Hifi Pig’s coverage of the recent Sound and Vision, The Bristol Show is now available for free download.BRISTOL FRONT

It’s full of photographs from the show along with comment from a couple of Hifi Pig contributors. There is also coverage and listings of ALL the shortlisted companies and winners for the Clarity Awards which were presented on the Friday evening.

Sponsors for the supplement are Clarity who are the trade body for audio and video in the UK and we thank them immensely for their support.

Download the FREE special publication now.

 

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OPPO Digital whose PM1s we reviewed here, released the HA-2 portable headphone amplifier and DAC in the last day HA-2-banneror so.

The HA-2 looks a very pretty portable headphone amplifier with built-in rechargeable battery. It is engineered to enhance music playback from mobile phones and portable music players. Its genuine leather casing with contrast stitching and beveled aluminum edges are eye-catching and cannot be confused with any other product.

Featuring hybrid class AB amplification and a USB DAC, the HA-2 offers digital-to-analogue conversion for Apple’s iPhone/iPod products, a wide range of Android devices, PC and Mac computers. The HA-2 may be used to charge mobile devices on-the-go and itself can be efficiently charged in 30 minutes.

Key features of the HA-2 include:

  • Ultra-slim Design – Stacking the HA-2 on top of some smartphone models is often still thinner than other portable headphone amplifier models alone.
  • ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC – ES9018-K2M DAC chip delivers high-resolution performance with extremely low noise and distortion.
  • High-Resolution Audio – The HA-2 supports PCM audio up to 384 kHz / 32-bit, DSD audio up to 12 MHz (DSD256 or DSD4x). No Camera Connection Kit required for high-resolution playback from iOS devices.
  • Multiple Devices Support –The HA-2 supports multiple device types for digital-to-analog conversion via USB: iPod / iPhone / iPad, smartphones with USB OTG feature, PC and Mac computers.
  • Rapid Charging – The HA-2’s internal battery can be quickly charged in about 30 minutes with the patented rapid charger.
  • Mobile Power Bank – The HA-2 functions as an external battery pack to charge mobile devices.

The HA-2 offers two USB DAC input ports – one for Apple’s iPhone/iPod, and the other for Android devices, PC and Mac computers. A 3.5 mm input works with the remaining portable music players that do not have a USB-compatible digital output. There are two gain level settings. The High Gain mode is capable of driving large power-hungry headphones, delivering up to 300 mW into 16-Ohm headphones. The Low Gain mode is intended for sensitive In-Ear Monitor type earphones. For users who like a bit more punch and impact with their music, the HA-2 offers a Bass Boost function that is implemented purely with analogue audio circuits.

The HA-2 is available now in limited supply from OPPO Digital’s web site at a retail price of $299.

 

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ADL (Alpha Design Labs), sister brand of Tokyo-based Furutech, unveils its second headphone, taking the smoothness ADL H-128 silver_brown 3_4and balance of the existing H118 and adding vividly increased dynamics.

“With these, our latest breakthrough headphones, we decided to take the performance of our now classic H118 headphones one step further,” said ADL. “We wanted to retain the H118’s smooth, well-balanced sound which has captivated so many headphone enthusiasts, but we also wanted to improve dynamics and recreate the same ‘punch’ that you hear during live performances – a lofty goal for a pair of headphones.”

To accomplish this, the brand’s engineers designed and developed a completely new driver from scratch in collaboration with colleagues at parent company Furutech and with input from an external team of renowned Japanese audio experts.

“The H128 is a dynamic closed-back circumaural headphone. Its tailor-made diaphragms offer both high noise attenuation and low distortion, and feature high quality PEEK film with a specially designed surface selected for extraordinary performance. Furutech’s ‘Pure Transmission’ technologies abound: 40mm high-resolution extra-large high-flux neodymium drivers magnets; an aligning ring engineered to ensure phase coherence in ultra-high frequencies; rhodium-plated mini XLR sockets; all-OCC internal wiring, and excellent transient response from extremely lightweight coils made with copper-coated special aluminium alloy wire”.

