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Hi-Fi World
March 2015
In This Issue... Reviews Of Equipment And Music Plus Tony Bolton Remembered
Editorial By Noel Keywood


In This Issue... Reviews, Equipment, Music And Reviewer Tony Bolton Remembered By Noel Keywood Hi-Fi World March 2015  What is it that we find so intriguing about products like that in our lead review this month, Icon Audio's industrially dimensioned MB81 valve amplifier? I have always loved the look of big valve amps, but then I would wouldn't I – to paraphrase a certain infamous lady. Not everyone is turned on by power stations – or so I thought. But nowadays they are it seems, after seeing reaction to these monsters in our office. That hi-fi products should manage to return to a time where form simply but eye catchingly followed function, as in the Garrard 401 or MkI Land Rover say, is an interesting possibility. There may be more behind the slow emergence of fantastic valve amplifiers like the MB81 from Icon Audio, that you can read about in our review on page 10. We will, I am sure, be seeing more big tube amps like this.

Rafael Todes, our illustrious contributor who plays violin in the Allegri String Quartet and has spent time immersed in the London Philharmonic, really, really wanted to take home Magneplanar's 3.7i loudspeakers. So he did, living with them for many weeks: you can read his review on page 15. He loved them, if with a few reservations. We also used them in the office, with the Icon Audio MB81 amplifier and Creek Evolution 100A, and we felt the same – fantastic. For classical music they are superb, even if they don't capture full orchestral forces Rafael says; for much Rock they also shine. But a high quality powered subwoofer would be a boon, even a necessity for heavy Rock.

The vinyl LP just won't die. Even if we wanted to ignore it, we could not. Looks like Technics are having trouble ignoring it too, a Facebook petition begging them for the return of their much loved SL-1210 Mk2 Direct Drive turntable. Take a look at www.facebook.com/TechnicsPetition that has attracted over 13,000 likes – including one from me. And what a fascinating and even controversial device it is too, as you'll find when reading readers responses to our bearing upgrade in the February issue. See page 36.

And finally, staying with the subject of vinyl, you'll see that suddenly, over Christmas, vinyl expert and contributor Tony Bolton passed away. One minute he was fine and chirpy – and loving what he did as a reviewer, next minute he had gone – I was shocked. Tony was totally dedicated, very popular and could stir debate; we will all miss him. There's a tribute to Tony on page 89.

--- Noel Keywood, editor.


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