Hi Fi News Dec-18

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.

Despite the onward march of streamed media and other forms of ‘virtual entertainment’ our world of hi-fi remains a very hands-on place. Even the advent of digital audio in the early 1980s, championed by compact disc, failed to diminish the audiophile’s inbuilt urge to fettle, refine and polish their treasured audio systems. CD was arguably the greatest paradigm shift we enthusiasts have witnessed in generations. And I include the transition from mono to stereo LPs in this reckoning. It offered listeners a premium source without the demanding set-up and drifting alignment of turntables, arms and cartridges. This was a slick, plug and go solution but one bereft of the ritual of vinyl. So where’s the fun in that? Fine-tuning our gear with different cables, mains filters, supports and other accessories – some…

5 min.

Mark Levinson 5000 ‘ENTRY LEVEL’ SERIES FROM HIGH-END BRAND KICKS OFF WITH TWO INTEGRATED AMPLIFIERS With the stated intention of delivering ‘renowned Mark Levinson luxury and fidelity at an exceptional value’, the new 5000 series breaks cover with two DAC-equipped integrated amplifiers. The key difference between them is that while the No5802 offers digital inputs only, the No5805 also caters for analogue signal sources. Three line-level inputs are provided – one balanced on XLR and two unbalanced on RCAs – plus a flexible MM/MC phono stage with gain and infrasonic filters selected via the fascia and variable capacitance and resistance settings at the rear. In addition the No5805 has four digital inputs: one coaxial and two optical S/PDIF inputs plus asynchronous USB. PCM capability is limited to a 192kHz sample rate but…

8 min.
rocky mountain audio fest

Although the Denver Marriott Tech Center has just received something of a revamp, this was its last year as host venue for the USA’s largest audiophile show, the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF). The 16th event, in 2019, will up sticks to the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, a short cab ride from Denver’s International Airport. So new, in fact, that it’s not yet fully opened, but the Gaylord Rockies promises more and larger event spaces for this much-loved show to grow still further. The 2018 RMAF was accompanied by a very successful CanJam headphone extravaganza with launches from Focal, Abyss, Meze and many others. Back in the hotel proper, RMAF 2018 was notable for the number of $1m systems being debuted. All were remarkable, but none sounded alike! Two…

13 min.
valves: ready to roll?

Once strictly the preserve of the technically--inclined, tube rolling has become just about the trendiest to tweak. We’ve seen an explosion of tube manufacturing, and the range of tubes and hi-fi tube amplifiers available is greater than ever before. Also, the boom in headphone listening has brought a proliferation of tube headphone amplifiers. When based on a single double-triode tube, these simply invite experimentation, even among users new to hi-fi who’ve never previously owned a tube product. DIFFERENT EFFECTS The term ‘tube rolling’, derived from the gentle rotary action needed to prise a tube safely from its holder, seems to have originated with guitar amp tweakers. Terry Bateman, chief electronics designer at Rega who’s also well known as a Leak valve-amp guru, began his career building guitar amps and, as he says, ‘The…

1 min.
where to buy?

Online sources for tubes range from large-scale vendors of new tubes to smaller dealers who offer used or NOS tubes. While we can’t endorse individual suppliers, here’s a representative selection. AMP VALVES www.ampvalves.co.uk Reading-based Amp Valves caters for the guitar market, offering re-valve kits for guitar amps, as well as matched sets and trade bundles of 20, but it can also sell you single tubes for your hi-fi amp. EAT (EUROPEAN AUDIO TEAM) www.europeanaudioteam.com EAT’s own brand tubes (KT88, 300B and more) for Audio Research, McIntosh, PrimaLuna and Canor amplifiers are available in the UK through Absolute Sounds at www.absolutesounds.com. HI-FI COLLECTIVE www.hificollective.co.uk Hi-Fi Collective offers new valves from Sovtek and Chinese company TJ Fullmusic, including the older four-pin base types such as 101D, 2A3, 211 and, of course, the 300B. ICON AUDIO www.iconaudio.com This amp manufacturer also…

9 min.
focal grande utopia em evo

When it comes to the description of products – and not just in hi-fi – one word has become so ubiquitous that it no longer has much meaning: that word is ‘iconic’. Yet Focal has dodged that particular bullet by describing its new Grande Utopia EM Evo – all 265kg, two metres and £160k-a-pair of it – and its smaller stablemate, the Stella Utopia EM Evo, as ‘the most emblematic high-fidelity loudspeakers of all its collections’. You can kind of see where the company’s coming from. After all, the unusual design, with its upper section canted forward, and the range of high-gloss colour finishes – here in a choice of Ash Grey [see p43-45], British Racing Green [see p40-41], Black Lacquer, Carrara White and Metallic Blue – has echoes through the…