Following The Chord Company’s recent new additions to the entry-level sector (Sarsen speaker cable, Crimson, Affordable_mains_cable_chordCobra and Chameleon interconnects) the company has launched an affordable new mains cable: C-power. 

The new C-power mains cable follows the same design principles as every other Chord cable with considerable attention paid to shielding, conductors and termination. The terminations are high-pressure-crimped (no screws to work loose) and the over-moulding process, which is said to offer additional sonic benefits, holds the conductors firmly in place and reduces mechanically induced noise. The C-power is fitted with a high-quality military-grade over-moulded mains plug, plus an equally high-quality IEC plug. 

The cable, which is based upon 3×14 AWG high-purity multi-strand copper conductors, has a parallel conductor layout and a high-frequency-effective over-wrapped heavy gauge foil floating shield. It is insulated with PVC and also benefits from a high-density vibration-damping outer jacket.   

The C-power is available in 1.5 metre lengths and is fitted with UK or European mains plugs. It is priced at £50


Sponsorship button

ENIGMAcoustics  from Irvine, California makes its long-awaited Rocky Mountain Audio Fest debut in Denver, Co., this Sopranino_A4AD_final_no_text low resOctober with the award-winning Sopranino self-polarizing electrostatic super tweeter, the first of its kind in the world.

Also making its RMAF debut is the Mythology M1 Series, a full-range high performance bookshelf speaker. Custom-tailored to integrate with the SBESL™ (Self-Biased Electrostatic Loudspeaker) technology, Mythology utilizes highly rigid and hybrid cabinet structure with laminated birch wood, tempered glass and machined aluminum baffles with integrated speaker stands. Combining with phase-coherent design for optimal transient performance, the result is said to be a “breathtakingly seamless fusion of entirely custom-made dynamic and ESL drivers that is truly groundbreaking”.

Sponsorship button

QED is marking its 40th Anniversary with the introduction of two entirely new cables. Designated ‘Reference Audio 40’ reference_audio_40_cobraand ‘Signature Audio 40’ the new cables are designed specifically for the transmission of stereo, line level analogue audio signals and are a radical move away from previous QED designs.

Jack Fox, QED’s Brand Manager, stated: “Everyone at QED is very excited about the new Reference Audio 40 and Signature Audio 40 cables. As the result of the extensive empiric scientific research undertaken for this project, both products boast features never before incorporated into QED cables. We’re confident they deliver a level of sonic performance previously only available from far more expensive designs.” He continued “In addition to the clear leap in performance resulting from the newly designed ‘AnalocTM’ phono plugs, these new features include ‘asymmetric’ cable geometry for the Silver Plated, 99.999% Pure, Oxygen Free Copper multi-stranded conductors as well as a ‘floating’ ferrite jacket. The former assists the three dimensional sonic imagery (soundstage) by minimising micro timing errors; whilst the latter is one of the three layers of electrical isolation which totally protect the cable from HF interference.”

This cordage, similar for both cables, is designed primarily for low capacitance, because this has been identified by QED as an important factor which contributes to a ‘high fidelity’ experience.

In addition to the new technology incorporated into the ‘Reference’ version; ‘Signature’ Audio 40 also benefits from its cores being cryogenically treated prior to assembly and the addition of Teflon insulator. These factors combine to reduce its capacitance and dissipation factor even further.

These new cables are the first to be enhanced by the new QED ‘Analoc™’close tolerance, locking, RCA phono plugs with insulated, zinc-plated brass barrels. ‘Reference’ has a gold-plated model, whilst ‘Signature’ has a

Rhodium-plated variant. High purity 99.999% oxygen free copper contacts are used throughout and the design features ‘low eddy current’ body and ground connections as well as a hollow central pin. All these features are designed to minimise any possible interference to the analogue signal.

The UK suggested retail prices per pair (including vat) are:

Reference Audio 40:  £84.95 (0.6m)  £99.95 (1m) and  £124.95 (1.5m)

Signature Audio 40:   £169.95 (0.6m)  £199.95 (1m)  and  £269.95 (1.5m)

Sponsorship button

…where Linette gives a very female perspective on the show….

Great to be back in Paris again, doesn’t seem a year since the last one!

Mr HiFi Pig of course is doing a much more detailed report, but you know me, I like to have my say too so here are my top stand out rooms and thoughts from the show.

