I’ve just finished reading Neil Young’s “Waging Heavy Peace” book which, despite being a rambling stream of consciousness affair, is an enthralling read and a must for anyone interested in the artist or rock music in general. As well as the expected anecdotes and stories of the “rock and roll lifestyle” it comes across very clearly that Mr Young is a man on a mission to bring hi resolution music to the masses. More »

McIntosh Laboratory has launched a new integrated amplifier, complete with three-input DAC, headphone amp, plus a MA5200+Angle+RightJPGMoving Magnet phono input all in a compact chassis. 

The MA5200 offers D/A decoding at up to 32-bit/192kHz for digitally connected devices, plus a complement of analogue inputs. The three-strong digital input suite in the McIntosh Digital Engine includes an assignable coaxial and optical input, plus a dedicated asynchronous USB 2.0 input (operating at up to 32-bit).

Offering a (conservatively rated) 100-watt output and MA5200 benefitting from a Home Theatre Pass Through feature, it should integrate nicely into existing multichannel home cinema systems.

The MA5200 sells for £4,995 and is available now.  


Headphone output

High drive, high level inputs unbalanced: 4 stereo

High level inputs balanced: 1 stereo

Variable outputs unbalanced: 1 stereo

Digital USB input: 1 (USB 2.0 asynchronous)

Digital coaxial input: 1

Digital optical input: 1

Moving magnet phono

Home theatre pass through

RS232 control input

Power control output

Rear panel data ports

Rear panel IR sensor input

Input level match


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It’s hard not to take a passing interest in the car crash that is the life of Falling in Reverse frontman Ronnie Radke.  He’s been involved in the shooting death of a man in Las Vegas, been on all sorts of drugs, done 2 years jail for breaching his bail conditions, was unceremoniously ousted from his own band Escape The Fate and reportedly has an enthusiastic penchant for spousal abuse….yep, he’s that sorta guy.

However, history is littered with examples of brilliant musicians who’ve done hard time, so let’s judge him by his music shall we. More »

Marantz has unveiled a new flagship AV Receiver SR7008.

Building on the strengths of the company’s SR7007, the new SR7008 extends the number of channels from seven tomz_SR7008_SG-UD7007_med nine, and comes with further extensions like support for Spotify, or DTS Neo:X 9.1.

Marantz also upgraded Audyssey to MultEQ XT32/LFC as well as Audyssey Pro, so owners get an “even more accurate calibration of the speakers with a guarantee that every seat in the room is a ‘sweet spot’ for audio”. A Phono MM amplifier for vinyl fans is also on board, so is a 11.2ch pre-out for lots of system expansion possibilities.

Video signals are treated via advanced video processing, with 6+1 HDMI inputs, and 2+1 outputs (dual output for main zone and multi zone output), all of which support 3D 4k pass- through and 4k video processing. Lower resolution video can be up-scaled to Full-HD or even 4k. InstaPrevue technology makes it possible to preview all HDMI input sources on the screen via picture-in-picture. The front digital connectivity (HDMI & USB) makes the SR7008 friendly for mobile, tablet, iPad/iPhone, camera & camcorder.

The front panel folds up to reveal an additional two-line display. in place.

   9ch discrete power amplifier, 200 W per channel

   Trap door design with hidden 2nd display

   Current Feedback circuitry with Marantz HDAM and customized components

   9.2ch signal processing and Clock Jitter Reducer

   DLNA 1.5 Network audio streaming

   MP3, WAV, AAC, FLAC, WMA, Lossless, FLAC192/24(HD)

   Gapless playback

   Spotify, last.fm, Flickr, Internet Radio

   Apple AirPlay and Windows 8/RT compatible

   Audyssey MultEQ XT32, LFC, Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume + PRO ready

   DTS Neo:X (up to 9.1ch) and Audyssey DSX Processing

   6+1 HDMI inputs (3D/ARC/CEC/4k)

   2+1 HDMI outputs (2x simultaneous, 1x for Zone 2)

   Full 4k compatibility – Scaling – Pass-through – GUI overlay

   InstaPrevue to preview HDMI input sources on screen

   Multi-lingual Setup Assistant (9 languages)

   Multi-room/Multi-source (3 Zones), supports Zone Audio from HDMI, coax., opt., network

   11.2ch pre-out (with 2 independent subwoofers), Phono MM amplifier

   Marantz Remote App for iOS and Android

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Jerry is a fan of omnidirectional loudspeakers and owns a pair of MBL 116F speakers so we were interested to what GP_2_4he would make of the German Physiks Unlimited Mk2 Loudspeakers.

