THE HI-FI SHOW 2016: Sandringham Suites
Sandringham Suite 1 - Inspire Hi-Fi
Looking for stylish and affordable turntable solutions with minimal compromise? Then the Hi-Fi Show Live will be the place to get a comprehensive introduction to Inspire Hi-Fi’s accomplished range of vinyl spinners, starting with the award-winning Monarch Direct Drive 2.1 with its new audiophile clock. The Monarch turntable has received unanimous acclaim from the hi-fi press and continues to win new friends in the ongoing vinyl rival. Alongside the Monarch, Inspire will also have on demonstration the Quest Force 10 turntable and the Vivid DC Carbon upgrades for Linn's LP12 turntables.
Inspire will also be demonstrating the innovative and feature-rich Plato all-in-one system with it's Class A amplifier and flexible vinyl recording facility (see also Convert Technologies in the White House Ashbrook suite). Inspire will complete its show system with Opera Callas loudspeakers and the Lehmann Audio Black Cube SE2 phonostage.
Sandringham Suite 2 - Decent Audio
In its second Hi-Fi Show Live demo room (see also Buckingham Suite 1), Decent Audio will showcase a no-compromise high-end system that’s perfect for the small to medium-sized room. Visitors to last year’s show may remember the unveiling of Kronos’ ‘baby’ turntable, the Sparta .5, which makes a welcome return here.
The Kronos deck will be paired with one of Japanese Transfiguration’s award-winning MC cartridges whose revolutionary designs completely restructure the conventional moving-coil concept. Amplification will be courtesy of Italy’s Audio Analogue (the Puccini Anniversary), with cables from the ever-impressive van den Hul. Loudspeakers will be the Magneplanar 1.7i, hailed by the US press as 'the affordable loudspeaker of the decade'.
Sandringham Suite 3 - Theme One Records
The very best of new and used vinyl is here courtesy of Theme One Records including the company’s speciality – Music On Vinyl titles alongside Gearbox and Plane Groovy.
Music On Vinyl is a vinyl-only music label that releases high quality 180g LP and 7in vinyl pressings of titles licensed from a wide range of record companies and artists who control their own musical repertoire.
These are both reissues of classic titles, or a simultaneous vinyl release to complement a CD/DVD offering, all of which are marketed under the Music On Vinyl brand.
Also on special offer at this year’s event are the Grammy Award-winning Chesky compact discs.
Sandringham Suite 4 - Pure Sound
As a manufacturer and distributor of a range of quality audio brands, including its own valve amplifiers, Pure Sound is delighted to be participating at the Hi-Fi Show Live.
Alongside its own high-end separates, for 2016 Pure Sound is also firing up a tantalising selection of audio products from other brands, including STST and its Motus II direct-drive deck with suspended subchassis. This innovative deck will be equipped with the STST Vertex tonearm and Etsuro Urushi MC pick-up – another exclusive debut at the Hi-Fi Show Live. The Etsuro Urushi features a super fine line (80um) diamond mounted in a sapphire cantilever and the copper coils are suspended in a field generated by a samarium cobalt magnet. The 2.5mm-thick mounting plate is fashioned from sapphire while the Duralumin body is handcoated in Urushi lacquer, work being undertaken by the specialists Etsuro. This gives the cartridge a gorgeous jewel like appearance, the coating itself being a miniature work of art.
Other products on display include the PREDA line stage and HEADA balanced headphone amplifier from Aurorasound of Japan. Earning an Outstanding accolade from Hi-Fi News, this compact headphone amp sports high and low gain settings alongside XLR outputs.
Completing this system will be loudspeakers from German brand HECO, which boasts a 60 year history, alongside a new range of power, interconnect and speaker cables from Titan.
