TIDAL, the first high fidelity lossless music streaming service with HD music videos and curated editorial, has announced the tidallaunch and availability of its service in the UK and US. The service has an extensive library of 25 million-plus tracks, 75,000 music videos and curated editorial articles, features and interviews.  It’s ad’ free and available now for a monthly subscription of £19.99 / $19.99.

With distribution agreements signed with all of the major labels, including Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, TIDAL has also been working with many independent labels to offer a comprehensive catalogue that includes a wide range of genres to suit all musical tastes. TIDAL has also signed agreements with licensing organisations PRS for Music for UK and ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and Harry Fox Agency for U.S.

Possibly the most eagerly anticipated music streaming service by the audio industry, partnership and integration agreements have already been made with 34 of the world’s audio brands, including: Anthem, Airable by Tune In Media, Astell & Kern, Audeze, Audiovector, AudioQuest, Auralic, Aurender, Bel Canto, Bluesound & NAD, Dan D’Agostino, Definitive Technology, Denon HEOS, DTS Play-Fi, Dynaudio, Electrocompaniet, Harman Omni, HiFiAkademie, ickStream, JH Audio, Linn, McIntosh, Meridian, MartinLogan, Paradigm, Polk, Pro-ject, PS Audio, Raumfeld, Simple Audio, Sonos, Steinway Lyngdorf, Wren Sound Systems with more to come.

“We are delighted that TIDAL has launched and that music lovers can now appreciate music the way it is meant to sound,” said TIDAL CEO Andy Chen.  “But the music is just one part of the service. The expert editorial educates, entertains and enriches the music experience whilst the music videos complement the music perfectly.  We are sure that TIDAL will quickly become the music streaming service of choice for all who appreciate high quality at every level.”

 

Sponsorship button

The SteamAmp II  from Coppersteam.com is the second iteration in the SteamAmp line and we think it looked great and certainly steampunk_ampworthy of a mention in Hifi Pig’s news section. Its circuit follows the original, and is based upon the S5 Electronics K12G Kit. The power supply caps and signal coupling caps have been upgraded, and snubber caps have been installed on the heater circuit. The output transformers were upgraded with Iron from Edcor.

The amp puts out 8 watts per channel, and has 5 inputs; 4 RCA pairs on the back, and a 1/8th jack on the front for MP3 players and the like. The volume is controlled by an 11-step attenuator. The tubes are 10GV8 Triodes in push-pull configuration.

The chassis is solid 3/4” Black Walnut with 1/8” Copper plate top and front panels and the transformer cans are constructed from 3 and 4” copper pipe caps. There are 4 glowing rods inside the glass window on the front that are lit by UV LED’s when the unit is powered on.

This piece was built as part of a commissioned system for a gentleman in Connecticut and will be finished out with a matching set of speakers.

 

Sponsorship button

Quad celebrates 78 years in business this year and with the launch of Vena: a compact integrated amplifier sporting a wide range QUAD_VENAof digital and analogue inputs, plus wireless streaming over Bluetooth with aptX support.

Just 313mm wide, the diminutive Vena updates the familiar Quad aesthetic, yet remains distinctly ‘Quad’. A row of source-selection buttons and a large volume control adorn its fascia.

Vena’s built-in DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter) incorporates the same 24-bit/192kHz chipset used in the company’s flagship Platinum CD plus a Class AB power amplifier section and a headphone source too.

Simplicity is key to Vena’s design say Quad and their engineers selected Bluetooth wireless transmission to ensure compatibility with the widest possible range of devices, and pairing the amp with smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs is easy.

Inputs for digital source components comprise two optical and one coaxial, plus two asynchronous USB sockets: one Type A, the other Type B. The latter is the type most commonly used for connecting PCs/Macs to audio devices like Vena; the former allows Apple iDevices to be docked, charged and played via a cable connection. Digital outputs are also provided, in optical and coaxial flavours. Analogue signals are catered for by two stereo RCA inputs, while pre-out  sockets permit the addition of an external power amp. In terms of Bluetooth, support for the aptX codec ensures the best possible audio quality when streaming from suitably equipped devices.

Vena’s small footprint (compared to many amps in its class) allows flexible positioning and ensures the amp slips neatly into a range of environments. Vena is finished in Quad’s classic ‘Lancaster Grey’ as standard, and for those with more exotic tastes, three premium finishes are now also available – Piano Black, Piano White and Rosewood – ensuring Vena complements any domestic setting.

The standard Lancaster Grey finish has an RRP of £599.95, while the three premium finish options add £100 to the price tag.

 

Sponsorship button

Anthem AVS will be launching the new range of Paradigm Prestige loudspeakers to the UK and Republic of Ireland at this year’s Prestige-300x250Hi-Fi News show on November the 1st and 2nd.

“The Paradigm Prestige is adorned with smart engineering and new technologies such as the proprietary Perforated Phase-Aligning (PPA) Tweeter Lens which protects the delicate aluminium dome tweeter, simultaneously acting as a Phase Plug blocking out-of-phase frequencies for smoother, extended high frequencies with incredible detail and higher output” says the company’s recent press release.

Paradigm are keen to point out that all their products are designed and manufactured in-house, in Canada and say that “By handcrafting each midrange and bass driver Paradigm guarantees the consistency of its revered precision engineering”.

Aesthetically the Paradigm Prestige series is styled minimallistically and the handcrafted non-resonant cabinets are finished in premium-grade finishes, wrapped with real hardwood: Walnut and Black Walnut have a smooth satin finish with distinctive wood figuring, Midnight Cherry and Piano Black feature a luxurious hand-rubbed, high-gloss finish.

Available in the UK and ROI from November onwards, the Paradigm Prestige series consists of three floorstanding speakers (Prestige 95F, 85F & 75F), two centre channels (Prestige 55C & 45C), and one bookshelf speaker (Prestige 15B).

Prestige 95F – £4,999 (Walnut/Black Walnut) £5,599 (Piano Black/Midnight Cherry)

Prestige 85F – £3,999 (Walnut/Black Walnut) £4,399 (Piano Black/Midnight Cherry)

Prestige 75F – £2,999 (Walnut/Black Walnut) £3,399 (Piano Black/Midnight Cherry)

Prestige 55C – £1,699 (Walnut/Black Walnut) £1,899 (Piano Black/Midnight Cherry)

Prestige 45C – £1,299 (Walnut/Black Walnut) £1,499 (Piano Black/Midnight Cherry)

Prestige 15B – £1,599 (Walnut/Black Walnut) £1,899 (Piano Black/Midnight Cherry)

 

Sponsorship button

McIntosh Laboratory has launched a new control app for its recently launched media streamer the MB100 Media Bridge. The McIntosh Media Bridge appMcIntosh Media Bridge app allows users to fully control and operate the new MB100 Media Bridge streamer, launched in the UK in late September.

