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Australian Hi-Fi Magazine

Australian Hi-Fi Magazine   July / August 2023


Australian Hi-Fi Magazine July / August 2023


    Since 1969, Australian Hi-Fi 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 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 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 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.


Our Front Cover: When an issue features a review of "some of the finest speakers money can buy", there was always going to be only one contender for front-cover fame.


Editor's Lead In: Product Launches During Recent Audio Shows
News surrounding proprietary lossy MQA as Tidal chooses to offer lossless FLAC.
Editorial By Becky Roberts
Since the last issue of Australian Hi-Fi magazine, a great deal more hi-fi products have been introduced into the wild. That's because the 40th HIGH END Munich show took place last month, giving high-end audio manufacturers a world stage on which to launch their latest and greatest creations. Many of them took advantage of that this time round, too, as you'll see in this issue's Soundbites news section, which exclusively covers launches from the Europe show. In fact, some of my colleagues on What Hi-Fi? who were in attendance said they struggled to think of a previous Munich show where there were as many launches in all of the core hi-fi areas — perhaps not surprising as many would consider this the first 'big return' event after the Covid years,
---> Editor's Lead In: Product Launches During Recent Audio Shows.


6 Audio News
The news and (many) highlights from May's High End Show 2023, fresh out of Munich, Germany — Audio Solutions Figaro MK2 Loudspeakers; Chord Electronics Ultima Integrated Amplifier; Dali Epikore 11 Loudspeakers; Moon North Collection Electronics; Musical Fidelity A1 Amplifier; McIntosh ML1 MKII Loudspeakers; Meridian DSP9 Loudspeakers; NAD Masters M66 Streaming DAC/Preamp; Nagra Classic DAC II; Naim Classic 300 Series Electronics & Nait 50 Amplifier; PMC Prodigy Loudspeakers; Q Acoustics 5000 Series Loudspeakers; Yamaha Network Receivers & Loudspeakers; Thorens New Reference & TD 124 DD 140th Anniversary Turntables & SoundWall Loudspeakers; T+A PSD 3100 HV Streaming DAC/Preamp; and Sonus faber Stradivari Loudspeakers.


38 Hi-Fi On The High Seas
In the 20 years this writer has reviewed hi-fi, 97% of it has occurred on land. 2.9% has happened on four wheels. And that remaining 0.1%? On a yacht! Indeed, thanks to a recent press trip to Italy, he can now add 'tested on the high seas' to his reviewing repertoire.


45 Australian Hi-Fi Show 2023 Report
In April, the first hi-fi show by Future (the publisher of Australian Hi-Fi and Sound+Image magazines) took place in Sydney, giving Aussie AV and hi-fi enthusiasts the opportunity to see and hear the latest and greatest kit from all around the world. Here we round-up the highlights.


50 Interview With Jermo Koehnke Of Sennheiser
In light of the arrival of Sennheiser's latest 'audiophile' over-ears and in-ears, I sat down with the company's Jermo Koehnke to talk about the wire's persistent relevance, plus a potential evolution for wireless headphones.


54 Hi-Fi Primer
In recent issues I've offered advice on choosing and setting up loudspeakers, record players and music streamers, and now it's the turn of a system's core component — the amplifier. Here's how to get the heart of your system beating flawlessly.


Australian Hi-Fi Magazine July / August 2023


Equipment Reviews
22 Airpulse A100 Active Speaker System
Very interesting active speakers whose many mysteries invite further investigation. This curious reviewer channels his inner Sherlock and puts his best foot (and pipe and magnifying glass) forward.


32 Transrotor Phono MC 8.2 Sym Phono Preamplifier
If you're looking for a phono preamp upgrade, know that this tantalising two-box pairing from German company Transrotor is superbly designed, superbly built, and just as superb in the sound department too. Just be prepared to have to use Google Translate to operate it....


40 Portable Music Player Group Test
FiiO, Sony and Astell & Kern go head-to-head-to head as they demonstrate just what quality of digital source you can get at three different price points, whether it's one for your headphones or your hi-fi.


81 Reissues
It's T.Rex, but not as we know them, in this four-CD/five-LP boxset, accompanied by new issues from Bob Dylan, Steely Dan, Moody Blues and Mike Oldfield (yes, we have another Tubular Bells package – but this one's in Dolby Atmos!).


82 Top Picks
Foo Fighters were well within their rights to call it a day when they suddenly lost Taylor Hawkins last March, but instead they've come up with a fitting tribute to their beloved bandmate. The Church remaining so vigorous and vibrant is a delightful surprise, as is new material by veterans Shakin' Stevens and Rickie Lee Jones.


Esoterica Section
58 High-End Review
Readers who read the review of the power amplifier that sat in this very spot in the last issue might have wondered how the matching preamplifier also performed. Well, it's time to find out....


64 Sound Travels
Our Melbourne correspondent Peter Xeni follows John Ong and his Sound Gallery store to its brand-new premises on Koornang Road in Carnegie, a mere 4,000 miles from where Ong's hi-fi passion first blossomed in Malaysia's Kota Bharu.


68 High-End Review #2
When my colleagues call a pair of loudspeakers some of the finest money can buy, the review of it is probably worth sharing. Think Yorkshire, think carbon fibre, think 90s turntables — cracked it?




Australian Hi-Fi Magazine

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