Rois Acoustics, in cooperation with Audio4Soul, whose digital amp/DAC we reviewed a while ago, has launched rois_acoustics_kalypso_loudspeakerstheir new Kalypso loudspeaker.

Kalypso is an active, one-way loudspeaker, which uses a full range drive unit mounted on a rear horn-loaded cabinet and driven by a built-in true digital amplifier. With a full line of digital inputs (asynchronous 24bit/192kHz USB, coaxial, optical), Kalypso’s remote controlled amplifier combines the operation of a DAC, pre- and power amplifier in a single-stage signal processing unit.  The amplifier is equipped with a series of user selectable digital EQ filters which allow the user to adjust Kalypso’s tonal balance according to the acoustics of the listening room.

Rois Acoustics said “The design philosophy behind the development of Kalypso is that of absolute simplicity and minimal signal path as means to achieve the highest level of naturalness and transparency of sonic reproduction. The single-stage true digital amplifier, the absence of crossover and the non-resonant design of the speaker cabinet ensure that the music information is subjected to the minimum possible processing and degradation during its transformation from raw digital data to final sound”.

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Kronos Audio have said that they will be introducing their new turntable, the Sparta at this years CES. Kronos_Sparta

The Sparta maintains the company’s patented dual counter-rotating suspended technology but offers it a lower priced package.

“We are very excited to offer this performance breakthrough to a wider audience. We have included into Sparta all the core technical elements that have made Kronos a resounding success. We have achieved lower manufacturing cost by streamlining production processes, by innovating the use of efficient materials and by introducing novel engineering solutions” stated Kronos’ president Louis Desjardins.

A variety of tonearms will be able to be used on the new turntable ranging from 9” to 10.5” and a version of the company’s Black Beauty tone-arm (10.5” and exclusive to the Sparta) will be available in limited numbers.

Shipping dates is expected to be March of 2014 and the price is $21 000.

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Wilson audio have announced the Sasha Series-2 loudspeaker. Wilson say that with the Sasha Series-2 precise Sasha S2 Seamless-14time alignment, “so critical to harmonic expression, dynamic clarity and musicality, has reached an unprecedented degree of refinement for a two cabinet loudspeaker”r.

The Sasha Series-2 uses a modified version of the company’s Convergent Synergy Tweeter used in the Alexandria XLF the company has developed a new woofer enclosure for the new Sasha which they say means a 30% reduction in (already vanishingly low) cabinet resonances.

The Midrange/Tweeter enclosure of the Sasha Seires-2 is a two plane baffled unit which “optimises the axis response angles of the midrange unit and the CST tweeter” The tweeter portion of the baffle is made from the latest generation of Wilson’s X-Material as used in the Alexia whilst the mid-range portion of the baffle is made from S-material.

The original Sasha facilitated group delay via four different spike lengths but the Series-2 features an Alexia type alignment block with more than 20 settings which Wilson says “radically increases the accurate alignment of the Sasha drivers in the time domain and is said to give greater transient accuracy, tonal beauty, spatial retrieval and musicality”.

Shipment for existing orders is expected to be late February 2014 and the price of the Sasha series-2 is $29 900.

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The Stereo 845 features four matched 845 valves, two 6SL7 first stage valves, two 6SN7 output driver valves icon845stereoand a GZ34 driver stage rectifier. The four 845s can be user-calibrated using Icon Audio’s built-in ‘easy bias’ meter and deliver a rated continuous output of 40 watts per channel.

While Icon’s MB845 monoblocks achieve around a 100-watt output from a push-pull pair of 845s, in the Stereo 845 they have deliberately allowed the valves to operate in a much more relaxed manner, being only pushed to produce 40 watts. “Forty watts is ample power to obtain a high volume in most situations,” says David Shaw, Icon Audio’s founder and designer of the new Stereo 845. “Surprisingly, the difference in maximum volume capability between a 100-watt and a 40-watt amp is only 3.9db”.

“You could say that this amplifier has been twelve years in the making,” says David Shaw, “as we’ve drawn on all our experience and expertise in designing and manufacturing it. The 845 is a superb valve and in this amp, everything possible has been done to allow the 845 to work its magic.”

