Hi Fi News Feb-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
13 号



Happy New Year? – well it certainly seems as if 2017 was a bumper annum for the record industry with the BPI just releasing some astonishing figures. Streaming, it seems, now accounts for more than 50% of the UK’s music consumption with Spotify, Apple Music and other online services providing 68.1 billion streams of individual tracks. That’s an increase of 51.5% over 2016, and 1740% since 2012. The BPI has a method of aggregating streams into ‘albums’ – equating one track with ten streams and ten tracks with one album. It’s a rough and ready calculation that leads it to a figure of 135.1 million albums either streamed, downloaded, or purchased as physical vinyl/CD media through 2017. That’s a 9.5% increase over 2016. The second week of December 2017 was a…


Magico A3 ‘A’ FOR ACCESSIBLE AS MAGICO LAUNCHES ITS ENTRY-LEVEL SPEAKER ‘Magico’ and ‘affordable’ are not two words that typically find themselves in the same sentence but this iconic US loudspeaker brand is making a concerted effort to bring its technology to a wider music-loving audience. So the new A-series could never be described as ‘budget’ but its A3 floorstander – predicted to sell between £12-13,000 when available in the first quarter of 2018 – is still more accessible than the existing S-series with its extruded alloy cabinets. Magico’s first all-aluminium loudspeaker was the Q5, launched in 2010, and it’s this longstanding series that has proved the inspiration for the three-way, four-driver A3. In similar fashion, its cabinet is constructed from sheets of 6061 T6 aircraft-grade aluminium, thinner here of course, but comprehensively…

tokyo audio show

Resolutely high end, the Tokyo International Audio Show 2017 differs from similarly-sized shows – small and regional – in that it hasn’t succumbed to headphone mania. This is still a haven for separates and vinyl and tweaks. It’s a near-perfect venue, too, the Tokyo International Forum in the Ginza district being located mere metres away from Yurakucho and Tokyo Central stations for the Tokyo Metro and Japan Railway. The payoff is an exhibitors’ roster of 32 distributors and manufacturers, together representing 192 brands. The Forum provides each exhibitor with a huge space such that I had close to 100 visitors for each of my vinyl demos and the room could have taken another 50 or so without crowding. Japanese audiophiles? As attentive, devoted and polite as ever! This prototype turntable from Yamaha…

a word in your ear

Can you believe your ears? How easily are they fooled by the power of suggestion and clever marketing? Tell someone what they are hearing, and the chances are that they will usually believe you. People cheerfully buy LPs, which have been cut from 16-bit masters or pressed CDs – perhaps even MP3 files – and play them on turntables that are no better than an old Dansette, because they have been ‘best-buyed’ by the gadget press. Their proud owners then extoll the virtues of pure vinyl sound. Or they pay extra for hi-res content and squirt it through a Bluetooth link that struggles to deliver CD quality. PEANUT PRICES Bob Stuart of Meridian Audio once totted up the number of digital file types the record companies had to produce to cope with all possible…

speechstation: visualising sound

Conventional speech analysis tabulated energy at different frequencies. But variations in the talker’s health or mood, the weather, the technical quality of the recording and the room acoustic can all colour the sound too much to make such measures reliable as a ‘voice print’. SpeechStation took a completely different tack... Humans produce vowels by expelling air through the glottis, which is a slit between two folds of tissue stretched across the path from the lungs to the throat. The tissue vibrates with a buzzing sound that is rich in harmonics spread over a wide range of frequencies. These excite resonances, called formants, in the vocal tract shaped by the tongue, lips and jaw. Typically there are three or four formants, all below 3.5kHz. These are enough to make speech clearly intelligible…

dcs vivaldi one

AUDIO FILE CD/SACD player/network streamer/DAC Made by: Data Conversion Systems Ltd, Cambs Supplied by: dCS Ltd Telephone: 01954 233950 Web: www.dcsltd.co.uk Price: £55,000 There comes a time when you have to pop the champagne cork, relax and have fun. That’s what dCS (Data Conversion Systems Ltd) has done with its new £55k Vivaldi One singlebox disc player/upsampling DAC/streamer. It’s a limited edition of just 250 pieces, designed to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary. In that time, the company has gone from being an Official Secrets Act signatory supplying advanced radar systems for the RAF towards the end of the Cold War, to one of the most respected high-end digital audio specialists around. For that reason, dCS CEO David Steven felt it was time to do something special. Think of the Vivaldi One as a stepping stone between the…