ALTAIR -G1-main

I reviewed an Auralic Altair back in May 2017 but that was a rather different beast to the Altair G1 you see on this page. Auralic’s early products were a bit piecemeal when it came to casework with the small curvy Aries looking totally different to the larger but still compact Altair. With the G1 and G2 […]


In a previous review I wrote about the Naim Supernait 3 integrated amplifier, which I thoroughly enjoyed. While it was here I was also lucky enough to have the latest version of Naim’s entry level streamer here as well. I have owned and used a Naim NDX since 2015, I was interested to see and hear whether […]

Tambaqui main

The Mola Mola or ocean sunfish is quite a substantial beast that can weigh up to a tonne and looks a bit odd. A Tambaqui is a large freshwater fish: clearly something aquatic is afoot. What is also clear is that designer Bruno Putzeys and his colleagues have taken their time in getting this brand […]


Hugo TT 2 is Chord Electronics’ next-generation table-top (TT) DAC/headphone amplifier, the 2 indicating it that has undergone extensive upgrades to bring it within touching distance of the company’s flagship DAVE DAC at a fraction of the price. The £3,995 TT 2 advances the original Hugo TT in several areas. Available in silver or black, the exquisitely contoured 235mm […]


One of my very first reviews for the Ear, almost a year ago, was of the YBA Passion IA350 integrated amplifier and the matching CD430 disc player. I was very impressed with them and so when the UK distributor asked if I would like to hear the most recent Heritage amplifier, the A200, it was a pleasure […]


With the rise of online music services, the demand for high-quality digital to analogue converters is increasing. The use of Tidal, Qobuz and Spotify streaming services as an addition to home music collections has become indispensable. It’s only logical that a company like PrimaLuna should releases a DAC. An earlier version in the form of […]


To describe the Norwegian-conceived Hegel H190 as merely an integrated amplifier does it a disservice. Successor to the award-winning H160 it benefits from company founder Bent Holter’s refined SoundEngine2, first seen in the more powerful H360 model and boasting ten-times lower distortion than the first-generation. Added to this the unit’s onboard streaming ability (Tidal, Spotify, […]


Recently I seem to have had a lot of contact with Italian audio components and the latest to grace my equipment rack is the Norma HS-IPA1. Packed into its diminutive case work there is a solid state amplifier, a phono stage, a headphone amplifier and a DAC, which is really quite remarkable. Norma is based […]


BorderPatrol DAC SE digital to analogue converter BorderPatrol is a small company whose proprietor Gary Dews started out working with Audio Innovations (which became Audio Note UK), so you won’t be surprised to learn that its speciality is tube electronics. Gary was originally based near Brighton in the UK but moved to Maryland in the […]

MSB Discrete DAC

It’s been a while since I lived with an MSB DAC, but I have very happy memories of those occasions when one was left in my care in the past. The company has always been at the leading edge of digital technology with several firsts to its name and some very ambitious products in its […]


It’s been more than 20 years since I last had the pleasure of unpacking a new piece of hi-fi kit for review. And a lot has changed during that time. For instance, even the actual act of unboxing seems to have become an entertainment itself, given the number of YouTube videos out there that have […]


The only reason that CD still has a place in the hearts of sound connoisseurs is that they have so many discs and streaming systems add a layer of complexity that seems intimidating to the uninitiated.In practice setting up a streaming system is very straightforward especially if you have any form of network at home, […]