Hi Fi News Feb-19

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

2 min.

Completed a precious few days into the New Year, this latest issue of your favourite hi-fi tome also coincides with the beginning of the ‘statistics season’. Aside from Apple announcing its shock profits warning, and sending a shiver down the corporate spines of all those other multinationals with exposure to the economic slowdown in China, there’s news of interest to us audiophiles too. Those of us ‘of an age’ can remember a time when Atari’s computer Pong game was the stuff of science fiction, but 2018 saw the video games market double in value over ten years and, at £3.9bn, become comfortably more lucrative than video and music sales combined. Physical sales are still surprisingly high in the games sector, but while chart-topping albums from the likes of Ed Sheeran and Adele…

5 min.

Magico M2 NEW MAGICO MONOCOQUE WITH GRAPHENE DRIVERS Magico has extended its M-Series range downwards with the introduction of the £69,998 M2, which builds on the technologies introduced in the M6 and M3. A three-way, four-driver design it follows its forebears in having a curved, ‘monocoque’ cabinet formed of carbon fibre composite to combine high stiffness with reduced mass – although at 75kg the M2 is no lightweight. To further enhance the inherent stiffness of the curved enclosure, three tension rods run front to rear. Advanced materials are also evident in the driver diaphragms: diamond-coated beryllium for the 1in dome tweeter and multi-wall carbon nanographene for both the 6in midrange cone and twin 7-inch bass drivers. As usual for Magico, closed-box bass loading is used, not reflex loading, but the M2 still achieves…

7 min.
audio video show, warsaw

There is no longer any doubt: after Munich High End, the Warsaw Audio Video Show is Europe’s biggest hi-fi event. Once again organised to include two hotels – virtually across the street from each other – and the VIP suites at the Warsaw National Stadium, with a coach service between them, the show embraces all home entertainment wares, with enough screamingly outrageous high-end gear and fascinating local products not seen outside of the country’s borders to make it a must-see event. This year, Jean-Michel Jarre turned up for a session [HFN Jan ’19], public numbers increased substantially and the amount of vinyl – new and used – was overwhelming. I’m already booked for 2019. Shades of 1955 – a throwback to the days when audiophiles built their own gear. Even Auto-Tech’s…

13 min.
get your sub singing!

Is it my imagination or has the subwoofer faded from audiophile affections? In the 1990s a generation of audio lovers discovered that subwoofers could do unexpected things: not just add low-bass heft, but also improve midrange sound quality and the spaciousness of the stereo image. Today it feels as if these benefits have been forgotten and the subwoofer side-lined – which is odd given that digital audio continues to deliver bass of extension and quality unknown to LP or even analogue master tape, while the quest to design more sensitive speakers has left many lacking in the lower octave or more of the audible spectrum. WHERE OH WHERE? Maybe you never lost faith and still use a subwoofer. Maybe you have a once-loved subwoofer that’s now gathering dust and could be exhumed. Maybe…

9 min.
chord ultima pre/power

AUDIO FILE Pre & mono power amplifiers. Rated at 780W/8ohm Made by: Chord Electronics Ltd, Kent Supplied by: Chord Electronics Ltd Telephone: 02890 279839 Web: www.chordelectronics.co.uk Prices (pre/power amp): £30,000/£30,000 (each) At the risk of tempting fate, I wonder whether there’s a power output arms race going on between manufacturers. The arrival of the new Ultima power amplifiers from Chord Electronics – at £30,000 apiece in either silver or black, along with the matching (and similarly-priced) Ultima preamp – suggests so. After all, their rated power of 780W/8ohm load is just north of the 768W claimed by Naim’s ‘Statement’ NAP-S1 monoblocks [HFN Jun ’15] – a target vaunted as ‘one horsepower’. In practice, Naim’s NAP-S1 achieved 795W/8ohm in PM’s lab tests at the time, but it seems that in the current ultra-high-end amp scene, there ain’t no…

1 min.
power play

Achieving high power outputs into moderate 8 or 4ohm loads is as much about delivering a high voltage across the load as supplying the current to support it, which is why most designers opt for a bridged-mode output configuration, doubling the amplifier’s voltage capacity without complicating the PSU. Recent examples include D’Agostino’s Progression Mono [HFN Jun ’17] and Emotiva’s XPA-DR2 [HFN Oct ’18], achieving 640W and 650W/8ohm, respectively, on test. By contrast, the architecture of Chord’s ±110V switchmode supplies allows three of them to operate in parallel, thereby ensuring the Ultima is one of very few single-ended amplifiers available in this stratospheric power range. Furthermore, as we’ll discover [see Lab Report, p37], these supplies are so tightly regulated that the Ultima’s output nearly doubles into each halving of load impedance –…