Billed as the world’s first jazz-funk mass Rochester Mass is due for release on Cherry Red on the 4th December and is essentially a catholic mass with the backdrop of The James Taylor Quartet. More »

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The Vinyl Adventure have a limited number of this excellent LP together with 50 Mobile Fidelity ant static inner sleeves for onlyhope

£60 delivered in the UK or £40 without the sleeves.

 

Analogue Productions – AAPJ 82020 – 200 Gram Virgin Vinyl – 753088820212

Mastered By  Kevin Gray at Acoustech Mastering

Limited Edition – 45RPM – Two Disc –  Pressed at QRP Quality Record Productions

“…Hope is one of those intensely visceral, large as life, and immediately present recordings that will make pretty much any system sound at least very good, and will cause better ones to raise goose bumps.” – Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound,

“A stunning demo disc to test or show off any stereo system.” – Playback,

“Here’s another masterpiece from Chad Kassem and Kevin Gray…you would swear that you are listening to a master tape in your living room…this one is great for showing off what your stereo system can do.” – Jeff Dorgay, Tone Audio

“…Believe me, this double 45 makes the CD sound like digital dog crap. It you thought the CD version sounded good, you ain’t heard nuttin’ yet.” – Michael Fremer,

— “Wow! Hugh Masekela never sounded more real – the BEST Masekela album, a definitive must have!” – Danny Kaey, Positive-Feedback Online

A longtime audiophile demonstration disc, “Hope” will show off your system’s dynamic range as well as any record ever released. Hugh Masekela, the outstanding South African trumpeter, assembled a seven-piece group and recorded this great set live at Washington, D.C.’s Blues Alley. The songs stretch over a period of nearly five decades and serve as an informal guided tour of Masekela’s life. The songs are honest and bare, and as for the sound – WOW!

“Horns are brilliant, rich and brassy-bright; drums have the kind of punch-to-the-gut power they have up-close, the soundstage ismofi_sleeves_fixed huge, and on “Grazzin’ in th Grass,” the sound has the kind of blowback power seen in old Memorex ads.” – Wayne Garcia, TAS August 2008.

This was a live show by Masekela and his band recorded at Washington D.C.’s Blues Alley back in l993, and first released on standard CD in 2004. The high quality original mix plus Analogue Productions’ superb mastering has resulted in a terrific, very transparent sonic with great impact.

This was the first time Masekela was playing with an all-African band in about 30 years. Each of the dozen tracks has detailed notes by Masekela. Five of them are by Masekela and the rest primarily songs from various African cultures.  The languages are Zulu, Sotho, Shangaan, and Pidgin English. The first track is a song by Miriam Makeba which translates as The Healers, and was inspired by her mother who was a native healer. The song Mandela (Bring Him Back Home) is self-explanatory. But it’s not all vocals – there’s some great trumpet and Flugelhorn solos from Masekela as well as his reed man. The most familiar tune here will probably be his big pop hit Grazin’ in the Grass. The gorgeous Love Bird is an instrumental and the most requested song in South Africa. The last of the tracks is a ten-minute Masekela original, Stimela (The Coal Train). It begins with a moving narration about the terrible feelings the miners working near Johannesburg had when they heard the whistle of the coal train which had brought them from their various settlements to a miserable and dangerous life underground in the mines.

Not only is the music of the highest quality, the musicianship peerless but the sound quality, particularly for a live environment is equally stunning. The realism, space and depth is astounding, the detail wonderful. We are blessed that such an excellent engineer was on hand that night to capture the performance. And that Analogue productions elected to put this out on the 45rpm dbl lp set that we have here. You can’t get better sound than this and you really should snap this up before it is gone.

LP 1
1. Abangoma (The Healers)
2. Languta
3. Grazing in the Grass
4. Nomali
LP 2
1. Marketplace
2. Ntyilo Ntyilo (The Love Bird)
3. Stimela (The Coal Train)

 


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Luxman was created in 1925 when radio broadcasting started in Japan and has long offered its great acoustics to the audio world.   Luxman has been highly rated both at home and abroad as an excellent brand for high quality audio products.L-590AX

People are open to natural things, standing on guard against unnatural things. Natural sound free from artificial processing gives birth to an opportunity for intimate dialog between people and music.d05

The natural and genuine influence of music upon listener imagination forms the basis for Luxman to depend on in manufacturing its products. Musicians pour their passion in musicwhile recording engineers record it precisely.

luxman da-100

MCRU have available a strictly limited range of Luxman amplifiers and SACD players with 25% off the list price, please visit the MCRU Luxman section of the website for details.

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Wood is an excellent support material for hifi applications due to its resonance absorption properties, oak in particular has provenmcru-large-oak-cone-feet to be very effective for hifi equipment supports.

MCRU have a range of oak feet from 10mm diameter upwards, the largest in the range measure 50mm outside diameter x 31mm tall and will accept weights up to 10kg per foot.

MCRU are offering a set of 3 of out largest feet (we recommend 2 at the front and 1 at the back in the middle for your equipment) which normally retail for £35 for only £20 delivered in the UK.

Stocks are limited so buy early to avoid dis-appointment. If you would like a set of 4 feet instead these are £25 a set delivered.

The feet are a Hi-Fi Choice 5 star reviewed item.

Postage in the UK is included in the price.

hfcminemaster_zps996d8d22

 

 

 

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MCRU are the UK’s leading dealer for Black Rhodium cables. Designed in the UK and a true made in Great Britain company, Blacksambavs1 Rhodium make some of the finest sounding cables in hi-fi.

To celebrate their latest award winning cable review of the Samba VS-1 loudspeaker cables, MCRU are offering them as a 3 metre stereo pair with a “free” set of  MCRU special edition twist interconnects fitted with KLE Copper Harmony RCA plugs, a deal not to be missed.

The Samba VS-1 is £599 for a 3 metre stereo pair, the SE twist interconnects are a 1.5 metre stereo pair.

The latest review of the Samba VS-1 is here.  

