Hi Fi Racks’ Bradley and Julie got in touch to let us know about their Christmas gift ideas. More »
The prizes have been rolling in thick and fast so here is the current list:
Kralk Audio BC-30 FL loudspeakers in Statement Silver Oak & Tellurium Q Black speaker cables up to 2.5m in length
Chord Company £600, 1.5m Signature Array Power Cable (county designated plug)
IsoTek mains loom (UK plugs and sockets) From Sound Fowndations £750
Studio Connection interconnect and mains cable (country designated plug) £600 and £200
Signed Brian May photo
Audio Suspension ASU-100 Turnatble Shelf (£240)
Sanus VuePoint 47-80” Tilting TV Mount (£69.99)
Two Audiomica MAGNET GOLD power cables, worth 400 CHF each. One cable has a Schuko plug and the other a 16 amp Swiss plug. Donated by Artizan Audio.
Lyudmila Gorbulya handpainted plate from Voyla Audio
Flare R2S earphone (£300 ) and Isolate Pro (£46 on)
These will be drawn in the above order once the 30 days of fundraising has finished. Please leave your full name when donating to make it easier for us to contact you and save the email that you receive confirming your donation, if you are a winner you will need to send this to us with your shipping details.
Hifi Pig heard about a young guy and audiophile in the USA, Ricky Sterling. Ricky’s story really touched us. This young man has been a paraplegic nearly his whole life after falling from a 6th floor window when he was just 2 years old. Since 2009, Ricky’s insurance have only been able to supply him with a very non-manoeuvrable, hospital type wheelchair that is not suited to his needs, this makes his life uncomfortable and difficult to say the least. Add to that the fact that the tyres are now coming off his chair and you can understand how this is impacting on Ricky’s life.
Ricky is trying to raise money to buy himself a new chair and Hifi Pig wanted to help. We are aiming to raise £3000 to go towards his new chair, which will cost 4500 US$. To do this we are having a raffle! Those lovely people at Kralk Audio have donated a pair of their BC-30 FL loudspeakers in Statement Silver Oak and the equally lovely Tellurium Q will complement these with a pair of their Black speaker cables up to 2.5m in length.
Great news, fabulous folk, The Chord Company, have just donated a £600, 1.5m Signature Array Power Cable as a prize! This will be given as a separate prize to the speakers and cable. The cable will be terminated with whichever plug fitting you need.
It costs £5 for each entry, so if you donate more then you get more chances to win! Please donate in multiples of £5 and then share your donation on the Hifi Pig facebook page.
In the event of us raising more than Ricky needs for his chair, we will send any extra money to UK charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.
We sincerely hope you will help us, enter the raffle and share this on your social media channels.
The Hifi Pig team.
There has been a lot going on in the hifi universe, just in case you missed anything, here’s a round up of what went on in July:
The DP-X1 press release makes no bones about it – “Onkyo has launched the world’s best Hi-Res Digital Audio Player, the DP-X1”
That’s a lofty claim to say the least but Onkyo must be pretty sure of themselves.
As you would expect, it handles all the existing Hi-Res formats you can think of, including MQA.
With the rapid rise in consumers wanting “higher than CD quality” High Resolution Audio (High Res Audio) formats, the availability of multiple streaming audio and video services, and High Res-capable headphones, many users have been looking for ways to enjoy their High Res Audio content everywhere they go.
Get the rest of the story over on GadgetyNews.
There seems to be a lot of in-fighting within the audiophile world about people’s personal choices and the equipment they finally place in their system. Stuart Smith takes a tongue-in-cheek look at what he thinks are the reasons for this phenomenon… More »
If you fancy something a bit different this August, get yourself over to the Rotation Garden Party set in the beautiful Sugnall Walled Garden in Eccleshall, Staffordshire. This promises to be a lovely event featuring craft ales, spirits, wines and cocktails, artisan food and an audiophile sound system which includes custom Technics turntables with Rega arms, Audio Note valve amps, Klipsch horn speakers and a Revox reel to reel tape machine.
Tickets available online now, click the image for more details….
