The new line of Sonance DSP amplifiers have been engineered with time saving presets and, say Sonace, deliver ‘amazing sonic performance with high-resolution audio’. They have received CEDIA’s 2015 Best New Product Award.


DSP is widely used in home theatres and media rooms to accurately correct for a room’s acoustic characteristics. However, when it comes to distributed audio, DSP is rarely considered. The reason for the lack of room correction in distributed audio is primarily the time, complexity, and equipment required for DSP in every area of the home. Pre-loaded with 40 DSP presets, the DSP amplifiers eliminate the need for manual calibration saving time and effort. Each preset was developed from the acoustic average of 5 rooms of various sizes and furnishings. Presets can be accessed in the DSP amplifiers via the SONARC (Sonance Advanced Room Correction) software pre-installed on every DSP amplifier. The DSP presets cover all Sonance speakers and range from flat to +6dB. Additionally presets account for many variables such as: live rooms, dead rooms, materials, hardscapes, and landscapes. Over 600 engineered presets can be downloaded from the Sonance website and imported into the DSP amplifiers.


The physical design of the DSP amplifiers has been engineered to the highest of audiophile standards. The powerful, high resolution 24-bit/96Khz DSP and DAC allows the amplifiers to pass through true high resolution content without compression. High resolution audio can pass through to the DSP amplifiers with the optional DIM (Digital Input Module). Additionally, the DSP amplifiers provide high resolution with full safety ratings into 8 ohms and 4 ohms, and are completely stable to 2 ohms. The Sonance DSP amplifiers take up a much smaller footprint that is stackable saving valuable rack space.


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After 40 years of creating audio equipment, the last thing that artist-designer Kostas Metaxas wanted to produce was “another box with transistors on a heatsink”. He was apparently inspired by ‘the most spectacular architecture, design and sculpture’ he had experienced and ‘wanted to bring that emotional intensity, daring and seductive beauty to an audio amplifier.’Metaxas_solitaire_1

The Solitaire 2016 is the result. Machined from a solid block of either aircraft aluminium, copper or titanium, it’s totally bespoke and Metawas claims that ‘the modular electronics make it future-proof’. Even the circuit boards are CNC machined from 1mm solid silver coated clear polystyrene.  100% designed and engineered by Kostas Metaxas, each amplifier is assembled by his sons, either Andreas or Alessandros Metaxas.Metaxas_solitaire_2

The Solitaire 2016 along with the Ikarus Integrated Amplifier and Opus preamplifier will be “world premiered” at the Munich High End Hifi Show in May 2016. A Studer A80 will be playing 10″ Analogue Master Tapes from a selection of the over 300 Classical and Jazz concerts recorded by Metaxas on his modified Stellavox Tape equipment. Hifi Pig will be there to report back on how they sound.


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After 40 years of creating audio equipment, the last thing that artist-designer Kostas Metaxas wanted to produce was “another box with transistors on a heatsink”. He was apparently inspired by ‘the most spectacular architecture, design and sculpture’ he had experienced and ‘wanted to bring that emotional intensity, daring and seductive beauty to an audio amplifier.’Metaxas_solitaire_1

The Solitaire 2016 is the result. Machined from a solid block of either aircraft aluminium, copper or titanium, it’s totally bespoke and Metawas claims that ‘the modular electronics make it future-proof’. Even the circuit boards are CNC machined from 1mm solid silver coated clear polystyrene.  100% designed and engineered by Kostas Metaxas, each amplifier is assembled by his sons, either Andreas or Alessandros Metaxas.Metaxas_solitaire_2

The Solitaire 2016 along with the Ikarus Integrated Amplifier and Opus preamplifier will be “world premiered” at the Munich High End Hifi Show in May 2016. A Studer A80 will be playing 10″ Analogue Master Tapes from a selection of the over 300 Classical and Jazz concerts recorded by Metaxas on his modified Stellavox Tape equipment. Hifi Pig will be there to report back on how they sound.



The Collatio OTL Series is a special project, and is Aries Cerat’s statement on how they think a true SOTA OTL amplifier should sound.qc1

The Collatio II istheir showcase, a statement, a cost no object approach on OTL tube amplification, “pushing the envelope on what is possible on OTL technology”.

The Collatio II amplifieruses aproprietary design, and it is in fact a current amplifier which “have their own technical and sonic advantages, and if especially matched with highly efficient horn speakers, are simply unmatched”.qc2

The output stage is a “unique Single ended stage”, a parallel-feed power stage, using 20 power tubes in parallel per channel, loaded by 4 massive chokes, and AC coupled to the output terminals, using an exotic film capacitor.

The capacitor is designed to be able to surge 20.000A peaks, and it’s ESR and ESL specifications, are an “order of magnitude lower than any audio capacitor, film or electrolytic”.

This power tubes used is the 6c19p, a small envelope tube,  a very low internal resistance tube, capable of large current swings and was “much preferred over the usual OTL tube candidates in terms of bass slam and timbre”. Also it is very cheap tube to replace.
The tube bank is biased at 2.6A per channel(20W) and at 5.2A for the 80W version! The output stage is a true single ended power gain stage and thus can only operate in Class A. No global or local feedback is used.Collatio

The power supply provides 2.6A per channel steady state and the double output stage power supplies, come with double choke filtration and 6 high current high speed capacitors.

The driving stage, is a Directly Heated triode, the 814 tube, a big bottle tube that can deliver 10W of driving power to the output stage.

Driving 20 output tubes per channel at high frequency needs a lot of current, and the 814 tube has a lot to spare. The driver tube is chple loaded, and  is DC coupled to the output stage,for supreme slew rate numbers and transparency. The driver stage power supply I s fed by separate transformers and is double filtered using chokes.

All heater and filament supplies have their own power transformer and are douple filtered using chokes and high speed capacitors.

Most OTL have a bad reputation of blowing expensive speakers,after they present DC potential after a malfunction. “The Collatio amplifiers are bullet proof in terms of stability and speaker protection.” Their output stage is AC coupled, so that no DC can be present at any times at the speaker terminal.

The Collatio 20W stereo amplifiers can be used as monoblocks, delivering 80W of OTL SE power with no modification from the user.


