Show report: Bristol Sound & Vision 2011 pt2

March 01, 2011 — Article

More from the UK’s biggest and longest-running dedicated hi-fi and AV show.

Cabasse iO2 2.1 system

French speaker brand Cabasse demonstrated a 2.1 system incorporating a brace of its spherical iO2 speakers paired with a Santorin 25 subwoofer. The stereo speakers each include a single two-way coaxial driver with a 5in Duocell driver and 1in Kaladex tweeter. The 200-watt sub uses a downward-firing 10in driver and the system’s available in black or white at £1,800 for the stereo pair and £800 for the sub.

Cyrus Streamline streaming music system

Cyrus showed off its new line of streaming products, with pride of place going to the mid-priced Streamline. It’s an ‘all-in-one’ music system that allows you to stream 24-bit/192kHz audio from a wired or wireless connection to your source of choice, and includes a 2 x 30-watt amplifier and Burr-Brown DACs. There’s a USB input for playback from iPod or other digital music players as well as the ability to upgrade to more powerful amplifiers in the future. You’ll need to add your own speakers though.
At £1,600 it sits below the Stream XP (£2,000), a two-box system which includes a separate power amplifier and above the Stream X (£1,400), which does without the DAC or preamp and is designed to add streaming to an existing hi-fi system. All three products come with the n-remote which features a display making it easier to browse your music collection or internet radio. They should be available mid-March.

Sennheiser PX360 ‘maxi’ headphones

Sennheiser was keen to display this ‘maxi’ style of headphones, which aims for a compromise between full, over-the-ear hi-fi ‘phones and the more portable mini headphones. The cups can swivel so they go flat for travelling, it includes noise cancelling and it’s available with or without Bluetooth wireless capability.

Meridian Audio Core 200 stereo audio controller and DSP3200 speakers

Meridian’s compact new digital music system includes the smallest speakers the British company has ever built. The DSP3200 digital active loudspeakers look similar to the firm’s flagship DSP8000 floorstanders, but are small enough to fit on a desktop.
They’re partnered with the Audio Core 200 stereo audio controller which uses Meridian’s own Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to "Meridianise”, as their sales person put it, your digital music collection. Both devices are connected via Meridian SpeakerLink CAT5 connection. The Meridian DSP3200, available in gloss white or black, costs £3,750, while the Audio Core 200 is £1,500.

Quadral speakers

German speaker manufacturer Quadral marked its return to the UK by showing off its full range of hi-fi and surround sound speakers. The range stretches from the Maxi 220 bookshelf for £130 all the way up to the Titan VII floorstander which retails for £5,525 and all points in-between, including the Platinum range (pictured). Higher end models feature ribbon tweeters and quality real wood veneers while the cheapest models come in aluminium cabinets.

Arcam AVR400 and BDP100
£1,700, £1,025

Arcam’s latest AVR400 AV receiver was paired with the company’s latest BDP100 3D-ready Blu-ray player. The company’s “most affordable” 3D-capable AV receiver features 7.1 channels, 7 x 90 watts of power, HDMI 1.4 connectivity with Audio Return Channel and decoding of all the latest high-definition audio codecs as well as a DAB/FM/AM tuner. It’s network linked and includes a Torino video processor which can support 1080p/60 and 24fps (frames per second).
The BDP100 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.

Pioneer SE NC31C headphones

Not much new from Pioneer though they were showing these rather nifty noise-cancelling headphones. They claim to be able to shut out 90 per cent of ambient noise and have a special power-saving design that allows them to deliver that for up to 120 hours of continuous listening. The specially designed ear nozzles house large 14mm drivers and they have a gold-plated 3.5mm mini jack plug.

Yamaha NP-S2000 network player

Yamaha’s networked hi-fi music player includes dual Burr-Brown DACs and two independent power supplies as well as a ‘Network Pure’ mode. With no motor or mechanism there’s no additional noise and it’s compatible with iTunes too. It has XLR balanced output terminals, plus Ethernet and DLNA for easy networking, all in Yamaha’s retro-influenced chassis.

Denon DBP 2012 ‘universal player’

Denon’s latest 3D Blu-ray player also plays 32-bit SACD and Blu-ray Audio discs and includes Anchor Bay video processing, higher quality mechanism and a more robust chassis.
It’s DLNA-certified for home networking and an imminent firmware update will allow it to stream direct from YouTube. It has 1GB of internal memory for BD-Live material and it’s due in the shops in March.

NAD Viso Three

NAD’s entry-level music system promises the performance power of a component system in one box. It includes a 2 x 50-watt amplifier and will play CD or FM/AM/DAB radio as well as iPod via a dedicated dock. There’s also a sub out so you can upgrade to 2.1 speakers.

Show report: Bristol Sound & Vision 2011 pt3

Show report: Bristol Sound & Vision 2011 pt1

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