This year at the Munich High End show Electrocompaniet will introduce a new product called ECI 6 DS.

The ECI 6 DS is an all-in-one music-system built around the125 wpc ECI 5 MK II integrated amplifier, it has a built in DAC and offers wireless streaming from your computer or other sources.

Digital sources like iPod/iPhone can be connected as well as blu-ray players, CD players and televisions and everything is controlled by the graphical remote control. Analogue sources can be connected by balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA inputs

The release is planned this summer and Electrocompaniet will present the ECI 6 DS in Atrium 3 C114 at the HighEnd show.

The estimated RRP of € 5.500 / £4.490.

Built in the US, Bel Canto’s latest offering is billed as a “Fine sounding, cool running, high-output, low power usage analogue and digital media centre.”

It is loaded with inputs including two 24/192 SPDIF, two 24/192 TOSLINK, one 24/96 USB, one MM phono and an analogue line level input. RCA out, Headphone out and speaker posts deal with getting signals out of the C7r.

Its power amplifier delivers 30amps and make it suitable for driving a wide variety of loudspeakers and you can connect pretty much anything to it –computer, CD player, turntable, TV receiver or games console…It even has an onboard FM tuner. More »

Purity Audio Design have announced the release of the Basis mk2 vacuum tube linestage. The Basis mk2 utilizes a Class ‘A’, zero feedback circuit based around a single 6SN7 dual triode per channel with a lower output impedance to allow better integration with a larger variety of amplifiers.

The Basis mk2 is said to “bring to the table a better sense of refinement over the original design with better resolution, transparency and detail retrieval. The larger power supply means dynamic impact remains intact during even the most demanding passages.”

Purity Audio Design also offers additional upgrade options for the Basis mk2 including a choke filtered, polypropylene power supply, signal capacitor upgrade and remote volume.

The Basis mk2 has a starting price of $2,500 US. A limited time introductory price is also being offered.

Autotech, the Polish manufacturer of front loaded horns, Diy horns and waveguide loudspeakers have contacted us to tell us that they will be in attendance at this years High End show in Munich (May 3-6).

They will have on demonstration the Universum 3-way horn (Pictured) which uses the JMLC-200T mid and JMLC-1400 high frequency horns. This interesting looking loudspeaker uses premium drivers and an aperiodic vented bass enclosure with a 15” driver. The construction methods and horn contour used are said to give a “smooth and relaxed sound” with very low distortion figures and a “wonderfully natural sound”. More »

Linn, the manufacturer of the iconic LP12 turntable, have been awarded the prestigious accolade –  the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.  

Linn’s award in the Innovation category celebrates the success of the Scotland based company’s digital streaming technology- the Linn DS.

Approved by The Queen and following the recommendation of the Prime Minister, the Queen’s Award for Innovation recognises the “engineering prowess and passion for music embodied within Linn’s industry-leading range of DS systems.”

Linn were awarded the Royal Warrant in 2002 as providers of entertainment systems to the Royal Household.

Linn’s Managing Director, Gilad Tiefenbrun had the following to say about the award “Innovation is at the heart of Linn. We designed our DS platform from scratch, starting in 2004, and launching our first product, the Klimax DS, in 2007. Klimax DS immediately set a new performance benchmark in home music systems. Since then, we’ve released a full range of DS systems across the price spectrum, with all of them playing everything from mp3 to 24-bit Studio Master and making the music sound better. Our most recent updates let you play music wirelessly from computers and mobile devices, stream online music and movies, and connect everything in the modern living room through your Linn system.”

The guitarist who inspired millions, including Brian May and Eric Clapton, to “Play in a Day” has died at the age of 91.

Herbert Maurice William ‘Bert’ Weedon OBE had been ill for some time and died at his home in Buckinghamshire (United Kingdom) earlier today.




The Antelope Audio Rubicon Atomic is the world’s first 384 kHz converter, phonostage preamp and headphone amplifier with an integrated atomic clock, which is said to be 100,000 times more stable than traditional crystal oscillators.

