Pass Laboratories, Inc. is demonstrating the most powerful of its two new integrated amplifiers, the INT-250 and INT-60, at the 2015 RMAF.

The INT-60 features the same power supply and output stages, along with the iconic glowing meter, as found on Pass Labs’ Point 8 amplifiers. The new model features Direct Access buttons for the four inputs on the faceplate, a digital level display, plus a Volume Control knob and Mute button. On the back are four line-level inputs, a line-level output, and two pairs of Furutech speaker binding posts.PQss8INT

The new INT-250 ups the wattage from the INT-150’s 150 watts to 250 watts per channel.

Price: INT-60 ($9,000) and INT-250 ($12,000)

The INT-250 can be seen in Tower Room 1021 during the 2015 RMAF.

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Aurender introduces the new UC100 as an accessory for Aurender Music Server models that only provide a USB digital output.

It is a USB Asynchronous Audio 2.0 to SPDIF converter developed to allow for the interface of current (and earlier) Aurender servers N100 / N100H / X100L to DACs that do not provide a USB input.Aurender_spdif_converter

Additionally, the UC100 can allow Aurender Music Servers to interface with active loudspeaker systems that incorporate built-in amplifiers, DSP and DACs. In this application running a Coaxial cable to the loudspeakers from the UC100 is required.

The UC100’s input is High-Speed USB 2.0; output is SPDIF (Coaxial RCA 75 Ohms). Supported word lengths: Up to 24-bit; Supported sampling rates: Up to 192 Khz. Supported DSD: DSD64 supported with DoP.

The machined aluminium case measures 5.7” L x 1.18” H x 2.12 W. Suggested Retail Price is $499.00. Availability: November.

 

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Aurender introduces the N10 Caching Music Server/Player. Designed to be used with high performance digital-to-analogue converters, the Aurender N10 is the only Music Player to support on-the-fly precision DSD to PCM on SPDIF and AES/EBU outputs with user-selectable choice of 88.2 or 176.4 output sampling rate says the company’s press release so you can enjoy DSD files even if your DAC isn’t capable of native DSD playback.Qurender8nezs2

There’s 4TB of (2TB x 2) internal hard disk space and a 240GB solid-state drive cache for playback.

The Aurender N10 is equipped with various SPDIF outputs (BNC, AES/EBU, coaxial, optical) and one dedicated USB Audio Class 2.0 output. For network connectivity and file transfers, the N10 comes with one a Gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 2.0 data ports.Qurender_dsd

More advanced Oven-Controlled Crystal Oscillator (OCXO) for the greatest jitter reduction. OCXOs are among the most accurate and stable clocks in use today, and are orders of magnitude more accurate and stable than commonly used ordinary crystal oscillators usually found in computers the company say. Temperature changes cause crystal oscillations to fluctuate, which can lead to jitter in the digital audio signal. Moreover, ordinary crystals are much less stable and lose accuracy over time. In OCXO clocks, a very stable, high-grade crystal oscillator is enclosed in a compartment and kept at a constant temperature to prevent jitter from temperature fluctuations. In conjunction with the OCXO is a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based All-Digital Phase-Locked Loop system precisely times the digital data transmission reducing jitter to near immeasurable levels.

Aurender’s Conductor App turns an iPad or Android (Lite Version) into a versatile user interface for Aurender Music Server/Players. All settings and functions of the Aurender Server/Music Player can be accessed through the Settings menu, and the Aurender App comes with extensive features to make managing, viewing and playing high-resolution music collections — including TIDAL.

Sending a Remote Support Request through the Aurender App allows the company’s engineers to quickly diagnose and fix problems over the Internet.

Available in silver or black finishes, the N10 measures 16.93” W x 3.27” H x 13.9” D. Available now, the N10’s Suggest Retail Price is $7,999.

 

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Naim announced today, that following an extensive beta test, it is releasing Firmware updates on October 6th enabling TIDAL lossless streaming together with a host of other new features and improvements.

Streamer Firmware Version 4.3 will enable native support for TIDAL on Naim’s all-in-one players, network players and streaming preamplifiers.Naim_tidal_news

Mu-so Firmware Version 1.3 will enable native support for TIDAL on Mu-so wireless music systems alongside support for gapless playback, Seek2Time via the Naim app, a new alarm clock feature and multiroom master capability.

A necessary update to the Naim App for iOS and Android will be released to coincide with these new firmware updates.

 

A free 90-day TIDAL trial will allow all Naim owners to experience the convenience and quality of lossless streaming.

Using the Naim App for iOS and Android devices, the user will now be able to select TIDAL as an input from the home screen. This will then give full access to the TIDAL library of millions of songs in lossless CD quality.

Full release information

Firmware Version 4.3
Compatible with: UnitiQute*, UnitiQute 2, NaimUniti*, NaimUniti 2, SuperUniti, NDS, NDX*, ND5 XS, NAC-N 272, NAC-N 172 XS
 – Available to download from Naim website

What’s new?

  • Support for TIDAL lossless streaming service
  • Update to clock and alarm feature – user now has the option to set product to adjust for DST (Daylight 
Saving Time) automatically or manually
  • Improvements to IGMP protocol to enhance product discovery
  • Other minor bug fixes and performance improvements

Firmware Version 1.3
Compatible with: Mu-so
Release date: 22/09/2015 at 11am (BST) – Available from Naim app for iOS and Android

What’s new? 

