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HIFICRITIC     July / August / September 2021


HIFICRITIC Volume 15 Number 3 July / August / September 2021


Reviews & Articles Within This Issue
2 Editorial: Ideas, Discoveries, And Upgrades
Plus listening to a $1,000,000 sound system.
Editorial By Martin Colloms


4 Heinz Lichtenegger 
High-value products that sound good – that's the very
simple philosophy of the founder of Pro-Ject. He talks
about how it all started, and what his plans are for the future.


8 Stan's Safari 
Stan examines how changes in the way we listen have
influenced the demands placed on amplification, from
the arrival of CD to the modern age of streaming music.


10 Wilson Audio Chronosonic XVX 
Though this may be the 'standard' version of the WAMM
Chronosonic XVX, it's anything but normal: Martin Colloms
gets to grips with the extraordinary engineering, and
remarkable sound, of this huge and striking-looking loudspeaker,
and listens to it in a system with a near-$1,000,000 pricetag.


23 Cambridge Audio Evo 150 
The London-based company launches an assault on the
all-in-one streaming audio system arena with a wonderfully
stylish, flexible and fine-sounding model, with industrial
design to match its superb sound.


27 Linn Karosel
An all-new bearing is the latest upgrade for the long-running
Linn LP12, still the turntable of choice in the Colloms system.
He compares old and new, and finds it brings marked benefits
– as does a Dynamik upgrade to his LP12's power supply.


31 AURALiC Altair G2.1 
The latest version of Auralic's network player/preamp is even
more ambitious – it even has a phono stage! – and proves a
highly capable heart for any digital based system,
says Andrew Everard.


HIFICRITIC Volume 15 Number 3 July / August / September 2021


34 Noise Cancelling Investigated 
The ability to exclude external distractions via digital processing
is now found in many headphones, but does it steal the music, too?
Keith Howard takes a closer look at this popular technology.


38 CEC'S Digital Duo 
Kevin Fiske takes a listen to an unashamedly CD-only transport
and DAC combination from the long-established Japanese
manufacturer, complete with a proprietary digital link, and
comes away highly impressed. Well, almost....


41 Cyrus i7 XR 
The shoebox shape of the latest amplifier from the Cyrus
stable may be familiar, but Ed Selley finds this is the most
significant upgrade in a decade.


43 Austrian Expertise
Austrian Audio is rapidly building a reputation for headphones
and more, in the pro audio market and beyond. Keith Howard
assesses two of its core models.


46 Franco SerblinAccordo
This luxury standmount speaker clearly shows its late
designer's roots, and the sound is entrancing, says Ed Selley.


48 Denafrips Terminator Plus 
There's a lot of Internet buzz about the DACs from this
Chinese brand. Kevin Fiske takes a long listen, and finds
patience is a virtue.


46 Audio Note Pallas II 
Not one, but four new digital interconnects from Audio Note,
at prices ranging from almost £1200 for a metre: Chris Frankland
crunches the numbers and explores further.


50 McIntosh MCD85 
This latest arrival from upstate New York may not look much
like an SACD/CD player, but Chris Kelly discovers it sounds
like a very good example of the breed. It even makes his
TV sound better!


54 Townshend Audio Allegri Revised 
The latest version of Townshend's passive line controller
features wholesale changes, from the display to the feet,
and Martin Colloms finds it sounds better than ever.


56 Edwards Audio TT4 
British designed, engineered and assembled, this value for
money turntable, supplied complete with unipivot arm and
cartridge, is a conspicuous bargain, says Chris Kelly.


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


64 SoundStage
Are we all too busy being serious about our systems to kick back and have fun with the music? A game of 'pass the Bluetooth' at a party has Andrew Everard wondering....
Article By Andrew Everard
Yes, our hi-fi systems are there to be refined, optimised and listened to with rapt attention paid to every nuance – but are we losing some of the fun of just enjoying the music? Andrew Everard's been wondering... As a hi-fi reviewer, I get used to the incredulous reaction when I tell people what I do for a living: 'What?' they almost invariably exclaim, 'You get paid to listen to music?' That one's a bit akin to the way some bristle a bit when I says I'm a journalist, then relax considerably when I explain what I write about: 'Oh, not a real journalist, then,' was the best response to that one. But for all that, doing what I do has treated me pretty well over the years; yes, I get to listen to great music played on usually fairly excellent equipment, and there's always something to pique the interest and lead to further explanations.
---> SoundStage article by Andrew Everard.




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