TAGA Harmony make a wide range of products and today Stuart Smith takes a listen to the company’s €2380 Platinum F-100 SE Loudspeakers. More »
Westminster Lab makes no claims as to how good it is, rather just invite you to enter into their ‘new dimension’ of music experience. According to them words are totally futile. But that would make for a short review, so, not known for keeping quiet, Janine Elliot wanted to tell readers about this unique amp costing £32 000. More »
I’ve had this for a good few weeks now and it was released to the public on the 7th October…and, despite the bumph that came with the CD declaring it a “none concept album”, I’ve been frantically analysing and trying to work out what the concept is or what the hell Mr Haines is on. There does seem to be a thread running through the album; Is it about ritual magick, is it about radical Marxist groups or is it just a collection of random tunes that could only be the product of an absolute genius? More »
The Axis Voicebox S loudspeakers are an Australian design, collectively envisaged and implemented by two Aussie engineers John Riley – the creator of the concept and brand, along with Brad Serhan. Dan Worth checks out this $(US) 2500 standmount loudspeaker that incorporates a 50mm metal ribbon tweeter. More »
Janine Elliot cuts a rug with the Black Rhodium Quickstep loudspeaker cables costing £400 for a 3m pair. More »
The capital hasn’t had a proper Hifi show for a number of years and so Indulgence is a welcome addition to the audio calendar. Of course there were a few teething problems as there is always going to be when organising an event of this scope and scale, but, on the whole, we reckon it was a success.
The venue is good, well catered and the show organisers had ensured that signposting within the event was clear and plentiful, so there was no members of the audio public wandering around looking lost and perplexed as to where to go next. The show guide was also well laid out and nicely done.
What really impressed was the effort that the vast majority of the exhibitors had gone to in kitting out there rooms and exhibition spaces. They had clearly taken a great deal of time, money and trouble to ensure that rooms were as good sounding as they could be and they were also welcoming to the public. We attend a good few shows and the quality of the rooms at Indulgence was up with the very best!
There was an excellent line up of seminars throughout the weekend and live music too. Time constraints meant we didn’t see much of this live music, but what we did see was pretty amazing, particularly the pop up Marquee Club event on the Friday night – fabulously talented musicians and great classic rock tunes to boot!
The Indulgence Show was billed as a lifestyle event with a whole area given over to “Pure Pleasure”. Here visitors to the show had the opportunity to indulge in a spot of wine tasting, a look at a handful of rather nice vehicles, home cinema experiences, the chance to learn to play the blues in five minutes, excellent photography from Ross Halfin and some great drums and keyboards from Yamaha that you could get hands-on with. Personally I’d like to see this area of the show expanded upon to pull in people specifically for the “lifestyle” factor, but then take in the audio too.
The venue was huge and there were lots of rooms to see so it never seemed crowded, and, from speaking to a good number of exhibitors, the people that were there were keen to be involved and talk about the products on show. Talking to one of the organisers they said they’d pre-sold over 2000 tickets for the weekend and one exhibitor had 400, 600 and 300 people on each of the days respectively.
Next year we’ll make sure we have a full two days at The Indulgence Show as we simply did not have time to see all the exhibitors, specifically in the headroom area…so if you are going next year, book a two or three day pass to ensure you get to see everything!
So, all in all a very worthwhile event that will hopefully grow and flourish in the coming years!
Enjoy the next few pages of photographs from The Indulgence Show 2016. More »
Every now and again I go out at night and see a band that reminds me exactly why I go out at night to see bands. The Stray Birds are one of those. More »
Chord Electronics is showing its new TToby power amp for the first time in the UK at The Indulgence Show (14-16th October). The new TToby is a 100-watt stereo power amplifier and has been designed to complement the Hugo TT DAC/headphone amplifier.
Hand-built by ATC in the UK, the P2 class A/B stereo power amplifier is designed to complement the brand’s range of hifi preamplifiers aesthetically and operationally. Rated at 300W continuous power per channel and developed in tandem with the P2-Pro studio amplifier, the ATC P2 is a Dual Mono design, keeping the power supplies, signal and return paths discreet. This approach ensures that the amplifier will achieve the maximum signal separation with minimal crosstalk, and that inter-modulation between channels via the power supplies is reduced to an absolute minimum across a frequency range of 400kHz. It also means that the power delivery from one channel cannot affect the specified power available from the other.
