Show Reports

The Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2023 wows the crowds

MartinLogan motion at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

The Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2023 pt.2

PMC Distribution took the opportunity to demonstrate the new Martin Logan Motion series of loudspeakers. These have a black folded motion tweeter in black (rather than yellow of yore) and new woofers, the Motion models have woven fibre cones while the more tasty Motion XTs use Kevlar. The floorstanders have a down firing port in the base for easier positioning and sit on nicely finished, easy to level feet. There are three finish options, black, white and the walnut shown above. The Motion models start at £1,395 for the B10 standmount while Motion XT’s B100 is £1,895, the F10 floorstander demonstrated at the event comes in at £2,995 and sounded rich and live on the end of an AVM CS 5.3 streamer/amplifier playing Fink’s Trouble’s What You’re In.

PMC at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

PMC’s small wonders shine

PMC gave their smallest twenty5i series loudspeakers a chance to shine by pairing twenty5.21i (£2,395) standmounts with an AVM Ovation CS 8.3 Black Edition streamer/amplifier (£15,950), no wonder Kevin Fiske was moved to request a pair for review.

Chord Electronics at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Chord Electronics nail it at Bristol Show 2023

Chord Electronics put together a super system based around the Dave DAC (£10,500), Hugo Upscaler and Ultima P3 preamplifier (£6,000) with an Ultima P5 power amp (£10,500) all of which sounded solid and detailed via Kudos Titan 606 floorstanding speakers.

Goldenear at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Goldenear and Audioquest

Goldenear are now in one of the bigger rooms and were making some agreeable sounds with the Triton Three+ floorstanders (£3,299) that are a bit less obvious than the BRX bookshelf speakers in the picture. The source was a NAD M33 streaming amplifier and all power management and cabling was by sister brand Audioquest.

Nagaoka at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Nagaoka 80th anniversary at Bristol Show 2023

Nagaoka have made a welcome return to these shores courtesy of Sound Design Distribution, they are celebrating their 80th anniversary (80!) with the JT-80 ‘pig nose’ moving magnet cartridges. Prices start at £219 for the JT-80 LB with its blue ‘nose’.

Melco n1 at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Bigger is better for Melco N1

Melco have been teasing its new range topping music library for a few weeks now and the N1 didn’t disappoint when shown in the flesh. It’s based on a new motherboard, has a larger cache than the existing N10 and like that fine device is a single drive design with a 3.8TB SSD included for the £12,000 asking price. The back panel offers Neutrik RJ45 connections and an external clock input, a first for Melco. The N1 will be available on March 1st, form an orderly queue.

Melco N1 rear at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Innuos at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Juicy bass from Innuos at Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2023

Innuos gave good dem with the new Pulse streamer alongside Zen server, PhoenixUSB reclocker, Phoenixnet switch and a Chord Hugo TT 2 DAC via ATC SCM40A active speakers. We particularly enjoyed hearing the Peace Orchestra on this with its lovely juicy bass lines.

Neat at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Neat by name, musical by nature

Neat were making a distinctly enjoyable noise with the new Elite Classic floorstander £3,250 playing Riders on the Storm. These speakers have the 168mm bass/mid driver from the compnay’s Ultimatum model and use a down firing port. They were partnered with an Atoll SDA300 streaming amp (£3,995) which was clearly helping the result.

Chord Co at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Chord Co kill the noise

Chord Company are going deeper into removing noise from the system with two devices which target noise on the mains power. The Power ARAY is a plugtop unit originally designed for Japan but now in 13A form at £550. Those looking to silence all the RFI and EMI that plagues our systems will be interested in the Power ARAY Professional which is larger and has a captive power cable, prices start at £5,500 for the Signature X equipped version. The compact form and resin filling are used to minimise microphony and both units demonstrated well on a Naim Classic based system with Innuos server and Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 speakers.