Quotes on the Samba VS-1……

“. . very open, clean and expansive image.”

“The cable comes across as very neutral with a hint of extra treble extension. .”

“Bass control is excellent and highly tuneful. . .”

“. .it’s the ‘see through’ quality of the stereo image that feels most special here.”

“Stevie’s lush organ notes, rich vocals, funky bass rifts and explosive rim shots are all beautifully layered in a highly transparent and very wide sound stage.”

“. . . the Samba easily makes sense of the pile driving bass riff, thunderous drums, searing electric buzz-sawing vocals, enabling previously unappreciated acoustic guitars and congas to come through cleanly.”

“. . it works brilliantly with stripped out material.”

“It almost seems to gently aid the contrast of your music, enabling midband detail and vocals in particular to press slightly forward out of the mix, while deeper bass and the gaps between the notes take a step backwards.”

“Silences subjectively seem a little darker but no detail is lost.”

“ . . .this added level of contrast enables fine details around the decay of notes to ebb away much more convincingly.”

“This cable performs even stronger with valve amplification.’

“The quality of the midband communication comes nto its own and the extended treble detail and bass control lend support where most needed with valves.”

“The Samba VS-1 is ideally suited to orchestral music and classical fans will appreciate its ability to tease out complex layers of rich instrumentation.”

“. . it is equally at home with more intimate music where the perceived low distortion enables subtle

voices and acoustic instruments to communicate their full emotional content.”

The cables come with our usual 30 day money back guarantee.

 


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To realize the full potential of the “Techy” this bearing is essential. Precision manufactured not a modified stock bearing, easy to fitbearings with full installation instructions. Only £445 delivered in the UK from MCRU stock and supplied with a “Free” set of Techniboots isolation feet which fit over the stock Techy feet, worth £40, all sent post free in the UK.
From Hifi Pig “We’re on a bit of a journey with the infamous DJ spinner, the Technics 1210. Some have a bit of a love affair with the turntable whereas others loathe it. Personally I fall into the Love It camp, though in its stock form, whilst a reasonable way of getting music from the vinyl grooves, it doesn’t really cut it in some company.BOOTSHowever, there’s a growing community out there in audiophileland who are taking the humble Technics turntable and modifying it extensively and keeping only the basic chassis and motor unit.

In this latest tinkering exercise I procured a Mike New replacement bearing from the folks at Mains Cables R Us to see if this could rinse out any further improvements from the turntable. Included in the review are a number of photographs to show just how easy the fitting of the bearing is



 

 

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There are portable DAC’s, there are portable headphone amplifiers. There are also full sized versions of both which sit on the ifi_audio_micro_idsd_diag (1)equipment rack. Very rarely is there a portable DAC that can replace most full sized equivalents. But there has never been an equivalent to the iFI Micro DAC as far as the author knows. Certainly not at under £500 either.

Recently appearing in Hi-Fi+ magazine the editor Chris Martens described the Micro as a “gift” which means for the price of £415 the unit does so much and does it so well its difficult to imagine anything better ever being available for anywhere near the asking price, so it’s not just a bargain but a gift.

See the MCRU website for full details of this little gem of a product, suffice to say it handles every known audio format natively with no internal conversion taking place, if you have DXD files listen and be amazed, likewise DSD and 24/192 sound exceptional, even standard red book CD quality has something about it when listened to through the iFI Micro. It will drive almost all headphones and again sounds superb, MCRU use HiFiMan HE-560’s and the realism of the music being played is stunning.

The unit can also be used as a stand alone DAC as well as a portable music player, as the former it also excels whatever source ifi_audio_micro_idsd_bottomyou connect it to, macbook, music server, laptop anything. It will even spruce up old CD players with digital outputs (s-pdif). We could waffle on for hours about it but have to go and make some cables now so rest assured if sound quality and convenience are top of your list then treat yourself to one of the bargains of the year.

The iFI Micro I-DSD DAC / Headphone Amplifier is available from MCRU for £415 here.

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The Vinyl Adventure is a newly formed company specializing in audiophile vinyl and accessories. No mass market titles will everharry-belafonte-at-carnegie-hall-2lp-200g-vinyl
feature in their product portfolio as all the vinyl is carefully chosen for sound quality first and foremost.
The labels TVA feature are mostly Mobile Fidelity and Reference Recordings, the full website will launch in late January but in the mean-time Hifi Pig have secured a cracking deal for of all their members on a “must have” audiophile pressing of Harry Belafonte Live at Carnegie Hall re-issue on 180g vinyl from Speakers Corner Records
The Vinyl Adventure is owned and run by MCRU + F8 Creates who are both companies who are obsessed with vinyl, don’t miss out on this offer and make your turntable sparkle at Christmas with Mr Belafonte himself singing in your listening room.
Harry Belafonte Live At Carnegie Hall 200g Vinyl
Nagaoka No. 102 Anti Static Record Inner Sleeves x 50
£50 delivered in the UK
LP1
1.  Act 1: The Moods of the American Negro – Introduction / Darlin’ Cora
2.  Act 1: The Moods of the American Negro – Sylvie
3.  Act 1: The Moods of the American Negro – Cotton Fields
4.  Act 1: The Moods of the American Negro – John Henry
5.  Act 1: The Moods of the American Negro – Take My Mother Home
6.  Act 1: The Moods of the American Negro – The Marching Saints
7.  Act 2: In The Caribbean – Day O
8.  Act 2: In The Caribbean – Jamaica Farewell
9.  Act 2: In The Caribbean – Man Piaba
10. Act 2: In The Caribbean – All My trials
LP2
1.  Act 2: In The Caribbean – Mama Look A Boo Boo
2.  Act 2: In The Caribbean – Come Back Lisa
3.  Act 2: In The Caribbean – Man Smart (Woman Smarter)
4.  Act 3: Round The World – Hava Nageela
5.  Act 3: Round The World – Danny Boy
6.  Act 3: Round The World – Merci Bon Dieu (from the “Haitian Suite”)
7.  Act 3: Round The World – Cu Cu Ru Cu Cu Paloma
8.  Act 3: Round The World – Shenandoah
9.  Act 3: Round The World – Matilda



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This offer is only available via Hi-Fi Pig, the unit retails at £995, we are offering it for a limited period for £895 delivered in the UK linear-power-supply-for-naim-unitiservewith a free IsoTek EVO3 Premier mains lead included.

