London’s headroom show (Jan 29/30th) is to launch the new Audiolab M-DAC+ and Quad VA-One amplifier!VA-One (3)-horz low

Audiolab’s highly anticipated M-DAC+ (£799.95) enhances the performance of the original M-DAC to include 32-bit/384kHz resolution for the USB input. The M-DAC+ can also link directly to Apple devices to access stored music via USB-A. DSD audio is also catered for with the M-DAC+ offering four different DSD and seven different PCM filters. Further features include redefined circuitry, with a new internal power supply.

The new VA-One integrated amplifier from Quad (£1,399.95) follows founder Peter Walker’s approach to sound quality, using carefully selected hi-fi amplifier valves to drive life-like excitement into music. It includes both analogue and digital inputs, with RCA, optical and coaxial options, plus a 6.3mm headphone jack output on the front panel. Its USB-B and Bluetooth inputs (aptX) enable simple connectivity to PCs, tablets and smartphones.


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Cary Audio, based in North Carolina has announced today the new DMS-500 Digital Music Streamer.DMS-500_silver_front

“The DMS-500 Digital Music Streamer is a groundbreaking design that not only meets the Hi-Fidelity demands of today, but also the future” the company say and whilst it’s hard to call something future proof this unit will stream native PCM up to 32 bit 384 kHz, and DSD 64, 128, 256, 512.

The DMS-500 allows streaming any files from any MAC or PC computer(s), NAS drives, and Internet Music Services. To go one step further, directly connecting USB hard drives, thumb drives, or SD Cards allows for “computer-less” playback of digital music. DMS-500_silver_left

TruBit™ PCM and DSD technology converts PCM to DSD 64, 128, 256, or up to 768 kHz in PCM

There is a 5” full colour HD to allow you to see artwork  and all pertinent track information. DMS500_back

Additional features include built in Tidal, Spotify, aptX® lossless fi™ Bluetooth, legacy inputs of Coaxial (x2), Optical (x1), AES/EBU (x1), Coaxial and Optical outputs, RCA and XLR fully balanced outputs, OSO™ Re-clocking, and a full 3 volt variable volume control.

Weight:  23.5 lbs.

Dimensions:  3.75″ H x 17.25″ W x 16.25 ” D

DMS-500 Retail Price:  $4,995

The DMS-500 is now shipping.


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Air Audio are distributing this Japanese company’s new range of cartridges in the UK and Ian Ringstead takes the first UK look at the high output and low output moving coil cartridges that cost £447 and both use a Shibata stylus.hana.all4 carts (1)

“What immediately impressed me with both cartridges was the very low surface noise and how quiet they were overall. There was no hum even with the level turned well up and this made for an easy listen where the music was highlighted without being drowned out with irritating surface noise.”

Read the full review here. 


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SOtM today announced the worldwide release of the sMS-1000SQ Windows Edition, “the world’s first” Windows OS based server, which combines with AudiophileOptimizer and ROON.

The company’s press release says that “The sMS-1000SQ Windows Edition raises the bar for the highest sound quality and also with very convenient usage. The standard unit comes with RoonServer based on fully licensed Windows Server 2012 R2 (Essentials Edition) as well as AudiophileOptimizer and such features tell you everything”.SOTM_windows_server

Key features

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 with AudiophileOptimizer pre-installed, licensed and configured
  • Only selected high quality audio grade Windows OS hardware
  • Roonserver for multi zone internet streaming audio system
  • Various audio player application support
  • Video playback support
  • Windows 8.1 with Fidelizer pre-installed, licensed and configured

Pricing and Availability

  • The sMS-1000SQ Windows Edition with AudiophileOptimizer is available Pricing starts at US$3500.
  • The unit is available in two colors, silver or black, and three different hardware variants: USB, Analog and Digital

The USB version comes with the tX-USBexp based USB output.

The digital version comes with AES/EBU, Coaxial and Optical based tX-USBexp USB output.

The analogue version comes with balanced and unbalanced outputs based tX-USBexp USB output.

  • The internal storage device can be chosen up to 2TB SSD or 4TB HDD besides the originated 32GB SSD installed.
  • The Ultra Low Noise Clock upgrade is available as

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Atlas Cables has launched its totally new range of high-performance replacement headphone cables – Zeno. Designed to be light, compliant yet durable, Zeno combines Atlas Cables’ cable technology with a new range of dedicated solder-free connectivity options called Metik. The result is a replacement cable that can work across a broad range of headphones. Hand-built in Scotland and available now, prices range from £145.00.Atlas zeno 3.5-3.5

With the Zeno headphone cable, Atlas Cables set out to bring its own engineered vision of cable design to the fastest growing category of audio products. Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) copper conductors are covered in FEP (Fluorinated ethylene propylene) low temperature deposition dielectric to protect the integrity of the OCC material. Wrapped within a protective soft PVC inner liner and finished with a tangle-free fabric outer jacket, Zeno is extremely durable.

Developed specifically for Zeno and covering a wealth of headphone connection options, Atlas’ Metik non-solder crimp plugs provide signal consistency from socket to socket. Available in 2.5mm, 3.5mm, 6.3mm and 4-pin XLR mini for the headphone end and 3.5mm, 6.3mm and 4-pin XLR for the amplifier end, Metik plugs provide a direct, airtight metal to metal contact. For brand-specific headphone connections, a wealth of options are available – Sennheiser, OPPO, Sure, AKG, Audeze, AudioQuest, HiFiMan, Ultrasone are all catered for and Atlas is able to source the correct connections for the majority of headphones available.Atlas Zono 6.5-2.5

Commenting on the launch of Zeno, Kevin Kelly, Managing Director at Atlas Cables, said, “With the popularity of high-end headphones set to increase and the owners looking to further refine the quality of their purchase, we felt we could add real benefits in increased sound quality and durability. By applying our trusted scientific and engineering process to this new product category, we firmly believe that Zeno gives listeners the opportunity to gain even more from their headphones with the results speaking for themselves.”

Atlas Zeno 1:1 (standard termination – stereo cable 3.5mm )
1.50m £ 145.00
2.00m £ 155.00
2.50m £ 165.00
3.00m £ 175.00
3.50m £ 185.00
4.00m £ 195.00

Atlas Zeno 1:2 (standard termination)
1.50m £ 215.00
2.00m £ 225.00
2.50 m £ 235.00
3.00m £ 245.00
3.50m £ 255.00
4.00m £ 265.00

Atlas Zeno 1:2 (custom termination) = Atlas Zeno 1:2 (standard termination) + £50 (available on request)
* Custom lengths available upon request

Austria-based Horch House was created for the sole purpose of bringing original analogue master tapes to music lovers in a variety of formats – from reel-to-reel tape to various high-resolution digital formats, all fully licensedand approved. And the latest releases include some highly collectable classics:

Horch House 2016-01 new releases (1)Star Wars Original Soundtracks, Episodes 4, 5 & 6

A New Hope / The Empire Strikes Back / Return Of The Jedi

The most acclaimed and enduring film music in Hollywood history, composed by legendary five-times Oscar-winning composer John Williams and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. These unique collector sets are being released to coincide with the latest chapter in the saga, The Force Awakens. This is the first time the Star Wars original soundtracks have been available on reel-to-reel analogue master tapes, and with no digital remastering.

Carmina Burana by Carl Orff

Recorded in 1974, this traditional arrangement performed by the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir delivers the distinctive ‘Orff sound’ in its full, uncompressed glory. Conductor Herbert Kegel is considered one of the best in contemporary music; Orff himself was an ardent admirer of his work.

The Planets by Gustav Holst

Performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and conducted by William Steinberg, this is one of the most highly regarded performances of The Planets, often considered the definitive version. Holst was introduced to astrology by writer Clifford Bax while holidaying in Majorca with a group of English artists; he became a devotee of the subject and liked to cast his friends’ horoscopes for fun.

The Reiner Sound: Ravel/Rachmaninoff

A giant of the classic RCA Living Stereo series featuring the unparalleled pairing of conductor Fritz Reiner with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. These ‘soft refurbished’ recordings now deliver unprecedented sound quality and showcase all the joys of RCA’s golden age: the early days of the stereo era when pure vacuum tube amplification helped produce recordings with unmatched fidelity and warmth, lifelike presence and midrange illumination. Packaging duplicates the original cover art including the Living Stereo logo, LSC numbers and Shaded Dog label.

One Second by Yello

A timeless album showcasing Yello’s spacious, beautiful pop sounds with their sensuous Latin feel – from the shaking and grooving ‘La Habanera’ and the hauntingly beautiful ‘The Rhythm Divine’, to the noisy, growling ‘Si Senor The Hairy Grill’. Released in 1987, the album also features both Billy MacKenzie and Shirley Bassey, the latter singing vocals on ‘The Rhythm Divine’.


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TAGA Harmony announces the launch of the revised Azure speaker series.

The name of the series was inspired by the French Riviera.

  • TLIE(Taga Low Interference Enclosure) – new elegant enclosures are now even more rigid and neutral to vibrations and colorization.       The MDF walls thickness has been increased from 12mm to 15mm in the floorstanding speaker (plus 18mm thick front panel) and from 9mm to 12mm in the centre and surround speakers (plus 15mm front panel)
  • The 2ndgeneration TPTTD-I (Taga Pure Titanium Tweeter Dome) utilises a differently shaped and lighter titanium cone as well as a double-magnet structure – it has a higher SPL, faster and more accurate movement of the dome
  • The totally new high-performance mid and woofer drivers incorporate TDSC Taga Dynamic Surround Control, which provides stable cone movement, dynamics and precision and increased system sensitivity
  • New decorative pure aluminum trim rings and tweeter faceplate to enhance sound dispersion
  • New configuration of the drivers: tweeters are positioned closer to the midrange to provide even better smoothness and integration between high and mid frequencies. The woofers in the floorstanding model were moved a little up in order to change bass definition and its dispersion.
  • The dramatically upgradedcrossovers to meet new refinements and configuration of the drivers: more delicate and rich treble, better defined midrange and more dynamic bass.
  • Now equipped with removable grills.