  • Support for TIDAL streaming service
  • Support for full Multiroom capability – Mu-so may now be the ‘Master’ streamer
  • Alarm clock feature added with choice of automatic or manual DST (Daylight Saving Time) setting
  • Gapless playback support
  • Seek2Time to search through tracks using scroll bar on the Naim App
  • Support for high-res HLS format used by BBC Radio stations
  • Support for playback of 32bit audio files
  • Other minor bug fixes and performance improvements

Owners of early UnitiQute, Naim Uniti or NDX units where the owners has not chosen to upgrade to the 24/192 streaming board will need to upgrade to be able to take advantage of TIDAL streaming.

 

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After a successful soft launch in November 2014, Russ Andrews USA, online supplier of hi-fi and home theatre accessories, is using the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest to unveil its full product line and customer offering as it expands its business in the important USA hi-fi market.RA-100

Situated in room 2009 and in the Lobby area of the hotel, Russ Andrews will be displaying its range of products, including power cables, power conditioners, accessories and Kimber Kable. The company’s senior management team of Russ Andrews – chairman, Rohan Andrews – president Russ Andrews USA and John Armer – managing director Russ Andrews UK, will be present and look forward to introducing themselves to the US audiophile customers and journalist community.

The Russ Andrews philosophy is very much centred on the importance of getting the system infrastructure right in order to get the maximum performance benefit from the equipment. As such Russ Andrews will be demonstrating this throughout the show by upgrading a simple, low cost hi-fi system. Purchased on ebay for around $500, the Arcam CD and amplifier and Focal speakers will be enhanced by the addition of $1093 of Russ Andrews and Kimber products (2 x RA-100 power cables, 1 pair of Kimber Timbre interconnects and Kimber 4PR speaker cable) to clearly demonstrate why it is so important to pay attention to the power supply and cables used.

Rohan Andrews says, “I am very pleased to announce that Russ Andrews USA will be exhibiting at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest and would like to invite you to visit our room, meet the team, experience the Russ Andrews range of products and be the first to get a sneak preview of a new range of cables co-developed by Russ Andrews and Kimber Kable. We all look forward to seeing you in Denver.”

 

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sDP-1000EX from sOTM Audio is a high-end D/A converter and pre-amplifier with a USB audio function which supports DSD playback and has a battery power supply. 

USB audio uses an asynchronous mode to connect the digital audio source device such as a PC. It can playback a 32 bit/192KHz PCM signal (maximum) and DSD signal. In addition, the sound quality from the input source can be improved by the specially designed high performance clock and 32 bit up-sampler circuit.

All audio circuit parts including the DAC and preamplifier volume control are fully balanced circuits.  Not a single coupling capacitor is used in the audio signal path.sDP-1000_Front-e1418872157602

It has two battery packs installed, with one battery providing power whilst the other charges and switches between these functions automatically, so there is no additional work needed once it’s connected to a power supply for charging the battery. The sDP-1000EX will work continuously via battery power only.sDP-1000_Rear-e1418872178836

Features

SB input

USB specification 2.0 or higher

USB audio class 2.0

32bit/192KHz PCM & DSD playback

Native ASIO support

Optical, Coaxial, AES/EBU input

Max bit-depth : 24bit

Sampling rate : 32KHz, 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 88.2KHz, 96KHz, 176.4KHz, 192KHz

Impedance

Coaxial, BNC : 75Ω

AES/EBU : 110Ω

Balanced input

Max input voltage : 4 Vrms

Input impedance : > 10kΩ

Frequency range : 20~20KHz @ ±0.1dB

Unbalanced input

Max input voltage : 4 Vrms

Input impedance : > 10kΩ

Frequency range : 20~20KHz @ ±0.1dB

Balanced output

Output voltage at 0dB : 3.8 Vrms ±5%

Output impedance : 47Ω ±5%

Frequency range : 20~20KHz @ ±0.1dB

THD : < 0.003% @ 1KHz, 0dB

Unbalanced output

Output voltage at 0dB : 3.8 Vrms ±5%

Output impedance : 47Ω ±5%

Frequency range : 20~20KHz @ ±0.1dB

THD : < 0.003% @ 1KHz, 0dB

Volume control

Setting range : -75 ~ +10dB, 0.5dB step

 

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Hifi Pig invited Mike Twomey who owns Big Kids Toys AV in Greensboro NC to give us his thoughts on internet shoppers and high-end audio.  More »

I remember the 2 Tone explosion well and The Bodysnatchers’ Let’s Do Rocksteady is very much a part of that memory.

Rhoda Dakar joined The Bodysnatchers in 1979 after Shane McGowan introduced her to bassist Nicky Summers and after their second gig the band signed to UK record label 2 Tone. Gigs alongside Madness, The Selecter, The Specials, The Go-Gos and Toots & The Maytals followed, as did the hits; Let’s Do Rocksteady b/w Ruder Than You in March 1980 and Easy Life b/w Too Experienced in July of the same year. These were The Bodysnatchers only commercial releases. More »

I first became aware of The Bird and The Bee through their 2009 album Rayguns Are Not Just The Future, an enjoyable collection of dance pop songs. Much as I liked the album, I eventually forgot all about the band until I discovered their new album Recreational Love.  In my defence, the band haven’t exactly been flooding the market with product, only releasing one album, the self-explanatory Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates in 2010. This apparent lack of activity is probably due to the fact that one of the band,    Greg Kurstin is a busy producer and keyboard player who has worked with Lily Allen, Kylie Minogue, Little Boots, Beck, The Flaming Lips and The Red Hot Chili Peppers amongst others.  The other half of the band, Inara George – daughter of legendary Little Feet guitarist Lowell George – has been busy too, releasing albums as part of The Living Sisters. More »

Dust On The Nettles is a glorious trundle through the British underground folk scene between 1967 and 1972 and as a record of the “scene” it is difficult to think of a collection better suited to chronicle this interesting (and very British) musical movement. More »

