Continuing Dan’s foray into the world of headfi he’s been taking a look at the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Headphonesdt770pro_250 which fall at the more budget end of the company’s portfolio.

“They are a closed back and are an all plastic cased headphone, nicely sculpted and attractive none the less. They are tough and extremely durable for DJ-ing, have a tight-ish fit and  the headband extension stays firmly on the selected notch.”

You can read the full review of the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Headphones or why not take a look at all the reviews we’ve published so far on Hifi Pig in our new look and streamlined review section.

 

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Mark at Origin Live has been in touch to tell us all about the company’s new website. Hifi Pig has had a good look OL_Pageshotthrough it and it’s very comprehensive indeed as well as feeling fresh, clean and easy to navigate.

Not only do they include information regarding their own products but they’ve also added useful information about choosing the right equipment for you, matching system components, room acoustics and much more.

Origin Live advertise on Hifi Pig so click through on one of their ads and take a look at their new look site.

 

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Photographs from T.H.E Show in Newport Beach 2013. Thanks to Lucette at Nicoll PR for helping source the pictures of the show for Hifi Pig. More »

British manufacturer Ruark got in touch to give us a heads up about their new R7 which is set to become the ruark_r7company’s flagship product.

It’s a bit of a departure from the usual hifi in that Ruark are branding the R7 as “The Radiogram Redefined”. Now those of you not young enough to remember the radiogram may be scratching your head, so how about music-centre?  Ok, it’s a CD player that plays conventional red book CD as well as MP3 discs but it’s more than that. Bluetooth with lossless aptX replay is built in so you can stream from your phone, as is DLNA Wi-Fi to allow streaming from external computers or server.

But there’s more, including a DAB+/FM/Internet radio and you can also plug in your TV, DVD or even a turntable.

The R7 can be controlled from the front panel or the nifty looking RotoDial remote which used RF so you don’t even have to point the controller at the “radiogram” to control it.

The unit has dual concentric 5.5” drivers and long throw 8” subwoofer built in as well as amplifiers delivering 160 watts, so it really is an all in one box of tricks.

The Ruark R7 can be placed on the supplied spindle legs for a great retro look or can sit on an existing sideboard on its puck feet.

It will be available in a rich walnut finish in Autumn 2013 and will cost £2000.

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Anthony Sallis is the Technical Director at NuNu Distribution, UK Distributors for Audiophile Base support systems, Tony-hifi-pigAstin Trew electronics, Belles audio electronics, Creaktiv system enhancing products, Oracle Audio Technologies turntables and CD replay devices, Renaissance Amplification, SCS audio isolation concepts and TAD Labs.

In Hifi PIg’s ongoing series of Behind the Brands interviews find out what Anthony thinks about the hifi industry, where he started, his influences, his musical taste and much more.

 

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Anthony Sallis is the Technical Director at NuNu Distribution, UK Distributors for Audiophile Base support systems, Astin Trew electronics, Belles audio electronics, Creaktiv system enhancing products, Oracle Audio Technologies turntables and CD replay devices, Renaissance Amplification, SCS audio isolation concepts and TAD Labs. More »

Ok, it’s a headphone amplifier but it’s also a DAC and a SPDIF to USB converter. Dan has been working overtime the last few weeks reviewing hifi kit for our readers and this is his latest. Miniwatt_N4_1

“Miniwatt is based in HongKong and for the past 5 years have been creating miniature high quality products such as the S1 tube amplifier and n3 headphone amp. Most recently they have created the n4, a high current headphone amplifier, which can also be used as a USB to SPDIF converter and USB Dac featuring an Asynchronous USB input in order to control jitter and error correction. The inbuilt Dac reaches resolution levels of 32bit 192khz.”

Check out in full what Dan makes of the Miniwatt n4 by reading the full review.

 

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Following feedback from a good number of our readers, Hifi Pig has revamped its review section of the site. We’ve done Page_shot_hifipigaway with the cluncky click through images we previously had and moved towards a simple directory with the title of the item under review and a small photograph. You can now scan for the review that interests you and simply click through to read it in full.
On the main reviews page you’ll see all the reviews chronologically listed over several pages but if you’re looking specifically for DAC, Turntable, headphone reviews etc then you can do so using the drop down from the main menu and they’ll then all be listed for you…again in chronological order.
Other changes and additions to the site are under way including something that we think will be of great interest to everyone out there in hifi land.
Check out the new pages and let us know what you think by posting a comment or dropping us a line.

