It amazes me how fashions in hi-fi come and go, and how product types seem to loop back. Surely the greatest
‘revival' of all time has to be the resurgence of vinyl; it's amazing to think that about a decade ago it really looked like the end of the road for the humble LP record, but now
it is flourishing. And another equally unlikely come back has been made by the DAC...
Reflecting the fact that we now live in a world of PlayStations, Sky boxes, DVD and Blu-ray players, DAB radios and satellite receivers – as well as our hi-fi digital music sources – those little black boxes, filled with silicon chips doing arithmetical calculations at dizzying speeds, are well and truly in demand again!
That's why this month we've brought you a digital to analogue converter
supertest, which rounds up no less than eight of the things across a range of price points. The good news is that
they're capable of bringing surprisingly fine sound for a modest outlay; all provide a handy boost to your computer sound, whilst most will turbocharge your network music player and/or mid-price CD player into something sounding very fine. Read all about them on p19.
Of course, it's the first time round in the big wide world for network music players.
They've been on sale for nearly a decade now but it's only in the past few years that
they've got easy to use and capable of serious sound. And it's only very recently that
we've had any choice of proper hi-fi products, such as the brand new Naim NDX.
Here's a great high end design that's supremely flexible, easy to set up and sounds fine – you'll find it on p50.
Electrostatic speakers were never in fashion, so you could hardly say they went out! Sad really, as they have so many benefits when done well – and MartinLogan does just this. The ElectroMotions are reasonably affordable hybrid designs, which attempt to give you that magic
‘stat' sound without tears, and succeed. See our review on p12.
Of course, this month's Hi-Fi World has much, much more for your surprise and delight too –
that's one thing that's never going to change. Enjoy!
David Price, editor
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