The guys at iFi contacted us to tell us about their iDSD Dac that goes “Where no DAC has gone before”.
Their press release comments “With advanced technology not seen on Digital-Analogue-Converters at any price, iFi is bursting with pride to announce the micro iDSD. With Dual-Core Burr-Brown processors at the heart – it is the world’s first”.
The new True native DSD512(24.6/22.6MHz), PCM 768kHz and 2xDXD(705/352kHz) portable/main system DAC Headamp with 4000mW of power is
iFi’s 1st Crowd-Designed project and say “the micro iDSD represents an “Octa-Leap.”” To celebrate, the first 512 units will be special “Octa-Adopter” units and will be in stores by mid-July.
iFi say the iDSD is a world’s first on three counts:
#1 Native OctaDSD512 + PCM768 world’s first DAC supporting both formats
#2 Turbo/Normal/Eco power modes, perfect-match for IEMs to Headphones
#3 Max Power 8.0V/4,000mW which drives even HiFiMan HE-6
6.3mm headphone output
3D Holographic for Headphones® AND Speakers®
3.5mm analogue line input
Direct/Active pre-amp with analogue volume control
Intelligent SPDIF® Input/Output
USB type A “OTG” socket (with iPurifier technology)
Dual-Core Burr Brown True Native chipset: Octa-Speed DSD512/Double-Speed 2xDXD/PCM768 kHz
6 Filters: PCM: Bit-Perfect Processing/Minimum Phase/Standard digital filters selectable
DSD: Extreme/Extended/Standard Range analogue filters selectable
The retail price of the micro iDSD is US$499 (ex-tax) or Euro499/£435 (incl VAT).
Hand crafted in Japan, Transfiguration’s moving coil (MC) cartridges have been variously described as the most important cartridge design since the invention of
the moving coil, and the world’s most musically engaging. Their “revolutionary” design completely restructures the conventional MC layout to turn the theoretical benefits of a moving coil into reality.
“The unique yokeless design and double ring magnet result in an extremely accurate coil / magnet interface in which the coils are positioned right inside the magnets. This ground-breaking design was conceived to remove the variations in flux introduced by traditional magnetic field-dispersing yoke type assemblies. The result is a new level of focus, resolution of the subtlest details and a stunningly live performance” says the company’s press release.
The starting point of the current Transfiguration range, the Axia S, features two coils within double ring magnets, the front in samarium cobalt and the rear in neodymium.
The Phoenix S is next up and has rear neodymium magnets and a lower internal impedance combine to create an “unprecedented focus of the magnetic field”.
The Proteus is Transfiguration’s top-of-the-range flagship cartridge. By lowering the internal impedance down to just 1 ohm, the Proteus can reproduce music with incredible transparency and musicality say the company.
In the words of Immutable Music’s Seiji Yoshioka, “The best audio components are those that simply don’t seem to exist – so good that they add nothing, subtract nothing.”
Simon Griffin, Managing Director of Decent Audio, said, “I’m thrilled to be adding Transfiguration to our portfolio and look forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship with Immutable Music. I’ve been a fan of these superb cartridges for years. It’s not often that a hi-fi professional gets so caught up in a musical experience that they forget about the mechanics of the system playing it, but if anything’s going to do that, these cartridges will.”
Pricing and availability
• The Proteus, Phoenix S and Axia S are available now.
• UK retail prices including VAT @ 20%:
o Axia S £1,375
o Phoenix S £1,995
o Proteus £2,995
I’ve had this record on vinyl for years but apart from the odd outing for Child in Time I’d not really given it the respect that others clearly think it deserves. Truth be known apart from Hawkwind my classic rock collection was pretty much confined to the shelves of the music room…this was until about a year ago when I had been chatting to Tony from NuNu Distribution who was saying how much he loved the album. I duly dug the record out, dusted it off (gave it a bath actually) and since then it’s had regular airings. Made In Japan often gets cited as being one of the very best live albums ever created and I can now appreciate why! More »
Epiphany Acoustics have just got in touch with the Hifi Pig office to announce that production of their new EHP-O2Di headphone amplifier/DAC is well under way and will be available from Friday, 4th July for £179.99.
The EHP-O2Di is an upgraded version of the current EHP-O2D. The innards remain the same with their award winning performance but Epiphany have modified the connections to make it a much tidier, neater and flexible amplifier for the home environment. The changes are as follows:
• Power entry has been moved to the rear.
• The front input jack has been removed and replaced by RCA sockets on the rear. These RCA sockets also double as the line out from the DAC section, allowing you to connect the EHP-O2Di to an external amplifier.
