Nikki Lane’s 2014 album All Or Nothin’ fused country songwriting with Spectoresque Be My Baby drums, glam rock handclaps and Muscle Shoals electric piano.  Tonight, there are no drums, no piano; just Nikki and her Fender acoustic with back up from special guest Jonathan Tyler on guitar and harmonica but Lane’s rock and roll attitude shines through. More »

In this months Views Of Stu, Stuart Smith takes us on a rambling personal journey through his relationship with vinyl.View_MFA_Spons More »

Following the recent tragic demise of Prince, John Scott takes a look at what he considers The Artist Formerly Known As’ masterpiece, Sign O The Times. More »

The Audio Barn in Old Harlow, Essex got in touch with Hifi Pig to tell us about a great sounding event they have coming up on the 13th and 14th May. It’s a Clearaudio/Larsen open day but with a twist. Clearaudio Concept Wood MC

They’ll be featuring the Clearaudio Concept (Pictured) and Performance DC turntables through Naims SuperNait integrated amplifier, and then through Larsen 6 & 8 Loudspeakers and anyone attending on the Friday evening or Saturday will be entered into a free prize draw!  The winner will be recipient of a Clearaudio Turntable Carekit Professional worth £120!

But it’s not all turntables and loudspeakers as on the Friday evening, Toby Webster of The Black Dog Wine Company in North Weald will be downstairs offering wine tastings. He has been working with small, often artisan-scale winemakers for over 30 years, and will have available to informally taste a selection of half a dozen or so delicious and original wines from his portfolio. Nice! 

On the Friday evening the event opens at 4pm and will finish around 8pm (later if demand dictates) with the Clearaudio Concept, Naim SuperNait and Larsen 8 speakers being the main event, whilst on the Saturday the event kicks off with a presentation of the system previous system with Larsen 6 speakers by Sound Fowndations Chris Green followed by some tech chat and the opportunity for visitors to play their own vinyl on the system.

Sponsorship button

 

In the first of her series of articles looking at turntable designs that could have taken off, Janine Elliot looks at a clever doodad from the days of 78s from Garrard called The World Record, created by Noel Pemberton-Billing, the chap that set up Supermarine Aircraft Company which made the iconic Spitfire of World War II. More »

Ian Ringstead looks at the resurgence of the big black disc. More »

In this month’s Bird’s Eye View Linette Smith looks at the possible effects of Britain leaving the European Union (Brexit) on the UK’s Hifi Industry. TQBIRDSSPONSOR More »

The North West Audio Show is now in its third year and has proved itself to be a must for anyone interested in quality home audio and music.

TWO GREAT VENUES 

This year the North West Audio Show takes place on Sunday 26th June over two fantastic venues, Cranage Hall and Wychwood Park. Both venues have been chosen for their wonderful facilities, ease of access and free parking. Wychwood_f_d_04


LoungeIG4USEOFW-2000x772FREE ACCESS

Unlike most other audio shows, the North West Audio Show does not charge visitors an entry fee to either venue and we’ve even gone as far as to provide a shuttle bus service between the two hotels so people attending the show need not miss any of the fabulous audio gear on demonstration. 

SOMETHING FOR EVERY BUDGET 

As well as high-end audio there’ll be plenty to suit all budgets at this years show, so whether you are just starting out on your audio journey, or are a seasoned audiophile, this is the show for you.

BESPOKE APP 

Visitors to this year’s North West Audio Show will have the opportunity to download a free app to their mobile device that will help them navigate the show and enable them to access special offers and deals on the day.

LIVE MUSIC cn29

Of course the main attraction to this kind of show is the kit, but there’s much more to see and do at North West Audio Show with live music and special attractions on the day.

Hifi Pig are the exclusive media partner for this great event and will of course be there on the day.

 

Sponsorship button

Hifi Pig has just received the following message from Music, the parent company of Tannoy.

MUSIC announces proposed TANNOY redundancies and possible closure of its Coatbridge Plant

MUSIC has today announced that it proposes to dismiss as redundant around 70 staff at its manufacturing and office facility in Coatbridge, Scotland. The company is about to enter into a process of collective consultation with all affected employees, but in the event that the redundancies are confirmed following consultation, the Coatbridge facility would cease operations completely. In this event, the TANNOY loudspeaker production would be transferred to MUSIC’s new three million square-foot manufacturing plant in Zhongshan, China, with its research & development and marketing activities being relocated to MUSIC’s Innovation centre in Manchester, UK.