Originally founded in 1981, Target Audio is a newly formed company now based in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. Target pioneered the concept of high mass, high rigidity loudspeaker stands. Weighing up to 39 pounds (18 kgs.) per stand, Target products are manufactured in North America and each stand is constructed of hot-rolled steel, bolts securely together and is finished in a rugged yet attractive powder coat.TaRGET_speaker_stands

Target offers four lines of increasingly robust stands designed for compatibility with virtually all shelf and stand-mount loudspeakers — the FS Series (Firm Stand), the HS Series (Heavy Stand), the HR Series (High Rigidity) and the MR Series (Maximum Rigidity) — each series offered in 20, 24 and 28-inch heights. Black is the standard finish with White offered on a special order basis. Each stand includes threaded spikes and pads that isolate the speaker from the top plate. All Target stands can be filled with dry media such as sand or metal shot for superior resonance damping. Target stands are backed by a three year warranty.

“We recognized an opportunity to work with a manufacturer of quality products with a factory based right here in Ontario, Canada—and there seemed to be a natural synergy, especially with Bryston offering the Mini A and Mini T loudspeakers that work superbly with these rugged Target stands,” explained James Tanner, VP of sales at Bryston. “We are looking at expanding the Target offerings in the near future to include equipment stands and other accessories that will provide A/V speciality retailers with a comprehensive lineup of premium solutions for their customers.”

 

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Synergistic Research is launching their new Atmosphere Series Power Cords at next weeks Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver Colorado.Syn_atmosphere

The Californian company’s Atmosphere Series AC Cords Feature:
Active / UEF Shielding with built in power supplies so no MPC’s and no additional wires
UEF AC Conditioner in Level 2 and Level 3 variants
World’s First use of Graphene in an AC Cord. Graphine is a room temperature super conductor with 8 million times the conductive density of copper
Custom UEF Calibration- Gold
New Active Shield Filter- Red
Plug and Play like standard non-Active AC cords
Level 3 Analogue, Digital, and High Current variants
All the company’s Atmosphere Series Power Cords are hand Made in the company’s California Factory

 

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VPI wanted to get back to their roots with the Prime and to create a table that offers quality hi-end sound while taking advantage of improvements in technology. The Prime has been designed to have a curvier and more attractive appearance than other turntables and yet has the footprint to accommodate a 10 inch 3D printed tone arm.VPI_Turntable_Prime

The Prime is said to be a doddle to use… press the start button, move the tone arm into position by hand and then lower the needle with the special lever. The needle will then softly drop into the groove and the performance will begin. The attention to detail in the construction of the Prime ensures that the operation and playback is as beautifully smooth as you would expect from a super table.VPI_2

The 3D printed arm represents a step forward for Prime says the company’s press release, as the improved technology and increased volume in printing and supply allowed VPI to create the tone arm that they wanted and at a lower than usual price.

The Prime is the first solo performance design by Mat Weisfeld (the son of VPI’s founders and all round nice guy) and is equipped with an ultra-low noise 500RPM motor, the 3D tonearm and isolation feet and record clamp – all tooled especially for the Prime.

RRP: £3,750

Features 

  • 10 inch 3D arm
  • VTA Tower for VTA/SRA on the
  • Classic 20 pound platter and
  • Outboard 300 RPM motor
  • New “Prime” feet which offer improved isolation and better mechanical grounding.
  • Stainless Steel/Delrin record
  • The Prime is also available as a package with the SDS, Synchronous Drive System.

Tech Spec

 The Turntable: 

  • Chassis made of black textured vinyl over MDF with an 11 gauge steel plate bonded to the underside.
  • Four solid Delrin corner assemblies designed for isolation and mechanical grounding.
  • A 300 rpm 24 pole AC synchronous motor capable of high torque and quiet operation installed in a separate aluminium and steel machined
  • Inverted bearing – hardened stainless steel shaft, 60 Rockwell chrome hardened ball, spinning in a phosphor bronze bushing and sitting on a PEEK thrust disc.
  • 20 pound damped platter machined from 6061 aluminium to +/- .001” in a 39” circumference
  • Motor pulley has an accuracy of +/- .0005”
  • Wow and flutter: >.1%
  • Speed Accuracy: >.03%
  • Rumble: >85db down
  • Overall Dims 21 3/8″ x 15 3/4″
  • Footprint is 19 1/2″ x 13 3/4″
  • 54 lbs packing

The Tonearm: 

  • Pivot to spindle: 258mm
  • Effective length: 4m
  • Overhang: 4mm
  • Offset angle: 19.98
  • Average RMS distortion: 311%
  • Internal wiring: premium Discovery wire, optional Nordost
  • New design 3d printed one piece body for the ultimate in resonance
  • Full length copper shielding tube
  • Adjustable side weights for finer azimuth
  • Built in “Easy lift” finger
  • Offset stainless steel counterweight for
  • Easy setting of VTA/SRA in thousandths of an inch, calibrated and
  • Adjustable anti-skate.

Available Upgrades: 

  • Periphery Ring clamp
  • HR-X Centre Weight
  • Synchronous Drive System (SDS)
  • Single Motor Flywheel (must be used with SDS).

 

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“Would you like to hear the human voice reproduced as clear and as present as when  it was recorded, and delivered with the same emotion and intimacy with which it was sung? Well now you can” or so says the latest press release from Studio Connections about their newly launched Platinum Digital interconnects.Studio_conncetions

Award-winning, top mastering engineer, Matt Colton of Alchemy Mastering, London, said, “Studio Connections cable provides a clear step forward in both the analogue  and digital domain from anything else I have heard. The degree of realism and connection to the music that is achieved by using these cables is incredible.”

