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Hi-Fi World
March 2016
In This Issue...
USA Wealth Effect, Quadral Chromium Style 8 & Technics SL-1200
Article By Noel Keywood


Hi-Fi World March 2016


  With its huge market and great wealth, the USA produces products that the UK could never support – and we see only half of it. Many US companies don't even bother to export – it isn't worth the effort. Overseas sales are minuscule compared to their own – and that includes the UK. Perhaps sometime the UK economy will forge ahead, when we at last re-embrace manufacturing on the sort of scale Japan and Germany manage to achieve, but in the meantime we can at least enjoy some of what the USA produces, even if it is often pricey. I'm thinking of Martin Logan, McIntosh and Audio Research in particular. They all produce hi-fi of unusual style and quality and that's why I review the new Reference 75 SE power amplifier from Audio Research this month – see p10. What a beast it was! Of enormous size and solid build, with a slick but at the same time restrained and authentic professional style, the Reference 75 SE was a lovely piece of Americana. I hope you find it interesting: just remember, you may win the Lottery tomorrow!

Reviewer Jon Myles and I were mightily impressed by Quadral's new Chromium Style 8 loudspeaker. It comes over as silky smooth, incredibly refined and yet deeply insightful without being pushy about it. This is one fine piece of German (yes – again) engineering. The irony for me is that once the British sound – after the example set by the BBC with its monitors – was very much in this idiom, whilst Germany produced a product better suited to their brass bands, we used to observe. It's not like that any more. Now Germany has swung to a preferred taste for deep refinement and accuracy, leaving us Brits a bit all at sea. And now Quadral offer a loudspeaker that is so svelte yet cooly accurate at a price most of us can afford – see our review on p15. I think they're teaching granny how to suck eggs. Oh shame.

I've had my head into low speed DC motor technology recently, known in hi-fi as Direct Drive. It's come a long way since the seventies: even washing machines use 'em nowadays and digital controllers are everywhere. DD is as much about electronic motor commutation with feedback servo control – a fierce subject – as it is about coils, magnets and rotating bits. Inevitable then that Technics should re-design their famous SL-1210 disco turntable motor and re-release a new version of it, the SL-1200 – see News on p7. Oh what excitement! The vinyl market is really heating up. We will be bringing you much more on all this soon – as you'll see in Next Issue contents on p112. So dig out your vinyl and keep reading!


--- Noel Keywood, editor.



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