The announcement was made to employees today by SVP, Lifestyle & Home, Peter Sommer:

“Following an extensive evaluation of our operational and financial structure, we have taken the difficult decision to propose that the staff in our TANNOY manufacturing and office facility in Coatbridge are dismissed as redundant, which, if confirmed would see the facility closed. Whilst this is a challenging time, I would like to thank our TANNOY employees for their immense dedication and loyalty over the years, which I feel confident, will not be diminished even as we approach the forthcoming period of collective consultation.”

Following this announcement all sales, order and delivery processes remain unaffected.

Sponsorship button

Analogue Works, whose turntable we use on a daily basis, are showing all of their turntables in Atrium 4, Level 2, Room F217 along with Rogue Audio amplification and EgglestonWorks loudspeakers at this year’s High End Show.

IMG_9627a

MUNICHsponsor

.

With less than a week to go to this year’s High-End Munich Show here’s the news from the show from today.

high_end_munich_2016_crowds

New From Grimm At High End

Entotem – New Class A Plato For High End Show, Munich 2016

Estelon To Unveil Model YB AT High End

New Amps For Chord At High End

Lector Strumenti Audio At High End Munich

T+A To Launch New Products At Munich High End

Trinnov At High End

Amphion’s Argon3S At High End Munich 2016

Concrete Loudspeakers At High End

Needless to say Hifi Pig will be at the show and will be bringing you all the news of what’s cool and what is new at the show. Look out for our coverage on these pages.
Sponsorship button

 

Grimm Audio adds three new products to its catalogue, expanding their range of integrated music playback systems. The most prominent novelty is the LS1be. This loudspeaker features a new Berylium tweeter with a CNC milled aluminium waveguide, jointly developed by Grimm Audio and Seas. To match the performance of this tweeter, the amplifier and converter electronics of the LS1be received careful tweaking say the company.

Grimm Audio selected Hi-Macs for the new cabinets, a modern and very rigid material.

Counterweighting the treble performance, a new LS1s-dmf subwoofer was added for the low end. Mechatronics expert Rob Munnig Schmidt developed a Digital Motional Feedback system that, by means of feedback from an accelerometer on the cone, “reduces distortion by a 30 times”.Grimm_high_end_munich

To offer the LS1 quality to a broader audience, Grimm Audio introduces the LS1a. This is a more cost effective sibling of the LS1, where the company focussed on maintaining all important aspects that make up the LS1, and compromising only in areas where this was passable.

Visit their room E118 at Munich High End 2016

MUNICHsponsor

Entotem say they are pleased to announce an addition to their Plato product range – The Class A amplifier Plato. This new power amplifier enhances Plato’s multi award winning sound while still providing all the features of the Plato Control App – all within the one unit.

Entotem have made a number of software and hardware enhancements to their existing Class B design to achieve this unique approach:

  • They have increased the size of the base plate and made other key hardware changes to manage heat.
  • They have enhanced the PCB layout to eliminate interference and amended some key components to support the highest audio quality.
  • They have modified the output transistor configuration to enable full Class A operation, eliminating crossover distortion.Entotem_plato_munich_high_end

Even with the above changes Entotem say that heat is still a challenge and so they have significantly improved the power efficiency of their approach to output transistor biasing. By sampling the input signal in the digital domain Entotem are able to continuously modify and scale the output transistor biasing so that it can provide full instantaneous Class A operation.

Entotem have already launched Plato Lite early in 2016 and this is intended for all those people who already have HiFi Equipment, but want to take advantage of Plato’s vinyl recording and music streaming capabilities

Entotem released an iOS App in February 2016 to support the remote operation and playing of Plato by both iPADs and IPhones.  The iOS app will have a different user interface to the Android version and will be familiar to Apple users. This first release will provide the majority of the functions that can be accessed by Android devices, with a further release due in 2016 to enable full matching of the functionality.

Another introduction to Plato’s functionality is the integration of a high-resolution music download service from High Res Audio. This was launched in February 2016 and the service will now show as an additional main menu option within the Plato control App.  Once a High Res Audio user account has been opened, the user will be able to search for Hi-Res Albums and tracks and when the download has been purchased store it directly into the media library within Plato, to be then selected for local play or streaming throughout the home.

