Vintage

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Review: Tim Jarman, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 01, 2018
hfnvintage.pngLaunched in 1980, these slimline separates proved just the tonic for those seeking sophisticated sonics wrapped in eye-catching casework. How do they sound today?

Who buys top quality hi-fi equipment? First there is the audiophile, who is willing to devote considerable resources in the pursuit of components that deliver what he or she regards as the best sound quality for a given budget. There was once also a largely non-technical group who had equally high musical expectations. Wealthy and design conscious, they wanted complete systems that not only sounded good but looked good too, and included all the latest technological refinements.

Mike Barnes  |  Aug 03, 2022
Even though its title track was initially written for a rival group, the sophomore album from Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson transformed them from Billboard also-rans to international superstars – and helped define the Motown sound

By 1955 Berry Gordy Jnr [HFN Nov '17] had been a professional boxer, served in the US army, made an unsuccessful attempt at running a jazz record shop, and was working for the Ford Motor Company on its Detroit production line. But his real love was music.

Review: Tim Jarman, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jul 05, 2023
hfnvintageCompact, clever and priced to entice, this quirky little late-'80s machine caught the imagination of those buying into digital for the first time. How does it shape up today?

When Toshiba unveiled its lineup of new CD players in 1986 it was clear the format had come of age. Just three years after the first machines were launched onto the European market they'd gone from being exotic and expensive to something so accessible there was little point in any keen listener not owning one.

Review: Tim Jarman, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Mar 09, 2020
hfnvintageBased on Sony's second-gen 16-bit/2x oversampled chipset, the DP-850 established a toehold in the CD scene for the Trio-Kenwood Corp. How does it shape up today?

While not a name often associated with early CD players, Kenwood was not lacking in ambition with its first entry into the field. Rather than test the market with a quiet offering buried deep in the backwaters of its catalogue, in 1983 the company added the L-03DP CD player to its range of top-line components.

Review: Tim Jarman, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Sep 23, 2022
hfnvintageAttractive, affordable and the first step on the hi-fi highway for many a budding audiophile, is this '70s amp now the perfect introduction to vintage? We find out

The instantly recognisable Trio/Kenwood KA-2002 is one of those products that is sure to have touched the lives of many readers of Hi-Fi News. A popular first move upmarket from record players and radiograms towards 'proper' hi-fi, this inexpensive amplifier was a frequent choice for enthusiasts taking their initial steps towards serious listening.

Ken Kessler  |  Oct 25, 2022  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1993
hfnvintageAn old circuit with a modern look versus a new design with retro styling as Ken Kessler hears valve amps from Papworth and Sonic Frontiers

Contrary to the practices of most specialist companies, some still believe that small is beautiful. Despite the continuing displays of excess from across the Pond, enough manufacturers realise that the only way to get quality sound into certain homes is to 'down-size'.

Review: David Price, Lab: Keith Howard  |  May 01, 2018
hfnvintage.pngWelcomed with open arms by those seeking a quality speaker for use in a tight space, the Diamond created the market for affordable mini monitors. How will it sound today?

Loudspeakers are surely the most fashion-conscious segment of the hi-fi market. There are Japanese amplifiers on sale today that look little different to their predecessors being sold in the late '70s. Yet the same 'period look' can hardly be said to be popular when it comes to speakers.

Review: Adam Smith, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jan 08, 2021
hfnvintageWith VFETs costing top dollar and facing stiff competition from other semiconductors, the late '70s saw Yamaha unveil a new pre/power amp duo. How does it sound today?

It's always intriguing to see how a company reacts to the realisation that a technology it has championed is reaching its sell-by date. This was the situation faced by Yamaha in the late 1970s. Since the middle of that decade, its top-end products had made use of Jun-ichi Nishizawa's Static Induction Transistor – more commonly known as the VFET – to great effect. This led to the development of designs such as the B-1 and B-2 power amplifiers, and C-1 preamplifier, all of which are still held in high regard.

Review: David Price, Lab: Keith Howard  |  Oct 01, 2018
hfnvintage.pngIt was an audacious design from a company with no prior reputation for making serious loudspeakers, yet it soon became a landmark product. How does it shape up today?

There's no such thing as the perfect loudspeaker, nor is there ever likely to be one. Most manufacturers don't even try – theirs is a volume business where the trick is to produce a good-sounding product at an affordable price. There's nothing wrong with this, as perfection can often be the enemy of the good. Yet sometimes hi-fi companies do reach for the stars, and attempt to come up with an innovative, no-holds-barred design.

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