The Kandy K2 range of hi-fi separates from Roksan Audio have been a huge international success since their K2_BT_2introduction in 2008 and now, with the birth of the K3 Series, Roksan are re-aligning the K2 range to appeal to a wider pool of hi-fi enthusiasts than ever before.

From April 2015, the K2 Integrated Amplifier and K2 BT will have their suggested retail prices cut and the K2 Stereo Power Amplifier will follow suit, having its price reduced to match the integrated options.

K2 BT Was: £945.00 Now: £800.00
K2 Integrated Amplifier Was: £875.00 Now: £700.00
K2 Stereo Power Amplifier Was: £775.00 Now: £650.00

The previously-announced K2 Twin Packs will continue to run while stocks last and the K2 (TR-5) speakers will also continue to  run.Sponsorship button

It is with great sadness that we announce that Alan Roser, founder and MD of Anthem AV Solutions passed away last Alan Roser - Tribute (30 03 15)week after a short battle with cancer aged 53.

Alan was born in Ash Vale, Surrey and was one of two children. His early career included stints as store manager at various Rumbelows and Argos stores in the south. It was at Argos that he met his loving devoted wife Sally 31 years ago, they were married for 24 years. In 1994, Alan joined Owl Video in East Sussex as Technical Director before taking up the position of Managing Director in 2002 of SIM2 UK.

Most recently, Alan was MD and owner of Anthem AV Solutions. With over 20+ years in the industry, he will be greatly missed for his warm sense of humour and his in-depth technical knowledge of the AV and Projector business. He was often referred to as ‘Mr Grand Cinema’. He loved nothing more than standing in front of an audience speaking about the latest developments in product and technology.

As per Alan’s wishes, Anthem AV Solutions will continue with a new management team.

 

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Using borrowed  techniques and circuits from the company’s top-line monoblocks like the Concero 65 and pre-amp ARIESCZEEATJPGstages like the Pondera Ref Aries Cerat have come up with what they describe as being “the absolute and superlative design in integrated amplifier”.

The Diana is a three stage, all direct heated triode single ended amplifier.

All three stages are designed as direct heated single ended amplifier stages. The first two stages are loaded with bifilar-wound, interstage transformers with no coupling capacitors present in the signal path.

Input tubes are a pair of DHT 814 tubes, driving another 814 pair, which drives a pair of 813 DHT output tubes.

The power supplies are fed by 800VA and 1000VA (1800VA total) transformers, controlled  by a soft start circuit. The four 814 and two 813 tubes, all have their separate choke filtered PSUs and all 6 filaments are powered by 6 triple filtered PSUs, to provide solid power reserves.

Output stage power supply ,uses three film SuperCapacitors weighing 3Kg each whilst biasing of the input, driver and output tubes is attained via special biasing circuits, and all stages can be fully adjusted and monitored while listening.

Attenuation method is discrete-relay-switched-resistors.

Number of inputs: 5 unbalanced, optional Balanced input

HT pass-through ready

Gain: 24db

Power Output 25W sine, 50W square

Signal bandwidth :6Hz-100KHz

SNR >110db

Weight: 115kg

Dimensions: 570mmW X 630mmD X 360mmH

 

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The Issuu version of the Hifi Pig special from the Bristol Sound and Vision show is now available.

Cars with customized sound systems at the HIGH END 2015High_End_munich_cars

For many people the car has become an individual listening room. The vehicle interior is a home on the road and, at the same time, is also a place to retreat, recover and relax. Workers in Germany spend an average of 90 minutes per day in their vehicle. The great feeling of driving and listening to music is hard to beat and never more so than when a high-performance car comes together with a high-end music system. Here the driver can enjoy their own particular individual music, without disturbing others and at any volume

they choose. For this reason the right acoustic interior design is important for many drivers when purchasing the vehicle.

Fortunately, more and more vehicle producers are now contracting reliable manufactu- rers in the industry to design new vehicle sound systems so they can then provide an exceptional premium sound in the latest cars. Now, one quarter of all new cars issued in Germany are purchased with a high-end audio system included at a surcharge. Virtually all new vehicles in the upper price segment can be equipped with an excellent music system.

Several well-known businesses in the audio sector are now working hard in the area of development in order to provide drivers and passengers with the best possible in-car music experience.

This year, once again, visitors to the HIGH END 2015 have the opportunity to listen to exceptional sound systems in cars which are mainly premium category vehicles.

Burmester presents pioneering high-end surround sound systems for an extraordinary in-car music experience at this year‘s HIGH END ON WHEELS. More »

The new ALUMA 2200 from Quadral consists of a centre plus four satellite speakers that have the option of using the ALLUMAQUADRALMount 210 for wall installation.  Users can opt to aded the Qube 7 active subwoofer for a “discrete yet powerful system.”

Aluminium has been used as the material for the cabs and you can choose between a white finish and a black anodised version for these little satellites.

In addition there is the centre speaker which is only 10.2 cm high, 24.2 cm wide and 10.1 cm deep. The QUBE 7 with its stable MDF housing and 70 Watts nominal output and 100 Watts music power amp completes this 5.1 set.

