British audio companies often adopt a
more relaxed pace of evolution to their
product ranges compared with some other countries and with speakers in particular, models and ranges can go many years
without replacement. Neat Acoustics’ loudspeakers are a classic exampleof
the‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ approach – models like the Petite and Elite have been membersof the range almost since the company’s founding, albeit with continued upgrades.
So, when the company decides to carry outa refresh, the result is always going to be interesting. This time it is the affordable Motive range that has been given a good going over after eight years (with some more subtle updates during that time).
Concert for one
Jimmy Hughes looks at the latest solution for audiophile-quality sound from headphones – Musical Fidelity’s new M1 HPA amplifier. . .
There was a time – admittedly forty or so years back – when every self-respecting amplifier came with a socket for headphones.
Peachtree Audio’s next-gen iDecco offers an amp, multi-input DAC, head amp and iPod dock all for £1,000 and Ed Selley just loves a good deal. . .
Peachtree Audio has already graced the pages of Hi-Fi Choice, when we reviewed the Nova integrated amplifier and DAC.
Michell Engineering GyroDec SE
Full spring suspension and a competitive performance makes the Michell a strong contender. . .
This deck is relatively unusual these days in that it includes a full spring suspension, which in turn is rare in using springs in tension rather than compression.
Channa Vithana enjoys the musical delights of AudioSmile’s diminutive Kensai standmount loudspeaker. . .
Most loudspeakers remain a disappointment to me, as so many manage to strangle the life out of music – there are only a precious few I’ve heard that truly satisfy in the music-making stakes.
Richard Black tests the preamp-equipped 8200CDQ player/DAC from Audiolab, and finds himself falling in love all over again. . .
Audiolab’s ‘basic’ CD player, the 8200CD, already does a lot more than just play CDs, equipped as it is with a set of digital inputs including electrical, optical and USB.
Stand and deliver
Castle's special Anniversary version of the Richmond promises more than previous incarnations, says Ed Selley
Castle has been making the Richmond speaker for almost as long as it has existed as a brand. Indeed, the design has survived the takeover of the company by International Audio Group, and weathered the arrival of the newer and highly regarded Knight 2 (HFC 338). Now Castle has launched an Anniversary version of the Richmond seen here.
It’s still recognisably a Richmond –the layout is a rear-ported two-way, with the main driver inverted over the tweeter.
Straight from Brooklyn, New York, comes the brand new Grado PS500 headphone. Richard Black lives the American dream…
By most standards, £700 is a lot of money to spend on a pair of headphones, yet the PS500 isn’t actually Grado’s top model – the PS1000 will make a £1,600-shaped hole in your wallet, whereas the GS1000 is a mere bagatelle at just £1,000. And it’s not like Grado has a monopoly on the high-end headphone market, as there are numerous rivals from the likes of Sennheiser, Stax and so on…
Still, compared to the world’s finest loudspeakers, some of which cost in excess of £50,000, this is still small change. Given that the very best headphones can, in some respects at least, equal the sonics of cost-no- object speakers, £700 spent on this Grado begins to look like better value.
Guru’s original QM10 was a true music maker, but never the greatest all-rounder. With this in mind, Jason Kennedy greets the new QM10two
As we discovered in Hi-Fi Choice 317, the original Guru QM10 was a little charmer; even sat next to far more expensive boxes it could carry a tune like few others. Still, it wasn’t the world’s most transparent two-way and when fed with serious amounts of power had a habit of going out to lunch. In short, what it needed was a beefed up drivetrain, the means by which it could move air more forcefully.