Archives: Miscellaneous

Boston VR12 Center Channel Speaker Review

Still wary of this industry’s THX sermonizing, I’m at a loss to explain but happy about the proliferation of center-channel speakers that are something other than horizontally-mounted versions of a given manufacturer’s main left-and-right speakers. Weren’t we told time and … Continue reading

Bond For A Day

New York, May 2002. A hi-fi show at the Hilton. Smack in the middle of Linn’s room, a silver Aston-Martin Vanquish. Linn’s public relations officer, Brian Morris, asks me, ‘Ken, would you like to take the Vanquish for a week-end, … Continue reading

Aston Martin Rapide/Bang & Olufsen system

You can just imagine the glee amongst the boffins in Bang & Olufsen Automotive’s R&D Department when the Rapide was announced. Still basking in the glow of the sound system they produced for the astonishing DBS, the designers were asked … Continue reading

B&O Aston-Martin System

It starts with a floor-show, the best ‘party trick’ in audio: the instant you press the power-on button for the sound system in the Aston-Martin DBS, a speaker rises smoothly, slowly and seductively from either end of the dash. If … Continue reading

Valve Views – China ’95

Little did the tube-driven side of me know what was in store when I visited Guangzhou (Canton) in the People’s Republic of China to attend the Guangdong International Radio Music Festival ‘94. This was China’s first mainstream hi-fi show, virtually … Continue reading

Ralph West Obituary

RALPH WEST OBITUARY   Another link to the early years of audio has been broken with the passing of Ralph West, one of the first of the UK’s hi-fi reviewers. Ralph was born in 1912 and studied at Nottingham University … Continue reading

News Items: Onkyo TX-DS989 AV Receiver/Marantz SA-1 SACD Player/NXT Speaker/etc

ONKYO DEFIES OBSOLESCENCE Recognizing that, in our “fast-paced world of digital, where any product you buy is half obsolete when it leaves the store and fully obsolete by the time you unpack it,” Onkyo has launched what it describes as … Continue reading

Quad Takeover

    Quad is no longer the oldest hi-fi company still in the hands of its founders. The 60-year-old company has been sold to the Verity Group, which owns Wharfedale, Mission, Fane Acoustics and Premier Drums. While it’s clear that … Continue reading

Highway Hi-Fi

Whatever the motives – higher profits, safety issues, consumer demand – factory-fitted in-car entertainment has gone “high-end”. It wasn’t always that way: car manufacturers are notorious for treating in-car sound systems as afterthoughts, fitting equipment chosen strictly by cost. They … Continue reading

Burmester Porsche Panamera Sound System

As car assignments go, the brief was unusual: to assess the new Porsche Panamera’s in-car audio system. That’s not to say I ignored the sublime road holding, the comfort, the speed and all of the other virtues associated with the … Continue reading