The four satellites reproduce 50 Watts nominal output power and 80 Watts music power and the reference values of the horizontal centre are 60 Watts nominal output power and 100 Watts music power. Frequencies from 85 Hz up to 22 kHz are reproduced by the satellites and frequencies from 80 Hz up to 22 kHz by the centre. The 32.6 cm high, 29.6 cm wide and 31.5 cm deep, almost square active subwoofer provided with the set reproduces the bass ranges with a lower frequency limit of 33 Hz.

RRP £550 inc VAT

 

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The Clarity Alliance, the UK hi-fi industry’s trade body, welcomes the addition of two new manufacturers to its continually claritygrowing number of members.

After a number of years absence from the UK, many who remember the brand for its well respected loudspeakers and turntables will welcome the return of Acoustic Research. The reintroduction of this famous name brings new products such as portable high-resolution music players and a USB DAC with headphone amplifier.

David Saab, commercial director – EMEA, takes up the story, “Acoustic Research (AR) is incredibly proud to become a member of Clarity with its professional reputation for supporting passionately-driven audio manufacturers. As a nostalgic speaker/turntable brand with a strong UK fan base, AR is poised to re-launch itself as a manufacturer that still focuses on the sound rather than the hype. We debuted at the Bristol Show with an exceptional range of high-res products to audiophiles who want great sound that does not have to cost the earth.” He concludes, “AR wishes to invite audiophiles back to the brand with the support of Clarity and its membership, to help us start the job of communicating, successfully re-launching and re-connecting with the audio community once again to share our joint passion for hi-fi audio.”

Mitchell and Johnson is another comeback, set up by the team responsible for the reintroduction of the Sansui brand into the UK in late 2011. Paul Mitchell and Dave Johnson have a long track record in the consumer electronics industry, having worked for major manufacturers and retailers in the UK and USA. A long time hi-fi enthusiast and semi-professional musician, Mitchell is responsible for the product and sales functions of the business, while Johnson brings with him considerable expertise in commercial operations management and finance. The new brand builds on the award winning products introduced under the Sansui name, while also having undertaken a period of intensive product development to enable the unveiling of new and class leading components covering the amplifier, streamer, DAB and CD categories.
On joining Clarity, Paul Mitchell says, “Having started my life as a retail hi-fi store salesman and eventually a manager, I see hi-fi dealers as the single biggest influencer on the UK hi-fi consumer and therefore feel every single bit of help and support we as manufacturers can give the dealer network is immeasurable. From selling hi-fi to designing it, I personally feel I can use my experience to make a valuable contribution to Clarity and look forward to playing an active role.”

 

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Great Britain’s Chord Electronics will be exhibiting at CanJam SoCal 2015 this weekend, America’s biggest dedicated Chord-CanJam‘head-fi’ event. The Kent-based company will be showing its new Hugo TT desktop DAC/headphone amp which was launched at CES in January 2015 and starts production in April.

Chord will also be demonstrating its mobile-orientated Hugo DAC/headphone amp.

Rob Watts will be joining Chord owner and MD John Franks at the event, along with Sales Manager Colin Pratt and Audio Engineer Tom Vaughan. Chord Electronics’ US distributor, Bluebird Music, will also be in attendance.

Chord will be connecting-up a number of reference-quality headphones on its stand, including Audeze LCD-XCs and LCD-3s, various models from HIFIMAN, plus IEMs from California’s Noble Audio.

Chord is expected to have five Hugo TTs at CanJam: two on its stand, plus units on the Head-Fi, Noble Audio and Moon Audio stands.

CanJam SoCal 2015 is being held at The Westin South Coast Plaza, 686 Anton Blvd, 2nd Floor, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 9:00am to Sunday.

 

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New from IsoTek, the Sequel comes in a standard length of 2m, compared to the Premier’s 1.5m. Like the Premier, it uses silver-plated IsoTek_EVO3_Sequeloxygen-free copper conductors twisted together to aid EMI/RFI rejection, but in the Sequel the conductor geometry is “improved with optimised thickness of the individual strands”. “The Sequel also incorporates more advanced ‘active’ shielding under its PVC outer sheath, similar to that used in IsoTek’s more costly cables”.

The EVO3 Sequel is IsoTek’s second-tier power cable, slotting in between the entry level EVO3 Premier and the mid-level EVO3 Elite.

Key features

Construction: Three 2.0mm2 optimised-strand conductors .
Conductors: Silver-plated 6n oxygen-free copper (OFC) copper
Dielectric (insulation): A Teflon FEP dielectric (insulation)
Wrap: A Mylar wrap is used to shield the cable
Copper shield: An active OFC copper shield drains RFI to earth
Jacket: A heat-resistant PVC outer jacket
24-carat gold termination: Termination of the EVO3 Sequel is done by hand using IsoTek’s bespoke audiophile grade 24-carat gold plated connectors.
Available terminated with UK, EU, US and Australian mains plugs and with C7, C15 and C19 IEC connectors, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of audio and AV equipment.

The EVO3 Sequel is available now priced at £199.95 (including VAT) for a 2m terminated cable.

 

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McIntosh Laboratory has launched the new MCT450 SACD/CD transport — “a high-performance disc-spinner designed MCT450 Front Topto complement any McIntosh product with a digital input”.

The MCT450 offers digital balanced (24-bit/192kHz), coaxial (24-bit/96kHz), optical (24- bit/192kHz) and DIN outputs for complete flexibility when connecting to partnering system components. For SACD playback, the MCT450 also employs a DIN output for connection to select McIntosh models (with a DIN input), such as the new D150 digital preamp launched at CES in January 2015.

