The guys at Entotem have sent us a link to their video for the Plato which we reviewed here
As most will know TIDAL offers an expansive high fidelity music streaming service, and with the latest software update from Pro-Ject, the service’s whole music library can be played back through the Stream Box DS net, Stream Box DS+, Stream Box DSA and Stream Box RS.
Control over your music is managed by the free Box Control application – without any need to switch between different control apps. Now you can browse, manage and playback from a library of 30 million songs through a compact high-quality streaming source!
Full TIDAL integration is included in the latest software releases for all Stream Box models and the Box Control application, and the software updates are completely free to new and existing Pro-Ject customers.
Pro-Ject Audio System’s Box Design range was created to satisfy the growing trend towards smaller high-performance audio products. In 2013 My Audiophile Integrated Amplifier, or MaiA that measured just 206 x 200 x 36mm (W x D x H) was launched. Now, at the end of 2015, Pro-Ject has introduced a bigger sibling to MaiA for their DS range.
MaiA DS provides everything the modern listener needs… Three analogue inputs, three digital inputs, a phono stage, USB streaming and Bluetooth streaming. In addition there are multiple output options including a headphone socket. MaiA DS is a pre-amplifier, an integrated amplifier, a DAC, a headphone amp and a phono stage – all in one box.
Onboard you get a 60W per-channel Class D output stage and the PCM1796 Delta-Sigma DAC chip with 24bit / 192kHz high-resolution audio handling from Texas Instruments. The USB input uses XMOS asynchronous streaming technology and the input can also handle up to DSD256 playback (DoP). The 4th generation Bluetooth input is aptX® enabled to ensure the highest quality wireless streaming from a smart device. There’s a switchable MM/MC phono stage built into the amplifier which is based on Pro-Ject’s Phono Box technology.
With the free Box Control Android application, you can gain complete control of the MaiA DS and any other Infra Red (IR) remote-controlled device in your system.* Heinz Lichtenegger, CEO of Pro-Ject Audio Systems, has said:
“We see that people like to control music with an app. The industry offers many streamers where you can control your music content very conveniently. But for your hi-fi amp, CD player or TV, you’ll often have multiple remotes or a very expensive control system. With our unique Box Control app and the MaiA DS it is possible to control standard analogue IR products without the need of a Wi-Fi connection!”
Box Control takes a different approach to other remote systems; so only core controls are accessible through the app, and each device has its own easy-to-understand screen – rather than a myriad of complicated options squashed into one screen.
The MaiA DS is available in the UK now in Black or Silver.
Each week in December a curated collection of Studio Master tracks will be available to download from Linn Records’ roster of artists.
Each collection has its own theme and offers an introduction to high quality Studio Master downloads, giving everybody the chance to explore and expand their musical tastes with the wide variety of genres on offer throughout the month.
There’s something for everyone to enjoy, including a rendition from Britain’s First Lady of Jazz, Claire Martin, an award-winning performance from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s hugely popular Mozart symphonies and an exclusive track from the beautiful English pianist and vocalist, Liane Carroll, recorded specially for Linn’s 24-bits of Christmas.
You can enjoy a taste of what’s on offer throughout December with Linn’s preview download – The Movie Collection from Monday 23rd November.
The Movie Collection features tracks from some of the most celebrated moments in movie history, interpreted by Linn Records’ artists and delivered in 24-bit Studio Master quality.
McIntosh Laboratory launched the C1100: a luxurious two-chassis preamp with huge connectivity and McIntosh’s best technical performance to date and we broke the news about it way back in September here.
The C1100 is now available in the UK with a price tag of £12,995 with Jordan Acoustics being the distributor.
British brand Exposure Electronics has long been renowned for creating high-performance audio components with involving musical reality, yet with an affordable price tag.
Like its predecessor, the new 3010S2-D preamplifier 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 still the possibility to fit an optional MM or MC phonostage, which is now joined by the option of 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 tape output is included as well as two main outputs to allow for easy bi-amping.
