hi-fi news show

THE HI-FI SHOW 2017: White House Suites


The Dining Room – KEF, Chord Electronics, The Chord Company & Innuos

KEF will be attending this year’s Hi-Fi Show Live with yet another mighty British-built system on showcase in the spacious White House Dining Room. Partnering with both Chord Electronics and The Chord Company the system will be based around the authoritative three-way KEF Reference 5 floorstanding speaker, recipient of an Outstanding Hi-Fi News award. The flagship KEF Reference model, the result of over 40 years of continuous development, will be paired with the Chord Blu MK II CD Transport; DAVE, Chord's most advanced DAC; the CPA 5000 eight input Reference preamplifier and the 480W SPM 1400 MK II  Signature Power amplifier.

All these luxurious components will be connected with the latest incarnation of the award-winning Sarum T Range from The Chord Company, featuring Taylon - the company's exclusive insulation material.

This year, music will be playing from the exclusive Innuos ZENith SE music server – a Special Edition version designed in the UK with a new 'triple-linear' PSU designed by Dr. Sean Jacobs from West Yorkshire. This features a custom-wound toroidal transformer, hand-built in Kent, and a raft of improvements on EMI shielding and vibration isolation.

With all models in this demo room designed and hand-built in the UK, this system really will be one of the finest 'Best of British' audio systems available.



Barramundi – KEF, Chord Electronics and The Chord Company & Innuos 

If you’re looking for a more compact system, KEF will also be showcasing the highly-rated, EISA Award-winning LS50 Wireless active music system in the adjoining Barramundi Suite. Take your opportunity to hear this complete, high resolution streaming system with the addition of active power and wireless connectivity for convenient, audiophile-quality hi-fi at the touch of a button. Retaining the same award-winning acoustic design of the KEF LS50, the LS50 Wireless pushes the boundaries of sound to the next level with audiophile grade amplification, sound processing, extensive connectivity and, of course, the innovative Uni-Q technology for faultless three-dimensional imaging wherever you sit.

Along with the Chord Poly wireless streaming module paired with the award-winning Mojo DAC, Chord will also be demonstrating the Hugo 2, a powerful portable DAC alongside the active KEF LS50 Wireless system. Music will be playing from the award-winning Innuos ZENith music server. Don't miss the chance to experience the sound of true high resolution audio streaming from some of the UK's finest experts in the art and science of high-end home hi-fi.



Remenham Suite – SME, Nagra, Plinius and YG Acoustics 

Padood will be thrilling visitors this year with two amazing systems that celebrate the very best in vinyl replay and high-end audio.

System one features the world-renowned SME 30/12 turntable fitted with SME’s Series V tonearm and new Harmony MC cartridge from Shelter.  Feeding a Boulder 1008 phono stage, this reference-class vinyl front-end is controlled by the amazing new Nagra HD Preamp, which drives a pair of Nagra HD Amps, powering the new YG Acoustics Junior XV speakers in bi-amp mode. Wired using Kubala Sosna Cables, this system will delight thanks to its effortless ability to reveal musical scale and dynamics.

System two will also feature an SME turntable/tonearm combination, this time the Model 15 fitted with a Series V tonearm and the brand new Shelter EMT S75 MC cartridge.  Driving the astounding YG Acoustics Carmel 2 speakers will be the Plinius Koru phono preamp together with new amplification from Plinius, Boulder and Bel Canto.

But it’s not just about vinyl, as fans of digital audio are also in for a treat. System one features the incredible new HD DAC from Nagra, while system two will feature the Weiss Medus DAC.

In addition to these not-to-be-missed demonstrations, we are delighted to be joined by senior brand representatives who will discuss their products and answer any questions. Flying in from the US will be BelCanto President Michael McCormick, Kerry St. James from YG Acoustics and Rich Meaz of Boulder, who will join Dominique Mafrand of Swiss brand Nagra and SME CEO Stuart McNeilis.  Also at the show, we are thrilled to announce that David Walstra of Sonoma will be launching the company’s brand new M1 electrostatic headphones.

Running rolling demonstrations throughout the course of the show, both systems can be experienced in a relaxing environment, while additional products from all brands will be on static display.  Featuring the very best of analogue and digital audio, this high-end musical experience is certainly not to be missed.



Griffith and Roxburghe Suites – OPPO 

Returning to Hi-Fi Show Live for its fifth consecutive year OPPO Digital Europe will be showcasing its range of award-winning UDP universal Blu-ray and audiophile disc players. The critically acclaimed range accommodates a host of compatible formats, including 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D, legacy DVD-Video and DVD-Audio alongside SACD and standard Red Book CD. HDR10 image processing is also in-built with an upgrade to Dolby Vision via a free firmware update.

