Hi-Fi Choice March 2019

Hi-Fi Choice is the essential guide to audio excellence in the home. It is a no-nonsense guide to the finest products available, from vinyl and valves, to multi-channel digital audio and high-fidelity video. Hi-Fi Choice sorts the best from the rest with rigorous test processes and a highly experienced team of reviewers.

United Kingdom
AV Tech Media Ltd
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min

The loudspeaker sector appears to be one of the fastest growing areas in the audio market at the moment, with a seemingly ever increasing number of hi-fi designs arriving in a variety of shapes and sizes. A quick flick through this month's issue demonstrates the range of models available at price points to suit every pocket, from budget floorstanders to a high-end design from Wilson Audio, the place-anywhere TuneTot standmount (p43), and ELAC's superb Vela BS 403 with its JET tweeter (pictured left). Our Audiofile pages regularly bring you news of the most interesting loudspeaker designs, and there's bound to be plenty more to come following new model launches such as Acoustic Energy's flagship 500 Series (exclusively announced on p6) showcased for the first time at this year's Bristol Hi-Fi Show…

1 min
ae adds 500 series

PRICE: £1,000-£2,300 AVAILABLE: APRIL CONTACT: 01285 654432 WEB: ACOUSTIC-ENERGY.CO.UK ANNOUNCING ITS TOP-TIER series with the £1,000 AE500 two-way standmount (pictured) and £2,300 AE509 floorstander, the latest range to join Acoustic Energy's rapidly expanding lineup introduces its first carbon fibre drivers. Boasting a newly developed 25mm tweeter partnered with 125mm mid/bass drivers, the lighter driver material offers a step up on the pistonic power and accuracy of its popular ceramic/aluminium drivers with improved self-damping. MD Mat Spandl comments: “We have spent considerable time developing the carbon fibre transducers and perfecting our unique cabinet technology. The results have been proven and I’m confident we’ve developed a new flagship range with exceptional sound, build and value.” Available in high-gloss black or white or walnut wood veneer finishes, cabinet construction borrows from its Reference Series with special attention to further…

2 min
hmv is saved, but at what cost?

A lot has been written about HMV since December. Some of it overly whimsical and some more realistically noting that in an age of on-demand entertainment it has become something of a dinosaur, reacting to purchasing trends with the alacrity of a supertanker trying to pull a three-point turn. But among all the noise, the rather sadder tale of Fopp has slid by the wayside. Fopp was an independent that offered everything that HMV's new owners are hoping to instil in their acquisition in an effort to prevent it from slipping into irrelevance. Stocking the same mix of vinyl, books, CDs and DVDs as HMV but at a vastly reduced price, it was the go-to store for those in the know – not least because, thanks to its indie roots, its…

1 min
wireless turntable

PRICE: £1,500 AVAILABLE: APRIL CONTACT: 0207 5515422 WEB: CAMBRIDGEAUDIO.COM SHOWCASED AT CES in Las Vegas earlier this year, Cambridge Audio has released its Alva TT direct-drive turntable package with built-in phono stage and fitted with a high-output moving-coil cartridge. Billed as the complete package for today’s vinyl lover, it sports 33 and 45rpm electronic speed change of the Polyoxymethylene (POM) platter and can wirelessly stream 24-bit/48kHz LPCM audio from records as they’re played to any aptX HD-equipped amplifier – such as the company’s own Edge A integrated or Edge NQ preamp/network music player (see p16) – as well as regular aptX Bluetooth speakers and headphones. The single-piece tonearm has a manual armlift and the pre-fitted Alva MC cartridge will also be available separately, priced at £450.…

1 min
puresound updates amps

kIntroducing two new products from Puresound, first up is the A30-R (£1,900) Class A integrated valve amplifier that claims 30W power output. Based on the company’s long-running A30, the restyled front panel of the R version sports a gloss black finish, while the revised specification claims to achieve cooler operation and a lower noise floor and provides four line-level RCA inputs, 4 and 8ohm loudspeaker impedance taps and a motorised volume control via the supplied remote handset. The all-new L5 line-level preamp (£1,000) incorporates four RCA inputs along with twin RCA outputs and also has a motorised volume controlled via the supplied remote. Both models are on sale now and further details can be found at: PURESOUND.INFO…

1 min
q acoustics concept 300

PRICE: £2,999 AVAILABLE: MARCH CONTACT: 01279 501111 WEB: QACOUSTICS.CO.UK Joining its award-winning Concept 500 floorstander (HFC 426), Q Acoustics has announced the Concept 300 standmount that employs some of the same technology introduced in the flagship loudspeaker partnered with some all-new engineering. The two-way reflex design measures 220 x 355 x 400mm (WxHxD) and uses the same 28mm wide dispersion soft-dome tweeter combined with a 165mm mid/bass driver that has been tweaked for optimum performance for its standmount configuration. Sensitivity is rated at 84dB with a nominal impedance of 6ohm. As with the Concept 500, attention has been lavished on cabinet design and the 300 employs the same Dual Gelcore construction that combines layers of high-density MDF separated by liquid adhesive to convert and dissipate unwanted resonances as heat. The seamless cabinet is further bolstered…