Seasons greetings in these difficult times; here is the Newsletter reflecting on recent reviews and looking forward to the year ahead. The last month has seen some of the finest equipment seen and heard at HF&MS but if you have missed any of the reviews, the links are here.
I was delighted to report on the launch of the Rega System One last week, I was fortunate to hear the new Kytes earlier this year when I had the ‘Outstanding’ Rega Io for a bit of an advance listen, my version of the system had an old Rega RP3 instead but the system had the synergy you crave where all parts were pulling in the same direction and it was a real treat.
This month has seen a review of PMC Twenty5 26i floorstanding loudspeaker, probably my favourite loudspeaker in all my time reviewing, yes, even ahead of the Focal Sopra No.2. The bass loading in the PMCs is just so delicious you just crave more and more. I described them in conclusion as being like grand pianos in loudspeaker terms and that seems fitting now they have gone home. Having said that I now have a pair of Kudos Super 20As, the floorstanding big brother of the fantastic Kudos Cardea C10s that I have been bowled over with this year. The Super 20s have the option of enabling an external active crossover offering the opportunity of exploring more detail, clarity and a cleaner sound.
Also reviewed in the last month has been the latest incarnation of the Auralic Altair. The Altair is now in G2.1 mode with the brilliant copper internal casing and the upgraded chassis.
In the new year, there will be a review of the stunning new Meze Elite headphones, which build on the achievements of the Isodynamic Hybrid Array technology in the Empyrean headphones. There will also be a look at the latest Atlas USB cables and then a look at the Kudos Super 20As, in passive configuration with the still magnificent Moor Amp Angel 6 amplifier.
The Year just Gone
I’ll look at highlights of the year next week, I’m sure, but 2021 has been shaped irreversibly for me by Tellurium Qs cables (both speaker and XLR), the Moor Amps Angel pre and 6 and PMCs Twenty5 26i loudspeakers. Not forgetting the brilliantly versatile and slightly mysterious Chord Electronics 2Yu and 2Go, these guys are in use daily as their flexibility emerges every day.
There have been some nice new pieces of music emerging these few weeks, notably Katie Melua’s new album, called Acoustic Album No. 8 and the newest offering from the Fleet Foxes. This album is acoustic as well but it has such richness in the recording which was made in a church in Brooklyn on the winter solstice in 2020. The album features tracks from Shore as well as a few older Fleet Foxes tracks like the majestic Helplessness Blues.
I have also been quite taken by the latest offering from Bruno Mars in collaboration with Anderson Paak in the form of Silk Sonic. If you’re only going to give it one track try Fly As Me.
In the year ahead, as I hinted earlier there will be a series of articles on how to set up an Active Crossover with these Kudos Super 20As. This is not a throw it together project, and it will be a collaboration between three amazing HiFi brands; Kudos (speakers), Exposure (crossover bypass and amplification) and Vertere (cables).