The 3010S2-D now sports a brand new circuit board which has been remapped and features high quality relays for input selection to ensure the shortest possible signal path. There are no integrated circuits, as the signal path uses all discrete components including special high-quality capacitors. The new power supply includes a large custom-made torodial power transformer and adds extra stages of regulation for improved performance.
|Input impedance||17K Ohms minimum (line input)|
|Gain||17dB ( x7)|
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20KHz ± 0.5dB|
|Total harmonic distortion||<0.005% at rated output, ref 1KHz|
|Signal to noise ratio||>100dB, A-weighted|
|Channel separation||> 60dB @ 20KHz|
|Mains supply||110/120V or 220/240V, 50/60Hz (factory set)|
|Dimensions||90mm (h) x 440mm (w) x 300mm (d)|
|Net weight (unpacked)||5kg|
|Gross weight (packed)||7kg|
The Exposure 3010S2-D integrated amplifier is available now in titanium or black, priced at £1,060 (incl. VAT).
- On-board MM phonostage £240
- On-board MC phonostage £240
- On-board DAC £325
The New Pass Labs’ HPA-1 Headphone Amplifier was designed on a “clean sheet of paper” as though it were to be used as a power amplifier.
The foundation of the HPA-1’s engineering is a custom, low-noise shielded toroidal power transformer feeding a discreet low noise regulated power supply for the audio circuits. The HPA-1’s amplifier circuits are low-feedback, wide-bandwidth discreet designs employing a J-Fet input stage and a Mosfet output stage biased into Class A-biased direct-coupled output stage.
The HPA-1 has a single headphone jack on its front panel, two sets of single-ended analogue inputs via RCA jacks on the rear panel, and also a set of switchable “Preamp” line-level output jacks on the rear panel. The HPA-1 can be used as a stereo preamp. The rear panel holds the power switch and fuse. Volume control is via a hefty rotary knob connected to an ALPS Potentiometer. The other front-panel controls are three pushbuttons, to select inputs or to engage the Preamp output.
Totem Acoustic from Montreal, Canada, just launched its first Kickstarter campaign to fund production of the first series of its new ARC amplifier. Since Totem is known primarily in the HiFi technology scene for its speakers, the ARC represents a new adventure into the realm of amplifiers.
The ARC is not just another HiFi amplifier the company say, but possibly the first in line of a new generation of digital amplifiers. Totem likes to call it “The next generation of digital amps” adding “This amplifier allows all digital music to be played on a HiFi system with the sound quality of any large sound system”.
The ARC allows Bluetooth audio wireless streaming from any digital device directly to almost any 8-ohm speaker system. Small and easy to use, all that is needed is a pair of speakers and the ARC. With the integrated Bluetooth audio wireless connection, the ARC works autonomously with a set of speakers and a smart phone. It can also be hooked up to a computer via USB. The ARC will thus act as a USB audio device, but will switch automatically to Bluetooth Audio if it is connected to a smart phone.
“Today most of the music we listen to is digital; it’s on our phones, our laptops or streamed from the web. But there is gap, a missing link, when it comes to listening to our online music library or internet streaming music on a good HiFi system. As music passionate, we know that high-end quality is absolutely irreplaceable when it comes to a great listening experience and immersive sound. That’s why we created the ARC,” explains Gabriel Bull, Director of Technology at Totem Acoustic.
“All you need is a set of nice speakers and the ARC. Done. Now go ahead and play your music collection from your computer, smart phone, or any internet radio streaming on your existing HiFi setup or run out and get yourself some nice sounding speakers,” says Robert Valtierra, Research and Development Engineer in the field of Electronics and Embedded Systems and inventor of the ARC.
Being the size of a book, it can be placed anywhere. The ARC has no buttons or knobs; it turns on automatically when you connect to it. With a total power of 120W, it runs at high efficiency thereby providing large amounts of audio output power while requiring very little space and without need for heat sinking.
The ARC is a fully-integrated amplifier system. Amplification is provided by the latest in Class-D amplifier technology. It is designed using digital inputs: USB Audio 2.0 and Bluetooth aptX Audio. The USB audio connection delivers 24-bit resolution and sampling rates up to 192 kHz. The Bluetooth connection can provide a “CD-quality” connection via aptX.
