After a fairly long and complex design development process, Kevin Halverson delivered another nice surprise only a couple of weeks ago. According to many, consumers prefer having their music played within their homes without too many cables or other wiring involved. That has been possible for some time courtesy of Bluetooth or router-derived (wireless) networks. Which is all good and well, except for one disadvantage becoming a huge deficiency if: a) one happens to be playing music at more advanced level than, for example, the MP3 file format and, b) if sound quality is of some serious importance. Sadly, even the most advanced of the aforementioned methods of wireless data (including audio) transmission, do not offer a satisfactory sonic result at all.
Thankfully, the new HRT AirStreamer moves the boundaries of possible to a far higher altitude and virtually equals the sound quality possible until now only through a cable (Ethernet) interface between the host and the playback system. All wireless circuits within the AirStreamer have been optimised specifically for a high-resolution audio (i.e.music) data transmission, rather than anything or everything else. Further, the AirStreamer does not use or rely any usual type of wireless network (between a router and the host), but operates within it's own local network, independently from all else. And that is why music transmitted via the new AirStreamer sounds substantially better than what you would have heard so far in a wireless transfer application. Each AirStreamer package consists of a master and slave transmission unit (the latter incorporating a high quality DAC and output stage), all necessary cables and a compact power supply (for the slave unit). This fascinating new HRT product is shipping now and the UK retail price has been set at £249 inc VAT.


After the immediate success of the Parsec interconnect, Cardas Audio have just released the accompanying speaker cable and the digital coaxial (75 Ohm) interconnect variants of the same design. Attractive pricing has been retained for the new members of the Parsec family, too. A 1m set of the Parsec Digital (RCA or BNC interface) retails at £119 inc VAT and a 3m stereo set of the Parsec Speaker cable has a retail price of £619 inc VAT. Both products are shipping and available.


Recognising the essence of flexibility offered by multiple equalisation curves that vastly improve the analogue replay from LPs (depending on the record label), Milan Karan joined a small number of designers who provide such an essential fine tuning ability to their phono stages. The new Karan Acoustics Phono Ref preamplifier is a state-of-the-art dual mono phono stage with a number of interesting and new solutions. To start with, the package consists of three (3) completely separate phono preamplifiers, three (3) completely separate anf very generous generous power supplies (one for each of the preamplifiers). In short, not 3 inputs shared by a selector switch while using the same (one and only) preamplifier/power supply circuit, but 3 (three) complete preamplifiers sharing only the two chassis enclosures and a single mains (power) cable. Karan Acoustics Phono Ref has comprehensive internal adjustments for gain, loading and capacitance (for MM cartridges), while external controls include input selection (non-inverted and inverted polarity), five different equalisation options and a most useful mute function for the main outputs. All inputs and outputs are both single-ended (RCA) and balanced (XLR) as all Karan designs happen to be truly differential (balanced). Brief experience since the receipt of our first sample showed very quickly a huge potential and superb sonic virtues without even giving the product enough hours of activity to stabilise and reach it's very best within our reference audio system. The new Karan Acoustics Phono Ref preamplifier is available and the UK retail price is £14,995 inc VAT.

:: ERNST BENZ 1932-2014

On the 5th July 2014 the world has lost a gifted inventor, innovator and one of the engineering luminaries. Ernst Benz passed away at the age of 82 at his home in Switzerland.
We have been privileged to have known Ernst Benz since the mid-80s of the past century. His Empire Scientific brand of high-end moving coil phono cartridges was one of the two very first product lines we were entrusted with into our (young and not established) brand portfolio for the UK market. As was the case almost 30 years ago, Benz's (later to be renamed Benz-Micro), moving-coil cartridge designs, loyally and wonderfully maintained, further improved and perfected by his good friend Albert Lukaschek to this day, remain unperturbed at the very pinnacle analogue LP playback sound solutions.

Our long standing, undivided support and endorsement of Benz-Micro products is our minute and humble recognition of what many music lovers and audiophiles around the world can be grateful to Ernst Benz for.


HRT Music Streamer III USB DAC Hifi+ July 2014
HRT Music Streamer III USB DAC Positive Feedback
Karan Acoustics KA M 2000 Mono Amplifier 6Moons May 2014
Cardas EM5813 Model 1 EarSpeakers SoundstageExperience
conrad-johnson MF2550SE amplifier Hifi+ June 2014

High Resolution Technologies AirStreamer
High Resolution Technologies
Cardas Audio Parsec
Cardas Audio
Karan Acoustics Phono Ref
Karan Acoustics
Phono Ref
Ernst Benz
Ernst Benz
Positive feedback MusicStreamer III 6 Moons KAM 2000 Soundstage Cardas Earspeaker
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