Stereo Amplifier
Technics SU-A900 mk2 Stereo Amplifier
Like car design, audio equipment styling lends to follow trends - today silver, tomorrow black; today stark and angular, tomorrow curved and soft. Also like cars, the basic functionality dictates certain aspects of appearance, and as ergonomics become more refined so the distinctions marking out one...
Technics SU-A600 mk3 Stereo Amplifier
The unit is of standard 430mm width and modest height. Its front panel controls and indicators suggest a fully specified design and a closer examination shows that the only practical omission is provision for low-output moving-coil pickup cartridges. As these can easily cost more than ten times the price...
Audiolab 8000S Stereo Amplifier
In since it was introduced the Audiolab 8000A integrated amplifier has won awards from all quarters and earned the appreciation of many contented users. Various changes have been made to the circuit over the years, amounting cumulatively to a substantial departure from the original. Of course the R&D...
Arcam Alpha 6 Plus Stereo Amplifier
Arcam’s nomenclature always makes life easy, with Alpha denoting the entry level range and numbers within indicating relative status. Thus the Alpha 5 Plus and 6 Plus amplifiers replace the original Alpha 5 and 6, the 6 being a higher powered and slightly more elaborate model than the 5, while the...
Denon PMA-350 II Stereo Amplifier
One beneficial result of the long recession which has hit our audio industry harder than most has been the opportunity to examine customers requirements in greater detail. In the case of the Japanese companies who previously went their own way almost regardless, the slump in demand has forced them not...
Denon PMA-450 Stereo Amplifier
According to the Denon leaflet, "Designed for the UK's unique 'budget audiophile' market. Nowhere else in the world does the sound of amplifiers at this price come in for such scrutiny... The PMA-450 is a totally new model which has resulted from many months of design, research and development in the...
Musical Fidelity Elektra E10 Stereo Amplifier
In December 1994 reported on the first of Musical Fidelity's Elektra range, the £600 E100. This junior model comes in at half its price - £299-95 to be precise - and is soon to be joined by an identically priced matching tuner and a CD player. Elektra E10 retains the same 440mm width...
Audiolab 8000P Stereo Amplifier
The 8000P stereo power amplifier which is really two amplifiers in one case, for the only other common item is the massive toroidal mains transformer which occupies the central area. This has a single voltage primary, for 240 Volt supplies in the UK, and two secondaries, one for each channel. Each feeds...
B&W DM302 Speakers
At the top of the B&W Loudspeakers product list are some exotic and trail-blazing models: we think immediately of the Matrix 801, chosen as monitors by many professional recording engineers, and the curiously shaped but sonically outstanding Nautilus. Innovations researched and developed for these flagship...
KEF Reference 104 Speakers
Hence KEF have introduced the term 'Reference Series' to indicate a new line of loudspeaker enclosures capable of critical comparison with the original live sound, but which are not to be confused with genuine Monitor loudspeakers designed for broadcast and recording studio use. The Model 104 enclosure...
Technics SL-1300 Turntable
In fact, Matsushita Electric, who use the brand name Technics for their top line products, have been making direct-drive turntables since their original SP-10 in 1971 and this SL-1300 seems to have carried the principle to even higher standards, while adding a number of user features which make the unit...
Marantz 1060 Stereo Amplifier
The brushed duralumin front panel measures 14-1/4 by 4-1/2-inches and carries all the controls. In the top row are four press-buttons for loudness, tape monitor, left and right mono buttons. In the centre are three rotary controls for bass, mid-range and treble. To the right are four further press-buttons...
McIntosh MA5100 Stereo Amplifier
McIntosh give a guarantee that the performance limits are the maximum deviation permitted: "We promise you that the MA5100 you buy must be capable of performance at or exceeding these limits or you get your money back. McIntosh is the only manufacturer that makes this guarantee". They also offer a free...
Marantz 5010 Cassette Deck
This mains-operated recorder is intended for use in association with an existing amplifier and loudspeakers. It provides complete record/playback facilities and incorporates a tape selection system claimed to be suitable for ferric oxide, chromium dioxide and the latest dual-layer ferri-chrome formulations....
Spica TC-50 Speakers
Wedge shaped loudspeakers do not have instant eye-appeal, especially when they are placed with the thin edge of the wedge pointing upwards. Even after a couple of weeks of living with these Spica TC50s I find myself looking at them sideways and wondering if they really need to be that odd shape. However,...
Harbeth HL-K6 Speakers
This brand-new loudspeaker from Harbeth, together with a big brother, the HL-S8 floor-stander costing twice as much, forms part of the steady expansion which has raised the profile of this traditional British company among its rivals. The HL-K6 costs £975 per pair in standard real-wood veneers...
Arcam Alpha 8 CD-player
The new Alpha range replaces both the old Alpha and Delta series, and embodies ready upgradability as a central design tenet. Thus the Alpha 8 shares casework, display and power supply components with the less expensive 7, and can be created from it by plugging in new circuitry-an operation normally...
