The Clarity Alliance, the UK hi-fi industry’s trade association, will be presenting the third annual “Best of Show” Awards at the Bristol Show, to recognise the clarityefforts of exhibitors putting on a high quality show.

Sound & Vision is one of the premier shows of the UK calendar, featuring many of the major hi-fi and home cinema brands. The exhibitors put lot of work in to making their rooms sound and look as good as they can and, through its “Best of Show” awards, Clarity will recognise and reward their efforts.

During the first day of the show, Friday 20th February, a team of anonymous judges will be visiting every room to experience the sounds and sights presented. Each room will be scored on its appearance, sound quality, vision quality (where applicable) and general ambience, in order to come up with a shortlist of potential winning rooms. The winners will be decided by a second round of visits to the potentials and then announced at a press conference, which takes place in the Executive Lounge, Terrace Level at 5.30pm.

And for the second year, Clarity will also be presenting a “Lifetime Achievement Award” to recognise the outstanding contribution of an individual to the UK hi-fi industry. At last year’s inaugural award, John Dawson, founder of Arcam, was honoured. This year’s winner will be kept a closely guarded secret until the awards ceremony on the Friday evening.

Awards will be presented for:

“Best Sounding Hi-fi Room’

“Best Home Cinema Room’

“Best Presented Room”

“Most Innovative Room”

“Best Stand in an Open Area”

 

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The Chord Company, will be revealing two new models from its streaming (Ethernet) range at the forthcoming headroom show. The new streaming cables, whichPicture 1535 introduce The Chord Company’s Tuned ARAY technology to an even wider range of products, will be shown in pre- production form to the public at The headroom Show ahead of their official release later in the year.

The headroom Show will take place at Metropolis Studios, London, and will be open on Friday 30th January between 1pm and 7:30pm, and Saturday 31st January from 10am to 5pm. Metropolis Studios has recorded numerous artists including Queen, Michael Jackson, U2, Lady GaGa, Amy Winehouse, will.i.am, The Stone Roses, Lauren Hill, The Verve, Adele, Rihanna and more.

 

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The EVO3 Venus AV power centre is a five-outlet mains conditioner designed to enhance and protect a complete audio or AV system. IsoTel EVO3 Venus

“A painstakingly designed delta filter topology filters out common mode and differential mode noise, with a reduction in RFI of 30dB”. Each of the five outlets is independently isolated to prevent cross-contamination. In addition, IsoTekʼs unique sequential and repeatable protection system provides 13,500A of instantaneous protection from electrical spikes and surges, safeguarding valuable equipment.

EVO3 Venus is designed from the ground up by IsoTek.with hand-soldereding, silver-plated PCB, and internal wiring with silver-coated OFC (oxygen-free copper) conductors and a Teflon PTFE dielectric.
The EVO3 Venus is available now in a white finish.
Priced at £325 (including VAT).

 

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Our friends at Audio4soul got in touch to tell us about their latest project and the Worldwide distribution of its OCC iT! Reference speaker cables.OCC iT! Ref
“Employing the finest single crystal pure OCC copper made by the -now- famous Ohno casting method, the OCC cables digs deeper into the music truth of your collection. Clarity, 3D imaging, natural presence,dynamics, musicality, bass definition, everything that OCC cables are known for, is in spades” is what the company’s press release claims for their speaker cables.
The cables are handmade and have a price of 720 with free worldwide delivery included.
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The Philips Fidelio NC1s “have been designed to bring the enjoyment back to executive travel” says th’e company’s latest press release.
The initial design of the NC1 started with a modified version of the internal architecture of the Fidelio M1BT headphone. The press release coninues “Extensive research was made into the ideal combination of memory cushion, cavity design, clamping force and manufacturing tolerance so that the NC1s could offphilipscazner the convenience of a light-weight on-ear model but could still offer truly exceptional noise isolation.

