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Logitech Squeezebox Touch with M2tech hiface Two

Having successfully ‘hacked’ my Squeezebox Touch to add the linux drivers necessary to enable the hiface One it seemed only logical to try using the new M2tech hiface Two.  The hiface Two is USB 2.0 audio compatible – it uses a XMOS solution – so does not require drivers for OS X or Linux.

Comparing the original hiface to the new version Two was just a matter of plugging in the hiface and selecting it in the Advanced/Digital Output menu options (assuming Triode’s excellent Enhanced Digital Output App is enabled). Each change of convertor requires a SBT reboot, but it happens automatically and takes very little time.

The sound quality differences between the hiface and its newer sibling were not as great as the difference between using the SBT from its S/PDIF output and using a hiface – that’s a complete no brainer imho – but they were obvious and the hiface two was the clear winner.

The original hiface in comparison was a little more raw, a little rougher round the edges, a little less ‘relax back into the chair’. To put it into some sort of perspective, if I owned a original hiface I wouldn’t upgrade unless I also owned a SBT and couldn’t face the ‘hacking’

If I owned a SBT was using the S/PDIF output and didn’t try the hiface Two I’d potentially be missing a huge chunk of performance.

hiface Two, USB to S/PDIF device

Keith Monks launches discOveryOne

discOveryOne from Keith Monks. Inventor of the original electric Record Cleaning Machine, brings the record cleaning quality so prized by the BBC, the US Library of Congress and the British Library National Sound Archive among others, in an easier and more affordable package.

Keith Monks today announced that the new discOveryOne Record Cleaner had started production in the UK. It will shortly be available worldwide.

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New Motive SX Series from Neat Acoustics

The next generation of Motive speakers, the SX series, are now shipping. These new models maintain the essential appeal of the original Motive models but introduce significant improvements in all aspects of performance.

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Sons of Kemet nominated for Best Jazz Act in the 18th annual MOBO Awards

Naim Jazz is pleased to announce that Sons of Kemet have been nominated for Best Jazz Act in the 18th annual MOBO Awards to be held at the SSE Hydro, Glasgow on 19 October.

With the release of their debut album ‘Burn’ on 9 September Sons of Kemet cemented the fierce reputation they had garnered through their incendiary live performances.

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Focal Aria 900 – Affordable luxury

The Aria 900 paves the way for radical technology changes and brings a new design combining stylish classicism with modernity. This approach befits new consumer thinking, now turned towards refined, long-lasting products.

All new Flax loudspeakers, so named on account of their flax membranes, new TNF tweeters, minimalist style cabinets and perfectly optimised phase crossovers – all delivering the informed music lover with a cocktail of total sound pleasure.

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Beer Can Chicken

Anyone who has a Weber BBQ somehow learns about the famous beer can chicken.
It’s not exclusive to Weber it just seems to come with the territory.

We have tried a few recipes and the best, so far, is the one included in the Weber iPad app. This recipe is different from the one on Weber’s website.  I haven’t tried it but maybe the way to go is to use this recipe with the rub from the app recipe below.

What makes it special is the rub that makes the finest tasting chicken skin I have ever tasted.

These are the ingredients for the rub just in case you can’t get access to the iPad app.

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

A four pound chicken is cooked perfectly in around 50 minutes and remains beautifully moist.

The final key to it working well is the rack I purchased from Amazon.  For around eight quid it makes cooking quicker, safer and the whole event more stable and reliable.  Without it the chicken has a tendency to fall over mid-way through the cooking cycle.

Highly recommended