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Hi-Fi World
December 2014
In This Issue... Talking About Beasts
Editorial By Noel Keywood


In This Issue... Talking About Beasts By Noel Keywood Hi-Fi World December 2014  Oppo - they're Swedish aren't they? That's a common response amongst journos, used to asking Oppo Sweden for the company's advanced DVD and then Blu-ray players. In fact they are, ultimately, a Chinese OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of high-quality audio receivers, DVDs, Blu-ray players etc, serving Japanese companies like Denon and others. Their players became a success in the States and the company have taken the concept of a high-end silver disc player even further in the mightily impressive BDP-105D reviewed on p15 in this issue. It's quite a beast and it answers reader's questions about where top-quality CD replay went. To Blu-ray in this case.

We were hoping to review another beast, Icon Audio's new valve amplifiers, the 200 Watt, 50kg apiece MB81s, so called because they use Russian GU81 transmitter tubes. But Pickfords didn't answer the 'phone. I joke of course: in truth Icon audio said they needed more time to finalise the pre-production prototypes. Please accept my apologies if you were hoping to see a review in this issue after reading our Next Month page in the last issue. I sincerely hope we'll be firing up these amps for the next issue, but I can't promise anything because transformer prototyping can be a lengthy business if changes are to be made. It'll be worth the wait I'm sure though; amplifiers like this are rare but legendary in their abilities.

Talking about beasts we haven't yet reviewed brings me onto one of the world's biggest domestic loudspeakers. In this issue you can read a news item about Tannoy Westminster Royals in a London bar and we hope to review this particular pair after their residency. They'll either be fully run in or destroyed (!), so again no promises. However, a review of this loudspeaker is a rare event, that we dearly hope to bring you, although you can hear them for yourself in any case beforehand, if you can make it to Merchants Tavern in East London.

And finally, Cocktail Audio's all-in-one X30 impressed us greatly - see p51. It offers massive ability at a great price, even being able to turn LP to digital, so don't miss Jon Myles carefully crafted and comprehensive review. And, he suggests, the Acoustic Energy 103 loudspeakers on p15 would make ideal partners. Now that's an inexpensive system of impressive ability, yet affordable.

High-fidelity has some wonderful extremes and we do our best to bring them to you, even if it means prior negotiation with Health & Safety about the safe way to get this stuff into the office. I hope you like the result!


--- Noel Keywood, editor.


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