LATEST ADDITIONS

Ed Selley  |  Aug 15, 2010  |  0 comments
Cyrus CD 8SE - £1,300 Cyrus has included its own servo evolution platform, bringing CD replay close to perfection we’ve seen this model before (HFC 310), but it has been very slightly revised, so we thought a re-test might be a good idea. Many of these revisions are cosmetic, including a new window for the display and a redesigned bezel, which fronts the slot-loading transport and puts the mind at rest about scratching discs (not that we hand any such concerns in the first place). But there have also been some changes to the software which controls the disc-reading servo. This servo was the ‘big news’ about the 8SE (the letters standing for ‘Servo Evolution’) and was something of a novelty for a specialist manufacturer such as Cyrus, in that it optimised disc-reading from a high-quality audio standpoint, rather than the more common trade-off between read quality and performance with dodgy or damaged discs.
Ed Selley  |  Aug 15, 2010  |  0 comments
Micromega CD-10 - £820 It has a limited repertoire, but this player still divides opinion on its performance abilities Micromega’s name was made with mid-price CD players, and the company continues to enjoy a high reputation for such devices. As the baby of the range, this model doesn’t do anything particularly surprising, but it’s clearly a carefully designed piece of kit. Micromega makes particular mention of the power supply arrangements, which start with an R-core transformer. The R-core design originated in far-Eastern budget audio, but as Micromega points out, one of its characteristics is a rather narrow frequency band, which isn’t ideal for all applications but, in low-power equipment like CD players, it effectively contributes a degree of mains filtering.
Ed Selley  |  Aug 15, 2010  |  0 comments
Moon CD. 5 £999 Inspired by some cutting-edge technology, the Moon has a few surprises in store Moon’s range extends upwards from this simple and businesslike model to some quite fancy players, including the two-box Andromeda which is well over ten grand’s-worth of cutting-edge technology. While it’s hard to see many physical constituent parts that have ‘trickled down’ from the Andromeda, the design aims seem consistent across the range. For instance, Moon is keen on integer oversampling, rather than the asynchronous ‘upsampling’ which has been in vogue for some years.
Ed Selley  |  Aug 02, 2010  |  0 comments
A mini adventure Paul Messenger test runs Bowers and Wilkins' stylish CM5 - a variation on a familiar and long established two-way luxury standmount theme The request from the Bowers and Wilkins marketing team to the engineering department responsible for the CM5 loudspeaker, probably went along the lines of “make us something small, simple, beautiful and affordable”. So it did! At £800, it doesn’t come cheap, but it is unquestionably delightfully designed and beautifully finished and a vast improvement over the 685 model (HFC 299), which incorporates many ostensibly similar core ingredients at around half the price, yet which is dressed in clothes that even its friends would call nondescript. And that’s certainly not the description one would apply to the CM5. But its virtues aren’t entirely superficial.
Ed Selley  |  Aug 02, 2010  |  0 comments
Follow the A1 Dominic Todd gets acquainted with legendary headphone manufacturer Beyerdynamic's high-performance A1 headphone amp he mission for Beyer’s A1 is all about bringing wideband audio to the headphone enthusiast. The entire circuit has been designed to transmit 96kHz signals, making it ideal for SACD, DVD-Audio or other high-resolution audio formats. Against its rivals, who often seek a mellifluous, valve-like sound, the Beyerdynamic A1 has studio-like neutrality as its design concept. In a similar vein, the A1 is styled for practicality rather than flamboyancy.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 20, 2010  |  0 comments
PMC DB1i - £985 Probably the smallest transmission line speaker in the world. Someone should inform the Guinness Book of Records In PMC parlance, DB is shorthand for Dinky Box. While somewhat deeper than sealed-box miniatures, like the classic BBC LS3/5a, the front view is barely larger than that needed to accommodate two drive units, so this DB1i is certainly a tiny loudspeaker. Especially when you consider that the four-section transmission line squeezed inside this little enclosure to load the back of the small main driver has an amazing effective length of 1.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 20, 2010  |  0 comments
Roksan Kandy K2 TR-5 - £895 This petite Kandy pitches above its station, thanks to the credentials of its much larger Caspian FR-5 brother Roksan’s fine reputation has been built largely off the back of its fine turntables and electronics, though several interesting loudspeaker designs have also put in an occasional appearance. The fine floorstanding Caspian FR-5 was very well received when it arrived in 2006 and the obvious question for this review is whether this Kandy K2 TR-5 can repeat the same trick. The K2 Kandys are Roksan’s recently introduced and least costly range of components, and while the official price of this TR-5 varies from £895 (high-gloss black) to £945 (the beautifully finished satin rosewood of our samples), substantial discounts are available if other Kandy K2 electronics are purchased at the same time. Besides those two options, the speaker is available in silver, maple and metallic black.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 20, 2010  |  0 comments
Triangle Trio - £1, 449 A touch of French class, both in its tasty cabinetwork and the unusual application of a horn-loaded tweeter The most costly member of our test group, Triangle’s Trio is also one of the largest – and the flashiest too, with its curved cabinetwork, the multi-hued part-external horn-loaded tweeter that protrudes above the top panel, and the shiny flared front port. The Trio is the smallest of three stereo pairs that make up Triangle’s mid-market Genese range, designed to take some of features introduced in the upmarket Magellan models, make them available at lower cost and bridge the gap between the Magellans and the vinyl-covered budget Esprit EX models. A generous-sized two-way standmount, based on a 160-millimetre bass/mid driver, this Trio has much in common with Triangle’s more costly Magellan Duetto SW2 (HFC 317). While the deep front panel is high- gloss black, the rest of the enclosure is attractively finished in a real wood veneer, stained to give a mahogany effect.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 20, 2010  |  0 comments
Spendor SA1 - £1,295 The BBC-inspired, relaunched SA1 isn’t cheap, but its loveable presentation won over our blind listening panel Over the years Spendor has introduced a number of small sealed-box sub-miniatures inspired by the BBC LS3/5a. Its first design, christened the SA1 and with a squatter, dumpier shape than a 3/5a, was launched in the mid-1970s. It was highly regarded, even though the company subsequently took out a license to produce the LS3/5a and this new SA1 revives the name, though not the shape of the original. In fact, it’s similar to a 3/5a dimensionally, albeit swapping over width and depth.
Ed Selley  |  Jul 20, 2010  |  0 comments
MAD My Clapton - £3,999 Newcomer My Audio Design is no slowhand when it comes to building speakers here in England The names are a giveaway. MAD is an acronym for My Audio Design, while christening this particular speaker My Clapton, is further evidence of designer and principal Tim Jung’s background. The My Clapton loudspeaker is designed and manufactured here in the UK. It’s an unusual speaker in a number of respects, mounting a 200mm coaxial drive unit into a generously proportioned, rather bluff and four-square ported enclosure.

Pages

X