192kHz/24-bit FLAC/ALAC, VIVAT 103 (supplied by www.vivatmusic.com)

Reviewing the CD from Tony Faulkner’s recordings for the new label, Vivat, produced at Stoke d’Abernon’s Menuhin Hall in April 2012 [HFN Sept ’13], I didn’t find space to mention occasional knocking noises, as one or other player caught the body of the instrument. These take on a more realistic, recognisable quality with the high-res download, and the extra £2.00 is more than justified, given the greater spatial focus (in width and depth) and accuracy of string tones. This is the first instalment of a planned complete Beethoven quartet cycle; apt to this early opus, the Allegri keeps expression within the bounds of a Haydn-referenced ambience. Now comprising two women and two men, the Allegri is a later formation than you will find on the Naim Label, eg, their Op.131/Britten coupling. CB

Sound Quality: 75%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Available in resolutions from CD through to 192kHz this download measures and looks [see Graph above] like a genuine 192kHz rendering. Do note however, that there’s little real content beyond what would be captured at 96kHz. PM