After the beast that is Munich, Paris feels a lot more intimate and is doable in a day. (I think if I had a solid week at High End Munich there would still be something I didn’t see!) More »

 We really enjoy the Salon Hifi Home Cinema et Technologies d’Interieur and yesterday’s event was no exception. An early (3am) start and a long journey home to rural Brittany makes it an exhausting day but it’s well worth the effort. More »

Whilst at the Paris Hifi and AV Show yesterday Hifi Pig managed to get a sneaky peek at the new Lyric from the guys OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAover at Cyrus, which was getting its world debut by all accounts.

From what was said by the chap in the auditorium, the Lyric will be available in two flavours – the Lyric 5 and its bigger sibling the Lyric 9 which will have more “audiophile” bits and bobs inside as well as more power output from its amplifier.

So what is it? The Lyric is a CD (taken from Cyrus’ latest tech), a streamer, an amplifier, a DAC, a DAB radio, an FM radio….and more.

The amp will offer either 175 Watts into 8 Ohms from the Lyric 9 and 100 Watts from the Lyric 5. Both will be iPad certified which means they’ll work with both iPads and iPods. amps are of Cyrus’ own design! As well as all the digital jiggery pokery there will also be analogue inputs.

The DAC is of Cyrus’ own making and will be a 32Bit model developed in the main from the Anniversary DAC we had a look at a while ago.

One of the more interesting features on an already very interesting product is the inclusion of an onboard DSP (made by Cyrus) which will adjust settings to whatever loudspeakers are attached and match them to the room.

Price on the day was €4000 for the Lyric 9 but UK prices are unknown I’m afraid – I’d expect around £3000 for the 9 and £2500 for the 5.

There is clearly a market for products that cater for those music lovers that want a simple and elegant solution that sounds good and doesn’t involve filling the living room with a hundred and one boxes of electronics.

Sponsorship button

Audio Pro, from Sweden, has announced the latest addition to its ADDON wireless speaker range – the T10.  A compactAddon_T10_Orange_01 single stereo speaker with modern Scandinavian style, T10 uses the latest Bluetooth 4.0 standard and aptX technology for wireless music transmission.  Available in the UK now finished in black or white matt lacquer standard finishes, the Audio Pro ADDON T10 has an SRP of £299.00.  A Special Edition ADDON T10 finished in orange gloss lacquer with a leather handle is also available with a UKSRP of £349.00.

It has a built-in digital amplifier, DSP (Digital Signal Processing), digital filters and measures just 32 cm wide yet Audio Pro say it “delivers deep and powerful bass and crystal clear treble thanks to its high-quality drive units and 80 Watts of power”.

As well as the wireless connectivity there are two wired inputs (1 x 3.5 mm stereo jack / 1 x twin RCA) accessible from the back panel along with a USB socket for charging of a smartphone.  For additional bass reinforcement, a subwoofer can also be added, such as the similarly styled Audio Pro ADDON SUB and the supplied remote control.


Sponsorship button

Presented for the first time at CES in Las Vegas the digital source “Origine” from French based Neodio will make its Origine_cropEuropean debut at the Salon Hifi Home Cinema in Paris this coming weekend.

Origine is the culmination of 12 years of work for the company and they say that the CD/Converter offers a “natural listening experience where all the micro information is accurately reproduced”.

The Origine’s multi layer 28kg chassis is assembled from 5 different materials, including copper, HI-MACS  and  aluminium in an effort to provide an environment without resonance.

ORIGINE    is   mounted  on  3   solid  feet  machined  in stainless steel, floating on ball  bearings.

The   player   mechanism is based on a DVD-ROM modified by Neodio and the 24bit/192kHz  converteruses adiscreteanalog clock.

ORIGINE has two digital inputs, SPDIF and USB.

Price is €35 000.


Sponsorship button

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

It’s been 8 long years since The Arctic Monkeys first smashed their way onto the indie rock scene.  They sure came out swinging, brandishing the adrenaline fuelled foot stomper “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor” and its parent album ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ which both went straight to number one on the UK charts. 

Despite having a predilection for inconveniently long titles, they knew how to write a damn good rock song and deliver it in no uncertain terms.! However since that initial burst of energy and creativity, the band hasn’t been able to reach the bar they set so high early in their career.

