Using borrowed  techniques and circuits from the company’s top-line monoblocks like the Concero 65 and pre-amp ARIESCZEEATJPGstages like the Pondera Ref Aries Cerat have come up with what they describe as being “the absolute and superlative design in integrated amplifier”.

The Diana is a three stage, all direct heated triode single ended amplifier.

All three stages are designed as direct heated single ended amplifier stages. The first two stages are loaded with bifilar-wound, interstage transformers with no coupling capacitors present in the signal path.

Input tubes are a pair of DHT 814 tubes, driving another 814 pair, which drives a pair of 813 DHT output tubes.

The power supplies are fed by 800VA and 1000VA (1800VA total) transformers, controlled  by a soft start circuit. The four 814 and two 813 tubes, all have their separate choke filtered PSUs and all 6 filaments are powered by 6 triple filtered PSUs, to provide solid power reserves.

Output stage power supply ,uses three film SuperCapacitors weighing 3Kg each whilst biasing of the input, driver and output tubes is attained via special biasing circuits, and all stages can be fully adjusted and monitored while listening.

Attenuation method is discrete-relay-switched-resistors.

Number of inputs: 5 unbalanced, optional Balanced input

HT pass-through ready

Gain: 24db

Power Output 25W sine, 50W square

Signal bandwidth :6Hz-100KHz

SNR >110db

Weight: 115kg

Dimensions: 570mmW X 630mmD X 360mmH

 

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The Issuu version of the Hifi Pig special from the Bristol Sound and Vision show is now available.

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The new ALUMA 2200 from Quadral consists of a centre plus four satellite speakers that have the option of using the ALLUMAQUADRALMount 210 for wall installation.  Users can opt to aded the Qube 7 active subwoofer for a “discrete yet powerful system.”

Aluminium has been used as the material for the cabs and you can choose between a white finish and a black anodised version for these little satellites.

In addition there is the centre speaker which is only 10.2 cm high, 24.2 cm wide and 10.1 cm deep. The QUBE 7 with its stable MDF housing and 70 Watts nominal output and 100 Watts music power amp completes this 5.1 set.

The four satellites reproduce 50 Watts nominal output power and 80 Watts music power and the reference values of the horizontal centre are 60 Watts nominal output power and 100 Watts music power. Frequencies from 85 Hz up to 22 kHz are reproduced by the satellites and frequencies from 80 Hz up to 22 kHz by the centre. The 32.6 cm high, 29.6 cm wide and 31.5 cm deep, almost square active subwoofer provided with the set reproduces the bass ranges with a lower frequency limit of 33 Hz.

RRP £550 inc VAT

 

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The Clarity Alliance, the UK hi-fi industry’s trade body, welcomes the addition of two new manufacturers to its continually claritygrowing number of members.

After a number of years absence from the UK, many who remember the brand for its well respected loudspeakers and turntables will welcome the return of Acoustic Research. The reintroduction of this famous name brings new products such as portable high-resolution music players and a USB DAC with headphone amplifier.

David Saab, commercial director – EMEA, takes up the story, “Acoustic Research (AR) is incredibly proud to become a member of Clarity with its professional reputation for supporting passionately-driven audio manufacturers. As a nostalgic speaker/turntable brand with a strong UK fan base, AR is poised to re-launch itself as a manufacturer that still focuses on the sound rather than the hype. We debuted at the Bristol Show with an exceptional range of high-res products to audiophiles who want great sound that does not have to cost the earth.” He concludes, “AR wishes to invite audiophiles back to the brand with the support of Clarity and its membership, to help us start the job of communicating, successfully re-launching and re-connecting with the audio community once again to share our joint passion for hi-fi audio.”

Mitchell and Johnson is another comeback, set up by the team responsible for the reintroduction of the Sansui brand into the UK in late 2011. Paul Mitchell and Dave Johnson have a long track record in the consumer electronics industry, having worked for major manufacturers and retailers in the UK and USA. A long time hi-fi enthusiast and semi-professional musician, Mitchell is responsible for the product and sales functions of the business, while Johnson brings with him considerable expertise in commercial operations management and finance. The new brand builds on the award winning products introduced under the Sansui name, while also having undertaken a period of intensive product development to enable the unveiling of new and class leading components covering the amplifier, streamer, DAB and CD categories.
On joining Clarity, Paul Mitchell says, “Having started my life as a retail hi-fi store salesman and eventually a manager, I see hi-fi dealers as the single biggest influencer on the UK hi-fi consumer and therefore feel every single bit of help and support we as manufacturers can give the dealer network is immeasurable. From selling hi-fi to designing it, I personally feel I can use my experience to make a valuable contribution to Clarity and look forward to playing an active role.”

