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.
Wish You Were Here?
OPPO Digital whose PM1s we reviewed here, released the HA-2 portable headphone amplifier and DAC in the last day or 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.
“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.
“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.
UK network audio specialist Sygnifi has unveiled a flagship addition to its NOVAFIDELITY X-Series CD-ripper/streamer/music server devices, the NOVAFiDELITY X40.
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
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 DAB, 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
“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 incorporated 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
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
Auden Distribution got in touch to tell Hifi Pig what they will be up to at Bristol Sound and Vision this year.
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.
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 interconnect, 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
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 designed 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.
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 located 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)
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 digital 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
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”.
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.
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.
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.
“Three decades of cable-building expertise have gone into the new Signature ARAY power cable which introduces the company’s proprietary ARAY conductor technology 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.
Chord Electronics has thoroughly updated its popular ‘digital’ integrated the CPM 2800, to MkII status. The new version adds the FPGA-based D/A converter from the award- winning Hugo and 2Qute DACs, to create an amplifier of “unrivalled flexibility”. The CPM 2800MkII will be formally launched at Sound and Vision 2015 (the Bristol show).
The 120-watt aptX Bluetooth-enabled CPM 2800 MkII brings the latest Rob Watts’ proprietary DAC technology into an affordable high-end Chord amplifier and introduces the same high-performance Spartan 6 FPGA as the Hugo.
The Hugo/2Qute DAC stage within the CPM 2800 MkII offers support for up to 32- bit/384kHz audio via BNC coax and USB, and 24-bit/192kHz over optical. DSD64 is supported on all inputs and DSD128 is supported via coax or USB (all via DoP). The amp features a Class 2 USB input which has been galvanically isolated for greater sonic performance; this has been achieved using a novel technique which allows for very high data rates of up to 384kHz; the input is driverless on Apple and Android devices, with (ASIO included) drivers for Windows devices. The CPM 2800 MkII also offers wireless connectivity via Chord’s high- quality custom-designed aptX Bluetooth receiver, which uses a very simple pairing procedure and has a range of up to 30 meters.
A large, easy-to-read front-panel screen, which is a departure from traditional Chord amplifiers, shows input type and volume information and can easily be seen from a typical listening position. Further features include four heavy-duty gold- plated binding posts, remote control and Chord’s legendary aircraft-grade aluminium chassis and casework.
The CPM 2800 MkII’s power is delivered courtesy of Chord’s proprietary ultra-high-frequency power supply, which “has the ability to store energy far more efficiently than conventional designs. The technology gives the amplifier section enormous reserves of instantly delivered, precisely controlled power, which is capable of taming even the most demanding loudspeaker”.
For home cinema compatibility, an A/V bypass input is incorporated, so that the CPM 2800MkII can be used in conjunction with an A/V processor without the need for a separate amplifier.
Unbalanced inputs: 3
Balanced inputs: 2 (3-pin female XLR inputs both with RCA phono-style input sockets wired asymmetrically in parallel)
Digital inputs: coax (support for up to 32-bit/384kHz); TOSLink optical (24-bit/192kHz); galvanically isolated Class 2 USB input up to 384kHz; DSD64 supported on all inputs, DSD128 supported via coax or USB input (all via DoP)
Wireless input: Bluetooth aptX and A2DP AV bypass: 2x RCA phono-style inputs
Intermodulation distortion: -100dB all inputs Signal to noise ratio: -93dB all inputs Frequency range: 2.5Hz – 200kHz (-3dB)
Harmonic distortion: 10 Hz –91dB; 1kHz –93dB; 10kHz –90dB and 20kHz –87dB Channel separation: 10 Hz –90dB; 1kHz 90dB; 10kHz 90dB and 20kHz 85dB Channel balance: 0.01dB
Input impedance: unbalanced 47kOhms; balanced 94kOhms (Line 1 and Line 2)
Output power: 120Wrms per channel @ 0.05% distortion into 8 Ohms; 170Wrms per channel into 4 Ohms
Dynamic Headroom: 180Wrms per channel into 8 Ohms; 220Wrms per channel into 4 Ohms Frequency Response: -1dB, 0.8Hz to 46kHz (8 Ohms); -3dB, 0.8Hz to 77kHz (8 Ohms); -1dB, 0.8Hz to 39kHz (4 Ohms) and -3dB, 0.8Hz to 75kHz (4 Ohms)
Signal to noise ratio: better than –103dB, ‘A’ weighted two thirds Channel separation: -80dB
Output impedance: 0.03 Ohms Output inductance: 2.6mH
Output connections: 2x rhodium binding posts Slew rate: 70V per S, 1kHz 20V square wave Gain: 23dB
Dimensions: 420mm (W) x 355mm (D) x 133mm (H) Weight: 16Kg
The new CPM 2800 MkII is available now. Price: £6,690
The NAC-N 272 streaming preamplifier will be available from Naim’s specialist retailers in March at a cost of £3,300 or £3,595 including a DAB+/FM module.