“The unusual “clever bit” about German Physiks speakers – their USP, the unique selling point, if you will – is an almost-full-range driver, called the DDD (standing for Dicks’ Dipole Driver, after Peter Dicks the inventor).  It covers from over 20KHz down to about 200Hz, and (usually*) conventional cone drivers take over from there for the bass region.  The DDD driver remains the same throughout the German Physiks range, the size and sophistication of the bass enclosure is the major difference as you increase the price.  With the higher end speakers, multiple DDD drivers are sometimes used, and the crossover necessarily becomes more sophisticated, as well.”

Read the full review of the German Physiks Unlimited Mk2 Loudspeakers and all our other hifi reviews.


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The Mistral DT-307a is a hybrid amplifier and our man Dan puts it through its paces in this interesting review. Mistral_2

“The 307a is a hybrid, it retails at £249, is a 25w per channel tube hybrid and, whilst Mistral were not really fans of MP3, they acknowledge the existence with an ipod / usb input – this input caters for iphones up to an iphone 4 and rather than add yet another cable for iphone 5, the USB input will be replaced with a Bluetooth input which launches in September.”

The full review of the Mistral DT-307a is now live and you can real all our reviews here

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The Iridium power amplifier from Tellurium Q arrived a couple of months ago and has been a permanent feature on theIridium_1_small Hifi Pig rack since then.

The Iridium by Tellurium Q is a single ended class A amplifier that gives out a not massive 18 Watts per channel into 8ohms (the same as my 300B PSE amp actually). It’s a heavy beast weighing in at around 21Kg but it also looks quite elegant on the top of the rack. Now, I say the top of the rack because being class A the top of this amp gets very hot indeed (the heatsinks are on the inside of the casing) and I’d be unsure about putting it in a situation with anything directly on top of it.

The Iridium is a dual mono design where each channel is effectively isolated from the other and uses a mixture of power MOS FETs and large power semiconductors. Each channel has its own dedicated torroidal transformer and rectifier bulk capacitors for smoothing.”

Read more about the Iridium power amplifier from Tellurium Q or read all the Hifi Pig reviews.


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

Musica Bella Audio is a line of affordable vacuum tube audio products produced by Response Audio NY that is sold LEA-EV-716-1direct and available world wide. Response Audio has been producing custom designed tube products since 1998 and released the Musica Bella line in 2007.

The pictured product here is the sub-$1,000 LeAnna EV (Econo Version) vacuum tube linestage. “The LeAnna EV is a class A, vacuum tube preamp designed around a single 12AU7 tube per channel and equipped with a high/low gain switch, high-current toroidal transformer and quality parts throughout”. It comes with four inputs and two outputs. The power supply on the EV is solid state. Other models in the EV line include a MM phono stage and a single tube buffer stage. 

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

Marantz who is celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2013, has announced two new wireless music systems born from its Marantz-M-CR610-MediaMelody series – the £499 Melody Media (M-CR610) and £399 Melody Stream (M-CR510). They will be available across Europe in either black or black/white from September onwards.

Both units can be connected to a home Wi-Fi network with the push of a single button. Wi-Fi Sharing or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) can be selected with a single button-press.

The bigger Melody Media has a 120W amplifier, it plays CDs, comes with FM and DAB radio, as well as the full variety of network content. The Melody Media plays thousands of Internet radio stations from all over the world via vTuner, and also provides direct access to online music services Spotify and last.fm. You can of course also access your own music library on your computer/NAS (Network Attached Storage).

The Melody Media also supports AirPlay to directly stream music from iTunes and iDevices. To keep control of those playback options, the Marantz Remote App is available for iOS and Android devices. It comes with a digital input to connect a TV set or set-top-box, plus there is a front and a rear USB port for added connectivity convenience.

As standard at Marantz, the USB port is iPod-digital-compatible and is “Made for iPhone” certified. The Melody Media also supports lossless formats such as ALAC, as well as 192kHz/24bit high-resolution WAV, FLAC HD files, and Gapless playback as well.

The Melody Stream is a lot slimmer than the Melody Media. It is dedicated to new digital media and it does not offer FM, DAB or CD playback. It is a pure open doorway to an endless supply of new digital media, either streamed from a computer or directly accessed from the Internet. It has all the qualities and network features of the Melody Media. 

Marantz also offers the M-LS502 Melody Speakers.

