Revving up your Rega turntable

by Sujesh Pavithran on 02/09/2015

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FEATURE: If you’re the owner of an old or new Rega turntable and itching to buy a new one or upgrading, hold on… here’s how you can keep old faithful and take it up a few levels.

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REVIEW: Vinyl addicts seeking to preserve their LP collection digitally will be keen on the PS Audio NuWave phono converter… or, otherwise, how to make analogue sound digital…

Thinksound On1… comfy on the ear

by Sujesh Pavithran on 19/08/2015

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REVIEW: If you’re a music-on-the-move sort of person, here’s something from Thinksound that’ll trump those useless bits of cheap plastic you shove into your ears regularly…

Focus Audio FC6 SE… like fine wine

by Sujesh Pavithran on 14/08/2015

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REVIEW: No fancy stuff here, these are just good, old-fashioned standmount speakers from Canada’s Focus Audio that get the job done right with minimum fuss. They make for nice eye candy, too…

Aune B1 headamp – top of the class

by J Loh on 09/08/2015

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REVIEW: Little and inexpensive things can perform wonderful deeds in the realm of portable audio, and the Aune B1 headphone amp proves you don’t need to splurge for your aural fix.

VPI launches Avenger, Limited Scout Jr turntables

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NEWS: VPI has been on a roll the past few years… something new from the acclaimed turntable maker seems to be popping up regularly. Now comes its no-holds-barred turntable, the Avenger.

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Sony MDR-Z7 headphones… as clear as it gets

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REVIEW: Cans for the discerning listener, these are… Sony leaves little to the imagination with its flagship MDR-Z7 high-resolution headphones.

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New vinyl bling from Clearaudio

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NEWS: Need to tweak your vinyl set-up without any major re-tooling? Clearaudio, the vinyl specialists, have some accessories to help you achieve this.

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Genesis launches 2.3 line-source loudspeaker

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NEWS: If you have the space and the stash, here’s a loudspeaker system from Genesis Advanced Technologies that promises an aural experience like no other… fasten seat-belts, please…

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Calyx PaT DAC… domino effect

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REVIEW: Small can get seriously good these days, and if your chief source of music is your mobile device, here’s a domino-sized thingie from Calyx that gets you into big-league sound.

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Thorens… the turntable specialist

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Q&A: How many turntable makers in existence today can claim that they were around when it all began? Here’s a company that’s seen it all, from the phonograph to the gramaphone to the modern-day vinyl spinner.

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Exogal Comet DAC… out of this world

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REVIEW: Looking for a fancy desktop audio accessory that does big-league sound? Newbie Exogal’s Comet DAC, which is also a digital preamp and headamp, should fit the bill…

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Sights from KLIAV Show 2015

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NEWS: Take a stroll with us through the Kuala Lumpur International AV Show 2015, where we saw some cool and hot stuff, things new and old, and a variety of audio and AV products.

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It’s here – KLIAV Show 2015, July 3-5

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NEWS: Get ready for a weekend of amazing sights and high-resolution sounds at the Kuala Lumpur International AV Show 2015. Keep your eyes and ears prepped, bring your own drink.

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PS Audio NuWave DSD available now

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NEWS: PS Audio’s popular and reasonably priced NuWave DAC gets an update, and one that matters, especially to those into high-resolution audio downloads and computer audio.

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OPPO PM-3… planar pleasures

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REVIEW: If you’re an audiophile on the move, you’ll need these new OPPO headphones. Heck, even if you’re an audiophile simply sitting down, you’ll love the PM-3’s planar magnetic magic.

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SVS Prime… speakers of distinction

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REVIEW: SVS may have made its name as a great bang-for-the-buck subwoofer manufacturer, but the company is now proving to be a formidable player outside that field…

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Magico S-SUB – dual-punch subwoofer

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NEWS: You wants lows, and you want them clean, fast and right… and you also have a thick wallet. Magico’s S-SUB will deliver all the low-end thrills you could ask for the money.

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Parasound JC 3+ phono pre… all plus

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REVIEW: Time for another vinyl break, so here’s an update on an acclaimed Parasound phono preamp… the news is, it got better. Much better, as our vinylhead discovers.

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Sony Walkman NW-ZX2 – evolution of an icon

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REVIEW: The legendary Sony Walkman continues to thrive through generations, adapting and evolving with the times; sure, there are competitors… but few with such an illustrious pedigree.