The transport is compatible with all common disc types including: SACD; CD; CD-R and CD- RW (MP3 and WMA). “A twin-laser optical pickup assures optimal disc-reading, while 2x read speed provides improved data-reading from damaged discs”.

Further features include a premium aluminium die-cast CD tray, plus power control and data ports to control the unit’s operational state via other McIntosh system components. The entire unit is housed in a classic McIntosh-styled polished stainless steel chassis with a black- glass front panel and brushed-aluminium end caps.

The MCT450 sells for £4,495.

 

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Danish hi-fi specialist Gamut has appointed Berkshire-based Sound Fowndations as its new UK distributor. The two Gamut RS9 on stagecompanies had already collaborated at a number of key hi-fi shows, during which it became clear that they shared a common passion and vision for high performance audio.

“It’s important for us to work with the right people,” said Benno Meldgaard, Gamut’s Research & Development Manager. “Our focus is on creating phenomenally musical hi-fi systems so it’s vital that our business partners have the knowledge and expertise to enable customers to experience that musicality directly for themselves.”

Chris Green, Sound Fowndations’ Managing Director, added, “We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Gamut. This is a company in which quality very clearly runs through everything they do: design and engineering, build and craftsmanship, relationships and customer service. And watching Benno set up a system is something every audiophile should witness. Perfectionism doesn’t even come close to describing the attention to detail, and the results are astonishing. His ears should be insured!”

 

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Noble Audio has launched Prestige: a 10-driver bespoke monitor crafted from a choice of exotic solid materials (from Black and Orange low£1,650)

Prestige is a high-end progression of Noble Audio’s flagship custom K10 and universal-fit K10U IEMs (£999). Like its K10 siblings, Prestige also employs Noble Audio’s 10 driver balanced armature technology.

But, Prestige is an CIEM with a difference! Instead of beginning the manufacturing process with the liquid medium that’s traditionally used, Prestige pieces are hand-crafted entirely from solid mediums. Prestige offers the choice of 30 exotic finish options from a range of solid-construction materials including exotic woods, carbon glass, genuine honeycomb and aluminium webbing.

The Prestige process begins with digitising acrylic moulds of the inner ear using one of the most “advanced 3D-scanning processes available”: over 2.5 million points of data are collected and manipulated per ear. Once digitised, the pieces are painstakingly shaped from a solid medium in a process that can take up to 30 hours per ear. Each piece is then hollowed-out by hand to accommodate the driver assembly and internals, before being finished with a hypoallergenic lacquer and buffed.

Finishes Include:

Exotic wood

Hand-picked and graded for quality, the exotic woods include a curated selection spanning the United States, tropical Africa and South East Asia

Wizard’s wood

Exotic woods combined with colour(s) to create palpable textures and finishes

Dyed wood

Neutral-coloured woods dyed either a single colour, or a progression, enhancing figure and character

Honeycomb

Genuine honeycomb cast in various colours creating an organic, naturally occurring, geometric landscape

The Matrix

Similar to honeycomb in terms of pattern, The Matrix consists of an aerospace-grade aluminium webbing that is rigid in structure, but profiles nicely with the contours of the ear

Carbon Glass

Pieces of stiff 12mm carbon fibre infused with various colours and metallic finishes producing a glass-like appearance

Specifications:

10 balanced-armature drivers per side

2 precision-tuned bass drivers

2 precision-tuned mid-frequency drivers

2 precision-tuned mid-/high-frequency drivers

2 precision-tuned high-frequency drivers

2 precision-tuned super-high-frequency drivers

4-way design

Impedance <35 ohms

Detachable cable with industry-standard 2-pin configuration

Hand-crafted from solid materials

Prestige is available now, priced from £1,650

 

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You know, whatever your thoughts of Björk, what you really can’t knock is the quality of her recordings.  As the first track on ‘Vulnicura’, Björk’s ninth solo album draws to its close, I really can’t help feeling that it sounds – well – fantastic.  The string arrangements are just sublime.  In fact, there are several moments when I momentarily forget that I’m listening to a Björk album at all. More »

TIDAL has announced it is delighted to announce its integration with Meridian Audio, the Cambridgeshire (UK)-based tidal.Screengrabtechnology company.  With immediate effect, TIDAL will be available on Meridian’s Sooloos digital media system, enabling seamless streaming of the services extensive library of 25 million CD-quality tracks.

The TIDAL integration brings a lossless audio streaming experience to Meridian Sooloos system owners old and new.  After a simple software upgrade, Meridian Sooloos customers can sign up to the service and gain unlimited access to TIDAL’s CD-quality catalogue, which can be navigated via the Sooloos Control 10/15 touch panel screen or any compatible tablet, smartphone or the desktop controller.  Giving both existing and new Sooloos customers the opportunity to try out TIDAL for themselves, a complimentary three-month trial of the service will be available to all, allowing instant access once registered.

TIDAL is also offering all new Meridian customers the opportunity to trial its service.  Available up until 31st May 2015, any customer purchasing a Meridian product will receive a 3-month (90-day) subscription, giving them unlimited access to the service.

