Violinist Rafael Todes is a difficult man to please. Playing in the Allegri String Quartet and, in the past, the London Symphony Orchestra, he knows the sound of music first hand, un-amplified – and loud! Most loudspeakers fall seriously short of being able to reproduce this reality, he assures us. So when Rafael got excited about Cabasse Pacific 3 SA (semi active) loudspeakers we took notice. You can read what Rafael says about them on p12 of this issue. Because Rafael has yet to turn his great skills to electric guitar, I cover the Rock music side of things, for (as we both agree) Rock imposes different demands upon equipment and is met by a different set of expectations from listeners. I hope you find this review as fascinating as I did.
The subject of loudspeakers brings me to a quality standard that haunts the market – the electrostatic.
I've lived with and modified many in my time and love them, whilst acknowledging that they
aren't for everyone. Even Rafael is in two minds about a pair of One Thing Audio Quad ESL-57s he bought the other day. What you can always say about an electrostatic is they amaze, and Martin
Logan's Electromotion ESLs offer affordable amazement. Since reviewing them in our October 2011 issue we have received a steady stream of queries about them. Consequently, we revisited the Electromotion ESLs and you can read our update on them on p70.
Class D ‘digital' amplifiers have great potential, but still they languish on the sidelines. Reliability and sound quality
haven't matched market standards, but there are many different iterations of this technology and Pioneer use one of them, B&O
Icepower, within their affordable SC-2022 AV receiver. It
wasn't the slickest receiver we have used, but Martin Pipe said it sounds good all the same, especially for £600. You can read his review on p16.
Sony's latest Experia S tablet we asked for review some time ago, hoping
Sony's great expertise in audio would bless its transistors. Read more on p32 and an interview with Eric Kingdon of Sony on p36.
This issue is another packed with unusual and exciting new audio products, large and small, affordable and expensive. I hope you enjoy it!
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