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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NEBO was started three and a half years ago by music lover and audio enthusiast Steve Petch in humble surroundings of a friend’s bistro. Word soon spread and more and more people attended with more and more equipment meaning that sadly, NEBO had outgrown the bistro and new venues were found. More »

Dan Worth gets to grip with a little 50watts a side integrated amp from Serbia that costs just £600 in the UK.  More »

In celebration of the final production run of one of the UK’s most iconic loudspeakers, Acoustic Energy has announced a limited edition final production run of the award winning AE1 Classic loudspeaker.ae1-silver--22

Just 100 numbered pairs of the AE1 Classic Limited Edition speakers will be produced for worldwide distribution, turning this Classic into a classic collector’s item.

In addition to the Piano gloss, each unit will be finished with gold or silver plated bolts and feature a matching gold/silver plated Limited Edition plaque with serial and edition numbers on the back of each speaker. Each unit will be tested, tuned and pair matched by AE’s senior design engineer and supplied with a signed certificate of performance and authentication.

Famed for its acoustic design based on the original AE1, the AE1 Classic LE will retain the same instantly recognisable twin front ported cabinet, spun aluminium cone and 25mm magnesium alloy dome tweeter and offer the same detailed and engaging sound. The decision to end the life of this highly renowned audio gem is derived from some of the bespoke parts no longer being made available to AE.

Owners are encouraged to register their AE1 Classic Limited Edition on the AE website to qualify for a free 5 year guarantee and the opportunity to win tickets to Acoustic Energy’s 30th Anniversary party in April 2017.

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The Russian company VacuumGlow presents the unique product at HIGH END show in Munich VacuumGlow24

At the recent High End exhibition, the Russian company VacuumGlow introduced one more use of the technologies from the past – the nixie tube clock. Gas-discharged indicators that represent the time on the VacuumGlow clock were the technical breakthrough in the middle of the 20th century. They were used for displaying the digital information on production equipment, calculators, New York Stock Exchange and, even more, in submarines. However, in the 70-s new technologies cut them out.

The technology of the past is combined with the cutting-edge technology of the VacuumGlow clock. The clock is run by an application on a smartphone, is equipped with sensors and it synchronizes with GPS.

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TAGA Harmony today announced the launch of 3 new speaker models in the Audio Video series:

TAV-616F floorstanding loudspeakers

TAV-616C center speaker

TAV-616S surround speakers.dsc_6410_27205801476_os

The speakers are based on TAV-606 technology with enhanced dynamic range and sound stage imaging to meet demand of premium multi-channel and stereo systems.

Key features:

  • TLIE(Taga Low Interference Enclosure) – new enclosures are now even more rigid and neutral to vibrations and colorization. The increased MDF walls thickness compared to the TAV-606: from 12 mm to 15 mm in a floorstanding speaker (plus 18 mm thick front panel) and from 9 mm to 12 mm in Center and Surround speakers (plus 15 mm front panel).

Increased cabinet dimensions provide bigger internal volume and acoustic pressure reflecting in higher dynamics and lower bass.

  • Revised woofers and mid-woofers cones – now lighter with a higher SPL and faster, more accurate cone movement to quickly react to changes in dynamic sound passages;
  • Bigger 5.25” mid-woofers in Center and Surround speakers deliver even higher sound performance and resolution in multi-channel systems;
  • New decorative pure aluminium trim rings to enhance sound dispersion

Cabinets

Taga Low Interference Enclosures are made of high-quality thick PVC coated MDF boards (Front speaker: 15 mm full cabinet with an extra 21 mm high gloss gloss black front panel. Centre and Surrounds speakers: 12 mm full cabinets with an extra 15 mm thick high gloss  black front panel) to increase stiffness and limit any unwanted resonances. The front speaker has additional inside braces made of 9 mm MDF boards. dsc_6421_26633037434_os

The shapes are crafted to lower any unwanted vibrations, diffractions or turbulences, which can affect the sound performance. Acoustical damping material used inside cabinets eliminates problem of internal standing waves and bass-reflex ports are uniquely designed with low-turbulence and high-velocity ports utilising concave diffusers for increased dispersion of low frequencies.

