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Trip to Munich High End 2013

High End Munich 2013The best aspect of travel is experiencing how the other half live. Munich 2013 is a good opportunity to gain insights and to stop by distributors in other countries on the way to and from Germany. My first stop leaving New Zealand was Hong Kong.

Hong Kong

HK is a seething megalopolis alive... buildings, cars, people and construction cranes are everywhere. The dynamic pace of life is quite an experience and being a part of its vibrancy is invigorating. Our HK distributor and his Chinese business partner spared no effort; taking care of everything for me. In return, I tried my best to listen and respond to the points they raised..

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Phillip's 'Affair de Coeur'

Phillip's Affair de CoeurLate in 1989, when my wife Lisa and I walked into Sound Goods, an audio video store in Mountain View, California, a nearly quarter-century-long love affair with the combination of Perreaux Electronics and Polk Audio SDA (“Stereo Dimensional Array”) speakers began. We had recently moved from Columbus, Indiana, to Palo Alto, California, and had decided that with a new home we needed a new stereo system.

While our aging AR turntable, Sony integrated receiver and Allison 6 speakers had served us well for almost a decade, the rise of digital music reproduction influenced us to make the transition to CDs from LPs and to upgrade our stereo system. This transition was motivated not so much by our conviction that the sound would be better with a digital system as by two other factors: First, our three-years-old daughter loved to play with the tone arm of our turntable – even as it was spinning -- and consequently had damaged most of our LPs. Second, I had begun working for NeXT Computer Inc., a company that was committed to facilitating growth of digital music recording and reproduction. The NeXT Cube, the company’s revolutionary computer system, in fact, was the first computer to be shipped with a magneto-optical drive as standard equipment.

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Richard's Audio Nirvana

Richard's Audio NirvanaRichard from New Zealand has assembled his ultimate home theatre audio system using Perreaux amplifiers and preamps – including two of our reference Prisma 350 stereo power amps and a 6160 six-channel power amp, along with the Prisma SM6 MkII and Audiant DP32 preamps and our Prisma CD1 CD player.

I'll let Richard explain his audio system in his own words...

“Forget attacks in the dark or subtleties or nuances. The reason why I went down the Perreaux path was completely all about the sound. The first time I ever heard a 350 was when I went to audition some JBL Ti-10ks that I saw on Trademe just over a year ago. The seller had bi-wired them with a couple of Accuphase power amps controlling the mids and trebles and the 350 was controlling the woofers. And when I say control I mean full on domination. Grip beyond anything I had ever seen or heard. Normally an amp will have a speaker on a leash but these appeared to be physically joined at the hip. I knew at that moment that my other amps were about to be given the cold shoulder.

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Dunedin's Biggest Audio Event

In association with Harvey Norman, we're holding Dunedin’s biggest ever audio event. We will be in-store this weekend (Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May) from 9am to 5:30pm with demonstrations available on our Silhouette, éloquence, Prisma and Audiant lines.

We'll be available to answer any questions you may have and to show you through our range – from the new Audiant 80i integrated amplifier to the mighty Prisma SM6 MkII preamp & 350 power amp combo.

Christchurch based loudspeaker manufacturer Theophany will also be demonstrating their exquisite loudspeaker range over the weekend. Garth will be doing his legendary home theatre demonstration – this is one demo you do not want to miss.

So drop by over the weekend, say g'day and experience world-class audio systems designed and built right here in New Zealand.

Consumer Electronics & Photo Expo 2011

Consumer Electronics & Photo Expo 2011The Consumer Electronics & Photo Expo was recently held in Moscow.  It is Russia's equivalent of CES and covers premium hi-fi as well as mobile & digital, photography, digital TV and audio/video.

Audiomania was in attendance representing Perreaux alongside some of their other lines, such as Waterfall and Penaudio loudspeakers, Nordost cables and Cold Ray vibration control.

On display was our Silhouette SXCD CD player, éloquence CDt transport with 250i integrated amplifier and Prisma 350 power amp.  The setup was mostly static with a lot of the gear not available for demonstration – in any case, it's still excellent exposure in Russia for the brands Audiomania represented at the show.

Audiomania have posted photos of Consumer Electronics & Photo Expo 2011 on Facebook, where you can see photos of their stand as well as coverage of other aspects of the show.

Congratulations Audiomania on what looked like a popular stand at a busy show.

Feedback from Shanghai International Show 2011

Audiant 80i Shanghai High-End Hi-Fi ShowOur room at the recent Shanghai International High-End Hi-Fi Show seemed to be well-received with many audiophiles liking what they heard.

The room was set up with our Prisma line of separates (CD1 CD player, SM6 MkII preamplifier350 power amplifier), while the Audiant 80i was used as a DAC for the playback of high-res 24-bit/96kHz material.

Other components used to complement our gear were Wilson Audio Duette loudspeakers, Transparent Audio speaker cables, Siltech interconnects, White Gold power cords and a power conditioner from ExactPower.

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Kaohsiung International Hi-End Audio Show 2011

Kaohsiung International Audio ShowOur Taiwan distributor, Sheng-Kai Co., is currently exhibiting our Prisma and Audiant lines at the Kaohsiung International Hi-End Audio Show.

The show is already under way and runs until 21 March at the Ambassador Hotel, 202 Min Sheng 2nd Rd., Kaohsiung.

Please stop by room 543 and introduce yourself to Jeff Lin, of Sheng-Kai Co., he will be more than happy to demonstrate both the Prisma and Audiant lines.

Harvey Norman Evening a Huge Success

Audiant 80i Integrated Amplifier Front ObliqueIt looked nice and well set up, carefully arranged and sounding good.  After the carrying, plugging, unplugging and pointing had given way to smiles, closed eyes and head nodding, it was obvious all the hard work had been well worth it.

At 5.30pm on Monday 13th of December at the Wellesley Boutique Hotel in Wellington, Hugo Van Son, Audio Visual Manager of Harvey Norman Tory Street, and I, were looking at each other wondering if an evening of hi-fi demos in 2010 was actually a good idea.  Was hi-fi still a thing that could capture the public’s attention?  Or were we living in the past, some of the last men on the ramparts championing good sound over convenience?

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Integrated or Pre-Power

Go back 20 years and all high-quality stereo systems would invariably comprise of separate preamplifier and power amplifier components. In today’s marketplace by comparison, the top-of-the-range products are still separates, however it’s now commonplace to use a high-quality integrated amplifier.

From my experience there are no hard and fast rules to denote that one topology is necessarily better than the other... so let’s take a brief look at both.

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High Fidelity Reviews Prisma SM6 MkII Preamp & 350 Power Amp

Our Danish distributor Soren Vittrup from AUDIOcompagniet arranged an excellent review, by reputable Danish hi fi magazine High Fidelity, of the Prisma series SM6 MkII Balanced Preamplifier and 350 Stereo Power Amplifier.

If you can read Danish check out the SM6 MkII Preamplifier & 350 Power Amplifier review (1.38MB) in it's entirety.

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