Group Tests


€700-€2,000 Loudspeaker cables.

€700-€2,000 Loudspeaker cables.

A quite representative selection of high quality loudspeaker cables, including models from Synergistic, Furutech, Cardas, Kimber, Siltech and Atlas.


€1,000-€2,000 floorstanding loudspeakers.

€1,000-€2,000 floorstanding loudspeakers.

This is a very interesting price range, and the test includes products from Quadral, PMC, Quad, Audio Physic and JBL among others.


The up to €3,000 system

The up to €3,000 system

Six very different systems from about €500 up to €3,000.


Pre/Power Amplifier pairs.

Pre/Power Amplifier pairs.

Preamplifier/power amplifier systems with a price range between €2,000 and €4,400, including solid state, hybrid and pure tube designs from companies such as NAD, Quad, Parasound and Tsakiridis Devices.


S/PDIF cables.

S/PDIF cables.

Thirty cables, designed to transfer digital signals according to S/PDIF protocol with a price tag between € and €1,000 were measured, listened through and recorded.


Phono Preamplifiers.

Phono Preamplifiers.

Fourteen phono preamplifiers in a price range between €400 and €2,000.


Turntable/cartridge Sets.

Turntable/cartridge Sets.

Includes some very well-known names, like Dual, Thorens, Rega, Pro-Ject and Clearaudio.


Bookshelf Loudspeakers.

Bookshelf Loudspeakers.

Small loudspeakers are good for small spaces and for medium -to - small listening distance. This test involve ten pairs, from manufacturers like Leema, ProAc, Aliante, ATC and Audio Spectrum.


Integrated Amplifiers.

Integrated Amplifiers.

Eleven integrated amplifiers including the Cambridge Audio 840A, Harman/Kardon HK990, NAD C375, Naim Audio Nait XS, Red Wine Audio Signature 30.2 and XTZ Class 100D3.


D/A Converters.

D/A Converters.

Thirteen digital to analog converters including Cambridge Audio DacMagic, YBA WD202, Benchmark DAC 1 HDR, Bryston BDA-1, Naim Audio DAC and North Star USB dac32.


Top Stories

LAB12 melto2, Phono preamplifier
Review: LAB12 melto2, Phono preamplifier

It is true that we expected a review sample of the melto2 phono preamplifier rather impatiently but we had good reasons to do so. LAB12 has proven to master the art of the well-balanced design, one where technical excellence is in line with true flexibility. Here are our impressions …


Review: Thixar Silence Plus/Thixar Eliminator, Platform/Damper
Review: Thixar Silence Plus/Thixar Eliminator.

The effective support of audio equipment and its successful isolation from environmental vibrations is a fixed target for which various methods have been employed, sometimes quite successful and sometimes not so much. Thixar specializes in this area and proposes two different solutions for two different problems. We put them on a test and here are our impressions.


Review: Ideon Audio 3R USB Renaissance, USB Conditioner
Review: Ideon Audio 3R USB Renaissance.

With the 3R USB Renaissance, Ideon Audio attempts to enter a domain that few audio companies have dared to date. Outside the digital audio signal boundaries, where the raw data is located before entering the converter, inside the USB connection. Ideon offers some good ideas and its implementation is more than just ambitious, therefore our experience proved to be quite interesting!


News & Industry Update
SME introduced their new entry level 12A turntable.
SME introduced their new entry level 12A turntable with Model 309 tonearm.

SME recently announced the launch of the Model 12A, an addition to the range of their precision turntables, mirroring the exact standards and engineering excellence of the senior models and aiming to deliver a pleasing detailed sound balance that encourages fresh exploration of any record collection.


Grimm Audio unveiled the MU1 music player.
Grimm Audio unveiled the MU1 music player.

The company announced the perfect companion for their LS1 loudspeaker system, the MU1 music player, a full fledged digital source capable for up- and downsampling, standard and high resolution network streaming, which also includes a FM receiver!


Wharfedale introduced new version of the Linton iconic loudspeaker.
Wharfedale introduced new version of the Linton iconic loudspeaker.

The Linton represents one of the most iconic models in the long history of Wharfedale loudspeakers and its new version, under the Heritage series, further exemplifies the company's principles of quality and value for money.


M2Tech introduced the new Marley MkII Headphones Amplifier.
M2Tech introduced the new Marley MkII Headphones Amplifier.

M2Tech revealed the new Marley MkII Headphones Amplifier, designed to encompass a wealth of technological solutions in the compact, yet stylish Rockstars Series case which fits every style of furniture thanks to its essential lines and minimal design.


Teac announced a new high performance integrated amplifier.
Teac announced a new high performance integrated amplifier.

The AX-505 is a stereo integrated amplifier that delivers 115W+115W of output power but occupies just an A4-size footprint and can be paired with Teac's latest standalone DAC unit, the UD-505, or the NT-505 USB DAC/Network player.


Salk Sound debuts the affordable, high performance, 3-way SS9.5 floorstander.
Salk Sound debuts the affordable, high performance, 3-way SS9.5 floorstander.

Salk Signature Sound announced the introduction of the SS9.5 luxury high fidelity loudspeaker. Incorporating top shelf components, the newest addition to their product line was auditioned for the first time at the recent AXPONA Hi-Fi show in Chicago.


ELEMENT 114: Merrill Audio announced new power amp based on Ultra-Fast Gallium Nitride (GaN) power transistors.
Merrill Audio announced new power amp based on GaN power transistors.

Merrill Audio applied trickle down technology from the award winning ELEMENT 118 and ELEMENT 116 monoblock power amplifiers released last year and introduced the ELEMENT 114 stereo power amplifier, a design based on zero feedback topology and GaN transistors to offer zero dead time and bottomless noise floor.


The search for ultimate sound: Sonarworks launches User-Driven Research Project for Sonic Personalization.
Sonarworks launches User-Driven Research Project for Sonic Personalization.

Sonarworks, the European sound calibration software developers, have just announced the launch of a public research project designed to fine-tune the calibration of their award winning apps for individual listener preference.


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Equipment Reviews...
Review: Benchmark Media DAC2 HGC/AHB2 Preamp/Power Amp.
Review: Benchmark Media DAC2 HGC/AHB2 Preamp/Power Amp.

Based on a very interesting set of ideas, with a long history but few examples of a practical application, the Benchmark AHB2 could serve as a convincing example of what the future of power amplifiers can be. Combine it with a renowned D/A Converter like the DAC2 HGC, and what you have is a top quality system from which only the loudspeakers are missing!


Review: ATC SCM 19 Loudspeaker.
Review: ATC SCM 19 Loudspeaker.

SCM19, ATC's entry level "Hi-Fi" series top stand-mount model, proved to be one of the best compact loudspeakers you can buy in this price range, especially if what you are looking for is some real high fidelity behavior. How did they manage this? Read the review to find out…


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