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Click to read the latest news and reviews from our partners over at GadgetyNewsGADGETYLOGO

CES 2016 – New Products From Philips and Philips Fidelio

New Soundbars From Samsung At CES 2016

Automated Rollers For Windows

Arcam MusicBOOST – iPhone 6 Digital Audio and Battery Upgrade

VW Budd-e: Volkswagen’s New Tech Loaded Microbus

Boud Flex Cam Pic – Possibly The Cutest Actioncam

Spain’s Momit Home Thermostat to Rival Nest – Promises 30% Energy Savings

In Win 605 PC Case Packs Infinity Mirror Coolness

Usain Bolt inspired Gibson Trainer Wireless Sports Headphones Review


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Pro-Ject Audio Systems announce their latest release, the 2 Xperience Acryl which will replace the Xperience 2 Pack.

The 2 Xperience Acryl boasts the same clear acrylic plinth as the 2 Pack, however, it also boasts some technical tweaks that bring it into line with Pro-Ject’s latest standards.

The perimeter belt-drive concept is based on over twenty years of turntable design experience, but the motor is a newly updated design inspired by the 2 Xperience SB, which was released in 2015. The new motor is therefore driven by a purpose-engineered AC generator PCB, which in turn is powered by an efficient DC power supply for optimal rotational and speed stability.PJ-Phono-2XperienceDCAcryl

The 2 Xperience Acryl’s transparent acrylic plinth is acoustically inert, the thick black precision-balanced platter is also resonant-free, and topped with melted vinyl records for the ideal turntable mat. The three aluminium coned feet are TPE-damped for a further reduction of unwanted resonances.

The 2 Xperience Acryl is fitted as standard with the 9cc Evolution carbon fibre tonearm. The tonearm is then finished with the Ortofon 2M Silver moving- magnet cartridge, which boasts silver voice coils.

The package is also neatly finished with a screw-on record clamp and a sturdy dust cover.

SRP £950.00

In further news Pro-Ject announced the2 Xperience SB S-Shape that takes all the same innovations and improvements of the 2 Xperience SB design, but utilises a brand new S-Shape tonearm to give vinyl enthusiasts a more versatile record player.PJ-Phono-2XperienceSBSShape-piano (1)

The S-Shape tonearm is made of a special alloy of aluminium with very high internal damping properties, for reduced resonance. The bearing design allows for pin- point mounting of the premium vertical race bearings, while the horizontal ball bearings are rigidly mounted yet easily adjustable. The rotational anti-skate mechanism is inspired by the anti-skate system used on the flagship Signature 12 tonearm.

One of the principle benefits of the new tonearm is found in the high-quality detachable headshell.

The 2 Xperience SB turntable has a large plinth, high-quality main bearing and thick, vinyl-topped sandwich platter. The new precision motor is driven by an efficient DC power supply and regulated by a built-in electronic speed changer offering easy switching between 331/3 and 45RPM, but it also acts as an AC generator for the motor to ensure a clean and stable power signal.

An acrylic dust cover, silver screw-on record clamp and expertly engineered coned feet finish off the turntable.

SRP £1,299.00


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Audeze announced the launch of its new planar magnetic headphones, the SINE recently. The company are showcasing its lightest headphone to date at Pepcom’s Digital Experience! on Jan. 5 and throughout the duration of CES 2016,Jan. 6-9, in Las Vegas.

SINE Headphones are the first of the new generation of on-ear planar magnetic headphones on the market. The lightest Audeze headphones to date, the SINE headphones are said to offer exceptional sound quality and comfort.  They fold flat for portability.CES_2016_Audeze_

The SINE headphones feature Audeze’s Fluxor® planar magnetic technology with Fazor® Elements and Uniforce® Diaphragms to provide a highly efficient yet lightweight headphone, with “very low distortion, good bass, a seductive midrange, crisp extended high frequencies, and excellent imaging”.

Audeze’s fully integrated Apple Lightning cable is also an option for the SINE headphones. The exclusive Lightning cable streams a complete 24-bit digital signal through a high quality DSP and DAC to offer better sound quality directly from the iPhone. The built in microphone can be used for phone calls or Skype and is SIRI compatible.CES_2016_Audeze_1

Keeping with the Audeze aesthetic, the SINE headphones’ transducer technology is coupled with BMW DesignWorks USA’s craftsmanship.

The SINE headphones ($499) will be available for purchase in late January at and select retailers and will begin shipping in February.

Audeze are in LVCC, South Hall 1 Booth 20312

Audeze products will also be featured with the following partners:

  • Prism Sound, Venetian Room 29223
  • Aurender, Venetian Tower Suite 29-337
  • Roli, LVCC, Central Hall-Booth 14844
  • Questyle, Venetian Tower Suite 28-317
  • Chord Electronics, Venetian Suite 35-207
  • MQA, Venetian Bassano Room 2604 / Suite 30-335

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The Clarity Alliance, the UK hi-fi industry’s trade body, is pleased to announce that the 2016 industry conference will take place on Monday 1st February at Dolby Laboratories’ European Head Office, Soho Square, London.Clarity_logo_jpeg

The conference is an opportunity for members of The Clarity Alliance, plus any other individuals and companies operating in the UK hi-fi industry, to come together to discuss topics of relevance to the ever-changing market. A number of keynote guest speakers will be present to share their knowledge and enlighten the audience.

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For over 3 years, Arcam’s irDAC has been regarded a great performer but now replacing the irDAC is the new irDAC-II adding advanced Bluetooth connectivity, headphone output, DSD128 support and a host of internal upgrades.

Briefed to up the ante in a competitive market, Arcam’s engineering team have blended ingredients from across Arcam’s intensive R&D programme, to deliver a major performance and function upgrade. The irDAC-II comes packed with cutting edge technology and features that will benefit the most demanding user.arcam_CES2016

– New internal circuits and a major DAC upgrade

– New audiophile headphone amplifier stage

– New Bluetooth aptX LL input

– New DSD128 support

– New ESS ES9016 Sabre DAC

£495 UK inc VAT – $799 USA + tax

Sony Electronics unveiled a new turntable which has been strategically designed to expand the company’s range of premium Hi-Res Audio products at CES 2016. The PS-HX500 is targeted for music enthusiasts who collect and enjoy LP recordings.PS-HX500_tone-arm2

The HX500 has a built-in A/D converter supporting hi-res digital transfers in either native DSD (up to 5.6 MHz) or WAV files (up to 192 KHz/24-bit resolution).

“Sony is dedicated to providing audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike with a wide range of hi-res audio solutions that can meet virtually every lifestyle need”, said Yamato (Tank) Tanikawa, Director, Home Entertainment & Sound, Sony Electronics. “Our new PS-HX500 turntable serves as an important bridge that connects the growing number of vinyl record collectors to the convenience and sound quality afforded by hi-res audio”.PS-HX500_open

The HX500 comes with a newly developed app with exclusive software that allows simple and intuitive editing on either PCs or Macs. Users can conveniently combine tracks from both sides of an album or multiple tracks can be split and saved. A special driver is also provided for recording compatible DSD streams.

A new Sony developed straight tone arm that has an integrated lightweight, low resonance integrated head shell and comes complete with moving magnet cartridge is included.

A two speed belt drive system is also used which includes an aluminium die cast platter and thick (5mm) rubber mat to help stabilize disc rotation and minimize vibration. There is also a built in phonostage.

In 2014 Nagra introduced their HD DAC and at CES 2016 they have now launched their Classic DAC, a digital to analogue converter that uses the same input and conversion modules as the older DAC and allows for DSD2x and DXD (384kHz/32-bits).CES_2016_NAGRA_DAC

The Classic DAC comes with its own onboard power supply with 25 internal power supplies and with the option of adding the off-board MPS power supply should users prefer.

You get two SPDIF inputs, AES/EBU, TOSLINK, and Nagra digital inputs plus a USB input whilst both XLR and RCA outputs are provided.

The Class DAC from Nagra continues the l known aesthetic of their Classic line of products.

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Manley Labs has unveiled the company’s latest product for the Hifi market at CES 2016, The Manley Headphone Amplifier which they say has been built to meet the demand of audiophiles turning to personal headphone listening.   CES_2016_MAnley_Headphone_Amplifier_2

Information from Manley’s website says “There are twelve independent controls designed for maximum performance and customizable handling of sonic adjustments for a wide variety of audio experience. Of special import are the custom hand-wound air-gapped dual-mode MANLEY IRON output transformers, designed and manufactured at the Manley Labs factory in Chino, California. With a push of the button, these transformers are easily user-configured to drive three ranges of headphone loads, from 12 to 600 Ohms or greater”.

The output stage of the Manley Headphone Amplifier can be switched on-the-fly between all-triode Push-Pull and Single-Ended topology.

The Volume Control is performed by a Precision Stepped Relay ladder matrix whilst left-right Balance control is provided to trim out uneven recordings. The Manley Headphone Amplifier operates fully symmetrically, enabling it to drive balanced headphones through its XLR outputs but of course non-balanced ¼” jacks are also present. A direct preamplifier output which routes your first line input through the system to feed an external power amplifier or powered loudspeakers is also available when the headphone amp is powered down.

The Manley Headphone Amplifier also, and somewhat unusually in this day and age, incorporates bass and treble tone control to allow listeners to adjust the flavour of the sound to their preference… but you can totally bypass of the EQ circuits also.

