Well known UK retailer Russ Andrews contacted us to tell us about a trio of new kit have in stock.Russ_Andres_balanced_mains

PowerKord Mains Cables £150 – £440
PowerKord-100™ is the first in Russ Andrew’s range of new PowerKords and
builds on the PowerKord-100™ with the PowerKord-300™ having twice as many separately-insulated woven conductors.
PowerKord-500™ is the top-of-the-range PowerKord and uses 24 separately-insulated conductors.

Balanced Mains Unit BMU1000 £1,588
New for 2014, all Russ Andrews Balanced Mains Units (pictured) feature SuperSilent precision wound, adjustable transformer which is said to virtually eliminate any transformer noise.
A balanced mains units split the mains supply, resulting in 115V on live and 115V on neutral (rather than 230V on live and 0V on neutral). You don’t need to make any modifications to your existing equipment to enable it to work on a balanced mains supply.

The AbZorber £528
Designed by Ben Duncan, the Russ Andrews AbZorber is a type of mains filter that is said to work to reduce the effects of spike activity and noise in Hi-Fi and home cinema systems.


Sponsorship button

Computer Audio Design (CAD) contacted the Hifi Pig office to tell us that they will be demonstrating all CAD_ripper_streamerthings computer-audio this Wednesday (23rd July) at Walrus Sytems in London from 12 noon until 8pm.

This “Computer Audio Day” will allow visitors to put questions to key industry figures and CAD’s owner and chief engineer, Scott Berry, will be on hand to answer questions and offer help and free advice.
Scott will also be demonstrating CAD’s award winning CAD 1534 DAC, their new USB cable (which we have in for review) and the yet to be announced CAT transport and ripper.

This is a free event and should be of interest to anyone interested in getting the best out of their current computer-audio system or for those looking to dip their toe in the water for the first time.


Sponsorship button

Henley Designs, who distribute Pro-Ject in the UK, contacted the Hifi Pig office to tell us all about Stereo Box Phonothe new Stereo Box Phono from Pro-Ject.
The Stereo Box Phono from Box Design by Pro-Ject Audio Systems combines an integrated amplifier design with one of the best selling hi-fi phono stages of recent years to create a compact solution for vinyl fans on a budget.

The Stereo Box Phono has three analogue line inputs alongside one MM-only phono stage inspired by Pro-Ject’s well known Phono Box design. The new Stereo Box Phono adheres to Pro-Ject’s ongoing philosophy that “less is more” and certainly looks the part. However, its size and construction is also complementary to their wider Box Design S range, so if you can add digital inputs or add a CD player in the future.

The amplifier section is based on the Stereo Box S making the power output 30W (4Ω) per channel, and so capable of driving a decent pair of bookshelf speakers. The power-stage has the ability to drive 2Ω loads which should be good for system matching. A dual-mono design principle is employed inside, and the “low-noise pure audio circuitry and other premium components used make the Stereo Box Phono punch well above its diminutive price-point” says the company’s press release.

The Stereo Box Phono is obviously designed to be a perfect partner for Pro-Ject’s affordable turntable models. Usability is said to be simple and intuitive, but there’s also an included compact IR remote control.

The Stereo Box Phono is available with Black or Silver faceplates.

Price will be £199.95


Sponsorship button

Monster has unveiled its latest Bluetooth-enabled mobile speaker, the Monster Superstar. This monster_bluetooth_loudspeakerultra-compact device is comparable in size to a large-format smartphone, small enough to slip into a pocket.

Monster’s press release says that Superstar “challenges the limits of what can be achieved by a pocket-size speaker, delivering a rich, expressive and detailed sound – not dull and tinny like other speakers of similarly diminutive dimensions.”
Its design incorporates two full-range drivers plus a pair of circular bass radiators in the centre of the unit – one firing forwards, the other backwards. The speaker can be either stood on its side to project bass front and rear, or laid on its back to deliver further bass reinforcement.

Superstar will pair with any Bluetooth-compatible device and includes support for the AAC and aptX codecs. It’s robustly designed and splash so good to go in a wide range of environments, from the bathroom to the beach. There’s also built-in microphone with advanced noise cancellation, enabling wireless hands-free calling and conferencing.
The Monster Superstar Bluetooth speaker is available in a choice of Neon Blue, Neon Green/Black and Neon Grey/Black, with an RRP of £99.95.


