LATEST ADDITIONS

Ed Selley  |  Dec 01, 2011  |  0 comments
It’s a gas The Helium 410 is Amphion’s smallest speaker, but as Ed Selley discovers it still packs a punch The premise of an advert, inviting you to listen to a speaker with the volume turned down, might not be the most obvious way of selling it to a wider audience. For Amphion however, there is a reason for this unusual approach. The entire range is designed to offer excellent intelligibility and clarity even at very low volumes. The Helium series is the entry-level offering in the range and the 410 is the smallest speaker in the group.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Precision audio? Deltec was one of the first to make a standalone DAC and now its back in the fray, Jason Kennedy finds out if its experience has paid off Back in the late eighties the idea of a separate digital-to-analogue convertor was a very new thing. Until then, the relatively young CD player market had, on the whole, been dominated by larger companies. Deltec Precision Audio (or DPA) was formed by Robert Watts and Adrian Walker to produce technologically advanced audio components, among which were pre and power amplifi ers as well as one of the first standalone DACs to hit the market, the DPA PDM1. This used surface-mount devices (SMD) in its circuit boards, had one of the first bitstream chipsets and came in a shiny dark grey case.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Let the beat drop The Drop is one of the most distinctive-looking speakers on the market. Ed Selley investigates whether the music is as smooth as the lines Scandyna has been producing its distinctive pod speakers for over a decade and there is now an eight-strong range of stereo models with supporting subwoofers and amps. The Drop is, however, as the name suggests, modelled on a droplet – even down to the ‘separating stem’-effect at the top of the cabinet. Plastic fantastic The Drop retains many classic Scandyna features, including a cabinet formed of ABS plastic.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Get your hits out This system is the most affordable route into the exclusive Meridian club. Jason Kennedy looks at the company’s everyman solution Meridian Audio is a highend company with a difference, its products are largely dependent on being used within a complete Meridian system in order for them to be able to do everything in an extensive list of features. The new DSP3200 is the least expensive active speaker in the range and it has been designed to be exclusively used with one of the company’s control units, be that a preamp/processor, CD player or a Sooloos music server. It has the same proportions as the mid-treble part of the range-topping DSP8000, but contains completely different drivers and electronics.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Musical update This Creek amp claims a variety of technical improvements over the original. Richard Black investigates how this works out in sonic terms Rather to our surprise, we find it’s over five years since we first set eyes and ears on the original Creek Evolution amp. Amplifier design may not have made any revolutionary leaps in that time (at least, conventional amplifier design like Creek’s – switching amps have progressed rather more), but it’s natural that a manufacturer would find a few tweaks to apply that could justify adding a ‘2’ to the model name. Extra, extra One of the changes is a practical one, adding an ‘AV direct’ inputwhich bypasses the volume control, allowing the Evo 2 to be used as a power amp.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2011  |  0 comments
Swell new bel From America comes a switching amp that’s big on digital inputs. Richard Black thinks it might be the most exciting thing he’s heard in a while Don’t be too hard on yourself if you haven’t heard of Bel Canto. We’d had very limited exposure to the firm’s products and only a rather hazy idea about what the range consists of. In fact, the company can sort you out a complete hi-fi system (minus speakers) from its product list, which includes predictable things like a CD player and a handful of DACs, as well as an FM tuner with partly digital processing and a digital output.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2011  |  0 comments
A touch of glass Can this substantial valve output CD player mix it with the hardcore contenders? Jason Kennedy finds out Ayon is an Austrian company that produces sources, amplifi ers and loudspeakers, as well as glass audio components. It makes its own power valves at a facility in the Czech Republic and builds some very high-end products – it’s most affordable power amp, for example, costs nearly £20,000. The CD-07s sits at the opposite end of the scale and looks to be an attempt to break into a sector of the market with more potential buyers. A deeply competitive sector, of course, but this player is heavy on features.
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.

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