Naim envisages that many customers of the NAC-N 272 will be upgrading from SuperUniti, or NaimUniti 2 if they are already enjoying network audio or from an existing pre-amp like a NAC 202 if they are not. In both cases the likely matching power amplifier would be the NAP 200 or NAP 250. The NAC-N 272 will also bring new customers to the Naim brand possibly initially as a front end to their existing power amplifiers or “for someone looking for an extra degree of performance over a Uniti solution without losing out on convenience and functionality”.
Inputs and music sources include: UPnPTM hi-res streaming, Spotify® Connect, Bluetooth® (aptX®), iRadio, DAB+/FM, 6 digital, 3 analogue and one USB input for iPod or USB sticks. A combination that should be ideal for music lovers.
The NAC-N 272 is the first Naim product to be DSD64 compatible.
DSD files can be played back on the 272 via the UPnPTM, electrical S/PDIF or USB inputs. The digital header information is stripped out by the DSP leaving only the audio, which is optimised for the DAC by integer resampling the stream at 40bit/768kHz, using Naim software to maintain the high sample rate and accuracy. This adapted DSD stream then enters the 24bit DAC, bypassing the DACs internal digital filter.
The S/PDIF inputs on the NAC-N 272 utilise Naim’s proprietary zero S/PDIF design using the SHARC processor to buffer the incoming S/PDIF signal and clocking it out of the buffer referencing a precision quartz crystal.
The SHARC runs unique Naim-authored software to create an ultra-high precision 40-bit floating-point filter. The filter over-samples by 16 times on 44.1kHz data and provides stop-band attenuation of -156dB. The analogue output includes Naim’s classic discrete five-pole Sallen Key filter.
The analogue and digital sections of the 272 are isolated to reduce noise and communicate using fast opto-isolators. Four separate secondaries from the transformer ensure the optimum power supply isolation and also the ideal voltages and regulation for the Analogue, DAC, and two digital rails. The circuit boards are float-mounted to reduce microphony.
The 272 volume control is derived from the design featured in the flagship Naim Statement NAC S1 preamplifier. It uses hand-selected, through-hole analogue components which are isolated from their digital controller using optical chips.
All the analogue inputs, outputs and mutes are relay switched and completely disconnected when not in use. The relays, in traditional Naim engineering practice, are fed from constant current sources for the lowest interaction and lowest noise.
The moment headphones are plugged in the output current drive is automatically increased by five times to give dynamic drive for all headphone impedances. The amplifier runs from a high voltage power supply so has the ability to drive high impedance headphones with the voltage swing they require for open and dynamic sound.
Outputs Preamplifier (2 x DIN, 1 x RCA), Line (1 x RCA), Digital S/PDIF (1 x BNC), Headphones (1 x 6.3mm)
Preamp Output 775mV
Line output 275mV
Frequency Response 4Hz – 40kHz
S/N Ratio 87dB (measured at 2V in, 775mV out)
Analogue Inputs 3 ( 1 x DIN, 2 x RCA)
Analogue Input Sensitivity 275mV
Analogue Input Overload 34dB
Digital Inputs 6 (1 x BNC, 2 x RCA, 3 x TosLink)
Digital Input Sample Rate Max Coaxial – 192kHz, Optical – 96kHz
Other Inputs DAB/FM, USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
iRadio Service vTuner 5* full service
Audio Formats WAV and AIFF (up to 32bit/192kHz), FLAC (up to 24bit/192kHz), ALAC (up to 24bit/96kHz), WMA (up to 16bit/48kHz), Ogg Vorbis (up to 16bit/48kHz), MP3, M4a (up to 320kbit/s), Playlists (m3u, PLS), DSF64 and DFF64, Gapless playback supported on MP3, M4A, AIFF, WAV, FLAC and ALAC.