The NC1 headphones are unusual in adopting a hybrid ANC approach with four microphones – two outside and two inside the enclosure. The two ‘FeedForward’ microphones are positioned on the outside of the headphone and provide strong noise cancellation at critical lower frequencies, while the two ‘FeedBackward’ microphones are positioned inside, next to the headphone drivers and extend the bandwidth of noise cancellation into the mid and high frequencies .

Having detected the ambient sounds the NC1 adds a precise inverted copy of the noise signal, effectively canceling it out and converting background noise to silence.

Key features:
40mm high definition drivers
Best-in-class noise cancellation
Consistent high fidelity sound
Zero hiss
Smart power solution
Multi-way compact folding
Mic with pick-up button
Elegant hard travel case
Air flight adaptor

The Philips Fidelio NC1s will be available for £249 in January

 

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Janine Elliot recently reviewed the Russ Andrews’ entry level Balanced Mains Unit which you can read all about here. Now Russ Andrews Accessories has BMU3000NewBackintroduced the New BMU3000 Balanced Mains Unit to provide 3kVA of power to hi-fi and home cinema systems.

Working on the same principle as balanced audio signals, where the audio signal is split into two halves – negative and positive, the BMU3000 splits the 230v mains signal into two separate 115v supplies. One is carried on the live and the other on the neutral and as each is a different polarity (negative or positive) the noise on one is cancelled out by the noise on the other. The result is said to be a 230v power supply that is free from extraneous noise and hence provides the connected equipment with a substantially cleaner mains supply.

The unit is equipped with twin 1500V SuperSilent transformer technology, which is “quieter in operation than conventional transformers”, to provide the total 3kVA of power. Five Russ Andrews UltraSocket mains outlets on the rear of the unit enable connection of the hi-fi or home cinema equipment directly to the unit – thereby acting as a mains extension as well as the balanced mains supply. Mains input is via a 16A IEC socket and is protected by use of a high quality two-pole (live and neutral) circuit breaker.

Russ Andrews, chairman of the company, says, “Balanced audio signals have long been acknowledged to provide a superior sound quality thanks to the noise cancelling characteristics of the design. It is for this tried and tested reason that such systems are used in professional recording studios and the reason why balanced mains is also often specified for these environments.” He continues, “By adding a balanced mains unit to a home set up, the performance benefits long understood by the professionals can be enjoyed at home. With a massive 3kVA of power even the largest of systems can be connected to the BMU3000 without fear of running out of power and the music or movie soundtrack can really shine through.”

Price is £3599

 

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TIDAL today announced the launch and availability of its service in five new European countries, namely Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and tidal.ScreengrabLuxembourg.

“All these markets, as the rest of the world, are seeing a strong increase in music streaming subscription, as well as a high interest for high quality audio,” said TIDAL CEO Andy Chen. ”With TIDAL on mobile, computers or home audio products from the likes of Sonos, Denon, Bluesound and Linn, it’s now time to finally enjoy a true high fidelity service with lossless sound quality, HD music videos and curated editorial. We have also already seen substantial interest from these markets signing up to our waiting list – with Netherlands as the front runner, and we are very excited to open up to five new markets today.”

 

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The board of Mitchell and Johnson, British audio manufacturing brand, has announced that Haydn Abbott has been appointed to the position of non-executiveHaydnAbbott_PR chairman of the company, with immediate effect.

Abbott is the former managing director of Sony UK, with responsibility for all product sectors within consumer and non-consumer electronics, and vice president of Sony Europe for broadcast and professional AV products in the EMEA region. He is currently a non-executive director of Nomad Digital, director of Fenners Consulting and chairman of the international children’s charity, Railway Children.

CEO Paul Mitchell says, “We are delighted to welcome someone with the qualities and experience of Haydn Abbott as our new non-executive chairman. His time spent as managing director of Sony UK and VP Sony Europe gives him a hugely valuable understanding of and insight into the consumer electronics world and in particular the hi-fi sector. As we expand the business into new markets Haydn’s knowledge of the international CE business will be a great help to us. The board looks forward to working with Haydn to grow and develop the Mitchell and Johnson business.”

