Hi-Fi News Staff

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.
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.

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