The team at Dan D’Agostino got in touch to tell us about their new stereo amp that is debuting at Axpona 2017, they said: “We are excited to announce the unveiling of the Progression Stereo amplifier this weekend, April 21-23, at the Axpona Show in Room Renewal A”. More »

British brand Onix will be a familiar name to many and has a strong heritage. Here Dominic Marsh puts their DNA-50 amplifier costing £1979 through its paces for Hifi Pig.  More »

Midland Audio Exchange will be holding a Naim Statement event in June. More »

Pass Labs has started shipping their new XA25 Class A Power Amplifier, the most affordable power amplifier in their current line. With 2 x 25W @ 8 ohms, 2 x 50/W at 4 ohms and 2 x 100WClass A/AB at 2 ohms, and priced at $4,900, the XA25 is not meant as merely an “Entry-Level” model, but rather, a more affordable way for consumers to experience the Pass Labs line. In other words: A smaller, lighter and less expensive Pass Labs Class A power amplifier. More »

Zesto Audio will be at Axpona 2017 in Chicago, USA. More »

2017 marks the 40th anniversary of Conrad-Johnson design inc. and to celebrate, they are introducing two new anniversary tube amplifiers – the ART150 and ART300. These amplifiers employ the recently developed KT150 output tubes. More »

Lab 12 are based in Greece and that is where they handcraft all their products. Here Stuart Smith takes a listen to their pre 1 valve preamplifier costing €1440 and their knack power cable costing a further €210. More »

Nord Acoustics have launched their new Nord MP range of class D Amplifiers. From a Stereo 250W & 500W to an 8 Channel 250W with 90% of the SQ of the NC500, priced from £749. Based on Hypex NCore NC252MP and NC502MP modules. More »

Goldmund has just released a new generation of analogue products. Anne-Karine of Goldmund got in touch to explain further: “They represent a milestone in the way amplifiers and preamplifiers are designed while they continue capitalising on the expertise Goldmund has developed over almost 40 years of research and development”. More »

Amare Musica of Poland, who have manufactured audio products since 2012, have announced that all of their products will now be supplied with Franc Audio Accessories feet. More »

When we were asked to take the trip down Valence in the South East of France to visit APURNATM we naturally jumped at the chance. Not only is this an absolutely beautiful part of the world, situated as it is on the left bank of the Rhone and surrounded the Massif Central and the Ardèche hills to the west, and the Vercors Massif in the French Prealps to the east, but we were also going to be treated to a private and exclusive viewing and listen to APURNATM’s two hundred thousand euros (per stereo pair) Pure 200 amplifiers.

Read the full story here

When we were asked to take the trip down Valence in the South East of France to visit APURNATM we naturally jumped at the chance. Not only is this an absolutely beautiful part of the world, situated as it is on the left bank of the Rhone and surrounded the Massif Central and the Ardèche hills to the west, and the Vercors Massif in the French Prealps to the east, but we were also going to be treated to a private and exclusive viewing and listen to APURNATM’s two hundred thousand euros (per stereo pair) Pure 200 amplifiers. More »

Based in Serbia, Trafomatic are well known in audio circles, not least for their £100 000 Elysium amplifiers, but they also produce more moderately priced products. However, £2350 is a serious commitment for a headphone amplifier, Janine Elliot takes a listen to the Audio Head 2 and tells us if it is worth the outlay.  More »

Stemfoort may not be a name that immediately trips off the tongue when speaking about amplifiers, but the companies heritage goes back to the mid eighties and they are owned by J.E.Sugden, who many will know for their Class A amplifiers. Lionel Payne takes a listen to their SF-200 Passive Line Amplifier costing £2135 for Hifi Pig. More »

In case you are not familiar with the name Unison Research, it is an Italian company in business for some 20 years or so at Treviso, a municipality just to the north of Venice, with a well earned reputation for producing some excellent hifi components. Dominic Marsh has a play with their Triode 25 valve amplifier. More »

APURNA is a new brand of audio amplifier from France, but above all is a brand telling the story of one couple’s “passion for the purest technology and elegance”. After years of work and thought, Catherine and Franck Borne today are proud to launch their analogue amplifier that, they say “delivers not only on performance, but every bit as much on refinement and design”. More »

