The prizes have been rolling in thick and fast so here is the current list:

Kralk Audio BC-30 FL loudspeakers in Statement Silver Oak & Tellurium Q Black speaker cables up to 2.5m in length

Chord Company £600, 1.5m Signature Array Power Cable (county designated plug)

IsoTek mains loom (UK plugs and sockets) From Sound Fowndations £750

Studio Connection interconnect and mains cable (country designated plug) £600 and £200

Signed Brian May photo

Audio Suspension ASU-100 Turnatble Shelf (£240)

Sanus VuePoint 47-80” Tilting TV Mount (£69.99)

Two Audiomica MAGNET GOLD power cables, worth 400 CHF each. One cable has a Schuko plug and the other a 16 amp Swiss plug. Donated by Artizan Audio.

Lyudmila Gorbulya handpainted plate from Voyla Audio

Flare R2S earphone (£300 ) and Isolate Pro (£46 on)

These will be drawn in the above order once the 30 days of fundraising has finished.  Please leave your full name when donating to make it easier for us to contact you and save the email that you receive confirming your donation, if you are a winner you will need to send this to us with your shipping details.

Go here to donate.

Good luck!

 

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CanJam Europe, the largest headphone show in Europe, will return to Essen, Germany on September 24th and 25th 2016 for its fourth session  Visitors get to try thousands of headphones, hundreds of portable and desktop players, headphone amps, DACs and other accessories for portable hifi from more than 60 exhibitors

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Highlights include Sennheiser’s brand new Orpheus HE-1, with a price of 50,000 Euros currently the most expensive headphone in the world or Shure’s electrostatic earphone KSE 1500 at 3,000 Euros. Many manufacturers of custom in-ears will be showcasing demo units of their earphones, which are fitted individually to the customers ear shape and will be taking ear impressions right at the show. If you’re looking for something a little more common, there’ll be headphones for sports, travel, daily commute or hifi at home, which won’t break the bank. In addition to headphones, exhibitors will also be showing portable audio players, which go way beyond MP3, desktop and portable headphone amps for demanding headphones or external DACs, which convert every smartphone into a hi-res hifi device.

 

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KATCH from Dali is their first-ever compact Bluetooth loudspeaker.DALI-KATCH---three-colours

Under the extruded aluminium hood sits a Class-D amplifier – capable of pumping out some 2x 18 Watts of power – 2 x 21mm soft-dome tweeters and 2 x 3.5-inch aluminium woofers, one pair facing front and one pair at the rear.

The KATCH features two placement profiles that run in conjunction with the front/back driver configuration, one for freestanding play and one that utilises placement on a shelf to reflect sound back from a wall.

Bluetooth 4.0 with Apt-X gives a wireless connection within seconds, while the NFC option is even quicker.

DALI has included a stereo mini-jack input, while the KATCH’s USB charge connector means you can drive a Chromecast Audio dongle too, integrating your KATCH into your home network.

Available in three striking colour schemes, Dark Shadow, Cloud Grey and Green Moss, the DALI KATCH Bluetooth 4.0 with Apt-X

  • 2x 18W RMS Class-D amplifier
  • Extruded aluminium body
  • 2x 3.5-inch aluminium woofers
  • 2x 21mm soft-dome tweeters
  • Stereo mini-jack
  • 2600 mAh internal battery
  • USB charge output

Priced at £329, the new DALI KATCH portable Bluetooth speaker is available from October 1st.

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Bryston has announced the introduction of the BDP-π digital music player, joining the BDP-2 in Bryston’s lineup of digital players. The BDP-π is available now through authorised Bryston dealers with an MSRP of $1295.BDP Pi Angle1small

The compact BDP-π features advanced Bryston hardware and software built upon the Raspberry Pi and HifiBerry platform giving users fast response to commands and superb overall performance all from a chassis 1/3 the width of Bryston’s full-sized player. The BDP-π will playback digital music ranging from MP3 to lossless 24/192 high-resolution files and can be connected to virtually any DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) using the provided S/PDIF, Toslink, USB and HDMI connectors. The BDP-π is a complete digital entertainment hub—users can connect an external drive to access limitless libraries of digital content, gain access to their favorite Internet radio stations and enjoy lossless TIDAL streaming (subscription required).

