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Hi Fi News

Hi Fi News

October 2020

Since its launch in June 1956 - two years before the commercial realisation of stereo - Hi-Fi News & Record Review has been delivering insightful reviews of the key products and technologies that lie behind our shared hobby... the passion of listening to music on the very best equipment available to the enthusiast. Every issue, Hi-Fi News delivers uniquely in-depth reviews of high-end audio equipment, including the best in vinyl replay and iconic vintage gear from the early days of audio. It is essential reading for all music enthusiasts.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
AV Tech Media Ltd
Frequency:
Monthly
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13 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
oct/20

Once again, and despite the uncertainty of our times, your October issue of Hi-Fi News remains a bumper 164-page offering where, as the exclusive UK member of EISA’s Hi-Fi Expert Group, we reveal the choicest components, as tested, judged and voted for by the best of the international audio press. Over the last few years, EISA (the Expert Imaging and Sound Association) has reached outside of its European heartland to include the cream of global hi-fi publishing, also counting the most experienced ‘influencers’ among its ranks. Enthusiast colleagues including John Darko (based in Germany) and Mikhail Borzenkov (Moscow) now offer their thoughts and opinions alongside SoundStage! Hi-Fi (Canada), Audio Accessory (Japan), Stereophile (USA) and AudioTechnique (Hong Kong) in addition to the host of longstanding EISA members from the greater EU community. Alongside hi-fi,…

5 min.
marantz 12 series se

Marantz’s PM-12 integrated amplifier and SA-12 SACD player – models originally created for its Japanese market – are being upgraded to ‘Special Edition’ status for a UK and European launch this September. Priced £3300 a piece and available in black or silver-gold finishes, the new units are a collaboration between Marantz’s Japanese ‘in-house Sound Masters’ and European sound engineering team, involving ‘a more considered component selection, and tuning over countless listening sessions’. The PM-12 SE, rated at 2x100W/8ohm (2x200W/4ohm), is an all-analogue amplifier, with DAC functionality left to the new SA-12SE partner player. The amp features separate PSUs for its pre and power stages, ‘high-quality’ input terminals and speaker connections, and utilises Marantz’s ‘Musical Premium Phono’ EQ circuit for its MM/MC phono stage. The SA-12SE, meanwhile, features the brand’s SACDM-3 disc…

9 min.
hi-fi @ home revisited

The uninitiated might be shocked if they added up the cost of Nigel’s current hi-fi system, but as he says: ‘I didn’t buy this all at once. It’s been a 20-year hobby!’. And it’s now well over 20 years since Nigel took his first steps on the Naim ladder. ‘My first system, when I was at university, consisted of a Technics turntable, Technics amp and Mission 707 speakers. I got part of it for my 18th birthday present, and the rest I funded myself. The turntable was the first to go and that’s when a Thorens 150 came in, which is an absolute classic. Then – and this would be around 1984 – I wanted to listen to a Mission Cyrus amplifier. I went over to Cam Audio in Cambridge because…

3 min.
hi-fi @ home – catching up 12 years later…

Twelve years on, Nigel’s room looks much the same, but there have been some big changes, and he’s now happily married to Karen. Fortunately, as a husband-and-wife team in their own business, they could keep their office going during the recent lockdown. ‘We certainly work long hours and we tend to come back home and put the radio on,’ he says. ‘We listen to Smooth FM a lot, just relax and chill. Of course, when I sit and have a proper listen, it’s still very much the Pink Floyd, the rock music, the Deep Purple…’ SPECIAL TWEAKS Nigel listens through a cherished NAT 01 tuner and his CD555 player is still going strong. He’s not really into music streaming. As for AV, the old DVD5 player got sold off long ago to a…

13 min.
eat e-glo i

Regular readers will already know that I use two of EAT’s cartridges [HFN Dec ’18 and ’19], two of its phono stages [HFN Mar ’17 and Feb ’19] and a B-Sharp turntable [HFN Jul ’20]. The E-Glo i is thus among family members and there’s every chance I was going to be predisposed… At £9498, it’s not cheap for an all-valve integrated rated at only 35W in ultralinear mode or 18W in triode, but the perceived value is self-evident, ameliorating the issue of watts-vs-worth. Recalling £100k 20W single-ended triode amps puts it into perspective. For £1000 more, you can fit a quartet of EAT-made KT88s in place of the already very fine Electro-Harmonix tubes in our review sample. EXUDES LUXURY Care needs to be taken with the very sharp edges of the valve…

1 min.
jozefina lichtenegger

It is perhaps fitting, and not coincidental, that the classic KT88 tube that kicked-off Jozefina Lichtenegger’s career in hi-fi some 20 years ago should be chosen as the heart of EAT’s first integrated amplifier. Jozefina took over production of the KT88 in the iconic Prague factory, remaining faithful to the original ‘recipe’ of the legendary Golden Lion tube. Now the owner & CEO of EAT (European Audio Team), Jozefina told HFN about this choice of tube. ‘The output power of an amplifier does not necessarily indicate its musical quality. So there are amplifiers using the new style of KT88 with higher dissipation – the KT120 and KT150 – but for me, the KT88 offers the most “magical” tube sound, closely followed by the 300B triode.’ Jozefina has a disarmingly romantic view of…