The Manley Headphone Amplifier is available in three different colours fu: Champagne & White, Titanium & Bronze, or Copper & Black.CES_2016_MAnley_Headphone_Amplifier_1


  • Vacuum Tube design, 2 x 12AT7A Drivers, 4 x 6AQ5 Triode Strapped output tubes
  • Single-Ended or Push-Pull amplifier operation
  • Precision Stepped Relay Volume Control with Thumb Wheel
  • Selectable headphone load settings: 12-50 Ohms, 50-200 Ohms, 200-600 Ohms
  • Variable Feedback Control: 0–10dB of negative feedback
  • Balance, Treble and Bass Controls use silent conductive plastic potentiometers
  • Tone Bypass for purist signal path
  • All switching via high-grade gold-contact relays
  • 3 x Stereo Outputs: Balanced XLR headphone outs, Unbalanced standard ¼” TRS headphone jack, RCA Preamplifier Outputs
  • 2 x Analog line-level RCA inputs
  • Mono / Stereo function
  • Mute Switch
  • User adjustable Headphone Overload Protection System
  • MANLEY IRONhand-wound wide bandwidth air-gapped output transformers
  • Preamplifier Direct output routes Input 1 direct to output when unit is in standby
  • Soft Start, mute-controlled power-up sequence
  • High Speed, Low Impedance, Low Noise custom switching PSU
  • Operating Mains Voltage: 90~250VAC universal works worldwide
  • Mains Voltage Frequency: 50~ 60Hz
  • Solid Aluminum Billet Chassis
  • Real Wood Walnut Burl Trim
  • Maximum Output Power: 1W
  • Unit Dimensions: 11.5 x 5.5 x 8.2” (LxWxH)
  • Unit Weight: 12 lbs.
  • MSRP: $2950

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The microLight is the smallest ever Keith Monks RCM and is the smallest precision record cleaning machine ever.
The cliché of a picture is worth a thousand words is so apt for the microLight, and in fact pictures don’t really capture its interesting and innovative design.  Is it modern, post modern or classic?KeithMonks_CES_2016_1

Keith Monks is working with a growing number of fine artists and photographersfrom their Isle of Wight UK and US bases, together with a specialist print company, to develop a unique layered acrylic printing process and create exclusive limited editions and one-off custom print options.

Keith Monks machines bring the original record cleaning technique developed with and so prized by the BBC, the US Library of Congress and the British Library National Sound Archive in a modern, easier and more affordable package. Jonathan Monks – The Record Doctor and son of Keith – will be demonstrating the new microLight at CES 2015 in Suite 29-139 of the Venetian Hotel.KeithMonks_CES_2016_3

Key Features 

  • Now a stunning illuminated art display for your home.
  • The world’s smallest ever precision Record Cleaning Machine – just 15” (39cm) wide.
  • It’s quiet enough to enjoy listening to your records while cleaning another.
  • Backlit acrylic art panels – unique hi res printing process – exclusive limited editions and one-off custom print options.
  • Zero recontamination for safe, consistent results
  • Original point suction vacuum system with SuperSilent medical grade suction pump imported from Germany
  • NEW forward-reverse turntable rotation for wash cycle
  • NEW “Used fluid jar full” warning light
  • NEW transparent acrylic casing and back lighting strip with diffuser displays your art
  • Automatic reel-out of nozzle buffer thread
  • Automatic shut off at end of side
  • Supplied with Keith Monks discOvery precision 12” LP wash brush and Pyr/\Mat stay-clean mat

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Today Naim launched Mu-so Qb at CES 2016 (Suite 30-233 Venetian Hotel Las Vegas) a more compact wireless loudspeaker system.  Naim’s origina Mu-so wireless music system combined Naim’s normal priorities of sound quality with dramatic but understated design and ease of use. Mu-so Qb takes these attributes and delivers them in a compact structure that is easy to accommodate in most rooms.CES_2016_NAIM_1

“With Mu-so Qb, we use the same principles that helped form the original Mu-so: no compromise on materials, sound quality or features.” says Naim Audio’s Technical Director, Roy George.

Mu-so Qb will be on demo and on sale in shops early March 2016, MSRP £595 Inc. VAT. ($999.95 ex. tax)CES_2016_NAIM_2

One of the biggest design challenges with the Mu-so Qb wireless loudspeaker system was to configure the individual speakers within the smaller cabinet. It presents an arrangement of five drivers, offset and angled perfectly to create an ideal left-right dispersion. Mu-so Qb uses tweeters with microfibre domes, while its mid-range drivers have rare earth magnets and copper capped poles for even greater linearity. And when it comes to low frequencies, Mu-so Qb has another surprising design feature. Unlike the original Mu-so, there isn’t the space for a long bass port. Instead, two tuned pistonic bass-radiators work alongside a custom-made woofer that’s driven by a 100W amplifier. The touchscreen interface on the top of Mu-so Qb is a solid aluminium ring, illuminated to float above the core structure and compliment the seamless volume dial movement. CES_2016_NAIM_3


Connect the Naim Mu-so Qb to a home Wi-Fi network to open up a world of music. Wirelessly stream downloaded music in high-resolution via UPnP™ or browse and play millions of songs through Spotify Connect, TIDAL, Internet Radio or Airplay. CES_2016_NAIM_5


Mu-so Qb also features high quality Bluetooth (aptX) connectivity, a USB input for playback from USB sticks or connection of smartphones, tablets or MP3 players enabling charging and playback, in addition a rear 3.5mm analogue input and a digital input can be used for TVs, CD players, turntables set-top boxes and games consoles.


Mu-so Qb can be used between five rooms in the home, creating a system that is truly integrated and offers synchonised music in each room or individual music in each room, all controlled by a dedicated Naim app for iOS and Android. Mu-so Qb is also fully compatible with Naim streaming products, including Naim Uniti Series. 

At the heart of Mu-so Qb is a 32-bit digital signal processor – the same component used in the original Mu-so system. The DSP controls the flow of music information to each individual drive unit and, with intricate computer analytics, was finely tuned to perform perfectly within the smaller cabinet space.

The material chosen for the main cabinet is a 20% glass-reinforced polymer chosen for its extra stiffness and dampening properties. Elsewhere, an anodised aluminium structural top and heatsink is used, as well as the acrylic base, all of which dampen unwanted vibration, stiffen and strengthen the structure of Mu-so Qb even further.


Audio Inputs
Streaming UPnP hi-res streaming, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, TIDAL, Bluetooth aptX
Digital Optical S/PDIF (up to 96kHz) on rear panel
Multiroom Sync up to five Naim Mu-so, Mu-so Qb or any Naim Uniti or Naim Streaming product. Control via Naim App.
Analogue 3.5mm jack on rear panel
Other Internet radioUSB Type-A on rear panel
Amplification 300W (4 x 50W + 1 x 100W)
Drivers 1 x woofer2 x mid-range

2 x tweeter

2 x tuned pistonic bass-radiators

Audio formats supported WAV, FLAC and AIFF – up to 24bit/192kHz
ALAC (Apple Lossless) – up to 24bit/96kHz
MP3 – up to 48kHz, 320kbit (16 bit)
AAC – up to 48kHz, 320kbit (16bit)
OGG and WMA – up to 48kHz (16bit)
When product is wireless:
up to 48kHz on all file formats.
Gapless formats supported WAV, FLAC and AIFF – up to 24bit/192kHz
ALAC (Apple Lossless) – up to 24bit/96kHzInternet radio service provider: vTuner premium

Bluetooth: SBC, AAC and aptX

Network Connection
Inputs Wired Ethernet (10/100Mbps) or Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
Dimensions (HxWxD) 210mm x 218mm x 212mm
Weight 5.6kg


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Edifier got in touch with Hifi Pig to tell us they are proud to announce their partnership with THX. Founded by George Lucas 30 years ago and recognized by audiences around the globe, THX is synonymous with the certification of world-class cinemas and recording studios, premium audio systems for home and automotive applications along with high definition and 4K displays. Edifier’s first THX Certified product is to be unveiled to the public for the first time at CES.CES2016_edifier

“It’s interesting to note that there isn’t any one body or authority on audio that holds the music or audio industry accountable for quality of output against an industry qualified standard.  Working with THX is a real privilege for Edifier and a credible partnership between two brands that care very much about the nth degree of audio output and performance when delivered to an audience. It Is our intention to continue to work with THX to produce speakers for home entertainment accredited by THX.” – Philip Liu, VP of Edifier North America. 


High-end electrostatic headphone brand, STAX will also be showcased on the stand for the first time at CES. Since acquiring the brand in 2012 Edifier has continued to enhance the STAX product and brand awareness at every level.

Products on display include the SR Lambda Series – SR-L700 and SR-L500, the Top-of-the-Line electrostatic earspeaker SR-009 the flagship model SR-007 and the advanced in-the-earspeaker system SRS-002. Each headphone features a top quality sound element for rich deep bass-response, delicate high-frequency and soothing mid-range realized in a balanced manner.

STAX amplifiers will also be on display at the Edifier stand. These include the Driver units SRM-007tII and SRM-727II. When the amplifiers are used with STAX electrostatic earspeakers they deliver a high level of sound purity and quality. The amplifiers open up new vistas for sense of mass and textural expression supported by a virtually unparalleled degree of resolution, natural sense of openness and a powerful power section.

New Edifier Products

Two new wireless Edifier speakers will unveiled to the public for the first time at CES. The speakers represent a new direction that Edifier is taking away from traditional multimedia speakers towards new technologies.

“Wireless is the natural progression to which we have developed our product lines. Everybody is connected, wants ease of use in the simplest format with the latest capabilities. The time is now where we have to move away from traditional multimedia product developments and look toward creating new categories for Edifier including wireless and maybe multiroom systems. We have begun to move towards that with our Bluetooth range of speakers and at CES, our showcase of wireless speakers will mark a new chapter for us.” – Wendong Zhang, CEO, Edifier International Ltd

Edifier Ambassador Platform

2016 will see the launch of the Edifier Ambassador platform. This platform will enable popular musicians, bloggers, TV personalities, gamers and sports people to share their experiences of Edifier with their fans. They’ll be able to engage with their audiences through product giveaways, discounts, product exclusives and money can’t buy experiences.


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The award winning Music First Audio Classic pre amplifier has now sold 500 units since its introduction in 2003. To celebrate this achievement a new version of the classic unit is being made available in a fabulous new range of colours.Baby_Classic_Chrome_Blue

The Baby Classic Pre Amplifier

The Baby Classic pre amplifier, using the Classic transformer, is a 2 input and output pre amp with a 24 position switch volume switch and 3 position ground lift switch. The back panel is built to the customer’s specification. Both RCA and XLR inputs are available in any combination.Baby_Classic_Back_panel

£1200.00, plus VAT if applicable.


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McIntosh has introduced three new products at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2016): the MX122 A/V Processor, MB50 Streaming Audio Player and RS100 Wireless Loudspeaker.