|Built-in, powerful digital Class-D amplifier||Class-D. Maximal rated output 120W (2 x 60W into 8-
ohms, THD+N<0.05% @ 1kHz) with both channels driven,
20 Hz-20 kHZ-AES17 measurement bandwidth.
|Silent operation||As the amplifier does not produce any heat, there is no need for a noisy fan — all you hear is the music.|
|Full range output||The Arc allows for 2.1 installation to achieve more bass power. The optional and free Arc App allows for more subtle adjustment of frequencies.|
|Speaker connections||Push Gold plated posts|
|Auxiliary output||RCA type line-level output|
|Audio formats supported||All audio formats supported.|
|Internet radio supported||All streaming radios supported|
Suggested retail price: $350 US
Audio Research say they are pleased to announce that the GSi75 integrated amplifier, the third member of the G-Series, is finally a reality and in production. First shown as a prototype at the Munich High End show in 2014 (And very nice it looked too), the final production version has grown in size, versatility, and performance with Audio Research calling it the Swiss army knife in their lineup.
The GSi75 is more than a simple integrated amplifier, it is a one-box solution that includes both a high per- formance DAC and phono stage; all you need is a digital source, a turntable, and speakers…it even has a tube headphone section.
The DAC in the GSi75 is the companyy’s most advanced design, handling digital sampling rates up to 384kHz and DSD 1x and 2x, in both native and DoP formats via USB 2.0. True, native DSD bitstreams are resolved with no PCM conversion. In addition to the USB input, the GSi75 also has Toslink and RCA inputs. Fast and Slow filters are selectable, as is Upsampling to 352kHz or 384kHz. A separate driver is not required for Mac.
The phono section has switchable 45dB or 62dB gain for use with MM or MC cartridges. Input impedance is selectable (47k, 1000k, 500, 200 or 100 ohms) via the front panel or the remote.
In addition to the digital and phono inputs, there are three other SE inputs, one of which can be configured as a home theater pass- through. The GSi75 has an IR input, and is also controllable via RS-232. The GSi75 has two 6H30 driver tubes and four KT150 output tubes that should last 3,000 hours. There are 4 and 8ohm speaker outputs.
“The GSi75 is a sonic knockout, with clarity, dynamics and the same engaging immediacy that you have come to expect from the GSPre and GS150” say the company. Visually, it has the same elegant esthetic as its siblings, featuring a welded, hand-finished, brushed aluminum chassis, matte black transformer cover, black side handles, and a remov- able (perforated black) tube cage.
UK importer Hidden Systems has been in touch to tell us about the continued success they are having with the Lejonklou range of phono stages, preamps and power amps, which we at Hifi Pig had not come across previously.
The brand is designed by Frederick Lejonklou and he says “Building the best Hifi is like building a musical instrument. Every detail matters. While a lot of companies like to claim they pay attention to detail, we mean it in an extreme way.”
The Lejonklou range includes:
Sagatun Mono Preamplifier (Pictured)
Tundra Stereo Power Amplifier
Tundra Mono Power Amplifier
Gaio MM Phono Stage
Slipsik MM Reference Phono Stage
The Darkz d·tc are made of a heavy, and say the company, unique composite material with them saying “The material is a result of a process in a particle accelerator that creates an extremely hard and dense material structure, containing diamond”. The heavy core of this composite material gives the Darkz d·tc an impressive weight of 216 grams (7.6 oz.). It is this special material paired with the heavy weight that make the Darkz d·tc capable of “eliminating all disturbing vibrations from components found in a music system”.
Ansuz Acoustics created the Darkz to ensure that the different entities of the sound system are mechanically grounded. The new Darkz d·tc come in two models: Darkz d·tc Resonance Control and Darkz d·tc Cable Lifters.
The Darkz d·tc Resonance Control is designed to stand under hifi equipment, while the Darkz d·tc Cable Lifters are to be placed under cables.
Hana means “brilliant and gorgeous” in Japanese.
The Hana brand cartridges are hand made by the Excel Sound Corporation in Tokyo, Japan; who have been making cartridges on an OEM basis for 50 years, specialising in MC types.
All four use high rigidity aluminium cantilevers and cross-shaped armatures, providing a ‘brilliant and gorgeous’ sound, with excellent tracking, tonality and stereo presentation.
|Hana MC Cartridges Specification|
|Vertical Tracking force||2gr||2gr||2gr||2gr|
|Body Colour||Moss Green||Moss Green||Black||Black|
The line-up is as follows:
Hana EL Low output elliptical diamond styli, output at 0.5mv/1KHz £276.00
Hana EH High output elliptical diamond styli, output at 2.0mv/1KHz £276.00
Hana SL Low output Shibata diamond styli, output at 0.5mv/1KHz £447.00
Hana SH High output Shibata diamond styli, output at 2.0mv/1KHz £447.00
The TD-M1 high-res-compatible wireless desktop audio system from ECLIPSE is now more affordable than ever before, thanks to a price reduction of 20 per cent, following favourable currency conditions in ECLIPSE’s native Japan.
