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Australian Hi-Fi Magazine

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine   January / February 2024


Australian Hi-Fi Magazine January / February 2024


    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: PSB's flagship floorstanders set sky-high standards, while extraordinary sound is also delivered by Rega's reference deck. An Advance Paris amp also impresses.



Editor's Lead In: Enjoying The Music You Love
Listening to music via network streaming and active loudspeakers.
Editorial By Becky Roberts
I remember this revelatory day in 2017 like it was yesterday. Following an ill-timed holiday, during which my colleagues had received the KEF LS50 Wireless, I walked into the test room and found the two speakers hooked up playing music. I'd read about these "wireless LS50s" when they were announced the November prior, and now here they were in front of me just two regular-sized speaker cabinets plugged into the power sockets behind them, and to one another via an Ethernet cable; no transmitter box, no source physically tethered to them. Where was this music coming from? 'Only' Bluetooth, their top-panel input display revealed, though their killer feature was undoubtedly integrated Wi-Fi and network streaming.
---> Enjoying The Music You Love.



Equipment Reviews
20 TAGA Harmony TCD-50 CD Player
Despite its few operational quirks, this well-priced disc spinner, from a European manufacturer new to Aussie shores, is sure to please with its solid build and insightful performance.


28 Advance Paris A12 Classic Stereo Amplifier
This reviewer has just two criticisms of Advance Paris' integrated amp and he admits they are "pretty weak sauce". The French brand may be new to Australia, but it has already made a great impression through its A12 Classic.


36 Vivid Audio Kaya S12 Loudspeakers
Vivid Audio has extended its high-end audio expertise to (in relative terms) sleeker and more compact enclosures, one of which is the Kaya S12. In the month this reviewer shared company with these unique, curvaceous bookshelf speakers, it is abundantly clear he had an absolute blast.


40 Serhan Swift M2 Mk II Loudspeakers
It may carry 'Mk II' status, but Serhan Swift's latest design is, the Aussie brand says, "a totally new loudspeaker". Well, the freshness of this sequel certainly seems to have paid off, as indicated by the number of occasions the word 'exceptional' appears in this review.



6 Audio News
Cyrus TTP turntable; Yamaha CD-C603 CD changer; WiiM Amp streaming amplifier; Sonus Faber Lumina loudspeakers; Pro-Ject Perspective Final Edition turntable; Ruark Audio R810 radiogram; Rotel RAS-5000 streaming amplifier; Meze Audio Empyrean II headphones; Marantz CD50n streaming CD player & Model 50 stereo amplifier; Magico M7 loudspeakers; Luxman PD-191A turntable; Harman acquires Roon; Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e wireless headphones; Arcam Radia component range; Acoustic Energy Corinium loudspeakers.


47 History of Portable Audio: Part 3
Billions of them were made. They'd fly to the moon, frustrate home computer users and launch the original mixtape. In this series' third instalment (we're halfway through now), Darren Yates looks back at the rough-and-tumble story of the audio cassette.


52 Hi-Fi Primer
The Compact Disc's star may have faded, but Ketan Bharadia explains how the silver disc still has a place for him, while offering advice on how to get the best sound from CD players y'know, for those of us who aren't yet ready to consign their CD collection to the bin.


Australian Hi-Fi Magazine January / February 2024


80 Piano Test Tracks
From rollicking Rachmaninoff concertos to glossy Debussy genius, this 11-strong curation reflects the bewildering array of styles, influences and compositions housed within the humble wooden frame of what is arguably our greatest instrument.



82 Top Picks 
Peter Gabriel's first album of original material in over two decades is proof he can still write songs that turn the head and stir the heart. Meanwhile, there's a Van Morrison cover album that could fill a small jukebox, an ambitious, promising debut by English proggers Storm Deva, and more....



Esoterica Section
56 High-End Review #1
The best turntable that one of the industry's biggest legends can produce also happens to be one of the best available at its level. "A must-listen for anyone interested in knowing just how good vinyl can sound," concludes this glowing review.


60 High-End Review #2
'Cost no object' loudspeaker designs where every cent has seemingly been put to squeezing out every iota of performance possible. "The rarest of all finds," says this reviewer, who also calls them some of the best-sounding he's ever heard, irrespective of price.


67 Sound Travels
The collaboration between a talented, meticulous industrial designer and, 15,500 kilometers away, an equally talented and meticulous electrical engineer has led to the creation of astounding products from Hulgich Audio. Tom Waters sits down with Nick Hulgich to get the brand's full story....




Australian Hi-Fi Magazine

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