The MunroSonic EGG150 is a £2000 active monitoring system with a twist. Dan Worth takes a listen to this egg shaped speaker and tells us if it’s all it’s cracked up to be. munroeggs1

“There’s no denying that the EGG150s are a very musical speaker and criticisms although tough are based on my experience with many other active speakers and the ones I currently own which offer qualities I just don’t think the Munros posses and for me it’s aligned with the mid/bass driver and the use of the rubber nests, as when a friend held one up in the air the colouration minimised to a very nice level that with the correct stands and supports would transform this speaker from good to great and match its top end beautifully.”

Read the full review of the MunroSonic EGG150 Active Monitoring Loudspeakers here. 

 

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After reviewing the Merrill Audio Veritas monobloc power amplifiers in January 2015 Stuart Smith auditioned the American company’s $4800 Thor amps. THOR2S

“Regular readers will remember I reviewed the Merrill Audio Veritas amps back in January of 2015 commenting “Hard to fault in my opinion but I just don’t give perfect tens. Had I the means to buy the review amps I certainly would.” Sadly my financial situation didn’t allow me to make the purchase and so, after speaking with Merrill and him assuring me that the Thors, despite their much more achievable pricepoint offered up a good percentage of what the Veritas would…he also mentioned that many people have found distinguishing the two very difficult.”

Read the full review of the Merrill Audio Thor monobloc power amplifiers here. 

 

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Peter Eden produced twenty albums between 1968 and72, which were labelled “progressive British jazz”, fr labels such as Deram, Harvest, Argo and Island, but he also released three albums on his own Turtle Records imprint in 1970 and 71and ot is these three recordings we have here.  More »

It’s that time of the month again when I eagerly open the padded envelope containing a CD from record label él. I say this every time I review one of their offerings, but it’s a great experience not really knowing what you are going to get. And so here we have Percy Faith “Malaguena: The Music Of The Cuba/Kismet: Music From The Broadway Production”… so two albums on one CD essentially.  More »

“As music lovers, we’re spoilt for choice. Our favorite tunes are now available in a wider variety of formats than ever before. But whether you’re a vinyl collector, a digital convert or a die hard reel-to-reel aficionado, one thing’s agreed: nothing can ever sound – or feel – quite like an original analogue master tape. Unfortunately, unless you’re in the band or own the record label, you’re unlikely to ever hear one, right?” That’s quite an opening gambit for a press release but, having met the guys behind the Horch House project, it’s one that is somewhat justified…read on.

Austria-based Horch House was created for the sole purpose of bringing the magic of analogue master tapes to music lovers in a variety of formats. Long negotiations with music publishers have been involved, followed by detailed research into the highest level of equipment and processes to capture that magic and deliver it via direct, faithful, fully licensed and approved copies. Horch House master tape copies

As a result, Horch House are now delighted offering the original master tape experience on reel-to-reel tapes, audiophile-grade vinyl records and in three high-resolution digital formats: 24 bit/96kHz and 24 bit/192kHz each in WAV, and DSD in DFF.

To translate original analogue master tapes into faithful copies, Horch House’s team of sound engineers use a painstaking process that has been meticulously researched and developed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading experts (think of specialists whose client lists include Sir Paul McCartney, Sony and Abbey Road Studios and you get a sense of the level of know-how involved).

The first step is to carefully assess the sound quality of each original master tape. Tapes age over time and most analogue masters are now between 30-80+ years old. What Horch House are looking to do, therefore, as an integral part of the copying process, is to restore the sound quality back to its original level. This ‘soft refurbishing’ process is in stark contrast to any kind of ‘remastering’ (which they most definitely do not do).

Horch House sound engineer Christoph Stickel has a remarkable knowledge of the complex elements underpinning the audio quality of an analogue master tape, enabling him to assess, understand and restore a tape’s original quality and achieve the correct tonal balance according to whether it was recorded 30, 40 or 50 years ago. No mixing desks, sound processors, limiters or compressors are used in the process. It’s an entirely analogue approach, using only analogue tools. No additional stages are introduced into the signal path, so virtually nothing is lost while the original beauty and character of the original recording are fully regained.

Stickel will typically begin by making analogue and digital test copies of the original master so that he can spend as many hours as needed to perfect his refurbishing strategy without overworking the irreplaceable original tape. Fine adjustments are made by ear and by hand to the company’s small bank of top-of-range Studer playback and recording machines (which are checked and measured daily to ensure consistently excellent quality), with Stickel exhaustively tweaking, testing and re-tweaking to replicate the parameters that produced the original recording. Only when an absolutely optimal result has been achieved will the ‘soft refurbished’ master tape copies then be made from the precious original – in small batches of just eight, in real time, and with constant quality monitoring throughout.

Audiophile-grade vinyl records are then created directly from one of the newly-refurbished master tape copies.

In creating digital copies, Horch House’s selection of equipment and attention to detail are as painstaking as those used in their analogue processes. No computers are used; each file is created entirely ‘natively’, converting directly from the refurbished master tape copy into each format separately, never compressing from one format to another. A Studer A80 is fed into one of two top-of-range analogue to digital converters, and then both machines are finely adjusted to achieve the best possible result for each specific format. Both of the studio-grade analogue to digital converters use an atomic clock rather than the standard quartz clock in order to guarantee complete synchronization with the recording machine.

