192kHz/24-bit FLAC, Acousence ACO-CD-11412 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

These gifted Zurich graduate string players joined forces in 2004: this is their debut recording, produced last July at the University of Arts concert-hall (the booklet PDF includes full technical details). Their musical responses are lightning-fast and in the Haydn ‘Fifths’ Quartet their slow movement is poised, the finale high-spirited. The great Bartók Fourth is exemplary as an abstract realisation (not unlike the Juilliards’), superbly played but with little of the ethnic colouring you hear with the Hungarian Qt [DG]. The sound is as fresh and clean as Swiss air, notwithstanding the resonance of the hall, with richness to the cello and clear decay of notes. There cannot be many 192kHz downloads of the string quartet medium so far, and this one is impressive. See and hear more here. CB

Sound Quality: 90%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Originally recorded for CD, the native rate of this file is 192kHz and string harmonics are clear up to 32kHz. The ultrasonic ‘bump’ does not suggest this is an SACD downsample but the spuriae at 26kHz, 52kHz (etc) are disappointing. PM