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Entreq Vibb Eater… out, damned vibes

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REVIEW: Banish those little vibrations that start building up once your speakers start playing… ban them with the help of these rodent-like accessories…

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Monitor Audio reveals new Bronze

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NEWS: Monitor Audio’s Bronze line was popular but getting somewhat long in the tooth but here’s the good news – it has been give something like a turbo boost, with new drivers and all…

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Sony’s new Bravia 4K Android TVs arrive

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NEWS: A TV is no longer just a TV these days… there’s a whole lot of other stuff that the new generation of TV sets is capable of doing, including doubling up as an Internet-connected device…

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Nordost unleashes Odin 2

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NEWS: Cables, interconnects, power cords… you need them to get your hi-fi system audible…but are you willing to pay what Nordost is asking for its new Odin 2 flagship range?

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Icon Audio CDX2… doing it with valves

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NEWS: If you think most CD players sound too cold and clinical, Icon Audio has something to warm your heart… a valve-driven CD player that gets to the soul of the signal.

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Pandora Hope VI… whole lotta space

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REVIEW: It isn’t always about the bass, as the Pandora Hope VI headphones prove… sometimes, you need to look beyond short-term visceral thrills and pamper your ears for the long run.

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Pangea Audio unveils HP201 head amp/DAC

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NEWS: High-performance power cords at down-to-earth prices have been Pangea Audio’s forte for long… now, the desktop audio realm gets the goodies as well.

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This Pro-Ject is Essential, too

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REVIEW: It may be basic, it may assault your senses with its colour scheme… but this budget LP spinner from Pro-Ject certainly gets the job done sans fuss or fumble.

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The vinyl involvement

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RANTS ‘N RAVES: Yeah, sure, vinyl is better, CD is better and all that jazz… but dedicated vinyl-heads who are into the technical side of things can extract a level of fun not found with other formats.

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Magico announces S7 floorstanders

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NEWS: Here’s the newest addition to the esoteric Magico range of aluminium-enclosed loudspeakers. Apply only if you have a lot of spare change available.

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Diana SET amp is the best, claims Aries Cerat

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NEWS: Here’s a bold claim from this hi-if brand that’s based in Cyprus… the “absolute and superlative design in the integrated amplifier world.” Diana is a cool name, though…

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Cary Audio DAC-200ts does it all

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NEWS: Amid the plethora of DACs in the market these days, Cary Audio believes it has a new digital offering that will stand out from the crowd.

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Naim DAC-V1… all about timing

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REVIEW: We think he’s in love with this Naim but can’t be too sure… read on to find out just how smitten our hi-fi hack is with this digital offering from a Brit legend.

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Aurender Flow… a headful of fidelity

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REVIEW: An identity crisis, perhaps… DAC, headphone amp or storage device? Yet, it doesn’t stop the Aurender Flow from turning out a cutting-edge performance with high-resolution audio files.

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exaSound launches e12 USB-only DAC

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NEWS: It may seem odd, in this age of multi-tasking, for a DAC to do only USB… but exaSound’s new bit-cruncher covers a lot of ground for those who are rooted to their computer.

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Sony Walkman NW-ZX2… upping the ante

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NEWS/PREVIEW: The Sony Walkman… a legendary name. Will its latest digital iteration, the NW-ZX2, be as groundbreaking… or at least stay true to the legacy of great sound?

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McIntosh reissues C22 preamp, MC75 mono amp

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NEWS: Classic cool… and few can carry it off the way McIntosh does with these reissued amps that aim to capture the spirit of the 1960s but with updated internals.

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McIntosh introduces MCT450 CD/SACD transport

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NEWS: These are confusing times for the audiophile, what with computer audio systems, streamers, media players and the like… as such, we welcome the single-minded McIntosh CD transport.

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Clearaudio’s heavy-duty record cleaner

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NEWS: Vinyl doesn’t clean itself, and if you have a collection of those black discs, time to pay for maintenance. Or you can just buy one of these record cleaners and do the job yourself.

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ATC SCM11v2… just the truth

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REVIEW: If you want the truth and nothing but the whole truth from your music collection and hi-fi system, these ATC speakers will lead you there without fuss.