An impressive list of record labels and publishers, including Warner Classics, Sony Classics, Universal and Deutsche Grammophon, already support the Horch House project and more are currently in negotiation. “Our current catalogue is just the beginning,” says music producer and joint Horch House owner, Thilo Berg. “I’m keen to speak to any and every music publisher in the business with a view to delivering the widest possible portfolio of high quality analogue master tape copies to as many people as we can”.

Prices range between 300-600 Euros for reel-to-reel tapes, 20-180 Euros for audiophile-grade vinyl records and 25-215 Euros for high-resolution digital formats (24 bit/96kHz and 24 bit/192kHz each in WAV, and DSD in DFF).

 

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Some readers will know the name Cymande (Sah Mahn Day) from their three albums (Cymande, Second Time Round and Promised Heights) released in the early to mid-seventies, whilst others will be aware of some of their tunes (The Message) via samples used by De La Soul, Gang Starr and others. More »

Martin Logan make the fabulous (and massive) Neolith electrostatic loudspeaker and it is electrostatics they are best known for, but they also produce a wide range of smaller and more accessible loudspeakers and here Dan Worth takes a listen to the company’s £899 Motion 15 standmounter. More »

Keeping your records in pristine condition is vital to their longevity and the lifespan of your cartridge. Stuart Smith cleans up his act with the Clearaudio Smart Matrix Record Cleaning Machine at £775.   More »

The world’s leading trade fair for the audio industry

From 5th to 8th May 2016, international visitors to the HIGH END will be able to experience  the best that electronic home entertainment has to offer. The
Bavarian capital will once again become a Mecca for fans of innovation from all over the world. The fair provides an unparalleled overview of the entire international audio market. It gives visitors a   unique opportunity to experience a whole range of audio delights, and take time to indulge in musical pleasure.

35 years of the HIGH END – a fair with a long tradition

The HIGH END can look back on a long tradition. First held in Düsseldorf in 1982, it will be taking place for the 35th successive year in 2016. After 21 years in Frankfurt am Main, the oldest and biggest exhibition of its kind moved to the MOC in Munich in 2004, where it has been held ever since.Willkommen

The HIGH END is a paradise for audio and video demonstrations

With its ultra-modern architecture and infrastructure, the MOC convention centre in the north of Munich offers ideal conditions for presentation. The MOC has now been home   to the annual exhibition for more than a decade. On an area covering 27,610 square me- tres, the HIGH END occupies four spacious exhibition halls and four glass atria with 140 adjacent showrooms. These beautiful, light-filled, individually customisable units offer ideal conditions to make a lasting  impression.Atrium

The HIGH END represents the entire audio industry

More than 500 exhibitors from Germany and abroad will be presenting their audio inno- vations. Not only the global players, but also smaller audio specialists will be showing     off their flair for development. Once again, the world’s leading suppliers of electronic home entertainment products will be presenting all their product groups and the entire spectrum of state-of-the-art technology.

Click the image to download last years show coverage by Hifi Pig

 

MunichFrontTHISFINAL

Variety, impact and quality of information

This fair makes a lasting impression on all those who experience it. With high-quality individual presentations by exhibitors from every part of the audio sector, fascinating musical demonstrations, exciting workshops, instructive comparative audio tests, inte- resting talks on the technology stage and live music everywhere, the fair is a guaranteed success.

The HIGH END in Munich brings together every aspect of the audio industry

The HIGH END covers every area of technological development. Bringing together traditional analogue hi-fi, the latest digital trends and high-definition video, the fair has everything there is to offer.  Visitors can experience the whole variety of video and    audio systems. People have different tastes, and there is a wide range of ways to listen with pleasure. So, for example, visitors to the HIGH END can enjoy everything from the reassuring sight of a vinyl disc turning to high-definition audio files with sophisticated conversion systems. There is no single method that can please everyone, so everyone  can and should use the variety of media exactly how they want to.

There’s also pure analogue technology

The whole range of tried-and-tested analogue technology will be there, with turntable units, amplifiers, tone arms, cartridges and valve equipment. Vinyl records are also on   sale to go with it. The tactile, heavy vinyl disc has been in growing demand for a number of years.

Naturally, the “sound of the future”

The entire spectrum of recent digital developments will be on show. These days, music    is not just consumed on digital and mobile devices, but also online and in networks. The

products on display include internet-capable receivers and hi-fi systems, as well as multi- room music systems, wireless Bluetooth speakers, sound bars and innovative, state-of- the-art headphones.

HIGH END in the car

Visitors to the HIGH END 2016 will once again have the opportunity to listen to unusual sound systems in different classes of car. This is because during the past decade, many  car manufacturers have used the expertise of the companies in our industry to offer   their customers tailor-made, and therefore better, audio systems. In Germany, a third of all new cars sold are now equipped with a special, optional sound system.

Electronic home entertainment for every age and every pocket

Naturally, affordable entry-level models for newcomers to hi-fi will be presented. Visitors can find everything the music enthusiast needs, regardless of age and listening habits.

After all, the HIGH END will always be a fair for music lovers.

The HIGH END begins with a special day for trade visitors

On 5 May 2016 (Ascension Day), the fair is only open to registered trade visitors and journalists with prior  accreditation.

