Audioworld 14 & 15 Audio

I bumped into John Gordon at Audio World 14, he has been quietly making Odyssey tonearms on a custom basis for several decades but you rarely see his work. I’m told they sound as good as this RP1 looks, which for £1,600 seems like a great deal.

Vivid Audio decided to put on a show by installing theatrical lighting around its range of three Giya models. Designer Laurence Dickie took the opportunity to explain to visitors what it is that makes these distinctive loudspeakers so effective. They were making exceptional sounds with the big G1 and AVM electronics.

Eryk S Concept was designed as a combination of art and audio technology, old skool technology in the form of a single input EL84 low power tube amp and new tech in the Bluetooth receiver onboard. The lacquered finish and kanji characters are also used on the matching speakers with full range paper drivers. The whole system is £3,000.

MCRU unveiled Huddersfield’s answer to your cable dilemmas. The SLIC Innovations Eclipse is apparently a Yorkshire born game changer that will revolutionise cable technology. For £500 a metre pair it would want to be pretty good.

Angel Sound was making a very good job of playing Fink’s Biscuits for Breakfast, proprietor Keith Cheal put this down to the Verity Leonore loudspeakers (£15,450) which looked great and are apparently very easy to get a result with. The Reimyo source and Pass Labs amps must have helped too.

Clones Audio electronics don’t look like something from Hong Kong and apparently sound rather different too. The range consists of an integrated (25i, £543), preamplifier (25p, £524) and two monoblock power amplifiers (25pm, £812 and 55pm, £890). Distribution by LW Audio.

The mighty Zontek turntable from Poland is a hardwood, brass and aluminium creation with quite a bit going on under the surface. It comes with the 14.5inch Delta tonearm for £6,500 and decouples arm and platter from the motor with a diagonal gap.

Howes Acoustics and Music First joined forces so that Jonathan Billiington could show of the Nagra T he has acquired. It looked nearly as good as the Howes Quad IIs with EL34s in push-pull triode mode. Howes had hoped to show a new speaker, the Floor Horn which is designed to use the Voxativ Field Coil drivers and is a, marginally, more conventional shape than the Quarter Wave horns.

A surprise return to these shores is Hørning a Danish horn specialist which enjoyed some success back in the Audio Innovations era. The Aristoteles Ultimate Zigma (£9,995) has four bass drivers arranged isobaric style that protrude from the cabinet rear. Bass is usually the limitation with horns so this could do the trick.

Audio Note has entered the mains cable (AC power cord) market with Isis which is also the latest and bestest copper cable in the catalogue, the speaker cable is £330/m and the power cable £220 per metre. Go figure!

Timber Tones makes lovely hardwood plectrums and bases for mass market streamers, the latter cost from £55 apiece and will bring a touch of class to your Sonos or Bose device.

Bricasti Design from Massachusetts is a pro audio electronics brand that has built a pretty serious looking DSD DAC in the M1 Dual Mono (£6,995). It has Mark Levinson style build and offers proprietary filtering options.

Funk Firm showed a new platter for the Vector 3, this is a laminate of glass and a rubber like compound that kills of all resonance and give the platter considerably more inertia than the Anchromat of yore, price will be £1440 plus arm.

When I went into the Audio T room they were using an NDX network streamer with a SuperNait 2 integrated amplifier and HiCap 2 power supply to excellent effect. Playing Frank Zappa’s Watermelon in Easter Hay was the master stroke here.

Hart Audio has branched out from large loudspeakers into small boxes. The Tar-Dis (£1,200)sits in the analogue output of a digital source and gives it a rounder, more analogue sound.

JBL introduced the Synchros S400BT (£200, above right), a Bluetooth headphone whose cups are touch sensitive and allow control of track and volume with the right caresses.

Max Townshend and Ian Large of AA Acoustics discuss the finer points of seismic isolation, allegedly. Max gave talks on the importance of isolation on both days, a video of which will soon be found on the Townshend site.

15 Audio owner Peter Wooliscroft had three systems on dem including the one below with Pro-Ject Xtension 10, Boulder 1021 disc player and 865 integrated amp, and Dali Epicon 2 standmounts.

TAD’s DA1000 DAC/preamp (£11,995), M25 power amp (£17,995) and CR1 compact loudspeaker (£33,995) were working extremely well with John Bamford’s choice cuts.

AVM’s C8 is one of the best looking single box solutions we’ve seen in a while. It spins discs, has a phono stage, tuner and DAC and delivers 150 watts a side for £3,000.

The Scherer Evince turns out to be smaller than it looks in the pictures, you’ll note that one velvet draped table can support more than a pair. More interesting however is that it’s a transmission line, that black rectangle at bottom front is the line mouth. It’s not cheap at £9,995 but I’d like to hear it.