The power supply is designed and manufactured in the UK by Longdog Audio who are also responsible for a multitude of award winning power supplies sold by MCRU. EVERY product we have submitted for review in the UK Hi-Fi press has won the top accolade, with several  hundred power supplies sold throughout the world this is a well proven design.

This PSU was designed specifically to power the Naim Unitiserve which requires 12V DC at 4.8 amps. Un-like the existing power brick supplied with the unit our supply is a fully regulated linear design and according to the first customer to use it it makes the sound much better as we would expect. It is well documented that switch mode power supplies can degrade sound quality, a linear design takes away a lot of the grunge that a smps injects into the mains system resulting in far better sound quality which after all is why we listen to music in the first place.

The Longdog Audio 5A power supply is designed as a high quality low noise power source for the current generation of computer based audio components. Even the most costly digital audio source from established high quality audio manufacturers are supplied as standard with a small, efficient (and cheap) switch mode power supply (SMPS). Modern SMPS’s are wonders of electrical technology, offering many features, small size, wide range of input voltages, high current output. But the one thing the all fail at to some extent is the job they are actually used for, providing smooth, quiet, regulated power to feed the audio sources. Looking at the output of a typical SMPS (using an oscilloscope), shows they produce a sea of noise on top of the direct current. A typical 12v DC power supply may produce 500mv or so of wide band noise. As someone in the HiFi industry was heard to say, many years ago, “source first”. Well, to the digital components that we are using today, the original source of any audio that it produces starts with the power supply. Yes, its possible to clean up the noise to some extent by the use of filtration, but for every reduction of noise the filter will add a corresponding increase in power supply impedance, and that means that the power supply is less able to cope with the changing demands of the component.

As the demands of the component change, the DC level of the supply changes at the same time. This is a phenomenon that is beloved in the guitar amplifier world, and there its called “Sag”. In guitar amps it increases the distortion and adds more “character” to the sound. But “character” and distortion are the last thing we want to introduce to our HiFi components. Longdog Audio has been supplying solutions to the problems of SMPS’s for some years now, we have been making small ultra low noise linear power supplies and providing them to power DAC’s and other small source components. However getting such a low noise with a linear (non switching) supply does come with a cost, that cost is efficiency. Each of the regulation stages in a LDA linear supply requires 3 volt or so of headroom to work with. So a 12v output supply, will need to start with a 18v source. The supply uk to iecdiscards the excess voltage in the form of heat. That works just fine
if the supply is expecting to supply 500ma or so of current. A 12v 500ma supply will be creating 3W of heat, noting troublesome to dissipate from the casework of the supply. However if we try and simply scale this solution up to 5A or more, we start having to deal with 30W-80W of heat. Suddenly our nice quiet power supply starts to resemble a large class A amplifier, and starts to grow large heatsinks to dissipate this unwanted energy.

The Longdog Audio 5A supply avoids this problem by making use of the latest semiconductor technology. High current MOSFET transistors are now available that can be used to regulate power with less than half a volt voltage drop, that means a 12v 5A supply can operate with only 2.5W of wasted heat. However to control these devices, we need a voltage that is still much higher than the required output voltage. So to provide the quietness of a linear supply with the efficiency of a SMPS, the LDA design makes use of voltage doubling techniques to get the best of both worlds.
High current, high efficiency and quiet power. The LDA design is so efficient that it does not require the use of external heatsinks, making use of its quality aluminium casework to dissipate the small amount of heat generated. This means that the supply can be operated continuously at full power yet still only become warm to the touch

The unit is made in 230V and 120V versions, we ship globally and supply the appropriate mains power cable to suit your country in with the package. The unit connects to your Unitiserve via a short cable terminated with a 4 pin DIN connector to connect to the power supply and an audiophile Oyaide DC plug to connect to your Unitiserve. The lead is 1 metre long as standard.

On/off switch and IEC mains power inlet on the rear, the unit has a green LED on the front panel. Specially chosen rubber feet are fitted to absorb micro vibrations.

Dimensions 205mm wide | 320mm deep | 130mm tall.

230V | 120V AC Input

12V DC 4.8 amps output




Not available anywhere else, MCRU will be presenting a short series of exclusive deals only available on Hifi Pig. There is a paypalnova buy now button included for purchasing direct from this site.

Today we offer all “PIG” viewers the chance to get onto the IsoTek Systems ladder to better sound quality through effective mains conditioning/filtration.

The IsoTek GII Nova has been around for a few years, it was originally manufactured for AV + Hi-Fi use and optimized for front end equipment such as pre-amps, dvd and blu ray players, phono stages and tuners. It features 6 direct coupled six stage primary and five stage secondary filter circuits with each outlet individually filtered. IsoTek use adaptive gating which automatically senses the requirements of the load.

The GII Nova will handle low powered amplifiers like the Cyrus range as an example, many customers prefer to plug their power amps direct into the wall socket but we always suggest try both and see.

The GII Nova is limited stock now and MCRU have only a handful left in Black, list price was £3300 (mainly due to the very mcru-no-5-mains-power-leadexpensive chokes inside the unit) but they are now reduced to £1650 and still come with full IsoTek warranty and are brand new and boxed.

The MCRU Hifi Pig exclusive offer is a GII Nova (which incidentally uses the superb RDC cone feet to rest on) bundled with a MCRU No. 5 mains power lead worth £165 absolutely “free” the No. 5 uses 4mm sq conductors and the excellent Furutech FI-1363 pure copper mains plug fitted with the correct connector to power the NOVA.

