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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 16, 2018  |  0 comments
Recent years have seen British hi-fi company Exposure downsize the dimensions of its electronics with the introduction of its half-width XM series in 2016. Following its considerable success in squeezing its extensive hi-fi know-how into smaller dimensions, the audio component specialist has turned its attention to the top of its lineup and replaced its highly regarded but bulky MCX series pre and power amplifiers with slimline units. The new 5010 series features two products: a preamplifier priced at £2,000 and a mono power amplifier priced at £4,550 per pair and rated at 200W into 8ohm and 370W into 4. At first glance they don't look all that different to the brand’s existing 3010 and 2010 series of audio components, but the new 5010 models are significantly trimmer measuring just 90mm and 115mm tall respectively, and each is a mere 440mm wide and 300mm deep.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Ten years ago, few of us could have predicted the major shift that would take place in the way we consume music and that we’d be able to stream CD-quality and hi-res music files straight into our homes via robust broadband services. To my mind, this is still the stuff of science-fiction fantasy and in a relatively short time, music fans like myself have gone from buying CDs from a high-street record store to streaming content directly to our home music systems with just the tap of a touchscreen. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I purchased any physical digital media, although I know I am listening and discovering more music than ever. Streaming services have undoubtedly revolutionised the way we experience music, and several now offer better-than-CD sound quality, while others are still serving something close to MP3-quality.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 27, 2018  |  0 comments
Another headphone first comes from Audiolab – best known for its DACs and amplifiers – which pulls back the curtain on two sets of in-ear designs with the M-EAR 2D (£430) and M-EAR 4D (£700). Both available now, the former is a two-driver design, with one driver handling mid/high frequencies and the other dedicated to bass. The M-EAR 4D is a three-way design sporting four drivers – one for high frequencies, another for midrange and two for bass. Both come with a tangle-resistant detachable 1.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 26, 2018  |  0 comments
Putting in an appearance for the first time at The Bristol Hi-Fi Show back in February, British speaker brand Falcon Acoustics has partnered with UK distributor Karma-AV. The first fruit of this team up is the introduction of the Reference Audio Monitor (RAM) Studio series with three models: Studio 10, 20 and 30. The first and smallest in the range, the Studio 10 (from £1,395), is a two-way ported standmount loudspeaker with a 150mm mid/bass driver and custom 25mm soft dome tweeter. Falcon says it’s designed to deliver a smooth and detailed response, precise imaging and an extended soundstage and is rated at 89dB sensitivity into 8ohm.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 25, 2018  |  0 comments
Expectations are high for Quad’s debut headphone – this is the company behind the legendary ESL loudspeaker and whose philosophy is “the closest approach to the original sound”, after all. According to Quad, the ERA-1 combines high sensitivity with low impedance to enable excellent performance with a range of partnering devices – from portable players to top-of-the-range amps. To create this flagship design, it developed a planar magnetic driver, which aims to deliver a more natural and accurate sound – allowing the listener to immerse themselves in every musical nuance. The headphone incorporates a strong, ultra-thin, electrically active diaphragm fused with a magnet system designed to maximise sensitivity and consistency over the driver area.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 24, 2018  |  0 comments
By its own admission, AudioQuest is a tweaker – and the latest modifications to its Rocket cable range are on the launch pad. The affordable Rocket 11 (£12. 50/m pictured above) and 22 (£20/m) speaker cables are suitable for bi-wiring applications, and AudioQuest is confident ofthe improvement they’ll bring to any home audio setup. Both cables feature what itcalls “semi-solid true-concentric conductors” for the first time.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 23, 2018  |  0 comments
Spendor introduced its new two-way A7 floorstanding loudspeaker at The Bristol Show back in February. It’s described by the British speaker brand as a major revision of the acclaimed A6R, which impressed us when we reviewed it back in HFC 381. The A7 has a slim and contemporary-looking cabinet, available in black ash, dark walnut, natural oak and satin white finishes. The base of the plinth has four machined steel stabiliser inserts, secured directly into the main cabinet structure.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 23, 2018  |  0 comments