Dominic Marsh takes a listen to the £ 699 budget conscious Cyrus ONE integrated amplifier for Hifi Pig More »

The £2800 Simaudio Moon Neo ACE is a versatile, all-in-one solution that you need only add speakers to…there’s even an on-board moving magnet phonostage. John Scott finds out just how ACE it really is.  More »

Class D is gaining a good deal of momentum in the audio world. Lionel Payne listens to the the Nord One UP NC500 DMST stereo power amplifier costing £1409. More »

Westminster Lab makes no claims as to how good it is, rather just invite you to enter into their ‘new dimension’ of music experience. According to them words are totally futile. But that would make for a short review, so, not known for keeping quiet, Janine Elliot wanted to tell readers about this unique amp costing £32 000. More »

roksponsmallChord Electronics is showing its new TToby power amp for the first time in the UK at The Indulgence Show (14-16th October). The new TToby is a 100-watt stereo power amplifier and has been designed to complement the Hugo TT DAC/headphone amplifier.
More »

roksponsmallHand-built by ATC in the UK, the P2 class A/B stereo power amplifier is designed to complement the brand’s range of hifi preamplifiers aesthetically and operationally. Rated at 300W continuous power per channel and developed in tandem with the P2-Pro studio amplifier, the ATC P2 is a Dual Mono design, keeping the power supplies, signal and return paths discreet. This approach ensures that the amplifier will achieve the maximum signal separation with minimal crosstalk, and that inter-modulation between channels via the power supplies is reduced to an absolute minimum across a frequency range of 400kHz. It also means that the power delivery from one channel cannot affect the specified power available from the other.
More »

ETAL Group today unveiled a Class D amplifier in a format smaller than a business card – opening the way to highly compact lifestyle electronics, networked audio and battery powered applications. z0702ana-ala0080-class-d-amplifier-from-anaview

Stefan Ruuth, Sales Manager at ETAL, said, “In terms of size-performance, the Anaview ALA is unmatched, delivering amazingly clean and room-filling sound from a very small module.  We’ve already seen a lot of interest from designers of networked audio devices, portable audio devices, docking stations, audio receivers, powered speakers and residential audio systems. It’s perfect for applications that need great sound but where space and/or power are limited.”

With overall dimensions of just 68mm x 33mm x 18mm, the ETAL Anaview ALA Series delivers 2 x 45Wrms into 6 Ω. It is designed for board to board mounting and can be powered by a single voltage of 12-25V DC making it easy to integrate. The Anaview ALA has an 80kHz load independent frequency range (-3dB) and a 115dB dynamic range with low Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) throughout. Features include an entirely differential patented Adaptive Pole Control (APC) amplifier technology.

The Anaview ALA can be supplied from a simple single voltage AC/DC power supply, commonly available at low-cost, alleviates end-product UL-certification. Alternatively, the low power draw and single-sided supply means that the module is also compatible with Power–over-Ethernet (PoE) for commercial network audio applications where audio and power are provided on a single Cat-5 cable. Equally, it can be easily integrated into battery–powered and rechargeable products.

Sponsorship button

Creek Audio Systems have recently introduced their Evolution 100 range and here we have two of the line-up for review – namely the Evolution 100CD (£1350) and the 100P (£1350) which Lionel Payne will review for Hifi Pig. More »

At £900 for the amplifier and £995 for the CD player these two units from Audiolab are relatively inexpensive but well specified. Ian Ringstead plumbs them into his system and rather likes what he hears.  More »

 

Now in its 81st year, Quad has been making valve amplifiers for home use since the late 1940s. The company’s latest model, the VA-One, brings the concept bang up to date; a compact integrated amplifier that fuses Quad’s traditional valve-based audio expertise with modern digital audio streaming.4558_Quad_VA-One_ONLINE

With a footprint measuring just 18x33cm, the VA-One is very compact for a stereo valve amp – sufficiently small to sit comfortably on a desk.

Three digital audio inputs – optical, coaxial and asynchronous USB – support data up to 24-bit/192kHz, and an RCA-phono input gives the option to connect an analogue source like a CD player or a turntable (when used with a suitable phono stage). In addition, those who enjoy the freedom of wireless connectivity can pair smartphones, tablets and computers via Bluetooth, with support for the sonically superior aptX codec.