The HIGH END is organised by the HIGH END SOCIETY, the trade association for high- quality electronic home entertainment, which includes the industry’s leading companies.

FACTS:

 

Location:  MOC Munich – Lilienthalallee 40 80939 Munich-Freimann

Dates:      5th May – 8th May, 2016

Trade  visitors  day: Thursday, 5th May 2016 (with prior registration only)

Opening times:10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

Trade visitors:   EUR 20.00 with prior registration(valid on all days)

General   public:  EUR 12.00 / day ticket from Friday to  Sunday

See you there!!!

 

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French company Lefson have been in touch with us to tell us about their C-MOD products which Lefson says acts exactly like a coupling capacitor, but give better audio results. All are designed and assembled in their workshop in Northern France and available in three varieties:

– C-MOD : for small audio signals (Instr, Mic/Line), low voltage coupling ( example : phono preamplifier)
– C-MOD HV : for small audio signals (Instr, Mic/Line), high voltage coupling ( example : Tube Preamplifier)
– C-MOD SPK : for high level/current audio signals (Speaker crossover/filter)

lefson

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After reviewing the Merrill Audio Veritas monobloc power amplifiers in January 2015 Stuart Smith auditioned the American company’s $4800 Thor amps.  More »

The MunroSonic EGG150 is a £2000 active monitoring system with a twist. Dan Worth takes a listen to this egg shaped speaker and tells us if it’s all it’s cracked up to be. 
More »

The world’s leading trade fair for the audio industry

From 5th to 8th May 2016, international visitors to the HIGH END will be able to experience  the best that electronic home entertainment has to offer. The
Bavarian capital will once again become a Mecca for fans of innovation from all over the world. The fair provides an unparalleled overview of the entire international audio market. It gives visitors a   unique opportunity to experience a whole range of audio delights, and take time to indulge in musical pleasure.

35 years of the HIGH END – a fair with a long tradition

The HIGH END can look back on a long tradition. First held in Düsseldorf in 1982, it will be taking place for the 35th successive year in 2016. After 21 years in Frankfurt am Main, the oldest and biggest exhibition of its kind moved to the MOC in Munich in 2004, where it has been held ever since.Willkommen

The HIGH END is a paradise for audio and video demonstrations

With its ultra-modern architecture and infrastructure, the MOC convention centre in the north of Munich offers ideal conditions for presentation. The MOC has now been home   to the annual exhibition for more than a decade. On an area covering 27,610 square me- tres, the HIGH END occupies four spacious exhibition halls and four glass atria with 140 adjacent showrooms. These beautiful, light-filled, individually customisable units offer ideal conditions to make a lasting  impression.Atrium

The HIGH END represents the entire audio industry

More than 500 exhibitors from Germany and abroad will be presenting their audio inno- vations. Not only the global players, but also smaller audio specialists will be showing     off their flair for development. Once again, the world’s leading suppliers of electronic home entertainment products will be presenting all their product groups and the entire spectrum of state-of-the-art technology.

Click the image to download last years show coverage by Hifi Pig

MunichFrontTHISFINAL

Variety, impact and quality of information

This fair makes a lasting impression on all those who experience it. With high-quality individual presentations by exhibitors from every part of the audio sector, fascinating musical demonstrations, exciting workshops, instructive comparative audio tests, inte- resting talks on the technology stage and live music everywhere, the fair is a guaranteed success.

The HIGH END in Munich brings together every aspect of the audio industry

The HIGH END covers every area of technological development. Bringing together traditional analogue hi-fi, the latest digital trends and high-definition video, the fair has everything there is to offer.  Visitors can experience the whole variety of video and    audio systems. People have different tastes, and there is a wide range of ways to listen with pleasure. So, for example, visitors to the HIGH END can enjoy everything from the reassuring sight of a vinyl disc turning to high-definition audio files with sophisticated conversion systems. There is no single method that can please everyone, so everyone  can and should use the variety of media exactly how they want to.

There’s also pure analogue technology

The whole range of tried-and-tested analogue technology will be there, with turntable units, amplifiers, tone arms, cartridges and valve equipment. Vinyl records are also on   sale to go with it. The tactile, heavy vinyl disc has been in growing demand for a number of years.

Naturally, the “sound of the future”

The entire spectrum of recent digital developments will be on show. These days, music    is not just consumed on digital and mobile devices, but also online and in networks. The

products on display include internet-capable receivers and hi-fi systems, as well as multi- room music systems, wireless Bluetooth speakers, sound bars and innovative, state-of- the-art headphones.

HIGH END in the car

Visitors to the HIGH END 2016 will once again have the opportunity to listen to unusual sound systems in different classes of car. This is because during the past decade, many  car manufacturers have used the expertise of the companies in our industry to offer   their customers tailor-made, and therefore better, audio systems. In Germany, a third of all new cars sold are now equipped with a special, optional sound system.

Electronic home entertainment for every age and every pocket

Naturally, affordable entry-level models for newcomers to hi-fi will be presented. Visitors can find everything the music enthusiast needs, regardless of age and listening habits.

After all, the HIGH END will always be a fair for music lovers.

The HIGH END begins with a special day for trade visitors

On 5 May 2016 (Ascension Day), the fair is only open to registered trade visitors and journalists with prior  accreditation.

The HIGH END is organised by the HIGH END SOCIETY, the trade association for high- quality electronic home entertainment, which includes the industry’s leading companies.