 

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Great Britain’s Chord Electronics will be exhibiting at CanJam SoCal 2015 this weekend, America’s biggest dedicated Chord-CanJam‘head-fi’ event. The Kent-based company will be showing its new Hugo TT desktop DAC/headphone amp which was launched at CES in January 2015 and starts production in April.

Chord will also be demonstrating its mobile-orientated Hugo DAC/headphone amp.

Rob Watts will be joining Chord owner and MD John Franks at the event, along with Sales Manager Colin Pratt and Audio Engineer Tom Vaughan. Chord Electronics’ US distributor, Bluebird Music, will also be in attendance.

Chord will be connecting-up a number of reference-quality headphones on its stand, including Audeze LCD-XCs and LCD-3s, various models from HIFIMAN, plus IEMs from California’s Noble Audio.

Chord is expected to have five Hugo TTs at CanJam: two on its stand, plus units on the Head-Fi, Noble Audio and Moon Audio stands.

CanJam SoCal 2015 is being held at The Westin South Coast Plaza, 686 Anton Blvd, 2nd Floor, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 9:00am to Sunday.

 

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New from IsoTek, the Sequel comes in a standard length of 2m, compared to the Premier’s 1.5m. Like the Premier, it uses silver-plated IsoTek_EVO3_Sequeloxygen-free copper conductors twisted together to aid EMI/RFI rejection, but in the Sequel the conductor geometry is “improved with optimised thickness of the individual strands”. “The Sequel also incorporates more advanced ‘active’ shielding under its PVC outer sheath, similar to that used in IsoTek’s more costly cables”.

The EVO3 Sequel is IsoTek’s second-tier power cable, slotting in between the entry level EVO3 Premier and the mid-level EVO3 Elite.

Key features

Construction: Three 2.0mm2 optimised-strand conductors .
Conductors: Silver-plated 6n oxygen-free copper (OFC) copper
Dielectric (insulation): A Teflon FEP dielectric (insulation)
Wrap: A Mylar wrap is used to shield the cable
Copper shield: An active OFC copper shield drains RFI to earth
Jacket: A heat-resistant PVC outer jacket
24-carat gold termination: Termination of the EVO3 Sequel is done by hand using IsoTek’s bespoke audiophile grade 24-carat gold plated connectors.
Available terminated with UK, EU, US and Australian mains plugs and with C7, C15 and C19 IEC connectors, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of audio and AV equipment.

The EVO3 Sequel is available now priced at £199.95 (including VAT) for a 2m terminated cable.

 

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McIntosh Laboratory has launched the new MCT450 SACD/CD transport — “a high-performance disc-spinner designed MCT450 Front Topto complement any McIntosh product with a digital input”.

The MCT450 offers digital balanced (24-bit/192kHz), coaxial (24-bit/96kHz), optical (24- bit/192kHz) and DIN outputs for complete flexibility when connecting to partnering system components. For SACD playback, the MCT450 also employs a DIN output for connection to select McIntosh models (with a DIN input), such as the new D150 digital preamp launched at CES in January 2015.

The transport is compatible with all common disc types including: SACD; CD; CD-R and CD- RW (MP3 and WMA). “A twin-laser optical pickup assures optimal disc-reading, while 2x read speed provides improved data-reading from damaged discs”.

Further features include a premium aluminium die-cast CD tray, plus power control and data ports to control the unit’s operational state via other McIntosh system components. The entire unit is housed in a classic McIntosh-styled polished stainless steel chassis with a black- glass front panel and brushed-aluminium end caps.

The MCT450 sells for £4,495.

 

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Danish hi-fi specialist Gamut has appointed Berkshire-based Sound Fowndations as its new UK distributor. The two Gamut RS9 on stagecompanies had already collaborated at a number of key hi-fi shows, during which it became clear that they shared a common passion and vision for high performance audio.