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23. July 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Meridian Audio has announced its streaming systems are fully compatible, from 5th August, with selected products from Meridian_image_pad_1QNAP a leading NAS (network attached storage). Now a music collection can grow almost without limit– with the security of automatic backup and RAID protection against hard-disk failure. At the same time, Meridian is offering a plugin for dBpoweramp’s popular Music Converter and CD Ripper to allow you to easily and quickly import your music collection with precise ripping and conversion, helping you to enjoy all there is to know about artists’, tracks and albums, with album cover art too.

Streaming solutions from Meridian are configurable and expandable to serve audio around the whole house. Controlled from iPad, iPhone, the free Core Control App, or a dedicated touch panel, such as Meridian’s Control 15, with its 17-inch touchscreen, listeners can enjoy an entire music collection or favourite internet radio stations anywhere, any time at the touch of a button.

This summer, Meridian is offering the opportunity to upgrade an existing audio player to a streaming solution from Meridian. This upgrade promotion starts on the 22nd July and is available from participating Meridian UK dealers only.

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In 1958 GEC introduced the KT88, designed specifically as a hi-fi valve and intended to be the best.  For 52 years it Icon_Audio_Stereo_60_MkIIm_KT150reigned until Tung Sol released the bigger and better KT120: developed from the same design but with more power to drive the more demanding modern loudspeakers.

Now Tung Sol is announcing the arrival of the KT150: even bigger, with more power and “more refined”.

With immediate effect the Icon Audio Stereo 60 MkIIIm integrated amplifier, Stereo 60P MkIIIm power amplifier, and the MB30SE, MB90 MkIIm and MB150 monoblocks are available with the KT150 valve as an upgrade. The KT150 is also an upgrade for selected previous Icon Audio KT120/KT88 designs.

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

Continuing a trend for smaller hifi, the cabinet of the XETAC DAC is based on the footprint of the Mac Mini and is made from a solid 1” (25mm) thick Aluminium plate by CNC machines in Germany. It uses small SMD components, also used in smartphones, allowing more than 200 precision mounted components to be inside a cabinet of only 1”x 7.7” x 7.7” or 25 mm tall, 197 mm wide and 197 mm deep.

The XETAC DAC will work with all computers, MS, Linux and Apple or with an an old CD or DVD player.

XETAC will increase its range of products in the future with a level controlled amplifier, a phonostage, a headphone amplifier, a preamplifier and several versions of its DACs

XETAC DAC 3 production orders are now being built for delivery and launch in September 2013 at a recommended retail price of €600.

 Technical details:

  • High End Analog Devices AD1853 24-bit/192 kHz Digital to Analog Converter IC
  • Analog Devices AD 1895 Asynchronous sample rate converter is used  for all 3 inputs
  • All 3 inputs feature jitter reduction.
  • All input frequencies are re-clocked and upsampled to 422 kHz
  • USB input acepts 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz and 96 kHz, 16 and 24 bit
  • Accepts variable volume mode in Windows®
  • Texas Instruments TAS1020B USB with Holm Acoustics firmware.
  • The Optical TOSLINK digital input accepts 8 kHz, 11.025 kHz, 16kHz, 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 16 and 24 bit.
  • The RCA S/PDIF digital input accepts 8 kHz, 11.025 kHz, 16 kHz, 32kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz, 192 kHz,  16 and 24 bit.
  • National LM49740 amplifiers .
  • 2 Volt RMS output
  • Low 47 Ohm output impedance.
  • Dual power inputs enable +12V -12V DC operation from batteries or  Solar power.

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Pete Grzybowski, President & Owner of Triode Wire Labs, a small boutique company specializing in audiophile power Triode_Wire_Labs-speaker-cablecords & speaker cables in the US contacted us about Triode Wire Labs’ new line of speaker cables and the launch of their updated website.

The speaker cables will be making their global debut July 26-28 at the Washington, DC Capital Audiofest in the Triode Wire Labs room.

The speaker cables feature deep cryogenic treatment, compression die forging attachment of connectors and completely passive “ground plane” noise reduction technology in all the models.

Standard connectors include “top of the line” Cardas pure copper milled spades as well as Cardas CAB banana plugs. All cables are hand crafted in the USA with a 30 day audition trial.

Prices start at $499 USD for a 6 ft. pair. 

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

The Merlin Tarantula (Pictured) is a six-way RF and EM filtered mains distribution block wired with very low resistanceTarantula block 1.5mm2 high purity copper wire.  Star-wiring ensures each socket has an identical path providing each connected component a “cleaner and more stable supply”. The IEC input socket allows the mains inlet lead to be easily upgraded.The Tarantula is built into a smart silver-anodized aluminium enclosure designed for either rack or wall mounting.

