THE HI-FI SHOW 2016: Buckingham Suites
Buckingham Reception - Planalogue
Peter Laitt, founder of Planalogue, will be demonstrating the company's first turntable, dubbed the Prelude. The product of many years in design, the Prelude employs a sensitively-matched range of materials in its construction. The plinth is an acrylic/birch-ply sandwich structure, bonded and constrained to reduce resonances, while the platter is machined from acrylic and is supported on a stainless/brass/Delrin bearing assembly.
The platter is belt-driven via an AC motor that's housed in a separate, heavyweight 'pod' located in series of detents in the turntable's base that ensure correct belt tension is maintained. An off-board motor controller ensures smooth, stable speed with electronic switching for 33.3 and 45 rpm.
A record stabiliser made from aluminium and Delrin improves the interface between vinyl and platter. Many arm types and lengths can be accommodated on the separate mounting platform and, indeed, a range of deck/arm/cartridge combinations can be ordered directly from Planalogue.
Buckingham Suite 1 - Decent Audio
Decent Audio is delighted to reveal that it has acquired exclusive UK distribution rights for renowned Danish loudspeaker brand, Raidho. Visitors will be able to delight in two stunning models completely new to the UK market: the D1.1 and XT-2. But if the sweet sound of Raidho is beyond your present budget, don’t despair, since sister brand Scansonic’s fabulously affordable Raidho-inspired ‘HD’ range is another of Decent Audio’s covetable yet highly accessible brands. Designed by Michael Børresen, creator of the state-of-the-art Raidho range, Scansonic speakers offer much of the Raidho family DNA and pedigree but at a fraction of the cost.
And that’s not all. Two more enticing UK ‘firsts’ are on offer in Buckingham 1. Last year, visitors to the Hi-Fi Show Live were treated to the unveiling of the Kronos Sparta .5 turntable. Now, the Kronos Pro makes its UK debut. Considered by those in-the-know to be among the finest turntables money can buy, the Kronos is a revelation for both eyes and ears - and the price tag may well come as a very pleasant surprise, given this turntable’s calibre.
Meanwhile, Italian Audio Analogue continues its twenty-year anniversary celebrations with a second re-visioning of an earlier classic. Last year saw the launch of the Puccini Anniversary amplifier, a new updated edition of the brand’s first ever product. This year heralds the arrival of the new Maestro Anniversary amp, again bringing new life to a memorable favourite. Dutch cartridge and cable specialists van den Hul will complete this highly desirable line-up with a range of expertly-crafted wares.
Buckingham 2 is the perfect venue for demonstrating the truly dynamic qualities of Karma's favourite system combinations comprising classy Primare electronics driving the bargain audiophile GoldenEar Triton speakers and the new Revel Concerta 2 floorstanders.
Sure to feature are Primare's gorgeous media-friendly 60 Series pre and power amplifiers, together with the company's EISA award-winning I30/MM30 integrated amplifier controlled by its newly enriched AIR app, which enables playback of high-resolution streaming services through any of Primare's network-enabled digital devices. AIR completes Primare's suite of digital playback offerings, which make it easy to enjoy to the fullest today's digital listening options, like TIDAL HiFi. To celebrate Primare is offering show-goers complimentary three-month introductory TIDAL HiFi subscriptions. Visit Buckingham 2 for details.
Buckingham Suite 3 - Malvern Audio Research
Established in 2011 to support and distribute the Ming Da range of valve audio equipment (manufactured in China by the Mei-Xing Electronics Company), Malvern Audio Research is returning to the Hi-Fi Show Live to introduce visitors to an even greater range of exotic brands. For its first Hi-Fi Show Live exclusive, Malvern Audio Research will will be showing the Dynasty Cadenza amplifier, recently reviewed in Hi-Fi News, for amplification along with the Lampizator transport for streaming digital music.
Visitors will also get to hear the new Chela-04 DAC along with the new NV06 mk2 Nuvistor phono stage, all manufactured in the UK by tube specialists Audio Detail. Accessories will include the EVO-3 mains conditioner from Gigawatt together with cables from Albedo and Missing Link.
Completing the system is a pair of FP10 standmount loudspeakers that are just as eye-catching and also hail from Poland. hORNS by Auto-Tech is a speaker manufacturer offering a range of flamboyant designs which breakaway from more traditional box-shaped loudspeakers.
Buckingham Suite 4 - Karma Audio Visual
Powerhouse of US Audiophile design Harman Luxury Audio is delighted to present the most exciting multiple launch of Mark Levinson products in many years. The show audience will be the first in UK to appreciate the new Mark Levinson No.519 Source Player, No.526 and No.523 Preamps and No.534 Dual Mono Power Amplifiers. Demonstrations featuring the No.519 will also star JBL’s fabled Project speakers – the HFN ‘Outstanding' K2 or Everest designs, with support from more modest Revel Performa F208 and new Concerta F36 floorstanders. Both Karma AV demos will be ably supported by Straightwire cables and fed with clean power from a new range of AC mains conditioners developed by Canada’s Torus Power.
Buckingham Suite 5 - Luxman & DALI
The Hi-Fi Show Live gives you the opportunity to experience a veritable feast of international audio delicacies in the spacious Buckingham 5 Suite. Luxman, the venerable Japanese high-end audio brand now in its 92nd year, joins forces with revered Danish loudspeaker manufacturer DALI to form a coalition of the best that Northeast Asia and Europe have to offer.
A fabulous mix of CD and vinyl is supplied via Luxman’s D-06u CD player and PD-171A turntable, coupled to the new EQ-500 valve-based phono stage. These feed Luxman’s new flagship pre/power amp system, comprising the C-900u preamp and M-900u stereo/mono power amp – a mighty combination that delivers power and poise in equal measure, thanks to Luxman’s legendary zero-compromise engineering.
If Luxman is the emperor of Japanese high-end audio, DALI is surely the high king of Danish loudspeakers. Its flagship Epicon range combines luscious looks with sensational sound, representing the ultimate insight into DALI’s values. Visitors will be able to see at least three superb Epicon models – the standmount Epicon 2, and the floorstanding Epicon 6 and Epicon 8 – the latter on continuous demonstration with the Luxman components described above.
The end result? Magical-sounding hi-fi from two continents brought together to deliver an unforgettable musical performance, one that will be etched in your memory for years to come.
Buckingham Lounge - Melco
With a hi-fi legacy stretching back over 40 years, Japanese IT giant Melco has the desire and scale to deliver truly bespoke audiophile storage and server solutions. The enthusiast’s quest for a dedicated digital front-end, able to serve-up those high-res downloads or CD rips in splendid isolation via USB or Ethernet, takes many forms. You might feel capable of building a dedicated PC, albeit with an off-the-shelf motherboard, drives, PSU and OS or perhaps opt for a high-end NAS drive on a discretely-wired network. Or you can have a giant computer company do it for you, directed by its audiophile CEO to throw all its resources behind a bespoke server motherboard running entirely audio-orientated software processes. That, in a nutshell, is what Melco is offering with its unique range of digital music storage/players, including the slimline HA-N1ZS10, the HA-N1ZH60 and HA-N1AH40 – all on demonstration at the Hi-Fi Show Live.