Ed Selley

Ed Selley  |  Oct 08, 2011  |  0 comments
Yamaha NP-S2000 Slick and sleek, with more obvious audiophile features than most, but is it worth the extra cash? By some margin the most ‘hair-shirt’ of the streamers in this group, the NP-S2000 nevertheless looks a lot more like a bit of high-end audiophilia than the rest. It’s vast and very heavy, and we were impressed to find, after removing 42 screws to get the lid off, that it really is quite full of electronics – two separate mains transformers, a large and well-populated audio circuit board, and so on. Part of the reason why the audio board needs so much electronics is that it has to drive a balanced output, as well as the usual unbalanced, something you really don’t often see on streamers. There are optical and electrical digital outputs as well.
Ed Selley  |  Oct 08, 2011  |  0 comments
Pushing the limit Jason Kennedy looks at Meridian’s £10,000 top-of-the range CD player and asks if we are approaching the performance limits of Red Book CD Meridian has been at the forefront of CD player technology since 1984 and the 808. 3 is its flagship disc spinner, so no digital stone has been left unturned in the quest to make its third incarnation the ultimate. As early pioneers in technology to reduce the ‘ringing effect’ of conventional digital filters, the 808. 3 makes use of the latest apodising filters and resolution enhancement DSP technology.
Ed Selley  |  Sep 27, 2011  |  0 comments
Moon I3. 3 Lots of upgrade options, great build and we liked the internal DAC, but a little expensive taken just as an amp This is one of a growing number of integrated amps to include a digital input, either as standard or, as in this case, as an optional extra. It makes a lot of sense: you don’t need a huge amount of circuitry to make a pretty decent DAC and if you’ve got a case and power supply already it’s quite a simple addition. Electrical, optical and USB connections are provided, with the actual conversion being done by a good-quality, recent DAC chip supported by good passive components and onboard supply regulation.
Ed Selley  |  Sep 27, 2011  |  0 comments
Densen B-200/B-310 Densen plays it cool, Scandinavian style, though very flexibly – but does the sound quite match? There’s no denying that these two units look uncommonly smart and timeless with their perfectly rectangular looks. And also worthy of honourable mention is the impressive remote control, all metal and streets ahead of most of its breed. The basic specification isn’t too unusual, the power amp putting out a notional 80 watts into the usual eight-ohm load, while the preamp has effectively six line inputs. There’s an unusually prolific array of phono sockets, though, not least because there are no less than four preamp outputs.
Ed Selley  |  Sep 27, 2011  |  0 comments
Quad Elite Pre/Mono Quad's new Elite series may appeal strongly on visuals and simplicity, but we found lots to like sonically too With its track record in audio now exceeding three-score years and ten, Quad remains true to its original aims in offering unique audio products that are immediately recognisable. The Elite range, which over the last year or so has replaced the respected 99 Series, aims to incorporate audiophile design in small, smart and easily connected matching units, with source and amplification components sharing a basic case design. They can all be connected with the usual phono sockets, but Quad’s default hookup is the ‘Ampbus’, a 15-way D socket on the back of each unit which is connected to the next unit in the chain with a supplied ribbon connector, carrying balanced audio (and control) signals. There is a stereo power amp in the range, but for this test we chose a pair of mono amps, each rated at 150 watts output.
Ed Selley  |  Sep 27, 2011  |  0 comments
Rotel RC-1580/RB-1582 Lots of power, lots of features – but also plenty of good quality sound to get worked up about f this test were principally about specifications, the other manufacturers might as well not have bothered submitting kit at all. The RB-1582 puts out nearly twice as much power as most of the other amps in the group, while the RC-1580 offers more inputs, more sophisticated switching, tone controls, MM and MC phono as standard, headphone output. . .
Ed Selley  |  Sep 27, 2011  |  0 comments
Electrocompaniet ECI 5 MkII Big and powerful, but calm and unfussed almost to a near-Buddhist extent It’s certainly imposing, and its non-standard width of 470mm may require some thought about siting it, but then maybe that’s just indicative of the Electrocompaniet way of doing things – not by anyone else’s book. The company has a long history of being original, going back to the days in the 1970s, when its genesis lay in Matti Otala’s documenting of TID: Transient Intermodulation Distortion. TID is now largely water under the bridge, component and design developments having ensured its demise as an issue in any decent audio amp, but Electrocompaniet continues to take an individual line on audio electronics and has a strong following as a result. Control of the unit is individual, too.
Ed Selley  |  Sep 27, 2011  |  0 comments
Rega Elicit The latest amp under this name is a sophisticated performer with singularly purposeful rhythmic flow The original Elicit, we were astonished to be reminded, appeared in 1990. Any resemblance to the current amp is superficial at most, as this design is new in concept, specification and design. It’s an 80-watt-rated amp built into a familiar-looking Rega case. In common with most current Rega electronics, it incorporates a heatsink on the underside: but since that’s not adequate in that position for two 80-watt channels there are also internal heatsinks at each side of the chassis.
Ed Selley  |  Sep 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Code Red Triangle's new Color range sees a lower price of entry for the French marque. Ed Selley reckons the future’s bright for the popular brand Triangle speakers rarely look anything other than distinctive – it’s a range that usually manages at least one quirky styling feature in any given model. The Color range is the new entry level to Triangle ownership and at this price point, distinctive styling touches are a little harder to achieve. Triangle’s solution is simple enough; the Color is available in three gloss finishes including the eye-catching fire-engine red (pictured).
Ed Selley  |  Sep 06, 2011  |  0 comments
Chip off the old block The long-awaited successor to the legendary 8000A is here: Richard Black finds out how it compares to the class of 2011 Audiolab: the brand that launched a thousand hi-fis. Many thousand, indeed. For many years towards the end of the 20th century, the Audiolab 8000A was the integrated amp to own as part of a decent-to-aspirational system and indeed plenty are still doing sterling service. After the success of the 8200CD (see HFC 340), we were even more keen to meet the successor to the 8000A; the 8200A.

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