Commenting on his appointment, Haydn Abbot says, “When I first met with the board of Mitchell and Johnson I could tell it was a business with a very exciting future. The business owners have grasped the emerging market trends for hi-fi separates, streaming and portable audio and produced a product road map that firmly addresses the needs of the consumer. I look forward to contributing to the growth of this young company to help ensure its success.”

 

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After a brief hiatus at the end of 2014 allowing us to put the Yearbook together, Hifi PIg’s hifi reviews are coming thick and fast. RECOMMENDED LOGO NEW
So far this year we have had Simply Audio Cadenza Interconnect, Speaker Cable and Jumper LinksDiesis Aura Loudspeakers , Russ Andrews Balanced Mains Unit 1000Vinyl Passion Dustbuster and today saw the publication of the review of the Merrill Audio Veritas Power Amplifiers.

Of course you can read all Hifi PIg’s reviews going right back to our launch here. Enjoy…and please do feel free to make a comment should you wish.

 

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The new 3010S2-D from Exposure is the fourth incarnation of their top integrated amp.Exposure 3010S2D integrated with CD player - lifestyle - 2

Like its predecessor, the new 3010S2-D comes with six line level inputs. However, one of these is now a direct AV input to enable integration within a surround sound system. There is now also the possibility to fit an optional MM or MC phonostage, or a plug-in DAC board. The latter is capable of up to 192/24 bit PCM and DSD 64, and comes with two inputs: USB and BNC, with auto-switching between them. A preamp output allows for tagging-on of a separate power amplifier, in case you want to bi-amp your system. Speaker terminals are doubled to allow bi-wiring.

Special high-quality capacitors are used in the signal path, and the circuit topology has been mapped with a view to keeping signal and power supply paths short. Cascode circuitry is used for improved power supply immunity.

The preamplifier now sports a brand new circuit board with all discrete components rather than integrated circuits, while the power amp features a fast bipolar transistor output stage for dynamic and vivid performance. A new power supply adds extra stages of regulation for improved performance.

Both the front and back panels are graced with clear ergonomics and simplicity in features, with a well laid-out and comprehensive remote control completing the package.

Technical specifications
Power output (stereo) 110 Watts per channel at 1KHz into 8 Ohms
Input impedance 17K Ohms minimum (line input)
Input sensitivity 250mV
Pre-amplifier output 1V for rated input (gain + 18dB full volume)
Frequency response 20Hz – 20KHz ± 0.5dB
Total harmonic distortion <0.03% at rated output, ref. 1KHz
Signal to noise ratio >100dB, ref. rated output
Channel separation >60dB, 20Hz – 20KHz
Mains supply 110/120V or 220/240V, 50/60Hz (factory set)
Power consumption <400VA, 8 Ohms load, both channels driven
Dimensions 115mm (h) x 440mm (w) x 300mm (d)
Net weight (unpacked) 12kg
Gross weight (packed) 14kg
Warranty 3 years

Pricing & availability

The Exposure 3010S2-D integrated amplifier is available now in silver or black, priced at £1,700 (incl. VAT).

Optional additions:
On-board MM phonostage £240
On-board MC phonostage £240

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Hifi Pig is delighted to once again be named as the exclusive media partners for the 2015 North West Audio Show. NWAS
Last years inaugural event was a huge success and enjoyed immensely by exhibitors and attendees alike.
The 2015 North West Audio Show promises to be bigger and better than last years even and already there are some great names confirmed as attending:

Audiocounsel

Baird- Doug Brady

BD Audio

Evolution Audio

Flamingo Audio

G-point

Head-Fi

HighEndCable

LW Audio

MCRU

Missing Link

Music First

NuNu and Audioworks

Puresound

The event is free for the public and there is ample free parking too. It takes place on Sunday 28th June at Cranage Hall in Cheshire and of course Hifi PIg will be there to bring you all the news as it happens.

This year’s event will feature a headfi room as well as all the other rooms full of really fantastic audio.

Visit the website here where you can register for your FREE tickets.