Commenting on the announcement, Pål Bråtelund, Strategic Partnership Manager HiFi at TIDAL, said, “We are delighted to be announcing this integration with Meridian!  Having worked closely with one of audio’s foremost innovators to demonstrate its MQA technology streaming earlier this year, it is great to firm up the association by offering TIDAL subscriptions to its customers, so that they can appreciate the high quality performance of our service.”

John Buchanan, CEO at Meridian Audio said, “The partnership with TIDAL is significant for a company such as Meridian, which prides itself in delivering a super-quality digital signal throughout the path from the studio to the home, using advanced digital signal processing technologies”.

 

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The Unthanks brought their UK tour in support of new album, Mount The Air, to a close in front of a sell out crowd at The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh. Departing from tradition, not for the first time tonight, The Unthanks eschew the time-honoured format support band followed by main act. Instead, The Young Uns – a trio of acapella close harmony singers – open each of the two halves of the show. Beginning with a terrific version of Billy Bragg’s Between The Wars, the Young Uns win over the audience instantly with a combination of first class vocals and humour. “How could you not love The Young Uns?” asks Becky Unthank later, and I honestly can’t imagine anyone not doing so. More »

Somewhere in the deep, dusty archives of the BBC television centre lies an unseen episode of Dr Who in which Rumer becomes the Doctor’s assistant and travels back to 1975 where her new album Into Colour becomes the best selling album of the year. More »

Named after classic songs, clad in carbon fibre and Kevlar, and featuring the “most sophisticated in-ear headphone Astell&kern_earphonesdesign yet” – Astell&Kern’s new Layla and Angie earphones certainloy look the part.

The Astell&Kern earphones are engineered by Jerry Harvey Audio (JH Audio), designer of in-ear monitors (IEMs) for musicians as diverse as Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, Pitbull and The Rolling Stones. Its founder, Jerry Harvey can claim to have made the first ever 2-way, custom-fit earpieces, created when he was a sound engineer touring with Van Halen.

LAYLA

The flagship Layla model, named for the Eric Clapton song, contains new fewer than 12 custom-made drivers, plus what Jerry Harvey describes as the most sophisticated crossover network used in an in-ear design.
He says: “the proprietary quad drivers deliver audio quality that will truly put you at the mix position in the recording studio, whether it’s hearing exactly what the mixer/producer and band wanted you to hear, mixing your own tracks or performing live.”

Key Layla features:
Full carbon-fibre body with burnt titanium bezel
All new proprietary driver designs
12 drivers: four bass; four mid-range; four high-frequency
Stainless Steel Tube Waveguide
Adjustable bass
Multiple sizes of eartips so you can find the ideal fit
3.5mm unbalanced and balanced 2.5mm 4-pole cables
Carbon fibre and black aluminium carry case
Available now, priced £1999

ANGIE

Little sister to Layla – and named after the Rolling Stones song – Angie, has the same ground-breaking crossover design and eight custom drivers.
Jerry Harvey says Angie delivers “a very accurate representation of whatever source it has to reproduce. The audio signature is reference quality.”

Key Angie features:
Unique red and black Kevlar shell, with machined black aluminium bezel and inset carbon fibre
All new proprietary driver designs
8 drivers: two bass; two mid-range; four high-frequency
Stainless Steel Tube Waveguide
Adjustable bass
Multiple sizes of eartips so you can find the ideal fit
3.5mm unbalanced and balanced 2.5mm 4-pole cables
Machined aluminium carry case
Available now, priced £899

Henry Park, CEO of iriver, parent company of Astell&Kern says, “We are honoured to partner with one of the biggest names in the audio industry.  Jerry Harvey and his team are known worldwide for producing the very best in-ear monitors. Every top musician uses Jerry’s IEMs when performing.  Music lovers everywhere can get the best sound possible using Astell&Kern players and Jerry Harvey Audio IEMs.”

 

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Bryston has announced the introduction of new BIT (Bryston Isolation Transformer) models to serve larger applications. bryston8BITThe new 45 and 60-Amp models feature a 220/240-volt input with a 120-volt output and are available with or without AVR technology (Automatic Voltage Regulation). In addition to these new models, all BIT products will now be available with standard rack-mount faceplates, making them suited for larger residential and commercial installations.

The Bryston BIT product lineup was developed to address the need for an AC power device that accomplished three key objectives; power line conditioning, isolation and non-MOV-based protection. Existing models include 5, 15 and 20-amp versions, now available with either 17-inch standard faceplates or 19-inch rack-mount faceplates.

“Bryston BIT products were developed to improve the performance of an entire entertainment system,” stated Bryston VP James Tanner. “BIT products deliver the current stability and low impedance that is ideal for most amplifier designs while providing the total isolation and lower noise floor that is paramount to optimizing audio and video playback,” Tanner added.

MSRP prices:

BIT-45 $5900

BIT-60 $6450

BIT-45 AVR $8300

BIT-60 AVR $8900

 

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Meridian Audio has announced its participation in the Montreal Audio Show, which commences on 27th March for three MQA_READYdays during which time Meridian will unveil and demonstrate its new MQA technology.

In association with AudioGroup as a Distribution Partner, Meridian will be displaying in two separate areas; Fontaine C and the Personal Audio zone at the Hotel Bonaventure.

There will be detailed and dedicated 30-minute MQA room demonstrations, using Meridian’s Special Edition DSP7200 Digital Active Loudspeakers and a Meridian 818 Reference Audio Core with Control 15 Meridian Sooloos Streaming Server System. Meridian will also be showing all three Cabinet DSP Speakers /DSP 7200 Cut-Away.

