Wharfedale XP series

Wharfedale’s XP range surfaced in autumn 1975 – and went on to earn the company a great deal of respect, because each model had a pleasing tone, was well made and styled in an attractive way. It was hugely successful,

Wharfedale XP series

Wharfedale’s XP range surfaced in autumn 1975 – and went on to earn the company a great deal of respect, because each model had a pleasing tone, was well made and styled in an attractive way. It was hugely successful,

Icon Audio Stereo 40 mkIII KT88

Launched in 2012 for the princely sum of £1,700, this was a great affordable audiophile valve amplifier. As chief designer David Shaw put it, “the original Stereo 40 was born in 2000, and was at the heart of what we

Icon Audio Stereo 40 mkIII KT88

Launched in 2012 for the princely sum of £1,700, this was a great affordable audiophile valve amplifier. As chief designer David Shaw put it, “the original Stereo 40 was born in 2000, and was at the heart of what we

Wharfedale Chevin XP2

It is 1978 and the pop charts are dominated by the Bee Gees, and the other acts like Tavares and Yvonne Elliman appearing on Robert Stigwood’s magnum opus movie Saturday Night Fever. You are a cash-strapped aspiring audiophile, but can

Wharfedale Chevin XP2

It is 1978 and the pop charts are dominated by the Bee Gees, and the other acts like Tavares and Yvonne Elliman appearing on Robert Stigwood’s magnum opus movie Saturday Night Fever. You are a cash-strapped aspiring audiophile, but can

Realistic Minimus-7

“Little only in size, not in performance”, was how Realistic described its Minimus-7 ‘Metal Cabinet Speaker System” back in 1977. In 2021, it’s still surprisingly capable and relevant, as there have been precious few micro speakers released in the intervening

Realistic Minimus-7

“Little only in size, not in performance”, was how Realistic described its Minimus-7 ‘Metal Cabinet Speaker System” back in 1977. In 2021, it’s still surprisingly capable and relevant, as there have been precious few micro speakers released in the intervening

Monitor Audio Radius 90

Launched in 2014 at £350, Monitor Audio’s Radius 90 is one of my favourite super-small speakers. It measures just 198x125x140mm, weighs 2.1kg and has just 1.5 litres of useable volume inside. At the time of its launch it came in

Monitor Audio Radius 90

Launched in 2014 at £350, Monitor Audio’s Radius 90 is one of my favourite super-small speakers. It measures just 198x125x140mm, weighs 2.1kg and has just 1.5 litres of useable volume inside. At the time of its launch it came in

Christmas Rocks!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…

Christmas Rocks!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…

Naim NAP 250

It’s a long time since Naim Audio Ltd. first started up in a Wiltshire backstreet in 1973, and from that moment on began to win friends and favour. Founder Julian Vereker once explained that he established the company to make

Naim NAP 250

It’s a long time since Naim Audio Ltd. first started up in a Wiltshire backstreet in 1973, and from that moment on began to win friends and favour. Founder Julian Vereker once explained that he established the company to make

Sony SA-S1

Released in the UK in 1995, Sony’s La Scala 1 system cost around £1,500 at the time – although was discounted to a lot less. It comprised the CDP-S1 CD player, an optional MD-S1 MiniDisc recorder, the TC-S1 cassette deck,

Sony SA-S1

Released in the UK in 1995, Sony’s La Scala 1 system cost around £1,500 at the time – although was discounted to a lot less. It comprised the CDP-S1 CD player, an optional MD-S1 MiniDisc recorder, the TC-S1 cassette deck,

B&W Model 802 Series 80

From its inception in 1966, Bowers and Wilkins showed itself to be one of Britain’s great innovating loudspeaker manufacturers. It soon became famous for technologically interesting products, pushing forward the frontiers of design. This was crystallised in 1970 with the

B&W Model 802 Series 80

From its inception in 1966, Bowers and Wilkins showed itself to be one of Britain’s great innovating loudspeaker manufacturers. It soon became famous for technologically interesting products, pushing forward the frontiers of design. This was crystallised in 1970 with the

Sony TA-E86/TA-N86

The golden age of Japanese hi-fi was arguably from 1976 to 1981 – a time when the Yen was drastically undervalued on world markets, allowing Japanese manufacturers to launch products that Western companies simply couldn’t compete with. Although Nipponese hi-fi

Sony TA-E86/TA-N86

The golden age of Japanese hi-fi was arguably from 1976 to 1981 – a time when the Yen was drastically undervalued on world markets, allowing Japanese manufacturers to launch products that Western companies simply couldn’t compete with. Although Nipponese hi-fi

harman/kardon Rabco ST-7

The United States was a vibrant market for turntables, with a number of specialist tonearm manufacturers. One such company was Maryland-based Rabco, which sold its complex SL-8 and SL-8E tangential-tracking tonearms from the late sixties onwards. Powered by two small

harman/kardon Rabco ST-7

The United States was a vibrant market for turntables, with a number of specialist tonearm manufacturers. One such company was Maryland-based Rabco, which sold its complex SL-8 and SL-8E tangential-tracking tonearms from the late sixties onwards. Powered by two small