All of the drivers’ metal parts are ‘Alpha-Process’ treated1, a low-temperature two-stage cryogenic and anti-magnetic process.

The H128 also features Alpha Triform Contour EarcupsTM which are specially designed for a superior seal over the ears, improving bass response . The Triform Contour also reduces internal standing waves and reflections for reduced distortion.

Included in the ADL H128 package are two Furutech headphone cables.

 

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The new Spendor A5R is an ultra‐compact 2.5 way, floor‐standing loudspeaker. newspendor

“We believe the Spendor A5R is the most room‐friendly ultra‐ compact floor standing loudspeaker ever created. With its slim elegant proportions, and sound performance which is almost independent of room placement it is the perfect loudspeaker for any small room” says the company’s press release and continues “Because the A5R is efficient and easy to drive it doesn’t place heavy demands on your amplifier. That means you don’t have to spend a fortune on your amplifier to put together a brilliant sound system”.

Both drivers feature cast magnesium alloy chassis, high  efficiency motor systems, optimised electro‐dynamic damping, and excellent thermal dissipation for wide dynamic range.

A 15cm EP77 polymer coned bass‐mid driver handles all the mid‐range frequencies and, at modest listening levels, most of the low frequencies.

As the low frequency content of the music increases an ultra‐rigid two part bonded Kevlar composite coned 15cm driver begins to handle more of the low frequencies. The low inertia Kevlar cone allows it to react “instantly and accurately to changes in the music signal – just like the second turbocharger in a modern high performance car engine”.

With its unique driver combination the A5R also offers efficiency and very high power handling and it does not require any form of tuned port or line. “Consequently The  A5R is free from the low frequency phase anomalies and ‘slow’ bass reproduction which add an un‐natural element to the sound of all conventionally ported loudspeakers”.

High frequencies are handled by a 22mm wide‐surround tweeter with a polyamide textile diaphragm. Its acoustic output is phase and time‐aligned with the mid‐bass driver output to create a wide even listening window.

Spendor A5R UK retail price is £1,995.00 per pair for veneer finishes and £2,195.00 for satin white lacquer finish.

 

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UK network audio specialist Sygnifi has unveiled a flagship addition to its NOVAFIDELITY X-Series CD-ripper/streamer/music server devices, the NOVAFiDELITY X40. Novafideilty
The X40 is a pure source device offering native DSD, DXD and PCM support up to 32bit/192kHz. Using the ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC with its -127dB S/N ratio, there’s a massive toroidal power supply, dual differential balanced outputs and heavyweight construction including a 12mm thick fascia panel.

Like other models in the X-Series line-up, the X40 offers the convenience of high-speed, lossless CD ripping to its on-board storage (HDD or SSD), analogue and digital inputs with 24bit/192kHz recording and a Moving Magnet phono input for direct recording from vinyl. CD ripping formats include FLAC, ALAC and WAV, and a built-in music server database and cover art look-up feature ensure the ripped music library is well organised and easy to access. The 5inch colour display can be configured to the user’s preference, and the X40 can be controlled by the facia buttons, the supplied remote control, a Web UI or by a host of UPnP smartphone and tablet apps.

The X40 will support High Resolution audio formats, including DSD128 and DXD 24bit/352.8kHz, and has services like Qobuz built-in and others to follow. UPnP as well as Sonos libraries are fully supported and the Airplay-compatible Shareplay feature allows direct streaming from Apple/iOS devices. Radio fans have the option of Reciva’s internet radio service or the X40’s built-in high quality FM tuner. Supplied with a range of storage options (including SSD) and convenient library back-up features, the X40’s firmware is stored on persistent memory so swapping out hard drives for upgrade or archiving is simply plug and play.

The X40’s analogue output is by balanced XLR and single-ended RCA outputs, while it simultaneously provides coaxial and optical S/PDIF as well as AES/EBU digital outputs. The extensive connectivity options facilitate easy integration of the X40 into existing audiophile music systems or for upgrade with the user’s preferred choice of high-end DAC. A high quality 32ohm headphone output is delivered via the front mounted 1/4inch jack. The X40 also offers an HDMI output and full HD resolution on-screen GUI, making it an ideal music hub for custom installed home entertainment systems.

