THE HI-FI SHOW 2017: Windsor Suites
Windsor Suite 1 - Bowers & Wilkins Loudspeakers
In the expansive Windsor 1 Suite, Bowers & Wilkins will be focusing on the UK debut of its exciting new 700 Series of loudspeakers, with demonstrations of the 702 S2 floorstander and flagship for the range. The 700 Series 2 evolves the design ethos of the CM Series it replaces, and offers a significant improvement in performance thanks to the inclusion of technologies first developed for the reference 800 Series Diamond range, used here in combination with new, bespoke acoustic innovations.
Technologies that have ‘trickled down’ from the 800 Series Diamond include the revolutionary Continuum midrange driver, which uses the cleanest and most transparent midrange cone material Bowers & Wilkins has ever produced. The idealised properties of the Continuum material – now featured on every model in the new 700 Series range – ensures that musical details are uncovered that would be lost to conventional midrange drivers.
The new 700 Series also benefits from a bespoke version of the Aerofoil profile bass driver plus, on the two flagship models, improved tweeter-on-top housings now crafted from solid billets of aluminium. These technologies were first unveiled with the 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers. Designed specifically for the 700 Series, a new Carbon Dome treble unit delivers sweeter, cleaner high frequency performance and boasts a more extended bandwidth than the previous generation of Aluminium Double Dome tweeters. The Carbon Dome takes its place as the best-performing ‘non-Diamond’ tweeter that Bowers & Wilkins has ever produced.
The combination of outstanding technologies, the most advanced computer modelling currently available and extensive listening and tuning by the very best engineers in the business, results in the best-performing range of loudspeakers in its class. These loudspeakers simply have to be heard to be believed!
The new 700 Series will share its debut with the first chance to see and hear the superb new 15 Series of affordable high-end components from Rotel.
Windsor Suite 2 - Sound Fowndations
In 2016 Sound Fowndations showcased a cost-no-object flagship system bringing together some of hi-fi’s finest innovators. This year, Windsor 2 will again feature those same superb brands but this time with a focus on how trickle-down technology can deliver similarly exciting products at a more accessible price.
DS Audio’s new DS 002 optical phono cartridge draws on advances from the brand’s flagship Master 1, yet offers a more affordable entry into this cutting-edge technology. Clearaudio’s excellent Innovation turntable and Universal tonearm will be expertly driven by amps from GamuT Audio, including the D3i dual mono preamp and M250i mono power amps. Thanks to the D3i’s new optional plug-in tape head preamplifier, Windsor 2 will be revelling in the unbeatable sound of open reel tape with a choice of master-quality recordings from Open Reel Records, The Tape Project, ABC Records, Horch House and more. Gamut’s stunningly dynamic RS7i loudspeakers will prove more than a match for the tapes' incredible organic detail.
For music lovers with an appetite for superior sound but a smaller space in which to enjoy it, a second system will demonstrate the intelligent solution of Larsen loudspeakers.
Plus power conditioning from IsoTek’s Genesis One, Titan One and new EVO3 Ascension ultra high-end power cable; equipment support from Blue Horizon’s Pro Rack System; and a selection of Furutech accessories: DeMag-Alpha, SK-Filter, DeStat-3, Nanoflux Cables and new NCF Booster.
Clearaudio’s Stefan Kmuch, GamuT’s Benno Baun Meldgaard and IsoTek’s Björn Hegelstad will be on hand to chat and answer questions.
Windsor Suite 3 - Symmetry
Symmetry is the sole UK distributor for the following brands: Ayre, Brinkmann, HRS, Kiseki, Lyra, Stax, Sumiko and Trilogy. Symmetry will be demonstrating a number of components from its portfolio of high-end brands.
From Brinkmann comes the new Nyquist Digital to Analogue converter – a fully modular, MQA-compatible DAC that features a range of inputs. The Nyquist can be used as streamer, working with Tidal and Roon, and it also incorporates a vacuum tube filter stage, with both single-ended and balanced (XLR) outputs.
Vinyl replay will be courtesy of a Brinkmann Spyder turntable, capable of supporting three tonearms, and fitted here with a selection of Kiseki and Lyra MC cartridges.
