October 21, 2010 — Article
Continuing our report from the Manchester Home Entertainment Show 2010 we highlight the hot products and trends at the show.
PMC signature speakers
PMC celebrated ten years of its FB and TB speakers with limited edition signature models of two of its most popular models. Both the TB2i Signature (£1,375) bookshelf speaker and the FB1i Signature (£2,500) floorstander come with designer/founder Peter Thomas’s signature on the back but also feature new cabinets with a rose palissandre (narrow grain rosewood) finish and a new crossover designed to bring more transparency to the midrange.
The improvements follow the ‘i’ upgrade a little over two years ago and both models still feature PMC’s 170mm Doped LF driver with cast magnesium chassis and 27mm SOLONEX soft dome tweeter. They also come with a ten-year warranty.
Dali Ikon Mk2 speakers
The Danish manufacturer has updated its Ikon range with new drivers and a new die-cast aluminium basket design intended to produce a freer flowing air passage to the port. All the models also have an improved crossover, mounted directly on to the terminals for the shortest crossover path. The distinctive dual dome and ribbon tweeter assembly has remained the same.
Prices start at £639 for the bookshelf Ikon 1 rising to £1,699 for the floorstanding Ikon 7 and all models are available in black or light walnut finishes. White gloss is also available for an additional premium.
Michell Gyro ’SE’duction
Michell demonstrated a new limited edition of its Gyro SE 25th anniversary turntable. Boasting the same Techno arm and separate HR power supply as the earlier version, the new version comes with ‘steel blue’ chassis elements and is limited to 99 only. It costs £2,245.
Peachtree Audio iDecco
Peachtree Audio is a new brand from the US which specialises in integrated amps with a modern twist. The iDecco is a 40 watts-per-channel amp with an all-digital iPod/iPhone dock on top and a high-grade ESS 9006 Sabre DAC inside. At the front is a Class A tube preamp which the company hopes will warm up any cold digitally compressed sources. It’s on sale for £849.
Also on show was the 80W Nova amp, which includes a dedicated space in the back panel for a Sonos ZP120 Zoneplayer so it can be connected directly to the amp, and be tucked out of sight at the same time.
Pure Sound M845
Pure Sound’s new mono power amplifier offers 27 watts per channel and uses 845 triode tubes. It’s a single-ended, Class A design and is available for £7,000 for a pair. The L10 line stage preamp was also on show, offering a more affordable alternative to the company’s flagship L300. It has four inputs, a separate passive record in/record out loop and two pairs of single-ended outputs and should be available from next month for £2,500.
Replacing REL’s popular Quake subwoofer, the diminutive but powerful T5 offers 125 watts of Class A/B power delivered through its 8in long-throw driver. It has an upgraded amp, improved driver and a high-gloss finish in either piano black or white. There are three separate rotary controls for setting high/low level, low frequency level and the crossover frequency as well as dedicated inputs for high and low levels. It comes in a 267 x 302×297 cabinet and costs £425.
Chinese brand Dussun is on its way to the UK with a series of integrated amplifiers. The company used to make amps for Mark Levinson and is now applying its knowledge to its own-branded amps. The T6 (£760) offers 2 x 100W into 8 ohms (2 x 150W into 4 ohms) and the more diminutive 42wpc T2i (£750) is designed for desktop use and includes a built-in 8x oversampling Sigma-Delta USB DAC.
Australian speaker manufacturer Richter is being brought to the UK by Cognoscenti High Fidelity and features two stereo/surround sound ranges. The Legend models all have wood-finish cabinets and start with the bookshelf Merlin (£750) rising to the Wizard and Dragon floorstanders (£1,500 and £1,800).
The Precious Metals range features extremely rigid aluminium cabinets internally lined with a specially absorbent material and featuring 4in bass/mid drivers. There are three five-speaker systems available including the £1,425 PM401. All Richter speakers take two weeks to order from Oz.
Onkyo’s new Blu-ray player offers THX audio certification as well as a Qdeo video chip for 1080p upscaling and processing of standard DVD sources. It has 7.1 multichannel audio outputs and is DNLA compatible for connecting to a home network for internet access. It can also deliver a pure data bitstream from Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Codecs, and all for £500.
Arcam FMJ BDP100
Ten years after the launch of its first DVD player, Arcam’s latest disc spinner plays Blu-ray, DVD and CD and promises fast, sub-ten second loading times for most Blu-ray discs. It can deliver full 1080p resolution from Blu-ray sources with upscaling for DVD and includes a dedicated audio board with the same Wolfson 8741 DAC that Arcam uses in its high-end CD players. It’s available in black or silver for £1,000.
With Apple’s iPad shifting in very healthy numbers, the race is on to provide it with suitable accessories. Vogel’s BaseCover (£30) fits over the iPad offering a protective rubberised cover with a hole in the back that allows it to be fixed to the wall via the company’s WallMount (£55). The idea is that it provides a safe haven for the device when it’s not in use and also allows it to be used as a remote. There’s no option to allow it to swivel though Vogel’s says that’s likely to happen with the follow-up model.
Designed specifically for Sony’s PS3, the TwistDock (£70) holds and charges two controllers with the ability to add four more via an optional USB hub (£35). It can twist through 360 degrees for easy access and helps keep cables tidy.