Internet radio formats supported: AAC, Windows Media™ formatted content, MP3 streams, MMS, Ogg Vorbis, Spotify® Connect: Ogg Vorbis (up to 320kps) Bluetooth: SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX-LL
Upgrade Interface mini-USB
Wi-Fi Compatibility 802.11b, 802.11g
Idle power consumption 21W
Mains Supply 100V, 115V or 230V, 50/60Hz
Power Supply Options 555PS, XPS, XP5 XS
Dimensions (H x W x D) 87 x 432 x 314mm
Finish Black anodised aluminium with brushed and black anodised fascia
New British based hi-fi design and manufacturing company Sonic Concept Ltd. will launch its initial range of loudspeaker and electronics products under the Modern British Audio Company brand at the forthcoming Sound & Vision Show in Bristol during February. Visitors will see two new models of loudspeaker and the company’s first amplifier design being demonstrated in room 204 at the Marriott Hotel from 20-22 February.
Managing director Darren Hollands founded the business in May 2014 by purchasing the assets of erstwhile loudspeaker manufacturer, O’hEocha. The small team of people, comprising an acoustics engineer, prototyping and production staff and admin, is dedicated to taking the existing and well-respected designs of O’hEocha to the next level. The plan is to produce loudspeakers with truly high fidelity qualities that present a stunning aesthetic, making them desirable to both audiophiles and design conscious consumers.
The original O’hEocha D1 range will be the first to undergo development and improvement, with a standmount and a floorstanding speaker debuting at the Bristol show. Further models, including additional developments of O’hEocha models and wholly new designs will be introduced over the next six months.
Hollands’ mission is to build up a substantial audio business at the company’s Manston, Kent, facility; with design and manufacturing all taking place at its UK base and as many components as possible being sourced from UK businesses.
In keeping with the increasing economic necessity for hi-fi companies to produce a wider range of products, the business will also be focusing its efforts on the development of electronics. Initially a substantially engineered integrated amplifier will be launched at Bristol, which sports 150 watts per channel, dual mono class AB design and the option of built-in digital or phono stages.
“I’ve been a music loving engineer for many years. Having taking the decision to leave the world of employment, I am now able to turn my attention to my real passion and build a new British based hi-fi company.” comments Hollands. “We are a close-knit team of people all focused on making the best performing and fabricated products we can and bringing them to the attention of the traditional audiophile market, but also to those people who want a piece of desirable modern equipment in their homes. I don’t believe in the mantra that form must follow function, as this often results in great sounding but unattractive hi-fi. It is perfectly possible for the two states to happily coexist and this is our philosophy behind the creation of our products under the Modern British Audio Company brand – a name that sums up all we stand for. Given the huge interest in music playback, the vinyl comeback, interest in high-resolution audio and ever more design aware consumer, we know we will have something of interest when we launch. We look forward to sharing our excitement with you at the Bristol show.”
MBAco products can be found in room 204, Marriott City Centre Hotel, Bristol, 20-22 February
Sound & Vision The Bristol Show, the UK’s largest and longest running hi-fi show, will feature MQA, Meridian Audio’s “revolutionary” new music technology. Standing for Master Quality Authenticated, MQA “captures the total essence of an original recording and conveys it all the way to the listener, ensuring that what the listener hears is identical to the master recording” or so that’s what the company’s press release tells us.
To coincide with the show, Meridian retail partner Sevenoaks Sound & Vision Bristol is holding a special MQA event, including open demonstrations of the technology using a Meridian Audio flagship sound system, and an invite-only discussion.
Announced at the end of 2014, MQA has swiftly captured the attention of music artists, recording engineers, journalists, and music fans alike. Indeed, What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision has already said of MQA – “The biggest advance in audio quality for decades? Quite possibly.”
Meridian MQA Demonstration Event Dates and Times
Sound & Vision The Bristol Show, Marriott City Centre Hotel*, Bristol, BS1 3AD
*Demonstrations will be held in the Bristol Suite
Friday 20th February 10:00am – 5:00pm Saturday 21st February 10:00am – 5:00pm Sunday 22nd February 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sevenoaks Sound & Vision, 92b Whiteladies Rd, Avon, Bristol, BS8 2QN
Friday to Sunday: Meridian and Sevenoaks Sound & Vision present a range of Meridian Audio products and demonstrations.
