Boston Acoustic’ new A 25 ($300/pair) is housed in an attractive, high-gloss cabinet, uses a 1” tweeter and 5.25” ceramic/glass fiber polymer mid-woofer, and was designed with the help of Karl-Heinz Fink, Kieron Dunk, and Ken Ishiwataa formidable team.
A review sample has arrived at Stereophile HQ, and I’m looking forward to listening.
Andy Regan (left) and George Cardas are excited about the current state of hi-fi and music. They strongly believe that the asynchronous technologies found in today’s digital-to-analog converters can erase any negative effects the Compact Disc has had on music and on our enjoyment of music. It’s possible to achieve improved sound quality and enjoy a better overall listening experience by removing the disc from the equation, playing high-quality music files stored on a hard drive.
Look at this sexy beast. (I’m talking about the turntable.) Dr. Feickert Analogue’s Blackbird (5490) got my attention with its clean lines and beautiful wood trim. The Blackbird shares the simple design of Feickert’s smaller Woodpecker, but adds the option of a second tonearm, while its refined controller software drives both motors in a slave-master configuration.
"Take a picture of me stroking this gorgeous thing," I said to Rosemarie.
Once you’ve decided on your tonearms and cartridges, you can use Dr. Feickert’s Adjust+ software to adjust azimuth, measure wow and flutter, and set the speed of your turntable. Or you can download Feickert’s free PlatterSpeed app for your Apple- or Android-based tablet or cell phone, and combine it with Feickert’s 7” Test Record.
The models in Dynaudio’s Focus series are available in high-gloss white or black, walnut, maple, rosewood, or black ash. From left: Focus 160 ($2900/pair), Focus 260 ($4900/pair), Focus 340 ($7500/pair), Focus 380 ($9500/pair).
These new models include Dynaudio’s updated drive units as well as revised crossover designs and enhanced cabinet construction. Their soft-dome tweeters utilize an improved coating, while the midrange drivers and woofers use new voice-coil assemblies and sound-optimized, die-cast aluminum driver baskets.
As we climbed the stairs into the sunlight and ventured out onto Frankfurter Ring, we were happily surprised to find that our hotel was right next door to a curious place called Eroticland. Somehow, this seemed appropriate.
A look at the complete Marantz/Boston Acoustics system. Toe-in was pretty extreme, helping to create a well-focused and stable soundstage. Listening to this system, it was easy to completely forget about the components and be carried away by the music.
The world’s sexiest record-cleaning machine? Possibly. This Hannl Mera ELB (2670), housed in orange acrylic to look like hot lava, offers programmable cleaning and suction functions for quiet operation and quick drying.
Don’t like orange lava? (What’s wrong with you?) Potential owners can customize their Mera ELBs. Pick your favorite colors and clean away.
Which one of these things is not like the other? The Harbeth Monitor 20.1 (far left), in new titanium gray finish, makes a statement.
The company wanted to design something a bit sexier, a bit more modern, explained Harbeth’s Alan Shaw.
While he admitted that reasons for selecting one loudspeaker over another are not always rational, he believes a loudspeaker should be used in the application best suited to it. The Monitor 20s are optimized for nearfield monitoring in desktop sound- and video-editing.
Audioarts’ Gideon Schwartz introduced me to a new loudspeaker from Switzerland’s Stenheim, a company founded by four young designers who had previously worked together at the high-profile Goldmund firm.
Here, the Alumine monitor ($12,795/pair) is mated to an optional subwoofer module ($26,700/pair). Should one opt against the sub, matching aluminum stands add $2975/pair. The speakers were partnered with CH source components and Viola Audio Labs amplification.
These speakers, perhaps more than any others I heard at the show, managed to “disappear,” leaving nothing but music in their place. Without sounding at all aggressive, the system produced lots of fine detail and great center fill.
The polar bear, Isbjornar, keeps watch over Hegel’s prized “Soundengine,” the company’s reason for existence, a technology meant to optimize power consumption, reduce distortion, and increase damping factor.
But Isbjornar seems smitten. I think Rosemarie has won his heart.