March 04, 2011 — Article
Our last report from Bristol Sound & Vision 2011.
PMC PB1 Signature loudspeaker
PMC showed off the new Signature version of its PB1i floorstander. It includes a new version of the original PB1i’s 24dB crossover designed to deliver “even finer detail and transparency” to the midband/vocal range from the 7.5cm soft-dome driver. There’s also a 27mm tweeter developed by PMC and SEAS and a new 17cm bass driver developed specifically for the PB1i, with an ultra-stiff lightweight cone and large magnet assembly. Each includes a brushed aluminium serial number plate and signed certificate of authenticity from PMC’s founder/owner Peter Thomas. A ten per cent premium will get you the rare Rose Palissandre veneer finish.
Bryston BDP-1 digital music player
With no DAC, amp or drive system the Bryston BDP-1 is a pure digital playback device. Plug in a digital hard drive via USB and it will play the music held on it… and that’s it. Bryston claims that separating the digital playback functions from the digital storage and archiving functions reduces noise issues that all-in-one music servers can suffer from. It’s expected to be paired with the separate Bryston BDA-1 external DAC (beneath the BDP-1, also £2,350) and can play 14 and 24-bit files with the ability to play all resolutions from 44.1 to 192/24-bit.
Monitor Audio GX series speakers
Monitor Audio’s spanking new surround system includes a new ribbon tweeter derived from the firm’s high-end platinum range and a new style of ribbed woofer, with an inverted roll which allows for greater excursion and therefore a fuller sound. The series starts with the GX50 two-way standmount (£950) and goes up to the three-way GX300 (£3,000).
Triangle Color Series speakers
Available in France since last October, Triangle’s Color Series is now available in the UK. The floorstanding model comes with two 16cm bass drivers while the bookshelf version has a titanium tweeter and each is covered in a new six-layer piano lacquer in white, black or red. A centre channel is also available for a complete 5.1-speaker system.
The company is also marking its 30th anniversary with special versions of its Antal and Comète speakers. Limited to just 500 pairs, they come with a new machined aluminium tweeter, modified crossovers and drivers suspensions, as well as superior cabling. Each comes in a nine-layer black lacquer finish for £1,900 and £950 respectively.
Leema Acoustics Elements Series
Leema Acousitics’ new Elements series consists of separate, but compact, CD player, amplifier and DAC. All use Leema’s LIPS (Leem Intelligent Protocol System) which allows them all link together and be controlled from a single remote. The 2 x 45-watt amplifier includes coaxial digital and three optical inputs as well as USB (limited to 24-bit/96kHz) plus three unbalanced analogue inputs and a 3.5mm jack plug. The DAC is adaptive and asynchronous with the ability to process 24/192 from all inputs, including the USB.
All three are due to hit the shops in July with a streamer and power amp expected to follow in the autumn and a phono stage and pre amp early in 2012.
Acoustic Energy Compact-1 speaker
Acoustic Energy’s aptly named new speaker takes up very little space, but includes a 4in bass/mid driver and a 1in silk dome tweeter. Due to hit the shops in April, it will be the smallest in the Compact range, to be followed by a Compact-3 floorstander, Compact-Centre and Compact-Sub.
Sony’s upcoming flagship 7.1 AV receiver includes the company’s new speaker relocation technology, which is able to establish the positioning of speakers in the room and automatically configure the output to achieve the optimum sound. The technology, intended for less than ideal room layouts, is claimed to be unique and a significant step forward from conventional speaker calibration technologies.
Also on board are 7 x 100-watt amplification, automatic phase matching, internet radio and Faroudja processing. As you’d expect at this level, there’s also 1080p video upscaling, HD audio decoding, internet connectivity via four Ethernet ports, DLNA, Dolby Pro-Logic IIz and 3D pass-through, even when it’s on standby.