The Merlin Black Widow is a six-way unfiltered mains distribution block more suited to high quality hi-fi use where excessive filtration can limit dynamics.  1.5mm2 high purity copper star-wiring is said to provide a much higher quality supply than the brass bars found inside most cheap mains blocks. The IEC inlet allows swapping the supplied mains lead for a high quality cable.The Black Widow mains distribution block is built into a black anodized enclosure suitable for shelf or wall mounting.  A numerical display indicates the output voltage and current.
All Merlin Cable products are covered by a 60-day money back guarantee.

Merlin Cables Tarantula mains distribution block is£50

Merlin Cables Black Widow mains distribution block is £80

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Exposure Electronics have announced the release of the 3010s2 phonostage. This all-new phonostage features a  3010s2 phonostage 1dual regulated power supply with regulation optimized for the different sections of the circuit.  The input stage is based around interchangeable circuit boards, each being specifically tailored for either MM or MC cartridges to provide “uncompromised performance with both types of cartridge”.The input is fully configurable to ensure that the cartridge loading and gain is optimally set.

Key features a

  • Fully discrete RIAA gain and equalisation derived from Exposure’s flagship MCX series.


  • Advanced power supply featuring large custom made transformer and high capacity smoothing.


  •  Dual regulation for each power supply rail combines IC regulators on the main board and hybrid regulators on the phono board.


  • MM or MC selected by plug-in board.


  • Adjustable for gain and loading by jumper links.

Exposure 3010s2 Phonostage (MM or MC)                                            £900

Exposure 3010s2 plug-in MM board                                                        £220

Exposure 3010s2 plug-in MC board                                                        £220

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As a classical violinist and physicist Damon Coffman founded Coffman Labs with one goal: creating products that Damon_Coffman_headshotreproduce the natural sound experienced during live performances. Coffman Labs builds all-analogue, vacuum tube-based products including the G1-A phono/line preamplifier and the H1-A headphone amplifier. All Coffman Labs’ products are hand-crafted in Oregon, USA using point-to-point wiring and custom parts. The G1-A is limited edition with only 500 numbered and signed pieces.

In our ongoing series of Behind the Brands interviews Hifi Pig talks to Damon about his history, his preferences in hifi gear and of course about some of the music he loves. Read the full interview with Damon Coffman.

Read all the Behind the Brands interviews and other Industry Insider articles.


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As a classical violinist and physicist Damon Coffman founded Coffman Labs with one goal: creating products that reproduce the natural sound experienced during live performances. Coffman Labs builds all-analogue, vacuum tube-based products including the G1-A phono/line preamplifier and the H1-A headphone amplifier. All Coffman Labs’ products are hand-crafted in Oregon, USA using point-to-point wiring and custom parts. The G1-A is limited edition with only 500 numbered and signed pieces. More »

Henley Designs contacted us to tell us about a new release from Box Design by Pro-Ject Audio Systems – The Head Head_Box_DS_(Silver)Box DS.

Designed with headphone audiophiles in mind, the Head Box DS is essentially a multi-source headphone amplifier. However, where it advances on from its predecessor, the Head Box S/E, is with the inclusion of a DAC chip from Cirrus Logic.

The built-in CS4344 DAC chip allows for 24-bit / 192kHz digital conversion over asynchronous USB, as well as conversion of more traditional digital sources via the Coaxial and Optical inputs. There is also an analogue input, for connecting a turntable or similar analogue source.

As well as working as a headphone amplifier, the Head Box DS can also act as a DAC for a full-sized speaker-based system utilizing the analogue output on the rear of the unit.

The Head Box DS is available now in Black or Silver finish for £299.00

As well as the Head Box DS they also wanted to tell us about the Essential 2 turntable from Pro-Ject. Essential_2_(Red)

The Essential 2 has many of the same aesthetic characteristics as the original model, with a silicone perimeter belt driving a 12” MDF platter. However, the tonearm has been improved from the previous ‘uni-pivot’ design to that of a more traditional 8.6” aluminium design, with sapphire bearings in a gimbal-style assembly, that has previously been found on higher priced Pro-Ject turntables. At the end of the arm is a pre-installed Ortofon OM 5E.

The Essential 2 also has a brand new synchronous motor system,  and stainless steel platter bearing that runs in a bronze bushing with Teflon lining.

The Essential 2 is available in the UK from July 2013 for £199. The turntable is also available in red or white matte finishes for an extra £10.

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

Hifi Pig is pleased to announce the launch of the new Hifi Social section of the site. Our roving reporter Simon Wilce willExceedingly_good_naits be attending events and launches and then letting you know how he got on.