The BDP-π is also a Roon Ready device. Roon Labs has created a software solution that delivers the ultimate user experience by merging Bryston’s exceptional BDP digital playback hardware with an intuitive, graphically rich music library management and playback software. Users get the superb sound of Bryston digital players with a highly refined user interface.

“Feedback from our sales channel has indicated that there was a market for a compact digital music player at a lower price point as long as performance remained superb,” explained Bryston VP James Tanner. “We have been able to bring together key technologies in order to make the BDP-π a reality and deliver Bryston quality digital entertainment to more music enthusiasts.” All Bryston digital products are covered by a 5-year warranty.

Inputs: 4x USB 2.0, 1x Ethernet (10/100 Mbps)

Outputs: SPDIF (RCA), Optical (TOSLINK), HDMI, USB 2.0

Control: IR, TCP/IP

Playback from USB drives

NAS connectivity supported

Plays all common file types

Raspberry Pi and HifiBerry platform

Multiple control options (iOS, Android, Desktop)

Roon Ready platform

TIDAL, Internet Radio, Custom URLs

Requires external DAC

Physical: 2.75″ H x 5.7″ W x 8.5″ D 2.6 Ibs.

Options:

Available with silver or black faceplate

BR-2 remote control available

BOT-1 for ripping, playing, and burning CD’s

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Wow, we are now getting celebrity prize donations! Brian May of Queen has donated a signed 8″x10″ picture of himself.

So, the prizes (which will be drawn in the following order) are:

Kralk Audio Loudspeakers with Tellurium Q speaker cables

Chord Company Signature power cable (county designated plug)

IsoTek mains loom (UK plugs and sockets)

Studio Connection interconnect and mains cable (country designated plug)

Signed Brian May photo
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Plus there are more to be added over the next few days!

Remember a £5 donation gets you into the draw, the more you donate in multiples of £5, the more chances to win!

Click here to go to Just Giving!

Please leave your full name, we will announce the winners via Just Giving, social media and on Hifi Pig. You will need to email us your confirmation of donation email with all your shipping details for us to send your prize.

Thank you!

 

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People’s generosity really astounds us.  Not only are we now at 21% of our target of £3000 to help fund a new wheelchair for Hifi Pig reader, Ricky Sterling, we have had yet more prizes donated.

The very generous Sound Fowndations, got in touch to offer another prize to the raffle. They have put up a bundle of IsoTek gear to include: IsoTek Evo3 Polaris (6 way mains block) – £295 IsoTek Evo3 Initium 1.5m UK-C15 IEC £65 each (package includes 7 of them, total £455) Total package value £750. Please note that this prize come with UK plugs/sockets only.

Thank you so much Sound Fowndations, you guys rock!

So we now have three separate prizes, with more in the pipeline so please, please click through to our crowdfunding site to read Ricky’s story and the prize details, and donate to enter the raffle.

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The current prize list is:

Kralk Audio speakers with Tellurium Q speaker cable

The Chord Company Signature power cable

IsoTek Evo3 mains loom

These will all be drawn separately and you have to be in it to win it with a donation of as little as £5.

Any surplus money raised will be sent to UK charity, Mcmillan Cancer Support.

Click here to go to Just Giving Crowdfunding.

 

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With just over two months to go until the start of The Indulgence Show, a major new audio and lifestyle event taking place at the Novotel Conference Centre in Hammersmith, 90 brands from the hi-fi, home entertainment and technology sectors have snapped up space to showcase their latest product ranges, services and experiences to the consumers that will come through the show’s doors.Indulgence_Show_logotrans-1-e1468426599916

The Indulgence Show is expected to attract over 10,000 visitors across the three days and has been designed by the organisers to bring in consumers from high income households who live in and around London as well as those from the surrounding counties, who are expected to travel up to two hours to visit the show.

