Melbourne International Hi-Fi Show 2017 - Part Four

The Pure Music Group and Sonic Purity’s system configuration was extremely well-chosen. Analogue was fluid and musical via an all-Kuzma rig (just over AU$23K) while digital sounded equally enticing with the Antipodes Audio DX Gen 3 Music Server (AU$6900) and Playback Designs’ Merlot DAC (AU$9100). Amplification used was all Audionet in the PAM G2 Phono Stage (AU$8,500), EPX Power Supply (AU$8,500), PRE G2 preamplifier (AU$21,200) and Audionet MAX Monoblocks (AU$28,000). Speakers were the medium-sized floorstanding Gauder Akustik Cassiano Mk II in gorgeous Makassar Ebony (AU$22,700) while cabling was via Argento Flow. The massively-built Ictra Designs KEO rack from Germany looked extremely serious with a commensurate price at AU$54,900! Kii Audio KiiTHREE speakers were on static display at the time of my visit.

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Melbourne International Hi-Fi Show 2017 - Part Three

The Sound Gallery in conjunction with Absolute Hi End showed a system par excellence. A Gold Note turntable package including the PH-10 phono stage was the analogue source of choice while digital was provided via DigiBit Aria 2, Weiss DAC502 and Bel Canto. The Bel Canto Black EX amplification was cycled with the excellent new Audia Flight FLS-10 integrated while speakers were Franco Serblin’s speaker-porn Accordo and Wilson Benesch Endeavour standmounts. Tara Labs provided the wiring throughout while GigaWatt was the AC filtering of choice. A welcoming and enveloping sound in this room.

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Melbourne International Hi-Fi Show 2017 - Part Two

Sennheiser Australia had a multiple headphone display (including a showing of the new HDV 820 digital headphone amplifier) while also holding private sessions showcasing the masterpiece flagship HE 1 system.

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Melbourne International Hi-Fi Show 2017 - Part One

Now in its second year, the Melbourne International Hi-Fi Show has firmly made its mark on the audio show calendar in this country. And indeed that mark is a robust one and may become indelible; the show is efficiently organised, is well-supported by exhibitors and enjoys a wide demographic including future audio enthusiasts.

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Sonic Purity with the Pure Music Group

The showroom of an audio distributor is not what generally comes to mind when you think of ‘sonic purity’. In reality, your average audio showroom sound is frequently sullied by the reverberation of a dodgy commercial drywall partition job or by the noise of a home theatre system blaring down the hall. Combine that with the bothersome clamber of other patrons and the low-level bass blur from all the passive movement of the drivers of every unused speaker randomly crammed into the corners, and you’ve got a recipe for sonic disaster.

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Nocturnal Vision – SoundStage! Australia at the KEF LS50W Nocturne Launch in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, among the coolest and most beautiful cities in Europe with its iconic channel-seared winding network ever-circling, was the locale for the launch of the new KEF LS50W Nocturne. I, along with press from around Asia and Europe, was invited to attend the event which was launched by KEF Managing Director Grace Lo. The new special edition speaker, a variant of the highly successful original design, has been created via a symbiotic spawning from the technical and artistic minds of Dr Jack Oclee-Brown KEF’s Head of Acoustic Engineering and one of Europe’s leading high-end designers Marcel Wanders.

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Tokyo International Audio Show 2017 (TIAS) – 10 Of Note

The following short report and photography was kindly submitted by John Ong*.

Japanese are serious people, they take everything seriously and that attitude was clearly evident at the Tokyo International Audio Show.  It could be seen in the way the show was organised. The rooms sounded a lot better than most other shows I have attended over the years around the world. The attendees were very polite and understanding. They are also surprisingly engaging, or try to be, despite the difficulties of the language barrier. Throughout the three days of the show it was clear that concerted efforts were made to improve the sound while always complying with visitors’ requests and questions.

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HQ Visit – dCS, Cambridge, United Kingdom

While many high-end audio companies offer digital products alongside a wider variety of electronics and speaker systems, dCS (Data Conversion Systems) of Cambridge in the United Kingdom is a specialist manufacturer dedicating its considerable engineering and design expertise to a single pure aim: the reproduction of digital playback at its utmost pinnacle.

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HQ Dirac-tives – Arcam, Cambridge, United Kingdom

There’s a vibe around university cities. It’s the mix of youth’s energy, stern academia and a predominance of… intelligence. All this, within a melange of the general workings, infrastructures and service mechanisms that are required for any city to function and indeed prosper. Cambridge University has been the heart of its namesake city; a metropolis steadily growing for the last decade or two and where the juxtaposition of historic landmarks and modern technology abound. It’s one of the UK’s main centres of knowledge and development and, as far as our industry is concerned, it is home to a number of specialised audio technology companies of worldwide importance.

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Factory Tour – Audia Flight, Civitavecchia, Italy

Being practically in the geographical centre of Europe, Munich, host of high-end audio’s largest exhibition, presents audio journalists with appealing opportunities to hook-up post-show factory visits. You’re in Europe, right? Why not extend the stay and check out the local operations… after all some of the world’s best high-end producers are based around this gorgeous continent. And when you’re coming from Australia, best make the most of it… you’ve travelled nearly 24 hours just to get there… man, we’re far.

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Hong Kong High-End Audio Visual Show – 10 of Note

Here is a gallery of 10 notable exhibits that caught both my ears and eyes. These exhibits performed well in terms of sound quality while possessing many other attributes that appealed to me – be it design, fit and finish and overall presentation.

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