Buckingham Reception – Puritan Audio Labs
Paying attention to the quality of the AC mains can pay sonic dividends, and Puritan Audio Laboratories is waiting to tempt you with its sophisticated, yet cost-effective, mains-cleaning solutions.
Visitors have a treat in store as the Oxfordshire-based company demonstrates the technology behind its proprietary range of mains-purifying conditioners and dissipative ‘Interference Eating’ 13A power cables. For example, the PSM136 strip purifier features six independently-conditioned 8A outlets with optimised power routing, ‘cleansed star earthing’ and DC filtering to enhance clarity, detail and definition and expand perceived dynamics.
Then there’s the Hi-Fi Choice-recommended power cables with their 20A high-purity copper conductors and optimised dielectric insulation to rid your reproduction chain of hash. The result is a system able to resolve minute and subtle information with greater accuracy.
So linger awhile in the Buckingham Reception, on your way through to the other brands featured on these pages, and meet Puritan’s guiding light Mike Lester. He will reveal how AC mains conditioning can improve the performance of your hi-fi system, ridding it of the fizz, hash and spikes that may unsettle your separates.
Buckingham Suite 1 - Decent Audio
A J van den Hul is one of the world’s most renowned phono cartridge designers, and a new edition of his top-of-range model is something to celebrate. With the new Colibri XGW Signature Stradivarius, A J has aimed for his personal best, incorporating all of his 40+ years’ experience. Visitors to The Hi-Fi Show Live will be treated to its UK unveiling, where it will be partnered with the highly original The Wand unipivot tonearm from New Zealand-based DBL (Design Build Listen). An evolution in tonearm design, it is cleverly crafted to deliver superb sound at a considerably more modest price than might be expected, and even the top Master model demonstrated in Buckingham 1 is within reach of many budgets.
Clearly the accompanying turntable needs to be something special too, and it is: the masterfully engineered and justifiably celebrated Kronos Sparta, with its unique – and eye-catching – counter-rotating platters. Amplification will be delivered by American brand Ayre Acoustics’ QX-5 and KX-5/VX-5 [HFN Nov ’16] while Ayre’s Brent Hefley will be on hand to demonstrate, chat and answer questions.
And for devotees of Denmark’s ‘royal family’ of loudspeaker brands, Raidho’s superb C2.2 2.5-way floorstander will be in residence, along with the new Scansonic MB5‘B’. The latter ‘B’ stands for prized designer Benno Baun Meldgaard of GamuT, who joined the Raidho family last year and who has further developed the already excellent – and remarkably affordable – Scansonic MB range.
Buckingham Suite 3 - Karma Audio Visual
Having been recognised for its seductive blend of looks, connectivity and audio performance by the world’s EISA community of specialist magazines, the beautifully chic, award-winning Primare Prisma range makes a triumphant return.
The app-driven CD35 Prisma CD player/streaming DAC features a balanced analogue output and packs an ESS Sabre DAC compatible with 384kHz/ DSD128 music files. Meanwhile, the I35 Prisma integrated amp is the first to use the company’s new UFPD 2 power system, a refinement of its award-winning UFPD all-analogue Class D technology. The 150W I35 Prisma amplifier also includes digital inputs supporting 768kHz LPCM and DSD128 music files. Hear the pairing supported by Falcon Acoustics speakers.
The Falcon range includes authentic LS3/5a mini-monitors, hand-built exclusively to the original 1976 BBC spec. The result of nearly two years’ R&D, the Falcon LS3/5a features the company’s own B110 drive unit and T27 tweeter along with a matched 15ohm FL6/23 filter network. Meanwhile, the cabinets are made from a selected grade of Baltic Ply and come in a variety of wood veneers, all finished with a Tygan cloth front grille.
Also on show will be Falcon’s new and acclaimed Reference Audio Monitor (RAM) range, comprising the two-way ported Studio 10 and Studio 20 standmount speakers and three-way Studio 30 floorstander. Their pristine 25mm MDF cabinets, finished in real wood veneers, feature faux-leather baffles, and interchangeable side panels to coordinate with a wide variety of domestic surroundings.