Full power bandwidth: 6Hz-110KHz

Small signal bandwidth: 4Hz-110KHz

SNR: 110db

Gain: X6 ( 15db)

Full power:  20W @8ohm

80W @8ohm mono configuration

Current idle per channel: 2.6A

Idle power consumption: 1190W(depending on bias level)

Dimenisons:    455mmW  X 590mmD X 480mmH (excluding tubes+cage)

455mmW  X 590mmD X 630mmH including tube cage

Weight: 120kg

Tube compliment: 2 X 814 , 40 X 6c19p-v


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Meridian Audio unveils the 818V3 Reference Audio Core, the latest version of its top-end home audio system hub. This third generation machine adds significant upgrades to its forebear’s audio arsenal and  offers an upgrade path to existing 818 owners. Ranged as standard in Black the £8,000.00 model also embraces Meridian’s Select Programme bespoke colour service, opening-up a choice of 270 colours for a £500.00 premium.2857-Meridian 818 Head On

The 818V3 is a reference preamplifier featuring Meridian technologies, such as triple FIFO buffering, DSP unsampling and apodising filters, and this model also incorporates an advanced linear power supply and a new master oscillator with 40% lower jitter. The extensive connectivity counts Meridian SpeakerLink, enabling ultimate quality and convenience when driving Meridian DSP loudspeakers, as well as balanced and single-ended pre-amplifier outputs. 2857-Meridian 818 Rear

A key addition to the 818V3 is its new analogue output card featuring an upgraded circuit with filtering that “broadens the bandwidth and maximises the potential of hig- resolution music”. This latest model fully supports decoding of MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) sources and its new chip also brings lip- sync control and DSD (DoP) playback. 818--02

Added to its Sooloos capabilities – Sooloos, manufactured by Meridian, enables a multi-zone audio system.


Stereo Outputs

  • Analogue:

    1x unbalanced on phono

    1x balanced on XLR-3M

    Rendering of decoded MQA streams


    Coaxial S/PDIF ≤96kHz/24-bit

    Twin SpeakerLink, RJ45 balanced (AES/EBU) digital interface for single-cable connection to other Meridian equipment, ≤96kHz/24-bit with MHR, and MQA signals for rendering by Meridian DSP loudspeakers

Stereo Inputs

  • Analogue:

    6x unbalanced on phono


    2x Coaxial S/PDIF ≤192kHz/24-bit, DoP

    2x Toslink optical ≤96kHz/24-bit

    1x SpeakerLink ≤192kHz/24-bit

    1x Asynchronous USB ≤192kHz/24-bit, DoP

    MQA source decoding


818V3: RRP £8,000.00


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Oak Audio are a British company making the interesting Hurricane, transmission line loudspeaker that costs £599 and uses latest generation Mark Audio Alpair 7 full-range drive unit. Dominic Marsh puts them through their paces.  More »

LH Labs via Audiobility are launching their new high-end mini Headphone Amp/DAC in to the UK, the Geek Out V2. This initial launch in the UK over the next few months will be offering a 15% discount via indiegogo with delivery before the holidays. Launch offer starts from $254.00gov2plus_diagonal

Geek Out V2 has selectable gain settings of 1000mW & 100mW. “Geek Out V2 pairs perfectly with those monstrous power hungry cans or your uber-sensitive IEM’s” says the company’s recent press release.

You can now play any music on the market today from MP3’s all the way up to 32/384 kHz and DSD 128 ultra-high-resolution files. The V2 + version has a built in battery so this Headphone Amp/DAC can be completely portable.gov2_horizontal

There is also an Infinity version which has the added benefit of a third gain setting of 450mW, plus a third digital mode to optimize the DAC for streaming music through services like Tidal. Its THD performance is further improved by -3 dB.


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Grimm Audio announces a major update of the PC & Mac control software for their LS1 playback system. The update focuses on improving the user experience, but also adds new functionality.grimmsoftwarepic

An equalizer with user presets is added, that offers delicate adjustment of the LS1 response to taste. Its low frequency EQ can be set separately for left and right, so both speakers can be tuned individually to their acoustical environments.

With the new user interface and the EQ, an LS1 playback system becomes even more easy to setup in a living room or studio. To complement the new LS1 Remote software, the LS1 manual was completely rewritten.


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French ‘Pro Audio’ manufacturer Amadeus announced during the 38th edition of the Paris HI-FI Show on October 17 and 18 that their new ‘Philharmonia’ speakers are shipping. The Philharmonia was displayed as a ‘concept-speaker’ during the last Frankfurt Prolight + Sound and Munich High End Society trade shows._V4A7060_1600px

The new speakers were initially created specifically for the Philharmonie de Paris recording and mastering studios and designed by Michel DeLuc, Amadeus’ Director of Research & Development, along with world-renown architect Jean Nouvel, who designed the new Philharmonie de Paris concert hall.

Bernard BYK, co-founder and CEO of Amadeus, says, “Imagine a reference sound system with exceptional design, ergonomics and acoustics, as a kind of consecration! Jean Nouvel’s imagination, exuberance and creative genius, combined with Michel DeLuc’s engineering, brought a brilliant solution to life. Amadeus especially praises tradition, and the new speakers combine innovation as well as timeless beauty; christened ‘Philharmonia’, they embody the know-how, the creativity, and the values with which Amadeus has been building its history for more than 35 years.”  _V4A7142_1600px

The new Philharmonia 2-way, self-powered speakers feature a 28-mm soft-domed tweeter and a custom 8-inch woofer, and boast analogue and digital inputs with a customized integrated DAC and an amplitude linearity range (±2dB) from 43 Hz to 22 KHz. The high-frequency driver features very low dielectric losses and high thermal conductivity, loaded behind a fast exponential waveguide machined in wood.Philharmonia_Black_Background_72_RVB_002

The cabinets are custom manufactured from layered Birch and stand 1.6 meters tall, the casing contains the electronics inside the lower part of the speaker enclosure. Each speaker is comprised of 547 wood veneers. Each speaker features a unique hybrid laminar port using progressive termination for reproducing low frequencies.