“It’s important for us to work with the right people,” said Benno Meldgaard, Gamut’s Research & Development Manager. “Our focus is on creating phenomenally musical hi-fi systems so it’s vital that our business partners have the knowledge and expertise to enable customers to experience that musicality directly for themselves.”

Chris Green, Sound Fowndations’ Managing Director, added, “We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Gamut. This is a company in which quality very clearly runs through everything they do: design and engineering, build and craftsmanship, relationships and customer service. And watching Benno set up a system is something every audiophile should witness. Perfectionism doesn’t even come close to describing the attention to detail, and the results are astonishing. His ears should be insured!”

 

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Noble Audio has launched Prestige: a 10-driver bespoke monitor crafted from a choice of exotic solid materials (from Black and Orange low£1,650)

Prestige is a high-end progression of Noble Audio’s flagship custom K10 and universal-fit K10U IEMs (£999). Like its K10 siblings, Prestige also employs Noble Audio’s 10 driver balanced armature technology.

But, Prestige is an CIEM with a difference! Instead of beginning the manufacturing process with the liquid medium that’s traditionally used, Prestige pieces are hand-crafted entirely from solid mediums. Prestige offers the choice of 30 exotic finish options from a range of solid-construction materials including exotic woods, carbon glass, genuine honeycomb and aluminium webbing.

The Prestige process begins with digitising acrylic moulds of the inner ear using one of the most “advanced 3D-scanning processes available”: over 2.5 million points of data are collected and manipulated per ear. Once digitised, the pieces are painstakingly shaped from a solid medium in a process that can take up to 30 hours per ear. Each piece is then hollowed-out by hand to accommodate the driver assembly and internals, before being finished with a hypoallergenic lacquer and buffed.

Finishes Include:

Exotic wood

Hand-picked and graded for quality, the exotic woods include a curated selection spanning the United States, tropical Africa and South East Asia

Wizard’s wood

Exotic woods combined with colour(s) to create palpable textures and finishes

Dyed wood

Neutral-coloured woods dyed either a single colour, or a progression, enhancing figure and character

Honeycomb

Genuine honeycomb cast in various colours creating an organic, naturally occurring, geometric landscape

The Matrix

Similar to honeycomb in terms of pattern, The Matrix consists of an aerospace-grade aluminium webbing that is rigid in structure, but profiles nicely with the contours of the ear

Carbon Glass

Pieces of stiff 12mm carbon fibre infused with various colours and metallic finishes producing a glass-like appearance

Specifications:

10 balanced-armature drivers per side

2 precision-tuned bass drivers

2 precision-tuned mid-frequency drivers

2 precision-tuned mid-/high-frequency drivers

2 precision-tuned high-frequency drivers

2 precision-tuned super-high-frequency drivers

4-way design

Impedance <35 ohms

Detachable cable with industry-standard 2-pin configuration

Hand-crafted from solid materials

Prestige is available now, priced from £1,650

 

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TIDAL has announced it is delighted to announce its integration with Meridian Audio, the Cambridgeshire (UK)-based tidal.Screengrabtechnology company.  With immediate effect, TIDAL will be available on Meridian’s Sooloos digital media system, enabling seamless streaming of the services extensive library of 25 million CD-quality tracks.

The TIDAL integration brings a lossless audio streaming experience to Meridian Sooloos system owners old and new.  After a simple software upgrade, Meridian Sooloos customers can sign up to the service and gain unlimited access to TIDAL’s CD-quality catalogue, which can be navigated via the Sooloos Control 10/15 touch panel screen or any compatible tablet, smartphone or the desktop controller.  Giving both existing and new Sooloos customers the opportunity to try out TIDAL for themselves, a complimentary three-month trial of the service will be available to all, allowing instant access once registered.

TIDAL is also offering all new Meridian customers the opportunity to trial its service.  Available up until 31st May 2015, any customer purchasing a Meridian product will receive a 3-month (90-day) subscription, giving them unlimited access to the service.