Symmetry will also launch Harmonic Resolution Systems at the show. HRS is the industry leader in broadband isolation and vibration control and a wide range of its equipment supports and matching accessories will be displayed for the first time in the UK.
Trilogy will unveil its new 915R vacuum tube preamplifier and partnering 995R 'Hybrid Pure Class A' monoblock power amplifiers, served by the new 913R twin chassis phono preamplifier. These new designs have been in development for over two years and The Hi-Fi Show Live represents their public debut.
And the magic doesn’t stop there as, once again, Mike Valentine of Chasing The Dragon (the world’s leading producer of direct cut albums) joins Symmetry in Windsor 3. This year, Mike will take the audience behind the scenes of creating Espana, which celebrates music by Bizet, Chabrier and Rimsky-Korsakov, performed by The National Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Debbie Wiseman. Mike will also be discussing the new range of Chasing The Dragon’s binaural recordings and then demonstrating the range of Copy Master Tapes, which will be released at the show. There will be two lectures a day and tickets will be available in the room.
Windsor Suite 4 - Absolute Sounds Ltd
Absolute Sounds’ furthest room is an open, non-ticketed space – a place to drop by and relax among the latest creations from some of the audio world’s most distinguished brands, including Audio Research, Copland, Crystal Cable, EAT, Krell, MartinLogan, PrimaLuna and Sonus faber. New product highlights include EAT’s entry-level turntable, the B-Sharp, and Copland’s forthcoming integrated valve amplifiers, the 406 and 408, shown here for the first time in the UK.
Rolling demonstrations include the latest hybrid electrostatic speakers from MartinLogan’s Masterpiece Series, with their spellbinding transient speed and gloriously open soundstage. This room also offers an opportunity to see and hear Sonus faber’s gorgeous Homage Tradition loudspeaker collection – the perfect fusion of traditional Italian craftsmanship and modern loudspeaker design. Naturally, Absolute Sounds’ crack squad of high-end audio experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide advice.
Windsor Suite 5 - Absolute Sounds Ltd
Whether you’re a lover of valve amps or you prefer solid-state designs, Absolute Sounds’ second room offers the best of both from two giants of the high-end audio scene. Valves are represented by Audio Research’s latest Reference components, including the magnificent Reference 10 preamp, while solid-state amplification of the highest calibre is supplied by Dan D’Agostino’s prodigious Progression series. An incredible performance is guaranteed, especially as these amps are driving the latest masterpiece from Wilson Audio, which enjoys its UK debut at the show. The Alexia Series 2 is a stunning loudspeaker, sporting proprietary materials and technologies trickled down from the awesome Alexx and WAMM Master Chronosonic.
When it comes to the source, there’s no greater refinement of digital audio than that offered by British brand dCS, whose Vivaldi One can lay claim to being the finest single-box digital audio player in the world. This accompanies the American trinity of Audio Research, D’Agostino and Wilson in this room’s timed demonstrations, alongside other pioneering products from the dCS range.
Renowned recording engineer and Wilson Audio ambassador Peter McGrath returns to the UK to conduct proceedings, alongside other brand representatives including Raveen Bawa from dCS. Tickets are available from the desk outside the entrance to the Windsor Lounge, free of charge, at the time of your choosing.
Windsor Lounge - Absolute Sounds Ltd
Don’t miss this special opportunity to hear one of the finest CD playback systems money can buy: the extraordinary new Kalista DreamPlay CD transport and Kalista DAC by Metronome Technologie [featured on the front cover of HFN Nov ’17]. Vinyl fans are also in for a treat, as a turntable tour de force from TechDAS is teamed with the peerless SAT tonearm – two awesome feats of precision engineering, guaranteed to extract every last drop of musical detail from a record’s grooves.
Amplification is provided by the high-end dream team at Constellation Audio, including the Pictor preamp and Taurus power amp from the newly launched Revelation Series. These amps deliver extraordinary sonic clarity, so it’s just as well that they’re driving one of the crispest, cleanest, most revealing loudspeakers on the planet – Magico’s splendid new S3 MkII, demonstrated in the UK for the first time.
Constellation’s Irv Gross and Magico’s Peter Mackay are set to fly in from the US to conduct timed demonstrations, alongside Metronome’s Jean-Marie Clauzel who’s travelling to the show from France. Obtain free tickets for the demos from the desk outside the room.