“This is the definitive guide to the best home entertainment kit you can buy,” writes Kobina Monney, editor of the What Hi-Fi? Buyer’s Guide in the magazine’s February issue.
And the stakes just got higher: the Guide has recently undergone a major overhaul and now features a considerably streamlined list of ‘Best Buys’. So who made the cut?
Best amps: Aesthetix, Gamut
The round-up of ‘Best Buy’ hi-fi amplifiers has now shrunk from more than 100 products to just twenty.
Among this more select group are the superlative Janus Signature preamp and Atlas Stereo Signature power amp from California-based Aesthetix, while Danish brand Gamut has equally topped the list with the D3i dual mono preamp and D200i stereo power amp.
The Aesthetix Atlas “comes close to being all things to all listeners. It has loads of grunt, yet there’s a gentle side too with delicacy and exceptional insight,” note What Hi-Fi?’s reviewers, while the Gamut D200i “combines transparency, muscle and agility better than any alternative we’ve heard.”
Best turntables: Clearaudio
The list of decks has been similarly culled, from 25 to just nine. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Clearaudio Concept features among that definitive nine.
The innovative Concept delivers a level of groundbreaking technology usually only found in high-end turntables, combining plug-and-play simplicity with outstanding sound quality and affordability. Now available in four different editions, it remains a clear favourite of the What Hi-Fi? team, having scooped no less than five of the magazine’s major annual awards (Product of the Year, Best Turntable).
Best mains products: IsoTek
Slashed from 16 products to just four, the list of ‘Best Buy’ mains products is now a select one indeed. Among the prized four are the EVO3 Polaris mains block and EVO3 Premier cable from British power conditioning experts IsoTek. Offering outstanding value for money, the Polaris and Premier combined deliver “a significant improvement over just plugging your hi-fi into the wall, allowing your system to sound more positive and confident”.
See the new Buyer’s Guide in full in the February issue of What Hi-Fi?