Sound + Image July - August 2021

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

5 min

Zoom briefings instead of press launches have been a great success during the past year. Epson recently broke the drought with a proper PR bash to announce its partnership with National Geographic to save the permafrost, and perhaps the world, which on Epson’s side involves ridding it of laser printers. They hosted a launch and a lunch overlooking a sunny Sydney Harbour, and rejoining a physical group was most enjoyable, a reminder that however casual a Zoom chat may try to be, there simply isn’t the natter-level conversation either with the company or from journos on different beats covering technologies that may you may have missed. It’s so good to share. It’s also easier, in the flesh, after some chit-chat, to ask a serious technical question in a friendly manner. On…

3 min
aventage for a new decade

Yamaha has finally released information on four new models for its 10th generation of Aventage premium AV receivers. The RX-A8A, RX-A6A and RX-A4A offer 11, 9 and 7 channels respectively, joining the 7-channel RX-A2A which we have reviewed in this issue. That RX-A2A model is available now, with the RX-A8A available in Australia from June. Release dates for the RX-A6A and RX-A4A are yet to be confirmed. They represent the biggest change in external design since Aventage made its debut in 2010, with a simplified modern design moving the main volume knob to the centre, a new high-resolution LCD display to the right with a rotary jog dial and touch-sensitive buttons. The sound quality is also enhanced, says the company. “We broke the mould when we premiered our flagship Aventage series in 2010,”…

2 min
studio sound from jbl

If you’re seeking a solid studio-like sound without the overtly ‘Classic’ overtones of JBL’s L100 reboot, the company will soon be releasing these new JBL 4309 Studio Monitor compact two-way speakers, which combine a certain pro-heritage-style aesthetic with the latest technologies, packaged together in a relatively small form factor, just 42cm high. The 4309s are equipped with a 2410H-2 Teonex 25mm compression driver mated to JBL’s latest High-Definition Imaging (HDI) horn, and a 165mm (6.5-inch) pure-pulp cone bass/midrange driver. The 2410H-2 has a lightweight polymer annular diaphragm that improves high-frequency extension by reducing diaphragm mass, and a V-shaped geometry that reduces break-up modes, aiming to eliminate time smear and reduce distortion. The long-throw bass/midrange driver has a cast frame and 39mm diameter voice coil within JBL’s symmetrical field motor design, which…

1 min
transparent offers $112,050 speaker cables

We often remind readers who are building a system to remember to retain perhaps 10% of their system budget for cables. So it will need a fairly esoteric system for that 10% to stretch to the latest line of Transparent’s Generation 6 ‘Connoisseur Collection’ of cables and interconnects. A 2.4-metre-long pair of top-of-the-line Transparent Magnum Opus speaker cable, for example (with its newly-configured stiffer and heavier polymethyl methacrylate plinth and isolation feet for the custom-machined constrained-layer-damped-acrylic carapace platform with its thick carbon-fibre sheet embedded in epoxy resin), has an Australian RRP of $112,050. But there are many ranges at more affordable prices: the pictured Opus cable is only a little more than half that price. They are distributed here by Advance Audio:…

2 min
cambridge goes all-in-one

Cambridge Audio has released two versions of an all-in-one streaming amplifier which aims to offer a complete just-add-speakers solution. The $3299 Cambridge evo 75 is rated with an output of 75W per channel and the $4299 evo 150 at 150W per channel, both using use the highly-regarded Hypex Ncore ‘Class-D’ modules for their power. The company’s ‘StreamMagic’ streaming platform is onboard, enabling easy access to online music services including Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, Qobuz and internet radio, while there is also both Chromecast and AirPlay 2, plus Bluetooth with AAC and aptX HD codecs, so the evos can easily handle streaming from any other apps. There’s also DLNA avaiable for network streaming, while ESS Sabre DACs are used for the digital-to-analogue conversion — the ES9016K2M DAC in the evo 75 and…

1 min
grado’s ‘x’ factor

Grado’s Prestige headphones were the original range designed by John Grado when in 1990 he bought the company from his uncle Joseph, a former Tiffany watchmaker who had begun making phono cartridges in the 1950s. Nephew John had been with the company since 1965, watching the rise and then fall in cartridge demand during the 1980s; the Prestige line of Grado headphones were, indeed, the saviour of the company. This latest Prestige X Series gains enhanced drivers, enhanced cable designs and more comfortable headbands, the drivers in all five models using newly designed voice-coils and diaphragms along with a magnetic circuit that has been revised in such a way as to improve efficiency, reduce distortion and linearise the frequency response, also making them easier to drive across a variety of portable…