He went on to say, “On one recording, just by changing the cable runs, all of a sudden it sounded like the drummer was in the room with us.”

Studio Connections Platinum Digital cable is said to deliver audio data virtually free of timing distortion, to allow full stereo image projection and a more natural character in voice and instruments.

Platinum Interconnects are hand-made in the UK and available as AES with balance XLR connectors, SPDIF with RCA connectors with both versions using high purity, oxygen free copper (99.999) and Studio Connections Triple dielectric system. They have a capacitance of (Hot to cold) 12.5pF/m and an oval cross section, 18mm maximum width, 8mm breadth.

They cost £1,350 per metre (XLR or RCA)

 

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GIK Acoustics has announced that General Manager David Shevyn will participate in Prism Sound’s upcoming Mic to Monitor UK 2015 lecture events.M2M_UK_Event

This respected free seminar series brings together renowned audio manufacturers to deliver an evening of thought-provoking discussion and debate. Targeted at music production students, hobbyists and professionals, Mic to Monitor UK 2015 aims to dispel the many myths surrounding the recording process and deliver key insights into modern recording and mastering techniques.

GIK Acoustics-Europe’s general manager, David Shevyn, will present a discussion on the importance of room treatments and the basics of room setup. Mr. Shevyn will also answer audience questions on room acoustics.

GIK Acoustics will present at Mic to Monitor UK 2015 events:

  • October 1st: Huddersfield University
  • October 6th: Birmingham Conservatoire
  • October 8th: University of Westminster, London
  • October 15th: Leeds Beckett University
  • October 22nd: SSR Manchester
  • October 27th: LIPA Liverpool

The free seminars will also include presentations from Prism Sound as well as representatives from pro audio brands DPA Microphones, SADiE, and PMC Speakers.

Availability to Prism Sound’s Mic to Monitor UK 2015 tour is limited and seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Attendees are also eligible for a chance to win a recording and production package worth over £8,832!

 

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Dave Sturt (Bass player with Gong, Bill Nelson, Jade Warrior and Cipher) has a new album out at the end of October titled ‘Dreams and Absurdities’ on Esoteric Antenna. DAVE-STURT-dreams-and-absurdities-news
There are guest appearances by Steve Hillage, Bill Nelson, Daevid Allen, Jon Field, Kavus Torabi, Theo Travis and Fabio Golfetti.

The press release says that “Dreams and Absurdities is an instrumental delight – ambient, eclectic, emotional and psychedelic…so I’m sure it will be right up my street.

Expect a review on Hifi Pig shortly.

 

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London based Cambridge Audio are launching the second generation of their hugely successful Minx Air wireless speakers. The Air 100 V2 and Air 200 V2 offer an improved, more rhythmic and musical sound they say, plus the addition of Spotify Connect and an update to the contemporary design. The updates build on their predecessors’ performance and ability to play music from just about any phone, tablet or computer_Users_julia_AppData_Local_Temp_{6de869aa-f3b1-4a97-a6ea-72b796d5dff1}_Image2

New to the V2 models are bespoke, Cambridge developed and patented 4th generation BMR drivers – also found in the £1000 flagship Cambridge Aeromax 6 floor standing speaker – specially designed to produce a rich, smooth and wide, room-filling sound from a single product.

The use of an acoustically dampened, rigid cabinet eliminates vibration and distortion, maintaining clarity and detail. Whilst a custom-developed Class-D digital amplifier and a bass port hidden in the carry handle offers a performance that belies the relatively compact size of the speaker.

The new 4th generation BMR drivers and an updated EQ offer a significant performance upgrade to the original Minx Air speakers, maintaining the power, depth and detail of the original model but adding a warmer and more natural musical performance – a sound now synonymous with Cambridge Audio products. 

The original Minx Air products featured a wealth of connectivity options including Apple Airplay, Apt-X Bluetooth and Internet Radio. The addition of Spotify Connect in the V2 models allows all Spotify Premium users effortless control of their Spotify music and playlists directly from the native Spotify App. Spotify Connect also allows users to continue to use their phone or tablet for calls or games away from the Minx Air V2 products, without interrupting the music.

Apple’s Airplay allows the Air V2 products to simply stream from an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, as well as computers with iTunes. Alternatively, high quality Apt-X Bluetooth offers streaming of up to CD quality music from any Bluetooth enabled phone, tablet or computer, for playback from popular services like BBC iPlayer Radio, YouTube and Last.fm._Users_julia_AppData_Local_Temp_{6de869aa-f3b1-4a97-a6ea-72b796d5dff1}_Image3

Internet radio is also available at the touch of a preset button or by using the free Air App. Available for Apple or Android, the app lets users search and enjoy 20,000 stations from around the world. The Air App also offers volume adjustment, bass control and access to a range of EQ settings to tailor Air V2’s sound for any room.

Both Minx Air V2 systems also have good old-fashioned analogue sockets on the back (3.5mm aux-in and an RCA input) so you can hook up your TV or Blu-ray player.

Available in both white and black and with a new premium matt finish, they are sure to look the part in any living space.

The smaller Air 100 V2 uses a pair of 4” 4th generation BMR drivers and 100W amplification for a room filling performance with plenty of punch. The larger cabinet of the Air 200 V2, however, houses a pair of 2.25” 4th generation BMR drivers and a 6.5” subwoofer. This, combined with 200W amplification, enables the Air 200 V2 to fill even very large rooms.

Prices are £299.95 and £399.95.

 

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Denon has launched a new “premium” Network AV Receiver. Born from the company’s new 2015 AVR X Series with “Blockbusting 3D Sound”, the new AVR-X6200W has a pricetag of £1,799.