Saturday 21st February at 11:00am* – Richard Hollinshead, Meridian’s Director of Engineering, presents MQA (invite only).
UK Manufacturer Entotem launch their first Home Entertainment product Plato at the Sound and Vision Show Bristol.
2 years in development the Plato system makes its appearance offering the user a new experience in Home Entertainment–with built in pre-amp and power amp (Built from scratch), smart touch-screen running android OS, Plato combines Analogue and Digital playback with Hi-Res Recording to 24bit/192kHz as well as Video stream/broadcast to TV and Audio connected to a home network, with extended capabilities to play, record and manage your entire media and audio library (2TB Hard Drive).
Live demo’s during the show in room 426 at Bristol Sound and Vision.
The HRS-130 replaces our long-running HRS-120. It features a carbon fibre cone German Physiks DDD driver, mounted on top of an octagonal section columnar cabinet, with a downward firing 10-inch woofer located in the base. This replaces the 8-inch unit used in the HRS-120. A slightly taller cabinet allows for a larger Helmholtz resonator, which combined with the new woofer “provides a cleaner and more authoritative bass” says the company’s press release. Other improvements include: 2 sets of WBT’s nextgen™ binding posts to allow bi-wire/bi-amping; a redesigned crossover for better dynamics and resolution and a restyled mount for the DDD driver, which together a new all-over high-polish polyester finish (in black or white) gives the HRS-130 a sleeker and more luxurious look.
Satin veneer or paint, high-polish veneer and carbon fibre finish options are also available.
Pricing is from £11,900 to £15,450 depending on the finish.
The DDD driver is proprietary to German Physiks. It is a wide-band transducer using pistonic, bending wave and modal radiation. In the HRS-130 it covers the range from 220Hz to 24kHz, so there is no crossover in the mid-range, yielding a major improvement in clarity. The DDD driver also has a very low moving mass, so the transient response is excellent. In addition it is phase linear across its operating range, giving excellent timbral accuracy.
Because the DDD driver has an omnidirectional radiation characteristic it produces a well focused stereo image that can be enjoyed from a wide range of positions in the listening room. This contrasts with the small “sweet spot” that many conventional loudspeaker designs produce.
Read what Hifi Pig had to say about the new speaker here.
Top end of the METRONOME TECHNOLOGIE products, the KALISTA Ultimate CD Transport with its separate ELEKTRA power supply is “today the high class component which permits to obtain an unmatched level in terms of harmonic realism, dynamic and 3D sound specialization.”
Main Highlights and Design Features
The Philips CDM 12 Pro 2 metal chassis has been significantly customized by METRONOME TECHNOLGIE and provides a stable foundation.
The Perpex® and stainless steel clamp and the proprietary shaft designed by METRONOME TECHNOLGIE has been designed to give better stability of the CD and consequently to reproduce the best possible sound with a low jitter.
Continuous ground link from the disc surface to the electrical earth permits the dissipation of static electricity for better working conditions of electronic and optical components.
A switchable up sampling device delivers 24 bit/96 kHz signal to the D/A converter.
The Elektra separate power supply with individual power transformers and completely independent regulation lines for each critical part of the transport – display, servo mechanism, motor, digital output stage – provides an inter-stage EMI/RFI radiation protection and ensures a “dynamic analog-like sound quality”. It also permits to mechanically isolate the sensitive electronic components from the vibration induced by the transformers.
Kalista may come with a series of options, such as a tripod stand as well as customisations.
This new addition to the Renaissance Amplification range has a compact A5 footprint, self contained Phono Stage for moving magnet and moving coil cartridges. Housed in an attractive all-aluminium case with a metallic paint finish in black or outrageous red/pink with a blue LED power indicator.
Designed as a “fit, forget and enjoy” addition to your system, the fixed characteristics will suit the vast majority of moving magnet and moving coil cartridges. Alternative loading and/or gains can be accommodated upon request.
Complete with High quality gold plated RCA connectors for inputs and outputs. Earth terminal and rear panel jumpers for selecting moving magnet or moving coil operation; it is possible to configure one channel for MM and the other for MC (for those with 2 turntables fitted with mono cartridges).