 

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British loudspeaker manufacturer PMC (Professional Monitor Company) is giving customers the chance to experience its twotwo™ reference monitor series in the perfect surroundings thanks to the opening of its dedicated Reference Monitor Centres. Based in key specialist HiFi retailers throughout the UK, the pmc2Reference Monitor Centres will offer customers the very highest standards in product knowledge, demonstration facilities and customer support.

The new centres are offering high quality demonstration facilities, allowing customers to listen to PMC’s twotwo product range in an acoustically accurate environment and receive advice from highly trained staff.

The monitors can then be bought online via a dedicated twotwo sales website and either delivered direct to the customer or to the nearest Reference Monitor Centre, all of which are offering the Click and Collect service.

Ian Downs, Pro Audio Sales Manager for PMC, says: “Our twotwo range is ideally suited to young producers and DJs who are working from home and want simple, high performance active monitors with DAC and digital playback sources. These technology-savvy customers are very comfortable with buying online, but they still want access to good demo facilities and well qualified staff who can help them identify the right product for their needs.”

PMC’s Reference Monitor Centres already appointed are strategically located in key cities across the UK and include Fanthorpes (Hull), Lintone (Gateshead), Soundcraft (Ashford, Kent), Adventures in HiFi (Chester) and Unilet Sound & Vision (New Malden, Surrey). By basing its Reference Monitor Centres in Hi-Fi retail outlets, PMC is once again reinforcing its strong links between the studio and the home listening environment.

“It is PMC’s philosophy that there should be no difference between the sound the artist and producer approves in a studio and what the consumer hears at home,” Downs continues. “That is why all of our speaker products, whether they are destined for the studio or the home, are based on the same ATL™ (Advanced Transmission Line) technology that guarantees high quality, distortion-free audio.”

 

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Denon® announces that its HEOS wireless multi-room sound systems will soon be Google Cast Ready. With Google Cast in place, HEOS users will be able to Print_Kitchen_PSD_v02_1stream Google Cast Ready content directly to their HEOS devices.

“Google and Denon both strive to provide consumers with the best that technology has to offer, leading innovation where consumers want it to go. By working closely with Google we are now giving HEOS users a great option of delivering sound where and when they want it,” said Brendon Stead, Denon’s vice president of product development. “HEOS gives users the opportunity to play music however they choose and being Google Cast Ready means our users have an incredible option at their fingertips.”

With Google Cast built-in HEOS users can cast their favorite music, radio stations and podcasts to their HEOS speakers from Google Cast apps on Android phone or tablet, iPhone®, iPad®, Mac® or Windows laptop or Chromebook.

“Based on the success of Chromecast, we’re excited to expand the Google Cast ecosystem by working with leading manufacturers like Denon to include audio devices,” said Suveer Kothari, Google Cast Director of Business Development.

 

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NuPrime Audio has announced the release of NuPrime DAC-10H, a DAC & Headphone Amplifier (MSRP$1,795) and NuPrime ST-10, a Reference LE class ST-10
power amplifier (MSRP$1595). The DAC-10H offers PCM 384K & DSD256 decoding with a high-power balanced headphone amplifier. This DAC with dual headphones outputs has 6 gain settings.

The DAC-10H’s balanced headphone amplifier is capable of driving headphones in balanced and single-ended configuration and can be used with up to two dynamic headphones. With five digital & two analog stereo inputs, the DAC-10H is a full-featured DAC and preamp.

The ST-10 amplifier is NuPrime’s Reference LE class power amplifier for listeners who require a reference-class amplifier at a somewhat lesser power rating of 2 x 150W (8 Ohm).

 

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119 Days To Go !

From 14th to 17th May, Munich is the meeting place once again for all those interested in getting up to speed with the latest consumer electronics. en_top_highend

The first day of the exhibition (the public holiday of Ascension Day) is exclusively reserved for trade visitors from all over the world who have been accredited as a trader and who want to discuss and define future developments of the market in Munich. European retail- ers also come to the event to find out about current developments in the industry because it is only at the HIGH END that all major companies gather together under one roof.

