LATEST ADDITIONS

Ed Selley  |  Dec 12, 2010  |  0 comments
Oppo BDP83SE (NuForce Special Edition. ) - £1,295 With a long tradition in audio excellence, the Oppo is reborn with impressive credentials and new software Oppo is not a name that we’ve had a lot of exposure to, but there’s been a buzz in cyberspace about this particular model. It’s rumoured to be one of the most capable multi-format players around. The story goes that Oppo used to make a standard BD83, then upgraded it to Special Edition status, then discontinued the non-SE due to problems sourcing parts.
Ed Selley  |  Dec 07, 2010  |  0 comments
The Sttaf of life Clean and simple are the watchwords for this very pretty and unusually compact two-way floorstander, says Paul Messenger Understatement is perhaps the most appropriate word that describes Totem loudspeakers. Whereas most speaker brands tend to promote themselves by highlighting specific technical or engineering features that distinguish themselves from their rivals – the so-called USP (unique selling point) –Totem’s marketing approach has much more to do with emphasising the reproduction of the emotion and soul of the music. Superficially, at least, there’s nothing particularly unusual about the Sttaf. It’s a simple two-way floorstander, based on a 140mm bass/mid driver with a 95mm diameter flared and doped paper cone.
Ed Selley  |  Dec 07, 2010  |  0 comments
Bang-on sound Alvin Gold is very impressed with the T500 loudspeaker from Teufel, one of the best-known European direct-sell, hi-fi companies Teufel is by far the best known exponent of direct sell loudspeakers and has been steadily raising its profile in the UK over the last couple of years. The big difference between Teufel and other brands is that they’re not available from hi-fi dealers, cutting out the middleman, which means lower selling prices, so to an extent you have to take its qualities on trust. But you do get a generous eight-week trial period, during which the speakers can be returned for a refund if you find you can’t get along with them. An additional confidence builder, is the astonishing twelve-year guarantee period, yes that’s right, twelve years! Conventional design The T500 is one of the latest from Teufel, a classic three-way floor- stander which, thanks to their distribution model, sells for a very attractive price and pitches Teufel into direct competition with some of the more popular mainstream brands, including Monitor Audio and Wharfedale.
Ed Selley  |  Dec 07, 2010  |  0 comments
Touchy, feely The new Apple iPod Touch is incredibly slick and capable of doing some remarkable things, but is it really hi-fi? asks Ed Selley Launched in September, the 4th generation iPod Touch builds on the facilities of the previous models, but is still most easily explained as the screen, processor and basic design of the iPhone, without the ability to make and receive phone calls. The path of the original iPod (which is now referred to as the Classic) from curio to hi-fi accessory has been a long one and the sheer numbers of docks available (some of which are iPod transports able to extract a digital signal directly from the iPod) are turning it into a hand-held music server. But do the extra features of the Touch make any difference in this context and do they affect the audio performance on the move? Mind-boggling The features the Touch offers are impressive. The unit tested here is a 32Gb (eight and 64Gb versions are also available) ‘multimedia platform’, able to replay audio and video.
Ed Selley  |  Dec 07, 2010  |  0 comments
Progressive electronica Electrocompaniet has heavily revised its flagship integrated for the MkII version. Ed Selley rings the changes Electrocompaniet has been rather more active in the pages of Hi-Fi Choice over the last few year or so, but a major revision to a product in its ‘classic’ line is still sufficiently unusual to warrant us giving it some attention. The ECI5 MkII replaces the ECI5, which in turn replaced the ECI4. 7.
Ed Selley  |  Dec 07, 2010  |  0 comments
A supercharged mini Malcolm Steward enjoys some high-end hi-fi time, with a cool-looking stack and combo system that can also digitise your vinyl The bijou Chord Electronics Chordette package surely must be the ultimate, high-class micro system. The set-up can be as simple or as comprehensive as anyone wishes just as with regular separate components, albeit, perhaps, slightly more flexible. Yet it has one distinct advantage: the entire Chordette set-up we tested occupies less space than a single 430mm-wide regular component, and there is a purpose built, modular rack available to accommodate the system and make it look swish. The system under test here comprises the Dual (not pictured), Prime, Mogul and Scamp.
Ed Selley  |  Dec 07, 2010  |  0 comments
A reason to love CD As Richard Black discovers, Audiolab's new CD player ups the ante with a host of technological innovations Well, it’s a funny old world. Here we are with CD allegedly dead in the water and one of the most keenly-awaited products in a while is a – wait for it – CD player! The experienced audiophile won’t be too surprised at that, given the history of LP replay since the 1980s. And, as for the brand that’s making the splash, Audiolab has been on and off the radar a bit over the years, including the spell as TAG McLaren Audio and is now very keen to ensure a lively future by launching eye-catching products. So just what’s so eye-catching about a CD player? Basically two things: funky new design and internal technology.
Ed Selley  |  Dec 07, 2010  |  0 comments
Britain has the X-Factor Jimmy Hughes auditions Musical Fidelity’s 260-watt M6 pre/power and thinks its place in the grand final is guaranteed Musical Fidelity is taking on the high end at its own game, whilst lowering the price of entry. Take the new M6PRE and M6PRX preamp and power amp combo, for example: balanced inputs and outputs (including USB); high-quality MM/MC phono inputs; 260 watts per channel; a regulated power supply system and (claimed) low distortion levels are impressive credits indeed. And, unlike similar products, this duo is ‘high end’ at a more realistic price. Well, okay, they’re not exactly cheap, but look around at the high end and you’ll see that there’s a lot on offer here.
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.

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