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Australian Hi-Fi Magazine

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine   January / February 2023


Australian Hi-Fi Magazine January / February 2023


    Since 1969, Australian Hi-Fi has kept audiophiles up to date on all the latest advances in audio technology and the hi-fi components available to enjoy music. All equipment reviews and music reviews are written by professionals who are experts in their respective fields, and are checked for accuracy by experienced sub-editors. Every audio component reviewed in Australian Hi-Fi is also independently tested by a NATA-certified test laboratory, whose test results and graphs are published with each review, together with a detailed technical analysis of those results.

Australian Hi-Fi also maintains a complete database of all Australian and New Zealand distributors of hi-fi equipment, along with updated listings of the brands they distribute. Australian Hi-Fi is published six times a year and on sale at thousands of news agencies throughout Australia and New Zealand, as well as being available in selected audio stores across the country plus International mail and online.


Our Front Cover: The first cover of the year shines a spotlight on March Audio's sublime Sointuva WG standmounters, the stellar debutants from Revival Audio, and new $7,499 headphones from Yamaha.


5 Editor's Lead-In: I Attended CES 2023 In Las Vegas
Hi-fi in 2023 couldn't have got off to a stronger start.
Editorial By Rebecca Roberts
Like every year (bar the past couple, of course), I spent the first days of January 2023 attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas (of all places!) to see first-hand some of the most exciting audio products on the near horizon, as well as the biggest innovations that could materialize beyond that. The hi-fi industry is hardly the headliner of the world's biggest annual technology show, with its ever-shrinking physical presence somewhat overshadowed by Big Tech, automotive tech, biotech.... This CES, eyes goggled (and I swear I saw some drooling) over Sony's prototype Afeela electric car (created in collaboration with Honda and pegged for a 2025 release), which has an interior clad in screens and features an actual display on the front bumper that the owner can use to deliver information to passing cars and pedestrians.
---> I Attended CES 2023 In Las Vegas.


8 Audio News
Naim Classic Series Streaming Preamplifier, Power Amplifier and Power Supply; Astell & Kern HC3 Portable DAC; Audio-Technica ATH-TWX9 Wireless Earbuds; Audio Pro Link2 Music Streamer; Audio-Technica Sound Burger Portable Turntable; Audiolab 9000 Series CD Transport and Integrated Amplifier; Devialet Mania Wireless Speaker; Dyson Zone Noise-Cancelling Headphones; ELAC Debut ConneX DCB41 Streaming Speakers; Leak Stereo 230 Integrated Amplifier; McIntosh MC451 Dual Mono Power Amplifiers; Magico S3 MkIII Speakers; Mission 778X Integrated Amplifier; MQair Wireless Streaming Codec; Rotel S14 Streaming Amplifier; Rega Elex Mk4 Integrated Amplifier; iFi GO Link, and Uno DACs.


34 Hi-Fi Primer
Like surround and stereo sound equally and want to have your cake and eat it? By combining stereo and surround one neat system, you can build a best-of-both-worlds hi-fi and home cinema solution.


51 JBL Interview
Principal Engineer Chris Hagen first started working for JBL back in 1988, his first job being to develop the L100 T3 speaker. And in a neatly poetic coincidence, one of his recent projects has been designing the reborn and hugely successful new JBL L100 Classic speakers.


Equipment Reviews
22 Cambridge Audio Alva ST Turntable
What makes Cambridge's most affordable deck stand out from the crowd of competitors isn't just its ability to stream records to wireless headphones and speakers over aptX HD Bluetooth; it's that it also oozes class.


30 Yamaha YH-5000SE Headphones
An extravagant, special-edition homage to Yamaha's first planar magnetic headphone design will arrive Down Under soon. And I have gone hands (and ears) on with the $7,499 over-ears to form a first impression....


Australian Hi-Fi Magazine January / February 2023


38 EarMen CH-Amp Headphone Amplifier
EarMen has pushed past the ambitions of the portable DAC that defined its creation, to produce a mature stack of high-end head-fi separates. The all-analogue CH-Amp headphone amplifier is one of them, so is it a champ or chump?


42 March Audio Sointuva WG Speakers
There are a number of directions in which March Audio might take their speaker designs in the future, but for now there's more than enough excitement to be enjoyed from these superb Sointuva standmounts.


54 Revival Audio Atalante 3 Speakers
A new hi-fi speaker brand arrives from France, a little nostalgic on the outside, but loaded with hidden innovation. The Atalante 3 are a fine example of the sheer solidity of sound that quality cabinetry and innovative driver design can deliver.


80 Top Picks
The superlatives are being pulled out for Iggy Pop's latest, which is probably the best album he could have made at this particular moment in time, while Hammock produces another monumental set of music and Sam Ryder proves yet again he is a refreshingly old-school talent.


81 Reissues
Thin Lizzy's Live And Dangerous is accompanied by seven live sets in an epic new eight-CD release; Alabama Shakes' Boys & Girls is repackaged to include live radio sessions; and the second volume of Clapton's vinyl overhaul covers his five studio albums from the first decade of this century.


82 Head Bangas
A decidedly modern affair from Mongolian folk metal band The Hu is scrutinized alongside the distinctively harsh ambience on Imperium Dekadenz's seventh album, and the self-titled album for Beyond The Black who are now truly in their groove.


Esoterica Section
58 Interview
The story of the new Helix turntable — arguably the most accurate audio playback device today — began when the Qantas first officer met an aeronautical engineer absorbed in solving structural resonances in aircraft. Peter Xeni sits down with Mark Döhmann to get the inside story....


62 High-End Review
From its front panel buttonry to its rare sonic talent, this tiny preamp from one of the best in the high-end business is a class act through and through.




Australian Hi-Fi Magazine

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