The MB100 Media Bridge music streamer combinines huge internal storage with a wide range of inputs. It has four USB inputs, plus an eSata port for the direct connection of external drives and its high-speed network port offers direct connection to online streaming services.

The new McIntosh Media Bridge app allows full control and operation of the MB100 Media Bridge and allows users to access and play locally stored digital music libraries, as well as music from favourite internet streaming services such as: Pandora®; SiriusXM®; Spotify®; Rhapsody and TuneIn (where available, subscriptions may be required).

McIntosh’s Music Stream music player app comes preloaded as a favourite, so users can instantly access 24/7 audio streams.

  • Full control over the MB100 Media Bridge streamer
  • Advanced queue management: simply tap the ‘+ ‘ sign in the music menu to add the selection to the queue
  • Create and edit radio stations through Pandora® using TuneBridge
  • Listen to custom radio stations with Pandora® Internet Radio
  • Listen to thousands of radio stations around the world with TuneIn Radio
  • Stream SiriusXM satellite radio subscriptions via broadband
  • Listen to thousands of titles with Spotify®
  • Play favourite albums through Rhapsody

Sponsorship button

T+A, Germany’s largest specialist audio manufacturer, has announced that it has appointed Dynaudio UK as its new UK 7733_TA_PDP3000HV_0#222794Fdistributor. Starting with immediate effect, Dynaudio UK will be responsible for all sales and support activities across the UK specialist audio retailer network.

The company says that a change in distribution signals a new period of focus for T+A within the UK market, with Dynaudio UK seen as having the right relationships with the right retailers to continue developing the brand. This  new agreement comes at the same time as T+A’s HV (High Voltage) Series is expanded, with the launch of the new SACD player – the PDP 3000 HV.

“We have always seen the UK as a key market as it is respected across the world for its integrity and music-loving population”, said Mr Siggi Amft, Owner of T+A. Amft continued, “We have worked with Dynaudio in other markets and know that their attention to detail and professionalism matches our own. With Bill (Livingston) and Kala (Lingham) of Dynaudio UK working with us, we know that the brand is in excellent hands and that we can make the inroads into the UK dealer base that we desire.”

2015 will see significant new product launches across the T+A range, which is why it is such a key time for this appointment.

Bill Livingston of Dynaudio UK said, “T+A is a brand that we have long admired and are delighted to be working with Siggi and the team. To have a product range that is universally liked by both the press and the trade is indeed rare and we are expecting to make a solid impact as we develop a T+A distribution that will be strong for the future.”

 

Sponsorship button

KEF has joined forces with Warner Bros. to promote the cinema release of the highly anticipated Interstellar, the new movie by Christopher Nolan releasing in cinemas and Imax nationwide on 7th November.

From the end of October, KEF retailers will host Interstellar promotional material alongside KEF’s E series speaker range in-store.intersteller The E Series takes centre stage in supporting the campaign, “High Resolution sound that is out of This World” – tying in with the film’s main theme.

In addition, KEF is offering a competition, which everyone can enter online and win a 4-night break to Iceland, where a lucky couple will be able to take in the Northern Lights and the movie filming locations. Other competition entrants could still win an E Series speaker system as a second prize (worth £900.00) and 30 runners up will each receive an Interstellar themed merchandise ‘goodie bag’.

KEF’s Managing Director, Steve Halsall, says, “As a brand, KEF is passionate about music and movie sound reproduction. It’s what we love. To partner with Warner Bros. on one of 2014’s biggest movies by such a visionary director as Nolan, and offer consumers the chance to win something that will really improve their experience of music and movies was really something we didn’t want to miss – the synergy is just perfect!”

Vanessa Andreis, Director of UK Promotions Warner Bros UK says “We’re are very pleased to be working with KEF and the agency, Lime, with whom we have created a really innovative and impactful partnership campaign which integrates perfectly with the rest of The Interstellar marketing activity.”

 

Sponsorship button

The Clarity Alliance announces that hi-fi electronics retailer, Fanthorpes Hifi, has joined  its growing number of UK members, clarityexpanding the number of retailers supporting the work of the Alliance.

Fanthorpes in Hull has been trading in Hepworth’s Arcade since 1946 and took the decision to join Clarity Alliance after meeting members of the Alliance at the National Audio Show in September.

Welcoming Fanthorpes to the Alliance, Laurence Armstrong, Clarity chairman, says, “We welcome the application by Fanthorpes to join the alliance and it is gratifying to see that an established retailer, who has been doing well for many years, values the work Clarity does to promote the hi-fi industry as important for the growth of its business.  Working together is the only way in which the industry can ensure its success and Fanthorpes can play an important role in achieving this objective, and sharing its experience with the wider membership network.”

Marc Fanthorpe, Fanthorpe’s owner, comments, “We have joined the Clarity alliance because we wish to work with the best that the industry has to offer at all levels. The aim is to provide a single message between ourselves, manufacturers and the hi-fi press to let the wider public understand what we do, and how well we can do it. Here at Fanthorpes, we see ourselves as a progressive retailer, capable of adapting to the internet shopping era. We work with our customers to help them fulfill their aims. Clarity will help us get this message across to our customers old and new.”

 

Sponsorship button

German company Clearaudio have announced the Absolute Phono and Absolute Phono Inside, a novel new phonostage solution. 130901-Anz Fidelity 06|13-2.indd

With current phonostages the output signal generated within the cartridge has to travel down the tonearm wiring and along the external arm lead before it reaches the phonostage, at which point it is amplified and then equalized before being fed out to the preamplifier. This signal is both very small and very sensitive, hence susceptible to electrical interference at all stages of its journey from the cartridge to, and through, the phonostage.

Clearaudio have come up with a radical review of the fundamentals of phonostage design…

The Absolute Phono is the world’s first active headshell moving coil phonostage, in which the input to the phonostage is mounted within a specially modified tonearm headshell. A tiny amplifier fitted within the headshell boosts the output signal from the cartridge at source. Now the signal only has to travel 1-2 centimetres rather than along the usual 1-2 metres of internal and external arm wiring before being amplified to a more resilient level.

This amplified signal then passes to the specially designed main RIAA phonostage, along a signal path free of the usual relays and coupling capacitors, which enables a “more clean, pure and accurate sound”. The signal is then equalized and fed to both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR outputs, each with its own output driver.

The Absolute Phono is compatible with any tonearm in the current Clearaudio range. Customers who already own a Clearaudio tonearm can simply send it to Clearaudio for customisation on purchase of the Absolute Phono.

