Miles Kilby of Solidair Audio got in touch to tell us about his Magnetic Levitation Isolation Feet and the principles behind them. More »
Janine Elliot checks out the multi-driver Optoma HEM4 In Ear Monitors costing a penny short of £250. More »
Reference Fidelity Components, the UK cable manufacturer that is rapidly gaining something of a reputation for quality interconnects and loudspeaker cables and who has just received a 5 star review in the UK hi-fi press, has announced the re-launch of two of their products in the company’s reference range of interconnects.
The Reference Pluto interconnect uses Furutech Alpha conductor which the company claims maintains detail and upper frequency performance. Eichmanns’ highly regarded Tellurium Copper Bullets are used for the connectors and RFC claim these are the very best plugs available at this price point. A one metre pair will cost you £99.50.
The all new Reference Mercury from the company maintains the same level of detail in its construction as all the cables in the company’s range but uses Furutech Hyper-balanced cable for the conductor and Eichmanns’ Silver Bullet plugs offering very low impedence, lower noise floor and better detail than standard RCAs . The cable is available at £165 per metre.
Hifi Pig hopes to carry a review of the cables very soon.
The HH-1 headphone amplifier from Cary Audio is a hybrid design featuring a valve input stage feeding a single-ended MOSFET output stage. The HH-1 operates in class A mode at all levels and Cary say MOSFETs were chosen as they have sonic characteristics very similar to valves.The Cary HH-1 features a pair of RCA input jacks and a loop-through output pair making it simple to plumb into your existing set up.
Only two stages of amplification are used in the HH-1 for the shortest possible signal path and It is designed to drive headphones with an impedance between 30 and 600 ohms. The 30-second muting circuit prevents any annoying pops and clicks when turning on the HH-1 headphone amplifier, and ensures that the amplifier is fully stabilised before listening.
Well today is Fete de la Musique in France and this is the one day of the year where towns and villages across the country put on a great deal of free music in their streets and bars. The whole country comes out in a big celebration of all things musical and a great time is had by all…needless to say it’s banging it down with rain here at the moment. More »
There are those in hifi that like to collect boxes and I’m not ashamed to say that I count myself in this category. I like the fact that my hifi takes up a whole wall in one room of the house and I don’t think I would get the same satisfaction from a one box hi-fi system. I can see the benefits of having all the component parts of a hifi in one convenient unit, but I’m afraid it just doesn’t appeal to me. That said I do quite like my hifi to be functional…ok I quite like ugly hifi…or hi-fi that most would consider to be ugly…I prefer the word “different”. More »
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 »
Hifi in the last twenty or so years seems to be being dragged in two completely disparate directions. On the one hand we have the hifi enthusiast (audiophile) who will go to almost any lengths to achieve the very best audio reproduction in the home and on the other we have a largely disinterested public who are more than happy to plug in their ipod and earbuds and listen to Mp3s they have downloaded. More »
Is is it a bit sad to have a dream hifi? It probably is you know, but I bet a pound to a penny that the vast majority of folk reading this have dreamed of owning a particular set up. Well perhaps they haven’t physically dreamed it as that would be a bit wrong, but you get my point I’m sure. More »
Hifi Pig snoofled out an interesting site recently. The name is HiFi Hunter and its a great search engine to help you find kit that is being sold as second hand or ex-demonstration.
The site takes a good deal of the hassle out of searching for used gear and indexes loads of different sources to save you trawling all over the place to find what you want.
If you’re looking for a bit of a bargain then have a look at the latest adverts section of the site and if you’re looking for a specific bit of hi-fi that’s rare or unusual check out the featured listings.
It’s a great site indeed and definitely worth a quick visit even if you only want to check what a specific bit of hifi is worth.
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.
MartinLogan, well known the world over for their electrostatic speaker technology, announces this month the slender Motion® SLM, a wall-hanging or free standing LCR speaker that is ”powerful enough to stand alone and detailed enough to be used in conjunction with floor standing MartinLogan speakers”. The Motion SLM features dual four-inch, ultra-slim fibre cone woofers and dual four-inch high-velocity passive bass radiators, paired with a Folded Motion™ tweeter – all in an ultra-slim profile designed with super-thin TVs in mind.
