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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 17, 2018  |  0 comments
Kent-based digital audio specialist Chord Electronics has introduced its Hugo M Scaler. Billed as an advanced standalone upscaler, it is capable of redefining CD digital audio up to 705. 6kHz (that’s 16x CD’s 44. 1kHz native resolution), ready to be passed on to a suitable DAC via dual BNC.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 14, 2018  |  0 comments
US-based loudspeaker firm Klipsch introduces two Heritage headphone components. The £1,300 HP-3 semi open-back headphone employs 52mm biodynamic drivers and is hand built using contrasting materials, including die-cast steel, milled wood, premium-grade leather and machined aluminium. It comes with 1. 4m and 2.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 13, 2018  |  0 comments
Late summer is the time of year that Worthing-based Bowers & Wilkins likes to make announcements about changes to its loudspeaker lineup, and this year is no exception. In last year's October issue (HFC 428) we brought news of the then all-new, mid-priced 700 Series that replaced the company's long-running CM Series. Fast forward 12 months and summer 2018 sees another announcement, this time with the unveiling of the sixth iteration to its 600 Series entry-point range. The updated seven-strong loudspeaker range has adopted a similar model-naming structure to align it with 700 and 800 Series offerings.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 13, 2018  |  0 comments
Time for two-channel Having mastered multi-channel with its receivers and processors, AV specialist Anthem Electronics is finally making the move into two-channel, launching stereo amps, preamps and integrateds featuring its room calibration tool. See for yourself in this short video. Spot the difference Just how big an audiophile do you thinkyou are? Can you differentiate between uncompressed audio and a plain old MP3 file? This test plays three audio samples of six different tracks to tell if your ears have the skills to spot the difference. Click here to give it a go.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 12, 2018  |  0 comments
I am sure many readers will have fond memories of putting together their first hi-fi separates systems, based on thumbing through hi-fi press review pages of the time in search of the best-sounding components to satisfy their quality audio itch at an affordable price. For me, my first hi-fi setup was an eclectic bunch of components comprised of a Rotel integrated amplifier, Sony CD player and a pair of Tannoy Mercury standmounts. I don’t recall the exact model numbers, but I’ll certainly never forget the lively and engaging sound this beer-budget system delivered and the fun I had playing disc after disc. It’s a long way from my system today, but it set me on the hi-fi path and this month’s bargain standmount Group Test aims to do just that for seekers of high-quality audio.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 27, 2018  |  0 comments
Distributed in the UK through Henley Audio, Reloop HiFi’s TURN 5 (£650), its second turntable outing, claims to be a stylish combination of precision engineering and affordability – which is excellent news for the vinyl fans ready to upgrade an existing deck. Housed in a sturdy industrial-chic chassis, TURN 5 offers a choice of 33, 45 and 78rpm playback at the press of three buttons on the top plate. Equipped with an S-shaped tonearm with removable headshell for easy cartridge changeovers, useful features include an anti-skatedial, adjustable VTA, hydraulic lift system and heavy counterweight. Ready to use out of the box, TURN 5 is supplied with an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge and also comes with a dust cover and shock-absorbing feet.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 24, 2018  |  0 comments
The arrival of a new high-end solid-state amplifier from this renowned US audio brand is a major event and the K-300i is no exception – especially as it’s the most affordable way to taste Krell’s craftsmanship. Available in a choice of stylish black and silver (pictured) finishes, this amp is available in two variants – an analogue-only design (£4,698) with RCA/XLR inputs and a version with added digital inputs and streaming (£5,698). Unsurprisingly, under the stunning minimal-look chassis, there’s a technological feast: for starters, the K-300i incorporates a newly developed amplifier circuit design with the latest version of iBias. The manufacturer boasts that this tech provides the sonic purity of Class A operation without the excessive heat and power consumption that’s associated with it.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 23, 2018  |  0 comments
The Debut series from ELAC made waveson its original release when we reviewed its B6 standmount (HFC 407) and F5 floorstander (HFC 411) in the performance versus value-for-money stakes and the manufacturer has set its sights on doing it again with the Debut 2. 0 collection. Less a reboot and morea complete redesign from the ground up, prices for the 11-strong Debut 2. 0 series featuring MDF cabinets in black ash vinyl finishes range from £250 for a B5.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 22, 2018  |  0 comments
