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Hi-Fi ChoiceHi-Fi Choice

Hi-Fi Choice November 2016

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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www.hifichoice.co.uk Issue No. 416 November 2016 Autumn is well and truly here, and in the UK the next few months are little more than a protracted run up in preparation for the festive season at the end of the year. If you haven’t had your first Christmas flyer or email yet inviting you to make great seasonal savings by getting in early, then rest assured it’s surely on its way. “But it’s only October!” I hear you cry. Yet, the Hi-Fi Choice office received several such ‘early bird’ invitations back in September, just as we were selecting our favourite Halloween soundtracks for this month’s record collectors’ feature starting on page 94. That being said, this is a great time of year for hi-fienthusiasts to come together to share their passion for sound…

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back to the future

PRICE: €15,000 APPROX. AVAILABLE: MARCH 2017 CONTACT: 0844 8111116 WEB:UK.YAMAHA.COM THERE ARE FEW loudspeakers that encapsulate the standards of the time quite as well as Yamaha's NS-1000M monitors. Launched in 1974, the then flagship model was easily ahead of anything else of the day, and used incredibly light, ultra-advanced beryllium drivers to produce a fast and agile sound that still manages to impress speaker enthusiasts more than 40 years on. An innovation at the time, Yamaha is keen to continue the legacy with its new NS-5000 flagship, planned for launch in 2017. In keeping with the almost legendary NS-1000M, the NS-5000 is a 30cm three-way design with newly developed tweeter, midrange and bass driver diaphragms made from a futuristic-sounding synthetic fibre created in Japan called Zylon, said to boast acoustic velocity properties comparable…

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networked systems

PRICE: £430-£650 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 0208 8363524 WEB:PIONEER-AUDIOVISUAL.EU/UK FOLLOWING ITS MERGER with Onkyo in Japan, Pioneer has unveiled three networked CD receiver systems. Each has wi-fi , Bluetooth and AirPlay connectivity options with support for 24-bit/192kHz and DSD audio files as well as TuneIn, Spotify, Tidal and Deezer streaming services and Google Cast. The range-topping X-HM86D (below) claims 2x 65W of Class D amplification, and costs £650. Both the X-HM76D (£470) and X-HM86D are equipped with a DAB/DAB+ tuner. Each system includes matching speakers tuned to the electronics, but the X-HM86D can also be supplied without for £400.…

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rotel bolsters hi-fi separates

? Six new models join Rotel’s stereo separates lineup from this month with three integrated amplifiers – A14, A12 and A10, plus the CD14 CD player and two tuners – T14 (£699) and T11 (£329) – off ering FM/DAB reception as well as streaming radio playback via DTS Play-Fi. The flagship A14 amplifier (£999) off ers 2x 80W into 8ohm and has Bluetooth aptX connectivity along with USB, coaxial and optical digital inputs handled via a 32-bit/768kHz DAC. The A12 (£799) and A10 (£389) models are rated at 60W and 40W respectively. The CD14 CD player (£549) is equipped with a Wolfson 24-bit/192kHz DAC and has coaxial digital and analogue outputs. ROTEL.COM…

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sony’s signature series

PRICE: £1,000-£2,500 AVAILABLE: OCTOBER/NOVEMBER CONTACT: 0207 3652810 WEB:SONY.CO.UK The annual IFA show in Berlin, held in early September, is the autumn showcase event for big-name brand launches. This year was no exception, as Sony introduced the flagship Signature series to celebrate its 70th year. The new high-end audio range comprises the MDR-Z1R over-ear closed-back headphone (£1,700) fitted with 70mm HD drivers, which claims to achieve a wide frequency range that extends from 4Hz to 120kHz. A high-class luxury design, it’s made using premium materials and is supplied with a selection of connectivity options (see Comment on page 7). To partner the MDR-Z1R, the TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier (£1,600) supports hi-res PCM and DSD audio files via the USB input’s built-in DAC. Although it has been designed to partner headsets from the Signature range, it…

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SuperTweeter Tannoy’s latest SuperTweeter is claimed to deliver the full bandwidth of hi-res audio and extra detail to the highest spec analogue replay systems. See for yourself what goes into the making of it: youtube.com/watch?v=crULLfFtzK4 Ask the expert DSP or digital signal processing has become an increasingly important part of Dynaudio’s speaker lineup of late, but what is it and how exactly does it work? Over to Dynaudio’s excellent Ask The Expert series, which is talking all things DSP: bit.ly/2d29ECf Highlight those scratches Buying second-hand records online can be something of a gamble as images don’t always tell the whole story. But one smart Reddit user has figured out that by changing the levels of any image of your chosen disc using Photoshop, it’s possible to highlight every scratch or blemish: bit.ly/2cR7Pmz Taxi for KEF! KEF’s new…