Hi-Fi Choice

Hi-Fi Choice Yearbook 2021

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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Pays:
United Kingdom
Langue:
English
Éditeur:
AV Tech Media Ltd
Fréquence:
Monthly
4,11 €(TVA Incluse)
36,01 €(TVA Incluse)
13 Numéros

dans ce numéro

3 min
neat acoustics ministra

Following in the wake of Neat’s floorstanding Ekstra comes the standmount version. Standing out from the crowd of bookshelf models thanks to its ribbon tweeter, the Ministra’s distinctive cabinet also boasts isobaric bass loading – not that you’d necessarily know from looking at it. On the smaller side of the standmount speaker spectrum, it marries a 50mm true-ribbon tweeter with two 134mm treated paper cone mid/bass drivers – the second sat directly behind the first in the rugged cabinet that additionally sports a tiny reflex port around the back. You might think this odd in an isobaric arrangement, but its designer sees it less of a port and more of a: “controlled leak”. The enclosure is 18mm-thick MDF with natural oak, American walnut, black oak or satin white veneer finishes; natural…

7 min
pro-ject debut carbon evo

Over the course of its more than 20 years of existence, the Pro-Ject Debut has transformed from plucky upstart into a range of turntables that no longer represent the most affordable members of the Pro-Ject range, but are instead affordable all-rounders that balance simplicity and ease of use with the scope for a bit of upgrade ‘stretch’ when you fancy it. The EVO improves upon the spec of the earlier Debut Carbon (HFC 361). All the defining characteristics of the Debut line; 8.6in tonearm, belt drive and unsuspended plinth are present as they have been in the past, but each has been tweaked in the pursuit of an improved performance. The tonearm is the same effective length as before, but the single-piece carbon armtube now has sapphire bearings and upgraded internal wiring.…

2 min
rega ania pro

DESIGNED TO BRIDGE the gap between Rega’s £500 Ania (HFC 452) and the recently introduced Apheta 3 priced at £1,250, the Ania Pro adopts the original vital profile stylus and tapered aluminium cantilever used by the Apheta to provide higher performance, combined with the simpler body construction that’s found on the Ania. Three-point fitting ensures that the cartridge naturally aligns and sets the overhang in a Rega tonearm and with a weight of 6g and a tracking force of between 1.75 and 2g, it should be easy to accommodate. Sound quality Like the standard Ania, the PPS body of the Pro has the effect of softening and sweetening the presentation. The result is that Arcade Fire’s Keep The Car Running has a warmth that’s not displayed by either Apheta design in quite the…

3 min
anthem str integrated amplifier

Notably tall and deep, the STR is the very epitome of no-nonsense styling, but while the plain casework doesn’t exactly shout high-end stereo amplifier, it is reassuringly beefy. The complexity of the rear panel is in stark contrast to the simplicity of the front. Connectivity is generous with analogue inputs running to four unbalanced RCAs and a single balanced stereo via XLRs, plus dedicated MM and MC phono inputs. Digital inputs include a USB-B, two optical, two coaxial and an AES/EBU along with further digital choices for updates and software control. There are fixed and variable line-level outputs plus dedicated left and right preamp outputs for subwoofers, while the sturdy speaker terminals accept all common connectors and power output is rated at 2x 200W into 8ohm. Anthem Room Correction (ARC) is…

2 min
rega aethos

THE AETHOS CLAIMS 2x 125W power output that makes use of a quartet of 160W Sanken Darlington transistors. These are powerful devices and when combined with Rega’s design practise of ‘doubling up’ the output stage so that the bias network and pre driver transistors are duplicated rather than just the output devices, it means the Aethos reaches its 125W rating without placing strain on the components. Sound quality The Aethos maintains many Rega traits and is an effortlessly agilesounding integrated. It takes a 44.1 rip of Seasick Steve’s That’s All and gets stuck into the rough and ready guitar and kickdrum with an infectious feeling of energy. The extra power hasn’t come at the expense of this lightness of touch and deft handling of time signatures, ensuring that it delivers a real…

2 min
rotel a11 tribute

TUNED BY FORMER Marantz Brand Ambassador Ken Ishiwata, the A11 Tribute is mainly designed as an analogue model, with four line-ins and a decent moving-magnet phono stage, plus switchable outputs for two sets of speakers and pre-out sockets. It also has Bluetooth aptX capability, feeding a 24-bit/192kHz Texas Instruments DAC. Sound quality Playing Oleta Adams’ Get Here it’s easy to hear the shaping of the voice, the reverberation and the simple instrumentation, with the piano and bass especially vibrant. In essence, what it has is that very Ken Ishiwata thing: whatever you throw at it just sounds special, from full-orchestral music to driving rock. We have a blast playing Rory Gallagher’s 1977 Check Shirt Wizard and the Queen/Adam Lambert Live Around The World set is full of pomp and swagger, especially the…