July to September 2019
‘What is HIFICRITIC? The answer is simple: it’s different. Independent of advertisers, written by – and for – true hi-fi enthusiasts, and backed up by a wealth of technical knowledge and listening experience, we’d like to think it’s as much of a breath of fresh air as it was when the first issue appeared in 2007, and still offers an important alternative perspective to that of the other magazines in the market.’ Analogue and digital designs figure as strongly as ever while we will try harder to represent the balance of technologies supporting the global audio market. All at HIFICRITIC value our mission to present independent objective opinion free of advertising bias. Our extensive product review content is balanced by powerful technology features, opinion pieces, and not least the music: record reviews, pop, classical, folk and rock.
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For the latest issue Stan Curtis continues with his column Audio Safari, this time exploring aspects of hearing loss and how his stereo image perception and resulting musical satisfaction remains undimmed.
Naim gets in the act again, clearly on a product design roll. Here is a comprehensive exposition of the long awaited Supernait 3 integrated amplifier, penned by Everard, exhaustively explored, including its intriguing moving magnet phono input, this a standard feature. The design story includes an interview with chief designer Steve Sells.
In his latest musings, Julian Musgrave compares the economics and potential quality of some classic SACD releases, explores subwoofer benefits, and helps explore rather surprising experiments on a single driver direct coupled loudspeaker, comparing open with closed box versions.
Everard also contributes on new products from ATC namely electronics pairing a CD player and integrated amplifier, namely the CD 2 and the SIA2-100 and to round this system off he also employs a pair of ATC SMC7: these are compact, sealed box and rather upbeat loudspeakers.
Putting on his thinking hat once more, Keith Howard reveals several rather silly design errors found in some surprisingly famous headphones. His extended technical feature is backed by sound measurement science.
Colloms’ effort for this issue comprises two important loudspeakers and also a high end integrated amplifier from Goldmund, the Telos 590 NextGen integrated, while lab tests helped to confirm the vital sonic performance of this accurate and capable design.
Kevin Fiske continues his personal journey with Quiescent , here analysing the sound contribution of their special mains cable looms and related anti-vibration techniques to his existing looms.
Andrew Harrison also turns his attention to the latest design from Mytek the more than capable Digital Manhattan II DAC.
Then Harrison takes on more digital product here featuring the CHORD HUGO TT2 and M Scaler. He is shocked by his results.
Tube and vinyl enthusiast Kevin Fiske finally gets his hands on the AUDIONOTE TT3, potentially a class leading turntable, where there are three options of power supply quality, each transformative in its own way. Colloms and Frankland also make contributions to this fascinating extended review.
Andrew Everard takes a closer look at three super power integrated amplifiers from industry leaders, Mark Levinson, the No 5805, Hegel the H390, and Krell, namely the K-300i.
Chris Frankland took on four products from the established French company Atoll,
and awards poured forth for their CD200, the IN200, the Signature DAC300, and not least the IN300: CD player , DACs and amplifiers no less…
Martin Colloms reviews the dynamically surprising ATC three-way active SCM 50 ASL which also threw a loan stock balanced interconnect cable we had borrowed from Chord Cables into surprising relief. Would I have got the right result from this loudspeaker without it? (Chord Sarum T)
Colloms’ second loudspeaker review is for that ‘comes with tripod stand’ Q Acoustics Concept 300. Nearly all the advanced engineering of the larger and very well reviewed Concept 500 has been squeezed into this smaller frame.
Examining the latest MELCO series, the brand new N10 and the N100 server/ music stores get the once over from Andrew Everard, who also assesses the accompanying ’Intelligent Music Library’ software/app.
Andrew Everard also reports on the NAD M10 an amazingly powerful and input versatile (analogue and digital) all-in-one integrated amplifier of massive power for the money.
Pages of Jazz and Classical record reviews follow, by Drygla and Anderson respectively.
Finally in SOUND STAGE, Andrew Everard tilts at some audio windmills.
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