“I find the idea of an audio enthusiast being able to hear his/her favorite recordings clocked by the world’s most stable clock very exciting. I believe this will bring the music appreciation in the home environment to a completely new level compared only to the precision and sonic detail representation available at the finest professional listening rooms,” shared Igor Levin, CEO and founder of Antelope Audio.

The Dac also boasts Antelope’s “64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking” technology and the Rubidium is  said to achieve never before seen performance with regards jitter. The  technology used in the Rubicon is the same as used in the company’s master clocks used in film scores and mastering studios.

The Preamp has an on-board transformer based discrete JFET phonostage and ultra-high sample rate A/D conversion. – these features, along with USB recording will allow users to digitize their analogue music.
DLNA streaming gives users the opportunity to wirelessly push audio files from their smart phone, PC or NAS (Network-attached storage) server and play the content through the DAC.

Rubicon will be presented for the first time to the public during the Munich High End Show, in hall 3, booth A 04, at 2 pm, on May 3rd.

Audio Note UK  is a marque that we know lot’s of our readers have a great deal of interest in and so we thought this would be worthy of reporting despite not having photographs as yet. More »

An increasing number of music lovers use their computers to store and play music, yet still want better sound and more flexibility. The new Alpha Design Labs Esprit, aimed at audiophiles who wants “higher performance and increased flexibility”  offering as it does 24 bit/192 kHz, a digital preamplifier and a headphone amplifier.

The Esprit is designed around the 24 bit/192 kHz Wolfson WM8716 DAC and the CIRRUS LOGIC CS5361 24/192 analogue to digital converter.  It features optical, coaxial, USB and 2 analogue inputs.  The USB output can be used for recording to hard disk and the S/PDIF output will support digital surround sound formats from allowing surround material stored on a hard drive to be played through a suitable digital surround decoder. More »

Unison Research has launched its latest integrated amplifier – Simply Italy – to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification as a nation.

This compact, 5 input, line level integrated clearly draws its inspiration from the Simply Two amplifier.

Unison have created a newly redesigned version of the Simply Two that shares many of its characteristics and sonic attributes with the famous original, but with a more modern appearance. Simply Italy offers the same 12 watts per channel, but now features a 6-Ohm output impedance, increasing the amp’s flexibility for use with 4 and 8-Ohm loudspeakers.

Amplifying stages are all strictly valve-based and operate in pure Class-A mode.

The output stage for Simply Italy consists of just one EL34 in single-ended ultra-linear configuration and this mode of operation is made possible by a particular development of the output transformers, which in practice, allow the pentode EL34s to operate almost as if they were triodes. The preamp and driver stage of the power output is entrusted to ECC82 twin triodes.

Unison Research’s design department has created an interestingly designed amplifier that harks back to the original Simply Two, yet incorporates “significant aesthetic improvements”.

The wood parts of the Simply Italy are said to be important for the aesthetic design but also play an important role in damping chassis resonance and “assist the delicate electronic parts, valves etc, to perform at their best.”

The Simply Italy boasts an ALPS motorized pot, infra-red remote handset and gold-plated speaker terminals. It is available in black and stainless steel with cherry detail inserts, or cherry with black inserts.

Cost is a pound short of £1500.

To coincide with the 2012 London Olympics, the V&A Museum’s major Spring exhibition will showcase the best of British design and creative talent. ‘British Design 1948-2012:

Innovation in the Modern Age’, will highlight significant moments in the history of British Design. Included in this prestigious event is the Lecson Audio system created by the co-founders of Meridian Audio.

The Lecson Audio system was created in 1974, three years before Allen Boothroyd and Bob Stuart founded Meridian Audio.

