AUDIOQUEST'S DEBUT HEADPHONES 'NIGHTHAWK' ARRIVE AT KJ WEST ONE
- 11th August 2015
Most commonly known for their history of cable manufacture, Audioquest have a reputation for creating innovative and well thought out products. Nighthawk is no exception. Audioquest’s UK Sales Manager Toby Allen explained to us ‘We realised that the headphones market has become somewhat saturated in recent years, so we decided that we would only make a pair of headphones if we were able to make some significant changes to what is currently being offered by other manufacturers’.
No matter what industry you are in, there are always a select few people that are able to make a name for themselves as being the best at what they do. In the hi-fi world, when it comes to amplification, Dan D’Agostino is the man.
Dan’s reputation was built by his decades in charge of Krell, which he founded in 1980. Though Krell built a variety of great high-end products including CD players, speakers and even subs, if you ask any audiophile about Krell, they will most likely talk about their amps.
So what makes Krell amps so revered amongst those in the know? In simple terms, it’s the authority that they give. Krell amplifiers are able to control every note from top to bottom, meaning they are able to get the speaker to do exactly what it should be doing. Krell amps keep every note dynamically, positionally and tonally accurate.
So when Dan left Krell in 2009, it came as no surprise to most that he would start his own Dan D’Agostino range off with amplifiers.
The audio industry is changing. Over the last decade the rise of digital music and all-in-one systems has seen a tremendous rise. Though there are still many audiophiles who love developing their home setup and tinkering with different cables and platforms and take great pride in their extensive CD or vinyl collections, there are now a lot of audiophiles who love the idea of a discrete system and a digital music library simply stored on a NAS drive out of sight.
To me, both seem very acceptable points of view, and at KJ we definitely cater to both, as long as the sound quality is still of exceptional quality.
No product in our store highlights this to me more than the Avantgarde Acoustics Zero 1 system. The Zero 1s are active horn speakers with a preamplifier, DAC, 2 x SPDIFs, 1 x Toslink, 1 x AES/EBU and 1 x async USB input. Though the Zero 1s do not have a wireless card, with the addition of an £80 Apple Airport Express (connected via the optical input) you are able to stream via airplay directly to the speakers.
The new Wilson Audio Sabrinas have been here at KJ West One for just over a couple of weeks now. They are, in my opinion, the best looking Wilson speaker to date, with a smooth, simplistic design. We have been running them in since their arrival but I was still yet to really sit down and truly evaluate Sabrina, and most importantly try to answer the question that everybody wants to know about these speakers:
Have they managed to maintain the Wilson Audio sound despite their compact design and lower price point?