The Fiio X1ii is a personal music player that costs just £99 but has great specs. Janine Elliot has a play. More »

The Hifi Pig Extra and GadgetyNews coverage of the recent Sound and Vision, The Bristol Show is ready for free download.

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It is 40 years this month since Iggy Pop’s debut album, ‘The Idiot’, was first released. Back in the grunge-heyday of the early 90s, ‘The Idiot’ was a puzzling prospect. Iggy Pop and Lou Reed were basically the godfathers of anything that was alternative, but here was a classic album of Pop’s canon, typically considered his best, that was drenched in synths and minimalistically dancey rhythms, with nary a guitar to be found on most of the tracks! Robert Harris explores this iconic record.  More »

As well as the large amount of actual listening rooms on offer to delight the eyes and ears of Bristol Show visitors, there are plenty of static stands lining the corridors and the huge Bristol Suite area.

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Hifi Pig’s Ian Ringstead gives us his thoughts on Sound and Vision, The Bristol Show 2017 including Ophidian, Mission, Convert Technologies, SCV Distribution, Air Audio, Schiit, Astintrew, STS, SOTA, Russell K, Kog Audio, Tellurium Q, Exposure, Creek Audio, Epos, Harbeth, Spendor, Neat, Auralic, Dali, Wilson Benesch, PMC and more. More »

Rather amazingly, Dreadzone are one of those bands who’ve been around together for seemingly ages (they’re now in their third decade) – and yet the public at large is still blissfully unaware of them.  That’s incredible, don’t you think?  If I were asked to name the one band who’s playing at Glastonbury at the exact moment when you ‘find yourself’, then Dreadzone would likely be that band.  That’s because along with their hazy mix of deep bass, dub beats and dance undertones, there’s a definite lean towards the otherworldly music which spills out of the West Holts Dance area.  Call it dub, reggae, dubtronica or post-rave, it really doesn’t matter – it’s melodic, very listenable and you can’t help but shake in time with the music.

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This is only my third visit to Sound and Vision – The Bristol Show but it’s fast becoming one of my favourites because of the sheer enthusiasm of pretty much all involved in putting it together and making it work. Signposting is excellent, the show guide is first-rate, the facilities are good, even if the bar can get pretty crowded at times and the people that turn up to support it with their presence are an animated and passionate lot. The show starts on Friday and despite this being a workday for most the show was packed…likewise Saturday and Sunday, though we sadly had a ferry to catch and so left late morning so couldn’t see the show out to the end. Previous years’ gripes have been that the lifts always seem to be occupied or not working properly but I’m pleased to report that this year things seemed to be running a whole lot better. More »

Hifi Pig was invited to a private and exclusive first demonstration of the new range of loudspeakers from Tannoy. More »

Designed with the active music lover in mind the NuForce Sport3 In Ear Monitors cost £80. Janine Elliot gets gets physical with them.  More »

Father and son duo Rob and Dave Stevenson get tooled up and take a bash with this interesting single driver DIY loudspeaker project costing a total of £552 including VAT.  More »

Janine Elliot checks out the multi-driver Optoma HEM4 In Ear Monitors costing a penny short of £250. More »

To celebrate the release of James McArthur and The Head Gardeners’ new album; ‘Burnt Moth’ out on 20th January, Illuminate Productions will be showcasing songs from the album in the smallest and most intimate live music venue in the UK. More »

Having recently bought Roksan Monitor Audio are certainly a brand to watch in the coming year. Here Lionel Payne takes a listen to their Platinum PL300ii loudspeakers costing £8000.  More »

Linette Smith gives her final round up of what a Bird’s Eye View of the Hifi world has been like in 2016. 

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Janine Elliot charts the rise and fall and rise again of the Thermionic Tube/valve in this fascinating and informative article.  More »

roksponsmallMasterBuilt Audio say in a recent press release that they are pleased to announce the official debut of its high-resolution audio cables with the unveiling of four complete product lines – Performance, Reference, Signature and Ultra. More »

1More is a  Chinese brand that make a range of headphones and in-ears. Here Stuart Smith tries out the £89.99 dual driver C1002 and the three driver E1001 costing ten pounds more from their UK website.  More »

At £299 a pair the Tannoy Eclipse Three loudspeakers certainly look like a lot of speaker for the money. Dave Robson takes a listen.  More »

The £2800 Simaudio Moon Neo ACE is a versatile, all-in-one solution that you need only add speakers to…there’s even an on-board moving magnet phonostage. John Scott finds out just how ACE it really is.  More »

