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Hi-Fi World
February 2014
In This Issue... Hi-Fi Surprises
Editorial By Noel Keywood


In This Issue... Hi-Fi Surprises Editorial By Noel Keywood Hi-Fi World February 2014  It's always nice to come across a product that takes us by surprise – and this month we got lucky with the JE Audio amplifiers, designed and built in Hong Kong. These days the old Crown Colony is a desperately modern city that reflects China's technological emergence. The region supports a lot of audio manufacturing and Hong Kong itself has Kings Audio, who produce the excellent Kingsound electrostatic loudspeakers. JE Audio join them in my view, with their thoughtfully designed and beautifully built VM60 power amplifier and VL19 preamplifier. Rafael Todes, an expert on valve amps but a man that's hard to please, was genuinely taken aback and excited by them. You can read what he thought of these lovely amplifiers on p54.

Less of a surprise were the Martin Logan Summit X hybrid electrostatic loudspeakers featured this month, on p10. We've reviewed the Ethos, Montis and Electromotion models from Martin Logan and the Summit X enjoys the same formula of XStat electrostatic panel atop a small bass cabinet. As their top model, however, Martin Logan have used an interesting technological trick to best integrate these two units – and it works. The Summit X is a fabulous high-fidelity loudspeaker.

NXT never made it to hi-fi loudspeakers, ignoring the Cyrus Ikon. But the idea lives on in Balanced Mode Radiators: flat panels driven by a motor. Old hands have seen this before, from Sony for example who once made flat panel drivers. BMR is different though, and far more complex, relying on an understanding of panel behaviour early panels lacked. BMRs are still a new technology needing development; many have nasty treble peaks. Cambridge have tackled this issue well in their new Aero BMR loudspeakers. The Aero 2 is an innovative design that shows what the future is likely to bring in loudspeakers. And you may be interested to learn this technology came out of Britain's Defence Research Agency.

So this month I'm pleased to say we're featuring some superbly innovative hi-fi products. I hope you enjoy reading about them – and perhaps getting to hear them too.

--- Noel Keywood, editor.


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