Commenting on the announcement, Pål Bråtelund, Strategic Partnership Manager HiFi at TIDAL, said, “We are delighted to be announcing this integration with Meridian!  Having worked closely with one of audio’s foremost innovators to demonstrate its MQA technology streaming earlier this year, it is great to firm up the association by offering TIDAL subscriptions to its customers, so that they can appreciate the high quality performance of our service.”

John Buchanan, CEO at Meridian Audio said, “The partnership with TIDAL is significant for a company such as Meridian, which prides itself in delivering a super-quality digital signal throughout the path from the studio to the home, using advanced digital signal processing technologies”.

 

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Named after classic songs, clad in carbon fibre and Kevlar, and featuring the “most sophisticated in-ear headphone Astell&kern_earphonesdesign yet” – Astell&Kern’s new Layla and Angie earphones certainloy look the part.

The Astell&Kern earphones are engineered by Jerry Harvey Audio (JH Audio), designer of in-ear monitors (IEMs) for musicians as diverse as Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, Pitbull and The Rolling Stones. Its founder, Jerry Harvey can claim to have made the first ever 2-way, custom-fit earpieces, created when he was a sound engineer touring with Van Halen.

LAYLA

The flagship Layla model, named for the Eric Clapton song, contains new fewer than 12 custom-made drivers, plus what Jerry Harvey describes as the most sophisticated crossover network used in an in-ear design.
He says: “the proprietary quad drivers deliver audio quality that will truly put you at the mix position in the recording studio, whether it’s hearing exactly what the mixer/producer and band wanted you to hear, mixing your own tracks or performing live.”

Key Layla features:
Full carbon-fibre body with burnt titanium bezel
All new proprietary driver designs
12 drivers: four bass; four mid-range; four high-frequency
Stainless Steel Tube Waveguide
Adjustable bass
Multiple sizes of eartips so you can find the ideal fit
3.5mm unbalanced and balanced 2.5mm 4-pole cables
Carbon fibre and black aluminium carry case
Available now, priced £1999

ANGIE

Little sister to Layla – and named after the Rolling Stones song – Angie, has the same ground-breaking crossover design and eight custom drivers.
Jerry Harvey says Angie delivers “a very accurate representation of whatever source it has to reproduce. The audio signature is reference quality.”

Key Angie features:
Unique red and black Kevlar shell, with machined black aluminium bezel and inset carbon fibre
All new proprietary driver designs
8 drivers: two bass; two mid-range; four high-frequency
Stainless Steel Tube Waveguide
Adjustable bass
Multiple sizes of eartips so you can find the ideal fit
3.5mm unbalanced and balanced 2.5mm 4-pole cables
Machined aluminium carry case
Available now, priced £899

Henry Park, CEO of iriver, parent company of Astell&Kern says, “We are honoured to partner with one of the biggest names in the audio industry.  Jerry Harvey and his team are known worldwide for producing the very best in-ear monitors. Every top musician uses Jerry’s IEMs when performing.  Music lovers everywhere can get the best sound possible using Astell&Kern players and Jerry Harvey Audio IEMs.”

 

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Bryston has announced the introduction of new BIT (Bryston Isolation Transformer) models to serve larger applications. bryston8BITThe new 45 and 60-Amp models feature a 220/240-volt input with a 120-volt output and are available with or without AVR technology (Automatic Voltage Regulation). In addition to these new models, all BIT products will now be available with standard rack-mount faceplates, making them suited for larger residential and commercial installations.

The Bryston BIT product lineup was developed to address the need for an AC power device that accomplished three key objectives; power line conditioning, isolation and non-MOV-based protection. Existing models include 5, 15 and 20-amp versions, now available with either 17-inch standard faceplates or 19-inch rack-mount faceplates.

“Bryston BIT products were developed to improve the performance of an entire entertainment system,” stated Bryston VP James Tanner. “BIT products deliver the current stability and low impedance that is ideal for most amplifier designs while providing the total isolation and lower noise floor that is paramount to optimizing audio and video playback,” Tanner added.

MSRP prices:

BIT-45 $5900

BIT-60 $6450

BIT-45 AVR $8300

BIT-60 AVR $8900

 

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Meridian Audio has announced its participation in the Montreal Audio Show, which commences on 27th March for three MQA_READYdays during which time Meridian will unveil and demonstrate its new MQA technology.

