Noting some controversy on the web over the sound quality of the dCS Bartok here is a reminder of the HIFICRITIC findings.
by Martin Colloms, First Published HiFi News, June 1978
The last year or so has seen the emergence of a new generation of high-quality open-reel tape decks, of which four are investigated here. As the price span ranges from £500-£600 for the Sony and Revox models to £850 for the Technics and £950 for the basic Pioneer assembly, these units are not strictly comparable, although their relative performances are nonetheless interesting.
All four recorders subscribe to the 'professional' format, namely a 26.5cm diameter maximum reel capacity with at least two high speeds (19 and 38cm/sec), and a two-channel half-track format on 6.25mm (¼in) tape. However, strictly speaking they should be called 'semi-professional', as although they are essentially capable of master quality recordings, they do differ from true studio machines in several respects. For example, the input and output connections of professional machines are generally balanced-line with Cannon or similar type sockets. In contrast, the review models are all unbalanced, with phono and DIN-type inputs and outputs, plus lower line levels.
Preview: HIFICRITIC Vol 14 No2 April-June 2020 issue
I have almost lost count of the 100 or so listening tests recently conducted on network cables and net switches, scrutinised with the aid of an exacting audio system founded on a Naim ND555 streamer with dual PS555DR supplies. With such a task you have to be prepared for a proportion of null results, i.e. no change or no discernible difference, and even these results need repeating just to be sure – as sure as you can be, in that set up, with that state of acuity, with that system, and those chosen track(s).
Historical Review: Martin Colloms April 1993
Tannoy has made steady progress on the studio monitor market over decades. Medium sized monitors are required to have a performance envelope which reaches beyond the capability of most domestic speaker designs. Low coloration, subtlety and transparency may be the provenance of high quality domestic speakers; the professional monitor must be capable of very high standards in terms of dynamics, 'speed', power handling and loudness as well as outright sound quality. Furthermore it must be highly analytical. It does not have to sound 'nice'; rather it must faithfully reveal both flaws and qualities in the monitored signal source.
Historical: 12 December 1991 review of an early CD player by Martin Colloms
The US company conrad johnson are best known for their classic line of high quality valve/tube electronics which includes the long running, true high end 'Premiere' series. However, this company is larger and more active than you might imagine and has other divisions which generate significant home sales such as Motif - these high performance, non valve products, and also Sonographe, a mid priced line. Sonographe includes speakers and turntables in addition to amplifier electronics and of course, the SD22 CD player, latest version from a series which has been in production for several years now.
Preview by Martin Colloms. Review to be published in the January to March 2019 Issue
Our review, to be published 20th February 2019, comprises three pickup cartridges of low output moving coil technology and one moving vane optical from DS Audio. With the light powered DS002, we have the Audio Technica AT-ART1000 ‘direct coil’, the LINN KRYSTAL ‘skeletal’ moving coil, and the Rega Aphelion ‘skeletal’ moving coil, all benchmarked against the magazine's resident Lyra Delos. In a marathon session Colloms and Bryant carried out extended comparisons for these five cartridges.
Interestingly it has been reported that 65 percent of Harman’s $7 billion in sales during the 12 months ended September 30, 2016 concerned cars, this including licensing brands such as Bowers & Wilkins and Bang & Olufsen for vehicle use. Samsung will also gain access to some 8,000 Harman software engineers and designers who have developed advanced automotive software that can monitor driver tiredness. They have developed intelligent control systems incorporating 3D navigation aids and versatile personal entertainment facilities this becoming increasingly important.
Harman has grown considerably in recent years with many acquisitions and the massive portfolio now controls audio and Hi Fi brands including the original Harman Kardon, the 1953 founding brand, AKG, BSS, JBL Professional, Studer, dbx, Soundcraft, Lexicon, DigiTech, Crown, Mark Levinson Audio Systems, Infinity and Revel. There is also a professional solutions division, which includes video switching and control device manufacturer AMX and stage lighting specialist Martin.
November 24, 2016, Armour Group, Woking HQ
A good sprinkling of Europe’s audio press assembled to meet audio design guru Karl Heinz Fink and industrial designer Keiron Dunk, each of whom contributed much to this ambitious new loudspeaker. Keiron wanted to design a floor stander of uncomplicated and modern elegance, finding a way to marry this with team Karl Heinz’ skills in advanced sound and engineering.
Premiered At London Audio Specialist, KJ West One, April 15-16 2016
Audiophile products distributor Absolute Sounds ran a two day series of presentations at the prestigious West End audio store KJ West One, both for press and public. Absolute Sounds audio technology chief Pedro Jorge Luis has been keeping an eye on the more recent developments at ML now that ML Chief Audio Technologist Joe Voijko, a 20 year veteran of the company, has really got his teeth into high end hybrid moving coil /electrostatic loudspeaker design. Two important developments were brought to our attention, the recently introduced, part active Renaissance Series and new to the UK, the massive and purely passive Neolith flagship weighing nearly 400lb each, where most of this mass is down to the bass section!
Martin Colloms has a passion for audio and music and has written for many of the key hi-fi magazines worldwide.