BEST OF 2019 820

It may have been a rocky year for politics in the UK but that hasn’t stopped hi-fi manufacturers from creating some spectacular pieces of kit to help us hear more of our music and thus gain even greater enjoyment from the most transcendent of artforms. Vinyl continues to grow in popularity with ever more albums […]


There are a few cartridge companies that have mastered their microscopic art so well that they not only produce moving coils and moving magnet designs under their own name but do so for other brands as well. This so-called OEM (original equipment manufacturer) model exists elsewhere in hi-fi of course but rarely does it apply […]


Touraj Moghaddam has been creating extraordinary hi-fi equipment for decades but is undoubtedly best known for his work on turntable design, initially at Roksan with such legendary products as the Xerxes and TMS3 to his credit and latterly at his most recent venture, Vertere Acoustics. I have had the pleasure of meeting him a few […]

Rega Planar 10 review

Rega Planar 10 turntable and arm Five years before the Rega Planar 10 Rega launched the RP10, a turntable based on the innovations developed for Rega’s cost no object Naiad. The RP10 moved the goal posts, it redefined what a turntable that cost less than a car could do and I have been enjoying my vinyl […]


Cartridge design has changed very little over the years. There have been some differences in the generator unit itself, but most still revolve around the ‘wiggle a magnet inside an electrical coil’ (or vice versa) principle. As with anything, exotic materials can be employed, and in some cases the magnetic field is created using field […]


Do you ever have one of those ‘am I imaging this?’ moments when listening to hi-fi? It happens to me sometimes, at which point I invite an innocent civilian to listen and tell me what they think. Usually it is my very patient wife who is nearest to hand, and so it was that she […]

Well Tempered Amadeus 254 GT

Turntable design has always been open to new ideas, the variety of approaches to the apparently straightforward process of measuring modulations in a groove is quite extraordinary. And one of the more left field approaches is that taken by American designer Bill Firebaugh, creator of the Well Tempered turntable, a design that’s been around since […]

BEST OF 2018

This has been a great year for new hi-fi, so good that our list has once again expanded so we can include all the best pieces of kit. We have had to make some tough decisions, all of the products chosen by the ear’s reviewers have made a very strong, positive impression both at the […]


What do you do after you have set up a vinyl mastering studio using vintage hardware and established its credentials with some truly great sounding records. If you’re Darrel Sheinman founder of Gearbox you decide to make a turntable using the brand that’s been so carefully nurtured. And not just any turntable, the Gearbox Automatic combines technology […]

Planar 8 main

A few years ago Rega set out to build the ultimate turntable, they looked at completely new ways to create a plinth with massive stiffness and negligible weight and used technology from F1 and aerospace to create the Naiad, the only cost no object product the company has ever built. The research that was done for […]


It’s about time Rega incorporated a phono stage into its entry level turntable. With the world awash with cheap, flimsy turntables that are more likely to destroy vinyl than do it any justice the market is crying out for easier solutions. Unlike all other forms of music players in the home the turntable is the […]

best products of 2017

It’s been a bumper year for great new products at the Ear, there have been so many that our list has had to be expanded to cope. But fear not these are still the most essential new products to appear in 2017. The first one has not yet been reviewed on the Ear but René […]