As we’ve mentioned in the introductory blurb to this series of articles, beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder when it comes to Hifi equipment, but we think that the Avantgarde Trios will appeal to pretty much anyone with a passing interest in hifi and, dare we suggest, will also score highly on the WAF scale too. OK, they do look a little bit like something from another planet and they certainly don’t conform to the minimalist approach to high-end loudspeaker design, but then we think they look all the better for this.
The Avantgarde Trio is a three way spherical horn ‘satellite’ which is then complimented below 100Hz with active subwoofers or by 2 to 6 Basshorn modules.
Low- mid Frequencies on the Trio are handled by the 38” horn, which is driven by an 8” driver, the midrange (down to 600Hz) is dealt with by a 23” horn and the top end by a 7” horn. With only 4 passive crossover components the system delivers a very healthy 109dB sensitivity.
The Trio, even without the Basshorn modules, is certainly no shrinking violet and stands a full 1.67m in height and 95cm in width. Each unit is also 83cm deep and so whilst the Trios are big, they aren’t huge, though they do weigh in at an impressive 56Kg each.
The Basshorn is an active bass system with a frequency response of 18 to 250 Hz. Each Basshorn is driven by two 12 inch long excursion drivers with 600 watts RMS. The mouth area of each Basshorn module is 9 ft squared. With six Basshorns in the system this offers a colossal 54 ft squared.
Whatever of the specifications and measurements (that’s not what this article series is about) the Avantgarde Trios certainly strike an impressive and impactful visual statement and they undoubtedly don’t try to hide themselves away from passing glances. With the full compliment of 6 Basshorn modules the Trios will certainly dominate any room in which the lucky owner chooses to place them, but we feel there is a certain stunning beauty about the ensemble.
Eleven standard colours are available to further enhance the appearance of the already striking loudspeaker – from ‘Turmaline Vivid Black’ to ‘Ruby Brilliant Red’. The look of the Trios is certainly very contemporary, but we think that whether in an ultra-modern and minimalist apartment, or a more traditional living space, they are a statement piece that will get your visitors talking.
Now, there are options and the trio is available in either the standard ‘one-on-top-of-the-other arrangement’, or the curved ‘Trio Classico’ curved frame… though this is a $2400 option atop the, already not insubstantial, $68 000 for the standard Trio with the standard subs. Add the full compliment of six Basshorn modules and, let’s face it who wouldn’t want to do this, you get the price up to a bank-balance-busting $163 000…plus another $6000 if you want a customised colour. These are luxury items and luxury hifi comes at a price. Would they be on my short list if I had the money…oh yes!
G Point-Audio has today announced that they have been appointed exclusive representative for Ukrainian artisan loudspeaker manufacturer Contrast Audio. The announcement broadens the range of products available from G Point and reaffirms their philosophy of “offering the best sound quality money can buy”.
Contrast Audio are a manufacturer with 10 years experience in the design and manufacture of acoustic systems based on their own highly linear drivers. All their loudspeakers are built on the principle of minimum crossover interference (first order filter), which gives “high sensitivity and accurate sound”. The drivers use only natural materials (paper cone, paper coil of magnetic system, wooden phase corrector, etc.).
There are five models in the Contrast Audio, plus a range of interconnects and loudspeaker cables which match those used in the speakers themselves.
The finish of the loudspeakers is said to be exemplary with five piano lacquer colours available as standard and any colour available on request.
Roksan have recently launched the Oxygene series of hifi components which the company claims to be totally unique amongst top-end audio. The Oxygene series is being heralded as a truly breakthrough product by Roksan.
The Oxygene range boasts “understated and elegant aesthetics” matched with “simplistic user-friendliness to result in a unique and striking design”. Cast aluminium and very high quality screen printing are creatively used to create a solid and attractive looking chassis which has been designed to blend in with its surroundings yet be “striking and headturning”
The Oxygene range employs touch-sensor operation technology and adorned on the top of each chassis is the logo ‘Less is More’. Touch the word ‘Less’ or ‘More’ on the amplifier and the volume increases or decreases with the relevant word. On the CD player the ‘Less ‘and “’More’ words skip the tracks either forwards or backward.
