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No.68 January 2010
THE END OF THE YEAR IS APPROACHING



I will not pretend that I don’t like Christmas atmosphere. I know, that not for all of us this is blessed time, or even a good time. To all those people I send my warmest greetings, and a spark of hope, that they may turn into warmth, we all need so much. I will not pretend, because Christmas is a special time for me and my family. We are waiting the whole year long for the presents, for the days we will not have anything else to do except for sleeping, watching TV, movies – the Christmas ones, and the ones gotten as presents – reading books and magazines. And eating – yes, this is one of the strongest points of those days. Maybe this sounds very “to the earth” and flat, but I assure you, that this all happens within a family, that loves each other, and the memories become priceless. This is why we wait for Christmas the whole year long. I would not like to have it sound sentimental, because this is not meant to be an emotional blackmail, used so often during the shopping fever. I just want to close the year 2009 in a few words, and open the new, 2010.

The summary is mostly done by saying thank you, and sharing with you our common success. Because 2009 was exceptional for “High Fidelity” in every possible aspect. Every year I write in a similar way, but it just is like this, that something, that I thought, would be the all I could dream of, becomes only a step on the way to something bigger, something better. So this year is only a step on the way. But we are still in 2009. In July we decided to make a big step for any magazine – to change the layout. If you do remember the previous one, then you will know, that this one is completely different, and unique. I will not claim, that this is the best one in the world, because I am biased, but it is so interesting and innovative, that it can easily be compared to the best. The idea comes from our web designer, Bartek Łuczak, who also put all this together, helped by two programmers. I think, that now the magazine looks very attractive, combining a modern approach to internet magazines with some elements of the old layout, which – I think – despite being used for five years, still fulfilled its main function – it was communicative and clean. It had not many ornaments and loaded quickly. But I wanted more, something that would expose the pictures better, that would allow to have more of them published, etc. And we succeeded in doing that, in my opinion, brilliantly. This is confirmed by your emails and opinions. Probably it can be done better, but nobody’s perfect… Anyway, we try to react to your feedback, and if something can be done, then we do it. That was the case with putting the tests in PDF format on the pages, to allow them to be printed, what was suggested by one of the readers. The same thing was with the searching machine. Not everything can be done, but if there is something that can, and when it makes sense, then – we’ll go ahead!

We are very proud from our new layout, this is why this change is a key happening for “High Fidelity” this year. Like I mentioned, it was also important for us, to place the banners in a way, that makes them more visible, and at the same time, would not interfere with reading. I think, we managed to do that quite well. Please do not think, that the banners are not important, they make it possible for You, the Readers, to access “High Fidelity” free of charge, because the distributors, shops and manufacturers pay for them. They keep the magazine going. This is why at this place I want to thank all our sponsors for supporting us, for all the money spent on advertizing. Without you, this place would look completely different… Advertisers keep magazines alive all over the world, especially the colored ones – the price of a given title does not cover even the half of that, what is needed to be paid for printing! It is easier in Internet, the costs for leading a magazine are lower, but they still do exist. This is why the presence of advertisers is so important – they are a part of the triangle, together with you, the Readers, and us, the editors, that result in a hobby magazine. There is of course a possibility to exist without any advertisements – as shown by the example of the British “HiFiCritic” it can be done. But this is an exception, a step to the side, of journalists Martin Colloms working for “Hi-Fi News” (journalist and publisher) and Paul Messenger from “Hi-Fi Choice” (editor in chief). All the others are financed from ads. This is a problem, because a testing magazine must be independent from its nature. But I think – and this is supported by my six years of experience – that one does not interfere with the other. From the very beginning I had this freedom, that in HF I did not “have” to do anything: I did not have to have advertisements, I did not have to test the devices the distributors wanted to have tested, I did not have to have dinners with anybody, I did not have to like anybody. The goal was simple: prepare tests of devices that I find interesting, that are – in my opinion – valuable, and to do it square. And the rest should come by itself. And it did – you, the Readers, appreciated this, what we managed to create, and visited the www.highfidelity.pl page more often month by month. In November we had almost 18000 people, with 90000 visits, what is a fantastic result for an audio magazine. We have no forum, which usually pumps up the count, nor a notice board (which does the same). This is the reason, I want to thank you all, my dear Readers, dear Friends, especially warm!!! It is because of you, that this magazine makes sense. You are a part of it – not the most important, not the least important – just an equal part. Without it, there would be nothing. But like I say, this magazine is funded by the distributors – so please visit their pages through clicking on their banners in the editorial and below the tests, this will let them know, that you read HF, and will give us another argument for our independence – you are the strength of the audio branch. There would be nothing without you.