Enter ‘AM’.  The title’s short… good start, but does it fulfil expectations?  Initial sales figures say yes, but that’s never any real indication.  Stew says…. More »

Neutral Cable, whose Fascino interconnect we recommended, started trading in 2003 and to celebrate its first ten years Neutral Plugin business has introduced custom made aluminium RCA connectors to further enhance the performances of their audio cables.

Neutral Plugs originate from Bullet Plugs keeping just the central part with tellurium copper contacts and on this add (in place of plastic Bullet Plug shells) a CNC machined aluminium shell.

Neutral Plug RCA connectors are made in aluminium in order to have the dual function of a 100% shielding of the interconnect (this is not possible with usual plastic Bullet Plug shells) and better mechanical and vibration performance which Neutral say consequently improves the whole interconnect.


Sponsorship button

Uniting Monitor Audio’s latest engineering with a slender design, the newest Silver range offers an “exceptional balance Monitor_audio_silverof performance, versatility, lifestyle appeal and value”.

The Silver range includes two stand mount models: Silver 1 and 2; three floor speakers: Silver 6, 8, 10, together with dedicated centre, ‘FX’ surround and active subwoofer models.

Available in a choice of real wood Rosenut, Walnut, Natural Oak, and Black Oak veneers, together with high-gloss black and white finishes

Available from October the Silver range comes in at between £500 and £1650.

Sponsorship button

The package included two full range front loudspeakers, a centre speaker, two rear speakers and a subwoofer.7000i-group-black

The small and slim 7070Si subwoofer is revolutionary. Q Acoustics’ engineers have developed a new variation to the traditional ‘infinite baffle’ design solution. It delivers an outstandingly controlled, detailed and dynamic bass sound and also enables ease of placement within the listening room. The subwoofer’s 8 inch (200mm), High Excursion bass driver fires internally against a heavy, rigid ‘sounding board’. This surface deflects the bass notes evenly into the room through slim subwoofer grilles located on the top and both sides of the gloss finished unit. The new subwoofer is floor or wall mountable and also deceptively powerful, boasting an in-built 150 watt Class-D power amplifier.

Price and availability:

The Q Acoustics 7000i Series 5.1 Home Cinema loudspeaker package, in classic matt black or matt white finishes, has a UK Recommended Retail Price of £900.

The matching floor stands are £125 per pair. All will be available from authorised dealers from mid October 2013.

Sponsorship button

National Audio Show 2013 – Show Report

What a great Show it was this year!
Now well established in its countryside setting of Whittlebury Hall in the gently rolling agricultural landscape of southern England, it was another excellent show managed by Roy Bird and the Chester Group. 
Lots of interesting new product sounding good, and it was a genuine pleasure to revisit more established designs as well.

I’m not sure how many visitors there were, but the corridors were well populated and many exhibition rooms quite crowded.

There were 3 free CDs available to all visitors as part of the ‘welcome pack’ from the excellent Chesky audiophile label – although to my disappointment two turned out to be laidback jazz music, probably (no, certainly!) my least favourite musical genre. — my apologies to all the jazz lovers out there who did appreciate the music! More »

KEF has announced the introduction of the X300A Wireless Digital Hi-Fi Speaker System – the new wireless 3096_X300A_Wireless_white_pair_toeing_in_onlineadaptation of their X300A desktop speakers.

X300A Wireless is an active design, with all the features of the original X300A, but with the addition of wireless streaming via both Airplay and DLNA from most Apple or Android devices.

The new X300A wireless speakers include KEF’s Award-winning Uni-Q drivers, four AB amplifiers (two per speaker), two discrete DACs and a 96kHz/24-bit digital USB connection in wired mode.

The user has the ability to switch between desk, free space and desk/wall modes with desk and stand modes being selected by a switch on the rear panel of the master speaker and wall mode via a foam plug for the rear mounted reflex port.

The X300A Wireless speaker now features two finishes; Gunmetal and Linear White and come with a

recommended Retail Price: £800.00 per pair.

Sponsorship button



The new MA6700 is a solid-state integrated amplifier combining amp and preamp functionality, along with a DAC and MAC6700+Front+Top HIGHMM/MC phono stage, in an unmistakably McIntosh chassis. The optional AM/FM radio module effectively makes the MA6700 McIntosh’s first receiver since 1993.