MX122 A/V Processor

The MX122 A/V Processor can serve as the brain centre for an advanced home theater system for years to come. It features many of the latest breakthroughs in surround sound and object-based 3D audio such as Dolby® Atmos, and will be upgradeable to support DTS:X™ and Auro-3D®. Besides 3D audio, existing formats like DolbyMX122 Angle Right

TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio™ and others are still supported. The MX122 is fully compatible with modern 4K Ultra HD video sources and can upscale lower resolutions to 4K Ultra HD. A wide assortment of inputs and outputs are included to connect current and future entertainment sources. All HDMI inputs and outputs are HDCP 2.2 and support High Dynamic Range (HDR), 4K Ultra HD at 50/60Hz, 4:4:4 color, Rec. 2020 and 3D video pass-through. The MX122 can send select audio and/or video to 2 additional zones within in the house. Users can connect to their online digital music with either the wired or wireless network connections. DSD64 files can be played from flash drives or over the network. Bluetooth and AirPlay® connectivity allows for easy streaming from mobile devices. Interfaces to popular streaming services including Pandora®, SiriusXM® and Spotify® are included while vTuner connects to 1,000s of internet radio stations. Audyssey MultEQ® XT32 will calibrate the MX122 to each home theater’s unique acoustical properties.

MB50 Streaming Audio Player

A home audio system can be transformed into a wireless audio system with the MB50 Streaming Audio Player. The MB50 features DTS Play-Fi® technology to give the freedom and flexibility to wirelessly play music at home over an existing Wi-Fi network. While utilizing DTS Play-Fi streaming capabilities, the MB50 delivers the legendary McIntosh sound quality and performance found in our other home audio products. Simply connect the MB50 to a Wi-Fi network and audio system via the analog or digital outputs and then stream music to it from the Apple or Android mobile app or Windows desktop app. Besides accessing a personal music library on a mobile device, the apps have built-in support for many leading online streaming services including Deezer, KKBox, Pandora®, QQMusic, Rhapsody, SiriusXM®, Songza, Spotify® and TIDAL (list subject to change). If there’s more than one audio system to stream to, just add an MB50 to each and then stream the same music to all systems. Or if there are multiple mobile devices with the app, different music can simultaneously be streamed to each system.MB50 Angle Left

Analog and digital inputs allow for connecting audio components such as CD players, letting the MB50 to act as a mini-preamp.

RS100 Wireless Loudspeaker

The RS100 wireless speaker allows streaming music capabilities to be added to any room. It features DTS Play-Fi® technology that gives the freedom and flexibility to wirelessly play the music on mobile devices over an existing Wi-Fi network. Simply connect it to a Wi-Fi network, install the free Play-Fi Apple or Android mobile app or Windows desktop app and then begin streaming. A single RS100 is all that is needed to start building a wireless speaker system; more can be added over time to expand the system. Up to 16 speakers can be connected to a single Wi-Fi network – enough for stereo playback in 8 separate rooms. With the Play-Fi app installed on multiple devices, each device can stream different music to each room, giving all family members or guests control over what they want to hear in their room. Besides accessing a personal music library, the apps have built-in support for many leading online streaming services including Deezer, KKBox, Pandora®, QQMusic, Rhapsody, SiriusXM®, Songza, Spotify® and TIDAL (list subject to change). Not limited to just streaming, the RS100 is flexible thanks to its auxiliary input which allows it to be used in non-streaming setups; it can quickly be switched back and forth between the two inputs to accommodate listening preferences. A subwoofer output is also included.RS100 Angle left no grille

All three products are available to order now from authorized McIntosh dealers with shipping anticipated in January for MX122 and in March for MB50 and RS100. Suggested retail price for each (VAT, shipping and any customs duties related to current standards of individual countries are excluded):

MX122: $7,000 USD

MB50: $2,000USD

RS100: $1,000 USD per speaker


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Bryston has announced today the introduction of the Cubed Series of amplifiers, replacing the Squared Series that made its debut at the 2009 CES. The SST3 amplifiers will anchor the CES 2016 demo at The Venetian Suite 29-308.

The SST3 series is a statement design platform for music enthusiasts, home theatre installations and professional audio applications. The new lineup will roll out in phases, with the 2.5B SST3, the 3B SST3, the 4BSST3, the 7BSST3, and the 14BSST3 being first to market. The flagship 28B SST3 is in the final design stages currently.CES_2016_Bryston_cubed_2

Engineering achievements are at the forefront of the new designs, featuring a patented super-linear, low noise input buffer jointly developed by Bryston and the late Ph.D. engineer Dr. Ioan Alexandru Salomie. The Cubed Series also has a more robust RF and audio frequency noise filtering circuit before the power supplies to prevent unwanted anomalies on the power line from interfering even minutely with the audio signal. And finally the new amplifiers will feature a redesigned milled aluminum front panel.CES_2016_Bryston_cubed_3

“Due to the lasting success of the Squared Series amplifiers, our engineers were afforded the luxury of being able to spend lots of time precisely developing this new line of amplifiers,” explained Bryston CEO Chris Russell. “The innovative circuitry designed with Dr. Salomie is brilliant and we plan to use more of it in future products. Some of the audible improvements we have noted during our initial testing consist of expanded spaciousness and depth of focus, better overall dimensionality, improved mid-bass clarity, and more air and openness in the high-frequencies.”

All Bryston SST3 Series amplifiers will feature Bryston’s 20-year warranty.


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Leema Acoustics is demonstrating its Libra DAC/preamp at CES 2016, featuring 24-bit/384kHz playback over USB, upgradeable DAC modules, Bluetooth and more! (£5,995).

Leema Acoustics, founded and run by two ex-BBC sound engineers, will be demonstrating its new Libra DAC/preamp at CES 2016.CES_2016_Leema_1

Leema’s new flagship DAC, which was launched in the autumn of 2015, will head-up an all- British system including Leema’s Hydra power amps with loudspeakers from Spendor.

Leema’s Lee Talyor, the ‘Lee’ in Leema Acoustics, will be in attendance throughout CES to introduce the Libra and Leema’s innovative product range. Leema Acoustics can be found in the Bluebird Music room (Venetian Tower 29-211), which will also be home to Spendor and van den Hul for the event.CES_2016_Leema_Front

The Libra is the latest addition to Leema Acoustics’ flagship Constellation series and has the same precision-machined casework as the award-winning Tucana amp and Antila CD player. Designed and built by Lee Taylor and Mallory Nicholls (Leema), Libra’s simple-yet-elegant looks conceal class-leading technologies.

The Libra DAC/preamp is priced at £5,995 and is available now.


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If you’re already a fan of Gamut’s RS Series then you’re in for a treat. The new hot-off-the-press Zodiac is a further development of the pride of the RS Series, the huge RS9.Gamut Zodiac

“The Zodiac is basically my dream loudspeaker,” says Benno Baun Meldgaard, Gamut’s designer, whose passion and skills are such that in Europe he has earned the nickname ‘the best ears in the business’. In fact, if you’ve ever seen Meldgaard set up and fine-tune a system, you’ll know why he’s also known affectionately as ‘the speaker whisperer’.

In 2016 Meldgaard’s dance card has been reserved for the Zodiac, into which he has poured all of his expertise built on decades of psychoacoustics research and development, including experiencing countless classical live concerts.

“This is my Mona Lisa,” he explains. “It’s me taking loudspeaker design and engineering to the ultimate, removing any and all constraints – including cost – to create a genuine masterpiece of musicality. As an audio designer and passionate lover of live music, this is the kind of project you live for”.

A true masterpiece doesn’t typically go into mass production and the Zodiac is no exception. Just 12 pairs will be handcrafted each year, one per month, and each will bear the relevant sign of the astrological zodiac. No serial numbers here, just a star sign.

The Gamut Zodiac: highlights in brief

  • A true ‘cost no object’ handcrafted loudspeaker.
  • Only 12 pairs to be built each year (one per month/sign of the zodiac).
  • Extended frequency response of 16Hz to 60kHz.
  • Phase-aligned drive units from 400Hz to 12kHz.
  • All drive units have been newly custom-designed and individually matched by Meldgaard.
  • Highly complex cabinet showcases a new system of internal spacing, semi-separated by bespoke acoustic filters.
  • The crossover is a new innovative design featuring superlative quality components sourced from Danish experts Janzen Audio.
  • Zodiac’s designer Benno Baun Meldgaard will visit each owner within 12 months of purchase to fine-tune the Zodiac set-up in the owner’s listening room.

Gamut will be demonstrating the new Zodiac in suite 29-324 at the Venetian Hotel at CES 2016, along with a number of other ‘stars’ from the Gamut range.

Gamut at CES 2016: system on display/demonstration at CES 2016

The new top-of-range Zodiac loudspeaker
M250i mono power amplifiers
D3i dual mono preamplifier
Gamut’s new Reference cables: speaker, interconnect and power


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The Zodiac line from KBL Sound is a direct replacement for the company’s previous Hologram range. The company says they are better cables, coming to the market at a similar price level.

These cables are manufactured with ultra-pure copper wire with each single crystal length reaching a few hundred meters (the result of the Ohno Continuous Casting process). Then, the copper is cryogenically treated to obtain a better molecular order within each wire.Zodiac-IC-snake

“These advanced conductors achieve such a high level of homogeneity that signal flow is practically lossless. It is characterized by a smooth and detailed transmission signal in a wide frequency spectrum” says the company’s recent press release.

Zodiac interconnects are well shielded against EM and RF interferences using pure copper screen with a  special multi-layered jacket protects the cables from external vibrations.

Standard termination comes with WBT-0114 Cu nextgen connectors.
Balanced option is available with XLR Neutrik connectors.

Zodiac signal cables are also available as 75 Ohm SPDiF /RCA (WBT) and 110 Ohm AES/EBU (Neutrik) digital cables. They are offered as phono cables too, coming with RCA to RCA (WBT) or RCA (WBT) to 5 DIN connector (Cardas) to wire up any tonearm.

Standard length: 1.5m, 2m. Other length available upon request.

After the assembly process cables are tested and professionally conditioned. Thus they are already burned-in for immediate use without waiting many weeks or even months for the ultimate level of performance. After a short time in a new audio system they sound the best they can and their performance does not change.