Cyrus Audio is throwing a party that will bring out the wild side of the visitors at The Indulgence Show, when it launches its “Party Animal” promotional campaign for the new Cyrus ONE amplifier.
The Chord Company is launching ShawCan — its first ever headphone cable at October’s headroom show, part of The Indulgence Show (14-16th October, Novotel London West).
The 6 Perspex turntable from Pro-Ject Audio Systems has been a staple of the company’s range for many years. Now, the latest version takes the existing design but adds a few enhancements to improve the performance.
The new Sirius is a hifi-grade streaming music server system that provides a high-performance solution for the storage and playback of digital music. Developed in partnership with Innuos, Leema’s ex-BBC engineers have combined audiophile performance with the convenience of a UPNP/DNLA-compatible music server.
The Lab12 pre 1 just arrived at Hifi Pig Towers and here it is being unboxed. We’ll be reviewing this valve preamplifier and you can WIN this very unit worth £1200 by visiting Hifi Pig’s stand at The Indulgence Show that takes place the 14th to 16th October at the Novotel London West in Hammersmith, London. All you need to do is pick up a postcard from our stand, or ask for one if you see us and follow the instructions to be in with a chance of winning! More »
TRINNOV Audio has recently announced the appointment of Tom Garrett to the newly-created position of Sales Manager – EMEA. Tom Garrett will support Trinnov’s existing Multichannel business and expand their High End Audio business in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Bob Surgeoner the MD and founder of Neat Acoustics says he is pleased to confirm that Doug Graham, well known internationally for his many successful years at Naim Audio, is joining Neat on the 3rd October in the new role of Export Sales Director.
Janine Elliot (pictured below between Hifi Pig’s Stuart and Graham Audio’s Paul Graham) rounds up Hifi Pig’s coverage of this year’s National Audio Show.
Hifi Pig talks to Hifi Pig reader Stuart Armstrong who has an interesting and very accomplished DIY turntable project. More »
Ever wondered what goes into making a loudspeaker cabinet? Ian Ringstead visits specialist loudspeaker cabinet maker Timberworx. More »
SOtM is exhibiting at RMAF for the first time and will demo their music server and player, sMS-1000SQ Windows Edition controlled by Roon, the combined DAC/PRE, sDP-1000EX, the stereo power amp, sPA- 1000, and the ultra low noise linear power supply, sPS-1000, as a main demo system with Boenicke speaker.
They will also announce their upcoming products:
- sMS-1000SQ Eunhasu: The new Linux OS, Eunhasu, based network player & server! It supports Roon, Squeezelite, MPD/DLNA, HQplayer and Shariports.
- sMS-1000SQ Wins 10 : The Windows 10 Pro and AudiophileOptimizer are loaded, and Roon is used as a main player but other players such as Foobar, Jriver, HQplayer and etc can be used as costumer’s need and variety options are
- tX-USBUltra : New design concept series as sMS-200, it is a USB audio signal regenerator for Ultra High-End USB audio system, it reduces jitter generated from USB audio host device by the USB audio signal clock, sCLK-EX12, and reproduces good quality power of USB output port by Ultra Low Noise
- sPS-500 : New design concept series as sMS-200, it is the ultra-low noise hybrid power
- sCLK-EX : In a digital audio system, the clock is the most important element and the sCLK-EX is the one which can be used for all digital audio system.
Also the mini network player, sMS-200, will be demoed and displayed during the show time with dCBL-CAT7 and iSO-CAT6 Special Edition.
SOtM will be at Room number 5032.
All SOtM products will be displayed and also sold at the show site too, and a special show price will be available.