The audio performance of the OPPO UDP-205, an 'Outstanding' Hi-Fi News review award-winner, represents a significant upgrade over the UDP-203 and its previous generation players. The UDP-205 provides reference level sound quality through its (balanced) stereo and multichannel analogue outputs, improves the clock precision of the HDMI audio output, and increases the power of the built-in headphone amplifier. For the analogue output stages, the UDP-205 utilises two ES9038PRO DACs, which are the flagship of the ESS Sabre Pro series, delivering best-in-class audio performance. In addition to its playback capabilities, the UDP-205 adds a USB DAC, a coaxial and an optical digital audio input so users can take advantage of the excellent audio performance of the UDP-205 with other sources.

Also on display is the award-winning range of OPPO PM-1, PM-2 and PM-3 Planar Magnetic headphones, HA-1 and HA-2 SE headphone amplifiers and accessories.



Morley Suite + Breakout Room – Esoteric, Nordost and Atacama 

Esoteric, Nordost, and Atacama are joining forces once again in the Morley Suite (now with a breakout annexe) to demonstrate the latest products from each company, with speakers supplied by Northamptonshire-based ProAc.

At the heart of the system will be a series of favoured models from Esoteric, the audiophile brand from the makers of TEAC and Tascam. These products, precision-made and handbuilt in Japan, are coveted by enthusiasts worldwide, and The Hi-Fi Show Live lineup could win the brand even more fans, comprising as it does the N-05 network player, the K-01X SACD/CD player/DAC, the C-02X preamp and the S-02 power amp.

The network player can handle both locally-stored music libraries and streaming services including Tidal, and is compatible with file formats all the way up to DSD 11.2MHz and 384kHz/32-bit. It also has an asynchronous USB input for direct connection to a computer, and can be controlled using an app compatible with both tablets and phones. Meanwhile, the S-02 power amp delivers a hefty 290W/4ohm, rising to a maximum of double that, and uses a custom transformer as part of a generous power supply provision.

The Hi-Fi Show Live will also showcase Nordost’s new range of QKore parallel grounding devices. Without an effective ground point, the entire foundation of your system is jeopardised, but neither is it practical for enthusiasts to run a thick conductor from their hi-fi to a ground rod buried deep in their garden. Come and visit us and hear why the QKore can help you finally unlock the potential of the audio components that you've already invested in. The system will be supported by Atacama's award-winning Evoque-SE Natural Bamboo furniture.



Ashbrook Suite – Metaxas and Sins

For over 40 years, designer and recording engineer Kostas Metaxas has proved a positive ‘disrupter’, subverting what is or isn't possible in the aesthetic and state-of-the-art in amplifier and loudspeaker design. At the Hi-Fi Show Live you will come face-to-face with the anarchic Solitaire power amplifier, the Memento Mori headphone preamp ‘Skulls’ and the CNC-machined Sirens loudspeakers.

With more than a passing reference to Homer's Odyssey, the metaphor is testimony to the sheer musicality and realism that allows the potent Sirens three-way loudspeaker, carved from a block of solid aluminium – or titanium – to engage and captivate its audience with its sound and to invigorate the mind with its extreme sculptural aesthetic.

At home in the most demanding recording studios, concert hall monitoring booths or even the Museum of Modern Art, the Sirens are a radical departure from the original concept of a three-way box speaker developed early last century. It can be offered in a choice of anodised colours, automotive metallic paints, Connolly leather or even gold-leaf finishes. 

Using ideas borrowed from Neumann TLM 50 and M150 microphones, the Sirens have ceramic Accuton drivers embedded into spheres mounted onto an organic time-aligned sculpture. Despite the unique and unusual shape, the design is a seriously engineered, no-compromise loudspeaker with emphasis on absolute sound quality. 




Hastings Suite – ELAC

Mounting an expedition to the furthest suite in the superior White House venue will be rewarded this year as ELAC launches its new Adante Series loudspeakers at The Hi-Fi Show Live. Illustrated by the AS61 standmounts, the Adante range presents a ‘clean sheet’ design unique to ELAC, where technical solutions, precision engineering and superior craftsmanship come together to create breathtaking loudspeakers that sound like nothing else in the world.

The advanced, precision-built cabinet features Interport-Coupled Cavity bass loading to exploit the highest performance from its active and passive bass drivers. The inherent superiority of this design solution delivers some of the most authoritative, realistic bass around. Complementing the custom low-frequency drivers is the all-new concentric midrange/tweeter, a natural-sound wonder engineered expressly for the range.

Motive power will come from Alchemy electronics, now part of the ELAC brand. For vinyl fans the EISA Award-winning Miracord 90 Anniversary turntable will be playing some choice LPs (with the Alchemy PPA-1 phono stage) while the Discovery Music Server will be showing off its powerful multi-room capabilities, providing a digital source for both the main Adante system and also the new Discovery Z3 zone speakers, which will also be launched at the Show.

Cabling comes from Studio Connections, power conditioning by IsoTek and equipment support courtesy of the very stylish Blue Horizon range.