30. May 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Audiolab is set to add two new components to its compact LAB Series: the Q-DAC, a new D/A converter based on the 2886_Q-DAC_and_M-PWR_(silver)M-DAC but set at a lower price point, and the M-PWR matching power amplifier.

Like the M-DAC, the new Q-DAC serves not only as a DAC but also as a digital preamp and headphone amp, too. The ESS Saber32 D/A converter chip (9016), a 32-bit processor is used and the Q-DAC has a SRP of just £399.95. It has coaxial, optical and USB inputs and RCA outputs (The M-DAC had balanced XLR outputs)

The M-PWR is a compact stereo power amp designed to be partnered with either the Q-DAC, or the M-DAC which can be used to control the volume.

The M-PWR incorporates both single-ended RCA and balanced XLR inputs, and supplies 40W per channel into eight ohms.

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30. May 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Introduced in 2012, AKG-by-TIËSTO headphones have proved to be hugely popular with a wide audience. With 220px-DJ_Tiesto2005TIËSTO’s input and stamp of approval, the full line of TIËSTO headphones recently earned the internationally acclaimed Red Dot-label recognition for product design in 2013.

The internationally recognized Red Dot symbol is awarded to the finest in technology and is only attributed to product from companies that accentuate excellent design and long-term quality.

“The Red Dot recognition for our best-selling AKG-by-TIËSTO headphones underscores the decades of quality and reliability producers, DJs and music enthusiasts expect from our legendary products,” stated Thomas Stubics, Product Marketing Manager, AKG. “Red Dot is synonymous with leading products in numerous industries and to have the AKG-by-TIËSTO headphones marked with its symbol validates our position that our world-class, multi-purpose headphones provide an all-encompassing quality for the music industry.”


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30. May 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Earo Acoustics, a Sweden based research and development company, will be making the first public presentation of their THE-2023new speaker design at T.H.E. this weekend. Named “Wally” the speaker measures only 39mm´s (1-1/2”) thick yet holds two 6,5” and one 2” driver. The design is from ground up including the drivers in order to reach the goal of a full range speaker that is thin enough to be mounted on a wall yet capable of producing high sound pressure. The speaker is self powered and uses digital signal processing. The signal processing features Dirac HD Sound.

Audio is sent to the Wally´s via digital wireless link. The link interfaces to anoalogue and digital sources including USB. Up to eights Wallys may be connected to the same digital wireless link, offering multiroom, multiplay capability.

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Concert Fidelity hand build their kit in Japan and will launch their latest DAC (The DAC 040BD Battery Drive) at this Concert fidelityweekend’s T.H.E Show in Newport California.

Being powered from battery the DAC will be freed from the possibility of dirty mains electricity interfering with the sound quality in the vital DAC section. This is nothing new for the company as they previously produced the DAC 040 (Pictured) which was battery powered.

Battery power will be used only in the DAC section of the 040BD whilst other sections of the DAC will be powered by the mains.

The 040BD will use a non-oversampling DAC with 12AU7 output valves.

Price is $12 000

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This year it is the 9th edition of Fest Jazz held every year on the banks of the River Aulne at Châteauneuf-du-Faou in FEST JAZZone of the most beautiful parts of Brittany, France. If you are in the area or able to make it this is a really special festival.

The three day festival starts on Friday 26th July with a Dinner Dance at the “Hotel Relais de Cornouaille”. On Saturday 27th July, there’s free jazz in the village during the day and in the evening a Cabaret and Dance in a marquee on the banks of the river, with a typically French Pig Roast for those who want to partake! Then on Sunday 28th July there’s the big event with jazz from 18 groups and over 80 musicians in four venues all within a three minutes walk of each other.

There is always a really relaxed, family atmosphere with a great mixture of generations and nationalities and Hifi Pig has been in attendance for the last 3 years or so.Their advert is running on the left hand side of the page and so click through and have a look at what’s going on.

