Tech & Gaming
Audio Esoterica

Audio Esoterica Issue 1 - 2017

Audio Esoterica is a spectacular new high quality publication for the discerning audiophile. Only the very best high-end components are featured, in dramatic photographic layouts that emphasise product design and engineering excellence while the industry’s leaders provide insider insights to Australia’s most experienced audio journalists. Audio Esoterica is all about the very best that the high-end audio world has to offer.

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8 Min.
yamaha ns-5000

LOUDSPEAKERS The Oxford dictionary publishes the following sentence as describing the meaning of the word ‘icon’: ‘A person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration’. In the audio industry, that same sentence would accurately describe Yamaha’s NS-1000, a classic speaker which even now, after nearing four decades since its introduction, remains highly sought after by music lovers, connoisseurs and collectors alike, commanding surprisingly high resale value. In its day the NS-1000 represented a world-fi rst with its use of beryllium tweeters and midrange domes (a very fast 12-inch paper driver was developed for the bass to marry with the tweeter and mid dome drivers’ sheer speed and attack). Yamaha followed the original NS-1000 and NS-1000M (classic three-way studio-style enclosures requiring short stands) with a couple of next-gen derivatives,…

7 Min.
linn klimax dsm

NETWORK MUSIC PLAYER If there is one level of component in the audio chain that has received the most technological attention over the last decade – revolutionised we could say – it’s the source. Linn’s Sondek LP12 turntable may have achieved classic status (and production still runs with varying levels of redesign over the years), but it’s Linn’s digital products that are now at the true cutting edge. And yes, the digital line-up still follows Linn’s GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) ethos. Linn’s Klimax DSM is almost an all-in-one digital source solution – a disc transport would complete it – but the purpose of this most advanced of sources is to stream your digital music, not spin it. While doing so from your networked storage source or service, it provides facilities for…

4 Min.
magico m3

LOUDSPEAKERS There’s a feedback loop within product design. As a brand expands its market reach, its profi le and cachet grow. And in parallel with such an advance, the natural progression of product design may take things to a point of re-evaluation. A good engineeringbased company will then analyse its position, reassess its technologies, and perhaps engage and energise the Research and Development department into a re-examinination of existing products and, with the required budgetary injection, further advance them with a view to reinventing the brand fl agship. With a new fl agship in place, that new tech can trickle down to new lower-rung models... and so the circle continues. Since its inception, Magico – headed by industrial designer and musician Alon Wolf with his committed team of engineers – has dedicated…

2 Min.
showroom session

OK, off the bat and purely subjectively: the M3s are among the most physically attractive speakers this writer has seen. Few would debate this, surely. They are visually commanding – yet with room-friendly stature – while being constructed to the highest levels with quite obvious obsessive attention to detail. I’ve visited the premises of Absolute Hi End (Magico’s Australian distributor) on a number of occasions, becoming familiar with the acoustics of the demonstration rooms. Each studio is minimalist in terms of furniture and equipment, and is acoustically treated. As always, Absolute Hi End’s proprietor, the affable Boris Granovsky, guided me through the system components and then left me to my own devices for an extended listening session. Playing familiar material, the M3 presents an outgoing personality that demands your listening attention. No…

7 Min.
audio research reference 6

PREAMPLIFIER This writer recalls meeting the legendary, yet ever so modest, William Z. Johnson when he travelled to Australia in the mid-1990s to launch what were, at the time, Audio Research Corporation’s new fl agship monoblocs, the original and now legendary Reference 600s. I lusted after these monos, loved the retro design, and admired the construction and engineering within the enormous twin chassis. Then there were those gorgeous meters… Alas, at the time, while starting a new business, funds were channelled towards what was to be the means for putting bread on the table. But just to appease the unbearable desire to own even just a modest item, a humble piece, from this American audio icon, I sought out and acquired an aff ordable pre-loved SP9 MKII preamp, proudly adding it to…

16 Min.
bowers &wilkins 800 d3

LOUDSPEAKERS B&W has been building loudspeakers for a long time. For more than 50 years in fact. Half a century! The 800 D3 represents a landmark in the company’s history, because it was specifi cally created to celebrate B&W’s 50th anniversary. As such, I expected to fi nd some gold used in the 800 D3, this being the precious metal often used to celebrate 50th anniversaries in most countries around the world. Instead, B&W has used diamond, a material more commonly reserved for 60th anniversaries. To be more specifi c, the dome of the 800 D3’s tweeter is made of diamond, which you’d have to agree is quite a step up in materials science from the cloth and base metals that are usually used to build tweeters… and by base metals,…