Hi-Fi News Staff

Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 13, 2015  |  0 comments
We were bowled over by the technical performance and subjective sound quality of Simaudio’s Moon 380D standalone DAC [HFN Aug ’13]. The Moon Nēo 260D CD transport with optional DAC is a new addition to this Canadian audio company’s portfolio, so we were keen to get our hands on it for a review. Simaudio’s new Moon Nēo designs are built into casework with sculpted front panels akin to the aesthetics of the firm’s luxurious Evolution Series components. Here we’re assessing it as a CD player which, like the majority of players today, features digital inputs for playing additional sources via its digital-to-analogue converter stages.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 13, 2015  |  0 comments
Known originally for its professional studio speakers, Pioneer’s Technical Audio Devices brand is now firmly established in high-end consumer audio. Late last year, TAD announced the D1000 disc player/DAC and the DA1000 as a DAC-only alternative. Both offer the same DAC input options, but the DA1000 also includes a linear volume control, for direct connection to a power amp, and a separate headphone amplifier (fascia controlled for level). Both new models, says TAD, ‘integrate a newly developed, ultra-high accuracy master clock equivalent to that employed in the higher-level TAD D600’ [HFN May ’12].
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 13, 2015  |  0 comments
Canadian audio manufacturer Bryston adopted a purist approach with its first computer audio product, the BDP-1 ‘digital player’ [HFN Apr ’11], this based on an ultra-minimalist computer with four USB sockets for memory sticks or external HDDs. An enhanced model, the BDP-2 featured here has joined Bryston’s line-up along with a new BDA-2 DAC which includes a 192kHz/24-bit capable asynchronous USB input. This uses proprietary firmware running on the XMOS USB audio micro-controller platform. Bryston supplies the necessary driver software on a memory stick for Windows PC users (Macintosh supports USB Audio Class 2.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 13, 2015  |  0 comments
Krell announced at the 2014 Las Vegas CES its intention to introduce a UPnP/DLNA-compliant network media player and the rather aptly named Connect is now available in the UK. There are in fact two versions of Krell’s Connect player, the one featured here having an optional built-in DAC with balanced (XLR) and single-ended (RCA) analogue outputs. Needless to say it is vastly overbuilt compared with most music streamers! At its core lies a familiar BridgeCo-based StreamUnlimited platform including vTuner internet radio functionality. Massive power supplies have always been the cornerstone of Krell designs, and the Connect has an over-specified linear power supply with a 94VA toroidal transformer large enough to power a modest amplifier.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 09, 2015  |  0 comments
Inspire Hi-Fi is a turntable manufacturer that’s equally at home with belt, direct or idler-drive decks – witness its range of upgrades to some of the most iconic decks of the last few decades. At £560, the Black Magic Si is the entry-level model in the firm’s home-grown belt-drive range, and it includes an Inspire-branded Rega RB202 tonearm. The platter is a precision cut 20mm frosted acrylic disc which has a recessed area in its underside to accept the deck’s sub-platter, motor pulley and round section belt. The sub-platter, Inspire’s own design, is machined from a block of acetyl resin.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 09, 2015  |  0 comments
This is a superb statement of intent from a classic Japanese name, clearly acknowledging that vinyl is well and truly back to stay. The PD-171 most certainly wears a retro look but incorporates some fine technology. The deck is belt-driven and the high-torque synchronous AC motor derives its power from a digitally-controlled oscillator, which feeds its output signal into dual DACs and amplifier circuits. As a result, 33.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 09, 2015  |  0 comments
It’s one thing to be a whizz at electronics, and another to do turntables. They’re a completely different sort of challenge. McIntosh obviously wanted to do something a bit different in a crowded marketplace, and has come up with a combination of user friendliness and ‘millionaire chintz’. Vinyl rookies will appreciate the pre-aligned cartridge already mounted in a prefitted arm.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 09, 2015  |  0 comments
Pro-Ject’s Xtension 9 Super Pack mates the Xtension 9 Evolution turntable and 9CC Evolution arm to the new Ortofon Quintet Black MC. Its plinth measures a nicely compact 465x350mm and so size-related rack placement is not an issue. This is made from MDF and filled with a metal granulate to produce a non-resonant, high mass, base all topped with a very swish paint finish in High Gloss Red or White. The deck stands on three damped aluminium feet, pre-adjusted for level atthe factory.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 09, 2015  |  0 comments
Rega’s RP8 turntable uses what it calls ‘Double Brace Technology’. Here stiffening braces above and below the plinth provide rigidity between the turntable main bearing and the arm mounting. Thanks to this, Rega’s Roy Gandy was able to envisage a plinth construction that would be much lighter than in previous designs, so in the RP8 the plinth has given way to a very light skeletal chassis. From a functional point of view, the RP8 on its skeletal chassis is complete in itself but Rega has added a separate outer frame, using the same foam-sandwich construction, to support a dust cover.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 09, 2015  |  0 comments
It’s that very rare bird: a suspended-subchassis turntable with a direct-drive motor. A development of STST’s original Motus solid-chassis model, the Motus II inverts the usual concept of a subchassis turntable. Although the ‘plinth’ is a substantial component made of 20mm MDF, in reality it is just a cover. Once the platter and arm have been removed, it can be lifted off to reveal the whole mechanism.

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