Continuing Dan’s foray into the world of headfi he’s been taking a look at the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Headphonesdt770pro_250 which fall at the more budget end of the company’s portfolio.

“They are a closed back and are an all plastic cased headphone, nicely sculpted and attractive none the less. They are tough and extremely durable for DJ-ing, have a tight-ish fit and  the headband extension stays firmly on the selected notch.”

You can read the full review of the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Headphones or why not take a look at all the reviews we’ve published so far on Hifi Pig in our new look and streamlined review section.

 

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

Mark at Origin Live has been in touch to tell us all about the company’s new website. Hifi Pig has had a good look OL_Pageshotthrough it and it’s very comprehensive indeed as well as feeling fresh, clean and easy to navigate.

Not only do they include information regarding their own products but they’ve also added useful information about choosing the right equipment for you, matching system components, room acoustics and much more.

Origin Live advertise on Hifi Pig so click through on one of their ads and take a look at their new look site.

 

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Photographs from T.H.E Show in Newport Beach 2013. Thanks to Lucette at Nicoll PR for helping source the pictures of the show for Hifi Pig. More »

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

British manufacturer Ruark got in touch to give us a heads up about their new R7 which is set to become the ruark_r7company’s flagship product.

It’s a bit of a departure from the usual hifi in that Ruark are branding the R7 as “The Radiogram Redefined”. Now those of you not young enough to remember the radiogram may be scratching your head, so how about music-centre?  Ok, it’s a CD player that plays conventional red book CD as well as MP3 discs but it’s more than that. Bluetooth with lossless aptX replay is built in so you can stream from your phone, as is DLNA Wi-Fi to allow streaming from external computers or server.

But there’s more, including a DAB+/FM/Internet radio and you can also plug in your TV, DVD or even a turntable.

The R7 can be controlled from the front panel or the nifty looking RotoDial remote which used RF so you don’t even have to point the controller at the “radiogram” to control it.

The unit has dual concentric 5.5” drivers and long throw 8” subwoofer built in as well as amplifiers delivering 160 watts, so it really is an all in one box of tricks.

The Ruark R7 can be placed on the supplied spindle legs for a great retro look or can sit on an existing sideboard on its puck feet.

It will be available in a rich walnut finish in Autumn 2013 and will cost £2000.

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27. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Anthony Sallis is the Technical Director at NuNu Distribution, UK Distributors for Audiophile Base support systems, Tony-hifi-pigAstin Trew electronics, Belles audio electronics, Creaktiv system enhancing products, Oracle Audio Technologies turntables and CD replay devices, Renaissance Amplification, SCS audio isolation concepts and TAD Labs.

In Hifi PIg’s ongoing series of Behind the Brands interviews find out what Anthony thinks about the hifi industry, where he started, his influences, his musical taste and much more.

 

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Anthony Sallis is the Technical Director at NuNu Distribution, UK Distributors for Audiophile Base support systems, Astin Trew electronics, Belles audio electronics, Creaktiv system enhancing products, Oracle Audio Technologies turntables and CD replay devices, Renaissance Amplification, SCS audio isolation concepts and TAD Labs. More »

27. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Ok, it’s a headphone amplifier but it’s also a DAC and a SPDIF to USB converter. Dan has been working overtime the last few weeks reviewing hifi kit for our readers and this is his latest. Miniwatt_N4_1

“Miniwatt is based in HongKong and for the past 5 years have been creating miniature high quality products such as the S1 tube amplifier and n3 headphone amp. Most recently they have created the n4, a high current headphone amplifier, which can also be used as a USB to SPDIF converter and USB Dac featuring an Asynchronous USB input in order to control jitter and error correction. The inbuilt Dac reaches resolution levels of 32bit 192khz.”

Check out in full what Dan makes of the Miniwatt n4 by reading the full review.

 

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27. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Following feedback from a good number of our readers, Hifi Pig has revamped its review section of the site. We’ve done Page_shot_hifipigaway with the cluncky click through images we previously had and moved towards a simple directory with the title of the item under review and a small photograph. You can now scan for the review that interests you and simply click through to read it in full.
On the main reviews page you’ll see all the reviews chronologically listed over several pages but if you’re looking specifically for DAC, Turntable, headphone reviews etc then you can do so using the drop down from the main menu and they’ll then all be listed for you…again in chronological order.
Other changes and additions to the site are under way including something that we think will be of great interest to everyone out there in hifi land.
Check out the new pages and let us know what you think by posting a comment or dropping us a line.

 

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From the historic town of Vicenza, Italy, a new top-of-the-range floorstanding speaker joins the Sonus faber Venere line 2975_Sonus_faber_Venere_3–Sonus faber’s at more affordable price point.

The new Venere 3.0 floorstander tops the Venere range and is a 2.5 way front-vented design with all drive units being Sonus faber designs.

