Axpona 2019 took place at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center Schaumburg last weekend and Hifi Pig’s Ron Gruber was there for one of the days. Here we see a selection of photographs from the “biggest audio show in North America”.

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Hifi Pig have been going to the High-End show in Munich now for six years. The first couple of years we attended was a bit of an adventure as we took the overnight train from Paris – even getting to Gare l’Est Paris from rural Brittany is a bit of a hike and if you don’t have a cabin on the Paris to Munich stretch you end up “sleeping” on hard benches. The first year we did this we arrived at Munich bleary-eyed and having had only fitful sleep, dashed to the hotel we had booked and then straight to the MOC to cover the show, really not relishing the trip back a few days later. However, needs must and we knew that to be seen as a serious player on the International Hifi scene Hifi Pig needed to be represented at the show, though we were surprised that first year at just how many people actually knew us and read the site on a daily basis. More »

I was really pleased to receive a call from Italian brand Monrio a few months ago asking if we’d be interested in reviewing one of their amplifiers as I’d owned one of their preamplifiers many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Here we take a listen to the company’s MC 201 integrated amp with onboard USB DAC and costing £1600.

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John Scott is introduced to the DIMD PP10 and falls a little in love with a Latvian beauty.

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At a penny shy of £1000 the Airpulse A300 are an active loudspeaker with onboard amps and DAC. Alan McIntosh puts them through their paces. 

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We announced this on our newsletter a couple of weeks ago but now the winner of the Nord amplifier we had to give away at the recent Bristol Hifi Show has taken a snap for us.  More »

Costing £1000 the Blackwoods are the latest loudspeaker from Electricbeach and use an interesting driver layout. Ian Ringstead takes a listen.

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Coming from a land down-under (depending on where in the world you reside), Burson makes a wide range of relatively affordable products. Here Janine Elliot takes a listen to their tiny Bang amplifier. Does it offer good bang for its $499 (£599) bucks? 

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I can still remember the first time I saw Paul Carrack.  It was on Top Of The Pops way back in 1974 singing How Long with his band Ace.  It was their only hit but it has become something of a radio classic, the type of song that makes you stop whatever you’re doing and just listen.  Once How Long faded from the charts, Paul Carrack pretty much disappeared from view as well until he popped up fronting Squeeze’s 1981 hit Tempted, another song that has the power to stop me in my tracks when it turns up on the radio.   Carrack would carry on making the occasional appearance in the charts, most regularly with Mike and The Mechanics.  Between times, he’s been quietly plowing a blue-eyed soul furrow, releasing solo albums and co-writing a song that would appear on the Eagles multi-million selling album Hell Freezes Over. 

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Ahead of the release of their debut record ‘Jehovah’s Whispers’ on March 1st via Australian imprint Research Records, Swazi Gold have revealed a new single ‘Shapeshifting’, taken from it.

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People queuing up to get into the Bristol Hifi Show well before the doors open can only be a good sign for the industry. Overall this year’s show seemed very busy, with a good mix of singles and couples in attendance. On the downside, there were only two of the three lifts working which was a bit of a pain and made the stairs busy, but that’s a minor gripe.

We’ll walk you through the show in the next few days with loads of photos and a few thoughts of what we heard. 

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Fyne Will be launching their  F702 (£6000) & Flagship F1-12 (£26,000) at this year’s Bristol Hifi Show. More »

Tonight I shook the hand of Amy Helm; the hand that was held in the hands that held the sticks that played the drums on The Weight and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and helped to invent the musical genre we now now as Americana.  As a lifetime fan of The Band and their drummer Levon Helm, Amy’s father,  it was a special moment but not as special as the gig that preceded it.

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Ken Stokes and David Robson take their Nord NC500 power amps for the latestupgrade using the newly available Nord REV D Buffer Boards as used in their MKII Amp with 2590/990 package Sparkos and Sonic Imagery op-amps to compare and contrast the merits of each.  The complete upgrade board with Op Amps are £712.80 with Sonic Imagery 990’s and £658.80 with Sparkos 2590’s including VAT. Extra OP Amps are:  Sparkos£60 each and SI990 £73.80.

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Front Line Assembly have released their first new album in almost six years. Having rejoined the group in 2016 in a touring capacity, ‘Wake Up The Coma’ also marks the studio return to FLA of Rhys Fulber, thus reuniting him with founder member Bill Leeb in the duo line-up that has already made so many classic electronic records together.

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Crows announced details of a UK headlining tour and reveal the dark, subversive video for “Chain Of Being”

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A valve amp at 1300 Euros sounds like a bit of a bargain. Add to the package an onboard phonostage and DAC and this Italian package starts to look even more attractive. Adam Billingham takes this latin beauty for a spin. 

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The A.R.T Stilleto 6 V3-S speakers cost £3500 which seems very reasonable for their size, fit and finish. Janine Elliot hooks them up to her system to put them through their paces.  More »

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