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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 27, 2018  |  0 comments
Distributed in the UK through Henley Audio, Reloop HiFi’s TURN 5 (£650), its second turntable outing, claims to be a stylish combination of precision engineering and affordability – which is excellent news for the vinyl fans ready to upgrade an existing deck. Housed in a sturdy industrial-chic chassis, TURN 5 offers a choice of 33, 45 and 78rpm playback at the press of three buttons on the top plate. Equipped with an S-shaped tonearm with removable headshell for easy cartridge changeovers, useful features include an anti-skatedial, adjustable VTA, hydraulic lift system and heavy counterweight. Ready to use out of the box, TURN 5 is supplied with an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge and also comes with a dust cover and shock-absorbing feet.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 24, 2018  |  0 comments
The arrival of a new high-end solid-state amplifier from this renowned US audio brand is a major event and the K-300i is no exception – especially as it’s the most affordable way to taste Krell’s craftsmanship. Available in a choice of stylish black and silver (pictured) finishes, this amp is available in two variants – an analogue-only design (£4,698) with RCA/XLR inputs and a version with added digital inputs and streaming (£5,698). Unsurprisingly, under the stunning minimal-look chassis, there’s a technological feast: for starters, the K-300i incorporates a newly developed amplifier circuit design with the latest version of iBias. The manufacturer boasts that this tech provides the sonic purity of Class A operation without the excessive heat and power consumption that’s associated with it.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 23, 2018  |  0 comments
The Debut series from ELAC made waveson its original release when we reviewed its B6 standmount (HFC 407) and F5 floorstander (HFC 411) in the performance versus value-for-money stakes and the manufacturer has set its sights on doing it again with the Debut 2. 0 collection. Less a reboot and morea complete redesign from the ground up, prices for the 11-strong Debut 2. 0 series featuring MDF cabinets in black ash vinyl finishes range from £250 for a B5.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 22, 2018  |  0 comments
Japanese specialist cartridge manufacturer Hana is taking record producer Phil Spector’s Back To Mono mission statement quite literally with this new niche design. Distributed in the UK by Air Audio, the SL Mono moving-coil cartridge combines relatively low cost (£599) with high performance and is aimed at the vinyl enthusiast hoping to get the best sound out of a monaural record collection. It uses a nude natural diamond Shibata stylus, capable of an impressive frequency response (from 15Hz to 32kHz) and excellent trackability. The cartridge weighs 5g and the body is made from a composite low-resonance plastic material in stylish black.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 21, 2018  |  0 comments
Californian brand Aesthetix’s renowned Saturn series gets a 2018 update with its seven-strong Saturn Eclipse collection of high-end components. Distributed in the UK by Cool Gales in Bath and Hi-Fi Sound in Stockton-on-Tees, prices range from £12,455 each for the Rhea Eclipse all-valve phono stage and the Calypso Eclipse (pictured below) line stage preamp, to the Atlas Eclipse mono power amplifier pair at £31,190. The other components in the collection are the Pandora Eclipse DAC (£14,950), Janus Eclipse full-function preamp and Romulus Eclipse DAC/CD Player (each £16,200) and the Atlas Eclipse power amp (£18,700). According to the manufacturer, enhancements include new StealthCap capacitors for subtle detailing and improved spatial imaging; electrical upgrades; advanced mechanical chassis isolation and sophisticated power supply grounding.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 20, 2018  |  0 comments
Expanding on its Reference II floorstanding loudspeaker, the new RF-7 III – with its distinctive copper-coloured twin mid/bass drivers and horn-loaded tweeter – claims a feast of upgrades and sound enhancements over its predecessor. In selecting the ideal tweeter, the Arkansas-based team settled on a 45mm titanium compression driver withan enhanced phase plug geometry design. By couplingthis new tweeter to a new Tractrix horn formed from compressed rubber to give a circular throat with a square mouth, Klipsch boasts that high frequency response is improved, enhancing the overall dynamics for the most natural sound delivery. Also, each 254mm mid/bass driver utilises a robust aluminium frame for resonance-free performance fitted to the elegant 352 x 1,245 x 454mm (WxHxD) cabinet.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 20, 2018  |  0 comments
Do you know what Roon is? Do you think you need to know? Should you even care? When hi-fi manufacturers launch a new amplifier or loudspeaker, the question immediately turns to its styling, specification and indeed performance. Rarely – if ever – does one ever end up asking: “Why do I need it?”, or “How will owning such a thing make my life better?” The problem for Roon founder Enno Vandermeer is that his product needs a whole lot of explanation before people can take a view about whether they actually want it. “We created an experience that people were missing. The only trouble is, they didn’t know it!”, he says.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 17, 2018  |  0 comments
