Sound + Image October - November 2017

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

4 min
talk is cheap...

Is hi-fi and AV getting better all the time? Or do companies largely reinvent the wheel in order to deliver “this year’s model”? And is technology pushing us ever more into convenience and away from quality? How come lovers of classic designs like the first-ever Marantz preamp (see restoration article on p86) can claim something so early was one of the best preamps ever? Haven’t we, er, moved on? It’s true that with some categories and in some years, it can seem like things are only iteratively improving. That’s the usual way of things — we can’t expect everything to be reinvented all the time. But new standards and new technologies do regularly shift things significantly. Not always quite as expected, of course. The quality hike from 1080p to UHD was not…

3 min
the hi–fi headlines

THERE IS A LOT HAPPENING AT LEN WALLIS AUDIO AT THE MOMENT! NEWSLETTER No.234 The return of Meridian We have always been big fans of Meridian, but due to distribution problems in Australia for the last few years the product disappeared from our shelves. Well it is back, albeit with a limited range currently on display. While the DSP7200SE Digital Active speakers ($49,900) hold pride of place it is the new(ish) M6 speakers that are generating a lot of interest. Like all Meridian speakers these are still digital active (the digital-to-analogue converters and amplifiers are built into the speakers). All you need to feed them is a digital signal. These are compact, attractive and above all great performers, perfect for anyone looking for a system that will not dominate a room, but who…

5 min
heos & atmos in slimline avrs

As several Sound+Image awards attest, we’ve maintained a high regard for what Marantz calls its “slimline” series of AV receivers, though really they’re short, rather than slim, but we guess the “short-arse” series wouldn’t sound so marketable. The latest models aim to maintain the excellent performance of previous models, but bring a number of impressive additions — HEOS multiroom integration, and Dolby Vision HDR compatibility (in addition to full 4K/UHD abilities) in both new models. The $1299 NR1608 is just 10.5cm tall, yet includes seven 90W channels of amplification, has decoders for both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound, and an impressive eight HDMI inputs compatible with 4K up to 60Hz with HDR10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log Gamma (this last via future firmware update). The seven channels can be configured to…

3 min
shining a light on vivitek projectors

Vivitek’s extensive projection range is now getting a boost in presence here in Australia thanks to a new distribution arrangment with Melbourne’s Synergy Audio Visual. It comes at a perfect time — Vivitek is just releasing its first consumer-level Ultra High Definition projector in the HK2288 (review under way), while at this year’s ISE in Amsterdam the company came away with four ‘Best of ISE’ awards covering a wide gamut all the way from a neat portable projector to a win for ‘Best High-End Fixed Install Project’. Vivitek is a brand of Delta Electronics, headquartered in Taiwan, where R&D is conducted, and with global sales and marketing operations through North America, Europe and Asia. Besides the sheer range of product, a notable aspect of Vivitek’s product development is a firm emphasis…

2 min
tv news from ifa 2017

IFA Berlin 2017: Europe’s premier electronics show had more than its fair share of television product launches this year, with OLED TVs again firmly in the self-emissive spotlight. Panasonic launched its largest ever OLED, the 77-incher for its EZ1000 range (we reviewed the 65-incher last issue), while LG brought its now-legendary OLED tunnel to wow the crowds, while demonstrating its LG Signature OLED TV ‘W’, and also a new ‘Technicolor Expert Mode’ for its 2017 OLEDs, with colours “optimised by Technicolor’s colour scientists who work on the majority of Hollywood’s premium content”. Technicolor Expert Mode will come via firmware update to the picture settings menu of all LG’s 2017 OLED TVs starting around now, and possibly later for LED-LCD models as well. It should work with both standard and HDR…

3 min
ifa 2017 berlin: technics’ premium sp-10r turntable

Talk about back-compatibility — the new premium turntable announced by Panasonic under the Technics brand at IFA in Berlin is described as “interchangeable with systems using the SP10MK2 (released in 1975) and the SP-10MK3 (1981) — the two predecessors which have been highly evaluated by professional broadcasting stations and are still very much admired and used by many So if you’re running a 42-year-old SP10Mk2, the new SP-10R will slot right in with your existing arm and cartridge, though when it is finally released (it’s expected mid-2018) it will be supplied as a complete system with tonearm and cartridge. Described as the company’s “most premium turntable ever” it revives the model number used for the first ever direct-drive turntable, and claims S/N ratio of 92dB and wow/flutter of 0.015%, the best…