LATEST ADDITIONS

Steve Sutherland  |  Oct 14, 2022
On the 60th anniversary of the hit 'Telstar', Steve Sutherland tells the tale of the man behind the music and his pioneering home studio above a shop in North London

You may have read recently about the discovery of a British warship that sank in 1682 off our eastern coast which is being hailed by those who know as the 'most significant historic maritime discovery since the raising of the Mary Rose in 1982'. Well, happy as I am for Her Majesty's hyped-up historians, there's another treasure trove currently being examined that, for me, knocks that watery wreck into a cocked hat.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 13, 2022
hfnoutstandingNot all Wilson Audio's loudspeakers are man-sized floorstanders and its most compact models have been crying out for a partnering, flexible active subwoofer. Meet LōKē...

Wilson Audio's product naming strategy has always raised eyebrows, but the new LōKē reinforces its love for puns. This £9500 powered subwoofer's moniker either shows that it's the baby sister to Wilson's gigantic Thor's Hammer, or it's a play on 'Low Key'. Or maybe not. Whatever the rationale, its pronunciation is helped by diacritical marks to ensure we do not rhyme its name with 'woke'…

Peter Quantrill  |  Oct 11, 2022
A midsummer pageant of seduction and celebration, dressed in French and English costumes – Peter Quantrill explores the history of this 'dramatick opera' on record

Yokels in drag, flying scenery and orange trees: even by the lavish standards of theatrical entertainment in late 17th century London, The Fairy Queen dazzled spectators of its premiere at the Dorset Garden Theatre. 'The Court and Town were wonderfully satisfy'd with it' said one contemporary source – and no wonder – 'but the Expences in setting it out being so great, the Company got very little by it'.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 10, 2022
hfnoutstandingGermany's 'Sound Performance Laboratory' has launched its largest stereo power amp yet. We pair the s1200 with SPL's Elector preamp for a big-hearted, all-analogue system

Based some 40 minutes west of Düsseldorf, SPL sounds like an attractive prospect for those who like their music loud – though in this case the name has nothing to do with Sound Pressure Level, standing instead for 'Sound Performance Laboratory'. Mind you, the promise of room-shaking raises its head again with the new flagship power amplifier in the company's domestic – or 'Professional Fidelity' – range, which promises 'Mastering Grade Listening'. The new Performer s1200 (£6499) may only measure a smidge under 28cm wide and a little over 20cm tall, making it a tiddler in the pantheon of high-end stereo power amps, but it's still capable of a claimed 300W/8ohm, rising to 520W/4ohm. This should be more than enough for even the most demanding speakers and level-hungry listeners.

Steve Sutherland  |  Oct 07, 2022
A great TV or movie soundtrack can introduce you to long-forgotten music – and nothing does it better than this eclectic double LP on 180g, says Steve Sutherland

Say hello to Jesus Malverde. He may or may not have actually existed, apparently sported a handsome moustache, and today he's Mexico's patron saint of drug smugglers. Yup, you read that right. Mexico is such a marvellously messed-up place that it remains highly religious but simultaneously economically reliant on the dope trade.

Review: Jamie Biesemans, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 06, 2022
hfnoutstandingBoasting wireless connectivity with high-res digital sources, the LS60 W combines style with substance and great sound

In the decade since the launch of the LS50, in celebration of KEF's 50th birthday [HFN Jul '12], there have been rumours about a floorstander to complement the popular bookshelf model. But whatever these wishful thinkers had in mind, I'm pretty sure it wasn't as outlandish as the LS60 Wireless. As the name indicates, it's both a nod to the 60th anniversary of the brand and its technical evolution by incorporating active electronics – DSP, DAC and amplification – and streaming.

Mike Barnes  |  Oct 04, 2022
Featuring original songs 'I Walk The Line' and 'Folsom Prison Blues', the 1957 debut album from the American singer laid the first foundations for a near 50-year career as The Man In Black. Not bad for a 25-year-old former vacuum cleaner salesman...

One of the legends of American music, Johnny Cash's place in the record industry was hard-won. Born in 1932 in Kingsland in rural Arkansas, he grew up picking cotton on his father's farm and graduated to working on a car assembly line, before eventually joining the US air force in 1950 and serving in Germany as a radio operator at Landsberg airbase.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 03, 2022
hfnoutstandingEngström's pursuit of the 'pure Scandinavian Sound' reaches its peak in the ARNE amplifier – a triode tube amplifier that takes aim at solid-state competition

This isn't our first encounter with the valve amplification from Swedish company Engström, the ERIC Encore power amps [HFN Oct '21] lighting our blue touch paper of interest. The ARNE integrated amplifier, its 'entry-level' offering, is quite possibly an amp best suited to what comedy writer Danny Robins made famous as 'The Cold Swedish Winter', it also doubling as potent heat source. The curvaceous glass cover protecting the pairs of power triodes gets very warm indeed, so this amp needs plenty of 'fresh air'.

Andrew Everard  |  Sep 30, 2022
This month we review and test releases from: Nash Ensemble, Reynaldo Hahn/Pavel Kolesnikov, Morten Schantz Trio, Gasoline Lollipops and Kalaha & Hilal Kaya With The Aarhus Jazz Orchestra.
Review: Jamie Biesemans, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Sep 29, 2022
hfncommendedReplacing both the xCAN and xDSD, iFi Audio describes the xDSD Gryphon as its most ambitious portable headphone amplifier yet. Is this another boost to the success story?

Since launching in 2012, iFi Audio has established a reputation for delivering affordable, compact, often portable audio products. And at some pace too – looking back over the past decade, it's hard not to feel overwhelmed by the number of devices the company has released. Not all are entirely 'new', because iFi Audio likes to 'tweak' its products, which is why the xDSD Gryphon tested here follows the EISA Award-winning xDSD DAC [HFN Jul '18], and also serves as a successor to the xCAN [HFN Feb '19].

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