The HIGH END is also an end user exhibition and enjoys huge public enthusiasm from year to year. From Friday to Sunday anyone interested in music and technology can experience the entire range of the audio industry in the MOC.

With its wide variety, the HIGH END has established itself as the most important exhibition for the industry worldwide. The exhibition is held for the 34th time this year. The oldest  and largest exhibition for high quality consumer electronics has taken place every year in Munich MOC since 2004. The ultra-modern architecture and infrastructure of the MOC convention centre in the north of Munich offers a unique exhibition space. The modular de- sign concept with spacious exhibition and event halls, 140 ready-to-use conference rooms from 50 to 500 square meters and two light-filled atriums allow for plenty of customised solutions.

Preparations for the world’s biggest exhibition in the audio field are already underway.  The HIGH END brings together all market participants and adds important impulses to the industry. More than 400 exhibitors from home and abroad will be presenting their prod- ucts, services and innovations at the HIGH END. There is no other place in Europe where the entire range of audio products is presented as impressively and emotionally with their fascinating brand worlds and no other exhibition offers such a comparable presence for major suppliers. The diversity of services in the industry reflects both the big players as well as the many smaller, more specialised and niche providers.

Of course Hifi PIg will be there to bring you all the news at the show and as it happens, plus a great deal of coverage after the event. For more news on what Hifi Pig will be up to at High-End Munich 2015 watch this space.

 

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Hifi Pig is delighted to announce that it will be an official media partner with the SIAV (Shanghai International High-End, Hifi Show which will take place in HifiPig-250x200Shanghai, China on the 24th to 26th April 2015. The venue for SIAV is the Shanghai International Convention Centre at 2727 Avenue Pudong in Shanghai, China.

This is the 23rd SIAV event and will feature a whole host of audio and av equipment from all over the globe. Hifi Pig will report on the event shortly after SIAV has finished.

We hope our readers will thoroughly enjoy a glimpse into the audiophile world as it works in China.

 

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Monitor Audio’s enduring Gold Series speaker line has been refined with significant design upgrades says the company’s latest press release. The new line is monitor_audio_golddubbed simply ‘Gold’ to reflect the purity of the latest addition to a decade-long lineage.

While it duplicates the form-factor of the Gold GX range it replaces, the new eight-strong line-up is equipped with a trinity of enhancements including an evolution of the C-CAM® Rigid Surface Technology (RST®) bass cone employed by the Gold GR and Gold GS predecessors; tighter production tolerances for its advanced C-CAM ribbon tweeter, and a smarter more functional grille design.
The Gold series ribbon is derived from the Platinum C-CAM ribbon transducer. The company say tha the new tweeter is “Mechanically identical to the GX ribbon but by improving production tolerances even further we’ve discovered that the new model offers a consistently more open and transparent sound. In part, the sense of greater detail and enhanced imaging may be attributed to the closer matching of tweeter pairs in each stereo system. The ribbon’s fabulously efficient wideband design reproduces the authentic tonal character of frequencies beyond 60kHz, as well as the inherent nature of the mid-band vocal region to which the ear is most sensitive”.
The Gold series bass units utilise an evolved version of the dimpled RST cone surface introduced on the Gold GR and GS ranges. It takes the form of a continuous radiating dish devoid of the central voice-coil aperture. Instead, a longer voice coil and larger motor sit behind the cone in a more efficient drive assembly, which Monitor Audio say offers greater drive force, longer excursions and lower distortion, producing cleaner, more extended and accurate bass definition.
Available in dark walnut and piano ebony wood veneers as well as high gloss white and black finishes, each cabinet is curved and rigid, aided by radial bracing and bolt-through driver fixings, New Gold’s HiVe®II reflex port is shaped to have the same effect on airflow as a gun barrel on a bullet.
The range consists of the Gold 50 standmount (5.5″ RST bass driver and C-CAM ribbon tweeter), Gold 100 standmount (6.5″ RST bass driver and C-CAM ribbon tweeter), Gold 200 floorstander (three way, 5.5″ bass driver, 4″ mid driver and ribbon tweeter), Gold 300 (6.5″ bass driver, 4″ mid driver and ribbon tweeter). There are also the Gold C150 cpmact centre speaker and Gold C350 centre speaker.
In addition to the conventional speakers outlines Monitor Audio have also introduced the Gold FX to provide direct or ambient surround sound and the Gold W15 subwoofer.
The range will be avaialble in February 2015 and priced as follows.:
Standard price for dark walnut, high gloss white, Piano black gloss.
Gold 50 £950, Piano Ebony finish £1,140 pair / Gold 100 £1,250, Piano Ebony £1,500 pair / Gold 200 £2,300, Piano Ebony £2,760 pair / Gold 300 £3,000, Piano Ebony £3,600 pair / Gold C150 £650, Piano Ebony £780 single / Gold C350 £1,000, Piano Ebony £1,200 single / Gold FX £700, Piano Ebony £840 single / Gold W15 £1,750, Piano Ebony £2,100 single / Gold 100 Stand £350 pair / Gold C350 stand £325