Sponsorship button

Dan Worth revisits the Roksan Caspian M2 Integrated amplifier that Jerry reviewed quite some time ago. More »

When Naim announced at the recent CES exhibition that they would be launching a preamp and power amp combo that would leave purchasers with a $200 000 hole in their bank account it was inevitable that there a certain degree of backlash from some quarters would come…and come it did. More »

2014 has kicked of with what has been a very successful CES by all accounts. HiFi Pig was not there but we are hoping to make it over the pond very soon.

More »

This article was first published in the February 2014 issue of Hifi Pig Magazine which can be downloaded free of charge.

Scott Berry is a US-born audio engineer and the founder and owner of Computer Audio Design (CAD). The company’s debut product, the 1543 DAC, won the ‘best-sounding hi-fi room’ at the UK’s largest hi-fi show – Bristol Sound and Vision 2013 – against hundreds of well-established brands. He takes time out to answer Hifi Pig’s Behind the Brands Questions. More »

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Californian loudspeaker specialist Magico has announced M Magico_MProject_emailProject: a very special limited-edition speaker drawing upon all the elements that have earned the company a great reputation in the world of high-end loudspeakers

In 10, Magico has garnered tremendous respect among the high-end audio fraternity, harnessing exemplary science and engineering to deliver what some say are some of the best-sounding loudspeakers on the planet. The company’s latest design, dubbed ‘M Project’, is the culmination of all it has achieved to date, further developing technologies from existing models to create a special anniversary speaker with production limited to 50 pairs.

The speaker is built to order with prices starting at £130,000 per pair, depending on the specified finish (multiple automotive paint options are available if desired). Deliveries begin in October.
• Three-way, five-driver floorstanding loudspeaker
• New enclosure comprising aluminium skeleton topology, acoustically optimised front plate and carbon-fibre sides
• Magico¹s signature front baffle contour further optimised to incorporate edge-free top and bottom plates
• Newly designed curved cabinet shape minimises internal resonances and requires minimal damping
• Unique 28mm diamond-coated beryllium dome tweeter
• 15cm midrange driver derived from Magico¹s much-lauded Q7 speaker, with proprietary Nano-Tec cone (made from a combination of Rohacell, carbon fibre and carbon nanotubes)
• Three 25cm bass drivers with Nano-Tec cones, designed especially for M Project


Sponsorship button

Parisian audio company Devialet presents Ensemble:devialet_ensemble_hifi_news

Brought to the UK shores by Absolute Sounds the Ensemble pairs Devialet’s just-launched entry-level amplifier, the Devialet 120, with a pair of GT1 compact loudspeakers from fellow French company Atohm.

Devialet created Ensemble for two reasons. First, to form a complete system purchase option for those seeking a one stop audio solution, with a pair of compact speakers that are fully in tune with Devialet¹s sonic and aesthetic philosophies. Second, to showcase the company’s SAM (Speaker Active Matching) technology, which tailors the amp’s output to precisely match a specific pair of speakers.

Every Devialet 120 amplifier sold as part of an Ensemble system comes preconfigured with SAM data for the GT1s.

The Devialet Ensemble system is priced at £6,290.


Sponsorship button

Omuni Audio are from New Zealand and their OMUNI loudspeaker is a two-way ‘artisan audio’ omunidesign with a downward facing 8 inch bass driver in an aperiodic labyrinth. Topping this off is a 3 inch mid-high frequency driver running up to 25 Khz. This driver radiates a full 360 degrees horizontally and vertically using the “OMUNI LENS” (© 2014, All Rights Reserved) which consists of four rounded quadrants placed under each corner of the top plate. This unique design provides horn loading of the 3 inch driver over a full 360 degrees.

