From The Editor....
Welcome to Hi-Fi World's annual Awards edition, where we pick out the products of 2020 that impressed us most. I think readers will appreciate this means "affordable" too; we shy away from products that few can afford and which for the most part have little to offer in terms of new technologies.
Having used panel loudspeakers all my life I was pre-disposed to like Magneplanar's new LRS (Little Ribbon Loudspeaker) – but so did others at the magazine's offices where everyone has an interest and an opinion. You can read the original review on p24. The LRS is truly different to most else and easy to choose as a winner when it is on sale for a stunningly low £995. This should put the cat amongst the pigeons – but there's always another view; in this very same issue we publish the experiences of three readers to Magneplanar loudspeakers: see Letters on p66. I hope you find these views interesting, broadening your understanding of what an all-ribbon panel loudspeaker offers and why we chose the unusual LRS as 2020's Best Loudspeaker.
There's been an outbreak of Leak! International Audio Group, owners of brand names Quad, Wharfedale, Audiolab, Mission and more, finally decided to re-launch this venerated brand name and again we selected the new Stereo 130 amplifier, review on p28, as a product that is effective but a little different. Nice that is has a matching CD transport and can play LP as well – real-life wants, a real-life winner. At an affordable price.
Rega remain a force to be reckoned with after finding success in the 1970s with their unique one-piece cast alloy tonearm that remains potent today. Updated to three-point fixing, fitted with a Rega MC cartridge and mounted on a skeletal turntable, this arm helps make the Planar 10 an easy Award winner of Best Turntable for 2020, as our review on p47 explains.
I hope you enjoy this Awards issue. There were plenty of good products in 2020 to choose from. The enjoyment of music remains alive and well – and our Awards issue helps toward its appreciation.