Category Archives: DDPR news & musings

“So different – and so special”: Roy Gregory reviews DS Audio’s DS-W1 optical cartridge for Hi-Fi Plus

While electro-magnetic pick-up technology continues to dominate the vinyl scene, there have always been alternatives or variations on the theme, suggests Roy Gregory, writing in the June 2016 issue of Hi-Fi Plus.

“It’s not too hard to understand why,” he surmises, “gives the all too audible flaws inherent in, and challenges presented by, both moving-magnet and moving-coil designs. Throw in the essential mechanical crudity of the process and it’s hardly surprising that designers and end-users alike crave a more sophisticated and elegant solution.”

The solution under review is Japanese DS Audio’s DS-W1 optical cartridge.

Continue reading “So different – and so special”: Roy Gregory reviews DS Audio’s DS-W1 optical cartridge for Hi-Fi Plus

Riva S Bluetooth loudspeaker: “another winner” & “one of the best” say Hi-Fi Plus & Hi-Fi World

“Portable Bluetooth loudspeakers can be something of a mixed bag,” says Jon Myles, writing in the June 2016 issue of Hi-Fi World. “There’s a delicate balance to be achieved – light and small enough to be carried around, yet sufficiently sturdy in their construction and driver arrangement to make them a rewarding listen.”

The Riva S aims to address both of those challenges head-on. Light and petite out the outside, on the inside it packs seven drivers – three active, firing right, left and forwards, plus four passive bass radiators. It’s an unusual arrangement, designed to deliver a bigger soundstage than might otherwise be expected from its bijou dimensions.

“Yes, it’s compact,” agrees Myles, “but the little Riva S is also rather potent.”
Continue reading Riva S Bluetooth loudspeaker: “another winner” & “one of the best” say Hi-Fi Plus & Hi-Fi World

‘Groovy’ and ‘Deeply Groovy’: The Audiophile Man reviews Transfiguration cartridges

Described as “the world’s most  musically natural phono cartridges,” Japanese Transfiguration have had all three of the models in their small but stunningly crafted range put to the test by reviewer Paul Rigby, aka The Audiophile Man.

Both the top-of-range Proteus and mid-range Phoenix S scored a ‘Groovy’ award, while the lower-priced Axia S earned a ‘Deeply Groovy’.

“In ultimate terms, of course, the company’s Phoenix and Proteus cartridges offer superior sound quality for obvious budget and design reasons but, somehow, with the Axia S, the company has succeeded in hitting a perfect price point/performance blend. Incredibly, then, I see the Axia S as the best Transfiguration cartridge in the range and one of the best designs in its price range currently for sale on the market,” concludes Rigby.

Read The Audiophile Man’s full reviews of the Transfiguration Proteus, Phoenix S and Axia S.

Find out more about Transfiguration cartridges, including details of stockists, from UK distributor Decent Audio.

North West Audio Show 2016: Sunday 26th June

No plans for this coming Sunday? Great! Then you’ll be free to head over to the North West Audio Show 2016.

Now in its third year, the Northwest Audio Show is quickly becoming one of the highlights in the audiophile calendar with great exhibitors, top brands and a superb venue. With free entry and free parking to tempt you northwestwards, spend a day surrounded by the best in audio amid the beautiful settings of Cheshire’s Cranage Hall and Wychwood Park.

Continue reading North West Audio Show 2016: Sunday 26th June

Hi-Fi News celebrates Audio Analogue’s Puccini Anniversary amp

Hi-Fi News June 2016

“What is it with the Italians?” asks James Parker in the latest issue (June 2016) of Hi-Fi News.

“Maybe it’s the connection with great music, but Italian-made audio has always had the ability to set itself apart,” he surmises.

The object of Parker’s affections is, in this case, the recently-launched Puccini Anniversary integrated amplifier from Italian hi-fi brand Audio Analogue. As the name suggests, its creation has been timed to mark a milestone: the twentieth anniversary of both the brand and its first product, the original Puccini amp.

Described as a ‘zero feedback integrated amplifier’, the original Puccini has gone through a number of iterations over the years, but Parker recalls its debut. “What really set the Puccini apart form its competition at the time was the sound: it was almost impossible to provoke the little Italian amp into sounding rough or harsh, and as a result it was soon acclaimed….”

So how does the new Anniversary edition measure up?

HFN Highly Commended“The Anniversary integrated amp not only lives up to its billing but goes beyond it, with an especially impressive dynamic power performance.”

“What is beyond a doubt is that the Puccini Anniversary keeps your speakers under strict control. It uses its power to ensure they start and stop in a precise manner, and thus enhances their ability to image and focus a soundstage, while at the same time keeping rhythm sections as tight as they are rich.”

Sounds good to us! Read the full review in the June 2016 issue of Hi-Fi News.

Find out more and pinpoint your nearest dealer via UK distributor Decent Audio.

Take two front covers: Clearaudio’s flagship and entry-level turntables each hold their own in the April press

Ken Kessler is seriously impressed by Clearaudio’s £111k Statement v2 turntable and TT1 tonearm in the latest issue of Hi-Fi News. Meanwhile over at What Hi-Fi, the £1,000 Clearaudio Concept goes head-to-head with Pro-ject’s 2Xperience SB.

Continue reading Take two front covers: Clearaudio’s flagship and entry-level turntables each hold their own in the April press

Hi-Fi Plus & Hi-Fi World review Riva Turbo X Bluetooth speaker

“What musically satisfying yet highly cost effective choices are available to today’s newcomers to the world of high-performance audio?” asks Chris Martens in the March issue of Hi-Fi Plus.

Pondering the question further, Martens reaches the conclusion that “perhaps the best starter system might not be a traditional system at all, but rather a compact, affordable, yet surprisingly capable single-chassis device such as the Riva Turbo X Bluetooth speaker.”

Continue reading Hi-Fi Plus & Hi-Fi World review Riva Turbo X Bluetooth speaker