Sandringham Suite 5 - Music First Audio
Music First Audio products are hand made at its workshop based in Hastings, East Sussex. All visitors to the MFA room at Hi-Fi Show Live are cordially invited to visit the workshop and listening room to audition the full range of Music First Audio products. At the show you'll get the chance to hear an Audio Note (UK) TT and arm (see also Lancaster Suite 5) plus Benz Micro ACE cartridge feeding a Music First Audio Classic Step Up Transformer V2. An exclusive for the Hi-Fi Show Live, the V2 Step Up uses a new winding structure plus new shielding can and mounting. Also used will be a Nagra 4S-J tape machine with Music First Audio Classic MM Phono Amp 632 and QSE preamplifier alongside (power) amplification by Quad and LS5/9 loudspeakers by Graham Audio.
Sandringham Suite 6 - G Point Audio
Representing a range of diverse audio brands, G Point Audio believes in taking a holistic approach to achieving the best musical reproduction. G Point Audio offers a portfolio of products covering electronics, loudspeakers and also room acoustic treatment, power filtration and furniture, all helping you achieve much more than you probably believe, for much less than you think!
Its portfolio consists of artisan products with many bespoke components but has one main goal – getting you as close to the sensations and sheer enjoyment of the real performance as is possible.
This year at the Hi-Fi Show Live the system will be built around both analogue and digital sources, including the world's first showing of J.Sikora's new Initial and Reference turntables. Playing the numbers will be LampizatOr's TranspOrt and (optionally) a Mac Mini running Audirvana. Playback will be via the world-renowned LampizatOr Golden Gate DAC, accompanied by LampizatOr GM 70 monoblock amplifiers and with audio cabling from both Skogrand Cables and Albedo Silver. Loudspeakers will be the outstanding hORNS Universum MKIII.
G Point Audio is also taking the opportunity to showcase the latest edition of the small but stunning My Sound Cubes – diminutive EL84 monoblocks that actually perform even better than they look! The latest addition to the portfolio is the Golden Amorphous Premium version.
Last year G-Point Audio wowed visitors with the premiere of the Pre Audio linear-tracking turntable, and this year hopes to do the same with the new Albedo Mono Crystal digital interconnect, made of pure monocrystal silver of the very highest quality. Those that believe digital cables can't make a difference... we accept that challenge and can show that they do!
Feeding the system will be the sublime GigaWatt PC-4 Evo power conditioner, accompanied by Verictum Demiurg power cables and X-Block/X-Bulk filtering products.
Make sure you step inside Sandringham 6 to experience all G Point has to offer.
Sandringham Hall - Headphone Haven
Once again at the Hi-Fi Show Live, Harman Consumer UK will be displaying selected headphone models from its award-winning brands of AKG, JBL and Harman Kardon.
These include AKG’s 2016/17 EISA award-winning N90Q reference-class auto-calibrating headphones, inspired by the Grammy Award-winning producer Quincy Jones. Utilising AKG’s TruNote auto-calibration and active noise cancelling technologies, along with dual foam cushions and ear cup mounted controls, the N90Q allows users to enjoy true high-end sound reproduction at home or on the move.
Criterion Audio will also be giving visitors the opportunity to experience the outstanding Bel Canto DAC 2.7 USB DAC/preamplifier running the award winning Grado PS1000e headphones. This very flexible DAC offers a taste of ultra-high-end performance at a very reasonable price, especially running what are arguably the best open-backed headphones created by Grado Labs.
Also on demonstration will be one of the world’s finest headphones at any price: the no-compromise planar-magnetic Abyss AB1266, paired up with the reference Moon Neo 430 HA headphone amplifier.
Ears for more? Then you will have the chance to compare many other superb combinations, including the stunning Audeze LCD3 headphones running off the powerhouse Grace m920, or the Sennheiser HD800 powered by the Chord Hugo.
AudioQuest will also be gracing the Headphone Haven with its eagerly-anticipated NightOwl ’cans while demo’ing its latest DragonFly Black and Red USB headphone amplifiers. AudioQuest will also be demonstrating its high-end cable range in the White House Remenham suite, alongside ELAC and Devialet.
