If there's one thing I've learned in my fifteen years writing about hi-fi, it's that whilst products are always reviewed in isolation, they're never used in the same way. Brilliant as your new award winning CD player may be in theory, in practice (in your system) it could sound precisely the
That's why this month's issue looks at a number of well matched systems, from the £16.49 Tesco MC-907 [p25] to the £13,740 Meridian Sooloos 2.0/DSP5200 [p10]! While the former is a bit of fun, the latter is an innovative hard disk based music centre with a superb full size graphical touchscreen interface, and surely the shape of things to come?
Along the way, we've come up with three different affordable systems [p15], including a brilliant new Onkyo line-up of separates, including one of the first iPod docks to give direct digital output. The Rega P3 turntable based system featured is a return to eighties minimalism, and sounds all the better for it. And my own choice uses the lovely AuraNote Premier music centre as its heart, which performs as well as it looks. Importantly, all three match their ancillaries brilliantly, giving a sonic performance that's more than the sum of the parts.
Elsewhere, we run through a range of great new products, including the super new Leema Tucana 2 high end integrated amplifier, which finds itself sharing a room with Stello's Ai500 [p26]. Moving down the price range a little, I couldn't help but be beguiled by Sugden's Mystro [p66], which is a super new Class AB powerhouse.
Big speaker fans will love Acoustic Energy's chunky new Radiance 3 floorstanders [p32], but if that's not big enough then we remember the classic Klipschorn [p56]. Lovers of classic kit will also enjoy our brief sojourn back to the nineteen eighties, where we sample the very first ever Compact Disc player, the Philips CD100, and tells its interesting tale [p62]. Analogue addicts will enjoy their usual fix of hardware this month too, via Clearaudio's superb new high end Innovation turntable [p100] and Consonance's great value T988 unipivot tonearm [p104].
All in all, November's another bumper issue, packed with great kit, new and old. Perfect as those long dark nights draw in - enjoy!
David Price, editor
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