Brands currently signed up for the event include Bowers and Wilkins, Onkyo, Audioquest and Sennheiser, PMC with more set to be announced.

Vernon Hamblin, headroom™ organiser, says, “My business partner and I developed the Indulgence Show concept to meet the requirements of that want to indulge themselves and their families with luxury goods, experiences and services from the home entertainment and lifestyle sectors because we felt that there was no show currently on the market that serviced these needs. Since we launched it earlier this year, we have received a hugely positive response from companies across a multitude of sectors that have already signed up to exhibit and we look forward to more signing on the dotted line in the coming weeks.”

Keith Tonge, creative director of exhibitor PMC comments, “By being highly innovative and offering more than just audio, The Indulgence Show really does break the mould of what has come before and we look forward to seeing a wider demographic at this year’s central London event.”

The Indulgence Show features three distinct areas – ‘Audio London’, ‘headroom™’ and ‘Pure Pleasure’.  The event will provide an opportunity for audio, home entertainment and portable audio brands to appeal to and attract discerning consumers with high disposable income who enjoy music and all the pleasures and benefits it brings to their lives as well as target those who want to indulge in new products and experiences.

 

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Chris Kimsey, the man who engineered “Led Zepplin III” and has worked on every Rolling Stones album since “Some Girls”, is opening the doors to the world of recording the biggest names in music with a live Q&A on the Friday and Saturday of The Indulgence Show, the new audio and lifestyle event taking place at the Novotel Conference Centre in Hammersmith from 14-16 October 2016.Chris_Kimsey_indulgence_show_small

In these sessions, Chris will take attendees through his career, which includes spells at Electric Ladyland studios in New York, London’s Metropolis and Mark Knopfler’s British Grove Studio. He will also be providing an insight into what it was like to be in the studio with legendary bands and artists from The Rolling Stones to B.B. King.

Chris’ illustrious career has spanned four decades and has seen him work with Led Zeppelin, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Deacon Blue and The London Symphony Orchestra. His journey in the industry began at Olympic Studios in Barnes. His mentor at Olympic was Keith Grant, who taught him everything he needed to know during the daytime film soundtrack sessions for such classics as The Italian Job, Get Carter and The Thomas Crown Affair. During the night-time pop sessions, Glyn Johns helped Chris cut his teeth on albums for The Small Faces and The Eagles.

Vernon Hamblin, producer of The Indulgence Show, says, “Bands don’t get much bigger than The Stones and Led Zep and Chris has been responsible for much of what we have heard from these giants. It’s a pleasure to be able to welcome him to The Indulgence Show to share his stories from the mixing desk with the visitors to the show.” He continues, “Bringing names like this to the event puts entertainment and an informative focus right at its heart, moving it away from the traditional static exhibition into something much more interactive and fun – putting the show into The Indulgence Show.”

The Indulgence Show is a new audio and lifestyle event aimed at visitors who are interested in educating themselves, acquiring, experiencing and enjoying music and all the benefits and pleasures it brings to their lives.  They want to pamper themselves with the finer things in life, and consider audio, home entertainment and headphones/portable audio to be elements that can enhance their wellbeing.  They are also happy to indulge their varied passions and treat themselves to high quality, luxury products such as watches, cars, motorised and recreational vehicles, wines, spirits, craft beer, hand-made chocolates etc. that make their lives more enriching, fun and enjoyable.

Tickets to The Indulgence Show are on sale now.