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British hi-fi manufacturer, Mitchell and Johnson, announced an exclusive worldwide deal with the developers of Electrostatz technology for use in its forthcoming range of headphones.

The self-biasing electrostatic technology behind Electrostatz was originally developed at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan’s largest industrial research facility. Further commercial development was rewarded with the highly prized accolade of “Technology Innovation Award Winner” from The Wall Street Journal and it was subsequently patented as Electrostatz Technology.HP1 dark

The super-thin and lightweight flexible transducer, with many thousands of micro-perforations, produces sound waves when an audio signal is applied to the driver in much the same way as a traditional electro-static driver, but without the need for an external high voltage power supply. This overcomes the two major disadvantages that exist with current electro-static headphones, namely high cost and lack of portability.

Electrostatz is capable of reproducing high frequency sounds up to 45kHz, with an incredibly quick response. In order to produce the punchy low frequency sounds required for the full frequency experience, which would require a high voltage input if using an electro-static driver on its own, the Mitchell and Johnson approach is to utilise a hybrid design. A dynamic driver dedicated to the bass works in conjunction with the Electrostatz unit for the mid and high frequencies.

Mitchell and Johnson has signed an agreement with the company behind Electrostatz to bring the technology to consumers across a range of new headphone models. During the first half of 2016 the company will introduce designs aimed at the street or urban users, hifi enthusiasts, DJs and professional studio engineers.

Paul Mitchell, CEO, of Mitchell and Johnson comments, “Electrostatz represents the single biggest development in headphone driver design for many years. And by combining it with a dynamic driver in our hybrid module we can bring the best of both worlds – electrostatic purity and dynamic power and bass performance – to consumers. As we are using two drivers in the headphones, we can tune the frequency response in much the same way as a traditional loudspeaker balance can be altered. This gives us the ability to create models that are suited to different applications, for example biased to cut through the ambient noise of an urban setting, or a perfectly flat response for studio use.” He concludes, “We are very excited to be granted the worldwide exclusivity on the technology and can’t wait to share our first designs with music fans over the coming months.”


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TAGA Harmony, a European manufacturer of speakers and audio electronics, has unveiled Diamond F-200, the brand’s flagship floorstanding model.taga8jan_20162

After the success of the company’s Platinum Special Edition series TAGA Harmony received a lot of requests from its customers to design loudspeakers with an even more high-end look and sound.  TAGA Harmony decided to take on that difficult but at the same time tempting task. A team of dedicated engineers was appointed for this project which ot a code name “Diamond”.

Their goal was to use all the knowledge and experience in research, development and manufacturing of speakers to build an exceptional floorstanding speaker showcasing the best technology and achievements of TAGA Harmony.  The result is visible at the first glance on the beautifully crafted cabinet with its curved, clear, elegant lines and luxurious design, accentuated with high grade natural wood veneers finished with high-end clear gloss piano lacquer.


Design: Floorstanding, 3-way, 4 drivers, Bi-wiring, Bi-amping25mm MDF S-TLIE enclosure

Crossover points 450Hz, 4kHz

High-Frequency Driver: 30mm (1.18”)O-TPTTD, E-TPAF
Midrange Driver: 165mm (6.5″) E-TPACD
Bass Driver: 2 x 203mm (8″) TNPPCD
Recommended Amplifier Power: 100-400W
Frequency Response (+/- 3dB): 30Hz-33kHz
Impedance: 6 ohm
Sensitivity: 91dB
Dimensions (H x W x D): 120 x 28 x 52 cm
Weight (net): 112 kg pair


Real Wood Rosewood Veneer – With Clear Gloss Piano Lacquer

Real Wood African Walnut Veneer – With Clear Gloss Piano Lacquertaga8jan_2016



Speaker cabinet design and construction is one of the most critical elements influencing sound performance.

Based on Taga’s own TLIE (Taga Low Interference Enclosures) technology, TAGA Harmony have developed a new high-end solution to increase stiffness and limit any unwanted resonances of the cabinet.

The new technology is called S-TLIE Super Taga Low Interference Enclosures.

Super rigid and thick 25mm MDF boards are used for side, rear, top and bottom walls and 30mm for the baffle (front panel). The internal structure is divided in two chambers in an approximate ratio 80% of volume for woofers and 20% for a midrange and tweeter.

Internal bracing is used to further strengthen the whole structure and achieve even greater rigidity.

The walls are firmly anchored to the 80mm backbone beam highly strengthening the whole construction.

The bent shape of the side walls as well as the curved top plays a significant role in lowering unwanted vibrations, diffraction, turbulences and standing waves effect.

The high-end African wood veneers, painted with 9-layer clear piano lacquer is luxurious and enduring.

The cabinet sits on a 2-layer discrete metal base with oversized spikes. The 2-layer design increases isolation from the floor, the transparency of sound and provides better definition and the basis for the bass.

The whole cabinet is tilted back slightly to time-align all the drivers – it brings the tweeter’s output into the best and correct alignment.

Supplied extra aluminum spike supports provide super stability for the speakers and protect the floor from being scratched.

To keep the elegant and sleek appearance of the front panel there are no grill sockets thanks to a magnetic mountable grill.


The high-end 30mm (1.18”) O-TPTTD (Oversized Taga Pure Titanium Tweeter Dome) is 20% bigger than in the company’s Platinum Special Edition series to allow even higher power handling and more accurate, clear, smooth and detailed performance. Ferrofluid cooled and heavy duty 28mm CCAW and silver wiring voice coil as well as 2 magnets (Φ80 &   Φ70) help the tweeter to bear high power.

The E-TPAF (Enlarged Taga Pure Aluminium Faceplate) and metal grill helps even further dispersion of high-frequencies.


The 165mm (6.5”) rigid and ultra-light E-TPACD (Extended Taga Pure Aluminum cone Driver) midrange (with a bullet shaped phase plug,  aluminum chassis and oversized 2-magnet structure Φ100/Φ90) where the butyl suspension can move very fast and frequently allowing mid-range frequencies to be very rich, spacious and sweet. The bullet shaped phase plug is to align the phase of the audio signal and to smooth the midrange frequency response. The extended low and high frequency range (from 46 Hz – 18 kHz) helps overlapping with frequencies of the woofers and the tweeter to offer the best sound consistency and integration.


The two 203mm (8”) TNPPCD (Taga  Non-pressed Paper Cone Driver) woofers – each equipped with three oversized 2xΦ123 + Φ100 magnets and  aluminum chassis. They are extremely rigid and utilize vibration-free solutions. The heavy duty 4-layer pure copper ribbon voice coil allows high power handling. TNPPCD drivers offer deep, precise and detailed bass performance. Thanks to a larger surface area to push air – the sound can be played at much louder levels.


High quality, close-tolerance and precisely selected crossover components and internal are used with TAGA Harmony utilizing  high quality of OFC internal wiring connecting crossovers with drivers, assuring that incoming audio signals from a receiver or amplifier will not lose any important details on the paths to drivers.tagaxover


The high quality, gold-plated banana binding posts accept raw speaker cables up to 10AWG and most popular types of connectors. They offer bi-wiring and bi-amping for wider dispersions and spaciousness, higher sonic accuracy and more precise sound. We use high-end 4N pure oxygen free copper wire jumpers terminated with gold-plated banana and spades connectors.


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Audio Research

The American makers of valve-based audio technology have redesigned the company’s Reference Series power amps to ’SE’ status, replacing the KT120 valve with the newly introduced KT150 to deliver significant performance upgrades. The Reference 75 SE, Reference 150 SE and Reference 250 SE are on show, along with the forthcoming Reference Phono 3 phono preamplifier and the recently launched G-Series integrated amp for both digital and analogue sources, the GSi75.AR_CES_2016

Crystal Cable

Dutch company Crystal Cable promises a host of surprises at CES 2016. It’s all hush-hush, but the company’s latest speaker, the Minissimo Diamond with its proprietary diamond tweeter, is sure to be present, as is the company’s latest range of cables for hi-res portable audio devices.CrystalCable_CES_2016

Dan D’Agostino

Krell’s legendary founder launches the latest addition to his Momentum range, the Momentum Phonostage, whilst unveiling the all-new Progession line with the Progression Mono. D’Agostino’s first amp with wireless streaming via AirPlay and Bluetooth, the amazing Momentum Lifestyle Amplifier, will also be present as full production finally draws near.



Maker of turntables for vinyl records, European Audio Team is showcasing its entire range including its new entry-level model, the C-Major. This is essentially a lightly stripped back version of EAT’s C-Sharp turntable, featuring a similar suspended carbon fibre sub-chassis with a new aluminium platter to create EAT’s most affordable deck yet.EAT_CES_2016


America’s preeminent high-end audio brand shows its range of top-notch audio electronics, including the Digital Vanguard, which takes Krell’s Vanguard integrated amp and adds a host of digital connectivity options including streaming via USB and Ethernet, plus Bluetooth with aptX support.