The Stereo 845 can be ordered as a ‘David Shaw Signature’ version featuring Jensen copper foil oil-in-paper capacitors and premium valves.

 ·         Pure Class A triode front end

·         Pure triode 845 push-pull output stage

·         The four 845s can be user-calibrated using Icon Audio’s built-in ‘Easy Bias’ meter

·         All hand wired point to point to optimise sound and reliability

·         Low distortion tertiary-wound output transformers, potted to reduce noise

·         Solen/SCR audiophile quality capacitors

·         Silver plated pure copper PTFE audio cable

·         Gold plated input and loudspeaker terminals

·         Four line inputs

·         Record loop

·         Remote control volume

·         Attractive Plexiglas® valve cover included

·         May also be used as a power amplifier

Price in the UK is £5999.95

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Following the launch of the Prime Headphone Amplifier, Meridian has announced the introduction of the Prime MeridianPSUPower Supply, a reference-quality, high-current design based on the new linear power supplies developed for Meridian’s 800 Reference Series and specifically built for audio applications. 

The Meridian Prime Power Supply can be used to power a range of Meridian products including the Meridian Prime Headphone Amplifier, Audio Core 200, Meridian Director and Media Source 200. The addition of Prime Power Supply to these products provides an enhancement in their performance, much like supercharging a car’s engine.


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Ted Martin was a VIP guest of honour at Meridian’s Huntingdon HQ on 17th December in an event held to image004celebrate the fact that Martins Hi-fi is Meridian’s longest serving retail partner.  Ted and his brother Mike founded Martins Hi-Fi in January 1968.  Sadly Mike died in 1979 leaving Ted to carry on the business with the same tradition of personal service, integrity and reliability that has positioned the store as Norfolk’s leading independent Hi-Fi and Home Cinema specialist retailer.

To commemorate the event, and the partnership, Meridian produced a one off commemorative plaque to celebrate the 45 year anniversary. 

Ted commented ‘Having heard good things about Lecson back in the seventies led to the first contact with Bob Stuart and Allen Boothroyd and of course later Meridian. Realising that Bob and Allen had the design and technology that was far ahead of anything else it made sense for Martins Hi-fi to retail their products.  Now, 45 years later, Martins are still with Meridian as Premium Partners and Bob and Alan are still leading the field with design and technology!’

Raven Audio’s Nighthawk is an integrated amplifier that is self-biasing so you never have to adjust tubes. The chassis Raven_Nighthawkis manufactured of sturdy 14-gauge carbon steel with an aircraft-grade aluminium faceplate and a small-signal tube plate on top. At $1,595 it would seem Raven Audio doesn’t skimp on quality; the handles are made of schedule-20 carbon steel with knobs machined from aircraft-grade aluminium.

“The 20wpc Nighthawk Integrated delivers a wideband, smooth, detailed and very present, very palpable sound with a polished look and feel. You’ll hear with your ears with the added dimensions of emotion and excitement, a nearness to the music that makes everything breathtakingly real” say Raven Audio.


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Resonessence Labs are a Canadian company whose DACs we had reviewed in the past. We’d ben told very good HERUS-LRthings about their little Herus DAC and headphone amp  and so Hifi Pig got Danny Worth to give it a listen.

“The presentation of the sound was crisp and clean, with a great openness to the vocal, a typical sound for these headphones I felt.”

Read the full Herus Review.


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Parasound have introduced a new version of their Halo JC 3 phono preamplifier, the Halo JC 3+. The new version Parasound_phonoadds independent load adjustment for MC cartridges and improvements to the dual mono phono module circuit boards which have been designed by John Curl.

“Six years ago we asked John Curl if he would create a reasonably priced Parasound Halo phono preamp with ultra low noise, in the spirit of his masterpiece, the Vendetta,” said Richard Schram, the founder of Parasound. “Three years later we introduced the remarkable Parasound Halo JC 3 which has earned rave reviews from the audiophile press and a legion of vinyl enthusiasts.”