Clearaudio’s realise that not everyone has, or is currently ready to invest in, a Clearaudio tonearm and so the Absolute Phono Inside was realised. It uses the Absolute Phono’s circuit design but incorporates it within the phonostage’s main body. The secret weapon say clearaudio is current amplification. “Current amplification alleviates the need for cartridge loading at the input stage and also eliminates the usually required capacitors and resistors at various points through the signal path. The signal to noise ratio is significantly enhanced, almost matching the headshell-mounted Absolute Phono’s ten decibel improvement and enabling a freer and more natural sound” say Clearaudio.

Both the Absolute Phono and Absolute Phono Inside are:

  • Available now in black or silver.
  • Priced at £8,995.

Sponsorship button

The Pop Ambient series of albums from Uber label Kompakt has been delivering the chilled goods since 2001 and never fails to deliver. As the title suggests the style of music herein is accessible ambience and it works very well indeed.

Label boss Wolfgang Voigt is the guy that puts the collection together and he does a damned good job at bringing together new names as well as some that will be recognisable to many. More »

Robson Acoustics’ Opulus Prima Loudspeakers have achieved the coveted Hifi Pig Outstanding Product Award after two robson8OPULUS8OUTStandingindependent reviews gave the loudspeakers overall scores of over 8.5.

Stuart Smith said that the little British made loudspeakers “ are a good value for money, great sounding loudspeaker, which will suit listeners looking for a fast and detailed sound” and Janine Elliot said “These speakers are so clear and precise they put many speakers at least twice the price to shame. They tick all the right boxes for me. Working best in smaller living rooms and away from walls and with power amplifiers with enough grunt to push them a bit when needed”.

You can read the two reviews of the Robson Acoustics Prima loudspeakers here.

 

Sponsorship button

The Atlantic from Tron is one of the smallest 300B amps ever made with a footprint of just 40cm x 25cm. Power is between 9-TRON Atlantic10watts across the audio spectrum (20-20kHz) and with a usable bandwidth up to to 95kHz (-3dB).

The chassis is made from CNC machined Aircraft grade alloy, designed so that no nuts, bolts or fasteners show. It is fitted with two unique DC filament supplies for heating the 300B output valves.
A D3a valve used in the driver stage and the complete amplifier is all designed, manufactured and assembled in England.

Specification:

9 watts per channel with 4, 8 and 16 ohm outputs.
C-Core output transformers.
C-Core chokes.
D3a driver stage.
Electro Harmonics 300Bs.
Teflon valve/tube bases.
CMC input RCA connections.
Very short signal path.
Valve rectified power supply.
Audio grade parts selected for outstanding sound.

The Atlantic is available in Silver & Black, Gold & Black. Gold & Red is also available to special order.

Available voltage versions for 100v, 117v, 220v, 230v, and 240v mains.

The Atlantic can be available at “Reference” and includes:
WBT Next-Gen speaker terminals
Special OFC wire for both the input and output connections.

From £6750

 

Sponsorship button

 

TEAC has introduced its HA-50 portable headphone amplifier which also sports an integrated USB DAC.TEAC_headphone_amplifier

The new headphone amplifier is designed to operate with laptops as well as Apple iOS devices and will support 24-bit/96kHz using the unit’s BurrBrown PCM5102 DAC chip.

The TEAC HA-P50 uses OPA 1652 op amps and achieves a distortion rate of 0.001% at 100mW output.
The high output (160 mW per channel at 32 Ohms) is designed to drive 600 Ohm headphones at full power and has a high/low gain setting switch.
It has a dual function optical digital/analogue input which accepts either and optical cable with a mini-plug or a standard audio cable with a 3.5mm stereo mini-plug. The unit can be charged via USB or the DC IN 5V connector with the optionally available power supply and a full charge will give users eight hours of use.

Price is $299.99.

 

Sponsorship button

HighResAudio got in touch with Hifi Pig to let us know that they have expanded their licensing territory to include: Czech Republic,HighResAudio Hungary, Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Poland, Slovakia.

This means that the whole Warner Music HighRes repertoire is now available to the above countries. The company’s spokesperson also announced that Sony Music will follow in December and Universal Music in January 2015.

 

Sponsorship button

Audio4Soul, whose digital amplifier we reviewed some time ago, has announced global distribution of its new Reference 50 True ref20brown1Digital Amplifier. The new amplifier is said to be “A new breed of Reference amplifiers that has been designed on the basis of ultimate performance”.

They also have a new paying scheme called “Pay What You Need” so that end users can build the amplifier, without paying for features you will never use. You can now add or remove inputs or features (like the optional battery PSU) at will, keeping your amplifier up to date with the latest technology available!

The amplifier is available in many colors, allowing you to match its aesthetics to your personal décor.

The world debut of the Audio4Soul Reference 50 will be at T.A.V.E.S. held in Toronto, Canada, room no 363 and in HiFiExpo in Helsinki, Finland, room no 305, both held from Oct.31st -Nov.2.

Reference 50 Specifications:

Power: 125w@8 Ohm & 66w@4 Ohm.

S/N:>112dB

Distortion: <0,01%, 20hz-20Khz @ 90% of full power

Consumption: <380w at full power, both channels driven.

Shipping weight: 22kg (approx. 44lbs).

 

Sponsorship button

As from October 21st an agreement has been made to sell 83 % of the shares in Dynaudio to GoerTek Inc., an international dynaudio_confidence_platinumelectronic corporation domiciled in Weifang and listed in the stock exchange in China. The majority of shares in Dynaudio will be now be transferred to one of the leading companies in the electro-acoustic industry worldwide.

The Managing Director considers the transaction as being a fantastic opportunity to be able to further develop the company under a professional industrial ownership.

The founder and previous majority shareholder, Mr. Wilfried Ehrenholz will continue as minority shareholder and Vice chairman of the Board of Directors. The Managing Director, Mr. Lars Prisak will continue in his role as CEO, and the former Chairman of the Board, Mr. Johannes Bogh will continue on the board. They will both hold small share positions.

The new Chairman of the Board and founder of GoerTek, Mr. Bryan Liang commented on the take-over: 
“We see excellent possibilities to participate in the further development of the unique international brand image of Dynaudio together with our own extensive technological know-how”.

The production facilities and the product development will continue in the Skanderborg area in Denmark and we will continue to make high-end products made in Denmark.

Sponsorship button

Chord Electronics has launched the Choral Ensemble, a new solid-aluminium equipment support called  the Choral Ensemble.Chord_Choral_System_support

It certainly looks like an impressively engineered modular support system for the company’s Choral range of components. The new equipment support is based around a 30mm-thick aircraft-grade aluminium plate, supported by four stackable solid aluminium (50mm diameter) Integra legs.

The Choral Ensemble equipment support can be configured to any height and the Integra leg system allows any component from the Choral range to be combined with Chord Electronics’ full-sized equipment which will be useful for audiophiles looking to “mix and match”.

