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Volume 10 No. 1
January / February / March 2016


HIFICRITIC Volume 10 Number 1 January / February / March 2016


Reviewed In This Issue

3 We Have Another Great Issue... Including Our Annual Awards
Editorial By Paul Messenger


4 Stan's Safari No33
Stan explores the backwater of component microphony, while packing everything up for a house move.


6 Money, Money, Money
It's A Rich Man's World (Abba 1976). Julian Musgrave muses on inflation and value in High End Audio.


9 Rega Apheta 2 + Aphelion
Rega has upgraded its Apheta cartridge and added an upmarket Aphelion derivative. Paul Messenger reports.


10 Man Of Note
Chris Frankland talks to Audio Note UK boss Peter Qvortrup about his 35 years in hi-fi, and some exciting new developments


13 Missing Link Passion Amplifier
Kevin Fiske examines an interesting new interconnect


14 Leadingedge Panels
Paul Messenger finds that Vertex AQ's ‘Leadingedge' panels are a most effective form of room treatment


16 Heco Direkt
This daringly different loudspeaker has exceptional sensitivity and an evenhanded balance, as Paul Messenger discovers


18 Private Investigations
Keith Howard explores the ideal headphone frequency response, and envisages further developments


22 The Road To Great Bass
Peter Truce explains why and how multiple subwoofers and heavyweight filtering are necessary to deliver seriously smooth bass in the listening room


25 Soundsmith Zephyr Mimc
Chris Bryant encounters an unusual high end cartridge


26 Eclipse TD712zMK2:
Never mind balance or bandwidth, this ‘dinosaur egg' speaker is all about timing – ‘TD' in Eclipse-speak


28 Naim's Dr Technology
Does the Naim Statement research programme constitute a revolution in amplifier design and technology?


34 ATC SCM11
Martin Colloms discovers a compact but powerful sealed-box, two-way, stand-mount loudspeaker


37 Allnic HPA5000
Rafael Todes tries a transformerless valve headphone amplifier


38 Benchmark DAC2 HGC
Chris Bryant tries a compact yet unusually versatile DAC/pre-amp/headphone amplifier


41 Astell&Kern AK500 NAS
From a company known for hi-res pocket music players comes a high-end ‘network audio system'. Andrew Everard investigates


44 Bristol 2016
Jason Kennedy reports from the biggest British hi-fi show on the calendar


46 Musical Timing
Martin Colloms and Stephen N. Harris pick favourite tracks for assessing musical rhythm and timing


49 Bits & Pieces
Short reports on SC Platinum interconnects and Wychwood Audionics


50 HIFICRITIC Awards 2015
Our retrospective Awards include Audio Excellence, Recommended and Best Buy components


52 HIFICRITIC Index To Vol9 (2015)


54 Krautrock
Mark Prendergast examines Germany's crucial contribution to the music of the 1970s


56 Jazz Picks
Greg Drygala picks several recent jazz releases


58 Classical
Colin Anderson picks a number of classical releases


60 Subj Sounds
Paul Messenger encounters a gorgeous but flawed Estonian speaker



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