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Here is Icon Audio's latest amplifier, the MB81, demonstrating what valve amplifier designers dream about in their spare time. In the case of David Shaw, who heads Icon Audio, it is an amplifier equipped with huge Russian GU81 transmitter valves. He built a pair for his own use and we finally managed to prise them away from him for review (just a few weeks mind!).
    Each monoblock weighs 55kgs and is a three man lift, so even getting them into our studio for this shot required a team. Think big. Power output measures 200 Watts apiece.
    You will be able to buy a pair if you so wish - and have around £10,000. David tells us he will vet potential owners first to ensure they understand what is involved and that very high voltages exist under those white top caps (a safety cover will be available). You can read our review of them soon, hopefully in our March issue if all goes well. So keep your eye open for HI-Fi World, ask your news agent to order it, or buy on-line.

 

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MERIDIAN LAUNCH MQA AT LONDON PRESS CONFERENCE


In a well attended press reception held at the Shard, London, Meridian announced MQA, a new digital processing scheme. Bob Stuart, founder of Meridian, explained that it improved digital sound quality, yet reduced file sizes at the same time. This was not, he said, a system that simply increased sample rate or bit depth, but rather looked at, and worked with, digital data in the time domain. Read more...

 

LATEST ISSUE

JANUARY 2015

 

January 2015 Our annual Awards issue brings together all the products that amazed us throughout the year. Here's are the designs that broke new ground, or further refined it. From magnetic planar headphones to electrostatic loudspeakers to transistor amplifiers that break the rule book, we have it all in our January 2015 issue. If you want to read about the best from, as always,  views supported by advanced measurement, then be sure not to miss our ever popular Awards issue.

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SIMPLE AUDIO ROOMPLAYER+ 

 

An internet streamer from ex-Linn engineers has to be interesting - and it is! This one is technologically advanced, with B&O Icepower Class D amplifiers and Wolfson DACs. It gave a slick performance under test and worked really well under review. We were impressed! Read more...

 

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