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HIFICRITIC

HIFICRITIC     October / November / December 2021

 

HIFICRITIC Volume 15 Number 4 October / November / December 2021

 

Reviews & Articles Within This Issue
2 Editorial: What The Audio Industry Can Do….
A flavour of exploring ways of making more of what you have.
Editorial By Martin Colloms

 

4 Andy Whittle 
Having designed for some of the biggest names in hi-fi, he's now spearheading the revival of the Rogers brand, with new products made in the UK.

 

8 Stan's Safari 
Teaching an old dog new tricks? Stan says there are some lessons of the past today's amplifier engineers would do well to learn.

 

10 Kuzma's Complete Player 
Martin Colloms assesses a vinyl playback system from Slovenian manufacturer Kuzma. He finds it delivers breathtaking results.

 

15 HiFi Rose RS 250 
The name may be unfamiliar, and the large touchscreen eye-catching, but this network player is a compelling listen. Oh, and it'll stream 4K video, too.

 

Roon: A Short Story Martin Colloms has become a Roon convert – Here he charts his path to 'Roonification'; using the company's Nucleus+ Core unit. Review By Martin Colloms

18 Nucleus+ Core Unit And XLCR Power Supply Review
Roon: A Short Story
Martin Colloms has become a Roon convert – Here he charts his path to 'Roonification'; using the company's Nucleus+ Core unit.
Review By Martin Colloms
I'd encountered Roon music playing and cataloguing software on a few occasions, as well as its predecessor, the Sooloos music storage and handling system, with its attractive graphical presentations of tracks, artwork and music cataloguing. Acquired by Meridian some years ago as the heart of its streaming solution, Sooloos was later spun off as a separate company, eventually becoming Roon in 2015. But the heart of the system has remained: an informative, easy to use music management system, based on extended metadata and intelligent cataloguing of content. It has seen several iterations bringing it to the present level of refinement – in fact to a level where I felt that I just had to try it out.
---> Nucleus+ Core Unit And XLCR Power Supply Review.

 

 

Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4 Standmounted Monitor Speaker Review

21 Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4 Standmounted Monitor Speaker Review
The latest generation of the British company's flagship speaker series is here; Ed Shelly has set about the smallest member of the range to see what makes it tick.
Review By Ed Shelly
The 800 Series has long occupied a unique place in high-end audio. Such is the market share that Bowers & Wilkins has of the total sales of speakers in this price category that the models that result enjoy both a ubiquity and economy of scale nothing else can really match. Insofar as a 'normal' member of the public can envisage a high end speaker, it's generally the 800 Series that springs to mind. For those more familiar with the high-end category, the 800 Series still holds considerable interest as a demonstration of design features Bowers & Wilkins will no doubt trickle down its range in due course and are likely to influence other manufacturers, too.
---> Bowers & Wilkins 805 D4 Standmounted Monitor Speaker Review.

 

23 Townshend Podium Loudspeaker Platforms 
Will these speaker isolation devices elevate Martin's listening and have him floating on air? It's not quite as simple as that....

 

25 Chord Electronics Anni
Designed as a desktop companion for the Qutest DAC, this tiny 10W amplifier is ideal for personal listening. But there's rather more to it than that.

 

28 FinkTeam Revisited 
Martin liked these innovative speakers so much, he bought a pair – and the production version is even better.

 

30 Kudos Super 20A 
The result of extensive development, this compact floorstanding speaker more than lives up to its Super title.

 

32 Qobuz Chez Colloms 
How Martin has discovered the joys of streaming his music.

 

33 Whatever Happened To Motional Feedback? 
Once heralded as a major speaker breakthrough, MFB has all but faded into obscurity. Keith Howard explains why.

 

34 Going To Ground 
Can system grounding lead to huge sound quality gains? Kevin Fiske explores, with the help of expert advice and boring machines.

 

HIFICRITIC Volume 15 Number 4 October / November / December 2021

 

50 iFi Audio Stream 
This £400 streaming transport offers remarkable performance for the money. Could it be all the streamer you need?

 

44 LFD Minstral 50 
A new no-nonsense amplifier from one of British audio's unsung heroes deserves to be better-known, says Chris Frankland.

 

46 Vertere Does Vinyl 
You know the London company's turntables – now explore its arm, cartridges and even a phono stage.

 

50 Apple AirPods 2 
Martin is delighted with his now bargain-priced wireless earbuds.

 

51 Rotel A14 MkII 
The top amplifier in Rotel's entry-level 14 Series range combines flexibility of inputs with a fine, powerful sound.

 

53 432 Evo Standard 
This Belgian-made network player is a superb performer with a novel approach to sound-tuning.

 

55 Jon Hassell 
Mark Prendergast reflects on the career and influence of the man called 'the most famous trumpet player on the planet'.

 

58 Music 
Views on releases old and new, from the latest classic arrivals to jazz and more on DSD – and some enticing secondhand stars.

 

64 Soundstage 
Is Spatial Audio the future of hi-fi listening? Steve Harris isn't so sure...

 

 

 

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