Curl and circuit board designer Carl Thompson eventually consented to including variable load impedance adjustments, but with these caveats for the potentiometers: They must comply with stringent performance requirements and they must be manufactured by Vishay. At that time Vishay did not offer a potentiometer that met these specific requirements. However they recognized an opportunity, and eventually agreed to develop the part and manufacture it in small quantities for Parasound. The outcome of this effort is the Parasound Halo JC 3+.

The Parasound Halo JC 3+ will be available in late December in both silver and black finishes, and will have a suggested retail price of $2,850.

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Quad has unveiled the 9AS – a pair of compact active speakers complete with an inbuilt DAC (from Quad’s 3198_Quad_9AS_(ruby_red)Elite series of CD players) allowing coupling up of desktop and laptop computers, disc players and other digital devices. Preamp functionality allows users to switch between multiple digital and analogue sources, and also adjust volume levels on the speaker or via remote control.

“The 9AS loudspeaker is small enough to sit on a desk or shelf, yet large enough to deliver a powerful and detailed high-resolution sound” say Quad. The loudspeaker can also function as a near-field studio monitor with a “smooth frequency response, supplemented by a three-position bass EQ facility that equalises the low-frequency response for free standing, shelf and close-to-wall mounting”.

Digital connections are provided via asynchronous USB and S/PDIF (optical and coaxial), all capable of receiving audio data up to 24-bit/192kHz, supplemented by line-level RCA inputs for analogue signals. A side-mounted 3.5mm input is also included for connection of portable audio devices.

Each 9AS pair comprises a ‘master’ and a ‘slave’, both containing 100 watts of Class AB power amplification – the amplifier is housed in a cast aluminium chassis bonded to the base of the cabinet. The master speaker accepts all inputs and handles volume and input selection, operated via a touch-sensitive panel on the base of the speaker (a remote control is also supplied), while the slave speaker is fed via a line-level output from the master speaker. An output for an external subwoofer is also included.

Quad 9AS is available from this month with an SRP of £599.95 per pair finished in a choice of
high-gloss black, high-gloss white or ruby red.

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Young consumer electronics brand i-box unveils Max – big brother to its recently launched portable wireless 3192_Max_background_4speaker, Trax. Like its sibling, Max is a Bluetooth, NFC-ready design, clad in i-box’s distinctive orange and black livery and designed to be used with all manner of smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.

However, while Trax is small enough to pop into a bag whilst traveling, Max is a larger and more powerful sound system. Its tough exterior measures 292x127x139mm (WxHxD) and packs in a pair of 5cm full-range drivers, supplemented by a rear-ported 7.5cm low-frequency radiator. These are driven by a fully integrated, Class D amplifier delivering 30W RMS.

Bluetooth 4.0, with support for the superior aptX codec, A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) and EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) is included and frequency response can be individually tailored to suit the music and sound quality of the file being played, thanks to bass and treble controls located at the back of the unit.

Max can be powered from the mains or via its built-in rechargeable Lithium battery for portable convenience, with up to 10 hours playback from each charge. A pair of USB outputs is also included, turning Max into a portable power source from which smartphones and tablets may be charged.

Speaking about Max’s design, i-box’s founder and director Karl Thomas said: “If you’re paying over £100 for a Bluetooth speaker, you want it to be loud and you want to have control over your sound – I know I do. That’s why we made Max powerful, incorporated aptX ‘CD-quality’ sound, and added features like independent bass and treble controls, for maximum enjoyment whatever you’re listening to. Truly, this is a wireless speaker that takes your music to the Max!”

Price £149

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Hifi Pig gave you a sneaky peak of the new all in one player from Cyrus Audio way back in September and now the lyric_1company has officially announced the launch of its Lyric Series – its first ever all-in-one music system range.

At launch, two products are available; Lyric 09 and Lyric 05

  • Lyric 09 – UKSRP £3000.00 – 170 watts per channel into 8 Ohms and advanced 32 bit/192 kHz up sampling DAC
  • Lyric 05 – UKSRP £2250.00 – 80 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms and 24bit/192 kHz DAC

Lyric 05 gets a 24bit/192kHz DAC whilst the range-topping Lyric 09 gets the advanced 32bit/192kHz DAC with upsampling, developed for the company’s Signature series.

