Cables & Accessories

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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 10, 2018  |  0 comments
Designed as a means of keeping your stylus clean, be it on a DS Audio cartridge or something a little more prosaic, the ST-50 comprises a thin sheet of Urethane protected by a smart metal tin. It may look like an unusual way of removing dirt from a stylus, but the principle is simple enough: place the ST-50 on your platter and lower your cartridge on and off the sheet of polymer a few times so that its sticky nature will pull away any unwanted debris from the tip of the stylus. If the polymer starts to look dirty, you can simply rinse it off under a tap, leave it to dry on a clean surface and it will be good to go again. As well as looking smart, the housing tin does a good job of keeping the polymer free from collecting debris when it’s not in use.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
For those that like a solid silver tonearm cable, the Silver Melody 1. 5 is screened and fitted with a quality carbon fibre-finished connector as standard or with a 90° connector as an alternative option. At the amplifier end it is terminated with KLEI Absolute Silver Harmony RCA plugs (HFC 391), which have a solid silver earth connection and a thick silver plating on the signal pin.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
Made from 3 x 14 AWG high-purity multi-strand copper conductors with a parallel conductor layout, the Shawline has PVC internal and external insulation along with a high mechanical damping factor. Surrounding the conductors is a dual-layer high-frequency braid and foil combination shield. The cable is finished off with an elegant grey high-density vibration-damping outer jacket. The supply end is terminated with a 13A UK mains plug fitted with a 13A fuse and a 13 or 16A IEC plug at the other end.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
Reluctant to share details about the materials used in its cables, one thing Tellurium Q can share with us about the Black Waveform is that it is developed from the previous Waveform range of cables, with improved shielding and what it calls “other interesting developments” designed to aid its digital signal carrying capabilities. It can be supplied with BNC or RCA connectors at either one or both ends. Sound quality Using my PrimaLuna ProLogue Eight Mk. 2 CD player as a source and my Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 V2 (HFC 393) acting as an external DAC, I position the interconnect between the corresponding coaxial digital connections.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
Measuring only 127 x 32 x 89mm (WxHxD), the Magni 3 is designed for use with a wide range of dynamic headphones, including in-ear and planar magnetic designs. Its power output claims to deliver up to 2000mW RMS continuous into 32ohm, with both channels driven. Eschewing low-cost op-amps, the high-speed, DC-coupled, current-feedback design with switchable gain instead opts to use discrete components and bipolar semiconductors throughout.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
We’ve seen several audio interconnects from cable newcomer True Signal Audio Cables, but this is the Hertfordshire-based company’s flagship design. It uses a three-core silver stranded coaxial cable that employs an ePTFE (expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene) dielectric designed to secure the phase stability of the signal over a wide temperature range. As with the company’s other cables, it has a directional signal flow, which is indicated by arrows that are printed on the heatshrink fitted over the RCA phonos. The two silver-plated shields consist of a helical foil and a woven braid and are terminated in high-quality RCA phono plugs, but XLR connectors are also available.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
Once you have paid careful attention to your mains supply, interconnect cables and equipment support, it is all too easy to overlook one of the biggest influences in the audio chain – the listening room itself. There are a variety of different issues to consider, ranging from reverberations, rattles and other unwanted sounds that can influence the performance of your room. Spurious noises are relatively easy to identify and deal with, but when it comes to room parameters, it’s helpful to have some specialised equipment to identify problems so they can be addressed effectively. Room parameters include the natural peaks and troughs in sound caused by the room’s Eigentones or standing waves or how it responds to resonances and impulses.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 05, 2018  |  0 comments
As the latest addition to a range of stereo interconnects from Atlas, the Equator Integra makes use of the same OCC copper conductors that are used with its higher-end cables. The central conductor is insulated with a PEF (foamed polyethylene) dielectric and is double screened to minimise RFI. The white pearlescent sheath makes the cable quite chunky, but reasonably flexible.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 04, 2018  |  0 comments
Another day, another newcomer to the UK audio cable market. German company Viablue’s SC-4 mid-range speaker cable is formed from a combination of silver-plated strands for the high frequencies and tin-plated ones for the lower frequencies. Within each cable are four leads (two for the signal and two for the return) consisting of seven wrapped bundles of oxygen-free copper wire. The cable is sheathed in a ‘cobra’ satin matt sleeve to protect it and at each end are vibration-absorbing splitters to separate the two connections.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 12, 2018  |  0 comments
Using a poor-quality USB cable to connect a computer to a DAC can result in effects that will interfere with the quality of the audio signal that’s transmitted. These unwanted effects manifest themselves as errors in the digital data stream, which the DAC has to correct and can introduce jitter and other issues that can degrade the audio signal. What’s in a name? The Blue USB cable is the baby brother of TQ’s Black USB cable, which employs a special blend of materials for both the conductors and insulators and aims to minimise phase distortion. We reviewed the original back in 2014 (HFC 383), but the construction has been “tweaked” despite the name staying the same.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 12, 2018  |  0 comments
Produced from two inner conductors of tinned oxygen-free copper with a quoted maximum level of 0. 001 percent oxygen, each conductor here consists of 19 single strands of wire and is insulated with polyethylene insulation. Two twisted PVC insulators are also included and used as fillers in the construction. The cable is screened by four shields that Viablue calls ‘Quattro Silver’.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 30, 2017  |  0 comments
If you are looking to introduce mains conditioning to your hi-fi system, something that can prove immediately off putting is that many devices simply can’t accommodate all the different components in a well-specified setup. If you have a turntable, external phono stage and then music streaming networking hardware plus amplification needs to manage, four or even six-way socket distribution systems just aren’t going to be sufficient. IsoTek has taken this on board and its Evo3 Corvus has nine sockets and the power handling capacity to accommodate some fairly substantial setups. As part of its entry-level range, the Evo3 Corvus is designed to counter Common Mode and Differential Mode mains noise as well as RFI.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 28, 2016  |  0 comments
Beneath the tailor-made fabric exterior lies a sophisticated portable speaker designed and built by Danish manufacturer Vifa. If the brand name sounds familiar that’s because it’s been around since 1933 and is perhaps better-known in hi-fi circles for its well-regarded drive units, which have been found in plenty of big-name hi-fi loudspeaker designs over the years. In more recent times the company has embarked on its own line of speakers, and the Oslo is the fourth model to be added to its Nordic range of portable wireless models. It’s an elegant one-piece design with the logo neatly embedded into the top of the solid aluminium handle, while embroidered up and down volume keys on the custom-made fabric cover produced by Danish textile designers Kvadrat give it a style that makes it stand out from the crowd.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 21, 2016  |  0 comments
I own an iPhone but it can’t store half of my digitised music collection or play any of my hi-res DSD, FLAC and ALAC music. I could use a workaround app but I’d need to carry an external DAC and a mains charger to replenish the phone’s battery, which is rapidly drained when playing hi-res music. All this is reason enough to own a separate Digital Audio Player (DAP), never mind the fact that devices like the XDP-100R are built from the ground up. Pioneer’s first hi-res DAP is compatible with just about every hi-res audio format on the planet including DSD 11.