With discrete low noise first stage with fixed 50 ohm input impedance for moving coil cartridges; Gain 20dB with an overall gain in MC mode being 60dB @ 1kHz.
Second stage op-amp (LM4562 low-noise, high slew rate, ultra low distortion, high current) gain stage and RIAA filter with fixed 47k input impedance. Gain 40dB @ 1kHz.
Dimensions: 205W x 60H x 153D (168D including connectors)
Weight: approximately 0.5kg
Solid Aluminium Electrolytics
PPS film caps throughout
Surface mount except PSU
Low energy PSU and small (3VA) toroidal transformer for low stray fields
Triple regulation for first stage (shunt regulator for final regulations)
Double regulation thereafter
RRP £749.00 inc.
Monster is diversifying and enhancing its award-winning iSport headphone family with its first-ever in-ear wireless models, including the world’s slimmest wireless sports earbuds. The two new additions are the iSport Wireless SuperSlim (RRP: £129.95), a model that fits flush in the ear so it can be worn comfortably underneath a helmet or goggles, and the iSport Wireless (RRP: £79.95). These models round out Monster’s wireless family of sports headphones, joining the company’s iSport Freedom on-ear model (Hifi Pig review), which is now launching in a new Business Black finish (RRP: £229.95).
The complete Monster iSport headphone range, including the new wireless models, is now as follows:
- iSport Wireless SuperSlim in-ear (green) – £129.95
- iSport Wireless in-ear (blue or black) – £79.95
- iSport Freedom on-ear (green or black) – £229.95
- iSport Victory in-ear (green or black) – £129.95
- iSport Intensity in-ear (green, pink or black) – £79.95
- iSport Strive in-ear (blue or orange) – £59.95
- iSport Strive in-ear, mic-only (black) – £39.95
As more and more music lovers incorporate computers into their various listening systems, demand grows for greater system flexibility and improved digital sound quality. Tokyo-based Furutech’s Alpha design Labs (ADL) responded to that need with the release of the GT40, an “impressively affordable high-performance” piece of kit.
Combining USB DAC with A/D converter, MC and MM phonostage and headphone amp, this extraordinarily handy little gadget was hailed as the audiophile’s “Swiss army knife”.
Now comes its successor, the GT40α (alpha), which can record and play back at a bit depth/sampling frequency of 24 bit / 192 kHz – a doubling of the original GT40’s 96 kHz rate.
The outer design has also been subtly tweaked, including the addition of a new discrete red ‘clipping’ light which warns of digital recording overload. Used in combination with the new three-position recording attenuation switch, success in making high definition digital recordings becomes a breeze.
The ADL GT40α is available now priced at £395 (including VAT).
Leema Acoustics has launched the Libra DAC/preamp, an “astonishingly featured- packed high-resolution digital hub, combining highly advanced digital technologies with an incredible complement of connectivity options.”
The Libra is the latest addition to Leema Acoustics’ flagship Constellation series and has the same precision-machined casework as the award-winning Tucana amp and Antila CD player.
Designed and built by Lee Taylor and Mallory Nicholls (Leema), Libra’s simple-yet- elegant looks conceal a “staggering array of class-leading technologies”. The new Libra crystallises Leema’s decades of experience in digital audio for professional studios worldwide.
The high-resolution Libra DSD DAC has been designed for today’s (and tomorrow’s) HD audio world and is said to be fully future-proofed. The Libra offers extreme high- resolution playback including: DSD 64; DSD 128, DXD and 384kHz PCM via USB (and Libra’s I2S inputs). DSD64 is also supported via all S/PDIF inputs (coaxial and optical) and AES/EBU inputs.
The new high-resolution DAC/preamp contains Leema Acoustics’ new fully balanced Quattro Infinity dual-mono DAC modules which are field-replaceable; should conversion technology improve in the future, the modules can be upgraded. The advanced Quattro Infinity modules also feature user-selectable output filters, for maximum flexibility with higher sample-rate sources.
The Libra boasts loads of connectivity options plus three coaxial and three optical inputs, capable of accepting high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz audio. For high-end partnering equipment, the Libra also offers some more esoteric options, including two I2S inputs via RJ45 connectors. With fully programmable pin-allocation on one of these inputs in software, any high-end source with an I2S interface can easily be accommodated. Source components with professional standard AES/EBU outputs can also be connected: the Libra offers two input connections available via industry standard XLR connectors.