FACTS:

Location:  MOC Munich – Lilienthalallee 40 80939 Munich-Freimann

Dates:      5th May – 8th May, 2016

Trade  visitors  day: Thursday, 5th May 2016 (with prior registration only)

Opening times:10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

Trade visitors:   EUR 20.00 with prior registration(valid on all days)

General   public:  EUR 12.00 / day ticket from Friday to  Sunday

See you there!!!

MUNICHsponsor

Audeze, the headphone manufacturer based in California, announces the release of its new EL-8 Titanium Headphones, its first with a fully integrated Apple Lightning cable with a built-in headphone amplifier and 24-bit DAC.qudewetit

Keeping with the Audeze aesthetic, the EL-8 Titanium headphones were designed by BMW DesignWorksUSA and feature an aluminium construction.

The EL-8 Titanium headphones come with an exclusive Lightning cable that streams a complete 24-bit digital signal through a DSP and DAC to. The built in microphone can be used for phone calls and Siri voice control. An accompanying Audeze app can be used to apply EQ and sound presets.

For non-Apple device compatibility, the headphones also include a standard analogue cable.

The EL-8 Titanium headphones will be available in select Apple stores in US and Canada and online December 8th 2015 for $799.95.

Specifications

Style                                      Closed-back circumaural

Transducer type                      Planar magnetic

Magnetic structure                   Fluxor magnets

Magnet type                            Neodymium

Driver Size                              100 mm

Maximum power handling         15W (for 200ms)

Maximum SPL                        >130dB

Frequency response                10Hz – 50kHz

Total harmonic distortion         <0.1% (1KHz, 1mw)

Impedance                              30 ohms

Efficiency                               100dB / 1mW

Optimal power requirement       200mW – 4W

Weight                                   480g

 

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Black Cat cables are the brainchild of Chris Sommovigo and are handmade in Japan. Dave Robson takes a listen to the company’s Redlevel Tube speaker cable ($450 for a 1.5m pair) and RCA interconnects ($350 for 1m). More »

The headroom show, which offers music lovers the opportunity to discover the largest range of demonstrable headphones in the UK, is returning to London in January 2016. The unique two-day experience brings together the world’s leading headphone manufacturers and showcases the latest products, technology and trends in portable audio.

Held in Europe’s most prestigious recording and mastering studios, Metropolis, where artists such as Rihanna, Michael Jackson and U2 have made music, and Adele’s 25 was recorded, headroom offers an exclusive audio experience that’s refreshingly unique.

The event runs from Friday 29th to Saturday 30th January, at Metropolis, Chiswick, and features the very best in portable audio tech, plus the opportunity to try and buy with special discounts, promotions and exclusive offers.
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Universal Music Catalogue announces the January 2016 release of Deep Purple ‘The Vinyl Collection’.deeppurplr2

This 7-LP collection features the groups’ albums spanning the period 1972-1987, re-mastered from the original tapes (including the first official re-masters of titles, Perfect Strangers and The House Of The Blue Light) pressed on 180gm vinyl, they come complete with original inserts within replica sleeves and are housed together in a sturdy, deluxe box. Each album will also be made available as a stand-alone title.deeppurpl1

Formed in Hertford, England in 1968, Deep Purple are widely considered, alongside Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, as pioneers of heavy metal and modern rock. Still active today, the group has survived many line-up changes over the years and have launched the careers of many high-ranking rock performers, including Ritchie Blackmore, David Coverdale and Ian Gillan.

The Vinyl Collection
Machine Head
Who Do We Think We Are
Burn
Stormbringer
Come Taste the Band
Perfect Strangers
The House of the Blue Light

 

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French loudspeaker maker Triangle have announced a gaggle of subwoofers which the company says successfully blend performance and compactness.

Thetis & Tales subwoofers feature 21 and 25cm drivers, with long throw enabling a frequency response as low as 25Hz. The cabinets have been specially designed in order to remove vibrations and avoid distortion.

The subwoofers are equipped with class D amplifiers of 150 to 250 RMS (400W peak) for a deep and tight low register rarely seen in such compact subwoofers. The stereo RCA inputs enable you to adjust the crossover on your subwoofer with a frequency roll-off ranging from 30Hz to 120Hz for an optimal balance of your system.

The Thetis series also offer an LFE input leaving the crossover function to your home-theatre amplifier, as well as high-level inputs for amplifiers with no “subwoofer” output. The subwoofers include the following features: volume control, cut-off frequency, phase switch and automatic standby. The Thetis models feature an LED display indicating the sound level and all is controlled via the remote.

THETIS 320

The Thetis 320 subwoofer has a closed cabinet, equipped with an 10” driver with half roll suspension. In order to reduce vibrations, the cabinet has been carefully designed with ingeniously placed internal reinforcements.thetis320-2

Equipped with a class D amplifier of 250-watt RMS and 400 watt peak power it also features a remote control and a sound level indicator on the front panel so you can adjust the subwoofer.

