Hi-Fi Choice December 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

The sad passing of Eddie Van Halen brought to mind a day in 1984 when I interviewed him for Melody Maker. We were backstage in Buffalo and, while the band indulged in a food fight, he was sat in a small room, crying. He was convinced the others were jealous of the attention he’d gained guesting on Michael Jackson’s Beat It and that they all hated him. At this point a minder entered and informed us it was time to leave for the hotel. Eddie sank to his knees by a bucket full of bottles of booze and began collecting them into his arms. The minder shook his head. “You know the rules Eddie, only one.” Eddie gazed at the cognac, the JD, the vodka, the Wild Turkey and whined. Could…

3 min
diamonds are forever

PRICE: £200-£700 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB:WHARFEDALE.CO.UK WHARFEDALE HAS LAUNCHED a new Diamond 12 range comprising three standmount loudspeakers, two floorstanding models and a centre cabinet specifically for home cinema configurations. The company explains that since its Diamond 8 Series in 2001, it has constructed its mid/bass cones for every Diamond generation from Kevlar, but it has now developed a new composite called Klarity. Its chief ingredient is polypropylene, a material that’s been used to make speaker cones since the BBC researched its use for this very purpose in the seventies. Polypropylene cones are renowned for their characteristically low distortion and controlled break-up, as well as their resistance to moisture in the air. To make Klarity, Wharfedale has added mica to the formulation. The company claims that this: “increases stiffness compared with polypropylene alone, reducing flexing…

1 min
the new traditionals

PRICE: £1,600 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: SPENDORAUDIO.COM SPENDOR IS LAUNCHING a new two-way standmount loudspeaker – the Classic ⅘ – which the company claims to be: “the most charming and beautifully balanced-sounding small Spendor Classic ever.” The Classic ⅘’s mid/bass drive unit features a high-linearity, high-excursion, motor-magnet system, 15cm diameter pressure die-cast magnesium alloy chassis, EP77 polymer cone and new surround and suspension materials with thermal and mechanical stability. Key electrical, mechanical and damping parameters have been optimised to suit the sealed enclosure so, whether placed on a stand or open shelf, the Classic ⅘ is claimed to deliver low frequencies: “with fine articulation and a natural sense of depth and musical timing.” A 22mm wide-surround tweeter combines the extended frequency response of a small diaphragm with the low-frequency characteristics of a larger diaphragm…

1 min
sennheiser hd 560s

PRICE: £170 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: SENNHEISER.COM Sennheiser explains that its new HD 560S headphone is: “tailor-made for listeners who need to understand a tune in all its detail, from the recording studio to the sound file.” Its transducers are specifically tuned for accuracy to off er A/B comparisons of mixes, sources and media formats and the HD 560S features open-back ear-cups angled at the optimal triangular listening position of loudspeakers for a wide, articulate soundstage. Off ering a frequency response of 6Hz–38kHz, the headphone has a quoted 110dB/1V sensitivity and <0.05 percent THD (at 90dB). The HD 560S uses an ultra-light chassis for comfortable long-term listening, the voice coil has been developed to work well regardless of the playback system, while the quoted 120ohm impedance allows it to be used with virtually…

1 min
prime time

PRICE: £4,500-£6,500 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: RENAISSANCEAUDIO.CO.UK VPI INDUSTRIES HAS unveiled two new Prime 21 turntables – the Prime 21 and 21+ – designed with a focus on ease of setup so that they can be removed from their box, calibrated and connected in under 20 minutes. The company says: “No specialist hi-fi assembly skills are required and all set-up tools are supplied. An instructional video is supplied on a USB stick for those owners who would like assistance.” A step up from the outgoing Prime predecessor, the new models boast a redesign of the deck and upgrades to the components. A new aluminium top plate braces the chassis to deaden any unwanted resonance while a high-mass aluminium casework to the motor aims to improve the damping for a steadier performance. An all-new…

1 min
karma-av brings inakustik to uk

PRICE: £40-£27,000 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: KARMA-AV.CO.UK Karma-AV is introducing German manufacturer inakustik’s cables to the UK. The range includes the Reference Air speaker cables and interconnects, the Excellence digital, XLR and speaker cables, Premium optical and phono leads and a collection of specialised subwoofer umbilicals. The cable specialist says its singular focus is on minimising signal loss by using pure silver (in the flagship Reference Air Series) and the purest OFC for highest conductivity; the application of multi-layer shielding to counteract electromagnetic interference and the adoption of high-quality polyethelene (PE) insulation preventing corrosion and damage while reducing energy storage (capacitance) by a factor of two over PVC. In addition, the design of larger cross-sections reduces conductor resistance across the range and accommodates the brand’s air-helix structure – available on its Reference cables –…