I hadn’t heard of Ezra Furman prior to last year’s Perpetual Motion People album which I described as my album of the summer.  I’m glad to say that its appeal has not waned and it still gets regular plays. I haven’t heard much about Ezra since the album’s release either, so I was quite surprised to learn that his gig here at The Liquid Room had sold out and I’m very grateful to Ezra’s management company for supplying a ticket at the last minute.  I was even more surprised to see that once Ezra and his band The Boy-Friends hit the stage that the majority of the audience were word perfect with not only the songs from Perpetual Motion People but with his earlier material as well.  More »

The now famous Hifi Pig Loves You Award can be quite a tricky thing to actually choose. We thought it was difficult at Munich this year, but the Warsaw show was even harder to decide. The standard of the show was just incredible, the three venues each had a different feel and all the exhibitors had put a lot of effort into making it a spectacular success. One thing we definitely noticed was that all the non Polish brands that we know said that their Polish distributors worked very hard and were incredibly dedicated to promoting them in Poland. More »

This is the first Warsaw that we at Hifi Pig have attended but we’re so happy we made the effort because it has been undoubtedly one of the best, if not THE best we’ve been to. The people of Warsaw have been wonderfully welcoming, the food and drink has been spectacularly good and the company we’ve enjoyed has been marvellous.

The show itself is over three venues, two hotels (The Radisson, The Golden Tulip) and also at the national stadium. The organisers have ensured that access to each is simple with a free coach service between the hotels and the stadium and turnout was colossal and very enthusiastic.

One of the things that really hit home was how diverse the make up of the crowds has been. This is not just middle aged men turning up and you have couples, families and lots of younger people which is really refreshing and great to see.

Thanks to everyone who stopped to say hello and a really big well done to the organisers of the show, particularly Adam Mokrzycki whose communication and advice has been absolutely spot on!

So without further ado here are our a few hundred photographs that we took at the Warsaw show. We hope you enjoy them! You’ll need to go right through to the end to find out who won our Hifi Pig Loves You award!

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 their 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 »

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. OUTSTANDINGLARGE300DPISTARONLINE More »

Ian Ringstead gives us his views on this years National Audio Show at Whittlebury.

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People now demand that they have their music with them at all times, even when at the gym or out exercising and In ear monitors are becoming increasingly popular for this. Add Bluetooth and you make them even more portable. Janine Elliot takes a listen to the Optoma BE6i Bluetooth in ear headphones.  More »

Costing £1998, the DAC215 from Danish manufacturer Copland is a combined DAC, preamplifier and headphone amp in one good looking unit. Janine Elliot takes a listen for Hifi Pig.  More »

Hydra Z from Audiobyte is a USB audio playback bridge and clock generator whilst the Hydra ZPM is its matching Ultra linear audio power supply. Dan Worth is already a user of the company’s previous model Hydra X+ and most definitely a digital audiophile, so who better to put to put this £1050 combo through their paces.  More »

Room treatment is often seen as a dark art a somewhat expensive process. Stuart and Linette Smith try three products from GIK Acoustics including bass traps, acoustic panels and diffusors. OUTSTANDINGLARGE300DPISTARONLINE More »

Double Tap Audio, officially launched their Kickstarter mid-July to officially sell and distribute their handmade Double Tap R1 headphones with the goal of raising $9,000 by Aug. 18, 2016.double_tap_headphones_3

Each pair is handcrafted with the use of modified 40 caliber brass bullet casings. Including rare earth magnets and multi- layer cording to create durable tangle free headphones.

By pledging $55 or more to the Double Tap Audio Kickstarter backers will be the first to receive a pair of Double Tap R1 headphones, once fully backed.

All suppliers are lined and ready to ship then begins assembly preparation. Once the Kickstarter is officially backed assembly is expected to begin in Sept. and all backers with a pledge of $55 or more will receive their headphones by Dec. 2016 at the latest.

All products are assembled in Southern California. Every pair is tested by the maker before being shipped to assure customer satisfaction as well as a quality product.

Randy May, creator of Double Tap audio designed the headphones for durability and comfort to overcome the struggle of finding quality headphones for every day wear.

