Australian HiFi March - April 2021

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
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in this issue

3 min
why is hi-fi so expensive?

High-end audio equipment is expensive. I know you don’t need me to tell you that, but I will anyway. But why is it so expensive? Mostly it’s because the people who design and build high-end components are not trying to build a product that sells at a price-point that their marketing research tells them is the ‘sweet spot’ for that particular category. They’re instead trying to build something unique, a product they’d like to own themselves. Most importantly, they want to build a product they (and you) can be proud of. I recently had a salutary lesson in component costs myself. After what was a freakish accident that involved a set of ‘way too big speaker wires, cable elevators, a cam boot and a cup of tea, I found myself having…

22 min

COPLAND CSA 150 Famous Danish manufacturer Copland has released the top-of-the-range integrated amplifier in its latest CSA series. The new CSA 150 is a hybrid design using a double triode gain stage (6922) with MOS-FET buffering. The solid-state bipolar output stage is rated with an output power of 150-watts per channel into 8Ω and 230-watts per channel into 4Ω. According to Aleksandar Maksimovic of Audio Magic, which distributes Copland in Australia the new amplifier will deliver higher power when reproducing music. “Under dynamic conditions the CSA 150’s current feedback power plant will deliver several times its rated power, more than enough to drive almost any loudspeaker,” he said. The Copland CSA 150 has a built-in DAC that uses an ES9018 Reference 32-bit DAC to provide multiple S/PDIF inputs (one coaxial, two optical)…

20 min
copland cta408 integrated tube amplifier

Copland really needs to have a quiet word with Danish customs authorities. My review sample, which was air-freighted to me almost direct from Denmark, had been opened and resealed by them before being loaded onto the plane. “Based on X-ray control our security personnel (…) had to open the consignment and make a manual control” said the printed note that had been left inside the carton. I suspect the manual inspection might have been required because unlike many manufacturers of valve amplifiers, which ship their amplifiers with the valves already installed, Copland ships the four KT150 power valves in a separate box inside the main carton. I guess that all those wires and metal supports inside the valves must look extremely suspicious on an X-ray. EQUIPMENT The Copland CTA408’s front panel looks so…

8 min
laboratory test report

The Copland CTA408 has two taps on each of its output transformers, one 8H and the other 4fl, yet Copland specifies the power output of the CTA408 into 8H and 3H loads. Irrespective of the tap you use, output power is rated at 75-watts per channel. Newport Test Labs first measured output power using the 8H taps and 8H test loads. At 1kHz, the CTA408 exceeded its manufacturer’s specification by 23-watts when both channels were driven and by 28-watts when only a single channel was driven, returning power output results of 98-watts per channel and 103-watts per channel. When the same tap was used to drive 4H loads at the same frequency the Copland CTA408 delivered 135-watts when only a single channel was driven and 110-watts per channel when both channels were…

8 min
paradigm premier 800f loudspeakers

Famous Canadian loudspeaker manufacturer has developed some extraordinary technologies over the years, and its Paradigm Premier 800F is a perfect example. The company has really thrown all its recent technological break-throughs into this four-driver, three-way floor-standing design. EQUIPMENT The most obvious of those technologies sits in front of the Premier 800F’s 165mm-diameter midrange driver, which has a carbon-infused polypropylene cone with a Thiele/Small diameter of 130mm. In front of it is what Paradigm calls a patented ‘Perforated Phase-Aligning’ (PPA) lens, which it says “increases and smooths its output without colouring the sound”. The idea of putting a dispersion/phase-alignment device in front of a driver is not a new idea — loudspeaker manufacturers have been putting them in front of tweeters for more than half-a-century, and indeed Paradigm has fitted one to the tweeter…

5 min
laboratory test report

Graph 1 shows the in-room frequency response of the Paradigm Premier 800F, measured by Newport Test Labs using pink noise as the test stimulus. The response is very, very flat. If you look at the 90dBSPL graphing line together with the 87.5dBSPL line just below it, you can see that the 800F’s response is essentially contained in the space between these two lines from around 140Hz all the way up to 40kHz. That’s 140Hz to 40kHz ±1.25dB! So from the upper bass, right across the midrange and up to inaudibility the 800F is within ±1.25dB. In Graph 2, Newport Test Labs has measured the high-frequency response of the Paradigm Premier 800F using a gating technique that allows 1Hz resolution, and this time running the same test with the speaker grille fitted…