The preamp section incorporates an ECC83 high-impedance triode, feeding an ECC82 twin triode driver and phase splitter stage. The output stage uses two EL84 pentodes per channel in push-pull configuration, delivering 2x15W.4559_Quad_VA-One_(rear)_ONLINE

External styling is classically Quad, finished in traditional ‘Lancaster Grey’. The amp’s front panel sports a smooth-acting volume control incorporating a motorised potentiometer, allowing adjustment via the supplied remote control, together with a headphone output and controls for input selection and Bluetooth pairing.

The Quad VA-One integrated valve amplifier is available from mid-August, priced at £1299.95 (RRP). It joins the similarly styled PA-One headphone amp in Quad’s expanding ‘One’ range of valve-based amplifiers with integrated DAC circuitry.

 

Sponsorship button

“The SI-300.2d integrated amplifier is yet another milestone as Cary Audio forges deeper into the new era of sought after premium audio systems” the North Carolina company says in its latest press release. cary_SI-300.2d

The SI-300.2d mates a 300 watts per channel stereo Class A/B power amplifier with analogue RCA and XLR inputs to a Class A analogue preamplifier gain stage. The amplifier itself is biased to run Class A for an extended portion of the power output. The digital section is a chip off Cary’s reference products thereby including technologies like their proprietary TruBit™ Upsampling and OSO™ reclocking features.

Digital inputs include; XMOS USB capable of True native DSD up to 256 and PCM/DXD up to 32 Bit / 384kHz, as well as Coaxial (2), Optical, AES/EBU, and aptX® Bluetooth inputs. All SPDIF and Bluetooth digital sources offer 10 TruBit™ selectable upsampling or PCM to DSD conversion options. On the analogue side, the SI-300.2d includes 4 analogue inputs (2-balanced XLR, 2-RCA), with one each of the XLR and RCA inputs offering true Cinema Bypass features.

Additional features include: a pre/subwoofer output, coaxial and optical digital outputs, IR hand held remote, trigger out, IR sensor input, and Ethernet and Wi-Fi for controlling the SI-300.2d with free iOS and Android apps.

Weight:  52 lbs.

Dimensions:  6″ H x 17.25″ W x 18 ” D

Retail Price:  $5,995

The SI-300.2d is now shipping

Sponsorship button

Audio Research has announced the introduction of their Foundation Series. From the same engineering and design team responsible for the Reference Series, “the Foundation family of vacuum tube components has been created to provide incredible musical experiences”.4476_Audio_Research_Foundation_Series_(stack_without_shadow) (1)

The first three components include the LS28 line stage preamplifier, the PH9 phono stage, and the DAC9 digital- to-analog converter. A new amplifier will follow, with other products to complete the series. All models will be available in both black and natural anodized aluminium finishes. Each unit comes with its own custom metal remote control.

All products at Audio Research follow the exact same path from concept to production, regardless of the series or model. The Foundation Series shares the same lineage, build quality, and many design characteristics found in the more costly Reference Series.

Many of the parts in an Audio Research product are proprietary, while some are designed for a singular model. This attention to detail is inherent to all processes at Audio Research – from the hand-soldering of every circuit board, to the final listening test which is conducted by the same person who helped guide the design. Our commitment at Audio Research is to deliver the most musically satisfying experience at every level.

The LS28 line stage is a flexible  preamplifier. Four balanced and four single-ended inputs, and two sets of both balanced and single-ended outputs, allow maximum connectivity. The straightforward menu allows control of numerous parameters, including input naming, tube hours, auto shutdown, and home theater passthrough. Phase invert and mono are also standard functions. At the heart of the LS28 are four 6H30 vacuum tubes in the analogue circuit.4471_Audio_Research_LS28

While the LS28 is the perfect match for any Audio Research amplifier, it has been designed to work with nearly any amplifier on the market today. Shipping to begin in June.4472_Audio_Research_LS28_(internal)