There’s an onboard streamer and the free Cadence app to control it as well as Bluetooth connectivity plus two USB inputs, a CD player and FM and DAB radio.

Headphone users get a  Class A headphone circuit designed to drive even the most demanding of headphones.

The Lyric range offers:

  • Streaming of 24 bit 192kHz high resolution lossless files, based on Stream X2
  • Bluetooth with A2DP and aptX codec
  • CD player based on CD t
  • 32 bit DAC with 192kHz file compatibility and up-scaling (Lyric 09 only – Lyric 05 has 24 bit/192kHz file compatibility)
  • Hybrid power amplifier (Lyric 09 – 170 Watts per channel into 8Ohms; Lyric 05 – 80 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms)
  • Automated loudspeaker analysis with impedance matching
  • Automatic ambient light adjustment
  • High resolution colour screen
  • Touch sensitive black glass panel
  • Backlit icons
  • Proximity sensing display
  • DSP tone controls
  • DAB+ radio
  • FM radio
  • Internet radio
  • USB Made for iPad with charging (Front and rear)
  • USB aux front, for pen drives / phone / MP3 player etc.
  • 2 x optical SPDIF aux inputs
  • 2 x co-axial SPDIF aux inputs
  • 1 x analogue aux input
  • Non-ferrous, aluminium chassis.
  • Headphone amplifier
  • iPad Cadence app offering full system control
  • IR remote handset
  • Consumer software update option

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iFi have announced the iCAN, a palm sized 167g battery powered, 150mW headphone amplifier. The onboard lithium-icanpolymer 1400mAh battery is said to give over 70 hours of juice and the company’s DirectDrive output with no coupling capacitors is said to offer  “smooth, natural sonics and bass slam”.

Input is via a either a pair of RCAs or a 3.5mm jack whilst output is via a 6.3mm headphone socket.

Retail price in the UK is £149.

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Kimberly Wyatt of Pussycat Dolls fame was recently announced as the face for the Monster iSport FREEDOM OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHeadphones so we thought the best person to review them was Linette (with a useful addition by Harry our 16 year old and fairly active son) as clearly the other reviewers for Hifi Pig don’t really fall into the target market for this particular headphone.

Headphone manufacturers seem to have cottoned on to the fact that it’s not just performance focused audiophiles that will be buying their products, the whole Head-Fi market is opening up the world of high-fidelity sound to a broader spectrum of people, people that want the feeling of luxury and quality in every aspect of their purchase.”

Read the full review of the Monster iSport FREEDOM Headphones.


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Audioengine has launched two new products clearly aimed at lovers of computer-based music.A2W front

First up is the Audioengine D3, a 24-bit USB DAC and headphone amp. It slots into the USB socket of any Mac or PC and “instantly improve the audio output to headphones, powered speakers or any music system”. No additional power supply, cables or software required.

Key D3 features:

• Stream bit-perfect native 24/96 HD audio

• Headphone amp

• Plug-and-play: no drivers or software to install

• Durable, aluminium case

• 3.5-6.3mm headphone adapter included

The Audioengine D3 is available now for £165.

Next up is an update to Audioengine’s A2 speakers. They’ve added a USB DAC, new power supply and other enhancements. There’s also an optional W3 adapter which allows the A2+ to become wireless stereo speakers – without the audio compression of Bluetooth.

Key A2 + features:

• Built-in USB DAC

• 30W per channel amplification

• Work with all computers, phones & tablets – and anything with an audio output

• All cables included

• Wireless with an Audioengine W3 adapter or by adding an AirPort Express for AirPlay.

The Audioengine A2+ comes in satin black or high-gloss white finishes. The speakers are available priced £215. The optional W3 audio adapter is £125.

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The Chord Company’s Epic loudspeaker cable, has been upgraded with the release of Epic Reference. The new Picture 1305upgraded version is said to bring “even greater accuracy across a wider bandwidth than the original and brings all the performance benefits of separately shielded conductor construction”.