Philharmonia is bi-amplified using two dedicated digital custom-built amplifiers, each amp delivers 700 Watts under 8 ohms. These proprietary PPM-PWM fixed frequency class-D amplifiers are equipped with a high-efficiency switched mode power supply. Each speaker channel is under control by a powerful, 64-bit digital processing unit capable of a 118 dB dynamic range. Each of these on-board DSP units include a module dedicated to managing core system parameters including system EQ, time alignment between sections, limiting, transducer thermal protection. This level of control makes Philharmonia fully protected and able to operate at the full extent of its abilities. Philharmonia_Black_Background_72_RVB_003

With line-level XLR analog input, Philharmonia lets users choose their own DAC, while at the same time, given that digital-to-analogue conversion should happen at the latest possible stage in an electro-acoustical monitoring system, Philharmonia also integrates two digital inputs/outputs conforming to the AES3 digital audio data transfer standard. These are coupled with a 24-bit/96kHz converter placed as close as possible to the electronic amplifiers, thus working together in perfect combination. The speakers also feature an RJ-45 network input allowing remote control of its DSP processor for optimal adjustment via dedicated software to match the speakers to the acoustical properties of each listening space. The software is an app that runs on Apple Macintosh and iPad, and Microsoft Windows computers.

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Pro-Ject RPM 9 Carbon 

The philosophy of the RPM series of turntables from Pro-Ject Audio Systems is to combine great sound with striking designs, and the latest release is as true to this belief as any other model. The RPM 9 Carbon has been introduced in line with the new range-topping RPM 10 Carbon (see below) to satisfy the needs of audio enthusiasts who want a record player that stands apart.

Based on the same “teardrop” chassis as its predecessor, the RPM 9.2 Evolution, but boasts similar improvements to the range’s flagship. PJ-Phono-RPM9Carbon

The plinth design has been chosen due to its improved resonance characteristics. The CNC- machined MDF structure is packed with resin- coated steel pellets to form a high-mass  sandwich construction that provides a firm base for the turntable. The whole plinth is then put through a complex heat treatment process and coated in a carbon fibre surface to reduce resonance levels as low as possible. The main turntable structure is then effectively decoupled from its support thanks to the plinth’s magnetic feet.

The RPM 9 Carbon boasts a new polished aluminium platter, inspired by the Xtension 9 SuperPack record player. The platter is internally lined with TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) damping material and topped with vinyl. The whole platter sits on top of an inverted ceramic main bearing.

As with all models in the RPM series, the RPM 9 Carbon uses a perimeter belt drive mechanism. The motor has an automatic speed change switch built into the top panel for easy changing between 33 and 45rpm. The motor also benefits from a built-in AC power generator PCB, to deliver a clean mains supply to the motor. The motor is completely decoupled from the main chassis and sits on top of a custom-designed steel base for improved stability.

The RPM 9 Carbon is supplied with the 9CC Evolution Tonearm pre-installed. The 9” tonearm boasts a conical carbon fibre tube and inverted bearing design. For improved signal transmission, the tonearm is supplied  with a 5-Pin to RCA Connect-IT CC cable.

The RPM 9 Carbon is supplied with a record puck in the box.

SRP £1,500.00

The RPM 9 Carbon will be available in the UK from November 2015.

UK customers can have an Ortofon Quintet Black cartridge installed for an extra £400.00*

Pro-Ject RPM 10 Carbon

Pro-Ject are now addressing the high-end sector with the introduction of a new range-topper; the RPM 10 Carbon.

Though the minimalist plinth design looks visually impressive, through extensive testing it’s also proved to show optimal resonance characteristics, compared to many traditional chassis designs. To further improve its performance, the plinth also employs “high mass” principles with resin-coated steel pellets packed inside the CNC-machined MDF structure. The whole plinth is then subjected  to a complex heat treatment and carbon fibre surface coating to ensure minimal resonance travels through the turntable. The plinth is finished with magnetic feet.PJ-Phono-RPM10Carbon

The RPM 10 Carbon’s platter is the same as that found on the Xtension 10 record player. The polished aluminium exterior is internally lined with TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) damping material  and topped with vinyl. The whole platter sits on top of a stainless steel spindle with inverted ceramic main bearing.

The RPM 10 Carbon’s perimeter drive belt mechanism is driven by a completely decoupled heavyweight motor. The motor sits on top of a custom-designed steel base for improved stability. Electronic speed- change between 33 and 45rpm is built into the motor, which also employs its own AC power generator PCB, for a clean mains supply and reduced speed variance.

The 10CC Evolution Tonearm is pre-installed on the RPM 10 Carbon which boasts a conical carbon fibre tube and inverted bearing design. The high-quality internal wiring and selection of TPE-damped counterweights also makes the tonearm suitable for use with almost any high-end pick-up cartridge. For improved signal transmission, the tonearm is supplied with a 5-Pin to RCA Connect-IT CC cable.

The RPM 10 Carbon is supplied as standard with the brand new Ground-IT Carbon high-mass platform and a high-quality record puck. An acrylic dustcover is available separately in the Cover-IT range.

SRP £2,300.00

The RPM 10 Carbon will be available in the UK from November 2015.

UK customers can have an Ortofon Cadenza Black cartridge installed for an extra £1,000.00*


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Following on from our “not-review” of five free Android apps for audiophiles Hifi Pig has put together another selection of free Android apps that audiophiles may find useful and fun.  More »

I was dragged kicking and screaming into the world of smart-phones and tablets but now I’ve embraced them I really couldn’t be without them. However, your android device is only as smart as the apps that you install on it and so we thought it would be fun to highlight a handful of the free Android apps that we use every once in a while. Of course there are a whole load more free and paid for apps out there, including apps to control specific brands kit, and we’ll be adding more to our list as and when. More »

Noble Audio has introduced the very latest Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing technology to its range of IEMs (in-ear monitors). Its new five-strong SLA range of custom-fit IEMs (CIEMs), uses advanced 3D printing techniques to slash waiting times to under a fortnight, bringing bespoke-fit monitors to enthusiasts’ ears faster than ever before.SLA range low

The new SLA range is made in the USA with typical waiting times of around 10 days from the receipt of ear-impressions. There are five custom-fit models available, covering a range of performance and price points: Noble 4SLA (£399); Noble 5SLA (£499), Noble 6SLA (£599); the new Savant SLA (£699) and flagship 10-driver Kaiser 10SSLA (£820).

