Valve amplifiers come in all flavours and Audio Research amplifiers are some of the most extreme. Far away from what most people expect a valve amplifier to sound like,
they're a shock to many. I remember an experienced audiophile friend weaned on transistors hearing one and buying it immediately.
"How come it sounds so dynamic?" he asked me. Audio Research move their magic forward with the VSi75 I review this month on p10.
The Audiolab M-DAC is another great product. It's a recent design not afraid to get down and dirty with digital. There are filters galore to tailor its sound, so you can tune it for widest frequency response, or best impulse response (I always prefer the latter). But Audiolab give you XD and DD options –
how's that! Even more complexity to keep the most fastidious audiophile happy. Combined with a high resolution volume control this is great way to drive a power amplifier from quality digital sources. I used it and loved its smoothness – you can read what Jon Myles thought on p28.
How do you record in digital nowadays? Digital recorders have gone the way of the Dodo it seems. They have in hi-fi, but not in the studio market. Olympus recently released two new budget hand held digital recorders that can record voice, music and even LP, in high resolution
24-bit/96kHz digital, meaning better than CD. They may be just what you need – see p52.
As always we have a balance between the expensive, the budget, the complex and the simple in this issue that I hope you enjoy.
And finally, Hi-Fi World will be at the National Audio Show, Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire, September
21st through 22nd. Come over and see us! It will be fun as always and I always love to hear from you, with your wonderful systems and experiences.
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