In addition Meridian will demonstrate its new Explorer2 MQA-ready USB DAC, the Prime Headphone Amplifier and Prime Powers Supply using the DAC between Mac and PCs, together with Grado headphones.

 

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Astell&Kern has launched a limited edition Stainless Steel version of its flagship music player, the AK240. The move notAstell&KErn_Staineless_steel only gives the portable a new look, but also improves both performance and durability. The AK240 Stainless Steel edition – available now, priced £2499 – also comes with a bespoke new leather case from the Tanniere Rémy Carriat.

It shares the look – and durability – of high-class watch designs, but the AK240 Stainless Steel edition also offers an audio performance advantage says the company’s recent press release.

“By offering more ground points, the AK240 Stainless Steel edition eliminates more electrical ‘noise’, meaning a purer audio experience. The standard AK240 already has laser-etched ground points on its anodized duralumin body, but with the Stainless Steel edition the entire casing acts as grounding” it continues.

 

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Italian loudspeaker manufacturer EMME Speakers have sent us pictures of their very latest loudspeaker Copernicus. EMME_Copernicus_loudspeaker
The new loudspeaker keeps many of the concepts from the company’s previous loudspeakers and uses their BSSE system (Box Shaping for Sound Enhancement).

The acoustic layout of Copernicus sees three drivers in an unconventional two-ways configuration.

Mid-high frequencies are managed by a ceramic (diamond in option) 2″ mid-tweeter, housed into a 1″ thick BSSE panel, micro-machined from a solid aluminum sheet.

Bass is dealt with by two 10″ aluminum woofers working in parallel, in bipole and asynchronous mode, thanks to a “time shifting” network that continuously changes the phase of one woofer to sync with the other one.

The speakers will be launched at this year’s Munich High-End and are available in a range of luxury finishes including real gold leaf.

 

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If I required yet another reminder that The Supreme Being does not evenly distribute his gifts, I need look no further than Steven Wilson. Let’s have a think about this: Does he have a back catalogue spanning more than 20 years, covering a diverse variety of genres? – He does. Can he sing and play a multitude of musical instruments to a more than acceptable standard? – He certainly can. Do rock legends such as King Crimson’s Robert Fripp, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson and Yes’ Steve Howe and Chris Squire queue up to have him remix their classic albums to give them a 21st century sonic spring clean? – They do. And on top of all this, he looks at least 10 years younger than his age and seems like the kind of bloke that you would happily spend a highly entertaining evening with in the pub. Bastard. More »

On 13th March, I attended the Hospital Club in Covent Garden for a Linn launch event to showcase the latest evolutions of the Linn DS players – for there were several.

New and improved DS

The first big announcement was that Linn is launching a new Klimax DS, Akurate DS, Majik DS and Majik DSM, which they believe will delivering higher performance than earlier iterations.

New clocking architecture and improved audio circuitry layouts have led to a reduction of components, shorter signal paths and reduced jitter. More »

Chord Electronics’ audio streamers, the DSX 1000 (£7,500) and the CodeX from the Choral Series (£4,500), have been IMG_0011given a new free control app, Chord 2 HD. The new app, which is available for both the iPad and iPhone, will initially be available on iOS 8.0 and above, with an Android version to follow.

Chord 2HD brings a number of improvements over Chord’s debut control app (Chord HD), which will remain available for older devices.

The new Chord 2 HD, is a slicker, more ergonomic control app with a wide range of new features, giving improved control and interactivity with streamed audio content. It has been designed with a strong graphical focus with album artwork featuring throughout. A wide range of functionality has been added, including a comprehensive search function plus improved internet radio and media browsing.

Further features include volume control, playlist composition and editing, and a cue-in function. The app also allows users to ‘push’ local content on devices to Chord’s streamers over a network, enabling the playback of visitors’ audio content, for example.

Available for free on iTunes.

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Out now on the Esoteric Recordings label, Now We Have Light is the third album from Oxford’s Sanquine Hum.
It’s a double concept  album in the finest “prog” tradition with its roots going back over a decade and the days of Antique Seeking Nuns, which was the first project guitarist Joff Winks and keyboardist Matt Barber collaborated on.

The core of Now We Have Light is based around tunes and concepts developed as far back as 2002 and, inspired by more recent Sanguine Hum material these have been revisited, developed, reworked and rewritten. More »

It’s thirty years since the first release of An Inward Revolution on MCA, an album that scored The Big Sound Authority three single releases.

The band came together after a competition in Smash Hits (a British pop magazine) had vocalist Julie Hodwen singing backing vocals with The Jam. The Jam’s Paul Weller put Hodwen together with songwriter Tony Burke and so The Big Sound Authority were born…I vaguely remember them. More »

Whilst it’s been getting progressively more difficult to describe a ‘typical’ 4AD artist in recent years, as a label it has delivered some genuinely superb albums during this time – notably including Daughter’s ‘If You Leave’, Serena-Maneesh’s ‘#2: Abyss In B Minor’ and of course Purity Ring’s 2012 debut ‘Shrines’.

