Hi-Fi News Staff

Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Dec 22, 2014  |  0 comments
If you were just taking your first steps into the world of hi-fi in the early 1980s you’d give serious consideration to the Dual CS505. Often partnered with a NAD 3020 amp by the canny hi-fi buyer on a budget, these two components started many listeners on a path that would bring countless hours of enjoyment. In the 1960s and ’70s Dual occupied a similar place in the German market to BSR and Garrard in the UK, producing turntable units for music centres and combination units. Yet it retained audiophile credibility for the quality of its separate belt-drives, which sold well across Europe.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Dec 22, 2014  |  0 comments
A 10W design from the final years of the valve era, the original Rogers Cadet appeared in 1958 as an amplifier and control unit combination for mounting inside a cabinet. Its stereo successor, the Cadet II, appeared in 1962 and proved equally popular. With the version III, gain was increased so that magnetic cartridges like the Shure M44 and M75 series could be used. This was achieved by the use of special ECC807 valves and an extra stage, meaning that the Cadet III control unit became slightly wider.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Dec 22, 2014  |  0 comments
The TA-1120 stereo amplifier was a step-ahead design which combined power, quality, reliability and compactness in a way that had not been seen before, but which in a few years would become ubiquitous across the ranges of Japan’s major hi-fi brands. In 1968 the original TA-1120 was replaced by the TA-1120A, as tested here, the addition of a headphone socket and the removal of a ‘safety’ indicator light being the only obvious external clues as to which model is which. Revisions were also made to the preamplifier circuit. The main selector lever gives a choice of phono 1 (MM) or tuner, along with a central position that selects a rotary control giving four further options, eg, mic, tape head, second MM turntable and line-level auxiliary input, which can be used to connect a CD player.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Dec 22, 2014  |  0 comments
When the BC III was launched in 1973, Spendor’s ads described it as ‘An extension and refinement of theBC I and BC II’, while Thomas Heinitz, doyen of hi-fi consultants in those days, could not resist using the headline‘Hey, big Spendor’. The BC III was rooted in Spencer Hughes’ work at the BBC: he was part of the legendary BBC research team, working under both D E L Shorter and H D Harwood. It had an 8in driver with 40mm voice-coil, working in its own sealed chamber as a midrange unit while the 12in bass unit was reflex-loaded by a carefully designed port. The crossover point was 700Hz.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Dec 22, 2014  |  0 comments
A masterpiece of stylish understatement, the flagship Balance 2 uses Brinkmann’s Sinus motor and belt-drive system as a way to update the earlier Balance model. The plinth is CNC-machined from aluminium and supports both arm bases plus the bearing; it sits on three spiked feet adjustable for levelling. The bearing is made of hardened stainless steel and rotates in sintered brass bushings, but it’s unusual in that the assembly is heated by a MOSFET device in order to ensure the bearing operates at a steady temperature. The 90mm platter is machined from a block of aluminium while a polished crystal glass mat is recessed into its top surface.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Dec 22, 2014  |  0 comments
While the massive Statement continues as Clearaudio’s very top model, below it in the hierarchy comes this spectacular and impressive new flagship for the main Innovation Series. It is built up on Clearaudio’s familiar, elegant, three-lobed chassis members, each constructed as a sandwich, with a core of Panzerholz (an ‘armour wood’) between two sheets of aluminium. The Master Innovation is in fact built as two separate units with the proprietary multi-platter arrangement facilitating Clearaudio’s magnetic contactless drive system. The upper section is the turntable proper, with a 70mm-thick acrylic platter atop a 15mm stainless steel base platter.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Dec 22, 2014  |  0 comments
Furutech’s Alpha Design Lab range includes cables, headphones and earphones, a portable headphone amplifier and stylish system equivalents of the ADL X1 here. This appears to be a portable miniature music centre, offering USB and iDevice functionality, plus a built-in rechargeable battery giving around five hours of operation. Six top-mounted LEDs display sampling frequency, and there’s a front fascia volume control – which sadly proved just a little too easy to accidentally move when out and about. Those on the Number 41 bus will doubtless prefer the ergonomic simplicity of, say, an Arcam rPAC or Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS, which are truly portable devices.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 18, 2014  |  0 comments
Germany’s T+A has spent the last couple of years developing a completely new range of all-solid-state electronics: its ‘HV Series’. Built into an all-aluminium case, the PA 3000 HV amplifier’s individual sub-assemblies are screened in separate chambers. An upper compartment houses the preamplifier and voltage amplifier stages, while the electronic control processor and circuitry for driving the display screen – fed by a separate power supply arrangement – sits in a recess machined out of the 40mm-thick aluminium front panel. A 10mm-thick dividing wall shields the top section from the left/right current amplifier stages and the unit’s massive power supply is in a lower compartment.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 13, 2014  |  0 comments
This lavishly-built C600 preamplifier and unusual looking partnering M600 monoblocks [not shown] are TAD Labs’ ‘Reference’ amplifiers. The C600 preamp’s aluminium subchassis is 33mm thick and weighs 15kg alone, designed to resist acoustic vibration and provide a ‘low and stable ground potential’, says the company. Removing the preamp’s top plate reveals its dual mono construction and all-discrete signal path; it’s a fully balanced design. The power supply, with its massive transformer, is a separate ‘hideaway’ unit.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 13, 2014  |  0 comments
Yes, they’re expensive – but Nagra’s electronic jewels are gloriously timeless and beautifully engineered. The new Jazz preamplifier maintains the compact form factor and familiar brushed aluminium casework synonymous with the marque – it’s a Nagra through-and-through. And Nagra says the preamp’s circuitry – which employs 2x12AX7/ECC83s and 1x12AT7/ECC81 dual-triode valves – has been completely rethought to improve stability and reduce noise to the point where its engineers no longer consider a battery power supply a necessity. The Jazz is powered by a hideaway PSU that delivers DC to the main unit via a cable terminated with a Lemo connector.

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