This month John Scott turns his attention to the UK singer songwriter Elvis Costello who rose to stardom in the first wave of punk rock and here looks at his album This Year’s Model recorded with his band The Attractions. More »
2016 marks the fiftieth year since Taste, the blues-rock trio, was formed by legendary guitarist Rory Gallagher. Taste’s story almost reads like a Ziggy-ish rock n’ roll film script: a youthful band that promised much, only to split after a short period in a rather dramatic and personalised fashion, when they were right on the verge of 1970s rockstardom, due to a troublesome relationship with management. Thankfully, there is a lot more to Taste than such rock n’ roll cliché might suggest. Taste had a goodly share of creative achievement, both in its MKII and lesser-known MKI line-ups, which mark the band as deserving of more than a mere foot-note in the in the annals of 60s rock. More »
Hifi Pig talk to Conrad Mas, the man behind the UK based manufacturer AVID Hifi. AVID Hifi are perhaps most well known for their range of turntables and phonostages, but at last year’s Munich High End the company introduced a full range of electronics and loudspeakers…and won the Hifi Pig Loves You Award. More »
With the recent Olympic and Paralympic games still fresh in my mind I got to thinking how incredible as a nation the United Kingdom is. The fact we came second in the medal tables for both games, coming just behind the USA in the Olympics and China in the Paralympics was amazing. The Chinese in particular couldn’t believe how a nation of our size could do so well given their population is about 1.4 billion and ours is roughly 60 million. More »
I thought it was a joke when this landed on my desk earlier but as with all the albums that arrive here at Hifi Pig Towers I gave it a fair trial and popped it on in the car whilst we drove to our destination for lunch. More »
Stefan Ruuth, Sales Manager at ETAL, said, “In terms of size-performance, the Anaview ALA is unmatched, delivering amazingly clean and room-filling sound from a very small module. We’ve already seen a lot of interest from designers of networked audio devices, portable audio devices, docking stations, audio receivers, powered speakers and residential audio systems. It’s perfect for applications that need great sound but where space and/or power are limited.”
With overall dimensions of just 68mm x 33mm x 18mm, the ETAL Anaview ALA Series delivers 2 x 45Wrms into 6 Ω. It is designed for board to board mounting and can be powered by a single voltage of 12-25V DC making it easy to integrate. The Anaview ALA has an 80kHz load independent frequency range (-3dB) and a 115dB dynamic range with low Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) throughout. Features include an entirely differential patented Adaptive Pole Control (APC) amplifier technology.
The Anaview ALA can be supplied from a simple single voltage AC/DC power supply, commonly available at low-cost, alleviates end-product UL-certification. Alternatively, the low power draw and single-sided supply means that the module is also compatible with Power–over-Ethernet (PoE) for commercial network audio applications where audio and power are provided on a single Cat-5 cable. Equally, it can be easily integrated into battery–powered and rechargeable products.
The Peak PT1 turntable has a natural slate plinth and comes complete with an arm for £599. Ian Ringstead takes it for a spin for Hifi Pig. More »
At the end of August Hifi Pig reported the news that the Pro-ject Classic Turntable had won the EISA award and way back in 2012 we also reported their Debut Carbon won the same award. Last year the company’s RPM 3 Carbon won last year’s EISA Award and it’s also been awarded prestigious Red Dot Award for its outstanding design this year…it also won a Hifi Pig Recommended Award.
Ingenious entry to the world of audiophile luxury, is what The Red Dot Award people say about the award! They add that RPM 3 Carbon utilises evolutionary enhancements to improve the performance of Pro-Ject’s RPM turntable series including: A low resonance chassis holds an inverted platter bearing with a ceramic ball for further reduced rumble. An outboard 15V AC motor is driven by using an ultra precise AC generator with DC power supply for further enhanced speed stability.
A 10 S-shaped tonearm tube is made from carbon fibre, aluminium and resin. Using a complex 3-step process with heat treatment and 100bar pressure, arm tube rigidity is strengthened, internal damping is maximized and resonances are reduced to a minimum. This makes the tonearm also suitable for MC cartridges. Additional features are a magnetic antiskating mechanism and a TPE- damped counterweight.
Congratulations From all at Hifi Pig for your stash of awards.