I start to repeat myself, this is a sign, that we need to go to the last element of the triangle – the editorial house. Actually we started with it, because the layout and the way we work, is a part of it. Similar to the distributors and readers, also here people are most important. I would like to mention, that we have another journalist, besides Krzysztof Kalinkowski and myself, who debuted recently – Marek Dyba. Besides Krzysztof he will also translate our texts into English. The English language version gains momentum. We took on the cooperation with the biggest audio internet magazine in the world, “6moons.com”, led by Srajan Ebaen, and now we reach everybody in the world. Most people read us in Europe and US, but there is no country in the world, where we wouldn’t have at least one reader each month. This is why we will try to gain international advertisers, and Tomasz Folta will be taking care of that cooperation, let us welcome him also! Please do not get angry at me, for writing so much about all that, but I would like you to have a clear picture, about what “High Fidelity” is, how it works, and how everything looks like back stage. Not everybody will like that, not satisfied, not happy and finally envious people are everywhere. But Internet is an ultra-egalitarian place, and if somebody does not like what we do here, he can click elsewhere. I just hope, that they will return some day…

Yes, three elements make a magazine: the readers, the editors and the audio branch (distributors, audio shops, manufacturers). I mentioned those elements in some order, coming from the text above, but in fact, there is no order, we cannot distinguish the more and the less important. We respect everybody, because lack of any of them will cause the magazine to deteriorate, and can even lead to its closure. So thank you all for this year, I am grateful for your kind words!

The editors wish you happy Christmas, a wonderful New Year and all the best!!!

Cover of the Year 2009 contest

And finally information regarding the Cover of the Year 2009 contest. We organize it for the third time, and this year, complying with your request, we change its formula a little – there will be a few prizes to win, for a few people, and not just one – like it was earlier. The drawing will take place in the beginning of January, during a presentation organized by the Krakow company Nautilus Hi-End, which also founded very nice loudspeakers Dynaudio Excite X32. I just remind, that you just need to pick the best “High Fidelity”cover from 2009 – in your opinion – and provide us with a short rationale.

The responses should be sent by email until the end of 2009 to the following email address:

konkurs@highfidelity.pl

The email topic should contain the sentence: Cover of the Year 2009 - … (chosen month).

The email should contain a short rationale, name, address and telephone number. The drawing will take place in the beginning of January, and we will notify the winner by telephone immediately. Only one email per person will be taken into the prize drawing.

We already know all the prizes, which will be drawn this year:

I. Like I mentioned, the first prize will be the Dynaudio Excite X32 loudspeakers.



Description:
Designed as classic two-way speakers, but using two drivers to reproduce bass and midrange, with large diaphragms and double magnets, those guarantee natural reproduction of low frequencies. The special properties of the material used for the diaphragms - Magnesium Silicate Polymer – and their special shape, allows for natural reproduction of vocals and instruments from the medium frequencies, ideally integrated with the sound stage. The stiffened front baffle, the grilles and high quality of the veneer make the X32 a very elegant addition to any listening room. To increase the effect special real wood veneers can be chosen for those speakers.



Frequency response (+/-3dB): 37Hz–23kHz (+/- 3dB) 
Efficiency (2.83 V/1m): 87dB
Impedance: 4Ω
Power (IEC): 200W
Enclosure: 2-way, bass-reflex
Cross-over frequency: 1800Hz
Weight: 17.2kg
Dimensions (HxWxD): 170 x 920 x 270mm

Distribution: Nautilus Hi-End

II. An equally fantastic price comes from Baltlab, which founded the amplifier Baltlab Epoca 2.



Description:
Epoca 2 is the currently available model. The sound, and all parameters, are identical to the well known version 1 v.3. The exterior of the amplifier was modified. The front panel and the knobs were changed. An optional remote control and XLR inputs are available. The suggested retail price is 3500zl. The remote and XLR cost 500zl extra.