It comes with Dolby and is ready for the brand new immersive surround sound format DTS:X as well, and can be upgraded to Auro-3D.de_avrX6200w_e2_sp_st_bg001_cl_hi8JPEG

All new Denon AVRs this year are equipped as standard with the latest HDMI version including full 4K Ultra HD support and HDCP 2.2 capability on all HDMI inputs for future-proofness. The AVR-X6200W is expected to be available in October 2015 at authorised Denon retailers.

The AVR-X6200W has a 9 channel amplifier with 205 watts per channel packed in a discrete monolithic amplifier design with custom made DHCT (Denon High Current Transistors). It also features Denon’s own D.D.S.C.-HD (Dynamic Discrete Surround Circuit High Definition) circuit with AL24 Processing Plus, supported by the use of high quality D/A Converters.

Denon Link HD Connection is provided for jitter-free transmission from a supporting Denon Blu-ray Player. Thanks to its 11.2 channel processing capability, the AVR-X6200W offers huge flexibility and adding an additional 2-channel power amplifier for example, it can run a unique Dolby Atmos experience up to 7.1.4 or 9.1.2 configurations. Through a free-of-charge firmware update later in 2015, brand new DTS:X and DTS Neural:X upmixer will be added, so can Auro-3D sound processing engine be added for another 3D sound experience (a fee is charged). The nine amplifier channels can be used to either experience one of the new 3D sound formats, or to bring the same or different audio signal to a second or third zone in the home. Thanks to a 13.2ch pre-out section, an RS232 port and flexible amp assignment options, the AVR-X6200W takes good care about custom installers in regards to multi-zone listening and home automation.de_avrx6200w_e2_sp_re_bg001_hiJPG

Audyssey MultEQ XT32 (Pro ready) room equalization program including Audyssey Dynamic Volume, Dynamic EQ, Sub EQ HT and LFC (Low Frequency Containment), to perfectly tailor the sound to the owner’s room characteristics and personal taste.

With in total 8 HDMI 2.0a inputs (including one on the front) and 3 outputs, the AVR’s video section is ready to take over full control of literally all modern devices such as Blu-ray players, media players, video cameras and more at the same time. Of course it includes full compatibility with the latest HDCP 2.2 specification required for 4K Ultra HD copy-protected content. The AVR-X6200W further supports full rate 4K Ultra HD video along with 4:4:4 Pure Colour sub-sampling, HDR and BT.2020 pass-through. And if that is not enough, the powerful video processor to upconvert standard definition and high definition video sources to full rate 4K Ultra HD resolution.

Thanks to the three HDMI outputs, you can enjoy a surround movie in the main room and a separate stereo program with video from a different source in the second room. The AVR-X6200W is also certified by the Imaging Science Foundation for video quality, and is equipped with the full suite of ISFccc advanced video calibration controls.de_avrx6200w_bk_ot_bg003_hiJPG

The AVR-X6200W comes with built-in Bluetooth for music streaming from a smartphone, and Wi-Fi to easily connect to a home network. Once connected, the AVR opens up the home to unlimited music source and playback options, including Apple AirPlay, network attached storage devices (NAS), Internet Radio and Spotify Connect (where available; subscription required). High Resolution audio files like FLAC, AIFF or DSD are also supported.

The AVR-X6200W will be available in an elegant Premium Silver and Black colour finish with a SRP of £1,799.

 

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The name of this French DAC/PRE derives from the word étalon, meaning standard, or measuring device. Dominic Marsh gets to grips with the 7530 unit and spills some blood for his art. More »

Hifi Pig readers of a certain age will know Dean Friedman from at least two songs – Lucky Star and Ariel.  Readers of a younger vintage may know him from Half Man Half Biscuit’s song The Bastard Son Of Dean Friedman. More »

John Scott dusts off his copy of Love’s Forever Changes album.

“Forever Changes was reputedly named from a story that Lee had heard about a friend of a friend who had broken up with his girlfriend. “
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OK, hands up, cards on the table….I’m a huge Neil Young fan and genuinely can’t think of a record he’s made that I don’t love, even the much maligned Trans really does it for me and I reckon Daft Punk et al may well have been taking a listen to that particular record…then again perhaps not.

The Monsanto Years is Young as I like him best – electrified, rocking, belligerent and rallying against all that he sees wrong in the world. More »

We’ve just had news sent in about the upcoming Salon Hifi in Lyon (France) in the 7th and 8th of November.salon-hifi-lyon-7-et-8-novembre-2015

The show will open for both days at 9.30, close its doors at 19.00 and takes  place at the Pavillon De La Rotonde, Avenue Georges Bassinet, 69260 Charbonnière les Bains. There’s loads of great brands going to be there including:

-Amare Musica
-Ayon Audio
-Bada
-Bergmann Audio
-B&W nouvelle série 800 D3
-Esprit High End

-Franc Audio
-Karan Acoustics
-Métronome Technologie
-Solidsteel
-Torus
-Verity Audio
-YBA
-Wilson Audio
-Wilson Benesch
-Wood Link

 

So, if you find yourself in the region make a date in your diary for this one.

 

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Hands up, this is the first time I’ve come across this sixty six year old “stalwart” of the rock-blues industry, but apparently he’s responsible for founding New Zealand’s La De Das and Australia’s The Party Boys. Missing Borich out of my music may well have been a bit of a mistake!! More »

New Born City is the follow up to McCullagh’s 2013 North South Divide record and has been out in the UK since early May. The record is produced by John Power (Cast) and includes the singles Towerland Lullaby, Box Of Tricks and She’s Calling.

