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.
Features:
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.
Features
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:

CD XT SE2

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.

DAC XP+

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.

PSX-R

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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