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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Turntable sales may have stabilised in 2018, but Japanese tech giant Yamaha hopes it can break new ground with the launch of its first MusicCast record player. On display for the first time at Berlin's IFA Show at the beginning of September, the Vinyl 500 is no regular LP spinner. The wireless belt-driven deck is designed to take the classic vinyl replay experience for a new spin by combining classic design with multi-room streaming. Priced at £549, the Vinyl 500 looks traditional enough and offers both 33 and 45rpm playback speeds with a 300mm aluminium die-cast platter, a straight tonearm that's fitted with an unspecified moving-magnet cartridge and is supplied with a dust cover.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Network music streaming continues to be a convenient way for many of us to listen to music at home, and its appeal is clear to see. With access to millions of digital files at the tap of a touchscreen and CD-quality sound or better on offer from hi-res subscription services like Qobuz Sublime or Tidal Master, streaming is a remarkably slick way of playing music and this month’s Group Testlooks at six low-cost network audio navigators to get you started. Despite streaming being a thoroughly modern way to listen to music, physical formats continue to play on in many systems, with vinyl being by far the most popular for readers to get their music listening kicks, judging by the number of votes that it received in our recent twitter poll asking: “What is your favourite music format?”. It seems that we’re a diverse bunch when it comes to ways to listen, but for those looking for something that combines both worlds, check out Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 21, 2018  |  0 comments
Shown for the first time at the Festival of Sound, running from 27 to 30 September at the Novotel London West, AVM’s Inspiration CS 2. 2 4T compact streaming CD receiver will be unveiled by UK distributor PMC. Based on the popular CS 2. 2 reviewed in HFC 425, the CS 2.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 20, 2018  |  0 comments
Expectations ARE HIGH for the next generation of Denon’s CEOL network music systems, but any doubts are short lived asthe latest N10 iteration has already received an award for best compact music system by EISA members, including our sister titles Hi-Fi News and Home Cinema Choice magazines. Priced at £449, the new one-box music system adds Amazon Alexa voice compatibility and HEOS multi-room technology, allowing seamless playback to connected devices throughout the home.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 19, 2018  |  0 comments
Vienna-based hi-fi specialist Pro-Ject Audio Systems has a firm grip on the turntable market, thanks to its impressive span of models designed to appeal to vinyl fans on every budget. The Primary E is the latest in a long run of new additions to the company’s seemingly continuously growing number of turntable models, and at £149 is currently the most affordable inits 48-strong lineup.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 18, 2018  |  0 comments
Looking to spruce up the vinyl replay chain, UK distributor Henley Audio has introduced the SugarCube SC-1 from Californian-based firm SweetVinyl, designed to digitally remove pops and clicks from any record in real-time – “playing older records like they’re brand new”. Sitting between a phono stage and amplifier, it’s built around a Asahi Kasei analogue-to-digital converter (ADC), digital processor and an ESS DAC. It offers iOS and Android app-based control of the 24-bit/ 192kHz digital process and a Strength dial gives up to 10 ‘clean-up’ levels. The process claims to remove only the unwanted elements on the vinyl and that the audio signal retains all the space, depth and clarity of the original recording.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 17, 2018  |  0 comments
Kent-based digital audio specialist Chord Electronics has introduced its Hugo M Scaler. Billed as an advanced standalone upscaler, it is capable of redefining CD digital audio up to 705. 6kHz (that’s 16x CD’s 44. 1kHz native resolution), ready to be passed on to a suitable DAC via dual BNC.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 14, 2018  |  0 comments
US-based loudspeaker firm Klipsch introduces two Heritage headphone components. The £1,300 HP-3 semi open-back headphone employs 52mm biodynamic drivers and is hand built using contrasting materials, including die-cast steel, milled wood, premium-grade leather and machined aluminium. It comes with 1. 4m and 2.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 13, 2018  |  0 comments
Late summer is the time of year that Worthing-based Bowers & Wilkins likes to make announcements about changes to its loudspeaker lineup, and this year is no exception. In last year's October issue (HFC 428) we brought news of the then all-new, mid-priced 700 Series that replaced the company's long-running CM Series. Fast forward 12 months and summer 2018 sees another announcement, this time with the unveiling of the sixth iteration to its 600 Series entry-point range. The updated seven-strong loudspeaker range has adopted a similar model-naming structure to align it with 700 and 800 Series offerings.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 13, 2018  |  0 comments
Time for two-channel Having mastered multi-channel with its receivers and processors, AV specialist Anthem Electronics is finally making the move into two-channel, launching stereo amps, preamps and integrateds featuring its room calibration tool. See for yourself in this short video. Spot the difference Just how big an audiophile do you thinkyou are? Can you differentiate between uncompressed audio and a plain old MP3 file? This test plays three audio samples of six different tracks to tell if your ears have the skills to spot the difference. Click here to give it a go.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 12, 2018  |  0 comments
I am sure many readers will have fond memories of putting together their first hi-fi separates systems, based on thumbing through hi-fi press review pages of the time in search of the best-sounding components to satisfy their quality audio itch at an affordable price. For me, my first hi-fi setup was an eclectic bunch of components comprised of a Rotel integrated amplifier, Sony CD player and a pair of Tannoy Mercury standmounts. I don’t recall the exact model numbers, but I’ll certainly never forget the lively and engaging sound this beer-budget system delivered and the fun I had playing disc after disc. It’s a long way from my system today, but it set me on the hi-fi path and this month’s bargain standmount Group Test aims to do just that for seekers of high-quality audio.
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.