Back in January Hifi Pig ran a news item about a new Bitish company called Computer Audio Design and their debut CADproduct the CAD 1543 DAC.

The latest news to come from the Computer Audio Design offices is that the company’s DAC has been awarded “Best Sounding Hifi Room” at Britain’s biggest audio and home cinema show, Sound and Vision 2013 (The Bristol Show)

Computer Audio Design’s new CAD 1543 DAC saw off competition from 188 exhibitors at a packed show, with designer Scott Berry clearly wowing the judges with the sonic performance of this USB-only DAC. Vice-chairman of The Clarity Alliance, who gave the award, Simon Byles, said: “It is important that the hard work and effort put in by the many companies which exhibit at the premier UK hi-fi show is recognised and rewarded.”

A hearty “Well done” from all at the Hifi Pig sty!


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Here’s a bit of hifi news for the music lover or audiophile who also likes to keep in shape. iSport Strive, Monster’s most image006affordable sport headphone, features a semi-open design allowing users to hear what is going on around them while listening to their tunes. Strive’s design allows them to be fitted in the outer portion of the ear, but not inserted in the ear canal itself.  The headphones also washable and submersible. Monster’s innovative Control Talk Universal is standard on the Strive, making it compatible for Play/Pause for most media players and smartphones.

Price £69.95


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Marantz announce the launch of its Reference Class NA-11S1 Network Audio Player and DAC (SRP: $3,499.00). TheL_NA11S1_Front_Panel_LR NA-11S1  combines advanced Internet streaming and digital connectivity options, all in a package designed for “total ease-of-use and flexibility”. Equipped with multiple HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) devices, the NA-11S1 provides connectivity to a broad range of portable devices as well as PC connectivity, all controlled with the supplied remote as well as with the Marantz Remote App on iPhone, iPad or iTouch.*

It’s equipped with dual master audio clock generators with jitter reduction for numerous sampling frequencies and bit depths, up to 192 kHz/24 bits. The NA-11S1 supports file types including WAV, WMA, MP3, MPEG-4 AAC, FLAC and ALAC, as well as DSD. The latest Marantz DSP processor (DSP PEC777f3) provides digital filtering, and the NA-11S1 offers a number of DSP modes that let users customize the sound, including two modes for digital sources, as well as the option of noise shaping and a DC filter with a 1.7 Hz cutoff.

There are two output choices – unbalanced (RCA) and balanced (XLR). The balanced outputs also feature a phase-inversion option for compatibility with any XLR-equipped pre-amp.


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Simplicity is the keyword for Bergmann Audio and when Hifi Pig received news of their Magne tonearm we couldn’t help but share it with our readers.

The Magne tonearm is a linear tracking airbearing design and so something a little out of the ordinary where tonearm Magne separate Tonearm_page1_image1design is concerned. The moving part of the tonearm simply floats on a thin cushion of air, and is led only by the stylus tip and the record groove. The arm is manufactured with as few parts as possible and from solid materials which Bergmann say avoids unintended resonances and maintains optimum stability

The Magne tonearm (the moving part) is designed and assembled as one, non-adjustable unit, which consists of an aluminium sliding pipe, carbon armtube (double tube with damping) and the head shell. The head shell is fixed completely parallel to the sliding pipe, for a perfect azimuth. If azimuth adjustment is required, it can be done by using a spacer. The counter weight is decoupled from the armtube.

A Linear tracking tonearm tracks the record as it was originally cut/pressed which means there should be no tracking error and the benefit is said to be a distortion free and relaxed reproduction, even at complex passages. Another claimed advantage of the airbearing is the tonearm’s immunity to acoustic feedback, as it has no mechanical contact  to the turntable other than through the stylus tip and the tonearm wire.


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PMC unveiled the SE version of the BB5 at Sound & Vision, The Bristol Show. news_se_bb5The BB5 SE is a domestic version of the company’s world leading studio monitor, the BB5-Active.

The BB5 SE is the flagship of the new SE series of loudspeakers which also includes the other large three-way models, the IB2 and MB2, and combines PMC’s renowned build quality with  Rose and Macassar veneers to ensure the loudspeakers will not look out of place in any domestic setting. Internally, the cabinets have been redesigned to generate a lower cabinet resonance for further “reduced cabinet talk, a purer musical signal and better handling of bass transients”. “The SE series possesses improved clarity in the midrange, through the use of an innovative profiled dispersion flange for the renowned PMC 75 midrange driver; which, in the case of the BB5 SE, is handed to eradicate baffle diffraction to further improve the imaging”.