“These changes incorporate the most commonly requested modifications asked about and, although fairly minor, will allow the EHP-O2Di to fit in to your set up much more naturally” say Epiphany.
Expect a review from Hifi Pig shortly!
Anthem AV Solutions has announced it has secured an exclusive distribution deal with French company Trinnov Audio. For those that don’t know Trinnov creates audio calibration solutions used in TV, mastering and recording studios across the globe. Trinnov Audio has recently developed a high-end line to meet the specific needs of discerning consumers and these new models are now available in the UK and ROI from Anthem AV Solutions.
Established in 2003 Trinnov won an award that year from the French Ministry for Research as one of the most innovative young companies. It now holds five international patents and continuously contributes to 3D audio at the highest scientific level. The company provides equipment to universities and labs for 3D research, including NHK’s 22.2, the surround sound component of Super Hi-Vision.
Trinnov has many high profile clients using its products, including the 860 seat UGC Normandie Premiere Screening Room on the Champs-Élysées, engineers working on films by Luc Besson and Oliver Stone, and the Cinephase film mixing facility that has been used by the 2009 and 2012 Palm D’or winners.
The room correction expert has engineered a wide variety of exclusive proprietary technologies, which allow the company to create systems that perform to a far higher level than anybody else in the industry says the company’s press release. Every part of a Trinnov Audio product is designed, manufactured and assembled in France.
Appreciating that the room is the main element that introduces large amounts of distortion into a system as a whole, Trinnov Audio has stepped in with a range of solutions based on its own research. Implementing techniques such as modern acoustic measurement, proprietary acoustic analysis algorithms and powerful equalization, Trinnov Audio promises to deliver optimal acoustic performance from any room.
“Trinnov Audio has an unmatched reputation in the professional industry and this resulted in us continuously being approached by customers wanting equipment for their home”, commented Arnaud Destinay, International Sales Manager at Trinnov Audio. “Our high-end line takes all of our proprietary technologies and puts them into specially designed, consumer friendly products that can make an instant improvement on any high-end stereo or multi-channel system by electronically correcting for the main source of distortion: the room itself.”
Anthem AVS will be distributing Trinnov’s High End range. This consists of the ST2 converter and room/speaker optimizer; the Amethyst preamplifier, converter, media renderer & room/speaker optimizer; and the Magnitude32 multi-channel room/speaker optimizer. The Altitude32 multi-channel A/V preamplifier processor will join these in September.
Crystal Acoustics has announced what looks like a nifty bit of kit with the launch of the WiDAC Wi-Fi Audio Receiver. Using both Airplay and DLNA transmission, the WiDAC offers consumers the chance to turn any existing audio system into one you can wirelessly stream to from your smartphone, tablet or computer using Wi-Fi connectivity.
Building on the success of the company’s BluDAC – but with no increase on that product’s price of £59.99 – the WiDAC allows consumers to experience the benefits of streaming to your system over Wi-Fi, even if you don’t have a network.
With both Airplay and DLNA functionality on board, the WiDAC is compatible with iOS Airplay, Android DLNA and Windows, so you can stream music to your system over Wi-Fi no matter which device(s) you happen to own.
The bandwidth guaranteed by Wi-Fi transmission means that uncompressed audio can be reliably streamed to your system using WiDAC which will be an important consideration for many.
Simply connect WiDAC to your home network, and you can stream from bedroom to living room or from kitchen to office, even if the distances involved are quite large. This is a distinct advantage over Bluetooth, which realistically demands that your streaming device and receiver be within a few metres of each other.
On board is a Wolfson DAC so you can connect the WiDAC to your audio system via analogue interconnects but for those with a dedicated outboard DAC or high-end amplifier, the WiDAC has an optical digital output.
We visited the offices of Triangle a couple of months ago in Bordeaux, France and had the opportunity not only to meet the guys behind the brand but also listen to their flagship loudspeakers. You’ll get to read our write up in this month’s magazine published 2nd July.
One of the things that stood out from our visit was the whole process of creating a loudspeaker from start to finish and the care they put into each part of the process.
Triangle has now decided to relocate part of its manufacturing process to France, with the view of producing speakers utilising the expertise and the experience of its local teams.
“The Signature and Magellan range has been created thanks to the efforts of craftsmen whose experience in the domain of acoustics and aesthetic design speaks for itself. This form of luxury craftsmanship combines the finest woodwork with Triangle’s acoustic expertise. Each product benefits from many hours of work and inspection to obtain the impeccable design and finishing that is essential to any Triangle product” said Hugo Decelle of Triangle.
