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August 29th: Computers and musiccomputeraudio
     
Now and then we do this: we take up a major space in UHF Magazine to discuss a major issue we know you want our take on.
     For more than two years, we've been playing most of our digital music from a computer, not a CD player. More convenient? Certainly. Better sounding? Actually, yes. We own one of the best CD players ever made, and it sounds pale alongside a $600 computer sitting next to our Omega music system.
     But you know this, because we've been writing extensively on the subject. Perhaps you have already done the same. Perhaps you've been wondering which ones of our back issues you should order in order to get up-to-date tips on incorporating a computer into your system. We thought it was time we put down in one place everything we know. Or everything we think we know.
     That's what we've done. In a group of densely-packed pages, we've covered why your computer should be a music source, whether you need a dedicated computer just for music, how to set it up, and how to configure the software. You'll be seeing the issue in a few days.
     Computer audio may not be as plug-and-play as a CD player, but it will sound way better. And when you finally get it working just the way you want, you won't ever turn back. We certainly won't.

BY THE WAY: Over this long weekend, we're running an extended Flash Sale. This weekend's sale is one that is unlikely ever to be repeated. Just sayin'.

August 22nd: Magazine at the printer next weekminicover95a
     It's no secret that we've had a major delay in this issue, for an unusual reason. With the loss of some of the suppliers whose products can be found in our Audiophile Store, we have had to rebuild the store with new products. That isn't a quick process, because we curate the store, meaning that we won't offer you anything we don't like ourselves. That means listening, and listening lots.
     But it will be an issue worth waiting for. We'll have reviews of two tube amplifiers and a whole lot of cables. We'll take a first look at the Moon MIND digital streamer. And we'll have a major article on adding a computer to your music system as a source.
     If you're a subscriber to UHF and your subscription is nearing its end (or has even expired), now is a good time to renew. We'll be sending out notices shortly.
     And remember that there are two editions of UHF: the print version we've been putting out since 1982, and Maggie's electronic version.

BY THE WAY: During this weekend's Flash Sale, upgrade to the best interconnect we know of, and get a $300 credit.

August 1st: Product review from UHF 95coplandreview
     That's of course from issue 95, the one we are just finishing up. This Copland tube amplifier is one of the products reviewed in the issue. Another is also a tube amplifier, the Focus Audio Liszt Prelude.
     As we've already noted, other reviews will be of cables (interconnects, speaker and digital cables), and we'll have a first look at the Moon MIND, which has a particular talent for getting music from your computer to your music system.
     And of course doing that is the main focus of the issue. It includes a complete guide to integrating your amplifier to your sound. We've been doing that for years, and we recommend it. The guide will explain why...and how. Lots of how.
     It's coming soon.

BY THE WAY: As we enter midsummer, we have an extended edition of our
Flash Sale. Here's a chance to start the new season with terrific preamps and power amps. And of course, they're computer-ready. And vinyl-ready too.

July 21st: The next UHF coverminicover95
     With the photography done, we've put together the cover of the next issue of UHF, No. 95. The amplifier which seems to be floating against a bright blue sky with fluffy clouds, is a Liszt Prelude from Canadian speaker maker Focus Audio. It's one of two tube amplifiers reviewed in the issue, the other being from Copland of Denmark.
     Also reviewed in that issue are a number of cables, and Simaudio's MIND media streamer. And the issue will also feature a major article on using a computer as a music source.
     The other pictures are done, and we're writing up a storm so that we can send the magazine to the printer.
     You can see the cover full-sized over at The Reading Room, and you can see the table of contents as well. Naturally, you can also preorder the new issue.
     You can expect to see the magazine's famous
Audiophile Store transformed as well. We have dropped some products, including some we have offered for a long time, and we have added new ones. As always, anything in the store -- recordings, cables, accessories, full-sized gear -- is something we would be happy to tell our best friends about.

June 27th: Photos done for UHF 95focuschart
     Nearly everything is in place for us to finish putting UHF No. 95 together: the review sessions (there's an if in there, and we'll tell you about it by and by), and most of the actual writing.
    And the product photos, handled, as usual, by Albert Simon. Hiding behind the color chart in this picture is a Focus Audio Liszt Prelude, one of two tube amplifiers we are featuring in the new issue. Indeed, it will be on the cover, which we'll put up on our site shortly.
     The main feature, which we are assembling, is a multi-part guide to what we know so far about using a computer as a music source. We use one in own system, not just because it's convenient, but because it's better. The feature is in a magazine rather than a book, because computer-based audio is shifting rapidly, and what we "know" now may not be what we're thinking a couple of years from now.
     Even if a computer is
already your major digital source, we think you'll want to read it.

BY THE WAY: Another
Flash Sale is on. We celebrated the return of a long-time favorite loudspeaker cable.

June 20th: A new super connectorft212a
     It has now been a number of years since Australian audio maven Keith Eichmann came up with an interesting discovery: putting a great big hunk of metal on the end of a speaker cable or an interconnect cable had a bad effect on the sound. His better way: using a small amount of pure copper, covered with gold to inhibit tarnishing. Sure enough his Bullet and Bayonet connectors sounded demonstrably better than even very expensive conventional connectors.
     Then came WBT's nextgen series, which followed Eichmann's example, using lots of plastic and the minimum amount of pure metal.
     Now comes Furutech's answer, and it doesn't look anything like the connectors from the other two brands. The FT212 looks as though it has a massive body shell, but that shell is not connected electrically to the cable. It's there for rigidity and protection. It's a little more finicky to install than the others, but the result is worth it. Like the WBT, it has a locking collar so that it connects under pressure.
     The new connector is now in stock on our
Connectors page, in both gold and rhodium versions, and it is available on either our new Alpha S4 single-crystal cable or the Atlas Hyper Bi-Wire cable, which you'll see here.
     There's a low-mass spade, too.