Each model features a hypoallergenic, FDA-approved (US Food and Drug Administration) lacquer. The SLA range is available in four colours: black; smoke; red and blue.

As with all custom-fit Noble Audio IEMs, to order, customers are invited to send their existing impressions in to Noble. Personal ear impressions can be taken by a local audiologist.

Impressions of customers’ ears are then scanned, digitized and stored making it convenient to order replacements, additional sets, or other models from the range.


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Ian Ringtead loves a Hifi Show and has been going to them for many a long year… More »

HMF Solutions of London got in touch with Hifi Pig to tell us all about the new Aquilar reference tonearm from Acoustical-Systems of Germany.

Acoustical-Systems say that  for the past 2 years their R&D department has dedicated a lot of energy, time, money and brain-storming in offering the unique sonic abilities of the AXIOM tonearm in a more affordable version. The brief was “To create an all-new superior 10″ tonearm design – which also should be easy to mount on all turntables”.

This R&D has resulted in the AQUILAR, an all-new 10” reference tonearm.

The Aquilar (origin from ancient latin “aquila” – the eagle) offers many of the expensive materials, as well as most of the unique technical key solutions, of the AXIOM and comes equipped with a host of features including:

10” effective length

Very easy and swift set up

Customised dedicated 3D-alignment  template

Non-resonance HD18 tungsten carbide  counterweight

Unique Acoustical-Systems non-resonance titanium/carbon-hybrid arm wand

Precision leveling of bearing plane – independent of arm board /turntable

Adjustable SRA, VTA, Azimuth, Overhang and Offset angle at headshell

VTA adjustment on-the-fly

Non-touch magnetic Anti skating on-the-fly

Dynamic anti skating following the tangential curve

The critical inner wiring is fine 5N pure silver litz wire
















The tonearm is available with 2 terminal options:

direct-to-phono 1.2 m length phono lead (RCA or XLR) or male DIN 5-pole connector.

The Aquilar is available in 2 finishes: black satin matt or ceramic-alloy silver matt.


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Planar magnetic headphone maker Audeze is looking forward to exhibiting at the 139th International AES Convention at the Javits Center from October 29th to November 1st in New York City.Audeze2S

Audeze will focus on the pro side of the business with a series of new planar magnetic microphones. Audeze will also focus on the increasing number of pro audio engineers using the Audeze LCD-X for mastering. As well as the LCD Collection, Audeze will feature the more portable EL-8 headphones (pictured above).

The company will also introduce a range of the world’s first planar magnetic microphones They’ll be available in three versions: Mono for $995, Stereo for $1,995, and a revolutionary Tetrahedral Virtual Reality configuration for $3,995. Hifi Pig got a glimpse of the prototype for these at Munich High-End which was dubbed Squidee for obvious reasons.



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Cabasse has released the latest version of the Stream CONTROL app, used to control its range of streaming products, adding new user features and including Tidal and Qobuz.

The addition of the CD resolution TIDAL and Qobuz services, plus the availability of high resolution files from Qobuz is the perfect complement to the company’s Stream range, says the company’s latest press release.ipad_tidal

Other improvements and additions made to the v. 2.0 version of the app include better display of album artwork, user interface upgrades and the removal of non Cabasse/AwoX renderers from the connected devices list if the user wishes to do so. The DEAP (DSP) settings for the Stream AMP have also been enhanced, with the addition of further Cabasse models to the list of speakers for which DSP optimisation is available (models supported now includes Minorca, Eole, iO2, Surf, Antigua and Caisson Santorin). The DEAP function has also been upgraded to include manual bass and treble controls. Users now also have a more direct access to the multi-room functions of the Stream products from the main menu and the ability to switch inputs from Bluetooth to WiFi/Ethernet via the settings tab on the app.

Using Stream CONTROL for iOS or Android opens up a world of digital streaming to users of the Cabasse Stream 1, Stream 3, Stream Source and Stream AMP products.


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Bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding, who rose to international prominence in 2011 when she won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, is set to bring her incredible band to London on November 2nd for a hugely anticipated show at Shepherd’s Bush in West London.

Spalding will showcase music from her forthcoming album Emily’s D+Evolution, due for release on Universal/Concord in March. The album is one of Spalding’s most diverse and ambitious projects to date and this exclusive UK appearance represents an unmissable opportunity to catch an incredible artist whose star continues to rise.


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Vincent at Total DAC has been in touch to tell Hifi Pig about a new loudspeaker that is now on demo in the company’s high efficiency dem’ room of Totaldac in North Western France.dechalvaux_bass_horn_totaldac

The speakers are made by Dechalvaux, a new high-end speaker manufacturer from France.dechalvaux_zoom
It uses a field coil full range driver mounted in a piece of solid wood. You can contact TotalDAC to arrange a listen at their premises.

Efficiency: 100dB/1W/1m
Power: 50W
Height: 2.15m
Width: 750mm
Weight: 75kg

Price: 80000€ a pair

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Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique was one of my first classical purchases way back in the early 1980s.  I was initially attracted by the album’s sleeve notes, which alluded to febrile opium-induced nightmares.  Also, the instrumentation featured something called an ophicleide, which I hadn’t encountered before and I’m not sure that I have since. More »

The last time I saw Richard Thomson in concert, a member of the audience shouted: “Where’s Linda tonight Richard?”  Thompson replied that she was in hospital giving birth.  Linda gave birth to a daughter, Kami, who as one half of The Rails is opening tonight’s show.  The other half of The Rails is Kami’s husband, James. More »

Back in the 1980s, Yes vocalist Jon Anderson first mooted the idea of working with violinist Jean Luc Ponty but it has taken until now to make that reality. More »


Mike Twomey continues his series of articles and focuses on how the dealers choose the lines they carry.  More »

It is a first for the Swiss brand usually known for extreme loudspeakers like the gigantic and inaccessible Apologue Anniversary, but good things come to those who wait!

Goldmund has announced the introduction of what they are calling “a high-tech computer audio system that will dramatically transform your sound environment during the long hours you are spending in front of your screens: the Goldmund Talisman Audio System”. Goldmund_desktop

The system comprises the Nanometis Speakers and the Metis Talisman Hub, two lifestyle products holding the company’s “latest developments in nanotechnology for ultimate sound reproduction”.

