I’ve got a little list… there is such a thing as too much choice and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the alternatives. So we did the Kondo thing and asked ‘what sparks joy?’ Components with an identifiable and unique character that can deliver benefits in almost any system are what we all want, so here are our 10 best for 2019.
Boxing Day Sale and some Summer reading for you.
‘the ST-10 really brings the Sabrinas to life! Where all other transistor amps seemed dynamically a little restrained and only the PrimaLuna provided the kind of subjective dynamic swing that I crave, the NuPrime ST-10 has a kind of energetic presence that none of the other amps (transistor and tube) could match. Transient crispness and dynamic impact are really startling, better than with any of the other amps. Bass with the ST-10 is also incredible, not in a big and fat kind of way, but tuneful and articulate with just the right amount of pressure. Meanwhile the NuPrime’s very pure tonality and open and communicative character further increase the Sabrina’s timbral believability.’
Read the full review here.
We’ve also got some really exciting news from NuPrime in the last few days – the are 3 new high end amplifier models on the way. First up will be a mono version of the ST-10 above – the new ST-10Ms will be much more powerful, and even better sounding – the perfect upgrade for anyone who wants more out of their music.
Even better will be the new Reference 20E. Like the ST-10M above these are mono amplifiers, but each around twice the size (although this only makes them normal width and they’re still in a slimline profile.) This is a completely new design from Reference 20. which will be a big improvement on ST-10M and that will surpass Ref 20’s 420 watts per channel in power and resolution.
We hope to have the new ST10Ms here before the end of January and the Reference 20Es shortly afterwards. And offer generous trade in’s on existing NuForce and NuPrime models.
Reacquaint yourself with the NuPrime 10 products here.
We’ve continued to enjoy the new Monitor Audio Silver 6G 300s since we first posted the first full review of this model here. Just to show we’re not too far off the mark in our praise of these speakers, the Monitor Audio Silver 300 has received the prestigious Product of the Year award from The Absolute Sound at their High End Audio Product of the Year Awards.
In their January 2018 issue, Robert Harley described the Silver 300 as having “a compelling array of musical virtues”. This included, “terrific speed on transients, effortless reproduction of dynamics, and overall sense of musical coherence.” The bass was also praised, with Robert saying it is “detailed and resolved, providing a clear sense of pitch”.
The full feature will be in The Absolute Sound: Issue #279.
Add this to the four What Hi-Fi Product of the Year awards which they have just received for 2017 and it’s clear that these are speakers you should seeking out. We’ve had a number of enquires lately from our original Image pages – we liked these speakers a lot at the time and really felt there was a case for unconditional support of NZ made.
But the reality is that overseas specialists have upped the rate of development, producing better and better products which now eclipse them. That said – we still work with Gary Morrison and Ross Stevens at Pure Audio so if there is a niche for the local product we’ll be there. And it’s worth knowing that there is NZ input in products from Dynavector and the Well Tempered Turntables but these days it’s all about collaboration and going to where the best resources are.
Working from home has given me much more time to both listen and write. For analogue enthusiasts, you may have missed them the first time around but we’ve got new pages up on both the Well Tempered Simplex 2 turntable and the Dynavector cartridges. What has been most striking for me that with all the components and systems we’ve set up in our new home showroom, the improvements made over the run in period (let’s not tempt fate and call it burn in) have been greater than we’ve ever experienced before – and the time involved is also stretching out. It’s not that they aren’t sounding good from the outset – but that one, two or even three months down the track, were still getting moments where it’s become obvious that the sound quality has stepped up significantly from the previous days.
Our partnership with Keith Eichmann and his KLEI cable range has a lot to do with this. I never would have credited the scale of improvements made by these cables unless I’d heard it first had but every few weeks we get vindication in feedback from clients. We’re getting much greater transparency in all our systems because of this, and not only do the cables also have a well documented run in period of 300 hours or more, but they make the progress of all the other components in the system much more obvious. So if you combine the individual effects of each components and cable, by the time we look at a system as a whole, the concept of running in has gone from subtle to transformative – even on systems that we might have regarded as quite modest.
But enough of in-doors pursuits. It’s a much better summer than last and we aim to get out and about in this beautiful island over the next few months. I’ve just discovered Kā Huru Manu – The Ngāi Tahu Cultural Mapping Project. This fantastic site is dedicated to recording and mapping the traditional Māori place names and associated histories in the Ngāi Tahu rohe (tribal area). Place names are tangible reminders of history and values. They represent a significant symbol of the Ngāi Tahu historical association and relationship with the landscape.
My own knowledge of the history of Te Waipounamu has a massive hole in the middle – a degree in geology informed an understanding of the physical island and timespans of millions of years. And I, like many, grew up with a very conventionally edited story of our colonial history. To know where you are going, you have to learn about the ground you stand on and respect the people that came before you – Kā Huru Manu is the perfect place to start.
So that’s it from us for this year – we wish you all the best and look forward to hearing from you in 2018.
News October 2017
All about the new Monitor Audio Silver 6G 300 floorstanding speakers, the new Well Tempered Simplex turntable, your best choices in the Tivoli Radio range and wrap up of Cambridge’s latest disc players.