“Special attention has also been given to the detailing on the terminal panel and the new tactile Nextel™ texture provides a luxurious finish on the drive units. Custom designed stands, in a matching veneer and fitted with large spun precision spikes, complete the aesthetic and provide a firm foundation for the speakers”.

Peter Thomas says of the new models, “Our i series has been a fantastic success all across the world, building upon our studio heritage to bring accurate music reproduction to music lovers in the home. Now, with the SE editions, we have improved the performance of these models even further so that the most discerning of audiophiles can enter right into the heart of their music and hear it sounding just like it did in the studio.” He continues, “And with the beautiful new veneers we have chosen, the speakers look every bit as stunning as they sound.”


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Rega has announced the launch of the much awaited RP8 turntable. The Rega RP8 has a radical new plinth using REGA_RP8custom designed materials, a new tonearm bearing assembly, 24v low volt-age motor controlled by a hand tuned electronic power supply and a custom version of the company’s Planar 9 engineered hub bearing assembly.

The RP8 will also be available with its perfect partner, the Apheta moving coil cartridge, factory fitted as a package option.

Key Features of the Rega RP8 Skeletal Turntable:

TTPSU power supply.

RB808 Tonearm.

Magnesium and Phenolic – Dual bracing.

Super flywheel effect triple layer glass platter.

Skeletal plinth design with polyolefin foam core.

De-coupled outer frame and dust cover.


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Hifi Pig’s Behind the Brand series of interviews continues with Arnauld Rastoul of Ologe Acoustics a German manufacturer of innovative loudspeakers and hifi electronics.

Read the full interview with Arnaul Rastoul of Ologe Acoustics

If you would like to take part in the Behind the Brands series then get in touch with Hifi Pig.


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Based in Japan, Arnaud Rastoul is the owner of Ologe Acoustic, manufacturer of innovative loudspeakers and audio electronics that are designed very much with a minimalist aesthetic. More »

Record Store Day was founded in 2007 as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently Printowned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally. This year the event takes place on April 20th.
This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, djs spinning records and on and on.

To show Hifi Pig’s continued support for Record Store Day and to demonstrate our solidarity with the bricks and mortar independent record stores across the world that continue to feed our desire for music, we are announcing the closure of our online record store with immediate effect. (If you have already placed an order it will still be honoured). We hope that you will see this as a clarion call to get out there and support your local record stores, not just on Record Store Day itself, but throughout the year. Furthermore, we have now added a section to the Hifi Pig “Directory” specifically dedicated to independent record stores throughout the world. If you are a record store you can add your details for free in our online directory of record shops.

For many, record stores will have been an intrinsic part of growing up. Many readers will remember quite specifically the first time they went into a record store, flicking through the vinyl, CDs (and even tapes for us older ones), buying that first piece of music and then getting it home and sticking it on the hifi. Record stores are not simply retail outlets, they are places where memories were made and as such they deserve our and your support.


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21. February 2013 · 1 comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Hifi Pig is delighted to announce a new member of the review team in the guise of Danny Worth. Danny has a wealth danny lightof experience with lots of different hifi equipment after many years of experimentation and auditioning and we are very pleased to have his knowledge and experience on the team.

Danny’s passion for high end audio is very much in the here and now and he’s something of an aficionado of all things streaming and computer audio – as such he will concentrate on reviewing items that are very much in this vein. That said, he also has a bit of a soft spot for valve amplification and comments “To compliment the convenience of digital recordings I love the sound of valves and to feel the balance that can be achieved between a digital front end and a valve amplifier in conveying a wonderful and realistic insight into the music”.  He’s also something of a cable fanatic and so watch out for some interesting audio cable reviews in the very near future.

Read more about Danny and the rest of the Hifi Pig team .


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McIntosh Laboratory has launched a new DAC/preamp with a price tag of just £2,995. The new D100 is a remote-McIntosh_d100controlled DAC/preamplifier with five digital inputs that brings the McIntosh sound to connected digital devices.

With its five digital inputs (2x coaxial, 2x optical and 1x USB), and both variable and fixed volume audio outputs, the D100 is suited to “exploiting the full potential of today’s digital devices, while delivering the legendary McIntosh sound quality”. 

The unit is distinctly McIntosh, too: it shares the same classic visuals, controls and hand-crafted black-glass front panels as all the other McIntosh components and has a compact, 10cm-tall chassis.

The D100 has an eight-channel, 32-bit/192kHz D/A converter, used in stereo Quad Balanced mode, with wide dynamic range and extremely low distortion. It also has a powerful built-in headphone amplifier, plus both balanced and unbalanced outputs.