 

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Clearaudio’s Innovation range of turntables now has a new entry point, the Innovation Basic. Borrowing technology from the three other members of the Innovation family – the Innovation, Innovation Compact and Master Innovation – the new Basic has many features, a bijou form and a more accessible price. It may be at the entry level of the Innovation series, in reality the ‘Basic’ is anything but. Say Clearaudio: ‘Its design and construction bear all of the key Clearaudio hallmarks: intelligently-selected materials, precision engineering, painstaking craftsmanship and innovative technologies’. The resonance-optimised chassis features Clearaudio’s iconic three-point design with its ‘sandwich’ construction of Panzerholz (a solid, bullet-proof wood) and aluminium. Speed stability is achieved with Clearaudio’s decoupled custom-built high-torque DC motor with their patented Ceramic Magnetic Bearing (CMB) and Optical Speed Control (OSC). CMB allows the dynamically balanced platter to magnetically levitate on an inverted and polished ceramic bearing shaft with polished sintered bronze insert. Meanwhile, an infra-red sensor reads a microscopically-etched strobe ring and sends signals to the OSC mechanism which auto-corrects in real time, consistently maintaining the perfect speed. Two tonearm mounting bases make the Innovation Basic dual tonearm capable, while fine height adjustment allows for precise levelling of the turntable on any surface.Clearaudio_Innovation_Basic_Wood_nexs_august
The Innovation Basic is available with a choice of finish options. The chassis’ Panzerholz wood layer can be natural or black-lacquered, while its aluminium layer can be silver or black. The platter is available in either clear acrylic or black high-density POM.

Pricing and availability

The Clearaudio Innovation Basic turntable is available now. Prices (including VAT).

Clearaudio Innovation Basic Wood £3,400

Clearaudio Innovation Basic Black* £3,550


* The ‘Black’ price refers to finish options in which the Panzerholz wood layer of the chassis is black-lacquered. All other finish options (including those with black aluminium chassis layers and/or black POM platter) are priced as per ‘Wood’.

 

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Specialist UK Distributor Sound Design Distribution Ltd has signed a UK distribution deal with Mola-Mola. Mola-Mola is the brainchild of Bruno Putzeys, “he wunderkind of Class-D technology” originator of Universal class-D (UcD) in 2001 while at Phillips and as chief tech guru at Hypex, responsible for the development of its game-changing NCore Class-D amplifier technology.  25101915609_b257e6209b_k

Presented in strikingly distinctive rippled all-aluminium enclosures the ‘Makua’ Control Amplifier, complete with modular DAC and phono options, and ‘Kaluga’ Monoblock power amplifiers will be the first Mola-Mola designs to be made available to UK audiophiles through Sound Design Distribution Ltd.

The Makua is a fully balanced gain stage and routing matrix, accommodating optional DAC and phono stage modules and programmable via a dedicated App through USB or Bluetooth to access any combination of channel, processing and routing. Via the phono stage option for instance, vinyl-lovers can connect up to five turntables and program the settings individually for each.  All five inputs are switchable between XLR and floating RCA connections, and all can be assigned as either phono or line.

All stages in the Makua employ discrete amplifier modules using a little known topology called “single-ended driven differential”, which prevents noise from propagating all the way through to the outputs (paralleled for bi-amping). The relay-based volume control directly controls the gain of the output stage.

  • 5 balanced and 5 unbalanced inputs, all routable through optional processor boards like the phono stage and DAC
  • 2 parallel outputs for bi-amping
  • 4 programmable trigger outputs
  • Distortion at maximum signal level (THD, IMD): negligible – estimated around -150dB
  • Bandwidth >200 kHz
  • Dimensions: 420mm(W) x 110mm (H) x 345mm (D). Depth includes volume knob and connectors
  • Weight: 11kg

Based on Bruno Putzeys’ Ncore technology the Kaluga amplifier uses a circuit from Mola-Mola derived from the Hypex NC1200 amplifier, featuring an audiophile layout of short, isolated signal paths and eliminating board-to-board connectors in favour of star-quad cables soldered directly to the circuit board. The input stage on a separate circuit board uses the same discrete buffers as those found in the Makua pre-amplifier. The redesigned output filter uses monolithic capacitors.

