Alistair Gardner owner of Signals described his first show as a vanity project celebrating Signals’ twenty years of business, joining other brands celebrating birthdays like Naim, Rega and Linn from the north of border.
Working clockwise from the bar that was plying visitors with coffee and celebratory cake we came to Salisbury’s finest crafters of all things audio. Naim Audio brought their big guns in the form of the flagship streaming active system with NDS and 555 power supply, NAC552 preamp, Supercap, SNAXO Crossover and S800 Ovator speakers driven by three NAP 500 power amps. For those with less than cavernously deep pockets there was a demo of a Nait powered system with NDX streamer and S400 Ovator speakers.
The chaps from Southend, Rega Research had a world first at the show. UK sales manager Paul Darwin describes the Saturn-R CD player as a DAC/player as the DAC can be used independently. It has 5 inputs; 2 coax, 2 optical and the really useful bit, asynchronous USB, all of which support 24-bit/192kHz. This solid, purposeful bit of kit will retail around the £1598 mark and is expected to go on sale in the first week of October. It’s ideally partnered with the cracking Elicit-R integrated amp also at £1598. Rega also had their RP8 vinyl disk spinner feeding the rather dinky Aria MM/MC phono stage.
This was the first time that East Anglia’s audio enthusiasts have been able to hear the much vaunted fact.12 speakers from PMC, as modelled here by the rakish Thomas Barron. The floorstanders were pulling in the public with a blend of smooth jazz and obscure electronica from North of the Arctic circle. Alternating with the fact demos were PMC’s twenty series which produced a fun, toe tapping sound powered by Rega’s cracking Elicit-R (not cracked yet then? Ed.) and fed with CD sounds from an Apollo-R. The Luton based acoustic specialists were as always are giving top notch branded goods to anyone spotted getting down to the groove… which means there could be a lot of freebees by the end of the show!
From the other side of the Dartford crossing came Kent based Chord Electronics who were driving Magneplanar MG 3.7 panel speakers with the latest version of the revered SPM1200s amplifier, the source of digits being the new DSX1000 streamer/DAC. Above is your man from Chord on the left and a the Suffolk scenery on the right.
Another well-crafted bit of matt anodised kit was on show from Trilogy Audio who have released their new 908 vacuum tube preamp (£1,995) and 992 Hybrid 100W monos (£2,395 each), note the 992 power amps feature a tube input stage.
Alistair Gardner (not shown above) owner of Signals said, “It’s fantastic to see so many new and old faces and to be able to introduce them to so many new products. I must also say how supportive the various manufacturers and distributors have been in helping to make this such a great event”. Judging by the amount of cake consumed it's was extremely well attended event.