When it comes to ultra-high-end speakers, no manufacturer has made a bigger splash in the last 10 years than California’s Magico. The company’s latest is the S7, the new flagship of Magico’s more ‘affordable’ S Series.MAGICO_CES_2016


Kansas-based MartinLogan makes hybrid electrostatic loudspeakers, and its new flagship, the Neolith, is its best design yet. Three years in the making, Neolith combines a huge electrostatic radiating surface with front- and rear-firing subwoofers to deliver a deep, broad soundstage with stunning speed and clarity – we’ve heard it here at Hifi Pig and loved it!NEOLITH_CES_2016

Metronome Technologies

The Gallic digital audio specialist shows off its Music Center 1, a music server and CD player combined. The company’s DAC range is also being refreshed with new DSD-capable models.MET_CES_2016


PrimaLuna continues to expand its range with its new, range topping amplifiers: the Dialogue Premium HP (‘HP’ for ‘High Power’) integrated amplifier and power amplifier.primaluna_CES_2016

Sonus faber

Italian loudspeaker maker shows the latest addition to its flagship Homage range:Il Cremonese, a floorstander named after one of Antonio Stradivario’s most famous violins and featuring technology derived from the Lilium loudspeaker. Other highlights include the company’s award-winning, entry-level Chameleon collection, clad in leather with interchangeable coloured side panels.  SF_CES_2016

Theta Digital

US-based Theta Digital is showcasing the latest versions of its Casablanca Music and Cinema Controller – a multichannel preamp/processor. The Casablanca IVa adds decoding for the new 3D audio formats Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D, whilst also being ready for DTS:X, and maintains the innovations of the standard Casablanca IV, like Dirac Live 96K digital room correction and Theta’s proprietary Jitter Jail II anti-jitter technology. The Casablanca V, meanwhile, doubles the number of available channels to 24, and there’s also a new modular power amplifier called the Dreadnaught IV.THETA_CES_2016

Transparent Audio

US-based cable specialist Transparent will show off its latest Generation 5 cable designs, from the entry-level High Performance series to the top-end Magnum Opus range complete with the company’s most advanced noise-reducing Transparent network.8CA4FADF-6AFC-43B8-BF6B-684316BA3D29 (1)

Wadia Digital

New York’s digital audio pioneer showcases its range of DACs and digital power amps, from the flagship 300 Series to the compact 100 Series.WADIA_CES_2016

As previously mentioned in Hifi Pig News, Constellation Audio and Wilson Audio will be making significant launches at CES 2016










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The January edition of HIfi Pig Extra is now published and ready for FREE download. It’s another great issue with loads of content…




Merrill Audio Thor Monobloc Amplifiers.

MunroSonic EGG150 – Active Monitoring Loudspeakers.

Cabasse Stream 100 Amplifier and Surf Loudspeakers.

Martin Logan Motion 15 Standmount Loudspeakers.

Zeta Zero Venus Picolla Loudspeakers.

DiDiT DAC 212 Digital To Analogue Converter.

Lab 12 gordian Power Distributor/Conditioner.

Clearaudio Smart Matrix Professional Record Cleaning Machine.

Black Cat Redlevel Tube speaker Cable and RCA Interconnects.


Retro Bites – Janine Elliot takes another look at retro audio kit, this time focusing on the rare Tefifon

Voice Of Dom – Dominic Marsh gets puzzled over the differences people hear with identical products and explains how he goes about evaluating and listening to new kit.

Fidelity Matters – In the last of his Fidelity Matters articles for 2015, Ian Ringstead celebrates innovation wherever it comes from and applauds all the people in the hifi industry who make this wonderful kit possible.

The Views Of Stu – Stuart Smith looks at the year that was 2015 and hints at a few things you can expect to see in the coming year from Hifi Pig.

Bird’s Eye View – Linette Smith asks “What’s your drug of choice?”.

Dealers’ View – Mike Twomey continues his series of articles looking at the wonderful world of audio from the dealers perspective and this month offers up a few useful tips on how to get the best trade in deal when it comes round to the inevitable upgrade time…

Music and Live Gig Reviews with John Scott and Stuart Smith including live reviews of The Rezillos, Spizzenergi and The Proclaimers. 

The Classics – John Scott throws a log on the fire, pours himself a wee dram and puts on his copy of Mike Oldfield’s Ommadawn as part of his Classic Albums series. 

A great Behind The Brands interview with Heinz Lichtenegger, the CEO of Pro-Ject.

Download your Free copy here 


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MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) launches major partnerships at CES 2016, including agreements with music download store 2L and playback partners Bluesound and AURALiC, plus reveals a smartphone first from HTC.CES2016_MQA_HTC

CES Unveiled on January 4th and the MQA Suite within the Venetian (30-335) are the places to experience a world first: the MQA demonstration on the HTC One A9. HTC has equipped its latest smartphone with MQA technology in a ‘proof of concept’ exclusive for CES 2016.

2L claims the honour of first label to offer fans the chance to buy their music in MQA. Founded by Morten Lindberg – a highly respected figure in the world of digital music recording and a GRAMMY multi-nominee, including three selections in the 2016 list – the Scandinavian music label is revered for its pristine-quality recordings. Morten commented on MQA and said: “Meeting Bob Stuart and discovering MQA has been a total revelation. I have spent many hours with Bob listening to original recordings and being constantly amazed by the incredible sense of space and clarity brought by MQA. The end-to-end process allows us to more accurately capture the original sound and to deliver it perfectly all the way through to music lovers.

The library of MQA music is set to expand further during 2016 with 7digital, Onkyo Music, HQM (Japan) and Jay Z-led TIDAL all aiming to bring MQA music to the masses.

CES 2016 will also see the announcement of new playback partners including AURALiC, Bluesound and Aurender. The award-winning Bluesound range of MQA-compatible products will compromise the Node 2, Powervault 2, Pulse 2, Pulse Flex, Pulse Mini, Vault 2, and all legacy Bluesound components. MQA demonstrations will take place in Bluesound’s CES Venetian suite 34-204. AURALiC and Aurender will also be demonstrating new MQA-enabled products. MQA will be available on all three of AURALiC’s streamer models: ARIES, ARIES LE and ARIES MINI, with MQA demonstrations taking place in AURALiC’s suite within the Venetian (29-122).

MQA support grows further with Berkeley Audio, dCS, Kripton and Ixion joining the official MQA supplier list. All of these brands are actively planning MQA-enabled product lines, adding to previously announced MQA-ready product announcements from Meridian Audio, Mytek, Onkyo, and Pioneer

Commenting on these announcements Bob Stuart, MQA creator, said: “It’s truly gratifying to see such widespread levels of industry support for MQA. We are especially delighted to partner with 2L, MQA’s debut content retailer, and we look forward to welcoming aboard many more partners during 2016. We are also honoured to work with HTC at CES 2016, enabling the opportunity for the show visitors to hear MQA on today’s portable music device of choice, the smartphone.

MQA CES Locations

CES Unveiled, 4th January 2016, 4:00pm – 7:30pm (PST)

Mandalay Bay, Level 0, South Pacific Ballroom, Stand 119

The Venetian, 30-335, MQA Suite


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Bret D’Agostino at Bully Sound Company, LLC (BSC Audio) got in touch to tell Hifi Pig what that they will be taking part in CES 2016 with a host of manufacturers to accompany their products  including Magico, Playback Designs, Kubal Sosna Research and Critical Mass Systems which will be in  the Venetian, Suite 29-117. BSC will have the North American debut of their Audio’s L5 Reference Multi-Chassis Remote Controlled Class A Line Level Preamplifier.

This is the company’s first reference level, full function preamplifier which is now shipping world-wide at MSRP USD 15,900.00 per unit.

L5 Preamplifier – features:

  • Fully discrete, differential, and complimentary Class A circuitry from input to output.
  • 255 step, discrete, differential, motorized, linear volume control.
  • 3-chassis all isolated and individually mounted on a single base containing, (i) Power Supply module, (ii) Main Audio module, and (iii) Control & Processing module.
  • Separate,  ultra-stable,  and  discrete   power  supplies.
  • The  digital  power  supply  is  based  on  a  75  VA  toroidal transformer. The analog supply is based on a massive 150 VA toroidal transformer.dagostino_CES_2016

Future additions to the preamplifier functionality will include dealer installable internal plug-in boards for (i) active 3- band differential tone controls and (ii) phono preamplifier.

There will also be the North American debut of Playback Designs’ Syrah Server, Integrated Music Server and OpBox D/D Converter modification kit for the OPPO BDP-103 Universal Network 3D Blu-Ray Disc Player.

The above two products are part of the newly introduced Sonoma Series that will also include the Merlot DAC, D/A Converter/Headphone Amplifier and the Pinot A/DC to be launched in 2016.

Syrah Server – features:

  • Connects directly to the Merlot DAC via USB.
  • Easy and intuitive remote control via iPad or Android devices.
  • Plays any audio file from internal, external or NAS storage.
  • Streaming via DLNA.
  • Automatic ripping from external drive.
  • Automatic retrieving of cover art and metadata from database. dagostino_CES_2016_2

OpBox – features:

Adds PLink output to the OPPO BDP-103 for direct digital link to the Merlot DAC.

Captures all native audio data from any source supported by the OPPO BDP-103 and sends it to the Merlot DAC for conversion to analogue.

Supports very long distances while providing galvanic separation (via ST Optical) between the OPPO BDP-103 and the Merlot DAC.

Simple installation.dagostino_CES_2016_3

Coming Q2 2016, BSC Audio will be introducing the i3, its first Integrated Music System.

In collaboration with Andreas Koch (Playback Designs) and Bret D’Agostino (BSC Audio), the BSC Audio i3 will integrate a high bias class A/B 175 Watt amplifier with discrete ladder volume control and hi-resolution, DSD capable DAC.dagostino_CES_2016_4

i3 – features:

Plays any audio file from external analogue or digital source.

Features a full Android based operating system allowing easy access to a wide variety of Android Apps.

A complete all-in-one audio solution for analogue, digital and streaming sources that provides true high fidelity performance.


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Mytek Digital’s “Brooklyn,” Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC), linestage, and headphone amplifier is now shipping. (US MSRP $1,995)

Says Michał Jurewicz, Founder and President of Mytek Digital: “The Brooklyn DAC is one of the world’s first stand-alone, high-performance DAC with MQA® technology. It’s a new design from the ground up, with a brand new 32bit/384k USB Class2, driverless on Mac and all Linux streamers, and offers superior sound thanks to the new generation Sabre chipset. It’s ready for upcoming hi-res MQA streaming (up to 384kHz), and it plays all digital formats including DSD256, with a theoretical dynamic range of 130dB. The Brooklyn also offers high-quality analoue input stages (both line-level and MM/MC phono), and balanced headphone outputs”.Mytek_Brooklyn_CES_2016

Prime among the Brooklyn’s features is hardware-based decoding for MQA® (Master Quality Authenticated) with no need to increase bandwidth beyond what is needed for CD-Quality streaming. Says MQA creator Bob Stuart, “You can take an MQA-encoded file, play it anywhere, and it will sound better than CD.”

MQA files are backwards compatible; they can be played back without decoding, and the “result is better than CD-Quality”. However, when properly decoded, MQA files deliver the sound of the original master recording that the artist approved in the studio.

