Audionet ART G2 review

Almost monolithic build, yet inside the ART G2 is subtle and detailed. But could do with more character in its sound Tested at £3150.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The no-nonsense ART G2 lacks personality, but in the best way – few rivals are this humble about music-making


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    Titanic build

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    open, revealing and unshowy sound


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    Some may prefer a more assertive character

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    low-rent remote control

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Aside from kitchen worktop brochures, when do you ever expect to read about granite? Probably not on a website more usually devoted to the glossier, shinier and altogether more alluring aspects of home entertainment. Yet here we go, with a 22kg CD player whose chassis is hewn from said rock.

The ART G2's brushed aluminium fascia and the chunky cover over its top-loading mechanism suggest a certain robustness and durability, but are nothing compared to the sheer solidity of that granite base.

Thanks to its density and utter lack of flexibility, granite has long been popular with engineers seeking a plane of reference, and the stability this chassis provides means the ART G2 provides better isolation than most of the kit racks it'll sit on. That said, the manual, top-loading disc mechanism means it's destined for (sturdy) top shelves.

Inside that substantial cabinet there's a raft of sound-enhancing technology: Intelligent Sampling improves digital-to-analogue conversion and an upsampling system to take CD data up to 192kHz/24-bit resolution before conversion, coaxial and USB inputs allow the digital section to work on data from other sources, too.

Poor recordings get short shrift
The Audionet sings in a clean, detailed, uncoloured voice. Whether scaling the dynamic heights of Prokofiev's Montagues and Capulets, unearthing the barely-there details of Kate Bush's King of the Mountain, or charging through The Go! Team's grubby Junior Kickstart, the ART G2 exhibits the sort of unruffled resolve that's the mark of a great player. This is a self-effacing machine, concerning itself solely with extracting and reproducing every last drop of information from a disc.

As a result, poor recordings get short shrift from the Audionet, and some might prefer a more characterful sound – but for a crisp, unadulterated presentation, it rocks. This is a highly accomplished player, and a great listen.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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