The floorstanding model sits on solid spikes that provides stability and good isolation of speaker from the floor.

SPECIFICATIONS

MODEL: TAV-616F TAV-616C TAV-616S
Design: 3-way, 4 drivers, floorstanding, Bi-wiring,  front bassreflex port,

crossover points 470Hz 3KHz,

TLIE Enclosure

2-way, 3 drivers, Center speaker,

wall mounts, crossover point 4kHz,

TLIE Enclosure

2-way, 2 drivers, Surround speakers,

wall mounts, crossover point 3kHz,

 

TLIE Enclosure

High-Frequency Driver: 25 mm (1″) TWG Faceplate  25 mm (1″) TWG Faceplate  25 mm (1″) TWG Faceplate
Midrange Driver / Bass Midrange: 165 mm (6.5″)  2 x 133 mm (5.25″) Polypropylene  133 mm (5.25″) Polypropylene
Bass Driver: 2 x 165 mm (6.5″) Polypropylene
Recommended Amplifier Power: 20 – 160W  20 – 120W  20 – 120W
Frequency Response: 36Hz – 25kHz  50Hz – 25kHz  50Hz – 25kHz
Impedance: 6ohm  6ohm  6ohm
Sensitivity: 91dB  88dB  80dB
Dimensions (H x W x D): 98 x 23 x 28 cm  20 x 46.5 x 14.45 cm 30 x 20 x 14.45 cm
Weight (net): 34.3 kg / pair  5.2 kg / pc 7.7 kg / pair

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John Scott takes a listen to the Audio GE Sincerus 80 loudspeakers from Lithuania which cost 1300 euros  with eco leather finish and with natural wood veneer 1990 euros More »

I’ve had this album on MP3 promo for a good while now and it’s a great piece of historical documentation of the underground, DIY electronic movement that took place between 75 and 84. It’s a sprawling four CD set with 61tracks and around 9000 words of sleevenotes by Dave Henderson of MOJO. You’ll know some of the names herein (Human League, OMD and Blancmange) but it’s the other, less well known bands that really make this album the gem that it is. More »

“Furutech’s recently-developed ‘Alpha Nano-Au-Ag’ OCC conductor is among the best that the brand’s engineers have ever conceived for sound reproduction. Not surprising, then, that it underpins the brand’s new top-of-line power and speaker cables. “ says the Japanese company’s recent press release.

The specialized manufacturing process begins with Furutech’s Alpha-OCC conductor which, after undergoing a patented two-step cryogenic freeze and demagnetization process, is treated with Furutech’s “finely-tuned transmission enhancer, Nano Liquid”.

Nano Liquid features a precise ratio of tiny gold and silver particles (approximately 8 nano-meters or 8/1,000,000th of a millimetre in diameter) that finely coat the conductor, filling up and smoothing out any microscopic concave-convex areas left on the conductor’s surface during the production process, and thus providing a greater contact surface.

Furutech’s engineers found that the precise ratio of gold and silver particles and of the dispersing Squalene oil used in the Nano Liquid had a notable effect on sound reproduction, and undertook extensive tests before settling on their final, very specific ratio.

NanoFlux NCF power cable

The NanoFlux NCF is Furutech’s new top-of-line power cable, featuring Alpha Nano-Au-Ag OCC conductor. Furutech NanoFlux NCF EU mains

A double-layer insulation combined with a complex outer shield, damping layer and EMI-absorbing modules reject external vibration and electromagnetic radiation.

The NanoFlux NCF power cable also includes Furutech’s new and unique NCF piezo ceramic series connectors. Furutech’s Alpha pure-copper rhodium-plated conductors are housed within a body that contains an active damping material, Nano Crystal² Formula (NCF). The latter incorporates a “special crystalline material with two active properties: first, it generates negative ions that eliminate static; second, it converts thermal energy into far-infrared. This remarkable material is combined with nano-sized ceramic particles and carbon powder for their additional ‘piezo effect’ damping properties”.

This is then enclosed within a multi-layered non-magnetic stainless steel and silver-plated carbon fibre outer shell, incorporating a special damping and insulating acetal copolymer, the EMI-absorbing GC-303.

