Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
HIFICRITIC
Volume 10 No. 2
April / May / June 2016

 

HIFICRITIC Volume 10 Number 2 April / May / June 2016

 

Reviewed In This Issue


3 MOVING TOWARDS THE FUTURE OF MUSIC
Editorial By Paul Messenger

 

4 STAN'S SAFARI No34
Stan explains the history behind and some endemic problems of the separate pre-/power amplifier combo, and comes to a shocking conclusion.

 

6 HIGH END 2016
Jason Kennedy spent three days going around Europe's biggest hi-fi show, but we only gave him two pages in which to squeeze his report

 

8 A PURR OF PRE-AMPS
Julian Musgrave reviews various pre-amps and passive system controllers from Music First Audio, Townshend, Bespoke Audio, Gamut, Exposure, Glasshouse and Hattor

 

12 FOCAL SOPRA No2
Martin Colloms assesses a stylish and powerful new floorstander

 

15 THORENS TD124
Paul Messenger listens to a vintage turntable from the 1960s

 

16 dCS ROSSINI PLAYER AND CLOCK
Chris Binns becomes immersed in the latest dCS gear, specifically the Rossini CD player/DAC and its associated Master Clock

 

20 FIRST WATT M2
Kevin Fiske spends quality time with an unusual stereo power amplifier from master designer Nelson Pass

 

22 CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR 851N
Harry Harrison checks out a top-of-the-line but still affordable streamer/DAC from Cambridge Audio.

 

24 BENCHMARK AHB2
Chris Bryant tries out the radical new THX Achromatic power amp technology, as applied by Benchmark

 

26 WILSON AUDIO SABRINA
Martin Colloms assesses an accomplished floorstanding, three-way moving-coil loudspeaker with ample power handling

 


31 WHY DO WAV AND FLAC FILES SOUND DIFFERENT?
Dr. Charles Zeilig and Jay Clawson measure the sound quality loss when interconverting FLAC and WAV files

 

36 NAIM NAP 500 THE DR UPGRADE
Martin Colloms has managed to blag a review sample of Naim's latest two-box power amp, and says more on power amp design

 


40 XTZ TUNE 4
Harriet Bryant tries out an amplified wireless loudspeaker system from a noted Swedish operation that's committed to direct sales

 

42 VINCENT SV-700
Kevin Fiske checks out a rather impressive hybrid valve/FET integrated amplifier designed in Germany

 

44 ROGUE AUDIO SPHINX V2
Paul Messenger auditions a surprisingly affordable hybrid integrated amplifier that combines valves with digital amp modules

 

46 CARTRIDGE STEP-UPS AND PHONO STAGES
Paul Messenger assesses step-ups and phono stages from Music First Audio, Rothwell and Lounge Audio

 

49 ROKSAN CASPIAN RPP
This latest Roksan phono stage is reviewed by Arthur Barton

 

51 BITS & PIECES
Short reports on a miscellany of hi-fi components

 

52 FAVOURITE THINGS
Tim Chorlton of Desborough-based dealer/distributor Divine Audio chooses ten favourite albums

 

54 JAZZ PICKS
Greg Drygala picks half a dozen recent jazz favourites

 

56 THE BEST OF CLASSICAL
Colin Anderson selects a clutch of recent classical releases

 

58 ROCK, POP AND OTHER NICE
MUSIC
The Chord Company's Nigel Finn picks just four new releases this quarter

 

60 SUBJECTIVE SOUNDS
Paul Messenger tries the latest Arcam irDAC-II

 

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