D100 digital preamplifier specifications

Distortion                                                                        0.002%
Frequency response                                                      (+0, -3db) 4Hz to 68kHz
Maximum output voltage (balanced/unbalanced)           16/8V rms
Input impedance (balanced/unbalanced)                        44kohm, 22kohm
Signal to noise ratio                                                        110db
Headphone output                                                          6.35mm
Variable outputs unbalanced                                          1x stereo
Variable outputs balance                                                1x stereo
Digital USB input                                                             1x 2.0, 32-bit/192k asynchronous
Digital S/PDIF inputs                                                       2x Opt., 2x Coax, 24/192
Power control output                                                       1x
Rear panel data ports                                                     1x
Rear panel IR sensor input                                              1x
Dimensions (WxHxD)                                                        44.45×9.8cmx40.64cm
Weight                                                                              6.1kg

The D100 sells for £2,995 and is available now.


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Coincident Speaker Technology based in Ontario, Canada, have contacted Hifi Pig with news that they are adding two new valve amplifier designs to their stable of products, which already includes valve amplifiers, preamplifiers, loudspeakers and audio cables.
The Coincident Turbo 845SE amplifier is “built and designed to be an all out assault on integrated stereo amplifiers”. It is constructed as true dual mono with the only shared component between the two channels being the chassis. The Turbo 845SE has been created “for those who do not want to compromise quality or performance but are limited to space which preclude mono amps and a separate preamp”. The Turbo has a remote control, line stage and stereo amplifier all in one chassis.The Turbo has a large power supply and generates 28 watts per channel which means it should be suitable for use with most loudspeakers.
Single ended 845 output- 28 watts per channel
Pure dual mono
All hard wired
6EM7 input per channel, 300B driver tube per channel
3 Inputs
Remote control
100 lbs.
Price:$5499 US
The Dynamo 34SE is a more budget approach.It has a single ended triode tube sound that “belies its 8 watt power rating” and Coincident say that any 90 db sensitivity speaker can be powered.The Dynamo 34SE is available for under $1000.
Single ended EL34- 8 watts per channel
6SL7 input/ driver tubes per channel
5U4 rectifier
All hard wired
Stainless steel mirror finish
22 lbs.
price:$999 US
At the time of writing no images were available but Hifi Pig will of course bring you these just as soon as we have them.
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Any new release featuring Mike Patton is sure to pique the interest of many a musical pundit, and interests were more than piqued when the band described this album as being like “like a heavy version of the Beach Boys” prior to its release.  I for one was intrigued about the concept, despite Tomahawk being regarded as somewhat lower in the pecking order of the Patton canon by fans and industry types alike.  Mr Bungle, Fantomas and of course Faith No More seem to be the Patton projects du jour.  However, Tomahawk is more than just Mike.  Joining him are John Stanier (Helmet, The Mark of Cain) on drums, Duane Denison (The Jesus Lizard) on guitar and long time Patton collaborator Trevor Dunn on bass.  Oddfellows is their fourth album, following on from the underrated and visionary reworking of native American songs that was Anonymous in 2007. More »

Earlier today Hifi Pig ran a breaking news item about the new Cyrus 30th Anniversary Edition system and we have now Cyrus full thismanaged to snoofle out further information about the system from Cyrus as well as a photograph.

The new system will comprise of the following individual items:


For the Anniversary Series version of the CD XT SE2, Cyrus has made a number of changes including the addition of new AC and DC power filtering, plus additional motor control stage filtering elements.

Stream X2

The Stream X2 represents the top model in the company’s range and is a music streamer and internet radio source. To improve performance over the original, Cyrus has added new power supply power filtering and made improvements to the chassis to minimise resonance and the unwanted effects of microphony.


The DAC XP+ with its built-in preamp has seen an extensive improvement programme in the Anniversary Series. Its DAC chips have been upgraded to 32-bit resolution running in fully balanced operation and there have been numerous changes to the power supply including: upgraded power transformers; extensive new power filtering and improved smoothing on the DAC supply; new ‘short path’ analogue input switching stages plus an updated XLR output design, providing a purer balanced output circuit.

Mono X 300

The Mono X 300 is Cyrus’s most powerful amplifier to date and with its zero-feedback design it gives 300 watts. The Anniversary Series updates include a replacement input buffer op-amp with a higher slew rate and higher gain bandwidth, for a “smoother high-frequency response” plus additional power filtering to reduce electromagnetic interference across all supply voltages.


The PSX-R is said to provide an extremely smooth and stable DC feed, “the PSX-R enables the DAC XP+ and CD XT SE2 transport to reach their full potential” and in this Anniversary guise, includes new AC and DC power filtering which reduces noise across output supply voltages.

