Australian HiFi January - February 2020

Australian HiFi is the definitive magazine for discerning listeners and Hi-Fi enthusiasts. Every issue is packed with equipment and music reviews, new product information and ‘how-to’ articles. Australian Hi-Fi magazine is dedicated to helping you find the best quality sound for your home.

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in this issue

2 min
the future is future…

Keen-eyed readers may have noticed something slightly different about our first issue for 2020. No, it’s not that we’ve updated our ‘50 Year’ Anniversary logo—though we’re very proud of that as we know of only one other hi-fi magazine in the world that’s been able to celebrate a 50th anniversary. No, what you should have noticed is that there’s now a ‘Future’ logo above the barcode. Yes, Future Publishing Australia, the Australian division of the giant UK-based publisher Future plc, is the new owner of Australian Hi-Fi Magazine. This is exciting news for everyone here at Australian Hi-Fi Magazine, because Future plc is an award-winning, global multi-platform media company that publishes more than 80 magazine titles across 56 countries, primarily in specialist consumer sectors such as music, photography, computers, computer software,…

2 min
mcintosh c53 preamplifier

The recently-released McIntosh C53 is the first product to feature McIntosh’s new DA2 Digital Audio Module (DAM) which is upgradeable. The DA2 Digital Audio Module builds upon the DA1 already fitted to many McIntosh products because in addition to having all the same connections as the DA1 (2 coaxial, 2 optical, 1 USB and 1 proprietary MCT for use with McIntosh’s MCT series of SACD/CD Transports), it also has an HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) input (audio only). This allows it to be connected to video components with HDMI (ARC) output to bring screen sound to a new level. The HDMI input converts multi-channel Dolby and DTS audio to stereo for proper playback through the C53. The DA2’s USB input can support native playback of up to DSD512, surpassing the DSD256…

2 min
technics grand class sl-1200g

The Technics Grand Class SL-1200G turntable is finally available in Australia, four years after its launch. Launched globally in 2016, the SL-1200G combines a coreless direct-drive motor, precise motor control technology, a high-rigidity platter and a 230mm magnesium tonearm with a gimbal pivot. Technics’ unique coreless motor eliminates the tiny variations in rotational speed, known as ‘cogging’, that affect most direct drive turntables. ‘The SL-1200G provides the smoothest possible rotary control by the use of an encoder at the bottom of the motor which detects the precise rotating angle,’ said Aaron Waters, Product Marketing Manager (Audio and Video) at Panasonic Australia, which distributes Technics. ‘Furthermore, a twin rotator construction reduces the bearing load while maintaining high torque and also limits minute vibration during rotation. This makes it possible to reproduce…

2 min
the hi–fi headlines

It’s been a busy month at Len Wallis Audio. Firstly we were honoured to receive a ‘Cinema Design Gold Award’ from Sound+Image magazine for one of the dedicated Home Theatres we completed this year. This was a very special project. It is a 13.4.6 Atmos theatre featuring the highest number of Meridian Active speakers used in a domestic theatre anywhere in the world. This project also picked up a Silver award at the CE Pro awards earlier this year in the US. Plus, we have just seen the return of a legend to Len Wallis Audio – we are stocking Technics turntables again, after a hiatus of a few decades. This has been a long time coming, but Technics were obviously content to take their time to get it right, and…

1 min
meze audio rai solo

Romanian high-end audio company Meze Audio has released the Rai Solo in-ear monitor, a lower-priced version of the Meze Audio Rai Penta IEM. ‘Meze Audio intends that its Rai Solo becomes the IEM of choice for entry-level audiophiles,’ said Christopher Strom, General Manager of Radiance AudioVisual, which distributes Meze in Australia. ‘The Rai Solo promises users an affordable way to immerse themselves into a pure listening experience while enjoying the ergonomic elegant design that is typical of Meze products.’ ‘The Rai Solo shares a lot of design philosophy DNA with our flagship, Rai Penta,’ said Antonio Meze, founder and lead designer at Meze Audio. ‘The two have a similar shape, with soft rounded edges that are designed to embrace the natural curves from one’s ear so they fit perfectly.’ The Rai…

1 min
anthem mdx

Canadian amplifier manufacturer Anthem Electronics has released what it claims is the world’s most advanced and versatile multi-zone distribution amplifier system, its Anthem MDX Series. MDX modules are rated at 60-watts into 8Ω per channel, with both 8-channel (i.e., four stereo amplifiers) and 16-channel (eight stereo amplifiers) modules available. Amplifier topology is Class-D. Each one has independent Anthem Room Correction (ARC), bass management, bass/treble adjustments, and level control settings, plus there’s a 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analogue converter (DAC). ‘Anthem’s digital/analogue matrix switching allows any analogue RCA, digital coaxial, or digital optical input to be assigned to any output—either pre-configured via the web interface or switched in real-time via IP/RS-232—using customized pre-set DSP settings if required,’ said Bruce Thierbach, General Manager of Audio Active. ‘Amplifier channels can be bridged for increased power and a…