Leema’s M1 USB module provides a connection for computer audio replay from both Windows (driver software included), Macintosh and Linux machines. This interface is fully asynchronous, allowing the Libra to precisely regulate the data rate coming from the computer and deliver “incredibly low jitter levels”.
Libra offers three separate analogue inputs, each of which can be individually configured as unbalanced, via RCA Cinch connectors, or fully balanced via XLR connectors. The entire signal path, both digital and analogue, is fully balanced from the digital data stream, to the balanced analogue outputs.
The Libra is able to operate either as a conventional audio component with fixed output level, or as a high-end pre-amplifier with full analogue volume control on-board. Outputs are provided via unbalanced RCA/Cinch connectors and balanced XLR connectors. Libra is also a full LIPS controller (see below) and can control Leema Acoustics’ range of power amplifiers directly.
For added flexibility in the digital age, the Libra also has an optional Bluetooth interface and a headphone amplifier.
LIPS is an acronym of Leema Intelligent Protocol System. It is a communication bus that enables Leema Acoustics components to communicate with other units in the range. The communication enables simple control of power on/off from one unit, right up to the control of all functions in a Leema Acoustics system, comprising up to 15 individual components.
The Libra DAC/preamp is priced at £5,995 and is available now.
Bryston has announced the introduction of the Model A subwoofer, the first sub in the Bryston lineup not anchored by multiple 8-inch bass drivers. The Model A subwoofer utilises two opposing long-throw 10-inch woofers anchored to a décor-friendly compact enclosure, making it easy to position out of sight.
The Model A subwoofer has a 400-Watt internal amplifier isolated within its own chamber and mated to a pair of 10-inch drivers in an opposing configuration.
“Bryston had a very specific goal in mind with the conception of the Model A subwoofer,” reported sales VP James Tanner. “Our Model T subwoofers are a taller column form factor, and our dealers felt that they needed a high-performance, smaller, discreet subwoofer solution to accommodate some room designs. The Model A subwoofer delivers superlative performance from a compact enclosure,” Tanner added.
The Model A subwoofer’s control panel offers access to crossover, phase, and level adjustments. ¾ inch MDF cabinet with internal bracing features dual rear-facing ports that deliver extended low frequencies without unwanted “chuff” even under high-output conditions. The Model A subwoofer is available in Boston Cherry, Natural Cherry and Black Ash. Special order finishes are available as well for an upcharge. Rubberized aluminum leveling feet and a heavy gauge AC line cord are included.
The Bryston Model A Subwoofer has an MSRP of $2000 each and is available now from authorized Bryston dealers.
ITOK Media Limited’s “Trends Audio” has released the Trends BA-10 Lite Bi-amp Audio System. Combining one pair of the Trends TA-10.2P SE Power Amplifier and the special design of AC/DC Dual Power Adaptor, Trends BA-10 Lite Bi-amp Audio System provides “the perfect way of integrating your existing preamp and loudspeakers”.
“The sonic rewards are outstanding in a bi-amp system. There will be many obvious improvements in the sound; everything will be clearer and tighter. Trends BA-10 Lite Bi-amp Audio System can allow users to take advantage of the strengths of each amplifier in its interaction with the speakers; i.e., one amplifier for the low frequencies, and a second one for middle and high frequencies”, says David Ho, the marketing director of Trends Audio.”
The system is US$399.
Trends BA-10 Lite Bi-amp Audio System includes:
- Trends TA-10.2P SE Class-T Power Amplifier(Body) x 2 pcs
- Trends 7A AC/DC Power Adaptor x 1 pcs
Tangent’s new Spectrum BT5 loudspeaker benefits from an attractive new cabinet design encased in black or white satin finishes with walnut base plinths. A wide dispersion 25mm soft fabric dome tweeter is used together with a 130mm long throw paper coned bass driver, both protected by colour matched mesh grilles.
Featuring the latest wireless technology, these active speakers boast high quality Aptx Bluetooth streaming for playing your music wirelessly straight from your smartphone, tablet, PC/Mac.
They also provide 50 watts of power with DSP signal processing, analogue and digital optical inputs for wired connectivity, a subwoofer output when enhanced bass is required and a USB for charging devices.
These compact stand/shelf mounting speakers are supplied with a full remote control and are available in attractive midnight black or polar white matt finishes with walnut base plinths at £299.99.
