Australian HiFi January - February 2021

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.

Future Publishing Ltd
7 Issues

in this issue

3 min
ces 2021: virtually, a non-event

Normally in this issue we’d bring you a round-up of CES, held in Las Vegas every year in the first week of January, but this year, just like last year, there’s no such thing as ‘normal’ thanks to Covid-19. So of course CES wasn’t held this year. Or, rather, it wasn’t held as a physical event. In true “the show must go on” spirit, the show’s organisers decided that they couldn’t forgo all that lovely exhibitor revenue and turned the CES into a ‘virtual’ event, proudly proclaiming on the opening day “The first-ever, all-digital CES 2021, owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association, opened its full digital experience to audiences around the world. This transformational event provides audiences with a front-row seat to the innovation and technologies that will…

1 min
australian hi-fi

Editorial Editor: Greg Borrowman Art Director: Kristian Hagen Contributors Jutta Grkinich, Stephen Dawson, Steve Holding, Jez Ford, Tom Waters, Peter Xeni, Paul Boon, Rod Easdown, Matt Doria, Bill Huff-Fanning, Brad Cunningham, Steven Rowland, Paul Boon, Angus Bradley, Kailu Chen, Peter Giles. Advertising Advertising Director: Jim Preece Advertising Manager: Lewis Preece Advertising Liaison: Diane Preece Management Managing Director: Neville Daniels Printed by IVE GROUP Distributed in Australia and NZ by Ovato…

20 min
sound bites

B&W 600 SERIES ANNIVERSARY EDITION B&W has released the seventh generation of its venerable 600 Series, which was launched a quarter of a century ago. This means that the new 600 Series Anniversary Edition is the company’s second-longest continuously-available line. Despite many corporate and manufacturing changes over the years, Bowers & Wilkins still develops and manufactures all its key components in-house and gradually ‘trickles down’ technologies originally developed for flagship models to its lower-priced speakers. “This approach has consistently allowed 600 Series models to deliver better quality components and technologies than any comparable competitor, delivering sound quality rivalling that of far more expensive speakers,” says John Martin, of B&W Australia. The new 600 Series Anniversary Edition range not only offers component and technological improvements over the sixth version of the 600 Series,…

22 min
gryphon essence preamplifier & stereo power amplifier

The Gryphon Essence stereo power amplifier is a very, very unusual audio amplifier. Which, if you know anything at all about this proudly Danish high-end audio specialist or its recently-retired founder, Flemming E. Rasmussen, should not come as a surprise. Although Flemming is still associated with Gryphon, the company is now owned by Valdemar Martin BØrsting and Gryphon’s employees, which includes electronics designer Tom Moller, who has been the head of the design team at Gryphon for many years now. The power amplifier is so unusual that it needs an unusual pre-amplifier to drive it, so for this review it is partnered with Gryphon’s Essence Preamplifier. (In point of fact, the Essence power amplifier can be used with any preamplifier at all, but only Gryphon’s preamplifier can take full advantage of the…

10 min
laboratory test report

Newport Test Labs measured the power output of the Gryphon Essence Stereo power amplifier at exactly 51-watts per channel into 8Ω at all audio frequencies and irrespective of how many channels were driven: one or both. When driven into 4Ω loads, the Gryphon Essence’s power output doubled, which is exactly what a ‘perfect’ amplifier should do, but so few actually really do when tested. Again, the output was exactly 102-watts per channel at all audio frequencies irrespective of how many channels were driven, as you can see from both the accompanying bar graphs and the tabulated chart. The Gryphon Essence very nearly pulled off the same trick again when Newport Test Labs dropped the load resistance to just 2Ω, but instead of delivering the theoretical ideal of 204-watts, the amplifier’s output…

10 min
bowers & wilkins px7 wireless noise-cancelling headphones

While Bowers & Wilkins has been making speakers since the 1960s, it entered the headphone market only a decade ago with the on-ear P5 Mobile Hi-Fi headphones. The P5s strongly leveraged B&W’s reputation for luxury, all leather and shining metal, connected stethoscope-like with twisting metal rods — one reviewer back then called them “truly drop-dead gorgeous things shouting executive luxury from every curve.” It was to be three years before B&W launched an over-ear model, a more serious headphone, again linked up with sculptural swirls of steel but — as with the P5 — there was no noise-cancelling, and no wireless operation either, depite the premium pricing. The PX7 brings the company fully up to date with a technological full monty of wireless (or wired or USB) playback, active noise-cancellation, and app control. THE…