In partnership with Amazon, Hifi Pig is proud to announce that you can now buy CDs, vinyl recorda.com_logo_RGBs and books without leaving the Hifi Pig website.

If you would like to buy records and CDs then simply follow this link and if you are looking for books about the more technical side of the audiophile hobby or any book with music as the theme then follow this link


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Polish Hifi maverick Lampizator has announced two new products to add to their range of high-end audio products.

Lukasz Fikus, owner ad chief designer had the following to say about the Level 6 “…no compromise, ultimate attempt on Lamp dac 6the state of art in music making. It is not about convenience, not about features and not about specs. It is only about music.”

The level 6 is available only to special order with an estimated waiting time of 4 weeks. Price is €4900 (plus 20% Vat in UK)

The second product announced from Lampizator is the Silk AC filter with 4 outputs and for 230V. There is one CLC filter for each outlet “which not only filters the incoming signal but separates your gear from one another.” Price is €500 plus vat as a kit or €700 plus vat for the assembled unit.


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A public beta version of Naim’s n-Serve for Mac control app is now available to download from the Naim website. This macnew Mac app offers all of the server maintenance functionality of the Windows Naim Desk Top Client alongside the control features available on n-Serve for iOS devices.

n-Serve for Mac allows the user to build and edit playlists, browse by cover art, edit metadata, access server maintenance and configuration settings, browse internet radio stations and save presets, explore a music library by following extended metadata links (e.g. clicking on a performer for a given album shows all the music that performer was involved with)

n-Serve for Mac delivers a “super-fast browsing experience” thanks to locally cached music library data and is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch.

The new platform has also allowed Naim’s software engineers to develop some completely new features exclusive to n-Serve for Mac. These includes a new design native to the Mac user interface, simple drag and drop playlist creation and album art editing, link to Google, Wikipedia and YouTube from directly within the application and radio presets can be linked to a web page to allow fast access to programme information for your favourite station


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3beez, is a new company based in Lafayette, Colorado specializing in the application of computer technology to waxboxhome audio and have announced recently the Wax Music Management System.

The Wax system provides a flexible metadata scheme which makes it effective at cataloguing large music collections, especially those that include music from classical,  jazz, and other challenging genres. Its catalogue is based on musical works, not tracks, so it is easy to survey collections for a desired selection. Users can control the system using a tablet  or  from a desktop system or smartphone.

Where existing solutions limit  metadata mainly to album title, artist and track title, the flexible metadata scheme allows users to decide how best to describe recordings in each genre.

“If  you  have  a  recording  of  the  Tchaikovsky  Violin  Concerto  with  Joshua  Bell  violin, Michael Tilson Thomas conductor, and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra accompanist, who is  the artist?” asks 3beez President, Jeffrey Barish. “With  the Wax system, the user can define metadata fields for the composer, soloist, conductor and orchestra —  or  whatever makes  the  most  sense for  the genre  of  the recording.   For  shows, one could use show, composer, and lyricist; for film music, film and composer.  For the first time, users can decide for themselves what works best for the particular recordings in their collections.”

The Wax Box provides storage using two 1 TB hard disk drives, one for the sound archive and one for backup. It also has an optical disc drive for ripping CDs.

The Wax Box is completely silent.  It features fanless cooling, and the hard disk drive spins up only long enough to transfer sound files to a cache on a solid-state drive.

The system has an analogue output with support for 192 kHz/24-bit audio and also supports  the  use  of  an  external  USB DAC.   The  Wax  Box  supports  all  major  codecs, including FLAC, ALAC, OGG, AAC, and MP3.



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Hifi Pig received a message from Funjoe the founder of Clones Audio in Hong Kong. Clones Audio is a one-man clonesworkshop producing amplifiers which are inspired by the 47labs gain card, so essentially gain clone products.

The story goes that one day Funjoe’s father came along to listen to his 47labs system, liked it and wanted a set for himself and so Funjoe decided to make him one for his birthday.

