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HIFICRITIC     January / February / March 2022


HIFICRITIC Volume 16 Number 1 January / February / March 2022


Reviews & Articles Within This Issue
2 Editorial: Remembering Max Townshend
Max long held an ambition to design the whole audio chain.
Editorial By Martin Colloms


4 Alan Gibb
The MD of cable experts The Chord
Company on designing and listening
to wires, and why the manufacturer is
expanding into new fields.


8 Stan's Safari
Is zero feedback the ideal for amplifier
design, or does it bring its own problems?
Stan Curtis considers....


10 Linn Klimax DSM
The flagship streamer is now revised, refined
and fitted with the company's first in-house
DAC. With wide-ranging flexibility, could this
be the best network player you can buy?
Martin Colloms thinks it might be.


14 Chord Mojo 2
The new version of this trendsetting
pocket DAC/headphone amp, now packed
with more innovative Chord Electronics
technology, is more than just an object of
desire. In fact, it could just be the only digital
converter you'll ever need.


17 Dan D'Agostino Progression Integrated Amplifier
Much more than just a hugely powerful onebox
amplifier, the modular design here allows
the Progression Integrated to be customised
to your needs.


22 Rega System One
Much delayed by pandemic and more,
Rega's all-in-one vinyl replay system is a
compelling first time buy, with plenty of
future upgrade potential.


25 What Makes A Great Headphone Amplifier?
The 'head-fi' market is bristling with dedicate
amplifiers for your headphones – but,
asks Keith Howard, what are the qualities
required for optimal personal listening?


30 Audio-GD Master-19
Direct from China and with massive power
on offer, this high-end headphone amplifier
piques Kevin Fiske's interest.


32 Meze Audio Liric
Combining planar magnetic drivers and a
closed-back design, are these headphones a
compromise? Ed Selley suggests the unusual
configuration may actually be ideal.


HIFICRITIC Volume 16 Number 1 January / February / March 2022


34 Naim NAP 250 DR
The basic design may be more than 40 years
old, but in its latest form Naim's slimline
powerhouse well deserves its classic status,
says Martin Colloms.


40 Arcam ST60
Although it's far from the first network
player on the market, Arcam's late arrival at
the streaming ball makes quite an impact,
thanks to smooth operation – and sound.


43 Audio Note CD5.1X
Chris Frankland wasn't sure moving back to
a one-box CD player was a great idea, but
the Audio Note flagship soon put him right.


45 Neat Acoustics Majistra
The latest iteration of Neat's innovative
speaker design is an unashamedly expensive
– but superb-sounding – standmounter.


47 Gold Note PH-10/PSU-10
Sensibly-priced, solidly-built and with all the
flexibility to keep vintage vinyl enthusiasts
happy, this phono stage is a delight.


49 Boenicke W5
Chris Kelly wasn't prepared for just how
small these speakers would be – nor for the
superb sound they delivered in his system!


51 Astell&Kern Acro CA1000
It may look like one of the company's
players in a dock, but this unusual player/
DAC/headphone amplifier, complete with
futuristic styling, has hidden talents.


53 Acoustic Energy AE320
They may look entirely conventional, but
these slender floorstanding speakers are
both highly developed and addictive, too.


56 Q Acoustics Concept 30
Drawing on the company's flagship models,
these new standmount speakers are superb
performers – with fiddly stands!


58 Music
Views on releases old and new, from the
latest classic arrivals to jazz and more on
DSD – and some enticing secondhand stars.


64 Soundstage
There's no substitute for a real music collection,
whether it's kept on discs or hard disks: Andrew
Everard may be viewed as a Luddite by some of
his more 'forwardthinking' acquaintances, but he's
glad he's not reliant on a decent Internet connection
for all his listening.
Article By Andrew Everard




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