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KEF X300A – speakers for digital times

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REVIEW: One for the “less-is-more” audiophile of the digital age – KEF’s X300A is a speaker, DAC and amp all rolled into a cute and compact package…and no wires, to boot…

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Lenco L-175 turntable… beautiful in black

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REVIEW: They don’t come much prettier than Lenco’s L-175 turntable, very much a product of the times… but can looks alone sell this direct-drive design?

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Bryston announces Model A subwoofer

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NEWS: If nothing less than a 10-inch driver in a subwoofer will do it for you, then Bryston now has something to keep you interested… and it looks neat, too.

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Wadia m330 media server… all you need

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NEWS: Your music collection is growing and you have an insatiable appetite for music on the Internet… time to consider something like the Wadia m330 media server.

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Neo power from Mad Scientist

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REVIEW: AC woes getting your system down? Time to try some tonic to clean things up and let you hear what your hi-fi component can do… let Mad Scientist be your doctor.

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Solid Tech Disc of Silence – spring fling

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REVIEW: You gotta support your gear, you know. And here’s one way to do it, with springs and discs… Solid Tech shows how to keep the bad vibes away from your hi-fi components.

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Pro-Ject Elemental – budget benchmark

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REVIEW: Here’s something that does vinyl with minimum fuss. Pro-Ject’s no-frills turntable just needs to be plugged in and played… wait… you will need one of those black discs, though.

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Boulder’s four-chassis 2120 DAC

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NEWS: If you’re in the market for a very high-end system, you want to make sure you get the whole works. Boulder’s new DAC gives you that… just keep a whole lot of money ready!

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D150 is the new McIntosh digital preamp

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NEWS: McIntosh expands its digital footprint with this new all-digital preamp that will keep just about everyone happy… except for the die-hard analogue proponent.

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Cambridge Audio’s high-end CX Series

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NEWS: Better known for its entry-level and mid-budget products, Cambridge Audio now boldly steps it up with eye firmly on the high-end market.

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Aurender goes with the FLOW

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NEWS: Audiophiles looking to carry the high-resolution experience in their pocket have a new player to tempt them… all they need to do is go with the FLOW.

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A bigger Hugo from Chord

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NEWS: Maybe you can’t improve on it… but you certainly can make it bigger. Chord Electronics’ popular Hugo is getting a bigger brother soon.

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Sexy TT1 marks Thiel’s revitalisation

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NEWS: After being disturbingly silent for a while, the iconic Thiel brand appears ready to launch an assault on hi-fi and home theatre realms… and its first weapon of choice is a lethal one!

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Cary Audio DMC-600/600SE… more than CD players

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NEWS: A machine that only plays CDs won’t do in these days of amazing connectivity… you’ll be wanting a DAC section that plays DSD, and some wireless fun. Cary Audio delivers the right stuff…

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An Emotiva limited edition – SA-250 studio reference amp

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NEWS: Beefy power amps at real-world prices are an Emotiva specialty … and this limited edition hi-fi/studio model is no different. But it’s going to have a short run, so don’t wait!

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Wadia’s new digital gear – di122 decoder, a315 and a340 amps

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NEWS: If you thought digital pioneer Wadia was out of the game, look hard… this US diehard is back in the fray with three new digital products.

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Clearaudio Absolute Phono – active headshell MC stage

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NEWS: The German turntable specialist reveals a couple of aces up its vinyl sleeve with these new high-end phono stages that do things quite differently from the norm.

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Mark Levinson No 585, more than mere integrated amp

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NEWS: Integration is the trend these days and Mark Levinson’s No 585 amplifier shows how it is done, even if the price isn’t exactly affordable…

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Brainwavz S5 – in-ear allrounder

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REVIEW: If you’re shopping for a pair of in-ear ‘phones at real-world prices, these compact metal cans from Brainwavz will be of great interest.

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Yamaha A-S3000, CD-S3000 – class act

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REVIEW: Yamaha’s flagship hi-fi components may not shake the audio world but they certainly possess enduring qualities that will appeal to audiophiles of most persuasions.

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Brainwavz releases ultra-portable AP001 head amp

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NEWS: If portable is your thing, here’s something that’s super compact and amazingly affordable to boost the audio from your mobile device; it’s the first such product from Brainwavz.

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Acurus Aries – Class D in the right direction

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REVIEW: Acurus, a name from the last century, returns. And in its new iteration, our reviewer is surprised to find its new integrated amp to be very much a product of this century.

