As a reader of HFC you’ll no doubt share our passion for great-sounding hi-fi gear. But I wouldn’t mind betting that each of us got hooked on our hi-fi habit for very different reasons. For some it’s all about the kit and a desire to listen to tracks that show off a system’s capabilities to the fullest, whether you truly enjoy a piece of music or not. For me, it’s always been about a connection to the music; the way a piece communicates when all the elements in a system come together and allow me right into a recording to hear the artist as they intended. This is just as addictive to me today as it ever was, as I lose myself on a journey of music discovery having enormous fun playing one track after another.   

With each of us coming to the world of hi-fi with very different experiences and expectations, regular readers will notice that we have expanded our music pages with more Music Reviews and features on the artists that got us hooked on this hi-fi way of life in the first place and album suggestions to grow our collections. Of course, there’s the same great number of product reviews in every issue, and this month’s Group Test tackles the complex world of audiophile-grade music servers. These capacious storage systems are designed to serve different needs and setups, but their universal convenience in centralising a digital music library and the sonic rewards are clear.

 

Inside the July issue: Bowers & Wilkins 707 S2 baby standmount loudspeaker gets the In-depth treatment; Exotica features a new high-end headphone from Sonoma Acoustics, and regular reviews looks at Rega’s Planar 1 Plus turntable package, Q Acoustics’ 3050i bargain floorstander and Master & Dynamic’s 2-in-1 headphone and much, much more. Plus, Music Legends honours prolific singer-songwriter Neil Young, Labelled With Love returns to showcase four rising classical independent labels, and our Group Test looks at six music servers for all your networked audio file storage needs from Aria, Aurender, Bluesound, Leema Acoustics, Melco and Naim.

 

Pick up a copy at your newsagent.

 

Lee Dunkley, editor