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

Clearaudio turntable  Turntables were seen virtually everywhere at the Hi-Fi News & Record Review show. Clearaudio once again had their top of the range three motor equipped Master Reference turntable. Their new Accurate Power Generator for powering the motors is claimed to clean up the dirty, fluctuating power and turn it into a "ideal, distortion-free voltage and current, galvanically isolated from the grid" power. The result is "a relaxed, realistic soundstage".

Gamma Acoustics' AEON valve amplifier use the high-power triode VT4C/211 output tube to achieve 20 wpc. pure "Class A" single-ended triode output. Other valves used in the AEON are one each 5687, ECC81 and 6AS7. Frequency response is claimed as flat from 3 Hz to 25 kHz. Very high quality parts such as silver wire, 1% Vishay Roederstein resistors and 0.1% metal film resistors are included.

SAP Anniversary integrated amplifierAnother wonderful Italian manufacturer is SAP. They make everything from integrated amplifiers to cabling and speakers. Seen here is their valved Anniversary integrated amplifier. This is a very unique unit that uses four 6AS7G per channel carefully selected after burn-in. The 6AS7G valves operate in "Class A" zero feedback OTL to achieve 18 wpc output. Three line inputs, one recording loop and a headphones output are included! The knobs on the far right and far left are for individual volume adjustment for each channel while the power, speakers and monitor have their own control knobs. Precision RCA jacks and output speaker terminals are also included on this machined aluminum chassis.

Silver Note turntableSeen right is the Silver Note turntable that uses quite heavy blocks of solid granite for the base. Air suspension is used to good effect with a very heavy metal platter for laying your precious vinyl on. The outboard motor used with the Silver Note is isolated from the belt-driven platter to insure extremely low vibration. Silver Note also designs tonearms such as "floaters", parallel trackers, unipivots plus they also modify existing SME units. Analogue addicts take note!

Nakamichi SoundSpace 5Stepping back to a more mainstream manufacture, Nakamichi has been very busy making their all new SoundSpace 5 system that can be easily wall mounted for those looking for a more lifestyle basic music system. This system includes AM/FM tuner, three-disc CD changer, and self-amplified wireless signal receiving speakers. Not "audiophile", though could make a very useful music system in a spare room where countertop space is not available.

Tannoy Saturn Champagne speakersNew from Tannoy is their Saturn line which is now offered in Champagne finish. This new finish is available for the entire Saturn line from their S6c centre channel to S10 three-way large floor standing speaker (seen right). The S10 uses Tannoy's dual-concentric 254mm midrange that has a 25mm Duralumin tweeter mounted centrally within it. A single-driver 254mm unit is also deployed for lower frequency support. The cabinet is dual-ported to enhance the lower frequency output. Total frequency response is claimed to be from 29Hz to 20kHz (+-3db). These speakers are also available in black ash cabinet with pewter grey front baffle. A matching plinth and spikes are included for the large floor standing models.

Looking for audio kits? Audio Products Netherlands (APN) offer kits such as their MP-DAC digital to analogue converter, the P-11 preamplifier, A-50 amplifier and top of their range AMT speakers. Too much good stuff to list here so please see their informative website for more information.

Thomas Transducers speakersThere were many rooms using the Lowther drivers. Seen here are the Beauhorn Virtuoso in glorious natural wood finish. Beauhorn Virtuoso are a small specialty company based right here in the UK and handcraft each speaker to their high standards. Photoed to the right is their Virtuoso Gold model what includes the Lowther PM2C driver. Because of the room's size and acoustics, they also used the large wood "mushroom" phase plug. The cabinet is constructed from 18mm thick MDF which is then covered with a veneer of your choice. 

B&W were here in full force showing virtually their entire line of products. From their basic CWM to the Nautilus, attendees could enjoy seeing the vast amount of speakers offered by B&W. Alas, the snail-like top of the range four-way Nautilus was absent while the other more conventional Nautilus speaker were being demonstrated within a full home cinema system.

Kenwood VH-650 systemWhich came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, with the new Kenwood VH-650 system who cares. Small egg-like mid/high frequency satellites are used as is a separate subwoofer cabinet as seen to the right. AM/FM tuner and CD player are standard while matching X-VH7 cassette deck and DM-VH7 minidisc player can be purchased separately.


Click here for the next page of the September 26th coverage.






































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