Driver compliment is a 29mm pre-coated silk tweeter, a 150mm mid driver and two 180mm bass drivers. The bass and midrange cones are made from a material called Curv  and sport a ‘free compression’ basket design. The midrange driver uses coaxial anti-compressor which has been designed to remove resonances and distortions.

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The latest integrated amplifier from the American self proclaimed “kings of valve-based audio” sports a smart new 2979_Audio_Research_VSi75design and technology trickled down from the company’s Reference 75 power amp.

It’s an integrated amplifier with an open chassis design and is intended to be a step up to the existing VSi60 integrated amplifier which will continue to be manufactured and sold.

The new amplifier has new look case-work, a natural anodised top plate and an LCD display showing input selection, volume, individual valve bias etc.

The VSi75 delivers 75W per channel using four KT120 output valves and two 6H30 driver valves. Wide bandwidth output transformers are used along with proprietary coupling caps matching those used in the Reference 75 amplifier.

The unit comes with a metal cased remote handset

Audio Research said “The resulting sound from these cumulative improvements is striking, with tremendous resolution of detail, silky and extended highs, surprising weight and authority, and the ability to develop an immense sound stage. The VSi75 sounds very much like the amp from which it borrows, the REF75, with an immediacy, delicacy and focus that are captivating.”

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Oriton is a UK company specialising in making products that minimise vibrations within hifi equipment. Here Hifi Pig symp_orange-1checks out the company’s latest interconnects, the Diamond Red (£499) and the Symphony Orange (£799)

“…I made contact with Mike Stone, a former MOD (Ministry of Defence) engineer who told me all about his love of music and especially the female vocal, along with his previous days when he played bass guitar in a band.

During his time with the Military as an engineer discovered ways of controlling vibration and micro-vibrations within electronics on lots of different military vehicles. These techniques have since been adopted in the design of his products to aid the reproduction of music.

The technology and manufacturing techniques Mike uses in his cables is unique to Oriton and not made available to any other manufacturer.”

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Dan gets a pair of Beyerdynamic DT990 Premium Headphones to put through their paces and finds them to be well worth their £250 asking price.

dt990_3c_2These cans look beautiful and stylish to my eyes. They have an open-back, aluminium outer case to the ears and an aluminium hinge bracket which leads into the extension from the headband with clear raised sections for simple size adjustment.”

Read the rest of the Beyerdynamic DT990 Premium Headphones review.

 

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Our roving reporter Simon was at the 40th  Celebrations of Naim Audio where they launched three new NAIT amplifiers: NAIT 5si, NAIT XS 2 and SUPERNAIT 2. They will be available from mid-July

The NAIT amplifier, first launched in 1983, is one of hifi’s most instantly recognisable products and has achieved something of an iconic status.

In true Naim tradition all three amplifiers feature larger mains transformers and improved power supplies.

The new NAIT 5si

The power output has increased from 50W to 60W due to a larger transformer and improved power supply. NAIT_5siComponents have been upgraded in critical areas such as the power amp stage where small signal capacitors have been changed to film types. The PCB layout and wiring loom have been improved following experience on other new products such as the DAC-V1. 

NAIT 5si Features 

  • 60W (into 8ohms) 90W (into 4 ohms)
  • 4 analogue inputs: 2 x DIN, 2 x RCA
  • ¼” (6.35mm) front panel headphone output
  • Custom-designed toroidal transformer with two separate windings
  • Aluminium chassis and sleeve with zinc die-cast fascia
  • Passive preamplifier with high gain power amp

The new NAIT XS 2

The power output has increased from 60W to 70W due to a larger transformer and improved power supply. The Nait_2headphone output on the front panel is now on a ¼ inch (6.35mm) socket and is driven from a new Class-A headphone amplifier.

Components have been upgraded in critical areas such as the power amp stage where small signal capacitors have been changed to film types. As with the NAIT 5si, the PCB layout and wire looming have also been improved.

NAIT XS 2 Features  

·         70W (into 8ohms) 100W (into 4 ohms)

·         6 analogue inputs: 4 x RCA/DIN, 1 x RCA/3.5mm jack, and 1 x powered input for phono

·         ¼ inch front panel headphone output

·         Class-A Headphone amplifier

·         Custom-designed toroidal transformer with seven separate secondary windings

·         Powered input for use with StageLine or SuperLine phono stages

·         USB-mini B socket for updates

·         Aluminium chassis and sleeve with brushed, black anodised fascia

        ·         Performance upgradable with FlatCap, HiCap or SuperCap power supplies.

The new SUPERNAIT 2

The most significant change from SUPERNAIT to SUPERNAIT 2 is the removal of the digital inputs. As the SuperUnitiNait_3 already fulfills the role of integrated amplifier with digital inputs, it was felt that it would be more beneficial to performance to concentrate on an analogue only integrated amplifier.

