LATEST ADDITIONS

Ed Selley  |  Dec 07, 2010  |  0 comments
Progressive electronica Electrocompaniet has heavily revised its flagship integrated for the MkII version. Ed Selley rings the changes Electrocompaniet has been rather more active in the pages of Hi-Fi Choice over the last few year or so, but a major revision to a product in its ‘classic’ line is still sufficiently unusual to warrant us giving it some attention. The ECI5 MkII replaces the ECI5, which in turn replaced the ECI4. 7.
Ed Selley  |  Dec 07, 2010  |  0 comments
A supercharged mini Malcolm Steward enjoys some high-end hi-fi time, with a cool-looking stack and combo system that can also digitise your vinyl The bijou Chord Electronics Chordette package surely must be the ultimate, high-class micro system. The set-up can be as simple or as comprehensive as anyone wishes just as with regular separate components, albeit, perhaps, slightly more flexible. Yet it has one distinct advantage: the entire Chordette set-up we tested occupies less space than a single 430mm-wide regular component, and there is a purpose built, modular rack available to accommodate the system and make it look swish. The system under test here comprises the Dual (not pictured), Prime, Mogul and Scamp.
Ed Selley  |  Dec 07, 2010  |  0 comments
A reason to love CD As Richard Black discovers, Audiolab's new CD player ups the ante with a host of technological innovations Well, it’s a funny old world. Here we are with CD allegedly dead in the water and one of the most keenly-awaited products in a while is a – wait for it – CD player! The experienced audiophile won’t be too surprised at that, given the history of LP replay since the 1980s. And, as for the brand that’s making the splash, Audiolab has been on and off the radar a bit over the years, including the spell as TAG McLaren Audio and is now very keen to ensure a lively future by launching eye-catching products. So just what’s so eye-catching about a CD player? Basically two things: funky new design and internal technology.
Ed Selley  |  Dec 07, 2010  |  0 comments
Britain has the X-Factor Jimmy Hughes auditions Musical Fidelity’s 260-watt M6 pre/power and thinks its place in the grand final is guaranteed Musical Fidelity is taking on the high end at its own game, whilst lowering the price of entry. Take the new M6PRE and M6PRX preamp and power amp combo, for example: balanced inputs and outputs (including USB); high-quality MM/MC phono inputs; 260 watts per channel; a regulated power supply system and (claimed) low distortion levels are impressive credits indeed. And, unlike similar products, this duo is ‘high end’ at a more realistic price. Well, okay, they’re not exactly cheap, but look around at the high end and you’ll see that there’s a lot on offer here.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 13, 2010  |  0 comments
Roksan Radius 5. 2 £1,399 (inc. arm) Putting the competition to shame in terms of rhythm and pace, the Radius 5. 2 has much to recommend it The Radius design has undergone so many changes over the years that practically no single part is left of the original, yet it is instantly recognisable as the same model.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 13, 2010  |  0 comments
SRM Arezzo Kinetic £1,248 At home with most types of music from classical to rock, here is a turntable with a wide appeal SRM first came to our attention in 2009 (HFC 325). In fact, its basic Arezzo model won our coveted award for Best sub-£1,000 turntable (HFC 326). The full range includes the aforementioned Arezzo; the Arezzo Reference; Ultra and the Kinetic. All are supplied with similar features, but the Kinetic adds just one more, albeit a significant one: a flywheel which is interposed between the motor and the platter.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 13, 2010  |  0 comments
Clearaudio Concept £1,100 (inc. arm and cartridge) Budget-priced deck with an almost plug-and-play versatility offers stiff competition to its higher-priced peers One of the undeniable advantages of CD players over turntables is that you can take them out of the box, plug them in and use them, with no fancy setting up required. The Concept turntable, however, very nearly equalises on that score, with arm and cartridge factory-set and user set-up limited to putting the platter in place (pretty hard to get wrong, really). One big no-no that has traditionally stood in the way of this is transporting an arm with the counterweight in place, which is usually a good way of busting the bearings, but the Concept’s arm has a unique magnetic bearing which can’t be damaged in this way.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 13, 2010  |  0 comments
Michell Gyro SE £1,140 With Michell proprietary technology such as TechnoWeight, this turntable has a few surprises up its tonearm The Michell look is distinctive and eye-catching and this turntable is no exception. To what extent, though, does form follow function? Many aspects of the Gyro’s design are highly functional, for instance those brass weights hanging below the plastic platter. Yes, a flat disc of brass (or other metal) would have achieved the same aim of adding rotating inertia, but it wouldn’t have done it any better - probably a little worse. On the other hand, the skeletal metal casting which forms the subchassis of the Gyro SE is, if we’re honest, more attractive than effective.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 13, 2010  |  0 comments
Pro-Ject 6 Perspex £1,280 (inc. arm) Stylish-looking and fitted with a dust cover, the 6 Perspex promises a great deal with its performance Joy of joys – a turntable with a lid, which even if it doesn’t quite enclose the whole machine, will certainly reduce the dust problem considerably. Beneath it resides a suspended turntable with some interesting ideas built in. The Perspex of the name is hardly a surprise these days, but the subchassis is made of Corian, a material which Pro-Ject claims has ‘no resonances at all’.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 12, 2010  |  0 comments
Universal panacea Can a preamplifier costing as much as a small car really make a difference? Jason Kennedy ponders the accepted order What better time than the new era of austerity for us to discover how much difference a really good preamplifier can make to an already impressive high-end system. Mark Levinson was one of the first to build seriously engineered high-end amplifiers. We don’t mean excessively large or massively powerful, although it was ahead of the power game, we mean Rolls Royce or SME-style build quality. It’s unusual for us to review a preamplifier on its own, but the new No.

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