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Things are afoot in the world of reel 2 reels. Not only are there now at least 4 major companies producing reel to reel copies of famous master tapes, but very importantly after a long gap the Swiss tape recorder manufacturer Revox are bringing back the medium with a player based on the A700.FLAREBIRDSSPONSOR More »

David Robson takes a look at Indonesian company Vermouth Audio’s Rhapsody loudspeaker and mains cables costing £200 for a six foot pair for the former and £150 for a four foot cable for the latter.  More »

Lyn Stanley is the darling of the audiophile community and she certainly knows how to press our collective buttons to get us all in a lather over her recordings. Not content with just releasing her music on CD, she also releases her output on Reel2Reel and very high quality vinyl too – you may have even caught one of her live performances at High-End Munich (Lyn featured on the front cover of Hifi Pig’s coverage of High End 2015) and other audio shows.  More »

The £3785 Naim Superuniti is an all in one box streamer, DAC and amplifier, but is it a Jack of all trades and master of none? John Scott finds out for Hifi Pig.  More »

“The SI-300.2d integrated amplifier is yet another milestone as Cary Audio forges deeper into the new era of sought after premium audio systems” the North Carolina company says in its latest press release. cary_SI-300.2d

The SI-300.2d mates a 300 watts per channel stereo Class A/B power amplifier with analogue RCA and XLR inputs to a Class A analogue preamplifier gain stage. The amplifier itself is biased to run Class A for an extended portion of the power output. The digital section is a chip off Cary’s reference products thereby including technologies like their proprietary TruBit™ Upsampling and OSO™ reclocking features.

Digital inputs include; XMOS USB capable of True native DSD up to 256 and PCM/DXD up to 32 Bit / 384kHz, as well as Coaxial (2), Optical, AES/EBU, and aptX® Bluetooth inputs. All SPDIF and Bluetooth digital sources offer 10 TruBit™ selectable upsampling or PCM to DSD conversion options. On the analogue side, the SI-300.2d includes 4 analogue inputs (2-balanced XLR, 2-RCA), with one each of the XLR and RCA inputs offering true Cinema Bypass features.

Additional features include: a pre/subwoofer output, coaxial and optical digital outputs, IR hand held remote, trigger out, IR sensor input, and Ethernet and Wi-Fi for controlling the SI-300.2d with free iOS and Android apps.

Weight:  52 lbs.

Dimensions:  6″ H x 17.25″ W x 18 ” D

Retail Price:  $5,995

The SI-300.2d is now shipping

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Janine Elliot is keen to protect her hearing so she can continue listening to hifi and playing music for years to come…she think you too should be passionate about this too and so takes a “listen” to the new Flare Audio Isolate and Isolate Pro inner ear defenders priced from £23 to £46.  More »

Stuart Smith takes int he sights and sounds of this year’s North West Audio Show …part 1  More »

Liverpool based Do Good Audio is a wholly new retail venture, but has a link to the past. Martin, the founder of Do Good Audio, discovered his great grandfather owned one of the earliest audio shops in the country. Located in Wakefield, West Yorkshire in circa 1920 “Wireless Radio & Gramophone” sold wireless equipment, gramophones, 78s and other audio electronics, although the eventual fate of this business is unknown.Do_Good_old_slamm

Hifi Pig think it’s great to see a new independent Hifi retailer open its doors and it must be the first in Liverpool in ages.DO_Good_interior_small

After working for many years as a building contractor, Martin has taken a leap of faith and started what he describes as “a small online retail outlet”. Together with his partner Kirstie, they ran their business as an online only retailer, but they craved the excitement of a busy shop floor, and the opportunity to share their knowledge and passion for Hifi with like-minded folk. The Liverpool shop has allowed Do Good Audio to diversify the product range and provide a comfortable demo room. Martin’s Mum Mandy helps out in the shop too and the company say they hope to offer a very personal service.do_good_1

Brands stocked include Musical Fidelity, Roksan, Marantz, Pro-Ject, Dali, Q Acoustics, Edwards Audio and many more and Martin says theirs always the offer of a good cuppa when you visit the shop.

 

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Linette gives her perspective of this year’s North West Audio Show More »

Roksan’s latest BLAK range of equipment has high-end aspirations say the UK based company. Dominic Marsh sees if this claim stands up to scrutiny when he test drives the BLAK CD and BLAK amplifier costing £2490 and £2759 respectively.  More »

Hifi Pig reader Ken Stokes rather enjoys his first audio show.  More »

Hifi Pig reader Simon Hill has been looking forward to North West Audio Show for all year and was keen to tell others about his experience at the event. More »

Dan Worth has a listen to the £3000 Chord Hugo TT for Hifi Pig. More »

Mitchell and Johnson’s trio of CD Player, Amplifier and Streamer cost a total of £947 which puts them very much in the budget category but can they satisfy sonically? Dominic Marsh finds out for Hifi Pig.  More »