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An interview with Halcro

By | September 16th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

Halcro is a company reborn. Our review of the Halcro Eclipse Mono power amplifiers from Audio Esoterica can be seen by clicking this link. Here we interview Mike Kirkham (left above) and Dr. Peter Foster (right) who, along with Lance Hewitt, are the new owners of this famous brand, and the trio responsible for the birth of the Eclipse.

Audio Esoterica: Back in the day, Halcro was probably the most famous high-end amplifier brand in the world, but then it just vanished off the face of the earth.… Read the full article

Halcro Eclipse Mono power amplifiers REVIEW

By | September 16th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

THE REVIEW BELOW APPEARED IN ‘AUDIO ESOTERICA‘ MAGAZINE, TOGETHER WITH AN INTERVIEW AND HALCRO TIMELINE. YOU CAN VIEW THE ORIGINAL MAGAZINE PDFs BY CLICKING THE IMAGE ABOVE. A FULL BENCHTEST AND EXTENDED REVIEW APPEARS IN THE OCTOBER/NOVEMBER ISSUE OF Australian Hi-Fi magazine, ON SALE SEPTEMBER 26 2019. 

Halcro is very likely the most famous Australian hi-fi brand you’ve never heard of. Indeed you’re likely to be more familiar with the name of the company that founded it — Minelab — than you are to be with Halcro, since you can buy a Minelab metal detector almost anywhere in the country… which isn’t true of Halcro, at least not yet.… Read the full article

Klipsch brings bars with horns

By | September 16th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

Klipsch has two new soundbar designs available to Australia, the BAR 40 at $848, and the BAR 48 at $1248. Both come with a wireless subwoofer, and both bar designs being sealed enclosures made from real wood, just like the brand’s premium loudspeaker lines.

Both also make a point of emphasising Klipsch’s love of horn-driven tech up front, with the end of each bar featuring one of Klipsch’s own Linear-Travel Suspension Tweeters inside a 90×90-degree Tractrix horn, as featured in pretty much every Klipsch speaker (except for headphones and subwoofers).… Read the full article

TOP SHELF: Ibanez THBB10 + SLM10 Polyphia Signature Model Electric Guitars

By | September 15th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

Alex Wilson checks out these brand spankin’ new and hotly anticipated signature models from Polyphia’s up-and-coming guitar gods (and meme lords).

Polyphia are leading the charge in getting instrumental guitar music back in front of listeners. 

These uber-fashionable Californian kids combine poppy songwriting smarts, high-production video clips, and ironic millennial bling, racking up views and plays in the millions. Much of their older material leaned heavily on melodic shred- metal tropes, but with their latest album they’ve diversified their sound, exploring cleaner and jazzier textures. 

Read the full article

Northlane: Men In Black

By | September 15th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

Note: This piece first appeared in Australian Guitar #134Subscribe to our print edition here!

In the year 2019, anything is possible. Case in point: Northlane’s new full-length, Alien. The genre-bending Sydneysiders have embraced the bass drop with open arms on LP5 – yet at the same time, this may just be their heaviest offering yet.

Words by Matt Doria.


From the second they kicked down the doors with their 2010 Hollow Existence EP, the fusioncore firestarters in Northlane have been hell-bent on shaking up the Australian heavy music scene.… Read the full article

Lithe Audio at Audio Active

By | September 15th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

Melbourne audio distributor Audio Active is now distributing the Lithe Audio range of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth ceiling speakers in Australia. [Click image to enlarge]

Lithe Audio’s custom install products provide an all-in-one simple plug-and-play solution that’s perfect for bedrooms, bathrooms, and anywhere around the home,’ said Bruce Thierbach, general manager of Sales and Marketing at Audio Active. ‘No more speakers lying around on kitchen benches or on the floor. This discrete audio performance product adds real value to both domestic and commercial applications.’

Each of Lithe Audio’s active Wi-Fi ceiling speakers has an amplifier rated with an output of 60-wattts built in and it’s possible to stream audio to a single speaker, or to up to 30 speakers simultaneously for a multi-room audio.… Read the full article

Canton Smart Soundbar 10

By | September 13th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

Canton’s new Smart Soundbar 10 delivers Dolby Atmos cinema sound, multi-room connectivity and music streaming via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. [Pictured above in silver. A black finish is also available. Click image to enlarge.]

The Canton Smart Soundbar 10 is the flagship in this German manufacturer’s range of ‘Smart’ Wi-Fi-enabled speakers. Like the previously-released Soundbar 9 ($1,199), the Soundbar 10 is a low-profile design, only 70mm high and 100mm deep. It’s a metre long, with a heat-treated glass top and metal speaker grilles.… Read the full article

Pixies: Natural Magic

By | September 12th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

Note: This piece first appeared in Australian Guitar #134Subscribe to our print edition here!

Weird and wonderful as they’ve ever been, the Pixies throw us through yet another loop with Beneath The Eyrie: an album that peers back on the past 30 years of their reign over alt-rock with fondness, and to the future with a blinding fervour.

Words by Matt Doria.


If there’s one defining trend we can pin to the 2010s, it’s been… Nostalgia. Perhaps because the rest of the world is in goddamn shambles right now, pop-culture has largely shifted its focus to re-appreciating the gems of our past – whether that’s in cinema (Star Wars, Jurassic World and Ghostbusters are all titans of the present-day box office), TV (though it’s a new property, the whole allure of Stranger Things is its retro flavouring) or music; this year alone, we’ve seen chart-destroying albums drop from Weezer, Dream Theater and the Backstreet Boys – all bands who ostensibly peaked in the ‘90s, but have enjoyed wickedly lucrative comebacks as of late. … Read the full article

SMART AMPLIFIERS – Amazon Echo Link Amp vs Sonos Amp vs Bluesound Powernode 2i

By | September 12th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

With voice control, app control, streaming, external inputs and built-in power, the race is on to provide the easiest just-add-speakers plug-and-play zone of multiroom music.

The concept isn’t, of course, new — indeed one of the very first releases from Sonos back in 2006 was a smart zone amplifier designed as a just-add-speakers solution. Every wireless multiroom ecosystem launched since then has had its own version of this easiest of system solutions, the smart amplifier.… Read the full article

New slim pickings from Marantz

By | September 12th, 2019|Categories: AV Hub|

Marantz has announced the latest versions of its popular slimline AV receivers, which provide multichannel power, an HDMI hub for the home, and HEOS wireless multiroom streaming, all in a chassis far lower than the usual AV receiver height. (Which strictly makes them ‘low-slung’ or ‘short-arsed’ as opposed to ‘slimline’ which implies a narrow width, but the description is now so established that we’ve almost stopped mentioning it. Almost.)

The $1099 NR1510 and $1399 NR1710 (pictured) share the ability to handle 4K/60Hz pass-through at full-rate 4:4:4 color resolution, including support for HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG High Dynamic Range.… Read the full article