Hark II rack

The Hark II rack is a stylish addition to any Cyrus system and is included within the Anniversary Series package. The contemporary vertical system rack features adjustable shelving and is purpose-made for Cyrus components. The rack features an aluminium extruded side blade, which hides wiring, while also providing a power distribution storage compartment. The Hark II rack is expandable, with the system capable of holding up to a total of eight units.


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To celebrate 30 years of audio innovation, UK manufacturer Cyrus has announced details of their Anniversary Series cyrus– “an exclusive system of fine-tuned flagship products”. The system is based on the company’s flagship X Series range and has been fine-tuned by Technical Director, Peter Bartlett. 

The Anniversary Series System comprises upgraded versions of the following X Series components: the CD XT SE₂ CD transport; Stream X₂ network music player; DAC XP+ (DAC with preamp); 2x Mono X 300 power amps and 2x PSX-R power supplies. Sold as a complete package, the Anniversary System comes bundled with interconnect cabling, a Hark II – Storage Rack with 7 shelves, n-remote system remote control and a Cyrus Cadence iPad app.

Technical Director Peter Bartlett said: “We took enormous pleasure in this special commemorative project, taking a number of extraordinary steps to produce a system truly worthy of our 30 years in audio.”

The Anniversary System has been designed to celebrate Cyrus’s 30-year history and deliver the “best-ever Cyrus sound quality”. The electronics, including the Hark II equipment support, are finished in a unique and very special high-quality colour scheme: high-gloss bronze-black, with graphics and lettering in a luxurious, contrasting pearl.

Price is £17 000 and a full unveiling will be made at the Bristol Show.


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Californian based Theta Digital, have announced that it is shipping its latest universal disc transport, the Compli Blu Theta_Digital_Compli_Blu_3D_Hero3D.

According to Dave Reich, Theta Digital’s chief engineer, the Compli Blu 3D was optimized for use with advanced preamp/processors and outboard DAC’s like Theta Digital’s own Casablanca III HD and Generation VIII S3. “It’s simply impossible to build a DAC into a disc player that can compare with the finest outboard units,” said Reich. “Rather than waste money on inferior analogue audio circuitry, we removed it to eliminate any possible interference from ground-currents, designed the power supply using a custom toroidal transformer and added RF filtering to reduce any possible noise.”

The Compli Blu 3D plays virtually all available discs including BD-Video, Blu-ray 3D, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, AVCHD, SACD, CD, HDCD, Kodak Picture CD, CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL, BD-R/RE, BD-R/RE DL and decodes nearly all audio formats including Stereo, up to 7.1ch high-resolution PCM, up to 5.1ch DSD, bitstream or LPCM conversion of Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, and DTS-HD Master Audio. theta_digital_compli_blu_3D_rear_panel

Further, Using the included WiFi adapter (compatible with 802.11 b/g/n), or the built-in RJ45 Ethernet port, users can stream NetFlix, VuDu, Pandora and others directly, plus the Compli 3D is DLNA compliant for streaming A/V playback from a PC or laptop.

The Compli Blu 3D is available in platinum or ebony color, with standard or rack-mount chassis and is available for world-wide use in versions with 117 or 230 volt AC power supplies.

MSRP for the Theta Digital Compli Blu 3D is $3,995.00


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New consumer electronics brand i-box is launching its first headphones, part of its fast-growing range of smartphone and2777_i-box_Flats_08 tablet accessories. The i-box Flats, sporting a rugged metal construction, flat tangle-free cable and red and black styling.

The 1.2m red cable is flat in order to make them tangle-resistant. The metal-bodied earphone casings are “robust, stylish and cleverly angled to channel the sound into your ear canal as directly as possible”. The Flats come with three sizes of silicon tips to ensure you’ll achieve a perfect fit, and an in-line microphone and remote control for easy switching between music listening and phone use.

The Flats’ SRP is just £24.99 and, as with all i-box products, the earphones come with a five-year warranty.


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Amphion and Antelope Audio will be co-exhibiting at the Sound & Vision Bristol Show in the United Kingdom, February 22 RUBICON– 24, 2013. The two brands are going to demonstrate a few different set ups, starting with mastering quality to easy-to-use desktop systems.

Visitors will have the chance to see for the first time in the UK the winner of the CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Award, the world’s first 384 kHz digital audio preamplifier with integrated atomic clock – Rubicon.

In addition to seeing the Rubicon, visitors will be able to listen, and experience Antelope Audio’s 384 kHz USB D/A converters. The public will also have the chance to listen to original studio masters, from the same speakers with which they were mastered. Amphion Two15  studio monitors, as well as all other Amphion loudspeakers use waveguide technology and controlled dispersion,” which allow speakers to work in all acoustic spaces”.