Funjoe says ” There are many people making the gain clone, but not many of them really get the soul of it. Many of them try to make the gain clones with audiophile parts, I tried it too but I don’t think it is better. Then I tried to do it in the simple way. After many trial and errors I have my own version of the gain clone. A new PCB layout and tiny case to make the signal path more direct.”

“For sure all of the amplifier will hand made by myself to keep the products in highest performance. I would like to sell at an affordable price so that more people can make a first step on the audio journey this wonderful stuff. Also to have my own production is my dream also.”

There are 4 power amplifiers in the range including two monos and two integrated amplifiers as well as a stereo power amplifier starting at $429.


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Schiit Audio have announced its newest products, the $99 Magni headphone amplifier and the $99 Modi USB DAC. SchiitMagni offers a fully discrete design and Modi has an AKM4396 D/A converter and active filter output stage for driving long cable runs.  Both products are made in the USA.

“We’re excited to debut Magni and Modi,” said Jason Stoddard, Schiit’s Co-Founder. “Since our expansion, we’ve been working on seeing how far we can push the price/performance barrier, and Magni and Modi are the result. Combining large-scale production runs with highly automated assembly and efficient chassis design have really paid off.”

Magni delivers 1.2W into 32 ohms, and is capable of driving many orthodynamic headphones, as well as offering >100dB signal to noise for compatibility with many IEMs. It includes a 115V-compatible “wall wart” style power adapter in its $99 price. In addition, its distortion performance is less than 0.004% at 1V out across the audio band, and its output impedance is less than 0.1 ohm.

Modi uses the same CM6631 USB input receiver as Schiit’s USB module, running in USB Audio 1.0 mode for driverless operation at all sample rates from 16/44.1 to 24/96, including 24/88.


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Sixteen years. That’s how long it’s been since Seattle heavyweights Soundgarden have released a studio album! Down on the Upside was the band’s swansong, or so it seemed at the time. No one could have guessed we’d see another album from them, much less with the classic lineup. Can a band who’ve been apart for so long produce an album that’s fresh and exciting and still maintain their signature sound? Well…

The record kicks off strongly with the aptly titled “Been Away For Too Long” and straight away you know it’s Soundgarden, particularly when Chris Cornell’s vocals kick in, as he displays his immediately identifiable wail for all to hear. His singing appears to be as strong as ever, and the band’s recent touring no doubt helped immeasurably to get his vocal chords back in shape. The tour also seems to have given the whole band a chance to refine their musical chops and has helped them to work together cohesively as a unit. More »

Byron Bay’s finest are back with a brand new album. Following on from 2010’s Deep Blue, Atlas has seen a flurry of press releases waxing lyrical about the band being world beaters and the cream of the metalcore crop. That’s all well and good, but does the album live up to expectations? Here’s the verdict…

Metalcore is an extremely tough market to crack. There are countless bands pushing the boundaries of musical possibility and Parkway drive are up against some very stiff competition. Metalcore may be at the zenith of its popularity right now, but, as with any burgeoning genre, that only means that there are ten times as many crap bands as there are good ones.

Parkway Drive, while possessing a distinctly metal approach, have never been influenced by metal to any great degree. Their influence comes primarily from old school US hardcore punk, and this is reflected in their being signed to the legendary punk label Epitaph Records. This seems to have changed slightly in recent times. There are some very “heavy metal” moments on this album. Vocalist Winston McCall still employs his trademark scream, but there are some guttural roars scattered throughout the record which suggests he’s been listening to some pretty brutal death metal of late. There are also some ‘Maiden-esque chanted vocals and twin guitar melodies, which break up the album nicely and prevent it from becoming one dimensional. Continuing the metal theme, drummer Ben Gordon executes some pretty quick double kick flurries and blast beats, so he’s obviously been on the same musical diet as McCall. More »

Let’s get something straight from the outset. Don’t bother with this review if you think Metallica are good, but Slayer are a bit scary. This album is brutal. This is as hard and heavy as it gets. If you’re an adventurous listener or you like your metal extreme and violently frenetic, then read on. If not…skip this one!

