Hi Fi News

Hi Fi News Jul-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


audio-technica ath-adx5000

Audio-Technica currently offers a bewildering 22 headphone models to its European customers in the hi-fi category alone, and goodness knows what exotica there may be which never escapes Japan. Prices range from £30 at the bottom end to £1990 at the top, that latter tag dangling from this new model, the ATH-ADX5000, but if you thought you knew what to expect from A-T’s most expensive headphones, it may surprise you a little. ‘Grace Jones was propelled by an intoxicating rhythm’ FULL OF SURPRISES Surprise one: the ADX5000 does not use A-T’s unique 3D Wing Support system for locating itself on your cranium. Some people never really got on with the two sprung pads of the 3D Wing Support but I always found it comfortable and effective – at least when not accompanied by…


Why do we test all our review products in Hi-Fi News? And by ‘test’ I mean a rigorous and fully independent evaluation of technical and functional performance. While many web/blog sites and ‘consumer’ magazines stress why they don’t bother to test anything, the plain fact is that they cannot. Rigorous lab testing takes resource, time and – above all – experience to interpret the results. Our lab regime is not the audio test equivalent of microwave food, so many of our lab tests are not just about verifying a manufacturer’s basic specification – is the power output really 100W, and so on – but are uniquely investigative in nature. Simply put, almost every month your favourite hi-fi magazine discovers and reveals aspects of a product’s performance that you’ll never read about…

sir edward elgar cello concerto

‘“A profound wisdom and beauty underlies its simplicity”’ If I start by suggesting that the first stereo recording of Elgar’s Cello Concerto was made in 1928, you might think ‘He’s lost the plot…’. Unless, that is, you recall the review in these pages of the composer’s second set of 78s with cellist Beatrice Harrison, as remastered by audio engineer Lani Spahr [HFN Jan ’17]. She was the lady principally remembered for another recording curiosity, when she played in her Oxted garden to the accompaniments of nightingales. More on this later. Elgar composed his Concerto in 1919 in his Sussex cottage retreat – a decade earlier the Brodsky Quartet cellist Carl Fuchs had asked Elgar to write this for him, but the soloist in the September premiere was Felix Salmond. Earlier that year Salmond…

sony ps-p7x turntable

It wasn’t until the 1970s that the LP reached its heyday. By then, most albums were stereo and the equipment needed to play them was widely available. In 1975, Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells hit the high watermark for vinyl sales, confirming the format’s dominance. At the time, most people still only had ‘record players’ – all-in-one turntables, amplifiers and speakers – but this was the peak of the decade’s hi-fi boom, and people were scrambling to get their hands on proper, grown-up, stereo systems. It was to these buyers that Japanese brands appealed. The equipment wasn’t cheap, but it was still affordable – and made to a reasonably high standard. As ABBA, The Bee Gees and 10cc dominated the pop charts, a hi-fi system was the third largest purchase a typical…

hi-res downloads

JAKOB BRO Returnings (96kHz/24-bit, FLAC) www.highresaudio.com; ECM Records 670 5850 OK, so it’s an ECM recording, and that already sets expectations of sound quality – richly realised in this set by Danish guitarist Bro, who combines an effortless command of his instrument with superb support from the other musicians here, and isn’t averse to throwing in some studio trickery when required. You could be forgiven for thinking Bro was nothing more than a band member from the opening track, ‘Oktober’. Here trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg evokes Miles Davis with his haunting playing, but the band, which also includes drummer Jon Christensen and bassist Thomas Morgan – who duet winningly on the opening of ‘View’ – is both tightly-knit and fully able to improvise, as the performers indulge to their advantage. That’s much in evidence…

get your coat

Most headphone drive unit diaphragms are formed from some type of plastic. Mylar (the tradename name for a biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate) is popular, although some manufacturers have chosen superior alternatives like PEEK (polyether ether ketone) in search of improved physical properties. Plastics can’t match the stiffness achieved with an aluminium or, still better, beryllium diaphragm but plastics have higher internal losses (which improves the damping of bending resonances when they occur) and are inherently suited to the traditional dome-plus-annulus construction of headphone drivers. French brand Focal’s aluminium and beryllium units, by contrast, are constructed like miniature loudspeaker drive units. One means of improving the stiffness of plastic is to coat it in a thin layer of electroplated or vapour-deposited metal. Titanium is one option and Audio-Technica uses tungsten in its…