Whilst in their offices the team were keen to give us a sneak peek of their brand new video that outlines the company’s philosophy of loudspeaker design and manufacture. Take a look
If you’d like to add your video to Hifi Pig then get in touch
Dynaudio have announced that their new Chief Technology Officer is the widely respected and world renowned audio engineer Jan Abildgaard Pedersen. Jan has had a long and accomplished career, having gained an M.SC.E.E. from Aalborg University in which his Master Thesis focussed on Advanced Acoustics and DSP, Jan was quickly recruited by Bang and Olufsen as a DSP Research Engineer.
Jan has worked on some of the biggest breakthroughs in Digital Sound Processing technology such as the development of his ABC room correction system for the famous Bang & Olufsen Beolab 5 loudspeaker. Jan was also involved in the development of ICEpower at Bang & Olufsen. Away from Bang & Olufsen Jan has also achieved great things with Lyngdorf Audio/Steinway Lyngdorf and throughout his career has made the unique decision to balance both managerial and research roles, furthermore Jan is in the unique position of being both a DSP and Acoustics expert.
“It is vital to have deep knowledge in both Acoustics and in DSP to develop true breakthroughs in Audio Quality. On the one hand you need to fully understand the Acoustic challenges on the way toward Perfect Sound Quality and on the other hand you need to fully understand the potential and possibilities of DSP”, Jan Abildgaard Pedersen, CTO of Dynaudio.
Jan is not only well respected for his work at B&O, AM3D and Lyngdorf Audio/Steinway Lynfdorf but also because of the countless patents he has filed and the wide publication of his scientific research. Having sat on countless boards Jan is a prolific figure in the esteemed Audio Engineering Society, he is past president of the organisation and has served as conference chair at five international conferences and is currently serving as conference policy committee chair and awards committee chair.
Lenco has announced the upcoming launch of PlayLink by Lenco, its range of multi-room audio systems. Through Lenco’s collaboration with Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, the PlayLink range benefits from the features of the Qualcomm® AllPlay™ smart media platform.
The AllPlay smart audio module is integrated within each of the PlayLink products, creating maximum wireless connectivity and removing the need for an additional bridge product to connect to the router. Setup is therefore simpler than ever before say Lenco.
Bluetooth is another fast alternative for connection to mobile devices or other peripherals not equipped for Wi-Fi. The PlayLink range is also compatible with NFC-enabled devices, meaning music can be played instantly from just one touch between the two devices.
PlayLink by Lenco consists of two portable wireless speakers and the PlayConnect box which transforms existing audio systems from any brand into a wireless music streaming system.
PlayLink 4 is the more compact of the two speakers, offering increased portability and potential for outdoor use through a removable battery. The slightly larger PlayLink 6 meanwhile brings maximum power and connectivity.
The PlayLink 4 and PlayLink 6 speakers each use three drivers: an extended range woofer for and two mid/tweeter drivers for mid-range frequencies and high frequencies. The mediums are offset at an angle of 6° from the speaker axis, optimising the wide stereo effect, which can also be achieved by pairing two separate speakers in one room. Each speaker features a full digital amplifier with three outputs.
Music lovers already equipped with their own Hi-Fi equipment can also add wireless streaming through the PlayLink range, without replacing their existing system. Through connection to the wireless router, the PlayConnect box enables wireless streaming for the existing system, as well as the possibility to link it to other wireless devices.
The PlayLink 4 and Playlink 6 speakers have been designed to support high-resolution ‘lossless’ audio files of up to 24-bit/192kHz, such as WAV, FLAC and ALAC.
PlayLink 4: 199 euro
PlayLink 6: 299 euro
This little device isolates your USB DAC from “dirty” computer USB power, replacing it with an ultra-clean linear supply with 2.5uV RMS noise regulation. It also repeats the USB packets, using a 20ppm crystal-controlled master clock with its own local regulation.
The end result? “Wyrd eliminates typical USB audio interface problems, such as noise and dropouts. Some early listeners also say it makes their system sound better, but we’re going to stay Swiss on the subject. Bottom line, if you have problems with USB audio, this product may be for you” says Jason Stoddard. Co founder of Schiit.
Like all Schiit products, Wyrd is made in the USA. The Wyrd costs $99.
Now, I have been known to enjoy a bit of 10 000 Maniacs in the past but I never really got into them in any kind of big way and they were never top of my list when it came to choosing what got played next, so when Natalie Merchant’s eponymous album landed on my virtual doorstep, courtesy of HIGHRESAUDIO and on the Nonesuch Records label, I never put two and two together and connected her with the aforementioned Maniacs. I also must admit that I’ve not heard any of Natalie Merchant’s solo stuff since she quit the band in ’93…this may have been somewhat remiss of me I think! More »
Denon announces the introduction of new 2014 Network AV Receivers. Born from last year’s X series models, the new AVR-X2100W and AVR-X1100W deliver the latest Denon surround sound technology plus great connectivity including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth at an affordable price. At the same time, Denon developed a new Eco mode featuring a unique power consumption management that adds to the company’s green environment policy. Both AVR entry-models will be available to purchase from June at selected Denon suppliers.