Marantz CD65II SE

The number of budget, Philips-based Marantz CD players made in the nineteen eighties and nineties is quite overwhelming. Back in the heyday of the silver disc, the market was constantly shifting and Marantz – like everyone else – had to

Marantz CD65II SE

The number of budget, Philips-based Marantz CD players made in the nineteen eighties and nineties is quite overwhelming. Back in the heyday of the silver disc, the market was constantly shifting and Marantz – like everyone else – had to

Mission 771/772

Mission Electronics was launched in 1977, with Farad Azima, his brother Henry and Stan Curtis as founder directors. Yet another exciting new British hi-fi company to come out of ‘Silicon Fen’ around Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire – the UK’s equivalent of California’s

Mission 771/772

Mission Electronics was launched in 1977, with Farad Azima, his brother Henry and Stan Curtis as founder directors. Yet another exciting new British hi-fi company to come out of ‘Silicon Fen’ around Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire – the UK’s equivalent of California’s

Technics SL-1000R

In 1965, Technics was created as the high end hi-fi brand of Panasonic Corporation. The name first appeared on loudspeakers, but was a natural choice for a new transcription turntable designed by Shuichi Obata. Launched in 1970, the ‘Technics by

Technics SL-1000R

In 1965, Technics was created as the high end hi-fi brand of Panasonic Corporation. The name first appeared on loudspeakers, but was a natural choice for a new transcription turntable designed by Shuichi Obata. Launched in 1970, the ‘Technics by

NAD 3155

“Two products in one”, is how NAD described its new 3155 upon its launch in January 1985. “As a preamplifier it matches most separate audiophile preamps in sonic performance and surpasses them in operating flexibility. As a high-current high-headroom power

NAD 3155

“Two products in one”, is how NAD described its new 3155 upon its launch in January 1985. “As a preamplifier it matches most separate audiophile preamps in sonic performance and surpasses them in operating flexibility. As a high-current high-headroom power

Aiwa M-301

“Refined to the essence of hi-fi perfection”, or so said Aiwa’s 1980 brochure for its M-301 microsystem. “The 35 Watt System: Refinement. Ingenuity. Performance”, it continued. It’s easy to laugh at the marketing hype, but look beyond this and it’s

Aiwa M-301

“Refined to the essence of hi-fi perfection”, or so said Aiwa’s 1980 brochure for its M-301 microsystem. “The 35 Watt System: Refinement. Ingenuity. Performance”, it continued. It’s easy to laugh at the marketing hype, but look beyond this and it’s

Audiolab 8300CDQ

Although just a hundred or so pounds more than its 8200 predecessor, the 2019 8300CDQ was slicker and more sophisticated in terms of build, finish and functionality – and sported something Audiolab believed to be a worthwhile new feature –

Audiolab 8300CDQ

Although just a hundred or so pounds more than its 8200 predecessor, the 2019 8300CDQ was slicker and more sophisticated in terms of build, finish and functionality – and sported something Audiolab believed to be a worthwhile new feature –

Musical Fidelity A100

The Musical Fidelity A1 design story is well told now. Tim de Paravicini takes it up. “I try to be inventive, I don’t copy people if I can avoid it”, he told me. “The idea started life as a circuit

Musical Fidelity A100

The Musical Fidelity A1 design story is well told now. Tim de Paravicini takes it up. “I try to be inventive, I don’t copy people if I can avoid it”, he told me. “The idea started life as a circuit

/ tape

Sony DTC-A6

Sony quietly dropped its Digital Audio Tape format in 2005, but it had long since been on the critical list. Indeed, the launch of the DTC-A6 in October 1996 saw the last important high end consumer DAT machine to come from

/ tape

Sony DTC-A6

Sony quietly dropped its Digital Audio Tape format in 2005, but it had long since been on the critical list. Indeed, the launch of the DTC-A6 in October 1996 saw the last important high end consumer DAT machine to come from

TDK Tremor S-150

Launched way back in 2001, TDK’s Tremor ‘multimedia loudspeaker system’ (as they used to call these then), was one of the most interesting designs of the decade, in my view. The first-ever speaker systems offered by TDK, a range of three was

TDK Tremor S-150

Launched way back in 2001, TDK’s Tremor ‘multimedia loudspeaker system’ (as they used to call these then), was one of the most interesting designs of the decade, in my view. The first-ever speaker systems offered by TDK, a range of three was