In association with AudioGroup as a Distribution Partner, Meridian will be displaying in two separate areas; Fontaine C and the Personal Audio zone at the Hotel Bonaventure.

There will be detailed and dedicated 30-minute MQA room demonstrations, using Meridian’s Special Edition DSP7200 Digital Active Loudspeakers and a Meridian 818 Reference Audio Core with Control 15 Meridian Sooloos Streaming Server System. Meridian will also be showing all three Cabinet DSP Speakers /DSP 7200 Cut-Away.

In addition Meridian will demonstrate its new Explorer2 MQA-ready USB DAC, the Prime Headphone Amplifier and Prime Powers Supply using the DAC between Mac and PCs, together with Grado headphones.

 

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Astell&Kern has launched a limited edition Stainless Steel version of its flagship music player, the AK240. The move notAstell&KErn_Staineless_steel only gives the portable a new look, but also improves both performance and durability. The AK240 Stainless Steel edition – available now, priced £2499 – also comes with a bespoke new leather case from the Tanniere Rémy Carriat.

It shares the look – and durability – of high-class watch designs, but the AK240 Stainless Steel edition also offers an audio performance advantage says the company’s recent press release.

“By offering more ground points, the AK240 Stainless Steel edition eliminates more electrical ‘noise’, meaning a purer audio experience. The standard AK240 already has laser-etched ground points on its anodized duralumin body, but with the Stainless Steel edition the entire casing acts as grounding” it continues.

 

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Italian loudspeaker manufacturer EMME Speakers have sent us pictures of their very latest loudspeaker Copernicus. EMME_Copernicus_loudspeaker
The new loudspeaker keeps many of the concepts from the company’s previous loudspeakers and uses their BSSE system (Box Shaping for Sound Enhancement).

The acoustic layout of Copernicus sees three drivers in an unconventional two-ways configuration.

Mid-high frequencies are managed by a ceramic (diamond in option) 2″ mid-tweeter, housed into a 1″ thick BSSE panel, micro-machined from a solid aluminum sheet.

Bass is dealt with by two 10″ aluminum woofers working in parallel, in bipole and asynchronous mode, thanks to a “time shifting” network that continuously changes the phase of one woofer to sync with the other one.

The speakers will be launched at this year’s Munich High-End and are available in a range of luxury finishes including real gold leaf.

 

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Chord Electronics’ audio streamers, the DSX 1000 (£7,500) and the CodeX from the Choral Series (£4,500), have been IMG_0011given a new free control app, Chord 2 HD. The new app, which is available for both the iPad and iPhone, will initially be available on iOS 8.0 and above, with an Android version to follow.

Chord 2HD brings a number of improvements over Chord’s debut control app (Chord HD), which will remain available for older devices.

The new Chord 2 HD, is a slicker, more ergonomic control app with a wide range of new features, giving improved control and interactivity with streamed audio content. It has been designed with a strong graphical focus with album artwork featuring throughout. A wide range of functionality has been added, including a comprehensive search function plus improved internet radio and media browsing.

Further features include volume control, playlist composition and editing, and a cue-in function. The app also allows users to ‘push’ local content on devices to Chord’s streamers over a network, enabling the playback of visitors’ audio content, for example.

Available for free on iTunes.

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This is a sound only interview of Nigel and Alan from The Chord Company discussing their cable designs, music, Hifi and a whole lot more. This should have been a video but the cameras malfunctioned and so the sound quality is also a tad questionable. All that said, they discuss some pretty interesting points, their love of music shines through and so well worth a listen.

More Hifi Interviews and Industry features

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When this landed on our desktop we thought it a great idea  – a pop up record store inside a hifi shop….genius. The Vinyl-recordsrecord shop in question will be Clym’s Records and Loud and Clear in Edinburgh tell us that there will be a huge selection of vinyl, from pop LPs and 12″ singles to classical LPs via indie/punk/new wave/soul and reggae 7″ singles.

The event will take place at Loud and Clear in Edinburgh this coming Saturday (21st March) from 10 am…see if you can spot the Hifi Pig Edinburgh connectionand say hello.

As well as a main turntable based systems in the demo room, there will be individual listening stations.

 

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