Hi Fi News

Hi Fi News June 2019

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


hands off

You can control every aspect of the M10 from that big front-panel touchscreen, though it does tend to get a bit smudgy after a short while, and the review sample arrived with a screen protector already installed. Better by far is to ‘drive’ the M10 using one of the ‘hands-off’ options available, which extend to dedicated Bluesound Control apps for both Android and iOS, as well as the Amazon Kindle Fire, and desktop apps to run on either Windows or Mac OSX computers. All of these apps give full access to all aspects of the set-up and operation of the M10, from simple music playback to accessing TuneIn Radio stations and a whole range of music services from Qobuz, Spotify, Tidal and more. You can also play music to the…

hi-fi news’ expert line up: the finest minds in audio journalism bring their experience to bear on all areas of hi-fi & music

BARRY FOX Investigative journalist supreme, Barry is the first with news of the latest developments in hi-fi and music technologies DAVID PRICE An avid collector of audio treasures, and life-long hi-fi addict, DP lends his ears and experience from analogue to digital KEN KESSLER is a long-serving contributor, luxury goods writer and champion for the renaissance in valves and ‘vintage hi-fi ’ KEITH HOWARD has written about hi-fi for 40 years, and edited Hi-Fi Answers for nine. KH performs our speaker and headphone lab tests STEVE HARRIS Former Editor of this very title from 1986 through to 2005. A lifetime in audio and a love of jazz makes Steve a goldmine ANDREW EVERARD has reviewed hi-fi for over 30 years and is still effortlessly enthusiastic about new technology, kit and discovering new music STEVE SUTHERLAND worked…


COMPACT DISC SUPERAUDIO DVD BLU-RAY VINYL DOWNLOAD THE SKINTS Swimming Lessons Mr Bongo MRBCDLP212 Why The Skints’ press bumf describes their music as ‘tropical punk’, I just don’t know. Yes, there’s the occasional burst of loud, energised guitar, but mostly their chilled reggae grooves deliver an exquisitely soothing balm that makes life feel bright and wonderful. ‘Restless’, featuring zippy rap from Protoje, is a perfect jewel of summer fun. ‘Gets On Top’, a rumination on the crassness of (among other things) TV advertising, is very topical indeed. And the synthesised baroque intro of ‘New Kind Of Friend’ turns a sweetly yearning love song into something special. Their blend of reggae, dub, rock, dancehall and hip-hop also benefits from the band having three excellent vocalists who solo and harmonise beautifully. JBk Sound Quality: 95% MATTHEW EDWARDS AND THE UNFORTUNATES The Birmingham Poets December Square…

focal kanta n°1

Sitting smack-bang in the middle of the company’s vast loudspeaker range, the Focal Kanta series is described as ‘a new vision for a premium speaker’, no less. Personally I’m not entirely convinced that this is so revolutionary, but the £4499 Kanta No1 still makes a fine case for itself. It’s attractive, very well finished and sports some novel technologies. I also like its compactness, which will satisfy modern life’s growing need for serious-sounding small boxes–just perfect for your compact riverside apartment, of course. The Kanta No1 is the smallest in the range, its design trickled down from the £6999 No2 [HFN Jan ’18] and £8999 No3 floorstanders. The Kanta No1 is actually one of Focal’s most expensive standmounts, aside from the company’s truly esoteric high-end designs. Although its drive units–the beryllium…

full steam ahead

I’ve recently enjoyed watching a short series of TV programmes about the Hornby railway modelling company. I found the documentaries fascinating for two reasons. One was that, having worked in manufacturing many years ago, I recognised many of the challenges the company now faces. The other was that, when a boy, I had a ‘Hornby Dublo’ set-up. At the time I felt confident that Hornby made model steam locomotives that were far better constructed and detailed than its main mass-production rivals. But, of course, at a cost. So I was horrified to find out that most of the company’s old jigs and tools for making those models have now been scrapped. ‘Those old test LPs missed the real point of stereo: imaging’ CHUFFIN ’ECK The series also showed Hornby’s Head of Audio demonstrating how…

know your transformers

There isn’t much in a modern hi-fi system that would be familiar to the great 19th century English physicist Michael Faraday. But a time-travelling Faraday–bemused by radio frequency communication, lasers and sound reproduction in general–would find something reassuringly familiar in the transformer. For it was he who first demonstrated that electromagnetic induction can be used to link one electrical circuit to another. Most items of mains-powered audio equipment contain a mains transformer, and some other items–albeit fewer than five decades ago–contain signal transformers also, usually at their input or output. Transformers in analogue signal paths tend to be frowned upon today, with differential amplifiers used in preference. But the vast majority of valve (tube) power amplifiers have an output transformer–OTL (output transformerless) valve amps have always been an exotic rarity. ‘Transformers are…