Power output remains at 80W but with “significantly greater dynamic capability due to a larger transformer”. The power supply for the preamplifier stage uses Naim DR (Discrete Regulator) technology. All inputs are now hand wired so they are individually decoupled for improved microphonic isolation. Components have been upgraded in critical areas such as the power amp stage where small signal capacitors have been changed to film types.

The PCB layout and wiring loom have been improved following experience on other new products recently like the DAC-V1.

The headphone output on the front panel is now on a ¼” (6.35mm) socket and is driven from a new Class-A headphone amplifier.

Full Feature List

  • 80W per channel (into 8 ohms) 135W per channel (into 4ohms)
  • 6 analogue inputs: 4 x RCA/DIN, 1 x RCA/3.5mm jack, and 1 x powered input for phono
  • ¼” (6.35mm) front panel headphone output
  • Class A Headphone amplifier
  • Custom-designed toroidal transformer with seven separate windings
  • Powered input for use with StageLine or SuperLine phono stages
  • Subwoofer output
  • Record output via HDD output
  • USB-mini B socket for updates
  • External remote in
  • Upgradable with FlatCap, HiCap or SuperCap power supplies
  • Aluminium chassis and sleeve with brushed, black anodised fascia 

 

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25. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Krell has announced the UK release of Foundation, the latest in a long line of A/V processors from the company.  Krell_Foundation

As well as all the AV functions you’d expect the 7.1-channel processor also features balanced audio outputs, automatic setup and room EQ. A slim new form factor allows placement in smaller equipment racks.

In addition to 10 HDMI 1.4a inputs, the Foundation has 2 HDMI outputs, both of which feature Audio Return Channel. With ARC, a display device is able to send audio back down the HDMI cable to the processor. This is beneficial for those with televisions with built-in web streaming capability like Netflix or Pandora, so the streaming audio can use the full home theater system instead of just the TV’s speakers.

The Foundation includes a new Krell development – Intelligent HDMI switching. Intelligent HDMI switching is a combination of circuitry and software that optimizes HDMI operation. Various parameters including the monitor’s electronic ID and source video resolution are stored in non-volatile memory. All 10 source inputs are always active so source, channel, video resolution, and audio format changes are instantaneous.

The Foundation will allow owners to take full advantage of the best audio soundtracks available, with decoding of Dolby Digital, Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-ES Discrete, Matrix, and DTS-HD Master Audio. In addition, a full suite of post-processing modes are included, including Dolby Pro Logic IIx and DTS Neo 6. Krell’s proprietary surround modes, Party, General Admission, Front Row, and On Stage, offering a different way to listen to favorite tracks.

The Foundation also features Krell’s Automatic Room Equalization System (ARES), to ensure the best possible performance from every theatre. ARES analyzes all the speakers in the system, their location, phase, and distance from each other, to determine the best crossover frequency, delay, and more. In addition, ARES incorporates the acoustics of the room to determine unique EQ curves for each of the 7.1 output channels.

Features/specs

·         5 Analog inputs (4 unbalanced, 1 balanced)

·         6 Digital audio inputs (3 Toslink, 3 Coax)

·         10 HDMI 1.4a inputs

·         2 HDMI outputs (both with ARC)

·         Intelligent HDMI switching

·         6 Analog video inputs (3 component, 3 composite, transcoded to HDMI)

·         RS-232, Ethernet, RC-5, 12v Triggers (4)

·         Balanced and Unbalanced outputs

·         Analog Zone 2 output

·         Dual Subwoofer outputs

·         ARES (Automatic Room Equalization System)

Available in the UK from July the Foundation is priced at £6500

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High-end cable manufacturer Cardas Audio has introduced an In-Ear Monitor (IEM) – the EM5813 Ear Speakers. CARDAS_IEM_1

Cardas say that the new IEMs mirror the human cochlea, and tympanic membrane, and the shape of the copper plated brass body has been designed to “work in symphony with the human hearing system”.  All the parts that make up the custom designed drivers are machined from solid bar stock metals in California.  And all drivers are hand matched on each pair of Ear Speakers. 

The Ear Speaker cable is made from Clear Light Headphone Cable, which is a miniature version of the Cardas Audio Clear cable, also made in California, using proprietary Cardas copper.  A custom designed ultra-thin ear tip that ensures a precise and comfortable fit has been created by company founder George Cardas.

Price is USD $425.00

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25. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Cyrus Audio, has launched the new Stream Xa, a standalone uPnP network music player with internet radio. StreamX_Quartz (high res)

The new Stream Xa is a wired/wireless source component offering reproduction of digitally stored music files, a world of internet radio and audiophile-grade sound quality for digitally connected devices. Based upon Cyrus’s established StreamX2 platform, the new Stream Xa adds a DAC module with streaming music capability up to 24-bit/192kHz-quality. The Stream Xa’s  has six digital inputs (3x S/PDIF; 2x optical; 1x USB and its rear-mounted USB-A input also offers direct connection to digital-output-compatible Apple devices.

