Hi-Fi News Staff

Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Metronome’s T3A Signature CD transport, despite its not inconsiderable price, is substantially more affordable than the company’s ‘sculpted art’ Kalista and Calypso models. It’s a manual top-loader with an integrated power supply, housed in a sturdy chassis with a thick fascia of brushed aluminium available in silver or black. The unit sits on three substantial feet with circular recesses, into which inverted Delrin cones magnetically locate for maximum isolation from any external vibration. Sliding back the top plate cover of the T3A to load a CD reveals its transport mechanism, a Philips CDM12 Pro 2 v6.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 07, 2014  |  0 comments
The 752BD is an evolution of Cambridge’s successful 751BD [HFN Aug ’11]. There’s now an HDMI input on the front and the legends have gone from bright white to subtle grey, but they are otherwise identical twins. The 752BD is based on the popular MediaTek platform whose current incarnation includes the latest Marvell Qdeo video processor, giving the 752BD 4K upscaling, 2D to 3D conversionand 24fps conversion for DVDs andBlu-ray movies. Sonically too, much of the new machine is a direct port over from its predecessor.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Oppo’s new BDP-105EU is a universal disc-spinning, network-streaming, digital hub, processor, preamp and audiophile DAC all rolled into one chunky and imposing package. The lush 32-bit ESS Sabre DACs from the BDP-95EU remain, and you can now feed these from the disc drawer, coaxial and electrical S/PDIF digital inputs, three type A USB sockets, front and rear HDMI sockets, wired Ethernet orWi-Fi, using the supplied dongle. While the ’95EU’s e-SATA port has been deleted, this machine now leverages Audio Return Channel to input audio from ARC-compatible devices, such as a TV, connected to either of the twin HDMI outputs. The inclusion of an asynchronous type B USB input allows the ’105EU to be hooked direct to your PC, and the Oppo is capable of decoding pretty much any common audio format up to 192kHz/24-bit FLAC.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Marantz’s NA-11S1 is similar in functionality to its more affordable stablemate, the NA7004 streamer, in the sense that it’s effectively a DAC that also offers media streaming via Ethernet. But this new high-end design introduces the latest ‘Marantz Music Mastering’ digital signal processing and the option to play Direct Stream Digital (DSD) from a computer via USB. In addition to its rather niche DSD functionality, the unit also plays PCM at up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution (digital input and format permitting), in WAV, WMA, MP3, MPEG-4, FLAC and ALAC flavours. This comes into the unit via optical (up to 96kHz), RJ-45 LAN (Ethernet) or USB Type A and B connections.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 21, 2014  |  0 comments
Lyra designer Jonathan Carr has devoted a large part of his life to developing a range of moving-coil pick-ups, and they’re expertly built by Akiko Ishiyama and Yoshinori Mishima in Tokyo. The Delos is the latest in a long line – the baby of the range it’s designed to be tonearm and phono-stage friendly: of medium weight and compliance it pushes out a claimed output of 0. 6mV at 5cm/sec. Recommended phono stage loading is from 98ohm to 806ohm (Lyra says the final value should be determined by listening).
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 21, 2014  |  0 comments
The Kandid is a device purposed to work hand-in-glove with the Sondek LP12 turntable and Ekos SE tonearm combination. It replaces the Akiva, which has flown the marque’s flag for MCs for a good few years now. The Kandid differs in several significant ways, the most visually conspicuous of which is its new ‘naked’ generator assembly. It has long been known that cartridge bodies induce coloration.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 21, 2014  |  0 comments
One of the world’s most expensive, highly-developed tonearms are ‘unipivots’, though in some cases they have additional bearings: Mørchhas a dual pivot to give lateral stability, Kuzma a cunning four-point system; Continuum’s Cobra arm uses a secondary outrigger pivot mounted on its own bearing. However, it was left to Bob Grahamof Graham Engineering to come up with what is arguably the most elegant way of maximising the benefits of the unipivot concept and smoothing away its disadvantages. The breakthrough came with his ‘Magneglide’ magnetic stabiliser system – the major innovation of the first, B-44, Phantom arm. Graham lists six separate benefits for it: increased lateral stability, easy azimuth adjustment, a higher lateral inertia component for improved bass reproduction, augmentation of system damping, true vertical pivoting of the stylus with no rotation as the arm is raised, and easily adjusted anti-skate compensation.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 21, 2014  |  0 comments
It does not take a genius to see, even without hearing what one could do, that the Air Force One, with its air suspension, air bearing and vacuum LP hold-down, is something out of the ordinary. This turntable is the fruit of almost a half-century’s experience in high-end audio. Chief designer Hideaki Nishikawa-san says ‘The goal of Air Force One is to achieve silence in reproduction comparable to digital reproduction, especially in reproducing the recorded information of the background noise. ’ This is the first time we’ve ever heard a turntable designer acknowledge that the background and between-track silences of digital are virtues one should aspire to in analogue, even if attaining them seemed impossible.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 21, 2014  |  0 comments
New to the Clearaudio line-up this year, this tidy-looking Ovation model sits at the top of its group of turntables that all feature a rectangular plinth. Borrowing from the Innovation range, the Ovation nonetheless brings several new technologies of its own into play. The plinth is made of aluminium layers sandwiching a layer of Panzerholz ply. (This is is claimed to offer considerable sonic gains over such alternatives as acrylic and standard wood.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 21, 2014  |  0 comments
Acoustic Solid is now back in the UK, and one of the first decks distributor BD Audio has chosen to bring to our attention is the Wood MPX. While its higher echelon turntables are largely constructed of metal and circular in appearance with additional arm and motor mounting pods, the Wood series are more conventional and plinth-based; five variants are available. The Wood MPX boasts a 70mm-thick plywood (rather than MDF) plinth. Its high mass, 60mm platter is driven by a freestanding synchronous AC motor via a rubber belt (notwithstanding the company’s description of it as a ‘string drive’ design).

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