• Tweeter: 25mm
• Woofer: 130mm
• Power amplifier: 2x25W with DSP
• Input: Bluetooth Aptx V4+EDR, optical, coaxial, analog (RCA, 3,5mm mini-jack)
• Output: Subwoofer, binding post for slave speaker, USB plug for charging
• Wireless connection: Bluetooth Aptx V4+EDR
• USB charge: Yes
• Accessories: Remote control, power cord
• Power consumption standby: 0,5W (EUP2013)
• Dimensions (W x H x D): 166 x 205 x 345 mm
• Weight: 6.6kg
• Packaging Size (W x H x D): 435 x 425 x 285 mm
• Packaging Weight (Net / Gross): 12,5 kg / 13,5 kg
GIK Acoustics-Europe will exhibit at the 28th Annual Sound & Vision The Bristol Show at Marriott City Centre Hotel Bristol from 20th – 22nd February, 2015. GIK Acoustics-Europe General Manager David Shevyn will be on hand to meet customers and provide acoustic advice.
They are teaming up with Heed Audio who will present the new Heed Thesis range of electronics. GIK Acoustics will treat the room “so the Heed electronics and Heed speakers really sing”.
Just a few items we’ll have on display in Room 322 include: FreeStand Acoustic Panels, Tri-Trap Corner Bass Traps,Monster Bass Traps, Q7D Diffusors and several of our outstanding ArtPanels.
The FreeStand series was originally launched in Europe last April as a 50mm FreeStand Acoustic Panel. Since then they’ve expanded the FreeStand line to include a 100mm FreeStand Bass Trap.
Both FreeStand versions cover 1520mm of vertical wall space.
The FreeStand series are movable panels ideal for any room where wall mounted panels cannot be used or for rooms with multiple purposes. For listening rooms, control rooms and home theaters, the FreeStand series are a “stylish solution for use in front of doors and windows”.
GIK Acoustics-Europe General Manager David Shevyn says, “The FreeStand panels are perfect for customers whose rooms serve dual functions – such as living rooms as theatre rooms or bedrooms as mixing studios. The FreeStand is lightweight, versatile and totally movable
making it ideal for all sorts of uses. And there’s no better event to showcase the versatility than at The Bristol Show.”
Visit GIK Acoustics in Room 322 with Heed Audio.
Previously available in either black or white you can now enjoy in choice of stylish Red or Blue finish.
The Go’s allows music fans to enjoy their favourite songs anywhere. Whatever device you are playing your music from, you can enjoy Go wirelessly.
The Go also includes NFC technology (Near Field Communication) for even simpler, one-touch Bluetooth pairing. And support for aptX Bluetooth for the highest quality playback.
Bbattery life is up to 18 hours playback from a single charge. It can also charge your portable devices (phones, tablets etc.) using the convenient USB port on the back of the product.
Measuring just 237mm (W) x 123mm x (H) x 60mm (D) – the Go uses a high efficiency, DSP driven digital amplifier to drive a high spec speaker system with twin mid-range divers, twin tweeters and a large rear-firing ABR (Auxiliary Bass Radiator).
At this year’s Bristol Sound & Vision Show, PMC will be unveiling the latest addition to the popular twenty series loudspeaker range. Giving greater flexibility and wider appeal to any speaker system, this latest addition, nestled in the SS Great Britain 3 room, “will give both music and movie lovers a true audiophile treat” claims the recent press release from the company.
It continues ” Experience gained from the world of music and movie creation has guided the new design, which features PMC’s uniquely engineered Advanced Transmission Line (ATL™) technology, providing a near identical, high resolution, wide bandwidth signal response that complements the other models in the twenty series perfectly. With its proprietary drive units, electronics and cabinet engineering, this latest model is sure to impress”.
Also playing in PMC’s room will be the twenty series and fact flagship floorstanders – the twenty.26 and fact.12
New from Heed Audio, the thesis range of electronics makes its UK demonstration debut at the Bristol Show. A four strong line up of aesthetically minimalist products, thesis continues the Heed tradition of “leaving the technical conformity behind and concentrating on the reproduction of music, to stir the emotions of listeners who are more interested in the performance than the specifications”.
The new thesis preamplifier, power supply, phono preamp and power amplifiers have been designed to be the superclass of Heed products.
Thesis, for all its unconventional design, is no bare-bones purist creation in a home made box says the company’s press release.