Two of the new models announced in the line of AVR’s will be equipped with Dolby Atmos and expected to be available in September, the AVR-X4100W and the AVR-X5200W models will be the first Denon AVRs to feature Dolby Atmos.
“It is a testament to the unique sound experience Dolby Atmos delivers that some of the world’s leading filmmakers have embraced it as a storytelling tool,” said Yoshinori Yamada, Global Business Team Leader for Denon Audio and Video Products. “Every detail comes alive, making the audience feel as if they are in the middle of the movie action. The experience is unmatched in the home theater today.”
The AVR-X5200W will have the processing capability to support a full 11 channel Dolby Atmos setup; taking advantage of 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos configurations. A 7.1.4 speaker configuration is based upon a traditional 7.1 speaker layout complemented by 4 overhead, or Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers.
McIntosh Laboratory has launched McIntosh Music, a high-quality 24/7 audio stream “dedicated to bringing music aficionados the best tunes from across the decades” direct to their PC, tablet or phone. The service is freely available either as a direct stream from the McIntosh Music website, or via a free app for both Android and iOS devices.
The McIntosh Music stream is controlled via a very McIntosh interface, complete with the famous illuminated power output meters. The web version features a sliding volume control and pause/mute function, plus a number of additional functions, including links to the main McIntosh website and social media pages, a ‘share’ facility and scrolling track information, akin to an RDS display.
The apps add increased functionality including enhanced graphics, album artwork and direct links to Amazon, enabling users to directly purchase music featured on the service by simply tapping the album art.
Out yesterday in the UK and today in US, this album on Kompakt is one I’ve been looking forward to taking a listen to for a while now. Icelandic band Gus Gus and their Arabian Horse record were what initially highlighted the Kompakt label to me after a long time in the electronic music wilderness. More »
It was not without a little trepidation that I was attending this Hifi show…I had heard stories about UK shows, and not all good.
‘You’ll be the only woman there’ some said…. ‘They’ll look at you like you’re from another planet!!’ said others!
Hmmmm, I thought, do I want to go to a UK show? Despite being involved in Hifi Pig for the last couple of years I have only attended shows and audiophile events in France and Germany. Having looked at the UK hifi forums and found them to be places dominated by blokes, I was kind of wary about the shows there.
However, I needn’t have worried; Cranage Hall Audio Show was actually a lot different to what I was expecting.
So where to start? The venue itself was stunning. This was no grotty, identikit chain hotel with dingy rooms and chipped furniture. It was high class, beautifully laid out in gorgeous grounds and easily accessible from all over the UK. Unsurprisingly, it’s a popular wedding venue, tastefully furnished and finished with a sumptuous and elegant feel….things were looking up!
Food and facilities such as the bar were also excellent, with plenty of places to take a break during the day.
The hotel is also a conference venue with most of the show in the more modern part of the hotel. The rooms, even the small ones, were a good size and not stifling hot and it was a pleasure to wander room to room during the show.
What also should be noted about the hotel’s suitability for a hifi show was the excellent sound isolation in the rooms, none of the noise wars between rooms that I have sometimes experienced at other shows, all in all a perfect show venue.
As for the people attending, it was great to see a mixture of people there. Groups from young couples to whole families had come out, perhaps prompted by Fathers’ Day, but great to see a younger generation enjoying the show, hopefully a few were hooked and will attend more shows.
We met up with my brother’s young family and in particular it was great to put my youngest niece in the sweet spot of a few rooms in her push chair and just watch her reaction to the music, she was jigging around and loving it and we could actually see her looking around for the instruments as she picked them out in the soundstage…a priceless reaction to music played on great hifi. More »
LessLoss, who are celebrating their 6th anniversary, have announced a very special offer for June where you are able to upgrade your DFPC Original and/or DFPC Signature power cables.
Celebratory Offer #1:
Upgrade your DFPC Original to the DFPC Signature.
Send us your DFPC Original and we’ll credit you full value.
Your DFPC Signature will then cost you only $1149 – $595 = $554.
Celebratory Offer #2:
Upgrade your DFPC Signature to the new DFPC Reference.
Send us your DFPC Signature and we’ll credit you 85% value.
Your DFPC Reference will then cost you only $1824 – $919 = $905.
Ortofon got in touch with Hifi Pig to tell us about a cooperative effort between Universal Music Group and Ortofon to create a new mono cartridge, the 2M Mono Special Edition which has been specifically created as a tribute to the new mono Beatles albums set.
