Paradox Audio hail from Oslo in Norway and headed by Tore Magnus Wilhelmsen, founded early in the year 2010.  They produce a range of cables aimed squarely at the high end of the market and the company’s tagline is “Probably the world’s most honest cables”. Dominic Marsh plumbs them into his system. More »

31. May 2016 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Matt Peddle and a number of his colleagues at The Chord Company are preparing to climb the 3 peaks in order to raise money and awareness for STARS – Helping people with Syncope, Blackouts & Reflex Anoxic Seizures, a charity that provides support and guidance to people suffering from Reflex Syncope, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome and Reflex Anoxic Seizures.Ramblingbustards

They’ve chosen STARS because Matt’s two and a half year old daughter has recently been diagnosed with RAS (Reflex Anoxic Seizures) and their aim is to increase awareness of this condition and also raise money for the STARS charity who research the condition.

Follow the link for more details. Any donations would be hugely appreciated and please share the link to help raise awareness!

Click this link or the logo above to donate! 

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Scansonic are Danish and share the same parent company as Raidho, indeed they share the same designer. The M-5 loudspeakers are a small standmount costing £399 without stand and unusually at this price point sport a ribbon tweeter. Ian Ringstead puts them through their paces.  More »

Scott Wainwright hails from Barnsley, as do I, and so I was really keen to give this album a listen. He describes himself on his Facebook profile as “Maverick Blues, Gospel and Hip Hop Musician. Husband and Father. Thinker, Optimist, Man of Faith” and if anything I’d have added “a bit quirky” to that list too. I follow Scott on Facebook and he never seems not to be playing a gig somewhere or other and he’s going to be playing at the North West Audio Show at the end of June too and I’m really looking forward to seeing him live. More »

Eunice Kron heads up KR Audio Electronics located in Prauge, Czech Republic, a manufacturer of hand-crafted, high quality tubes (all glass is hand blown) and audio equipment. Hifi Pig goes Behind The Brands with her.  More »

John Scott makes the most of the sunshine (well, it was shining when he started to write this) and listens to Linton Kwesi Johnson’s 1980 reggae classic.    More »

More ramblings and incoherent musings from Stuart; this time he questions why we aren’t all listening to pro monitors and pro amplifiers and finishes off with a mixed case of reds for good measure.View_MFA_Spons More »

Janine Elliot takes a listen to the Soundsmith Carmen Moving Iron Cartridge that is made in the US and costs £759.00. More »

The vast majority of electronic devices require a power supply, whether it is a linear power supply or the now popular switch mode power supply (SMPS). Whatever the type, we take them for granted and we rely heavily on them to power or charge all our electronics doodads. More »

Last month I looked at a turntable design from Garrard that if it had taken off might have meant no need for CDs at all, allowing as it did the possibility of up to 5 hours playing from an LP. Alas its lifetime was little more than my interest in MiniDiscs. This time round I conclude my look at turntables and arms with other ideas that could have changed the fortunes of vinyl before its revival (or should that be revinyl) in the 21st Century. More »

30. May 2016 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

It has been more than ten years since John Otway recorded an album of new songs.  Unfortunately, nothing good lasts for ever and Otway has decided that the time is right to inflict a new masterpiece upon the general public.  Otway1

Unsure whether to record the album in the leafy surrounds of Harlow or the Caribbean island paradise of Monserrat, Aylebury’s favourite pop star with more Top Of The Pops appearances than you can count on one finger elected to let his fans decide by giving them the opportunity to fund the album via a Kickstarter campaign.

Otway’s song Beware Of The Flowers (Cos I’m Sure They’re Going To Get You, Yeah) was once voted one of the greatest songs of all time in a BBC poll.  Otway has missed the opportunity to have the most successful Kickstarter campaign of all time – he could have asked people to pay for him not to record an album; that would have surely done it, but with only 2 days to go the campaign has raised more than £36,000.

There are still some great incentives to be had including having Richard Holgarth, Otway’s guitarist, teach you an Otway song of your choice so that you can then perform it at an Otway gig. Or, Otway will come to your house and teach you to play the theramin so that you can accompany him on Crazy Horses at his next gig.  Other, slightly less exciting but probably safer, options are also available.

