Hi Fi News August 2020

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.

Manhandling very heavyweight audio gear is part-and-parcel of everyday life at Hi-Fi News, and over the years we’ve developed processes to get the most unwieldy loudspeakers and amplifiers in, unboxed, photographed and lab tested before we set up for the all-important listening. It would certainly be easier if we adopted the ‘hands on’ and very cursory review approach where a big speaker makes it onto the cover, and subject to pages of prose, having only been heard for 30 minutes at a press launch. But that’s not us, and we think you deserve better. Looking back, the most demanding set-ups have included Focal’s 265kg Grand Utopia EM Evo floorstanders [HFN Dec ’18] at over 2m tall and, more recently, the similarly weighty Relentless monoblocks from D’Agostino [HFN Mar ’20]. We’ve continued to test…

1 min.
b&w 700 signature

B&W has revamped two of its 700 series loudspeakers – which first debuted in 2017 – as ‘Signature’ editions. The new 702 Signature floorstander and 705 Signature standmount (priced at £4500 and £2700 per pair, respectively) feature upgrades to both crossover network and finish and ‘represent the apex of current Bowers & Wilkins design, engineering and manufacturing processes’. New Mundorf bypass capacitors, enlarged heatsinks, and an upgraded capacitor on the bass arm of the three-way 702 contribute to an improved performance, says the brand, with a boost to ‘resolution, openness and spatial retrieval’. Marking them out from their regular 700 series stablemates are new trim rings around the Continuum midrange and Aerofoil profile bass drivers, silver-coloured grilles for the topmounted carbon dome tweeters, and a custom Datuk Gloss ebony veneer finish…

1 min.
audia takes flight

Audia Flight says its new FLS 9 integrated amp continues the Italian marque’s ‘tradition of speed, power, driving capability and control’. Rated at 2x150W/290W/500W (into 8/4/2ohm), it shares the balanced architecture and upgrade flexibility of the company’s FLS 1 preamp and range-topping FLS 10 integrated [HFN Dec ’17]. Pricing begins at £5950, with unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR inputs/outputs fitted as standard. Audia Flight also provides two bays for additional modules – current options are for MM/MC phono (£1100), two additional line ins (£500), and a DAC board with asynchronous USB, AES/EBU and S/PDIF inputs (£1850). A DAC/streaming board is also planned. The amp’s aluminium chassis (available in black or silver) features an engraved top plate, and it comes supplied with a milled aluminium remote. Audia Flight, Italy, 01334 570 666;…

1 min.
auralic evolves

New from Auralic are updates to its G2 series streamers and Leo GX Master Clock. Billed as the ‘next evolution’ of its streaming ecosystem, the changes include a double-enclosure chassis to improve EMI shielding; a new vibrationisolating suspension system; enhancement of the Aries streaming transport’s USB output to widen compatibility with third-party hardware; and CD playback/ripping functionality on its Lightning OS. The £4200 Aries G2.1, £6000 Vega G2.1 streaming DAC, £8000 Leo GX.1 and £6000 Sirius G2.1 upsampling processor are available now, although – for a limited time – Auralic will allow G2 owners to buy additions to their system with the original hardware aesthetic through its ‘G2 by design’ service. Auralic Holdings Ltd (China/USA), 07590 106105; www.auralic.com…

1 min.
bricasti’s ladder

Bricasti Design’s M20 fully differential dual-mono preamp is now available in the UK through distributor SCV. Featuring a custom-designed discrete ladder attenuator offering ±1dB steps via a series of digitally-addressed Vishay foil resistors, its US maker claims it delivers ‘perfect balance and tonal character at any level’. Three linear power supplies partner the two analogue channels and separate digital control circuitry. There are also three independently buffered analogue outputs – two balanced on XLRs and one single-ended on RCAs. Trigger outputs are provided to pair the M20 with Bricasti’s power amplifiers or DACs, while Stillpoints isolators work to provide a solid footing. The standard black version retails for £13,500, with pricing for the Platinum Series model [pictured] to be confirmed. The M20 joins SCV’s Bricasti Design stable, which includes the M25 dual-mono…

1 min.
every which way…

ELAC has added a fourth speaker to its Concentro series. The Concentro S 509 adopts the same trapezoidal cabinet, wraparound baffle and ‘high heel’ bottom assembly of the smaller S 507 model, but uses 180mm (rather than 130mm) Aluminium Sandwich (AS) bass drivers working into a larger 1.32m-high, reflexloaded enclosure. A four-way floorstander with a 4ohm nominal impedance and claimed generous 88dB sensitivity, the S 509 features ELAC’s ‘stepX-JET’ coaxial tweeter/midrange assembly, which places a JET 5c AMT (Air Motion Transformer) tweeter within a 130mm aluminium cone. Exchangeable ‘Directivity Control Rings’ let users tailor the stepXJET’s directional characteristics to suit their listening environment. A front-facing 180mm midbass and four side-firing woofers complete the driver array. Pricing depends on finish, with gloss white/black lacquer (€16k per pair) and walnut veneer (€17k per…