Hi Fi News Jun-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



Exactly two years ago, coinciding with Hi-Fi News’ 60th Anniversary, Technics’ ‘Grand Class’ SL-1200GAE graced our cover announcing, with deserved confidence, the return of the direct-drive turntable to our world of audiophile hi-fi. Belt-driven decks may have usurped the direct-drives of the late 1970s but, 40 years on, the material and engineering technology available to design a truly silent, high-torque direct-drive motor–clamped directly underneath the centre of a heavyweight platter–is truly from a ‘new generation’. The coreless DC motor at the heart of Technics’ flagship SL-1000R turntable–our feature review this month [p34]–is undoubtedly quieter than its historic cousins without suffering any shortfall in torque. So much so that its massive 8kg platter spins up to speed within one revolution and maintains its 33.33/45 and 78rpm rotation with a stability and lack of rumble–noise–that…

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 JOHN BAMFORD JB brings huge industry experience, a penchant for massive speakers and a love of hi-res audio in all its diverse guises 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…

mighty monos

While the grab-handle aesthetic is unmistakably ‘Audio Research’, this iconic tube amp brand has brought a thoroughly modern twist to the industrial design of its new Reference 160M monoblock power amplifiers. This latest model features a transparent window, occupying at least half the fascia, revealing no fewer than four KT150 power tubes and two 6H30 driver triodes within. A power meter is also etched into the fabric of the window, its two scales ready to gauge the amplifier’s output in either Ultralinear (up to 140W) or Triode (up to 70W) modes. The REF160M is also the first ARC amplifier to offer mode switching from the front panel, the brand embracing flexibility and convenience with other features including a proprietary auto-bias circuit, valve monitoring, a tube usage display and the choice of…

elac alchemy

Peter Madnick’s Audio Alchemy range [HFN Jan’16, Aug’16 and Jan’17] was recently acquired by ELAC to give this German marque an instant audiophile foothold in the US. Rebranded as the ELAC Alchemy range and re-engineered into slimmer, standard-width cases the series includes the PPA-2 MM/MC phono stage with its fully discrete, FET-based gain and EQ stages, continuously adjustable MC loading and balanced (XLR) connections for both inputs and outputs. Price is expected to be around £1400. This is joined by the DDP-2 DAC/streamer/preamp with its USB, I2S (over HDMI), S/PDIF (coax and optical) and network connections (control only). The DDP-2 is DSD and MQA compatible, supports Bluetooth, AirPlay, Roon and Spotify Connect, and offers user-selectable digital filters. Finally there’s the DPA-2 power amp, a bespoke Class D design with switchmode PSU…

hi-fi news' nuggets

OPPO OPTS OUT In the 14 years since Oppo Digital was established in the United States, and with substantial technical resources at its disposal in China, the brand has proved a ‘positive disruptive influence’ in the audiophile and AV markets. Oppo’s latest 4K universal disc player, the UDP-205 [HFN Jul’17], was the apex of a series that dominated the home theatre market while its innovative headphones, in particular the dual-drive planar magnetic PM-1 [HFN Jul’14], were arguably instrumental in driving recent improvements in high-end headphone performance. Nevertheless, and with the parent company resolutely focusing on its smartphone business, Oppo Digital has announced the decision to cease its AV product design and manufacturing forthwith. Existing products will continue to be supported, and stocks sold through, warranties will still be valid, and both in-warranty…

pro-ject blues

The irrepressible folks at Pro-Ject Audio in Austria have launched yet another artist-inspired deck. As renowned blues guitarist Hans Theessink celebrates his 70th birthday, Pro-Ject has joined the party with a lavishly decorated version of its EISA Award-winning Essential III turntable. Priced at €450, the ‘Blues RecordPlayer’ includes a belt-driven acrylic platter, 8.6in alloy tonearm, is pre-fitted with an Ortofon OM-10 MM cartridge and comes with a ‘Connect-It E phono’ interconnect cable. Speed change is manual via the exposed pulley of the DC motor mounted on the top left of the det €450, the ‘Blues RecordPlayer’ includes a belt-driven acrylic platter, 8.6in alloy tonearm, is pre-fi tted with an Ortofon OM-10 MM cartridge and comes with a ‘Connect-It E phono’ interconnect cable. Speed change is manual via the exposed pulley…