  • Output power: 400 W/8 ohm; 700W/4 ohm; 1200W/2 ohm
  • Unweighted Signal/Noise Ratio: 128 dB
  • Distortion (THD, IMD): <0.003 % (all frequencies and power levels)
  • Bandwidth: >50 kHz
  • Balanced and unbalanced input
  • 2 pairs of Furutech binding posts, bi-wired directly to the amplifier PCB using Kubala·Sosna cable
  • Dimensions: 200mm (W) x 110mm (H) x 335mm (D). Depth includes speaker terminals
  • Weight: 7kg

The DAC from Moma-Mola has been designed from the ground up using circuits and digital algorithms developed entirely in house. The converter is a three board stack that fits in one of the option slots in the MAKUA preamp. On the first board, all incoming digital audio is upsampled to 3.125MHz/32 bits and converted to noise shaped PWM. The two remaining boards are mono DACs, in which a discrete 32-stage FIR DAC and a single-stage 4th order filtering I/V converter convert the PWM into analogue with a 140dB SNR. This is near the theoretical limit for 24-bit files and far beyond that of even quad-speed DSD.

  • Inputs: XLR, Optical, USB and Bluetooth (A2DP)
  • Supported formats: PCM up to 384 kHz /32 bits (>192 kHz and >24 bits only via USB); DSD up to quad speed (DDSD and up only via USB)
  • Performance: Signal to Noise Ratio: 140 dB (standalone version), 130dB (preamp option board); THD, IMD: negligible – estimated around -150dB.
  • Bandwidth: Up to 80 kHz. Choice of sharp or slow upsampling filters, minimum or linear phase.
  • Integrated jitter: <1 ps from 10 Hz upwards, <300 fs from 1 kHz upwards.
  • Jitter rejection: >80 dB at 1 Hz after 20 seconds of lock.

A standalone version of the Mola-Mola DAC is in the final stages of development

The RIAA add-on for the MAKUA Preamp has MC/MM input stages are optimised for current noise and voltage noise respectively.

Unlike the more common arrangement of MC head-amp feeding the MM stage, the two stages are fully independent, realising an equally short signal path for both. Input gain is switchable in 5dB steps over a 40dB range. Input resistance and capacitance are individually switchable. Available EQ settings cover practically all known cutting curves ever used, including most 78RPM. 

UK retail price (inc VAT):

Makua – £7,299; Kaluga (each) – £4,999; DAC board for Makua – £3,999; Phono stage for Makua – £1,699

Availability: September 2016

 

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McIntosh Group, formerly Fine Sounds, has been launched.

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McIntosh Group is the parent company of six luxury audio brands – Audio Research, McIntosh, Pryma, Sonus faber, Sumiko Subwoofers and Wadia. They say that their group represents ‘an unparalleled assemblage of performance audio brands each with its own unique history, distinctiveness and reverence from their longtime customers’. The McIntosh Group continues with ‘the aim of making recordings generate all the excitement of live music’.

 

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Hifi Pig heard about a young guy and audiophile in the USA, Ricky Sterling. Ricky’s story really touched us. This young man has been a paraplegic nearly his whole life after falling from a 6th floor window when he was just 2 years old. Since 2009, Ricky’s insurance have only been able to supply him with a very non-manoeuvrable, hospital type wheelchair that is not suited to his needs, this makes his life uncomfortable and difficult to say the least. Add to that the fact that the tyres are now coming off his chair and you can understand how this is impacting on Ricky’s life. 

Ricky is trying to raise money to buy himself a new chair and Hifi Pig wanted to help. We are aiming to raise £3000 to go towards his new chair, which will cost 4500 US$. To do this we are having a raffle! Those lovely people at Kralk Audio have donated a pair of their BC-30 FL loudspeakers in Statement Silver Oak and the equally lovely Tellurium Q will complement these with a pair of their Black speaker cables up to 2.5m in length.