Designer and proprietor of OMUNI Audio, Eric Cross took another look at the mechanics of music re-creation and figured that the speaker should be like the performer’s instrument. “Acoustic instruments don’t fire their sound waves unidirectionally from an elongated box, they radiate in all directions”, points out Eric, who set out to bring what he has learned from years of experimenting with speakers to thinking – not “outside the box” – but deeply on the reasons for boxing speaker drivers. “The function of the box must be for natural musical re-creation”, he concludes.
The end result of 3 years in development, this design is certainly different.
Eric has been building speakers since he was 14 years old, and has completed many design experiments over the years since serving an electrical apprenticeship in the 1960s. He produced and sold speakers under the Southern Acoustics brand through the 1970s and 1980s, having been especially fascinated for years by the possibilities for avoiding the limitations of a ‘stereo image’.

“We carefully considered placement in the listening situation and spent many hours tuning the design”, says Eric. The OMUNIs can be placed 30cm or more from the back wall, and because performance in each room is different, mounting on castors facilitates experimentation for optimisation. Placing them well into the room produces a spectacular soundstage, and they can be wheeled back at the end of a listening session.

The OMUNIs are hand built by a craftsman furniture maker in New Zealand with multiplex Spruce and the top triangulated section of each speaker is a complex laminated sold block that weighs over 7 kilograms. “We do not use acoustic dampening materials or plastics of any kind”, added Eric but natural Hessian is applied to one internal panel.
The crossover has only two components without matching resistors and internal wiring uses Kimber product with the paper cone and the pressed steel frame of the bass driver being treated with Meranti Damar natural resin to enhance tone.


Sponsorship button

Devialet continues to evolve its range of amplifiers with three enhanced models and two new 3368_Devialet_400monoblock configurations with the enhancements being the result of a new firmware release (v7.1). Owners of existing Devialet components can download the new firmware free of charge, in line with the company’s ‘free upgrades for life’ policy.

The name of every amp in the range has changed too, reflecting an increase in power delivery – “one of the many improvements brought about by the new firmware”.

Devialet 120
Power output: 120W per channel
UK RRP: £4,490 (same as its predecessor, the Devialet 110)

Devialet 200
Power output: 200W per channel
UK RRP: £6,390 (same as its predecessor, the Devialet 170)

Devialet 250
Power output: 250W per channel
UK RRP: £11,800 (same as its predecessor, the Devialet 240)

Devialet 400 (Devialet 200 plus 200 slave)
Power output: 400W per channel
UK RRP: £12,090

Devialet 800 (Devialet 250 plus 250 slave)
Power output: 800W per channel
UK RRP: £20,900

Devialet say the new firmware has the following benefits.

• Increased power delivery and enhanced sound quality for every model, owing to an update of the ADH algorithm; upgrade of the power supply control software; optimisation of thermal management
• SAM (Speaker Active Matching)

• Devialet 200 (formerly 170) now bridgeable to a 400W monoblock, creating the new Devialet 400 dual-monoblock configuration

• New user interface and enhanced iOS/Android app support

• Other enhancements include a shorter boot time and slave inputs for the dual monoblock line, with the option to daisy-chain up to eight Devialet amplifiers in multi-room configurations
A major addition to firmware v7.1, SAM (Speaker Active Matching) is “sophisticated digital processing that enables Devialet components to be precisely matched to a particular pair of speakers”, we were present at the Munich Launch and it does look to be a very interesting concept. It is, in effect, a form of bespoke audio tailoring, to ensure the amplifier and speakers fit perfectly together and thereby “unleash the speakers’ full potential”.

“SAM enables Devialet’s power amp circuitry to feed the attached loudspeakers with a specific signal, computed in real time to drive them optimally. This ensures that the acoustic signal produced by the loudspeakers is an exact replica of the audio signal on the recording”. Say Devialet.

To date, 17 speakers from various well-known brands including Bowers & Wilkins, KEF, Focal, Magico, Sonus faber and Wilson Audio are already supported; more are being added every week and Devialet aims to have more 100 models supported by the end of the year. Any passive electrodynamic speaker can be measured in Devialet’s lab in Paris and the data used to create a SAM profile – people can vote online for the speakers they want to see supported. When any speaker receives 100 votes, Devialet will make it ‘SAM Ready’.


Sponsorship button

KEF has announced that its M200 in-ear headphones will be packaged with the premium Comply KEFM200_in_ear_headphonesear-tips which KEF say will improve fit, comfort, noise-isolation and performance.