This is the fifth album from the Virginian four piece grindcore outfit. Their last was the critically acclaimed Phantom Limb released in 2007 so the band have had five years to hone their sound. In that time they’ve replaced drummer Brian Harvey with Adam Jarvis…and what an addition he is….but more on that later.

Y’know the great thing about this band? They’ve always been a bit “loose”. Perfectionism doesn’t seem to be part of their musical vocabulary. Instrumentally and production-wise they’ve always maintained an air of realism, eschewing studio polish and show off virtuosity, which is very much reflective of their punk roots. Close your eyes while listening and you can easily imagine you’re at a live gig.

Book Burner is a little different. The production still has a wonderfully dirty and raw vibe to it… which to me sounds fucking fantastic! I’m sick to death of over compressed drums, absolutely perfect solos and endless edits by producers hacking and slashing at the audio files like mad butchers until they come up with something that sounds nothing like the original performance. “Oh but it sounds professional”. Big deal. It sounds sterile and machine like. Many metal (and non-metal) bands suffer from this affliction these days. It’s been going on since Robert “Mutt” Lange turned Def Leppard’s Pyromania into something almost totally artificial that the band couldn’t hope to recreate as a unit….and that was in 1983. More »

Tannoy’s Turnberry SE and Stirling SE Prestige range of loudspeakers can now benefit from much needed stands, Tannoy standscourtesy of Reference Fidelity Components (RFC).  RFC have launched what it believes are the world’s first and only truly dedicated stands for the Prestige line loudspeakers.

Paul from RFC commented “Even big floorstanders such as the Tannoys can benefit from being on stands.  RFC’s stands help to ground unwanted resonances and to raise the speaker’s tweeter to ear level for improved detail and clarity.”

They come in a choice of real wood finishes – shown here in solid European Walnut.  The stands are  said to be as hefty as they look and RFC say a great care is taken in timber selection so that they appear as an extension to the main speakers.

Prices  start from £475 depending on timbers selection and size.  Available in European Walnut, American Black Walnut and Sepele.


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Every so often an album comes along that fills a reviewer with equal parts excitement and dread. A work by someone of Young’s musical credentials would seem to be best approached with caution. Critiquing an album by someone so revered in the music industry is a treacherous task. Get it wrong and you’re in for a backlash. Be too scathing and people will attack your lack of respect and reverence for a legend. The safe option is to be generally positive, but even then you run the risk of being unenviably tarred with the brush of obsequiousness.

Judging this album simply on its merits alone is the aim, however one can’t write as if Young’s previous body of work simply didn’t exist. Comparisons must and will be made with other parts of his prodigious output. It’s also necessary to explain how the album fits (or doesn’t fit) in with the landscape of popular music in 2012

Right then, now that that token disclaimer is out of the way, let’s sink our teeth into the album. It’s Young’s 35th studio album and his first original work with Crazy Horse since Greendale in 2003. It’s also his longest (and only double album) to date , spanning two discs (duh) and 87 minutes. There are thee tracks that exceed 15 minutes in length, which is fairly unusual and I can’t remember many instances of such chronological excess being applied since prog rock became a bloated parody of itself in the late ’70s More »

Highly anticipated? A long time coming? Worth the wait? Certainly the first two are true. This is the first album from the Aussie hardcore/hard-rock mainstays since ‘This is This’ over a decade ago! It’s their fifth overall in an incredible career spanning three decades. So…what’s the answer to the third question? Read on to find out…

TMOC have long been stylistically compared to New Yorkers Helmet, perhaps fairly, perhaps unfairly.   Both the bands’ music is rooted in hardcore punk and features polyrhythms, odd meters and stop-start riffage. In certain people’s views, TMOC are somewhat of a poor-man’s antipodean imitation of the latter. This notion is completely apocryphal. The Aussie band were formed a full FIVE years before Helmet, and had long been ripping up the live circuit before Helmet were even a glint in Page Hamilton’s eye. So put that in your Helmet shaped pipes and smoke it!