The dual-layer-chassis MA6700 offers plenty of flexibility and has been designed to act as a centrepiece or ‘hub’, in a music system. It contains loads of inputs and includes McIntosh’s new internal High Drive headphone amplifier.

The 200-watt MA6700’s preamp section features a total of eleven inputs including coaxial and optical input, plus a dedicated asynchronous USB 2.0 input (operating at up to 32-bit). The MA6700 has a dedicated phono section for Moving Magnet and Moving.

The MA6700’s Home Theatre Pass Through feature allows integration into existing multichannel systems and an optional AM/FM tuner module (£800), featuring the same technology as McIntosh’s standalone tuners, brings radio playback to the amp. The optional module offers 20 presets for each radio band, as well as a remote AM antenna. The amplifier also offers bypassable tone controls (bass and treble) plus assignable inputs. RS232 control is also offered, along with rear-panel system data and power controls.

At 34kg and 200 watts per channel, the amplifier has enough power to properly drive virtually all loudspeakers McIntosh say. products, the MA6700 is skilfully handcrafted in the Binghamton, NY factory and boasts classic styling with contemporary features and technology.

The MA6700 sells for £7,295 and is available now. The optional AM/FM module is priced at £800.

Sponsorship button

Bowers & Wilkins has announced the P7 Mobile Hi-Fi headphones, the company’s first over-ear headphones. clip_image003

Moving parts are constructed from brushed and stainless steel, as is the folding mechanism. The headband and ear pads are encased in soft leather, for long listening sessions. The P7s also features a detachable remote-control- and-microphone cable.

Bowers &Wilkins say that for the P7 “we have created a headphone driver that works more like the drive-unit in a hi-fi speaker, with a diaphragm focused purely on the job it’s supposed to do: generate sound”.

The internal speaker baskets encasing the P7s’ drive-units are perforated with air vents covered with a resistive film. This allows for “precise control of the airflow from behind the drive-unit, resulting in a more uniform, piston-like movement”. The P7s’ voice coils are constructed from an aluminium-copper compound. The decrease in weight means that the drive-unit can move more freely which the company say helps in improving high frequency dynamics.

The P7’s speaker baffle plates are constructed from a polymer material that has been heavily braced and tuned to make it very rigid and inert to attempt to limits any resonances that might colour the sound of the headphones.

The Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones are available in September in the US, priced at  $399.99

Sponsorship button

Taking place over the anniversary week of KEF’s founding in 1961 (1st Oct – 7th Oct.), the company is staging an event KEF Blade Pair Shot White_Blackto celebrate all things KEF. The campaign will focus around its official Blade retailers in the UK and will make them the destination stores for a weeks’ worth of activities.

Commenting on the event, Michael Johnson, UK KEF Head of Marketing says, ‘National KEF Week is aimed to highlight everything that’s great about KEF; the people, the products, the stores, everything. The week is designed to appeal to new and existing KEF customers and incentivise them to visit one of our official Blade retailers for the chance to take part in great competitions, expert demo sessions undertaken by KEF staff and benefit from some great product promotions. We hope this will be the start of a great annual campaign for KEF, and who knows it might turn into something that we might be able to develop into a much wider campaign across many more official KEF stores – it’s a very exciting proposition!’

Sponsorship button


This popped through the letter box from those helpful chaps at Cherry Red a couple of weeks ago and I was a bit surprised that they’d sent me something from the mid 70s. Actually this is a re-release of the ninth album from Man, – originally released on UA Records – this one is released on Esoteric Recordings (ECLEC 2020) and comes with the original album plus a second CD recorded at the Whiskey a Go Go and previously unreleased – this release originally came out in 2007. The original album reached the giddying heights of 12 on the “hit Parade” in the UK. The album is produced by Roy Thomas Baker who you may know from his work with Queen.

Now, Man is an interesting band. For a start they’re Welsh, South Wales – Merthyr Tydfil in fact! If you look back into the bands history there have been numerous line up changes with people coming and going with great regularity and the only real mainstay being Micky Jones. Their style on this record can be roughly described as East coast psychedelia  – which is no bad thing in my book. More »

Anyone interested in hearing Devialet’s new entry-level amp/DAC, the Devialet 110, should get themselves down to Devialet110 copyAudio Lounge on Tuesday 17th September. Audio Lounge in London W1 is co-hosting a Champagne reception with Absolute Sounds, Devialet’s sole UK distributor, to herald the UK launch of Devialet’s new integrated audio hub on the final day of London Fashion Week. The event will be open to members of the public from 6pm – 8pm!

