Audio Analogue Rossini

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					AudioEnz                                                                                 New Zealand’s hi-fi magazine

Audio Analogue Rossini
                    Let’s get this over with. Looks beautiful,
                    sounds amazing. Cheque please, Edi-
                        No? Oh, very well…

                1000 words-worth of picture
                    Scrutinise, if you will, the photo-
                graphs accompanying the article. Wit-
                ness the circular arrangement of con-
                trol buttons, the white-on-blue display          digital to analogue conversion. I think       recorded very sparely and with great
                window, and the very line of the thing.          Audio Analogue might agree with me,           intimacy, but who’s breathy-little-girl
                The price tells us this is not a high-end        hence the Rossini’s big brother, the Pa-      voice can become monotonous when
                player, but it just reeks of Italian design      ganini.                                       heard on systems that don’t capture the
                flair, and it’s not built anything like                                                        subtle changes in style and emotion in
                my old Alfa Romeo, which was not so              And now for the sound                         her singing. The results were very con-
                much ‘built’ as ‘arranged in an untidy               Let me begin at the bottom: this ma-      vincing. My only caution would be that
                pile’. While clearly the standard boxy           chine has an astonishing feel for bass.       a system set up for maximum detail re-
                form-factor, the look and construction           Geophysicists have recently discovered        trieval might find the Rossini takes no
                of this player marks it as something out         that the Earth emits a constant low fre-      prisoners with second-rate recordings.
                of the ordinary from first glance.               quency hum. If they need a CD player          Any hardness laid into the voice tracks
                    But, as is so often the case, the out-       to reproduce it for sceptical audiences       on a CD will be exposed without pity.
                side is not nearly so important as the           at academic conventions, this is their        Any fears that the valve-enhanced Ros-
                inside. As our eyes wander around the            candidate. Holy moly. But the show’s          sini might be soft or cuddly should now
                interior of the Rossini’s casework, we           not over. At the other end the Rossini        be laid to rest.
                notice it contains a high quality trans-         just astounds with its fluidity and lack
                                        port, a great deal       of grain. There’s no screechy downside        Since sliced bread?
                                        of air, and a fat        to cranking the amplifier knob around             Perhaps you’re wondering how the
The Rossini just astounds little toroidal                        to 11 and letting the growly bits dis-        Rossini, which has clearly made a posi-
    with its fluidity and               transformer that
                                        is clearly over-
                                                                 mantle your room. As I write this the
                                                                 Chemical Brothers are unscrewing my
                                                                                                               tive impression on me, stacks up against
                                                                                                               the Cambridge Audio Azur 840C, a ri-
 lack of grain. There’s no specified for the                     light fixtures.                               val that also earned my unqualified ad-
   screechy downside to                 job at hand. But             And then – the speed. This creature       miration? My answer is that the Rossini
                                        there is some-           snaps, crackles, and pops like it was in-     is equally accomplished, but it will suit a
  cranking the amplifier                thing amiss amid         tended as a nutritious start to your day.     different sort of listener than the 840C.
 knob around to 11 and the contemporary                          Soundstaging is nice and deep, and very       Where the Cambridge is an unbiased
                                        electronica. It is,      precise from left to right. Though the        presenter of the musical arts, the Audio
  letting the growly bits               in a word, a tube.       sonic image is not vastly wide there’s        Analogue wants you to love what you’re
  dismantle your room.                  This little light        an almost surround-sound effect in the        hearing and infuses what it plays with
                                        bulb, a 6922 dou-        way music can sweep past and around           an extra half-teaspoon of awesome-
                                        ble triode, laid out     the listening position.                       ness. It is, on reflection, the more Italian
                on its side, plays a central role in the             But, as ever, the acid test is the hu-    player.
                player’s output stage, adding amplitude          man voice. I pondered long on the pro-            Overall, I can do no more than have
                to the output signal and helping to filter       gramme material I’d use to trip up the        you re-read the first line of the review.
                the high frequency unpleasantness that           Rossini. I decided on Stina Nordens-          Now, Mr Editor, about that cheque…
                plagues CD.                                      tam, a singer who’s Dynamite album is         —Brent Burmester
                    Valves are not common in the out-
                put stages of CD players, but neither
                are they unheard of. Some might grind
                their teeth at the news that the Rossini
                is infested with a tube, and suppose that
                this can only mean a mushy, weak, and
                over-warm sound. My previous experi-
                ence with hybrid players suggests this
                isn’t a problem, and that an argument
                for valves can be made based on sound
                quality. However, I side with those who
                view the use of valves as a second-best
                solution to the unwanted artifacts of

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