We hope it will be a light hearted and informative read for you and in the first two reports Simon visits the Ivy as the guest of Little Red Rooster to sample a glass or two of fizz, get a sneaky peak of some new kit and a look at some rare photographs of the Stones and Beatles… then it’s off to Naim to help them celebrate their 40th anniversary and the launch of some new products including the Supernait 2.

If you have an even that you’d like Hifi Pig to cover then just get in touch and we’ll see what we can do.



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When PR agency Little Red Rooster invited Hifi Pig’s roving reporter Simon Wilce to the Ivy with the promise of champagne, canapés and a sneaky peak at a few bits of hifi we jumped at the opportunity. More »

40 years ago, in the dim and distant 1980s, Julian Verker, the founder of NAIM but now sadly not with us, launched the company’s NAIT amplifier with the slightly tongue in cheek advertising strap-line “Mr Verker makes exceedingly good NAITS” along with a somewhat cheesy picture of himself holding out a plate of confections in the style of a certain Mr Kipling who used a similar slogan to sell his wares.  More »

Wanna know something?  Whenever I write an album review I make sure to never read any other reviews beforehand lest my objectivity be irrevocably tainted.  Of course my approach was no different regarding this album.

Well…I may not have read any reviews, but unfortunately it’s been  impossible to avoid noticing the vitriolic public backlash against this album which manifested itself all over social media within minutes of the album’s  release! 

“Fucken shit!”. “The worst album they’ve ever made”.  “Worse Than Lulu!!”….What??  Worse than the most atrocious affront to music in recent memory?  Geez… More »

Bowers & Wilkins has announced the CM10, the new flagship loudspeaker of the CM Series, will be available in US from August. BowersWilkins-CM10-GlossBlack-Grille-off

CM10 is the first model in the CM Series to feature the tweeter-on-top configuration, a hallmark of the Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond.

The tweeter dome contained within the distinctive housing is another first for the CM Series. CM10 uses a new design, based in part on the research conducted on the carbon-braced tweeter employed in PM1. Here, the edge of the aluminium dome is strengthened using a second aluminium layer that replicates the main dome’s profile with the centre part cut out, giving a new ‘double-dome’ design. 

This approach is said to stiffen the whole structure and prevents the voice coil from going ‘out of round’ at higher frequencies. Bowers & Wilkins claim the result is the best performance yet from a CM Series loudspeaker: the double-dome pushes the first break-up frequency up from the standard dome’s 30kHz to 38kHz.  

The overall cabinet height of CM10 is the same as that of CM9, but by adding a little depth to the enclosure and then relocating both the tweeter and FST midrange drive units has created sufficient extra volume for an additional bass drive unit. So CM10 has 50 per cent more bass driver area than CM9, with three drivers rather than two. 

CM10’s Kevlar® FST driver is, for the first time in the CM Series, decoupled from the rest of the cabinet.

The FST drive unit is secured in place by a drawbar mechanism, as found in 800 Series Diamond models.   

CM10 comes in a range of finishes – two real wood veneers, Rosenut or Wengé, or a painted Black Gloss finish.

Available in the US at $4000 a pair

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09. July 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

The London Audio Society will be holding its inaugural meeting Wednesday, July 24th from 6:30 pm to 9 pm at Swiss Cottage Sound and VIdeo. The topic of the meeting will be DACs and how they differ across manufacturers and price points.

The evening will feature a double-blind listening knockout tournament where the attendees get to decide between 7 DACs from 5 manufacturers across 5 price points and see/hear which one TO THEIR EARS is best. If they were to replace their existing DAC which one of the lot would they choose? There will be refreshments and a good deal of good natured conversation to be had and new friends to be made.

Swiss Cottage Sound and Vision, 21 Northways Parade, Finchley Road, NW3 5EN


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09. July 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Some of our UK readers may have seen the Rinz Sound loudspeakers on the recent Channel 4 “Four RinzSound_SaharaRooms”. In a nutshell Rinz Sounds design and manufacture ultra-contemporary Hifi  loudspeakers made out of recycled glass and are the first company ever to do so.

Arina Sprinz is the designer of the loudspeakers and she is a graduate of London’s South Bank University where she read product design.

The bespoke loudspeakers are entirely hand-made in Britain, using patented manufacturing technology. Each pair of Rinz Speakers is unique and takes 4 weeks to engineer from locally-sourced glass to each customer’s specific colour-matching specification.

The sound reproduction system itself is housed within stalagmite-like cabinets comprising 95% recycled glass with a unique organic resin.



