Hi-Fi News Staff

Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014  |  0 comments
New to the UK market, the CDD-1 and AMP-150 are Gato’s flagship products, the visual design being the work of Kristen Dinesen. They are both so compact that you might even think that the 150W (rated) per channel integrated must be a Class D amplifier. In fact, it uses a single-MOSFET output stage (actually, a pair for each channel). The CDD-1 uses a Philips CD-Pro 2 mechanism and balanced dual-differential Burr-Brown D/A converters.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014  |  0 comments
The 111 is Burmester’s take on what a 21st century music centre might comprise, albeit with an eye-watering price tag. It is a high-end analogue preamplifier with a built-in DAC and a slot-in CD drive for playing CDs; it can rip CDs to its HDD, and since it has both Wi-Fi and Ethernet network connectivity it has internet radio functionality built in. Once music is stored as a ‘digital library’ on its internal 3TB HDD, the 111 can further function as a music server to distribute music around a networked home. It’s driven via an iPad that is included in the price (Burmester’s iPad app is attractive and works well).
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014  |  0 comments
This is Chord’s first network player. What it has done, in effect, is to marry its top-of-the-range QBD76 HDSD DAC with StreamUnlimited’s Stream700 audio streaming client – an off-the-shelf hardware solution for network audio which includes a 3. 5in, 320x240 pixel colour display, supports up to 24-bit/192kHz FLAC or WAV files via wired Ethernet (24-bit/96kHz via a wireless connection), provides for internet radio and offers remote control via a smartphone app. There are just two rear inputs –a BNC socket for S/PDIF connection and, of course, the Ethernet socket – and just two pairs of phono and XLR outputs: one at fixed level and one a variable output, adjusted by an analogue volume control within the DSX1000, which allows for direct connection to a power amp.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014  |  0 comments
Flagship front-ends don’t come bigger than the multi-box dCS Vivaldi, comprising an upsampling CD/SACD digital Transport, an outboard DAC, outboard Upsampler and dual-mode Clock. Its new industrial design is realised in spectacular, sweeping curves and matching, full-colour TFT displays (albeit run in greyscale). Each box has a limited range of soft-touch buttons to navigate through the various configuration menus. There’s a heavy alloy IR remote but most users will gravitate towards the dCS app available on the iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android, Mac OS X and Windows PC platforms.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014  |  0 comments
Since reviewing T+A’s DAC 8 converter [HFN Oct ’12] it has become something of a reference for us. The same DAC architecture has been transplanted into this luxuriously built multi-function media player, the first of a new line of high-end pure audio components, dubbed ‘HV’ for High Voltage [see also p73]. The MP 3000 HV comprises a CD player, a UPnP network client for computer-sourced music streaming via Ethernet or WLAN, an internet radio incorporating thefamiliar vTuner platform, and an FM radio tuner with RDS. Naturally, since it has a high-end DAC at its core, it features an asynchronous USB input for ‘pushing-in’ audio data from computers, and it sports no fewer than six digital inputs at the rear to accommodate a plethora of digital sources as well.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014  |  0 comments
Rated at 180W/8ohm, Quad’s Platinum Mono power amp is for those who crave more power than offered by the Elite QSP. Concurrent with its release is the Digital Media Player: a logical progression for those enthusiasts who have long enjoyed the earlier 99 Series CDP-2. While there are no analogue inputs, the DMP does adds a USB input and digital outputs include one each of Toslink, coaxial, BNC and AES/EBU via XLR. Both the Monos and the DMP provide balanced connection via XLRs for the main line-level output from the preamp and input to the power amps.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Welcome to a world of truly luxurious audio. As it costs as much as many hi-fi enthusiasts’ entire music systems, you’d be right to assume this MBL D-to-A converter aspires to being ‘up there’ with the best of them. . .
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Metrum Acoustics outboard DACs offer a specific appeal by implementing a no-frills approach to cosmetic design while cracking the DAC nut in a wholly bespoke fashion. The range, including this flagship HEX, eschews off-the shelf chipsets and are all non-oversampling [NOS] designs. Designer Cees Ruijtenberg was convinced higher audio performance could be achieved by using cutting-edge industrial application chipsets rather than traditional audio components. After much experimentation and listening, a suitable high-speed data acquisition chipset was identified that the company suggests handles 24-bit audio and sampling rates well in excess of the hi-fi standards.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 07, 2014  |  0 comments
This is a luxurious hi-fi DAC which sets out to cover all possible bases. It’s really designed to be a comprehensive processor for all digital sources, with almost every possible input/output option. And to complete the M6 DAC’s capabilities, Musical Fidelity has also included Bluetooth, which means that you can play music files wirelessly from any recent Bluetooth-enabled phone or other device, without involving your main home computer wireless network. Current Bluetooth devices use the APTX codec instead of the earlier SBC lossy compression, and this has perhaps encouraged hi-fi manufacturers to take it more seriously.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Audio Research’s first DAC to bear the ‘Reference’ name incorporates a network music player with access to internet radio stations, USB inputs for direct playback of files from memory sticks and HDDs, and a digital connection for iDevices. The Reference DAC is also an audiophile-grade vacuum tube preamplifier (albeit one with no analogue inputs). Its type B USB rear input socket – into which one can simply push digital data from a connected computer – provides an asynchronous interface that’s compatible with files up to ‘full HD’ 24-bit resolution and all sampling frequencies up to 192kHz. (Drivers are provided on a CD-ROM.

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