It’s HiFi show time and this years Bristol Sound and Vision 2016 was its usual hustle and bustle as a blaze of noise, bass notes, bleeding ears and knotted cables arrived in Bristol. Friday, I thought was ‘Press Day’, nice and quiet and a place to chat, share and discuss. But today it was packed lunchtime onwards but I guess this can only be good. Here’re my highlights if you are going this weekend.
Moon by Simaudio
One of the best sounding rooms was this one and I urge you to seek it out. With the Totem speakers hooked up and a sideways room layout (lounge layout, not hotel room) the April release Moon Neo ACE sounded amazing. The Neo ACE was also on show in the KEF room with the wonderful looking R series (I have a pair of R700s, slight bias).
Another notable sounding room was the Tannoy room upstairs, showing the 300 pound a pair of Eclipse Three floor standing speakers shown with various bits of Rega Electronics. Impressive sound for the price to say the least
Very cool room by Elipson featuring the Elipson Omega Bluetooth turntable! Yes really. And it sounded good too with an Ortofan cartridge into Tangent x5 BT (maybe 4?) speakers (previously reviewed on this site). One feature I particularly liked about this is the idea you can get a decent vinyl sound from something tucked away from un-approving eyes. I reviewed the excellent Elipson Music Centre this week which could complement this Bluetooth turntable very nicely indeed.
On a similarly French theme the Devialet room was packed with people wanting to hear the incredible wireless 3000W peak powered Phantom. It certainly looks good with its puffed out cheeks supporting the sound output.
Pro-Ject Record Cleaner
On show for the first time and in high demand was the Pro-ject VC-S record cleaner. Featuring the cleanest records at the show the VC-S basically operates by hoovering a bespoke alcohol based fluid from the record surface after you have dripped and the smeared the solution using a brush on your trusty plastic. Then, gently put the arm over the vinyl and cover your ears as the clearly very powerful sucker removes the cleaning solution, superb.
I met my wife after an argument with my friend, now brother-in-law, over whether his Boston Acoustic speakers were better than my then Mission 700s (a long time ago, this is). A friendship was born (at three in the morning) and so my affection for Mission continues. The new LX series is on show this year and they look as good as the old 700s, with the tweeter still placed below the Bass driver for improved timing alignment.
Rega Planar 3
The only two brand new Planar 3 updates to the RP3 were at the show. There are the only two on the planet and with improved looks and timing they have a grand tradition of excellence to uphold. The RB 303 tonearm is getting an update too, so the new name is RB 330. The first 25 planar 3s are being hand made next week so we can expect very good things from Rega this year. Also on show was the funky record store day RP1 (record store day is 16th April this year).
There was an amazing sound from the neat acoustics room, which featured a pair of speakers “as yet un-named”. Interesting name but they were a new concept based on the Neat Iota range but with a beefed up down firing bass driver, very nice looking and sounding room here.
Another very attractive room was the Dali loudspeaker room that featured the latest Roksan K3 range; and this was another very good sounding room.
My tidiest cables room goes to Harbeth. In a sea of cables and plinths and mono blocks it was a delight to see at least one very tidy room, so thank you to them.
My Top Tip for Bristol 2016
Start on the fourth floor and work your way down hill, and chill out in the PMC room in the basement! There was loads on offer at Bristol and I haven’t even mentioned the Naim Mu-so Qb so head on to the show and have some fun; if you have some vinyl in need of cleaning, take it to the show, I’m sure it will get a new lease of life.