Each tier features four solid-aluminium Integra legs. Each leg-base has three ball-shaped rubber feet and each leg-top has three precision-machined hemispherical dimples.  When two tiers are coupled together, the legs give a precise and secure fit between each module, plus a useful degree of damping between the (high-mass) platforms.

The Choral Ensemble equipment support is available now­­­­­

 

Single tier with Integra legs: £1,350

Single top-mount tier with Integra feet: £1,215

 

Sponsorship button

B&O PLAY, has launched the BeoPlay A, its first Bluetooth speaker, designed by Cecilie Manz, and offering a set of features the Bang_and_olufsen_bluetooth_loudspeakercompany say are unique.

BeoPlay A2 is an honest product. It is what it looks like: a functional and likeable speaker you can easily take with you”, says Cecilie Manz, Designer of BeoPlay A2. She continues: The fact that BeoPlay A2 was designed for a life on the go has influenced every aspect of the speaker in terms of its design. There is no front, there is no back -­‐ and there is no up or down, but there’s sound everywhere.”

“BeoPlay A2 is a ground-­‐breaking product that will set new industry standards, thanks to the innovative True360 sound and the unprecedented 24 hours of battery life.” Henrik Taudorf Lorensen, Vice President, B&O PLAY

“We have developed a unique Adaptive Power Management that both monitors and anticipates the audio signal in order to save battery life. It makes it possible to feed the exact amount of power needed by the amplifiers – and only when they need it. The result: 24 hours of playback

BeoPlay A2 features True360 omnidirectional sound technology that “lets everyone enjoy equally good sound no matter where they are sit” and features a flat design with a solid aluminium core and a polymer shell designed to withstand the ruggedness of a life on the go.

The loudspeaker features Bluetooth aptX streaming and remembers up to 8 users, and can play from 2 devices at a time and the rechargeable Li-­‐ion battery features B&O’s Adaptive Power Management technology that ensures you get up to 24 hours of battery life.

It has two speaker drivers on each side – a ¾-­‐inch tweeter and a 3-­‐inch full range driver. If you are in front of the speaker, you will get a full range experience from one channel and high frequency from the other – and vice versa when you’re on the opposite side of the speaker. “As BeoPlay A2 is very slim, the midrange and lower frequencies of the full range driver will radiate around the edge and create a full, spacious experience on both sides and on the edges”.

 

Sponsorship button

Bearing Primare’s well known design and build quality, and available in brushed black or titanium finishes, the new BD32 MkII hifinews_primareBD32_universal_disc_playeruniversal player builds on the company’s BD32 platform with improved circuit design, 4K upscaling and Netflix support. 

This is a multi-format/multi-channel Blu-ray, DVD, CD, SACD and

DVD-A disc player combined with a media player. It has the ability to convert any audio format to PCM or play them in their native formats, including DSD. The built-in media player can reproduce files (music, video, pictures) at up to 24/192 resolution from USB and DLNA compatible sources via a wired network, and Wi Fi with the USB dongle supplied. The BD32 MkII is equipped with a proprietary Primare audio stage, multiple custom-engineered power supplies and comprehensive input and control functions.

The Primare audio circuit is capable of decoding all native audio formats including DSD, Dolby True HD and DTS Master audio. It has a fully-balanced stereo (XLR) output, an unbalanced stereo RCA output, and an 8-channel unbalanced RCA (7.1 multi-channel) output.

The stereo output circuitry uses the flagship Crystal DSD DAC CS4398 in conjunction with Primare’s fully-balanced analogue output stage comprising Burr-Brown OPA2134 OP-Amps, WIMA and EPCOS polypropylene filter capacitors and large MELF resistors; and a single-ended output stage comprising a single MOSFET transistor fed by an active current source rather than passive resistors. As in the BD32, the SACD (DSD) circuit has its own dedicated relay-controlled-filter signal path.

The BD32 MkII adds 4K (3840 x 2160) up-scaling capabilities to all video sources, transforming picture definition with four times the resolution of Full HD 1080p.

HDMI 1 is the primary output, run by the Marvell Qdeo Kyoto-G2 video processor for up-scaling and video adjustment functions, as well as aspect ratio conversion (stretch zoom) to 2.35:1 (with anamorphic lens).

In the BD32 MkII, Primare has further isolated the power supplies for transport, video board and display from the audio section by using individual power supplies for each of these sections. They use a separate master switch mode power supply for the mech/video/display section and a quiet C-core transformer for the audio section, similar to that deployed by their reference PRE60 preamplifier. The BD32 MkII’s analogue power supply utilises an expanded 82000uF capacitor bank (larger than its predecessor), split between many smaller 2200 and 4700uF capacitors for lower ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance). Power is first pre-regulated by LM317/337 regulators and then fed to a super-fast, entirely discrete regulation circuit placed as close as possible to the analogue side of the DAC board.

BD32 MkII is capable of playing both stereo and multichannel DSD files in DFF or DSF formats via USB hard drives, USB thumb drives, and SMB at the supported sampling rate of 2.8224 MHz (DSD64).

As with all Primare products, the front panel’s display circuitry is isolated from the audio/video signal circuits by a discrete section of the player’s aluminium chassis.

Software upgrades for the BD32 MKII will be available on-line. On initial set-up, the player will automatically seek and download the latest software from the Primare website.

Typical retail price inc VAT: £3500 and it will be available November 2014.

 

Sponsorship button

Bowers & Wilkins T7 combines Bluetooth wireless streaming with compact size, rechargeable convenience and is the first BowersWilkins - T7 - Beauty - BlackXraycommercial application of Bowers & Wilkins Micro Matrix technology.

The compact loudspeaker features the first commercially available application of Bowers & Wilkins Micro Matrix technology. Derived from the Matrix internal bracing used in the reference 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers found in Abbey Road Studios, and developed as part of Bowers & Wilkins next-generation automotive audio concepts, the Micro Matrix honeycomb structure provides substantial cabinet stiffening and a solid platform for the T7’s drive units.

T7 uses two (patent-pending) force-canceling high-output bass radiators to extend low frequencies. Onboard there are two 2 inch (50mm) drive units plus aptX Bluetooth. The size of a hardcover book the T7’s rechargeable battery allows for up to 18 hours at normal listening levels and the rubber surround adds protection. There is an DAC and filterless class D amps and Meridian say the loudspeaker is a doddle to use.

The new T7 is available this October and priced at USD $349.99

 

Sponsorship button

Audeze, who regular readers will know make planar magnetic headphones which we reviewed here, have announced that long-Audeze-LCD-XC-B-L-Bubinga-SeatedR-01-600x600_0time music lifestyle industry veteran Kurt Soto has been named the company’s new marketing director. In this role Soto oversees all aspects of marketing including advertising and communications, lifestyle marketing and in-store environments.

