LATEST ADDITIONS

Ed Selley  |  Nov 16, 2011
Ortofon's flagship moving magnet design offers superior spacial performance No strangers to the pages of HFN, Denmark’s Ortofon company remains one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of cartridges both for hi-fi and DJ use. Its best moving-magnets currently are the 2Ms, a four-strong series with interchangeable styli topped by this 2M Black, sporting a Nude Shibata stylus. It might appear that they all use the same body shell, with distinctive angular contours and internal generators with neodymium magnets, however the two best – the £280 2M Bronze with a Nude Fine Line stylus and this 2M Black model – are formed from a more rigid Noryl plastic/glass compound as well as employing better ‘engines’ featuring split pole pins with silver-plated copper wire. The 5mm-deep tapped fixing holes in the top of the body allow rigid bonding to an arm’s headshell.
Paul Miller  |  Nov 16, 2011
The latest version of the budget classic features additional bracing and a revised tonearm Rega’s philosophy is that while the plinth has to be as rigid as possible, it also should be as light as possible. And seeking to maximise the plinth’s rigidity between tonearm and main bearing, a phenolic stiffening brace is added. On the RP3, the brace visible on top of the plinth is complemented by a second one below, forming a stressed beam assembly. The actual plinth is a piece of special light furniture board, finished to a very high standard by something akin to a printing process.
Paul Miller  |  Nov 16, 2011
The latest improvements to a long-standing classic are subtle but extremely effective After launching the turntable range 20 years ago with the Model 30/2, SME founder Alastair Robertson-Aikman followed it with a lighter version called the Model 20 – thinner in upper chassis and subchassis plates, with a smaller, thinner platter and other reductions in mass. In 2006 SME released the 20 in a widened version that would accept a 12in arm. It was a huge success, so the Model 30/12 appeared to equal acclaim [HFN Mar ’09]. In the interim, the external power supply had been upgraded, and was made common to all models, while 2010 saw the introduction of a new black platter mat material.
Paul Miller  |  Nov 16, 2011
The American brand arrives in the UK with a design determined to make an impact Only recently have Spiral Groove products become available this side of the Atlantic. The SG2 turntable is determinedly luxurious, with an exemplary quality of finish. The SG2 eschews suspension in favour of constrained layer damping in its plinth and platter. The plinth has two thin layers of unspecified material separating three aluminium plates, while the platter comprises a thick phenolic layer followed by two thinner layers, one of vinyl, the top surface of graphite.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 16, 2011
Clearaudio's most affordable moving coil design yet Clearaudio has a range of MM cartridges in its portfolio with price tickets to suit all pockets, but its moving-coils are decidedly high-end. So this new Concept MC is pitched at enthusiasts wanting a delicious moving-coil instead, and one that won’t break the bank. Its body is of aluminium magnesium alloy with a ceramic surface layer; it features a boron cantilever and Micro Line Contact stylus profile, with oxygen-free copper (OFC) coil windings in its generator. The angular body shape with centre line at the front makes it easy to align, threaded holes meaning that you don’t have to fiddle with screws and nuts.
Paul Miller  |  Nov 16, 2011
A classic British name returns with a real heavyweight Systemdek is back, with two brand new decks for vinyl aficionados, both high-end designs. There’s a tastylooking 3D Precision model and this go-for-broke 3D Reference. Given its eye-watering price, it was bound to be a serious high-end statement. And it’s a heavyweight piece of engineering indeed.
Paul Miller  |  Nov 16, 2011
A cost-effective Swiss offering that gets to the heart of the music With a background in developing delicate instrumentation (including Swiss time pieces), turning his hand to styli and cartridges seemed an obvious step for music-loving Ernst Benz, who founded Benz Micro and subsequently released a number of high-end MC cartridges from the 1980s onwards. In 1994 Ernst retired, selling Benz Micro to his friend and long time product collaborator Albert Lukaschek who still runs the company today. The Swiss pedigree is obvious from the packaging and accompanying accessories alone, which include a circular bubble level and stainless miniature screwdriver. The Micro ACE is the third model up in Benz’s MC-only product line, priced alongside a low output version distinguished by its red casework, and the cheapest to feature a solid boron cantilever and line contact stylus, rather than conical or elliptical profiles.
Paul Miller  |  Nov 16, 2011
The more affordable Paris V incorporates technology from the latest Delphi In 2009 Jacques Riendeau, brother of Oracle founder Marcel, recommenced work as chief designer in the re-formed Quebec company Oracle. The first result was the Delphi MkVI. Work from this was fed into the new Paris MkV turntable. Revisions to the Paris suspension aimed for better lateral stability: a ‘semi-floating’ subchassis is supported not on metal springs but on two fibreglass rods which terminate in Sorbothane rings.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 16, 2011
The latest member of the Acrylic series boasts performance to match the looks Part of Thorens’ Acrylic Series, the TD2030A sports a 33mm-thick plinth made up of two 15mm slabs of clear acrylic with a 3mm blue tinted layer sandwiched between. Looking edge-on, the plinth appears clear with just a thin dark line, but from any other angle, it’s filled with gorgeous colour, like the blue of the Aegean under a cloudless sky. The plinth stands on three imposing legs. These end in small pointed feet that screw in or out for levelling adjustment.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 16, 2011
A heady combination of state of art digital and a valve output results in impressive performance A DAC that offer non oversampling (NOS) output options alongside conventionally filtered ones is a rarity, making the AMR CD-777 – which is both CD player and outboard DAC – an unusual beast indeed. In fact it offers two NOS options, called Direct Mastering I and Direct Mastering II, two oversampling modes, 2x and 4x, and two upsampling modes, to 96kHz or 192kHz. The CD-777’s top plate incorporates the CD mechanism under a sliding panel; a small magnetic puck holds the disc firmly. To either side are ventilation slots.

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