THETIS 280

The Thetis 280 subwoofer also has a closed cabinet but is equipped with an 8.25” driver with half roll suspension and with a class D amplifier of 150-watt RMS and 250 watt peak power.thetis280-3

TALES 340

Tales 340 offers a reasonably priced subwoofer with “great performance improving your system in terms of punch and dynamics”. This subwoofer is equipped with a 10” driver with half roll suspension and a class D amplifier of 200-watt RMS (350-watt peak power). tales340-2

 

 

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PRYMA is a new headphone brand marrying “world-class sound quality with a luxurious sense of style”. Its first product is the PRYMA 01, handmade in Italy with premium materials and impeccable attention to detail which the company’s press release says to matches the finest bags, watches and shoes. Interchangeable leather headbands with belt-style buckles make the PRYMA 01 a uniquely customisable fashion accessory as well as being engineered by Sonus faber – PRYMA’s sister brand – to deliver “sumptuous sound”.4230_PRYMA_Headphones_(Coffee_&_Cream)

Design Highlights

  • Removable headband fashioned from high-quality leather with breathable microfibre interior. The leather is the same as used by luxury bag brand Bottega Veneta
  • Copper and stainless steel buckles
  • Lightweight aluminium ear cup body with fingerprint-free coating
  • Removable ear pads, magnetically bonded to ear cups
  • Available in five distinct colour combinations: Coffee & Cream, Pure Black, Heavy Gold, Rose Gold & Grey, and Carbon Marsala
  • Additional headbands may be purchased separately; replacement ear pads will follow
  • 100% made in Italy4234_PRYMA_Headphones_(Coffee_&_Cream)

Technical Details

  • Circumaural, closed-back ear cup design
  • 2x 40mm dynamic drivers with Mylar diaphragms, neodymium magnets and oversized voice coils
  • Removable 1.3m cable with 99.99% oxygen-free copper conductors, gold-plated connectors and in-line microphone for handsfree phone calls
  • Frequency range: 10Hz-25kHz
  • Sensitivity: 118dB
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms

Pryma say  “It’s easy to see young people around the world buying headphones not only for listening to music but also to wear as a fashion accessory,” said Livio Cucuzza, PRYMA’s head of design. “Our thoughts were that maybe the world needs more than plastic headphones. Here in Italy, there are a lot of artisans that make bags for luxury brands, so for us it was quite easy to find the right inspiration.”4238_PRYMA_Headphones_(Heavy_Gold_buckle_detail)

In the UK, PRYMA 01 headphones are available exclusively at Selfridges for a limited period. Other luxury stores and premium audio retailers will follow in 2016.UK distribution is by Absolute Sounds.

Four of the five colour combinations – Coffee & Cream, Pure Black, Heavy Gold, and Rose Gold & Grey – are priced at £379.99. The Carbon Masala option costs an additional £30.

 

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Ian at HMF Solutions brought this rather splendid looking turntable to our attention. It’s the Acoustical Systems “The APOLYT” and it’s limited to just twenty two units worldwide.apolytpic

As well as a host of other innovative features the APOLYT features a unique custom designed air-suspension system which is “based on optical table designs, but featuring a most advanced air-spring-capacitor-induction suspension system with a resulting resonance frequency below 0.5 Hz.”

It has up to 4 of these tonearm bases offering the user great flexibility and choice of tonearm/cartridge combinations.

The APOLYT is designed and manufactured in Germany.

Technical specifications:

– platter weight: 58 kg

– chassis weight: 188 kg

– 4 motors – motors weight 26 kg

– powersupply weight: 38 kg

– net weight: 388 kg

– shipping weight: 580 kg (delivery in 8 flight cases)

– dimensions (w x d x h): 108 cm x 69 cm x 128 cm

– wow & flutter: below 0.01% (W.R.M.S)

– speed: 33 1/3 rpm and 45 rpm – all speeds w/ precise adjustment option

– operation voltage: DC-operation and selectable 100 / 120 / 220 / 230 / 240 V – 50/60 Hz

– drive: belt drive, custom aramide belt AND symmetrical idler-drive

– power consumption in operation: 0 W, in re-charge logic mode: 120 Watt

Adjustments:

– user choice / selectable: 1, 2, 3 or 4 arm bases

– user adjustable – build-in – air flow and air pressure for optional air-bearing tonearm

– user adjustable tuning resonance frequency

Features:

– automatic levelling

– optional 2 shelves incorporated for phono stage / line stage – full isolated within the air spring frame.

– platter based on bi-radial, full aero-static, air-bearing – vertical and horizontal.

– complete plinth and optional integrated rack suspended on true air-spring-induction-field suspension with resonance frequency below 0.5 Hz.

– speed quartz controlled and user adjustable +/- 5%.

– double belt drive AND double idler-drive – user selectable and engaging/disengaging on push button.

– center of moving mass resting in bearing plane.

– platter inertia 38x of Micro Seiki SX-8000 platter.

– compound platter featuring definite energy transfer and internal liquid dampening.

– center of platter mass identical with plane of bearing/rotation = perfect resting mass principle.

– compound arm bases with identical energy transfer concept as platter.

– super fast exchange of arm boards.

– no possible build-up of static energy during play.

– both double motor-drives powered by custom amplifier and pure DC-power supply.