Guy Hayden, VP at Universal Music Group: “Apple Corps Ltd and Universal Music Group have been paying great attention to the re-mastering of the original mono master tape to keep the original sound, as experienced by The Beatles back in the studio. Therefore, it was important to us to ensure that the first interaction with the vinyl, being the cartridge, provides the best possible replay. During our dialogue with Ortofon we realised the importance of using a mono cartridge for the full listening experience and we are pleased that they have decided to develop the 2M Mono Special Edition”.
Ortofon’s Leif Johannsen, CO Acoustics and Technology, explains the importance of a mono cartridge: “While a stereo cartridge can play mono records it can’t achieve the same signal precision between the two channels. A mono cartridge produces but one signal that is directed to both channels in the system. A mono cartridge playing a mono record produces a more forceful and stable image with a fuller, more impactful sound.”
Christen H. Nielsen, CEO of Ortofon: “Ortofon wishes to pay tribute to this important Apple Corps Ltd and Universal Music Group release. The Beatles have an important place in many music lovers’ hearts and Ortofon is honoured to work with Universal Music Group to ensure high quality, modern replay from The Mono Box Set”.
The 2M Mono Special Edition will be available only from Ortofon’s web shop.
British DAC specialist, Computer Audio Design, (winner of the Best Sounding Hi-Fi Room, Sound and Vision 2013 – the Bristol Show) has launched a new USB cable using patent-pending proprietary technology.
“The new CAD Cable is a high-quality no-compromise USB cable specifically designed to maximise sound quality from USB-equipped music playback systems”. It has been designed by CAD’s Scott Berry, a British-based US-born electrical engineer who has worked for some of the biggest names in the electronics world and is responsible for the design of the company’s 1543 DAC.
Hand-made in London by CAD’s engineers, the new CAD Cable has been conceived to combat the high-frequency noise inherent in computer audio sources..
Although CAD say little can be revealed about the proprietary technologies, the Cable uses a highly shielded independent cable for the power line, designed to mitigate the impact of high-frequency noise emanating from the computer’s USB power interface.
The CAD Cable is available now priced at £480 for the standard 1.1m length. Other lengths are available to order (at additional cost).
Systemdek will have a presence at the Cranage Hall Audio Show that takes place this Sunday 15th June. Their Precision turntable will be a world’s first and it will be fitted with a 12” Audio Origami and Funk FXR tone arm and there will be electronics in the form of McIntosh MA8000 amplifier, McIntosh MCD 550 CD playeralong with another world first, Art Alnico 8 loudspeakers and all this will be connected by Viero cables from Italy.
Also in the room will be the Isol 8 Integra substation along with Audio Suspension tables.
Graham Slee, the well loved UK manufacturer of phono-stages, DACS, Headphone amps, cables and the Proprius power amp will be demonstrating in the Grove suite of the Cranage Hall Audio Show where visitors will be have the opportunity to listen to their Road-Show demo rig that they used at their own-brand Aylesbury event. Thi will also have a prototype of their “New invention phono stage (patent pending).
The system will also make use of the Sterling Broadcast LS3/5a mini-monitors which will be driven by Graham Slee Proprius mini-monoblock amplifiers.
MCRU will have a special offer on IsoTek’s EVO3 Premier Mains Lead as well as a free prize draw to win an IsoTek Polaris Mains Extension Block worth £295.
MCRU will be featuring a Clearaudio Innovation turntable with Stradivari cartridge along with amplification from Canor and the new MCRU No.101 loudspeakers will also be on show. Not forgetting the digital fans, the Longdog Audio VDt1 DAC will be used via a cd transport to show visitors the CD is not quite dead yet!
“Vinyl is not dead, it just needs a new turntable” John Peel once said, we agree and will have a selection of new and used vinyl in our room for sale via “The Vinyl Adventure” which is a MCRU off-shoot.
A number of Hush Signature Turntable Plinths will be on show in varying degrees of completion allowing prospective clients to gain a literal insight into this technically advanced plinth for Garrard turntables. “Quite possibly the best home a Garrard could ever wish for, come and see for yourselves” the company’s press release tells us.
RJC Audio racks will be at the show a plenty with the new Modular on display in the Purite Audio and Puresound rooms with the Great Gable and Pillar racks by the coffee bar.
Here also you can find the Hush Isolation plinths, including the new design incorporating suspension units from Max Townshend. There will be a demonstration of the Max Townshend Seismic Pods where they invite you to “participate with some good vibrations!” Keep an eye open for the special Show offer on these.