The Metis Talisman is a mini wireless hub the size of a jewelry box. It is the central piece of the system that allows connecting the speakers to multiple sources with its USB port, analogue and digital RCA inputs, and toslink optical connection. In addition, it comes with a headphone plug.

It is delivered with a simplistic remote control and has push buttons for input selection and volume on the back panel. Input and volume controls are monitored by a linear led indicator running along the unit’s front panel.

Different colors are proposed for the standard version of the Talisman: Pearly White, Black, Clear Grey and Anthracite Grey, just like the Goldmund Nanometis Speakers.

Both products come with a Goldmund logo engraved gold plaque. They are built in aluminum and handcrafted.

The new Nanometis is the smallest and more versatile speaker proposed by the Swiss manufacturer. It completes an already very wide line of Goldmund high-end wireless speakers created to simplify customers’ lives thanks to models that are extremely easy to use and install, it includes the new Goldmund Leonardo 2 technology associated to Proteus and  140W of Telos amplification per pair.

The Talisman Hub and Nanometis can also be ordered separately, which gives customers the choice to:

Select different colors for the speakers and the hub.

Use the Nanometis without the Talisman directly from your computer thanks to the USB dongle emitter provided with the speaker.

Use the Nanometis with any other Goldmund Processor.

Use the Metis Talisman Hub with any other Goldmund wireless speaker.

Lastly, two luxury finishes are available on demand for the Metis Talisman Hub: Goldmund Aluminum and Matt Gold.

And for those who are only satisfied with unique products, bespoke Gold and Rhodium plated versions can be created for this model, as well as completely personalized designs with inlaid gemstones.


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Janine Elliot takes a listen to the £2200 Signature One transformer coupled Moving Coil Phono-Stage from well known British manufacturer Rothwell.  More »

Quad’s forthcoming Z Series loudspeaker range is set for an exclusive preview at The Hi-Fi Show Live 2015 this weekend. Due to launch around the turn of the year, the range sits above the new S Series in terms of price.w3

The Z-4 floorstanding speaker will be demonstrated at the show, driven by Quad’s all-new Artera components – the Artera Play CD player/DAC/preamplifier and Artera Stereo power amplifier. The Artera electronics will also be used to drive a pair of Quad’s famous electrostatic speakers.

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The Unico range of hybrid hi-fi electronics from Unison Research has garnered a strong reputation with audiophiles around the world in recent years. The new Unico 150 dual-mono integrated amplifier has been designed from the ground-up to take the mantle of flagship in the Unico range; superseding the well-established Unico 100 model.



“The Unico 150 amplifier has been designed to fulfil both high-end audiophile and highly scientific criteria. This dual-approach to development has led to the creation of a product that is completely different from anything else Unison Research has ever released, and the result is something truly unrivalled on the market; a powerful, great- sounding amplifier with only three active stages (two tube and one MOSFET stage)” says the press release from Henley Design who distribute the range in the UK.

The Unico 150 is an integrated amplifier designed to accommodate a variety of sources via its three RCA and two XLR pair inputs. It’s also designed to fit into most existing systems, with its fixed and variable RCA outputs as well as the bi-wirable speaker terminals. The large casework is built to the same standards as previous Unico designs, but the Unico 150 is the first to boast a new three-plate front fascia that adds an aesthetic enhancement over its predecessors. Operation is simple via the front-panel controls or the supplied RC2 system remote.



The Unico 150 uses a three-stage circuit and all of the gain – and with it the core sound character of the amplifier – is controlled by the first two Pure Class A tube stages. The input stage uses two ECC83 triodes in totem-pole configuration, while the driver stage uses two 6H30 triodes in totem-pole configuration for “near-flat distortion, minimal output impedance and well controlled gain”. A high- quality but entirely passive ALPS volume control and armoured input switching relays are used.

The whole pre-amplifier section is directly coupled to each channel’s MOSFET power stage to achieve a consistent, with optimal linearity achieved within 10 minutes of being switched on (nominal linearity is achieved in under a second). The Unico 150 has been designed to drive a wide-variety of loudspeakers.

The Unico 150 boasts purpose-selected power transformers and the power section has also been configured to give plenty of headroom  for reliability.

The Unico 150 will be available in the UK from November 2015.

It will be available in Silver finish, or to special order in Black for a £100.00 surcharge.

SRP £4,000.00


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Cable wars must surely be the biggest single cause of conflict and injury between audiophiles and the reason I’ve not got involved in one in a good old while…better just to keep quiet, watch from a distant hilltop and let the troops on the virtual front line battle it out ad-infinitum, though casualties will inevitably be high. Here’s my guide to the elements taking part in this ongoing conflict.  More »

King Crimson gigs are, it would seem, like buses – you wait 35 years for one and then 2 come along at once.  I’m happy to say that I was able to attend both of their recent Edinburgh shows. More »

This is not a new record having being released in 2009, but it is new to me and so I thought worthy of sharing it as I really enjoyed it.

William Orbit will not be a new name to many with my first exposure to his music being back in a dim and distant 90s when I got sent his Water From A Vine Leaf on Geurilla Records (and excellent label of the day). He’s produced for loads of people not least Madonna on her Ray Of Light and MDNA albums…both very good records by the way and which get regular play here at Hifi Pig towers. More »

Out now on Esoteric Antenna Ostinato is described as “a labour of love, built on forty years’ vision’ with Tayler commenting “I had so many ideas for music and sound running around inside my head as a teenager, and now, more than forty years on, technology has evolved to the point where I can realise this vision, as if the outer world and my inner music have finally synchronised, and the production of this album has at last made this possible.” More »

More news from the upcoming Windsor Show, this time from a host of companies using David Denyer for their press. 

Sound Fowndations (Windsor 3)

“We’re really excited to be pulling out all the stops for the 3rd Hi-Fi Show Live. As well as seeking to put together the ultimate in high-performance systems, we’re also delighted to be bringing with us several of the world’s most renowned hi-fi designers to share their passion and expertise” says Chirs Green of Sound Fowndations.