A review of the No. 5 is here




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If you want reference-quality headphones that take you closer to the music, Audeze’s LCD-X have to be heard.LCD-X AABK-SeatedL-12514

Audeze’s Award winning headphones are based on planar magnetic technology, which offers numerous benefits over traditional headphone design – see our tech boxout below for more details!

The LCD-X is an extremely efficient headphone that extracts the maximum power out of low-powered amplifiers and portable devices – and truly sings when powered by a headphone amp!

It’s also the most neutral of all Audeze’s LCD Collection. That’s why it’s favoured by recording engineers and musicians alike for its fast, dynamic and accurate sound.

Featuring Fazor Technology

Audeze’s patent-pending Fazor elements improve clarity, focus and the already spectacular holographic imaging. Two Fazor Fazor-Element-Diagram (1)elements are placed just outside the two magnet structures that surround the diaphragm. They guide and manage the flow of sound around the magnets and are standard on all LCD headphones.

Think of sound waves as ripples in a pond. Drop a pebble in the water, the ripples spread out undisturbed. Drop two pebbles and the ripples interfere with each other just like speakers in a room. Wave interference, while not as severe in headphones, remains an obstacle to top performance.

Fazor Features

  • Loads the diaphragm with a symmetrical acoustic load
  • Improves acoustic impedance-matching that extends high frequency response and increases efficiencyLCD-X-AABK-HangingF-12514
  • Acoustically transparent so sound waves generated by the surface of the moving diaphragm pass through the magnetic structure undegraded
  • Improved phase response at high frequencies
  • Improved Impulse response

All Audeze headphones are hand-crafted in California by sound engineers.  They are available from all good specialist retailers; the LCD-X has a suggested retail price of £1399.

Acclaim for the LCD-X headphones:

 

‘For accuracy, musicality and supreme comfort I love my Audeze LCD-X headphones – they make music sound so good!’John Davis, Mastering professional – responsible for remastering Led Zeppelin’s back catalogue, plus mastering for U2, REM, Primal Scream, Royal Blood, FKA Twigs, Lana Del Rey and more.

 

“Beautifully-finished and equally beautiful-sounding, deliciously smooth, unambiguously stable and accurate imaging with a lack of coloration in the midrange and treble. John Atkinson, Stereophile

 

“The LCD-X is now my favorite headphone for recreational listening and studio monitoring.”–MICHAEL MERCER, POSITIVE FEEDBACK
“High-end audio is all about the pursuit of excellence, and Audeze headphones exemplify that philosophy.”–STEVE GUTTENBERG, CNET
“The sense of space is enormous, sounding more like speakers in a room than drivers next to your ears.”–GEOFFREY MORRISON, FORBES
“The smallest details, the shortest transients, were all a clear and well defined as I could imagine possible. Deep bass had no boominess or chestiness. There was not a hint of over-sibilance.”– JOHN E. JOHNSON, SECRETS OF HOME THEATER AND HIFI
“The LCD-X is proof that Audeze listens to its customers and respects their opinions … Instrument separation and imaging are amazing … X marks the spot!”– DAN-ALEXANDRU GHEORGHE, HEADMANIA.ORG

 

Audeze LCD-X Features and SpecificationsLCD-X AABK-StandL-12514

Style Open circumaural
Transducer type Planar magnetic
Magnetic structure Proprietary self-closing design
Magnet type High-grade Neodymium
Diaphragm area 39.8sq cm (6.17sq in)
Maximum power 15W (for 200 ms)
Optimal power 1-4W
SPL > 130dB with 15W
Frequency response 5Hz – 20kHz extension to 50kHz
THD < 1%
Impedance 20 ohms
Efficiency 95dB / 1mW
Weight 600g
Cable length 2.5m (8.2 ft)

Package Includes

2.5m (8.2ft) 6.35mm (1/4in) to dual 4-pin mini-XLR cable
2.5m (8.2ft) 4-pin XLR to dual 4-pin mini-XLR cable
6.35mm (1/4in) to 3.5mm (1/8in) stereo adapter
Ruggedized travel case
Warranty documents

 

More about Planar Magnetic Technology

Planar magnetic speaker technology is a dramatic departure from traditional dynamic speakers. The unique design and functionality of planar magnetic transducers (or “drivers”) overcome many limitations inherent in cone drivers.

Planar magnetic transducers typically consist of two main components: a diaphragm with circuit and magnet arrays. The “planar” in planar magnetics refers to the magnetic field that’s distributed in the same plane (parallel) to the diaphragm. Planar magnetic diaphragms are thin and lightweight compared to much heavier moving-coil or dome diaphragms found in “dynamic” drivers. This thin diaphragm is suspended in the magnetic fields created by the magnetic arrays.

Unlike a dynamic driver with a cone or dome attached to a voice coil, a planar magnetic diaphragm has a printed circuit spread across the surface of a thin-film substrate. When the circuit is energized with an audio signal it interacts with the magnetic field and produces an electromagnetic force that moves the diaphragm back and forth creating sound.

Planar magnetic transducers offer numerous benefits:LCD-X-AABK-SeatedL-Glam-10914

  • Responsiveness:  Since the force created by the magnetic field is distributed across most of the diaphragm surface, the planar magnetic diaphragm moves faster and with far greater accuracy to the input signal.
  • Frequency and Distortion:  The magnetic force that drives the lightweight diaphragm delivers rapid acceleration thus achieving a wide frequency response, low distortion and excellent sound quality.
  • Durability:  Because the circuit pattern is spread flat across the diaphragm surface it can dissipate the heat generated by the current passing through it more efficiently. Additionally, planar magnetic transducers have few moving parts and can maintain performance without any sonic degradation. Dynamic drivers continuously degrade in performance over their life due to a multitude of moving parts and use of glue joints.
  • Amplifier Friendly: The circuits found in planar magnetic diaphragms present an almost purely resistive load to amplifiers, making it easy to drive.  The impedance over the entire frequency range is completely flat vs. dynamic speaker, which could have variances in impedance values over the frequency range.