Epic Reference is based on 2×12 AWG 19-strand silver-plated oxygen-free copper conductors (in twisted-pair configuration), with each conductor set enjoying its own shield. The Chord Company strongly believes that to obtain the most neutral tonal characteristic from silver-plated conductors it is vital to use PTFE insulation. A PVC spacer jacket is then applied to correctly space the conductor in relation to the dual-layer shielding, which comprises a high-density braid and overlapped foil. The external jacket is PVC.

“Epic Reference is particularly good at helping systems sound coherent and musical. It has been comprehensively tested during the development phase and has been carefully designed to help reveal the true potential of high-quality systems and loudspeakers.” say the company, adding “Epic Reference’s ability to carry audio signals with a high degree of accuracy makes it particularly ideal for wide-bandwidth floor standing loudspeakers: one of the major benefits of shielded speaker cable is the definition and control brought to bass, which is not only useful in a multitude of musical performances, but really helps produce properly coherent rhythm illustrating just how close the relationship is between a drummer and the a bass-player in an conventional band set-up, for example”.


Conductors: 2x 12 AWG 19-strand silver-plated oxygen-free copper

Conductor insulation: PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene)  

Internal conductor surround: PVC spacer jacket

Shielding: dual-layer, high-density braid and overlapped foil

External jacket: PVC

Configuration: twisted-pair 

Diameter: 2x 7.3mm

Colour: Translucent brown

Terminations: Chord 24-karat gold-plated banana plugs; direct gold plated-copper spade connectors, plus BFA Camcon connectors


Single metres: £125

2 metre pair: £500

3 metre pair: £750

5 metre pair: £1,250

Hifi Pig will have a 3m pair of the Chord Epic Reference loudspeaker cable to give away in our next magazine published January 1st. Subscribe now to be reminded of the next issue’s launch date.


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Akiko Audio, whose Tuning Sticks Danny reviewed last month, have introduced a new power block called the Powerbase Quattro. It’s built from high quality aluminium and powerbase_quatrostabilised with block connections, whereby the Furutech inlets are firmly anchored to the base.

Akiko’s Aerostar wires made from eight runs of silver plated copper wire and isolated by air and PTFE with a shielding for the ground is used throughout but Akiko also add their own tuning in the form of a black resin that is designed to stabilise and prevent vibrations.


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Audio cables in Hifi often split the audiophile community into believers and non-believers camps and so with no further schuko_to_iecado here’s what Jerry thought about the Isotek EVO3 Premier mains cables.

At £95 or so for a 1.5m length, reasonably flexible and looking very well made and presented, this cable is by no means expensive as such things go.
It’s available in any configuration of plugs you care to think of, including high current, Schuko, Figure-8, UK 3-pin, US 2-pin etc ….”

Read the full review of the Isotek EVO3 Premier mains cables.


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The Koto is the traditional 13 string Japanese instrument and Kimio Eto is widely regarded as its master. He began training on the instrument at the age of eight and composed his first work aged eleven. Amazingly he was blind from the age of five according to the sleeve notes and this makes this record all the more astonishing.

Here on this él release we have an amalgamation of different bits of albums on one disc, “Art of the Koto” from 1962,“Sound of the Koto” from 1958 and “Koto and Flute” (with Bud Shank) from 1960 and they’re an interesting collection of tunes. I’m not going to suggest for even the briefest of moments that I understand the nuances and the virtuosity of Eto’s playing, but this album makes for an interesting and different kind of listening experience.

You get pretty much just the instrument for the entirety of the record, though the track “Yachiyo Jishi” (Lion of a Thousand Generations” does have some voice on it and of course there’s flute on the last three tunes.

There are themes of nature throughout with titles like “Sakura” (Cherry Blossoms), “Yuki No Genso” (Snow Fantasy), “Izumi” (The Spring) and “Kinuta” (Sound of the Water) and “Tanima No Suisha” (A waterwheel in a Gorge) and the music does bring to mind scenes of the natural world.

My favourite tracks on the record are the three with the flute accompaniment  and I think this is because it’s an instrument I’m more familiar with. That’s not to say this is a difficult listen, it’s not – though there was the obligatory “What the hell is this?” when I first put it on the main rig as it’s just so different to the kind of music I listen to.