The Windsor Show will be the UK’s first showing of the new enhanced Clearaudio Statement turntable and visitors will have the opportunity to meet two of its creators, Clearaudio’s Robert and Veronika Suchy.clearwind

In addition there will be the DS Audio’s DS-W1 (the world’s only optical cartridge) which uses an LED to detect stylus vibration. DS Audio’s CEO Tetsuaki Aoyagi will join Sound Fowndations from Japan to answer visitors’ questions.

Gamut is currently working on the latest version of the flagship RS9 loudspeaker and they are hoping for a world premier at Hi-Fi Show Live! R&D Manager Benno Baun Meldgaard will be on hand to apply his set-up skills and to demonstrate.gamutwinds

The main system on show will include the Gamut D3i preamplifier, Gamut’s M250i amplifiers, power conditioning components from IsoTek and Blue Horizon’s Pro Rack and Sanctum isolation platform.

All brands to be shown:

ADL (Alpha Design Labs)

Blue Horizon


DS Audio




Kate Koeppel Design

Musical Surroundings

Decent Audio (Buckingham 1 & Sandringham 2)

Decent Audio will be bringing a selection of new products to Hi-Fi Show Live. They have just acquired exclusive UK distribution rights for two brands: Van Den Hul and Scansonic, so expect to see some surprises in the two Decent Audio rooms.krondzin

In the Buckingham Suite 1, their system will feature the brand new ‘baby’ turntable from Kronos, the Sparta .5 (‘point five’), fitted with Kronos’ own Helena tonearm.  The turntable will be feeding the Van den Hul ‘The Grail’ phonostage, while at the sharp end of the system will be the Van den Hul Crimson custom hand-built moving coil cartridge. Amplification will be courtesy of the Audio Analogue Puccini Anniversary integrated amplifier.  Van den Hul’s  cables will feature throughout… some don’t even feature any metal in their construction! Finishing off the system in will be loudspeakers from Scansonic’s MB series.  speqkszin

The Sandringham Suite 2 will offer both analogue and digital sources with the system including the Transfiguration Axia-S moving coil cartridge and the Fortissimo compact disc player from Audio Analogue.  These will be fed via a cable loom from Van den Hul into Audio Analogue’s Puccini Anniversary integrated amplifier.  Loudspeakers will be the new Magneplanar .7s (‘point seven’).

Kudos (Lancaster 6)

At Hi-Fi Show Live, Kudos’ first, they will be demonstrating a full Linn Exakt system, featuring a pair of their new flagship Titan 808 loudspeakers.titqnzin

The new Titan 808 takes the place of the original Titan 88, but while the two may share a name, the new 808 is a completely unique design.

Icon Audio (Lancaster 2)

Icon Audio will launch several new products at Hi-Fi Show Live 2015.

The Stereo 30se is their most powerful single-ended integrated amplifier to date, its design having been inspired by the MB30se monoblocks. It features a single KT150 valve, producing 30 watts of single-ended power.

The FRM2 (‘full-range monitor’) features just one full-range drive unit of 8” in diameter, with an innovative centre cap for extended high frequency response. It’s the first of a new range of Icon Audio loudspeakers specifically tailored for use with lower powered valve amplifiers. iconzin

Icon’s new valve, the EL34D will also be on demonstration. This new design is pure triode but designed to be a “drop in” replacement for the Mullard EL34, enabling any EL34 amplifier to use them.

Icon will also be demonstrating an updated version of their “Made for valves” MFV3, an upgraded version of the PS3 phono stage featuring “Balanced” input technology.


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One of the best CD playback systems money can buy says the press release– Metronome Technologie’s Kalista Ultimate transport and new C8+ DAC – is joined by a mighty music server called The Beast, engineered without compromise in Switzerland by ReQuest Audio. Amplification is supplied by Constellation Audio, with the Virgo III preamp and Hercules II power amp driving Magico’s S7 loudspeakers. Constellation’s Irv Gross and Magico’s Peter Mackay are flying in from the US to conduct demonstrations.met1




Absolute Sounds’ second room hosts Sabrina – the new compact floorstander from Wilson Audio. Renowned recording engineer and Wilson Audio ambassador Peter McGrath will conduct demonstrations, with two different systems driving the speakers: a valve-based set-up from Audio Research, and a solid-state system from Dan D’Agostino. The Audio Research set-up includes the Reference CD9, feeding amps from the company’s new Reference SE range sporting KT150 valves. The Dan D’Agostino system, meanwhile, includes the Momentum Lifestyle Amplifier, or MLife for short; a new integrated DAC/amp with comprehensive wireless streaming facilities from Krell’s legendary founder.





Absolute Sounds’ final room showcases the latest creations from some of high-end audio’s most distinguished brands. Various systems will be available for demonstration, featuring components from Dan D’Agostino and PrimaLuna, including the latter’s DiaLogue HP range. Speakers include Sonus faber’s new Venere S floorstander and MartinLogan’s Motion 35XT, the latest bookshelf model to sport the company’s Folded Motion tweeter. Other highlights include Krell’s new Vanguard digital preamp, with support for PCM and DSD. Absolute Sounds’ crack squad of high-end audio experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide advice.





The Hi-Fi Show Live 2015 takes place on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th October at the Beaumont Estate, Old Windsor, Berkshire.

Absolute Sounds will have all the following brands in attendance at this year’s show

  •  Audio Research
  •  Artesania Audio
  •  Constellation Audio
  •  Copland
  • Crystal Cable
  •  Dan D’Agostino
  •  darTZeel
  •  EAT
  •  Jadis
  •  Koetsu
  •  Krell
  •  Magico
  •  MartinLogan
  •  Metronome Technologie
  •  oBravo
  •  PrimaLuna
  •  Request Audio
  •  Sonus faber
  •  TechDAS

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Hawkwind have a loyal following and you only need to look at the bust up between Nik Turner and Dave Brock and the camps fans have aligned themselves to understand that passions’ run high when it comes to this iconic space rock band.