The PH9 phono preamplifier is a great pairing with most cartridge and turntable combinations. A trio of 6H30 vacuum tubes are at the core of a simple and clear signal path to provide the most transparent preamplification possible. Five different impedance settings allow for cartridge loading, which can be changed on the fly with the included metal remote. Cartridge impedance, tube hours, auto shutdown, and other features are included in the menu system. Shipping to begin in July.4474_Audio_Research_PH9

4475_Audio_Research_PH9_(internal)

The DAC9 digital-to-analog converter decodes most current formats with state-of-the-art vacuum tube technology. Five digital connections – USB, RCA, BNC, AES/EBU, and Toslink – provide connectivity to all of your digital sources. Quad DAC architecture provides a balanced digital signal, wide dynamic range, and decoding resolutions from red book CD up to 384 kHz and native DSD sampling rates.4468_Audio_Research_DAC9 (1)

A pair of 6H30v vacuum tubes are the heart of the analog circuit. Both balanced and single-ended connectors are provided for output connectivity. Native-rate upsampling and selectable digital filters allow customisation of the digital signal. Shipping to begin in August.4469_Audio_Research_DAC9_(internal)

Sponsorship button

The MQ-300 is a new generation of vacuum tube stereo amplifiers from LUXMAN that “uses the most thoroughly selected parts and circuits to maximise the performance and tonal quality of the latest direct heated triode – the TA-300B”. Following in the design footsteps of the MB-300 released 31 years ago, the MQ-300 combines traditional design with cutting edge technology.   MQ-300_skew_coverlesss

Since the foundation of the company 90 years ago, and the subsequent release of the MB-300, LUXMAN has pursued certain core principles for sound generation. These principles are embodied in the MQ-300 as ‘honest and natural sound quality, feeling the sound field without exaggeration’, ‘feeling the unity of sound with sufficient data for the whole audio band’ and to achieve ‘fatigue free listening enjoyment’. Expressing the original sound whilst bringing the spirit of each disk to life are qualities intrinsic to the MQ-300 and those principles.MQ-300_rears

Design History

The MQ-300 is based on the cosmetic design and circuit configuration of the MB-300, the renowned vacuum tube monaural power amplifier released by LUXMAN in 1984. The elements of traditional design and elegant tonal quality that is unique to the performance of the TA-300B, a direct heated triode, have been maximised in the MQ-300.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Rated Power Output: 8W + 8W (4Ω, 8Ω, 16Ω)
  • Input Sensitivity: 490mV (8W) 240kΩ
  • THD: 1% (1kHz / 8Ω / 1W)
  • S/N Ratio (IHF-A): 105dB
  • Input: 1 x Direct, 1 x  Variable
  • Output: Large speaker terminal x 1  set (4,8,16Ω independent)
  • Power Consumption: 160W
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 460 × 273 × 340 (mm)
  • Net Weight: 29.0kgMQ300_trans_tops

The MQ-300 is arriving in the UK later this month, with an RRP of £15,000.

Sponsorship button

Roksan Audio is adding the blak series of components to its portfolio. The blak series is being introduced as an entirely new design for Roksan – both in terms of sound performance and visual appeal. Featuring a robust, industrial design the blak series is the audiophile solution for those seeking “superlative performance and features within a ‘statement product’ aesthetic, but without the esoteric high-end audio price tag” say the London company’s recent press release.

Handmade in the UK and at a specialised facility in Germany, the range is initially launching with an integrated amplifier and a CD player. These will be followed over time a comprehensive range of products that will offer the same performance-for-cost ratio.

Like the K3 range before it, all blak products will be available in three finishes – Anthracite, Charcoal and Opium – and all will be supplied with a stylish and intuitive system remote.

blak Integrated Amplifier

The blak Integrated Amplifier combines a high-end amplifier with a highly-specified USB DAC, a Bluetooth receiver and a dedicated headphone amplifier; all in one sleek chassis.charcoalblakamp1

The amplifier section of the blak Integrated Amplifier uses hand- selected audiophile components throughout its circuitry, including high- quality relays. The chosen transformers are also tuned to ensure the best sound quality and current power available. This sophisticated internal design allows the amplifier to deliver > 150W (8Ω) output.

