Hi-Fi News Staff

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).
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 21, 2014  |  0 comments
The world once more starts to embrace idler-drive, the problem faced by a turntable manufacturer today is that tooling-up for a completely new design would be prohibitively expensive because of the relatively low production numbers involved. Inspire Hi-Fi has stepped up to the challenge of providing an affordable solution and, as with its Technics SL1200-based Monarch flagship [HFN Oct ’12], has chosen to use a plentiful classic design, the evergreen Goldring Lenco GL75, as the basis for its Enigma. It comes in a range of fine paint finishes – red, blue and black are available. One of the most popular turntable units through the 1970s, the GL75 had a reputation for its fine build quality, so Inspire Hi-Fi has felt the need to do comparatively little to the deck’s basic mechanical componentry in order to exploit its replay potential.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014  |  0 comments
Customer and retailer reactions have suggested the need for a new Wilson speaker closer in performance to the universally-acclaimed Alexandria XLF [HFN Nov ’12], but one that swallowed no more real estate than a Sasha. With a footprint close to the Sasha’s, the Alexia hosts only a slight increase in height, due mainly to the necessarily larger woofer enclosure. To provide a goodly portion of the XLF’s adaptability, precision and coherence, the smaller Alexia had to offer adjustability of the midrange and tweeter positioning with to-the-millimetre accuracy, according to room specifics and the location of the owner’s ‘hot seat’. That meant a head section with movable segments, but with a volume akin to that of the original WATT.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014  |  0 comments
Sitting just below the Reference models in Acoustic Energy’s line-up, its Radiance Series is intended to offer a good proportion of their abilities at a lower price. The Radiance 2 occupies the centre of the three-strong range of stereo designs [a matching subwoofer and centre channel are also available] and utilises three drive units in a two-and-a-half-way configuration. The two main drivers are 130mm in diameter and consist of a pressed alloy cone with matching conical dust cap, allied to a rubber surround. Voice-coils are wound with aluminium wire for lightness; each driver has its own enclosure with separate port tuning.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014  |  0 comments
Here, B&W has launched a floorstander that extends the CM Series upwards and fits into the price slot vacated by the old 804S. Like the 804, the CM10 uses a separate [but new] tweeter module. A standard 50µm-thick dome with most of the centre removed forms a stiffening ring and on the front of this is stuck a full dome only 35µm thick. This gives a higher first breakup frequency, said to be 38kHz, yet with a similar moving mass, compared to the standard 50µm dome.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014  |  0 comments
These Estelons deftly bridge the gap between the radically bizarre and domestically acceptable. Simply put, they look wonderful. Made from a marble based composite, standard finishes include black or white gloss, or matt black for £22,000 per pair. The review pair was finished in ‘Red Rocket Liquid Gloss’ [+£3000].
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014  |  0 comments
The M’inenT range [one standmount and two floorstanders] is new from GamuT. The M5s have a tall and commanding presence yet somehow seem less bulky than their paper dimensions would suggest. The cabinet is exceptionally well finished in a flawless real wood veneer and a wide range of finishes is available at extra cost. The three drive units are configured as a two-and-a-half way design, with crossover points at 500Hz and 2.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014  |  0 comments
In 2012 Kudos introduced the £3500 Cardea Super 10 [HFN June ’12], a go-for-broke ‘supercharged’ version of the company’s 12 litre two-way standmount. Now the company has followed up with a ‘Super’ version of its Cardea C20 floorstander. Kudos has worked extensively with SEAS in developing specific drivers for its various speaker models, the Super 20 employing the 29mm ‘Crescendo K2’ soft dome tweeter first introduced in the £13,000 Kudos Titan T88 flagship. The bass/mid driver in the Super 20 is a newly-developed version of the SEAS 18cm unit with hand-treated paper cone.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Oct 16, 2014  |  0 comments
Magico has wisely decided to ‘trickle down’ its Q series know-how into a new and mildly more affordable series: the S1 and S5 floorstanders. The latter is a good £11k shy of the similarly-proportioned Q3 [HFN Sep ’11] and yet it offers almost exactly the same sensitivity, an even flatter response but a measurably and palpably superior bass extension. The S5’s body comprises three main sections – a thick alloy baffle plus two curved, 0. 5in-thick side extrusions that increase stiffness while minimising internal standing waves.

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