Cyrus’s UPnP network engine is compatible with a wide range of Network Attached Storage (NAS) drives, computers and many other UPnP-compatible media servers and its TuneIn internet radio functionality offers in excess of 80,000 global radio stations.

The streamer’s functions can be accessed using two Cyrus control systems: the free Cadence iOS* app and the supplied n-remote controller, a two-way control unit that makes browsing a networked music library simple, while also giving full control of the Stream Xa at the touch of a button. The n-remote also has an infra-red learning capability so that it can learn to control other products in the home. The direct RF (radio frequency) link from the n-remote provides a robust connection to the streamer, allowing fast and reliable control. The n-remote makes it possible to browse a music library by artist, album, genre or access internet radio stations.

The Cyrus Cadence app is completely bespoke and gives users visibility over networked music, extensive streamer feature control. Designed to complement (rather than replace) the n-remote, the app will ‘drive’ many features, such Stream_Xa_as changing inputs, browsing connected devices etc. as well as

The Stream Xa in detail

Enclosure: Cyrus pressure die-cast chassis

Material: Lightweight Aluminium non-magnetic alloy

Power Supply: Low noise SMPSU plus torodial transformer

Outputs: SPDIF (RCA) digital x1

Communications: MC-BusTM System Bus

Aux digital inputs: 3 x S/PDIF, 2 x Optical, 1 x USB A

USB A input: Rear, iPod digital compatible. Made for iPod certified.

Format Compatibility: Internet radio (Windows Media-formatted content, MP3 streams, MMS Playlists (M3U, PLS), MP3, AAC (up to 320kbit/s, CBR/VBR) Apple Lossless (digital from iPod) Windows Media-formatted content-9 (up to 320kbit/s) WAV and FLAC (up to 24-bit/192kHz via UPnP or USB)

Digital output: Optical 500mVp-p SPDIF

UPNP   Hi-Res up to 24 bit/192kHz (WAV and FLAC)

Sample rate supported: Up to 192 kHz

Dimensions (HxWxD): 73x215x360mm, 2.8×8.4×14.1 (inches)

Finish: Quartz or Brushed Black 

The Stream Xa is available now priced at £1,250 (includes n-remote)

 

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25. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Electrocompaniet have announced the launch of their new media streaming device, the ECM-2. ECM_2

The ECM-2 has a straightforward and intuitive interface, can be controlled by a tablet, a smartphone or the attached display and will play music, movies, pictures and television programs from its built in 1Tb hard drive, USB disks… or it can of course stream from a network attached storage device.

It will play all the popular formats including Vorbis, WAV, MP3, AAC+, AC3, DTS, ALAC, FLAC etc at 192kHz/24bit

The new device combines the streamer with the Electrocompaniet’s ECD 2 DAC and will be available from the end of August at a retail price of €4900.

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The original Duette was Wilson Audio’s first Special Applications Engineering™ product. It was designed to offer the Wilson_duette_1timbrel neutrality, dynamic contrast, soundstage depth and transparency of Wilson floorstanding loudspeakers—but do so in environments that are hostile to all of those qualities, such as against walls or in bookshelves. It was given a dual personality so that it could succeed in a conventional audiophile application (placed out into the room away from walls) too.

Unlike its predecessor, the Duette Series-2 is designed exclusively for near-boundary installations with the design remit to simply make the best compact loudspeaker possible.

New for the Duette Series-2 is a dedicated stand with an integrated crossover a system approach which Wilson claim many advantages including mechanical isolation of the crossover, wire management and a more robust and stable platform.

New Tweeter Design

The Duette Series-2’s tweeter has a rear wave chamber, which is sourced from their Alexia Convergent Synergy Tweeter. “The CST chamber effectively attenuates the spurious energy generated at the rear of the driver that would otherwise leak out of the acoustically translucent dome”.

New Enclosure 

The Duette Series-2’s enclosure is the company’s latest product of “extensive laser vibrometer testing”. . Enclosure-wall thickness has been increased in strategic locations, internal bracing is more robust. The entire enclosure, including the internal braces, is constructed from Wilson’s proprietary composite ‘X-material’.
The front baffle, now built from S-material, is raked back 10 degrees to time align the tweeter and the woofer.

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

Kent (UK) based Crystal Acoustics is launching the Blu-DAC, a Bluetooth receiver/DAC combination that offers a system 6D353D81-FEE2-4C56-8670-CA091FFA9FE3solution allowing you to wirelessly stream music from your tablet or smartphone to any existing music system.

BluDAC is a plug and play solution that lets you connect it into your amplifier or receiver via either analogue stereo or optical digital connections, and it will wirelessly stream music from your mobile device using the AptX Bluetooth codec.