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WyWires will debut three new products for 2013 at T.H.E. Show next week – the Platinum Series of speaker and interconnect timthumb.phpcables, a new configuration of their Gold cables, and the Power Broker AC Distributor.  These products may be found in the following rooms.


Platinum is a new wire formula that contains multiple gauges of Litz conductor wire. Gold is now based on Platinum (vs. Silver) and  includes ByBee Purifiers. Gold speaker cables have a new look, and the ByBee Purifiers are now housed in a cherrywood box for “improved resonance control”.  


The Power Broker is priced $2499 (Silver) and $3999 (Gold)

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28. May 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Arteluthe are a loudspeaker manufacturer who design and hand-build their products in Quebec, Canada. They currently3618Blanc have three models in their range – the Satie, Algeria and Kanatate.

They are interesting loudspeakers and all are active featuring onboard amplifiers, onboard digital sound processing, XLR inputs/outputs and volume control.

The speakers also utilise the company’s unique AirForce Inverted Horn with Air Canon which give 12dB of gain and a claimed response down to 35Hz.

Prices are from $7999 per pair

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A while ago we ran a news item on the Coffman Labs G1-A preamp and H1A high-rez mediumthought you might also be interested in their new, tubed H1-A Headphone Amplifier which will debut at the Newport Audio Show in a couple weeks

Externally, the H1-A has a strong family resemblance to the G1-A. The design includes variable impedance output for both quarter-inch and mini headphone plugs, four inputs and an RCA line out for those wishing to use it as a preamp.

It uses a 6C4 tube for the gain stage which drives a pair of 50L6 or 25L6 tubes in push-pull mode which Coffman Labs say should be enough to drive almost all headphones and even high efficiency loudspeakers. Three separate output impedances are provided and you get four inputs (Three on the rear of the unit and a mini jack on the front). Right and left volume controls are provided on the front panel along with a source switch.

Like the G1-A it’s an all analogue design, completely hand-built in Hillsboro, Oregon USA.

Price is $2,295

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24. May 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags: ,

The Audio Electronics by Cary Audio Lightning digital to analog converterLIGHTNING DAC(DAC) is now shipping and is available for purchase.

The Lightning DAC uses Asynchronous Streamlength™ Class 2.0 USB audio technology for streaming computer USB audio. The Lightning DAC also has coaxial and Toslink inputs up to 24 bit/192 kHz resolution.

The Lightning DAC starts with a custom-built power transformer and a high-current power supply.

A Wolfson WM8805 chipset is used as the input receiver for the two SP/DIF digital audio inputs whilst the XMOS USB chip does asynchronous processing of USB computer based music. It is able to handle multiple 24 bit/192kHz channels with extremely low latency, all at 500 MIPS.

Once the digital bitstream is managed it is sent to the digital to analog conversion section, comprised of two ESS Sabre ES9023 24/192 DAC chipsets.

Dimensions: 13.5″ L X 14″ W X 2.5″ H

Retail price: $1,295


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Burson have introduced two new products aimed squarely at the headfi marketplace,Burson the Burson Conductor SL9018 (pictured) and the Conductor SL1793.

The Conductor SL9018 is a streamlined version of the company’s already well established Conductor whilst the Conductor SL1793 is an enhanced version of Burson’s HA-160D.

The SL9018 will retail for $1550 whilst the SL1793 will be available for $1250. Both products will be released in June.

The SL9018 is a headphone amplifier, 32bit 200K DAC and 24bit 192K USB asynchronous DAC with fully discrete circuitry, a fully symmetrical FET input stage and will operate in pure class A mode. The 2 levels output stage will deliver 0.18W to 2W which Burson say will offer perfect control for any headphone. The SL9018 has 1 line level input using RCA inputs and 3 digital inputs.

The SL1793 is also a headphone amplifier and DAC and offers the same output power, uses the same USB receiver but differs in that it uses a Burr Brown 24 bit 192 PCM1793 DAC rather than the ESS9018 Sarb DAC of the SL9018.

