Hi-Fi News Staff

Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014  |  0 comments
Rated at 180W/8ohm, Quad’s Platinum Mono power amp is for those who crave more power than offered by the Elite QSP. Concurrent with its release is the Digital Media Player: a logical progression for those enthusiasts who have long enjoyed the earlier 99 Series CDP-2. While there are no analogue inputs, the DMP does adds a USB input and digital outputs include one each of Toslink, coaxial, BNC and AES/EBU via XLR. Both the Monos and the DMP provide balanced connection via XLRs for the main line-level output from the preamp and input to the power amps.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Welcome to a world of truly luxurious audio. As it costs as much as many hi-fi enthusiasts’ entire music systems, you’d be right to assume this MBL D-to-A converter aspires to being ‘up there’ with the best of them. . .
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Metrum Acoustics outboard DACs offer a specific appeal by implementing a no-frills approach to cosmetic design while cracking the DAC nut in a wholly bespoke fashion. The range, including this flagship HEX, eschews off-the shelf chipsets and are all non-oversampling [NOS] designs. Designer Cees Ruijtenberg was convinced higher audio performance could be achieved by using cutting-edge industrial application chipsets rather than traditional audio components. After much experimentation and listening, a suitable high-speed data acquisition chipset was identified that the company suggests handles 24-bit audio and sampling rates well in excess of the hi-fi standards.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 07, 2014  |  0 comments
This is a luxurious hi-fi DAC which sets out to cover all possible bases. It’s really designed to be a comprehensive processor for all digital sources, with almost every possible input/output option. And to complete the M6 DAC’s capabilities, Musical Fidelity has also included Bluetooth, which means that you can play music files wirelessly from any recent Bluetooth-enabled phone or other device, without involving your main home computer wireless network. Current Bluetooth devices use the APTX codec instead of the earlier SBC lossy compression, and this has perhaps encouraged hi-fi manufacturers to take it more seriously.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Audio Research’s first DAC to bear the ‘Reference’ name incorporates a network music player with access to internet radio stations, USB inputs for direct playback of files from memory sticks and HDDs, and a digital connection for iDevices. The Reference DAC is also an audiophile-grade vacuum tube preamplifier (albeit one with no analogue inputs). Its type B USB rear input socket – into which one can simply push digital data from a connected computer – provides an asynchronous interface that’s compatible with files up to ‘full HD’ 24-bit resolution and all sampling frequencies up to 192kHz. (Drivers are provided on a CD-ROM.
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).

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