(battery sourced with automatic recharging and automatic redundant AC-power supply)

Options: 

– optional additional speeds: 16 2/3 rpm and 78 rpm

– optional wooden or smoked glass side panels – detachable

– optional rack front cover choice of prime wood veneer or smoked glass

– acrylic dust cover

– optional 24kt plating or polished chrome finish on selected parts (frame, dome caps)

 

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Dan Worth takes the £3000, Dutch designed DiDiT 212 Digital to Analogue Converter for a ride and rather enjoys it.  More »

An exciting electro-acoustic collaboration from two of the UK’s foremost contemporary composers, ‘Scanni’ fuses the sensibilities of pianist and celebrated arranger Anni Hogan (Marc & The Mambas, Marc Almond) with the avante-garde noise production and curation of celebrated electronic musician and sampler Scanner across ten tracks that feature a wealth of guest musicians and vocalists from the alternative music scene. Martin Bowes (Attrition) co-wrote and plays drone synths on the track ‘Alone’. Wolfgang Flür, legendary ex-Kraftwerk percussionist and performance artist, provides lyric and vocals for the track ‘Golden Light’. Jarboethe lauded singer from the Swans appears on two tracks, ‘Carelessly’ and ‘Cinecittà’. Further guest appearances from cult singers Jennifer John, Kate Smith and Merseyside legend Thomas Lang.SCQNNI

Over their unique and rather individualistic careers, both Anni Hogan and Scanner have produced work that has joined the dots between Marc Almond and Nick Cave, Bryan Ferry and Bjork, contemporary dance and theatre, literature and visual arts. ‘Scanni’ is the result of their first collaboration and, over the last two years, the tracks therein have emerged from a committed and piecemeal exchange of digital files into an accomplished complex multi-genre work of affecting beauty.

Along this journey they both lost family in a real-life rollercoaster of tragedy and confusion; this is reflected in the ‘hall of mirrors’ that is the track ‘Glorious’, where a spirituality rises to the surface to embrace both the melancholy and the beauty of heartbreak. It’s also evident in the pensive contemplation of ‘Alone’, the very first piece they collaborated on.

In contrast, there’s the heartiest track ‘A Life Well Lived’, with its positive energy and beguiling optimism, and ‘Future’, a well-cooked funky discotonic tune, both of which offer a way forward, out of the darker moments, and into light and hope.

‘Scanni’ offers an aesthetic of faith and of possibility; it is music that has reawakened both artists to explore new directions in their own sensibilities and creativity. In many ways, the record is about the timeless qualities of love, loss and friendship, all of which imbue the singular artistic endeavours and joint working relationship that, ultimately, is ‘Scanni’.

 

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KJ West One announce that they are now stocking the Stax ‘earspeakers’ range. They have a number of models now available for demonstration in store, including the only pair of their flagship SR-009 headphones in London.DSC07958-edit-small

The London store currently have the SR-009 and SR-007 MKII earspeakers and the SRM-007tII Kimik energiser available to try and are expecting the new SR-L500 headphones and SRM-353X energiser soon. DSC07949-edit-small

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Mad Scientist Audio Ltd has released a range of what their recent press release is calling  “innovative” audio cables that use carbon fibers in the signal path.  The New Zealand based company say this technology brings benefits like “immunity from skin effect, much smaller Eddy currents, which are quickly dissipated, and in the digital cable, absorption of jitter-causing
internal reflections”.torfb1

The Heretical Digital Cable

The Heretical Digital Cable (HDC), so-named because it makes no claim to
have 75-ohm impedance, takes a different approach. Mad Scientist say that in regular cables it’s possible for internal reflections to bounce up and down the cable many times, causing cable jitter but by using a resistive carbon fiber signal conductor, the HDC prevents this by turning these to heat.
Costs $99 for one meter  (introductory price until end 2015).

Range of Interconnects

The RCA, single-ended interconnect range also use a carbon fibre signal
conductor, but differ in construction and ground wire materials.  Another
innovation is the “Audio Block”, made from New Zealand native Rimu wood, it holds a pair of Mad Scientist Magic Tubes and a laser etched directional
arrow. Magic Tubes “are an enhancement device that uses subatomic phenomena to improve the sound quality” say the company. The tubes can be easily removed if the effect is not desired.

ATOH Interconnect

The entry level ATOH uses Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) single crystal copper  ground wire, and starts at $269 for 0.7 meter pair.

YANAM Interconnect

YANAM (mid level) and TORFORB (high end) use the same construction – multi element ground system using foil plus copper and silver OCC wires.

The YANAM uses copper foil and Neotech OCC wires.

Starts at $499 for 0.7 meter pair.

TORFORB Interconnect

TORFORB takes this one step further, using silver (or optionally silver and
gold) foil, plus low volume specially-produced copper and silver OCC wires
for the ground system. Prices start at $1099.

ATOH, YANAM and TORFORB are available with a selection of RCA plugs
including Sonarquest Carbon/Rhodium, KLE Innovations Copper Harmony and Silver Harmony. Others available on request.

 

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Tangent Audio announces the introduction of their new micro amplifier, appropriately named, Ampster.Tangent_Ampster-BT-front

Tangent’s new Ampster BT is a micro sized amplifier with a host of connectivity options including wireless Bluetooth 4.0, Digital optical input, Analog RCA and AUX inputs and a Sub output.

When left idle on the Bluetooth source, the Ampster BT will go to standby automatically and wake automatically when you start playing a Bluetooth source again.

Ampster BT provides 2 x 50 Watts controlled by a remote to switch between sources and volume level.