First making an appearance at the High End Show, Munich, in May 2016, the twenty5 series, so named to celebrate the company’s twenty-fifth anniversary, has been well received. New technologies onboard include the Laminar™ vent design and latest Advanced Transmission Line.
Visitors can visit PMC’s presentation in the Mouton Cadet Suite, second floor, and will be able to audition the full complement of twenty5 series models, from the smallest, the twenty5.21 to the three-way flagship model, the twenty5.26.
PMC will be partnering the twenty.5 series with the new Bryston Cubed Series power amplifiers, Bryston BDP2 digital player and the DSD compatible Bryston BDA-3 DAC.
Many other exhibitors will further enhance the company’s presence at the show, through their selection of PMC products for use with their own equipment:
Leema Acoustics will be using the twenty5.21 and fact.12s in the Talbot Suite to partner with its Constellation range and to help launch a new range of exciting products. In the Cremant Suite, Townshend Audio will be demonstrating its Seismic Platforms with the fact.8s and Vertere Acoustics is using the three- way MB2se with its range of turntables
The MB2 XBD-A (Active), as used at Metropolis Mastering, Abbey Road and many other studios around the globe, will provide the aural backdrop to an exclusive exhibition that features the photographs of Ross Halfin, the world’s leading rock music photographer in the Chalon Room.
See PMC at The Indulgence Show, 14-16 October, Novotel London West, Hammersmith.
Aesthetically, the HA-2SE continues the HA-2’s design – genuine leather casing with contrast stitching and bevelled aluminium edges. Inside, the digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) chip is upgraded to the ES9028Q2M, the top-of-the-line from ESS Technology’s SABRE32 Reference series for portable designs. The headphone amplifier is further optimized for very sensitive In-Ear Monitors, with a lower noise floor and higher signal-to-noise ratio over the HA-2.
Featuring hybrid class AB amplification and a USB DAC, the HA-2SE offers high performance digital-to-analogue conversion for Apple’s iPhone/iPod products, a wide range of Android devices, PC and Mac computers. Equipped with a 3000mAh internal battery and OPPO’s patented safe rapid charging technology, the HA-2SE may be conveniently used to charge mobile devices on-the-go and can itself be efficiently charged in 30 minutes.
Being a “Made for iPhone” certified device and coming with a Lightning cable included, the HA-2SE can charge the iPhone and play music at the same time. When used with the right apps, the HA-2SE supports bit-perfect playback of high resolution music, exceeding the 48 kHz sample rate limitation of using the phone’s built-in headphone output or headphone adapter.
In addition to the USB DAC inputs, the HA-2SE provides a 3.5 mm line-in jack for portable music players that do not have a USB-compatible digital output. The same jack doubles as line-out when the HA-2SE is used as a DAC. The headphone amplifier has two gain level settings. The High Gain mode is capable of driving large power-hungry headphones, delivering up to 300 mW into 16-Ohm headphones. The Low Gain mode is intended for sensitive In-Ear Monitor type earphones. For users who like a bit more punch and impact with their music, the HA-2SE offers a Bass Boost function that is implemented purely with analog audio circuits.
Priced at $299, the HA-2SE can be ordered from OPPO Digital’s web site or resellers. The HA-2SE will be available for audition and demo at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver during the weekend of October 7 – 9.
McIntosh Laboratory, along with its UK distributor Jordan Acoustics, has joined forces with exclusive central London audio dealer, KJ West One, to bring flagship models from the iconic New York marque’s range to the capital. KJ West One will now become the capital’s biggest McIntosh dealer, offering the widest range of demonstrable product.
Located just off London’s exclusive Marylebone High Street, KJ West One has been at the leading edge of hifi excellence for over 50 years. The store, which has an enviable clientele, has three purpose-built studios providing world-class demonstration facilities for London as we found out when we visited earlier this year. Spread across two floors and measuring 3,000ft², KJ West One also has a large open showcase area, specially designed to exhibit and demonstrate its luxury audio equipment.
KJ West One now has London’s biggest range of McIntosh equipment, including a number of flagship models, such as the award-winning MA8000 integrated amplifier, MCD550 CD/SACD player and the C1100/MC 1.2KW pre/power amplifier.