The NOVAFIDELITY X40 is available in black or silver finish and in the following options:
Bare £1,199.00 SRP
2TB HDD £1,299.00 SRP
4TB HDD £1,399.00 SRP
512 SSD £1,499.00 SRP
1TB SSD £1,899.00 SRP

 

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Danish lifestyle audio brand, Clint Digital, launches in the UK with the Clint Asgard™ series Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speakers. Brought to the UK market by network audio specialist Sygnifi, Clint Digital has been pioneering 14.FREYA-Black-Outdoor2JPDAB, DAB+ and internet radio technology and winning product and design awards in the Nordics since 2008.

The Clint Asgard™ series initially comprises the Freya – a compact, portable, wireless loudspeaker in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth variants, and the flagship Odin – a powerful Wi-Fi stereo speaker which delivers room filling sound. Both models major on design, ease of use and flexibility with the Clint Asgard™ control App and the built-in battery on the Freya means truly portable audio. Wi-Fi versions offer: push button Wi-Fi setup, multiroom mode, Airplay, and DNLA streaming, Spotify Connect, Internet Radio and a point-to-point Wi-Fi Music Direct function (to link with your mobile device without the need for a Wi-Fi network).

The Freya is a cylindrical wireless speaker just 100mm in diameter and 215mm tall. Driven by a Class D amplifier, the Freya offers a multifunction USB port that can be used for charging portable devices, music playback from iOS devices, or a Subwoofer upgrade. The built-in Li-Ion battery offers up to 6 hours portable playback and a 3.5mm Aux-in input ensures the Freya can be used with any available music source. The Bluetooth-only version will link to any Bluetooth enabled device while the Wi-Fi version adds a suite of network functionality including DNLA-based streaming up to 24bit/192kHz audio, multiroom, Airplay, Spotify Connect and 4-speaker party mode and both versions (Wi-Fi & Bluetooth) can be linked to create stereo pair.

The Odin is a contemporary full size wireless loudspeaker for the larger room, offering “audiophile performance with cutting edge functionality”. At nearly 400mm tall on its own stylish aluminium stand, the powerful Odin Wi-Fi stereo speaker offers 2x25Watts of Class D amplification in a bass reflex enclosure for rich, deep bass. Like the Freya, the Odin can be accessed through the Clint Asgard™ App and offers push button Wi-Fi set-up, Airplay and DNLA streaming, Spotify Connect, internet radio, multiroom, 4-speaker party mode, stereo pairing and is capable of streaming a range of audio formats from MP3 to FLAC up to 24bit/192kHz. Odin also offers a USB port for iOS device connection, subwoofer upgrade or charging a mobile device and a 3.5mm jack input for connection to any legacy source.

The Clint Asgard™ products will be sold through leading retail stores backed up by a live customer helpdesk and Service Centre based at the Sygnifi head office in Sevenoaks, Kent. Further additions to the range are planned for release throughout 2015.

Clint Digital Asgard series is available now in chalk white or charcoal grey finish

Freya Bluetooth £143.95 SRP
Freya WiFi £189.95 SRP
Odin £319.95 SRP

 

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“The new Revolution XT series is the launchpad for some of Tannoy’s most advanced technologies to date. A radical new Dual Concentric™ driver, innovative dual-cavity reflex coupled enclosures and state of the art acoustic engineering build on the already successful Revolution series’ trapezoid cabinet design. Enhanced musical articulation, improved dynamics, smoother integration and stunning imaging result in a truly class-leading series of luxury loudspeakers” says Tannoy’s latest press release.

Revolution XT is Tannoy’s first loudspeaker series to use the new Dual Concentric driver with Omnimagnet™ motor and Torus Ogive Waveguide™. New patent pending technologies mean some sweeping changes are TannoyRevolutionXTincorporated into this latest development of Tannoy’s proprietary point source drivers. Both HF and LF drive units utilise a single shared magnet and a revolutionary waveguide integrating a Torus (donut shaped) HF diaphragm and an Ogive (bullet shaped) phase plug.

