Valve amplifiers look impressive,
just like steam engines I suppose, although I shouldn't make that analogy.
They aren't purely nostalgic, but have one major strength: sound quality. Don't
be influenced by all those who say that valve amplifiers sound ‘warm'. That
was long ago. Modern valve amplifiers deliver a sound with astonishing dynamic
impact, avoiding the bleached, sterile quality of transistor amplifiers. And
that is what the new Icon Audio MB845 MkIIm power amplifier achieves in bucket
loads, putting it in a world of its own. You can find out more on P12.
Whilst the world is a'chatter about the forthcoming new
Apple baby iPad, we take a look at what it will be facing on p22. Motorola's
Xoom 2 tablet is a formidable music player the new Apple will find itself up
against. And Sony will re-join the fray soon with their latest tablet. So read
about the Xoom 2 to understand how the new wave of tablets will cope with
audio, as well as double as a remote control.
It may be tiny and have no power supply, but the Epiphany
E-DAC is surprisingly capable. This is a product you may not notice, it is so
self effacing, but for just £99.99 you get a full high resolution USB audio
convertor (DAC) that shames rivals. Our measurements confirmed its unusual
ability. This is a big audio bargain you can read about on p42.
Audio isn't all about big bucks. It can be about getting up
early enough on Sunday morning to get to an Audio Jumble before the gannets
arrive! That's what Martin Pipe did – and just look at what he saw. The
Tonbridge Audio Jumble had some mouthwatering goodies for sale, just awaiting
the somnambulant. You can see them on p36. It's enough to make me buy a tent!
As always we have a great selection of interesting products
for you in this edition, from old to new, from cutting edge to traditional,
They all bring music to your ears, wherever you are. I hope you enjoy reading
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