Within its bijou dimensions, BlueDAC contains a Wolfson DAC which given its popularity and reputation can only be a good thing!

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

Tony at NuNu Distribution contacted us with news of a new product from the Belles brand. The Belles Power Modules A10b1A10 pre amplifier is an all new solid state design concept for the company and has taken over 12 months to come to fruition.

The A10 is a two box unit comprising a dedicated off board power supply plus the pre amplifier itself. Interestingly as well as line level inputs the A10 also features a phono stage for both MM and MC cartridges plus an onboard DAC using Wolfson Microelectronics WM8740 chipset with USB and SPDIF inputs.

The A10 has five analogue inputs (One pair of fully balanced), two digital inputs (USB and SPDIF both 24/192 Khz), one pair of single ended (RCA) and one pair of fully balanced (XLR) outputs plus both monitor input and RCA outputs.

Tony commented “The Belles A10 does not sound solid state in any way and has a natural musical flow that is grain A10b2free and totally un American sounding. The off board power supply is fully isolated and has ultra linear regulation on all of the rails, giving superb staging and separation characteristics. The included phonostage is seriously good, suitable for both MM & MC and can cater for all but the ultra low output cartridges.”

Price is around £3700

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20. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Our very own Paul from Reference Fidelity Components has announced that in addition to his own products, he is Jolidanow a dealer for Jolida valve amplifiers and other valve based products such as the company’s new FX series tube DAC.

Paul said “Jolida are designers and manufacturers of high quality audio products and are based in Maryland, USA where they assemble their products.  Jolida choose not to have their amplifiers and other products assembled in the Far East, although some components such as PCBs are manufactured in their own factory in China. However, the critical power and output transformers are manufactured in Germany”.

Jolida employ some nifty protection circuitry in their designs to protect loudspeakers, internal circuitry and valves – if a short or overload is detected the amps automatically go into “safe mode”… which is reassuring! 

An integrated 50wpc valve amplifier with remote control, multiple inputs and a bypass to enable use as an integrated or power amp comes in at less than £1500.

Given Paul’s new found status as a fully fledged dealer he has informed the Hifi Pig team that he will no longer be available to review items for us. We thanks Paul for his support and efforts with Hifi Pig and wish him every success with his new venture.

 

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 Hifi Pig met up with the highly entertaining Pim Van de Leur at the Munich High-End show and we’ll hopefully be frontsghosttownreviewing his company’s new preamplifier and amplifier combo in the coming months.

At a recent Dutch high-end audio shows, Café Engels 2013, Van de Leur Audio held a unique demonstration of live music. A band played their music, first fully acoustic, then supported by the Van de Leur Audio set up. After the performance, they played back the recordings made by STS-Digital of the very show. So successful “experiment” that there were requests to release the recordings on a STS-Digital demonstration CD. They decided to go another way and are giving away three of the best recordings via Facebook. Recordings include a John Mayer and Sam Cooke cover.

The high-res recordings have been put online in lossless FLAC quality. Go to the Hifi Pig Facebook page and you’ll find a link to Van de Leur’s Facebook pages with instructions.

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Atlas Cables, the engineering-led British audio and video cable manufacturer, has announced the launch of its new Atlas_Ascent_3.5_mkIIAscent 3.5 MKII speaker cable. As the entry point to Atlas’ Reference range of audiophile cables, the Ascent 3.5 MKII employs similar design characteristics to Atlas’s Mavros and Asimi cable ranges.

Available from June 2013, Atlas Ascent 3.5 MKII has a UK SRP of £200.00 per stereo meter and can be purchased in ready-terminated sets using Atlas’ cold-weld connectors and a choice of Expanding Rhodium plugs or teflon dielectric OCC Spades..

Commenting on the new Ascent 3.5 MKII, Kevin Kelly, Managing Director of Atlas Cables, said, “We are constantly looking at ways that we can improve our products to give our customers the most faithful reproduction possible. The upgrade to the Ascent 3.5 to MKII status has been brought about thanks to our continued research into the effects different materials make to the performance and we are delighted with the results.”

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19. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

July 12th and 13th sees the launch of the new Sonus Faber Olympica loudspeaker at O’Brien Hifi in London (UK).Olympica

As well as being able to hear the new loudspeakers there will also be the opportunity to experience the latest Ducati motorcycles, classic Alfa Romeo cars and to sample some traditionally baked Italian pizza.

The event runs from 4pm – 9pm on the 12th and noon ’til 6pm on the 13th.

Hifi Pig had a brief look at the new Olympica range (two floorstanders and a standmount) at the Munich High-End 2013 and the finish looked absolutely superb.

 

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18. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Oswalds Mill Audio (OMA) have launched a graphite headshell which the company believes may be the first of its kindgraphite_headshell-1465 in the world. Other companies have made headshells out of exotic carbon fibre and graphite compounds – these are composed of graphite particles or carbon fibres, in a matrix of resins.

