Hi-Fi Choice Yearbook 2018

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

www.hifichoice.co.uk Issue No. 445 Yearbook 2018 2018 was another amazing year for all things audio. With everything from amplifiers to turntables evolving to embrace the way we want to consume music today, this bumper 164-page special issue celebrates the hi-fi high-points from the past 12 months. Flicking through the review and system pages demonstrates the strength of today’s audio industry and the diverse range of products available to cater for all kinds of music listener – from those just starting out to seasoned audiophiles – and feeding our passion for sound in increasingly innovative ways. Each of the products selected for this ultimate product guide is a coveted Hi-Fi Choice badge winner applauded by our team of expert reviewers for a winning combination of outstanding sound quality and value for money…

3 min
elac miracord 70

Celebrating 70 years since the first ELAC turntable – the PW1 autochanger – rolled off the production line, the Miracord 70 comes as a complete package including arm and Audio-Technica AT-95E (HFC 387), which remains one of hi-fi’s great bargains. This is pre-fitted into the tonearm, meaning setup is merely a matter of fitting belt and platter, balancing the arm, setting anti-skate, and you’re good to go. The ELAC is built around a solid MDF base with a high-gloss black finish and metallic trim. The sub-platter rotates on a ceramic ball and has a hardened steel bearing shaft, spinning between two sintered bronze radial bearings. Four rubber bumpers support the main platter when in place. This weighs in at 2.6kg and is a solid piece of glass, coated on its underside with…

3 min
pro-ject debut iii s audiophile

Distinguished from the rest of Pro-Ject’s huge range of turntables by the new S-shaped tonearm, the Debut III S Audiophile is based around a superbly finished gloss plinth, which is available in black or white. The sub-platter has a stainless steel bearing shaft, which spins in a brass housing and is driven by a flat belt from the motor. The aforementioned aluminium tonearm is 8.6in long and easy to set up and fine tune. Available adjustments even include azimuth, as the arm tube can be rotated about its axis in the bearing housing after loosening a screw. It comes pre-fitted with a moving-magnet cartridge that is based on an Ortofon OM10 and dubbed the Pick-IT 25 A. However, internally, the coils have been replaced by pure silver types, which Pro-Ject…

3 min
pro-ject primary e

Complete with everything you need to get spinning vinyl, apart from a built-in phono stage, the main difference between the Primary E and the outgoing Primary base deck centres around the motor that’s mounted to the MDF plinth. The E model dispenses with the wall-wart and block arrangement of the older design and substitutes a motor that works on a standard 230V AC mains feed and uses a fixed cable and plug, which reduces the cost and makes for a far tidier installation. The tonearm is 8.6in long, made from aluminium and employs sapphire bearings for smooth travel. Where it differs from many other examples is that Pro-Ject has optimised it to work with the Ortofon OM series moving-magnet cartridge. This means that there’s no anti-skate adjustment and that the tonearm…

3 min
rega planar 1 plus

With a range of dedicated phono stage designs for every budget, Rega has traditionally held off from all-in-one vinyl solutions, but that all changed with the introduction of the Planar 1 Plus. As the name suggests, at its core this is a Planar 1 turntable and a belt-driven unsuspended design with the belt acting on a sub platter rather than directly against the phenolic resin platter. The matching tonearm is the RB110, which has been tweaked to include automatic bias adjustment. Rega says this makes installation easier than on any previous iteration. The slight counter to this is that the value the bias operates to is fixed and so may not suit all cartridges. It is, of course, an ideal match for the Carbon that comes supplied and if you roll…

6 min
rega planar 8

For the last couple of years Rega has been replacing its RP series of turntables with Planar decks, so it didn’t take an enormous amount of deduction to work out that this would continue up the range to include the RP8. What wasn’t so obvious is that the Planar 8 would be so different to its predecessor and almost every other Rega deck that came before it. It takes concepts from the RP8 and Planar 6, but also borrows from the Naiad – the company’s flagship design. The most important of these is the application of mass – employing it where it is needed and eliminating it where it isn’t. In the case of where it isn’t, the main area where this has been tackled is the plinth. At first glance, the…