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PSB Imagine T: Canadian Rockies (Part 1)
The Imagine T is an elegant, slim, floor-standing, three-way design that stands about a meter tall. Most importantly, though, the review pair are coated in high-gloss white lacquer finish, which is bang on trend and currently my most preferred finish for loudspeakers, especially floor standers.
Rotel RA-12 Integrated Amplifier
Rotel has been a long standing competitor at this price point but historically, its amps were never the most feature-laden models going. But no more, as the RA-12 is possessed of a fair few bells and whistles. As well as four line-level inputs, it has four digital inputs making use of a Wolfson DAC and a moving magnet phonon stage.
Russ Andrews Clarity Mains DIY
I never cease to be amazed by the difference that cleaning up the mains supply can make to an audio system. There are many ways of achieving this – devices that connect between the mains socket and the hi-fi components, units that plug into a nearby unused mains socket and modules that are fitted into a piece of equipment.
Sony NWZ-F886 High-Res Walkman
Sony chose the recent IFA show held in Berlin to launch its first Walkman music player equipped to play high-resolution 24/192 audio files. Powered by Android 4.1, the NWZ-F886 is a 32GB portable music and video player. It comes pre-installed with apps and connects wirelessly to download more apps from Google Play.
Sony’s New Hi-Res Line-Up
Sony has announced six new high-resolution audio products aimed at faithfully reproducing each nuance of today’s finest reference-quality recordings, says the electronics giant. The new line-up includes two HDD audio players, a USB DAC amplifier, an integrated stereo amplifier and two stand mount loudspeaker models.
Teac AI-1000 Integrated Amplifier
Teac has re-entered the two-channel market at this price point after some time away and the AI-1000 is the smallest of three integrated stereo amps in a new range with matching SACD players. Small is a relative term and other than the burly Pioneer, this is the largest amp here.
NAD C 356BEE DAC – An Amplifier For All Seasons
Perhaps more than any other brand in this test, NAD is all about affordable integrated amplifiers that deliver top-notch performance for sensible outlay, dating all the way back to the 3020. While the company has been exploring some of the more exciting ends of the price spectrum with some recent designs, it hasn’t forgotten its roots and the C 356BEE DAC is a lot of amp for the money.
Pick And Mix: The Importance Of A Good Mix Tape
They may have claimed that home taping would be the death of music, but mix master Lee Dunkley really appreciated the importance of a good mix tape
Pioneer A-70 – The Biggest and Heaviest Amplifier
This is the flagship of Pioneer’s current stereo output and is the biggest and heaviest amplifier here. Not content with the most metalwork, the A-70 also has the most comprehensive spec.
Pro-Ject Stream Box RS: Go Your Own Way (Part 2)
Given that the internals of the Stream Box RS are somewhat different to what you might expect to find in a network streamer, I expect the performance to be subtly different, but the way that the RS goes about making music is in many ways as unique as the specification.
Pro-Ject Stream Box RS: Go Your Own Way (Part 1)
Designers at Pro-Ject must be putting in some serious overtime of late as the range of products the company has released in the last few months has been prodigious. Some of the most impressive new arrivals have been the RS series.
Pure Jongo A2 Wireless Streamer
Pure has come out all guns blazing in the media streaming sector with the launch of its Jongo component system. The Jongo A2, much like the Arcam rBlink and QED uPlay Plus, is a small standalone box that’s aimed at enthusiasts wishing to stream media from a smartphone or tablet on a hi-fi system.
Final Audio Design Heaven IV Earphones
The Heaven IV you see here is hardly inexpensive at $273.48 but in terms of the Final range – which goes up into four figures – it is paddling in the shallow end.
KEF M500 Headphones - Giving A Thoroughly Enjoyable Listening Experience
You can’t have failed to notice that over-ear headphones have made a big comeback of late, and the number of new models seems to grow on a daily basis. With the number of hi-fi headphone wearers steadily on the rise, KEF is among one of many brands to join the burgeoning market, and the M500s represent the UK speaker maker’s first pair of over-ear headphones.
Meridian Explorer External USB DAC
The meridian explorer is an external DAC aimed at delivering superior Sonics from a laptop or a desktop computer. It works by using asynchronous USB clocks, which are of a higher quality than those built into most computers, resulting in less jitter.
Mission SX2: Mission Statement (Part 2)
Scritti Politti’s Perfect Way shows the Missions in their element. They love dynamic, fast-moving music. Despite that slight upper bass warmth, they punch out a sound that many floor standers would be proud of, and carry the rhythm beautifully. Easy and effortless yet fast and fun, they make the track a joy to listen to.
