Sound + Image April - May 2016

SOUND + IMAGE magazine offers a comprehensive package focused on lifestyle home electronic entertainment. It provides easy-to-read information about audio and video equipment and how ordinary consumers can assemble extraordinary systems that look and sound fantastic.

Future Publishing Ltd
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8 Issues

in this issue

2 min
the hi–fi headlines

To say there has been a lot happening during the last couple of months at the store would be an understatement. At one end of the price scale we now have Dave – this is an extraordinary new $17,000 DAC from Chord. This exquisite handmade product is based around new proprietary electronics offering ten times the program capacity of the previous model. This translates into a playback experience with unmatched reality, musicality and an unrivalled timing response. At the other end of the scale we now have our hands on the Naim Mu-so Qb, the smaller version of the bigger Muso released last year – it loses little to its bigger brother on musical performance, proving how quickly compact wireless speaker technology has evolved. Naim has never been a company…

3 min
don’t junk your hi-fi!

Don’t junk your hi-fi! It may seem rather an obvious catch-cry from a magazine of our ilk, and certainly coming from someone who has an attic storage space into which are crammed a goodly number more speakers than could be reasonably required to fill the home in question, or indeed several additional ones. But it is something we have to underline more than you might think. A couple of decades back, the home hi-fi system was an absolute essential in any self-respecting family home, and doubly so in the questionable environs of a bachelor pad or student home. One might wish it were still so, but as any longstanding hi-fi manufacturer or retailer will tell you, the march of technology brought forth a succession of rivals to these audio affections, and…

1 min
return of the rega planar 3

One of the great classics of turntable design is getting a complete workover with the announcement of a new Rega Planar 3 after two years of development by Roy Gandy’s team in Southend, UK. Available from June at $1249, it features a new high-gloss acrylic laminated plinth which has increased stiffness, a re-designed sub-platter and a new natty-looking ‘float glass Optiwhite’ polished-rim 12mm platter. The main central bearing of the Planar 3 also has improved fit and construction, reducing stress on the bearing itself. Rega has completely re-designed the tonearm, with a new bias assembly, a redesigned stiffer vertical bearing housing, a new 100g mild steel counterweight, an integrated arm clip and an improved spring housing with easier to read numbers. New cabling includes a low-capacitance phono cable and Neutrik plugs. The…

1 min
australian hifi av show 16

TICKETS ON SALE NOW! There are prizes and incentives on regular offer from the Australian HiFi & AV Show for early ticket buyers — the Show takes place at the InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto hotel from Friday 21 October to Sunday 23 October. Here at NextMedia we are again media partners for the Show, which is organised by The Chester Group — for full details, exhibitors and tickets visit PROFITING FROM VINYL The end-of-year figures from RIAA in the US shows that vinyl sales have again increased while CD sales fall, and the estimated dollar value of vinyl LPs and EPs sold in the US has risen 32% from US$315m in 2014 to US$416m in 2015. Remarkably this figure exceeds total income from all ad-supported streaming royalties (e.g. Spotify Free) plus YouTube…

1 min
dts:x, auro-3d & the power of firmware

Several of our Sound+Image award-winning receivers are having their abilities enhanced through the power of the firmware upgrade. Yamaha has released firmware bringing DTS:X to three Aventage AV receiver models — the RX-A3050, RX-A2050 and RX-A1050 — plus the CX-A5100 AV pre-amp processor, all of which already include Dolby Atmos processing (and, of course, a whole lot more). Denon and Marantz AV receivers have gone one step further and can now be updated to allow Auro-3D surround processing — although unlike the recent free firmware upgrades for DTS-X compatibility, there is a charge for the Auro-3D upgrade. Confirmed by QualiFi in Australia as ready for the update are two Marantz models, the SR7010 AV receiver and the AV7702mkII surround preamplifier, along with five Denon AV receivers, the AVR-X4100W, AVR-X4200W, AVR-X5200W, AVR-X6200W, AVR-X7200WA,…

1 min
more in store from zappiti nas drive

We reviewed the Zappiti 4K player favourably last issue, and we are most impressed with the recent announcement of a Zappiti NAS drive, quite the storage device with eight bays to hold drives and with the top two models having an onboard Blu-ray player and ripping system. If used with 6-terabyte drives the total space might hold 1200 Blu-rays or 7200 DVD titles. The four versions are split between ‘N’ and ‘S’ models — the ‘S’ versions are noted as operating more quietly than the ‘N’ drives (think ‘S’ for silent, ‘N’ for, er, let’s say ‘Normal’ rather than ‘Noisy’). The ripping software will inevitably be controversial, and Zappiti cautiously refers to the system as “back-up”. Also importantly the company notes that “RIP function is working with 95% of Blu-ray discs.…