OMA has carved a headshell out of true crystalline graphite, the hardest and most durable form of graphite, which is composed of a lattice of graphite crystals.

OMA developed the graphite headshell using the same type of graphite from which their turntable mat is made, but a harder, higher density grade.

The headshell is a single piece of graphite, with no joints. OMA say that graphite is unparalleled at damping resonances and vibrations, allowing the cartridge to track the groove with minimal interference. OFC leads are included, along with a variety of mounting hardware. Azimuth is fully adjustable via a set screw accessed from the top of the headshell.

Weight (with cartridge leads but without screws) 12.65 grams.

Price – $350

 

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18. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Bryston has announced that it has added Gary Dayton as a Product Specialist, working in conjunction with US Sales VP, Dayton1Craig Bell. Dayton was formerly with THIEL Audio and so should bring a wealth of experience, particularly in the performance loudspeaker market, to Bryston. As Product Specialist, Dayton will create and execute training programs for Bryston’s sales channel comprised of independent reps and dealers. 

Bryston is a technology driven company, and having a factory-trained evangelist in the field supporting the sales channel is a critical asset. “I couldn’t be more excited about my role with Bryston, a highly respected brand and a company dedicated to making great sound,” commented Gary Dayton from his office in Lexington, KY. I am looking forward to working with the Bryston team and developing key relationships with the reps and dealers in each region,” he added.

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You’ve all heard the hype.  First album with Ozzy in 35 years, Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine replacing Bill Ward on drums, yet another metal album referencing the number 13, a huge world tour etc etc, blah blah.

Sure it’s big news.  Massive in fact.  The whole rock world has been salivating over the prospect of an Ozzy-fronted Black Sabbath since the news of “the second coming” was leaked a year or so ago.   For my part, I was sceptical to say the least.  Tony Iommi is ill with cancer, Ozzy is…..well, his history of gargantuan amounts of substance abuse is abundantly clear in his persona, and besides the recent addition of Brad Wilk, they’re all REALLY old!  Was my scepticism justified?  Are they still the kings of metal? Well…. More »

18. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Funjoe of Clones Audio, whose 25i gainclone integrated amplifier Hifi Pig reviewed and gave a “Recommended” award to inCLONES_AP1 April, has been in touch to tell us about the launch of the company’s first standalone preamplifier the AP1.

The AP1 has the same chassis as the 25i integrated, has 3 line-level inputs, 1 line level output (with the option of adding another) and comes with a 5 year warranty.

Price is $549 for the 230v version and $569 for the 115v version.

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18. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Louis Motek of LessLoss contacted us to tell us about an interesting opportunity for audiophiles in New York to hear the Kaiser-Kawero_FRONT-SIDE-BACK-1000pxKawero! Classic loudspeaker system.

The Kawero! Is an interesting loudspeaker as it’s made totally out of dense Panzerholz wood-based laminate which Kawero! claim is a first. The cone drivers on the speakers are a specially treated, custom made paper and carbon sandwich from Audiotechnology in Denmark coupled with a RAAL 70-20XR ribbon tweeter. Mundorf CFC10 copper foil inductors, Mundorf silver-gold-oil capacitors and hand made Dueland VSF copper caps are used in the crossover network.

Until July 4th the speakers will be set up in a brick and timber loft conversion in lower Manhattan where you can schedule a private listening session.

Prices for the loudspeakers range from $56 000 to $68 000.

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14. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Following the successful launch of the Anniversary Series System, British hi-fi manufacturer, Cyrus Audio, has Signature_Grouplaunched the Signature Series, an exclusive range of components that continue Cyrus’s 30th anniversary celebrations well into 2013.

Initially comprising a four-strong range, the components share many of the modifications seen in the limited-edition Anniversary Series System and have been fine-tuned by Technical Director, Peter Bartlett. The Signature Series will represent Cyrus’s flagship product line up and comprises the following: DAC X Signature (DAC); DAC XP Signature (DAC/preamp) and the Mono X 200 and 300 Signature (mono power amps). Further models are expected to join the range later in the year.

DAC X Signature

The DAC X is a multi-input DAC with new twin 32-bit stereo DACs, designed in dual-mono configuration, enabling balanced transfer and the operational elements of the system, such as the digital control signals, to be optically isolated from the twin mono DAC cards. The DAC X Signature also has a carefully specified power supply system based on a custom designed ultra-low-noise torroidal power transformer; the power is cascaded through a number of sophisticated regulation stages and isolation techniques that ensure each section receives an unrestricted, noise-free, power supply.

DAC XP Signature

Its DAC chips have been upgraded to 32-bit resolution running in fully balanced operation and there have been numerous enhancements to the power supply including: upgraded power transformers; extensive new power filtering and improved smoothing on the DAC supply; new ‘short path’ analogue input switching stages plus an updated XLR output design, providing a purer balanced output circuit.

