Andrew Everard Reports
In a worldwide launch event held on Wednesday, September 9th, Bowers & Wilkins announced an all-new generation of its celebrated 800 Series. The new 800 Series Diamond may have a familiar ring to its name – after all, the current speakers have been using the company’s diamond-dome tweeter for many years now – but is in fact completely redesigned.
In fact, the company says that, of the 800+ components making up the new 802 D3 speaker, which is the range-topper for now until the flagship 800 D3 comes on-stream next spring, only a handful is carried over from the model it replaces: the dome of the tweeter, the terminals on the rear and – well, that’s almost it.
Six years ago Linn stopped making CD players, seeing the streamer as the music source of the future, nailing this by calling their streamers ‘DS players’. Now Linn have announced that their preamplifier production will cease. Their ongoing DSM line also includes preamp facilities, namely analogue inputs and volume control and thus the stand alone preamp at Linn is rendered redundant.
Panasonic has resuscitated the famous Technics brand in time for IFA Berlin, 2014
First products due in December
Andrew Everard reports
Technics is back, and it’s aiming high: its new ‘Reference Class’ R1 system is expected to have a price of around £32,000, and comprises the SU-R1 network music player/preamplifier, the 150Wpc SE-R1 stereo power amplifier, and the floorstanding SB-R1 speakers. These have a coaxial mid treble driver.
UK company Flexson have announced a superior one box record player deck clearly based on trusted UK Rega components, for what seems a competitive £330. Flexson currently make some decor accessories for the wireless speaker brand leader SONOS.
This could well be the best sounding and best engineered all in one turntable of its type, currently populated by confections of tinny plastic which frequently cannot even be relied upon to rotate. Flexson note that vinyl sales are set to rise 40% in 2014.
Called the MXA70 and delivered in the classic McIntosh chassis build with the trademark power and volume indicators in deep blue, this 50W plus 50W powerhouse has full digital input flexibility, with four digital inputs (coaxial, optical, balanced digital AES/EBU and USB), and allowing digital replay at up to 32-bit/ 192kHz resolution. Two analogue inputs are also present, but no Wi-Fi or streamer facility.
Money has been spent on the headphone output with selectable output impedance for 8 to 600 ohms in three steps, plus HXD cross-feed technology which is claimed to enhance perceived imaging. Classic tone controls are present and the package is competed by two ‘desk mount’ cast alloy enclosure, two-way compact loudspeakers in black gloss enamel.
These have 4inch paper cone woofers and a 3/4inch titanium foil tweeters.
The all up weight of 23kg gives an idea of its solidity but with a lack of stream and wireless connectivity I wonder what kind of customer they are seeking ?
Devialet announced their SAM go faster software loudspeaker specific plug-in for their widening range of integrated amplifiers at the Munich High End show. We outlined the project in that show report. These downloadable ‘upgrades’ are loudspeaker specific so the thorny question is, who gets it first?
Martin Colloms has a passion for audio and music and has written for many of the key hi-fi magazines worldwide.