The Terrace, Ground and Lower Ground floors of the Bristol Hifi Show house some big rooms, and, even bigger names in the Hifi industry. These rooms attract such a level of interest that many have to give closed door presentations, but all were very accommodating in letting us in to have a listen and bring you the latest news and new product launches. 

Dynaudio

This long standing, Danish loudspeaker brand never fail to deliver at a show. The Dynaudio Lounge is a great concept and presents the cool, stylish brand image perfectly, there is no fuss, the focus is on the speakers and the music. A huge, black and white image of Keith Richards was overseeing the proceedings this year and the main event was the launch of the new Evoke range, a very affordable range of Dynaudio loudspeakers that feature technology taken directly from Dynaudio’s high-end Contour line and the top-of-the-range Confidence series.

The range consists of two standmounters (Evoke 10 and Evoke 20), two floorstanders (Evoke 30 and Evoke 50) and a dedicated centre-channel (Evoke 25C) that turns the line-up into a full home-cinema system. The range features the all-new Cerotar tweeter and new Esotec+ woofers (you can read more about them here).  I heard the Evoke 10 £1250 standmounts and was very impressed, one of the sounds of the show for me. They filled the large room easily and were detailed with more heft in the bass dept than you would expect from standmounts. Bill was running a great demo but I was unable to stay longer to hear the flagship Confidence speakers that we had been to the launch of at High End Munich. Fantastic room.

Monitor Audio & Roksan

Impossible to pass this room without going in as the music choice of banging dance anthems was irresistible. Best I have heard these (now) sister British brands sounding together in fact. Monitor were showcasing the new Monitor Gold series of loudspeakers, the 300 playing when I visited, Roksan had the Xerxes 20 Plus turntable and the Blak CD and amp in the system with several of their other lines on show too.

Harman (Mark Levinson, Arcam, JBL & Revel)

I heard the second demo system with the JBL K2 S9900 with electronics from Mark Levinson. A good, solid sound from these classic brands, I would have liked to hear the JBL L100 Classic again too but they were in the other system.  Pictures of those to follow from their static stand.

Chord Electronics

Absolutely loved this room, Moz from Chord was playing Massive Attack’s Blue lines, I think in it’s entirety…I could have stayed for it all had time allowed. Chord were showing the recently launched Hugo M Scaler standalone upscaler, Hugo TT 2 desktop DAC/preamp/head amp (launched at High End Munich) and the partnering TToby stereo power amp. They had the Bowers and Wilkins’ 805D3 standmount speakers playing, but they had a sound like they were using floorstanders.  A packed room and for good reason. Chord also of course had their headfi gear in the Bristol Suite.

Proac

As well as their room up on the second floor of the show  Proac had a larger room demonstrating their flagship K range’s new addition, the K6 Signature floor stander. Again these had an impressive sound.

Audiolab & Wharfedale

Great to see Peter Comeau and the IAG team in the Wharfedale and Audiolab room. Audiolab were showing their affordable 6000A integrated amplifier and the matching 6000CDT CD transport, which Hifi Pig recently reviewed. Audiolab are also brought the soon-to-be-launched 6000N new network player.

The Linton 85 3 way standmount speakers, from the Heritage Series, were provided by Wharfedale to pair with the Audiolab tro and were a great match sonically and price-wise at $999. The whole system that was playing cost under £2500 and it sounded quality.

Technics

A new smart speaker called Ottava C50 (next to the turntable in the pictures) and the Technics SL-1500C Direct Drive Hifi turntable were the new offerings on show in this room. The SL- 1500C is based on the legendary SL-1200, more info here. Rough Trade Records were supplying the tunes and the sound and atmosphere was very good when I popped in.

KEF

KEF had a packed room with people queuing to get in for the dems. They were showing both the KEF LSX Wireless speaker system along with their new R series speakers, which have been totally revamped. The flagship KEF R11 floorstanders were used for the dem and they sounded and looked very nice, they also had pretty nifty grilles.

Bowers & Wilkins

It was the new Bowers & Wilkins 600 series of loudspeakers that the British brand were showcasing on the lower ground floor. These were paired with Rotal’s 15 series electronics.

Naim & Focal

The British/French alliance of Naim and Focal were all over the show, focusing on their streaming technologies. On the lower ground floor were a gorgeous pair of flax coned, beryllium tweetered Kanta No1 standmount speakers in baby blue, partnered of course, with a full stack of Naim gear.

Up in the Executive lounge Naim were running closed-door, in-depth sessions on ‘Getting More from Music Streaming’. Using their full family of Naim network players, plus the Uniti Core Music Server and Focal Sopra speakers.  I only caught a snippet, having to be let in for a listen mid session, but what I heard was very impressive.  The team said that every session was as packed as the one I was in.

The Naim and Focal team also had more stands with a more headfi feel that you will see in our next report.

Wilson Benesch

Wilson Benesch, of Sheffield, were exhibiting their new ‘entry level’ speakers for the first time in the UK, the Precision Series. The P1.0 and P3.0 were on show.They also import high end Swiss brand, CH Precision, into the UK and their I1 integrated amp was powering the main system in the Conservatory. The Nu-Prime  IDA-16 integrated amp partnered the standmounts.

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PMC

PMC, along with AVM and Bryston, who they distribute in the UK, were creating an audio visual stir with their Dolby Atmos music and movies demo. The PMC twenty5 series is what is used in the Universal Music Dolby Atmos mixing suite at Capitol Studios in LA. The system was powered by Bryston amps and featured the debut of the Bryston SP4 processor. There was a proper ‘shake up your insides’ feel to the soundtrack that was very engaging. Later on the dems switched to two channel powered by the mighty PMC cor amp. Once again every dem was packed to the rafters and PMC won the Clarity ‘Best Home Cinema Room’ Award.

Linette Smith

Still more to come from Bristol 2019, have you read our other reports?

Part One – Bristol Hifi Show 2019 First Floor

Part Two- ‘Stu’s Views’ Bristol Hifi Show 2019 Floors Three & Four

Part Three – Bristol Hifi Show 2019 Second Floor

Bristol Show 2019 Clarity Awards

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