So, continuing on around the National Audio Show at Whittlebury Hall, this gold-plated “Garrard 301” turntable made by The Classic Turntable Company managed to catch my eye with no problems at all in the Kralk Audio room!  It looked stunning in it’s beautiful wooden plinth.  Shame they hadn’t got one of the gold SME arms to go with it!

NAS_Whittlebury_2_1

Once again Bristol UK dealer The Right Note had a fine sounding system.  The Kaiser Acoustics Chiara standmount speakers from Germany are distinctive looking to say the least.  Fed by VTL electronics the sound was excellent.

NAS_Whittlebury_2_4

I’d seen many photos of the transparently cabineted Waterfall loudspeakers, but had never heard them.  I have to confess that I had assumed it was just a gimmick and the speakers were not really to be taken seriously.  Wrong!  A very dynamic sound was to be had, bold and purposeful in Xclusive Audio Visual’s room.  Nice!  I hope a review pair will be winging its way to my humble abode in the not too distant future.

NAS_Whittlebury_2_5

One of the favourite rooms at this year’s show was put together by Mike Valentine Studios / ZenSati.  A totally gorgeous Studer open real tape deck was doing the honours feeding Focal speakers. Very open, fast and present, I have to admit that I am in a minority who found it rather more hifi than musical.  I rarely get on with Focal speakers!  Others love them, of course.  I rapidly left the room, but the 2 guys I was touring the show with stayed much longer to enjoy the presentation. We’re all different.

NAS_Whittlebury_2_6

Music First Audio were making very fine music with their passive pre-amps.  Quite a humble system with, yet again, an open reel tape deck feeding a Quad 306 power amp into small AudioNote standmount speakers was simply very musically enjoyable.  One of the best sounds at the show, I reckon.

NAS_Whittlebury_2_7

In the Sound Fowndations room, a £40,000 Clearaudio turntable was making superb sounds into £2,500 Magnaplanar 1.7 ribbon speakers.  Despite the seemingly ludicrous price mis-match, the system worked very well, those Maggies are able to punch well above their price point.  Very transparent and detailed with genuinely 3D imaging.  Yummy!

NAS_Whittlebury_2_8

Once again AudioNote provided a haven of un-hyped music making …. they reliably produce one of the most naturally relaxing and purely enjoyable sounds.  

NAS_Whittlebury_2_9

Zingali seemed to be struggling a bit with one of the acoustically worst rooms at the show.  I recall a different exhibitor last year having similar problems in that room.  The exhibitor had given up entirely with the larger of the speakers they had brought, but with some judicious shuffling to locate the sweetest spot, the smaller Zingalis were really very enjoyable.

NAS_Whittlebury_2_10

Nick Gorham’s Longdog Audio (LDA) were highlighting the new valved VDt1 DAC.  Excellent sound was to be heard through this high end system with Sonus Faber speakers.  I hope to be reviewing the DAC in the very near future.

NAS_Whittlebury_2_11

And last, but certainly not least, I thought I’d end my report presenting a small selection of the goodies on display at this year’s National Audio Show with some fab looking turntables presented by Henley Designs.  What’s not to like, eh! …..

NAS_Whittlebury_2_12NAS_Whittlebury_2_13
NAS_Whittlebury_2_14

So once again, Chester group have put on a very fine hifi show with excellent sound being the rule rather than the exception, and with great sounds available at a very wide range of prices.  Many thanks are due to the organisers and the exhibitors!

Part one of Hifi Pig’s coverage of the National Audio Show 2013

Jerry

 

You must be logged in to leave a reply.