Power (8/4Ω) 60/100W
THD <0,02%
Output impedance 0,4 Ω
Dimensions (H x W x D) 85 x 450 x 380mm
Weight 13kg


Manufacturer: Baltlab

III. Power strip Gigawatt PF-1.



Description:
The power strip is equipped in six high quality output sockets of the schuko type with silver plated contact points. Those are special sockets, made especially for Gigawatt. The connectors are factory silver plated, without any intermediate layers, like copper or nickel, which would introduce an additional impedance and result in lowered voltage. All contacts do not contain ferromagnetics, and the thick silver layer guarantees secure contact and lowers the contact impedance. The strip is equipped with the Gigawatt LC-1 power cable, 1.5m length, as a standard, the LC-2 cable is available at a extra cost. A high quality IEC socket allows to attach a power cable of choice to the strip.

Manufacturer: Gigawatt

IV. Anti-resonance platform Rogoz Audio SMO40.



Description:
Material: natural sapeli mahogany, plywood, MDF.
Weight: 5.8kg
Usage: CD players, transports, DACs, turntables, tube amplifiers, preamplifiers.
Sandwich type construction.
The product combines the high damping quotient of MDF with the low energy storage of plywood.
Precise leveling capability.
Value: 590,00zl

Manufacturer: Rogoz Audio

V. Power cables Audioplan Powercord G and Powercord S.





Description:
Powercord is a symmetrical power cable with four, instead of the typical three wires inside the rubber enclosure. The additional, fourth, wire is a second ground wire, placed opposite to the first one. This makes the cable quasi-symmetrical. The Powercord cables use silver plated pure copper wires with increased conductance. The wires are manufactured according to vde standards. The isolation of the wires is made from materials, that do not cause losses and do not gather electric loads. This unique cable construction allows for minimizing energy dissipation, high resistance to distortion and retention of dynamics. The isolation material Sicomin, developed and patented by the company Audioplan, prevents electrical distortion from mechanical vibration.

Techincal data PowerCord G / S:
Voltage: 230V ~ / 230V ~
Load: 16A / 25A
Construction: 4x1.9mm2 / 4x2.6mm2
Conductor: silver plated, pure copper
Dampening material: Sicomin between wires/Sicomin between wires, CRC-Technology
Length: 1.5m, other lengths available on demand

Distribution: Audio Consulting

Wojciech Pacuła

About Us

We cooperate

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Our reviewers regularly contribute to  “Enjoy the Music.com”, “Positive-Feedback.com”“HiFiStatement.net”  and “Hi-Fi Choice & Home Cinema. Edycja Polska” .

"High Fidelity" is a monthly magazine dedicated to high quality sound. It has been published since May 1st, 2004. Up until October 2008, the magazine was called "High Fidelity OnLine", but since November 2008 it has been registered under the new title.

"High Fidelity" is an online magazine, i.e. it is only published on the web. For the last few years it has been published both in Polish and in English. Thanks to our English section, the magazine has now a worldwide reach - statistics show that we have readers from almost every country in the world.

Once a year, we prepare a printed edition of one of reviews published online. This unique, limited collector's edition is given to the visitors of the Audio Show in Warsaw, Poland, held in November of each year.

For years, "High Fidelity" has been cooperating with other audio magazines, including “Enjoy the Music.com” and “Positive-Feedback.com” in the U.S. and “HiFiStatement.net”  in Germany. Our reviews have also been published by “6moons.com”.

You can contact any of our contributors by clicking his email address on our CONTACT  page.

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ALL PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE TESTED DEVICES ARE MADE USING THE EQUIPMENT OF THE COMPANY



Digital camera:
Canon EOS 5D MkIII

Lenses:
EF-16-35/L II USM
EF 100 mm 1:2.8 L IS USM


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