Mytek’s Brooklyn also offers:

  • Digital Inputs: AES/EBU, S/PDIF x 2, USB2 Class 2 (32 bit integer, no driver for Mac nor Linux Streamers), and Toslink/ADAT; also SDIF3 DSD, up to DSD256, on 2x S/PDIF.
  • Built-in analogue preamplifier with stereo analogue RCA inputs selectable among Line Level, Moving Magnet, or Moving Coil phono.
  • Stereo analogue outputs on RCA and XLR jacks (simultaneous).
  • Word Clock (In and Out) on BNC jacks.
  • Mytek’s proprietary Femtoclock GeneratorTMminimizes internal jitter, to below 1 picosecond.
  • Dual-mono headphone playback, with high-current amplifier (500mA, 6 Watts) designed for hard-to-drive headphones. Optional adapter (2 x ¼-inch phone plugs to 4-pin XLR) enables balanced headphone operation.
  • Volume control is selectable, either by an analogue attenuator with separate settings for headphone and main outputs, or by a 32-bit based digital attenuator with 1dB steps.

The Brooklyn comes with a worldwide power supply and infrared remote control. The Brooklyn is universal-remote-control capable, and can accept external 12V DC power or battery. The Brooklyn’s warranty is two years.

Mytek’s Brooklyn is available now at a US MSRP of $1,995.


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Auralic North America Inc. and its parent company, Auralic Limited, announce it is to be the first developer of a complete line of high-resolution audio streamers to offer fully implemented capability for two of the industry’s significant new technologies: MQA® decoding and the RoonReady® integration.CES_Logo_sm

Both these technologies will be demonstrated at the 2016 CES, and will be available soon afterwards via firmware update from AURALiC’s Lightning DS software platform. MQA decoding will be available for all three Auralic’s streamer models: Aries, Aries LE and Aries Mini. The RoonReady capability will initially be available for the Aries and AriesLE model streamers, with support for the Aries Mini in progress.

As TIDAL streaming is already integrated into the Lightning DS software platform, all three of Auralic’s streamer models will be ready to handle TIDAL’s launch of MQA-encoded music.

During the CES, Auralic will stream TIDAL and MQA exclusively, and will also be demonstrating the RoonReady capability.

Xuanqian Wang, AURALiC’s president & CEO, pointed out that “with Aries and Aries LE streamers fully decoding MQA music, they bring the MQA technology to any existing DAC on the market. (The Aries Mini has its own built-in DAC.)

After more than two years developing and refining the Lightning DS streaming platform, we are building our own eco system, achieving our goal of repositioning Lightning DS from being a hardware control software to a complete music management system, helping people explore their music.

Considering that we first demonstrated a prototype of the Lightning DS at the 2014 CES, we have grown tremendously as THE streaming solution for high-resolution music, making the impossible possible.”

In other news, AUralic will make available an iPhone version of its Lighting DS app, with full functionality, soon after CES.

Auralic are in Venetian Suite 29-122 during the 2016 CES, January 6-9.


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Pass Labs’ Xs Phono Preamplifier costs $45 000 and is a dual-chassis, completely dual-mono phono stage (even the outboard power supply is entirely dual-mono, after the single power cord from the wall outlet).

Xs Phono was an in-house design exercise, developed over the course of over two years with the Pass Labs design team aiming at creating a new reference. Lead designer Wayne Colburn commented, “We tend to do well with products that we want for ourselves. Some of it is purely for us to have a reference.” The XsPhono improves upon Pass Labs’ XP-25 phono stage (US MSRP $10,600) in nearly every way.pass_labs_xs_phono

Improved shielding (resulting in lower noise), more accurate RIAA compensation, and the use of custom-made capacitors and shock-mounted, gold-clad custom ceramic circuit boards designed for RF applications all contribute to moving the Xs Phono up “into a different league—lower noise, better dynamics, all those things” says Colburn.

The Xs Phono Has three pairs of inputs with each having its own separate, directly connected stereo phono stage with no switches or relays in the signal paths to the first amplification stages. The result is that the Xs Phono (including its dual-mono power supply) contains 13 circuit boards. The Xs Phono is, in effect, three separate phono stages housed in one chassis.

Pass Labs’ Xs Phono Dual-Chassis Phonostage is powered by its dual-mono outboard power supply, the chassis of which has a form factor identical to the XsPhono’s control chassis. The power-cord inlet connects to two totally independent left and right power supplies, each with its own transformer, filtering, and regulation. The control section has its own regulated power supply as well. The power-supply chassis connects to the Xs Phono’s control chassis by means of two power cables fitted with PowerCON locking connectors. The power supply has no on-off or Standby switch, in that the Xs Phono is designed to remain powered-up at all times.

On the front three large knobs control resistive loading, capacitive loading, and gain. Four small buttons provide for input selection, memory recall of settings for all three inputs, high-pass filter (rumble filter), and phono muting.

The Xs Phono allows selection of resistive loading between 30 Ohms and 47k-Ohms; capacitive loading between 100pF and 750pF; and gain between 56dB and 76dB. The active value will always be indicated by an illuminated LED.

The selectable/defeatable high-pass filter or rumble filter imposes a -3dB roll off from 20Hz and below, to remove unwanted sub-sonic frequencies. When the high-pass filter is not engaged, the Xs Phono’s low frequency extension is to below 5Hz.pass_labs_xs_phono_internal

Xs Phono can output a single-ended (RCA) signal, a balanced (XLR) signal, or both at the same time. This permits, for example, providing a signal to an analogue-to-digital converter or a digital-audio recorder at the same time as to a line stage or preamplifier.

Each of the Xs Phono three pairs of stereo inputs is served by a memory-recall function that saves the settings for resistance, capacitance, and gain. Once the optimal settings for a particular cartridge have been determined, pressing the “Save” button makes those settings the defaults for that input, always engaged upon the selection of that input.


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Alexx is the fourth all-new loudspeaker from Wilson Audio in as many years. “It may be intuitive to assume the Alexx replaces the company’s MAXX, in that it is Wilson’s latest entry into the large speaker segment just below the Alexandria, but, in reality, the comparison with the MAXX begins and ends there. Instead, the Alexx is an altogether more complex and sophisticated loudspeaker” say the company.Wilson_alexx2

Alexx incorporates Wilson’s latest thinking on loudspeaker design in the areas of time-domain geometry, driver configuration, and driver development. It is the latest beneficiary of Wilson’s ongoing analysis of low-resonance cabinet strategies via laser vibrometer and Alexx draws from both recent designs such as the Alexia and the Sabrina, as well as the WAMM—Dave Wilson’s up and coming “Magnum Opus”—with which it was developed concurrently.wILSON_alexx1

All-new “MTM” Driver Geometry:

The “MTM” (Midrange-Tweeter-Midrange) geometry generally refers to a driver arrangement where two midrange drivers flank a tweeter vertically. Wilson has invariably employed a modular approach which the company say has several benefits, one being the ability to optimize the enclosure properties for each driver. The separate modules in the MTM can be made to be adjustable—both in terms of the relative position of each driver module one-to-another in the time domain, as well as having the ability to optimise each driver’s dispersion characteristics within the array.

Alexx’s midrange is divided between two different drivers, each covering a portion of the mid-band area. The seven-inch is the Wilson mid, first introduced in the Alexandria XLF. The 5.75-inch is the midrange driver most recently found in the Sabrina. The frequencies covered by the two drivers are therefore expanded upward, the two together covering a broader portion of the midrange. Each of the two drivers is optimised for the portion of the mid-band best suited to their strengths.Wilson_alexx_4

All-new Woofer Design:

The all-new ten-and-half-inch and twelve-and-a-half-inch woofers incorporated into the Alexx were first developed for the WAMM project and work together with Alexx’s ultra-low resonance woofer enclosure, which now features an angled baffle for better time-domain integration.

Adjustability  of the  Upper Modules in the Time Domain:

For the first time, a Wilson array features two stair steps, one for each of the two midrange modules. This allows for precise adjustment of both the time-alignment of the drivers, as well as the axis relationship of the driver to the listening position.

The adjustment mechanism of the lower mid module and the tweeter module and the tweeter is similar to what is found in the Alexia, and evolved from a similar system for the upcoming WAMM.Wilson_alexx3

XLF (Cross-load Flow) Port System:

Alexx joins the Alexandria XLF with its ability to move the port to either the front or rear of the bass enclosure. While this does not change the anechoic behavior of Alexx in the deep bass, it does enable it to more seamlessly interface with a larger number of rooms. Typically, in bass-lossy rooms, the port will be located on the rear; within bass-heavy rooms, the port moves to the front of the enclosure.

Other Important Details:

The latest version of the Convergent Synergy Tweeter is deployed in the Alexx and in this configuration is crossed over slightly higher as a direct result of the concentric two-driver mid strategy.

The resistor plate, which contains the protection and tuning resistors, is now located on an upper bevel on the rear of the speaker enabling easy sight lines and access.

Price   (U.S. MSRP)—$109,000.00 (pair)


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London’s headroom show (January 29th-30th 2016 ) will debut the world’s first noise-isolating electrostatic earphone system from SHURE, the new KSE 1500 which combines a Sound-Isolating™ electrostatic earphone with a matched high-res SHURE USB amp/DAC.kse1500_application_10_cols

Electrostatic technology, which until now has never been applied to earphones, provides the fastest, most accurate transient response available the company says. The Sound-Isolating™ electrostatic earphone and matching amp/DAC provide a unique system that operates “holistically, giving unmatched clarity and detail with extremely high fidelity”.

Each earphone features a virtually weightless, massless diaphragm surrounded by an electrostatic field generated by back-plates that manage charge-oscillation. The earphones connect to a rechargeable amplifier using an advanced Kevlar cable, specifically engineered to work with the electrostatic diaphragm and provide the correct operating bias.

The 24/192 USB amp/DAC is compatible with Mac, PC, iOS and Android devices, with all navigation and control performed via a single wheel. A colour screen gives source, EQ, volume information and more, plus each KSE 1500 is supplied with a comprehensive accessory pack.

headroom is a unique two-day experience that brings together the world’s leading portable audio manufacturers and showcases the latest products, technology and trends within an exclusive environment: Europe’s foremost recording, mastering and production studios, Metropolis.


