AVM announced their 30th anniversary last year with a new entry level range and at this year’s Sound & Vision Bristol show I asked MD Udo Besser how he got into the hi-fi business, his jokey response was: “Very easy, I just filled in a form, it was the wrong form!”. He went on to describe a […]


Using an acronym for a serious piece of hi-fi might be a fun play on words but it risks understating the product. Chord have used similar quirky names for other DAC products; the previous 2Qute and latest Qutest, for example. However, there is nothing understated about the DAVE when one looks further. The name stands […]

ATC CDA-2-main

ATC aren’t into change for changes sake, they won’t revise the range every year or so just to refresh its profile in the market, indeed even when they give something a major overhaul as is the case here the appearance remains much the same. The only external difference between the new CDA2 and its predecessor […]

Metrum Acoustics Onyx and Jade

For a long time Metrum Acoustics could only supply digital to analogue converters (DACs) at either end of the scale, they made expensive ones and relatively affordable examples but there was nothing in between. This gap has now been filled with the Onyx and Jade converters, derived from the Adagio and Pavane models with almost […]


We are used to miniaturization today, the Japanese got very good at it many years ago so we tend to take for granted what are tremendous engineering feats. Nonetheless the feature count on the Mytek Brooklyn does take the proverbial biscuit. For a start it's both an analogue and a digital preamplifier with single ended […]


I have long been a fan of the sculpted forms produced by the Neal Feay company, Resolution Audio’s beautiful Cantata first brought this Californian metal worker to my attention but it was Constellation Audio that showed just how finely they can machine aluminium, with creases that fade to nothing like a piece of silk. It […]


Focusing now on digital ingenuity, German brand Lindemann launches a new range of compact electronics. Trevor Butler put the top-of-the-range DAC through its paces and liked what he heard…Lindemann is an audiophile brand created by Norbert Lindemann back in 1993 with a range of integrated amps and speakers. Later a CD player and phono stage […]


With 40 years of transformer design experience, Jonathan Billington has been manufacturing bespoke and award-winning transformer-based passive preamps under the Music First Audio brand since 2003. Hand-built in his Hastings workshop in East Sussex, his latest creation, the Classic Headphone Preamplifier, expands the functionality of the globally-revered Classic with the inclusion of an active headphone […]


From the first digital to analogue converter ever made by Metrum Acoustics they have taken a different route to most manufacturers. The majority use conversion chips by Burr Brown, Philips, TI or Wolfson to name a few, Metrum selected an industrial DAC chip and claimed its high speed architecture improved the conversion. A lot of […]


In 1987 Arcam paved the way for the consumer DAC industry with the release of their Black Box, the very first outboard D/A converter to target this market. Somewhat ahead of their time, another 23 years would pass before Arcam returned to what is now a fiercely competitive sector, and a concerted effort has clearly […]


It’s not every day that I am invited to listen to a truly high-end system so when the Dutch Distributor of MBL, Orpheus Lab and TARA Labs asked me over to hear a very nice system I took a day off work to make the most of it. He had the Orpheus Lab Heritage amplifiers […]


René didn’t like class D amplifiers but that has all changed now that he’s heard this remarkable pairing from NAD. High resolution, power and features, what’s not to like?Several years ago I considered New Acoustic Dimension, NAD for short, to be a high profile manufacturer specializing in mid-fi that also tried its hand in the […]