Mission SX2: Mission Statement (Part 1)
Huntingdon-based, Mission is a company whose provenance stretches back to 1977, where the very first Henry Azima-designed 770 loudspeaker rolled off the production line. It quickly gained a reputation for design excellence, and soon widened its product range to include the 700, which was the company’s first ‘small’ speaker.
Clear Audio Performance DC: Bundle Of Joy (Part 2)
Smoother than a squashed fruit health drink, the deck pulls you into the mix, and delights by throwing out little bits of low-level detail that you’d just never get from a cheaper turntable. Jon Anderson’s distinct vocals are beautifully and sensitively carried, giving a wonderfully contemplative feel, which captures the mood of the song perfectly.
Clear Audio Performance DC: Bundle Of Joy (Part 1)
This new clear audio Performance DC straddles two worlds; it’s a high end package that bundles three of the respected German vinyl specialist’s products – which you’re quite at liberty to buy separately – into one. It starts with what is by any standards a beautifully finished aluminum plinth, inside which is a sandwich of more aluminum and highly compressed wood fiber.
Creek Evolution 50A - Top Of The Tree
Creek has been a strong contender in this price segment for years now and the Evolution 50A is its latest offering to contest the category. In terms of specifications, nothing leaps off the page as being especially radical, but the 50A has been through extensive and thorough development that has involved switching the design over to a software-controlled and menu-driven system while ensuring that the power amp is able to deal with real-world loads effectively.
Dali Kubik Wireless Loudspeaker System
Around 15 years ago, the PC industry spawned something called ‘multimedia speakers’, a whole new breed of box purposed for delivering music from computers that had previously remained silent. Now, a couple of decades and a new millennium later, the specialist hi-fi industry has got wise to this wheeze and has offered its own variations on the theme.
Epos Elan 30 - The Second Largest Floor Stander In Epos’ New Range Of Mainstream Speakers
This is the second largest floor stander in Epos’ new range of mainstream speakers; although it has three drive units it is effectively a ‘two-and-a-half-way’ design with both woofers working together, although the lower driver only works under 800Hz whereas the upper one goes up to 3.6kHz where the tweeter takes over.
Electric Recording Company: Electric Dreams (Part 3)
This is just as it should be, he thinks, because he’s yet to hear any other format that comes close sonically.
Electric Recording Company: Electric Dreams (Part 2)
It’s at this point that our discussion gets a bit philosophical. There’s something of a tension between ‘audiophiles’ and recording engineers, and it’s seems to be writ large in Pete’s world. “Whereas the studio people, by definition, have been skeptical about the audiophile world and not wanting to get involved, I’m in both camps.
Electric Recording Company: Electric Dreams (Part 1)
Think audiophile vinyl is overpriced? Fed up with paying $53.7 for the latest, umpteenth reprint of Kind of Blue? Then think on this – the Electric Recording Company’s first Bach Sonata LP re-releases cost $482.3 each, and it has just put out a Mozart box set for a cool $4,010.7!
Cambridge Audio Aero 2 – Aero Dynamics (Part 2)
A sensitivity of 90dB is claimed for the Aero 2, but our measured figure of 85.9dB on pink noise indicates that this is substantially optimistic. Nominal impedance is quoted as “8ohms compatible”, but the modulus drops to a minimum of 3.4ohms at 138Hz, making a 4ohm nominal figure more appropriate.
Cambridge Audio Aero 2 – Aero Dynamics (Part 1)
In the bread and butter world of budget boxes, points of difference between loudspeakers are small, yet – by marketing necessity – often overstated. Respective models can be stylistically quite varied, but in engineering terms all too similar.
Cadence Arca Hybrid: Rebel with A Cause
Cadence is not a Hi-Fi brand that many people will be that familiar with. I’ll try my best to redress this injustice as I believe these speakers are not only some of the finest that I’ve ever heard, but they do their job by breaking many of the long established Hi-Fi rules of what ‘good’ is supposed to sound like.
Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker - The joy of six
The Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker is a compact stereo loudspeaker that can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth technology to your smartphone, iPad, tablet or other Bluetooth device. It has been designed to offer both complete portability and performance.
ATC’s Drive Time
ATC has announced the arrival of a range of closed-box speakers featuring a new tweeter design, updated mid/bass driver and crossover housed in curved, laminated cabinets.
 
 
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