Soto joins Audeze following 29 years at youth lifestyle giant Vans where he rose from teenager working in retail to overseeing Vans’ global music lifestyle programs working with artists ranging from Pharrell Williams to Public Enemy to Metallica.

“You’d be hard pressed to find a marketer with the wealth of experience that Kurt brings to the table,” said Audeze founder and CEO Alexander Rosson. “We’re excited to add Kurt to the team as Audeze looks to build on our outstanding reputation in the premium headphone market.”

A 16-year-old Soto began at Vans in the mid-80s putting on skateboard, BMX and break dancing demos staged to draw customers as the company struggled to emerge from bankruptcy. Soto worked his way into the company’s fledgling marketing department leading industry trade show operations.

In the late 1990s, Soto played a key role in activating two lifestyle programs that would help transform Vans from small Southern California shoe retailer into a global footwear and apparel brand with the 18-event Vans Triple Crown action sports events and the Vans Warped Tour music festival series. The Vans Triple Crown would lead a new generation’s interest in action sports and inspire the creation of the X-Games, while the Vans Warped Tour continues on today as America’s longest-running music tour. In both roles Soto was responsible for creating and activating experiences on site that built a strong bond between Vans and their avid consumers.

Alongside Vans’ major event series, Soto put together an artist program at Vans, building relationships with musicians and celebrities while also overseeing Vans product placement in film and television. As Vans continued to grow into the new millennium, Soto led the creation of Vans’ music collaboration series and launched co-branded product with acts including No Doubt, Queen and Metallica among dozens of others. The music product led to broader collaborations with Yo Gabba Gabba! and Marvel Comics. Soto’s music programs went global, establishing concert in Europe and pop-up lifestyle events in Asia. Soto has been lauded as an industry innovator by Alternative Press and Billboard magazines.

 

Sponsorship button

Schiit Audio goes vinyl with the release of the all-new Mani phono preamplifier, a flexible and inexpensive phono preamp, that Mani-main-1000really does look like it’s going to shake things up a little. The Mani phonostage has 4 different gain levels to accommodate virtually any cartridge from moving coil to Decca, plus selectable loading, for $129.

“With the recent resurgence of interest in vinyl, it makes sense to offer an affordable phono preamp that can handle pretty much any source,” said Mike Moffat, Co-Founder of Schiit Audio, and Mani’s designer.

Mani features a fully passive RIAA network with two separately switchable gain blocks, for 30, 42, 48, and 59dB settings. Schiit’s pre’ss release says that “Separate, low-noise and low-distortion amplifier stages mean low noise floor” and that “High-output cartridges, even the renowned Deccas, are easily accommodated, as are other moving magnet, moving coil, and low-output moving coil cartridges. This allows someone to experiment with a wide range of cartridges to fit their needs”.

“A lot of people ask me ‘why is the father of audiophile digital moving into analog now?'” Mike continued. “The truth is, I never really left. People forget there was a Theta Electronics before Theta Digital, and I did a lot of work on tubes, and on phono preamps. Now, it makes sense to come back to it with a really affordable, flexible, and great-sounding product.”

Like all Schiit products, Mani is made in the USA, with the vast majority of its total production cost going to companies manufacturing in the USA, and local assembly, testing, and support through Schiit’s Valencia, CA offices.

Mani is Norse for the personification of the moon, and is available now on the schiit.com website for $129.

 

Sponsorship button

The Focus XD series, comprised of the compact 200 and floor-standing 400 and 600 models, provides a well thought out solution dynaudio_xd rangefor music playback say Dynaudio: The digital music signal is transmitted losslessly from the source to the driver and without analogue conversion. The new Focus XD speakers integrate digital amplifiers, DSP, its own digital volume control, as well as digital and analogue inputs.

The Focus XD works from the digital input via the DSP (Digital Signal Processing) to the digital amplifier at native 24-bit / 192 kHz resolution. High resolution files are transmitted from any digital player.

The amps are remote-controllable digital volume controlled, delivering 150 watts power per driver. Each driver has its own amplifier, thus providing the individual Focus XD loudspeaker models with 300W, 450 W and 600W total output power respectively per speaker.

Each Focus XD model has direct, high-resolution-capable digital inputs (75 ohm coax) and an additional analogue input (RCA). Since the volume and tone are adjusted directly in the speaker, the only thing required is an audio source. In addition, the Focus XD can be wirelessly connected to the Dynaudio Hub: The Hub accepts both analogue and digital audio sources, such as computers, Bluetooth receivers or televisions, and sends the audio signal wirelessly to the Focus XD speaker. Multi-room and multi-source system installations are also possible.

The Focus XD has a speaker position EQ with which the bass response can be finely adjusted to the room acoustics. This way, with a speaker setup near a wall or corner, the bass energy can be reduced in order to achieve a balanced playback. Similarly, the high- frequency range can be discreetly raised or lowered. All properties are consistently adjusted digitally and are thus lossless. The input sensitivity on the Focus XD analogue input can be adjusted with analogue music sources.

In the Focus XD, Esotec+ woofers and tweeters are used. Extremely lightweight aluminium voice coils, the specially-developed MSP membrane material, silk- fabric tweeter domes with precision coating, rear-vented drivers with low-resonance cast aluminum frames are characteristic of Dynaudio and are employed in the Focus XD. The completely new, ultra-long-throw 18W54 Esotec+ woofer has been developed for the top-of- the-range Focus 600 XD model.

The Focus XD models are available in satin white and satin black lacquer as well as in rosewood and walnut real wood veneer finishes. The remote control is designed in black aluminium.

The Focus XD models

The Focus XD production starts in late October 2014 with the following models:

Focus 200 XD – Digital high-end active-compact speaker with a 2-way amplifier and 300 watt power.

Focus 400 XD – Digital high-end active standing speaker with 3-way amplifier and 450 watt power.

Focus 600 XD – Digital high-end active standing speaker with dual woofers, a 4-way amplifier and 600 watt power.

 

Sponsorship button

Audiophiles never really doubted the validity of vinyl but it seems that the resurgence of vinyl is continuing at a pace with vinyl vinyl_Playalbums experiencing their most significant sales figures in almost twenty years. The figures are pretty impressive with more vinyl albums being sold in the first three quarters of 2014 than were sold in the whole of 2013. The Official Chart Company say that around 800 000 vinyl albums have been sold this year as opposed to 780 674 in the whole of last year.

Big sellers on vinyl in the UK have included AM by Arctic Monkeys, Lazaretto by Jack White and Definitely Maybe by Oasis. The top selling albums on vinyl this year show that it is predominantly rereleases that are being bought, with Led Zeppelin having three of the top ten sellers to their name.

