It is not every
month that we give five pages to a single product review, but sometimes, when
we feel something really warrants it, thatís precisely what happens...
On p12, youíll find the brand new Audiolab 8200CDQ CD
player/DAC/preamp Ė a £950 product that forms the heart of a digital
system. Some other silver disc spinners have this functionality, too but not
at this price Ė and itís the performance that makes it special. A wealth
of engineering knowledge has gone into it, and frankly it shows!
It is not the only especially interesting product weíve
got for you this month, either. Meridianís Sooloos Control 15 is the
Huntingdon high end specialistís latest hard disk-based digital music
server, and offers true 24/96 hi res playback and a user-interface that is
second to absolutely none in the hi-fi world. See it on p46.
T.A.C.ís V-60 valve integrated amplifier is a curious
confection of valves and transistors; it uses the latter to make the former
work in a more modern way. It has a distinctive sound thatís down to its
unusual approach; read all about it on p20. AMRís AM-777 integrated (p50) is
another tube/transistor hybrid, this time more straightforwardly using glass
bottles in its preamp section and solid-state in the power amp; we think
itís a great package.
Rega Planar turntable owners can now send their decks off to
Inspire Hi-Fi, and for around £320 it will come back with the mother of all
facelifts; it gets a chunky new real wood plinth, acrylic platter and mat!
Read all about the Quest mods package on p100.
With their lovely ribbon tweeters Mowgan Audioís huge
Etain loudspeakers (p80) arenít your run of the mill floorstanding
loudspeakers either, whilst Bricastiís M1 DAC (p66) is that rarest of birds
Ė a studio DAC that is if anything euphonic and romantic in its
presentation. And donít forget the unusual Cambridge Audio NP30 (p24), which
is a serious grown up network music player for the price of a cheap imitation.
All in all, Augustís Hi-Fi World is packed with some
really great bits of kit, each of which stands out from the crowd in its own
special way. Enjoy!
David Price, editor
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