Audeze employs a number of proprietary techniques that improve upon basic planar magnetic design, including the integration of unique, ultra-thin diaphragms and stronger and more optimized magnetic fields and circuit patterns. Audeze’s goal is to bring the best in planar magnetic design and continuing to improve the personal audio experience.

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Class-leading sound quality, unbeatable format support, streaming functionality, gorgeous look and feel – and now free high-res AK120 Ⅱ_01music when you buy. No wonder Astell&Kern is acclaimed to make the world’s best portable players!

The gorgeous model under the spotlight here is the AK120 II, an update to the popular AK120 with a fresh design that gives a nod to both the original models and the new AK240.

The AK120 II replaces the AK120’s Wolfson WM8740 DAC with the Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC chipset found in the flagship AK240.  Again like the AK240, the AK120 II features double DACs that output audio signals independently to each channel, making the AK120 II a true dual mono (dual monaural) setup like those found in expensive hi-fi equipment.

The dual Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC chips found in the AK120 II dedicates each DAC chip to a completely separate left and right channel. In result, the AK120 II provides far superior depth, clarity, and spaciousness to the audio. By providing a much clearer sound with lower distortion, the AK120 II truly replicates how the original music was recorded.

Both players include Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing users to stream music from any computer or NAS drive located on the same network.  From low-bitrate MP3s to studio master quality 24bit music files, all can be accessed and enjoyed as easily as music stored on the player itself.

Firmware updates are also performed over the air, eliminating the need to connect the player to a computer to update. AK120 Ⅱ_09

A recent firmware upgrade has added the ability for AK120 II users to download music direct from music service, Qobuz, via a new A&K by Qobuz app (also available for the AK100 II and AK240).

This allows AK120 II users to:

  • Browse all the tracks of the world’s largest HD musical catalogue
  • Listen to extracts of tracks in High Definition, and to order them straight from the device
  • Access full updated content and information relating to songs and albums
  • Download purchases made on Qobuz.com directly onto the HD audio player via Wi-Fi

And until June 2015, you can claim £50 of free Qobuz downloads with the purchase of any Astell&Kern player. See www.qobuz.com/ak for more details.

Like the flagship AK240, the AK120 II features balanced and unbalanced analog outputs, giving audiophiles a wider range of listening options.  With a 3.31” AMOLED screen, the player displays more information than the first generation models in a crystal clear, high resolution display.

Single-rate and double-rate DSD playback is supported via DSD to PCM conversion done in real-time via the player’s software.  InAK120 Ⅱ_10 addition to DSD support, the Astell&Kern portable players support 24-bit, up to 192khz digital audio files, and Apple lossless formats in addition to many other lossy music formats users may currently have.

The AK120 II features 128GB of internal memory, plus a microSD card slot that supports up to 128GB cards – giving you 256GB of storage.

Finally, the AK120 II can also be used as a USB DAC, allowing the user to connect the unit to a computer to provide higher quality sound processing than most sound cards available today.

The player comes with a high-quality black leather case, with a docking cradle available as an optional extra.

The AK120 II is available now, from a wide range of quality audio retailers, priced £1499.

General specifications

  • Model – AK120 II
  • Body colour – Stone Silver
  • Body material – Aluminium
  • Display – 3.31inch WVGA (480 x 800) AMOLED Touchscreen
  • Supported Audio Formats – WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE(Normal, High, Fast), AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
  • Sample rate – FLAC, WAV, ALAC, AIFF : 8kHz ~ 192kHz (8/16/24bits per Sample)
    / DSD : DSD64 (1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128 (1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo
  • Output Level – Unbalance 2.1Vrms / Balance 2.3Vrms (Condition No Load)
  • DAC – Cirrus Logic CS4398 x2 (Dual DAC)
  • Decoding – Support up to 24bit/192kHz Bit to Bit Decoding
  • Input – USB Micro-B input (for charging & data transfer (PC & MAC))
    / Connection Mode : MTP (Media Device)
  • Outputs – headphones (3.5mm) / Optical Out (3.5mm) / Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported)
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz)
  • Bluetooth – V4.0
  • Dimensions – 2.16 ”(55 mm) [W] x 4.64 ”(118 mm) [H] x 0.58 ”(14.9 mm) [D]
  • Weight – 6.24 oz (177 g)
  • Feature Enhancements – Firmware upgrades supported (OTA)

Audio Performance

  • Frequency Response – ±0.023dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalance & Balance
    / ±0.3dB (Condition: 10Hz~70kHz) Unbalance & Balance
  • Signal to Noise Ratio – 116dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 117dB @ 1kHz, Balance
  • Crosstalk – 130dB @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 135dB @ 1kHz, Balance
  • THD+N – 0.0007% @ 1kHz, Unbalance / 0.0005% @ 1kHz, Balance
  • IMD SMPTE – 0.0004% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Unbalance / 0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz(4:1) Balance
  • Output Impedance – Balanced out 2.5mm (1ohm) / PHONES 3.5mm (2ohm)

Clock source

  • Clock Jitter – 50ps (Typ)

Battery

  • Capacity – 3,250mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer Battery

Memory

  • Built-in Memory – 128GB [NAND]
  • External Memory – microSD (Max 128GB) x1

OS

  • Supported OS – Windows XP, Windows 7,8 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7 and up

Advertising Promotion

Dreaming of a White Christmas?

KEF’s LS50 is one of the most widely-renowned and multi-award-winning loudspeakers of the 21st century so far.  What’s more, HiFiPig_LS50this model is now available in a brand new high gloss, piano white edition!  Featuring the very latest KEF technology, including the critically acclaimed Uni-Q driver array in an attractive blue finish, the LS50 delivers a rich, multi-dimensional soundstage experience that is all out of proportion to their size.

Now available for pre-order, find your nearest retailer here, or visit our online KEF Store.