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True to the motto “After the HIGH END is before the HIGH END”, the course has already been
set for the next HIGH END show and the dates have now been fixed: 15 to 18 May 2014 in the MOC
Read Hifi Pig’s final show report of Munich High End 2013 and other coverage of Munich High End and other Hifi Shows around the world.

The Final Report

Well there’s a massive amount to see at Munich High End and there’s no way that we could have hoped to have visited every room and every exhibitor but we did see a lot and we did manage to spend time listening in many of the rooms. Overall we thought the show to be very well organised and we met some very nice people.

So in this final part of Hifi Pig show report of Munich High End 2013 we’ll give you a mixture of photographs and brief write ups of some of the rooms where music was played. More »

In part 5 of the show report from Munich High End 2013 we have a listen to the new Gryphon Audio Trident II loudspeakers, have a chat with Norbert Lehmann from Lehmann Audio and have a chat with newcomers Van de Leur who are launching a new valve pre and class D power amp. We also have a listen to German Physiks omnidirectional loudspeaker, Estelon loudspeakers, 3D Labs electronics and Jean Marie Reynaud loudspeakers. We warm our toes in the Gato room, get a look at some carbon nano tubes in the van den Hul room and have a look at some new kit from Chord. More »

Linette has finished her “Birds Eye View” of the Munich High End Show and you can now read the final part of her report on Munich High End 2013. Munich_High_end


I’ve written Munich High End Show report Part 3 and Munich High End Show report part 4 but there is still much more to add including an interview with Norbert Lehmann of Lehmann Audio and an “in Show” review of some massive Gryphon Audio Loudspeakers that made their debut at the Munich High End Show.

We’re slowly working through all the photographs and notes we’ve made and we hope to have our coverage tied up by the end of this weekend…hopefully.


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We’ll come back to the main listening rooms in the next installment of the show report from Munich High End but in this part we’ll look at some of the exhibitors who had taken static stands and were not actually playing any music or we were unable to get a listen.

There is some stunning looking hifi equipment out there and for anyone interested the Munich show really is an Aladdin’s cave, although it has to be said an absolutely huge cave!  More »

We received a press release from Sonance about an interesting looking hifi set up for use in the garden. The SonArray Untitled-1garden sound system by Sonance comes packaged in a single box with eight horn-shaped SR1 satellites and an underground subwoofer (should keep the moles at bay too).The simple daisy-chained loudspeakers attach to any standard two channel amplifier and the system will cover an area of 185sqm.

The company say that it produces sound quality and coverage “far beyond the reach of conventional garden rock speakers”. The Sonarray SR1 speakers, just 4 inches in diameter, are discreet enough to be located under plants or foliage, so the system won’t compromise your garden design or hard work.

Facing inwards from the perimeter and directed by the satellites’ horn-shaped enclosures, the SR1 is less likely to spill into adjacent gardens which should keep your neighbours on-side too.

Price is £2500.


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Bird: UK slang meaning a woman/wife/girlfriend, synonyms: broad, chick, dame, girl, lass.

 ‘Turn it up, bring the noise’ 

It’s Saturday already so time to pack our bags, eat another huge breakfast and set off for our last day at the show.  The fantastic staff at the NH München Deutscher Kaiser are looking after our bags until we come back for the train tonight, we don’t leave until very late so we can actually have another full day here. 

The plan was to have a day seeing a bit more of the city but so many people have wanted to meet up with us that we still haven’t got round all of the show, so off we trot like good little piggies.

The weather is a bit wet again but not too bad and the underground is packed with people in ‘drinking trousers’ as we have come to call Lederhosen, and Bayern Munich football shirts, it’s a great atmosphere but more on that later. More »

In part 3 of my coverage of the Munich High End there were a few surprises in store for me and not least in the guise of the Living Voice room which completely turned around my opinions on the company’s loudspeakers, so perhaps this is where I should start. More »

Welcome to the second instalment of Hifi Pig’s show report from the Munich High End show 2013 where we’ll focus on another handful of the rooms we were able to visit and listen to. More »

You can read the second installment of Linette’s views on the Munich High End show, “A Bird’s Eye View”,  where she’ll be talking about what stood out at the show for her.

