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HIFICRITIC     April / May / June 2021


HIFICRITIC Volume 15 Number 2 April / May / June 2021


Reviews & Articles Within This Issue
2 Good Health And Relaxed Reading
We have many interesting reviews within this issue of HIFICRITIC.
Editorial By Martin Colloms


4 Roy Gandy 
Rega's founder on why the past year has seen his company not just surviving, but thriving: sales are up, as is the pace of development, and he's already eyeing further expansion.


8 Stan's Safari 
Stan keeps on searching for the ultimate speaker, even if it's not too good for your health – and reviews a book diving deep into the world of horn speakers.


Vertere Techno Mat Review

Vertere Techno Mat Review
A change almost comparable to a significant cartridge upgrade.
Review By Martin Colloms
Call me a mat sceptic: it's not that I am against accessory mats but rather that I have tried numerous examples on my highly-spec'ed Linn LP12, and so far have not found better than the current thin, designed and calibrated density, black wool felt example Linn provides. I recall extensive tests on the LP12 some eleven years ago (July Aug Sept 2009 issue) where I even went as far as to check the sound difference for the Linn mat for the normal side up and then when inverted: yes, there was a small difference as felt manufacture involves laying the wool fibres such that there is a graded density with thickness. The 'correct' upper side is a better impedance match in the mid treble for the audio vibrations induced in the LP disc by the speaker-generated soundfield, and also from the stylus tip reaction while tracking the music modulations.
---> Vertere Techno Mat for turntables review.


10 Vertere SG-1 
This isn't just a turntable, but a complete record-playing system, from the way the motor is driven to the cartridge, mat and even an isolation shelf. Martin Colloms examines all the engineering.


17 Wilson Audio Sabrina X 
Almost five years on from his review of the original Sabrina, Martin Colloms finds much to like in this latest version of the company's most compact floorstanding speaker, not with design and technology enhancements.


22 Dali Oberon 7C 
Featuring wireless connectivity at up to 96kHz/24-bit, and supplied complete with a 'base station' with streaming capability, Dali's active floorstanders have Kevin Fiske confronting some of his prejudices.


24 Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition 
The latest version of Naim's most compact all-in-one streaming system has ditched the power amps in favour of an appeal to the 'head-fi' enthusiast. But there's rather more to it than that: it's also a preamplifier, as Andrew Everard discovers.


HIFICRITIC Volume 15 Number 2 April / May / June 2021


27 KEF KC62 
It may only measure about 25cm on each side, but thanks to powerful amplification and innovative technology, this little cube has the wherewithal to rewrite the subwoofer rule-book, says Martin Colloms.


32 High-End Headphones 
Focal has reinvented its Clear headphones with magnesium drivers, while T+A has a more affordable version of its Solitaire P debut model. Ed Selley looks at these upmarket designs, listens, and draws some surprising conclusions.


35 Kerr Acoustics KC300 Mk3 
With its roots in the world of professional audio, this transmission-line standmount speaker is something truly special, according to Chris Frankland.


37 Michi X3 
This may be the more affordable of the two new integrated amplifiers from Rotel's 'halo' brand, but with both power and poise it's a sensation, says Andrew Everard.


41 KEF LS50 Wireless MkII 
The latest version of KEF's 'system in a speaker' active standmounters have been given the Metamaterials treatment for enhanced performance. Martin Colloms logs in, adjusts and listens.


44 Kudos Cardea C10 
The British company has revisited one of its earliest speaker designs with a raft of sound-enhancing upgrades. All the work has paid off, says Ed Selley.


46 Tape Modulation Noise 
There's currently a revival of interest in the use of open-reel tape, fuelled by new releases on tape, and even some very exotic new recorders. Keith Howard's not sure this is really 'ultimate analogue', as he explains.


50 Rogers E20A/II 
This classic valve integrated amplifier has been revived under the current ownership, and it's being handbuilt here in the UK once more. Chris Frankland is impressed.


52 Dynaudio Special Forty Anniversary 
These superb-quality compact standmounts speakers have Chris Kelly delighted – but he says you'll have to put in the effort to hear them at their best.


55 Harold Budd 
Mark Prendergast pays tribute to the highly influential composer, performer and collaborator.


60 The Music
The latest classical releases, new jazz and more on DSD, plus vinyl finds.


64 Soundstage 
Steve Harris charts the stuttering relaunch of music playback software Audirvāna.




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