If you’re feeling contemplative and in need of drifting off then pop this on, close your eyes and drift away with the music.

Stuart Smith

Read more album reviews

Van de Leur are a young and innovative Dutch company with just two products to their name for the moment. We had a OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAlook at and listen to their 002 preamplifier and the 402 power amplifier.

“We first bumped into Pim Van de Leur on the last day of the Munich High end show, but we never got more than a cursory listen in less than ideal conditions to what looked like very interesting first products from a young, vital and funky Dutch company. You only need to take a look at the company’s website to see they’re setting themselves apart from the often straight-laced high-end branding that is prevalent.”

Read the full review of the Van de Leur amplifier and preamplifier


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I stopped listening to BBC Radio 1 a long time ago but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy dipping into that totally uncool territory that is the hit parade as I believe it’s called by the younger people.

We bought last year’s Live Lounge sessions and enjoyed it a great deal despite my preconceptions and so getting hold of this year’s CD seemed obligatory. For those that don’t know Live Lounge is where Radio 1s DJ Jo Whiley gets in current big names and some lesser names to perform live on her show. Some perform their own tunes while some perform other artists’ songs, indeed most of the tunes herein are covers: Arctic Monkeys perform Hold on “We’re Going Home “by Drake, Vampire Weekend do a version of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Mumford and Sons have a bash at “Tesselate” by Alt-J. More »

Now Sounds have raided the vaults of Hollywood’s Capitol Records to bring us 24 slices of psychedelic pop pie from the late 60s with many of the tunes being on CD for the first time, all sourced from the original master tapes and compiled and produced by Steve Stanley.

Needless to say I was a babe in arms when these tracks first made their way onto the Dansettes and radios of the US but that’s not to say they’re not worth a listen. Indeed the collection here harks back to a much more innocent time, but it’s good fun and shows us why Capitol were the undisputed kings of pop in this era. More »

VPI Industries have announced the introduction of the Nomad vinyl playback system.nomadtv-1

The Nomad is comprised of a 10-inch aluminum tonearm, and 20-pound plinth and platter assembly borrowed from VPI’s Traveler turntable, a pair of Grado headphones and a pre-installed Ortofon 2M Red phono cartridge.The Nomad also has an onboard phono pre-amplifier and headphone amplifier which VPI say are designed to maximize both the sound quality and modular design of the upgradeable system.

Designed to work with existing systems that might not otherwise have a turntable and phono pre-amplifier, The Nomad is designed for people whose primary system is a home theater A/V receiver, sound bar or a tabletop wireless system with a pair of analog inputs.

Mat Weisfeld, President of VPI Industries noted:  “The Nomad is a direct response to the double-digit sales growth over the past five years of new vinyl in both the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. The tonearm takes advantage of the technology in our award-winning Traveler turntable and its gimbaled tonearm.”

“The Nomad is a radical departure for VPI — even with the success of our entry-level Traveler turntable that opened our eyes to the demand for affordable high-end turntables among the 25-35 year-old demographic. The explosive growth of personal audio and the growing demand among consumers for premium headphones, convinced us that there was a need for a portable high-quality entry-level analog playback system that could work easily in college dorms, apartments, offices, and even vacation homes.”

The Nomad Vinyl Playback System will be available for sale in Q1 2014  and with a MSRP: $995.00

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Another band I missed first time round as I was in full on house and techno mode in 1991 when Quality Street, the band’s only album, was first released. This re-release on the 3 Loop Music label is a two CD package with the original album, a CD of selected B sides and two Radio 1 sessions plus a 24 page booklet.

World of Twist were seemingly a great influence on a lot of bands and Noel Gallagher apparently almost named Oasis after the second track on the album, “Sons of the Stage” and Liam Gallagher’s band Beady Eye even covered the track. More »

In his first review for Hifi Pig Richard Joyce takes a listen to the interesting looking and cleverly designed Pluto Ultimate loudspeakers.Pluto_10_300

“The finish on the speakers is impeccable, and the gloss lacquer flawless. Their bases are made from a single piece of aluminium, machined from billet into which the adjustable floor spikes are screwed. Setting up, and having them working, is but a matter of a few short minutes’ work – no more than any other conventional amp/speaker combination in fact.”

