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Hi-Fi News & Record Review
by Steven R. Rochlin

Jackie Turner with AE speakers  Well known from her more revealing appearance within the Acoustic Energy advertisements, Jackie Turner is seen here in the (((AE))) room. Showcasing their new Aegis series speakers, they were being used to good effect within a home cinema system. i was particularly impressed with their small two-way Aegis Compact speaker which uses a 19mm soft-dome tweeter and 130mm mid/bass unit. These speakers come in both white and black with the capability of shelf, stand and wall mount ability. Versatility and color choices! While the Aegis is considered by some as a very good value for the money, Jackie is without a doubt one of the better sights not to be missed during the show.

Target is showing their new TM2000 modular series stands. This new series is available in either tinted toughened glass, Blonde Maple, or Black Graphite MDF. The series also comes in various shelving quantities, spacing and lengths too. The Blonde Maple stands looked extremely attractive and well suited for those looking for a more natural stand color than the usual black.

Arcam's Charlie Brennan with their new  Alpha 10 Digital Radio TunerArcam's Charlie Brennan was showing the new Alpha 10 Digital Radio Tuner unit. Digital radio is gaining popularity here in the UK and their new digital tuner is said to offer immunity from fading signals due to atmospheric conditions which greatly effect longstanding analogue transmissions. The digital to analogue (DAC) conversion is carried out by a Crystal Semiconductor DAC. A large rotary knob makes it easy to scroll through various functions while the bright 20 character alphanumeric display gives the user various information. 48kHz digital output via SPDIF is also included for those who choose to use an outboard DAC.

Castle Inversion SpeakersCastle Acoustics Limited, not one to rest on their laurels, were showing their new Inversion series speakers. They feature a 19mm soft-dome tweeter while woven carbon-fibre cones are deployed for the bass/mid driver. The Inversion series come in various wood veneers such as birch, mahogany, walnut, cherry, maple, plus natural and antique oak. Stands are sold separately. Castle also announced that they are now the exclusive UK distributor for the highly acclaimed Electrocompaniet line of electronics.

Specifically, Castle was showcasing the Electrocompaniet NEMO 600 watt "Class A" amplifier. Based on their AW 180 M monoblock power amplifier, the new NEMO is claimed to offer a peak current of a staggering 150 amps with a frequency response from DC to 65 kHz! If you buy a pair of these monoblock amplifiers bring a friend as they weigh in at a hefty 41 kg. each. Also being shown was the ECI 3 balanced integrated amplifier and EC 4.7 remote control preamplifier.

CherishedSoftware vendor Cherished Record Company offered the music lover many different titles on glorious analogue vinyl. At the show they were selling new, used and collectable titles from various labels. Located in Cornwall England, they stock over 12,000 records if you could not find what you desire at the show. They also import the well reviewed VPI turntables and record cleaners too!

Pioneer DVD-RW UnitBeing showcased as the future all digital VCR, Pioneer was showing a prototype of their future DVD-RW machine. This re-writeable machine can hold upwards of 4.7GB of data per DVD-RW side and therefore could be used as, say, an all digital VCR machine. The blank RW software should retail at around $35 a disc while hardware pricing is not quite set at this time. While Pioneer has been releasing information about their DVD-R/RW units for some time, this is the first time they were publicly showing a unit in the UK.

Pioneer PDV-LC10 portable DVD playerIf you love small chachkies like i do, the Pioneer portable DVD player PDV-LC10 features a 7" wide 330,000 pixel anti-reflective color display and weighs in at only 690 grams. This DVD unit is capable of both PAL and SECAM replay plus DVD and VCD playback. Digital to analogue conversion up to 24-bit/96kHz is included as is digital outputs for MPEG audio, DTS, Dolby Digital, and linear PCM. Build-in stereo speakers and headphone jack round out the audio while standard and S-Video outputs are also included. An easy to use graphics display makes operation a snap while a 39-key wireless remote is included for those of us with couch potato tendencies.

While visiting the many rooms i noticed various cables were bring used like those from Audioquest who offer a wide range of choices to consumers.  With interconnects from the basic copper wire Jade to their Diamond X 3 with it's "functionally perfect" solid silver. Of course they also have quiet an extensive speaker cable line as well to suit your needs... and financial abilities.

Haybrook HB Series speakersEven after repeated overwhelmingly positive reviews, Heybrook has decided to yet again offer a new product line of speakers. The new HB series currently feature four models. The large floor standing three-way HB 4 come equipped with a 25mm soft-dome tweeter, 130mm Kevlar mid and 165 Kevlar bass driver whilst the HB 3 two-way floor stander use just the 25mm tweeter and 165 woofer unit. The minimonitor HB 2 uses the same drivers as the HB 3 and the HB 1 uses the 25mm tweeter and a 130mm Kevlar mid/bass driver. Coming soon is the HB .5 which is a smaller version of the HB 1. Also coming soon are two self-powered subs and a centre channel speaker for home cinema.

The Direct DiscWith an over 90 page catalogue, The Direct Disc are the proud distributor of the Swedish Propris label while also carrying labels such as Naim Audio, MCA, Decca, Mercury, and virtually everything including vinyl picture discs! In fact i saw the Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon picture disc for sale. Like all things vinyl, buy now or cry later. If you can not find what you want within their large mail order catalogue, simply ask and Robert or Yvette Lawson of The Direct Disc will do their best to fulfill you needs.

VivanteAnother software vendor, Vivante, had a huge assortment of CDs from audiophile labels such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, JVC XRCD, Dorian, Classic Records vinyl and much much more. It is always good to see the software companies doing great business as this hobby would be worthless without the sheer enjoyment of the vast number of wonderful music recordings available.



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