less_is_more

A hi-fi component can only make the sound it transmits worse, it has everything to lose. The signal can only be degraded as it’s extracted from the source, amplified and transduced into acoustic sound by the speakers, so the best component is the one that has the least effect on the signal, the one that’s […]

USB-A-RCA-angle

Ever since I started using the Melco N1A server as a source for digital files there has been the option of connecting the USB output directly to a DAC or using the network output to drive a streamer and plugging a coaxial digital output into the same DAC. It’s not a totally flat playing field […]

SkylarGray_AQ

Audioquest’s unfeasibly young headphone guru Skylar Gray responds to some of the comments in Richard Barclays recent review of the NightHawk headphones. We appreciate the time and effort Richard Barclay has put into getting to know and understand NightHawk. Thank you very much. We’d like to offer a few points of clarification that might prove […]


XA30-5-angled-2

Ever since I got into sound systems I have been fascinated with amplifiers, integrated ones, pre- and power amplifiers, tubes and transistors. I’ll never forget buying my first real amplifier at the age of 15, it had EL84 tubes in the output stage and the front panel had as many knobs as possible, including tone […]

albums-of-the-year-2015

It has been a good year for new music with releases, acts both new and established have produced albums that not only sound great but are so musically inspiring that they’ve seen more playback than old favourites. We asked three reviewers to pick their favourites, a tough task but with a bit of soul searching […]

swingin-safari-horch-house

If you’ve been seduced by the unique, analogue excellence of a quality reel-to-reel tape machine, you’ll know the need to feed your passion. The Holy Grail would be actual master tapes moving over your heads, but back in the real (reel?) world, the closest you’re likely to get is one of Horch House’s pre-recorded tapes. […]


cutter-head

Back in the summer I went up to Air Studios to see Mike Valentine who was overseeing the second stage of making his latest Chasing the Dragon release. This is a live recording of the Syd Lawrence Orchestra playing a selection of classic swing era pieces. What makes it different is that the vinyl only […]

Roy-Gandy-820

Not many companies in this business have received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, but on Friday October 9th Rega Research celebrated becoming one of that select band. They celebrated with a party for employees, suppliers and friends where the Queen’s representative, the Lord Petre, read out the customary speech and mentioned that Rega was only […]

Charlie_MXR

For the purpose of gaining some insight into the Ayre QB-9DSD DAC I asked company president Charles Hansen a few apparently innocuous questions. I was therefore surprised to receive the following response, which makes fascinating reading. Especially for fans of DSD.   JK: Is there any benefit in 2x, 4x or greater upsampling of DSD and […]


naiad-full

Last week I was honoured by a visit from Rega’s namesake and founder Roy Gandy. Rumours had been circulating that the long awaited Naiad turntable is as good as a turntable could possibly be and I could wait no longer. So I asked if I could hear it and was surprised when he offered to […]

Stoke seismograms 10

Have you ever noticed that your system sounds better later in the evening, that it becomes more revealing and effortless ‘round about midnight’? If so you may have wondered why and you wouldn’t be the first. There are a number of possible causes, the most often cited being that most people turn off their TVs […]

sony-hi-res

Having read many articles on the credibility of high resolution audio, I am left frustrated. Whether for or against, few acknowledge reality and present a plain enough case to reach what needs to be a wide and receptive audience. Both camps bog themselves down in either promoting or undermining the technical attributes of hi-res formats, […]