Brands she discusses include Thoress who make some interesting looking valve amplifiers, German Physiks and their omnidirectional loudspeakers, Vexo amplifiers, Lehmann Audio and Estalon.

High End Munich 2013 – A Bird’s Eye View Part 2 – hope you enjoy it.

High End Munich 2013 – A Bird’s Eye View Part 1


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Bird: UK slang meaning a woman/wife/girlfriend, synonyms: broad, chick, dame, girl, lass.

‘Oh no, it’s raining again’

Friday dawns and I’m feeling totally refreshed after a great night’s sleep at the München Deutscher Kaiser. NH hotels have their beds specially made and they are very, very comfortable. More »

Legacy Audio, based in Springfield USA, premiered their Aeris Legacy_aeris loudspeaker to the European market at the Munich High End show 2013.

It’s a bold yet elegant looking loudspeaker and is packed with tech’. While touting 24-bit DSP and 1kwatts of internal bass power, the upper portion of Aeris is open-air dipole which the company says offers “fast decay of midbass frequencies and airy spacious highs”.

The 6 driver, 4.5 way system is the first to use the Legacy Dual Air Motion neodymium tweeter and a dipolar titanium encrusted 8” midrange with an enormous motor structure imported from Italy. The midbass is delivered by an open air 10” driver, while dual 12” subwoofers provide a linear volume displacement of nearly 200 cubic inches. The bass section is internally powered by dual 500Watt ICEpower® modules.

Chief Designer, Bill Dudleston, describes the development of the new Aeris loudspeaker: “ My initiative of providing a 4” AMT that could transition to the smoothest and most dynamic 8” midrange driver available was met with the challenge of accordion-folding 16 square inches of Kapton into the 4” long, 1” wide chamber. Neodymium was employed to provide the flux density required. The results were more uniform dispersion and tremendous attack. Treble now had natural weight and shimmer without tizz. The 10” dipolar driver completes the transition to the foundation provided by the dual 12” subs.”

Hifi Pig had a good listen to the Aeris at the Munich Highend show and you’ll be able to read what we thought very soon.


Frequency Range:  16-30 kHz, Sensitivity: 95 dB (@2.83 volts/1m) Upper cabinet dimensions (HxWxD): 147 cm x 37 cm x 41 cm

Base dimensions (HxWxD): 8 cm x 48 cm x 46 cm

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Bird: UK slang meaning a woman/wife/girlfriend, synonyms: broad, chick, dame, girl, lass.

Linette (Mrs Hifi Pig) gives her opinions and perspectives of the Munich High End show in a series of articles written from a woman’s perspective.

Find out what she enjoyed on the first day of the Munich High End show in part one of “Munich High End – A Birds Eye View Part 1

In the future Linette will be taking a much more active role in the running of Hifi Pig and will write reviews as well as being a contact for manufacturers, dealers and distributors.


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Bird: UK slang meaning a woman/wife/girlfriend, synonyms: broad, chick, dame, girl, lass.

At Hifipig.com we have a lot to say about the Munich 2013 show, but I wanted to give you my views, as a first timer who isn’t a techy, doesn’t necessarily know all the science bit but knows a good sound when she hears it.  I also like my hifi to look great too.

Being the photo monkey of the outfit, I didn’t take notes like Mr Hifi Pig who will be giving you a more in depth report of the rooms and exhibits, so my thoughts are very much based on what stood out for me.

Obviously there was a hell of a lot of kit at the show so it did take a lot for things to stand out, some really great hifi that you would be amazed by in someone’s home set up, won’t even get a mention but please don’t take it the wrong way….I just got a bit of hifi fatigued at some points and my brain got a bit overloaded.

