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Hi-Fi ChoiceHi-Fi Choice

Hi-Fi Choice April 2012

Hi-Fi Choice is the essential guide to audio excellence in the home. It is a no-nonsense guide to the finest products available, from vinyl and valves, to multi-channel digital audio and high-fidelity video. Hi-Fi Choice sorts the best from the rest with rigorous test processes and a highly experienced team of reviewers.

País:
United Kingdom
Idioma:
English
Editor:
AV Tech Media Ltd
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13 Números

EN ESTE NÚMERO

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welcome

www.hifichoice.co.uk Issue No. 357 April 2012 In terms of great hi-fi comebacks we have known, surely the humble DAC is hard to beat? Let’s not forget that the last time we saw these little boxes in any great number was way back in the late nineteen eighties, just when everyone started experimenting with the (then) red hot technology of Compact Disc. Companies such as Arcam, Linn and Meridian carved a niche for the separate digital-to-analogue convertor; here was a way you could upgrade your CD player without having to buy an expensive new transport. If we’d known then how many digital sources DACs would have to contend with now however, we’d have been shocked to our very shoulder pads. Everything from satellite boxes and PlayStations to computers benefit from decent digital conversion, which is…

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japan air line

PRICE: N-30 £349.99; N-50 £499.99 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 0870 600 1539 WEB: PIONEER.CO.UK Following the vogue for wireless-capable network music players, Pioneer has landed two new models in the UK. The N-30 and N-50 support Apple’s AirPlay and offer the ability to play music files from a variety of sources and formats, including high-resolution 24-bit/192 kHz audio files. Whether it’s off computer, NAS drives, hard disk, USB, iPod, iPhone or iPad, the new Pioneers will play it, from 24/192 hi-res FLAC and WAV files, to MP3 and MPEG-4 AAC compressed audio files. Apple’s AirPlay onboard means that users have complete access to, control and playback of, their entire iTunes music library, too, with song information and album art simultaneously displayed on the full-colour 2.4 inch QVGA LCD display. It also enables content to be streamed…

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design for life

DETAILS PRODUCT: Musical Fidelity M1 PWR ORIGIN: UK/Taiwan TYPE: power amplifier WEIGHT: 3.9kg DIMENSIONS: (WxHxD) 220x100x315mm FEATURES: • unbalanced RCA phono inputs • RCA loop output • switchable bridgable operation • power: 90v to 250v AC 50/60Hz DISTRIBUTOR: Musical Fidelity TELEPHONE: 0208 900 2866 WEBSITE:musicalfidelity.com Class D amplification has been around for donkeys’ years – it’s not, as some suggest, a recent phenomenon. Indeed, the benefits are well known; in a world of rising energy prices it’s extremely efficient, drinking very little power and producing negligible heat. In turn, this means relatively high amounts of power can be obtained in fairly small spaces. Trouble is, the sound quality of Class D amplifiers has been patchy; more miss than hit until quite recently. This has allowed a sort of ‘hi-fi urban myth’ to arise, which states that Class D amps sound bad. Not true – it’s…

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how we test

Unique group tests Hi-Fi Choice is the only magazine to offer Blind-Listening Group Tests, backed up with an objective lab testing procedure BLIND-LISTENING TESTS THIS CRUCIAL process, carefully controlled and yet sufficiently relaxed that our listeners do not feel that they’re being tested, forms the heart of our Group Test review. Our panel of three listeners are not aware of the brand or price of the product they are listening to, but they are able to choose their own music selection and decide upon the initial listening level at the beginning of the first session. This level is accurately matched from product to product throughout subsequent sessions so that subjective impressions of ‘louder’ or ‘quieter’ sounding separates helps inform us of their inherent character. Regular breaks keep our listeners refreshed while the sessions are…

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digital watch

DO YOU REMEMBER THE EIGHTIES? Just three or four years after CD enjoyed its UK launch, we were reading about these strange, fantastical devices called ‘DACs’. Along with a ‘CD transport’, we learned from the magazines of the day that a standalone ‘digital-to-analogue convertor’ was suddenly the best way to get hi-fi sound from your shiny, cutting-edge digital audio discs... In the same way that you split a preamp and a power amplifier, or the turntable into its component parts of motor unit and tonearm, so the CD player could be broken up into separate boxes better designed to do the job. True enough, but at the time it was overkill; it’s only now that the profusion of digital sources means you’re really at a loss without a separate DAC box. So much…

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arcam

rDAC £300 DETAILS ORIGIN: UK TYPE: DAC WEIGHT: 1.2kg DIMENSIONS: (WxHxD) 160x40x111mm FEATURES: • Wolfson WM8741 DAC chip • coaxial digital input • optical digital input • asychronous USB input • 1 pair RCA line outputs • offboard power supply DISTRIBUTOR: Arcam TELEPHONE: 01223 203200 WEBSITE: arcam.co.uk This DAC gives you a lot for the money, despite being so modestly proportioned. Seemingly hewn from a solid block of aluminium, its build quality is something that would shame many products at five times the price, and the styling and ergonomics are superb, too. A single central source selector works in conjunction with a bank of LEDs, which glow different colours to denote whether there’s a source locked on or not. Round the back, a single pair of RCA phono line outs are offered (no balanced XLRs but you can’t have everything), plus coaxial, optical and USB inputs, along…

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