Question time PS Audio’s CEO and co-founder, Paul McGowan regularly answers reader system queries on his excellent Youtube channel, covering everything from listening off-axis through to cable directionality and system synergy. See for yourself here. Record collector Recognised as the greatest radio DJ of all time, John Peel’s record collection is legendary, consisting of 25,000 LPs and 40,000 singles. And now you can explore it for yourself or check out the Record Box series where famous fans take you on a tour.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 16, 2018  |  0 comments
Recent years have seen British hi-fi company Exposure downsize the dimensions of its electronics with the introduction of its half-width XM series in 2016. Following its considerable success in squeezing its extensive hi-fi know-how into smaller dimensions, the audio component specialist has turned its attention to the top of its lineup and replaced its highly regarded but bulky MCX series pre and power amplifiers with slimline units. The new 5010 series features two products: a preamplifier priced at £2,000 and a mono power amplifier priced at £4,550 per pair and rated at 200W into 8ohm and 370W into 4. At first glance they don't look all that different to the brand’s existing 3010 and 2010 series of audio components, but the new 5010 models are significantly trimmer measuring just 90mm and 115mm tall respectively, and each is a mere 440mm wide and 300mm deep.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Ten years ago, few of us could have predicted the major shift that would take place in the way we consume music and that we’d be able to stream CD-quality and hi-res music files straight into our homes via robust broadband services. To my mind, this is still the stuff of science-fiction fantasy and in a relatively short time, music fans like myself have gone from buying CDs from a high-street record store to streaming content directly to our home music systems with just the tap of a touchscreen. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I purchased any physical digital media, although I know I am listening and discovering more music than ever. Streaming services have undoubtedly revolutionised the way we experience music, and several now offer better-than-CD sound quality, while others are still serving something close to MP3-quality.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 27, 2018  |  0 comments
Another headphone first comes from Audiolab – best known for its DACs and amplifiers – which pulls back the curtain on two sets of in-ear designs with the M-EAR 2D (£430) and M-EAR 4D (£700). Both available now, the former is a two-driver design, with one driver handling mid/high frequencies and the other dedicated to bass. The M-EAR 4D is a three-way design sporting four drivers – one for high frequencies, another for midrange and two for bass. Both come with a tangle-resistant detachable 1.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 26, 2018  |  0 comments
Putting in an appearance for the first time at The Bristol Hi-Fi Show back in February, British speaker brand Falcon Acoustics has partnered with UK distributor Karma-AV. The first fruit of this team up is the introduction of the Reference Audio Monitor (RAM) Studio series with three models: Studio 10, 20 and 30. The first and smallest in the range, the Studio 10 (from £1,395), is a two-way ported standmount loudspeaker with a 150mm mid/bass driver and custom 25mm soft dome tweeter. Falcon says it’s designed to deliver a smooth and detailed response, precise imaging and an extended soundstage and is rated at 89dB sensitivity into 8ohm.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 25, 2018  |  0 comments
Expectations are high for Quad’s debut headphone – this is the company behind the legendary ESL loudspeaker and whose philosophy is “the closest approach to the original sound”, after all. According to Quad, the ERA-1 combines high sensitivity with low impedance to enable excellent performance with a range of partnering devices – from portable players to top-of-the-range amps. To create this flagship design, it developed a planar magnetic driver, which aims to deliver a more natural and accurate sound – allowing the listener to immerse themselves in every musical nuance. The headphone incorporates a strong, ultra-thin, electrically active diaphragm fused with a magnet system designed to maximise sensitivity and consistency over the driver area.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 24, 2018  |  0 comments
By its own admission, AudioQuest is a tweaker – and the latest modifications to its Rocket cable range are on the launch pad. The affordable Rocket 11 (£12. 50/m pictured above) and 22 (£20/m) speaker cables are suitable for bi-wiring applications, and AudioQuest is confident ofthe improvement they’ll bring to any home audio setup. Both cables feature what itcalls “semi-solid true-concentric conductors” for the first time.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 23, 2018  |  0 comments
Spendor introduced its new two-way A7 floorstanding loudspeaker at The Bristol Show back in February. It’s described by the British speaker brand as a major revision of the acclaimed A6R, which impressed us when we reviewed it back in HFC 381. The A7 has a slim and contemporary-looking cabinet, available in black ash, dark walnut, natural oak and satin white finishes. The base of the plinth has four machined steel stabiliser inserts, secured directly into the main cabinet structure.