Category Archives: Decent Audio

“What I’d recommend to a friend”: The Audio Beat reviews Scansonic’s MB-1 loudspeaker

Danish Scansonic shares a parent company, Dantax, with the highly covetable loudspeaker brand Raidho and the relationship between the two goes more than skin deep: Scansonic’s flagship HD range is created by Raidho’s design team, promising a raft of ‘Raidho DNA’ but at a considerably more affordable price. The Audio Beat’s Roy Gregory explores how much of that original DNA can be found in the MB-1 standmount model and asks the question, would I recommend it to a friend?
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“Wonderfully eloquent”: Hi-Fi Critic reviews Audio Analogue’s Puccini Anniversary integrated amp

“Inside and out, there is no doubting the quality of construction of the Puccini Anniversary,” writes reviewer Chris Frankland in the latest issue of Hi-Fi Critic. Launched in 2016 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Italian brand Audio Analogue, the Puccini Anniversary is named not after the great composer Giacomo Puccini, but after the product’s designer, Andrea Puccini. But will this zero feedback integrated amplifier be music to Frankland’s ears?

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“Truly excellent”: Hi-Fi Plus reviews Riva’s Arena wireless loudspeaker

Riva’s WAND (Wireless Audio Network Design) series of multi-room wireless speakers gives you best-in-class audio with the freedom and flexibility to easily listen to anything you want, however you want and anywhere you want. Hi-Fi Plus editor Alan Sircom runs the Arena model past a discerning pair of audiophile ears in the magazine’s September issue.
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D is for diamond: Transfiguration creates special limited ‘D’ edition of flagship Proteus phono cartridge

PRESS RELEASE

Hand-crafted in Japan by Immutable Music’s Seiji Yoshioka, Transfiguration moving coil (MC) phono cartridges have been hailed as being among the world’s most musically honest. This is no accident, since their design has always been guided by two firm principles: first, to extract the most minute, natural musical detail from a record’s groove and second, to get out of the way. So when it’s said that a Transfiguration cartridge ‘lacks character’, it’s a compliment. Says Yoshioka, “The best audio components are those that simply don’t seem to exist – so good that they add nothing, subtract nothing.”

It’s precisely this quest for ever-more natural musical detail that led Yoshioka to develop a very special, limited edition of Transfiguration’s flagship Proteus cartridge: the new Proteus D.

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“Well-rounded winner”: Nick Tate highly commends Sansonic’s MB-5 loudspeaker in Hi-Fi news

Always coveted the stunning sound of Danish loudspeaker legend Raidho, but lacked the requisite budget? Sister company Scansonic HD shares ‘DNA’ and a designer, Michael Borresen, with the prestigious brand. Nick Tate takes their attractively-priced £5,799 MB-5 for a test drive for Hi-Fi News.

“It’s a hard life being a £6,000 loudspeaker,” says Tate in the introduction to his review. “Competition is tough, both from more budget brands doing their cost-no-object flagships, and high-end marques making entry-level designs. In short, six grand speakers risk being run over from both sides of the road…” So how will the MB-5 hold up?
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“Outstanding” van den Hul DDT II Special MC cartridge wins Hi-Fi Choice group test

In the latest group test by Hi-Fi Choice, six sub-£1,000 moving coil cartridges battle it out to discover which is “the king of spin.” Just nudging in at £999, van den Hul’s most affordable model, the DDT II Special, takes the prize.

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“Surely one of the finest pick-up cartridges around”: Hi-Fi News is struck by van den Hul’s new Crimson XGW Stradivarius

“Sometimes its difficult to enthuse about pick-up cartridges thanks to their workmanlike, matter-of-fact sound,” writes Nick Tate in the July issue of Hi-Fi News. But Tate has no trouble enthusing here. “Within seconds of its stylus hitting the groove, the Crimson XGW Stradivarius sings like a canary…. Suddenly you’re marvelling at the almost supernatural tightness of the syncopation between bass guitar and drum kit, and the soaring lyricism of the lead guitar.”

Continue reading “Surely one of the finest pick-up cartridges around”: Hi-Fi News is struck by van den Hul’s new Crimson XGW Stradivarius

van den Hul releases new ‘Stradivarius’ edition of Crimson phono cartridge (and the name’s no coincidence…)

PRESS RELEASE

Like the violins, violas and cellos crafted by the Stradivari family during the 17th and 18th centuries, almost all of van den Hul’s phono cartridges are personally hand built and tuned by Dutch master cartridge designer Mr A.J. van den Hul himself. But has van den Hul now cracked one of the key secrets of the famous Stradivari sound? The new ‘Stradivarius’ edition of his Crimson phono cartridge would suggest so…. 

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“A whole world of nuance and harmonics”: Hi-Fi Plus reviews Raidho’s D-1.1 standmount loudspeaker

The D-1.1 is the flagship of Swedish loudspeaker brand Raidho’s “small, supremely endowed” standmount range and the latest version of what originally began life as the D1. Chris Thomas puts it to the test in the March issue of Hi-Fi Plus.

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