cartoons that used to pop up in episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus on the telly. The particular cartoon in question featured a giant big toe, sliced off at the joint, which had been re-assembled as the tip of the trunk of some kind of prehistoric mammoth – an error in extrapolation which sought to ridicule scientific assumption in a similar vein to the way the Pythons mocked religion and politics, etc.

Review: Adam Smith,  |  Nov 06, 2023
hfnoutstandingNo citadel in the sky, these latest Castle speakers are firmly grounded in great sound courtesy of the FinkTeam

What do you get if you take a venerable British loudspeaker marque, mix with the (from 2007) owners' fabrication facility in China, stir in a highly respected German loudspeaker designer and top the whole creation with British assembly? In this case, it's the Castle Windsor Duke loudspeaker, an elegant £4500 standmount design that's the fruit of a truly worldwide network.

Johnny Sharp  |  Nov 03, 2023
A spot of R&R in Jamaica, followed by a lakeside recording set-up back in Blighty, was all it took for a disillusioned John Martyn to recapture his music mojo. The resulting album, released in 1977, mixed folk, electronica and the sound of geese...

For much of the '70s it was customary for bands or recording artists to retire to a rural bolthole for a spell, hoping the country air would help them get their head together. Disillusioned and burnt out from recording and touring, in 1976 John Martyn tried this himself. But in his case the destination was another country, halfway across the world.

Review: Andrew Everard,  |  Nov 02, 2023
hfnoutstandingKorea's HiFi Rose has moved upmarket with its first DAC-less, transport-only network player – the result is an impressive combination of purity and innovative technology

As if on a one-company mission to prove all the variations possible when it comes to network audio, Korean brand HiFi Rose has gone in very short order from being an upstart newcomer to its current role as a pillar of the digital establishment. And it's done so not by the simple expedient of taking one platform and pitching it at a range of price-points, but rather by expanding its offering to fill every niche from the all-in-one 'just add speakers' system [HFN Mar '22] to the highly-focused high-end network component explored on these pages.

Pages

X