The original LS50 was designed to celebrate KEF’s 50th anniversary, and was conceived as a ‘mini monitor’ derived from the legendary LS3/5a, to bring professional studio monitor performance into the home. Through patented acoustic designs, together with state of the art technologies from the KEF Blade loudspeaker, the LS50 provides the ultimate studio experience – even in the smallest of spaces.

At the LS50’s heart beats the highly acclaimed KEF Uni-Q driver, capable of mastering an exceptional range of dynamic highs andKEF LS50 lows over a large listening area. The stylish new high gloss piano white LS50s have an attractive blue Uni-Q driver, and feature all the advanced, state-of-the-art audio technology and high-tech design that have made the LS50 one of the most critically acclaimed loudspeakers around.

The KEF LS50 has been a resounding success since its introduction in 2012, winning multiple awards and accolades, including being recently honoured with the What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision Readers’ Award for Product of the Year, for the second consecutive year.

‘The terrific KEF LS50 standmounters show no sign of losing their sparkle after dazzling our readers for a second successive year’.

Always at the forefront of loudspeaker design and technology, KEF’s technical expertise and innovative designs grace anything LS50_Front_RGB_lofrom discreet Custom Install Ci speakers to multi-award winning home theatre systems and class-leading, serious Hi-Fi stereo speakers. Since 1961 KEF has been the most forward thinking and technologically advanced Hi-Fi manufacturer in the world.

The newly launched High Gloss Piano White LS50 continues this legacy, read more about the multi-award winning mini monitors here.

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logo mcru

Started 4 years ago (is that all!!) Mains Cables R Us began because it’s owner David Brook needed a mains extension block for MEhis AV system and the subsequent purchase he received from ebay begged the question “can I do better myself ?”

Fast forward and David’s 30+ years as an audiophile has helped the company to rise from humble beginnings to now being major dealers for many of the world’s most respected hifi accessory brands. The role call of brands supported by MCRU (who re-branded from Mains Cables R Us when David realized cables was only a small part of his main sales range) ranges from small boutique brands up to the major players in the hifi accessory world.

dacIsoTek Systems, Furutech, Clearaudio, WBT, Black Rhodium, Supra, Tellurium Q, Oyaide, SLiC Innovations, MoME2 (1)bile Fidelity, Benz Micro, iFI Audio, Longdog Audio and many more.

Having tinkered with mains cables for decades David’s knowledge and experience in that area and his passion for all things analogue have helped the company succeed in what is essentially still a cottage industry. As well as 2 websites (the 2nd being The Vinyl Adventure which is a new website being launched shortly) 3 ebay stores, amazon shop and blog/facebook/twitter presence)  you cannot beat the personal touch and David spends a lot of his time talking to customers about how to get every last bit of performance from their hifi systems.

evo3-mosaicAs 2015 approaches MCRU have many new and exciting projects in the pipeline, the most exciting being the launch of a new goldMusic First Audio Phono Amplifier for which MCRU will be dealers for. They firmly believe analogue never died and David’s 2 x Technics SL1200’s from his DJ’ing days in the 80’s are still working well having been heavily modified through all the up-grade tips he first discovered on The Art Of Sound forum. To see what we are all about please visit our websitewww.mcru.co.uk

athena dctThe final comment we leave to the late great DJ Mr John Robert Parker Ravenscroft better known as John Peel who sadly passed away in 2004, his quote will forever remind us of his legendary status in music circles….Vinyl Is Not Dead, It Just Needs A New Turntable……

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Seasons greetings from all at Music First Audio

Music First Audio
www.mfaudio.co.uk

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MUSIC FIRST AUDIO LAUNCHES FLAGSHIP VALVE PHONO STAGE

Music First Audio’s new Reference MM Phono Stage is a high end, premium priced valve phono pre-MFPhonoSadamplifier. The result of years of development, it combines vacuum tube and solid state circuit topology to bring the beauty of valve sound with the long term stability that transistors afford.

The front end of the Reference MM Stage employs a very low noise pentode originally designed for the demanding European communication industry, combined with a dual triode to provide the ideal characteristics of high gain, low noise and low impedance drive.

This first stage, then drives an inductive equalisation network showcasing Music First Audio’s many years of coil winding expertise. The accurately equalised signal is then amplified and passed through Longdog Audio’s signature line driving stage. Power for the dual mono circuitry is provided by an isolated and regulated power supply which feeds, via high quality locking connectors, four discrete high voltage, low noise regulators that power the active circuitry.

The Reference Phono Stage is housed in superlative quality non-ferrous aluminium casework and is designed and built exclusively in the United Kingdom. The result is a phono pre-amplifier of exceptionally high ability, offering unparalleled transparency, harmonic accuracy and reliability.

The Music First Reference MM Phono Amplifier costs £8208 plus VAT, and is on sale now.

PUTTING MUSIC FIRST!

About Music First Audio

Music First Audio hand-builds its products in the UK, using only the finest materials and components. This, allied to meticulous quality control and attention-to-detail, ensures longevity as well as excellent sonic performance. Beginning with the Music First Audio Classic Pre-amplifier in 2003, the company has enjoyed a succession of rapturous hi-fi magazine reviews, with critics applauding the exceptional clarity and musicality of the sound.

PRESS CONTACT:       

David Brook:  07908 056978

david@mcru.co.ukmfbot

www.mfaudio.co.uk

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The Concept

The Music First Audio passive preamplifier was conceived to position itself at the very heart of a true high-end hi-fi system. A MF1231DVENTpreamplifier’s role is relatively simple, it provides for source selection (recordings and transmissions of all types) and enables the listener to adjust volume level. The design of Music First Audio preamplifiers is remarkably simple, and the audible benefits are demonstrable. One of our most respected innovators of audio design once said that, ideally, an amplifier should be little more than “a straight wire with gain” and we like to think our products aspire more closely to this objective than any other preamplifier.

Basically, there are two types of preamplifier; active and passive. Historically active preamplifiers tackled the problem of wildly different output levels from source components, particularly vinyl systems which demanded additional ‘boosting’ with active electronics. However, times change, and these issues have now largely been addressed in different ways.

