Hello and welcome to this Newsletter #9 – October 2021 from HF&MS. The year is rushing along and so are the reviews. I’m finding that the quality of HiFi equipment these days is so high that looking for the thing that makes something amazing is becoming harder and harder. However, we will never stop looking, will we?
These last few weeks I have completed the review of the simply outstanding Moor Amps Angel 6 power amplifier, it received an Editor’s Pick. Having heard Moor Amps’ Angel 4 previously I was unable to resist the opportunity of listening to Angel 6, with twice the power and muscle. The amplifier with the Paradigm Founder 100Fs was outstanding offering an open soundstage with many music genres. The problem, of course, is that you need cables and speakers to match such astounding power and I was fortunate to have the Founders in place. I am hoping to receive the PMC Twenty5 26is soon which may have me reaching for the thesaurus and needing a cold towel on my head, I’m really looking forward to that combination in the coming weeks.
This month has also seen the review of the Chord 2Go which is the bolt-on network streaming device for use with the Chord Hugo 2. Essentially the 2Go untethers the Hugo 2 making it transportable with an appropriate App. It is a genius arrangement and in-house listening has transferred to the Hugo2/2Go with a pair of T+A Solitaire P-SE, indeed I wondered in a tweet if this was an ‘ultimate audio setup’, benefitting as it does from the clean battery power from the Hugo. I started #NationalAlbumDay early yesterday listening to The Cure’s Disintegration in full on the Hugo2/2Go in a quiet hour.
My favourite aspect of the 2Go was that it has 2 Micro SD slots in it. These slots can handle up to 2TB each. This makes network storage a slightly different proposition as it is a decent alternative to other options, making it just as accessible as other options. It completes the circle for me as I have the Radiohead Hacked Minidiscs on one and I’m constantly moving it and swapping it about different boxes.
Slightly overshadowed in the 2Go review was the 2Yu which bolts onto the 2Go in place of the Hugo to form a digital network bridge to a standalone DAC. This aspect got a little lost in the review but the fact is I am using the 2Yu at the moment as the digital network bridge to my headphone amplifier in a quiet corner of my house where I can hide away!
Also reviewed this month were the first and only pair of Jern 15 speakers in the UK. I was supporting them with the REL Tzero MkIIIs for the purposes of the review. I have been an early supporter of the Jern idea back when I first heard the Jern 14 DS speakers that I bought on the spot from the designer of the idea of using cast iron speaker cabinets. The Jern 15s improve on the 14s with a lively upgrade that still retains the fantastic imaging from Jern loudspeakers.
Finally, the Sonus faber Lumina II was also reviewed this week. They are very good looking and sounding Italian speakers in a very competitive price point where the entry level type models in many ranges benefit from the trickle-down of flagship technology.
Reviews Coming Up
As I’ve mentioned, hopefully, the PMC Twenty5 26Is will be arriving shortly. There will be reviews of the stunning iFi PRO iDSD DAC, the ATC SIA2-100 with the matching CD2 as a system review, and the new Bluesound Node Gen 3. There is also a review to follow of the stunning looking Cambridge Audio Edge NQ and Edge W, also as a system. The Edge W power amplifier looks very imposing, if there is one thing I like it is a box with an on/off button and nothing else!
This month has been all about celebrating Radiohead’d Kid-A 21st birthday, at the beginning of October. In turn, this has focussed attention on the slightly underrated King of Limbs. Other music enjoyed this month has been Wayne Snow’s new album Figurine has had a lot of play here at HF&MS towers. Also, I’ll be Your Mirror: A Tribute to The Velvet Underground & Nico (Qobuz 24 bit, 96kHz) by various artists has been a really good listen. It is a well-produced record with contributions from Michael Stipe, The National’s Matt Berninger and the brilliant musician Kurt Vile.
Tomorrow (16th October 2021) is National Album Day which this year is focussed on Women in Music. For my part, one of my favourite albums in any case was Julia Fordham’s eponymous first album. I’ve seen Julia Fordham live several times, though a long time ago now and her voice is the purest of them all. Her back catalogue may well get a listen in the next few weeks, and I’ll listen to Julia Fordham on #NationalAlbumDay.
Music to look forward to this month will be the new album from the War on Drugs, not to mention Kid Amnesia from Radiohead, due in early November.
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Thank you Vertere Acoustics
Thank you to Vertere Acoustics for supporting the Newsletter this month.