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UPDATE: 

Great news, fabulous folk, The Chord Company, have just donated a £600, 1.5m Signature Array Power Cable as a prize! This will be given as a separate prize to the speakers and cable. The cable will be terminated with whichever plug fitting you need.

It costs £5 for each entry, so if you donate more then you get more chances to win! Please donate in multiples of £5 and then share your donation on the Hifi Pig facebook page.

In the event of us raising more than Ricky needs for his chair, we will send any extra money to UK charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.

We sincerely hope you will help us, enter the raffle and share this on your social media channels.

Please click through to the Just Giving Giving Crowd Funding Page which we have set up, to donate and enter the raffle!

Many thanks,

The Hifi Pig team.

 

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Gang of Four have always been exciting to watch live: edgy, unpredictable, appearing to threaten to dissolve into chaos and yet never losing the tightness, funkiness and angularity that is the hallmark of their sound.

During a year spent touring the world, Gang Of Four recorded two of the greatest of their shows.

The band filmed their sold-out show at New York’s Irving Plaza which will be available as a DVD or download. They also recorded their penultimate show of 2015, at London’s Islington Assembly Hall. This will be available as an audio CD, double coloured vinyl album and download. The DVD will be packaged with the CD.

The set list of each show brings together a catalogue spanning more than 35 years, from ‘Damaged Goods’ (released on the band’s 1979 debut album ‘Entertanment!’) right up to ‘Where TheNightingale Sings’ from the current 2015 studio album ‘What Happens Next’. The first live Gang of Four record since 1984’s ‘At The Palace’, ‘Live…In The Moment’ captures the taut, punchy energy of Gang of Four live and at their very best.

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Taga Harmony have added a bookshelf speaker to their Azure v.2 series. Azure B-40 v.2 are bookshelf speakers ideal for rooms up to 25 sqm and, Taga say, “easily  driven by virtually any amplifier”.

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Specifications

Design: 2-way, 2 drivers, Bookshelf speakers, Front double bass reflex port, wall mounts, crossover point 2kHz,  TLIE Enclosure.

High-Frequency Driver: 25mm (1”) TPTTD-I, TPAF

Bass / Midrange Driver: 165mm (6.5″) Polypropylene, TDSC

Recommended Amplifier Power: 20 – 140W

Frequency Response: 40Hz – 40kHz

Impedance: 6 ohm

Sensitivity: 88 db

Dimensions (H x W x D): 36 x 21 x 25.3 cm

Weight (net) 13.8 kg pair

The speakers come with a matt black front panel and are available in walnut, black and wenge finishes and are priced at 270€ a pair.

 

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Japanese cable and accessories manufacturers Furutech have added to their range of static charge eliminators with the new SK-Filter, conveniently designed to remove unwanted static build-up from the surface of records as they play. It’s an unfortunate fact that as vinyl records spin on turntables, friction with the air causes them to constantly gain a static charge. In fact, a record’s level of frictional static electricity can reach up to anywhere between 3,000V and 20,000V. Enter the audiophile’s arch enemy: electro-static noise interference, with its compromising effects on sound quality.

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Furutech’s new SK-Filter solves the problem ‘in situ’. As the record spins on the turntable, this neat little device gets to work sending static electricity packing. The SK-Filter uses a patented material, Thunderon®, which consists of a very fine acrylic fibre chemically bonded with copper sulphide. The resulting conductive filament has the ability to discharge static electricity into the air whenever static-charged material approaches – so the SK-Filter’s fibres do not need to touch the record. Rather, they are positioned a millimetre or two above the record’s surface thanks to an easy-to-use stand which is fully adjustable to complement a wide range of turntable set-ups. In developing the SK-Filter, Furutech’s audio design team undertook their usual process of research and development. Thunderon® was crafted into a thread-like material, strands of which were then knitted together to form the brush’s fibres. The precise combination of fibre length, quantity and density specifically required to effectively eliminate static from the surface of a record was exhaustively tested to identify the perfect balance. Their goal? Silence. In eliminating surface static, the SK-Filter reduces the noise floor, allowing you to enjoy listening to music on vinyl with full resolution.

