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Cables & Accessories

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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
Measuring only 127 x 32 x 89mm (WxHxD), the Magni 3 is designed for use with a wide range of dynamic headphones, including in-ear and planar magnetic designs. Its power output claims to deliver up to 2000mW RMS continuous into 32ohm, with both channels driven. Eschewing low-cost op-amps, the high-speed, DC-coupled, current-feedback design with switchable gain instead opts to use discrete components and bipolar semiconductors throughout.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
We’ve seen several audio interconnects from cable newcomer True Signal Audio Cables, but this is the Hertfordshire-based company’s flagship design. It uses a three-core silver stranded coaxial cable that employs an ePTFE (expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene) dielectric designed to secure the phase stability of the signal over a wide temperature range. As with the company’s other cables, it has a directional signal flow, which is indicated by arrows that are printed on the heatshrink fitted over the RCA phonos. The two silver-plated shields consist of a helical foil and a woven braid and are terminated in high-quality RCA phono plugs, but XLR connectors are also available.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
Once you have paid careful attention to your mains supply, interconnect cables and equipment support, it is all too easy to overlook one of the biggest influences in the audio chain – the listening room itself. There are a variety of different issues to consider, ranging from reverberations, rattles and other unwanted sounds that can influence the performance of your room. Spurious noises are relatively easy to identify and deal with, but when it comes to room parameters, it’s helpful to have some specialised equipment to identify problems so they can be addressed effectively. Room parameters include the natural peaks and troughs in sound caused by the room’s Eigentones or standing waves or how it responds to resonances and impulses.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 05, 2018  |  0 comments
As the latest addition to a range of stereo interconnects from Atlas, the Equator Integra makes use of the same OCC copper conductors that are used with its higher-end cables. The central conductor is insulated with a PEF (foamed polyethylene) dielectric and is double screened to minimise RFI. The white pearlescent sheath makes the cable quite chunky, but reasonably flexible.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 04, 2018  |  0 comments
Another day, another newcomer to the UK audio cable market. German company Viablue’s SC-4 mid-range speaker cable is formed from a combination of silver-plated strands for the high frequencies and tin-plated ones for the lower frequencies. Within each cable are four leads (two for the signal and two for the return) consisting of seven wrapped bundles of oxygen-free copper wire. The cable is sheathed in a ‘cobra’ satin matt sleeve to protect it and at each end are vibration-absorbing splitters to separate the two connections.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 12, 2018  |  0 comments
Using a poor-quality USB cable to connect a computer to a DAC can result in effects that will interfere with the quality of the audio signal that’s transmitted. These unwanted effects manifest themselves as errors in the digital data stream, which the DAC has to correct and can introduce jitter and other issues that can degrade the audio signal. What’s in a name? The Blue USB cable is the baby brother of TQ’s Black USB cable, which employs a special blend of materials for both the conductors and insulators and aims to minimise phase distortion. We reviewed the original back in 2014 (HFC 383), but the construction has been “tweaked” despite the name staying the same.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 12, 2018  |  0 comments
Produced from two inner conductors of tinned oxygen-free copper with a quoted maximum level of 0. 001 percent oxygen, each conductor here consists of 19 single strands of wire and is insulated with polyethylene insulation. Two twisted PVC insulators are also included and used as fillers in the construction. The cable is screened by four shields that Viablue calls ‘Quattro Silver’.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 30, 2017  |  0 comments
If you are looking to introduce mains conditioning to your hi-fi system, something that can prove immediately off putting is that many devices simply can’t accommodate all the different components in a well-specified setup. If you have a turntable, external phono stage and then music streaming networking hardware plus amplification needs to manage, four or even six-way socket distribution systems just aren’t going to be sufficient. IsoTek has taken this on board and its Evo3 Corvus has nine sockets and the power handling capacity to accommodate some fairly substantial setups. As part of its entry-level range, the Evo3 Corvus is designed to counter Common Mode and Differential Mode mains noise as well as RFI.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 28, 2016  |  0 comments
Beneath the tailor-made fabric exterior lies a sophisticated portable speaker designed and built by Danish manufacturer Vifa. If the brand name sounds familiar that’s because it’s been around since 1933 and is perhaps better-known in hi-fi circles for its well-regarded drive units, which have been found in plenty of big-name hi-fi loudspeaker designs over the years. In more recent times the company has embarked on its own line of speakers, and the Oslo is the fourth model to be added to its Nordic range of portable wireless models. It’s an elegant one-piece design with the logo neatly embedded into the top of the solid aluminium handle, while embroidered up and down volume keys on the custom-made fabric cover produced by Danish textile designers Kvadrat give it a style that makes it stand out from the crowd.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 21, 2016  |  0 comments
I own an iPhone but it can’t store half of my digitised music collection or play any of my hi-res DSD, FLAC and ALAC music. I could use a workaround app but I’d need to carry an external DAC and a mains charger to replenish the phone’s battery, which is rapidly drained when playing hi-res music. All this is reason enough to own a separate Digital Audio Player (DAP), never mind the fact that devices like the XDP-100R are built from the ground up. Pioneer’s first hi-res DAP is compatible with just about every hi-res audio format on the planet including DSD 11.
Ed Selley  |  Jun 20, 2012  |  0 comments
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.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 29, 2011  |  0 comments
Electric Tech Want clean mains to power your hi-fi ? IsoTek’s range of passive mains conditioners promises you all that and more, says Jimmy Hughes The quality of the mains supply directly influences the sound produced by your hi-fi . If your mains is contaminated with noise (and it is!), the sound will lack transparency and clarity, making the music seem congested and lacking in dynamics. The solution? Invest in a good mains conditioner. IsoTek offers a wide range of products, from the mighty £6k Super Titan, to smaller more affordable solutions like the new EVO3 Solus at £595.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 09, 2011  |  0 comments
Digital Delight Cambridge Audio delivers pure digital audio from iPods, iPhones and now the iPad through the new iD100 says Malcolm Steward The home office hi-fi looks rather swish right now with an Apple iPad sitting atop the rack proudly displaying some attractive album artwork – the gifted bassist, Tal Winkenfeld’s Transformation. However, this not a review of the iPad, but the rather neat little digital dock upon which it rests: the Cambridge Audio iD100. The iD100 will operate with various iPods, iPhones and the iPad, from which it will extract a pure digital output that it then delivers to a stand-alone DAC or the digital input on your amplifier (if it has one) for maximum performance. Pure digital out from the iPod/ iPhone/iPad is definitely the way to go for the best sound quality.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Black cube is no square Richard Black rattles his skull with the help of this analogue/digital input headphone amp; but are both inputs created equal? Lehmann is a company that specialises in phono and headphone amplifiers. This is an unusual proposition in that it manages to be a headphone amplifier, a preamplifier and a DAC all at once. Admittedly, viewed as a preamp, it’s a bit basic, because it features only one analogue input, and the DAC has only one input which is USB (when this is active, that is when it detects it is connected to a valid source, the analogue input is bypassed). So really this is an analogue/digital input headphone amp with a volume-controlled line output! Heady power Lehmann’s idea of what constitutes a headphone amp is generous, with a full push-pull power amplifier output configuration.

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