Hi Fi News Mar-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
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hi-fi news for enthusiasts by enthusiasts

We know from our mailbag that you really appreciate the chance to reminisce about the classic hardware from yesteryear while also reminding us all of what were the hot Hi-Fi topics in decades past. ‘Our Vintage Review is a unique chance to revisit iconic Hi-Fi’ Our Vintage Review section is a unique opportunity to revisit a representative sample of iconic Hi-Fi from the 1960s onwards. Our network of vintage buffs ferret out pristine samples of classic Hi-Fi for us to service, polish and then retest in the lab with a thoroughness that was impossible ‘back in the day’. On occasion we’ll feature the inaugural product that launched a brand that’s still with us, such as Creek Audio’s memorable CAS4040 integrated amplifier, seen on p118. It’s intriguing to discover just how these early minimalist…

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…


Levinson No585.5 VINYL UPGRADE FOR EISA AWARD-WINNING AMPLIFIER Buoyed by the success of its No526 preamp/DAC [HFN Dec ’16] – and in particular the reception garnered by its integral MM/MC phono stage – Mark Levinson has leveraged this same, highly versatile ‘Pure Phono’ module into its EISA Award-winning No585 integrated amp [HFN Apr ’15]. Relaunched as the No585.5, this amplifier also retains the digital and analogue inputs and functions of its illustrious predecessor. Harman International, including the luxury audio group of which Levinson is a part, is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Korea. According to Todd Eichenbaum, Harman’s Director of Engineering, ‘This phono module uses fully discrete and extremely low-noise circuitry designed from the ground up, and is intended to make the No585.5 an ideal companion for the No515 turntable,’…

paris salon hi-fi show

It was certainly a fine swan-song for Jean-Marie Hubert, who has organised Paris’ premier show for over 30 years. The Festival Son et Image at the Novotel Tour Eiffel is one of my faves, but Jean-Marie has decided the time is right to hand over to a new organiser. The next show will take place over the weekend of the 20th to the 22nd of October 2018 and the Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel will be augmented by the New Cap Event Centre just down the street. Despite France’s reputation as a country more home-cinemaoriented than vinyl-biased, the show was rich with turntables and headphones. I mention the latter because home cinema is one area where cans are only used as a desperate last measure – when someone wants to watch a…

ces 2018, las vegas

This prototype tube-hybrid phono amplifier from Audio-Technica was lurking in one of the racks. The eagle-eyed will note its layout makes it a match for the company’s AT-HA5050H headphone amp [HFN May ’16]. Inputs for three decks will include MM, MC and MC-balanced, while all parameters – including gain for each turntable – have been addressed. www.audio-technica.com Correct me if someone else has something similar, but this wall is made up of 55 pocket-sized 64x184x65mm (hwd) Bluetooth speakers from Soundots. You start with one Soundot XCEL Ai-1 and keep adding until you get bored or broke. Used with an app, they clip together and communicate with each other automatically. The transfer rate is said to be up to 192kHz/24-bit. www.soundots.com Not really a new component but a new accessory. Nagra showed its…

music to our ears

Whatever your musical passion – digital or pure analogue – HFN readers are likely to have been heartened by a recent report from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) that recorded a big increase in music ‘consumption’ in the UK during 2017. You have to pay close attention to its choice of words, though. After all, as PM made clear in his Welcome page last month, ‘consumption’ isn’t the same thing as ‘sales’, and it’s not particularly difficult to increase consumption if the work of musicians and artists is simply being given away for free (or as near-as-dammit). As SH reported last month in his Opinion page, the music industry has emerged from a 15- year period during which revenues have fallen by a massive 40%. Any good news is welcome in…