Sandringham 7 - Signature Audio Systems
A global exclusive is taking place in Sandringham 7 with an entire PS Audio system appearing for the first time. Hi-Fi Show Live premieres include PS Audio's DirectStream Memory Player – a new transport that plays SACD, DVD-A, and CD and is equipped with three I2S outputs to service multichannel SACD media. Signal conditioning is provided by the LanRover USB transporter which cleans, isolates and regenerates all USB audio for unsurpassed playback through a DirectStream Junior DAC, little brother to the phenomenonal DirectStream DAC.
There's a new Bascom H King (BHK)-designed vacuum tube Signature preamplifier driving 300W BHK Signature monoblock power amplifiers and the entire system will be run off the world’s best mains regenerator – the P10 – to ensure super-clean AC mains is supplied to each product. So, for a truly stunning listening performance from PS Audio please join us and do bring your own music.
Sandringham 8 - Emerging UK
Already well established in the music recording industry, UK distributor Emerging will be debuting two high-end Swiss brands at the Hi-Fi Show Live. The MERGING NADAC network-attached DAC benefits from a 25-year heritage of high-resolution professional recording products developed by Merging Technologies. This bespoke DAC/network audio solution is capable of handling 44.1kHz to quad DSD media in two and multichannel mode – it's the DAC used by people who make the music!
The MERGING NADAC will be demonstrated through PSI Audio active loudspeakers, all-analogue designs that boast the ultimate in linearity, phase accuracy and natural dynamic transients. Several models, including the PSI A25/225, the A215 and A17 will be on demonstration throughout the weekend.
Come upstairs also to experience PSI Audio’s patented AVAA active bass traps – tightening up bass and improving the musical soundstage while removing the ‘boom from your room’. We look forward to welcoming you to our suite to hear what is possible.
Sandringham 9 - Hidden Systems
Hidden Systems is pleased to exhibit with partners Linn Products, Lejonklou and Totem Acoustic at the Hi-Fi Show Live 2016. This cosy room will feature a new source from Linn Products – the Klimax DS streamer. First introduced in 2007, this was the world's first truly high-end network music player, setting a benchmark that has stood the test of time. Now completely re-engineered with its Katalyst DAC architecture, the Klimax DS has raised the bar still further. We will feature both the DS and DSM models alongside Linn's LP12 SE turntable.
Also debuted at the Show, Lejonklou Hi-Fi presents the Boazu integrated amplifier. The Boazu combines the power amp circuit of its acclaimed Tundra stereo power amp with a slimmed down version of the incredibly engaging Sagatun stereo preamp. The combination of these two circuits, with the shorter signal paths allowed by an integrated design, brings an amazing level of musical performance – better than that of the current separates but at a price of £2565 is well under half that of the pre/power combination!
To achieve this the Boazu uses hand-matched components including a 1.1kg solid copper heatsink and all-aluminum casework (with precise torqueing of all fasteners) completed with a simple, hard-wearing black finish. Four line-level sources are accepted with front panel or remote control of volume and muting. The Boazu also has the proprietary Lejonklou colour-change LED volume indicator. Company founder, Fredrik Lejonklou will be present to answer your questions.
Hidden Systems' demonstration will be realised via a pair of new high-end bookshelf speakers from Totem Acoustic called “Sky”.
Sandringham 10 - Puritan Audio Labs
If the weak link in many an enthusiast’s system is so often the quality of the incoming AC mains then Puritan Audio Laboratories will tempt you with a series of cost-effective solutions. Visitors have a treat in store as Puritan Audio Laboratories unveils its proprietary range of mains-purifying conditioners and dissipative ‘Interference Eating’ 13A power cables.
The company's PSM136 Purifier features six independently conditioned 8 Amp outlets with optimised power routing, cleansed star earthing and DC filtering to enhance clarity, detail and definition and expand dynamics. A trip to the first floor will seriously elevate your system.