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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Mar 01, 2018  |  0 comments
For Exposure, 2017 was the year for downsizing, or at least it was as far as its XM series was concerned. A quick recap: back in HFC 424 the XM5 integrated amplifier wowed reviewersby providing an audiophile performance from the sort of sleek half-width dimensions more commonly associated with a lifestyle product. And then it repeated the trick in HFC 429 with the XM7 preamp/DAC and XM9 power amplifier. Now comes the turn of the XM HP headphone amplifier.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 28, 2018  |  0 comments
Swiss manufacturer Piega chose The Bristol Show (look out for a full report next month) to unveil its latest range of loudspeakers – the Premium Series. The three new speakers consist of a brace of floorstanders and a new standmount, and all come with a C-shaped chassis conceived by the renowned Swiss architect and designer Stephan Hürlemann. Manufactured from aluminium, the cabinet is claimed to be 30 percent more rigid while those distinctive curves have been adopted so that no standing waves can occur within the chassis, resulting – so Piega tells us – in a clear and precisedelivery of all medium and low-range frequencies. Meanwhile,bass plates and spikes have been introduced to the floorstanding designs to ensure interference-free sound reproduction.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 28, 2018  |  0 comments
According to recent figures from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), music streaming services like Spotify, Tidal and Qobuz account for more than 50 percent of music consumption in the UK. On the face of it, music file streaming in one form or another appears to be the way many of today’s music fans choose to listen, but despite a statistical decline in physical sales, I wouldn’t mind betting that CD remains the music format of choice for the majority of hi-fi owners. Our own online survey clearly shows that there are plenty of us still listening to music via the 12cm silver disc that prematurely promised “perfect sound forever”. Even if the rate we purchase new albums on the format has declined over recent years, our Twitter poll reveals that almost 50 percent of us own at least 500 albums on CD – that’s a quite considerable number of discs and a lifetime of music collecting for many.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 28, 2018  |  0 comments
Back in our 2017 Yearbook (HFC 432) we gave one very lucky winner the opportunity to own Rega’s stunning Planar 6 turntable fitted with an Exact moving-magnet cartridge and equipped with the Neo PSU. We received loads of entries and can reveal that Jimmy Bishop from Astley, Manchester, is the lucky winner. Congratulations,Jimmy! Here he is with his prize already installed and a copy of his favourite hi-fi magazine. .
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 23, 2018  |  0 comments
Tape that and party In an effort to explore the growing popularity of the humble compact cassette, Radio Four’s The World At One got a selection of DJs, journalists and record label ownersto explain what it is that they still find so enduring about tape. Hear for yourself what they love about the format here. Reel gone kid Our very own Neville Roberts is oneof many music enthusiasts enjoying the re-emergence of reel-to-reel tapes. Is it the new vinyl? Short answer, no.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 06, 2018  |  0 comments
Introducing the new Shawline Streaming cable from The Chord Company. Claimed to offer a significant performance upgrade over the company’s C-stream series, the cable is constructed from four pairs of high-speed silver-plated copper conductors in conjunction with low-loss FEP insulation. It is available in pre-assembled standard lengths (0. 75m, 1.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 05, 2018  |  0 comments
Cambridge audio has started off its 50th anniversary year by introducing a new pair of dedicated phono stages. The moving-magnet Solo (pictured top) claims 36dB gain (@1kHz) and 10W maximum power consumption. With nominal output of 300mV, it is expected to cost £150. Priced at £100 more, the Duo incorporates both moving-magnet and moving-coil input stages, with 60dB gain claimed for the latter.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 02, 2018  |  0 comments
The Venetian Tower in Las Vegas seemed an appropriately glamorous location for Chord Electronics to unveil the latest addition to its family of DACs to an expectant public at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (see this month's issue for more). Dubbed “The World’s most advanced compact DAC”, Qutest is based on the latest version of Rob Watts famed proprietary FPGA technology – developed for the Hugo 2 (HFC 428) no less. Designed for static use within the home, the new digital-to-analogue converter benefits from being powered via a 5V micro USB port, offering up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM and DSD512 via its USB Type-B input, 24-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD128 from its coaxial (BNC) and 24-bit/192kHz via optical Toslink. Created by Chief Designer John Franks, the new square-edged, solid aluminium chassis retains the often divisive circular magnifying porthole window seen on Hugo and similarly utilises the coloured spheres to provide the user with information relating to sample frequency and input selection.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 01, 2018  |  0 comments