Revolution XT cabinets are based on the successful Revolution formula of a trapezoid design to reduce internal reflections, and a heavyweight, braced cabinet construction. Revolution XT floorstanding models (XT 6F and XT 8F) employ a reflex-coupled dual cavity design. This is said to optimise the performance of the new Omnimagnet Dual across extremely low to mid-bass frequencies, the design uses two internal cavities with tuned porting between the two.

The new Revolution XT plinth is an integral part of the design’s acoustic engineering. It offers exceptional loudspeaker stability and forms part of the reflex loading system on the XT6 bookshelf, and the 6” and 8” floorstanding models. On these three models, energy exits from a down-firing port and is evenly directed into the room, resulting in deep bass with exceptional differentiation of instrumental notes. In addition, the design reduces room boundary effects and facilitates easy loudspeaker placement.

Revolution XT cabinets are available in either dark walnut or medium oak real wood veneers and finished with extensive detailing. From the engraved aluminium driver trims to the Tannoy logo machined into each driver bolt, Revolution XT models are in a class of their own at the price. The integrated plinth on floorstanding models features chunky, easy to adjust aluminium floors spikes with locking thumb wheel and eye catching chrome pillars. The Revolution XT6 stand mount and XTC centre-channel model have matching plinth assemblies for unrivalled stability and a truly unique Revolution XT style. The XTC plinth allows the speaker to be tilted up and down for seamless integration above or below a TV or behind an acoustically transparent projection screen.

The all-new Dual Concentric driver combined with the fully optimised cabinet design ensures Revolution XT delivers class-leading accuracy, exceptional off-axis high frequency energy and a natural and expansive soundstage.

You can experience the new speakers at Sound and Vision Bristol in Room 310
Available now:
Revolution XT 8F walnut/oak £1,299 pair
Revolution XT 6F walnut/oak £999 pair
Revolution XT 6 walnut/oak £599 pair

Available late spring 2015:
Revolution XT Mini walnut/oak £399 pair
Revolution XTC centre walnut/oak £399 each

 

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Auden Distribution got in touch to tell Hifi Pig what they will be up to at Bristol Sound and Vision this year. audenBristolPic
Auden will be in room 406 where you will be able to ” See and hear the very best in lifestyle computer audio”from Auden Distribution”.

The luxury Aria and Aria Mini music streamer front end, feeding the M2Tech Young DSD Dac, Albarry 1108 Monobloks and a selection of Amphion Argon loudspeakers will all be on demonstration at Bristol Sound and Vision.

 

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The Chord Company has chosen Sound and Vision to launch its new flagship cable. The cable manufacturer will reveal the new Sarum Super ARAY analogue, digital and power cables, plus its new high-end analogue TCCinterconnect, Chord Music.

New: Sarum Super ARAY analogue, digital and power cables 

“The new Sarum Super ARAY analogue, digital and power cables are testament to just how much musical information conventional cables can lose or corrupt. Sarum Super ARAY builds on the musical coherence that made the award-winning Sarum Tuned ARAY cables so popular, the new ARAY configuration revealing levels of detail, dynamics and naturalness of timbre that are quite extraordinary” comments the company’s latest press release.

What makes Sarum Super ARAY really special is that it’s retro-fittable: owners of the original Sarum Tuned ARAY interconnects and power cables can upgrade to full Super ARAY specification!

The new Chord Sarum Super ARAY is available in RCA to RCA, DIN to DIN, XLR to XLR, RCA to DIN, DIN to XLR and any custom combination of the above. What was regarded as one of the best interconnects available has just got an awful lot better.

Chord Sarum Super ARAY analogue, digital and power cable key features 

New Super ARAY conductor configuration New PTFE RCA plug surrounds

New Chord UK mains plugs New Chord IEC plugs

New: Chord Music 

The Chord Music is most ambitious interconnect to date say the company.  It’s an unashamedly high-end analogue interconnect and sits above the flagship Sarum Super ARAY range. Chord Music is a development of Sarum Super ARAY’s unique conductor configuration and has been designed using a new insulating material never before used with audio cables: Taylon™.