Comply is said to conform more faithfully to the users unique ear canal to create a better seal and because of its soft and flexible, open cell foam is more comfortable.

There will be no increase in price and existing users who have registered their product will be provided with the Comply ear-tips at no extra charge.


Sponsorship button

The good people at The Missing Link & Vinyl Passion got in touch with Hifi Pig to announce that they vincent_phpono_newshave been appointed UK retailer/ Importer of the Vincent Brand and that they now have in stock the long awaited flagship valve phono stage the Vincent PH-700.

The Vincent PH-700 is a two box design with a fully regulated off-board power supply and switchable moving magnet power supply.

The phono stage is priced at £549 in the UK with a 3 year warranty and is claimed to offer unparalleled performance at this price point.

The new Vincent PH-700 is said to build on the strengths of the well established Vincent PH-O8 which sells for £349.

Both of these phono stages are available for demonstration in the Vinyl Passion music room based in the heart of Sherwood Forest and come with the option of black or silver finish.
Hifi Pig will have a UK exclusive review of the new unit in the next few weeks.


Sponsorship button

There’s a new forum on the block aimed  at providing hi-fi and music enthusiasts the opportunity to TASdiscuss their passion, develop friendships and offer or receive technical help and support.The name of the new forum is The Audio Standard.

In the best traditions of forums, everyone is free to join and enter into the lively debates and whether you prefer valves (tubes) or solid state; speakers or ear-ware; and whether they are objectivists or subjectivists, you will be made to feel welcome and your contributions valued.

“The love of music will always be the focus” says Martin Taylor an administrator on the site and continued “no matter the genre; classical or hardcore are equally welcome!”
All the best with the new forum from the Hifi Pig team.


Sponsorship button

“A truly great earphone design does more than deliver accurate musical reproduction” says the ADL EH008press release from Alpha Design Labs and continues “It should create an intimate emotional connection with the listener, and accomplish this with superb comfort and style”. With that in mind Alpha Design Labs (ADL) have launched the EH-008 earphones.

The earphones dual dynamic drivers are treated with Furutech’s renowned Alpha process and are said to offer incredibly high resolution throughout the full range of sound reproduction. A powerful 8mm low-to-mid frequency driver is positioned in a bass chamber located directly behind a high-frequency titanium film driver.

The inner and outer housings of the EH-008 are designed for driver stabilisation and damping.

ADL EH-008 key features

• Dual dynamic drivers
• Alpha*-treated 8mm driver for mid-to-low frequencies
• Alpha*-treated 5.8mm driver for high frequencies
• Inner housing constructed from ABS resin for driver stabilisation
• Outer housing constructed from carbon fibre
• Rubber outer seal ring with silicon cover
• Diamond-cut aluminum end plates
• XS / S / M flexible rubber earpieces included
• 1.3m cord with 24k gold-plated stereo Alpha*-treated 1/8” (3.5mm) angled plug.

Available now with a UK retail price £175 (including VAT)


Sponsorship button

The McIntosh MA 5200 is a multi-faceted amplifier/DAC/headphone amp and more, so when Hifi Pig mcingtosh_amp_reviewwas offered one for review we jumped at the chance of giving this American brand’s Swiss army knife a thorough review. In this review for Hifi Pig Peter Stanton-Ife puts the McIntosh through its paces.

“I used the MA5200 with both a pair of Sonus Faber Grand Pianos and a pair of Bastani open baffle speakers alternating between runs of Skogrand Ignis Purist cable and my normal Electrofluidics cable. I also borrowed a pair of Spendor BC1s from a friend to try out on the MA5200. Again, consistency of sound proved to be the order of the day, even with speakers as coloured as the SFs. I tried a pair of elderly Sennheisers on the headphone output and can report that late night listening will not be a chore.”

You can read the full review of the McIntosh MA 5200 here.


Sponsorship button

Sound Fowndations got in touch with Hifi Pig earlier to tell us they’re on the move to new offices in Chris Green & Alex DenyerAldermaston to accommodate their expanding portfolio of audiophile brands.

The move stems from Sound Fowndations’ need for additional space to accommodate growth in brands and sales. At 1,500 square feet of office and warehouse space, the new premises give the company the opportunity to hold more stock as well as providing room for its expanded staff.