HFC kick started 2018 by travelling to CES Las Vegas to experience the show that sets the tone for the technology trends in the year ahead, and it looks set to be a great one for hi-fi. Now in its 51st year, it’s true that the expo has evolved to focus more on emerging technologies such as 8K screens, AI assistants, virtual reality and autonomous driving, but there were still plenty of audio highlights to satisfy our hi-fi sensibilities with brands showcasing the latest developments and product launches. Read our CES Show Report to discover what’s in store. One of the highlights of last year’s CES was the opportunity to see Naim’s Uniti series in the flesh.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 31, 2018  |  0 comments
Back in HFC 431 we gave you the opportunity to win a selection of accessories from IsoTek. We can reveal that Chris Corrigan is the lucky winner, while the seven runner’s up prizes go to: Pamela Ratchford, Dan Odling, Peter Weston, Glen Buddery, David Dukes, Kevin Rowley and Robert Whewell. Congratulations to you all! Here's Chris all set to install his IsoTek Evo 3 Corvus nine-way mains distribution block and conditioner clutching a copy of the latestHFC. .
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 30, 2018  |  0 comments
Fine tune like a pro The dark art of subwoofer setup is explained in this fantastic series of videos produced by REL. Corner placement, orientation, phase, crossover and room correction for both two-channel and home cinema are all explored in depth. Click here to find out more. Sonos: Sound Tracks A fascinating series of videos by acclaimed music journalist Joe Levy, Sound Tracks is available to Tidal subscribers and features in-depth chat with producers, engineers and musicians about the tunesthat changed their lives.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 26, 2018  |  0 comments
After the introduction of the analogue-only PM8006 integrated amplifier with phono stage (£1,099)at the end of last year, Marantz kicked off 2018 by unveiling its matching ND8006 – a digital music player that combines network streaming and CD playback, available now for £1,099. Designed by the audio specialist as a high-quality universal music player, it can be used to partnera conventional integrated amplifier (such as the intended PM8006)or connected directly to a power amplifier or active speaker of your choosing, thanks to its built-in digital preamp. HEOS integration also enables it to form part of a multi-room setup – just add HEOS speakers. Disc playback extends to CD and CD-R/RW (MP3/WMA), but unlike other disc players in the Marantz range, SACD isn't supported.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 02, 2018  |  0 comments
In putting together this special edition, it’s clear to see that it has been another landmark year for audio, with a staggering number of high-performance components emerging to feed our passion for sound in increasingly innovative ways. From the continuing rise in popularity of vinyl to on-demand music streaming services delivering CD-quality sound and higher, the way we access music and the products we listen on is as diverse as ever. Inside this 164-page issue you’ll find our pick of the greatest-sounding audio products to undergo our respected reviewing process in 2017. From hi-res digital players to turntables, loudspeakers and headphones, every product is a covetedHi-Fi Choicebadge winner applauded by our experts for a winning combination of outstanding sound quality and value for money.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 01, 2018  |  0 comments
From the moment Rega revived its Planar name with the introduction of the Planar 1, Planar 2 (HFC 415) and Planar 3 (HFC 411) turntables in 2016, it was just a matter of time before an RP6 successor would become a reality. Rumours had been circulating for some time after the Planar 3 debuted well over a year ago, and anticipation was finally broken with the official announcement of the release of the new Planar 6 in mid-July. The good news is that it was well worth the wait. So much more than just a beefed-up version of its Planar 3 sibling, the Planar 6 boasts a new lightweight, single-piece plinth, improved two-piece platter and superior power supply design that borrows from Rega’s flagship RP10 turntable.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 15, 2017  |  0 comments
Were I gifted the time and resources to write a hi-fi thesis, I feel there is a strong case to be made for exploring regional similarities in the design and creation of audio equipment that is broader than national borders. If I needed physical evidence to back this up, I could do a lot worse than point to this system. There are roughly 400 miles between Cliffwood New Jersey and Montreal in Canada – in North American terms a journey of very little consequence. There is also a national border and a partial language change.