UK audio manufacture gods Naim is taking a step into the unknown this morning with the launch of their first all-in-one unit. The NaimUniti comprises an integrated amplifier, CD player, DAB/FM tuner, internet radio player, iPod & MP3 dock, digital to analogue converter, USB & network-stored music file player and network streamer. Kitchen sink not included.
You get 10 inputs with 50-watt-per-channel amplifier action and the idea is that it sits as your all purpose box in pride of place in your living. Under the telly springs to mind. You can play music from USB, stream media over your network and you can start plugging in your satellite box, DVD player and games console too.
It’s available now for a pretty reasonable £1995 with the n-link iPod connector cable for another £95. While you’ve got your wallet out, Naim also recommends a pair of £770 Naim n-SAT speakers as the perfect accompaniment.
Audio Outputs – Speaker output Line output (L+R RCA) Sub output (2 Mono outputs via RCA) Pre-amp output (DIN)
Tape Output Fixed – 275mV, 600
Preamp Output load -10k to 8
Frequency response – 20Hz – 50 kHz
Signal to Noise Ratio – 80dB
Phase response on CD – Linear phase, absolute phase correct
Power output – 50WPC into 8Ù 90WPC into 4 Ù
Other outputs – Headphone 3.5mm jack
Antenna inputs F type
Analogue inputs – 3.5mm socket on front 3 x RCA 1*DIN with power to support
Stageline phono stage
Digital Inputs – 5 SPDIF (2xoptical, 2xcoaxial, 1*3.5mm jack) Input overload 27 dB (Rear panel connections) (Front panel: 33.8 dB) USB Front panel socket
Other inputs – Ethernet and iPod (analogue)
Remote input – Rear panel
RS232 – Rear panel
Audio files supported – Internet radio (WMA, MP3 Streams, MMS) Playlists (M3U,
PLS) MP3, AAC (up to 320 kbps, CBR/VBR) Apple Lossless (from iPod) Windows Media-formatted content (up to 320 kbps) WAV, FLAC, OGG Vorbis CD formats disc compatibility Redbook and CD-R Supply Voltage 100-120V or 220V to 240V, 50/60 Hz
Dimensions (H x W x D) – 87 x 432 x 314mm
Weight – 11.3kg
Finish – Black
Top-end audio manufacturer Harman Kardon has just announced the “most powerful” amplifier that the company has ever produced, as well as a matching CD player, for those of you still trading in plastic discs.
I could happily regurgitate the press release about how the amplifier’s power is achieved with its “EzSet/EQ room optimisation”, but all you really need to know is that it sounds lovely. The CD player sounds similarly lovely, thanks to a built-in digital sound processor, and linear smoothing to stop jitters.
Both models are available now from your favourite local Hi-Fi retailer, and they’ll cost you £1000 for the amp and £500 for the CD player. That’s relatively affordable, so if you’re looking to start up a separates collection, then this would be a great place to start.
I’m not sure how many all-night-rave organizers read Tech Digest, but you can never tell with the internet. The SW915 Digital Audio Travel Partner is a whopping great big box on wheels that contains, variously, a speaker, an amplifier, a CD player, SD card slot, and wireless microphone.
Basically, you roll up in an abandoned warehouse, pop Rave Anthems 2 into the cd drive, and then go nuts, occasionally shouting “Bo! Bo! Bo!” over the wireless microphone. 250 watts over up to a 30,000 sq. ft. area should ensure that the complaints start rolling in and the police show up sooner, rather than later.
Still, when they do, you’ll be able to flick it off, grab the handle and leg it before the fuzz can catch you. Then start up all over again the following weekend. I wouldn’t try dragging it through the Glastonbury mud, though – those wheels don’t look like they can take that kind of punishment.
This is the PR-SC886, Onkyo’s new 7.1 surround home cinema pre-amp. It’s got balanced audio-out, onboard decoding of every HD audio format, and something called ISF Video Calibration, which will bump up your picture quality by doing all the image calibration within the amp, rather than in your telly. No more changing aspect ratios through horrible menus whenever you change sources.
It’ll also upscale anything you throw at it to 1080p, and gives you every input and output you could ever wish for. The best bit of the press release is this, though: “Onkyo strongly recommends that an ISF-certified calibration technician be employed to achieve optimal image quality for each of the video inputs”. In other words – “this AV amp is better than you”.
It’s yours for £1500, in black or silver. Don’t forget to add the price of that technician onto the cost. You don’t want substandard image quality with you doing it yourself, do you?
Here’s the rather delightful Valve80 iPod dock from Logic3. It’s expensive, but it sounds absolutely amazing compared to your average dock. In fact, calling it a ‘dock’ is a bit of an insult – it’s a bonafide Hi-Fi amplifier, with two audio inputs and video out. £300 quid though… crumbs… that’s not going to go down well with your bank manager.
iPod docks, as I’ve said before, are ten-a-penny around here. They’re not the most exciting product to write about, and every company in the world makes one. This, however, is something special. It’s got valves.
If you don’t know why that’s good, then go ask your neighborhood audiophile. It basically makes the music sound ‘warmer’, and valve amps have long been praised for the lovely feel that they give to sound and music. Of course they’re not cheap. This model costs £300. For that, you’re getting lovely lovely sound, a pair of 40W speakers (though you can plug in whatever speakers you like) and two auxiliary inputs, for plugging in your TV or stereo. Full specs are over the jump.
Yamaha continues to push out its high-end audio products with the introduction of the A-S700 amplifier and CD-S700 CD player. Mercifully, both come without an iPod dock.
The amp can pump out 90W RMS power over two channels with a SNR of 98dB and frequency response of 10Hz-100kHz, and features Total Purity Audio Reproduction Technology….
Feel like stocking up on Marantz goodness? Well, the latest slew of separates could be for you.
The company has announced three new amplifiers, a new CD player, and an AM/FM tuner.
Central to a decent hi-fi system is the amplifier, and Marantz has three to choose from. Power wise, the PM5003 kicks out 40W x 2 at 8Ω or 55W x 2 at 4Ω, while the PM7003 and PM8003 offer 70W or 100W x 2. Available for around £150, £300, and £450 respectively…
Who needs a practice amplifier when you can plug in the Waves iGTR Portable Amp? …
For that extra bit of bling on your music gear, Jason Nicholls can create faithful reproductions of knobs and fader caps for amplifiers, guitars, desks, keyboards, and other equipment in silver, gold, platinum, diamond, sapphire, and ruby.
His company, wonderfully titled “Endless Knobbing”, can also create engraved keyrings and plectrums…