The Devialet 110 takes the patented ADH (Analogue Digital Hybrid) amp tech from the D-Premier – the Parisian company’s first product  – refines it and delivers it at less than half the price.

The 110 is the entry-level model of three new-generation components. All three will be on display at the Champagne reception, with the 110 on demonstration in the listening room. Representatives from Devialet will be on hand to explain the thinking behind the company’s technologies and design principals.

Sponsorship button

Snip Records is a new record label which focuses on high resolution digital music and this is the debut album from the group “ti-an-guis” an international group which play folk music from all over the world. The band’s name is derived from the Mexican word “tianguis” which is an open air market and reflects the band’s melting pot of influences and sounds, though I initially assumed the name was of Breton origin for some reason.

The group consists of a female vocalist, a bass player, two guitarists and a percussionist who met in the Netherlands but come originally from Mexico, Brazil, Portugal and Croatia. More »

Cupid’s Head (Kompakt CD 110) is Berlin based Swede Alex Willner’s fourth full length album since his debut “From Here We Go Sublime” and it’s a good one! The cover gives nothing away as to what to expect being plain black with The Field and the album title written in black.

The album kicks off with They Won’t See Me, a blissed out yet relentlessly pounding piece of pseudo-techno that is, it has to be said, right up my street. It’s repetitive but deceptively complex in its structure building from the beginning and taking you along for the ride. You find yourself focusing on a particular noise or loop that is introduced then losing that and finding a new one. This is not big room techno – it is mindful and intelligent, uplifting and moving and is equally at home played in the house or in front of a club crowd. More »

The Icon Audio PS3 phonostage has been replaced by the new PS3 MkII, which Icon Audio say is a cost-no-object Icon Audio PS3 MkIIflagship phonostage. 

The PS3 MkII is built onto two chassis, one for the power supply and another for the phonostage itself.The power supply features a very large power transformer, an EZ80 rectifier valve and two large chokes whilst two more valves: an EL84 controlled by an ECC83, regulate the supply to feed the phonostage.

The phonostage chassis features four ECC88 valves arranged in a no-feedback double cascade circuit designed to offer high gain and low noise with high resolution.Two inputs are provided, one for moving magnet (MM) cartridges and one configurable for either moving magnet or moving coil (MC) cartridges.The MC input uses Icon Audio’s own hand-wound moving coil transformers with mu-metal screening. The PS3 MkII’s output is driven by a 6SN7 valve. Wiring is point to point with silver plated copper wire.

The PS3 MkII’s front panel controls include a mono switch to reduce noise levels when listening to mono recordings and a volume control to allow direct connection to a power amplifier.

Every Icon Audio amplifier is finished and tested by the company’s own team of engineers in Leicester, UK.

Price is £1899.95 for  the Moving Magnet version and £2099.95 for the Moving Magnet and Moving Coil version.

Sponsorship button

High-end distributor Decent Audio is delighted to add the Audeze (pronounced Odyssey)  LCD-3 planar magnetic Audeze-LCD3-Leather-Hanging-02headphone to its portfolio.  

Audeze headphones are manufactured in the USA and every Audeze headphone is individually tested, burned-in and measured with the written results are included with each headphone.

Unlike a conventional drive unit in which the diaphragm is attached to a voice coil (either at its centre in the case of a cone, or at its edge in the case of a dome), a planar magnetic diaphragm has a printed voice-coil spread across its entire surface. When the voice coil is energised with an audio signal, it interacts with the magnetic field and produces an electromagnetic force that moves the diaphragm, thus creating sound.

Audeze employs a number of proprietary techniques deigned to improve on basic planar magnetic design. These include the integration of unique, ultra-thin diaphragms and stronger, more optimised magnetic fields and circuit patterns.

The Audeze LCD-3:

·         “Is designed to be the best headphone ever created”.

·         Has a thinner planar magnetic diaphragm and more efficient magnetic structure than the renowned Audeze LCD-2.

·         Features hand-crafted zebrano wood ear cups.

·         Comes with lambskin or artificial suede ear pads.

Sponsorship button