Type: Three-way, rear-vented loudspeaker

Driver Complement: Aluminium Dome Tweeter/5”Kevlar

Midrange: 6.5” Woven Kevlar Woofer

Frequency Response: 62Hz-22kHz +/- 3dB

Sensitivity: 88dB

Impedance: 8 ohms

Power Handling: 150w

Dimensions: 130cm x 33cm x 33cm

Weight: 23kg each

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Heavy progressive music is in an interesting state of flux circa 2013.  There are certainly some amazing and inspired bands kicking about, but conversely there is a disturbing number of pale imitators flooding the market with their own sub-par take on djent/prog-metalcore/mathcore… or whatever  moniker will next be self applied by some mediocre & generic 8 string toting band trying vainly to stand out from the pack.  More »

Rogue Audio who we met at the Munich High End show has announced they have begun shipping the new ST-100 tube pharaohfront2power amplifier.

With circuitry adapted from their M-180 monoblocs the ST-100 will be rated at 100WPC and offer both RCA and balanced inputs. The ST-100 from Rogue audio will feature custom wound  transformers coupled with the KT-120 output tubes.

MSRP will be $3,495 with an introductory price of $2,995.


Rogue also announced that their Pharaoh integrated amplifier is now shipping. Based on their Hydra/Medusa amplifier the Pharaoh is Rogue Audio’s flagship integrated amp. With 175 WPC into 8 ohms the Pharaoh features a tube preamplifier circuit, an MM/MC phono preamplifier with adjustable loading and gain, a tube headphone amplifier, processor loop, balanced inputs and home theatre bypass

MSRP is $3,495.

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We’ve been following Coffman Labs for sometime now and have reported on their new products when they’ve become Valves_coffman_labs_newsavailable. Coffman are a small company based in US and who make just two products, the G1-A preamplifier and the H1-A headphone amplifier.

Coffman contacted Hifi Pig to let us know all about a special offer they’re running at the moment whereby the next 5 buyers of the G1-A will get a free upgrade of some specially chosen vintage tubes to take the sound of the preamplifier to the “Highest level”.

The first two buyers will get the selected vintage tubes plus a vintage GZ34 for the power supply and buyers 3-5 will get some upgraded tubes but the standard power supply.

The valve compliment for buyers 3- 5 is as follows:

5687: Raytheon Black Plate Mil-Spec
12AU7 GE 5814A Industrial rated matched pairs
12AX7: GE 5-Star 5751 Triple Mica Matched 1962-35 date codes
5AR4 Sovtek

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UK AV cable manufacturer The Chord Company has launched newly upgraded versions its entry-level interconnect chordco-cham-cob-crim-1cables. The redesign to the Crimson (from £49), Cobra (£84) and Chameleon (£120), brings big improvements in detail, dynamics, vitality and rhythm across the range the company claim.

Improvements include advanced shielding and a completely new plug, which takes design cues from the flagship Sarum range. The Chord Company’s new ABS VEE 3 (Vibration Eliminating Enclosure) RCA plug, fitted to each of the three models is said to bring  “significant sonic advantages” to the trio.

The VEE 3 plug uses a “new textured-finish, easy-grip ABS casing, featuring direct gold or silver-plated signal contacts. The signal insulation block is PTFE and the unique plating process improves signal transfer across all frequencies. VEE 3’s signal-return surround contact provides precise high-pressure contact with RCA sockets and the cable clamp, which combined with each cable’s design, minimises the changes to cable impedance that can have a negative effect on sound quality.”

The Chord Company interconnects are available in a wide range of factory terminations, including XLR and Naim and Quad-specific DIN terminations. Custom configurations and custom lengths are also available to order.


05. July 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags: ,

In another World exclusive review Hifi Pig’s Dan takes a look at the new £1750 DAC X Signature from UK based Cyrus Audio.Cyrus_XDAC_SIGNATURE_FRONT

“The DAC X Signature is a twin 32-bit stereo DAC, designed in dual-mono configuration where the operational elements of the system, such as the digital control signals, are optically isolated from the twin mono DAC cards. The DAC X Signature also possesses a carefully specified power supply system based on a custom designed ultra-low-noise torroidal power transformer.

There are 3 x Optical SPDIF and 4 x RCA Coaxial connectors, unbalanced RCA outputs and balanced XLR too.”

Read the full review of the Cyrus Audio DAC X Signature.