Whilst the design ethos is simple and elegant there is a plethora of top-spec technology used to make the operational process as easy and enjoyable as possible. As well as traditional stereo inputs, the Oxygene integrated amplifier has built-in Bluetooth receiver technology. This means that you can wirelessly connect any device that holds music and has Bluetooth technology, including iPhones, iPads, smartphones, tablets and computers. Connection is very flexible and one quote in the press release stands out as being truly innovative – “Imagine you’re at a party where everybody wants to be the DJ. No problem – the world is your oyster! The Oxygene amplifier’s sixteen Bluetooth channels can link as many devices as possible. The first fifteen being individual devices, with the sixteenth being infinite.” Cool!
Hifi Pig will review the Oxygene series of components as soon as they become available.
The philosophy behind company’s launch product is taken directly from a quote by Bertrand Russel – “It is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live” and is brought to life by the Hush Isolation Platform.
RJC Audio argue that having invested not inconsiderable sums on our audio playback systems we need to isolate them from the obstacles such as footfall and other extraneous vibrations so commonplace in the modern home environment.
Hush Isolation Platforms from RJC Audio are designed to support turntables and other vibration-sensitive equipment such as CD Players. RJC Audio claim that by effectively isolating our hifi from external vibrations our equipment is able to work to its highest capability and reproduce the recorded material as intended.
Hush Isolation Platforms are available in models suitable for non-suspended turntables and other equipment with a weight from 6Kg to 17Kg, but for equipment greater than 18Kg RJC Audio also offer custom made Hush Isolation Platforms.
The platforms are priced at between £455 and £525 with an introductory offer available that will save you £75 and the custom units are priced on application.
Hifi Pig will review one of the platforms from RJC Audio very soon.
California based NuForce have introduced a direct-digital integrated amplifier that they claim marks a new juncture in digital sound. The new design converts the digital audio signal into analogue form at the last possible stage—the PWM amplifier output. “The DDA-100’s low distortion and noise floor remain in the digital domain from beginning to end, to give a wide dynamic range.”
The DDA-100 doesn’t require a DAC stage, rather, its PWM power amplifier stage is modulated directly by the incoming signal, and the digital-to-analogue conversion takes place at the speaker outputs. In effect, the PWM power amplifier stage operates as a power DAC.
It accepts four digital sources via one USB and with the included remote control, you can control inputs and volume from your listening chair.
The DDA-100 will drive your loudspeakers via a robust 75-Watt RMS and 250-watt peak capability per channel for “superb dynamics and transparency.”
The NuForce DDA-100 is available worldwide for a suggested retail price of US $549.00 and will be shipping Aug 1, 2012.
CA Electronics the Dutch company that manufactures the AP-10 Loudspeaker, the HA-10 Loudspeaker and a range of ceramic isolation cones has introduced the CA Ceramic Cable Elevators. The company’s press release had the following to say about the cable elevators “…have a modern and sleek design, and offer great performance. Made out of special Ceramic material, the Cable Elevator is perfect for de-coupling your cables from the ground. The Ceramic will absorb small vibrations which will cause distortion in your sound, and shields against static electricity.”
Not Hifi in its strictest sense but interesting news none the less, KEF has announced details of the latest additions to its Custom Installation loudspeaker range. The all-British designed new models are the CS and QS SQUARE and the CL and QL RECTANGLE loudspeakers.
Models QS and QL feature KEF’s Uni-Q driver array, while the CS and CL models have an Asymmetrical Tweeter Island. The new additions also include forward woofer mounting and an Ultra-Thin Bezel (UTB) design. Rough-in frames and rear enclosures are available as optional features, as are magnetic grilles, new wider mounting leg fixings, protective PCB covers and moisture-resistant fixings and grilles.
Hi-fi can mean so many things to different folk, so a quick search on the internet seemed in order and Wikipedia had the following to say: “High fidelity – or hi-fi or hifi – reproduction is a term used by home stereo listeners and home audio enthusiasts (audiophiles) to refer to high-quality reproduction of sound to distinguish it from the poorer quality sound produced by inexpensive audio equipment.” More »
Western Electric and the Western Electric WE300B valve has long been the holy grail for aficionados of that particular flavour of tube, but rarity has made them all but impossible to buy and prices are astronomical.