Sony TA-FA3ES Stereo Amplifier
When they sent along that rather fine CDP-XA2ES Compact Disc player, the Sony people included a matching integrated amplifier from the new ES range. At £399.99, a shade more than the player, this beast offered an immediate indication of value for money judged from its weight alone. Previous experience...
Pioneer PD-S703 CD-player
In a world where hi-fi‚Ä"or audio, at least‚Ä"is in mortal danger of being reduced to commodity status, a little individuality can go a long way in raising a company‚Äôs products above the herd. For a specialist AV electronics manufacturer like Pioneer, whose company prospectus does not also list motorcycle...
B&W CDM 2 Speakers
CDM models 1 and 2 - the initials stand for Compact Digital Monitor - are completely new designs, not reworkings of past successes, although they both make use of established B&W philosophy with their Kevlar cones and light alloy dome tweeters. Indeed, while the CDM 1 cabinet is slightly larger than...
Musical Fidelity A2 Stereo Amplifier
Musical Fidelity has always believed that a good route to its eponymous goal lies through Class A circuitry, and while not all its products are based on this topology there have been enough to ensure that this is the technology with which the company is most closely associated. Indeed the manual for...
Yamaha NS-1000M Speakers
The Yamaha NS-1000 is produced in two versions, domestic and professional, the former in ebony with dark brown front grille, the latter (NS-1000M) slightly less expensively in plain black with a perforated protective metal cover over the low frequency unit; both are supplied in left/right matched pairs....
JBL L100 Century Speakers
The JBL L100 Century is an unusually styled version of their 4310 control room monitor speaker developed by James B. Lansing Sound Inc. (JBL) for studios in America who wanted an enclosure of modest size. It has now been provided with a ducted port and certain changes in the tweeter, which makes i t...
Jamo Concert 11 Speakers
This is a good loudspeaker. No, I'll amend that: this Concert 11 is a very good loudspeaker; one of a handful that have visited Hornsville over the years which I have been truly reluctant to move on. Not that it is perfect - none of them are - but its departures from the ideal are scarcely worth detailing....
Audiolab 8000CD CD-player
Audiolab's two-box CD system, the 8000CDM transport and the 8000DAC converter, has been among the best-known and highly regarded CD players for some time, and has led to a widespread desire among those with more modest budgets to see that expertise applied to a single-box player. That wish has now been...
KEF Reference 104/2 Speakers
KEF were, as far as I recollect, the first British company to come up with three-way loudspeakers in which separate detached enclosures were provided for each unit, although the concept had been seen before in Europe, particularly in France. KEF's Reference 105, with its swiveling head embodying the...
Marantz CD-45 CD-player
This Marantz CD-45 is very clearly based on the lightweight budget-priced Philips CD150, with considerable enthusiasm. It even has the same UK retail price of £229 (though I hear that the CD 150 has in the meantime come down to £199.95) but there are minor differences in the layout and scope...
Harbeth P3 Speakers
Several BBC-designed loudspeakers have been manufactured under license over the past couple of decades by a select handful of British loudspeaker firms. A condition of the license has been that every loudspeaker made will match within narrow tolerances the performance of a BBC-held prototype, so that...
Quad 34 Preamplifier
The Quad 34 has four inputs, Radio, Disc, Auxiliary and Tape and they are selected by a vertical row of push-switches at the extreme left of the diecast metal panel; each has an associated green LED which remains alight after the input has been selected. Silent solid-state switches are used and, as there...
Linn Sondek LP12 Turntable
In its short life the Linn Sondek LP12 has run into considerable litigation in patent circles and, as has been thoroughly documented elsewhere, the present proprietors, Linn Products Ltd. have emerged victorious. They are a precision engineering company, extensively contracted to the aircraft industry...
AKG K1000 Headphones
With this innovative headphone design, the AKG engineers in Vienna have moved the whole ear-speaker concept forwards, and upwards, both in terms of price (they are nearly four times more expensive than AKG's previous top model) and standards of spatial sound reproduction. Clapping conventional headphones...
Sennheiser Orpheus Headphones system
The Orpheus project came about as the result of a decision to try to make the best headphones system possible, regardless of cost and complexity. With an unsurpassed reputation for the quality of their everyday headphones, the company felt that it was time that they should come up with a 'statement'...
Technics SB-F1 Speakers
This tiny metal-encased speaker from Japan is the smallest in a Technics range of 2-way systems with the tweeter set back behind a chamfered opening to produce both a ‚Äėlinear phase‚Äô effect (i.e. with the effective driver centres vertically aligned) and an approximation to horn loading. Though the...
KEF Model 101 Speakers
Though it is very tiny, only one-tenth the volume of the KEF Model 105, there is evidence that this speaker has received the same attention by its designers. Indeed the problems of designing a high quality speaker of small dimensions are greater than for a large one. The two KEF drive units are computer...
