LATEST ADDITIONS

Ed Selley  |  Feb 06, 2011  |  0 comments
Roksan Caspian M2 With its tuneful performance and natural detail, the Caspian M2 is lined up to be the perfect hi-fi partner Roksan started out in turntables, but quickly diversified into amplifiers and the Caspian name goes back a long way in the company’s history. This particular iteration is in outline specification, your completely average integrated amplifier circa 2010, with six line inputs, an 85-watt nominal output and no funny business at all, unless you count the deeply funky touch-screen remote control. The appearance is distinctive, though, with that stainless steel top panel and as you’ll expect if you know the maker, there are a few interesting touches inside. The most obvious of those, after removing the cover, is the pair of mains transformers which between them take up the left half of the chassis.
Ed Selley  |  Feb 06, 2011  |  0 comments
Sugden Mystro From a brand with a long pedigree, the Mystro could well be the answer to all your amplifier needs We’re not sure how to pronounce the name, but we are sure that this is a Sugden unlike those we’re familiar with. For over four decades (!) the firm has been synonymous with low-power Class A amplifiers. This one changes everything, offering 50 watts of Class AB power from an all-new circuit. Mind you, in many ways it harks back to yesteryear, offering as it does a mere three-line inputs plus phono, single speaker outputs, no preamp or even ‘tape’ output, and remote control for volume only.
Ed Selley  |  Feb 06, 2011  |  0 comments
Leema Acoustics Pulse III With its proprietary interface and stylish controls, the Pulse III is the next phase in Leema’s enviable amp range As one of our listeners observed after the veil had been lifted on the amps, “That Pulse looks like a set-top box”. Maybe it does, too – and Leema mentions in its literature that the Pulse is intended to be for all the family. Maybe, indeed, hi-fi with the easy familiarity of a set-top box is no bad thing in this day and age. It’s a bit of a deluxe STB, though, not least thanks to the milled-from-solid aluminium front panel and solidly made casework.
Ed Selley  |  Feb 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Needle- sharp Dynavector has added two new moving coils to its small, but well formed range. Jason Kennedy finds out what they can do for your vinyl We have yet to encounter a Dynavector cartridge that we don’t like, but new ones don’t come along very often, so when two arrive like buses on a cold night, it’s a cause for celebration. As is the Japanese company’s style, the new DV-20X2 is available in low and high output varieties, the low output version requires a transistor phono stage or step-up device, while the high can be used with valve and MM phono stages. This, combined with a traditional two-gram down-force, makes the DV-20X2 a very easy cartridge to accommodate on modern turntables, or even older ones so long as they don’t have a very low mass arm.
Ed Selley  |  Feb 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Just add speakers Rotel has consolidated its hi-fi know-how into just one £1,200 box, adding streaming for that 21st century touch. Richard Black investigates The term ‘all-in-one system’ is becoming more and more ambitious as more bits and bobs come to be considered standard parts of a system. With the RCX-1500, Rotel has arguably enlarged the envelope compared with previous products we’ve encountered under that general heading. The obvious bits are there – CD player; DAB and FM radio; amplifier; line input and a couple of digital ones – but the RCX-1500 goes a lot further.
Ed Selley  |  Feb 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Count on Cantata Jason Kennedy looks at the matching 50-watt integrated for our favourite CD player of 2010. Can Resolution Audio shine with its amps, too? Last year we had some bad news. Resolution Audio discontinued one of our favourite CD players, the Opus 21. The good news, however, was that it replaced it with the Cantata Music Centre, which went on to win several HFC awards in our 2010 Awards issue.
Ed Selley  |  Feb 02, 2011  |  0 comments
PURE brilliance PURE’s ground-breaking £80 digital iPod dock brings hi-fi sound to Apple devices for pin money. Ed Selley plugs in 2011’s super transport The iPod transport, a dock that extracts a digital signal to output to an external DAC, has been with us for a few years now and the price of models has drifted progressively lower. From the £2,000 MSB iLink (which only worked with a specially modified iPod), we now have the PURE i-20 which will function with any iPod connected to it and will produce the all-important digital signal for a princely £80. If this was the only feature the i-20 offered, we would be fairly impressed.
Ed Selley  |  Feb 02, 2011  |  0 comments
The art of SEduction Michell has built just 99 examples of what might prove to be the best ever Gyro. Jason Kennedy unravels the story of the cool-blue SEduction The Michell Gyro SE is a classic British turntable that consistently scores well in our reviews, so it didn’t take much for the company to tempt us with this limited edition version in a ‘blue steel’ and black finish. The SEduction version of the Gyro SE is being sold as a complete package with Michell’s TecnoArm, HR power supply and matching record clamp. What’s more, there’s only 99 serial-numbered examples being made.
Ed Selley  |  Feb 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Analogue appeal Richard Black discovers a neat little DAC from Furutech which doubles up as a phono stage and A/D convertor, too – enter the GT40 In last month’s Hi-Fi Choice (HFC 341), our Blind-listening Group Test concentrated on a variety of DACs, all of which accomplished hi-fi nirvana in their own unique way. But this month’s one-off review of the Furutech GT40 is something different again. Have a close look at the front panel and you’ll see mention of ‘phono’. That’s right, this DAC is also an ADC and a phono stage.
Ed Selley  |  Feb 02, 2011  |  0 comments
Edwardian splendour Malcolm Steward assesses a Rega-based turntable from Edwards Audio, a new outfit from the Talk Electronics stable The Edwards Audio TT1 starts at a very reasonable £325 without a cartridge, but is also available with an Edwards Zephyr £60 cartridge for £375 (a £10 saving when purchased with the deck as a complete record-playing package). This cartridge is similar to the popular Goldring Elektra, supplied with this review sample on the highly respected Rega RB250 [OEM] tonearm. Clearly this turntable is targeted at those who want to be able to enjoy their vinyl, without having to remortgage their homes or sell any of their internal organs to fund the investment. Rega revisited The TT1 differs from the timeless Rega P2, upon which it is based, in that it features a clear, naked acrylic platter.

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