The range is centred around the thesis α (alpha) preamplifier (pictured), which features two analogue and four digital inputs including S/PDIF, TOSLINK, BNC and USB. Building on the Heed DAC and USB 2.0 Audio modules used in the company’s Obelisk DA digital to analogue converter, the digital section is modular in design to allow future upgrades. The twin capacitor-coupled output stage allows the use of long interconnect cables for connection to two sets of power amplifiers.
The thesis φ (phi) is a phono preamplifier for use with turntables requiring very low noise characteristics, huge dynamic range, plenty of headroom and an extremely smooth frequency response. The thesis φ is a twin circuit design, independently catering for both MM and MC cartridges. Two turntables may be connected simultaneously and cartridge matching is highly user customisable for gain and impedance.
The twin power supply thesis π (pi) can feed the thesis α preamp and thesis φ phono stage simultaneously. Independent sections, each with dual regulated power supply rails and high-grade components, custom made by Airlink and Mundorf to Heed’s specifications, “ensure an absolutely clean and stable power delivery. Massively over-specified for the purpose, the thesis π provides a smooth and effortless performance even when pushed to its limits”.
The muscle of this outfit comes from the thesis ω (omega) monobloc power amplifier. This is an AC-coupled device that drives loudspeakers in a similar way to valve power amplifiers. Although its topology is similar in some ways to a valve design, the thesis ω is firmly solid state. AC coupling is used in preference to the more common DC coupling to produce a much “more natural and less “cropped” decay of tones within the music”. The over-sized power supply delivers a totally silent operation and up to 160W continuous power or capability of driving loads down to 1.6 ohms.
Thesis will be on demonstration in room 322 at the Bristol Marriott, 20-22 February
UK Manufacturer’s Suggested Selling Prices
thesis α (alpha) preamplifier £2650
thesis π (pi) power supply unit £1500
thesis φ (phi) phono preamplifier £1600
thesis ω (omega) monobloc power amplifier £2100
It’s always a pleasant surprise at a gig to discover that the support band is one that you have actually heard of. I had enjoyed Public Service Broadcasting’s album Inform-Educate-Entertain when I heard it last year but had found it difficult to dispel a feeling that it was a bit “Kraftwerk lite”. Live however, the duo of J. Will goose, Esq. and Wrigglesworth (possibly not their real names) are supplemented by other musicians, including a three-piece brass section on a couple of numbers. More »
Richard D. James aka Aphex Twin returned last year after a break of 13 years with a cracking new album “Syro”. Less than 6 months later he follows this up with a horse of a totally different colour. Here we find this incredibly creative artist concentrating more on texture, ambience and mood. Similar in many ways to Selected Ambient Works 85-92, here he is exploring an entirely different avenue to that of Syro. More »
Matt Hales, aka Aqualung, had all but given up his recording career and moved across the pond into production & songwriting. It’s to our benefit that he had a change of heart along the way. ‘10 Futures’ is Aqualung’s fifth album (not counting compilations) – and also Hales’ first for five years. Things are somewhat different for this outing though – something immediately obvious from the track listing and also during the first listen of the album.
What Hales has essentially done is invited a number of the people he’s worked with over the past few years to perform guest vocals on tracks which he’s been baking. It’s a nice idea. For those of you who don’t know Aqualung, it’s fair to say that their sound sits somewhere between Coldplay, Guillemots, Keane and possibly even Radiohead. If you’re new to them, look up the tracks Brighter Than Sunshine or 7 Keys. Over the years, I’ve recommended the band to a fair few friends and pretty much all of them told me that they couldn’t believe that they hadn’t heard of them and also that they couldn’t stop playing their albums. More »
On her 2012 album Glad Rag Doll, Diana Krall covered a selection of 1920’s and 30’s jazz standards, inspired by her father’s collection of 78-rpm records. Wallflower, her latest album, takes a similar approach; this time with some of the songs that Krall discovered on vinyl while growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s.
Krall maintains what has become her signature style, a mix of intimate jazz ensemble playing and lush orchestration, bringing in other instrumental elements and production touches to suit the individual songs. If you grew up in the 60’s and 70’s yourself, the bulk of the material here will be instantly familiar to you: there are songs made famous by The Eagles, The Carpenters, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Elton John, 10cc and The Beatles. More »