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Hi-Fi World
June 2011
Budget Audiophile
Editorial By David Price

 

Hi-Fi World Volume 21 Number 4 June 2011  Royal weddings, economic recessions and surging energy prices – it's the early eighties all over again! But it's in straightened financial times such as these that people often show their natural resourcefulness, and why shouldn't that include hi-fi?

With this in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to issue a challenge to three Hi-Fi World scribes to build fine sounding ‘budget audiophile' systems using a secondhand source component to save money and/or improve the sound. The challenge went out to Adam Smith and Paul Rigby, and then yours truly volunteered too...

Actually, It was fun. There's a curious ‘iron curtain' amongst audiophiles; many would never countenance buying secondhand whereas others have nothing else but. Personally, I've long since run a mixture of old and new in my system (a Marantz TT-1000 turntable from 1980, a Musical Fidelity AMS35i from 2010, and a 1986 vintage pair of Yamaha NS1000M loudspeakers are my current staple), so I know that clever planning and matching can get a great sound that you couldn't necessarily have by buying all old or all new. See p17 for the results; I think you'll agree that we came up with some weird and wonderful stuff.

Elsewhere in this issue, we have some great new kit that whilst expensive, also represents real value for money. For example, Leema's brand new Antilla IIS Eco [p46] is up with CD players at twice its £3,000 price tag, and gives a wonderfully organic sound from silver disc that you simply don't expect from this format. German Physiks' Limited 11 [p52] offer most of the heroic performance of speakers twice as expensive up their model range, with an epic, cathedral-like sound from their omnidirectional drivers for £7,800. Back to the real world and Mission's MX-2 mini monitors work brilliantly considering their £200 price tag [see p64] and Ortofon's Vivo Blue (£275) is one of the best entry level moving coil cartridges we've heard in a long time [p107].

As ever then, this new issue is packed with great kit, old and new, across the generations. Enjoy!

 

David Price, editor

 

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