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Meridian has announced the introduction of its Explorer USB DAC. The Explorer is a pocket-sized high-resolution USB 2785_Explorer_1DAC from “that delivers best-in-class sound from any computer”. Featuring a range of connectivity, the Explorer can be used in a variety of applications from private headphone listening to full system playback.

The Explorer is compatible with Mac, Linux or Windows computers and is a fully asynchronous, USB audio class 2 DAC.

Key Features

– 24bit/192kHz native conversion capability
– Separate low-jitter crystal oscillators for 44k1 and 48k based sample rates
– Asynchronous data transfer
– 6 layer PCB
– USB2 mini B socket – Plug and Play with MAC (Windows driver available)
– Direct-coupled outputs
– Variable line out – Full Analogue Volume Control for headphones or powered loudspeakers
– Headphone amp
– Fixed line out – 3.5mm connects directly to audio system
– Optical digital output – full resolution for receivers or DACS (up to 96kHz)
– Lights to indicate incoming sample rate
– Soft convenient USB cable provided for ease of placement to protect computer mother board from mechanical stress
– Hand assembled at Meridian’s UK headquarters.

Price £249, $299


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Simple Audio, the networked audio company based in Scotland that released its first multi-room music streaming Simple Audio Roomplayersystem in 2012 and quickly gained a reputation for superior sound performance, today announced that it has been acquired by leading US-based PC enthusiast hardware company Corsair in a multi-million dollar deal. The deal marks another positive chapter in the Simple Audio story and puts the company in a strong position to extend its reach globally.

Peter Murphy, Founder and CEO of Simple Audio commented: “When I started Simple Audio the aim was to make high quality digital music accessible to more people. Now the company is in a much stronger position to make this a reality. Corsair’s extensive resources and worldwide distribution infrastructure will undoubtedly help Simple Audio achieve its ambitions, including plans to launch our products in the USA and Asia during 2013. We’re delighted to be a part of Corsair and very excited about the future.”

Corsair, with half a billion dollars in annual revenue, has built an excellent reputation for designing and manufacturing innovative, high-performance components and peripherals for PC enthusiasts and gamers.

Andy Paul, President and CEO of Corsair commented: “We have followed Simple Audio as a potential investment opportunity since 2010 and we are extremely impressed by their vision of HD digital music in the post-iPod era. Their high quality, high-performance Roomplayer system demystifies and simplifies the process of playing digital music throughout the home. We believe now is the right time to invest in the fast-growing digital music space and are delighted to help Simple Audio bring their incredible vision into reality and to music lovers around the world.”


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Schiit Audio announce the production of the Asgard 2 headphone amplifier. Asgard 2 is a complete redefinition of the asgard2company’s Asgard headphone amplifier, adding both a higher-performance gain stage based on their flagship Mjolnir amp, as well as features such as selectable gain and preamp outs.

“With these changes, Asgard 2 becomes a complete control center for desktop audio,” said Jason Stoddard, Schiit’s Co-Founder. “It provides switched preamp outputs for use with powered monitors, and exceptional flexibility to power headphones from sensitive IEMs to power-hungry orthodynamics.”

IEMs are a special focus of Asgard 2. At the low gain setting of 1.5x, the noise floor is said to be exceptionally low and the Alps Blue Velvet pot provides a “very fine range of control, with excellent channel matching”.

Asgard 2 offers a high gain setting of 6x, and can provide up to 1W of power into 32 or 50 ohms, making it suitable for many power-hungry planar-magnetic, or orthodynamic headphones. With output voltage up to 30V p-p, it also pairs  with high-impedance, 300 and 600 ohm headphones.

Like all Schiit products, Asgard 2 is made in the USA.

Price is $249


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Von Schweikert Audio announce the VR-100XS speaker system.  All aspects of its design have VonSbeen approached with the goal of an “acoustically holographic listening experience of a live musical event”.  To achieve this, the company have engineered an all-new Noise Reduction cabinet construction based on their Triple-Wall constrained layer patent, a matched driver array using the same magnesium diaphragm material from woofer to mid to tweeter for coherent timbre response, transient-response “speed” matching of the driver array using proprietary servo-controlled filter circuits instead of a “crossover,” and room-correcting subwoofer design that eliminates the standing wave phenomena through the entire room.

The speaker drivers are implemented as a vertical array as in the company’s VR11-MkII.  As recording microphones are “point sources” Von Schweikert have designed a Point Source concentric driver array to  recreate a “holographic experience”.  The initial source of the focal point is the centered tweeter, with concentric arrays of midrange and woofer drivers.  On the rear of the tower is a two-way Ambience Retrieval System that will complete an omni-directional spherical-wave radiation pattern.