This will be the first time UK audiophiles have had the opportunity to see and hear the all new EQUILIBRIO line from Viero and they will also have their KOLEOS power distributor on demo.
For those who do not know Viero Cables, it is an Italian company that manufactures high-end cables, professional cables and a power distributor, with staff who have been in the industry for more than thirty years.
In addition to the cables the room will have a system composed of some well known brands, including: ART loudspeakers, McIntosh amps and Systemdek turntables. The system in use on the day will be fully wired with the EQUILIBRIO level 3 cables and using the KOLEOS power distributor.
For those readers that don’t know, Audio Note is a British company that manufacture music systems from source (both analogue and digital) to electronics to speakers and even cable. They have a simple level system integrated into their product range which makes it easy for customers to know exactly how to match the performance of every component.
In offering complete systems at varying price points Audio Note are able to cover a very broad range of costs and performance.
Audio Counsel will be in the Marie Curie Suite at Cranage Hall and will be demonstrating CDT2 Transport with DAC 4.1 M5 Pre amp and Conqueror 300B power amp. Speakers will be a pair of ANE spe HE on Audio Note speaker stands with Audio Note interconnects and speaker cable.
This is sure to be a popular room with people visiting the show!
This will be the first show in the UK for Soundkaos with their award winning Wave 40 speakers made entirely from solid selected tone and hard woods.
Soundkaos will also be showing their new D12 subwoofer which is made to compliment the Wave’s. The Subwave is a unique design with 2 x 12” face firing drivers in a very compact enclosure.
“We use the same tone wood that has been used for centuries in musical instrument making. Wood structure is very close to that of human bone, which our hearing is based on and produces a warm organic tonal quality which we all recognise instantly when we are exposed to it it. We not only have a minimalist approach when it comes to the design of our speakers but also in areas such as the choice of drive units and filtering. For us minimal interference in the signal path is key and for this reason we prefer where ever possible to use full range drivers. Naturally these drive units have there limitations and where we deem necessary we augment the frequency band with additional drivers be it at the top or lower end. So with this approach beauty both in sonics and aesthetics is assured” the press release says.
High End Cable contacted Hifi Pig to tell us that they will be at the Cranage Hall Audio Show (which we’re exclusive media partners for) and that they will be demonstrating an impressive array of kit.
The Raidho X-1 stand mount / bookshelf speakers are a technological feed down from the hugely successful ‘C series’. Launched at CES and Munich 2014 Shows, the X-1 has the same Ribbon tweeter used throughout the Raidho range with a new Ceramic driver both mounted on an aluminium baffle meaning that Raidho is now more affordable. The X-1 is a front transmission line which enables placement anywhere in a room, on or off the stand so placement shouldn’t be a problem.
The Bel Canto CD2 up sampling player/transport is a favourite at High End Cable’s show demonstrations and they will be using it as an up sampling player for the show.
For our first time High End Cable will be showing the Norma (in Italian means the Standard) Audio IPA-140 integrated amplifier which offers plenty of power, a phono stage and DAC options.
Being a Hotel room the system power base will be via the Audience aR4 power conditioner and power cables. Add-ons will include QRT Qv2 and Qk1. Cables will be the Audience Conductor ‘e’ range. Cables will be supported using Panda Feet and the inexpensive Cable Lifts
High End Cable will tweak as required and hope to offer all a great sounding room. All the above items can be purchased or ordered at the Show.
At a glance
Raidho X-1 speakers £4,400.00
Bel Canto CD2 Player £2,699.00
Norma Audio IPA 140 integrated amp £4,495.00
Atacama Equinox rack £300.00
Audience Conductor and Power ‘e’ cables £885.00
Audience aR4 power conditioner £3,195.00
Cable Lift and Panda Feet supports from £2.50 each
Nordost Sort Kones from £50.00
QRT Qv2 and Qk1 AC Mains enhancers
puresound contacted Hifi Pig to tell us that they are looking forward to the first Cranage Hall audio show and will be taking the opportunity to present a system based on items they sell and others they rate highly.
The sources will include the STST Motus II direct drive turntable with Vertex 10” tonearm. Phono equalization will be via the Aurorasound Vida LCR stage. Aurorasound’s brand new Preda line stage will be applying the calm & control while the Tune Audio Prime loudspeakers will be driven by the puresound M845 mono amplifiers.
CDs will be replayed via the puresound A8500.
As well as the hardware puresound will have a stock of valves to sell, along with various other goodies at show prices.
Like many others exhibiting at Cranage Audio Show, puresound are happy for you bring along some of your own music to hear on their system.
Induologue are Alexandra Lerta (vocals) and Vasilis Stefanopoulos (double bass) and is described as a dialogue between the voice and souble bass…simple enough then.
