Hello, welcome to the HF&MS Newsletter #4, we are still ticking along, reviewing and enjoying new sources, speakers and especially new music. We are very grateful to all of our new subscribers who have come along since Easter’s Newsletter and our new and continuing advertisers who support our time and the costs associated with the site. We are actively looking to improve the site in the coming months.
We have been lucky enough to listen to a lot of new equipment in the last few weeks, such as the ‘Outstanding’ Rega Io and the ‘Editor’s Pick’ Empire Ears Hero in-ear monitors. We do seem to be going through that phase of looking at several speakers recently. They have been wide and varied, from the active KEF LS50 wireless II to the passive Kudos Cardea C10 and the Sonos faber Lumina I, where Lee concluded:
the (Sonos faber Lumina I) represents a bright introduction to the company’s luxurious design and house sound and is highly recommended
We have had other very different floorstanding speakers in the last few months ranging from the ‘energetic and dynamic’ Klipsch Heresy to the ‘late night jazz’ Bowers and Wilkins 603 S2 Anniversary Edition. Both speakers were very nice indeed but their differences with different amplifiers highlighted that amplification is so important to speaker performance. Getting a demo at home is not so easy these days with the lockdown but supporting your dealer by listening in advance to your purchases is a key part of your future enjoyment with speakers. I will always advocate setting a budget, think about your amplification and then just enjoy the purchasing process with your favourite music.
Lucky you, if you’re thinking of new speakers. We had a sneak preview this month of the new Rega Kyte speakers which was very exciting and we were able to put together our own improvised version of the Rega System One which was announced last year but is now rolling out later this year due to the Covid-19 crisis. Using the ‘Outstanding’ Io and the new Kytes with an old Rega RP1 with a carbon cartridge we were able to hear this new affordable high quality vinyl system for the first time before it is formally launched (the System One will be boxed with the new P1 of course).
We have heard some very good and lovely new music in the last few weeks. New albums of note that have featured on the ‘What we’re listening to on Qobuz‘ box on the homepage include the headline releases from London Grammar, Californian Soil and Rag’n’Bone Man’s Life By Misadventure, both wonderfully produced as well. We have also been listening to Birdy’s new album Young Heart and a particular favourite Flor, by Gretchen Parlato, which takes influence from her Brazillian roots.
We have some nice reviews coming including the PMC Twenty5 24i speakers which I am running with Naim Electronics and they are sounding like a rather nice combination with each other, referring back to the comments on speaker matching above. We will also be reviewing the Novafidelity N25 audio streamer which has one of the longest specification lists we have seen, there is not much it does not do. Having completed the review of the Empire Ears Hero in-ear monitors we will be looking at the slightly more affordable Meze RAI Solo in ears which are currently sounding rather impressive on the move. Yesterday, we took delivery of the new Elipson Heritage XLS15 loudspeakers and boy do they look good and sound impressive on the first listen. Also coming soon will be reviews of the new T+A Caruso R, the Leema Pulse integrated amplifier and, hopefully, some JBL speakers too.
Improvements on the site
In the last few weeks, we have spent a chunk of time re-editing the Tags on the site. We have over 540 posts to go through so it was no mean feat. The optimised Tags will make it easier to search on say ‘Loudspeakers‘ and see all of the reviews available. There could be so many Tags to include, but we have centred on 11 as a generic starter, many of the manufacturers’ Tags are there too, so you can search through the database on, say ‘Rega‘. Other improvements on the front page include the latest Tweets and Instagram posts, where we put unboxing pictures, first shots and impressions and in use other pictures when it takes our fancy.
We hope you have a good Spring and enjoy your music. Please do share the newsletter and subscribe to our social channels for more news and content.
Simon, Lee and Jo