The album kicks off with “Barkhammer”. And what a kick off it is! A pulsating, swinging chunk of heaviness laced with tricky riffs that spiral around the strange drum patterns as it hammers its way into your brain. And then there’s the chorus. Soaring, ethereal and triumphant! Not normally words you’d associate with TMOC, but John Scott’s melodic wailing of the line “You can’t go back, you can’t go back!” is just a wonderful addition to this song and makes it a brilliant opening number that really whets your appetite for the rest of the forthcoming musical treats. More »

Neatly coinciding with the band’s 50th anniversary, this album is the TWENTY NINTH the band have released in their incredible career! Musical content aside, this album is noteworthy for a number of reasons; it’s the first album of new material they have released in twenty years, it’s the first to feature guitarist and vocalist David Marks since 1963(!) and it’s the first release by the band since the death of Carl Wilson in 1998. It debuted at number two in the US album charts (their best position since 1965) and places them second on the all-time longest span of top 10 albums list at 49 years, just behind the late Frank Sinatra who’s on 52 years.

A great many of you may be wondering why the hell the band would bother releasing an album of new material after they’ve achieved so much over the years. Well, besides the allure of potentially knocking ol’ blue eyes off top spot in the aforementioned list, they are currently embarking on a world tour and new material is usually a precursor to such things. Additionally, someone of Brian Wilson’s ilk is possessed of a perennially creative mind that must have an outlet.   The fact that he is 70 is also no doubt spurring him on to use what time he has left creatively, as he did spend a great many wasted years living as a paranoid, drug addled recluse in his Bel Air mansion. More »

So who’s this dude with the funny name then? Many of you may be wondering just that, but if you’re familiar with ’80s hardcore punks Husker Du or ’90s pseudo grunge act Sugar, then you’ve heard Mr Mould in action. Both groups produced critically acclaimed and hugely influential albums and Bob is certainly one talented man. He’s also been a successful solo artist since the Late ’80s.

So, where’s the 51 year old at musically in 2012?

Silver Age is Mouldy’s 10th solo album, and even when he was a member of Husker Du and Sugar he was pretty much the main man and chief songwriter. So he’s quite well practiced at musically leading from the front.

Riffs. This album is full of them. Chiming, fuzzy, aggressive, melodic, you name it. It’s most definitely a guitar driven work, as are most of his (considerably numerous) musical efforts.   But Silver Age is a little bit different. Certainly comparisons can be made with Sugar’s classic album Copper Blue (which won NME’s album of the year in 1992), but there are several notable improvements (Yeah that’s right IMPROVEMENTS on an album of the year). For one thing the production is better and doesn’t suffer from the jarring high frequencies that afflicted Copper Blue and all but destroyed Husker Du’s otherwise brilliant album Warehouse- Songs and Stories. Yeah thanks for that ya damn compact discs! Higher fidelity my….anyway, that partial digression notwithstanding, Silver Age is a good album. A very good album in fact. More »

Avid Hifi, the UK based high-end hifi manufacturer have announced plans to launch an entry level turntable which will beavid known as the Ingenium.

Full details are scant at the moment but the Ingenium turntable is expected to be available for around half the cost of their Diva II -so around £800.

A solid alluminium bar forms the main chassis allowing for 9″, 12″ or even two tonearm options. A base model will include the Project carbon arm along with 9″ and 12″ SME options. The platter will come straight from the Diva II as will the the sapphire bearing and the sorthobane isolation feet.

It looks an impressive bit of kit and will be available for order very soon.


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Black Rhodium the UK based cable manufacturer has announced the launch of the LIBRA and CRATOS mains power 401010.Libra power cable copy cables.

Both cables have been designed for low ‘Transient Phase Distortion’ by increasing the thickness of the inner insulation to 1.2mm.