Read the full review of the Pluto Ultimate loudspeakers.


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After making its debut at RMAF and the Tokyo Headphone Festival, the nano iDSD from ifi is now almost ready for ifishipping.

The portable battery powered DAC (with headphone amp) plays ALL hi-rez formats including PCM (44.1-384kHz, DSD (5.6/6.2MHz) and DXD (352.8/384kHz) on pretty much any pad, iphone or computer operating system you can mention.

“Its 1400mAh lithium-polymer battery and powerful headphone outputs transform Smartphones as well as computers into fully-fledged, high end digital sources in a palm sized package” say ifi.

It has a digital output (PCM only, up to 192kHz), a pair of audio outputs and a 3.5mm headphone output.

Price is $189 (ex tax) or €189/£165 (including VAT)

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We got a message from Surrey based Magna Audio to tell Hifi Pig they are now offering a range of bespoke products magnaand services.

Their range of services includes making Tannoy GRF-R and GRF-R reduced footprint version replica speaker cabinets from top quality Scandanavian ply with choices of finish and with crossover customisations being available too.

For those of you looking to upgrade your Technics 1200 turntables Magna Audio also make made to measure solid ebony tonearm boards custom-built to your specific tonearm’s fixing. They are also offering custom tonearm counterweights in either brass or Tungsten Copper with Steve from the company saying they can accommodate even the heaviest of cartridges.

If you’re looking for a multi-way horn speaker system then Magna will source drivers, build and install them and to take things really low they’ll also build you tapped horn sub bass loudspeakers that will go down to 20Hz +/- 0dB.

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Many of our readers will have seen and perhaps seen these beautiful looking loudspeakers made from glass at the Victoria Evo - high res_300various hifi shows around the world and were really pleased when we were asked to review them for French manufacturer Waterfall.

“Perhaps not surprisingly, both the design and the manufacturing process for Waterfall Audio’s range of superbly finished glass chassised loudspeakers took quite some time to work out, and it was after 3 years of speaker design work and manufacture prototyping that Waterfall Audio started trading in 1999.  They are based in Provence, in the South of France.”

read the full review of the Waterfall Audio ‘Victoria Evo’ Loudspeakers.


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Hifi Pig is immensely pleased to welcome our newest reviewer to the team, Richard Joyce.

Richard often says that he started to learn to read music before he could read the written word, and whilst at Infant richard_300School took up the Clarinet, aged 6 and then Piano when aged 9. In 1979, aged 13, he won the coveted Mayor’s Cup for the finest soloist performance at the Cambridge Festival and 2 years later attained a Professional Performer’s Diploma (Clt) from the Royal College of Music. He had a change of heart when leaving school at 18, and instead of doing the ‘normal’ thing and going on to Music College, he joined the Royal Air Force as a Direct Entry musician. During his long career in the RAF, he was Principal Clarinettist of the Central Band for 21 years and now holds a Professional Diploma in Music Directorship/Conducting from the Royal College of Music.

He has performed as a soloist in some of the finest concert halls in the country, namely Symphony Hall Birmingham, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall amongst many others. He’s also worked with such names as Brian May, Ron Goodwin, Frank Renton, Donald Hunsberger, Frederick Fennell, Kenneth Alwyn and performed for the BBC as a soloist on Radio 3 and played with the BBC Concert Orchestra. He also has a huge amount of recording experience, working in some of the finest studios in the UK including CTS Wembley, Air Studios, BBC Maida Vale, Angel Studios, and live recordings for radio at BBC Golders Green. Since leaving the RAF he has received requests for solo work, and teaches Clarinet at home in Lincolnshire.

His interest in hifi began at a very early age (approx aged 6 he thinks) when his father bought the first ‘proper’ hifi system into the house. This consisted of a Lenco L75, Sugden A21 and Celestion Ditton 15. Richard couldn’t believe the sound a pair of boxes could make, so got hooked on the whole idea of ‘music in the home’ and hasn’t shaken the habit since!

his first review for Hifi Pig will be live very soon.


