Hi-Fi News Staff

Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 30, 2015  |  0 comments
Naim Audio’s first product, the NAP 160 power amplifier, was introduced in 1971; the NAP 250 appeared in 1975. It was technically unusual in that it used a strictly regulated power supply, whereas the vast majority of power amplifiers, unlikely today, typically made do with an unregulated one. Arguably, the NAC 12 preamp was even more unusual than the NAP 250. In ultimate form it required a standalone external power supply – the SNAPS – at a time when such an arrangement was virtually unheard of.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 30, 2015  |  0 comments
The Quad 22 control unit and II power amplifier have both enjoyed a presence on the hi-fi scene almost from its very beginnings. The 22 appeared in 1959 but the matching Quad II power amplifier had been around since 1953. Like most amplifiers then, the22/II was split into separate units, for mounting inside a larger cabinet. The compact 22 came with a basic metal shell so that none of its working parts was exposed should it be left free-standing.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 30, 2015  |  0 comments
Wharfedale describes the Jade range as its ‘new audiophile class speaker designs’, using computer-aided modelling and new material technologies. In the visually striking Jade 5, the tweeter and midrange are embraced in a combination housing that’s common to all the Jade models, raising the axis of the tweeter’s 25mm aluminium dome to peep above the front edge of the curved, sloping cabinet top. While the midrange has a 75mm concave aluminium/pulp diaphragm, the twin 165mm bass units use a new cone material called Acufibre, said to ‘marry the responsiveness of glass and carbon fibre’ in aself-damping woven matrix. They are impressed with a moulded pattern to break up standing waves.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 27, 2015  |  0 comments
KEF’s statuesque Reference 5 embodies an overwhelming amount of research and development – it employs various techniques that are really quite new, but puts together many more that have emerged from earlier design work. The 125mm/25mm driver developed for this new range is the 11th generation of KEF’s Uni-Q designs, while the four 6. 5in bass units are placed as close as possible to this midrange/treble unit to minimise lobeing and interference dips at the crossover point. But rather than having a conventional cone, the bass diaphragm is a shallow aluminium disc, which gives the driver a lower profile and ensures a minimal effect on the frequency response of the midrange and tweeter.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 27, 2015  |  0 comments
The guiding philosophy of Magico’s indefatigable CEO and designer Alon Wolf is along the lines of ‘if you want it done properly. . . ’ This extends not only to the largely bespoke drivers but in particular to those famously inert cabinets, employing copious quantities of alloy, innovative scaffold-like internal bracing and constrained-layer damping.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 27, 2015  |  0 comments
Although the bass and midrange drive units on the twenty. 26 may appear similar to those of the PMC fact 12 [HFN Nov ’13], they are completely new and only found on this loudspeaker so far. The tweeter is the one unit carried over from the existing models and it’s the well proven Solonex 27mm soft-dome unit, developed by SEAS in conjunction with PMC. Its output is rolled off below 3.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 27, 2015  |  0 comments
Q Acoustics, established in 2006, is very much a new-wave brand that owes no philosophical allegiance to tradition, even if it is by definition a part of theentry-level British speaker scene. With the Concept 20, two elements combine to achieve noteworthiness – the cabinet technology and the optional stands. It goes without saying that the price alone (£350 for the speakers, or £550 for the package) automatically qualifies this as of exceptional value. The 655mm stands are handsome, well-made and clever – they lock to the speaker, hide the cables down the back, feature adjustable spikes, sound terrific and could probably sell by the truck-load on their own.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 27, 2015  |  0 comments
This handsome pair of Revel F208 floorstanders sits at the top of the California company’s recently introduced Performa 3 range. The R&D team has spent the past three years completely revamping its middle-range Performas. We’re told they’ve been designed not simply to offer a step up in performance from Revel’s cheaper speakers but also to give more than a taste of its far more expensive models. Manufacturing is in Indonesia.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 27, 2015  |  0 comments
Standing over a metre in height, the Olympica III is imposing without being a room-dominator. Our review example was in natural walnut, with joints in clear maple, while accenting this are leather inlays with highlighted stitching. As standard, the front baffle and back are also covered in natural hide. The construction comprises ‘progressive thickness’ triple curvature cabinet walls, with solid walnut clamps reinforcing the structure.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 22, 2015  |  0 comments
It was perhaps Benchmark that set a trend by equipping its compact, high-value DACs with a capable headphone amplifier. They became, in effect, an amalgam of DAC, headphone amplifier and simple preamp, and the HA-1 is from the same mould. Much of its electronics derives from Oppo’s BDP-95EU and BDP-105 universal disc players [HFN May ’12 and Jan ’13]. The HA-1 uses the same ESS 9018 Sabre DAC and the same output circuitry but the headphone amp and preamplifier stages are new.

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