|  Jan 29, 2015  |  0 comments
Famed for producing loudspeakers since the days of the BBC LS3/5A back in the mid seventies, Spendor made vast numbers of the mini monitor as well as offering its own SA1, which shared the BBC design’s tiny dimensions but was turned through 90°. The D1 you see here is the successor – the result is a tiny loudspeaker that’s purposed to deliver extremely high-quality sound. Purists may look on disapprovingly, but the venerable BBC design is virtually prehistoric by modern standards. The D1, however, uses the latest thinking in drive units, cabinet construction and bracing and crossover design – rather than being a rival to the BBC box, it’s the spiritual heir.
 |  Jan 29, 2015  |  0 comments
Once upon a time if you mentioned the words computer and audiophile in the same sentence you would have been chased out of town. Those days are long gone and thanks to hi-res audio downloading there’s now a turf war going on for ownership of your desktop by hi-fi manufacturers eager to cash in with products that deliver maximum sonic satisfaction for those of us who like to listen as we learn or earn. Understanding hi-res formats can be more daunting than deciphering the Da Vinci code in Nooksack, but one thing that is incontrovertible is that owning DSD files and not having an external DAC is like owning an E-type and keeping it in the garage. One such example is the AI-301DA, which boasts a Burr-Brown PCM1795 DAC and an asynchronous USB input.
 |  Jan 29, 2015  |  0 comments
The name says it all. In a Googled-up world that monitors your every online movement in order to better sell you things you want to buy, this new miniature Micromega box catches the zeitgeist perfectly. The MyAmp is your amp, because you’re an individual. It’s something that’s made for you – yes, just you, and everyone else like you! Well alright, I’ll excuse it the rather obvious name, because that’s theonly thing predictable about it.
 |  Jan 29, 2015  |  0 comments
Looking a little bit like a piece of furniture you might find back in a seventies living room housing a radiogram, JBL’s Authentics L16 is anything but old school. The design of this one-box audio systemis actually based on the company’s Century L100 bookshelf loudspeaker and utilises foam grilles similar to those found on the popular seventies model, giving the L16 a retro feel that is very much on trend today. Measuring over 800mm wide, the walnut-veneered unit is a thoroughly modern one-box audio system with more wireless connectivity options than you can shake a smartphone at, including AirPlay for iTunes and iOS, DLNA for Android and Windows devices and Bluetooth – although there’s no mention of the aptX codec. As well as extensive wireless options including Near Field Communication (NFC), the L16 also has two USB inputs beneath the removable top plate for charging devices – sadly wireless charging isn’t available on European models for Qi-compatible devices.
 |  Jan 29, 2015  |  0 comments
Apparently, wireless speaker systems are like buses. No sooner had Elipson’s impressive Planet LW and Bridge system passed through the Hi-Fi Choice review process (HFC 387) than the Audiovector Ki 1 Super Discreet System hovers into view. On paper, the similarities are striking. The Audiovector system comprises a pair of the Ki 1 standmounts and the company’s Discreet hub that form a self-contained system uncannily like the Elipson.
 |  Jan 28, 2015  |  0 comments
For Essex-based Monitor Audio the only way is not loudspeakers, which it can make and sell pretty much standing on its head. After dabbling in speaker docks and impressing with its W100 AirStream active desktop stereo speakers it is now entering the new world of amplification and streaming. Sporting AirPlay rather than Bluetooth, the A100 is very much aimed at the Apple crowd with their MacBooks, iPhones and iPads crammed with AAC, AIFF and ALAC files in iTunes. That’s not to say non-Apple devices are excluded from the party, PCs and DLNA sources connected to wireless routers canjoin in the fun if they can run iTunes (version 10 or later) and/or can be controlled by Monitor Audio’s remote control app (iOS and Android).
 |  Jan 28, 2015  |  0 comments
Can you imagine the seventies without Compact Cassette, or the eighties without Compact Disc? Philips was one of the great innovating consumer electronics companies of the last century, easily surpassing most of its Japanese and American rivals. It may not have had the marketing nous of Apple, but it has originated far more technology than anyone in Cupertino ever did. But what of this century? Many would say its performance has been something of a mixed bag, but more recently there have been encouraging signs. A few years ago, it came up with its new audio brand ‘Fidelio’.
 |  Jan 28, 2015  |  0 comments
Proper hi-fi means piles of separates and reams of cables, right? Not so according to Dynaudio, which introduces a wealth of updates to its active Xeo range to push them further into steadfast audiophile territory. Many audiophiles believe that active speakers offer obvious benefits over passive designs, evidenced by the likes of Linn and ATC as two high-end brands offering active models with equally high-end price tags. Why? Because as well as freeing up some hi-fi rack space, placing a tailor-made amplifier inside a speaker’s cabinet takes the trial and error of amp and speaker matching out of the equation, meaning the sound you get is closer to what the manufacturer had in mind. The Xeo 6 replaces the outgoing Xeo 5 (HFC 376), bringing with it a bunch of new features and improved tech that’s packed into a more compact cabinet.
 |  Jan 28, 2015  |  0 comments
Who remembers the early thirties? They contributed a lot to the world in which we live now. From Edward Elgar opening Abbey Road studios and the debut of what went on to become the Royal Ballet, to the issuing of The Highway Code and the pound coming off the Gold Standard, things would never be the same again. Meanwhile, in the United States, things were moving apace too – and in one little corner of RCA’s factory, a new and rather remarkable thermionic valve began manufacture. The 845 power triode started lifeas a radio transmitting vacuum tube; physically large and with an impressive anode dissipation of 75W, it ran 1,250V on the anode no less.
 |  Jan 28, 2015  |  0 comments
Launched by Divine Audio’s head honcho Tim Chorlton and Mark Groom, and with power supplies designed by Garrard guru Martin Bastin, Analogue Works is a new turntable manufacturer that brings plenty of experience to the table, which has been ploughed into the company’s carefully crafted rangeof record players and accessories. The One is positioned slap bang in the middle of the company’s record player range, sensibly sandwiched between the Zero (£650) and Two (£1,600) models. All three decks get the same bronze/steel bearing and the Zero also packs a Rega RB202 arm within its price, but gets a bamboo or MDF plinth and wall-wart PSU in place of the One’s birch-ply plinth and standalone PSU. The cheaper Zero also comes equipped with an acetal platter instead of the more substantial damped alloy platter sported by the One and Two decks.

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