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HIFICRITIC     July / August / September 2022


HIFICRITIC Volume 16 Number 3 July / August / September 2022


Reviews & Articles Within This Issue
2 The Future Of Audio
The global hi-fi industry continues to develop and innovate.
Editorial By Andrew Everard


4 James Johnson –Flint And Stuart George
The brains behind Cambridge Audio explain the company's
success, and plans for its future development.


8 Stan's Safari 
Stan Curtis understands the booming interest in vintage
equipment, if not the prices – he offers some buying hints.


10 dCS Rossini Apex DAC 
Martin Colloms gets to grips with the latest version of the
British company's network DAC, and finds it transformed.


15 HiFi Rose RA 180 
Hot on the heels of the Korean company's network products
comes its first amplifier: and it's as innovative within as it's
apparently bonkers on the outside.


19 Pro-Ject X8 And DS3 B 
The latest addition to the massive Pro-Ject turntable range
is balanced record players and phono stages. Ed Selley takes
a listen.


22 Kimber Kable Naked Cable 
Martin listens to the American company's stripped-back
interconnect, and discovers that less really can be more.


24 Listening In Color 
The stereo image has been a subject of much controversy
– Keith Howard wonders whether we can examine it in
visual terms, and how that can help us understand it.


28 Double Denon 
The Japanese company has just launched two new amplifiers
 – the PMA-900HNE and the PMA-1700NE. Andrew Everard
brings them together to compare and contrast.


32 Acoustic Energy AE509 
Chris Kelly was keen to sample the British-based company's
flagship range, and he wasn't disappointed by this compact
floorstanding design.


34 Vitus Audio RI-101 MkII 
Chris Frankland is keen to listen to this big integrated amp
from Denmark – if he can manage to lift it, that is!


HIFICRITIC Volume 16 Number 3 July / August / September 2022


36 Lumin U2 Mini 
The entry-level network transport from the Hong Kong company
is a superb performer, says Andrew Everard.


39 iFi Audio Zen One Signature 
Affordable, flexible and fine sounding, this DAC is an excellent
choice for many systems.


Silent Angel Bonn N8 Data Switch Review

41: Silent Angel Bonn N8 Data Switch Review
The Silent Angel Bonn N8 already has an audiophile following, but Martin Colloms says adding the Forester F1 power supply further levitates its performance.
Review By Martin Colloms
Thunder Data, the primary company responsible for the Silent Angel products was founded by two Chinese research engineers – Dr. Huang Jian and Chorus Chuang – specializing in both hardware and software development and engineering, and they have several patents in this field. Features of the already highly-regarded Bonn N8 eight-port Ethernet switch, which sells for £399, include fully balanced input and output transformers for every port, though it must be said that pretty much all such network connections are done this way even on low-cost Netgear switches. Further additions include damping pads on many internal components to reduce induced jitter from audio-related vibration, and the use of a low-noise high-stability reference clock to upgrade it to an audio-quality computer network switch.
---> Silent Angel Bonn N8 Data Switch Review.


42 Caylin C9 
It measures atrociously, but Keith Howard likes the way this
headphone amp sounds.


45 Streaming On A Budget 
How do you set up a network audio system without spending
a fortune? Steve Harris has been experimenting.


49 Pro-Ject MaiA S3 
It may be tiny, but this novel integrated amplifier is a
powerful performer.


49 Copland CSA70 
The Danish company's entry-level integrated has
Chris Kelly delighted.


51 Leema Acoustics Stream IV 
Want to stream music and play your CDs? Look no further than
Welsh company Leema, says Andrew Everard.


Aurosound Vida MKII Phono Stage Review

53: Aurosound Vida MKII Phono Stage Review
This phono stage looks much like its predecessor, but sensible upgrades have boosted the performance.
Review By Chris Bryant
Selling from £3659 ($5290 USD) depending on configuration, the MkII has retained the steel chassis of the original, launched in 2011, with extruded aluminum front and rear panels, and the high-quality wood sleeve into which it slots. It stands on machined aluminum feet with rubber 'O' rings inset in their bases. Build tolerance and finish are very good with vintage retro styling. There's a new 0.8m-long DC umbilical cable supplied with the MkII which links the off-board power supply to the amplifier, and this has been specifically designed to enhance performance.
---> Aurosound Vida MKII Phono Stage Review.


55 Living Voice Auditorium R25 Anniversary 
Martin Colloms delights in the sound of these remarkable
British-built floorstanding loudspeakers.


58 Music 
Our views on releases old and new.


64 Soundstage 
Andrew Everard suggests some money-saving hi-fi strategies.




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