Hi Fi News January 2018

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
13 号



All good things come to he who waits... or so the saying goes. And we have waited so very long before finally getting our hands on the rare Accordo standmount loudspeaker from the late, great Franco Serblin. The man who launched Sonus faber may not have been a classically-trained engineer but that never prevented him from breaking the mould of traditional loudspeaker design and, ultimately, setting trends and styles in motion that would inspire pretty much every other forward-thinking speaker brand. You can read more about the man, the myths and the magic, alongside our in-depth technical report, in our review on p64. We have also waited an interminable period before levering a new Vivid Audio loudspeaker into our lab and listening room. As you might expect from your favourite hi-fimag, we’ve…

aida afresh

We reveal the latest products and upcoming events Unveiled to packed audiences at the recent Audio Show in Warsaw, Poland, Sonus faber’s new Aida floorstanding loudspeaker may look just like the existing Aida flagship [HFN Apr ’12] but now incorporates ‘brand new electroacoustic engineering’. The various front, rear and downward-firing drivers have all been refreshed in this ‘32⁄3-way’ loudspeaker, including its ‘Arrow Point’ tweeters – a 28mm version on the front baffle (first used in the Lilium) and a 29mm version on the rear ‘Sound Field Shaper’ system [pictured]. These tweeters have powerful neodymium magnets, an acoustic labyrinth rear chamber and anti-resonant mountings. Inside the Lyra-shaped, cross-grained Okoumè plywood cabinet there are three separate enclosures for the frontfiring drivers and a reinforcing steel rod that also couples the structure to a series…

portable high-end

Evolved from the QP1R, Questyle Audio’s latest DAP (Digital Audio Player) offers compatibility with 384kHz/32-bit LPCM and DSD256 music files, and boasts a full 64GB of internal storage with support for a further 200GB via a micro SD card. The £1299 QP2R is available in gold and metallic grey finishes and features the brand’s hallmark ‘current mode’ amplifier technology alongside a ‘Velvet Sound’ AKM AK4490 DAC. While the QP2R includes optical, headphone and balanced audio outputs for listening onthe- go, it may also be docked in Questyle’s new £599 HB2 charging hub. With its CNCmachined alloy chassis and rhodium-plated audio RCAs, the HB2 brings IR remote access to the QP2R, allowing it to be integrated into a conventional audio system. Questyle Audio, China, 03301 222500; www.questyleaudio.com…

hi-fi news nuggest

OPPO UPDATE The ability to update firmware over the Internet is a feature of most ‘connected’ products and especially AV products that rely on a host of third-party software solutions. OPPO Digital is no exception to this trend but while servicing the versatile UDP-205 universal disc player/DAC, owners will now have the opportunity to add an entirely new feature – MQA decoding. CD and USB/coax/optical inputs are all supported. www.oppodigital.com IN MEMORIAM The hi-fi firmament lost two of its brightest stars with the passing of Infinity Systems co-founder Arnie Nudell and Ayre Acoustics’ Charles Hansen in Nov 2017. Both men were innovators in the field of high-end audio and while their vision will be missed, their inspiration will live on in the brands and products they nurtured for the world’s discerning audiophiles. Hi-Fi…

a clear head

Focal is on something of a roll with new models emerging thick and fast [see Kanta No2, p48] and this hive of activity also extends to its headphone range as the high-end Elear and Utopia models are now joined by the £1399 Clear. This is another open-backed circumaural design that feature’s Focal’s proprietary fullrange driver with its 25.5mm frameless copper voice coil – one of the very few headphone units that’s engineered like a miniature loudspeaker. Sensitivity is quoted at 104dB/1mW while the combination of soft grey leather and microfibre fabric cushioning promises a comfortable fit. Focal-JMlab, 0845 660 2680; www.focal.com…

junior vinyl

The ongoing ‘vinyl revival’ is not only fuelling the turntable industry [see PM’s Opinion, p103] but also encouraging the development of new pick-ups and phono stages. And here’s another – the JC3 ‘Junior’ is essentially a trickle-down derivative of Parasound’s successful JC3+ phono stage [HFN Oct ’15]. Priced at £2199, the JC3 Jr. is designer John Curl’s slimmest and most affordable phono preamp yet. The fully-active RIAA stage offers three levels of gain (+40dB, +50dB and +60dB) which are suitable for all but the lowest output MCs. Loading is fixed at 47kohm for MMs and variable between 50-500ohm for MCs while the fixed outputs are available on both single-ended (RCA) and balanced (XLR) sockets. Front panel controls are limited to ‘power on’ and ‘mono’, and the Parasound JC3 Jr. is…