Australian HiFi September - October 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
editor’s lead in

WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU: MUSIC OR LYRICS? This question came up on a TV show recently (a Spicks and Specs repeat) and it’s had me wondering ever since, and thinking about the songs I love and why I love them. According to songwriter, singer and producer Karl Martin Sandberg (stage name Max Martin), who’s written almost as many of the number-one singles on Billboard’s Hot 100s chart as Paul McCartney and John Lennon (they’re the top three writers on that chart), melodies are the most important. They’re so important that he uses a ‘melodic maths’ formula to create his tunes. He used it to create hit songs for Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Taylor Swift, NSYNC, Maroon 5, The Weeknd, Katy Perry and others. Music being the more important of the…

23 min
sound bites

REGA KYTE LOUDSPEAKERS Rega has released a new desktop/bookshelf two-way loudspeaker that uses a thermoset phenolic resin cabinet. Designed and manufactured in the UK, the new Rega Kyte marries a 125mm diameter bass/midrange driver with Rega’s ‘ZRR’ dome tweeter, a design so-called because Rega says it has ‘zero rear reflections’ whose 19mm-diameter dome is surmounted by a triangular phase correction bridge. The bass-reflex cabinet’s port is at the rear, above a set of vertically-mounted speaker terminals. Despite its small size (the cabinet measures 188x325x232mm WHD) the cabinet is internally damped and braced with a ‘+ shaped’ structure the ends of which are fixed to ceramic plates that are anchored to the phenolic resin. Rega says the sensitivity of the new Kyte is 89dBSPL (presumably for a one-watt input, but this is not stated)…

13 min
sweetvinyl sugarcube sc-2 mini

Remember when we used to record stuff? Put vinyl records on, make mixtapes on cassette, play them in the car, give them nervously to prospective girlfriends with a carefully hand-written case insert, wondering if that track near the end isn’t a bit much for that stage of the relationship? Where has it all gone? These days you’ll be lucky if your hi-fi amp even has a ‘record out’ around the back. It almost makes me chuckle when I review something which still has an input labelled ‘tape’. It was compact discs which did for recording, of course, because once you could copy digitally and burn your own CDs (though heaven forbid I should suggest you so much as think of copying digital music in any way because we will get rude letters…

14 min
adcom gfa-585se stereo power amplifier

You’ve heard of that saying “They don’t make ‘em like they did in the old days”. These days that certainly applies to amplifiers, with even the glitziest of the uber-hi-end amplifier manufacturers succumbing to the temptation of buying ‘off-the-shelf’ ready-made Class-D modules from Denmark or Holland and putting them inside their amplifiers. Well I can use these pages to tell you that, at least when it comes to Adcom, they “do make ‘em like they did in the old days” because the Adcom GFA-585se looks like it just arrived on a time machine straight from the 1980s. Same circuitry, same build quality, same construction techniques, even the same look. It’s a high-powered, Class-A/B ‘muscle’ amplifier of the type that once shared shelf space in hi-fi emporiums with the likes of other famous…

4 min
about adcom

In L. Frank Baum’s novel The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy famously says, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” So maybe it should not come as a surprise for you to learn that Adcom is no longer headquartered at 11 Elkins Road, East Brunswick, New Jersey and has not been there for nigh-on half a century. Since it was first established back in the 70s in the USA, the company has shifted through different states of America, and though several completely different owners, who between them had varying degrees of success marketing it. The company was founded by Newt Chenin, who was the Southern Californian sales representative for one of the most famous amplifier companies in America at the time, SAE (Scientific Audio Electronics), founded in 1967, in Los…

8 min
laboratory test report

ADCOM GFA-585se STEREO POWER AMPLIFIER Newport Test Labs measured the both-channels-driven into 8Ω power output of the Adcom GFA-585se as a just a few watts shy of 500-watts per channel (496-watts), which is above specification. Importantly, it is able to deliver this power at any frequency across the audio spectrum, from 20Hz to 20kHz, as you can see from the tabulated figures and from the adjacent bar graphs. When only a single channel was driven into the same load, the GFA-585se’s output power increased to 530-watts per channel at the frequency extremes, and to 545-watts per channel at 1kHz. Driven into 4Ω loads, Newport Test Labs measured power output at 784-watts per channel, both channels driven, using a 1kHz test signal, and 756-watts per channel, both channels driven, at the ends of the…