The blak Integrated Amplifier boasts sufficient inputs to cater for almost any high-end audio system. Alongside three RCA pairs, there’s also a balanced XLR pair input for superior source devices. There’s  also a Moving Magnet-compatible phono stage inside.

For ease of use, the blak Integrated Amplifier supports wireless music playback via its built-in aptX® Bluetooth module. This allows for up-to CD-quality wireless streaming from compatible laptops and smart devices. For more advanced digital media, the amplifier also boasts a USB (Type-B) digital  input for playback from a computer or laptop. The DAC allows for playback of audio files up to 24-bit/192kHz (PCM) or DSD128, offering an exceptional high-resolution performance.blakampback

Finally, whereas many other products include headphone inputs as an “extra”, Roksan have gone one step further with blak. Here the headphone amplifier sits within its own dedicated section, with an independent power supply and toggle switch.

Operation of the blak Integrated Amplifier is effortlessly simple either via the supplied system remote or through the front panel. The large, clear to read (yet dimmable) LED display shows the selected input and the over-sized volume knob has a visual indicator around its circumference to indicate the volume level.

SRP £2,750.00

blak CD Player

Internally the blak CD Player uses a totally isolated disc mechanism to eliminate vibration. Once extracted from the disc, the digital signal is managed by a DAC chip-set for bit-perfect conversion and an advanced digital clock for optimal performance.Roksan-blak-CD-Char-Left

For connecting to an external DAC there are three digital outputs available (S/PDIF, Optical or AES/EBU), or for connecting straight to an amplifier – like the blak Integrated Amplifier – there’s the choice of either unbalanced RCA or balanced XLR outputs. Once connected, the whole player is controlled with the supplied system remote or via the front panel; additional handy information is displayed on the dimmable  LED display during playback.Roksan-blak-CD-Rear

SRP £2,500.00

The blak CD Player is available now in Anthracite, Charcoal or Opium finish.

Technical Information

blak Integrated Amplifier

Inputs: 3 x RCA (pair)

1 x XLR (pair)

1 x MM Phono RCA (pair)

1 x aptX® Bluetooth (wireless) 1 x USB Type-B

Phono Stage:  MM Input

Gain:   76.75dB @ 1kHz

Impedance:     47kΩ Capacitance:     150pF

Line-Level Input Impedance:            24kΩ (XLR) 40kΩ (RCA)

Gain (at 1kHz, 8Ω):   37dB

THD: (at 1W, 8Ω, 5kHz):      <0.02%

THD: (at 12W, 8Ω, 5kHz):    <0.035%

Power Output (at 1kHz):       150W (8Ω) 230W (4Ω)

Frequency Response (at -3dB, 8Ω, 12W):    <20Hz – >80kHz Channel Balance (at 1kHz, 8Ω):  Better than 0.3dB

Cross-Talk (at 1kHz, 8Ω):      <-104dB

Signal-Noise Ratio (at 1kHz, 8Ω):    >76dB

blak CD Player

Outputs:          3 x Digital (Coaxial, Optical, XLR) 2 x Analogue Pairs (RCA or XLR)

Peak Output:  2.5V

THD (at 1kHz, 0dB): <0.001%

Linearity at 1kHz:      >89dB

Jitter:   <135ps

Signal-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted):    >108dB

Stop-band rejection:   >100dB

Sponsorship button

Dominic Marsh and Ian Ringstead take the very well specced £699 Pro-Ject MaiA DS integrated amplifier for a ride and rather enjoy it. OUTSTANDING PRODUCTboxred More »

Dan Worth gets to grip with a little 50watts a side integrated amp from Serbia that costs just £600 in the UK.  More »

Swiss manufacturer Soulutions have been in touch to tell Hifi Pig about their new 511 amplifier that will start production in October 2016 and will cost 24500CHF (around £17000). The 511 has the same switched-mode power supply found on the company’s 7 series products and is optimised for audio use.

The 511 can be used in three distinct modes:

Stereo-mode (150W @8Ohms, 300W @4Ohms and 600W at 2Ohms)

Dual-mode which gives the same results as above.
Mono-mode (600W @8Ohms, 1200W at 4Ohms and 2000W at 2Ohms)soulution_511_1604_001

The amplification circuit is similar to the 711 and 701 amps from Soulutions having at its core a proprietary voltage amplification stage that consists of linearized amplifiers operating up to a cutoff frequency of 80MHz. The Class A operation is supplemented by 500 000 µF of capacitance storage in the power supply

There are a total of 10 power supplies in the 511with those supplying audio and digital circuits being isolated from each other with optocouplers.