Focal at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Focal’s musique concrète

Naim brought along their recently launched 200 series New Classic components which formed a remarkably compact system of NCS 222 preamp/streamer, NXP 300 power supply, Uniti Core server and NAP 250 power amp hooked up to a pair of Focal Sopra 2 speakers with distinctive concrete effect side panels (£14,999).

Lyngdorf Cue 100 at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Lyngdorf brings Purifi to Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2023

Lyngdorf’s Cue 100 speakers look damn cool on their solid wood tripod stands but the appeal is more than aesthetic. This is the first commercial loudspeaker to use Purifi drive units, this is the same Purifi that makes the amplification modules in the extreme Kii Three BXT loudspeaker system and they are unusually advanced drivers according to those in the know. Priced at £18,998 with pine stands or £500 with oak the Cue 100 has an AMT tweeter and passive drivers on the back rather than a reflex system.

connected fidelity noise blocker gold

Gold standard noise blocking

Connected Fidelity showed a Gold version of its RF Blocker loudspeaker filters which are designed to stop high frequency noise picked up by speaker cables from getting into the loudspeaker, they cost £350.

Pro-ject Signature 12.2 at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

High end Signature now in UK

Pro-ject’s latest range topping turntable, the Signature 12.2 (£10 – £12,000) has finally arrived in the UK. It has a magnetically supported high mass platter, an arm that’s described as a unipivot but has three point support and a flywheel motor.

MX8 TT at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Musical Fidelity does vinyl once more

Musical Fidelity launched an M1 turntable toward the end of its independent tenure, now there is an M8 XTT turntable that is said to be an evolution of that design with a multi tier construction and high mass platter. Price will be in the region of £8,000 without arm when it actually comes to market.

JBL L100 gloss black at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

JBL adds shine to L100 at Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2023

JBL’s L100 speakers are looking a bit more contemporary in a gloss black finish and have upgraded crossovers, which brings the price up to £5,198, there are also be gloss black versions of the L82 and L52 in the pipeline. The company has also launched the 4292P (£3,499), a bigger wireless active speaker for the modern music lover.

rega P6, P10 white at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Rega Planar white

Rega distracted us with the Naia but that wasn’t all they brought to Bristol hi-fi show 2023, they also showed white versions of the Planar 6, Planar 8 and Planar 10 turntables. These look great and have the added advantages of not showing the dust nor costing any more than the regular black versions.

rega planar 8 at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

pink triangle at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Purple Rain from Pink Triangle

Legendary turntable brand Pink Triangle (not seen since 2003) made a surprise comeback at the Bristol hi-fi show 2023. The Pink Triangle Seventh Heaven has a solid walnut plinth with alternative coloured resin inlay, this model being dubbed Purple Rain. Vector drive consists of two pulleys and one motor for minimal contact with the subplatter and the platter itself is glass with a bonded Funk Achromat and the Bo!ng isolation feet are from the same sister brand. Price will be £8,500 including K-Drive power supply and FZ tonarm.

Decca Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Decca cartridges back in action at Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2023

The new Rogers Cadet amp that we mentioned in pt.1 was not the only new arrival from the brand. An unwell Andy Whittle also had an Opus3 turntable from back in the day that he plans to re-imagine in Panzerholz. It was running a Decca Reference cartridge which Whittle has put into production and plans to have on sale in June for £5,000.

Townshend Audio at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Townshend Rocks Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2023

Townshend Audio kept me entertained with a system topped by one of Matt McNulty’s restored Rock turntables and powered by the Allegri Reference pre in a fetching silver alongside a pair of Sugden MPA-4 power amps driving a pair of Kerr K320 transmission line speakers. All supported on Seismic bases naturally.

Trichord at Bristol hi-fi show 2023

Neo phono stage from Trichord

Reluctant phono stage guru Graham Fowler had brought along his new Trichord Neo phono stage and power supply for Michell to use with their Cusis MC cartridges, the Neo looks like the long awaited replacement for the Dino and Diablo phono stages.

Jason Kennedy

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