Roksan have just released their heavily updated Kandy integrated amp and CD Player.
The new K2 look is very funky and professional looking aligned to the familiar Roksan family sound, but with a whole host of improvements.
Available in a choice of Black or Silver anodised brushed finishes, they have better bass control and more depth in the sound stage than the models they supersede. More authority also makes them stand out from the crowd.
You'll also get a very nice programmable Roksan learning remote control with a very handy built in back light (why aren't other people doing that?).
Roksan were always top for build quality anyway, and this has continued on with the new designs, and if possible, maybe even improved.
Many manufacturers may have struggled to upgrade what was already a great little package, but evidently, the Kandy man not only can, but has.
Myriad have launched the new MI, and it's a stonker.
The have endowed this unit with just about as many things as is possible.
Top class FM tuner, DAB tuner, CD Player that's well above the crowd, iPod digital interface, it also has inputs for other MP3 players and as the finishing glory a full 100 watts on board amplifier.
What's bound to be popular is the very easy to read on board 3.5" full colour display, so you can easily negotiate your way through your packed iPod player.
Setting up is very easy indeed using the full function remote control.
Once up and running the surprises keep coming. It full sounding with plenty of control and a smooth but open soundstage. There's also plenty of go.
Almost certainly aimed at the Arcam Solo it does a fine job and is sure to find plenty of fans.
Most of you are already aware of how dedicated to Tom Evans Audio Design (TEAD) products we are. In fact, it's no small coincidence that both myself and Doug have TEAD Eikos CD players.
It's also well known that the Groove family of phono stages are pretty much the measuring posts for the ultimate playback of the black stuff.
Many of you will not however, be aware of just how phenomenal the Vibe pre-amplifier is. It would also seem that almost no-one, including the Australian reviewers of their best read high end magazine "Hub" were prepared for the measurement they would get when they tested the Vibe on site. They were, to put it mildly, suitably impressed with figures that no other product at any price had ever come close to. So good were these in fact, that they had to invent a new way of testing things like channel balance and signal to noise ratios, because the Vibe was so quite that their own measuring equipment made more noise than the item they were testing.
For the full review press "here"
For the test sheet along with their astonishing findings, press below to get the PDF of their results.
If ever you wanted the finest pre-amp that money could buy, then book an appointment with us to try this incredible piece of kit.
Synthesis, always one of our very favourite Hi-Fi brands, has just begun shipping a new CD player and Integrated Amplifier. The Magnum Amplifiers are transistor and come in 50 and 100 watt guises, and we are pleased to welcome the Magnus CD Player.
They both look very classy when we first took them out of the boxes, the front in particular has a graceful curve across its length, and the wood finish is nicely understated. On the back of the CD is the usual fare, a pair of gold plated single ended phono sockets for left and right audio, a single gold plated coaxial digital socket and finally an IEC socket for mains. The amplifier has four gold plated se line inputs plus a record out and also, rather unexpectedly, a pre out. Even more unexpected is a front 3.5mm jack input for an iPod or other MP3 widget. We're pretty impressed with these inputs not to mention the Remote control volume, which is used from the same remote that works the CD Player. The volume itself is a large dial which feels very nicely weighted when you turn it. The inputs are selected by a small row of push buttons. All in all a well finished product.
The remote is the standard Synthesis system remote, which is also unexpected given this systems lower than usual price.
Plugged in for the first time the first thing of note is the display. It features an extremely attractive blue background with large, easily readable figures (a frequently complaint of ours is that you can't read a display unless your right on top of it - and no, I don't need glasses.....well all right, I do, but that's not the point).
The next thing that we notice is that when you turn on the CD the display reads "heating". This only last for 30 seconds but it's enough to send us scurrying for the hand book to check and, yes, unbelievably it's got a valve output buffer stage.
Now we're really excited. We set it up into our system with it's matching Magnum 100 watt amplifier and Synthesis Debut speakers and try the first track - naturally I've got to try my Mindy Smith album "One moment more". Anyone who's been in the shop in the last four years will know it's one of my absolute favourites.
Vocals are well presented, it's also beautifully detailed with an airy open feel. There's also a real smoothness about it - I don't mean a boring laid back presentation, but a fluid sound. We switch discs to the rather more busy sound of 10CC's "How Dare You". There's lots of space here, the first track on this album has a great deal of different things going on, and they are nicely placed with no struggle to differentiate between the various pieces. When the bass comes in it's reasonably full and controlled, not what you would refer to as bone crunching, but we're not in that price category here so that's certainly no complaint. Finally we try our Telarc disc of the Fantastic Stokowski. In particular we play Bach's "Little Fugue" in G minor. At three minutes and forty Eight seconds it's around three minutes of beautiful violins followed by the best forty eight seconds of growling rumbling kettle drums. The Synthesis manages it with aplomb.
Quite frankly at a thousand pounds each we would be struggling to find anything wrong with this dynamic duo, except they are not a thousand pounds each. They are in fact less than thirteen hundred pounds for the pair. Which seems to us to be outrageously good value.
Only time will tell, but it looks like Synthesis has taken the fight straight back to the Chinese and beaten them at their own game.
Long may they continue.