Pricing & availability

The Furutech SK-Filter LP static eliminator is available now priced at £350 (including VAT).

 

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Custom Cable has changed its name to Audio Sanctuary and has introduced a host of improvements to both its in-store (New Malden, Greater London) and online shopping experience. Along with the name-change comes an all-new website, a bigger and better in-store experience, plus new brands and product lines, all of which are available 24/7 online. Consumers will still be able to enjoy one of the UK’s widest range of demonstrable headphones, Custom Cable’s customer service (now under Audio Sanctuary), plus an unrivalled accessories range. The retailer has improved its in-store experience, with additional rooms in which to discover the new product ranges.

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The new Audio Sanctuary offers more choice, more space, plus an even better shopping experience whether shopping in-store or online. Audio Sanctuary also offers repairs and can even refresh existing headphones. A worldwide provider for Sennheiser, the retailer can access parts and spares for most major brands, from Shure to Audeze, to Beyerdynamic and B&W. Audio Sanctuary is also the main retailer behind London’s headroom show and headroom at Indulgence.

 

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“The Bespoke Audio Company is proud and delighted to announce our new partnership with KJ West One of New Cavendish Street, London, W1” the company’s latest press release proclaims. Bespoke8high_end_2016

KJ West One is one of the most famous audio retailers in the world, we visited there a month or so ago to seer the launch of Chord Company’s Music cables. Its position at the heart of London’s West End offers the ideal location to sample their exceptional range of the finest components in high-fidelity audio reproduction.

To mark their collaboration, they are planning a special event on the 21st September 2016 from 6pm at KJ West One.

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Bespoke will present their pre-amplifier in their extraordinary sounding, beautiful looking demonstration facility together with some of the most desirable audio equipment available. They’ll discuss the concept and the philosophy behind the company and their products and will be able to answer any questions guests may have.

To demonstrate one of the processes behind the product, they will bring their transformer winding machine to show how they make the custom components which are at the heart of  the pre-amplifier.

Refreshments will be provided and guests will be invited to sample some local ales, wines and cheeses made in, or near to, their home town of Hastings on the south coast of England.

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Now in its 81st year, Quad has been making valve amplifiers for home use since the late 1940s. The company’s latest model, the VA-One, brings the concept bang up to date; a compact integrated amplifier that fuses Quad’s traditional valve-based audio expertise with modern digital audio streaming.4558_Quad_VA-One_ONLINE

With a footprint measuring just 18x33cm, the VA-One is very compact for a stereo valve amp – sufficiently small to sit comfortably on a desk.

Three digital audio inputs – optical, coaxial and asynchronous USB – support data up to 24-bit/192kHz, and an RCA-phono input gives the option to connect an analogue source like a CD player or a turntable (when used with a suitable phono stage). In addition, those who enjoy the freedom of wireless connectivity can pair smartphones, tablets and computers via Bluetooth, with support for the sonically superior aptX codec.

The preamp section incorporates an ECC83 high-impedance triode, feeding an ECC82 twin triode driver and phase splitter stage. The output stage uses two EL84 pentodes per channel in push-pull configuration, delivering 2x15W.4559_Quad_VA-One_(rear)_ONLINE

External styling is classically Quad, finished in traditional ‘Lancaster Grey’. The amp’s front panel sports a smooth-acting volume control incorporating a motorised potentiometer, allowing adjustment via the supplied remote control, together with a headphone output and controls for input selection and Bluetooth pairing.

The Quad VA-One integrated valve amplifier is available from mid-August, priced at £1299.95 (RRP). It joins the similarly styled PA-One headphone amp in Quad’s expanding ‘One’ range of valve-based amplifiers with integrated DAC circuitry.

 

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