In each VR-100XS tower, the four 7″ woofers and two 5″ midrange drivers are custom-designed, ultra high speed, non-resonant magnesium-coned units, damped with a layer of ceramic oxide.  The cone material is extremely light, rigid, and tonally accurate and the company says “surpasses any electrostatic driver for transparency”.

The newly designed ribbon tweeter, placed centrally in the array, has both ultra wide frequency response and wide dispersion due to a proprietary wave-guide.  Transient response matching of the drive units, from the 15” magnesium-coned subwoofers up to the 2”  magnesium foil/Teflon ribbon super tweeters is controlled by a proprietary circuit with “servo control” using the drivers’ back-emf for sampling of the signal versus driver response “speed” in actual “real” time.  A feed forward circuit was designed to electrically damp the driver behavior to match each other driver as closely as possible.

The new one-piece cabinet is massively constructed and each tower weighs over 460 pounds. The Main Towers are 1ft wide x 6ft tall and are available in many high quality automotive finishes.

The external sub-woofers, the “XS” of the system, are also an all new VSA engineering solution.  They are designed to be placed near the rear of the listening area and are aimed at the main towers. Von Schweikert’s new patent pending technology will “eliminate room response anomalies when integrated with the already outstanding bass performance of the VR-100XS towers”.  The XS subwoofer amplifiers have Time Delay controls to adjust the response for the room dimensions and can be adjusted to compensate for standing wave modes in any room, no matter the size.  “The elimination of standing bass waves in the room is not achieved by equalization in the subwoofer amplifier, but is achieved by acoustical cancellation of Eigentones throughout the room, without any digital implementation of any sort”.

Bass extends down to 10 Hz and has transient response speed and clarity that equals the response accuracy of the loudspeaker’s midrange drivers. The supplied subwoofer amplifier is designed and built in the USA; it supplies over 1,000-watts r.m.s. into each of the four voice coils of the Super Duty High-Speed Infrasonic Subwoofer driver.  With a 60 pound  motor and four 5” voice coils configured in Push-Pull operation, the 15” magnesium cone with a 3” total excursion potential has the” lowest distortion and quickest transient response speed of any subwoofer on the market”.  A Signal Sensing Cable made by Delphi Aerospace is supplied to connect the Main Towers to the Sensing Inputs of the XS subwoofers – the subwoofer signal is not sent from the preamplifier.  In order for the subwoofer to “follow” the main woofers, Von Schweikert have implemented a ‘servo-controlled’ feedback loop from the main woofer’s back-emf (electro motive force) output to “tell” the 15” woofer where to go, in terms of speed and tonal quality.

The rear-facing implementation of the VSA “GAIN” Ambience Retrieval System “breaks new ground”, as Von Schweikert have engineered a solution to recreate the desired dispersion pattern of an omni-directional speaker system. This required a dipole implementation of a rear wave that combines with the front wave to generate a “side beam” of sound to enhance the “openness” of a live performance.  Using both a 1.25” dome midrange and an additional 3” ribbon super tweeter, the 2-way design operates from 1,5kHz to 100kHz.  “The 1,5kHz frequency was chosen by examining the polar response of the front driver array’s response at 90-degrees off axis”.  When both the front and rear driver arrays are measured, the speaker behaves as a quasi-omni speaker, similar to a cardiod pattern as in recording microphones.  This new “HGAIN” technology couples with the front drivers, completing the you-are-there holographic experience.

Relevant specifications at time of publication are: $145,000 for the 4pc system consisting of two Main Towers and two XS subwoofers with 15” drivers and 1,000-watt amplifiers.  Main tower is 6 ft tall x 1ft wide x 30” deep with a weight of 468 lbs uncrated.  The XS subs are 176 lbs @ 24” x24” x 24”.  System sensitivity is 90dB, impedance is 4-ohms, recommended power rating is 50 watts to 1,000-watts, frequency range is 10Hz to 100kHz.  Main Towers have Autoformer Level Attenuators for front Tweeter and Rear Ambience.


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In the latest of our ongoing series of interviews with the people behind the brands, Hifi Pig talks to Daniela Manger, the CEO & owner of Manger Products.

Read all the Behind the Brands interviews.


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Krell have announced today that their S-550i integrated amp will be shipping this week!S550i_Front-sm

The Krell S-550i builds on the success of the S-300i integrated amplifier and delivers 275 watts of stereo output. The S-550i is outfitted with balanced and single-ended inputs, iPod dock, and Theater Throughput™ mode. For custom integration applications, 12 volt triggers, RS-232 connectivity and rack mount ears are included. Operational parameters can be customized via the menu system that is accessible from the front panel or the included brushed Aluminum remote control.