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04. July 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

The Unilet Sound & Vision PMC Open Day on Saturday 13th July will be the first opportunity in the UK to experience new Fact-12-St Pauls Nightfact.12 loudspeakers from PMC.
Tom Barron, UK consumer sales manager for PMC, will bring the fact.12s to Unilet’s New Malden storewhere Tom’s demonstrations and talks about the development of the new fact series flagship model are sure to attract a good crowd. Presentations will take place at 10.30am12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4.30pm and places must be booked in advance by contacting Unilet.

The fact.12 will take the main stage in the primary listening room and will be powered by PMC distributed Bryston BP26 and 7BSST2 amplification, fed with source material through the Bryston BDP-2 Music Player and BDA-2 DAC.
Downstairs in the renovated main showroom, visitors will be able to experience the PMC MB2SE speakers.
Home cinema enthusiasts are not forgotten, with the THX certified cinema room hosting another PMC speaker system.

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Many of you will know the Onix name from the 80s and 90s, but the brand has been given fresh life in the last few years and here Jerry looks at the Onix RA125 Integrated amplifier which retails in the UK for £1975.

“Founded way back in 1979 in Brighton, England by Tony Brady, Onix was a well-known and well respected “small ra 125 b (front)English brand” in the 1980s.  The OA21 ‘shoe-box’ style integrated amp was something of a cult item and was highly regarded largely due to the excellence of its power supply implementation.
Onix dropped out of sight in the 1990s until finally being acquired by the Chinese Shanling company in 2002 where the marketing focus was the Far East and the USA. But Italian Francesco Pace then took up the reins of European distribution with his Pacetech company and a complete new line of Onix products started in 2008, encompassing amplifiers, pre-amplifiers and phono stages as well as CD players and DACs.  The Onix brand is distributed in the UK by UKD.”

Read the full review here.

We have lots more reviews in our main review section of the site.


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03. July 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

CA-Electronics whose ceramic feet and loudspeakers we reviewed sometime ago have announced that they have logo-staand-rgb-400appointed Dutch based Audio Distribution Europe as their distributors.

Rogier van Hoof, owner of CA-Electronics, sees a change in the way audio products are distributed “There is a need for coordinated European distribution/price strategy and a more direct contact to the whole chain of national distributor, dealer and the end-user.  Distributors will remain to be of  high importance, but to add value in a shrinking world they must rethink their role: Delivering up-to-date market information and keeping an active contact with dealers and potential buyers in the buyer´s own language”

ADE will manage the commercial,logistical and service side of the business, allowing CA-Electronics to focus on product development and production.

This partnership with ADE not only allows CA-Electronics to increase the market share of their ceramic audio accessories (cones, feet, pucks etc), high end connectors, damping plates and loudspeakers, but also opens up the door to the lifestyle market where products like the CAE headphone stand and designer tablet stand fit in.

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In a world first review of the new X200 Signature Monoblocs Dan puts the amplifiers through their paces and sees whatX200_mono_sig_fr_jpg makes them tick.

“The Signature Series will represent Cyrus’s flagship product line up and comprises upgraded versions of the X Series components: DAC X Signature (DAC); DAC XP Signature (DAC/preamp) and the Mono X 200 and X300 Signature (mono power amps). Further models are expected to join the range later in the year. The Signature Series include performance-enhancing modifications and the very latest-generation components that Cyrus say bring improvements in detail and resolution.

Each component comes in the standard Cyrus bead-blasted cast chassis, in either black or quartz finish, and feature the ‘Signature’ badge on the fascia.

The Mono X amplifiers offer 200 watts via their ‘zero-feedback’ design. The Signature Series updates include a replacement input buffer op-amp with a higher slew rate and higher gain bandwidth.”

Read the full review of Cyrus’ Mono X200.


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03. July 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

Townshend Audio has announced a new generation of “Seismic Isolation” devices which the company say will Townshend_poddramatically improve sound quality of all high-end audio systems.

There is a range of equipment all centred on the Townshend Seismic Load Cell, an alloy steel compression spring covered with a synthetic rubber jacket and with two end plates – have a look at the photo.

The Cells allow movement in three dimensions and “blocks all deleterious vibration from 2.5Hz upwards and from every direction”. Basically this means that any suspended bit if hifi equipment is isolates.

That’s the basis for the range but Townshend have created several interesting products around the cell including speaker platforms, an isolation pod which can be used in lots of circumstances under any hifi equipment, equipment platforms, equipment stands and isolation corners that you can put on the corners of your existing hifi rack.

Prices start at £100 for the individual Pod, £999 for speaker stands, £500 for the platforms, £1500 for the stands and the isolation corners start at £800 for a set of four.