I guess the first – and most obvious – thing to say about ‘Another Eternity’, Purity Ring’s sophomore album, is that it’s ‘business as usual’ – with one or two caveats.  If you enjoyed their debut, then it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re going to enjoy this one too.  Let’s break it down…  More »

This is a sound only interview of Nigel and Alan from The Chord Company discussing their cable designs, music, Hifi and a whole lot more. This should have been a video but the cameras malfunctioned and so the sound quality is also a tad questionable. All that said, they discuss some pretty interesting points, their love of music shines through and so well worth a listen.

More Hifi Interviews and Industry features

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This is a sound only interview of Nigel and Alan from The Chord Company discussing their cable designs, music, Hifi and a whole lot more. This should have been a video but the cameras malfunctioned and so the sound quality is also a tad questionable. All that said, they discuss some pretty interesting points, their love of music shines through and so well worth a listen.

When this landed on our desktop we thought it a great idea  – a pop up record store inside a hifi shop….genius. The Vinyl-recordsrecord shop in question will be Clym’s Records and Loud and Clear in Edinburgh tell us that there will be a huge selection of vinyl, from pop LPs and 12″ singles to classical LPs via indie/punk/new wave/soul and reggae 7″ singles.

The event will take place at Loud and Clear in Edinburgh this coming Saturday (21st March) from 10 am…see if you can spot the Hifi Pig Edinburgh connectionand say hello.

As well as a main turntable based systems in the demo room, there will be individual listening stations.

 

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In 2007 Linn launched Klimax DS, bringing 24-Bit music into the living room for the first time and revolutionising the wayLinnDSE music could be listened to in the home.
Quickly following this, Linn released Akurate DS, Majik DS and Sneaky DS in 2008.
Building on their approach, Linn today introduces “a huge leap forward in audio performance that re-defines the DS category”.
These significant enhancements are delivered in the new Klimax DS, Akurate DS, Majik DS and Majik DSM players by an innovative new approach to clocking architecture and improved audio circuitry layouts, leading to a reduction in the number of components, shorter signal paths and reduced jitter.
SPACE Optimisation for all Linn DS owners

From 16th March, every Linn DS player will feature SPACE Optimisation technology – Speaker, Placement and Custom Environment Optimisation.

Adapted from the optimisation technology developed in their Exakt systems, this technology builds an acoustic model of the complete listening environment based on the choice of loudspeaker, the placement of the speakers and the unique characteristics of the listening room, regardless of the speaker manufacturer and type.

“Using this model, performance is optimised, revealing the true sound of the music and offering an unparalleled level of personalisation” says the company’s press release..

Speakers
Every speaker is unique. The characteristics of the enclosure, drive units, ports and layout all influence the sound that is heard. SPACE Optimisation models the speakers based on all of these elements, to understand how the sound from the speakers interacts with the room.

Whatever speaker a customer chooses to use, their Linn DS player will optimise the sound.

Custom Environment
Every room impacts on the sound of a music system. As sound waves reflect off the walls, ceiling and floor, they interact, leading to peaks of increased energy at specific low frequencies. These peaks sound artificially loud, and because their increased energy takes longer to decay, they mask the music that follows. “SPACE Optimisation enables Linn DS players to optimise the sound for a room by identifying these peaks and reducing their energy to reveal the music that would otherwise be hidden”.

The furnishing and construction of a room also affect the sound. Hard surfaces like glass or concrete reflect more sound energy back into the room than absorbent surfaces like curtains or partition walls. “SPACE Optimisation provides Linn specialists with fine-grained control to optimise the system for a room’s unique characteristics.”

Every Linn DS player is Exakt-ready
All Linn DS and Linn DSM players now have Exakt Links to support future upgrade to the performance of Exakt.
Products and pricing
Available from Monday 16th March, Klimax DS is priced at £13,300, Akurate DS is £4,750, Majik DS is £1,990 and Majik DSM is £2,965.

 

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i-box today unveils the Slix Bluetooth wireless speaker. Small enough to pop in a pocket and robust enough to be iboxbluetoothcarried about and with a standard five-year guarantee to back up that promise.

Slix has all the essential features to deliver on its portable promise. “Firstly, it is designed to be as compact as a speaker with a powerful 2.1 driver configuration can possibly be, yet delivers a remarkably compelling sound for such a diminutive device. Secondly, it’s built to last, with a strong chassis and rugged, rubberised ‘caterpillar track’ surround that will make light work of the day-to-day rough and tumble that a truly portable speaker can – and should – expect” says the company’s press release.

Slix’s has a high degree of water-resistance, with an ‘IPX’ rating of IPX5. This means it’s both splash-proof and weather-proof; it will be unaffected by rain, and you can safely take it into the bathroom and not worry about it receiving even prolonged splashes of water…handy!

Slix measures 155x58x28mm (WxHxD), and has a custom-tuned amplifier powering a pair of 1.5-inch full-range drivers – augmented by a passive bass.

With the inclusion of a ‘True Stereo Pairing’ mode, users can combine two Slix speakers via Bluetooth for genuine stereo sound. With this in mind, Slix can be bought as a special ‘double pack’ called Slix2.

Slix’s Bluetooth specification includes A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) and EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) for high- performance wireless transmission.

A hands-free speakerphone facility adds further flexibility when Slix is paired with a smartphone, while the speaker’s built-in Lithium rechargeable battery supplies up to 10 hours playback from each charge. The package includes a micro USB charging cable, plus a 3.5mm audio cable to connect non-Bluetooth enabled music devices.