Tim Jordan, owner of Jordan Acoustics, McIntosh’s UK distributor said: “I’m delighted to welcome KJ West One on board not only as a McIntosh retailer, but as the largest McIntosh stockist in the capital. KJ’s demonstration facilities are arguably the best in the UK, making the centrally located store the ideal environment in which to experience McIntosh’s class-leading product range.”
Richard Davies of KJ West One added: “There is one reason we take a brand on at KJ and that is the sound. McIntosh has stunning-sounding products: they are very easy to listen to and not fatiguing, with fantastic power and control, plus exceptionally wide soundstaging. McIntosh products really are a joy to listen to.”
Studio Connections are based in the UK and produce a wide range of cables for home audio use. In this review Dan Worth and Dominic Marsh take a look at the company’s Carbon Power cables retailing at £190 for 1m. More »
Zesto Audio has announced the debut of their newest product, the Andros Téssera Phonostage. The official launch will take place at the annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver, Colorado USA, October 7-9, 2016 in exhibit room 6011 at the Marriott Tech Centre.
Téssera means 4 in Greek. This newest product from Zesto Audio is aptly named as it is designed to work with up to 4 different tonearms or turntables. George Counnas, President and Design Engineer for Zesto Audio says, “There are so many great specialized phono cartridges available today, I wanted to design a phonostage that was easy to use, while providing the necessary inputs to accommodate multiple tonearms and be able to save the settings when you switch between channels.”
The Andros Téssera designed with 100% tube circuitry and no solid state devices anywhere in the signal path and all switching is done with reed relays.
Some of the new features include true transformer balance outputs driven by dedicated output tubes. The Andros Téssera has a new circuit design that is partnered with significantly upgraded larger MC step-up transformers to capture the most delicate signals in the grooves.
The Téssera is designed with 2 completely independent dual mono channels that can accommodate 1 MM and 1 MC per channel. It is easily adjustable “on the fly” 12 position MC load per channel without clicks or pops, so you can hear the changes, as well as save the settings when you switch between tonearms. One of the unique features is the 4 MC ground switches which helps to eliminate those noisy ground loops.
A somewhat sceptical Stuart Smith takes a listen to his kit sat ontop of the Quadraspire X Reference hifi rack costing £1000 per level. More »
Talk of powered speakers and the chances are you will think instantly of Bang and Olufsen or Meridian, or perhaps PMC and ATC. I was pleased to get hold of the Meridian’s M2 in the 1990’s, though had seen them in KJ LeisureCentre in Watford in the late 70’s and craved for them then. But the idea of powered speakers in the hifi industry goes further back than that. Up until the mid-70’s record players with built in amplifiers and speakers were all the craze, though I never really got into Bush, Murphy, HMV, ITT, Ferguson and all the other mono record players that were up for sale in Tesco, Timothy Whites, Co-op, etc. The sad thing is that they seem to be making a comeback with HMV and others selling Crosley retro record players.
It is rare for me to go to a gig specifically to see the support act but I made an exception for Fraser Anderson. I had reviewed Fraser’s excellent album Under Cover Of Lightness earlier this year and has remained a regular listen. When I found out at the last minute that Fraser was gigging, I was determined to attend. More »
Female electro poppers Marsheaux took their name from a portmanteau of the first syllables of their first names: Marianthi and Sophie. Hailing from Thessaloniki, the girls moved to Athens to form the band. Steeped in electronic pop music from the likes of Depeche Mode, The Human League, OMD, Soft Cell, New Order and Sparks, the girls have worked to bring their own personality to their influences over the course of four previous studio albums and during this time Marianthi and Sophie have also carved out a parallel career as remixers, reworking tracks by Katy Perry, Gwen Stefani, Kylie Minogue, Depeche Mode and Moby. More »
Okay, I’m going to put this right out here. I’m guilty. I suspect I might be guilty of something that we may all be guilty of but I’m not going to use that as an excuse. I’m guilty and I’m going to make a full confession. So, here goes. More »
In the third of Stuart’s reports from this year’s National Audio Show in Whittlebury he visits Kerr and Smith, Music First Audio, Woof Audio, Graham Audio, Audio Note, Hifi Hangar and The Right Note and Vertex AQ
Merging Technologies will display a pre-production version of the Merging+NADAC Player at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. The result of a dynamic partnership with Roon Labs, On a Higher Note, Merging’s US distributor will be demonstrating the product in Long Peaks on the Mezzanine floor of the Denver Marriott Tech Center. The concept of Roon’s ground breaking player program being offered in integrated solutions is not new; there being many existing partners with products available, but this will be the first time that the focus will shift to a complete turnkey and networked solution offering stereo as well as multichannel capability up to DSD256 and DXD.
