First – an aside. Last month at
the end on my editorial intro I mentioned the Advertising Standards
Authority's (ASA) ruling in favour of Russ Andrews with regard to claims made
for his mains cables. This was spotted immediately by an eagle-eyed reader and
caused him to write in – see Letters. Quite right too! Cables are
controversial and What Hi-Fi now avoid reviewing them, I think I am right in
saying, as it has brought so much wrath onto their heads, mainly from the ASA.
How, for example, do you prove that digital cables–of all things–affect sound quality? They do and we can demonstrate it with our Rohde &
Schwarz UPV audio analyser, but others cannot. So they get hit. Until more
work is done on testing cables some will be understandably sceptical about
their affect upon sound quality. In the meantime it is best if everyone
understands that cables are a hot topic, one in which definitive answers are
hard to find.
Also a hot topic is the massive Icon Audio Stereo 845PP
amplifier (see p10) we feature this month. Valve amps are just sexy, if you'll
pardon me saying so, and a brace of massive 845s can't be beaten. Gorgeous!
Also gorgeous were Audeze's planar magnetic headphones I
review on p44. Used with a high-resolution player, 'phones like this offer
devastatingly good sound quality. Head for a demo if you can.
Although the headphone market has grown into a monster,
dragged into the limelight by Dr Dre, loudspeakers have their place and
Acoustic Energy's 101S loudspeakers were little crackers that perfectly suit
modern audio. Small, inexpensive but technologically deft, you can read about
them on p23.
And we also have an exclusive with our feature on the new
U.S. Beatles CD box set. What America got was a lot different to the U.K.–different tapes, different mixes and running orders. Beatles collectors and
completists will love Paul Rigby's first-hand interview about the U.S.
material and next month he reviews the box set itself. Meanwhile the mono LPs
are being cut at Abbey Road, near to our offices, and I'm off to have a chat
about them soon too. I have much, much more to say about our involvement here,
but it's all very hush, hush at the moment!
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