The Slix is available at an SRP of £59.99. The stereo double-pack, Slix2, costs £99.99.

 

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As well as the many music demonstrations put on by exhibitors and the fascinating workshops and presentations every LSday of the HIGH END 2015, there will also be a wide and varied range of live musical performances.. Visitors can look forward to a diverse repertoire of contemporary, classical and traditional music. There’ts something for everyone.

In keeping with tradition, at the start of the fair on Thursday, 14 May 2015, from 9.30 a.m. onwards, visitors will be welcomed with traditional Bavarian music at the entrance to the MOC, courtesy of the clarinet sextet Klarischnättra.

Two bands will be moving among the crowds completely unplugged and without any stage or music stands, providing laid-back musical entertainment. Right among the throng, these wandering performers will be livening things up and entertaining the visitors with their catchy enthusiasm.

The two acts, the Klarischnättra clarinet sextet and the Tilmann Schneider Swing Terzett,  will be taking turns on different days throughout the exhibition area on every day of the fair from noon to 5 p.m.

Klarischnättra clarinet sextet

Playing on:

14 May from 9.30 to noon – at the entrance in front of Hall 4.

14 May and 17 May from noon to 5 p.m. – throughout the exhibition area.

Klarischnättra are a clarinet sextet from the Binswangen musical society who play classical, traditional and contemporary compositions which give an insight into the breadth of their repertoire. Enthusiasm and versatility in traditional and modern woodwind music are the hallmarks of the ensemble. The clarinet plays a prominent role in jazz and popular music. Musicians call it the violin among the wind instruments. The group expertly demonstrate the suspense and harmony that six clarinets can generate together. The audience can hear for themselves the scope of music which six clarinettists can play. Klarischnättra present a colourful mixture of contemporary, classical and traditional music.

The Tilmann Schneider Swing Terzett

Playing on: 15 May and 16 May from noon to 5 p.m. – throughout the exhibition area

Three cheerful chaps travelling by sea, over land and in the skies – always immaculately dressed, with a smile on their face and a song in their heart.

With an accordion, a double bass, a guitar and three charming baritone voices, they instantly spread happiness and capture the hearts of their audience.

The Tilmann Schneider Swing Terzett present a bold mix of humorous German swing clas- sics, romantic ballads, chansons and light-hearted love songs in both major and minor keys. A lively, entertaining time is guaranteed. The trio take you back to the 50s with wonderfully light, bouncy pop music with German lyrics, covering everything from jazz to chansons and swing to rockabilly.

 

The  HIGH  END  SOCIETY  and  Clearaudio  Electronic  GmbH  present: United  Blues  Experience  –  traditional,  earthy  blues  with  a  Bavarian  soul

Playing on: 16 May at 2.30 p.m., Hall 3, technology stage

“An explosion of blues and passion” is how the Stuttgarter Zeitung described a concert by this trio. The outstanding guitarist and singer Wolfgang Bernreuther, his long-standing

partner Rudi Bayer on double bass, and the world-class harmonica player and singer Beata Kossowska, are a tight and harmonious musical unit.

Live concerts by UNITED BLUES EXPERIENCE thrive on the magical and emotional moments which arise when the interplay is more than just the sum of the three instruments and two vocalists. Bernreuther, Bayer and Kossowska have found their own niche in the genre of blues and folk. Some say that white people can’t feel the blues, but this trio show that they are deeply rooted in the blues, both musically and emotionally. “The musical harmony of the three-piece, with the harmonica always prominent as a solo instrument, creates a feel- ing of wide open spaces. Their honest, hand-crafted music underscores their nature, and leaves no doubt about their authenticity and originality.”

Purist Audio Design presents: Jazz singer Lyn Stanley

Performance times:

14-17 May, every day at noon and 4 p.m. in Room F226 (Atrium 4, 2nd floor)

The jazz musician Lyn Stanley is an exceptional singer with a full, rich voice, especially in the low register, and very distinctive phrasing.

Lyn Stanley’s unique voice has been praised as “lush” and “rich in low tones”. Her background as a ballroom dancer gives her a particularly physical feeling for music that only  a few jazz artists are blessed with. The Los Angeles jazz radio presenter Bubba Jackson said “She’s brought the songstress back to jazz” ”.

Lyn Stanley’s latest album “Potions” was recorded on analogue tapes, just like records from the 1950s. “Potions [from the 50s]” is brimming with jewels from jazz and pop song- writers of the era.

Stanley captivates her audience with toe-tapping swing numbers, as well as tender, very personally interpreted ballads in a show style reminiscent of the fifties.

For her performances at the HIGH END 2015, Lyn Stanley will be using products from the exhibitor Purist Audio Design.

 

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Now this is not the kind of thing we would normally associate with the Hifi news section of Hifi Pig but we were really BandBtaken by what these audiophiles have done with their bed and breakfast in Wales.

We asked Caron, the owner, a few questions about how and why they set up the Llwyn Helyg bed and breakfast in Nantgaredig, Wales.

Read on audiophiles, you’ll love this.

” Music has been such a fundamental part of both myself and  my wife, Fiona’s, lives. Following years of enjoying listening to music collectively with friends at our home, we decided that the world needed a Bed & Breakfast for ‘Music Lovers and Audiophiles’.