Japanese specialist cartridge manufacturer Hana is taking record producer Phil Spector’s Back To Mono mission statement quite literally with this new niche design. Distributed in the UK by Air Audio, the SL Mono moving-coil cartridge combines relatively low cost (£599) with high performance and is aimed at the vinyl enthusiast hoping to get the best sound out of a monaural record collection. It uses a nude natural diamond Shibata stylus, capable of an impressive frequency response (from 15Hz to 32kHz) and excellent trackability. The cartridge weighs 5g and the body is made from a composite low-resonance plastic material in stylish black.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 21, 2018  |  0 comments
Californian brand Aesthetix’s renowned Saturn series gets a 2018 update with its seven-strong Saturn Eclipse collection of high-end components. Distributed in the UK by Cool Gales in Bath and Hi-Fi Sound in Stockton-on-Tees, prices range from £12,455 each for the Rhea Eclipse all-valve phono stage and the Calypso Eclipse (pictured below) line stage preamp, to the Atlas Eclipse mono power amplifier pair at £31,190. The other components in the collection are the Pandora Eclipse DAC (£14,950), Janus Eclipse full-function preamp and Romulus Eclipse DAC/CD Player (each £16,200) and the Atlas Eclipse power amp (£18,700). According to the manufacturer, enhancements include new StealthCap capacitors for subtle detailing and improved spatial imaging; electrical upgrades; advanced mechanical chassis isolation and sophisticated power supply grounding.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 20, 2018  |  0 comments
Expanding on its Reference II floorstanding loudspeaker, the new RF-7 III – with its distinctive copper-coloured twin mid/bass drivers and horn-loaded tweeter – claims a feast of upgrades and sound enhancements over its predecessor. In selecting the ideal tweeter, the Arkansas-based team settled on a 45mm titanium compression driver withan enhanced phase plug geometry design. By couplingthis new tweeter to a new Tractrix horn formed from compressed rubber to give a circular throat with a square mouth, Klipsch boasts that high frequency response is improved, enhancing the overall dynamics for the most natural sound delivery. Also, each 254mm mid/bass driver utilises a robust aluminium frame for resonance-free performance fitted to the elegant 352 x 1,245 x 454mm (WxHxD) cabinet.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 20, 2018  |  0 comments
Do you know what Roon is? Do you think you need to know? Should you even care? When hi-fi manufacturers launch a new amplifier or loudspeaker, the question immediately turns to its styling, specification and indeed performance. Rarely – if ever – does one ever end up asking: “Why do I need it?”, or “How will owning such a thing make my life better?” The problem for Roon founder Enno Vandermeer is that his product needs a whole lot of explanation before people can take a view about whether they actually want it. “We created an experience that people were missing. The only trouble is, they didn’t know it!”, he says.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 17, 2018  |  0 comments
Question time PS Audio’s CEO and co-founder, Paul McGowan regularly answers reader system queries on his excellent Youtube channel, covering everything from listening off-axis through to cable directionality and system synergy. See for yourself here. Record collector Recognised as the greatest radio DJ of all time, John Peel’s record collection is legendary, consisting of 25,000 LPs and 40,000 singles. And now you can explore it for yourself or check out the Record Box series where famous fans take you on a tour.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 16, 2018  |  0 comments
Recent years have seen British hi-fi company Exposure downsize the dimensions of its electronics with the introduction of its half-width XM series in 2016. Following its considerable success in squeezing its extensive hi-fi know-how into smaller dimensions, the audio component specialist has turned its attention to the top of its lineup and replaced its highly regarded but bulky MCX series pre and power amplifiers with slimline units. The new 5010 series features two products: a preamplifier priced at £2,000 and a mono power amplifier priced at £4,550 per pair and rated at 200W into 8ohm and 370W into 4. At first glance they don't look all that different to the brand’s existing 3010 and 2010 series of audio components, but the new 5010 models are significantly trimmer measuring just 90mm and 115mm tall respectively, and each is a mere 440mm wide and 300mm deep.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Ten years ago, few of us could have predicted the major shift that would take place in the way we consume music and that we’d be able to stream CD-quality and hi-res music files straight into our homes via robust broadband services. To my mind, this is still the stuff of science-fiction fantasy and in a relatively short time, music fans like myself have gone from buying CDs from a high-street record store to streaming content directly to our home music systems with just the tap of a touchscreen. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I purchased any physical digital media, although I know I am listening and discovering more music than ever. Streaming services have undoubtedly revolutionised the way we experience music, and several now offer better-than-CD sound quality, while others are still serving something close to MP3-quality.