The Merging+NADAC player was shown as a concept at the 2016 HIGH END Munich event and was welcomed by the attendees. The ‘single box’ solution with the software and the server combined with a DAC removes the need to have a computer in the living room. The ease with which the whole system can be controlled by your favorite tablet or smart phone enhances the user experience significantly. Integration details such as direct control of the NADAC volume and mute from the Roon user interface, also adds to the overall ergonomics by simplifying the control of the entire system from one single page on one single tablet. The NADAC Player requires only to be connected to the home network to access the remote control tablet through Wifi and stream from NAS servers storing music. When connected on the network any computer can still also stream music to NADAC using Merging Ravenna/AES67 drivers for Windows or Mac, while the NADAC Player enjoys a brand new Merging Linux/ALSA driver. Optional USB drives containing music may be connected directly on the back plate of the NADAC Player.
Merging also announced that this solution can be retrofitted to all Merging NADAC units already in the field and to any units shipping from now on, meaning that early adopters can take advantage of the upgrade if they wish. The Merging+NADAC Player is planned to be shipping in time for CES in January. Prices will show a small increase from the existing DAC despite the huge increase in functionality and convenience.
Roon’s CEO, Enno Vandermeer commented; “We are sure that this combination of the very best audio reproduction and the ultimate user experience, is going to bring back the enjoyment of listening to music in the home.” On Merging’s behalf, Head of Software Engineering and NADAC Product Manager, Dominique Brulhart stated; “The feedback we have had from customers, dealers and distributors over the past few months has convinced us that the market wants an elegant solution in a neater package. The Merging+NADAC Roon player is just that.”
Ian Ringstead gives us his views on this years National Audio Show at Whittlebury.
The Convert Technologies Plato Class A costing £3999 will digitise your vinyl, store your films and tunes, has a digital phono stage and now runs in Class A. Janine Elliot takes this modern day music centre for a whirl. More »
“Katalyst takes an unprecedented level of control over the critical elements that lie at the heart of the analogue signal’s creation, to deliver the most accurate reproduction ever from a digital source” claims the Scottish brands recent press release.
In 2007 Linn launched their original DS player and in 2016, the five key aspects below have been improved utilising Linn’s investments in R&D:
Reference Level – Now completely isolated from noise to produce a high-stability input Reference Level that generates the signal’s amplitude without variation.
Independent Power Supplies – Independent, isolated power supplies are tailored for each process, so feedback from one process cannot influence the performance of another.
Data Optimisation – Linn-designed data optimisation stage that prepares the digital signal for conversion with greater accuracy, minimising errors right at the start of the process.
Master Clock – A single high precision clock with its own independent power supply ensures greater timing accuracy throughout.
Output Driver – The new ultra-low distortion analogue output driver prepares the analogue signal for transmission out of the device, making it less susceptible to noise and degradation.
Every aspect of the original DS design was carefully drawn from first principles in order to optimise performance, from the electronics inside to the clamshell enclosure, machined from a solid billet of aluminium.
Products and Pricing
The new Klimax DS and Klimax DSM featuring Katalyst DAC Architecture are available today in silver or black anodised finishes, with upgrades available for current owners.
Klimax DS: £15,800
Klimax DSM: £18,900
Klimax DS upgrade: £3,850
Klimax DSM upgrade: £4,200