10-11 November 2018, Windsor: The Beaumont Centre
Held on the 10th and 11th, the latter day was unfortunate in view of the many Remembrance events on this particular Sunday. My Saturday visit was eventful including a rainstorm with some site flooding belying the stock photo above, but finding many popular exhibits from leading brands, though as an exception missing Naim and Focal. They had put in a strong appearance at the recent September Festival of Sound, the London show, in September. Note that the Hi Fi News show will be rebranded for next year and will move venue to Ascot Racecourse.
Novotel Hammersmith, London: 28-30 September 2018
Predictably quiet on a weekday morning it was a breeze getting round the show on the Friday first day. I wanted to catch up with audio industry members, see and book new products and discuss findings for published reviews in HIFICRITIC.
AIR Studios London
I managed to steal a couple of hours to drop in this week at AIR studios for the latest recording project from Mike and Françoise Valentine of Chasing the Dragon. Singing star Eleanor McEvoy was playing electric and acoustic guitars with the Steinway and Rhodes piano accompaniments from Damon Butcher, former keyboard player with ‘The Beautiful South’, in the nicely reverberant and spacious acoustic of the main chapel. This will be Chasing the Dragon’s 6th direct cut album.
After 30 years of endeavour, founder/owner Anthony Michaelson has sold his Musical Fidelity creation to Heinz Lightenegger, the man behind the highly successful design and manufacturing operation, Pro-Ject. The Musical Fidelity head office moves to Austria, and further design and manufacturing is planned for Europe for this brand.
By coincidence HIFICRITIC is reviewing two products from Pro-Ject, the 'SE’ universal phono amplifier and the Project Essential Three (acrylic platter option) turntable complete with factory fitted Ortofon OM 10 moving magnet cartridge. And there is also one from Musical Fidelity, the MX –VYNL universal MM, MC head amplifier and RIAA equaliser.
The reviews will appear in the upcoming issue: Vol 12 No 2, April to June 2018.
Bristol Marriott 23rd - 25th February 2018
2017 came and went, and almost without warning 2018 arrived in a rush with the first HIFICRITIC show date for the last week in February, with bitterly cold winds sweeping in, and with worse to follow. Braving the chill, that happy band of West of England enthusiasts queued up in the cold from 9.30AM to get ring side seats for 10AM in the better demonstration rooms.
It was one of the largest shows for some years, certainly judging from the number of brands presented, well over 200 at last count.
Read Martin’s full Show Report
Held at DOLBY Soho Square
The Clarity Alliance, the UK hi-fi industry’s trade body, held its AGM and Conference , at which it announced the appointments to its board of directors and a sell-out audience enjoyed thought provoking and informative presentations from a number of guest speakers.
Alon Wolf, founder of high end loudspeaker brand Magico brought his latest loudspeaker, to show the press just what could be done if you make the decision to invest in building larger quantities. Big outfits do this all the time and reap the rewards of economies in scale, usually to the benefit of the consumer. However, Magico inhabit the world of high end audio with essentially bespoke, to order manufacture, with small batch quantities of raw materials, hand crafted assembly and resulting high prices.
Bristol Marriott, Castle Street, 23rd - 25th February 2018. 10:00am - 5:00pm
Brands listed as at 2/2/2018:
October to December 2017, due out end of December
Reviewed products from Rotel, NAD, Spendor, Magico, LINN, PROAC, Amazon Alexa, Pass, Chord, ATC, Sonos, HEOS , MusiCast, DSD Audio, QED, Focal and MBA.
In addition to Stan Curtis’ regular wise commentary on matters audio, here musing on pioneers of the analysis of subtle effects such as vibration on audio quality, Martin Colloms scrutinises the top of the line LINN KLIMAX Katalyst DS digital audio player, the one where the powerful DSP even includes micro correction for the tiniest errors emanating from the audio output transformers.
At the Indulgence Show 30th September to 1st October, 2017, some 250 brands were exhibited over 5 floors of the Hammersmith Novotel (formerly the Cunard) including some massive suites with substantial sound systems. Both live music and music production featured, and as before, a massive floor area was devoted to headphones earphones and supporting amplification.
Martin Colloms has a passion for audio and music and has written for many of the key hi-fi magazines worldwide.