Review and Lab: Paul Miller

Review: Andrew Everard,  |  Jul 24, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingThe 'Blade' models fly the flag for KEF's speaker tech, but its Reference 5 offers a more accessible route to 'high-end Uni-Q'

Fortunately, the Reference 5 Meta is the £17,500 flagship of KEF's 'conventional' speaker range, bettered only by the striking-looking Blade designs [HFN May '22]. Fortunately? Well, yes, because this is an imposingly huge design, standing just over 1.4m tall, even if some of that impression of scale is minimised by the slenderness of the cabinets. Indeed, if the enclosures were any narrower than their 205mm, there wouldn't be room on the front baffle for the quartet of 165mm aluminium-coned bass drivers, arranged in pairs above and below the company's 12th-generation Uni-Q treble/midrange unit.

Review: Andrew Everard,  |  May 15, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingLess than a year after PS Audio launched its inaugural loudspeaker, this flagship floorstander has already inspired a trickledown sibling. Will the FR20 unseat the FR30?

The advice given by Apple's Steve Jobs to 'Start small, think big' is pretty sensible, going hand in hand with that old saw about not trying to run before you can walk. That recommendation seems to have eluded Colorado-based company PS Audio, which launched its speaker line last year with the big aspen FR30 [HFN Jun '22], arriving in the UK with a price tag now running at £30,000, and clearly aiming high straight out of the box.

Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Apr 24, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnedchoiceSweden's Supra brand was in the vanguard of the cable revolution in the late '70s so its new and vibrant Excalibur flagship is no mere stab in the dark.

With its blue-tinged foil screen positively glowing through a tight, translucent PVC jacket, Supra's flagship speaker cable, priced at £1700 for a 3m terminated set (£300 per additional stereo metre), makes for a vivid statement. It's a world away from the speaker cables that helped Tommy Jenving launch his Swedish Supra brand in 1976. Its Supra Cable 4 and 2.5 used bunches of very fine copper strands in a standard figure-of-eight geometry. Its later 10mm2 Supra Cable 10, with 2562x0.07mm 4N copper strands, still has the lowest series resistance that I've measured (3.1mohm/m) when tested nearly 30 years ago [Hi-Fi Choice Aug '94].

Review and Lab: Paul Miller,  |  Mar 02, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingIf you're a fan of the legendary 300B triode, who better to produce an application for that valve? Western Electric's 91E integrated amplifier may be your dream come true

Pedigree? You want pedigree? How about the inventor of the 300B triode? Western Electric's provenance beats all comers, the company dating back to 1869, which kinda trumps any other manufacturer's claims for longevity. Here it is 154 years on with the Type 91E integrated amplifier to dazzle those wedded to single-ended triodes (SETs), yet with enough modern details, both sonic and functional, to ensure it is regarded as a 21st century tube amplifier.

Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jan 16, 2023  |  0 comments
hfnedchoiceNewly launched to fill the void between its Mavros and flagship silver Asimi ranges, these Arran cables might just be the sweetspot in the Atlas portfolio.

While audiophiles might ordinarily associate the 'home of the brave' with Linn Products, Scotland is also home to the hand-made Atlas Cables. Its new Arran interconnects and speaker cables are a clear evolution, taking inspiration from its solid silver Asimi range [HFN Dec '18], utilising the same geometry but with OCC (Ohno Continuous Casting) copper.

Review: Andrew Everard,  |  Dec 02, 2022  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingAimed at very high-end headphone users, dCS's Lina Network DAC, Master Clock and Headphone Amplifier might also be the ideal compact system front-end for audiophiles

Headphone use has changed in recent years, from something to be endured through necessity to its own subset of hi-fi listening, with no shortage of ambitious and upmarket hardware currently available. Now dCS is on that bandwagon, for while it's been busy launching its APEX DAC technology for its 'full-size' offerings [HFN Jun '22] it's also developed the Lina, which is not so much a headphone amp as a complete playback system.

Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 24, 2022  |  0 comments
hfnedchoiceTaking its Carbon range to 'the next level', and celebrating Kimber Kable's 40th anniversary en route, the Carbon 18XL is its latest flagship.

Kimber is a stalwart of the cable scene, emerging alongside Monster and AQ in the late '70s but with its own spin or, more accurately, twist on things. The open-weave geometry, variable-diameter copper stranding and Teflon insulation of the now-classic 4TC speaker cable defined not only its lumped parameters but also informed its 'voicing' – a warm but richly detailed sound that won the hearts of many a budding audiophile.

Review and Lab: Paul Miller  |  Oct 21, 2022  |  0 comments
hfnedchoiceThis 'entry-level' interconnect at the foot of the Californian brand's new Mythical Creature range leverages familiar concepts and materials.

For over 40 years AudioQuest's founder and guiding light, William 'Bill' Low, has been on a journey of discovery, exploring the properties of different conductors, dielectrics and geometries to not only offer as transparent an 'analogue link' as possible but also isolate that link from an increasingly hostile RF/EMI-strewn environment. Bill also has a flair for the dramatic, invoking the spirit of the 'ThunderBird' in this entry-level Mythical Creature interconnect.

Jamie Biesemans,  |  Aug 02, 2022  |  0 comments
hfnoutstandingSteampunk styling meets luxury audio as the masters of touchscreen streaming launch one of the most tactile and flexible all-analogue integrated amplifiers ever seen!

Say what you will about HiFi Rose, the fledgling brand hailing from Seoul in South Korea, it sure knows how to capture the attention of audiophiles. First by launching remarkable do-it-all streaming players featuring huge touchscreens and options galore, and now this 'steampunk' integrated amp which left Internet forums speechless for about 15 seconds. Quite an achievement in this day and age... and those pundits hadn't yet seen the baffling rear of the RA180 with its sixteen loudspeaker terminals!

Review: Ian Harris,  |  Jul 22, 2022  |  Published: Aug 01, 2003  |  0 comments
hfnvintageIan Harris and Paul Miller hear the amps that crown MF's 20th anniversary

The kW and kWP are the final models in Musical Fidelity's 20th anniversary Tri-Vista series, and are intended to be the ultimate expression of the company's skills as amplifier builders. In contrast to the nominally 'real world' SACD player and integrated amp, the pre and power amps have been built on a totally cost-no-object basis – to borrow MF's own words, they're 'simply the very best we can do'.

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