McCullagh says he influences include Donovan, Bolan, Weller and Johnny Cash and he has been playing guitar and harmonica since he was twelve…he’s still a youngen. More »

I first came across Jens-Uwe Beyer with one of his tracks on the excellent Pop Ambient series on Kompakt and The Emissary marks the artists first full length outing under his own name. More »

Classic Albums, John Scott takes a look at that perennial favourite Astral Weeks by Van (The Man) Morrsison… More »

Garry Wise is the Managing Director of Kleio Audio Limited a UK start up manufacturer  whose goal is to “reinvent high-end audio”. Hifi Pig caught up with the very busy Gary to find out what makes him tick. More »

Linette gets that Christmas morning feeling and a girl crush…or does she?

“I have a confession to make. I have a bit of a girl crush on Alex Polizzi…..no, not like that, put away your filthy minds….I mean I’d like to be her friend, hang out with her a bit, I think she’s really cool”.

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Ian Ringstead gets all biblical about his love affair with the black stuff.

“I then had an epiphany moment and saw the light. Turntables were being written about again in the hifi mag’s and manufacturers were making real efforts to produce better decks, arms and cartridges. ”
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The di322 digital audio decoder from Wadia adds expanded support for high fidelity DSD files to the Wadia line. Via the USB input, the di322 supports DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 music files. PCM files with sampling rates up to 32-bit/384kHz (including DXD 352.8kHz and DXD 384kHz formats) can also be played through the USB input. With the addition of DSD support, digital music lovers can experience and enjoy some of the latest high resolution music. Its 2 optical and 2 coaxial inputs accept music with resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz, while the DIN input will allow future Wadia models to connect to the di322 at high performance levels. A pair of variable balanced and unbalanced audio outputs connects the di322 to your amplifier. A high power headphone jack addition is useful for those times when you want a more intimate listening experience. A modern design with a glass top panel and aluminium construction adds to its aesthetic beauty. The di322 can be combined with other Wadia units such as the m330 media server and a315 or a340 amplifiers for a complete system solution.

Wadia_di322_news_240915_A

Technical Specification

Frequency Response
+/-0.5dB from 4Hz to 20,000Hz, +0.5/-3dB from 4Hz to 68,000Hz (Source dependent)
Total Harmonic Distortion
0.002%
Variable Output Level
0 – 4.0Vrms Unbalanced, 0- 8.0Vrms Balanced
Signal To Noise Ratio (A-Weighted)
110dB
Dynamic Range
100dB
Output Impedance
600 ohms (Unbalanced and Balanced)
Headphone Load Impedance
20 to 600 ohmsWadia_di322_news_240915_B

Digital Input Signal Format
Coaxial and Optical Inputs – SPDIF (PCM)USB Input – PCM, DSD
Digital Input Sample Rate
Coaxial and Optical: 32kHz, 44.1kHz to 192kHz, 24-Bit
USB: 32kHz, 44.1kHz to 384kHz, 32-Bit (PCM), DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, DXD352.8kHz, DXD384kHz
Digital Inputs
Coaxial 1 and 2: 0.5V p-p/75 ohms, Optical 1 and 2: -15dbm to -21dbm (TOS Link), USB: USB Type B Connector
Power Requirements
100-240 Volts, 50/60Hz at 30 Watts, Standby: Less than 0.5 watt
Overall Dimensions
Width is 17-7/8 inches (45.4cm), Height is 3-3/8 inches (8.6cm) including feet, Depth is 20 inches (50.8cm) including cables
Weight
25 pounds (11.4 kg)

Available to order from Wadia dealers now with a suggested retail price for the di322 of $3,500 USD (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded).

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WAY cables hail from Serbia. Dominic Marsh checks out two of their offerings in the form of their Silver 2 and Silver 4 Interconnects.   More »

The Ophidian Audio Minimo loudspeakers are miniscule, but with some innovative technology inside. Ian Ringstead cuts a rug with theses £700 tiny dancers. More »

Rick Danko was a supremely accomplished vocalist, bass player and sometime mandolin and guitar player with The Band. His voice blended brilliantly with that of Levon Helm and Richard Manuel to produce one of the most influential and emotive of sounds in the history of rock and roll.Danko

Like Helm and Manuel, Danko is no longer with us, but the man and his music is celebrated on a 1,000 Copy limited edition 4CD set of live recordings from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Some recordings are solo, others feature Manuel and Paul Butterfield. The sets have some warm and intimate readings of Band favourites such as Stage Fright, Chest Fever, King Harvest (Has Surely Come), It Makes No Difference, Unfaithful Servant, Blind Willie McTell and many others, as well as a raft of Blues, Country and rock and roll favourites.

The recordings can’t help but be tinged with a bittersweet quality; Danko never really reaped the rewards that his talent deserved. The set consists of sound desk recordings which have been digitally remastered. Out November 20th

Following the success of the 2015 North West Audio Show we are pleased to announce The Show will be held over two great venues in 2016 – Hifi Pig is the official and exclusive media partner for this show.

The venues will be Wychwood Hall and Cranage Hall and once again the organisers have strived to keep everything free for visitors. This means FREE PARKING, FREE ENTRY and even a FREE SHUTTLE BUS between the two venues which will run hourly.

Visitors to last year’s show will know how great a venue Cranage Hall is but for those that don’t it is a superb hotel and conference venue, hidden away in 20 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens in the heart of Cheshire’s stunning countryside.

The hotel effortlessly combines a modern conference centre, training and events venue with an idyllic location for a wedding, family break or weekend away in Cheshire.CranageExteriorIG_1SML-2000x629

Wychwood Park offers light and airy accommodation with a vibrant atmosphere, all packaged in contemporary style.

