Hi Fi News June 2021

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.

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13 Números

en este número

3 min.

Happy birthday to us, as this month or, more correctly, this issue we are 65 years young. Was it really that long ago we were just 21 [see p128]? Hi-Fi News has published uninterrupted from its arrival at the newsstands in June 1956, before growing to support, inform and entertain tens of thousands of eager audiophile subscribers from all over the world. While other titles have been absorbed into HFN, I’ll be as bold to claim we were also the wellhead from which more hi-fi periodicals were inspired. We have been doing this for longer than any other hi-fi title in the world, and our mix of investigative reporting, behind-the-scenes music features, in-depth hardware reviews and fully independent lab testing remains unique in a world now awash with cursory ‘hands on’…

1 min.
wilson alexx v

Five years after the debut of its Alexx loudspeaker, Wilson Audio has returned to the just-below-flagship model armed with technology from its Chronosonic range to deliver a ‘completely re-engineered performance’. Upgrades include the adoption of the Chronosonic’s open-architecture gantry, vibration-taming V-Material, 175mm ‘QuadraMag’ midrange driver, and 265mm and 315mm woofers – the latter housed in an optimised enclosure claiming a 16% increase in volume, despite overall cabinet depth and height increasing by just 25mm. The Alexx V’s tweeter module, which utilises a 3D-printed carbon fibre rear-wave chamber and CSC (Convergent Synergy Carbon) high frequency unit, is entirely new, as is the speaker’s ‘acoustic diode’ spike system. Pricing in standard colour options is £139,000 with ‘Upgrade’, ‘Pearl’ and custom-matched finishes also available. Wilson Audio, 0208 971 3909; www.wilsonaudio.com, www.absolutesounds.com…

1 min.
evo all-in-one

Cambridge Audio has announced not one but two all-in-one systems as the first products in its new Evo range, to be followed later in the year by loudspeaker and CD transport options. Both the £1799 Evo 75 and £2249 Evo 150 feature the brand’s StreamMagic platform and associated app control, with Chromecast, AirPlay and Bluetooth connections in addition to Wi-Fi/Ethernet. Hard-wired connections include MM phono, balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) line, USB-B, coaxial, optical and HDMI ARC, with digital files converted by an ESS Sabre ES9018K2M DAC. The units’ 90mm-high aluminium enclosures feature black Richlite or walnut swappable side panels, and a 6.8in colour LCD display. Enabling the slender design is the use of Hypex NCore Class D amplification, a first for the UK company. Cambridge Audio Ltd, London, 0203 514…

1 min.
hi-fi news' nuggets

SWISS SAUCE Following our review of the minimalist Merason DAC1 [HFN May ’21] this Swiss brand – a Niedal Audio Lab company, based in Worb – has announced an outboard PSU option for its entry-level Frérot converter. Dubbed the ‘pow1’ this ±12V DC supply features comprehensive smoothing, filtering and regulation in an effort to derive the very finest performance from the attached DAC. Prices are £995 for the Frérot DAC and £595 for the pow1 PSU. www.merason.ch INTO THE ETHER The race to engineer the ultimate ‘audio’ Ethernet cable just heated up with the arrival of Nordost’s Valhalla 2. This Cat 8-specfication digital interconnect features four bundles of 2x23-gauge, solid-core conductors insulated with HDPE. The four pairs of conductors are twisted and ‘triple shielded’ before being terminated – at very specific lengths – with…

1 min.
thx gets physical

Once only known as a certification body in the home theatre industry, THX has been licensing its AAA (Achromatic Audio Amplifier) technology for a few years – to companies including Benchmark [HFN Nov ’18] – and has now released its first ever consumer product, the £199 Onyx portable DAC/headphone amp. Featuring its ‘highest-powered mobile’ AAA-78 amplifier (rated at 180mW/22ohm), in addition to an ESS Pro DAC chip, this pocket-friendly add-on has a USB-C connection and 3.5mm headphone output, and ships with a USB-A adapter. A bank of colour-changing LEDs on the Onyx’s black metal chassis indicate playback status (44.1/48kHz, above 48kHz, DSD or MQA). THX, California, USA (via www.razer.com in the UK); www.thx.com…

1 min.
wireless in wood

Naim’s Mu-so Wood Edition rethinks the design of the UK brand’s Mu-so 2nd Generation to be a better fit for ‘lighter look’ interiors. Priced £1599 – an increase of £300 – this new all-in-one system swaps the burnished grey aluminium casing for Ayous hardwood (treated and lacquered to mimic light oak), while an aluminium tint has been added to the full-length heatsink. The grille has also been upgraded to a lighter-coloured, fabric weave. Beyond these outward changes the specification remains the same: the Mu-so Wood Edition combines a six-strong driver array and claimed 450W power plant with wired and wireless connections, DSP engine with room compensation tool, and ‘intuitive dial’ interface. Additional features include app control, multiroom integration with Naim, AirPlay and Chromecast hardware, and Roon Ready certification. The standard…