Just like the summer weather, the British floorstanding loudspeaker market is hotting up. We’ve seen several impressive high value for money floorstanding designs of late that offer serious hi-fi clout for a relatively low outlay. Regular readers will have marvelled at the 3050i from Q Acoustics that we reviewed last month, which received a coveted Editor’s Choice award and is the hottest, value floorstander we’ve seen so far. But contenders are already lining up to take its crown – including this month’s £600 cover star, Fyne Audio’s F303 (p46), and Monitor Audio’s Monitor 300 (p60), priced at just £550.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 20, 2018  |  0 comments
The latest network components from Primare – the I35 Prisma integrated amplifier and CD35 Prisma CD player – are the first outing for the Swedish manufacturer’s whole-home, high-fidelity control and connectivity platform. According to marketing director Terry Medalen, Prisma “provides a complete spectrum of system management from a single point of control”. The platform not only allows network playback from both stored and streamed media, wi-fi and Bluetooth connection, but also multi-zone control – all managed from any mobile device through a dedicated system control app. Rated at 2x 150W (8ohm), the I35 Prisma is the first integrated to use a reworking of Primare’s Class D amplification tech, and includes a DAC stage with support for up to PCM 768kHz and DSD256 formats.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 19, 2018  |  0 comments
Wilson Audio is perhaps best known for its high-end floorstanding loudspeaker designs with their uncompromising levels of performance and money-no-object designs. We've been lucky enough to experience some of the brand's extraordinary models at The Hi-Fi Show Live showcases runby our sister title Hi-Fi News, and the brand is sure to draw eager crowds once again to its UK distributor Absolute Sounds' listening rooms at this year's event running from 10-11 November – advanced tickets on sale now through eventbrite. co. uk.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 19, 2018  |  0 comments
Flat’s all folks! Warped vinyl can be the bane of the record collector, but help is at hand in this excellent guide to restoring your beloved music to pristine condition again, along with some top tips to ensure that it doesn’t happen in the first place. Click here to learn more. This is the end “The end of owning music” screams Rolling Stone magazine in this alarmist, but admittedly rather thought-provoking piece on what the future holds for physical music, featuring insight from industry insiders, record label owners and Jack White. read it for yourself here and see if you agree.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 26, 2018  |  0 comments
IsoTek has unveiled a trio of new mains conditioner products that include a mains power cleaner, mains synchroniser and 12-way power conditioner. Kicking off with the mains power cleaner, the new EVO3 Gemini is a compact two-way solution rated at 10A and offering filtration of common and differential mode mains noise. It costs £249 and is available from July. The Syncro Uni incorporates DC-cancelling electronics to reduce transformer hum when used with hi-fi separates.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 26, 2018  |  0 comments
It’s all very well filling your hi-fi rack with numerous separates, but there comes a time when space becomes a premium, when one box is so much more desirable than four or five. And that’s where Gold Note’s superb IS-1000 comes in. Described as the “complete all-in-one super integrated”, this quite phenomenal box of tricks neatly bridges the gap between a traditional integrated amplifier and a networked music streamer. At its heart, the IS-1000 is an integrated amplifier with a Class A/B output section capable of a 2x 125W into 8ohm (doubling to 250W into 4ohm loads).
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 25, 2018  |  0 comments
Chord Electronics opted to use the High End Show in Munich (see full show report in the July issue, now on sale)to debut its next-generation analogue amplifier design – claimed to be its first fundamentally new topology since the company’s inception back in 1989. Developed and implemented by Chord’s owner and managing director, John Franks, the Choral Étude stereo power amplifier is describedby the Kent-based company as heralding a new era for powerful, wide bandwidth, low noise and low distortion amplifiers. Based upon multi-feedback and dual feed-forward error-correction amplifier technology, the new design intelligently adjusts and compensates the high-powered MOSFETs, which have been arranged into two banks of four. Power output is rated (conservatively according to Chord) at 150W into 4ohm or 300W in bridged mono mode and comes from proprietary ultra-compact switch-mode high-frequency power supplies – one of which controls the auxiliary rails, while the othertwo feed the high-current active power rails.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 22, 2018  |  0 comments
Designed to appeal to hi-fi newcomers and experienced audiophiles alike, Pioneer’s new A-40AE integrated amplifier (pictured with the N-50AE network audio player) has been tuned to deliver low distortion coupled with fine resolution and clarity. Boasting a claimed 2x 76W power output into 4ohm, analogue connections include five line-level inputs. Turntables are catered for thanks to a moving-magnet input, while digital options include optical and coaxial inputs. There are terminals for two independent pairs of speakers (for individual or parallel operation), capable of taking 4mm banana plugs.

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