The Park is surrounded by a beautiful PGA European-tour standard golf course with wonderful views of the undulating Cheshire countryside, enough to keep even the most traditional golfer beaming with pleasure. Wychwood Park is a short distance from junction 16 of the M6 and has fast rail links to Manchester, Birmingham and London.ZYCH1

Make a date for your diary now and book your FREE ticket  for 9.30am until 7pm  at Wychwood Hall & Cranage Hall on Sunday 26th June 2016.

 

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McIntosh Laboratory has launched the new C47, a flexible 12-input digital preamp that combines contemporary technology with the core values of the brand. The C47 has been designed to offer huge flexibility with both digital and analogue source components.

It offers a high-quality built-in phono stage for the direct connection of turntables, an advanced headphone stage with McIntosh’s proprietary Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®), plus four digital inputs.

The C47 is compatible with the latest high-resolution audio formats via its USB input, including DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 along with DXD 352.8kHz; its twin optical and single coaxial inputs can decode at up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution. For optimum SACD playback, the C47 preamp can also connect digitally to McIntosh’s recently launched  MCT450  SACD/CD transport via its ‘MCT input’, creating a secure, custom DSD connection.

For analogue sources, the C47 includes two balanced and three unbalanced (fully assignable) inputs, plus Moving Coil and Moving Magnet phono inputs. All inputs are available all of the time – even those that have been assigned to individual devices, giving genuine flexibility of configuration.

With such a wide variety of source component connectivity, the C47 sensibly offers bass and treble tone controls for fine tuning. Further features include the aforementioned Headphone Crossfeed Director (HXD®), which brings an added dimension to headphone listening, while the C47’s Home Theatre Pass Through feature permits seamless integration into multichannel A/V systems.

The C47 incorporates classic McIntosh design cues, including a black glass front panel, an illuminated logo and brushed-aluminium end caps. It combines McIntosh’s contemporary solid-state preamplifier circuitry with a full complement of inputs and is perfectly suited to exploiting the full potential of today’s digital devices, while delivering the legendary McIntosh sound quality. Like all McIntosh products, the C47 is handcrafted in the Binghamton factory (New York) and boasts classic 1950s styling with contemporary features and technology.

 

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KJ West One say they are delighted to be hosting the UK launch of Harbeth’s “best-ever loudspeaker”. The Monitor 40.2 will be unveiled by designer Alan Shaw in the New Cavendish Street store on Saturday 24 October.

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet the Harbeth owner and designer, and listen to the loudspeaker and are encouraged to bring along their favourite recordings for use on the day.Hqrbeth40lqunch

« In the M40.2, Harbeth has produced the biggest leap forward in sonic supremacy since the brand was formed in 1977. With improved efficiency, a more transparent and engaging sound, the M40.2 takes the Harbeth experience to a new level in a wider range of listening environments. Probably the closest you will come to ‘being there’ » says the company’s recent press release.

 

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Zesto Audio Will debut their Eros 300 Monobloc amps at this year’s RMAF.eros-web

Eros 300 is a pure Class A design offering 150 watts per amp with both 4 and 8 Ohm taps. It has SpeakOn and standard loudspeaker binding posts and uses a push-pull ultra-linear design with no negative feedback.

Valve compliment per amp is a matched sextet of KT88s and two gold pin ECC82s (12AU7).eros-back-web

Each unit is handmade in the USA and costs $19 900 per pair.

 

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Another rant from Stu, this time about recent legislation in the UK regarding making back ups. “So what, given this new ruling am I supposed to do if and when my hard-drive goes belly up and refuses to let me at my precious music files?” 
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Trenner & Friedl from Germany and makers of a range of six loudspeakers have revamped their website.T&F-website-screenshot-4

This new website is now the company’s Mark IV version and is a complete new design offering:

  • Flexible and simple structure.
  • Completely responsive and therefore compatible for all screen sizes.
  • Optimized also for mobile devices and pads!
  • Since we they now more than 20 years in the market, they have introduced an archive which includes all otheir past series of loudspeaker.
  • Close-ups which describes special features and concepts of their products
  • And whenever you reopen the website, it will have a new look, because of the randomly changed title images

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Romanian manufacturer Rockna Audio say they are proud to announce their new Wavedream DAC series.

There are 2 main models in the Wavedream series omprising of:

  • Edition (featuring Rockna RD-1 discrete DAC modules)
  • Signature (featuring Rockna RD-0 discrete dac modules).WD-SIG-TOP

Each version can be ordered in single ended or balanced configuration and In addition to the Femtovox clock system, both Edition and Signature benefit from a new discrete output stage and improved power supply section.
RD-1 module has a 26-bit ladder structure, while RD-0 is a 27 bit ladder structure. Both are FPGA-based, meaning they have their own (upgradable) firmware.WD-SIG-TOPS

New Wavedream firmware will feature a new powerful upsampler (custom made using DSP blocks) to 768k (apodizing response) and will add DSD256 support.

 

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Cabasse is introducing new colours to the MT32 range of loudspeakers to bring contemporary finishes to the range. The MT32 range will now be available in a gloss white and gloss black to bring the modern look to the speakers.JERSEY mt32 GB-GW overview HD2

The MT32 range includes four models, for use in two-channel or multi-channel systems: the Alderney and Jersey floorstanders, Antigua stand-mount model, Socoa centre channel and a complementary active subwoofer, the Orion.

Christophe Cabasse comments, “The MT 32 range is perfectly faithful to the Cabasse principles of coherency between direct and reflected sounds, respect of timbre and dynamic range, deep and stable soundstage, musicality and live-sound. Be it the radio, internet, high definition networked audio files or multichannel tracks on the home cinema, all formats have been taken into account, in order to offer, each and every time, musicality, precision and realism.” He concludes, “Now the range has more colours to choose from, they are sure to fit perfectly in any surrounding”.

