LATEST ADDITIONS

Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2011  |  0 comments
A star is born Jimmy Hughes believes Shanling’s latest CD player gets closer to SACD performance levels than anything comparable on the market Shanling’s new CD-T2000 shares the stunning aesthetic of the former CD-T1500, but, although superficially similar, the two players are, in fact, quite different. The CD-T2000 is a Red Book CD player constructed around a highquality Sanyo HD-850 transport. It also features a Burr-Brown PCM 1792 24-bit/192kHz upsampling DAC. It has a genuine tube output stage, but no solid-state analogue output.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 29, 2011  |  0 comments
Denon gets on stream Denon has entered the network audio player market with an inexpensive, iPod-friendly player. Malcolm Steward streams his tunes The Denon DNP-720AE is quite a late arrival at the network player party, but it compensates for its tardiness by bringing with it a genuinely useful gift: Apple Airplay, to cater for those who keep their music library in iTunes and that is an extraordinarily large group of people. Despite the number of services and features it offers, the appearance of the player is delightfully simple. The fascia contains only an on/off button, a push button for input selection, a rotary cursor control, which will be familiar to iPod users, and a centrally mounted, three-line, Organic Electroluminescence Display.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 29, 2011  |  0 comments
Olive branch Olive’s new flagship hard-disk player brings huge storage and simple ease of use to the masses. Malcolm Steward listens in The 06HD is the current flagship model in the Olive range of hard-disk music servers. The enclosure is rather idiosyncratic: it is trapezoidal with the CD-drive loader (along with the headphone socket and volume control) mounted on the front, while the sloping top holds all the control buttons and an impressive 10-inch colour touchscreen. This precludes stacking the device or placing it on anything but the top shelf of an equipment rack.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 29, 2011  |  0 comments
Electric Tech Want clean mains to power your hi-fi ? IsoTek’s range of passive mains conditioners promises you all that and more, says Jimmy Hughes The quality of the mains supply directly influences the sound produced by your hi-fi . If your mains is contaminated with noise (and it is!), the sound will lack transparency and clarity, making the music seem congested and lacking in dynamics. The solution? Invest in a good mains conditioner. IsoTek offers a wide range of products, from the mighty £6k Super Titan, to smaller more affordable solutions like the new EVO3 Solus at £595.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 29, 2011  |  0 comments
Arro takes Flight Totem’s super-slim new Arro is a beautifully made speaker. Paul Messenger gets close up and personal with the Canadian rocker Well established Canadian manufacturer Totem takes its name from – and tends to name its models after – elements of that country’s First Nations culture, though quite where Arro comes from remains a little obscure. Perhaps it simply reflects the fact that the speaker itself is unusually straight and slim, albeit devoid of point or flights. Whatever, few serious speakers manage to look more discreet and self-effacing, especially in the highly reflective (and very fashionable) high-gloss black of our review samples.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 29, 2011  |  0 comments
XS all areas for just £2k Naim introduces its ‘entry-level’ network audio player, but there is nothing ‘entry-level’, however, about its performance, says Malcolm Steward The ND5 XS is Naim’s second network audio player and its first to offer native streaming of 24-bit/192 kHz sources. It follows the lauded and more expensive (£2,995) NDX (HFC 345) that arrived in February, this year. It differs from its forerunner, though, in being built into the attractive, slim-line XS series case rather than the taller Classic series enclosure, but is similar in being performance upgradeable. Upgrade options currently available include the XPS or PS 555 power supplies and the Naim DAC.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 29, 2011  |  0 comments
Potent Cocktail Newcomer Cocktail Audio has a high-value music server that’s also high on features. Jason Kennedy remains shaken, however. The Cocktail X10 is positioned to take on the Brennan JB7, but adds a raft of extra features and considerably greater hard-drive sizes from 500GB to 2TB. It’s a compact unit that can rip CDs in a variety of formats including WAV and FLAC.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 29, 2011  |  0 comments
In the round Elipson’s one-box Music Center MC1 is a striking piece of design. Ed Selley finds out if it has a well rounded sound to match its looks Our first introduction to the recently invigorated Elipson was via the remarkable looking Planet L speaker (HFC 350). Any manufacturer whose idea of a standmount speaker is a brightly coloured sphere the size of a bowling ball is unlikely to release its partnering electronics in an ordinary box and Elipson hasn’t disappointed us. The Music Center MC1 is, as the name suggests, an all-in-one system.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 29, 2011  |  0 comments
Brio benchmark Rega's new compact Brio-R amp uses a circuit design originally conceived in the late sixties. Jason Kennedy examines the modern classic The Brio-R is new in more ways than its remote handset, for a start it’s a totally new circuit, albeit one that was originally conceived in the late sixties. Rega designer Terry Bateman discovered the circuit as a result of buying and reading a large collection of second-hand Wireless World magazines and noticing that the previous owner, engineer Mike Howell, had circled particular articles. These articles led him to a design which was published in 1970, but to Terry’s knowledge never put into production.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 29, 2011  |  0 comments
Beauty and the beat Who said you can't have beautiful hi-fi and keen pricing? Richard Black looks at Primare's new £1,250-per-box CD and matching integrated Primare doesn’t launch new products every day, so we were excited to be offered the first chance to try these newcomers. Replacing the CD21 and I21, they are the company’s budget models, though obviously that’s a relative term. Still, £1,250 is a keen price although we can’t think of much hi-fi that looks this impressive for that kind of sum. The sound’s the thing, of course, but there’s also no denying that visually, these units just ooze class.

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