Australian HiFi May - June 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.

Future Publishing Ltd
$9.99 per month after trial

in this issue

3 min
i miss the record companies

That heading probably has a few long-time readers of Australian Hi-Fi spluttering into their home-made cappuccinos. Actually, that’s one of the things I most miss in these coronavirus times… being able to amble down to my local coffee shop and enjoy a cap in the sun while I’m reading the day’s news (on real news-print of course!). I know I can go down and get one at arm’s length to bring home, but it’s just not the same. But it’s all necessary. Luckily, I lost my mobile phone before I had to consider whether to load the tracking app. Now I’m wondering whether to replace my phone at all. Maybe the government will provide me with a free one with the app already loaded. That would be nice. Anyway, back…

2 min
astell&kern a&norma sr25

Astell&Kern has introduced a second model to its A&norma line-up, the SR25, a high-res portable capable of 384/32 PCM and DSD256 playback that a battery life that enables 21 hours of continuous play time, more than double that of the previous generation SR15 model, the longest battery life of any Astell&Kern player and, according to George Poutakidis, double that of any other hi-res player. ‘The SR25 is the second model in the Astell&Kern A&norma standard line,’ said Poutakidis, of BusiSoft AV, which distributes Astell&Kern in Australia. ‘The very first Astell&Kern AK70 delivered high-resolution audio and the Astell&Kern sound, and that continued with the successor to the AK70, the A&norma SR15, and now evolves further with this new SR25, a premium product that fully embraces Astell&Kern’s philosophy and technology.’ The new SR25 has…

2 min
apl dsd-ar dac

APL has just released its ‘most affordable’ DAC, the APL DSD-AR, which retails in Australia for $12,990. It’s a full-featured DAC with USB, coaxial RCA and AES/EBU XLR digital inputs. The USB input is capable of converting PCM up to 384kHz/32-bit and up to DSD256. The coaxial and AES digital inputs accept up to 192kHz/24-bit. As with APL’s top-line converters, the DSD-AR DAC converts PCM to DSD128 or DSD256 for digital-to-analogue conversion, with the re-sampling rate user-selectable via remote control. Filter selection is also user-selectable, with a choice between ‘Normal’, ‘Slow Roll-off’ and ‘Zero’. Analogue output is also switch-selectable, between unbalanced (RCA) and balanced (XLR). APL Hi-Fi was established in 1988 in Ruse, Bulgaria, by Alex Peychev, with the motto ‘No Boundaries’. Unlike most other manufacturers, Peychev designs his products to have…

1 min
aqua linq

Italian manufacturer Aqua has re-leased the LinQ, a new Network Audio Interface based entirely around discrete modules, each of which is optimised for one single function. The first two modules available are the RAAT (Roon Ready) module and a UPnP DLNA streaming module, with the company saying it will add more modules later. Each LinQ can accom-modate up to four modules. Indeed the LinQ takes the ‘modular’ concept to the extreme, because each module even has its own dedicated power supply. ‘In addition to the optimisation of each function, this architecture guarantees an exceptional possibility of future upgrades,’ says Mike Kirkham of Ma-genta Audio, which distributes Aqua in Australia. In another unusual move, the Aqua LinQ does not use a USB interface: output is via AQlink, a proprietary I2S connection. The…

2 min
ayon audio s-10 mkii updated

Austrian manufacturer Ayon Audio says its changed dramatically, so it has released a MkII model that is Roon ready and can be optionally fitted with an in-built solid-state drive. ‘Essentially, the company has rede-signed the S-10 by refining and expanding its original modular concept so that the new Mk II version can be individually configured in different versions to specifically address each specific buyer’s individual requirements,’ says Boris Granovsky, of Absolute HiEnd, which distributes Ayon Audio in Australia. The new Ayon Audio S-10 II includes a network music player, computer playback, USB drive playback, analogue preamp, a new dual mono digital-to-analog converter and an updated PCM–DSD converter that now converts all incoming PCM signals to DSD. It’s also possible to install one of a choice of several solid-state drives to use…

1 min
australian hi-fi expo rescheduled

Marc Rushton, of StereoNet, has announced that he has cancelled the Melbourne Home Entertainment Expo scheduled to be held in November 2020 and has rescheduled it for 9th to the 11th of July 2021. ‘We were on track to be the largest show of its type ever held in Australia, so it is with regret that we have made this decision, but as a country and an industry, the priority must be to stop the spread,’ he said. ‘We are taking an ultra-cautious approach to shows in 2020, so November has to be a no-go and we don’t think that any show will run anywhere in 2020 and even those in early 2021 may be impacted by crowd rules and a lack of international flights.’ When the Melbourne Home Entertainment Expo…