All that searching and saving could now be at an end…sort of as Chinese tube manufacturer Psvane Audio has stepped up to make a 1:1 replica of the original WE300B.
According to Psvane Audio, “the Psvane WE300B Replica is: “100% 1:1 replica of WE300B, including materials, structure, internal and external size – up to the detail of a tiny screw used”.
The Western Electric 300B replicas will be sold in pairs, are delivered in a beautiful presentation box and likely to be expensive – 1000$ a pair in the US.
The weekend of Saturday 24th March sees the Weybridge Hifi show. It’s billed as being “A High End Audio and Home Entertainment” event and takes place at the Oatlands Park Hotel in Weybridge, Surrey. A weekend ticket £18 if you buy it on the door and £15 if you buy it on line.
The show is hardly a massive affair with just 28 exhibitors at time of writing, but is this necessarily a bad thing; the argument goes that with so few exhibitors visitors will be able to get around the show more easily and actually be able to listen to the systems on show.
Highlights of the show, as advertised on Chester Groups website, are Inspire Hifi demonstrating of their direct drive Monarch turntable, Fidelity Arts new Akkus loudspeakers and the appearance of German manufacturer Burmester’ products at an English show after an absence of almost 10 years.
For the 4th successive year, the HiFi Wigwam internet hifi & music forum has organised its very own hifi show. This is hosted in the spacious Scalford Hall Hotel in the heart of rural Leicestershire UK, just outside the town of Melton Mowbray, which is otherwise famous for its pork pies! Hifi Pigs beware …
For the first 2 years the Show was held in collaboration with Chester Group, who are experienced with organising hifi shows worldwide. For 2011 and 2012, though, the Hifi Wigwam forum has been solely responsible.
Other than in the main reception area, hifi dealers and manufacturers are not allowed in! Instead the show’s focus is on the real life hifi systems belonging to forum members.
Some 50 systems were presented this year, each in their own room, ranging from the small and low cost end of the spectrum to no holds barred super systems, and with components from well known established manufacturers to vintage hifi, and DIY constructions of amazing appearance! More »
Berlin Classics CD 0183632BC . Released 2003.
Naxos 8.572554. Released 2010. More »
BD Audio is an established company providing high-quality products and services to the U.K. hi-fi market. Based in Malvern, Worcestershire, the firm is owned and operated by Jack Durant. Well known to audio enthusiasts, Jack has many years of experience and has been involved in the design and manufacture of a number of interesting projects. Jack is also a fully-qualified and registered electrical installer, and in addition to routine installation is able to offer services such as the fitment of dedicated, high-current mains supplies for audio and audio-visual systems. Installations are issued with certification to building regulations, and is fully insured and guaranteed for five years. BD Audio can also offer servicing, repair and upgrade facilities for older and existing Ming Da products.
BD Audio will be exhibiting at this years Bristol Sound and Vision Show and will have the full range of 2 channel amplifiers available for demonstration throughout the 3 days, along with the cd player and phono stages, just drop in and let Jack know if there is a particular amp or pre/power combo you’d like to hear and he’ll will be happy to arrange this for you. More than happy to play your choices of music too which makes a refreshing change.
I recently received a message through one of the websites i go on about a new audiophile hifi cable manufacturer from the UK. Curious I had a look at the website as i was after a headphone cable for my new Grado 325is ‘phones.
The guy I spoke to at Reference Fidelity Components couldn’t have been more helpful and although he didn’t have a suitable cable on the site he agreed to make one for me. The cable is very well built and does its job perfectly -so much better than the flimsy stuff you can buy through manufacturers themselves. The cable is now on sale through the website priced at a very reasonable £45 for a 5metre cable. The headphone cable uses Klotz low capacitance twin core cable and professional quality Neutrik quarter inch NJ3FC6 sockets with NP3X black gold plated quarter inch jack plugs.
I did suggest that he call the cable the “Hifipig Headphone Cable” but he decided to go with Fidelity Voyager in keeping with the rest of his range of interconnects, mains cable and digital cables.
If you are after a great audiophile hifi cable at a fantastic price you really could do a lot worse than talk to these people.