A network attached CD player? That was quite a peculiar concept not so long ago. Indeed, when I was first confronted with one I scratched my head and wondered why would anyone want to send CD over a network? Or is it the other way around? And then the penny dropped. It’s both. A CD player which also lets you stream from your computer or an outside network making the unit a go-to, one stop source device. Many have appeared since I first unsuccessfully cogitated on this idea, of varying quality, price and ability. I think we all liked Onkyo's take on this concept, however, the imaginatively named C-N7050 (!) you can find reviewed on p21 this month. Onkyo just do it well – at a very affordable price. This is a great introduction to "computer" audio, right down to its control app. OK, you don’t get an ESS Sabre32 DAC on-board, but you do get a set of good modern parts in a thoroughly decent CD player. So for all of you wishing to upgrade their CD player – just buy this CD player!
I peered at the analyser and saw almost nothing. Spooky. I was measuring noise from the Nova II phono stage at the time and our analyser said there wasn’t any – well almost; it was so low as to be negligible. This is possible nowadays, if you know what you are doing – there are some super low noise silicon devices out there. But Musical Surroundings have capitalised on this by running their phono preamp from a rechargeable battery, to eliminate power supply earth leakage currents and the hum they cause, as well. Neat thinking. The result is a phono preamp one step ahead of most in sophistication. I was surprised at the price being asked as a result. If you are a vinyl enthusiast take a close look at this product, expertly reviewed by Paul Rigby on p86. I very much warm to clever-fidelity like this.
I did know Jon Myles went to an audiologist, but I didn't quite realise what happened there! This is the first time we have ever run a piece looking at the human end of things – and what is involved – see p28. I found it intriguing; I hope you do too.
Martin Pipe is a mine of information on all things high fidelity, but he is even more than this when the going gets really complicated – meaning the strange and tortuous story behind surround-sound, or quadraphonics as it was originally termed. I had to clamber into the loft and grapple with partying spiders to claim back my JVC CD-4 quad decoder for his piece. My CD-4 LPs were also shipped to Southend-on-Sea. You can read the first part on p90 – fascinating.
Our August 2015 issue is packed with unusual articles, as always: I do hope you enjoy reading them – and don't forget to write!