“The benefit of thicker insulation is that when two electrical conductors carry an electrical current, the magnetic field produced by the current in one conductor affects the resistance of the other conductor. This is known as the ‘Proximity Effect’. Because the loudspeaker load is reactive, the current and voltage in the speaker cable are not in phase and the modulation effect produces a ‘Transient Phase Distortion’ signal that distorts sound quality. By moving the conductors of LIBRA and CRATOS 2.4mm from each other, the magnetic field (which reduces inversely proportionally to the distance) on the other cable is lowered and the ‘Transient Phase Distortion’ is less audible.”403010. Cratos power cable copy

Libra is suitable for all equipment that requires less than 5 amps of continuous current whilst Cratos is designed for high power amplifiers and power distribution systems and has a continuous current capacity of 15 amps.


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Hot on the heals of the announcement of the BDP-2 Digital music player Bryston announced the introduction of the BP17, analog/digital stereo preamplifier derived from the preamp portion of the B-135 integrated amplifier. The BP17 will be available in December, 2012 with an MSRP of $3550.

The BP17 utilizes a software controlled motorized analog volume dial and integrated balance control, enabling the preamp to be operated remotely while still adhering to fully discrete analog circuits.

The Bryston BP17 can be ordered in four configurations—in its standard form, with an optional moving magnet phono stage, with an internal DAC or with both the DAC and phono stage. The BP17 includes provisions for 6 stereo RCA inputs (4 with DAC option), 1 stereo RCA output, 1 stereo tape loop and a headphone output. The Bryston BR2 remote, made from a machined aluminum block, is available as an option.



Bryston LTD, celebrating 50 years in 2012, has announced the introduction of the BDP-2 digital music player, an enhanced version of the BDP-1 that accommodates larger music libraries with faster load times.

Both the BDP-1 and BDP-2 were designed to give listeners the ability to enjoy their library of high-resolution digital music files (resolutions of up to 24-bit/192kHz are supported) residing on a USB storage device, which in turn is directly connected via standard USB cable or thumb drive to the Bryston digital music player. New to the BDP-2 are six USB 2.0 inputs and upgradability to USB 3.0, future-proofing the device as a long term solution. Additionally, the BDP-2 contains eight times the internal memory and three times the processing speed compared to the BDP-1, which will remain in the Bryston lineup alongside the BDP-2.

“The user interface and sonic qualities of the BDP-2 are identical to the BDP-1,” explained Bryston VP James Tanner. “We have given the BDP-2 NAS and eSATA drive connectivity, UPnP/DNLA client/server support and much more speed for those customers with very large libraries of music files,” Tanner added. “The BDP-2 is the logical step-up product in terms of features and functionality based upon the success we have had with the BDP-1,” Tanner concluded.

The BDP-2 features two RS232 ports for control system connectivity and two Gigabit Ethernet connections, all pointing to a new internal motherboard powered by an Intel® Atom™ processor. The 10A peak power supply in the BDP-2 is more robust than the BDP-1’s power supply to accommodate these changes. The BDP-2 also has accommodations for a user-supplied internal drive. The BDP-2 has an MSRP of $2995 and the BDP-1 remains in the Bryston lineup at $1995. The BDP-2 will become available January, 2013.


This is the tenth studio album from Joe, who most of you will know from his work as lead guitarist in ’70s superstars The Eagles and James Gang. He has also contributed his guitar playing to countless other works by famous artists including The Beach Boys, Steve Winwood and Bob Seger.

Of course Joe is getting on in age these days (he’s 65) so it’s interesting to see where he’s coming from musically, circa 2012.

The first thing that strikes you about this album is the man’s completely honest and self effacing attitude towards himself and his musical ability. In his heyday, Joe was one of the wildest partiers in the rock world, his legendary penchant for substance abuse was equalled only by the likes of Keith Moon, Keith Richards and Jim Morrison. In the rather tame and safe company of his fellow band mates in The Eagles, Joe stood out like a sore thumb. Indeed he used to take a chainsaw with him on tour and would liberally apply it to anything that got in his way including Glen Frey when the tedium of the latter’s golfing anecdotes became too much!

