Hi Fi News October 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.

United Kingdom
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13 Números

en este número

3 min.

Despite the ongoing uncertainty of our times, each new edition of your favourite hi-fi magazine still arrives like clockwork – and bigger too! This October issue of Hi-Fi News has expanded into a bumper 172-page offering where, as the exclusive UK member of EISA’s Hi-Fi Expert Group, we can reveal the cream of the crop, as tested, judged and voted for by the most respected quarters of the international audio press. As President of this near-40-year old institution I’ve overseen its expansion from European to worldwide membership. So now enthusiast colleagues including John Darko (based in Germany) and Mikhail Borzenkov (Moscow) share their experience alongside SoundStage! Hi-Fi (Canada), Audio Accessory (Japan) and Stereophile (USA) with longstanding EISA members from the greater EU community. EISA’s alliance of Expert Groups extends beyond hi-fi to…

1 min.
take bat

Arriving not long after the VK-3500 [HFN Sep ’21], Balanced Audio Technology’s VK80i again finds the Delaware-based marque leveraging design and technology elements of its reference REX series in an integrated amplifier. Unlike the VK-3500, however, this new model, priced £9995 and available in black or silver, is a tube-only design, joining all-tube pre and power amps in the BAT stable. The fully-balanced VK80i’s claimed 2x55W power is delivered via two pairs of high-current 6C33C-B triodes, via output transformer taps specified for low (3-4ohm), medium (4-6ohm) and high (6-8ohm) loudspeaker loads. Easeof-use is enhanced by BAT’s ‘intelligent’ automatic bias regime for each tube, and fuse-less protection – all features trickled down from the REX 3 power amp. A supplied remote offers source selection and control of the amp’s 90-step (±1dB interval)…

1 min.
fresh exposure

With the avowed intention of re-focusing on the ‘upper end’ of hi-fi, after its compact and affordable XM series, British brand Exposure has launched the 3510 amplifier, a replacement for its 2015-era 3010S2D. The first of a promised new range inspired by its flagship 5010 series, this £2250 full-width integrated claims 115W/8ohm from its bipolar transistor output stage, while the preamplifier section benefits from a ‘hybrid’ power supply optimised to reduce noise. Out of the box source connections are six line-level inputs, although MM or MC phono, and a plug-in DAC module, are optional extras. Further flexibility comes from the 3510’s preamp output, fixed/variable configuration of its ‘AV’ input, and onboard headphone amplifier (770mW/33ohm). The amp ships with a newly designed remote control, and black and titanium finishes are available…

1 min.
hi-fi news' nuggets

UNI-Q ALL AROUND KEF has expanded its Architectural Speaker range with the Uni-Q equipped Ci160ES in-wall/in-ceiling driver solution. Priced at £250/pair, the square-shaped baffle includes an inset 16mm alloy dome tweeter placed at the acoustic centre of a 160mm bass/mid driver. This new square model joins the entry-level E Series which already includes 130mm, 160mm and 200mm circular-profile in-ceiling speakers. https://uk.kef.com JBL IN-A-BOX Priced at £1500, the L75ms is a new all-in-one music system from JBL. Its retro-inspired, curved wooden casework combines a 25mm titanium dome tweeter, a 100mm midrange and two 130mm ‘woofers’ with dedicated, DSP-driven amplification and a wired/wireless network streaming engine. Analogue line and a MM phono input complete a very comprehensive package. It even has a classic Quadrex foam grille! www.jblsynthesis.com…

1 min.
matrix… revisited

Matrix Audio has refreshed its X-SABRE DAC [HFN Nov ’17] with a slimmer cabinet, new front-panel display and user interface, and Wi-Fi/Gigabit Ethernet network connection. Based around an ESS ES9038Pro DAC catering for 768kHz/24-bit PCM and native 22.4MHz DSD, the X-SABRE 3 also marks the company’s first network streamer supporting Tidal Connect and Spotify Connect, and claims Roon Ready status. Connections include coaxial, optical, I2S and USB-B, plus 12V trigger in/out. Album artwork, plus sampling rate, file format and input, can be shown on its circular LCD display. Other features include Apple AirPlay 2 support, MQA decoding/rendering, and an asynchronous mode that’s enabled via a Crystek CCHD-950 femtosecond clock. Pricing is £2950. Matrix Electronic Technology Co. Ltd, China, 07738 007776; www.matrix-digi.com/en; www.signaturesystems.co.uk…

1 min.
jet5 touches down

Previously employed on the brand’s Concentro, Vela and Carina ranges, ELAC’s JET5 tweeter has now landed on its new Solano loudspeakers. Comprising the BS283 bookshelf/standmount and FS287 floorstander, plus a centre for multichannel systems, the range becomes the entry-point for the German company’s AMT (Air Motion Transformer) technology. All ELAC’s drivers feature rigid cast alloy baskets/frames – the JET5’s distinctive pleated diaphragm joined on the Solano models by custom 150mm ‘sandwich’ woofers made from bonding paper and aluminium cones. One of these drivers completes the two-way BS283, while the FS287 utilises a pair in a two-and-a-half-way configuration with a 450Hz/2400Hz crossover. Nominal impedance for both speakers is specified as 4ohm, and sensitivity at 85dB (BS283) and 87dB (FS287). The Solano series’ MDF cabinets feature slightly curved front baffles, lacquered aluminium base plates…