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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 23, 2018  |  0 comments
Just like the summer weather, the British floorstanding loudspeaker market is hotting up. We’ve seen several impressive high value for money floorstanding designs of late that offer serious hi-fi clout for a relatively low outlay. Regular readers will have marvelled at the 3050i from Q Acoustics that we reviewed last month, which received a coveted Editor’s Choice award and is the hottest, value floorstander we’ve seen so far. But contenders are already lining up to take its crown – including this month’s £600 cover star, Fyne Audio’s F303 (p46), and Monitor Audio’s Monitor 300 (p60), priced at just £550.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 20, 2018  |  0 comments
The latest network components from Primare – the I35 Prisma integrated amplifier and CD35 Prisma CD player – are the first outing for the Swedish manufacturer’s whole-home, high-fidelity control and connectivity platform. According to marketing director Terry Medalen, Prisma “provides a complete spectrum of system management from a single point of control”. The platform not only allows network playback from both stored and streamed media, wi-fi and Bluetooth connection, but also multi-zone control – all managed from any mobile device through a dedicated system control app. Rated at 2x 150W (8ohm), the I35 Prisma is the first integrated to use a reworking of Primare’s Class D amplification tech, and includes a DAC stage with support for up to PCM 768kHz and DSD256 formats.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 19, 2018  |  0 comments
Wilson Audio is perhaps best known for its high-end floorstanding loudspeaker designs with their uncompromising levels of performance and money-no-object designs. We've been lucky enough to experience some of the brand's extraordinary models at The Hi-Fi Show Live showcases runby our sister title Hi-Fi News, and the brand is sure to draw eager crowds once again to its UK distributor Absolute Sounds' listening rooms at this year's event running from 10-11 November – advanced tickets on sale now through eventbrite. co. uk.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 19, 2018  |  0 comments
Flat’s all folks! Warped vinyl can be the bane of the record collector, but help is at hand in this excellent guide to restoring your beloved music to pristine condition again, along with some top tips to ensure that it doesn’t happen in the first place. Click here to learn more. This is the end “The end of owning music” screams Rolling Stone magazine in this alarmist, but admittedly rather thought-provoking piece on what the future holds for physical music, featuring insight from industry insiders, record label owners and Jack White. read it for yourself here and see if you agree.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 26, 2018  |  0 comments
IsoTek has unveiled a trio of new mains conditioner products that include a mains power cleaner, mains synchroniser and 12-way power conditioner. Kicking off with the mains power cleaner, the new EVO3 Gemini is a compact two-way solution rated at 10A and offering filtration of common and differential mode mains noise. It costs £249 and is available from July. The Syncro Uni incorporates DC-cancelling electronics to reduce transformer hum when used with hi-fi separates.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 26, 2018  |  0 comments
It’s all very well filling your hi-fi rack with numerous separates, but there comes a time when space becomes a premium, when one box is so much more desirable than four or five. And that’s where Gold Note’s superb IS-1000 comes in. Described as the “complete all-in-one super integrated”, this quite phenomenal box of tricks neatly bridges the gap between a traditional integrated amplifier and a networked music streamer. At its heart, the IS-1000 is an integrated amplifier with a Class A/B output section capable of a 2x 125W into 8ohm (doubling to 250W into 4ohm loads).