Love In Space was originally recorded in 1995 whilst the band were on tour promoting the Alien 4 Album and was then released a year later. The line-up is Ron Tree on vocals, Dave Brock, Alan Davey and Richard Chadwick and to be fair to Ron Tree he does a great job in bringing a good deal of the feel of the original Bob Calvert to proceedings. Alan Davey is without a doubt my most favorite of bass players and he doesn’t disappoint here. More »

As the daughter of The Band’s Levon Helm, Amy Helm has spent her life surrounded by music.  The Band took a mix of rock and roll and traditional American music and invented the Americana genre, decades before the term became popular.  A particularly impressive feat considering that 4 out of the 5 members were Canadian, with Arkansas native Levon being the sole American.   More »

Icon Audio’s MB 30 SE mono power amplifiers use no PCBs in their construction and come with a two year guarantee. Stuart Smith takes a listen to these £2199 amps.  More »

Linette Smith brings the itchy blanket of gender politics to the hifi world.


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Acoustic treatment manufacturer GIK Acoustics has announced the launch of a new product series that is “changing the face of acoustic panels and bass traps”.

First introduced in the USA in late September, GIK Acoustics-Europe is proud to offer the GIK Acoustics Alpha Wood Series, a line of acoustic panels and bass traps with a wood face which has a mathematical sequence of slots for one-dimensional scattering / diffusion.

The Alpha Wood Series combines absorption with diffusion and enhances any room both aesthetically and acoustically with “superior quality, high-performing, and stylish room treatments”.

First in the series is the 4A Alpha Panel (see pic). The 4A Alpha Panel is constructed as a 595mm x 595mm x 100mm wood-framed panel filled with rigid rockwool absorption material (core made from 100% recycled materials, environmentally friendly without any formaldehyde or urea formaldehyde). The panel is then wrapped in fabric and finished with a beech veneer wood face which is designed for even, one-dimensional scattering. The wood face also allows low frequency waves to pass through to the rockwool panel for better low end absorption.

GIK Acoustics-Europe General Manager David Shevyn says, “We are thrilled to bring the Alpha Wood Series to our European customers. Not only is the Alpha Wood Series one of the most attractive product lines we’ve introduced, but they are twice as effective as similar products on the market that use foam. The Alpha Wood Series offers so many more, better colour choices and better results. The Alpha Series is truly a game changer for GIK Acoustics.”


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BluesFest Director Leo Green has confirmed that multi-million-selling singer and pianist Jamie Cullum has joined the bill for this year’s Prudential BluesFest and will perform at indigO2 on Sunday November 8th. Backed by his usual band plus a 12-piece big band, Cullum will draw on music from his extensive back catalogue, including from 2014’s Interlude.

Jamie Cullum:

“Having performed at the very first BluesFest in 2011, it’s great to be asked back and I’m looking forward to performing on the same bill as all of these incredible acts.”5F38651A-5B55-4401-9B42-03E615D0EA99

Cullum joins an impressive line-up for Prudential BluesFest 2015, which already boasts the likes ofGrammy-winning blues-rock group Tedeschi Trucks Band, a superstar double bill from Van Morrison and Tom Jones, British blues stars Jo Harman and Matt Schofield, the multi-million-selling Dave Matthews Band, and Prudential Proudly Presents The ABC Of Blues & Soul, which will see Mica Paris, Lisa Stansfield and Imelda May celebrating legendary female blues and soul vocalists accompanied by an orchestra.

This year’s event will also present a series of free daytime performances, making it one of London’s biggest’s free music festivals.

Prudential BluesFest 2015 takes place at The O2 from 6th – 8th November.


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London based dealer Sonata has been appointed as the exclusive UK distributor for Goldmund, the Swiss luxury audio manufacturer.Gold;und1

Goldmund has taken 35 years of technological expertise and adapted it to launch a completely new range of wireless speakers, offering everything from a compact desktop system, design conscious lifestyle models, all the way up to the iconic limited edition Apologue Anniversary.

Every speaker has been engineered to include all the technological developments made by the Goldmund research team. This includes the implementation of their Proteus speaker modelling programme and Leonardo2 technology to create speakers that are “perfectly aligned for amplitude, phase and time within very powerful DSP filters”.Sonqtq8gold;und

Internal amplification using the very latest version of the Telos circuit, Alize D to A conversion, mechanical grounding and aluminium construction are also included in each product.

All Goldmund speakers can either play music directly from a computer using the Goldmund USB dongle or from other sources connected to a Goldmund ‘hub’ such as the Mimesis 11 or Talisman.

As a result of these shared technologies, the Goldmund range of speakers has an extremely consistent musical voice and quality. The only things that improve as you go up the range are the low frequency extension and maximum possible sound pressure levels.

Sonata is delighted to have been specifically chosen by Goldmund to represent their unique products in the UK and has recently exhibited the Prologos wireless speakers to great acclaim at this years’ London Design Festival.

UK Prices range from £5,000 to £400,000


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Sonus faber has introduced Il Cremonese, the latest creation from the Italian high end loudspeaker manufacturer which will join the Homage Collection in the Sonus faber catalogue. As the newest member of the Homage Collection, Il Cremonese shares many features of both form and function. A three-and-a-half way, floorstanding loudspeaker, Il Cremonese is the result of evolutionary product design, and the adaptation of technologies from the Lilium and other Sonus faber speaker projects. The name Il Cremonese is an homage to Antonio Stradivari, and one of his most famous violins, celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2015. First named after the original owner, and known since the 18th century as Joachim, Stradivari’s violin was renamed “Il Cremonese” in 1961 when it was selected as the first Stradivari to return to the city of Cremona as part of the permanent collection in the Museo del Violino. This is one of the most important instruments in the history of Italian violin making, thanks to its innovative design and proportions, the quality and the depth of sound, and the beautiful materials and finishes used to create it.Sf_Il Cremonese (6)

Many Sonus faber patents and technologies are implemented in Il Cremonese:

Stealth Reflex System – allowing for a reduction in the dimensions of the internal acoustic volume while providing distortion control, it utilises two orthogonal ports, one on the back for the midwoofer, and the other on the base, facing the floor, for the woofers and infrawoofers.

Z.V.T. (Zero Vibration Transmission) system – used for decoupling the speaker’s cabinet from the floor and the rest of the listening environment, this is implemented in a revolutionary way inside the floor spikes. This new system continues to use new, modern elastomers, and guarantees a further simplification in the construction and aesthetic lightness.