 

Sponsorship button

Monitor Audio’s new Airstream S200 Wi-Fi speaker is say the company’s press release “an inspirational answer to the stereo S200_monitoraudiodilemma, concentrating state-of-the-art connectivity, advanced digital processing and powerful amplification within a diminutive speaker design, smaller than the average one-box system but endowed with the latest tech to generate a deceptively big stereo sound from every conceivable audio source”.

The new speaker has Apple Airplay, Airstream Direct, Bluetooth, Bluetooth aptX® and DLNA on board, and will play music via PC, MAC, NAS, and Apple, Android or Windows mobiles. Away from a Wi-Fi router Bluetooth or Monitor Audio’s proprietary Airstream Direct can be used to stream to the S200. “The system’s superior audio architecture is designed to resolve higher quality streams from uncompressed Bluetooth Apt-X, ALAC (Apple lossless) and FLAC file formats as well” continues their press release.

iOS devices can be plugged in to the S200 directly using the USB/charge input for playback, charging requirements, and simple Wi-Fi sharing. Analogue and other devices can connect through a 3.5mm stereo jack.

Drivers include the proprietary gold dome C-CAM tweeter flanked on angled baffles by dual 3”-CAM metal cone bass drivers, which are augmented by a rear-firing Auxiliary Bass Radiator (ABR). The signature C-CAM drivers are directly powered by three separate class-D amplifiers optimised by intelligent digital processing.

The speaker is available in a choice of white or black finishes with toughened glass end trims and cvan be used on shelf or table-top, or from a wall via one of our optional MASM (MA Speaker Mount) ¼” UNC mounting kits.

Features

Frequency Response: 80Hz – 25kHz

Maximum SPL: 101 dBA (both channels driven at 1W@1m)

Power Output: Bass 2 x 25 watts / Tweeter 15 watts

Driver Complement: 2 x 3” bass drivers with C-CAM metal cone technology

1 x 20mm Gold C-CAM dome tweeter

System Configuration: ‘race-track’ profile ABR (Auxiliary Bass Radiator) rear-mounted auxiliary Input

Impedance/Sensitivity: 10 kohms/ 300mV

Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 94dB

AC Input Voltage: 90-264V (auto-range)

Amplifier Category: Class D

Power Consumption: 0.3 watts (standby); 70 watts maximum

Works with: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPhone, iPod touch (1st – 5th generation), iPod nano (2nd – 7th generation)*, PC or MAC running iTunes 10.2.2 or greater

Supported file formats: AAC, ALAC, MP3 AAC, ALAC, MP3, FLAC

Bluetooth version:  4.0 with aptX support.

Wireless network protocol: 802.11 b/g

Colour/Finish: charcoal grey with black grille cloth; white with light grey grille cloth

Weight: 2.26kgs (5lbs)

Approvals ETL/CE/FCC/CB/ERP/Wi-Fi/Wi-Fi WMM/Bluetooth/Apple MFi Certified.

 

Approx. retail price (inc VAT): £200

 

Sponsorship button

Densen have introduced an updated version of their B-250 preamplifier called the B-250 XS.densenbx

Improvements include a volume control using an attenuator made of Vishay metal film resistors switched by relays controlled by the microprocessor which Densen say has virtually no self-induced noise and extremely low distortion. The attenuator has 200 steps for precise control of the volume.

The new preamplifier also has sockets on board for the SA Board for surround and the DP-03 MM phonostage. The SA boards (Surround Audio Boards) are an add on for the B-250XS and will give 5.1/7.1 line input and line preout meaning you can connect a surround processor, DVD player, or SACD player.

On the back panel of the B-250XS there is a socket for use with internal DAC which Densen will soon be introducing. It will have USB, Toslink and coaxial digital inputs which you will be able to control from the Gizmo remote and from the pre’s front panel.

 

Sponsorship button

 

 

Released in mid-September on Interscope records and Columbia Records and downloaded here from HIRESAUDIO this one was a bit of a surprise for me not least because it’s not that often you get a record put together by an eighty eight year old crooner and someone famed as much for her outrageous dress sense (take the infamous meat dress as an example) as her music. This one has “Approach With Care” written all over it and I did just that, expecting it to get a quick flick through then forever to be relegated to the dustiest and seldom ventured to virtual shelf. More »

Pangea Audio has announced the introduction of their MFI-tested, Apple-certified Lightning cables for use with the iPhone 6, 6 pgl5_5blk-largePlus, 5/5S/5C, iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina and all Lightning-equipped Apple devices.

Pangea Lightning cables are an extra-long 5-feet in length—42% longer than Apple’s standard Lightning cable—and feature “superior shielding”, robust 27-gauge signal conductors, heavy-duty 21-gauge power conductors and Apple’s newest, thinnest C48 Lightning connector on one end, with a USB ‘A’ connector on the other end.

Five available colors (Black, Blue, Green, Pink, or White) are designed to match your iPhone, iPad Mini or other Apple device.

“Pangea’s Lightning cables offer a no-compromise design and the convenience of a longer cable length all at a very affordable price,” explained Pangea cable designer Jay Victor. “The easy-grip molded connectors and durable cable cover make our solution ideal for everyday use, and we have added a touch of elegance to these Lightning cables by carefully matching Apple’s 5-shade color palette,” concluded Victor. MSRP for the Pangea Lightning cables is $29.95 however they are available from some outlets at a special price of of $19.95.

 

Sponsorship button

Pro-Ject’s RPM 1 Genie turntable was an instant hit around the world when it was first revealed over five years ago. Today, RPM_Genie8carbonHenley Designs Ltd. and Pro-Ject Audio Systems are delighted to announce the release of the fourth incarnation of this turntable, the RPM 1 Carbon.

The RPM 1 Carbon utilises a number of premium technologies and principles. The low resonance chassis houses a newly designed inverted platter bearing with ceramic ball for reduced rumble. While the decoupled 15V AC motor is driven using an ultra-precision AC generator with DC power supply for enhanced speed stability and ultimate reliability. The stand-out component though is the brand-new S-Shaped carbon fibre tonearm.

With an effective length of 8.6”, this tonearm is made from carbon fibre, but boasts an aluminium resin core – effectively creating an arm that is super-light but also extremely solid. Made by a three step process that involves heat treatment and 100 bars of pressure, the RPM 1 Carbon’s tonearm is not only light and rigid, but the damping properties of the materials are maximised to a point that unwanted resonances are effectively eliminated says the company’s press release. The arm is finished off with a counterweight that itself has a ring of TPE damping at its fixing point, and is supplied with a 2M Red cartridge pre-fitted. The new magnetic anti-skate system makes set-up even simpler than ever before.

