LATEST ADDITIONS

Ed Selley  |  Nov 13, 2010  |  0 comments
SRM Arezzo Kinetic £1,248 At home with most types of music from classical to rock, here is a turntable with a wide appeal SRM first came to our attention in 2009 (HFC 325). In fact, its basic Arezzo model won our coveted award for Best sub-£1,000 turntable (HFC 326). The full range includes the aforementioned Arezzo; the Arezzo Reference; Ultra and the Kinetic. All are supplied with similar features, but the Kinetic adds just one more, albeit a significant one: a flywheel which is interposed between the motor and the platter.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 13, 2010  |  0 comments
Clearaudio Concept £1,100 (inc. arm and cartridge) Budget-priced deck with an almost plug-and-play versatility offers stiff competition to its higher-priced peers One of the undeniable advantages of CD players over turntables is that you can take them out of the box, plug them in and use them, with no fancy setting up required. The Concept turntable, however, very nearly equalises on that score, with arm and cartridge factory-set and user set-up limited to putting the platter in place (pretty hard to get wrong, really). One big no-no that has traditionally stood in the way of this is transporting an arm with the counterweight in place, which is usually a good way of busting the bearings, but the Concept’s arm has a unique magnetic bearing which can’t be damaged in this way.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 13, 2010  |  0 comments
Michell Gyro SE £1,140 With Michell proprietary technology such as TechnoWeight, this turntable has a few surprises up its tonearm The Michell look is distinctive and eye-catching and this turntable is no exception. To what extent, though, does form follow function? Many aspects of the Gyro’s design are highly functional, for instance those brass weights hanging below the plastic platter. Yes, a flat disc of brass (or other metal) would have achieved the same aim of adding rotating inertia, but it wouldn’t have done it any better - probably a little worse. On the other hand, the skeletal metal casting which forms the subchassis of the Gyro SE is, if we’re honest, more attractive than effective.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 13, 2010  |  0 comments
Pro-Ject 6 Perspex £1,280 (inc. arm) Stylish-looking and fitted with a dust cover, the 6 Perspex promises a great deal with its performance Joy of joys – a turntable with a lid, which even if it doesn’t quite enclose the whole machine, will certainly reduce the dust problem considerably. Beneath it resides a suspended turntable with some interesting ideas built in. The Perspex of the name is hardly a surprise these days, but the subchassis is made of Corian, a material which Pro-Ject claims has ‘no resonances at all’.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 13, 2010  |  0 comments
Roksan Radius 5. 2 £1,399 (inc. arm) Putting the competition to shame in terms of rhythm and pace, the Radius 5. 2 has much to recommend it The Radius design has undergone so many changes over the years that practically no single part is left of the original, yet it is instantly recognisable as the same model.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 12, 2010  |  0 comments
Universal panacea Can a preamplifier costing as much as a small car really make a difference? Jason Kennedy ponders the accepted order What better time than the new era of austerity for us to discover how much difference a really good preamplifier can make to an already impressive high-end system. Mark Levinson was one of the first to build seriously engineered high-end amplifiers. We don’t mean excessively large or massively powerful, although it was ahead of the power game, we mean Rolls Royce or SME-style build quality. It’s unusual for us to review a preamplifier on its own, but the new No.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 12, 2010  |  0 comments
King of the Castles Castle Acoustics is back! There’s a new owner in IAG and whole new range called Knight, Dominic Todd listens in to see if the old magic is still there Castle Acoustics was a Yorkshire-based company started in the early 1970s. Best known for its rich, real wood veneers and refined acoustic, the firm soon established a following from those appreciating a warm, full-bodied sound. As with many of the British greats, however, Castle fell upon hard times at the turn of the millennium and came under the ownership of IAG (International Audio Group). With IAG’s impressive portfolio that includes Quad, Castle should be in safe hands and as if to prove the parent company’s commitment, the all-new Knight range is voiced by IAG’s Director of Acoustic Design, Peter Comeau – of Heybrook HB1 and Mission 780 fame.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 12, 2010  |  0 comments
Cartridge upgrader Here's a novel way to enhance your cartridge's performance. Richard Black checks out Audio-Technica’s new MC transformer Moving-coil cartridges are wonderful things, but they suffer from a disadvantage in their extremely low output, often less than 1mV peak, or one two-thousandth of what most CD players produce. Clearly, low-noise amplification is a must. Because they have a low impedance, the self-noise of such cartridges is actually very low, but getting an amplifier to match or (ideally) better it is hard work.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 12, 2010  |  0 comments
DAC to the future Arcam, one of the pioneers of off-board DACs re-enters the market. Ed Selley finds out if the wait was worth it Over 20 years ago Arcam produced the Back Box standalone digital-to- analogue convertor. This was one of the first (for obvious reasons, the claim to exactly who was first is hotly contested) devices that could bypass the output of an existing CD player via an S/PDIF digital output and convert it to an analogue signal via a higher-quality output stage than the CD player had internally. Consequently, the Black Box was highly regarded and sold well.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 07, 2010  |  0 comments
Rega style for less Rega has revised its entry-level record player, adding a new tonearm and platter material. Jason Kennedy asks if the brand still 'owns' the sector Rega, once the king of the affordable turntable sector has just reasserted its position in the market a brand-new entry-level model, the RP1. This new turntable replaces the rather dowdy P1 and sports not only a new platter material, but a totally new tonearm to boot, an arm we are told that hints at changes to come across the entire range. New mould The platter is now moulded in phenolic resin which was once known as Bakelite; one of the first plastics to be used in manufacturing and usually associated with radios from the forties and fifties.

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