Joining the Sound Fowndations team in the new office is Alex Denyer, a fellow audiophile with a decade of experience in distribution, retail and customer service. Said Alex, ““I’m hugely excited to be joining Sound Fowndations and feel extraordinarily lucky. It’s a real privilege to make a living doing something you love and feel passionate about. I’ve gained a variety of skills in sales, administration, stock control and customer service and I’m keen to apply them in my budding career in the hi-fi industry. And of course this move into the industry will also no doubt fuel the ongoing expansion of my own extensive hi-fi and record collection!”.

Chris Green, Sound Fowndations’ Managing Director, added, “We’ve seen our growth accelerate over the past couple of years, and we were simply out of room. At the same time, I was becoming over-stretched and was struggling to provide the level of service I wanted to provide. Which is a nice problem to have so soon after a major recession! Our new location and facilities, and the addition of Alex to the team, will allow us to continue to grow while also enhancing our levels of service and support to manufacturers, retailers and customers.”


Sponsorship button

Swedish manufacturer, Primare have announced that they are now shipping the PRE60 pre60frontpreamplifier with the matching A60 power amplifier.

The power amplifier has an output of 2 x 250 W into 8 ohms with this doubling into 4ohms. The design is fully balanced and utilises the company’s UFPD technology with two models for each channel. All internal speaker connection cabling is Van den Hul’s SC12 and the chassis is a heavy duty affair with a 15mm aluminium front panel.
The PRE60 is said to be a “reference audiophile” preamplifier and is designed as a companion to the matching A60 power amp. The PRE60 features an OLED display and has two pairs of low-noise balanced XLR inputs plus four pairs of RCA inputs. There are two pairs of both RCA and XLR outputs as well as record out, RS232, Trigger and IR inputs. The integrated DAC/media board offers PRE60 functionality and straming options that can be controlled using Primare’s app for iOS and Android – these include input selection, volume control, file browsing etc.


Sponsorship button


Vayta is a new all-British company and they got in touch with Hifi Pig to tell us about the launch of its vayta_dekk_Hifi_newsfirst range of audio isolation platforms (Vayta dekk) via a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign will launch on 14th July with the dekk being designed for use under turntables, CD players, servers, Streamers, DACs and amplifiers.

The Vaysta dekk contains Sorthobane, which many audiophiles will already be fairly familiar with, and will be available in a wide range of colour finishes with the platform itself being made from Corian.

The company’s patented ADS (Acoustic Damping System) technology is used in the dekk with the feet unlocking and disengaging as soon as weight is put on the platform and thus de-coupling the dekk and leaving your kit floating on the Sorthobane.


Sponsorship button

Simple Audio has announced a two-month offer to customers giving them the opportunity to try music Roomplayer+_love_mestreaming in their home with the new Roomplayer+ for 30 days on a ’30 days to love me’ guarantee.
Music streaming is on the rise as we are all aware and the Simple Audio Roomplayer+ is not only high-res and capable of streaming 24/192 tracks to multiple rooms, but it also has a number of cool features, including multi-library, multi-user and multi-room, with easy control and music discovery too.
If customers purchase a Roomplayer+ or Roomplayer+ with Amp, anytime during July and August, and decide that it’s not for them within 30 days, they can return it to the store for a full refund or exchange.
• The ‘Roomplayer +with Amp’ featuring an on-board Class D amp that outputs 50 Watts per channel that is designed for direct connection to a pair of loudspeakers and costs £699.
• The ‘Roomplayer+’ (no amp) with high performance signal handling and a high resolution DAC with all the analogue and digital connections needed to connect to a hi-fi system. This version costs £599.


Sponsorship button

With a few days remaining the Damson Kickstarter campaign to launch the innovative Headbones Headbonesnewsjulywireless headphones has hit its initial funding target of £50,000.
The Headbones uses the same IDT (Incisor Diffusion Technology) used in previous Damson models where vibrations are sent through the temporal bone and to to the inner ear so that you never actually put anything in or over your ear.
The Headbones will be compatible with any Bluetooth enabled device and will give up to ten hours of music from a single charge. Charging can be done through a micros USB.


Sponsorship button