 

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From the historic town of Vicenza, Italy, a new top-of-the-range floorstanding speaker joins the Sonus faber Venere line 2975_Sonus_faber_Venere_3–Sonus faber’s at more affordable price point.

The new Venere 3.0 floorstander tops the Venere range and is a 2.5 way front-vented design with all drive units being Sonus faber designs.

Driver compliment is a 29mm pre-coated silk tweeter, a 150mm mid driver and two 180mm bass drivers. The bass and midrange cones are made from a material called Curv  and sport a ‘free compression’ basket design. The midrange driver uses coaxial anti-compressor which has been designed to remove resonances and distortions.

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The latest integrated amplifier from the American self proclaimed “kings of valve-based audio” sports a smart new 2979_Audio_Research_VSi75design and technology trickled down from the company’s Reference 75 power amp.

It’s an integrated amplifier with an open chassis design and is intended to be a step up to the existing VSi60 integrated amplifier which will continue to be manufactured and sold.

The new amplifier has new look case-work, a natural anodised top plate and an LCD display showing input selection, volume, individual valve bias etc.

The VSi75 delivers 75W per channel using four KT120 output valves and two 6H30 driver valves. Wide bandwidth output transformers are used along with proprietary coupling caps matching those used in the Reference 75 amplifier.

The unit comes with a metal cased remote handset

Audio Research said “The resulting sound from these cumulative improvements is striking, with tremendous resolution of detail, silky and extended highs, surprising weight and authority, and the ability to develop an immense sound stage. The VSi75 sounds very much like the amp from which it borrows, the REF75, with an immediacy, delicacy and focus that are captivating.”

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Oriton is a UK company specialising in making products that minimise vibrations within hifi equipment. Here Hifi Pig symp_orange-1checks out the company’s latest interconnects, the Diamond Red (£499) and the Symphony Orange (£799)

“…I made contact with Mike Stone, a former MOD (Ministry of Defence) engineer who told me all about his love of music and especially the female vocal, along with his previous days when he played bass guitar in a band.

During his time with the Military as an engineer discovered ways of controlling vibration and micro-vibrations within electronics on lots of different military vehicles. These techniques have since been adopted in the design of his products to aid the reproduction of music.

The technology and manufacturing techniques Mike uses in his cables is unique to Oriton and not made available to any other manufacturer.”

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Dan gets a pair of Beyerdynamic DT990 Premium Headphones to put through their paces and finds them to be well worth their £250 asking price.

dt990_3c_2These cans look beautiful and stylish to my eyes. They have an open-back, aluminium outer case to the ears and an aluminium hinge bracket which leads into the extension from the headband with clear raised sections for simple size adjustment.”

Read the rest of the Beyerdynamic DT990 Premium Headphones review.

 

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Our roving reporter Simon was at the 40th  Celebrations of Naim Audio where they launched three new NAIT amplifiers: NAIT 5si, NAIT XS 2 and SUPERNAIT 2. They will be available from mid-July

The NAIT amplifier, first launched in 1983, is one of hifi’s most instantly recognisable products and has achieved something of an iconic status.

In true Naim tradition all three amplifiers feature larger mains transformers and improved power supplies.

The new NAIT 5si

The power output has increased from 50W to 60W due to a larger transformer and improved power supply. NAIT_5siComponents have been upgraded in critical areas such as the power amp stage where small signal capacitors have been changed to film types. The PCB layout and wiring loom have been improved following experience on other new products such as the DAC-V1. 

NAIT 5si Features 

  • 60W (into 8ohms) 90W (into 4 ohms)
  • 4 analogue inputs: 2 x DIN, 2 x RCA
  • ¼” (6.35mm) front panel headphone output
  • Custom-designed toroidal transformer with two separate windings
  • Aluminium chassis and sleeve with zinc die-cast fascia
  • Passive preamplifier with high gain power amp

The new NAIT XS 2

The power output has increased from 60W to 70W due to a larger transformer and improved power supply. The Nait_2headphone output on the front panel is now on a ¼ inch (6.35mm) socket and is driven from a new Class-A headphone amplifier.

Components have been upgraded in critical areas such as the power amp stage where small signal capacitors have been changed to film types. As with the NAIT 5si, the PCB layout and wire looming have also been improved.

