Hi-Fi News Staff

Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 13, 2014  |  0 comments
The Editor’s review briefing included the warnings: ‘It’s 29kg – you may need help in unpacking it’ and ‘The S-550i is a remarkably dense amplifier, probably the most self-effacing yet monstrously powerful integrated we’ve ever tested. ’ This new flagship integrated, replaces the FBI while the S-300i remains as Krell’s entry-level integrated at £2795. The S-550i is a true ‘big brother’: the sonic resemblance is uncanny save for a brutal power delivery. While the front panel suggests minimalism, that’s only because all minor settings are relegated to a menu system, eg, balance setting and input trim, which can also be accessed by the full-function remote.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 13, 2014  |  0 comments
Yes, those valves – made in-house – really are a foot tall! And they radiate substantial heat once the SXI has been powered up for a few minutes, but KR Audio’s amplifiers are beautifully engineered. The company is based in Prague, founded by electronics engineer the late Dr Ricardo Kron in 1992. It’s a boutique firm of only a dozen or so people – skilled artisans who blow the glass and hand-craft the tubes. Such is the transparency of KR Audio’s Kronzilla amplifiers that at least of couple of German recording studios use them in mastering suites.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 13, 2014  |  0 comments
McIntosh’s original MC275 featured as an ‘Audio Milestone’ [HFN Dec ’10], but what’s reviewed here is the current production version of this most famous power amplifier. It’s the same as the 2011 Anniversary Edition but with stainless steel rather than a gold chassis. Its most spectacular outward feature, described in staid McIntosh tech-speak as ‘small tube illumination for amplifier status operation’, comprises LEDs indicating status or output tube failure. This is a part of a protection circuit system which will also shut the amp down if speaker wires are shorted or there is a gross impedance mismatch.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 13, 2014  |  0 comments
Enter Musical Fidelity’s latest ultra-high-power creation, described as ‘a true heir to the [2008] Titan, delivering near-identical sound’. It’s a monoblock design that’s considerably more bank-balance friendly, rated at 700W/8ohm, although this transpired to be conservative. It is part of a new series of high-end components, also including the M8PRE preamplifier. The sturdy casework has a finely-textured black finish and thick aluminium fascias while the M8700m’s heatsinks are smoothly finished.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 13, 2014  |  0 comments
These are just the first two models in Roksan’s new Oxygene series. In the amplifier, the use of Class Dor switching-amplifier technology provides high power and excellent performance from a physically compact package. There’s very little heat dissipation, so the amplifier doesn’t require big heatsinks or a lot of ventilation. The designers have chosen one of the well-known range of Hypex UcD modules, which have a high reputation for sound quality.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 13, 2014  |  0 comments
On seeing Siltech’s pre/power combo you might think it incorporates a separate power supply. In fact, this unusual design splits the power amplifier into separate interstage (voltage gain) and current amplifier sections. The combo’s C1 tube preamplifier (pictured) features a rechargeable battery power supply as does the V1 voltage stage of the two-box power amplifier. Of course, running the complete V1/P1 amplifier from a battery would be wholly impractical, so the P1 is mains powered.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 13, 2014  |  0 comments
At the heart of Simaudio’s 380D DAC/preamp is its M-AJiC32 processing (Moon Asynchronous Jitter Control in 32-bit mode) and at the core of this is an eight-channel ES9016S Sabre DAC from ESS. Simaudio claims to have further improved jitter performance with its own ‘Alpha Clocking System’. The 380D has separate power supplies, each with a toroidal transformer and 11 stages of voltage regulation, for its digital and analogue sections. The analogue stage is a fully differential circuit and balanced XLR connections are strongly recommended, although RCAs are also provided.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014  |  0 comments
If proof were needed of Bryston’s mettle for embracing the modern world beyond purist two-channel analogue pursuits, it’s the B135 SST2 C-Series Integrated Amplifier. While the unit reviewed here is two-channel, purist and analogue, it can be fitted with a DAC module for £1575 that adds two coaxial and two Toslink inputs. Other options include a £500 universal remote and an MM-only phono stage for £650. Bryston offers neither MC nor USB.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014  |  0 comments
The Virgo preamplifier and Centaur monoblocks reviewed here are models from Constellation’s ‘economy’ Performance range, yet total £72,500. As for Reference prices, we shudder to think… While a pretty enough design, the Virgo is rather anodyne, its greyness John Major-like. A plain-Jane outboard power supply feeds it via two umbilical cables, connecting at the back where you find rows of both XLRs and phono sockets for every input and output – four sources, two sets of outputs and RS232 and USB inputs for networks and firmware upgrades. At the front, the central panel’s 432x230-pixel screen is flanked by rotaries for balance and volume, while other operations are accessed through menus activated by a row of buttons under the display panel.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014  |  0 comments
When Devialet’s D-Premier was launched [HFN Apr ’10] it appeared to offer everything – tremendous power, direct digital inputs and a uniquely slim form factor. Its beautiful industrial design was matched by the elegance of its technology, a hybrid of Class A voltage amplification with precision digital Class D current dumpers. Devialet first chose to implement HDMI as the digital interface of the future. But now we all know that USB is digital audio’s all-conquering interface.

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