Plato users will be able to copy any music or video stored on Plato to any other device that can be located on the home network that also has a Plato App i.e. tablet or phone.  This will be for Android devices now and for iOS devices later in 2016. This allows greater flexibility for Plato users to enjoy their media and to make it portable with them if they leave the house. Entotem have also made enhancements to the video search and overall video experience after feedback from customers and these new enhancements are now available.

When Entotem launched Plato in 2015 the company committed that the Plato App would develop over time and customers would be able to leverage their investment in Plato by accessing new developments, and these announcements are evidence of that commitment.

The Plato system along with the new Plato app developments can be seen throughout the first half of 2016 at shows and exhibitions in UK and Europe.

Dave Belcher, Entotem’s Development Director says “ The iOS app has been a major project for Entotem that we started in the autumn last year and we expect to complete the full range of what Plato can do to be released for our iOS customers early in 2016 as the major part of the project has now been delivered.”

Plato can now be found at selected Hifi Stores in the UK as well as in Germany, where a distributor has been appointed to sell Plato. Other countries are being investigated and in particular the USA and Canada.

During the High End Show in May Entotem will be providing a variety of demonstrations featuring the full Plato range and visitors will get the chance to meet the technical team that built such an innovative product. Entotem will also be able to update visitors to the show on our further plans around streaming services and the other exciting new product developments we are working on to be launched later in 2016.

 

MUNICHsponsor

Atlas Cables from Scotland will be showcasing its wide range of specialist audio cables at High End 2016 with some new additions and exciting upgrades.

Taking centre stage is the totally new Hyper dd, which takes the dd (dual drain) technology from its range-topping Asimi, Mavros and Ascent cables to deliver a cable with “high end performance at a measured price”.  Available with either Atlas’ proprietary Ultra RCA, XLR or Din connections, all of which are solder-free to maintain the integrity and consistent low impedance of the cable from connection to connection, the new Hyper dd is a high performance multi core cable compatible across a wide-range of audio systems.HIgh8end8;unich8Qtlqs

Where a more discrete cable is required, Atlas has also developed the Hyper dd Duo.  Utilising Hyper’s balanced core conductor, where two twisted pairs of identical, high efficiency OCC conductors are combined within a SINGLE shielded outer PVC cover to allow connection of twin RCA’s to a single run, Hyper dd Duo is for use within cabinets or for custom installation applications.

Also on show in Munch will be Atlas’ new Grun (from the German for green and the Scottish for ground) grounding cable range plus a range of new accessories.  Atlas will also be displaying a wide range of its current products, including the flagship Asimi Ultra.

MUNICHsponsor

David Robson takes these relatively budget-minded cables from Scottish manufacturer Atlas out for a drive both individually and as a full loom set up.  More »

Estelon are unveiling of the Y-Series débutante loudspeakers, the Model YB, to be conducted at High End Show in Munich (May 5-8) at the MOC; Atrium 4; Room F216.
estalon_high_end_munich
“Hand-crafted in the atelier of Alfred Vassilkov, Model YB seamlessly combines exceptionally rich, natural life-like sound and the exquisite Estelon aesthetic design” says the company who never fail to impress at High End.

MUNICHsponsor

Chord Electronics is showing two new proprietary-tech amplifiers at High End 2016, including the highly anticipated complementary power amp for the Hugo TT DAC (Room C122, Atrium 3) 

The TToby is a new desktop stereo power amplifier designed to complement the Hugo TT DAC (pictured) and take advantage of its digital preamp functionality. The TToby has been created using the same form factor as the Hugo TT and its introduction enables desktop audio lovers to create a Chord system where space is tight.

The new TToby (around £2,995 and available August/late summer) will offer Chord’s proprietary amplifier technology and deliver 130 watts into a four-ohm load. The Hugo TT and TToby combination, allows music lovers to enjoy the benefits of Chord’s DAC technology via headphones and loudspeakers, giving complete flexibility within busy households. TToby offers both balanced and unbalanced inputs to complement the Hugo TT’s outputs, and benefits from Chord’s famous switch-mode power supplies.HugoTT_CES20158CHORD

The new SPM1050MkII is a 200-watt stereo power amp which introduces a raft of internal upgrades, plus a number of aesthetic improvements over its predecessor. The new MkII version, which will be priced at £4,995 and is available now, benefits from reduced output distortion and improvements to capacitance for a bigger, cleaner power delivery, says the companys recent press release.