Right then, let’s buckle up, climb through the wardrobe and down the rabbit hole into the crazy, wonderful world that is the High End show, Munich 2013. More »

Part one of Hifi Pig’s report of the Munich High End 2013 show is now up and Munich_High_endlive. We will be publishing lots more around the show with dozens of reports of what we saw and what we heard so keep popping back to the site.

We think that giving the reports out in bite size chunks is preferable to one long piece and we hope you enjoy.

Once we finished all the write ups we will publish a slideshow of all the photographs (over 500) that we took at the show itself.

Munich High End 2013 Show report part 1


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For those of you that don’t know Munich High End is the hifi show to attend if you are a manufacturer wanting to get your products noticed in Europe. It’s very well attended and takes place at Munich’s MOC over 4 days every year. Hifi Pig were there and we have lots of photographs, comments, interviews and much more that we’re sure you’ll enjoy.  The show is so big that it would be impossible to see every room and every exhibitor but we really did try – if we missed you out then we are sorry and we’ll make sure we come along next year and see you. This is part one but we have many many more parts to add and will drip feed them over the coming week so keep checking back for all the latest from the Munich High end 2013! More »

 Arcam make some bold claims for their latest AV receiver, the AVR750 7.1 and the specs certainly look impressive.arcam-avr750-advance They launched the new receiver at the Munich High End show and we went along to have a bit of a listen in what was definitely one of the most lively rooms there.

• 4K (UHD) video compatible including upscaling

• 7 HDMI inputs,  2 HDMI outputs, ARC compatible

• Auto setup with room  correction

• Class G power  amplification

• On board PSU for rSeries accessories

• Ethernet, RS232  and  IR control

• Free  iOS control app

Charlie Brennan the MD of Arcam says the followint about it.

“The AVR750 is, quite simply,  the  highest performing AV receiver Arcam has  ever made. The  AVR750 is an audiophile product by any measure. Equally at home with high resolution surround sound or two-channel music, the  AVR750 delivers stunning realism with everything from heavy-weight blockbusters to your favourite concert video.

The power amplifiers within the  AVR750 are perhaps the  finest ever seen within any AV receiver. Power delivery is both clean and  tight  against a background noise level that is astoundingly low. Listeners can  expect to be enthralled from the  opening sequence to the  final encore!”

We had a listen to the new receiver at Munich High End show on Saturday and, whilst we’re not usually great fans of A|V set ups, were very impressed with its performance through some KEF E series loudspeakers. You can read more in due course when we publish the Munich High End show reports in full.

Price £4000.

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12. May 2013 · 1 comment · Categories: Hifi News

At the request of a good few people who we met at the Munich High End show Mrs Hifi Pig, otherwise known as Linette, Munich_High_endwill be taking a greater role in writing for Hifi Pig.

Here she tells her story of her first experience of the Avantgarde Trios and six basshorns. She reckons it was a bit of a religious experience.

Read the full report about what she has to say about the Avantgarde Trios and the six bass horns


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I have spent the last 3 months working myself into such a state of excitement about getting to grips with some Trios at the show that by the time we got there I was as uncontrollable as a fractious toddler who doesn’t know whether to wee themselves or throw their haribo on the floor in a tantrum!

I have lusted after these speakers for some time, I’ve seen/heard their smaller siblings but I want to get up close and personal with the big, bad trios and their full set of six bass horns; More »

Hifi Pig have just spent the last few days at the Munich High End show which if you didn’t know is a huge show showcasing the whole gamut of Hifi available in the world today. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our first of many show reports looks at the eight companies chosen by the High End society to represent the newcomers – or new kids on the block of the hifi world

Hifi Pig knows what it’s like to be a new company in the hifi world and so when we heard that the organisers of this years Munich High End show would be offering a handful of new hifi manufacturing companies the opportunity to display their wares we thought we would also lend our support by giving them a little more of the limelight in the pages of Hifi Pig.

