From The Editor....
Fascinating to see two loudspeakers that look so alike, the B&W 603 S2 Anniversary on p16 and the Triangle Borea BR08 on p46. You'd think they sound the same, but no – they are quite different. Their designers have differing views on what sounds good, or perhaps – more cynically – just what sells well. We were divided over these loudspeakers. Both were impressive in their own way, enjoyable in their own way. I hope you find what we thought, put through my own words, illustrates their individual qualities and strengths.
Two radical amplifiers this month: Pro-Ject's Phono Box RS2 all-balanced phono stage on p72 and Anthem's STR Pre/Power on p32. Completely different in purpose but stand-out different.
If you want the best from LP then going balanced is unquestionably the path to take. Until now phono stages with a balanced input barely exist. So record decks don't have balanced phono leads. Hopefully this impasse will be broken by Pro-Ject – who have the ability to break it by supplying decks to match their RS2.
Anthem's amplifiers are radical in offering loudspeaker / room tuning. Readers often ask us about this and it does work, but the results aren't quite what you might expect, or wish for. Reading through Anthem's guidance on their complex ARC tuning system I see them trying to explain that the big boom you get from a room isn't good bass, it is boomy bass. Good bass sounds more constrained. What? Their latest Genesis tuning system comes with extra tweakability to raise bass level. I hope you enjoy reading about it.
Reviewer Chris Frankland bumps into yet more ESS DACs on p21 with Eagle and Sparrow portable convertors, and p21 with NovaFidelity's N25 streamer. When will the ESS phenomena fade? Not soon I suspect. This California company have taken over the digital space – and rightly so. I love the smooth ESS sound.
The world of hi-fi moves on and this issue has products that suggest a better technological tomorrow. I hope you enjoy our insights!