You only have a few hours left to be part of rock history so check out Otway’s Kickstarter page now. 

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Dominic Marsh and Ian Ringstead take the very well specced £699 Pro-Ject MaiA DS integrated amplifier for a ride and rather enjoy it. OUTSTANDING PRODUCTboxred More »

Fraser Anderson has been a father, a son, a brother and a husband. All of these relationships inform his songs as he sings about love, loss and loyalty.  The ties that stretch and fray as they bind us to others.  Anderson was born in Edinburgh and cut his musical teeth as a drummer in hip hop bands.  A meeting with Scottish musical institution Dougie McLean drew him into the folk world.  Moving to France with his young family, Anderson crafted his songs while working in kitchens and on building sites, building a fan base through local gigs.  Returning to the Uk in 2013, Anderson immersed himself in Bristol’s musical melting pot.  Now with three albums behind him Anderson has released his best album yet, the crowd funded Under The Cover Of Lightness.  More »

According to Howard Massey in his excellent book “The Great British Studios”, half speed mastering originally came about when John Lennon arrived in the Apple cutting room to master his new 45 “Power To The People” and wanted it “loud”. As a result the engineers came up with the ingenious idea of cutting the disc at half speed. This meant playing back the master tape at half speed and having the cutting lathe cut at half speed too, resulting in the engineers being able to get more level on the acetate but “with much better bass too”. More »

It seems change is the only constant that we all experience. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of High Fidelity. All of us can rattle off various audio and video trends that we all thought would be with us forever only to see them gone….8 track tapes and players, cassette recorders, VHS recorders and of course Beta-Max.  Vinyl is making a big comeback people say. Truth be told, it never left for reasons we will talk about in our next article. Currently the rage is streaming services and streaming devices. You buy a new toaster most likely it will stream Pandora as you wait for your daily bread to be burned. More »

TIMBER Audio was founded by Braden Wiscombe who’s passion for guitar building inspired the design process of TIMBER Audio. The company aims to provide listeners with unique audio products that are driven by the use of wood to be aesthetically and acoustically stunning. The Prelude, the company’s first product, is an “Acoustically Beautiful” headphone made from solid wood and Aluminium, set to release on Kickstarter on June 6thPackage

For the past nine months, TIMBER Audio has been working to perfect their design of an “acoustically superior headphone, the Prelude”.

TIMBER Audio’s real advantage, says the company’s press release, is in combining the acoustic material of solid wood and the innovation of wireless connectivity. You’ll be able to connect to your smartphone or other Bluetooth capable device and free your hands from cables to listen to music or take and make phone calls.

With their KICKSTARTER release just around the corner, early-bird supporters can look forward to discount prices up to 50% off the estimated retail price of $198 to help the company reach their funding goal of $55,000 in 30 days.

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NuForce announce their BE6i wireless in-ear headphones. Optoma has just unveiled the enhanced version of its winning BE6 earphones which takes the same design but offers an battery life of up to 8 hours. The new model is also IPX5 certified making the earphones more durable and ensuring greater protection from rain and sweat. The cables you see are merely to connect the two headphones to each other! Nuforceineqrs

The new BE6i is still the only Bluetooth® in-ear headphones to be fully crafted from aluminium. In addition, the headphones feature Bluetooth with aptX® and AAC compatibility for superior quality audio streaming.

“The feedback received for the BE6 has been excellent so we’re excited to unveil the next evolution of our premium wireless in-ear headphones.” explains Joe Ahmed, Head of Marketing at Optoma EMEA.

Five sets of custom designed silicone and two sets of Comply™ soft memory foam ear tips are included so users can find their perfect fit.

NuForce BE6i earphones come in both grey and gold, and are available now.

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Electrocompaniet have announced the EC1 6DX that incorporates and integrated amplifier along with a streamer and digital to analogue conversion.The built-in streamer is said to be flexible and easy to use. It can play directly from music services such as Tidal, Qobuz and Spotify, can be fed music through AirPlay or DLNA, and it can index and play from your own music collection stored in your network. The powerful hardware ensures that all popular formats are supported (including DSD) and that continuous software upgrades can support the latest and streaming services. ECI6DX_front_med-res

The streamer shares the same DNA as the ECM 2 and the new EC Living product line. This means that you can use the same apps and interface, and play all of the same music on all units. All units will work equally well together.ECI_6DX_rear_med_res

The ECI 6DX can be operated by their iOS & Android application, the universal webinterface, or with the straightforward IR remote control.

