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Volume 8 No. 4
October / November / December 2014


Reviewed In This Issue

HIFICRITIC Volume 8 Number 4  October / November / December 2014
2 TAS' HP Passing And Meridian's MQA Compression Technology
Editorial By Paul Messenger

4 Stan's Safari 28
Stan scrutinises the source of all hi-fi power mains electricity

6 Kaos Rules
Paul Messenger tries out the extraordinary Anglo-Swiss Soundkaos Wave 40

8 Reviving The LS5/9
Graham Audio has reincarnated the BBC LS5/9, a compact stand-mount monitor

12 Music Without Wires (Or Standards)
It's getting easier to stream music wirelessly, but there's no shortage of competing standards to confuse consumers, says Andrew Everard

17 Cheap But Very Cheerful
Dali's Zensor 1 is reportedly a serious loudspeaker bargain. Paul Messenger checks out the rumour mill and is very impressed

NVA is back and trading on eBay. Paul Messenger tries out its very affordable Balanced Mains Unit

19 Henry DAC
Chris Bryant tries an 'open source' mail-order DAC from Norway

20 Naim NDS Plus 2x 555PS
Martin Colloms tries out Naim's flagship NDS streamer/DAC with twin 555PS power supplies. Does streamed audio replay get any better than this?

22 I'm Spartacus
Thrax's valve-based Spartacus power amp has really got Chris Bryant going

25 Valve Audio Devices DAC-12 DSD
Andrew Harrison gets to grips with an idiosyncratic but undoubtedly interesting DA from Valve Audio Devices.
Review By Andrew Harrison

28 SF Olympica II
Martin Colloms scrutinises Sonus Faber's Olympica II floorstander

32 Motovation
Neat's Motive SX2 is unquestionably one of the cutest speakers around

34 Sandwich Anybody?
60 years on, Martin Colloms re-assesses the Leak's famous Sandwich loudspeaker

36 VAC Signature MK IIa
Rafael Todes tries out VAC's Signature Mk IIa pre-amplifier, with some extra help from Martin Colloms

39 Apple's Surprising Earpod
Martin Colloms reviews Apple's low cost velocity in-ear phones

40 To DAC Or Not To DAC?
Trying out the all-analogue Sennheiser HDVA 600 and the digital-input HDVD 800 headphone amplifiers

42 Trilogy 933/900
Martin Colloms assesses a very interesting and serious two-box headphone amplifier

44 Bits & Pieces
Vertex AQ HiRez Solfonn interconnects and Philips Fidelio X2 headphones

45 Baby Red
Paul Messenger reviewed the Russell K RED
100 in the last edition, so here's its baby 'RED 50' brother

46 HIFICRITIC Awards 2014
Our retrospective awards come in three forms: Audio Excellence, Recommended and Best Buys

48 Towards The Peak Of Normal
Just as it seems to be enjoying a revival, Mark Prendergast looks at the roots and the flowering of prog rock,

52 Favourite Things
Russell Kauffman chooses ten favourites from his record collection

54 Jazz Picks
Greg Drygala chooses six jazz releases, three of which have a Christmas theme

56 The Best Of Classical
Colin Anderson picks a selection of recent classical recordings

58 Rock, Pop And Other Nice Music
The Chord Company's Nigel Finn picks and reviews six recent releases

59 Subjective Sounds
Summarising three months of politicking and reviewing



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