Available in three gloss finishes (Black, Red and White); this new turntable boasts the perfect combination of sound performance, modern technology, visual appeal and affordability.

SRP £325.00

 

Sponsorship button

On the 16th October between Noon and 19.00, Oxford Audio Consultants invite Hifi Pig readers to the launch of the try new mu-somusonaim_news wireless music system (£895) from Naim. Its advanced yet simple to use connectivity includes AirPlay, UPnP™ streaming, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth (aptX), iRadio, iOS and Android app control and multiroom capability.

Oxford Audio Consultants will also have other rooms with the following kit available for audition:

  • Naim 300 power amplifier driving Magico S5 loudspeakers via Naim A5 standard speaker cable. Source will be a Naim NDX streamer with optional XPS power supply into the 252/SuperCap preamplifier. All on Naim Fraim equipment supports with Naim interconnects and power cables. Themselves a great upgrade for any Naim component.
  • At the other end of the scale there will beNaim’s £1725 UnitiLite all-in-one player with Kef’s £800 LS50 stand mount speakers.
  •  In the large demo room they will have Naim’s £3495 SuperUniti Audio Player with PMC’s £5750 twenty26 floorstanding speakers.

Mark Raggett of Naim will be on hand to answer your questions too.

 

Sponsorship button

Crystal Acoustics has unveiled its Reference Wireless Speakers, a new range of Bluetooth speakers including a number of cuby_newsstandalone music speakers, two soundbases and a soundbar. All products in the Reference Wireless Series use new WiSound tech – a new technology that for the first time has created speakers that sound the same regardless of where in the room the listener is in relation to the speaker. “As consumers position wireless speakers in a wide variety of ways in the home, the invention of WiSound solves a very real problem and guarantees – in a way never before possible – the good experience of the consumer in their home” says the company’s PR.

The headline products in the new reference Wireless Series – and the first to become available are the Cuby 7 and Cuby 5 wireless Both Cuby models feature Apt-X Bluetooth compatibility, a class-D amplifier onboard, and a range of four colour finishes, as well as WiSound.

Cuby 7 uses seven drivers of various designs firing forwards, upwards and sideways, in order to radiate all the acoustic energy smoothly through the space towards the walls of the room, thus creating a balanced set of reflections giving a consistent tonal balance and a “dynamic, punchy and musical performance throughout the room”.

Buy two or more speakers and you can have an instant multi-room system, with no need for a ‘bridge’. Simply stream your music directly to the Cuby speaker using Bluetooth, and the speaker will simultaneously pass on the music to the other speaker(s) via Wi-Fi. You can have Reference Wireless Speakers in every room in the house, and stream different songs in every room, or the same song everywhere. You can even use this facility without a network – if the Cuby speaker doesn’t find a network, it creates one itself.

Cuby 7 £299

Cuby 5 £219

 

Sponsorship button

Tivoli Audio lifts the lid on the Custom Cabinet programme for its Albergo+ Bluetooth digital radio. The collection enables Albergo+tivoli_colours owners to add personal design preferences to the tabletop radio by choosing from 16 different cabinets.

The Tivoli Audio Custom Cabinet Albergo+ collection for 2014 is made up of three ‘typically Tivoli’ natural wood and a further 13 finishes, including Beton Surface, Camouflage Light, Canvas, Granite Rose Surface, and Visone Leather.

Tivoli Audio hand builds the Custom Cabinets in Italy and the transformation process is simple. The system enables users to simply slide their Albergo+ main unit – available in five colours – into their chosen Custom Cabinet, and includes a locking system to guard against slip.

Tivoli Audio is keen to emphasise that this is just the beginning for the Custom Cabinets line. The maker aims to add to the collection on an on-going basis, as well as consider one-off requests from individual consumers as well as businesses. Indeed, the company has already marked its Selfridges residence with a custom-built 24-carat gold leaf-wrapped Custom Cabinet.
The Tivoli Audio Albergo+ Custom Cabinets go on sale the UK during September 2014, priced from £49.00 (RRP) to £99.00 (RRP), with individual design requests costed on application.

 

Sponsorship button

KJ West One, the New Cavendish Street-located audio retailer, is to hold a ‘Quad Open Evening’ on Thursday 16th October from quad_open_evening6.00pm to 9.30pm . The event offers attendees the opportunity to see and hear products from the well known brand, as well as meet Peter Comeau, Director of Acoustic Design at IAG, Quad’s parent company.

Quad was founded in 1936 by Peter Walker and its company timeline counts a number of landmark products, including the famous Quad ESL full-range electrostatic loudspeaker. Quad products offer incredible quality, and its service department regularly maintains models originally bought over 50 years ago.

 

Sponsorship button

 

 

Sponsorship button

 

TIDAL, the first high fidelity music streaming service with HD music videos and curated editorial, today announced the partnership tidaland integration of TIDAL into products from16 of the best known home audio brands. In preparation for the upcoming UK and U.S. launch, TIDAL is working closely with its integration partners to ensure that music lovers will be able to register and experience the catalogue of 25 million-plus tracks, streaming at HiFi, lossless sound quality, on some of the world’s best known home audio products.

Sonos, Denon HEOS, Harman Omni, Bluesound & NAD, Meridian, Auralic, Electrocompaniet, Simple Audio, Raumfeld, Dynaudio, Audiovector, Pro-ject, Airable by Tune In Media, HiFiAkademie and ickStream will all have products that seamlessly work with TIDAL, with users just needing to sign up to the service for access.

Commenting on the partnerships, Andy Chen, CEO at TIDAL, said: “The reaction from the home audio industry to TIDAL has been exceptional and we are really excited that our first 16 confirmed partners are such highly-considered brands in the industry. Experiencing TIDAL on high-quality home audio systems and headphones proves just how good high-quality music streaming can sound. We will therefore offer TIDAL across the broadest selection of home audio systems with these premium partners and more to come.”

As an advertisement-free, lossless, CD-quality music and HD music video streaming service with extensive curated editorial expertise, TIDAL will be available in the UK and the U.S. for a monthly subscription of £19.99 / $19.99 starting later this autumn.

First there was the Arabesque Glass Master, a floorstanding speaker with an all-glass cabinet. Then came the Arabesque Mini, a CrytalCable_minissimosmaller standmount speaker that retained the original Arabesque’s distinctive shape. Now, Crystal Cable has announced the Arabesque Minissimo, a new compact speaker sporting innovative design and a vibrant range of colours.

The idea behind the Minissimo is to bring genuine Arabesque performance at a more affordable price level and the new loudspeaker has new Natural Science crossover topology, new cabinet material allowing cost effective construction, mono-crystal silver internal wiring and WBT silver terminals and they’re available in a range of matt and high gloss cabinet finishes.

