It's that time of year again, when the
team looks back over the products released in the past twelve months, and
agonizes over which to pick for our coveted Awards Special!
I have to say that it's one of the more onerous tasks I have
to perform as editor, as in a good year such as this, it's like choosing
between fine chocolates at the very best confectioner. Right across all
categories and at most price points, there have been some extremely
strong contenders. To find which ones emerged triumphant, see our
13-page Hi-Fi World Awards
Special starting on p15.
One product with a real chance of picking up a gong this
time next year is Eminent Technology's LFT-8B loudspeaker. It's certainly one
of the most impressive designs we've seen in a while, being quite unlike your
average high end box. For a start, it's a panel design with ribbon mid and
treble panels for an amazingly open and accurate sound. You can get this
technology on £10.000 Apogees, for example, but we never expected it to
appear on a £3,000 product. Read all about it on p10.
At the other end of the market, one tenth of this money buys
you a sophisticated small floorstander in the shape of Wharfedale's £299
Diamond 10.3. Read our full review on p68, along with an interview with its
chief designer Peter Comeau, who regular readers will know from his World
Another exciting new release is the Naim DAC. A thing many
thought they'd never see, it brings surprising technical sophistication and
versatility to the £2,000 digital converter market; it's the first DAC to
offer direct bit-for-bit output from an iPod, for example. You'll find it on
p36. Amplification this month comes in the form of Audion's Single Ended
Silver Knight valve amplifier on p32, which is a specialist tubular belle if
ever there was one, and LFD's Stereo NLE Signature power amplifier on p40.
This is an affordable device voiced to give an especially lucid sound. Like an
SE tube amp, it's not for everyone, but does what it does remarkably well.
Factor in Monitor Audio's excellent RX8 loudspeaker on p58
and Goldring's brand new Legacy moving coil cartridge on p105, plus many more,
and this issue of Hi-Fi World looks
like a rich source of potential award winners for next year. Enjoy!
David Price, editor
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