New NanoFlux speaker cable

The new NanoFlux speaker cable, again built around the Alpha Nano-Au-Ag OCC conductor, sports Furutech’s CF-201(R) rhodium-plated nonmagnetic pure copper spades along with CF-202(R) non-magnetic rhodium-plated banana connectors. Furutech NanoFlux Speaker Cable

Pricing & availability

Furutech NanoFlux power & speaker cables are available now, priced as follows (incl. VAT).

NanoFlux-NCF power cable Length 1.8m £ 3,795
NanoFlux speaker cable Length 2.5m £ 4,995 (per pair)

Note: Custom lengths are available to order.

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Manfrotto Lumie is a range of new compact, inexpensive, high performance photography lights. They sit below the high-end Manfrotto Spectra range of LED light panels but, as with most Manfrotto kit, would happily suit the prosumer or enthusiast level of photog.

My first experience with a light panel came by way of a suggestion from a professional photographer friend when I asked about how to get better results from shooting at shows, especially A/V expos. He suggested an extremely budget panel that did the trick but is also quite large and cumbersome.

There are three sizes of the Lumie light available: the smallest is the Lumie Play, which I have here, that features three LEDs. The medium-sized Lumie Art has six, and the largest, the Lumie Muse, has eight. As you’d expect, the bigger the unit the more light power it’s capable of outputting.

Manfrotto have recently rebranded this line which is now called Lumimuse.

Check out the review at GadgetyNews.

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The Onkyo H500M headphones are part of the latest range from audio makers. With their promise of portability and bringing out the best of your high res digital library, has Onkyo bitten off more than it can chew?

These days it’s all about the high resolution, lossless digital audio for those that care about how their music sounds on the move. There are many players to choose from or DACs (digital analogue convertors) that will do their best to improve what comes out your phone. But what about headphones?

Check out the review at GadgetyNews.

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The Cubot X17 is the Chinese made selfie-loving smartphone that is now available in the UK through Amazon.

Chinese manufacturer Cubot Mobile has been working on expanding their empire and, to this end, they have been making their devices available around the world via their website plus other distributors such as the ubiquitous Amazon.

The X17 is very much a mid-range smartphone with an eclectic mix of features and specification all offered for a low end price tag.

Check out the review at GadgetyNews.

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with a 2.2 system that showcases the company’s « accurate » sound technology and ‘invisible loudspeaker’ sonic presentation.TD510ZMK2_SV_img_inter_01

Following the company’s successful participation at The Home Entertainment Show in 2015, plus numerous other US shows in recent months, including the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest and CES, ECLIPSE will be returning to the US once again, supporting their US distributor On A Higher Note.

Eclipse’s 2.2 system comprises two TD510ZMK2 speakers (£3,840 pair), complemented by two TD520SW subwoofers (£3,000 each). “The system has been optimised to reproduce the soundstage and imaging that Eclipse has become known for, making the speakers seem ‘invisible’” says the company’s recent press release. ECLIPSE’s TD510ZMK2 stand-mount speakers nestle just beneath the flagship TD712ZMK2 with the TD520SW subwoofer being the more affordable of ECLIPSE’s two offerings.

In addition to the main 2.2 system, Eclipse will also have its Airplay-ready high-resolution-enabled TD-M1 desktop audio system on demonstration. Partnering electronics will be provided by Luxman.

ECLIPSE will be in Room 410 and looking forward to welcoming visitors.

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Jay Garrett from GadgetyNews pops along to the West End of London and the beautiful KJ West One outlet to a special UK Unveiling of the Wilson Alexx loudspeakers. You can read Ian Ringstead’s coverage of the European launch at Munich here.  More »

Ian Ringstead takes a listen to the interesting looking Ferguson Hill FH007 loudspeaker and their matching FH008 sub priced at £695.00 and £325.00. More »

Living Voice is certainly one room we at Hifi Pig always make a bee-line for at Munich High-End and it’s invariably one of he highlights of the show. And that’s no surprise given that their flagship model costs around £435 000 (yes around half a million) plus taxes. However, this year the British company brought along a slightly more affordable model in the shape of the Vox Palladian that costs £252 000. Hifi Pig spoke to Kevin Scott the creator of Vox loudspeakers and owner of Living Voice. More »