Mono X 200/300

The Mono X amplifiers come in at 200 and 300 watts respectively. The Signature Series updates include a replacement input buffer op-amp with a higher slew rate and higher gain bandwidth plus additional power filtering to reduce electromagnetic interference across all supply voltages.

DAC X Signature (DAC)                                        £1,750

DAC XP Signature (DAC/preamp)                         £2,750

Mono X 200 Signature (mono power amp)            £1,950

Mono X 300 Signature (mono power amp)            £2,750

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Hifi Pig ran a news item back in January about a new technology from Tellurium Q which they were using in their Board HFPWaveform semi-active digital RCAs. You can read the full news item here but in a nutshell the cable contains a “bi-directional, high speed, non-avalanching voltage clamp” housed on a pair of small circuit boards.

Such has been the success of this technology in Tellurium Q’s own cables that they have decided to open it up and make it available for other companies to use under license in their own DACs and amplifiers.

 

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The Meridian team arrived at their Cambridgeshire headquarters to the sight of two shiny tour buses yesterday Neil Young with Bob Stuart of Meridian(Wednesday 12th June). Following Neil Young’s performance at the Birmingham LG Arena, part of his Neil Young and Crazy Horses Alchemy tour, Neil dropped into Meridian for a meeting with our very own Bob Stuart and throughout the day experienced various demonstrations and tours. 

 

The first demonstration took place in the Meridian Digital Theatre. The demo started with BB King live at Montreux , Chain of Love followed by Quincy Jones live at Montreux, Miss Celie’s Blues (Sister) performed by Chaka Khan and Patti Austin. The demonstration then ended with the Red Bull film ‘Art of Flight’. Neil was impressed with both sound and picture quality as Bob discussed the theatre system which includes the DSP8000 Digital Active Loudspeakers, DSW DSP Subwoofer and the recently introduced DSP520 In-wall Loudspeakers. The 810 Reference Video Projector powered the visual experience and Bob explained ‘it’s all in the detail’.

 

Tim Ireland, Meridian CEO, then escorted Neil around the company’s new Experience Centre showcasing the Meridian product range and the timeline of history, including the first system designed by Bob and Allen, the Lecson in 1974. This also included a demo of the M1’s, Meridian’s first Active Loudspeaker for the home, developed in 1977. Neil concluded ‘That’s a beautiful sound’.

 

The tour group then proceeded into the factory where Neil saw for himself how every Meridian piece is engineered and built in the UK, alongside the most sophisticated manufacturing technology available. Neil also experienced the rigorous testing procedures the products go through before they are released to the customer. Bob described the Meridian speakers to Neil ‘like musical instruments’.

 

Towards the end of Neil’s visit he very kindly dedicated some time to signing memorabilia for the Meridian team and signed an 808v5 Signature Reference CD Player which Meridian donated to Neil’s chosen charity, Bridge School Benefit.

 

Before the end of the day, the team headed back out to the car park to experience in-car audio ‘Meridian style’ – Neil rode shotgun in a Range Rover Vogue, complete with a state-of-the-art, 19 loudspeakers, Meridian sound system delivering its 825 watts throughout the cabin. The Range Rover is one of the latest Meridian-equipped models borne from its automotive partnership with Jaguar Land Rover Limited.

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McIntosh Laboratory has launched their new MT5 turntable. Crafted using the knowledge gained from the MT5+Low+Anglecompany’s flagship MT10 turntable, the new MT5 sets out to offer an alternative vinyl playback system at a significantly lower price to the MT10.

The new MT5 is supplied factory-adjusted: tracking force, anti-skate, cartridge overhang and arm height are all preset so set up should be a doddle. The MT5 comes complete with a high-mass platter and motor drive assembly, tonearm, and a high-output Sumiko Blue Point 2 (BP2) moving coil cartridge, which is also compatible with moving magnet inputs.

The MT5 features a magnetically suspended silicone-acrylic platter, supported by a precise belt-drive motor. Gracing the MT5 is a highly rigid, custom-designed Dural-Aluminium tone arm which McIntosh say “tracks vinyl with minimum friction using magnetic anti-skate and horizontal tone arm bearings”. 

The three playback speeds include 33 rpm, 45 rpm and 78 rpm, all with a separate trim adjustment. 

The MT5 sells for £7,495 and is available now.

 

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13. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

International high end audio distributor Absolute Sounds contacted us to tell us about an Devialet 170open day at Oxford Audio on 19th of June between noon and 8pm.

The open day will be showcasing the three new amplifier models from French company Devialet – the Devialet 110, Devialet 170 and the Devialet 240 – which Hifi Pig was lucky enough to catch a brief listen to at Munich High-End earlier this year.

In addition to the amplifiers themselves Mathieu Pernot a research and development engineer from Devialet will also be on hand to answer some of your question.

