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Australian HiFi

Australian HiFi July - August 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

3 min.
who’s talking… and who’s listening?

According to The Guardian newspaper, within two years there will be more voice assistants on the Internet than there are people on the planet. This is particularly relevant to the world of audio now that more hi-fi components are integrating voice assistants, but you don’t have to look very far to find hi-fi amplifiers, receivers, soundbars, and streamers that have voice technology on board (most recently and most famously, Sonos). But hi-fi is a niche market, with mostly smaller players involved in design, manufacture and distribution, and I am not sure that they’re necessarily up to speed on the psychology of voice assistance. Incorporating voice assistance on hi-fi equipment seems like a good idea, but could it backfire? It certainly backfired on car manufacturer BMW, which found that sales of one…

28 min.

PARASOUND XRM PHONO PREAMPLIFIER Parasound’s new $1,199 Zphono XRM phono preamplifier bridges the price gap between its entry-level Zphono ($399) and its award-winning Halo JC 3 Jr, which retails for $2,995. The new Zphono XRM includes balanced XLR outputs, a switchable rumble filter, a mono/stereo switch, plus a continuously variable load adjustment for moving-coil cartridges that allows adjustment between 50 and 1050 . Separate input jacks and independent circuits for MC and MM cartridges mean that you can use dual turntables, each fitted with a different cartridge. ‘Our current Zphono is the ideal product for entry-level vinyl lovers,’ said Richard Schram, of Parasound. ‘We’ve noticed the fast-growing popularity of more expensive turntables and increasingly high-performance MM and MC cartridges. With the Zphono XRM’s adjustable load impedance knob (rather than DIP switches) MC…

17 min.
dynaudio evoke 50 loudspeakers

Great news! Dynaudio has trickled down one of the technologies it uses in its high-end loudspeakers to a totally affordable model. The ‘Hexis’ geometry Dynaudio developed specially for its Esotar3 tweeter—as used on the company’s Confidence range—is now fitted to the latest Dynaudio Evoke 50. THE EQUIPMENT It isn’t the exact same tweeter, of course, but the most important design element is the same, which is that the 28mm fabric dome sits just on top of a hidden ‘inner dome’ in a geometry that Dynaudio calls a ‘Hexis’— and if you look carefully at the fabric dome, you can just see the dimpled surface of the sub-dome underneath. According to the Alex Newman, one of the acoustic designers responsible for the Evoke series, the second dome enables better control of air pressure…

6 min.
laboratory test report

Newport Test Labs measured the Dynaudio Evoke 50 loudspeakers using its standard test procedures. Graph 1 shows a frequency response that was obtained using two different techniques. The section of the trace below 900Hz is the averaged result of nine individual frequency sweeps measured at a distance of three metres, with the central grid point of the microphone on-axis with the tweeter, so one measurement is made with the mic aimed directly at the tweeter, another with the mic higher, another with it lower, another with it off to one side, another with it off to the other, and so on, until nine traces have been acquired, after which they’re averaged via post-processing. The section of the trace above 900Hz is the gated high-frequency response of the speaker, without the…

9 min.
yamaha cd-s300 cd/usb player

You can blame my Nana for this review. She’s 89 but she’s still as sharp as a tack. She’s lost grandpa, but she hasn’t lost her hearing… or her enjoyment of music. But she hasn’t been listening to much music lately, because her CD player carked it and she figured that her grandson, the hi-fi reviewer, was the obvious person to advise her about getting a new one. I started off by suggesting that technology had moved on a bit, and there were better, more convenient ways she could listen to music. She cut me off at the pass before I could get too far down that track. ‘My CDs have sentimental value for me,’ she said. ‘They remind me of the concerts Dan and I went to when he was…

5 min.
laboratory test report

The measured frequency response of the Yamaha CD-S300 was extraordinarily flat, as you can see from the tenth graph accompanying this report. The first thing to note when looking at Graph 10 is that each horizontal line represents a difference in level of just 0.2dB, meaning that the total range of the graph, from top to bottom, is only one single decibel (1dB). So, although the Yamaha CD-S300’s frequency response appears to get a bit ‘squiggly’ and roll off above 10kHz, that roll-off is from the 0dB reference line down to just –0.14dB at 20kHz. This puts the Yamaha CD-S300’s measured ‘normalised’ frequency response at 20Hz to 20kHz ±0.08dB. Note also that the player’s low-frequency response extends down to 2Hz… this just isn’t shown on the graph, whose lowest display…