Hi-Fi Choice June 2020

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

We’re an optimistic bunch here at HFC so, although at the time of assembling this issue we’re still under lockdown, we’re looking on the bright side. There do seem to be encouraging signs there’s light at the end of the tunnel – or at least, outside our front doors – so we’ve decided to test half a dozen extremely neat wireless in-ear headphones to discover which will best suit your personal choice of soundtracks when you get to make your first joyous steps back out into the world. We’ve also had some major fun testing a superb range of kit, from PS Audio’s Stellar Power Plant 3 to T+A’s new mini system, rummaged through the attic to dig out the long-forgotten record collections that might – fingers crossed – be harbouring…

3 min
on the level

PRICE: £2,000-£5,000 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 0344 8111116 WEB: UK.YAMAHA.COM YAMAHA IS LAUNCHING a re-engineered series of integrated amplifiers and a premium bookshelf loudspeaker. The new models – A-S1200, A-S2200 and A-S3200 integrateds and NS-3000 standmount – join the recently introduced 5000 Series. The A-S Series of amps shares several key features with the 5000 Series, including toroidal transformers with drawn-out wiring to reduce energy loss, mechanical grounding to reduce unwanted vibrations and thick wires for ground connection for lower impedance. Each model is available in black or silver, with polished piano black sides, featuring gorgeous vintage-styled level meters and knobs on the front panel. The £2,000 A-S1200 boasts 160W per channel power output (at 4ohm), includes a built-in MM/MC phono stage and connections incorporating 4x RCA inputs plus pre and record outputs. The…

1 min
a&k sr25 portable

PRICE: £650 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 0208 2008282 WEB: ASTELLNKERN.COM ASTELL&KERN HAS RELEASED the second model in its A&norma line of portable high-resolution audio players, the A&norma SR25. An upgrade of the previous SR15 DAP (HFC 443), it supports native playback of up to 32-bit/384KHz PCM and DSD256 high-resolution music files and features two Cirrus Logic 43198 MasterClass DACs in dual-mono configuration, adding a number of new functions including a faster quad-core CPU and newly designed circuitry claimed to improve sound quality enhancements. A first for Astell&Kern players, the 63.5 x 108.3 x 16.1mm SR25 adds LDAC Bluetooth support, allowing users to wirelessly stream 24-bit hi-res audio to compatible speakers and headphones. The SR25 also provides a quoted 20+ hours of continuous music playback, more than twice the time of the SR15 and…

1 min
vertere magneto cartridge

PRICE: £100 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 0203 1764888 WEB: VERTEREACOUSTICS.COM Vertere has announced that its DG-1 Dynamic Groove record player will be shipped with its new Magneto cartridge fitted and aligned. Closely related to the Audio-Technica VM520EB cartridge originally fitted to the DG-1, the Magneto is also compatible with the AT VM5x range – allowing owners to upgrade to an improved stylus profile when the time comes to renew. The Magneto comes with an integrated stylus guard, stainless steel fixing bolts, washer and hex thumb nuts and its design replicates the structure of the cutter head. A ‘V’ form two-magnet design mimics the left and right channel sides of the groove, while Vertere claims the permalloy centre shield plate provides a higher frequency response with electrical crosstalk typically better than 40dB. Frequency response is…

2 min
ma’s bronze series returns

PRICE: £175-£770 AVAILABLE: JUNE CONTACT: 01268 740580 WEB: MONITORAUDIO.COM MONITOR AUDIO HAS launched the sixth generation of its popular Bronze series, featuring a new Uniform Dispersion Waveguide that combines with the company’s signature C-CAM gold dome tweeter for claimed even sound dispersion, improved time alignment and wider directivity. The two-way, £260 Bronze 50 standmount kicks off the range. Featuring a 140mm C-CAM bass/midrange driver partnered by the aforementioned 25mm C-CAM gold dome tweeter with UD Waveguide, it has a claimed sensitivity of 85dB into 8ohm loads and 62Hz-25kHz frequency response (-6dB). With external dimensions of 281 x 166 x 265mm, it weighs in at 5kg per cabinet. The second bookshelf option in the range, the £325, two-way Bronze 100 features a larger cabinet – 376 x 231 x 325mm and weighs 7.8kg each.…

9 min
power to the people!

When it comes the numerous enquiries that fill out the HFC letterbag every month, aside from those asking which speaker goes best with which amplifier or if hi-res music streaming really is all it’s cut out to be, there’s a surprisingly vocal minority that bangs the ‘mains conditioners/regenerators are nonsense’ drum far harder than Ginger Baker, John Bonham or Dave Grohl ever did in their pomp. Take a look on any hi-fi forum and fierce arguments rage as to the validity of Bob Stuart of Meridian’s observation in the late seventies that one of the main inputs that’s criminally under appreciated in the amplifier relates to the mains electricity that enters into it. Mains filters and conditioners of various shapes and sizes then followed in an effort to ‘clean up’ the…