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Hi-Fi World
May 2011
Visual Beauty
Editorial By David Price

 

Hi-Fi World Volume 21 Number 3 May 2011  Despite all the talk of the brave new world of networked digital music playback, and its obvious increase in popularity over the past twelve months or so, there's no definitive, iconic computer audio product that has caught the public's imagination. Sadly, a 1TB Network Attached Storage device doesn't quite have the same resonance in the hi-fi marketplace as a Nakamichi Dragon!

I personally hope that we'll get some interesting new boxes over the next few years, and suddenly people will be lusting after the hardware, lovingly stroking power switches in dealers' showrooms and longingly browsing the brochure PDF online! What the hi-fi market needs now, more than ever perhaps, is sexy equipment to get customers buying again...

Over in the analogue world however, there is no shortage of visually beautiful, lovely-to-touch hardware. Some turntables come close to being objects of art in their own right, as Michell's GyroDec shows. There's not a single superfluous component on it, yet the deck has a sculptural rightness to it that would lift any modern home. It's amazing to think it is thirty years old; launched in the summer of 1981, few things about the design have changed on the surface, although there have been numerous subtle improvements underneath. Find out how it fares against four of the latest and greatest sub 2,000 turntables, including the SRM Tech and Notts Analogue in our supertest on p13.

Elsewhere, we look at another design classic, Linn's Sondek LP12 turntable, which is a whole eight years older than the Gyro! On p100 I review a very clever, and surprisingly affordable package of modifications from Inspire Hi-Fi which transforms the deck's sound. There are few things in hi-fi which are as famous as this product, so I'm only surprised there haven't been more such packages in the past.

In-between these reviews, Hi-Fi World is as ever packed with an eclectic mix of the great and the good, this month with the emphasis on affordability. Look out for some very fine CD players, amplifiers and loudspeakers, plus a DIY amplifier project and a sweet sounding secondhand tuner you can pick up for peanuts. Enjoy!

 

David Price, editor

 

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