Taylon™ is “unique to Chord and is the best dielectric the company has ever used”.

The wealth of detail that the Chord Music carries is quite extraordinary. Even better, though, is the way that Chord Music allows you to listen entirely to the music, so much so that even bad recordings turn into the musical performances they were always intended to be!

Chord Music is available in RCA to RCA, DIN to DIN, XLR to XLR, RCA to DIN, DIN to XLR and any custom combination of the above.

Chord Music analogue cable key features 

New Taylon™ insulation

New PTFE RCA plug surrounds

New Super ARAY conductor configuration New signal/return conductor configuration

 

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Quad celebrates its 79th year of audio innovation with an all-new loudspeaker range: the S Series, launching this spring and set to be unveiled exclusively at Sound & Vision – The Bristol Show. Incorporating a specially quadspeakersnewdesigned ribbon tweeter, the range consists of two standmount models, two floorstanders and a centre speaker for multichannel systems, with prices set to start at £600 per pair. Visitors to the Quad room will be the first in the world to hear speakers from the S Series on demonstration.

Quad is treating showgoers to a world-exclusive preview of two components from an exciting new range of audio electronics, due to arrive this autumn. Visit the Quad room to get the lowdown…

Visitors can also peruse the latest amps and speakers from three of Quad’s illustrious sister brands – Luxman, Mission and Wharfedale.

 

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Métronome Technologie was founded in 1987, and the brand has developed a global reputation for its digital audio players players. The company designs and manufactures all the products in France, in its workshop METLEPLAYEZRlocated in Roquemaure near Toulouse.

Métronome launches now two new devices, which were unveiled at CES in Las Vegas last January :

  • Le Player, a brand new CD Player and DAC, combining the high quality of their 100% French manufacturing with a entry-range pricing
  • C8 + DAC, which is the evolution of the prestigious DACs of the brand Métronome including the latest innovations enabling reading of native DSD files (64 to 512)

 

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Russ Andrews Accessories has teamed up with The Multi-Room Company/RPD Distribution, the UK distributors for Heed Audio and Parasound, to provide the infrastructure of power supply, interconnect, speaker and RABRISTOLPICdigital cabling and support racks, to “bring out the very best in the equipment on demonstration”.

TMRC/RPD has chosen to use the Russ Andrews BMU3000 balanced mains unit, with its 3KVA output, to provide a substantially better supply than is usual in the hotel environment. Connecting the BMU to the electronics will be a selection of PowerKords, including the new PowerKord-300 and the DCT treated PowerBlock.

Connection of the source equipment to the pre-amps and on to the power amps will be done via a mixture of the Kimber Select KS-2020 digital interconnects, OPT-1 optical cable and Kimber SilverStreak analogue interconnects. The speaker connections for the two systems will be handled by the renowned Kimber Select series, with the KS3033 and KS3035 models in operation.

The Heed Thesis and Parasound electronics, plus supporting source equipment from Cabasse (Stream Source) and Project (Xtension 12 turntable) will be securely mounted on the Russ Andrews Torlyte AV rack; See them in room 322 at the Bristol Marriott

 

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Pro-Ject Audio Systems are adding to their current range of record players with a new version of the 2 Xperience design.

The new 2 Xperience SB “incorporates over 20 years of turntable design experience to produce a relatively compact and affordable high-end vinyl record player that offers truly outstanding performance”.ProJEct_Xperience_2_SB

Based on the same basic plinth design as its predecessor, the 2 Xperience SB is available in four finishes   –   Piano   Black,   Olive ,Walnut  and  Mahogany.  It  also  utilises  the  same vinyl-topped sandwich platter. Where the 2 Xperience SB is elevated to a new performance level is with the addition of a new motor, new automatic speed control and new tonearm.

The new precision motor is driven by an efficient DC power supply and regulated by a built-in electronic speed changer. So not only does the neatly integrated speed control offer easy switching between 331/3  and 45RPM, but it also acts as an AC generator for the motor to ensure a clean and stable power signal. The pre-installed 9CC Evolution tonearm has been proven by other Pro-Ject turntables such as the Xtension 9 SuperPack. Benefiting from a light-weight one-piece carbon fibre tube that’s mounted inside a heavy assembly, which draws vibrations away from the signal wires, and finished with a sorbothane-damped counterweight; “it typifies the audiophile characteristics of the whole turntable”.

