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Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine January / February 2016


Australian Hi-Fi Magazine January / February 2016


    Since 1969, Australian Hi-Fi Magazine has kept audiophiles up to date on all the latest advances in audio technology and the hi-fi components available to enjoy music. All equipment reviews and music reviews are written by professionals who are experts in their respective fields, and are checked for accuracy by experienced sub-editors. Every audio component reviewed in Australian Hi-Fi Magazine is also independently tested by a NATA-certified test laboratory, whose test results and graphs are published with each review, together with a detailed technical analysis of those results. Australian Hi-Fi Magazine also maintains a complete database of all Australian and New Zealand distributors of hi-fi equipment, along with updated listings of the brands they distribute. Australian Hi-Fi Magazine is published six times a year and on sale at thousands of news agencies throughout Australia and New Zealand, as well as being available in selected audio stores across the country plus International mail and online via digital download.


3 Editor's Lead-In
Did a demonstrator deliberately make digital sound bad just to make vinyl sound better than it already is... or is Editor Greg Borrowman just a conspiracy theorist?


6 Audio News
Denon AVR-X1200W, VPI Avenger, Merlin wins Award, Focal Sphear, Audiovector SR1, Unison Research SH, Sennheiser HE1060/HEV1060, Final Sonorous X, Bose Soundtouch 10, Chartwell LS3/5, Bryston BDA-3, TechDas Air Force III, Krix Symmetrix, Acoustic Research ARM2, Heco Direkt, Perreaux Audient SR58, Audio-Technica AT-LP5, Cayin LA-34, B&W 685-S2, Noble One, Acoustic Research Reference 6.


46 Subscription Special
Subscribe (or renew your existing subscription) to Australian Hi-Fi Magazine and you could be in the running to win a trip to Bali for two, for seven nights, valued at $9,000.


Equipment Reviews
20 Harbeth Super HL5plus Loudspeakers
British icon Harbeth is steeped in loudspeaker history, having been founded by the man responsible for the BBC's most famous designs, including the LS3/5 and LS3/5a...


30 Pioneer SC-LX89 AV Receiver
Class-D amplification means multi-channel AV receivers can now actually deliver power output levels that were impossible to achieve with Class A/B amplification... and this Pioneer goes one better...


38 Gold Note CD-1000 CD Player & DAC
Built in Italy, it's the Ferrari of CD players, able to be optioned-up with extras, including two different types of atomic clocks! But you'll know it's a true Italian, because it has several annoying Italianate quirks.


52 Q Acoustics Concept 40 Speakers
It appears that Q Acoustics' Concept 40 loudspeakers are the result of a speaker design project that 'went off the rails'... so to speak. But in hindsight, designer Karl Heinz-Fink was glad that it did!


65 Rock On
This month we're sure Jez Ford will be reviewing a whole lot of really interesting new music that's available on CD or via download, but we can't tell you anything about it because he hasn't yet given us his precious copy...


68 Super Fidelity
Completists will be buying the great-sounding SACD of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1 not because it sounds so good, but because it's the first recording that to use the original 1879 score, the only one approved by Tchaikovsky himself. Beware imitations!


66 Jazz Track
John Shand investigates some Bernie McGann from 1966, as well as Daniel Weltlinger, Luca Ciarla, Song Fwaa, Sunny Kim & Ben Monder and Josh Kyle & Sam Keevers. What a way to kick off the year!


70 Blu-ray Reviews
Can you believe The Doors did the music for a Ford Motor Company training video, or that Morrison's brother stood in for him on one of his films? Then there's lots more that you won't believe either...


Esoterica Section
56 Sound Travels
We meet an audiophile who says his system is 'a grungy, scungy mess, pieced together from second-hand sources, including friends and neighbours, but he loves it... and reckons it suits his vinyl, which he also loves.


60 Jeff Rowland 685 S2 Stereo Power Amplifier
'What is the role of the humble power amplifier?' asks reviewer Edgar Kramer who reckons: 'At the end of the day, a good power amplifier amplifies without editorialising.' So, did the Jeff Rowland keep its mouth shut?



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