Active and passive preamplifiers work in different ways. All active electronics generate noise or colouration, sometimes it’s not readily detected but it’s there. In the most sophisticated active circuits additional components can be introduced to reduce these problems, but that just adds to the cost. More than this, the performance of active electronics are very much dependant on the quality of their power supply so that also has a significant influence on cost.

To be fair, despite commendable efforts, we’ll be first to accept that a few early passive preamplifiers were equally, but differently compromised in their performance capabilities which is why it’s vitally important for us to state that Music First Audio products bear no relationship nor have any history with those early designs. Music First Audio passive preamplifiers are the products of twenty-first century thinking. Having said that, our preamplifiers do owe their heritage to our sister company, Stevens & Billington Ltd, who, for more than fifty years have successfully designed and manufactured superior quality transformers.

Just like you, we’re serious music lovers and hi-fi enthusiasts so it was almost inevitable that we should set ourselves the task of designing a truly outstanding preamplifier, at the heart of which would be our ultimate transformer. After months of research and experiment we launched the TX101, our supreme achievement. But we didn’t stop there, soon after that followed a version, the TX102, with multiple outputs that could be wired to a volume control of the highest quality. To reach this stage had involved further research, many revisions and, most importantly, hundreds of hours of listening tests. The passive magnetic preamplifier was born.

By using a transformer instead of resistors consigns to history any resistance to passive pre amplification, all prejudices overturned, all orthodoxy defeated. Fresh thinking has created our Transformer Volume Control (TVC), the quintessential solution to pre amplification and signal attenuation. The Music First Audio passive preamplifier accepts both balanced and unbalanced inputs and any combination as required. Our preamplifier’s utter transparency ensures its compatibility with almost any hi-fi system within which it will improve the quality of sound.

We can state with absolute confidence, as well as much shared experience, that Music First Audio preamplifiers offer at the very least, a level of performance comparable with the world’s most expensive preamplifiers, but at a fraction of the cost. mfbot

 

www.mfaudio.co.uk

Advertising PromotionPrint

Day Seven of Hifi Pig’s Advent Calendar advertising promotion focuses on Hifi-Man HE560 Headphones.

Hifi-Man HE-560 headphone is different in that it is a orthodynamic headphone that uses planar magnetic or orthodynamic DSC_1209technology, which unlike cone drivers, are flat, very thin plastic mem- branes, on which is attached a thin conductor. The membrane is near permanent magnets, and when the signal flows through the conductor, the opposing electromagnetic field on the conductive membrane is pushed away from or attracted to the permanent magnets, producing the sound, with openness and detail that are difficult to achieve with conventional designs.

All Hifi-Man models share a symmetrical wiring, where in each driver has it’s own separate premi- um audio cable and with the new crystalline copper and silver cable this results in lower crosstalk between each channel and unfortunately most manufacturers still do not use this.

Hifi Pig review

Electromod was started with excitement and enthusiasm for audio equipment which we still feel we have today. For this is one of the reasons we offer brands such as Hifi-Man, Schiit and Synergistic Research as all these brands offer something we believe others do not in new technologies and competitive pricing.

Whilst most other companies look back and only see growth and financial gain as a measure of their success we look back and consider the good memories and fun times are as equally as important. Hi-fi is supposed to be an entertainment industry and the word there is entertainment and sometimes we think this is lost, yes there is business to have but why not have the fun at the same time whilst keeping to our motto of great products with an even better service.

After discovering that there was a need for high quality complimentary audio products to the UK market. Electromod was conceived in 2011, We proudly presented Hifi-Man headphones as the next logical choice along with Schiit audio electronic Ragnarok-main-1000products design by no other than Mike Moffat and Jason Stoddard. We believe Electromod now offers the best Othrodynamic or Planar magnetic headphones with electronic components to match complimented by small tweaks from Synergistic Research and beautiful crafted headstands from Sieveking Sound we believe all these products and prices will surprise many an audio cognisor.

Electromod represents our personal view in that we believe passionately about all the products we stock that they offer great audio performance and be affordable, we will carry this view on all future products we stock.

Just look at some of these reviews on the Hifi Pig site.

Looking forward to 2015 we have lots of new products released from all manufactures with Schiit we have their statement D to A converter this will be under £2k, yes only £2000 for a statement product and lots of other products we cannot yet talk about a few we hope will be here before Christmas it’s really exciting, from Hifi-Man we have new in ear headphones being release as well as there latest headphone / speaker amplifier the EF100.

The new UEF technology from Synergistic Research is starting to make waves and questions from many places which is what we want, yes most people think of questions or do not believe it when speaking about certain things in this industry and being an electronic engineer i was one of those, trying audio grade fuses change my mind as why would a fuse make that much differences to the music well it does in much the same way as different cables makes a difference sound. It is a very exciting time for us as we have a lot of listening ahead to understand all these new and exciting products.

Please check out our web-site or the manufactures web-site for more information.

Electromod is unlike most distributors in where that’s where we stop giving you sales patter and rather you listen to the product or do your own research in regards to this and any of our products, we believe in our products only through listening and research will you understand why we sell these brands.

Also see Hifi Pig’s review on these headphones. Please go down to your local dealer for more information.

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About HIGHRESAUDIO

HIGHRESAUDIO is a high-resolution music download service offering a diverse catalog of music in Studio Master-Quality. HRA_Logo_POSITIV_RZHIGHRESAUDIO is the perfect companion for audiophiles, music lovers and digital audio systems and anywhere else that pure sound quality matters.

HIGHRESAUDIO is founded by a team of experienced, visionary and enthusiastic music specialists and audio engineers in Germany. We embrace the transformation brought by technologies to the music industry and audiophiles in the pursuit of the ultrasonic music experience. HIGHRESAUDIO develops innovative services and applications, business models and shapes new commercial opportunities for record labels, artists and manufacturers of digital audio products.