MELCO, the audiophile division of Japanese computer peripheral company Buffalo Technology, has announced the launch of its latest firmware update to its Digital Music Libraries. Available to all existing and new owners, V3.00 FW enables users to make a once-and-for-all archival quality import of their  CD collections onto a MELCO that will never have to be repeated.melco_hifi_news

In keeping with the Melco concept of simple operation without sound quality compromise, it is now possible to import and store music using Direct Download from Web Vendors, USB import, or Network Transfer. Additionally, MELCO will now support direct import of music from CDs as either Red Book CD Music Disc (CD-DA), CD Extra, Mixed Mode CD) or CD Rom data disc containing audio files – all with auto format recognition.

This newly developed function allows a user to take CDs from their collection and make a bit perfect import into the MELCO – confident that the sound quality cannot be bettered and safe in the knowledge that if they use the easy MELCO backup routines, the music will be safe and secure.

Set up is simple – the CD is read using a USB connected CD loader direct to the MELCO via the front panel USB socket, or the rear-mounted USB 3.0 socket. (A list of compatible drives will be available on the MELCO web site, although any highperformance drive will deliver the desired performance) The Direct CD-Import function starts automatically once the CD is recognised and the imported music is automatically located within the MELCO in a folder called ‘CD-Import’ and is date stamped for user convenience.

Metadata is derived from Gracenote database. This includes high-resolution cover art royalty free and totally legal. Integration between the metadata download and the internal MELCO UPnP server ensures a comfortable user experience.

As the number of circulating CDs continues to rise, there may be circumstances with conventional solutions whereby the incorrect metadata decision is made by the system. MELCO removes any chance of metadata mistakes or duplications by offering the user the available choices on the front panel display, allowing the selection of the correct album before the download of metadata. This MELCO-developed system safe-guards the user from subsequent time-consuming and frustrating metadata editing. The result is a true archive quality duplication of the users CD library, leaving the user confident that they have the most accurate file and that it will never be necessary to import the CD again.

Music storage can be selected as either .wav, or .flac with selectable compression ratios including zero compression flac – favoured by audiophiles as there is no unpacking burden for the DAC. Both flac and wav have fully embedded metadata.

Users need to satisfy themselves of local copyright laws before using the MELCO Direct CD-import feature and MELCO specifically does not encourage any copyright infringement.

Supporting the Melco Direct CD-Import feature are the following additional features, all of which are packaged within V3.00 firmware:

Local USB player:
• Precision Start permitting connected DAC settling time for both PCM and DSD. Music delay is adjustable by the user.
• Automatic hybrid MODE control – auto selects Mode 0 or Mode 1 depending on the Control Point App chosen by the user. Mode 0 or Mode 1 can also be fixed by the user.
• DSD over PCM playback
• Gapless playback – both PCM and now DSD. (NB requires compatible DAC)
• QUAD DSD 11.3MHz or 256fs DSD support .dff and .dsf files
• Further sound quality improvements based on internal data-flow
• Compatibility Enhancement with new embedded drivers for additional external DAC implementations beyond UAC2. Full details will be posted on the Melco-Audio website.

Having used the MELCO in the Hifi Pig reference system for some time now this is an extremely useful and welcome feature.

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Entotem are a UK based company that burst onto the audio scene at last year’s Bristol Show with Plato, a product that will not only stream your music and video but will also automatically digitize your vinyl for you. Ian Ringstead reviewed it for Hifi Pig and loved it but the company haven’t rested on their laurels and have continued to innovate and introduce new products. At this years High End Show they had the original Plato, Plato Lite and Plato Pre on show. As well as the new Plato they’ve improved and developed the app, introduced Hi Res Audio download service and also introduced a Class A amplifier to their range of products. Hifi Pig caught up with Andy Hughes from Entotem at their very busy stand at High End. More »

Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs, LLC announce the gold series Christine Reference Preamplifier