The turntable is supplied with an Ortofon 2M Silver cartridge pre-fitted. An acrylic dust cover, screw-on record clamp and coned feet finish off the package.

The 2 Xperience SB will be shown in the UK for the first time at Bristol Sound & Vision Show, 2015. in Room 418.

 

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Kudos Audio to preview new flagship Titan 808 loudspeaker with Linn Exakt technology.Kudos Titan 808

Until now the Titan 88 has held its own as Kudos Audio’s flagship loudspeaker but now Kudos is ready to unveil the prototype of its successor: the new Titan 808. Only the two isobaric bass drivers remain identical to those in the original T88. The mid-bass driver, tweeter and crossover have all been advanced and refined, while the all-new and even more complex cabinet features an interesting avant-garde design.

Kudos Audio has been working with Linn to bring the performance of Linn Exakt into the Kudos range of loudspeakers.

Launched by Linn in 2013, Exakt is a new technology that has “revolutionized the world of hi-fi”. Exakt enables a wide range of performance- and personalisation-enhancing capabilities in design, in manufacture and in-home. Sources of noise and distortion that exist in the traditional analogue hi-fi chain are eliminated so what is heard is a more faithful reproduction of the music as it was recorded. Indeed, when we recently heard the Linn Exakt system in play it was certainly impressive.
The team at Kudos is delighted to be working closely with Linn to develop Exakt support for its three top-of-range speakers: the Super 10, Super 20 and the new flagship Titan 808.

 

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Parasound, the electronics brand from California, will be on demonstration alongside Heed Audio in the Heed/GIK Acoustics room at Sound & Vision.zdac_v.2_black_angle_300

The UK distributor of Heed Audio has recently acquired the exclusive distribution rights to the Parasound brand for the UK and will be presenting a selection of products for show attendees to enjoy. Products from the flagship Halo range, including the A21 stereo power amplifier, JC2BP pre-amplifier and JC3+ phono stage, created by the respected circuit designer John Curl, will be on demonstration. The recently announced Halo Integrated amp, the ‘Hint’, will also be on display.

Visitors to room 322 will also be able to experience their DAC/headphone amp, the Parasound Zdac v.2. With its Analog Devices 24 bit/192kHz DAC, USB, optical and coax digital inputs and both RCA and balanced XLR outputs, the Zdac v.2 is siad to be “a feature packed solution in a small form factor”. It’s compatible with a wide range of headphones, from 32 to 600 ohms impedance and has separate volume control provided to the 6.35 and 3.5mm headphone jacks.

 

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“Three decades of cable-building expertise have gone into the new Signature ARAY power cable which introduces the company’s proprietary ARAY conductor Picture 2069technology into a sub-£1,000 power cable for the first time” announces the latest press release from The Chord Company.

Signature ARAY features a very high-density braided shield in combination with a heavy-gauge foil shield, “but what separates it from ordinary mains cables is the use of The Chord Company’s proprietary ARAY conductor technology, which has given the company’s ARAY-based signal- carrying cable range an extraordinary sonic advantage”.

Signature ARAY power cable has been fitted with a new high-performance UK mains plug and IEC connector. Mains plugs are notoriously tricky to  get right, but The Chord Company has worked closely with a specialist company to produce high-performance plugs made exactly to specification. The plugs’ contacts have been heavily silver-plated and the terminals are designed to be very secure. Even the 13-amp fuse has been carefully chosen. The plugs will be used on The Chord Company’s Sarum Super ARAY power cable. 

The Chord Company’s Tuned ARAY technology was originally developed for the flagship Sarum cable range, but Tuned ARAY’s reputation for producing new levels of transparency, detail, coherence and musical involvement, soon meant the technology was introduced across a wider cable range, most recently digital and streaming products and, of course, mains cables.

The Signature ARAY power is available now priced at £500 (1m), plus a £100 supplement for each additional metre.

 

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