“There’s something almost personal about the MC-ONE Special in terms of its packaging and how its presented,” begins Paul Rigby in his review of van den Hul’s new enhanced edition of their earlier MC-ONE model. “Opening its gold-embossed wooden box container, you will find a hand-written specification list from Arjon van den Hul, who built it, under the lid: I felt like a kid receiving a secret message.”
Undeniably big yet unquestionably beautiful, the latest pair of planar magnetic loudspeakers from Minnesota-based Magnepan stand over 6.5 feet tall and are 29 inches wide. But being flat panels, they’re also cannily thin at just 2.5 inches deep.
Unlike several other flat panel speakers, ‘Maggies’ (as they’re known to devotees) are not electrostatic but ribbon loudspeakers, in which a light mylar film carries ribbon electrical conductors set between magnets. No need to plug them into the mains then.
“Portable Bluetooth loudspeakers can be something of a mixed bag,” says Jon Myles, writing in the June 2016 issue of Hi-Fi World. “There’s a delicate balance to be achieved – light and small enough to be carried around, yet sufficiently sturdy in their construction and driver arrangement to make them a rewarding listen.”
The Riva S aims to address both of those challenges head-on. Light and petite out the outside, on the inside it packs seven drivers – three active, firing right, left and forwards, plus four passive bass radiators. It’s an unusual arrangement, designed to deliver a bigger soundstage than might otherwise be expected from its bijou dimensions.
“Yes, it’s compact,” agrees Myles, “but the little Riva S is also rather potent.”
Continue reading Riva S Bluetooth loudspeaker: “another winner” & “one of the best” say Hi-Fi Plus & Hi-Fi World
Described as “the world’s most musically natural phono cartridges,” Japanese Transfiguration have had all three of the models in their small but stunningly crafted range put to the test by reviewer Paul Rigby, aka The Audiophile Man.
Both the top-of-range Proteus and mid-range Phoenix S scored a ‘Groovy’ award, while the lower-priced Axia S earned a ‘Deeply Groovy’.
“In ultimate terms, of course, the company’s Phoenix and Proteus cartridges offer superior sound quality for obvious budget and design reasons but, somehow, with the Axia S, the company has succeeded in hitting a perfect price point/performance blend. Incredibly, then, I see the Axia S as the best Transfiguration cartridge in the range and one of the best designs in its price range currently for sale on the market,” concludes Rigby.
Find out more about Transfiguration cartridges, including details of stockists, from UK distributor Decent Audio.
Danish Scansonic may be the sister brand of highly covetable Raidho, but its fabulously affordable ‘HD’ range of loudspeakers is starting to make waves in its own right. Now, it enters the Bluetooth arena with the new wireless active M BTL-series.
“What is it with the Italians?” asks James Parker in the latest issue (June 2016) of Hi-Fi News.
“Maybe it’s the connection with great music, but Italian-made audio has always had the ability to set itself apart,” he surmises.
The object of Parker’s affections is, in this case, the recently-launched Puccini Anniversary integrated amplifier from Italian hi-fi brand Audio Analogue. As the name suggests, its creation has been timed to mark a milestone: the twentieth anniversary of both the brand and its first product, the original Puccini amp.
Described as a ‘zero feedback integrated amplifier’, the original Puccini has gone through a number of iterations over the years, but Parker recalls its debut. “What really set the Puccini apart form its competition at the time was the sound: it was almost impossible to provoke the little Italian amp into sounding rough or harsh, and as a result it was soon acclaimed….”
So how does the new Anniversary edition measure up?
“What is beyond a doubt is that the Puccini Anniversary keeps your speakers under strict control. It uses its power to ensure they start and stop in a precise manner, and thus enhances their ability to image and focus a soundstage, while at the same time keeping rhythm sections as tight as they are rich.”
Sounds good to us! Read the full review in the June 2016 issue of Hi-Fi News.
Find out more and pinpoint your nearest dealer via UK distributor Decent Audio.
“What musically satisfying yet highly cost effective choices are available to today’s newcomers to the world of high-performance audio?” asks Chris Martens in the March issue of Hi-Fi Plus.
Pondering the question further, Martens reaches the conclusion that “perhaps the best starter system might not be a traditional system at all, but rather a compact, affordable, yet surprisingly capable single-chassis device such as the Riva Turbo X Bluetooth speaker.”
20 years ago Audio Analogue introduced to the world the original Puccini integrated amplifier. It rapidly developed a reputation as one of the finest sounding and superb value amps on the market, delivering high-end performance at a fraction of the cost normally associated with such hi-fi components. It was Audio Analogue’s very first product; the Puccini launched the brand and put the company’s name firmly on the high-end audio map.
To celebrate this anniversary Audio Analogue have created the Puccini Anniversary, a genuine zero feedback design developed by the specialist AirTech R&D department within the Audio Analogue family.
Do you covet the sweet sound of Danish brand Raidho’s stunning loudspeakers, but lack a couple of zeros off the price tag?
Then you’re in luck, as sister brand Scansonic brings its fabulously affordable Raidho-inspired ‘HD’ range to the UK, including the new and deliciously affordable M-series.
Online audio forum Positive Feedback has just announced the winners of its 12th Annual Writers’ Choice Awards, in which the forum’s writers and editors recognize “superior merit in the audio arts”.
Among the ‘best of the best’ in 2015 is the Proteus phono cartridge from Japanese high-end brand Transfiguration.