See it at the World Premiere at T.H.E Show 2016, California, Room 1417.ChristineFrontMA1027

“The Christine Reference Pre-amplifier is built with the finest components and attention to every detail like never before. Hand routed PCB layout of each trace, the placement of the trace, the length of the trace, the multistage power supplies, the selection and matching of the finest components, balanced configuration, isolation of power, all hand soldered connections, Silver plated pure copper wire with Teflon sleeving are only some of the engineering that make the Christine Reference Pre-amplifier so special.  Each unit is hand built and tested from the board level up to the finished unit. An external AC/DC Power supply unit ensures very quiet operations. The multistage power supply is so good, that power cords do not make a difference and the unit is impervious to noise on the AC line. ”

Specifications:

Frequency Response: to 800kHz 0.1db, 1.5MHz -3db

S/N:  110db

THD: 0.003%

Volume control:  -84db to +26db, 0.5dB steps, -84db attenuation, +26dB gain

Pre-set Gain range:  +/- 12db

Maximum volume and Minimum Volume Setting Range: 0 to 115db.

Input voltage Max:    +/- 10 Volts

Output Voltage Max: +/- 12 Volts

Inputs:   4 Balanced inputs

Outputs: 2 Balanced Outputs

Remote Trigger at 12 Volts, 20mA.

External Power Supply that is double fused.

1.25 inch White LED display.

Absolute Polarity selection: 0, 180

 

 

Part five of Hifi Pig’s coverage of High End Munich 2016 featuring: Innuos and Leema, Telos Audio Design, Geometric Harmony, Audium & Atoll, Moon By Simaudio, Naim and Focal, Audioquest, Graham Audio, Genelec, Ear Yoshino Tim De Paravicini, Absolare and Rockport Technologies, Van den Hul, Heco More »

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

IsoTek and Audio T got in touch with Hifi Pig to tell us about an event they’ll be holding today and tomorrow demonstrating the benefits of mains conditioning.  isotekEVO111

The event kicks off at Audio T in Southampton at 4pm today (20th May) and finishes at 8pm whilst tomorrow it runs from 10am to 6pm.  There’ll be exclusive offers to be had and everyone visiting can claim a 10% hifi discount voucher.

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Pro-Ject Audio Systems has announced The Classic turntable which utilises a simple and elegant “frame” design, which bears a notable resemblance to some of the most famous turntables of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. Hifi Pig managed to have a dem of this at the recent High End show in Munich and it looks great in a retro kind of way (see first picture). Speaking of the design, Heinz Lichtenegger has said:

“In my first year as a hi-fi dealer, working out of my mother’s petrol station using her trade license, I sold 50 Thorens 166 MK 2. In a town of 2000 people, I made everybody into a hi-fi believer…
Later I expanded to some Linns, Aristons, Heybrooks etc. Today Pro-Ject is the leading company for hi-fi stereo turntables and sooner or later I simply had to produce what I once loved…”project_classic_turntable_munich

The Classic’s design is more than just aesthetically pleasing, it also combines proven hi-fi technologies with the simple set-up so often associated with Pro-Ject turntables, so you can get down to enjoying your music as soon as possible.

The two-plinth design utilises Thermo Plastic Elastomers (TPE) to isolate the sub-chassis, rather than the traditional method of a spring-loaded sub-chassis. The layout effectively decouples the motor from the main bearing and the tonearm, reducing unwanted interference between the components.

The idea of reduced resonance transference carries through to the platter configuration. The instantly recognisable dual-platter layout has been chosen instead of the old cast platters. The main platter on The Classic is machined from an aluminium alloy which is lined underneath with TPE damping. The sub-platter/bearing assembly combines a hardened steel rod with a bronze bushing that is lined with Teflon, resulting in a very smooth, low-noise solution. The configuration is similar to that of a Debut turntable, but the tolerances for these components have been improved by a factor of 10 over the Debut Carbon.PJ-Phono-TheClassic-Eucalyptus-Silver-Cover (1)s

The Classic also boasts an entirely new tonearm, exclusively designed for this special anniversary turntable. The conical tube is made from aluminium, wrapped in a layer of carbon fibre. The carbon fibre keeps the tonearm light and stiff, while the aluminium adds improved damping and grounding.

