In the world of high performance hi-fi with high budgets to match, you might assume that an asking price of £125 wouldn’t buy you much. Think again, says Hi-Fi World, having just discovered the “hidden charms” of Topping Audio’s entry-level headphone amp.
“No matter who you are, where you are, what you do or how you do it, here are a stack of ideas on how tech can make it better,” says gadget and technology magazine T3. In its May issue, T3 offers Top 10 recommendations for ‘Best Tech’ in home entertainment, home office, fitness, gardens, the smart home, getting around and pastimes and passions. Clearaudio’s Concept turntable package features high on the home entertainment list.
Ken Kessler knows a thing or two about open-reel tape, having amassed nearly 1,800 commercial pre-recorded tapes from the 1950s to the early 1980s, as well as a tape deck or three. As the tape revival continues, a trickle of manufacturers of new support gear emerges, including RX Reels: “makers of new 10″ reels, which I was driven to try, as plastic reels at that size lack precision”.
Jes Kerr is an audio designer / engineer to watch, believes The Ear’s Jason Kennedy. Most of the people who really appreciate good sound and make good sounding equipment grew up in the heyday of hi-fi in the 50s, 60s and 70s, he writes. “But there are a few exceptions and Jes Kerr is one of them.” Kerr started Kerr Acoustics in his mid-twenties and is not yet 30, yet his distinctive loudspeakers were already gracing the kind of professional studios that produce chart-topping records before he expanded into home audio a couple of years ago.
Few loudspeakers are as instantly recognizable as German brand MBL’s Radialstrahlers. “At every international hi-fi show their appearance draws crowds while the all-encompassing sound keeps visitors rooted to their seats,” writes Hi-Fi News editor Paul Miller. MBL has finally reached UK shores via specialist retailer Stranger High Fidelity, and Miller can’t wait to explore its wares “inside and out, Hi-Fi News style”. “It was worth the wait,” he finds.
Dan Clark Audio’s “sporty-looking” entry-level Aeon 2 planar magnetic headphone is available in both open-backed and closed-back versions. Hi-Fi World’s Martin Pipe takes the former for a test drive and finds it as “fast as the sports car its lines were inspired by”.
£115 for a compact multi-input DAC? Hi-Fi World’s Chris Frankland was curious: what was under the bonnet and could it live up to its ‘hot hatch’ moniker?
Simon Wilce finds much to enjoy in Exposure’s award-winning ‘spinner’, whether partnered with the brand’s own matching half-width XM5 integrated amplifier or used as a CD transport with an external DAC. “For anyone still excited by CD this is a must-hear without a doubt,” he concludes.
If your listening room is your living room, or indeed any room within a standard modern home, you’ve no doubt pondered the abiding debate: should you go for small standmount speakers or the full floorstanders? “Fortunately for the space conscious there’s a good choice out there of compact floorstanding speakers, of which the Scansonic M20 is a prime example,” says Hi-Fi Choice. Continue reading Finesse with a smaller footprint: Hi-Fi Choice tunes into Scansonic’s compact M20 floorstanding loudspeaker
“The Concept Active MM is a pretty unusual concept: turntables with these features aren’t two-a-penny in the affordable market, but they are even rarer at this more expensive end,” says What Hi-Fi? magazine in its recent review. But “if any high-end turntable can do that convincingly, it is likely to be one derived from a five-star, former What Hi-Fi? Award-winning model.”