BY THE WAY: There's an eye-popping Flash Sale going on, but only until Monday morning.

June 19th: Updating the storecablepage
     What you see at right is the new look of our Audiophile Store, or at least the beginning of it. It looks nearly the way it has for years, but with an updated logo, and with pull-down menus for negotiating the entire UHF site.
     We're doing the updates a page at a time, and so you'll see the new format gradually appearing right across our site. The page you see here is the store's cable page. We've been busy listening to new cables, and negotiating to buy stock of old favorites. We're happy to say that we've been successful in getting new stock of selected Atlas cables from Scotlland. But we have also begun adding cables from BIS Audio, made about 25 km from our own headquarters. As usual, we won't list anything we haven't listened to.
     Later today we will be updating the connectors page, since our connector lineup has changed almost completely. In particular, we have a new low-mass banana from Furutech we're enthusiastic about.

June 17th: New cables at the storealphas4
     
It's no secret that our next issue will include a number of cable tests. There won't be only cable tests, of course, but we've been overhauling our Audiophile Store, and we needed to listen to a number of new cables. As you probably know, we won't list anything we don't like, and therefore anything we haven't heard ourselves.
     Among the new cables is the Alpha S4 speaker cable, shown here. It replaces the Atlas Hyper 2, which is now pretty much out of stock, and at $37.95/metre, it is nearly the same price. One major difference: the S4 is made from continuous-cast copper, which means each strand is a single crystal of metal. You don't expect that for that sort of price. Yes, we've put it through one of our blind tests, and it passed with high marks.
     You can choose among several connectors, with prices ranging from free to $120 per set of four. The S4 and the other cables are on our cable page right now. We'll be adding more cables, including new digital cables, later this week.

June 13th: Working on the new issuemacmini
     Our equipment tests are pretty much done, and we're working hard to finish up our mammoth guide to using your computer as a music source. We want to help audiophiles who have no idea that a computer can be a music source, but we want to supply useful information to readers whose computers are already a major source of music. That's coming together nicely.
     In the meantime, we've had to retire the ancient MacBook Pro that was in our own reference system. We picked up a brand new Mac mini for not much more than a used one. Properly configured, it's purring along...only without the purring sound, since it has no fan.
     It also has no disc drive. More on that in our new issue.
     In the meantime, we are rebuilding our Audiophile Store, which has long been a major source of income enabling us to maintain an independent editorial policy. A lot of products are gone, far more are coming.


Have you dropped by our Audiophile Boutique?
It's loaded with new and refurbished Moon products from Simaudio.
Amplifiers, preamplifiers, monoblocks, DACs, CD players,
all with factory warranty.

 

June 2nd: Test sessions done (we think)coplandamp
     
The Copland CTA-506 is a tube amplifier from a long-time favorite Danish designer. It uses KT120 output tubes, part of the venerable 6L6 family, but one that didn't exist until recently. It's a power amp, not an integrated: that central button is a power switch.
     We think we're done, because there's one more product that didn't work out, and we are, as yet, not sure what to do about it. There was another tube amplifier, from Focus Audio, in the series, plus a bewildering array of cables.
     We're a bit lighter on equipment reviews in our next issue, because we are putting together a guide to using a computer as a music source, containing everything we know so far. You told us you wanted to see all of that in one place, and we've listened.
     By an odd coincidence, this past week, the aging MacBook Pro that was our own resident computer began to fail, one of its fans sounding like a rip saw (the second fan had actually stopped altogether). We picked up a new Mac mini at a rather low price, and we'll tell you how you can do it too.

May 23rd: Four days of listening testsLisztPrelude
     We're getting UHF No. 95 ready for production, and we had a lot of gear to listen to. Last week and into this week, we spent four days in intense listening.
     The amplifier you see here, the Focus Audio Liszt Prelude, was one subject of our sessions. It's from the people who make Focus speakers. It's an integrated tube amplifier with decidedly upscale features, built in Canada. We threw it a major challenge, and it did better than just survive. All the details in our next issue.
     We also listened to a lot of cables: digital cables, speaker cables, interconnects. We'll have a full report on all of them. Some will also turn up on our
Audiophile Store.

BY THE WAY: We've been running a 10-day version of our Flash Sale, adding new items every day or two. There will be more to come as well. But it all ends Monday at 10 am, so it may be worth dropping by a couple of times.

May 15th: Great amps at the Audiophile Boutiquemastersound
     The
hardware section of The Audiophile Boutique, our special purchase and bargain section, has picked up two new amplifiers. But there's just one of each...just sayin'. One of them is the remarkable Mastersound 845, a superb Italian amplifier we raved about in UHF No. 92. We picked it up for a song (actually for a lot of songs). It's the one we actually reviewed. It's retubed and checked out.
     Somewhat less expensive is the second amplifier, the legendary Moon W-3, which was part of our cinema reference system. It's in mint condition.
     And of course there is a plethora of discontinued Moon amplifiers, preamplifiers, and even a CD player. A CD player with a digital input.
     Coming up tomorrow is an extended Flash Sale, which will run right through the long weekend, and through the following weekend.We'll start light, and we'll be adding more products as we go.

Hundreds of recommended products at The Audiophile Store


Bargains on used, discontinued and specially-purchased products at
The Audiophile Boutique

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