The converter will deal with 24bit /192kHz files, has SPDIF; 2 Toslink and a USB input. The streamer section has 802.11 Wifi with MIMO a 1Gigabit Ethernet and a USB for external storage.   Supported formats are: WAV/WAVE, MP3, AAC+, Vorbis, AC3, DTS, ALAC, FLAC, APE, WMA, up to 192kHZ/24bit, DSD, up to DSD 128 (5.6 MHz)

 Specifications

Preamplifier section    
Input impedance ( Balanced input ) 47Kohm  
Maximum input level 10 Volt RMS  
Noise floor ( 1Vrms, 20 – 20 kHz, balanced) -135 dB  
THD + N   (1Vrms, 20 – 20 kHz, balanced) <0.004%  
Gain (Balanced) 0 dB  
     
Amplifier section    
Output Impedance < 0,02 Ohm  
Frequency response 1 – 150 kHz  
Channel separation > 120 dB  
THD ( 20 – 20 kHz) < 0.004%  
Maximum peak current >100A  
Damping factor  8 ohm load >350  
I Input sensitivity  120W output 1.3Vrms  
Input sensitivity HT  120W output 1Vrms  
Gain HT Input x36 (31 dB)  
Rated output power    
8 ohms 2 x 125 W  
4 ohms 2 x 200 W  
2 ohms 2 x 370 W  
 
Dimensions    
Width 465 mm / 18.3 inches  
Depth 405 mm / 16 inches  
Height 128 mm / 5 inches  
Weight 20Kg / 44 lbs.  

 

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Noble Audio, in-ear monitor specialist, has added three new solid materials to its flagship Prestige Custom In-Ear Monitor (CIEM) line. The range-topping Prestige models are hand-crafted entirely from solid mediums including exotic woods, carbon glass, genuine honeycomb and aluminium webbing, and now Noble Audio has added three new options: Pablo (pictured), Pinecone and Space Zebra. Noble Audio Prestige Pablo

Pablo is a fresh new colourful material that’s Cubist in appearance. Pinecone sees tiny pinecones carefully cast in fabulous colours for a spider-like appearance, and Space Zebra comprises thousands of layers of knitted material, cut and combined at angles.

The Prestige (solid materials) option applies to two custom-fit models from the Noble Audio range: the flagship 10-driver Kaiser 10 and the new Savant.

The Prestige process begins with digitising acrylic moulds of the inner ear where over 2.5 million points of data are collected and manipulated per ear. Once digitised, the pieces are shaped from a solid medium in a CNC 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.

Prestige comes with a detachable two-pin cable and further supplied accessories include the Storm Box (crush-proof carrying case), black velvet carrying pouch, two Noble Audio bands or amp bands, a cleaning tool, a Noble cable plus an ownership card. It carries a two-year limited warranty.​

Savant Prestige (from £1,115); Pinecone £1,185; Space Zebra £1,255; Pablo £1,325

Kaiser 10 Prestige (from £1,800); Pinecone £1,870; Space Zebra £1,940; Pablo £2,010

 

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The Wadia Dl122 Digital Audio Decoder will decode files at 24-bit/192kHz has a USB input that accepts up to 32-bit signals and support for DSD64, DSD128, DXD 352.8kHz and DXD 384kHz. It has an onboard headphone amp, a host of outputs and costs a pound under £1500. Dan Worth takes a listen for Hifi PigMore »

Saturday 21st of May 2016 saw the seventh North East Bake Off (NEBO) up in the icy wastes of Co Durham (UK). The Chimneys Hotel in Blackhall proved to be an ideal venue for the day which began at 11am and ran until 11:30pm.NEBO7-300x248

As the early birds arrived one of the regulars speedily assembled a system so music could be enjoyed as others set up their systems and chatted about all things Hifi. Once the wink had been tipped, the chequered flag was lowered and the day was underway.

Read the full report of NEBO 7 here. 

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