 

Sponsorship button

 

 

 

Dominic Marsh takes this €840 package of amp, speakers and speaker cables from TAGA Harmony for a spin. More »

Janine Elliot takes a listen to the Krell Digital Vanguard, an integrated amplifier costing £5998 and boasting a whole host of features relevant to today’s modern home.Vanguard 3-4 views
” I like my music to leave an impact, and Krell certainly turns that prospect into a reality.”
“My speakers came alive such that even my cat sat up and listened. Symphony number 7, complete with hitting mic stand at one minute in (never heard that on my KAV) had the dynamic range of Mahler or Bruckner.
 
Sponsorship button

Janine Elliot takes a listen to the Krell Digital Vanguard, an integrated amplifier costing £5998 and boasting a whole host of features relevant to today’s modern home.  More »

Bringing “Haute Horology” watchmaking techniques and Formula One materials to Hi End Audio, Kostas Metaxas 40 years artistry in the state-of-the-art is embodied in his latest audio sculpture – “a perfect marriage of the arts of engineering [electrical and mechanical] and the fine arts of sculptural form”.Ikarus_SCOOP.814

The IKARUS 2015 is machined from a solid block of either aircraft aluminium, copper or titanium. It’s totally bespoke and the modular electronics make it future-proof, says the company’s press release. The circuit boards can be CNC machined from 1mm solid silver coated clear polystyrene.Ikarus_SCOOP2biggervu.810

The new range is inspired by the breathtaking work of Ercole Spada and Pininfarina on racing cars of the 50’s and 60’s.

“It has taken little time for Australian firm MAS to receive worldwide attention. In France, the range of MAS Electronics has seduced us… Metaxas products belong to this rare category of electronics which achieve the essential and vital qualities of a good Hi Fi system which drive you to irresistibly listen and enjoy records one after the other”.Ikarus_SCOOP2biggervu.816

100% designed and engineered by Kostas Metaxas, each IKARUS is assembled by his sons – either Andreas or Alessandros Metaxas.

The familial passion in the fine and applied arts is inspired by the BUGATTI family.

 

Sponsorship button

ITOK Media Limited’s “Trends Audio” has released the Trends BA-10 Lite Bi-amp Audio System. Combining one pair of the Trends TA-10.2P SE Power AmplifierIMG_8120 and the special design of AC/DC Dual Power Adaptor, Trends BA-10 Lite Bi-amp Audio System provides “the perfect way of integrating your existing preamp and loudspeakers”.

“The sonic rewards are outstanding in a bi-amp system. There will be many obvious improvements in the sound; everything will be clearer and tighter. Trends BA-10 Lite Bi-amp Audio System can allow users to take advantage of the strengths of each amplifier in its interaction with the speakers; i.e., one amplifier for the low frequencies, and a second one for middle and high frequencies”, says David Ho, the marketing director of Trends Audio.”

The system is US$399.

 

Trends BA-10 Lite Bi-amp Audio System includes:

  • Trends TA-10.2P SE Class-T Power Amplifier(Body) x 2 pcs
  • Trends 7A AC/DC Power Adaptor x 1 pcs

 

Sponsorship button

Audio Research marks the UK launch of its new G Series components with an exclusive event at KJ West One, the high-end audioGS150 front copy retailer based in Central London.

Named in homage to Galileo, the G Series consists of three amplifiers: the GSPre preamplifier, GS150 power amplifier and, arriving a little further down the line, the GSi75 integrated amplifier. The styling is “gorgeously retro, harking back to classic Audio Research components” says the company’s press release and adds that the amps represent “state-of-the-art valve-based audio”.

Interestingly the new G Series introduces the KT150 output tube to the Audio Research range for the very first time.

