Newsletter #16, April 2022

Newsletter #16, April 2022

Active Crossover

In the end, I am clear these Kudos Cardea Super 20A loudspeakers would be my choice for life

Welcome to Newsletter #16, summarising April’s activities, it has been one of the best months ever for HiFi listening, our viewing numbers are up too, this week by 40%, thank you, everyone, for taking the time to read HF&MS.

April 2022

This month has seen some truly brilliant HiFi cross the listening room of HF&MS.  This started with the exceptional Chord Mojo 2.  Surely this is peak portable HiFi at this time with a half decent smartphone and a pair of good in-ear monitors, or the Meze LIRIC, reviewed at the end of February.

Next, this month came the culmination of the Kudos/Exposure/Veretere Active Crossover project where the crossovers in the fantastic 2 way Kudos Cardea Super 20As were bypassed by Exposure Electronics.  In such an arrangement the speaker drivers are individually driven by a specific monoblock, in this case, four Exposure 5010 monoblocks were used.  It is important to use consistent cables in such a complex HiFi setup and Vertere has supported this arrangement with matching power cables and Redline interconnects. The outcome, with the now Active Super 20As, was spectacular, and it certainly delivered the space, clarity and energy  I was hoping for. The problem is with a significant price tag I will possibly not get close to hearing such a magnificent system again, it won’t stop me from trying though.   Look out for the new video this month summarising the project with footage of the setup process.

Escape P6 BT

Escape P6 speaker

Also reviewed this month was the Earmen Tradutto DAC, a wonderfully focused product that just delivered a clean dynamic sound, this quote from the review sums up this product perfectly:

I’m finding this Earmen Tradutto DAC to be very engaging in its range and bounce, hinting at excellent dynamic performance

Earmen has a new streamer coming, called Staccato, to complement the Tradutto and this is a very exciting prospect.

Continuing the theme of sparkling products, if you are looking for an outdoor spring/summer waterproof speaker with oomph the Escape P6 is the one. This style of a speaker is often called a party speaker and the Escape P6 has it all, with a measure of finesse.

This month saw a review from the new Cyrus XR series that represents a step forward for Cyrus in respect of DAC management, power supply and a host of other improvements.  The Cyrus Pre-XR was a really nice piece of equipment with a very energetic DAC on board making it a rather attractive package coupled with the MM Phono stage which performed well with the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO turntable here at HF&MS.

Finally, this month, if the Active Project was a highlight of my HiFi life then this month has also seen two Product of the Year contenders emerge.  Notwithstanding the fact that the Leema Sirius Music Server is a few years old, it received an Editor’s Pick without a moment’s hesitation.  The Sirius is not only a rock-solid Music Server but it also has a beautiful inbuilt DAC that turns it, additionally, into a topline CD transport and with the Innuos streaming platform it is just a brilliant piece of kit, I totally got the idea of the Sirius and it will certainly feature as a Product of the Year 2022.  The Sirius WILL be joined by the Veretere MG-1, see below!

Coming Up on HF&MS

The bespoke MG-1 plinth was made from kitchen worktop offcuts and is spiked with Zinc inserts in the wood.

May will see an extended review of the Vertere Magic Groove-1 turntable that it has been a privilege to listen to. Initially, I had a few issues getting myself happy with its stability but a friend of mine came up with some kitchen work surface offcuts and he produced a magnificent plinth, finished with Danish Oil, which we have spiked.  This plinth only added to the pure joy of this turntable that is simply a work of precision engineering and art!

Also coming up this month will be a review of the Grell TWS/1 in-ear monitors, the first product from Sennheiser legend Axel Grell.  There will also be a review of the Mark Levinson No. 5909 wireless headphones with ANC that are totally luxurious and gorgeous thus far.  We also have here at HF&MS the new Exposure 3510 integrated amplifier that is a fine listen and has optional DAC and MM Phono stage options to add to its appeal.

Finally, we’re looking at receiving some exciting new products from the French loudspeaker company Triangle.

New Music

Much of my new music (new to me) really is coming from Jamie Cullum’s Jazz Show on Radio 2, I listen to this show often twice in a week on the Mojo2 with the Meze RAI Solos in-ear monitors, peak mobile listening under £1,000 (I’m looking forward to the new Meze ADVAR in-ear monitors that look like they form a price point bridge between the excellent Solos and the Pentas).  I’ve really enjoyed Claude Cooper’s release Myriad Sounds, eclectic and different (and well recorded), inspired by Jamie Cullum.

As it happens I’m currently listening to the new release (today) from Blossoms, Ribbon around the Bomb, which has a slight Nolans vibe to it, if I’m not speaking out of turn about these indie-pop youngsters. New music this month has also included the new releases from Harry Styles, Kurt Vile’s album (watch my moves) and Jack White’s Fear of the Dawn.

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