The Classic Tonearm also uses a new bearing assembly with precision-machined, ultra-low friction Zircon bearings. Underneath, a new Japanese-designed ball-bearing allows for easier placement of the tonearm wires and a much freer movement of the tonearm. The new nickel-finished counterweight is also TPE-damped, reducing the amplitude of the tonearm’s resonant-frequency by 50%. Finally, the tonearm also benefits from the usual azimuth and VTA-adjustments associated with all high-end Pro-Ject tonearms.

A variety of counterweights will be available for The Classic, supporting cartridges up to 25g. The Classic Tonearm will also be available for sale separately in the future.PJ-Phono-TheClassic-Eucalyptus-Silvers

To increase accessibility for The Classic, the turntable has been designed with a new set of feet, which effectively allows the turntable to perform as well as possible in a wide variety of installations, even when it’s not placed on an ideal platform. The feet are both dampened and height-adjustable, ensuring the turntable can be adjusted to sit level on unbalanced or imperfect surfaces.

The Classic is supplied as standard with the Ortofon 2M Silver cartridge, which has been designed exclusively for Pro-Ject Audio Systems. However, the ability of the turntable is such that it’s also capable of working with a wide variety of high-end Moving Coil options. The inclusion of a junction box on the back-panel, also allows for cable improvements as and when you improve your cartridge option.

The Classic turntable is available in Eucalyptus, Rosenut or Walnut (shown) finishes. It is supplied as standard with all necessary set-up tools, a fitted dust cover and Pro-Ject’s specially-developed Connect-IT E turntable cables.

SRP £799.00
The Pro-Ject Classic will be available in the UK from June 2016.

Technical Information
Speed: 33 / 45 RPM (manual speed change)
Drive Principle: Belt drive
Platter: 300mm aluminium (TPE-damped)
Main Bearing: Stainless steel (Bronze bush with Teflon lining)
Wow & Flutter: ± 0.03% (33rpm) / ± 0.05% (45rpm)
Speed Drift: ± 0.10% (33rpm) / ± 0.11% (45rpm)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: -71dB
Tonearm: The Classic Tonearm (9”)
Effective Arm Length: 230mm
Effective Arm Mass: 13.5g
Overhang: 18mm
Included Accessories: Dust Cover, Connect-IT E (RCA) cable Power Supply: 15V / 1,600mA DC
Power Consumption: 5W Max. / <0.5W in standby Dimensions (W x H x D): 460 x 131 x 351mm (lid closed) Weight: 10.2kg (net)

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Tubes/valves hold a real fascination for audiophiles with many many using them and swearing by them. Here’s a selection of tubes we found at this year’s High End in Munich. Of course there were lots of rooms using tubes and most of the pictures you see here were taken on stands where we weren’t able to listen to them. Includes: Angstrom, LAB 12, Unison Research, Audion, Triode Labs, Tsakiridis Devices, Jadis, Acoustic Plan, Fezz Audio, Mastersound, Dared, Cayin, AudioValve, Rumee Audio, Remton

You can read our highlights series of posts here with loads more tube systems as well as solid state.   More »

Superfi in Stockport are using the North West Audio Show 2016 to highlight the differences between sources. In three separate rooms they will be using identical systems but using different source components. PJ-Phono-RPM5Carbon-Red

The core system will be an Arcam SR250 along with KEF R700s. The unique difference in each room will be that in one room there will be the UDP 411 Streamer, in another the CDS27 CD player and in the final the RP>M3 turntable. 

This is a great opportunity for visitors to the North West Audio Show to discover the difference the source can make to a system.

Get your free tickets here

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Part four of Hifi Pig’s coverage of High End Munich 2016 featuring: Neodio, Audio Hungary, Bang And Olufsen, Terrastrato Typ 1 Standard, Estelon, Blumenhofer Acoustics and Cammino, Indiana Line, TW Acustic, Constellation and Martin Logan, TAD, D’Agostino, Wadia, Krell, Audio Research, Meridian, EAT, Sonus Faber More »