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For two days Custom Cable of New Malden, Surrey will feature a “Sennheiser Headphone Circle” where five models fromorpheusl Sennheiser, including the range topping HD800 and popular Momentum models will be available for you to try. Connected to the company’s HDVD800 headphone amplifier and playing high-resolution music from computer or audio CDs, this will be a rare opportunity to audition multiple models under identical circumstances.

The event takes place on 6th  (11:00 – 21:00) and 7th December (10:00 – 17:00)

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Berkely Audio Design have announced their latest DAC, the Alpha DAC Reference Series. berkely_dac

The Alpha DAC Reference has been three years in development and uses bespoke components which the company says gives an “immediacy and presence of music reproduction that is simply real”

Weighing in at over 40lb the unit is precision machined from a solid billet of 6061 T aluminium alloy.

Berkely have paid careful attention to DSD playback and a special software package is included to provide either real time conversion of DSD 1x and DSD 2x to 176.4 kHz 24 bit PCM during playback or conversion to 176.4kHz 24 bit AIFF or WAV files. Essentially the 1-bit DSD to multi-bit conversion is done on the computer rather than in the DAC itself.

The Alpha DAC Reference supports 32hHz to 192kHz 24-bit PCM through four inputs: Balanced AES. Coxial SPDIF 1, Coaxial SPDIF 2 and Toslink optical.

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Let me go on record by saying that I’m a bit of a fan of The Polyphonic Spree. Let me also say that I’m a bit of a sucker for all things festive. So I was quite excited when “Sounds of the Holidays Vol One Holiday Dream” dropped through the letterbox recently.
However, I’ve put off listening to it as we’re not allowed to mention the C word until after 23rd November – it’s a long and complicated story I won’t bore you with here.
This is the first time the special edition package, resplendent with its two bonus tracks and DVD of the band live in London, has had a European release so I was pretty pleased to have received it.
Basically what you’re getting with Holiday Dream is a collection of the band’s favourite Christmas tunes given the trademark sprinkling of Polyphonic Spree fairy dust.
The stand out track for me is the bands rendition of Lennon’s ‘Merry Xmas (War is Over)’ but to be fair if you want to get into the whole spirit of the season there’s not a bad track on the record at all.
The DVD is a nice touch but I’m not a huge fan of music videos so it got a cursory skimming over and nothing more.
This CD will certainly be getting an airing on Christmas morning in this household and if you want to get in the mood for the season all I can suggest is you sit up in front of the fire, pour yourself a large glass of whatever tipple takes your fancy, break out the mince pies and pop this album on the old music centre. Instant Festivities and highly recommended!

Stuart Smith

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Swiss sound system designer Geneva has now added the  Model L Wireless to its range – its most complete Genevaall-in-one system to date.

The new model offers the same compact dimensions as Geneva’s original Model L, but DAB/DAB+ radio, Bluetooth apt-X streaming and touch-sensitive cabinet-top controls, all driven by an up-rated sound system. There’s also a slot-loading CD drive , an FM radio with RDS and support for external streaming devices.

The new Model L wireless comes in a real-wood cabinet in high-gloss red, white or black or premium walnut finish, accommodates twin sets of tweeter/bass driver pairs housed in separate enclosures, with each driver  being individually powered by a dedicated DSP controlled amplifier to give give 180 W continuous.

It costs from £1149 with and optional stand costing £189. Available now.  

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Yesterday saw the launch of the all new FREE Hifi Pig Magazine. The magazine will be a December_cover_onlydigest of the months reviews presented in a handy PDF format PLUS we’ll be adding lots of exclusive to the magazine content.

In this months 60 page launch edition we’ve got nine great reviews, a dealer’s system profile, a reader’s system profile, a great Behind the Brands interview with Randy Kunin of Randall K Designer Hifi and much more.

Initial feedback from the trade and Hifi Pig readers has been phenomenal and we are really proud of what we’ve been able to achieve.


DOWNLOAD theDecember edition of the FREE Hifi Pig Magazine


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