Key Features

  • 2 x 50 watts output
  • Bluetooth 4.0 in
  • Digital and analog RCA input
  • 5mm Aux input
  • Stylish Remote control
  • Wake on Bluetooth

The Ampster is available in the UK now at a retail price of £149.95.

  • Power: 2 x 50 Watt
  • Inputs: Bluetooth, 3.5mm AUX, Analog RCA, Optical Digital
  • Output: Subwoofer out
  • Frequency: 20 – 20,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 4 ohms
  • Weight: 1.85 Kg
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 190 x 139 x 52mm
  • Standby: less than 1W (EUP2013)
  • Remote Control

 

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On the 12th December KJ West One in London are teaming up with Devialet to bring an exclusive first UK presentation of their new limited edition ‘Expert’ amplifier, Le 900 (or Original D’Atelier) to KJ West One. Hifi Pig got a sneak peek of these recently in Paris and they look beautiful!900

Le 900 is a special product which has been created by Devialet for just 100 units. As the company says ‘A new audiophile icon is born’.

The new model features many upgrades from the previous Le 800 including a newly designed board in the ADH hybrid core which allows for more power transmission, without any size variation. The Class A amplifier has also been optimised to expand its audio performance to 900W and more.

A new thermal management system has been developed. The area of exchanges between the electronic boards and the casing is now doubled.in-box

The power supply for Le 900 has been improved and uses a new card which filters out unwanted noise from the mains. The supply has also been optimised to increase the power transmission capacity allowing it to react more precisely to the power requested by the amplifier.

Why is Original D’Atelier unique?

  • Each piece is individually numbered from 1 to 100. This will be the only batch ever created by the company.
  • The 900 chassis is carved out of a single aluminium block and features a stunning hand polished Copper Gold finish.
  • The Copper coated plate is a unique piece, signed by Devialet founder Pierre-Emmanuel Calmel.

SAMLab Comes to KJ

If you use a Devialet Expert amplifier, but your speakers are not currently SAM compatible, don’t worry. Devialet will be bringing their ‘SAMLab’ to the event.

A Devialet engineer will be on hand to analyse your speakers. If you would like your speakers to be SAM compatible, book yourself in for a session with the engineer.

You will need to bring along at least one of your speakers. The sessions will last between 30 minutes and an hour, so we are limited to 10 sessions. These will be first come, first served.

Devialet consultants will be on hand, running demonstrations of Le 900, the ‘Expert’ range and Phantom. This event is a must attend for any Devialet fanatics.

We look forward to seeing you at the event.

Saturday, 12 December 2015 from 10:00 to 17:30 (GMT)

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Adding to the plethora of streaming functions, the latest version of the MusicLife app from Arcam adds control for all modern Arcam components, including the forthcoming Solo Music / Movie and AVR550/850 Atmos AV Receivers.

Developed in-house at Arcam, MusicLife is designed to be easier to use, faster and more stable than other similar apps. arcam-musiclife-3

In addition to standard UPnP functions, the app plays media from servers to any Bluetooth device, enabling streaming to almost anything paired with an Arcam miniBlink or rBlink Bluetooth.

Multi-purpose streaming and control

– Stream from Server or Computer to connected Arcam Hi-Fi or Home Cinema component

– Stream from iPhone / iPad to connected Arcam Hi-Fi or Home Cinema component

– Stream from Server or Computer to iPhone / iPad

– Stream from Server or Computer to any Bluetooth Device

– Stream from iPhone / iPad to any Bluetooth Device

Control the Media Player in Arcam network-based music systems, including advanced features such as playback of content stored on iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, library searching, sorting and shuffle & repeat playback.

Using an Arcam rBlink or miniBlink and the MusicLife app, you can turn ANY audio component into an iPad, iPhone controlled network music streamer. Simply plug an rBlink or miniBlink into any audio product device with stereo inputs.

iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch. iOS Only

 

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The DX-1SE replaces the DX-1 HCP. The new package sports a number of improvements, including fine-tuned drivers, increased efficiency and redesigned cabinets with larger internal volumes. The result is improved bass response, more detail and “greater sonic scale”.4224_DX-1SE_5.1_speaker_system_(black)

Each DX-1SE Satellite sports a 19mm silk dome tweeter and 75mm mid/bass driver with a woven polypropylene cone. The enclosure is an infinite baffle (closed-box) design, which aids the speakers’ ability to be sited in close proximity to a wall without adversely affecting their performance.

The DX-1 Centre incorporates the same silk dome tweeter flanked by two 75mm mid/bass drivers. Its design includes a sophisticated aperiodic loading system consisting of a vent that is filled with resistive porous foam to control airflow.

The matching WH-D8 active subwoofer combines a 200mm long-throw bass cone with a 120W amplifier in extremely compact unit –328x268x322mm (HxWxD). It also sports an ‘auto-power’ facility, automatically switching out of standby when a signal is sensed and back again when it stops.

Available in high-gloss black or high-gloss white, the DX-1SE 5.1 speaker package delivers smart, space- saving contemporary style and which Wharfedale say is fast, punchy and detailed, with a sense of scale that belies the diminutive size of the speakers.4225_DX-1SE_Satellite_(black_pair)

“In the UK and around the world, there is high demand for compact 5.1 speaker systems that combine crisp, modern aesthetics with high-quality sound,” says Peter Comeau, Director of Acoustic Design for Wharfedale’s parent company IAG. “In the DX-1SE we have incorporated elements from Wharfedale’s award-winning Diamond speakers to deliver a high-value package that is not only a delight in the home, but also extremely enjoyable to listen to. Modern movie soundtracks are exceptionally demanding, but we’ve made sure that this package is tailor-made for the job.”