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Last year, Aavik Acoustics released their very first amplifier, the integrated amplifier Aavik U-300 and now the Danish company is to introduce two new amplifiers to the 300 series: the Aavik P-300 power amplifier and the Aavik C-300 preamplifier.

The two new Aavik Acoustics amplifiers will be introduced at the 2016 CES in Las Vegas.

The Aavik P-300 power amplifier devices never stop conducting current. This means that the amplifier circuitry never has to deal with residuals such as switching spikes and device “latchings”.Aavik-P300_front_white_bg

The Aavik P-300 has an ultra short and simple signal circuit design, where all gain and feedback is performed by a single transistor pair. This short signal path gives the Aavik P-300 a gain structure with extremely low distortion and a more than 90-degree phase margin for amplifier stability.Aavik-P300-rearpanel_white_bg

The Aavik P-300 has four 600 W power factor corrected resonant mode power supplies. The in total 2400 W power supply combined with the extremely large electrolytic power banks allow the Aavik P-300 to deliver peak currents in excess of 80 A.

The Aavik C-300 preamplifier

The Aavik C-300 is equipped with two built-in DACs (PCM and DSD) and a phono section. It also comes with three line inputs: two single-ended and one balanced, and an RCA and an XLR output.aavik_front_whitebg

The virtual ground circuits eliminate the possibility of injecting dirty ground noise into the delicate audio circuits.Aavik-C300-rear_white_bg


Aavik Acoustics’ inspiration from Scandinavian design traditions is easily found in the Aavik P-300 and C-300 amplifiers with their simplistic functionality and their beautiful minimalistic design. All chassis in the 300 series are made of anodized aluminium.


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Dave and Daryl Wilson discuss the new Alexx, its new technologies and architecture—and its relationship both to the speakers that precede it, as well as the upcoming WAMM.

Alexx is the fourth all-new loudspeaker from Wilson in as many years so sit back and enjoy.


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Thiel Audio will be showcasing the latest generation SmartSub™ 1.12 at CES 2016 in Venetian suite 30-110

The latest generation SmartSub from Thiel will feature sophisticated app-based control and advanced room correction, paired with a Thiel long excursion 12-inch driver and DSP-controlled 1250 watt amplifier.Thiel_sub_CES_2016


  • Connects to your Wi-Fi network for phone/tablet app-based control
  • Six User-accessible Sound Mode Presets
  • SmartSub XT Processing, a sophisticated acoustic correction algorithm to precisely adjust onboard parametric equalization to help the SmartSub overcome complex acoustic challenges defined by the dimensions of the room
  • A long-excursion 12-inch woofer featuring a rigid cast frame and an aluminium cone
  • An energy efficient DSP-controlled switching amplifier, capable of delivering 1250 watts of continuous power.
  • PC control software, enabling access to control of advanced settings such as low and high-pass filter adjustments, phase adjustments, 5-Band Parametric EQ and SmartSub™ XT Auto EQ parameters in the SmartSub app.
  • The most commonly used features of the subwoofer are available to all users via a basic infrared (IR) remote control (included). The IR remote provides control of system power, volume, muting, input source, and sound mode

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Located in the heart of Nashville’s music scene, Aurora merges the heritage of Thiel Audio with the vibrant legacy of Music City. As an “ultra-high definition” live streaming music venue, Aurora is one of the few places in the country where fans can unite with their favourite musicians and emerging artists live and in ultra-high definition video and lossless audio which all sounds very cool indeed.Thiel-Logo-2014

Aurora houses a live performance stage, designed with musicians and industry tastemakers in mind. “It is the perfect venue for intimate concerts, artist showcases, record release parties, film screenings and industry related events. It is also the perfect setting to experience Thiel Audio’s refined loudspeakers” says Thiel Audio’s press release . The state of the art, acoustically correct listening room, complete with 4k video, enables guests to play music, view converts or movies, go online and even access social media.

“We have created this beautifully appointed space so that our guests might Live inside the Music – the true essence of the Thiel experience,” says Thiel Audio Chief Brand Officer Rebecca Abrahams.

“This immersive, fully interactive space combines 40 years of dedication to acoustic excellence while reaching out to a new generation of luxury brand consumers, looking for next generation high performance audio products,” she adds.

Why Aurora? Thiel says the creation of an entertainment division was a natural progression. In a world of device- driven music on demand, the company wanted to follow luxury brand consumers who are on-the-go, connected to content via phones and tablets across devices while simultaneously showcasing Music City to a worldwide audience – live and in ultra-high definition.  A sophisticated HD streaming venue, it also helps solve another problem for our record label neighbours in Nashville – vanishing CD sales.

Aurora is scheduled to open March 2016.


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At just under £20 000 the Polish Zeta Zero Venus Picolla are a substantial investment, but they are gorgeously built and something of a work of art Janine Elliot thinks? How do they sound?zetalifes

“The sound was very large, covering the soundstage with mighty detail and with smoothness only ribbons can do. Vocals were precise and inviting and all sounds carried a good depth in front and behind, and a reasonable width. Some people see in colours and for me the colour was a healthy green; not red or yellow brightness or a dull or boring blue or grey. This was exact, just as it should sound.”

Read the full review of the Zeta Zero Venus Picolla Loudspeakers

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French based Cabasse make the renowned Sphère loudspeaker system, but they also produce more modestly priced items.Here Dominic Marsh takes a listen to the Stream 100 amplifier (£499) and Surf loudspeakers (£379)


“Paired with the Surf speakers they produced a powerful and pleasing sound that I could not really level any criticism at, save a slight rolling off at the extreme top end and I do mean extreme, which shouldn’t perturb the average listener. ”

Read the full review of the Cabasse Stream 100 amplifier and Surf Loudspeakers


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London’s headroom show, which offers music lovers the chance to try the largest range of demonstrable headphones in the UK, will be showing Questyle’s new QP1R high-resolution digital audio player (£699) 23145826179_ee04e4fc1b_z

Questyle Audio’s new high-performance QP1R high-resolution digital audio player will be available to demonstrate at the headroom show (January 29th-30th 2016 ). Headroom is a unique two-day experience that brings together the world’s leading portable audio manufacturers and showcases the latest products, technology and trends within an exclusive environment: Europe’s foremost recording, mastering and production studios, Metropolis.

The new QP1R is a high-performance, high-resolution portable music player (DAP). Designed to provide on-the-go music lovers and audiophiles the same hi-fi listening experience as they’d get at home, the QP1R, with its impressive arc body and twin steering wheel design, supports DSD128 and 24/192kHz PCM playback and uses a pure Class A headphone amplifier with discrete transistors and components.


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McIntosh Laboratory has launched a new feature-packed processor. The new MX160 replaces the existing MX151 and brings the McIntosh sound and build quality to home cinema connoisseurs everywhere.

The new MX160 supports RoomPerfect™ room-correction technology, which adjusts the audio to the specific acoustics of the room. It also supports new object-based 3D audio formats, including Dolby® Atmos and Auro-3D®

There’s support for Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio™ and, of course, other popular legacy formats including DVD and Blu-ray™. All audio is processed according to the McIntosh sound and performance standards, not found in any other home cinema processor.

There’s full support for 4K Ultra HD native sources, plus up-conversion to 4K Ultra HD for the best possible picture quality from 1080P, 720P and 576P/480P inputs. The MX160 offers an incredible eight HDMI inputs and four outputs for current and future TV compatibility, plus offers a 3D video pass-through feature. An HDBaseT output is also included to provide degradation-free, uncompressed digital video and audio, over long cable runs between the MX160 and projectors or televisions.

The MX160 features balanced outputs for 11.1 (also known as 7.1.4) audio channels, plus four auxiliary channels for use in bi-amping speakers or driving additional subwoofers. For digital audio sources, the MX160 features four optical and three coaxial inputs, one USB (up to 24-bit/192kHz data), plus an XLR connector. For analogue audio, there are two sets of stereo balanced inputs, four sets of stereo unbalanced inputs, a dedicated phono input, plus a set of 7.1 multichannel unbalanced inputs.

All analogue and digital connections can be custom-named for simplified system operation and matched in volume level for a smooth transition between sources. Bass and treble controls offer further audio fine-tuning.

The classic black glass front panel, knobs, illuminated logo and custom-machined brushed- aluminium end-caps make the MX160 a rousing addition to any home cinema system. It can be paired with a variety of McIntosh amplifiers and speakers for a complete home cinema system; UK distributor Jordan Acoustics is happy to advise.

Like all its products, the MX160 is handcrafted in the Binghamton factory (NY) and boasts classic 1950s styling with contemporary features and performance.

The MX160 sells for £13,995 and is available to order now from Jordan Acoustics in the UK

Martin Logan make the fabulous (and massive) Neolith electrostatic loudspeaker and it is electrostatics they are best known for, but they also produce a wide range of smaller and more accessible loudspeakers and here Dan Worth takes a listen to the company’s £899 Motion 15 standmounter.



“They won’t ever get caught in a speed trap, but the top-end has great pace and the bottom-end doesn’t lag behind or ever seem slow, balancing nicely for a more natural presentation.”

Read the full review of the Martin Logan Motion 15 Standmount Loudspeakers


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Chord Electronics will be showing several of its latest products at CES 2016, including its new reference-level DAC/preamp/headphone amp, DAVE (£7,995). Chord’s main demonstration system will comprise its Reference Series components, plus DAVE (which is the company’s flagship DAC and sits in the Choral range). The system will be complemented by Vienna Acoustics’ flagship loudspeaker, The Magic, all wired with Kubala-Sosna Elation cables.CHORD_DAVE_HI_WHT CROPPED

Chord Electronics will join its US distributor, Bluebird Music, in room 35-207 (Venetian Tower) which will also be home to Audeze and Vienna Acoustics for the event. Attendees can meet Rob Watts, Chord’s digital design guru, Maria Gansterer, CEO of Vienna Acoustics, plus most of the UK Chord Electronics team. Chord will also have a full range of DAC/headphone amps including the award-winning Hugo TT, Hugo and Mojo for show visitors to experience.

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