 

Prices                                                 MSRP (inc. VAT)

Alderney MT32 (floorstanding)           £1199 per pair in glossy black/white or ebony/walnut

Jersey MT32 (floorstanding):              £899 per pair in glossy black/white or ebony/walnut

Antigua MT32 (stand mount):             £499 per pair in glossy black/white or ebony/walnut

Socoa MT32 (centre channel):           £339 per unit in glossy black/white or ebony/walnut

 

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The Clarity Alliance has returned from a hugely successful National Audio Show, having presented its “Best of Show Awards”, overseen the popular seminar sessions, showcased its members products and staged the sell out UK exclusive preview of “Queen: The Studio Collection”.

After very careful consideration, the following exhibitors were nominated and winners selected:

“Best Demonstration”

Mike Valentine (winner)

Queen

Entotem

Awards_Valentine

“Most Innovative”

Townshend Audio (winner)

Devialet

Kog Audio – MelcoAwards_Townshend

 

“Best Presented Room”

Devlialet (winner)

Queen

Audio EmotionAwards_Devialet

“Best Stand in Open Areas”

Harmen Audio (winner)

High End Headphones

Snugs

“Overall Best of Show”

dCS (winner)

Hi-Fi Hangar

Queen

Devialet

The show organisers presented Henley Designs with an award for the “Best Pre Show Marketing” by an exhibitor.Awards_Henley

Clarity was also responsible for the presentation of the very popular series of seminars that ran throughout the weekend. The presenters, Simon Dalton of Russ Andrews, Nick Allen from AudioQuest and David Shevyn of GIK Acoustics, spoke on topics as diverse as: “What Are You Listening For?”, “Computer Audio Demystified” and “The Importance of Acoustic Treatment for Listening Rooms”.Queen 4

Members of Clarity also took advantage of the opportunity to display their latest products in the “Clarity Members’ Showcase”. Entotem, GIK Acoustics, Mitchell and Johnson, Fanthorpes, Cabasse, MBAco, Heed Audio, Kleio and Parasound all reported that a great reception was received for their displays from the show visitors – a clear demonstration of the worth of this tangible benefit of their Clarity membership.

Presenting the UK exclusive preview of “Queen: The Studio Collection” to the show goers brought a real sense of drama to the occasion and a whole new audience to the National Audio Show. Promoted to the audiophile audience that Universal Music wanted to reach for the launch of the 18 disc vinyl box set and via the Queen Fan Club, the original two performances quickly sold out and had to be boosted by the addition of two more equally popular sessions. Clarity manufacturer and distributor members supplied the playback equipment, including the colossal PMC MB2 XBD-A active monitors as used at Abbey Road Studios for the vinyl mastering process, which enabled the audience of around 400 people, over the course of the weekend, to hear every nuance and detail of the meticulously re-mastered 15 studio albums. Phil Hansen, Clarity marketing director, presented the sessions, with the invaluable assistance of Mike Bonnette from The Multi-Room Company, plus Ralph Ward and Kieran Pickaver from Henley Designs.

Laurence Armstrong, chairman of The Clarity Alliance, said, “We are very proud to have once again been able to recognise the hard work put in by the exhibitors through our ‘Best of Show’ awards. And, in a clear statement of Clarity’s independence and desire to be seen to be working for the good of the whole industry, it is great to see that each of the very worthy winners is in fact not a Clarity member, although we’d love them to join of course!” He continues, “Our relationship with the National Audio Show is going from strength to strength as we continue to help make the show into the must-attend event of the hi-fi calendar. This year we enhanced our offering by taking a much bigger room for the members’ showcase, staging three fantastic seminars each day, booking a really good band for the evening entertainment and putting on what is probably the single biggest attraction seen at any hi-fi show with the launch of Queen’s new box set.”

 

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Classé has announced the expansion of its popular Sigma series to include a new monaural amplifier. The first three Sigma series models, launched earlier this year, were designed to deliver a compelling performance and feature set at prices below the entry level of other high-end brands but within easy reach for anyone considering the top-of-the-line offerings of more mainstream companies. The Sigma MONO broadens the appeal of the Sigma range with a powerful amplifier, conservatively rated at 350W into 8 ohms and 700W into 4 ohms.SigmaMono_front

“In the short time they’ve been available, our proprietary Sigma series amplifier designs have been showered with praise from numerous audio critics and consumers worldwide, “said Dave Nauber, President of Classé. “The Sigma MONO builds on this innovative platform, pushing the performance to heights that surprised even us – and we’re pretty hard to surprise!  SigmaMono_gut_white

The pure, effortless sound that is the hallmark of the Sigma MONO derives from an unlikely source: a massive switch mode power supply,” . “Critical portions of the amplifier’s circuitry surpass what is available in the two- and five-channel Sigma models. A new analogue input stage, modifications to the operation of the output stage, and new output filters are employed to optimize the performance of this high-powered monaural amplifier.”SigmaMono-back_white

A special pass-thru feature allows the input signal to be forwarded to a second amplifier for bi-amplifying or to drive a subwoofer amplifier. This allows the amplifiers to be located closer to each speaker: a single long interconnect can be used to connect the preamp to the first amp, followed by a short interconnect to the second Sigma MONO – or even a third and a fourth.

The US retail price for the Sigma MONO is $4,000, with availability in October.

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“One possession that I really hold dear is my Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference, a turntable so modern and iconic that it had its own place in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A Clockwork Orange”. More »