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Tron Atlantic 300B tube power amp now shipping

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NEWS: There are few things as defining of “fine-wine” hi-fi than a bespoke tube amp that will appeal to only a select group of audiophiles… like Tron’s new 300B offering.

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SVS Sound goes Prime

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NEWS: Not quite satisfied with conquering the realm of affordable high-end subwoofers, SVS Sound expands its range of loudspeaker to entice audiophiles.

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Hurricane hi-fi…

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RANTS ‘N RAVES: Seeking refuge from an impending force of nature, our intrepid adventure stumbles into a house of sonic treasures instead.

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Pangea’s Lightning cable for Apple

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NEWS: Fed up with the flimsy cable that comes in the box with your Apple mobile device? Pangea Audio has a solution, and a very affordable one at that…

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Sabrina is Wilson Audio’s new charmer

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NEWS: Anything from Wilson Audio should be awesome, right? And we’re thinking the company’s new Sabrina floorstanding speaker will sound as sexy as its name… come, bewitch us.

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GoldenEar Aon 2 – how pure the ribbons

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REVIEW: Small boxes can turn a few unexpected tricks and these pyramid-like Aon 2 speakers from GoldenEar, sporting ribbon tweeters, show exactly what happens when the mix is right.

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VPI Prime(d) for Christmas

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NEWS: Few turntable makers have been busier in recent years than VPI Industries… and the latest fruit of the US company’s efforts is a funky mid-end analogue spinner that takes no prisoners.

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Sony UDA-1/SS-HA3 – high-res on a desktop

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REVIEW: Desktop systems aren’t what they used to be and this Sony DAC-amp-speaker combo represents the state of things as they are today…

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Rega Elex-R – the hidden gem

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REVIEW: Another Rega product lands on our laps… and it may be the most rewarding yet, sonically. Here’s what we believe to be the first review of the Elex-R integrated amplifier.

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And quietly exits the iPod Classic…

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RANTS ‘N RAVES: So it’s goodbye to the iPod Classic, Apple’s portable music player that changed the world… well, okay, so the Sony Walkman was there first, but you get the idea.

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G2 – Cambridge Audio’s new Bluetooth speaker

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NEWS: Traditional names in hi-fi are keeping up to speed with trends in the mobile audio universe, as evidenced by this UK brand’s new wireless compact speaker.

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New headphones, slim-line power amps from McIntosh

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NEWS: Headphones are unexplored territory for the famed US brand McIntosh but its new power amps stay with the familiar look, right down to those blue meters.

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Bryston launches BDP-1USB player

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NEWS: Given up on CD and got lots of music stored in hard drives somewhere? Want to link them to your hi-fi system? Perhaps this Bryston USB offering will interest you…

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Chord’s Qute-ly EX-cellent DAC

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REVIEW: Looks and sounds a treat… and priced to match. Chord’s cute Qute EX offers just about everything a DAC can offer in these times… well, almost. But that’s nitpicking.

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X-LS Encore speakers – a bargain for bass heads

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REVIEW: Don’t be fooled by the plain vanilla looks of these speakers… the beast, as they say, is in the box. And a giant-slaying beast, at that!

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Infinite possibilities… McIntosh MB100 Media Bridge

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NEWS: Stream, store, synch… all possible, and in high-rez, via the new “media bridge” from your favourite all-American high-end manufacturer. McIntosh completists will be tempted, too.

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Rega Venus-R CD player, only for China

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NEWS: Don’t you love it when a manufacturers makes something you really want… then tells you it’s not for your market. Enter the Venus-R from Rega.

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PS Audio NuWave – feels so good

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REVIEW: Seen one DAC, seen ’em all? Our reviewer doesn’t think so, this NuWave of the digital realm appeals to him in ways he never once imagined possible…

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PS Audio’s new hybrid power amp takes shape

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NEWS: PS Audio has been out of the amplification game for a bit, but its next sojourn will be a game-changing one, we hear… clear some space on the shelves, then!

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Triangle Theta Signature – French flair

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REVIEW: Sleek, sophisticated and clad in silky black… the costlier things in the hi-fi realm bear comparison to high fashion and fine wine… and the Triangle Thetas tick all the right boxes sonically as well.

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The Vinyl Types

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FEATURE: Ask yourself this if you’re into vinyl playback – how committed are you to the analogue cause? Find out here if you’re a passionate player or merely a pretentious poseur.

