Hi Fi News March 2019

Since its launch in June 1956 - two years before the commercial realisation of stereo - Hi-Fi News & Record Review has been delivering insightful reviews of the key products and technologies that lie behind our shared hobby... the passion of listening to music on the very best equipment available to the enthusiast. Every issue, Hi-Fi News delivers uniquely in-depth reviews of high-end audio equipment, including the best in vinyl replay and iconic vintage gear from the early days of audio. It is essential reading for all music enthusiasts.

United Kingdom
AV Tech Media Ltd
4,13 €(IVA inc.)
51,62 €(IVA inc.)
13 Números

en este número

3 min.

‘Specialist shows for specialist audiences–it’s the new order’ Somewhere in the world, every month brings with it a new HI-FI show, reflecting the spread and expansion of music playback systems–from budget to ‘how much? You must be kidding!’ high-end exotica. There’s now a start-up show in Macau, no doubt encouraged by the success of the Shanghai International HI-FI Show and the fabulous High End AV Show, which takes place in Hong Kong. Many Eastern European economies, once under the political boot, are now also realising a new-found relish for ‘consumerism’, fuelling their passion for music with some truly amazing home-grown kit that sits side-by-side with the imported brands we see in every issue of HFN. We reported from Poland’s sprawling HI-FI show last month. It’s second only to Munich’s High End in perceived…

5 min.

Nagra HD DAC X ICONIC SWISS BRAND COMPLETES ITS FLAGSHIP HD SERIES WITH A NEW DAC Nagra’s new flagship two-box DAC, the £50,000 HD DAC X, doesn’t replace the previous HD DAC (another new product, the TUBE DAC does that) so much as carry its forebear’s ambition to new heights. Now with an asynchronous USB input alongside two ‘Nagra-optical inputs for future Nagra high resolution sources’, the HD DAC X is compatible with DSD256 and hi-res PCM files, although its sampling rate capability is not currently specified. Further information is expected soon. Considerable design effort has been expended on the power supply, which utilises a large bank of supercapacitors to provide battery-like low noise levels but with otherwise superior performance. No fewer than 37 separately regulated power supplies are featured. Furthermore, the dual-mono…

5 min.
audiojumble, tonbridge

The continued appearance of younger music lovers hungry for vinyl continues at the Audio jumble in Tonbridge, while the previous rumblings of a cassette revival rumble on. This remains the world’s best marketplace for the pre-owned and–despite my own recent one-man campaign to enrich the coffers of eBay–nothing beats seeing an item in person before parting with cash. Bargains were plentiful, and my own regrets include missing a Marantz twin-cassette deck and not having the space to accommodate one of two pairs of immaculate Quad 57s in black. That said, I attend the Audio Jumble without fear of going crazy on stuff I don’t need, aware that I am downsizing and clearing my house of unused kit. Still, I left with three cassette decks… Of more resonance to this ex-pat Yank than…

4 min.
showblog sights and sounds from around the globe hi-fi les show, serbia

Largely unknown to wider European audiences, the HI-FI les Show is now in its 15th year and showcases the best HI-FI and home cinema to be found in the Adriatic region. Hosted by the Serbian audio and video magazine of the same name and held in Belgrade, the 2018 event welcomed an unprecedented number of exhibitors, from established brands to local designers plus a wide and lively mix of smaller manufacturers. Local importer 4Audio gave visitors their first chance to hear the Unison Research MAX 1 loudspeaker in a system that included the Italian brand’s S6 valve integrated amp and Unico CD Due CD player/USB DAC [HFN May’16]. www.unisonresearch.com Sretenovic Audio’s room glowed blue and green thanks to a multitude of components from McIntosh. One configuration saw the MT2 turntable and MA9000…

10 min.
buying hi-fi on a budget

The old saw that schooldays are the happiest of your life, jumpers for goalposts an’ all, has its parallels in HI-FI. Ask many an enthusiast of a certain age, and they’ll go a bit misty-eyed at the thought of their first ‘proper’ system, bought with a mixture of summer job earnings and that first student grant–yes, once upon a time you got given money to study. My own entry into the world of real HI-FI includes a Sansui SR-222 turntable (£100ish with an Ortofon cartridge) bought in London during almost a year off before going to university, a £79 NAD 3020 amp that I went and got as soon as I arrived there, and later a pair of Mordaunt-Short speakers (again a ton or so) from the rather good audio department…

1 min.
high value headphone amps

For those who relish a spot of ‘personal listening’ from time to time there’s no shortage of good DAC/headphone amplifier combinations to tempt. Portable solutions don’t come much better than the RHA Dacamp L1 [HFN May’17] and iFiAudio’s xDSD [HFN Jul’18]–both priced around £400. Then there’s the £520 Klipsch Heritage Headphone Amplifier. Look beyond the slightly folksy ‘log cabin’ styling–all wood finish and copper-effect controls–and you’ll find a fine example of the genre. Reviewed in the Dec’18 issue, its file-handling–up to 192kHz/24-bit and DSD256–combined with its punchy, open sound, plus impressive headphone-driving ability, give it wider audio appeal than its retro styling might suggest.…