The Arabesque cabinet shape was developed specifically to minimize common problems associated with conventionally shaped loudspeakers, using advanced Comsol mechanical and gas dynamic modeling software. The non-symmetrical shape aims to eliminate parallel walls and common dimensions, resulting in “natural resonant decay without resorting to damping materials”. The Minissimo adopts a one-piece cabinet construction, milled from a solid block of resin/metal matrix material is itself a costly process, but it does dramatically reduce the time necessary for assembly.

With regards the crossover, the company’s press release has the following to say “Extensive research has resulted in the Natural Science crossover, a new topology that offers non-reactive electrical characteristics along with significantly improved phase linearity and rhythmic articulation, more realistic harmonic and spatial reproduction”. The hard-wired crossover employs air-cored inductors, precision silver-oil capacitors and pure graphite resistors.

The Arabesque Minissimo by Crystal Cable is available in 3 standard colors

(Pearl White, Solar Orange & Aquamarine Blue. Slight color deviation may occur). UK retail price: £9,998.00

 

Sponsorship button

 

 

Elipson has now included Bluetooth with APTX coding to its Music Centre so you can now stream music to the MC from any ELI_MC_seul_reflet_CMJNBluetooth enabled device including smartphones, tablets, PCs, MACs etc.

Elipson’s Music Centre Bluetooth includes a DAB/DAB+/RDS FM radio, CD player, touch sensitive control panel, luminosity sensor and remote control.  The wired connectivity list includes a USB input (MP3/WMA compliant), 2 stereo analogue inputs, and a digital optical input.  Outputs include a 3.5mm headphone output, pre-amp and sub outputs.

A switching amplification solution from Bang & Olufsen ICE power (R) was chosen for its sound quality and high power efficiency.

The new Music Centre is available from BBG Distribution now at the retail price of £899.99 with a striking floor stand as an accessory option for £99.99

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • 2 x 120 W / 4 ohms ICEpower® Amplifier
  • Bluetooth aptX input for high quality wireless sound
  • CD Player (MP3/WMA compliant)
  • Sensitive touch panel
  • Optical digital input
  • 2 analog stereo inputs (RCA)
  • USB input (MP3/WMA compliant) / MP3 analog input (3.5 mm mini-jack )
  • RDS FM / DAB / DAB+ tuner
  • Headphone output (3.5 mm mini-jack )
  • Pre-amplifier output
  • Subwoofer output with cut-off frequency setting
  • Luminosity sensor
  • Supply :100-120V / 220-240V AC – 200 W
  • Remote control

 

Sponsorship button

WyWires say they are looking forward to their annual trip to Denver, as WyWires’ Red Series headphone cables will make their WYWires_rmaf_newsDenver debut at CanJam, the biggest headphone event in the North America.

“Since launching WyWires’ Red Series headphone cables this year, we’ve had a blast getting friendly with some of the most innovative companies in this space. We are proud to be at CanJam with Mr. Speakers, Cavalli Audio and EXOGAL – and we’re bringing 5TBs of music with over 90,000 tunes.  A 20% show discount applies to orders placed at CanJam” says the company’s representative.

On the traditional hifi side, WyWires will be debuting their new DIAMOND Series Cables  which they say are “the absolute state of the art for us, moving electrons from point A to point B in a new and imaginative way”.

WyWires will be on the main floor at CanJam, in the Iris Ballroom with partners Modwright Instruments and Daedalus Audio, in the Tower with partners Zesto Audio & Technical Audio Devices (Rm 1117), and Prana Fidelity (Rm 517).

 

Sponsorship button

Mass Fidelity is a community of audiophiles, designers and engineers based in Toronto, Canada connected in a mission to bring Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 14.55.35the world high fidelity sound in the most convenient way possible. “Simplicity in design and dexterity in function make Mass Fidelity products unlike anything else you have ever seen or heard. Beautiful, thoughtfully created conduits for the sounds you love” the most recent press release tells us.

The Mass Fidelity Relay is a Bluetooth DAC that allows you to stream to your existing hi-fi set-up, allowing you freedom to roam the house with the ability to control your hi-fi at your fingertips. Unlike most wireless music systems there is no hassley Wi-Fi set-up, no downloading of apps to control the system, no unnecessary hoopla. With the new Mass Fidelity Relay Bluetooth DAC, you simply plug and play; wireless music straight from your smart device, in your usual media player, to your hi-fi set-up all in a matter of moments.

So much more than just a Bluetooth receiver the Mass Fidelity Relay contains a Burr-Brown DAC. This combined with the Relay’s Cirrus microprocessor, which decodes lossless aptX Bluetooth – means that “all of the musical detail is preserved, generating a dynamic range and full bandwidth response that elevates digital music from a series of ones and zeros to an emotion packed artistic expression.”

If you already have an outboard DAC you love, the Relay is still useful thanks to its Uni-fi output stage so have the option of using your outboard DAC with Relay. With a 5 second push of the power button Relay switches the two RCA jacks to output 24 bit S/PDIF digital, allowing you to stream to two outboard DACs at the same time.

 

Sponsorship button

IAG UK, the British arm of International Audio Group got in touch with Hifi Pig to tell us they are pleased to announce LUXMAN_IAG_NEwstheir appointment as UK distributor of the Luxman brand with immediate effect.

Formed in Japan in 1925 – the same year that Japanese radio broadcasts began – Luxman is one of the world’s oldest audio brands. It was originally created to deliver a domestic alternative to radio equipment emanating from the United States and Europe, and came to prominence globally as a leading manufacturer of hi-fi separates in the 1970s and 1980s. In 2009, Luxman became part of the International Audio Group’s family of audio brands, sitting alongside famous British names including Audiolab, Castle, Mission, Quad and Wharfedale.

The brand’s extensive range includes solid-state and valve-based amplifiers, SACD players, USB DACs, headphone amps, phono amps, turntables and cables.

Since acquiring Luxman in 2009, IAG had maintained the brand’s relationship with its previous UK  distributor, Select Audio. However, as Luxman approaches its 90th anniversary, IAG believes the time is right to incorporate it within IAG UK’s distribution portfolio, alongside the other famous names.

“Luxman is an audio brand with an illustrious heritage,” said Steve Macintyre, Sales Manager for IAG UK. “There is strong interest among UK-based audio dealers and their customers, and with Luxman’s 90th anniversary just around the corner, now is the perfect time to drive the brand forward in the UK. Products like

the L-505uX and L-550AX integrated amplifiers are a tantalising proposition for music lovers, with their time- honoured build quality, distinctive VU meters and sumptuous sonic performance. Luxman represents classic high-end audio from the Far East, for those with a penchant for something a little different. We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Select Audio for their sterling work with the brand over the years.”

 

Sponsorship button