Buckingham Suite 4 - Karma Audio Visual
Karma AV is back at The Hi-Fi Show Live on a mission to prove that genuine fidelity needn’t come with megabucks price tags. Its larger demonstration room is the stage for a partnership of two acclaimed global champions of ‘budget’ audiophilia, uniting the democratically-priced Emotiva and GoldenEar brands in a truly inspiring chemistry of high-end performance and value. Hi-Fi News’ ‘Outstanding’ pre/power pairing of Emotiva XSP-1 and XPA-DR2 [HFN Oct ’18] will fill the space with ‘firecracker dynamics’ through GoldenEar’s Triton 5 Tower loudspeakers. These feature a proprietary driver configuration of twin midrange drivers astride a ribbon tweeter, supported by no fewer than four side-firing bass radiators.
Karma’s other demos include dynamic pairings of Emotiva’s entry-level TA100 and PT100/A300 pre/power ensembles. Part of Emotiva’s BasX series, the A300 is a stereo power amp rated at 150W/8ohm that promises true audiophile sound quality at an affordable price. Come and experience it for yourself.
Meanwhile, visitors will also be able hear Primare’s new range of separates, with SVS ‘Ultra’ bookshelf speakers, JBL 4306 monitors and, due imminently in the UK, the iconic JBL L100 ‘Century’ monitors. Reprised and comprehensively upgraded, this classic three-way speaker (with 12in bass) retains its Quadrex foam grilles that were used for the original early-1970s design.
Buckingham Suite 5 - Luxman (IAG) & DALI
This spacious suite will give you the opportunity to experience a lavish feast of international audio delicacies. Luxman, the venerable Japanese high-end audio brand now in its 94th year, joins forces with revered Danish loudspeaker manufacturer DALI to form a system representing the very best that Asian and European design and engineering have to offer.
A fabulous mix of CD and vinyl is promised with Luxman’s D-06u SACD/CD player/DAC and PD-171A turntable. The deck boasts a high-torque AC synchronous motor, newly developed by the company, a 5kg platter, and arm with a detachable headshell. The PD-171A will be joined by Luxman’s new EQ-500 tube-based phono stage, which uses valves manufactured by JJ Electronic in Slovakia. As for the D-06u, as well as being a superlative disc player, it also offers an asynchronous USB input compatible with 384kHz/32-bit and DSD128 files, using the supplied Luxman Audio Player software for PC and Mac.
These feed Luxman’s flagship C-900u preamp and M-900u stereo/mono power amp [HFN Jan ’17] – a mighty combination that delivers power and poise in equal measure. Also on display will be a selection of exciting Luxman products – including tube/solid-state hybrid designs.
If Luxman is the emperor of Japanese high-end audio, then DALI, celebrating its 35th year, is surely the high king of Danish loudspeakers. Its flagship Epicon series combines luscious looks with sensational sound, representing the ultimate insight into DALI’s core values. Visitors will see all three superb Epicon models on display – the standmount Epicon 2, the floorstanding Epicon 6 and larger floorstanding Epicon 8 – with both the 8s and 2s available for demonstration with the Luxman components. The end result? Magical-sounding hi-fi
brought together to deliver an unforgettable musical performance.
Buckingham Lounge - Melco
With a hi-fi legacy stretching back 43 years, the world’s leading high-performance digital music storage solutions manufacturer, Melco (the hi-fi division of the Japanese IT giant Buffalo Technology), has the ability and scale to deliver truly bespoke audiophile storage and server solutions, regardless of budget.
Melco’s quest for a genuine ‘audiophile-quality’ digital music storage device, able to deliver high-resolution audio files (both LPCM and DSD) and unrivaled-quality CD rips via USB or Ethernet, takes many forms. The company’s very latest offerings, announced in September, will be unveiled at The Hi-Fi Show Live.
Officially launching to music lovers at the show, the N100 is a great value, high-performance music library with a space-saving half-width chassis but still promising offering astonishing sound quality. Priced at just £1800, the N100 breaks fresh ground for the Japanese giant and provides a new, affordable entry point into Melco ownership, with the versatility the brand has become known for.
In addition, Melco will also preview the new ‘extreme performance’ N10 music library, an uncompromising two-box solution which separates signal processing electronics and power supplies for the optimum performance. Bolstered by a 3TB drive, USB DAC and full app control, the N10 builds upon the position held by the N1Z series [HFN Jun ’16] – seen at The Hi-Fi Show Live, 2017 – as the best digital music source available and continues to improve audio performance.