Shure M95HE Phono cartridge
The Shure family of moving-magnet cart ridges seems always to have spanned the whole price gamut, except that rarest of upper atmospheres inhabited by only a few ultraexpensive moving-coil types and other exotica. The special virtues of Shure cartridges are therefore known to many thousands of record...
Tannoy M20 Gold Speakers
M20 Gold design (£ 199 per pair) aims to fill a gap in the Planet series between the Mercury (£145) and the Venus/II (£269). To be honest, the M20 Gold looks very like the Mercury (and their technical specifications are almost identical) but it does incorporate a number of refinements...
Thorens TD318 Turntable
When Thorens launched their new 300 Range of upper-middle price turntables, they promised further models to follow. We reviewed the basic TD321 model, with the addition of the Linn LVX pickup arm (prices are £317, 57 complete with the Linn, £238,84 without arm). This latest TD318 model...
Sony CDP-337ESD CD-player
If you see the 337 alongside the 557 you will have some difficulty identifying which is which; indeed they share the same instruction book and remote control handset, and the mechanical layout, large parts of the construction and the proffered facilities are identical. However, the price of the 337 is...
Quad 606 Stereo Amplifier
The design philosophy and the basic circuit are as before but this time the 'current dumping' ability has been trebled by paralleling three pairs of output transistors in each channel and providing them with a greatly enlarged power supply. How large can be judged from the weight of the amplifier which...
Hafler XL-280 Stereo Amplifier
On the face of it, the requirements of a power amplifier for audio use are easily specified and straightforwardly met. The classic definition of the perfect amplifier as the equivalent of a piece of straight wire with gain really says it all, but of course to realize that goal in a working model which...
Musical Fidelity A1 Stereo Amplifier
Enthusiasts with audiophile aspirations but lacking the friendly bank manager needed to fund their hobby to the full are naturally attracted to small 'minimalist' amplifiers which omit such luxuries as meters, balance and even tone controls whilst offering high-quality reproduction on a budget. This...
Luxman LV-103 Stereo Amplifier
Extreme as it may seem in these days of the fantastically complex and capable integrated circuit technology which has put solid-state time on our wrists and sent men to the moon, the good old 'steam' valve still holds a place dear to the hearts of a small, but by no means insignificant, minority of audio...
Quad 306 Stereo Amplifier
Eleven years ago Peter Walker and Michael Albinson of Quad announced and described a new power amplifier circuit which they had christened after its major feature-"current dumping". Like most brilliant ideas it had a simple foundation, to use two separate and very differently conceived amplifiers working...
Audiolab 8000A Stereo Amplifier
Examination of the current 8000A reveals that there have been a number of detail improvements and modifications over the years although few of them would be obvious 10 a prospective owner. The major visible alteration is the addition of a further line input; the possible inputs now number six, labeled...
Marantz PM-80SE Stereo Amplifier
As befits a Japanese company which is owned by Philips and whose origins lie in 1940s America rather than Japan's post-war economic miracle, Marantz is a breed apart from its Oriental peers - a mass producer with genuine audiophile credibility. Not because it competes with today's American high-end manufacturers...
Marantz PM-95 Stereo Amplifier
In parallel with what one might call their mainstream audio products, Marantz have for many years produced models for the specialist audiophile market, no-compromise units which represent the best that the designers can manage at the time and from whose technology the more accessibly priced 'bread and...
Pioneer A-400 Stereo Amplifier
Pioneer, as an old established Japanese company, have been on the UK scene for many years. Early on they suffered from the inconsistencies of a series of importers and distributors but all that changed when they set up their own branches in Europe, most recently manifested by their prominent British...
Sony TA-F770ES Stereo Amplifier
I must begin with something of an apology, since this amplifier has been in my charge for rather too many months, waiting its turn for a possible review. As always we seem to have more products in the wings than we can actually process in our monthly allocation of pages, though that physical limitation...
Yamaha AX-592 Stereo Amplifier
There are three integrated amplifiers in the current Yamaha range, not counting its varied Home Cinema and Classic Line components, all reworkings of earlier models. The AX-592 (£279,95) heads the list and has a 2 x 100W power rating into 8 ohms. It is a fairly bulky unit, having standard base...
Pioneer PD-S801 CD-player
When any hi-fi manufacturer claims to have fathered a revolution in audio technology, others in the industry dispute paternity. Look back far enough and hard enough into audio history and precedents can usually be found to today's 'breakthroughs'. As co-creator of the moving-coil loudspeaker Chester...
Sony ST-S570ES Tuner
A week or so ago, as I write, I was in a discussion over the origin and growth of the use of initials as abbreviations. One member of our group mentioned that it was the railways which made such usage commonplace and pointed out that even after years of nationalization people still referred to the LMS...