The preamplifier section features circuit concepts from Krell’s flagship Phantom preamplifier. Direct coupled circuitry eliminates capacitors from the signal path and a custom-machined level control adjusts volume. Discrete circuitry, in a balanced topology, is afforded its own power supply regulation. All signal gain is realized using surface mount technology featuring proprietary current mirrors. Negative feedback is not used anywhere in the preamplifier. Open-loop distortion is typically less than 0.003%. The volume control is realized with a balanced resistor ladder – bandwidth and transient response of the preamp circuitry are virtually unaffected by the volume setting.

The S-550i packs 1,750 watt transformer and 68,000μF of capacitance into a 5″ high chassis. This power supply feeds classic Krell circuitry throughout the topology using only discrete circuitry. That is, the S-550i doubles its power output when a speaker’s impedance is halved. For the S-550i, the results are 275 watts into 8 Ohms and 550 watts into 4 ohms.


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Daniela Manger is the CEO & owner of Manger Products. She has involved in Hi-Fi, electronics engineering & Pro-Audio markets almost since she was born due to family interests. Based on their unique Manger MSW/Sound Transducer their current portfolio includes Reference Active Monitor (MSMc1) & its floorstanding version (MSMs1), plus other accessories which help to evaluate the musical results in both the Hi-End & Professional markets. More »

34 years.  That’s how long Bad Religion has been a functioning entity!  Occupying a genre not known for cultivating longevity in its participants, they’ve endured line-up changes, fluctuations in popularity and label changes and are (deservedly) absolute icons of punk rock.

However to use sporting parlance, you’re only as good as your last game… so how does True North come across in the current unpredictable musical landscape? More »

Luxury high end audio manufacturer Gryphon Audio Designs of Denmark is celebrating the launch of their greatest Gryphon_pendragonloudspeaker achievement yet, the four-tower Gryphon Pendragon.

Conceived to be partnered with the Gryphon Pandora preamplifier and Mephisto (stereo) or Mephisto Solo (monoblock) power amplifiers, the three-way Gryphon Pendragon system employs a bass tower (eight 8” bass drivers per channel driven by a custom-designed 1000 Watt Gryphon Class A/B power amp) and an open baffle mounted with a two meter long dipolar planar magnetic thin-film ribbon (covering the 200 Hz – 18 kHz with no crossover in its operating range) alongside a vertical array of four dipolar Air Motion Transformer super-tweeters, specified to beyond 32 kHz.

Gryphon founder and CEO Flemming E. Rasmussen elaborates, “We had committed considerable resources over the past decades to solving the many inherent problems of crossover networks, but it has always been in the back of our minds that eliminating a problem altogether is a far more elegant solution. By coming up with a single, broadband drive unit with ideal sound reproduction and mechanical behaviour across more than seven octaves, Gryphon Pendragon eliminates crossover components in the critical mid frequency range, preserving spectral and temporal integrity.”

Price is €150 000.


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THIEL Audio, the lexington based high-end loudspeaker manufacturer, has announced that consumer electronics Brownsenior executive Bob Brown has been appointed to the company’s board of directors and will take over as interim COO effective immediately. Brown, recently named to CEDIA’s board of directors, brings a rich legacy and successful track record in the performance audio category to THIEL as the former President and CEO of Lenbrook America, which distributed NAD Electronics and PSB Speakers. Brown was also President and COO of Tivoli Audio and currently serves as the international sales manager for ZVOX Audio.

Brown’s role with THIEL will be to provide the company’s new ownership with a complete analysis of the existing operation, including manufacturing, domestic and international sales as well as marketing. “THIEL is a brand with a very rich history and my goal will be to provide the guidance and market awareness necessary to maximize opportunities going forward,” Brown stated. “It’s important that as we adapt THIEL’s domestic and international sales processes as well as its product development direction to contemporary business ideals, but that we do so very mindful of the brand’s legacy. This ownership group seems acutely aware of this necessity and appreciative of the pitfalls that have characterized other investor-led high-end audio acquisitions.” added Brown.


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It’s that time of year again and around comes what many in the high-end audio community feel is the “must go to” hifi HE13_Logo_eshow in the calender. I’m talking of course about the Munich High-End Exhibition 2013 which takes place 9th May – 12th May, 2013 –  with the Thursday being trade visitors day.

