LATEST ADDITIONS

Keith Howard  |  Feb 25, 2009
Siltech may be best known as a cable manufacturer but it already has a track record of branching out, in spectacular style, into other product areas. High-end watchers will recall that early in the new millennium Siltech introduced its limited edition 80W Single Ended Mono Triode valve power amplifier and matching preamp, which included novelties such as a specially manufactured output valve. Now from the Dutch company comes a statement loudspeaker design, the Pantheon, with a price tag of £65,000. Once again the engineering is novel and the production run limited – only 39 will ever be made.
Keith Howard  |  Feb 25, 2009
Approaching a reviewer to assess a product is simple: the manufacturer or distributor contacts the magazine and they arrange delivery. That’s it. One assumes that the product is suitable for the magazine, and it’s up to the editor to assign the reviewer. But never in my 25 years as a reviewer have I been so nagged, badgered, pestered, henpecked and begged to write a review.
Richard Stevenson & Paul Miller  |  Feb 06, 2009
I have a fondness for NAD. The brand has succeeded over the decades by creating products just a few degrees askew from those of everyone else; never following the herd but, equally, rarely radical. In two-channel audio this has often meant a stripped-down, fundamentalist approach with products having an appealing Bohemian quality. However, when it comes to multichannel AV, eschewing key technologies in favour of a ‘music-first’ approach could be a little too existential for its own good.
Ken Kessler & Paul Miller  |  Feb 06, 2009
Debate that’s been raging since the dawn of hi-fi, Integrated vs Separates boils down to this: the former’s benefits over the latter include the removal of a pre-to-power cable connection, the need for one less AC outlet, less shelf space and – above all – the knowledge that the two sections are optimised for each other. Separates, however, counter with truly dedicated power supplies for each section, as well as isolation of the pre and power amp stages for less potential for undesirable interaction. Traditionally, the higher you go up the price scale, the more likely you are to opt for separates. Over the decades, milestone integrateds would appear that upset the formula: Sugden’s A48, specific models from Rogers, McIntosh, AR, et al.
Steve Harris & Paul Miller  |  Feb 06, 2009
There cannot be many words more overworked than ‘classic’. Sometimes it means a previous model, kept in production ‘by popular demand’, perhaps because the new replacement model doesn’t quite cut it. Sometimes it means a new emulation of an old and once successful product, which may bear little real resemblance to a famous forebear. Conrad-johnson’s website straightforwardly lists all its discontinued models as ‘Classic Products’.
Steve Harris & Paul Miller  |  Feb 06, 2009
Reacquaintance can be a fraught affair, as anyone who has met an old lover after many years will attest. You risk either discovering that you are still in love with them, which is usually bad news, or wondering whatever attracted you in the first place. Neither outcome is good for the ego. It’s much the same when revisiting an audio product.
Andrew Harrison & Paul Miller  |  Feb 05, 2009
It’s always heartening to find a product that gives a taste of high-end sound performance at a realistic price. And if that’s a giveaway to the outcome of this CD player’s all-important listening tests, so be it. Before we get there though, it’s worth looking over the mechanics of what’s on offer here. Like other products in the company’s range such as the entry-level AT3000 CD player and the pre/power amplifers, the AT3500 is built around a sturdy metal chassis with extruded alloy side panels with a heavy-gauge top plate.
Steve Harris & Paul Miller  |  Feb 05, 2009
There’s some controversy over who produced the first separate digital-to-analogue converter for CD users, but the honour is most convincingly claimed by Arcam, which launched its original Black Box back in 1989. By 1991, you could buy something smaller and cheaper, though as it came from California it had a grand-sounding name. The Audio Alchemy Digital Decoding Engine was the size of a small paperback, with a rudimentary plug-top power supply. In this country, Cambridge Audio wasn’t far behind, launching its original DacMagic in 1994.
Keith Howard & Paul Miller  |  Feb 05, 2009
The last time I was fortunate enough to have a dCS upsampler at home it was the Purcell, which was limited to upsampling PCM to PCM. Since then dCS has become a staunch advocate of DSD – the 1-bit, 2. 8224MHz coding system used in SACD – and so the Upsampler half of the Scarlatti pairing here (the other being the Scarlatti DAC) offers upsampling to either PCM or DSD. It’s the user’s choice, with dCS’s preference being the latter.
John Bamford & Paul Miller  |  Feb 04, 2009
In the run up to Christmas 2007 my 14-year-old daughter announced one evening over dinner that she’d like a record player. What brought this on I don’t know. She takes little notice of the hi-fi system in our living room, using it only to deliver ‘big sound’ when watching one of her favourite music channels on TV. I’m not sure that she’s even clocked the Townshend Rock Reference that’s been sitting on the top shelf of my equipment rack since before she was born.

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