Complexity breeds bewilderment – and it shows as digital gets ever more complicated. Audio seems to be creeping toward AV where, these days, an AV receiver comes with arrays of proprietary technologies on-board, most of them pretty superfluous, like Hall mode where echo is added. Once a few technology logos from Dolby or DTS were acceptable; now you'll see lines of such logos.
Manufacturers in the audio sector are slowly taking on-board proprietary technologies such as aptX and DSD, a variant of PDM that is registered to Sony. You'll see plenty of talk in our Letters this month about this technological creep. Some manufacturers tackle it head on though and Pro-Ject's Pre Box Digital DS2 and its matching Class D Power Box DS2, reviewed on page 14 by Martin Pipe, is a fine example of a compact, room friendly design that just about does it all when it comes to music replay.
Do you want to use a Class D 'digital' amplifier? Well, if you insist on large amounts of power, meaning at least 100 Watts, in a compact case that runs cool, there's little else. Hypex Class D modules give great measured results nowadays and a sound that is squeaky clean: none of the 'broken glass' treble Class D was once infamous for. So don't be put off by the reputation of Class D – things have changed. That's why Power Box DS2 is unusual in making simple what is inside very complex.
Whilst the world moves ahead technologically, some look back at old values and attempt to re-create them. Morgan do it in cars, Royal Enfield and Triumph in motorcycles and Tannoy in loudspeakers. Few manufacturers these days use big 12" drive units, where once it was the mark of a serious loudspeaker. Tannoy move inexorably ahead with yet another model equipped with their massive 12" Dual Concentric drive unit. Read all about what old-tech (updated!) offers on page 10 in this issue.
As hi-fi gets ever more complex we try to make it easier to understand and more enjoyable to use. I hope you like what we bring you in our great November issue of Hi-Fi World.