This former craziness is referenced in the lyrics, particularly in the track “One Day At A Time” in which he sincerely berates himself for his outlandish behaviour and he seems genuinely surprised that he is still with us in any form, let alone still lucid and possessed of musical ability! More »

This is album number ten from the Californian industrial metallers (if you count the remix album Remanufacture).   Famed for their impossibly fast percussive sound and innovative technological approach, the band has been around for a long time now, so….are they still at the forefront of tech-metal?

They have forgone an actual drummer altogether on The Industrialist, electing instead to utilize a drum machine for all drum parts. Ostensibly they cite “not wanting to wear out a drummer in the studio” as the reason for this. Ok, I can live with that, although their touring schedule and the fact that they do have a new drummer in their line-up (Mike Heller) suggests that the drum parts could easily have been performed by him on the album. But it wasn’t to be.

This record contains all the FF hallmarks: Super fast drumming (nice job, drum machine), rhythmic chugging guitars, ambient sci-fi soundscapes and vocalist Burton C. Bell roaring and crooning in equal measures. Yeah. So does every other album they’ve ever produced. This work doesn’t add anything meaningful at all to their repertoire. It sounds very much like they’re just going through the motions because they feel they are obliged to do so. More »

After a twenty year hiatus, PiL (Public Image Limited) are back with a brand new studio album. It is the tenth from the band and the first since 1992’s That What Is Not. Most of you will be familiar with front man John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) from his very short stint in seminal British punks The Sex Pistols.  Lydon formed PiL with Keith Levene and Jah Wobble in 1978 and the band’s sound was a dramatic change from that of the ‘Pistols, being much more stark and new wave oriented.

Messrs Levene and Wobble are not present on this release, their shoes being filled by Lu Edmonds, Bruce Smith and Scott Firth. In any case, Lydon IS PiL for all intents and purposes, the project being very much his brainchild.

Kicking off with the title track, Lydon croaks “Lucky you!” and continues to remind us we are in a “PiL zone” throughout this rather unsettling track. This album is not too far removed from the band’s previous work albeit with better production values. It’s a post punk/new wave work that sounds a little out of place circa 2012. Lydon’s vocals are pretty good for the most part and he can undoubtedly sing quite well when the urge takes him. Unfortunately the urge doesn’t take him all that often on this disc and he warbles and shouts obtuse, rather unimaginative lyrics that are bereft of any immediately obvious meaning at us. Research of the lyrical content nets slightly more focus, but lyrics such as “I am John and I am from London”, “It said what? What did it said?” and “This is the room I am in.” don’t exactly ooze poetic creativity. More »

The metal community has been eagerly awaiting the debut album from Primate, a metallic supergroup featuring Kevin Sharp (Brutal Truth) on vocals, Bill Kelliher (Mastodon) and Mike Brennan on guitars, Dave Whitworth on bass and Shayne Huff on drums.

This album is most definitely metal, but it’s not what you might expect. Rather than try to outdo the current crop of prog-core virtuosos in the performance stakes, Primate have obviously been on a steady diet of hardcore punk and classic rock/proto metal. The songs are short and sharp and are overflowing with great riffs and hardcore intensity. Singer Kevin Sharp doesn’t vocalize with quite the guttural roar he employs in Brutal Truth but there are still some throat shreddingly insane shrieks scattered throughout. Like the aforementioned band however, the lyrics are mostly leftist political rants and that ain’t no bad thing in my opinion, particularly as they suit the intense and bilious nature of the music. More »

Hifi Pig is over the moon to announce the latest member of the review team Tom Knight. Tom is an ex journalist now working in the IT world. He’s an advocate of mono and enjoys Lieder as well as baroque and classical chamber, vocal and keyboard music. He studied music at Glasgow University in Scotland.

You can find out more by reading his biog here.