One of the most innovative products of the 1970s in any field, the Lecson reinvented the

relationship between design and function. Before its release, hi-fi equipment was housed functionally. Regular grey boxes with knobs represented the height of artistic endeavour

and the aesthetic of hi-fi products remained unchanged for many years, that is, until the

Lecson.  More »

The Total DAC is a French made digital to analogue converter which is said to use only components that have been selected by rigorous listening tests as well as “specific digital technologies” and “components rarely used in other high end DACs due to their high cost”.

The standout feature of the Total DAC is the inclusion of an integrated digital crossover allowing for separation of bass, midrange and treble frequencies.

There are several options in the Total DAC range and these include the Reference A1 DAC, the Reference D1 DAC and then the Reference D2 and D3 which include the two and three way crossovers. The Total DACs is said to be very analogue in its reproduction of sources.

The various DACs and crossovers are available boxed and ready to go or as completed “electronic boards”

We hope to be able to review the Total DAC very soon.

Chester Group, the company that brings audio shows to Australia, UK and Sweden will be the host of this coming weekend’s Audio and AV Show in New York.

The New York Audio and Av Show will take place in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel at 301 Park Avenue on Friday 13, Saturday 14 and April 15.

This is set to be a great event for audiophiles and as well as plethora of exhibitors there will also be host of performers including Amber Rubarth, Louise Rogers, Valerie Joyce, Attention Screen and Jessy Tomsko who will perform in the 18th Floor, Starlight Roof room of the hotel. The Starlight will also serve as the registration area and on Friday and Saturday nights Bill Pfeiffer will DJ through a half a million dollar Burmester sound system.

There will be the usual raft of seminars and one that particularly caught the eye of Hifi Pig is Alan Sircom’s “The State We’re In – Rebooting High End Audio”.

At last count there were 105 exhibiting companies including: Abingdon Music Research, Audio Note UK, Blue Light Audio, Brinkmann audio, Burmester, Cayin, Cessaro Horn Acoustics, darTZeel, Emm Labs, Hansen Audio, Harbeth Audio, Kaiser Akustik, Kef, Lavry Engineering, Manley Labs, MBL, Pass Labs, TAD, TRON Electric, VAC, VPI and Woo Audio.


Jim Marshall the founder of Marshall amplifiers has died at the age of 88.

The Marshall Website published a tribute which included the following

“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved founder and leader for the past 50 years, Jim Marshall. While mourning the Guv’nor though, we also salute a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life.”

In addition to the creation of the amps chosen by countless guitar heroes and game-changing bands, Jim was also an incredibly humble and generous man who, over the past several decades, has quietly donated many millions of pounds to worthy causes.

“While the entire Marshall Amplification family mourns Jim’s passing and will miss him tremendously, we all feel richer for having known him and are happy in the knowledge that he is now in a much better place which has just got a whole lot louder!

“Rest in Peace and thank you Jim.”

The Evince loudspeaker from Thomas Scherer Audio Engineering is an interesting looking loudspeaker with an equally interesting concept and design. Indeed the company clearly sates that their “corporate philosophy is to develop perfect loudspeakers by combing high-end audio engineering with inspired design.”

It is a stunning looking single-driver, five-stage, transmission line design made from Scandinavian birch plywood and a composite material that, when finished in white (other colours are available on request), is said to give the loudspeakers a “stone-like” appearance.

The Evince is a novel looking and angular design which is said to be a mirror of “contemporary residential design”.

Bass from the relatively small loudspeaker is said to be “acoustically pure” and of “astonishing power and clarity”.

The size of the Evince is 220 x 944 x 873 mm w/h/d and they weigh in at 25.5Kg and offer a sensitivity of 90 db/ 5 W/ 2m listening distance.

Bryston Ltd, the Ontario based manufacturer of consumer and professional electronics, has announced the launch of its new B135 SST22 integrated amplifier which comes as a direct replacement for the B-100.

The new integrated provides 135 watts per channel at 8 ohms and 180 watts per channel at 4 ohms. There are 7 high level inputs, a pass through feature, one tape loop and a pre-out/main-in feature (the latter allows for easy integration into multi-channel AV systems). There is a headphone jack for those who prefer their listening to be a solitary affair and a fully functioning remote control is an option. There is also the option to add an onboard DAC.

