Sound + Image March - April 2020

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
8 Issues

in this issue

4 min

A friend has been wanting to upgrade his hi-fi for years, and this month he finally took the first step, replacing his 12-year-old Denon receiver. His choice of replacement surprised me — a 30-year-old Kenwood amp. It’s quite the beauty, built in Japan, and highly nostalgic for him because he used to own the model below it, back in the day, before it was stolen in a burglary. When this one popped up for sale on the other side of Sydney he couldn’t resist, and now it’s in pride of place in his lounge, freshly buffed, and sounding great with both music and movies. Being 30 years old, the amp lacks a few modern facilities — he needed to get a little DAC to handle his digital inputs, and an input…

1 min
musical fidelity m8xi integrated amplifier

This is an important release from Musical Fidelity, as it’s the company’s first clean-sheet product build since they were purchased by Audio Tuning last year, even though Simon Quarry (the genius behind so many Musical Fidelity gems) has been retained as Technical Director and Designer. The M8xi is a monster of an amplifier. Rated at 550 watts/channel it is designed to competently drive any loudspeaker in existence. The construction consists of a pre-amp with two mono-block power amps sharing the same chassis. Each component has its own power transformer and heat sinks. Most companies rate distortion measured at 1kHz; Musical Fidelity state a distortion rate of 0.004% at all frequencies from 20Hz to 20kHz. Its maximum peak output is 105 amps, and while that may not mean much to many people,…

2 min
bang & olufsen at len wallis audio

There are very few brands in our industry with the appeal of B&O. In an age where many consumers are trying to hide the audio system out of sight, B&O is unashamedly designed to be proudly placed on display. This is a true merging of design and music (or as publication Wired described it “quality media delivery via striking objects”). While we have become accustomed to traditional box speakers of various shapes, B&O turns their speakers into technical pieces of art. Take, for example, the Beoplay A9 which comes in a variety of finishes, and can be floor- or wall-mounted. Despite its laidback minimalist design it features over 400 watts of amplification (1 x 400 watt amp for the bass driver, 2 x 200 watt amps for the midrange drivers, 2…

2 min
nad powers up new m33 with eigentakt

NAD has used CES in Las Vegas to announce its first product to feature a new Class-D amplifier technology called HybridDigital Purifi ‘Eigentakt’ (which means ‘self-clocking’ or ‘self-oscillating’), developed in collaboration with Danish amplifier module maker Purifi Audio. The new NAD ‘Masters Series’ M33 is a DAC/amplifier that comes equipped with the BluOS (Bluesound) streaming and multiroom platform, and is fronted by a 178mm colour touchscreen, so that in addition to advancing on the previous M32 model it seems to be building on the success of the company’s M10, while offering more inputs and, with the new technology, two sets of speaker outputs and higher power output of 200W per channel. The new amplification is said to be ‘ultraquiet’, “remarkable in that it nears the limits of even the most sensitive and…

3 min
rega’s new aethos

Rega’s new reference stereo amplifier, the Aethos, has received its Australian launch, taking concepts from the UK company’s award-winning Elex-R and Elicit-R amps to the next level in this dual-mono design. The Aethos combines striking looks with high-performance features, including polypropylene capacitors throughout the signal path, K-Power reservoir capacitors, and a high current output stage comprising four 160W 16A Sanken output transistors per channel. The output is quoted at 125W into eight ohms (0.007% THD+N @1kHz, 22Hz to 30kHz) or 156W into 6 ohms. The Aethos uses a custom-wound toroidal transformer and regulated supplies for the sensitive amplification and driver stages, making use of the combined feedback and passive volume control plus line amplifier originally developed for the Elex-R but with improvements through the use of discrete FET input operational amplifiers…

1 min
bild 2 tvs herald revival for loewe

Loewe’s bild 2 range of televisions is now available in Australia through Indi Imports, in another indication of the revival of the German brand as it comes under the new control of Cyprus-based international investment company Skytec. The bild 2 television comes in 43-inch and 49-inch options, both using 4K LED-E-backlit LCD panels supporting HDR and wide viewing angles, together with Loewe’s usual level of intelligent interfacing including Loewe’s app for smartphone and tablet, and compatibility with Alexa voice control. The bild 2 models also have integrated sound systems which benefit from the corrective audio processing of Mimi Defined. Indi Imports also emphasises their style and versatility in being not only wall- or bench-mountable but also pairable with one of Loewe’s attractive floorstands (right) for free-standing positioning anywhere in a room. Repositioning with…