Blue Skies was recorded in a chapel in the woods of a Dutch National Reserve over a couple of days and this adds a really beautiful atmosphere to the record. The double bass’ tone is allowed to shine through and Vasalis’ playing is solid and forthright and yet sympathetic to Alexandra’s vocal, which in turn is understated yet strong. More »
Out now on the Comeme label The Silver Album from this self exiled Russian now living in Berlin is a difficult one to tie down and I must admit that on the first few listens I found it difficult to get my head around.
The Silver Album could never be accused of being easy listening and it does need to you engage your brain ans well as your feet. It’s forward thinking and somewhat avant-garde with its jarring acid basslines and Russian lyrics. I want to give it the label “Acid House” because it does have a feel of the early Acid Trax tunes, but there are perhaps elements of the early Antler Subway label in there too. More »
NuNu Distribution, the well known UK hifi distributor, will be exhibiting in four rooms at the Cranage Hall Audio Show on 15th June. They’ll be showing the Quadral speakers for the first time since the brand joined their portfolio.
NuNu Distribution will be demonstrating in:
Stephenson 3 – A full TAD system; for the first time in the North of England. In use will be, D600 CD/SACD player, C600 reference pre-amplifier, C2000 dac/pre amplifier, DA1000 dac/pre/headphone amplifier, M2500 stereo power amplifier combined the Compact Reference 1 loudspeakers. All complemented by the Creativ’s reference audio racks
Stephenson 1 – Brodmann Acoustics will be using their, as we can testify, beautiful speaker creations. On demonstration will be the JB 155’s with Belles amplification including the new VT-01 V2 on its first showing anywhere since its release and the TAD D600 player. All this will be sitting on an Audiophile Base support system, with isolation platforms.
Stephenson 2 – Quadral Speakers will be Sonneteer which will debuting the new integrated Orton Mk IV amplifier along with some of Quadral’s Platinum and Chromium range speakers. Rack here will be by Creaktiv.
Baird 2 – Doug Brady’s will be using Renaissance Amplification who are introducing new products for the summer of 2014 with the MK II versions of their RAP-02 pre amplifier and RA-02 monoblocks. These will be partnered with both Brodmann Acoustic speakers and Harbeth’s new SLH5+ speaker.
Stephenson 4 – Astin Trew will have their new Concord DAC in use with The Audio Works team complementing the AT2000+ integrated amplifier and the AT 3500 + I/C CD player using Focal & Tannoy speakers.
Hifi Pig’s Danny Worth’s review of the Ophidian Solo standmount loudspeakers.
“Midrange now took on a more natural rather than clean and neutral presentation with the valves injecting that magic that they do into vocals and instrument undertones which to my surprise matched the Solos perfectly. I was convinced that they would be a speaker which would bias strongly towards solid state amplification! How wrong I was and how glad I was that their character shifted from clean to more natural as the midrange did become too sharp at increased volumes (not to discount a warmer solid state amp of course) but with what I had to hand on the day solid-state wise it proved that the Solos like that added bit of flavour offered by the valve amp.”
Atlas Cables has announced the latest addition to its mid-priced analogue interconnect Hyper range – the Hyper Integra. Hand-made at the Atlas Cables factory in Scotland, the new cable introduces Atlas’ in-house Integra RCA plugs to its Hyper range for the first time.
The Atlas Hyper Integra is an unbalanced cable that consists of a central conductor made up of 90 individual stands of OCC (Ohno Continuous Casting) copper wire with 99.9997% purity. Insulated by an extremely low-loss foamed polyethylene dielectric, the return conductor is a two-layer braid made from a total of 252 strands of Ultra-Pure OFC (Oxygen Free Copper). This double layer of tightly woven wire mesh is wrapped over a PVC foil to provide rejection of RFI (Radio Frequency Interference). A soft gloss black PVC sleeve covers the conductors.
To retain the Hyper Integra characteristics all the way to the socket, Atlas’ innovative Integra non-magnetic RCA plug employs low mass non-conductive plug technology, which Atlas say eliminates the detrimental affects of circulating Eddy currents. As with all of Atlas’ analogue audio terminations, the Integra utilises a ‘cold-weld’ interface between the cable and the plug.
Also utilised is Atlas’ own conjugate bracket system, which grips the cable sleeve without compressing it. In addition, four sprung asymmetrical sleeves spread on insertion onto an RCA socket, thereby cleaning the plug to socket interface every time the plug is inserted. Finally, the Integra plug’s translucent Polycarbonate non-conductive body offers a deletion-free return signal path.
