Hi-Fi+

  1. dCS announce Vivaldi One digital player

    Editor's Note: The UK press were given an exclusive preview of the dCS Vivaldi One, in the run-up to the Munich High End show, but were under strict embargo not to divulge details until the morning of the show. The new £55,000 Vivaldi One is essentially like folding the transport, DAC, and upsampler of the dCS Vivaldi into a single box that stands just over an inch higher than the existing transport. It delivers comparable performance to the three separate boxes, and the new finishes look outstanding in the flesh. We hope to look at one soon. From the dCS...

  2. Avantgarde Acoustics Zero - Teil Aktiv loudspeaker

    We collectively missed the boat when it comes to the clever Avantgarde Acoustics Zero XD, a fully active, complete system built into two loudspeakers. We missed the boat on this because when it was launched, Avantgarde Acoustics was between distributors in the UK. That all changed at the tail end of last year, as Convert (the company behind the excellent Plato media player) took over distribution, just in time for the Zero – Teil Aktiv. If your German is as rusty as mine (I once asked to try a different kind of beer, and instead got the same beer… with...

  3. Westone Laboratories W80 universal-fit earphone

    Long-term Hi-Fi+ readers will know that Westone Laboratories, a Colorado Springs, Colorado-based firm, is a quiet giant in the world of hearing and music-related in-ear devices and technologies. With good reason the company’s slogan is, “Westone: The In-Ear Experts.” Unlike the many small ‘boutique’ firms common in the high-end audio industry, Westone is a large company with five distinct divisions focusing on custom ear-mould products; audiology supply products; digital, industrial, and personal hearing protection products; military earpieces; and—last but certainly not least, professional and personal music earphones. One key point to note is that each of these five divisions has...

  4. Exclusive Munich Preview: Nordost QKORE grounding system

    Sometimes we as journalists are privy to items way prior to their launch. Such is the case with Nordost’s QKORE trio of ground units. I was told about these at CES this year, but was so sworn to secrecy that they appeared as ‘Nordost stuff’ and later ‘Nordost Q Project’ on our internal planning documents. Even Nordost’s distributors will only learn of this product line by reading this review as the devices are released into the wild at Munich High End in the middle of May. The popularity, efficacy, and use of ground units appears to be a comparatively recent...

  5. Boulder Amplifiers 865 integrated amplifier

    Integrated amplifiers are a favourite category of kit for me. For many audiophiles, it is simply not practical to find a home for a huge power amplifier along-side an expensive pre-amp and then outlay a bundle on the requisite cables to string the system together. The process is either a space or a budget buster and let’s not bring up the ‘WAF’. Despite this, integrated amps get a bad rap in some audio circles. No ‘true’ audiophile could claim that title and compromise with ‘just’ an integrated. On the other hand, the discerning audiophile can one up his snobby brethren,...

  6. Munich Preview Exclusive: Gryphon Diablo 120 Amplifier and Mojo S Loudspeaker system

    There may well be more than one way to skin a cat but there are only two ways to build a hi-fi system: by far the most common is to mix and match components in the pursuit of a combination that allows each of its various parts to excel. Less common, more purist and definitely more challenging is the creation of a single brand system, one in which all the major elements come from a single designer or design team. The advantages of such an approach appear obvious yet in practice they often prove elusive. The problem is that few...

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