The Wharfedale DX-1SE 5.1 home cinema speaker package is available from December at an RRP of £399.95. An optional satellite expansion pack is also coming soon, ideal for those seeking to expand the 5.1 package to a 7.1 configuration.

 

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Meridian has introduced the latest generation of the 808, specifically developed to render the very best sound from Compact Disc and network audio. In addition, the 808v6 now decodes Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) sources.2857-Meridian 808 Head On

Part of the Reference 800 Series, the 808v6 is the highest performance CD Player ever manufactured by Meridian. The latest edition offers several significant improvements including the decoding and rendering of MQA sources to deliver studio quality reproduction via both digital and analogue outputs.

Meridian strongly believes that CD remains a significant music source, with an impressive depth of recorded catalogue. All the more reason, then, for the company to continue its quest to make Compact Disc replay sound the very best it possibly can.2857-Meridian 808 Rear

Meridian 808v6 Signature Reference Compact Disc Player – New Features

Built-in MQA decoder – fully supports Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) encoded music playback, guaranteeing a studio master quality experience

Upgraded S/PDIF and USB receivers – enables USB and RCA inputs to receive up to 192 kHz digital audio

Enhanced DSP chip – offers lip-sync control, DSD playback (DoP) and MQA rendering capability for analogue outputs. The analogue outputs also feature Bass, Treble and Balance Controls

Improved analogue output card – features an upgraded circuit with filtering that broadens the bandwidth, and maximises the potential of high-resolution music2857-Meridian 808-3-4

Product Highlights

Audiophile CD Player incorporating full controller/preamp functionality with Meridian technology including ROM drive, triple FIFO buffering and DSP apodising upsampling filter to deliver the best possible “high definition” sound from the popular CD medium

Advanced S/PDIF receiver enables Meridian SpeakerLink interconnection for superb quality: twin outputs for simple, robust “home run” installation

Unique proprietary ‘apodising’ upsampling filter provides audibly enhanced performance

Direct connection to a Meridian Sooloos System for the highest possible sound quality digital media playback, with direct Play Queue control

Advanced linear power supply

Available in Black and the complete range of 270 Meridian Select colours

RRP £11,000

 

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Naim today released firmware updates to both the Naim DAC (colloquially known as the nDAC) and the DAC-V1. Both DACs have a strong following and demand for DSD playback has been strong from some international markets.

The firmware updates add single and double rate DSD to both DACs. This has required some significant additional programming and optimisation of the core DSP code which has also benefitted sound quality says the company’s latest press release. Beta testers were most adamant that sound quality had improved they continue.DAC-V1_Front-3-4-3_Med

The Naim DAC accepts DSD input over S/PDIF or on a USB stick (dsf or dff files) plugged into its front or rear USB inputs. DAC-V1’s USB input is asynchronous allowing the connection of a PC, or Mac directly or using S/PDIF. Mac users need no extra drivers, Windows, including Win 10, users will need the new version 2.00.0 driver downloadable from the Naim website.

Sample Rate Conversion (SRC) has also been added to the DAC-V1. This allows the user to configure a digital input to adjust on-the-fly to input clock signals that are out of range. This improves overall robustness with S/PDIF sources that do not have an accurate clock.

 

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The November Edition of Hifi Pig Extra is available for FREE DOWNLOADNOVEMBER2015FRONT
COVER STORY

Linette Smith talks about the recent visit to the Paris Haute Fidélité show the week after the attacks. ““We are setting off to visit the Haute Fidelité Show at the Marriott Rive Gauche in Paris. I’m not entirely sure how I am feeling, a mixture of anger and defiance, but also sadness and admittedly fear”

REVIEWS

VPI Prime Turntable

Pro-Ject RPM3 Carbon Turntable

Bespoke Audio Co Passive Preamplifier

Kralk Audio BC30 Loudspeakers and PAW Stand

Ophidian Mojo Loudspeakers

Leema Xen Loudspeakers

Melodika “Purple Rain” Series Speaker Cables

COLUMNS

Janine Elliot takes a step down memory lane with the much loved Leak Stereo 20 power amplifier.

Dominic Marsh concludes his popular three part series on mains cables.

Ian Ringstead takes a look at the state of the hifi industry and asks what we can all do to boost the popularity of two channel audio in the home.

There seems to be a lot of in-fighting within the audiophile world about people’s personal choices and the equipment they finally place in their system. Stuart Smith takes a tongue-in-cheek look at what he thinks are the reasons for this phenomenon…

Mike Twomey tells us how best to strike a great deal with your retailer this holiday season.

Plus album and gig reviews with John Scott, Janine Elliot and Stuart Smith and the ever popular Classics series where John Scott takes a look at the Kinks album “The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society”

Download your FREE copy now!

 

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John Scott looks at the classic album The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks as part of the ongoing Classic Album series.

“The Kinks was chosen as a name by the band’s manager Larry Page because it was slightly outrageous in the pre-swinging Sixties.” More »