Hi Fi News July 2015

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


murali murugasu

We asked Murali Murugasu, Constellation’s CEO and co-creator of the Continuum turntable brand, about the prospect of more Inspiration separates. ‘The Inspiration Integrated 1.0 amp is nearly ready to ship and we’ll also be adding a phono stage and a DAC/media player to the range.’ However, this looks about as far as Constellation will ‘downsize’, as Murali explains, ‘We have no plans of introducing anything lower-priced or smaller than the Inspiration line. When David Payes and I started Constellation Audio, we conceived it from the start as a no-compromise brand, constantly pushing to exceed the state of the art. We originally planned on having lines in three price ranges. Now we’ve got that.’ Constellation unveiled its Virgo III and Centaur II amplifiers at Munich High End but hinted at more to come.…

the audiofactory

Jim Lesurf Science Journalist Jim Lesurf has spent a lifetime in audio, both as an engineer at UK hi-fi company Armstrong and reader in Physics and Electronics at St Andrew’s University Earlier this year, some people found that access to the BBC radio iPlayer services on their Wi-Fi radios and network music players abruptly ceased after the corporation changed the way it provided content [see HFN May ’15]. The immediate reaction of many was to blame the BBC. But in the rush to complain, the bigger picture tended to be overlooked. At the time, I was putting together a look at the changes from an engineering perspective. For those interested, there is more at http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/BBC/AudioFactory/AudioFactory.html. But, of course, there’s much more to the story than engineering... CUTS AND COSTS The BBC has had its funding steadily…

beethoven the pastoral symphony

Post-Christmas I made the mistake of going to see a BFI screening of Disney’s 1940 Fantasia. Very soon, the kids ill-advisedly brought by their parents were fidgeting, while I was inwardly groaning at the pretentious intros, the posing maestro and – above all – the banality of the animation concept. I didn’t mind the musical cuts, though even Mickey Mouse (Sorcerer’s Apprentice) outstayed his welcome, so much as the tweeness. Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, for instance, brought coy encounters between camp male centaurs and pubescent girls bathing. Beethoven himself enjoyed walking in the woods and fields outside Vienna, though precluded from hearing the birds he introduced into his programmatic Sixth Symphony. It was the nightingale, cuckoo and quail cited in the score at the end of the second movement, together with the…

benchmark sms1

Without knowing it, I had been repeatedly auditioning the £2499 Benchmark SMS1 speaker, albeit in an earlier form. It has been a habit of mine to drop in on Rory Rall, Benchmark’s Sales Manager, at the International CES and any other shows we might be attending, because he and co-exhibitor Dave MacPherson of Studio Electric have a penchant for The Beatles – often using the 24-bit versions on the USB ‘apple’. Their room has always been a haven for weary visitors, and the sound, via Dave’s speakers, complemented Benchmark’s electronics. COMPLETES THE SYSTEM Because Benchmark is more of a pro brand than audiophile, it was a pleasant surprise that its compact, high-value-for-money, combination DAC/preamp/headphone amp units found such favour among domestic users [HFN Jul ’13]. Recently, the AHB2 power amp joined these…

essential recordings

LPO/Klaus Tennstedt LPO LPO-0085 A new release from a Feb ’92 RFH concert (with an earlier Egmont Overture), this typifies the intensity of a Tennstedt/LPO live performance when he was principal condctor. Berlin Philharmonic/André Cluytens Testament SBT 1182 (mono) The earlier, preferable, 1955 Pastoral, now coupled with a 1960 stereo ‘Unfinished’ – Cluytens’s only Schubert recording. Concertgebouw Orch/Otto Klemperer Music & Arts MACD0246 (mono) Coupled with Symphony No 8, this 1956 Pastoral is available (albeit in rather dim sound), only as a 44.1kHz/16-bit download, at Presto Classical or from The Classical Shop. Bavarian RSO/Rafael Kubelík Audite 95.531 Recorded live in Munich, this 1967 Pastoral is coupled with Symphony No 2 (given in Paris) and is a warmly affectionate, humane reading – even in the Storm. Strongly recommended. Bavarian State Orch/Carlos Kleiber Orfeo C600031B Only for Kleiber completists: from Nov ’83, this was his only…

coachella festival, indio, ca

You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh…’ Try telling that to Madonna. When she leaned over and snogged Drake onstage at the recent Coachella Music & Arts Festival, lingering just long enough to be captured by several thousand cameraphones, it was no impromptu surrender to passion, nor an intimate display of affection. This was Madonna, remember, a lady who’ll do – and has done – just about anything to remain in the headlines. According to the Twitterati and Instagram crowd, Drake didn’t look too thrilled at Madge’s pucker, but hey, any publicity’s good publicity, right? So, job done! But the Material Girl’s blatant bid to grab the headlines is merely the latest in a long run of resurrections at Coachella, a festival which,…