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Hi-Fi World

November 2019
Decisions, Decisions...
How do you decide what to choose?
Editorial By Noel Keywood

 

Hi-Fi World November 2019

 

  How do you decide what to choose? This month we bring you an almost bewildering option – the fantastically modern Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo loudspeakers (£3500) on p10 that demand a Roon music server and an iPhone or iPad as a means of control, or the traditional but superb Spendor D7.2 loudspeakers. The Formation Duos may seem expensive but their price includes amplifiers, making them an all-in-one streaming system. Yet you need an iDevice and – say – a £400 lifetime Roon subscription to make it all work.

The Spendors (£4500) meanwhile deliver reference standard sound quality and once purchased may last a lifetime with no more input in terms of cost and the need to physically upgrade. With iDevices in the picture, as with the B&Ws, that will never be the case, I know from long and costly experience on Apple's treadmill of expense and enforced redundancy, talked about by Martin Pipe in his column on p71.

How many computers have we all owned and been forced to junk simply because they were pushed into redundancy by software updates? This problem will always count against the use of computers; it is possible to include interpretation systems like Apple's Rosetta, but it isn't going to happen. I am now wrestling with a new Mac and its T2 security chip that will not allow it to address an array of old Macs I prefer to keep as original record for legal reasons.

 

Hi-Fi World November 2019

 

No wonder then that computer sales are in steady decline; I love 'em but worry about being tied to 'em for the enjoyment of music. Not everyone thinks likewise (my son!) and there is good argument – that I make in my column on p65 this month, that the new world costs less. Even I don't believe it, but the sums speak a truth greater than simple belief!

The complexity of modern software systems and the confusion they introduce, of which I give a whiff on p34 in my coverage of Wi-Fi in hi-fi, is a burden I believe most people just do not want to have to suffer. I'm a geek, but when no one understands what is going on, the geekiness has gone too far. I have conversations with engineers buried in all this and their differing views show frightening: confusion reigns. A major reason being, I suspect, that code is being modified, introducing copyright issues and the potential for legal action. Everyone keeps quiet as a result – especially on the 'net.

High fidelity is becoming split by the old and the new. We have it all in this issue. I hope you enjoy reading about it.

 

--- Noel Keywood, editor.

 

 

 


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