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13. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

New from Krell is the Connect wireless streamer. It plays pretty much all of the formats available at the moment connect3_fs(excluding DSD) and plays up to 192kHz/24-bit audio and Internet radio. Gapless playback is possible.

The Connect is of course, WI-FI equipped and comes in two versions – digital only or with an onboard DAC. The DAC used is the 32-bit ESS Sabre chipset with discrete, direct-coupled analogue circuit which outputs to RCA or balanced outputs. The digital version comes with coax and Toslink optical outputs.

You can control the Krell Connect via iOS and Android apps or via the onboars 3.5 inch QVGA LCD screen.

  • Up to 192kHz/24-bit playback
  • 3.5-inch QVGA (320×240) LCD Display
  • Internet Radio UPnP/DLNA-compliant connect6_fs
  • iOS and Android apps for control. IR Remote optional.
  • V-Tuner equipped
  • Wi-Fi and USB, plus Toslink optical and coax digital inputs (DAC model only)
  • Rack Mountable
  • Optional 32-bit ESS Sabre DAC features 192k/24-bit playback, with Krell fully discrete, balanced, Current mode analog circuitry
  • DAC model features RCA and Balanced outputs.
  • Supported Formats: FLAC, Ogg, WAV, WMA, Apple Lossless, MP-4a, MP3

Price in the UK will be £2500 for the digital only version or £3500 for the version with the onboard DAC.

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12. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Hifi Pig caught up with Joe Jouhal, the founder and designer of the JoSound range of loudspeakers and Inès Adler, Joe and Ines at Munichhead of Voxativ, at the Munich High-End earlier this year. We’d been interested in Joe’s loudspeakers since we heard them at the Paris Show in September 2102 and so we thought we’d take the opportunity to ask a few questions about his designs, his philosophy on loudspeaker design, a bit about his background as well as the involvement of Voxativ.

The “interview” here is a combination of transcribing the recording we made during the interview, conducted in the evening after the show, and a series of follow up calls and e mails. We hope you enjoy this, the first, in an ongoing series of interviews with hifi industry.

Read the full interview with JoSound and Voxativ

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Hifi Pig caught up with Joe Jouhal, the founder and designer of the JoSound range of loudspeakers and Inès Adler, head of Voxativ, at the Munich High-End earlier this year. We’d been interested in Joe’s loudspeakers since we heard them at the Paris Show in September 2102 and so we thought we’d take the opportunity to ask a few questions about his designs, his philosophy on loudspeaker design, a bit about his background as well as the involvement of Voxativ. The “interview” here is a combination of transcribing the recording we made during the interview, conducted in the evening after the show, and a series of follow up calls and e mails. More »

What is it with bands obsessing over the number thirteen as an album title?  First there was Megadeth’s mediocre effort of a couple of years ago, now Suicidal Tendencies’ newie and soon Black Sabbath!  Yes we know what year it is thank you!

ST may be able to claim ownership of the number slightly more so than Sabbath and by a whisker over Megadeth who’s album shares a couple of these points;  firstly the number appeared on ST’s merchandise over a decade ago, secondly this is their thirteenth full length album  and thirdly there are 13 songs on it.  Also did you know it’s 2013?

The very first thing that confronts you upon tentatively prodding the play button on your CD player is the barrage of  Mike Muir pushing the decidedly tired Suicidal shtick at you.  It’s all  cyco this and ST that, Sucidal’s back mofo’s etc…but more on that later. More »

Iron & Wine…sort of rolls off the tongue nicely doesn’t it?  Likewise does the name of the man who is Iron & Wine, singer/songwriter Samuel Beam.  With a name like that, what else could he have been but a purveyor of gritty folk music and Americana?  Say it again….Samuel Beam…Iron & Wine.   Cellar door anyone?

Anyhow…the impressively hirsute Beam has a cool name and has chosen his moniker nicely.  He’s been around the traps for a while now; Ghost on Ghost is his 5th full length album and  wilfully or not, he’s been lumped by music pundits into the genre of “indie folk”.  Certainly his earlier works befitted such a categorization, containing a sort of dark brooding tension found elsewhere in the alt-folk/country macrocosm, particularly in the music of the likes of Bonnie Prince Billy or Calexico. More »

12. June 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

electricbeach is a small company based in the UK owned by Steve Jay making a single driver, horn loudspeaker based on the well known and well loved FRUGEL_1Frugal Horn design.

The Frugel3 is a hybrid, adopting a part horn and part transmission line design. The  first part of its internal chambers are constructed to utilise the transmission design and the lower part is based on a horn loudspeaker with a rear bottom mouth allowing the driver to breathe and recreate lower frequencies.

In his exhaustive audition, Hifi Pig reviewer Dan finds out if the Frugel3 loudspeaker lives up to expectations.

Read the full review of Frugel3 Loudspeaker.

 

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