LATEST ADDITIONS

Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 12, 2020
hfnedchoiceTucked away in the ranges of most large cable brands is a selection of USB interconnects, including Chord who topped our USB shootout in 2013.

We last ran a comprehensive USB cable group test over six years ago [HFN Jul '13 and '14] with Chord's entry-level SilverPlus coming top-of-the-heap and remaining in residence ever since as our cable of choice. The intervening period has seen the SilverPlus morph into the current entry-level C-series while the costlier Signature 'Tuned Aray' USB cable became the template for Chord's more recent, intermediate Epic USB model. And, at £400 for a terminated 1m set (£160 per additional metre), the new Epic USB is no costlier than its Signature forefather in 2014.

Steve Sutherland  |  Oct 09, 2020
From David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' to the albums that rocketed Elton John up the charts, this British-born producer was one of the first to fuse orchestral arrangements with the fire of rock 'n' roll. Steve Sutherland considers the work and legacy of Gus Dudgeon

In the Spring of 1968, David Bowie, a pop star with a failing career, sat through Stanley Kubrick's trippy masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey at least three times at the Casino Cinerama in Old Compton Street. 'It was the sense of isolation I related to,' he explained later. 'I found the whole thing amazing. I was out of my gourd, very stoned when I went to see it – several times – and it was a revelation to me. It got the song flowing.'

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 08, 2020
hfnoutstandingIn a world where every other product seems to have streaming this or network that, this compact box from the German brand is about as direct – or linear – as it can get

Writing in his Welcome page last month, editor Paul Miller explained how shifting hugely heavy equipment about is all part and parcel of the HFN reviewing 'experience'. Perhaps he was eyeing a recent speaker launch proudly declaring that its new products weigh over 450kg apiece. Add on their external crossover with its power supply, and a quartet of high-quality amps to drive them, and you could well end up wondering whether your floor will support a tonne and a half of hi-fi.

Steve Sutherland  |  Oct 06, 2020
Two of the band's principals were found dead from drug overdoses. Steve Sutherland tells the sad story and welcomes this 1965 album as an orange vinyl reissue!

At 11 o'clock in the morning of Sunday the 15th of February 1981, the police were called to a quiet side-street in the upscale neighbourhood of Forest Hills, San Francisco. There they found a beat-up beige 1971 Mercury Marquis. All four doors were locked, and slumped in the front seat behind the steering wheel was a body. An empty Valium bottle was discovered in the pocket of a coat on the back seat.

Review: Mark Craven, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 05, 2020
hfncommendedWith remarkable power on tap, and very little lost to heat, Emotiva's XPA HC-1 monoblock promises exceptional performance-per-pound. Is it the bargain it seems?

American brand Emotiva's mission statement puts affordability front and centre. Claiming that 'the price of sonic nirvana' had begun to slip out of the reach of many audio fans, it launched in the early 2000s with the goal of dragging it back, using founder Dan Kaufman's previous experience as an OEM supplier as its foundation. This XPA HC-1 monoblock amp is a perfect example of the Emotiva ethos, promising serious power without the serious price. Just £799, in fact.

Ken Kessler  |  Oct 02, 2020
Ken Kessler brings you his definitive guide to buying reel-to-reel tapes, new and secondhand

For any format, whether new or revived, it is the availability of pre-recorded music that determines its health. That's why the LP came back like gangbusters, and the otherwise-hugely-impressive Elcaset withered away. When it comes to the growing interest in reel-to-reel tapes, three routes exist for feeding the machines, and each has its adherents, while many users will adopt all three when building up a library.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 01, 2020
hfnoutstandingAs boutique Italian brand Franco Serblin prepares to boost its range we look at the iconic flagship

Franco Serblin, who passed away in 2013, first unveiled his flagship Ktêma in 2010. He had left Sonus faber, which he founded in 1983, in 2006, so the Ktêma was in development for nearly five years before he felt it was ready to be sold by the new company bearing his name. I remember the tension during its gestation, and Franco's elation at being able to produce a no-compromise system – not that he was ever restrained at Sonus faber. Think of the phenomenal Extrema, Guarneri and Stradivarius. The wait for the Ktêma proved worth it – as did the anticipation lasting a decade to hear a pair in my own system.

Christopher Breunig  |  Sep 29, 2020
This month we review and test releases from: Behzod Abduraimov, Lucerne SO/James Gaffigan, Nicola Benedetti, LPO/Vladimir Jurowski; Petr Limonov, Derek Smith Trio, Luxembourg PO/Gustav Gimeno and Duisburger Philharmoniker/Jonathan Darlington.
Ken Kessler  |  Sep 28, 2020
This month we review: Al Di Meola, Fred Neil, James Taylor and Twisted Sister.
Ken Kessler  |  Sep 28, 2020
This month, we review: T Rex, The Box Tops, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes and The Monkees.

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