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JBL L16 Authentics – big, bold… and bass

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REVIEW: Right, the party has started, the food’s been served, your guests are pleasantly “spirited”… did someone say “dance”? Time to pump up the volume on your JBL…

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USA-made Krell Vanguard integrated amp available now

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NEWS: It’s a far cry from the Krells of yore and possibly much uglier, but the new Vanguard integrated amplifier certainly has today’s audiophile in mind.

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Primare Reference 60 Series offers streaming

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NEWS: It’s all going the way of the Internet… what’s a preamp these days without a digital offering or two on board. Primare’s new high-end aspirants look to be products of the times.

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KLIAV 2014 – through the lens

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NEWS: Another display of hi-fi and AV goodies to catch the eye, charm the ear and tempt the wallet… here’s KLIAV 2014 in photos.

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Calyx M high-rez player – beyond the ‘Pod

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REVIEW: Time to move the goalposts for portable digital audio players… and this South Korean beauty ensures that the competition has a lot of catching up to do.

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KL International AV Show 2014 – July 4-6

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NEWS: It’s show time! Yes, the KL International Audio Show is upon us again… time to take a break from the heat and haze, and feast your auditory and visual senses.

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McIntosh McAire – the ‘i’ life

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REVIEW: Who said money can’t buy you everything? If your life revolves around one of Apple’s mobile devices, here’s how you hear how good it can sound… and it does cost a lot.

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Q Acoustics BT3 – no strings attached

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REVIEW: A relative newbie Q Acoustics may be, but this Brit outfit certainly feels the pulse of the market… as proven with these Bluetooth-fired speakers.

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AIAIAI TMA-1 – Studio quality headphones

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REVIEW: If you like to spend your waking hours with your head strapped between two transducers, here’s at least a decent way to ensure sanity is retained.

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PS Audio launches Kickstarter campaign for Sprout amp

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NEWS: Crowd-funding is getting some serious attention from the hi-fi hardware people… first it was Neil Young’s Pono, and now, we have PS Audio’s Sprout.

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Going Active with Epos

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NEWS: Traditional British grit takes a big step into the 21st century with these upcoming “active” option for Epos’ new speakers… courtesy of stablemate Creek.

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Cary Audio’s SL-100 preamp now shipping

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NEWS: High-end at real-world prices, that’s Cary Audio, and the SL-100 solid-state preamp follows in the well-sold tradition.

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Magico announces M Project speakers… US$129K a pair

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NEWS: How much is too much? Well, even if you’re an extremely well-heeled audiophile, these extra special Magicos will make you pause for breath!

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Emerald Physics DAC 2 – ace in the pack

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REVIEW: A dilemma… to keep or to let go. That’s how persuasive this metal box of digital trickery has been. And when you factor in its tempting price…

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Munich High End Show in photos

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NEWS: Some photo memories of the just concluded High End Show in Munich. Look and drool… and hope.

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Creek Evolution 50A – a resolute amp

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REVIEW: Don’t let the plain-vanilla aura of this Creek amp fool you… under those clean lines is a creature ready to be outfitted to the max for modern-day applications.

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Three new “1s” from Constellation Audio

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NEWS: The Munich High End Show is around the corner, and Constellation Audio is taking the opportunity to unleash its beasts on a “budget”… relatively speaking, of course.

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Bankable power from Frank Acoustics

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REVIEW: We’ve always believed that power with good intentions can only lead to a better life for your hi-fi system. Here, a brute named Frank shows us how it can be done…gently

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Concept 20 – Q Acoustics’ best compact speakers

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REVIEW: Who needs big boxes when these stylish compact speakers, with a little help from their support group, achieve such great things. Take a bow, Q…

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Naim’s wireless Muso system coming this fall

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NEWS: Wireless everywhere, and hi-fi’s big boys are getting serious about it, too… Naim Audio promises its Muso system will be the goods. The only catch – you have to wait until September…

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Getting your LPs organised

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NEWS: Should The Beatles go under ‘T’ or ‘B’… A Flock of Seagulls under ‘A’ or ‘F’… Jimi Hendrix, ‘J’ or ‘H’…? Get these alphabetised LP dividers and devise your own system of categorisation!

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Wilson Benesch Endeavour – tribute to Captain Cook and Co

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NEWS: What do hi-fi and an 18th century explorer ship have in common? Nothing, you’d think… but UK’s Wilson Benesch finds a way to connect the dots across a quarter of a millennium.

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