Now in it’s seventh year, the unique high-end audio extravaganza that is Hi-Fi Show Live went from strength to strength this year, with its move to a spectacular new venue: the vast but elegant Ascot Grandstand. Exclusive product launches, packed workshops and a raft of superb sonic demonstrations were the name of the game this October.
“Record cleaning only scratches the surface (pun intended),” writes Hi-Fi Plus’ Andrew Harrison. “Every aspect of vinyl replay can come in for scrutiny.” A good part of this comes down to the nature of the technology itself: “dragging a rock through a groove and translating these movements into electrical signals” is naturally prone to errors from rotation, geometry, mechanical movements, the ingress of dust and dirt, etc etc. Thankfully there’s “a vibrant world of vinyl beyond the turntable and the record itself” to help keep everything running smoothly, and Harrison has chosen a selection of some of the best.
As one of the world’s most prolific cartridge designers, A.J. van den Hul never stops inventing and re-inventing. And, since he is also one of the most renowned, a new edition of van den Hul’s top-of-range model is a noteworthy event. Enter the new Colibri XGW Signature Stradivarius.
It’s that time of year again folks… when hi-fi’s greatest hitters from around the globe flock to the world’s largest audio exhibition. Yes music lovers, High End Munich 2018 is almost upon us. So, just before I get packing, here are some of the highlights I’ll be heading for.
The Absolute Sound’s Product
of the Year Awards are the US-based magazine’s the most exclusive and prestigious honours, paying tribute to the very best components of the previous year. The award-winners are an elite bunch, since only one or two products are selected each year in just a handful of product categories.
Continue reading Flagship Magnepan loudspeaker and phono cartridges from DS Audio & van den Hul are The Absolute Sound’s Products of the Year 2017
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.
“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.”
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….
“There’s something almost personal about the MC-ONE Special in terms of its packaging and how its presented,” begins Paul Rigby in his review of van den Hul’s new enhanced edition of their earlier MC-ONE model. “Opening its gold-embossed wooden box container, you will find a hand-written specification list from Arjon van den Hul, who built it, under the lid: I felt like a kid receiving a secret message.”