Hi-Fi Choice February 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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13 Numéros

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1 min

www.hifichoice.com I don’t know about yours but my lockdown’s a cacophony. Right now, upstairs in her bedroom, the eldest, in enforced exile from Uni, is blasting out The Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead. Simultaneously the youngest, having just survived several tedious hours of online schooling, is cranking up some gloriously nasty Tyler, The Creator. In the room next door the boy, 17 and livid he can’t be out rehearsing with his new bandmates, is roaring along to Korn at an obscene volume. And, most heinous of all, the wife’s in the kitchen with Alexa and seemingly endless re-runs of The Archers. Me? I’m trying to deny the disturbance and write this equipped with my noise-cancellers of choice in the fabulous company of Lana Del Rey. Thank heavens, then, for the streaming services which,…

3 min
hit for six!

PRICE: £2,000-£4,000 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: CYRUSAUDIO.COM CYRUS AUDIO HAS launched its new, six-product XR series which it describes as being: “positioned towards discerning audio enthusiasts.” The range comprises two integrated amplifiers with DACs (the i7-XR and i9-XR), a preamp (Pre-XR), two CD players (the CDt-XR transport and the integrated CDi-XR) and an external power supply (the PSU-XR). The company explains: “In designing these products from the ground up, the engineers were able to create an exceptionally low noise platform, through power supply design, DAC optimisation, component choice, circuit topology, as well as some more fundamental design approaches.” The range also boats a new aesthetic with all the products in the XR series wrapped in a new Phantom Black finish while the user interface incorporates capacitive touch buttons with audible feedback. The new UI…

1 min
fyne’s ‘special’ one

PRICE: £2,800-£3,220 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: FYNEAUDIO.COM SCOTTISH COMPANY FYNE Audio has launched the F501SP, its second Special Production loudspeaker, following the F502SP that was unveiled last year and is on review on p44. According to Fyne, the F501SP brings much of the driver, crossover and bass tuning expertise from the F700 Series into the more compact and affordable F501 cabinet design. At its heart is a 150mm IsoFlare driver using the technology and engineering developed for the premium F701 IsoFlare unit. This driver features a multi-fibre mid/bass cone terminated with FyneFlute roll surround and a 25mm magnesium dome compression tweeter with unique waveguide set at its centre. To deliver floorstanding scale musical reproduction, the F501SP adds a 150mm low-frequency bass driver to extend the lowest output of the IsoFlare unit. It boasts 91dB/W sensitivity…

1 min
russ andrews cleans up

PRICE: £20-£29 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: RUSSANDREWS.COM Russ Andrews is expanding its range of accessories for vinyl with the launch of two new cleaning brushes designed to keep records and styli in top condition. The Groove Cleaner Brush features 50-micron nylon bristles, which the company claims are both thinner than a human hair and chemically inert, making them suitable for use with record cleaning fluids. The second new product is the Stylus Super Clean brush, which uses densely packed bristles to offer gentle stylus cleaning, “without creating static that can attract more dust.” The nylon brush can be used dry, but Russ Andrews recommends it’s most effective when partnered with its own TipTonic stylus cleaning fluid. The Groove Cleaner Brush will set you back £25, the Stylus Super Clean Brush £20 and the Stylus…

1 min
mini maestros

PRICE: £900-£2,000 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: OPHIDIAN.CO.UK BRITISH MANUFACTURER OPHIDIAN has launched its second-generation M-Series compact loudspeakers: the Minimo, Mojo and Mambo, and the company says they’ve been completely revised from the ground up. The M-Series 2 speakers take the same formula as the originals with a 27mm fabric dome tweeter from SEAS, Norway, but all three models now utilise a larger 115mm mid/bass driver up from the original 90mm. The new driver utilises a coated paper cone with 65 percent greater surface area and features a 25mm four-layer voice coil that is kept cool by an aluminium former. A magnet and motor system coupled to the company’s Aeroflex bass loading topology allow the speakers to create what’s described by the company as: “truly room-filling sound that belies their compact size.” The newly redesigned cabinets…

1 min
feet of engineering

PRICE: £127-£159 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: FINESOUNDS.UK Bassocontinuo, the Italian support specialist, has launched Ultra Feet, what it describes as the world’s first fully lab-tested isolation feet, for measurementbacked vibration protection for components. Engineered to protect and enhance almost any piece of audio equipment, Ultra Feet are available in four different ‘levels’ or load-rated options (Levels 2-5). Each UItra Foot is also height-adjustable and decoupled on both sides – where it interfaces with the supporting surface and where it meets the equipment – acting as a fully fledged independent system avoiding any kind of mechanical coupling. The four levels are: Level 2 0.1-10kg; Level 3 10.1-20kg; Level 4 20.1-40kg and Level 5 40.1-80kg. The options enable everything from lightweight turntables to heavy power amplifiers to benefit from the isolation. The feet’s upper-level models use Technogel,…