And so began a largely tortuous period for the couple between buying a derelict house in 1996, demolishing it, purchasing some adjoining parcels of land and ultimately designing and building Llwyn Helyg between 2001 and 2012.

“We hadn’t planned on taking so long, but things happen in West Wales at a somewhat leisurely pace!”

Llwyn Helyg is a brand new ‘Country House’ with a dedicated room for the HiFi and this is what stands it apart and makes it of interest to us here at Hifi Pig. The room is 10 x 6 mtrs. with a vaulted ceiling and one phase of the ‘three phase’ electric supply purely for that room.

“We have been extremely fortunate in winning a number of prestigious awards in the last year or so – much of it due to the unique music facilities here. Response to ‘The Listening Room’ since we started having guests in Spring 2013 has been overwhelming.  Since over 90% of those who choose to stay here know nothing about the HiFi or indeed music, their reaction has been fascinating as the vast majority of people really like music but have never heard replay on anything much better than what we have on the high-street!” Caron continued.

Commenting on the system Caroin says “As with most audiophiles, our systems are continually being ‘improved’ but we are having enormous pleasure from what we have here, and sharing it with others is such a fantastic feeling. Essentially the main rig is a  Krell Reference / Wilson Audio / Theta / Basis system”.

Looking forward to our visit sometime soon, guys.

 

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Noble Audio, the California-based IEM and CIEM specialist, has unveiled its first UK demo facility. The new resource, giselewhich is based in London, makes the entire Noble Audio range of IEMS available for demonstration. Visitors can also have ear-impressions taken for Noble Audio’s bespoke-fit models.

As of March 2015, Noble Audio’s full product range, which starts from £230, will be available to try from an easily accessible smart London facility. Noble Audio has partnered with a high-profile professional audiologist, Gisele Flower, to demonstrate the range and take the impressions.

Based in north London with a regular consultancy in Harley Street, Gisele Flower is also known as the ‘musician’s audiologist’. Gisele’s clients include some of the world’s best- known musicians and bands.

Noble Audio’s full range, from the Classic and Switch models up to the new £999 flagship K10U universal-fit model, will now be available from Gisele’s premises in Whetstone, North London. The facility provides a calm and relaxed environment for product appraisals and impression-taking. Additionally, Gisele also offers site visits, group impression-taking, plus evening and weekend consultations.

 

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Danish loudspeaker specialist Dynaudio developed the Excite X14A, an active compact loudspeaker. Integrating DYNAUSIO_excite_loudspeakerspowerful digital amplifiers, proprietary Dynaudio woofers and tweeters, digital sound processing and featuring user-adjustable settings to finely tune the sound according to room acoustics or listening preferences, the Excite X14A is said to be “the ideal active loudspeaker speaker for smart, modern audio systems. All one needs is to connect a volume- controlled audio source”.

Based on Dynaudio’s experience in crafting active studio monitors and compact home hi-fi loudspeakers, the Excite X14A drive units are tailored to match the amplifier electronics, and the amplifier optimized to match the drivers.. The Excite X14A utilizes a bi-amped configuration: One 50 watt digital amplifier powers the bass/midrange driver while a second 50 watt digital amplifier powers the tweeter. An Excite X14A two-channel setup yields 2 x 100 watt stereo system.

The Excite X14A features three equalizer switches that allow one to fine-tune the sonic performance even further, for example when placing the speaker near a wall, corner, or free standing. The bass, midrange and treble can all be individually adjusted in three levels. The high-pass filter (60 or 80 Hz) allows one to optionally combine the Excite X14A with a subwoofer. With the high pass filter engaged, lower bass frequencies will be filtered out to be covered by a dedicated sub such as the Dynaudio Sub 250 II.

The rear panel of the Excite X14A features two analogue inputs to choose from, one RCA and one XLR. The input sensitivity can be individually adjusted in three levels. The Excite X14A can be set to either switch-on from standby after sensing a music signal (Auto On, Auto Off), or may be left permanently switched-on.

The Excite X14A is available in four different cabinet finishes: Satin White, Satin Black, Rosewood and Walnut. Like all Dynaudio speakers, the Excite X14A is built in-house, at the company headquarters in Skanderborg, Denmark.

 

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During the Sound & Vision Show held in Bristol on 20-22 February, The Clarity Alliance presented the third annual “Best PaulandLinof Show” awards, at which it announced the second recipient of its Honorary Fellowship award. You can read all about the awards in Hifi Pig’s free download magazine.

As one of its founding objectives, The Clarity Alliance pledged to recognise those individuals who have made a significant contribution to the UK hi-fi industry. The second such award, following the Hon. Fellowship of John Dawson in 2014, was awarded to the well-respected journalist, editor and all round good guy, Paul Messenger (pictured here shortly after the award with Hifi Pig’s very own Linette).

Presenting the award, Clarity’s chairman, Laurence Armstrong, said, “We have all known Paul for many years and his smiling face and permanently happy demeanour are as much part of the UK hi-fi industry as any manufacturer or product. The board of directors of Clarity felt that in choosing Paul to be the recipient of this year’s Honorary Fellowship, they were recognising, on behalf of the whole industry, the tremendous contribution Paul has made to the promotion of UK hi-fi at home and across the world. His untiring efforts to promote better standards of journalism and impartiality in the UK media make this award very much deserved.”

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