 

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PMC (Professional Monitor Company), has announced the winners of its 2014 UK Retailer Awards. These awards publically Uniletcongratulate those retailers that PMC feel have made a significant effort throughout the course of the calendar year, both with PMC products and with their businesses in general.

Retailer of the Year: Fanthorpes HiFi
“Located within the Georgian Hepworth’s Arcade in Hull, Fanthorpes HiFi regularly impressed throughout 2014 with the highest level of PMC product turnover for an independent business. With a customer-focused attitude and high levels of brand and product knowledge, the team at Fanthorps set the pace with their high quality levels of installation and attention to detail”.

Best Retail Experience: HiFi Lounge
“Especially significant as this award is based purely on customer feedback, the team at HiFi Lounge in Dunton, Bedfordshire has been commended due to its approachable manner and enthusiasm for PMC products and all things audio. By combining the highest level of professional knowledge with a superb showroom and retail environment, HiFi Lounge presents a welcoming and comfortable attitude to specialist audio-visual retail”.

Most Consistent Performance: Unilet Sound & Vision (Pictured)
“Located in charming New Malden, southwest London, Unilet Sound & Vision wins the award for most consistent performance throughout 2014. After a significant store refit, Unilet re-organised its retail space and demonstration facilities, enabling it to expand its range of PMC products to include the range-topping SE Series. As well as its commitment to PMC, Unilet is also recognised as being one of the most comprehensively stocked HiFi stores in the UK”.

Innovative Marketing: Ceritech Audio
“Set within the market town of Monmouth, Ceritech Audio impressed with its high level of local marketing activities. As well as a very active social media output, Ceritch Audio constantly put on in-store events throughout 2014 (including an extremely successful PMC evening), whilst working alongside likeminded local retailers to increase its presence within the area. Ceritech Audio is also commended for its local sponsorship and very worthy charity work, making it an excellent example of how a retailer can support the local community”.

Best Demonstration: Adventures in HiFi
“The better the demonstration, the more likely a store is to make an impression and, ultimately, a sale. Located in Chester, Adventures in HiFi excelled with its PMC demonstrations throughout 2014 and consistently achieved the best performance from the widest range of PMC products. In addition to its broad range of analogue and digital sources, all of which can be auditioned using one of the most comprehensive music collections available, Adventures in HiFi offer the true depth of knowledge essential for a specialist audio retailer”.

Commenting on the 2015 UK Retailer Awards, Keith Tonge, Creative Director of PMC, said, “Our retailer awards always present tough choices but 2014 proved to be a particularly difficult year, as specialist audio retailing in the UK has advanced significantly over the past few years. We were particularly pleased by the levels of customer care and the increase in the sophistication of retail environments, as dealers now compete with other luxury products and brands. I would like to congratulate all of the winners on receiving their deserved awards and look forward to an even harder selection at the end of 2015.”

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