This year the Exhibition is in top form and enjoying an unstoppable boom in bookings. The two main exhibition halls are occupied as usual by international exhibitors alongside all the well-known recording providers, the technology stage for interesting talks and young start-up companies. There will also be one or two surprises in store which Hifi Pig will report in due course.

New for Munich High-end 2013 are specially created and newly developed demonstration cabins featuring in Hall No. 3 and No. 4. These demonstration cabins have been optimised for sound reproduction, are specifically intended for demonstrating music and unsurprisingly many of these demonstration cabins have already been booked. As the event organiser of the High End exhibition in Munich, the High End Society has used demonstration cabins for many years which were qualitatively superior to standard designs usually found at normal trade fairs for consumer electronics but these year they promise to be even better.

The High End Society is offering exhibitors three completely new acoustically-optimised demonstration cabins designed in collaboration with sound experts after many meetings. Due to the sturdy walls and the corner absorbers already fitted at the factory, as well as an acoustically Treated (Odenwald) ceiling, the new demonstration cabins from the High End Society produce good audio values even when empty, which can be enhanced to an excellent level by only minimal additional acoustic measures.

Why not take a look at our full coverage of Munich High End 2013 and other hifi shows.


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Bryston, LTD has announced that award-winning studio designer Carl Tatz has selected the Bryston 4BSST² stereo L_1amplifier to power the control room monitors in a studio designed for multi-Grammy®-winning engineer Bob Bullock. “I brought the first Bryston 4B to the Nashville studio scene in the ’80s. It has since become the world standard for pro studio amplification. When budget permits, I always spec Bryston for its effortless performance, high resolution sweet top and unmatched low-end muscle,” reported Carl Tatz.

The 4B is the most popular of the Squared Series amplifier and delivers 300 watts into 8 Ohms or 500 watts into 4 Ohms (900W into 8 Ohms (Bridged Mono). The 4BSST² features balanced and unbalanced inputs, selectable gain (23 or 29dB) all in a convection-cooled fully aluminum chassis requiring no noisy cooling fans. All Squared Series L_2amplifiers from Bryston are available with silver or black faceplate (3U + .55”) and in 17-inch width (without handles) or 19-inch (with handles). A rack-mountable Pro Edition is available in black. “Bryston first unveiled the 4B amplifier back in 1976. The 4B, (and all its successors up to the 4BSST²), have been adopted as the among the most popular studio reference amplifiers of all time. We are excited that both a respected designer and an esteemed engineer chose Bryston for this pioneering project.” Chris Russell, CEO of Bryston, LTD.


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Aurorasounds’ is a high-end audio company from Yokohama, Japan. Designer and director Shinobu Karaki has 28 years vida-main500experience working for Texas Instruments Japan Inc and is also a passionate musician, music teacher and an audiophile.

Aurorasounds’ latest development is a phono-stage called VIDA (Vinyl Disk Amplifier). The two box VIDA uses an LCR network for RIAA equalisation via Lundahl transformers combined with old-world craftsmanship offering “outstanding performance” and fully adjustable loading for both moving coil and moving magnet phono cartridges. The phonostage has no capacitors in its signal path and comes as standard with RCA inputs/outputs which can be upgraded to XLR connectors.

The VIDA also features a stereo/mono switch, a built in cartridge demagnetizer and a rumble filter.

Price is £3199.95


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KEF has added a Linear White and Rosewood finish to its Q Series speaker range. The Q Series uses the Uni-Q driver Q900_rosewood_pair2array and bass drivers which help deliver an “extremely detailed and spacious sound image even from the smallest models”.

There are nine models, including three floorstanders, two bookshelf speakers, two fully specified and timbre-matched centre channels, dipole surrounds and a powerful 200-Watt subwoofer in the the Q Series loudspeakers representing a wide choice of options for either serious two-channel or home cinema applications



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US audio cable manufacturer, DH Labs has announced the latest in their range of loudspeaker cables, the Deity DeitySpeaker Cable. The cable has been designed to be used in high-end audio systems and the company claims it delivers “the most accurate and uncoloured signal transmission possible, along with extraordinary harmonics and tonal balance”.

The Deity loudspeaker cable is said to be built to “exact tolerances and is hand terminated by skilled craftsmen”.

The cable is made up of 12 individually insulated pure silver conductors (20 awg) in an interleaved helical array encompassing two silver-coated Continuous Crystal conductors (14 awg).

DH Labs proprietary Air-PTFE dielectric is tape wrapped around each conductor and the company say this offers the lowest dielectric loss of any commercially available cable.

Made in the USA the Deity cable is available with either silver spades or bananas.

6ft lengths are $4900, 8ft lengths are $5900, 10ft lengths $6900 and 12ft lengths $7900. Available now.


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