Icon Audio's Stereo 60 MkIII
amplifier on our front cover this month might have been used in Bank power
station before it became Tate Modern and they did away with massive
voltmeters. But that is all part of its retro chic. As are the glowing valves
and its eerily iridescent voltage regulator. The real point of interest though
are those lovely looking KT150 valves that conjure up visions of another
London building, the Gherkin, just a little way from Bank. These look
altogether more modern – and that's the point: they are a new design,
better built, more robust and with a better sound than much of what has gone
before. You can find out more about this amplifier on p10 of this issue.
Music streaming from computer to hi-fi is a popular activity
these days and nearly every manufacturer is in on the act. Cyrus are easily
able to hold their own in this field, as you'll find when reading our review
on p14 of their new Stream Xa, with its glorious colour-screen remote control.
A venerable idea in high fidelity is the active loudspeaker.
With electronic equalisation and power amplifiers on-board, actives have a lot
of potential benefits. Unfortunately, they are usually squandered in the
design process. Quadral of Germany take a stab at an active, bringing us the
Orkan VIII active that we review on p28. See how it manages to avoid the
pitfalls to come out shining.
On page 83 we look at another active loudspeaker, but this
time at the other end of the size and price scale, the NuForce Cube. It's
powered and it uses NuForce Class D amplifiers. In spite of its tiny size it
even has an on-board DAC to convert digital to analogue. OK, it isn't true
high fidelity but it is a fascinating little loudspeaker that will wow
old ideas updated like modern power valves or active loudspeakers, to new
technologies like streamers, this month's Hi-Fi World has it all. I hope you
enjoy its great selection of products and reviews.
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