hi-fi news show

THE HI-FI SHOW 2017: Buckingham Suites




Buckingham Reception – 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 demonstrates and discusses the technology behind its proprietary range of mains-purifying conditioners and dissipative ‘Interference Eating’ 13A power cables.

The PSM136 Purifier, recently the feature of an enthusiastic Hi-Fi Choice review, 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. Make a point of stopping off in the Buckingham Reception, on your way through to the brands also featured on this page, and meet Puritan's guiding light Mike Lester who will reveal how a freshly cleaned mains supply can seriously improve the performance of your existing hi-fi system.



Buckingham Suite 1 - Decent Audio 

Last year, visitors to the Hi-Fi Show Live
 were treated to the UK unveiling of the Kronos Pro turntable, considered by critics worldwide to be among the best performing decks that money can buy.
 2017 sees the first UK showing of the Pro’s new ‘game-changing’ SCPS-1 power supply, engineered to further unleash the Pro’s already astonishing performance. 

At the sharp end will be van den Hul’s new Crimson Stradivari phono cartridge – 'Surely one of the finest pick-up cartridges around,' wrote Hi-Fi News magazine.

In yet another Hi-Fi Show Live exclusive, Italian amp specialist Audio Analogue’s new AAphono stage will make its UK debut, alongside the brand’s Maestro Anniversary integrated amplifier whose 'big, magnificent sound is hard to resist.' (Hi-Fi News.)

Fans of Raidho’s prestigious loudspeakers will be delighted to know that the new D-2.1 floorstander will also be making its first UK appearance at the show, with its two Raidho Diamond Drivers and famous Raidho Ribbon Tweeter. But if the sweet sound of
 Raidho is beyond your
 current 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. On demo here will be the MB5, described by Hi-Fi News magazine as 'a gifted compact floorstander with a neutral yet immersive sound.'

Buckingham Suite 2 - Karma Audio Visual

Karma-AV’s smaller show venue will host the UK debut of three new Primare models: the I35 and compact I15 integrated amplifiers and CD35 disc player. Each features ‘Prisma’, the company’s new app-managed multi-room network and peer-to-peer playback technology.

The bijou I15 Prisma integrated amplifier offers decoding of up to 768kHz LPCM and DSD128 combined with 75W of power per channel. Its larger range-mate, the I35 Prisma amp, is the first to use Primare’s new UFPD 2 technology, a refinement of the original UFPD all-analogue Class-D amplifier modules. Generating 150W/8ohm, the I35 offers fully balanced analogue inputs and compatibility with 768kHz LPCM and DSD128. The matching CD35 Prisma CD player features an all-new DAC stage for conversion of up to 384kHz LPCM and DSD128, and features a fully balanced analogue output stage.
The Prisma ensemble will be driving the award-winning Revel Concerta2 M16 2-way bookshelf monitor: a smart and sophisticated loudspeaker comprising a 1in aluminium tweeter and 6.5in bass/mid driver, meticulously designed, refined and engineered for absolute accuracy at Harman Luxury Audio’s Northridge CA facility.



Buckingham Suite 3 - Ultimate Stream

Representing a range of brands from across the globe including Auralic, Innuos, Rockna, Merging Technologies and T+A, the Ultimate Stream space promises to entice you into the wonderful world of music streaming.

Auralic is dedicated to designing, engineering and delivering advanced audio equipment. Its brand new G2 Streaming Transport and DAC have the power to flawlessly process all of today’s highest resolution music formats up to DSD512 and 384kHz/32-bit LPCM. By way of alternative, and featuring a three linear PSUs, advanced vibration control and EMI shielding, the flagship limited edition ZENith SE Music Server from Innuos takes your music to new heights.

Making the way for an elevated audio performance, the Rockna Wavedream Network Enhanced Transport is a new class of product that combines a network playback system with a world-class quality disc transport. Also, and with over 25 years’ experience as the world’s foremost manufacturer of high resolution digital audio recording systems, the stunning NADAC+PLAYER with Roon from Merging Technologies challenges the convention of having a computer from which to play your music.

The MP 3100 HV digital media player from T+A, fresh from its ‘Outstanding’ Hi-Fi News review, completes the streaming lineup. Showcased alongside the T+A PA 3100 HV, The Hi-Fi Show Live also sees the worldwide premiere of the new beautifully elegant Stilla floorstanding loudspeaker from Dutch manufacturer AEquo Audio. Available in both hybrid and fully active versions, these speakers deliver rich audiophile musicality with a transparent precision and an amazing holographic soundstage.

Designed to seriously elevate your system, cables from Tellurium Q and the Quadraspire XRef audiophile stand will also be featured in these demos.



Buckingham Suite 4 - Karma Audio Visual

Starring on Karma-AV’s main stage will be the latest generation of Mark Levinson separates - all making their UK show debuts - including the extraordinary No515 turntable, the No519 audio player (both recent Hi-Fi News’ ‘Outstanding’ award winners), and Levinson’s latest No534 dual-mono amplifier. Mark Levinson’s first ever turntable is a brilliant mix of precision-engineered transcription and state-of the-art design, while its No519 player will resolve virtually any digital audio format perfectly. As a fully integrated digital music source the No519 includes a full complement of wired and wireless digital audio inputs, integrated slot-loading CD player, high-performance headphone connectivity and digital volume control.

Its system partner, the new No534 dual-mono amplifier, delivers 250W per channel into 8ohm. Operating purely in class A for most listening conditions, its output doubles to 500W into 4ohm, with stable operation into 2ohm loads. In support will be the acclaimed 12-input dual-mono No526 preamplifier featuring Levinson’s ‘Pure Path’ circuit topology and the No585 integrated amplifier, which unites the latest state-of-the-art Mark Levinson processing and power topologies in a single box.

The gift of such exemplary audio design will reach the ears of the show audience through a range of speakers from JBL. Its 4367 and 4312 SE studio monitors rekindle a classic lineage by combining new acoustic systems with the company’s iconic pro-audio design. And to deliver the best possible mains quality, Torus Power’s TOT AVR conditioner uses the company’s Automatic Voltage Regulation technology to ensure that the voltage reaching Karma-AV’s systems is maintained at optimal levels.



Buckingham Suite 5 - Luxman (IAG) & DALI

The Hi-Fi Show Live will give 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 that is now in its 93rd 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 latter coupled to the new EQ-500 tube-based phono stage. And as well as being a superlative disc player, the D-06u also offers an asynchronous USB input to accept a feed from a computer, at up to 384kHz/32-bit and DSD128, using the supplied Luxman Audio Player software for both PC and Mac.

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. Also on display will be two new integrated amps in addition to the LX-380 and D-380 integrated amplifier and CD player – both tube/solid-state hybrid designs.

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 brought together to deliver an unforgettable musical performance that you will treasure 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 (in both LPCM and DSD flavours) or CD rips in splendid isolation via USB or Ethernet, takes many and various 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 for network control and hard drive file management.

That, in a nutshell, is what Melco is offering with its unique range of digital music storage/players. Now in mk2 guise the latest players include SongKong software, which can re-tag and organise a music library stored on the units, and Ravenna, the pro-derived networking protocol also used by the Merging+NADAC. These marvels of specialised audio engineering include the N1ZH/2, HA-N1A/2 and latest N1ZS20/2 – all on demonstration at The Hi-Fi Show Live.