Commenting on the launch of the Hyper Integra, Kevin Kelly, Managing Director of Atlas Cables, said, “We are delighted with the results achieved from the new Hyper Integra. The introduction of the Integra plug has made major improvements on what was already an excellent cable and is a significant step forward in our quest to create cables that allow the listener to get closer to the music.”
The Atlas Cable Hyper Integra is available now in the following lengths:
0.5 meter – £105.00
0.75 metre – £115.00
1 metre – £125.00
1.5 metres – £145.00
2 metres – £165.00
3 metres – £205.00
Dynaudio, whose products can be found in the likes of the Bugatti Veyron and BBC studios has unveiled what they are calling “the ultimate in elegant, luxury music systems”. In the form of an audiophile level, plug and play, wireless sound system.
“The next generation Xeo offerings deliver the next revolution in wireless high end audio, and feature refinements highlighted by upgraded amplification, improved DSP performance, further advanced tuning, greater convenience of operation and the ability to accept high resolution audio files (up to 24 bit/96 kHz)“ the company’s spokeperson says.
Styling has also been updated, mirroring the aesthetic of the new Dynaudio Excite models with discrete screws, smooth satin lacquer finishes, and magnetically attached grilles.
The new Xeo models, introduced at the Munich High End Show, include the compact Xeo 4 and floor-standing Xeo 6 wireless loudspeakers, the Xeo Hub wireless transmitter, the range-expanding Xeo Extender, and the Xeo Link, a device that receives the wireless audio signal and allows the Xeo system to add a subwoofer, headphone amplifier or any other analogue or digital component to a wireless Xeo system.
Virtually any component that can output audio can be connected to the Xeo Hub, which digitally transmits the wireless signal, without compression, to the Xeo loudspeakers. The Hub includes Optical, Coaxial and USB digital inputs that each supports up to 24/96 resolution, while one stereo RCA and one stereo Mini analog input each are on offer to further expand the Xeo system possibilities.
The optional Xeo Extender allows further expansion of the wireless transmission distance between the Xeo Hub and Xeo loudspeakers for applications where such could be needed. Another option, the Xeo Link receives the wireless signal from the Xeo Hub and provides it on its analogue and digital inputs. Thus an active subwoofer, headphone amplifier, active loudspeakers or any other audio device can be connected and linked to a wireless Xeo system.
The back panel of the Xeo 4 and Xeo 6 models features a new Speaker Position EQ setting, which allows the Xeo’s performance to be optimized in room via a switch on the speaker to set the position for Neutral, Near a Corner, or Near a (Back) Wall.
Xeo’s Auto Play feature automatically detects the connected source and the Xeo Remote has also been updated and offers increased range and performance. Meanwhile, a new Interface Display atop the Xeo 4 and 6 cabinets offers visual feedback and the ability to power, control volume and select input directly from the speaker without the need for the Xeo remote.
New Xeo models recommended retail pricing UK:
Xeo 4 £1,550/pair (available in Satin Black or Satin White Lacquer)
Xeo 6 £2,700 /pair (available in Satin Black or Satin White Lacquer)
Xeo Hub £225 /pcs
Xeo Link £135 /pcs
Xeo Extender £135 /pcs
“As regular Hifi Pig readers will know we listen to a lot of bass heavy music and playing as I write is Todd Terry’s Blackout from the Resolutions album and I can say with honesty and conviction that there is certainly nothing lacking here at all. The sub bass synth is very well rendered but not over blown. Yes there are of course speakers that will go deeper (the Avantgarde Trios with Basshorns as one example) but in our relatively large by most standards living room this is often overkill and lots of nasty speaker/room interactions start to come into play.
Quality wise bass is, as I said tight, fast and a little dry with no bloom whatsoever. As a serious fan of the techno genre I really enjoyed this aspect of the Ra’s performance. Moving away from electronic music and the opening few bars of Neil Young’s Unplugged version of Like A Hurricane the organ is deep, resonous and with no over hang.”
“First disc into the machine was Joni Mitchell, “Turbulent Indigo”, from the first bar of the music I knew this was a very good pair of power amplifiers with a sumptuous, tight bass and the almost liquid presentation of the mid range allied with crystalline treble. It was easy to identify the instruments in the cavernous sound stage. The depth of the stereo image was astonishing, although it was a little foreshortened in comparison to the Mighty Crown and the large Sumo Five (a 50 Watt per channel “A class” monster), although the HH AM8/12 amplifiers gave a very similar presentation. As an aside the HH amplifiers were designed for BBC use along with their LS3/5A speakers. The internal equalisation was set to “flat” before the test was started. This proved the manufacturer of the Clones has gone for an essentially flat frequency response, rather than a “Rose tinted Spectacle” type of response.”
Read the full review of the CLONES Audio pre and power amplifiers.