The companies chosen were: Pure Audio Project, Manufacture le Son, Rike Audio, Lab 12, Black Pearls Audio, Schuch Tronic, BeatOn and Erzetich Audio. Read more about the Newcomers to Munich High End 2013


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Munich High End 2013 – Newcomers

Hifi Pig knows what it’s like to be a new company in the hifi world and so when we heard that the organisers of this years Munich High End show would be offering a handful of new hifi manufacturing companies the opportunity to display their wares we thought we would also lend our support by giving them a little more of the limelight in the pages of Hifi Pig.

The companies chosen were: Pure Audio Project, Manufacture le Son, Rike Audio, Lab 12, Black Pearls Audio, Schuch Tronic, BeatOn and Erzetich Audio. More »

No names, no faces, no identities, a ghoulishly papal stage presence & 2 albums….and we have Sweden’s Ghost.  There’s been much hype surrounding their sophomore effort Infestissumam (Latin for hostile), and none of it appears to be self-propagated.  The metal community seems to have gone bananas over it for whatever reason and praise for them/it has spread like wildfire on the back of their unique live shows.

So what’s a reviewer to do when presented with “the next big thing”?  Why, pick it up and put it to the critical sword of course!

First of all…this album is barely what I’d call metal.   There are elements of it; a couple of chugging Metallica-esque riffs here and there and occultist lyrical themes, but for a band which has been erroneously (and presumably unwillingly) branded as “Doom Metal”  this album has some real surprises in store.

The record opens with the short title track….beginning with some A capella vocal harmonies which border on Gregorian chants….(a theme that is repeated throughout the album at various stages), but it quickly morphs into the pulsating atmospheric hard rock of  “Per Aspera ad Inferi”.  More »

Any new release from The Flaming Lips is sure to be met with a degree of anticipation from critics and fans;  they’ve recently put on some spectacular live shows and their catalogue of work contains some absolute classics.   So when a band with their kind of reputation releases an album called “The Terror” you can’t help but be intrigued about what sonic madness it might contain.

The Terror is a concept album and getting your head around the lyrical theme is fairly important.  Basically, the terror which Wayne Coyne sings about is the fear of life without love.  That no matter the terrible circumstances you may be in, life goes on….and that is the terror:  continued existence.  This is very personal to Coyne as he recently split with his partner of 25 years, so you’d expect this record to be harrowing and representative of its title wouldn’t you? More »


Burson have announced a June launch for their Timekeeper amplifier. It is an 80W per channel Class-AB stereo Timekeepers_x2_45d_front(W)power amp which can be bridged into a 240W mono block and is the same size as the company’s Conductor preamplifier.

There is a growing community of desktop audiophiles and the Timekeeper is very much aimed at this group of users. Burson say that these audiophiles want “high-end equipment that are desktop friendly and given the compact size of the Timekeeper amplifier they will not be disappointed”.


The Timekeeper looks to be a versatile bit of kit and you can have it running in stereo, then upgrade to 2 Timekeepers as you move from a desktop system to large room listening and from RCA systems to XLR systems.


Every bit of the Timekeeper is custom designed and built to achieve Burson’s “definition of perfection”.

Price $2600

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Designed and made in the UK, by True Colours Industries, the new TCI Mamba Stereo Hi-Fi Interconnect, is said totci-mamba-stereo-1 be a serious performance cable at a relatively affordable price.

The Mamba features a bi-axial shielded construction and is terminated with TCI True-Plug™ gold-plated RCA phono plugs in a pseudo-balanced configuration.

It is also available in a fully balanced configuration, terminated with high-quality XLR connectors featuring gold-plated contacts.


– 2-Core Silver-plated OFC cores with Teflon insulation

– Bi-axial shielded construction

– 100% Foil with 16 way braid screen

– Fully wrapped in Red PVC insulation 

– Lead free Silver soldered contacts

– TCI True-Plug™ RCA phono plug

– High quality XLR plugs


RCA terminated: 0.6m £175, 1.0m £200, extra 0.5m £30

XLR terminated: 0.6m £225, 1.0m £250, extra 0.5m £30

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