LATEST ADDITIONS

Ed Selley  |  May 17, 2011  |  0 comments
Fine Dyning Danish-made with in-house drive units, the DM3/7 is one of a dying breed of well-priced 'homemade' speakers says Paul Messenger One of several ranges from this upmarket speaker brand, the ‘plain-Jane’ DM-series loudspeakers are primarily intended to combine Dynaudio’s core technologies within cost-effective suits of clothes. The DM3/7 is certainly no exception, being a straight two-way that combines two 170mm bass/mid drivers operating in parallel and a 28mm doped fabric dome tweeter inside a decidedly plain and understated enclosure. But while the DM3/7 won’t stand out in any fashion parade, it does look neat enough in its own understated way and also incorporates much of the fundamental engineering content found in the company’s more costly models. The DM3/7 is actually the latest of a DM-series that currently comprises three stereo pairs and a centre-front AV model.
Ed Selley  |  May 16, 2011  |  0 comments
Triumphant return Get ready - Onkyo is back in 'serious' hi-fi after a 20-year gap and HFC's Ed Selley reckons this new pre/power is a real tour de force Onkyo has been out of the high-end hi-fi market for almost twenty years – long enough for us to believe that they had left it for good. But the brand is back and it has come out shooting. The components you see here are part of a new range of elite, flagship hi-fi products for 2011. This on its own would be good news.
Ed Selley  |  May 16, 2011  |  0 comments
The final frontier Primare's beautifully built, full-width phono stage is the perfect partner for serious vinyl systems says analogue addict Jason Kennedy Primare’s new R32 has got to be the biggest phono stage on the market for under a grand, In fact, you could fit a dozen Dynavector P75 MkII stages inside it! Size is not usually considered a bonus in such devices but it has two benefits: you get a component that matches the rest on your rack and it’s extremely well built. You also get plenty of space between the power supply and the internal circuitry. When you are amplifying the pitiful output of a moving coil cartridge you need the quietest environment you can get and this is one way of achieving it. Back in black In 2009, we reviewed Primare’s R20 phono stage (HFC 320), which was half the width of the R32 and nearly half the price, but had the unusual feature of variable gain for the MM input only.
Ed Selley  |  May 16, 2011  |  0 comments
Bronze Age High-performance speakers needn’t cost the earth – Ed Selley listens in on the latest evolution of the popular Monitor Audio Bronze Series Monitor Audio has been producing the Bronze series, its entry-level full-size speaker range, for some years now. And the latest update takes the line-up from BR to BX status and features a full choice of standmounts, floorstanders and supporting multichannel equipment. Design refinements include single- bolt driver fixings and HiVE reflex ports borrowed from the more expensive ranges. The £500 BX5 tested here, however, is the smaller of two floorstanding models.
Ed Selley  |  Apr 28, 2011  |  0 comments
The right balance With Magic Racks your hi-fi literally floats on rubber bands and as Richard Black discovers, it provides a unique way to isolate your system. There have been plenty of new designs for equipment supports over the years, the majority of them taking rigidity seriously along with such anti-vibration measures as spikes. A few, though, seek to decouple equipment more thoroughly using sprung or otherwise ‘floppy’ support systems, with or without damping. Newcomer Magic Racks has come up with an ingenious way of implementing the floppy approach, using what are basically rubber bands – long strips of neoprene rubber, placed between supports in such a way that they keep equipment clear of the floor or the level underneath, while allowing it to bounce freely.
Ed Selley  |  Apr 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Getting the cleaners in A noisy mains supply can ruin the sound of your hi-fi says Jimmy Hughes, as he discovers the latest technology from Isol-8's SubStations Sooner or later, even the most sensible hi-fi enthusiast starts to wonder what sort of difference having a mains conditioner might make to the sound of their equipment. Mains electricity is the ‘fuel’ that powers your system. So it stands to reason; the cleaner the fuel, the better things should sound. But then doesn’t the power supply in each individual hi-fi component deal with whatever impurities that might be present in the electricity supply? Well, to a degree – yes.
Ed Selley  |  Apr 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Just for the record Can a humble cartridge-maker craft the perfect phono stage? Dynavector’s radical P-75 looks to invigorate Jason Kennedy’s LP collection In many respects you would expect companies that make cartridges to be the best placed to design a phono stage, but this is still quite a rare practice (van den Hul and Rega are notable exceptions). Dynavector is not just a cartridge maker of course, it has an electronics wing in New Zealand and used to make an amplifier with stereo- enhancing circuitry, there is also a discontinued head amplifier on its website. Its compact P-75 phono stage is now in its second generation and has something of a cult following, so we thought it time to investigate. Degrees of grain The P75 does a couple of things rather differently to most.
Ed Selley  |  Apr 24, 2011  |  0 comments
A Shure thing Shure's flagship SE535 is the closest you can get to a good hi-fi system on the go. Dan George marvels at the triple drivers making it happen Ipod sales, now into the hundreds of millions, have driven enormous growth in the headphone and specifically, earphone market, to the benefit of music lovers everywhere. With growth comes investment and with that comes developments in technology, leading to flagship models such as the SE535. These sound-isolating earphones are all about the triple drivers they contain.
Ed Selley  |  Mar 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Can't knock Okki Nokki Cleanliness is next to fidelity when it comes to vinyl, but where on earth did this device get its name? Jason Kennedy scrubs his grooves Okki Nokki distributor Ken White has been selling second-hand records since the nineties, so he knows a thing or two about filth, enough it would seem to have sought out this strangely named machine and decided to bring it to the UK. It’s certainly priced right at £395 – we don’t know of a cheaper alternative that has built-in vacuuming capabilities and the ability to spin in both directions. Not only that, but it comes complete with concentrated cleaning fluid and a goat’s-hair brush. The name, incidentally, is Dutch for ‘thumbs-up’.
Ed Selley  |  Mar 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Emotional rescue Italian stalwart Monrio has a refreshingly honest design philosophy when it comes to hi-fi. Jason Kennedy gets passionate about the stylish TL 2 Monrio is an Italian company with a refreshingly honest aim, “Our pretension is neither to bring a real listening experience to your house – it is not possible to do it – nor to imitate the reality but to represent it in the best possible way. ” Few companies have the strength of character to be this open about their approach. It does, of course, grant Monrio founder Giovanni Gadzola licence to make highly personal products, but the fact that he has been selling them for over three decades suggests that his tastes are not unique.

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