The new SPM1050MkII uses the latest low-distortion amplifier circuitry and features four proprietary lateral-structure dual-die MOSFETs, enabling the amp to drive a wide range of difficult loudspeaker loads. The MkII version also includes greater isolation on the mains transformer, to reduce interference.

Aesthetic improvements include a new vented aluminium lid, akin to the DSX1000 streamer, plus a new piano-black side panel option over the Integra legs, giving the power amp a fresh, contemporary look. The amp will be performing at High End alongside the flagship DAVE DAC/preamp, using Bowers and Wilkins 803 D3s — it should be quite a performance!

 

MUNICHsponsor

Clearaudio have been engaged in ongoing research into moving coil (MC) technology since 1978. Still, their design team found themselves facing quite a challenge when tasked with developing a brand new cartridge that would improve on the existing entry-level Concept MC, but without breaking a key price point, says the company’s latest press release. Clearaudio Essence MC square

Like the Concept MC, the Essence MC’s body is constructed from a high-density aluminium-magnesium alloy, which is then coated with a ceramic layer to minimize resonance.

Meanwhile, the boron cantilever, microline stylus and Clearaudio-patented moving coil generator with its hand-selected high-performance magnets have each been subjected to rigorous scrutiny in order to achieve tighter tolerances. The result they say is “improved dynamic performance, higher resolution and channel matching of better than 0.5 dB”.

The Essence MC will partner with almost any MC phonostage at a price that won’t break the bank. Its angular body shape with centre line at the front makes it easy to align, while threaded holes mean that you don’t have to fiddle with screws and nuts. It comes with a full cover stylus guard.

Technical specifications

 

Construction Aluminum-magnesium alloy with ceramic surface layer;

microline stylus; boron cantilever; OFC copper coils

Frequency response 20 Hz – 40 kHz
Output voltage 0.4 mV at 5 cm/s
Recommended tracking force 2.0 g (+/- 0.2 g)
Channel separation > 32 dB
Channel difference (balance) < 0.3 dB
Compliance 9/9 μ/mN
Cartridge impedance 11 Ω
Total weight 8.0 g
Warranty 2 years (provided warranty card completed and returned to Clearaudio within specified timescale)

 

The Clearaudio Essence MC is available now priced at £795 (including VAT).

 

Sponsorship button

Lector Strumenti Audio will be presenting their new “R-series” at this year’s High-End Munich and you will have the opportunity to enjoy their products in their demo room, in a relaxing environment, “with a bit of Italian taste”. The demo room will be booth R01 demo room P03, Halle 4,  at the High End Exhibition.Lector_Strumenti_Audio_high_end_munich

Lector Strumenti Audio has been pioneering hybrid technology since 1982, designing and introducing in the market the very first tube-based, Audio CD player and DAC back in 1989. Ever since, their product  portfolio has been growing.

MUNICHsponsor

 

The High-End show in Munich is always a big event for T+A and 2016 is no exception, with this year’s show seeing the launch of the all new E-Series 1000 audio electronics and a totally new range of loudspeakers – Pulsar.Munich_high_end_T+A

The All New 1000 R Series consists of three products – R 1000 E music receiver, PA 1000 E integrated amplifier and MP 1000 E DAC / network client.  Featuring the latest music streaming technology (including integrated streaming apps such as TIDAL, DEEZER and qobuz) and digital audio technology, the all-new E-Series 1000 showcases T+A’s long heritage of combining the latest digital audio technology with trusted analogue audio techniques.

T+A has a long heritage of creating exceptional loudspeakers and this year’s High End see’s the launch of the all new Pulsar 20 range.  Featuring a floorstanding model (ST 20) and stand mount model (R 20), each model is finished in black or white high gloss lacquer.

You’ll find them in Atrium 3 – Room D 102 and D 105

 

MUNICHsponsor

French firm Trinnov that designs and manufactures preamplifiers and processors featuring loudspeaker/room optimization and 3D sound technologies  will be at the High End Munich show next week in Atrium 4.0 / F203. Trinnov-Altitude32_front-black-half

The company say they are looking forward to the event and will be demoing the following kit. The Altitude32, their flagship AV Preamplifier will be used as network streamer preamplifier, 4-way active crossover, loudspeaker/room Optimizer and DAC. It will feed 8x Mola-Mola Kaluga mono blocks which will power a pair of Vivid Audio Giya G2 loudspeakers.

 

MUNICHsponsor