Hifi Pig got a good look at the latest Audio Research kit at Munich High-End when Fine Sounds Group invited us to their launch and the finish on these amps is really superb, screams high-end and with perceived build quality being absolutely gorgeous. The covers for transformers are all individually finished, look seamless and visually the whole package manages to juxtapose the look of purposeful laboratory equipment with a luxury finish…Mrs Hifi Pig was certainly somewhat taken with the range’s looks as was I.

Brandon Lauer, Director of Marketing at Audio Research Corporation, will be on hand to answer any questions you might have at the launch event, alongside the teams from KJ West One and Absolute Sounds – Audio Research’s exclusive UK distributor.

The event takes place on Friday, 5th December 2014 from 6pm until 10pm and Saturday, 6th December 2014 from 10am until 5pm

Entry is strictly ticket only but you are able to register for free tickets here!

 

Sponsorship button

Quad celebrates 78 years in business this year and with the launch of Vena: a compact integrated amplifier sporting a wide range QUAD_VENAof digital and analogue inputs, plus wireless streaming over Bluetooth with aptX support.

Just 313mm wide, the diminutive Vena updates the familiar Quad aesthetic, yet remains distinctly ‘Quad’. A row of source-selection buttons and a large volume control adorn its fascia.

Vena’s built-in DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter) incorporates the same 24-bit/192kHz chipset used in the company’s flagship Platinum CD plus a Class AB power amplifier section and a headphone source too.

Simplicity is key to Vena’s design say Quad and their engineers selected Bluetooth wireless transmission to ensure compatibility with the widest possible range of devices, and pairing the amp with smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs is easy.

Inputs for digital source components comprise two optical and one coaxial, plus two asynchronous USB sockets: one Type A, the other Type B. The latter is the type most commonly used for connecting PCs/Macs to audio devices like Vena; the former allows Apple iDevices to be docked, charged and played via a cable connection. Digital outputs are also provided, in optical and coaxial flavours. Analogue signals are catered for by two stereo RCA inputs, while pre-out  sockets permit the addition of an external power amp. In terms of Bluetooth, support for the aptX codec ensures the best possible audio quality when streaming from suitably equipped devices.

Vena’s small footprint (compared to many amps in its class) allows flexible positioning and ensures the amp slips neatly into a range of environments. Vena is finished in Quad’s classic ‘Lancaster Grey’ as standard, and for those with more exotic tastes, three premium finishes are now also available – Piano Black, Piano White and Rosewood – ensuring Vena complements any domestic setting.

The standard Lancaster Grey finish has an RRP of £599.95, while the three premium finish options add £100 to the price tag.

 

Sponsorship button

Audio4Soul, whose digital amplifier we reviewed some time ago, has announced global distribution of its new Reference 50 True ref20brown1Digital Amplifier. The new amplifier is said to be “A new breed of Reference amplifiers that has been designed on the basis of ultimate performance”.

They also have a new paying scheme called “Pay What You Need” so that end users can build the amplifier, without paying for features you will never use. You can now add or remove inputs or features (like the optional battery PSU) at will, keeping your amplifier up to date with the latest technology available!

The amplifier is available in many colors, allowing you to match its aesthetics to your personal décor.

The world debut of the Audio4Soul Reference 50 will be at T.A.V.E.S. held in Toronto, Canada, room no 363 and in HiFiExpo in Helsinki, Finland, room no 305, both held from Oct.31st -Nov.2.

Reference 50 Specifications:

Power: 125w@8 Ohm & 66w@4 Ohm.

S/N:>112dB

Distortion: <0,01%, 20hz-20Khz @ 90% of full power

Consumption: <380w at full power, both channels driven.

Shipping weight: 22kg (approx. 44lbs).

 

Sponsorship button

In a World exclusive Roksan has offered us a review of their new Kandy K2 B2 amplifier which is an black straight on front_300upgraded version of their previous K2 amplifier but with a higher output and the inclusion of Bluetooth technology. Dan Worth takes a listen to the new integrated amplifier from Roksan.

“There’s no denying that the K2 BT can do large dynamics, speed and attack, convey heavily weighted bass passages with ease and once suitable synergy has been obtained, the top end can sound refined and expressive leading down into the mids with great coherence.”

Read the full review of the Roksan Kandy KT BT integrated amplifier.

 

Sponsorship button