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 25, 2018  |  0 comments
Chord Electronics opted to use the High End Show in Munich (see full show report in the July issue, now on sale)to debut its next-generation analogue amplifier design – claimed to be its first fundamentally new topology since the company’s inception back in 1989. Developed and implemented by Chord’s owner and managing director, John Franks, the Choral Étude stereo power amplifier is describedby the Kent-based company as heralding a new era for powerful, wide bandwidth, low noise and low distortion amplifiers. Based upon multi-feedback and dual feed-forward error-correction amplifier technology, the new design intelligently adjusts and compensates the high-powered MOSFETs, which have been arranged into two banks of four. Power output is rated (conservatively according to Chord) at 150W into 4ohm or 300W in bridged mono mode and comes from proprietary ultra-compact switch-mode high-frequency power supplies – one of which controls the auxiliary rails, while the othertwo feed the high-current active power rails.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 22, 2018  |  0 comments
Designed to appeal to hi-fi newcomers and experienced audiophiles alike, Pioneer’s new A-40AE integrated amplifier (pictured with the N-50AE network audio player) has been tuned to deliver low distortion coupled with fine resolution and clarity. Boasting a claimed 2x 76W power output into 4ohm, analogue connections include five line-level inputs. Turntables are catered for thanks to a moving-magnet input, while digital options include optical and coaxial inputs. There are terminals for two independent pairs of speakers (for individual or parallel operation), capable of taking 4mm banana plugs.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 21, 2018  |  0 comments
Flagship loudspeakers are usually designed to stand out but as range toppers go, few models are as instantly recognisable as Focal's eye-popping Utopia III Evo series. The Utopia DNA has been around since 1995 and as with any crowning model or series, the current Utopia III Evo lineup is the very embodiment of what the company's ambitious team of designers, engineers and craftsman can achieve and a complete showcase of the French company's impressive audiophile capabilities. Back in May, the brand chose the High End Show in Germany (see Show Report in the July issue) to introduce two revamped models to its flagship Utopia III Evo series, which is now in its tenth year, with the Grande Utopia EM Evo and Stella Utopia EM Evo floorstanding loudspeakers. Focal has been in business for more than 35 years and all its products are designed and developed at its base in Saint-Étienne.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 21, 2018  |  0 comments
Turntable how-to Made completely by hand in its factory in Southend, the RP8 remains one of Rega’s flagship turntables. In this fascinating video, Rega’s Simon Webster talks us through the surprisingly complex procedure video from construction to testing. Watch the magic happen here. Ebay made easy Buying on ebay can be fraught with difficulties from being out bid at the last second to being disappointed with what you receive.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 21, 2018  |  0 comments
There are times when the full benefit of a particular product cannot be totally realised until other changes and developments in seemingly unrelated areas have come to pass. In the case of active loudspeakers, the technical advantages have been known for some time in professional studio applications, but in terms of what that actually means for home audio fans constructing a system, any benefits have to be measured against the practicalities and upgrade path of a more traditional setup. In truth, you have to be completely on board with the active loudspeaker concept to go to the effort of constructing an audio system around it. The blurring of where source ends and amplifier begins has recently started to make the active speaker look like a much more enticing concept.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 18, 2018  |  0 comments
As a reader of HFC you’ll no doubt share our passion for great-sounding hi-fi gear. But I wouldn’t mind betting that each of us got hooked on our hi-fi habit for very different reasons. For some it’s all about the kit and a desire to listen to tracks that show off a system’s capabilities to the fullest, whether you truly enjoy a piece of music or not. For me, it’s always been about a connection to the music; the way a piece communicates when all the elements in a system come together and allow me right into a recording to hear the artist as they intended.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 04, 2018  |  0 comments
Elipson has become the latest manufacturer to get into headphones as it launches its new Bluetooth In-Ear No. 1. We’re told the in-ear headphone is but the first of a comprehensive series of portable audio products from the French company better known for its loudspeaker and turntable designs. Offering Bluetooth with aptX compatibility, the new in-ears utilise an 11.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 01, 2018  |  0 comments
Yamaha’s MusicCast wireless multi-room speakers have undergone a refresh, with a series of streaming speakers, soundbars and a wireless subwoofer all set for release in September. First up is the MusicCast 20, which can be used as a standalone speaker, paired or as part of a surround setup. Equipped with wi-fi, AirPlay and Bluetooth (version 4. 2), it features a 30mm soft dome tweeter, 90mm mid/bass driver and pair of passive bass radiators.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  May 31, 2018  |  0 comments
When approaching its latest turntable, Rega’s designers were tasked with making their most successful model yet even easier to use and more accessible to a wider audience. The result is the Planar 1 Plus, which ditches the USB interface for digitising music in favour of a built-in moving-magnet stage based on Rega’s Fono Mini. Like the Planar 1 on which it is based, the Plus additionally boasts Rega’s RB110 tonearm, which rather handily includes automatic bias adjustment, making setup easier for beginners. Rega’s Carbon moving-magnet cartridge is supplied, as is a new ‘Plug and Play’ balance weight and redesigned feet to increase stability while minimising vibration transfer.