Oliver at Epiphany Acoustics called us to tell us about a number of new products they have added to their ever MJR_RCA_1-400pxgrowing catalogue of hifi components and accessories.

The Solaris II Collection contains three cables and interconnects: a mini jack to mini jack interconnect, a mini jack to stereo RCA interconnect and a mini jack to 6.35mm jack socket cable. It uses heavy duty ultra pure oxygen free silver plated copper wire and a low loss polyethylene dielectric. A dense copper shield is utilised for shielding purposes as well as cotton filler to reduce unwanted vibrations.

The Atratus 75 Ohm Coaxial Cable boasts crimped connectors and true 75 Ohm impedance to ensure maximum performance in a digital set up. The solid copper oxygen free copper conductor is insulated with an extremely low loss foam PE dielectric and shielded with both a conductive foil and dense copper braid.

The Atratus II Mains Cable is the first addition to the Atratus II Collection and builds on the success and performance of the Atratus Mains Cable by utilising Epiphany’s highest quality IEC. Like the Atratus Mains Cable, it benefits from very heavy duty oxygen free stranded copper conductors and 100% shielding to minimise EMI.

Prices of the new additions start from just £19.99.

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02. July 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

This looked like a nifty bit of kit for those wanting to have music with them wherever they are in the house. It will play 9135011929_4e0c1050bemusic directly from your laptop, tablet, smartphone or any other Bluetooth-enabled wireless device and doesn’t require any special wires or docks -it’s also a FM/DAB/DAB+ radio.

You can operate the Model S with the touch of a button, stream music wirelessly to the Model S Wireless DAB+ from your iPhone, iPod, or any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Select input, FM/DAB/DAB+ preset and volume via the remote supplied, or use the onboard ‘touchlight’ controls. The Model S Wireless DAB+ also doubles as  alarm clock.

It’s available in white, black or red, has 2 x 3″ full range drivers, two bass ports and two class AB amplifiers with 2 x 11 watt output.

Available from July it costs £329


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Goldnote is an Italian High-End audio manufacturer based in Florence, Italy. They have announced their latest Goldnote_Bellagio_turntableturntable, the Bellagio Conquest and at €48 000 it’s set to turn a few heads.

The Bellagio is a high mass (165Kilos) floorstanding turntable with a 270mm platter spindle and a fully adjustable high torque motor. The spindle is made from carbon steel whist the turntable’s bearing is made of polished bronze with tolerances of 1/100mm. The torque of the motor can be adjusted which Goldnote say can change the musical character of the turntable – all this can be done by the remote control unit.

To maximise stiffness and resonance feedback the Bellagio uses thirteen curved plinths which are interfaced with titanium spacers and joined to each other with solid block aluminium uprights.


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02. July 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags:

First revealed in May at High End, Munich, the new CodeX from Chord Electronics is the latest edition to the Chord-1120_half_sizecompany’s  Choral range and brings music streaming to the line-up for the first time.

The CodeX features much of the technology implemented in the DSX1000 (£7,500), including the same front end and control processor. The CodeX offers DSD 128 playback over USB, as well as PCM decoding at up to 384kHz, making it compatible with DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition) recordings.

The new CodeX has both USB and coaxial inputs to take advantage of the device’s FPGA-based D/A stage, which has been taken from the QuteHD DAC. It also offers Chord Electronics’ proprietary remote motor-controlled analogue volume potentiometer, as seen in their flagship CPA8000 Reference preamp (£25,500) and DSX1000 streamer.

The device’s network connection uses a fixed-wired approach, due to the bandwidth limitations of Wi-Fi for 24/192kHz support. The CodeX’s Ethernet connection offers DSD 64 and up to 192kHz PCM, and its USB input offers DSD 128 and PCM at up to 384kHz (Digital eXtreme Definition).

The CodeX is compatible with numerous file types including: MP3; WMA; WAV; AAC; ALAC and FLAC files, with 24-bit/384kHz support where available. DSD support is available using the DSD over PCM standard (DoP).

CodeX specifications

Analogue outputs: 2x XLR and 2x RCA (all with remote volume control)
Digital output: from ethernet input only (this output can be fed into another DAC or audio system with its own volume control method)

Supported frequencies: 44.1,48,88.2,96,176.4,192kHz,DSD64 (DSD128, DXD via USB)

Inputs: 1x USB digital inputs for both PCM and DSD formats to 384kHz; 1x coaxial automatically-selecting input up to 384kHz. (Note: these additional DAC inputs cannot be controlled by tablet-type devices unless a PC/laptop is in the system

The CodeX will be available in August priced at £4,495.


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