The September issue of Hi-Fi Choice magazine features a selection of audio ‘extras’ designed to give you the absolute maximum performance from all things hi-fi. And “if you care about getting the best from your vinyl, it cannot be overstated just how important it is to keep your records clean”, says the magazine. Continue reading Clearaudio Smart Matrix Silent record cleaning machine earns ‘Hi-Fi Choice Recommended’ badge
Never one to rest on its laurels, Japanese audio accessories brand Furutech has once again further extended its range of high-performance power connectors with the addition of three new IEC models, which are positioned just under the range topping FI-50.
Following the considerable success of Furutech’s remarkable NCF Booster and Booster-Signal cable and connector holders, the company has introduced a third edition to the range: the new NCF Booster-Signal-L.
Are optical cartridges new? Well, yes and no. They originally surfaced in the 1960s and were lauded for their high fidelity, but quickly disappeared again as they had a heat problem caused by the light source used at the time. By the time the requisite technology had sufficiently advanced (in the form of light-emitting diodes which produce little heat), audio was dominated by the rise of the CD and there was little interest in vinyl replay. But in 2013, Japanese company DS Audio began to revisit the technology.
“Record cleaning only scratches the surface (pun intended),” writes Hi-Fi Plus’ Andrew Harrison. “Every aspect of vinyl replay can come in for scrutiny.” A good part of this comes down to the nature of the technology itself: “dragging a rock through a groove and translating these movements into electrical signals” is naturally prone to errors from rotation, geometry, mechanical movements, the ingress of dust and dirt, etc etc. Thankfully there’s “a vibrant world of vinyl beyond the turntable and the record itself” to help keep everything running smoothly, and Harrison has chosen a selection of some of the best.
“Making adjustments to your system to release previously unheard excellence needn’t break the bank,” says Hi-Fi Choice. DS Audio’s ST-50 stylus cleaner is among the magazine’s top six picks for maximising audio performance.
Audiophile and hi-fi journalist Ken Kessler has been a fan of DS Audio’s pioneering optical cartridges since they first appeared on the world hi-fi market four years ago, and has enthusiastically reviewed most of the company’s models. But the new DS-E1 has presented him with something of a dilemma. “It is actually too good… I’m still shaking my head in disbelief.”
Next month’s edition of What Hi-Fi? is a ‘vinyl special’ issue, devoted to the best turntables you can buy. Mull over the magazine’s pick of the spinners, ranging from around £100 all the way up to just shy of £20k. Among them are several award-winning favourites from covetable German analogue experts Clearaudio.
Furutech’s new power cables are designed for the demanding listener, whether in a professional studio setting or simply enjoying your music at home. Hi-Fi Choice magazine put the Roxy and the Empire cables to the test in its March and April issues, with five-star verdicts all round.
Continue reading Power to the people: Furutech’s Roxy & Empire power cables win Hi-Fi Choice’s approval
Firmly at the forefront of “creating the future of analogue music”, Japanese DS Audio has gained a worldwide reputation for its pioneering optical photo cartridges, with rave reviews for their superlative sound. At the same time, the company is also applying its intelligently innovative approach to a number of related audio accessories – first, the excellent ST-50 stylus cleaner, and now, the new HS-001 solid headshell.