NAIT XS 2 Features  

·         70W (into 8ohms) 100W (into 4 ohms)

·         6 analogue inputs: 4 x RCA/DIN, 1 x RCA/3.5mm jack, and 1 x powered input for phono

·         ¼ inch front panel headphone output

·         Class-A Headphone amplifier

·         Custom-designed toroidal transformer with seven separate secondary windings

·         Powered input for use with StageLine or SuperLine phono stages

·         USB-mini B socket for updates

·         Aluminium chassis and sleeve with brushed, black anodised fascia

        ·         Performance upgradable with FlatCap, HiCap or SuperCap power supplies.

The new SUPERNAIT 2

The most significant change from SUPERNAIT to SUPERNAIT 2 is the removal of the digital inputs. As the SuperUnitiNait_3 already fulfills the role of integrated amplifier with digital inputs, it was felt that it would be more beneficial to performance to concentrate on an analogue only integrated amplifier.

Power output remains at 80W but with “significantly greater dynamic capability due to a larger transformer”. The power supply for the preamplifier stage uses Naim DR (Discrete Regulator) technology. All inputs are now hand wired so they are individually decoupled for improved microphonic isolation. Components have been upgraded in critical areas such as the power amp stage where small signal capacitors have been changed to film types.

The PCB layout and wiring loom have been improved following experience on other new products recently like the DAC-V1.

The headphone output on the front panel is now on a ¼” (6.35mm) socket and is driven from a new Class-A headphone amplifier.

Full Feature List

  • 80W per channel (into 8 ohms) 135W per channel (into 4ohms)
  • 6 analogue inputs: 4 x RCA/DIN, 1 x RCA/3.5mm jack, and 1 x powered input for phono
  • ¼” (6.35mm) front panel headphone output
  • Class A Headphone amplifier
  • Custom-designed toroidal transformer with seven separate windings
  • Powered input for use with StageLine or SuperLine phono stages
  • Subwoofer output
  • Record output via HDD output
  • USB-mini B socket for updates
  • External remote in
  • Upgradable with FlatCap, HiCap or SuperCap power supplies
  • Aluminium chassis and sleeve with brushed, black anodised fascia 

 

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Krell has announced the UK release of Foundation, the latest in a long line of A/V processors from the company.  Krell_Foundation

As well as all the AV functions you’d expect the 7.1-channel processor also features balanced audio outputs, automatic setup and room EQ. A slim new form factor allows placement in smaller equipment racks.

In addition to 10 HDMI 1.4a inputs, the Foundation has 2 HDMI outputs, both of which feature Audio Return Channel. With ARC, a display device is able to send audio back down the HDMI cable to the processor. This is beneficial for those with televisions with built-in web streaming capability like Netflix or Pandora, so the streaming audio can use the full home theater system instead of just the TV’s speakers.

The Foundation includes a new Krell development – Intelligent HDMI switching. Intelligent HDMI switching is a combination of circuitry and software that optimizes HDMI operation. Various parameters including the monitor’s electronic ID and source video resolution are stored in non-volatile memory. All 10 source inputs are always active so source, channel, video resolution, and audio format changes are instantaneous.

The Foundation will allow owners to take full advantage of the best audio soundtracks available, with decoding of Dolby Digital, Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-ES Discrete, Matrix, and DTS-HD Master Audio. In addition, a full suite of post-processing modes are included, including Dolby Pro Logic IIx and DTS Neo 6. Krell’s proprietary surround modes, Party, General Admission, Front Row, and On Stage, offering a different way to listen to favorite tracks.

The Foundation also features Krell’s Automatic Room Equalization System (ARES), to ensure the best possible performance from every theatre. ARES analyzes all the speakers in the system, their location, phase, and distance from each other, to determine the best crossover frequency, delay, and more. In addition, ARES incorporates the acoustics of the room to determine unique EQ curves for each of the 7.1 output channels.

Features/specs

·         5 Analog inputs (4 unbalanced, 1 balanced)

·         6 Digital audio inputs (3 Toslink, 3 Coax)

·         10 HDMI 1.4a inputs

·         2 HDMI outputs (both with ARC)

·         Intelligent HDMI switching

·         6 Analog video inputs (3 component, 3 composite, transcoded to HDMI)

·         RS-232, Ethernet, RC-5, 12v Triggers (4)

·         Balanced and Unbalanced outputs

·         Analog Zone 2 output

·         Dual Subwoofer outputs

·         ARES (Automatic Room Equalization System)

Available in the UK from July the Foundation is priced at £6500

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