Upper and lower “Dampshelves” – two massive slabs of black brushed Avional, operating as mechanical energy dampers generated by Il Cremonese’s powerful drivers.

Staggered Low Frequencies Emission Technology” system – used for the first time since “the Sonus faber” project, it optimises the performance of the integrated infrawoofers.

The driver cones are designed entirely in-house, the tweeter is the Sonus faber Arrow Point DAD (Damped Apex Dome), the midrange is a Sonus faber M18 XTR-04, the woofers are the Sonus faber W18XTR-12 (a scaled-down version of the Lilium woofers), and the W22XTR-16 infrawoofers are a new project from the Arcugnano factory. The crossover network utilizes the innovative “Paracross topology” for superior results.Sf_Il Cremonese (5)

Il Cremonese is characterised by an innovative cabinet with five sides, a “Rhomboidal diamond design” which optimises the structural solidity of the wooden cabinets with a diamond shape Inspired by the shape of Lilium, Il Cremonese introduces clean lines and a, minimal, and sharp design. Sonus faber say ‘This new and atypical form represents an evolution towards technological and visual innovation, simultaneously maintaining the historic milestones that marked the history of violin making, as well as the history of the Sonus faber brand itself.’

Lacquered walnut wood, tempered glass, leather and brushed black aluminium are the materials used and Il Cremonese is available in the classical Sonus faber finishes of RED and WALNUT.Sf_Il Cremonese (2)

Il Cremonese will be available to non-US Sonus faber dealers and distributors in November 2015, and to US and Canadian dealers in early 2016. The suggested retail price is € 31250 pair (VAT not included).


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Meridian has announced that two new edition DSP loudspeakers are now ready to order.

The £6,000.00 DSP5200.2 and £17,000.00 DSP7200.2 loudspeakers take Meridian’s proprietary Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology to a new high, with a series of new and improved technological innovations that deliver superior performance in many areas, says the company’s latest press release.DSP7200.2 - Colour Select

Both new models house not just smart processing, but also amplification, creating a complete audio system in a loudspeaker. Just add a music source, such as a CD player or smartphone, and enjoy. And to create ‘multi-room Meridian style’ connect the company’s £499.00 Media Source 200, which enables wireless control of networked music libraries, as well as brings dedicated iOS apps and Sooloos zone-controlling desktop software.

The key features and benefits of the Meridian DSP5200.2 and DSP7200.2 are:

  • Advanced, high-efficiency composite dome tweeter.
  • DSP active advantage – self-contained audio system with no amplification equipment needed.
  • Centre elevation adjustment technology delivered with Horizontal Centre version.
  • Advanced listener controls including bass, treble tilt, listening axis, volume, time-compensated balance and absolute phase.
  • Outstanding performance – three powerful, built in 75W amplifiers with DSP provide a maximum output level of 116dB at 1m.
  • On-board DSP provides thermal and dynamic bass protection – enables high-level use for prolonged periods of time.
  • Features Meridian’s proprietary Enhanced Bass Alignment (EBA) technology.
  • Multiple installation applications in home and marine environments enabled by Meridian’s unique Design and Specification Service.image006 (1)


UK Confirmed Recommended Retail Prices

DSP5200.2: RRP £6000.00/DSP5200*HC.2: RRP £3250.00

DSP7200.2: RRP £17000.00/DSP7200*HC.2: RRP £9,000.00

The standard colours are black and white piano lacquer finishes.

Meridian Select bespoke colour service is available at a 5% upcharge.

*HC denotes Centre Channel Digital Active Loudspeaker


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In 1973, the Audio Research SP3 was hailed as ‘the best preamplifier available’. The Reference Series from Audio Research was first introduced in 1995 and say Audio Research, ‘Has been the ultimate representation of performance, musicality and power.’ The Reference 6 is the latest preamplifier from the brand.Audi_Research-ref-6-news1

The Reference 6 is a solution to a need which arose after the creation of the Reference SE Series amplifiers. According to Warren Gehl, who is responsible for sonic development of all Audio Research products, the new series of Reference amplifiers offer ‘a level of musical and dynamic capability only made apparent when using the flagship, two-chassis Reference 10 preamplifier. Both preamplifiers of the Reference Series need the ability to provide the full benefit of this new sonic landscape. Increasing the tube count to six in the analogue section, and advancements in the power supply improved both macro- and micro-dynamics and lowered distortion. The Reference 6 also offers better bass control, relaxed purity and more dimensionality. Further improvements include a more grainless presentation, greater transparency, better speed, and more continuity across the musical spectrum. Quite simply, the Reference 6 improves upon its predecessor in every way for a more palpable and immediate musical performance.’Audio_research_ref_6_news2

Numerous elements – transformers, capacitors, wiring – are designs exclusive to Audio Research and the Reference 6. A completely new chassis has allowed a more beautiful aesthetic, but also provides more structural rigidity to assist in the dissipation of electrical and mechanical interferences. Six premium 6H30 tubes are now used in the audio circuit (increased from four tubes in the Reference 5SE) to provide an even quieter background and increased dynamic range. The tube-regulated power supply is also a new design. New circuit boards, circuit designs, and larger power transformer have been implemented to provide robustness and serviceability. A new volume control with finer step gradation and higher performance completes the system.
The first Reference 6 units, available in natural anodized aluminium with acrylic cover, will begin shipping in November.


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Is it really almost eighteen months since we last attended one of the Association Jazz Edge events? Let me put you in the picture dear reader. More »

Tellurium Q, the UK based cable manufacturer got in touch with Hifi Pig to tell us all about their latest Ultra Silver Power cables.
In their press release they say that the new power cables have “Even cleaner, more focused and more agile sound than the multi award wining Black power cable, with more precise bass definition and top end. Equipment sounds like there is more headroom and energy in the music”.Ultra Silver Power Cable 3

As ever Tellurium Q are keeping absolute details about the design of the cables very close to their chests but say “New cable architecture, including enhanced double layered screening, have allowed a leap forward in performance”.Ultra Silver Power Cable 1

The cable will get its first public outing will be at the Windsor show on the UK 23rd October, Wessex room 5 in a system with the complementary new Silver Diamond cables.

RRP: £1680


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