The speakers are slim enough to complement even the thinnest of wall-mounted HD displays (even projection screens) and the Motion SLM is designed to step in where underpowered, unnatural sounding TV speakers fall short. The Motion SLM’s is said to have a “larger-than-its-size performance” and this down to the dual ultra-slim fibre cone woofers and high-velocity passive bass radiators, which provide low-end bass extension from an ultra-slim profile combined with the advanced resolution Folded Motion tweeter. The high-gloss black SLM cabinet is only 1.45-inches thin, for a total wall protrusion of 1.83-inches when used with magnetic grille and included wall mount bracket. More »
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 »
The NDS is an audiophile source, capable of playing and streaming audio over a home network at up to 24bit/192kHz resolution. It offers internet radio yet forgoes a DAB and FM radio tuner to minimise noise. It includes three S/PDIF digital inputs for connection to external digital sources, such as a computer or CD player. A front-panel USB port complets the feature set – either connect an iPhone or iPod digitally to allow the NDS to control and play stored audio or play audio from a USB memory stick, even hi-resolution WAV or FLAC files, with full on-screen control. The NDS will support all the main file formats. WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC, AAC, Windows Media-formatted content, Ogg Vorbis and MP3 files are all catered for, as is gapless playback.
In true Naim reference engineering style, the NDS requires the use of an external power supply. The XP5 XS, XPS and 555 PS are all suitable matches. Performance can be further enhanced by the addition of a second Burndy cable (in the case of 555 PS only) splitting out the analogue and digital sections, which a second 555 PS will bring about even greater gains.
Like its fellow network players, the NDS can be controlled by Naim’s n-Stream control app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The app also alows control of a Naim system’s inputs and volume. The supplied remote and front-panel interface provide simple and easily accessed control.
How many times have you listened to a set of ‘speakers in a showroom to be surprised, or even disappointed when after purchasing, dragging them (carefully) home and impatiently setting them up only to be rewarded with something that bore no relationship with the sound that you heard at the dealers? Besides the usual caveats of allowing ‘speakers to break-in for 50 hours or more so that the moving parts can free up slightly, what else is there to be concerned with? More »
Now don’t get me wrong I do like computers. I use a computer daily. I’m even using one now to write this article. Computers have enabled me to work from home, do that away from the UK and even allows me communicate in real time with folks all over the world at the push of a mouse button. I get computers and I use one daily despite my sausage fingers and one fingered typing style!
Onkyo recently announced the release of the first models from its 2012 range. These comprise four receivers all engineered to deliver superior sound quality, better features, and value for money, compared to their outgoing equivalents.
The receivers are:
TX-SR313 5.1-channel home cinema receiver
TX-NR414 networked 5.1-channel home cinema receiver
TX-NR515 networked 7.2-channel home cinema receiver
TX-NR616 THX Select2 Plus-certified home cinema receiver
Beginning with the affordable TX-SR313 (100w per channel) this boasts WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology), a low negative-feedback design philosophy that Onkyo says “reduces signal noise and guarantees superb performance with minimal distortion”. Discrete output-stage components – not cheap ‘all-in-one’ chips – are said to significantly improve audio quality. More »
A new CD compiled by IsoTek, the pioneering brand of power conditioning products for hi-fi and home cinema systems, aims to improve the sound of audio systems by ensuring they are set up correctly and ready to perform at their best.
The Ultimate System Set-Up Disc comprises 20 tracks to test and fine-tune key elements of two-channel system performance, and is designed to be both practical and easy to use. The CD includes a selection of superbly performed, recorded and produced music from the legendary Opus3 audiophile record label, each one chosen to test specific elements of audio performance, together with a unique sequence of specially prepared sounds and test tones to help with things like speaker positioning and system optimisation.
The disc begins by testing stereo and phase, with further tests for basic speaker positioning, then stereo and front-to-back soundstage depth. These tracks (1 to 12) help to fine-tune the way a system is set up, in order to optimise its performance.
Tracks 13 and 14 provide a frequency range test – a useful way to examine the bandwidth that a system is able to deliver. The disc then concludes with six music tracks that have been specially selected from the Opus3 catalogue, each one capturing a certain quality associated with two-channel replay, be it timing, atmosphere, soundstaging, dynamics or bass depth.
The six music tracks from Opus3 include an interpretation of Frank Zappaʼs Dog Breath Variations/Uncle Meat by the Omnibus Wind Ensemble, Everybody Loves My Baby performed by Eva Taylor, Bachʼs Toccata and Fugue in D minor with organ played by Matthias Wager and a track from Eric Bibbʼs new album, Blues, Ballads & Work Songs.
The Ultimate System Set-Up Disc is available now from IsoTek stockists, priced at £19.95.
This is the UKs largest hi-fi, home cinema and audiophile show and all the major industry players, large and small will be in attendance.
The show boasts a great location right in the heart of Bristol with easy access by train, plane or car. Prices are Adults £9, Senior Citizens (over 65)/Student £6 Accompanied Children under 16 free and students can even claim a free pair of Headphones worth £14.95 when producing valid Student ID. Sadly that was a long long time ago for this porker.
At the time of writing there are 192 exhibitors taking part.