Hi Fi News July 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.

‘The late ’70s was not exactly the apex of LP vinyl quality’ Here’s some audiophile trivia for you to ponder before turning to p34: what does our cover star this month have to do with the oil crisis of 1979? I’ll not go as far as to suggest the abrupt regime change in Iran led directly to the UltraDeck some 40 years later, but it did cause a hike in world oil prices and that, in turn, had an impact in the cost and quality of the one petroleum-based product of interest to we hi-fi fans – vinyl. For the mass market, the late ’70s was not exactly the apex of vinyl LP production quality. To counter the rise in raw material costs, many discs were pressed thinner, some using recycled PVC…

6 min.
power steering

Samsung has demonstrated its intention to re-establish Lexicon as a premium audiophile brand within the Harman group by attaching its name to a loudspeaker – yes, a loudspeaker – which leverages Lexicon’s DSP expertise to create a product whose only obvious competitor is the B&O BeoLab 90 [HFN Dec ’16]. Like that speaker, the £40k SL-1 uses multiple drive units (33 in total, comprising 12x 0.75in tweeters, 16x 2in midrange drivers, 4x 5.25in woofers and a 10in sub) and multiple onboard power amps (23, rated at 650W per loudspeaker) to provide precise electronic control of directivity. But where the BeoLab 90’s drivers are arrayed over a multi-faceted cabinet, the SL-1’s are distributed around a slim hourglass-shaped enclosure. The drivers can be hidden from view behind four removable grilles – and the…

8 min.
munich high end 2019

No longer in dispute, the High End Show, which takes place annually at the MOC in Munich, is the world’s premier specialist hi-fi trade fair, with 551 exhibitors – that’s stands, not brands! Visitors totalled over 21,000! But that’s only part of the story. It’s impossible to comprehend just how many turntables were present – I am convinced I saw more new models than at a typical show back when vinyl was the dominant format. Open-reel tape popped up everywhere, the place was packed and the vibe was positive. No one report could cover all the new products, but here’s our pick of the key components aimed at audiophiles. VAC’s Statement 450i amplifier [see p23] was an impressive sight, but so was the system with which it was demonstrated. Sources were an…

10 min.
vintage hi-fi: what’s hot?

‘Some vintage amps now cost more than new equivalents’ Vintage hi-fi, like many collecting and preservation hobbies, is subject to the ‘30-year rule’. This states that today’s top collectables are those products that were new about 30 years ago. The reasoning is that when you are young you covet certain items as objects of desire, yet lack the means to buy them. As life progresses, you (hopefully) become wealthier and look again at what it was that caught your imagination when young. It can be no coincidence that vintage hi-fi really began to take off when the 30-year rule started to encompass the industry’s ‘golden years’ of the ’70s and ’80s, when big company budgets – and the technological advances these could fund – seemed to see compelling new models being launched…

1 min.
the 30-year rule

Will the 30-year rule apply forever? It seems unlikely. Hi-fi is not the mainstream interest it once was and in 30 years’ time the young of today are unlikely to lust over equipment they’ve never heard of. There’s also a question mark over components that rely on computer software or remote servers. Will they still be useable after 30 years? This process neatly bookends what Is, and isn’t, ‘vintage hi-fi ’. Since almost all listening is now done in stereo, our start date is some time in the late ’50s. The end date is trickier to pin down, but at present it lies somewhere in the 1990s. Beyond this, it becomes difficult to identify keynote products people will remember, or be able to revive in the years to come. Again the situation…

2 min.
top six best vintage buys…

Whether scouring ads in print or online for secondhand vintage hi-fi or rooting around at one of the regular audio jumble events, which pre-cherished components should be top of your list when it comes to sheer value for money? Here’s our guide to the kit not to miss… TURNTABLE: Technics SL-7 Plentiful, reliable and capable of a level of performance that shames just about everything else at the price. Even if you treat it to a brand new Audio-Technica AT85EP cartridge to make the most of the deck, the SL-7 still won’t break the bank. The Technics SL-10 [HFN Apr ’19] is certainly no slouch either. CASSETTE: Philips N2521 The inventors of the cassette finally came up trumps with this oddly styled masterpiece which is capable of incredible recording quality with BASF Chrome tape.…