Since its launch, the TD-M1 has redefined desktop audio sound quality, offering a powerful combination of ECLIPSE’s accurate waveform reproduction expertise, plus a raft of innovative technology, including AirPlay compatibility, high-res audio playback, plus digital amplification. The TD-M1 system brings audiophile sound quality to desktops, workspaces and a multitude of rooms around the home and is built for the digital age.
The TD-M1 uses the same technology employed in ECLIPSE’s TD-712 speaker (£6,500) and adds wireless connectivity and high-resolution music playback, thanks to its built-in DAC.
Read the Hif Pig review of the TD-M1 here.
Lithuanian loudspeaker maker Audio Solutions has been in touch with Hifi Pig to tell readers all about their newest speaker line which is called Overture.
Overture consists of five different speakers and creates whole line including a centre speaker model, one bookshelf and three floorstanders.
Audio Slutions have developed special type of protective grill which they say will not distort sound and whereas typical grilles have frames their grilles are of a completely different type. Each speaker comes with two detachable front panels which is identical with one of the panels being covered with protective cloth. “This way you get exactly the same sound, tonal balance and clarity with or without grilles” says the company’s representative.
The tweeter on the Overture range of loudspeakers is loaded with a mini horn to raise sensitivity in critical region and unload the tweeter itself which they say lowers THD very efficiently.
Overture comes a variety of finishes. A lot of gloss finishes, never seen before textured gloss finishes, classic oak finishes and high gloss, natural, exotic wood finishes. In addition they use a special coating which is scratch-resistant.
The membership of Audio-Technica brings further international reach to the manufacturing sector of the industry’s association. And in keeping with the Alliance’s open membership policy, where any business or individual interested in the prosperity of a rapidly changing AV landscape can (and should) get involved, Audio-Technica’s membership strengthens the Alliance as a whole.
Welcoming Audio-Technica to the Alliance, Laurence Armstrong, Clarity chairman, says, “We are very pleased by the decision of the newly formed Audio-Technica UK Consumer team to join the alliance, demonstrating that a manufacturer of its standing views the work Clarity does to promote the hi-fi sector as important and relevant. Working together is the only way in which the industry can ensure its prosperity and Audio-Technica’s role in this process is very much to be welcomed.”
Robert Morgan-Males, Marketing Director of Audio-Technica Europe comments, “Having recently set up the new team to drive our business forwards in the UK, we believe it is important for us to join the industry’s trade association and work with the Clarity team for the good of the UK hi-fi market. To have the ability to network with retailers and like-minded manufacturers helps with the overall goal of promoting quality audio. Through our cooperation we can put forward ideas for development of our respective businesses and find new and innovative ways of reaching out to consumers.”
KEF has announced the launch of three new finishes for its LS50 loudspeakers.
The new finishes are Racing Red, Titanium Grey and Frosted Black, all of which enhance the appeal of what must be one of the most well received small loudspeakers. The LS50 was designed to celebrate KEF’s 50th anniversary, and was conceived as a ‘mini monitor’ derived from the legendary LS3/5a, to bring professional studio monitor performance into the home.
The three new finishes are designed to enable the LS50s to be compatible with a wide range of contemporary interior designs. This ensures the LS50s are capable of being a harmonious and attractive presence in any home environment, enhancing the décor of the consumer’s home just as they improve the sound of music playback.
The new Frosted Black version utilises a cool matte finish and KEF’s striking signature blue cone, also used on the white finish, while the Racing Red finish is designed to complement bold and dramatic interior designs. The Titanium Grey finish uses a copper cone, based on the driver designed for KEF’s Reference Series loudspeakers.
All three new finishes use intricately layered textures between the cabinet, baffle, cone and driver surround, to extend and fulfill the aesthetic promise of the LS50s’ original design philosophy.
Availability: November 2015 Price: £800.00 (pair)