Lab: Paul Miller

Review: Ken Kessler,  |  Apr 20, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingThe smaller of DeVore's 'Orangutan' loudspeakers still achieves that elusive goal of offering high sensitivity and an amp-friendly load, but without full-fledged horn-loading

Here's a platitude which should adorn a t-shirt made mandatory attire for all audiophiles: 'It's OK To Like More Than One Thing'. In my view, hi-fi is no more cut-and-dried than wine, cars or shoes. Components are not mutually exclusive. With speakers in particular, there are more competing, different-sounding technologies than just about any other part of the chain. And what DeVore Fidelity has in its £9998-per-pair Orangutan O/93 is a design which ticks numerous boxes, all the better to alleviate any guilt about loyalty to a single topology.

Review: Tim Jarman,  |  Apr 18, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnvintageAn unashamedly budget machine, this late '80s CD player had a mechanical trick up its sleeve that saw it take the fight to its rivals on price. But how will it shape-up today?

It has been ten years, shy of a month, since a Sanyo product last appeared in the HFN Vintage Review pages. This was the Fisher AD 800 [HFN Apr '13], the company's first ever CD player, which was marketed in the UK under the firm's specialist hi-fi and video brand.

Review: Mark Craven,  |  Apr 18, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingBoulder by name and industrial design, the 866 integrated is no mere rolling stone. With optional streaming and huge power under the bonnet, it's an unstoppable force

The Boulder story begins in 1984, with the release of the 500 Power Amplifier. A professional audio company back then, Boulder's stereo model was destined for music studios and broadcast suites, but founder Jeff Nelson soon realised the hardware had domestic potential too, resulting in the 500AE 'audiophile edition'. Today, nearly 40 years and an expanded product portfolio later, the Colorado-based manufacturer remains a darling of the high-end hi-fi scene, albeit one whose designs still have a 'pro audio' air about them.

Review: Andrew Everard,  |  Apr 13, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingPitched as 'the music server against which others are judged' and featuring a battery supply, 4TB SSD storage, a 1TB cache and custom upsampling, this is no idle boast

You're on somewhat shaky ground when reviewing a big-ticket music server, especially one with no onboard digital-to-analogue conversion. The scythes and flaming torches of the 'digits is digits' brigade might appear at any moment on the path up the mountain on which such devices are perched, and there's always the nagging doubt that the choice of partnering DAC will have more impact on the final sound.

Review: Andrew Everard,  |  Apr 10, 2023  |  0 comments
Look familiar? This new four-box pre/power stack from Musical Fidelity shares the styling of 2014's Nu-Vista 800 integrated, but is it a high-end contender? You bet it is!

Ever get the feeling we've been here before? Well, the arrival of the latest amplifier system from Musical Fidelity brings a new twist to the whole déjà vu thing as the Nu-Vista naming and macho aesthetics are familiar from the historically hefty Nu-Vista 800 integrated amplifier [HFN Nov '14]. In practice that classic nuvistor tube-equipped integrated amplifier, also rated at 300W/8ohm, has provided the inspiration for both the industrial and technical design of the PRE and PAS we see here, the hybrid nuvistor/transistor concept now evolved into a pre/power set-up, complete with separate PSUs for each. So one box is now four...

Review: Jamie Biesemans,  |  Apr 03, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingInspired by the longstanding Xtension 9 turntable, the new X8 features a 9cc EVO arm with balanced connections to better serve the 'bundled' Ortofon Quintet Blue MC

Launched in 2022, the X8 is the new LP spinner that Austria's Pro-Ject is betting on to entice vinyl lovers onto that next step beyond the entry-level and midrange products that are the brand's bread and butter. To justify its higher price point, this sleek-looking deck borrows features from the company's top-tier Xtension turntables, making it Pro-Ject's most affordable 'mass-loaded' model to date. It's also fitted with a rigid 9cc Evolution carbon tonearm, which is an upgrade on the carbon-aluminium arms found on its lower-range offerings, including the X2 B [HFN Sep '22].

Review: Andrew Everard,  |  Mar 28, 2023  |  0 comments
hfncommendedKorea's Citech group continues apace with yet another 'full colour widescreen' offering from its HiFi Rose brand – this time with an updated network-attached media hub

ARose by any other name? As has happened in the past, Korean manufacturer HiFi Rose has launched a new version of an existing model – in this case its RS250 network player – with worthy specification changes and a suffix to set the two apart. But there's a mild inconsistency here, for when the company upgraded the RS150 [HFN Jun '21] to the current version, due to a DAC chip change forced upon the company by the 2020 fire at AKM's semiconductor plant in Japan, it became the RS150(B), selling for £3899, but the revised RS250 is now the £2349 RS250A, available in either silver or black finishes.

Review: Jamie Biesemans,  |  Mar 24, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingThe final, or should that be first, component in T+A's 200 series quartet is a CD-playing, network-attached media transport that boasts a proprietary 'SYS-Link' connection

After delighting headphone lovers with the HA 200 DAC/amp [HFN Aug '20], which nicely matched the Solitaire P headphones introduced at the same time, T&A has been on a roll. The HA 200 transpired to be just the first in a range of units forming the new 200 series – all compact separates, but all designed to dovetail seamlessly together.

Review: Mark Craven,  |  Mar 23, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingThese 'artisanal' speakers hail from Spain and combine Purifi and Mundorf driver tech with Krion cabinets

These days we could probably name no more than 11 or 12 manufacturers of TVs, but ask us about loudspeakers and you'd fall asleep before we'd got as far as companies beginning with the letter 'D'. The industry appears to be in rude health, with models to suit all tastes and budgets, and there are plenty of options that you might not have come across before. Kroma Atelier's Stella Xtreme perhaps being one of them.

Review: Ken Kessler,  |  Mar 20, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingCoinciding with the 40th anniversary of the company's founding, Lyra introduces a refinement to the popular Kleos moving-coil cartridge – the SL with, yes, lower output

Has it really been 40 years since Jonathan Carr and Stig Bjørge founded what would become Lyra? Did I really play with a (Scan Tech) Tsurugi, launched in 1986 and which I still have, when Maggie was PM? As I have enjoyed Lyra cartridges for over half my life, including many happy hours with the mono Kleos, the £3095 Kleos SL arrived with positive anticipation.

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