To the frustration of many, Apple have developed a brutal resolve to banish wires. Wireless headphones are the next big thing. Following closely behind are wireless loudspeakers, which by their nature possess on-board power amplifiers, are mains connected and full of electronics. There's no getting away from where this is taking us, including on-board sensing of room acoustics and auto-tuning systems that strive to counteract issues like room boom. Wharfedale's new Active Diamond loudspeakers, reviewed by Jon Myles on p11, give a glimpse of the future here – at a price most can afford. OK, they don't have computer room sensing as used in AV receivers, but they do have switched bass adjustment. They also represent a hi-fi package at a low price. Unusual and the future I believe – which is why they are in the top slot this month.
Tucked away on p61 you will find an astonishing – and for me disappointing – review by Paul Rigby of Mobile Fidelity's release of Carlos Santana's LP, Abraxus. Re-mastered to the highest standards and pressed onto top quality vinyl, as I read Paul's review I edged toward the computer to place an order. Damn – sold out before I could even engage first gear! The world now acts in unison with icons like this, overwhelming demand making the $100 asking price inconsequential. The LP is not only back but taking on the form of a raging bull. No wonder they can't press them fast enough.
That's why we have a dedicated vinyl section and – this month – two fascinating products. What amazing value the Dual MTR-75 automatic turntable turned out to be; fine performance at just £250 and great sound, as you can find out on p83. At the other end of the spectrum lies a new high-end moving coil cartridge, with ruby cantilever no less – and utterly refined sound, full insight on p92.
And at last we have managed to fully measure and review a product fitted with the new (2016) ESS ES9028Pro DAC chip, the Benchmark DAC3 HGC that Martin Pipe looks at in detail on p19.
The world of high fidelity edges forward inexorably as this issue illustrates. I hope you enjoy it.