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Hi-Fi ChoiceHi-Fi Choice

Hi-Fi Choice Feb-18

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.

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13 Números


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www.hifichoice.co.uk HFC kick started 2018 by travelling to CES Las Vegas to experience the show that sets the tone for the technology trends in the year ahead, and it looks set to be a great one for hi-fi. Now in its 51st year, it’s true that the expo has evolved to focus more on emerging technologies such as 8K screens, AI assistants, virtual reality and autonomous driving, but there were still plenty of audio highlights to satisfy our hi-fi sensibilities with brands showcasing the latest developments and product launches. Turn to p10 to discover what’s in store in our show report. One of the highlights of last year’s CES was the opportunity to see Naim’s Uniti series in the flesh. A full 12 months on and the planets have finally aligned for…

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melody maker

PRICE: £1,099 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 02890 279830 WEB: MARANTZ.CO.UK AFTER THE INTRODUCTION of the analogue-only PM8006 integrated amplifier with phono stage (£1,099) at the end of last year, Marantz kicked off 2018 by unveiling its matching ND8006 – a digital music player that combines network streaming and CD playback. Designed by the audio specialist as a high-quality universal music player, it can be used to partner a conventional integrated amplifier (such as the intended PM8006) or connected directly to a power amplifier or active speaker of your choosing, thanks to its built-in digital preamp. HEOS integration also enables it to form part of a multi-room setup – just add HEOS speakers. Disc playback extends to CD and CD-R/RW (MP3/WMA), but unlike other disc players in the Marantz range, SACD isn't supported. Ethernet and…

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is this the end for downloads?

"These services treat you like a criminal. And they are subscription based and we think subscriptions are the wrong path. One of the reasons we think this is because people bought their music for as long as we can remember… When you own your music it never goes away. When you own your music you have a broad set of personal use rights — you can listen to it however you want," so said a certain mister Steve Jobs back in 2003. In fairness to Apple's head honcho of yesteryear, had he lived to today he almost certainly would've admitted that even he can't be right all the time. In fact, he would probably have been inclined to suggest that the time might be rapidly approaching when his iTunes download store…

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solo & duo phono stages

PRICE: £150-£250 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 0207 9402200 WEB: CAMBRIDGEAUDIO.COM CAMBRIDGE AUDIO HAS started off its 50th anniversary year by introducing a new pair of dedicated phono stages. The moving-magnet Solo (pictured top) claims 36dB gain (@1kHz) and 10W maximum power consumption. With nominal output of 300mV, it is expected to cost £150. Priced at £100 more, the Duo incorporates both moving-magnet and moving-coil input stages, with 60dB gain claimed for the latter. It also includes a dedicated headphone amplifier with 6.35mm output jack and volume control so that listeners can enjoy their vinyl without switching on the main hi-fi amplifier. Both phono stages come equipped with a rear-mounted balance control to trim channel level inbalances in cartridges and utilise a switch mode power supply and surface mount components for improved signal handling…

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chord electronics qutest

PRICE: £1,195 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 01622 721444 WEB: CHORDELECTRONICS.CO.UK The Venetian Tower in Las Vegas seemed an appropriately glamorous location for Chord Electronics to unveil the latest addition to its family of DACs to an expectant public at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (see overleaf for more). Dubbed “The World’s most advanced compact DAC”, Qutest is based on the latest version of Rob Watts famed proprietary FPGA technology – developed for the Hugo 2 (HFC 428) no less. Designed for static use within the home, the new digital-to-analogue converter benefits from being powered via a 5V micro USB port, offering up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM and DSD512 via its USB Type-B input, 24-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD128 from its coaxial (BNC) and 24-bit/192kHz via optical Toslink. Created by Chief Designer John Franks, the new square-edged, solid…

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ces 2018

THE CES SHOW held at the start of the year in Las Vegas, Nevada has long been one of the major events in the audio calendar. Now in its 51st year, the well-established show dominates the city’s strip, making use of various convention centres and the Venetian Hotel to accommodate more than 3,700 exhibitors over 2.5 million square feet of exhibition space. This year saw the organisers push back the usual early new-year start date by a week, and the four-day event opened on 9 January. As regular readers will know, CES is not a dedicated audio show – in fact it covers an increasingly broad area that sets the tone for tech trends in the year ahead with 8K and QLED TVs, AI assistants, virtual reality and health gadgets all…