HIFICRITIC Vol 11 No 3
Cover, Contents and Excerpts for Free Download
July to September 2017
About this issue
Review product brands include Wilson Audio, Audio Analogue, KEF, PROAC, DCS, LINN, Audio Note, Rotel, Pearl Acoustics, Audeze, Tannoy, Phil Jones Airpulse Songkong, Naim, Tannoy, Audeze, Rega, MSB, Acoustic Energy and not least, PMC.
Andrew Everard gets stuck into the Rotel RA 1572, a massive 120W/CH integrated amplifier with great versatility including streaming facilities and both SE and balanced audio inputs and Bluetooth.
Chris Frankland gets his teeth into solid state amplification namely the latest version of the AudioAnalogue Puccini, this time the Anniversary, an integrated design based on a classic formula here with zero loop negative feedback.
Martin Colloms reviews the most advanced, flagship, transformer coupled output streamer/DAC from LINN, the KLIMAX DS KATALYST.
The Pearl Acoustics Sibelius is scrutinised by Paul Messenger this a slim but weighty quarter wave ‘horn’ using a custom made full range alloy cone driver.
Headphone content includes a Audeze Deckard DAC HP amplifier, also with matching headphones AUDEZE LCD-4 and AUDEZE LCD-3 this by Kevin Fiske.
This is just the start of further headphone related content including an erudite and extended investigation into the evaluation of Headphone Spatiality by Keith Howard.
Chris Bryant auditions the latest MSB M204 Monoblocks with enriched Class A, and a potentially massive power consumption to boot, and also investigates the Twenty5.23 a new floorstanding loudspeaker from PMC.
Colloms and Everard share the evaluation of the intriguingly versatile compact active bookshelf from KEF, the Reference Series LS50W digital wireless loudspeaker which offers some truly radical design features.
Paul Messenger experiences the long awaited Rega NAIAD turntable with integrated tonearm which is set to challenge fundamental thinking about turntable system design. Paul also takes on the physically massive and extremely heavy Tannoy Kingdom Royal which has an immediate virtue namely very high sensitivity, thus allowing use with purist triode amplification.
Andrew Everard focuses on the NAIM UNITI ATOM the new series integrated amplifier-streamer at £1750 which can also replay from external drives, USB sticks and HDDs, this a component of the all new Uniti 2016-2017 range which includes amplifiers , this one with 40W per channel Class A/B amplification (into 8 Ohms).
Martin Colloms tackles two more active compact monitors to set against the KEF LS50W namely the AIRPULSE Monitor-1 designed by Phil Jones, and then the Acoustic Energy AE1 Active.
The Audio Note DAC 4, in its up to date current edition, is assessed by Kevin Fiske who shows a clear affinity for low or zero feedback circuitry and also for vacuum tube technology, most particularly triodes.
Adding to the uber audiophile content we have the successor to the long established Sophia Three namely the explosively entertaining Yvette from Wilson Audio Products: this is a very powerful floor stander with strikingly well projected stereo imaging, here reviewed in depth by Martin Colloms.
Rafael Todes tries out a sophisticated network super clock from DCS, the Bridge, with some technical support and second system listening from Martin Colloms.
Kevin Fiske also muses on audiophile viewpoints and design, and also specific components and their effects.
We have a guest contributor, introducing his shortlist of Favourite Recordings. Also for music coverage content we have many Rock, Jazz and Classical reviews, while the issue finally closes with Paul Messenger’s eternal back page column Subjective Sounds.
Paul Messenger tackles Tannoy’s enormous kingdom royal, and discovers that it’s actually a surprisingly polite if very large pussy cat.
We’ve had to wait for Naim’s 'New Uniti' series, but the Atom network music system indicates that this has been worthwhile, says Andrew Everard
Martin Colloms assesses a new active-miniature speaker with numerous useful features, designed by Phil Jones
Keith Howard picks his favourite ten recordings, from his schooldays onward