The unit boasts three completely separate and independent custom toroidal power supplies (two for analogue and one for digital) to prevent cross talk and interaction between the digital and analogue sections of the amplifier.

The B135 SST22 comes with an impressive twenty year warranty.

Founded in 1975 in Tokyo, Technical Audio Devices Laboratories (TAD Labs) is known for its professional loudspeaker drivers used in recording studios.
In the late 1990s TAD Labs branched out to develop high-end audio systems for consumers’, its first product being the revolutionary TAD Model-1 loudspeaker.  Designed by director of engineering Andrew Jones – in collaboration with industrial designer Allen Boothroyd of Boothroyd-Stuart Meridian fame – it was the first loudspeaker in the world to feature a concentric driver in which both the 3.5cm tweeter dome and 16cm midrange cone are formed of beryllium.
Since the turn of the Century TAD Labs has developed a range of ultra-high-end loudspeakers and partnering audio electronics to drive them.  Each component is meticulously hand-crafted to order and until now the exceedingly rare
TAD CD/SACD player – TAD pre/power amplifiers – TAD loudspeakers have only being available in Japan and North America. More »

Neil Young has for a while now been a champion for hi resolution formats and released his Archives Volume 1 box set on Blu-ray as far back as 2009 whilst making noises about Blu-rays superior sonic attributes. Hifi Pig reads with interest that the multi-faceted Young (Hifi Pig is a bit of a fan) is in the throes of developing a brand new hi-res format for audio that is said to equal studio quality.

Young has been forthright in his condemnation of current digital formats and their inability to present a recording in the manner the artist would like.

Mid last year the Canadian singer-songwriter reportedly filed documents with the United States Patent and Trademark Office which in effect were applications for the following trademarks: 21st Century Record Player, Earth Storage, Ivanhoe, SQS (Studio Quality Sound), Storage Shed and Thanks for Listening). The trademarks applied for relate to “Online retail store services”, “High resolutions discs featuring music and video of music” and “High resolution music downloadable from the internet” More »

We wouldn’t usually post news of this kind of thing, but Hifi Pig has watched the Unilet Sound and Vision “Blue Murder” sale from afar for the last few years and has always been intrigued by the prices they are able to offer.

Running from April 28th to June 9th they will also be hosting a series of ‘Sinful Saturdays’ alongside the Blue Murder sale.

The Blue Murder sale has become something of an institution on the Hifi calender with keen bargain hunters often arriving the night before it starts and camping in the company’s car park.

The first shoppers through the doors at 9am on Saturday get a bottle of champagne, and bacon rolls (Hifi Pig does not approve!) are available throughout the morning.

You can register on their site to be foretold of the prices “that people only dream of”.

Regular readers will be aware of my thoughts on using computers in home hifi installations and that my experiences have been less than satisfying for me. To be fair the problems have centred on interface issues and me simply not “gelling” with listening to music using computers. More »

GamuT have today announced a new addition to their portfolio – the M’inenT series. There are three loudspeakers in the range (the 3, 5 and 7), a standmount and two floorstanders and the quality of design, parts and craftsmanship is said to be reminiscent of the El Superiores series – whilst still not budget loudspeakers the M’inenTs are a fraction of the cost of the El Superiores.

The new series uses “impulse optimised” bass reflex enclosures with real wood veneers on a laminated curved MDF structure.  Internal bracing and pressure control segments are said to optimise the acoustic behaviour of the external surfaces.

The crossover network in the M’inenT series is designed as a “Non Resonant Linked Impulse solution (NRLI) which is designed to operate in the time domain to optimise integration between drivers, and simultaneously modify and control the resonant interaction between itself, the drivers and the enclosure load.” The acoustic behaviour of the crossover is somewhere between 1st order and 2nd order. More »