Category Archives: Decent Audio

“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.”

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

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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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“Magnificent control”: Hi-Fi News reviews Audio Analogue’s Maestro Anniversary integrated amplifier

“When you have something to celebrate, it’s worth doing it in style,” writes James Parker in the May issue of Hi-Fi News, referring to Italian amplifier specialist Audio Analogue’s two ‘Anniversary’ models to mark the brand’s two decades in the business.

Having previously been impressed by the Puccini Anniversary, the magazine’s review team now turns its attention to the Maestro Anniversary. At “twice the size and double the power” of the Puccini, will the Maestro be “doubly entertaining?”
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“So much to like”: Raidho’s XT-1 standmount loudspeaker is a Hi-Fi News Editor’s Choice

Raidho’s X-series of loudspeakers speakers have been joined by the new XT-series, featuring enhanced titanium-covered drivers. The new XT-1 is the series’ entry-level mini-monitor. Nick Tate takes it for a spin in the April issue of Hi-Fi News.
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Clearaudio, Kronos & Transfiguration among top ‘tables & cartridges in The Absolute Sound Editors’ Choice Awards 2017

Further highlights from US-based hi-fi magazine The Absolute Sound’s prestigious Editors’ Choice Awards for 2017, this time focusing on all things vinyl-grooving. From turntables to cartridges, Editor-in-Chief Robert Harley and his team of expert reviewers offer their top product recommendations from across the world of hi-fi.
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Magnepan, Raidho, Gamut, Larsen & Riva loudspeakers collect multiple Editors’ Choice Awards from The Absolute Sound

US-based hi-fi magazine The Absolute Sound has just published its prestigious Editors’ Choice Awards for 2017.

Editor-in-Chief Robert Harley and his team of expert audiophile reviewers offer their top product recommendations from across the world of all things audio, along with mini-reviews of each award-winning product. First up, loudspeakers….
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“An almost holographic listening experience”: Hi-Fi Plus reviews Magnepan’s Magneplanar .7 loudspeaker

Eric Neff lives within just three hours of Magnepan’s Minnesota factory, yet has harboured an unrequited goal to listen to a pair of ‘Maggies’ (as they’re known to their many devotees) for a full 30 years.

So imagine Neff’s delight when he got the call from Hi-Fi Plus to review the ‘baby’ of the range, the .7 – and when, noting his promixity, Magnepan invited him over for a full factory tour….
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Timestep EVOke turntable and Transfiguration Proteus cartridge bag Hi-Fi World Product of the Year Awards 2016

It’s been a good end-of-the-year for both the Timestep EVOke turntable and the Transfiguration Proteus MC phono cartridge. The former has just featured in The Vinyl Factory’s 15 Best Turntables of 2016, while the latter was recently put through its paces by Jason Kennedy for Hi-Fi Plus and earned a glowing review.

Once again, these two high performers have been honoured by audiophiles-in-the know, this time by the discerning team of buffs at Hi-Fi World magazine.

Each year the magazine’s expert review team tests hundreds of the world’s finest hi-fi products to tease out the best from the rest. “Inevitably, some shine just a little brighter than others – be it for sheer sound quality, great innovation or simply outstanding value for money.” Those bright-shiners are the 11 gems that you’ll find in this year’s Hi-Fi World Product of the Year Awards.

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Audio Analogue extends its ‘Anniversary’ line with the new Maestro Anniversary zero feedback integrated amplifier

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Last year Audio Analogue celebrated its twentieth birthday with a new, contemporary edition of the company’s first ever product, the Puccini integrated amplifier. Now, the Italian brand has given another of its much-loved classics the ‘Anniversary’ treatment: the once-flagship Maestro.

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