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AXPONA 2020 Show Report

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

Lowther speaker  There was no shortage of speakers using the famous with the DIY folks Lowther driver. Seen here is a very unique enclosure where the driver is mounted pointing upward. Just when i felt i have seen it all...

Densen had their new Beat B-200 preamplifier, B-300 amplifier and B-400 CD player.  The B-200 has four line-level inputs and two tape loops while the B-300 stereo amplifier produces 100 wpc @ 8 ohms. Lastly, the B-400 CD player uses a separate DAC chipset in each of the two channels which are claimed to be upgradeable as technology progresses. HDCD decoding is provided for as standard while the analogue stage is pure "Class A" zero feedback.

While in a dark and hard to photograph room, CR Developments were showcasing their complete eye and ear candie-licious system. Their Woodham preamplifier with phono stage uses a total of ten valves! Two 12AY7 and one 12AU7 in the phono stage, two 12AY7 and two 12AU7 in the pre-amplification stage, two 12AU7 in the buffer stage and lastly one 12AU7 in the meter buffer stage. Oh, did i forget to mention the fact that the Woodham's front face plate has two 24 karat gold accented analogue output meters? Three stereo line-level inputs on RCA, one stereo input set on XLR and one phono input via RCA are standard.

Sudgen Preamplifier and AmplifierMade by hand to exacting standards, the Sugden Masterclass preamp and amplifier could be the next "add overrated solid-state manufacture name here" killer. The preamplifier uses dual-mono construction throughout. All signal tracings are gold and the unit employs a DC coupled output stage. Both balanced and unbalanced inputs are provided for. All circuitry consist of discrete components and each unit is completely built by one person for true handcraftsmanship. A total of four stereo RCA line level inputs and one balanced stereo pair are standard. Also included is not one, but two tape loops. The power amplifier produces 75 wpc in pure "Class A" output mode. It uses a current feedback design and Sugden spares no expense by using the well-made WBT speakers connectors. Groovy black chrome finish is standard as well.

NimisAre you wondering what every equipment reviewer and magazine owner from here in the UK to America and beyond were ranting and raving about? Well, it is not another new 1kw 500 kg. solid-state amplifier but this small colorful integrated amplifier by Synthesis who are based in, where else, Italy. Coming in colors like orange, blue, purple, yellow and green, the Nimis is on the very top of my "gimme gimme gimme" list. In fact Ken Kessler of HFN&RR, Myles Astor of Ultimate Audio, Lisa Astor of Stereophile and i were talking about not if, but how many of these amplifiers we are probably buying. As for the details, this is an integrated amplifier using two EL84 valves per channel to produce around 15 wpc.

NimisAs you can see here, the Nimis's transformer top caps, chassis, and knobs are all the same pastel color. This is true monaural pre-amplification as you can see the individual four input switching and separate right/left volume adjustment. Imagine of more high fidelity companies made as visually attractive units as this we might find more and more consumers better enjoying their music! Bravo Synthesis! Now please remember where to send my blue unit to in the USA. High quality Hasselblad images by Enjoy the Music.com coming soon! Stay tuned!

Would any show in the UK be complete without Harbreth Audio Ltd.? Of course not! Their fairly recent 7ES speakers have been highly raved about by Hi-Fi News & Record Review and many other magazines. The 7ES are larger stand mounted two-way monitors that use a custom 200mm RADIAL polymeric composite cone and custom 25mm ferrofluid-cooled aluminum-dome tweeter. These speakers are also AV ready and include magnetic field shielding to reduce the possible adverse affect television monitors. 

Notitngham Analogue Studio Hyperspace turntableThe Nottingham Analogue Studio Hyperspace turntable builds up from the great reputation they have received from their Spacedeck. The Hyperspace improves on the Spacedeck by increasing the "all important dimensions" while paying incredible attention to even the smallest of details. As pretty as this photo may make the finish appear, seeing it in person is a must! Find you local dealer for a personal visual and audible interview for yourself.

REL Q200E small cube and Strata III subwooferConsidered by some as the world's best subwoofer manufacture, REL is back it with another new model to their arsenal. Seen to the right is their all new Q200E small cube subwoofer while to it's right is the Strata III in wood finish. The Q200E includes a fully discrete 200 watt MOSFET amplifier which feeds the massive 10" super long throw driver. A more refined "ABC" variable crossover is standard for better mating the subwoofer sonically within your existing room and upper frequency speakers.

 

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