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Australian HiFi

Australian HiFi March - April 2019

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Australian HiFi is the definitive magazine for discerning listeners and Hi-Fi enthusiasts. Every issue is packed with equipment and music reviews, new product information and ‘how-to’ articles. Australian Hi-Fi magazine is dedicated to helping you find the best quality sound for your home.

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Future Publishing Ltd
7 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
wow & flutter: does it improve sound quality?

can’t say that I am surprised at the resurgence of vinyl as a I playback medium. Good vinyl can be very, very good, with an extended frequency response (more extended in the high end than CD), low noise (rumble, groove noise, etc) and imperceptibly low wow and flutter. Well, I say ‘imperceptibly low’ but I have recently been alerted to what is potentially one of the reasons that many audiophiles prefer the sound of vinyl sound to that of CD. It’s wow and flutter. Whereas I’d always thought that lack of channel separation and cross-phasing effects were the prime reasons for the great sound of vinyl, it’s been pointed out to me that the wow and flutter that’s inherent in every turntable—no matter how good—might be a reason for the great…

20 min.

Q ACOUSTICS CONCEPT 300 Q Acoustics has announced a flagship stand-mount model, the Concept 300, which comes supplied with unique stands, and retails in Australia for $5,999 (RRP), demonstrating another example of distributor Indi Imports’ ability to deliver local Australian prices that equal those in other markets, including Concept’s home market in the UK. (The UK, Euro and US prices are £2,999, €3,749 and $US4,499.) Q Acoustics defines itself as offering ‘value at every price-point’, so the flagship is bulging with both ‘rigorous engineering’ and ‘aspirational aesthetics’. Reducing cabinet vibrations is one of the key elements used to improve the sound quality of Q Acoustics speakers, and the Concept 300 cabinet is comprised of three individual layers, each separated by a non-setting gel which converts any stray high-frequency vibrations into heat which…

13 min.
yamaha musiccast vinyl 500 wireless turntable

Yamaha’s new MusicCast Vinyl 500 wireless turntable is not just a turntable that plays black vinyl. It’s a turntable that plays Tidal... and Spotify... and internet radio and high-res network streaming. It’s a turntable that has AirPlay and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and Ethernet. It’s a turntable whose output(s) you can plug into any amplifier, or send wirelessly to speakers all around the home… whilst all the while controlling almost everything via an app. It’s a turntable that does so much that calling it a ‘turntable’ seems to sell it short. THE EQUIPMENT The secret weapon behind all this interconnectiveness is, of course, Yamaha‘s MusicCast streaming and multiroom platform. The company has been exceedingly busy with MusicCast in recent years. First there were wireless speakers, then a soundbar, and then MusicCast was added…

6 min.
laboratory test report

Newport Test Labs found that the speed accuracy of the Yamaha Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500’s platter was excellent, running just 0.05% fast at 33.33 rpm and 0.04% fast at 45 rpm. This increase in speed is so slight that it would have no effect on the pitch of music replayed from LP… even a listener with perfect pitch would be unable to detect any difference in pitch. Playback time for a 30-minute LP side would be affected by less than four seconds. Wow and flutter was very low, with Newport Test Labs measuring it as being 0.04% RMS unweighted (the Australian standard) and 0.05% DIN weighted (the European standard) at 33.33rpm. Both results are an order of magnitude better than Yamaha’s own claim of 0.2% (which, in any case, is presumably…

16 min.
modwright ph 9.0 tube phono stage

Itruly enjoy reviewing hi-fi equipment… and not for the reason that by doing it I get to listen to some of the best-performing equipment in the world. In fact, this aspect of being a hi-fi reviewer is in many ways a complete downer, because much of the equipment I review is so expensive that I really can’t afford to own it, so having to send it back is often a truly painful experience. Even when I can afford to buy a bit of gear I’ve reviewed that I really like, it often isn’t cost-effective for me to sell a piece of gear I already own to buy something that’s just a wee bit better… not least because I might find that the next piece of kit I review is just a…

4 min.
laboratory test report

Newport Test Labs measured the gain of the Modwright PH 9.0’s moving-magnet input using the 0dB gain setting as being 51.24dB, just shy of Modwright’s specification of 52dB, meaning that for a 10mV input, the PH 9.0 will deliver 3.65-volts at its output. Switching to the –6dB gain setting reduced the output voltage to 1.88-volts, which is 45.48dB of gain and 5.76dB down, again very, very close to Mod-wright’s specification of –6dB. At the –12dB setting, the output voltage dropped to 1.26-volts, putting total gain at 41.79dB, which is 9.45dB below maximum gain, and around 2.5dB below Modwright’s specification of –12dB. The fact that the other two settings were so accurate, and that –9.45dB is so close to –10dB makes me wonder whether at some point someone at Modwright decided to switch…