Lothar Kerestedjian, is founder and CEO since 2010 of the music download platform for music lovers and audiophiles called HIGHRESAUDIO.com. As founder and CEO of HIGH-DEF Technology GmbH in 2004, he paved the way for Intel and Microsoft into the living-room with the development of the world’s smallest, fan less HD-main board and home entertainment media centers. For Philips he developed home automation software. The products are successfully deployed on various Philips touch screen remote controls as well as Windows Mobile enabled handheld devices in the market.

Mr. Kerestedjian‘s international experience led him develop business scenarios, models and products in Germany, Belgium, Holland, USA, Australia and Japan. He has successfully supported the following companies in the preparation of business cases and deploying products into market: PEL (Panasonic European Laboratories), MEI, Philips Interactive Media, Toshiba, Daikin USA Laboratories, ARD Digital, RTL New Media and ProSieben Media. In addition, he has an all-around knowledge of the audio, video,HRASCREENSHOT music, television and the consumer home-entertainment business.    

Hifi Pig asked Lothar a few questions about the site. 

How does HighResAudio select material for the website?

LK.: We are very well established and share a good relationship with all record companies and their staff. Even with the recording engineers, mastering and studio owner. We exchange a lot of our know-how, demand, interest of music and quality with the above people in order to get premium quality music for our customers.

We are very selective in the repertoire that we sell. Each album goes through a professional quality control process. That includes measuring, analyzing and listing-session to at least 2-3 tracks of each album. Depending on the result, we decide in a small team, if we offer or trash it. More than 30% of the delivered material that we receive, does not match our quality criteria and gets trashed. We only offer the native original 24bit source. Up-sampled and technical manipulated content is a absolute no go and I see as fraud! This philosophy and strategy differentiates us from the rest and surely gets recognized sooner or later.

What is the biggest single restriction you face as a company to gaining more business?

LK.: Obtaining high quality recorded music. I myself invest more than 80% of my time in searching and acquiring content. More importantly than the sampling rate is the musical performance of the the musicians themselves and how the music was captured, mastered and remastered. I have also to constantly chase licensing and territorial rights, because certain repertoire especially from the major record companies is not on the release day available in all countries simultaneously. That‘s laborious for us and also often not understandable for the customer. Nevertheless, 65% of our repertoire is available worldwide.

You mentioned 20% of your turnover is in the UK, do you have a rough breakdown of which countries are buying what?

LK.: Of course being German based, the large portion is generated out of the German-speaking countries. Nevertheless, the interest from UK customers is rapidly increasing on a monthly bases. I guess, we are doing a good job. The store is completely in English. We offer British Pound as local currency including a reward bonus-point system. PayPal and credit cards as payment options and of course a 24/7 support with English speaking staff.

Visit HIGHRESAUDIO

Advertising Promotionvinyl_passion_header

Very Best Wishes to All for a Happy Christmas and Wonderful New Year from everyone at The Missing Link & Vinyl Passion

We have had a very busy and interesting year creating a new range of Turn Table upgrades, building relations with new dealers and distributors & launching our new website for all things Vinyl.

With Christmas Shopping now in full swing you may have your own ‘Wishful Thought’ for what might be in your Christmas stocking this year!

If one of your loves is Vinyl we have some perfect gifts for you.

 

The Best Choice for preserving your Stylus and cherished vinyl with Five Best Buy Awards – available world-wide at £21dust buster (1)

The VP Dust Buster Stylus Cleaner consists of a small pot full of a thick substance. It is simple to use. You unscrew the lid and very gently lower the stylus into the pot, pausing for a moment before lifting it. As it is removed any residue from the tip stays in the pot leaving your stylus sparklingly clean.

A Simple and Very Effective Product at £21.00

Available from Amazon, Ebay, Tesco Direct, Russ Andrews, Analogue Seduction, Divine Audio, Origin Live, Mackenzie Hi Fi, Fresh Press Records, The Music Exchange, Pendulum Records, Vinyl Passion and all good music stockists in the UK . Also available in France, Sweden, Ukraine, Australia  and America. Vinyl Passion Designer Mark Sears says of the VP Dust-Buster, “I consider it my gift to the vinyl music lover and a major contribution in the preservation of rare and cherished vinyl”. Buy Now.

The Perfect Platter Mat

High quality Black Vinyl Passion Carbon Acrylic 3mm Platter Mat… £28.00platter mat

We have managed to keep the thickness down to only 3mm while maintaining the perfect performance and resonance control by using a special type of Acrylic

This has the following benefits for your turntable

The Vinyl Passion Mat will replace most standard platter mats without the need to alter the tone arm VTA or suspension balance due to the weight being only 230 grams – unlike some of the thicker alternatives on the market this will also give a superior impedance match to your vinyl giving a better overall sound and improved dynamics.

Polymer platter mats are advised by Vinyl Passion to be used in conjunction with our range of record care products and turntable upgrades due to the fact Polymer mats do not hold dust or debris as is often the case with other mat types that can contaminate your cherished vinyl. Buy Now

Available direct from www.vinylpassion.com  and vinylpassionhifi on Ebay 

Want to totally spoil yourself ?

Beautiful Customised Vinyl Passion VP12 Turn Table

Beautiful to gaze upon and Exquisitely Musical to the eartt (1)

Carbon Acrylic ‘Foundation’ Base Board with Gold Plated Spike Feet – Unique custom Kalos Plinth  hand built from ethically sourced English Oak – VP Unity-Two Sub-Chassis – VP Orpheus Top Plate

Custom Black Platter with Purple VP Platter Mat – Jeff Spall tonearm and Benz Ace Cartridge.

Many Custom Options Available –

Treat yourself to a visit to the Vinyl Passion Music Room for an afternoon of musical delight.

By Appointment – Phone 01623 844478

www.the-missing-link.net

www.vinylpassion.com

We hope you have a Fun Christmas and a Healthy Happy and Prosperous New Year. 

Jan, Mark, Jon and The Cats  x