I was at the Bristol Sound and Vision HiFi Show last Friday. Always a chaotic affair both inside and outside of the venue. I thought I would run through a few of my highlights.
My Best Sounding Room
The best sounding room, for me, was the Spendor room that featured the new A2 speaker driven by the new Rega Brio amplifier and the Auralic Aries Mini as the source. Surely one of the best sounds to value set-up at the whole show and a wonderful sound. I’m hoping to have listen to the new Aries Mini in the near future so watch out for that. I’m also due to have an early listen to the new release Rega Brio so I was delighted to hear that sounding so good in advance. Also of note was the fact the music was not being blasted out, unlike some rooms!
I was Very Excited to See (and Hear)
The new Focal Utopia headphones, which were absolutely stunning, being driven by the equally stunning Naim NAC-N 272. Also in the room with the Utopia headphones were the Listen and the Elear. I had a listen to the Utopias with London Grammar’s ‘Strong’ and it was deep, luxurious and a real thrill. The Focal headphones collection is here.
Other Sound and Vision Highlights
There was, of course, plenty to look at and listen to. Naim was there with their first UK outing for the Naim Nova, their new Super Uniti replacement (sort of). It was a beautiful demonstration featuring the Sopra No.2 speakers that I recently had the privilege of listening to. The demo was particularly notable because it featured a track from Ryan Adams’s ‘Gold’ album, one of my all time favourites.
I also had a really good chat with the Anatech – Bluesound guys (Anatech are the UK distributer) who had the new ranges of Bluesound equipment at Sound and Vision, in particular a new PULSE Soundbar that could be a real game changer. The PULSE Soundbar incorporates MQA, delivering a hi resolution sound into every lounge, a world first I believe. The Bluesound guys reminded me to update my faithful (meaning old and out of date!) Bluesound Node (1) which I have now done. With a software update on my phone I am now streaming MQA encoded hi resolution Tidal Masters albums on my Node with the MQA authentication symbol on my smartphone which is very cool indeed.
I also took the chance at Bristol Sound and Vision to hear the new Q Acoustics Concept 500 speakers which were on display. Featuring a rather heavy dual layer cabinet and ‘Unicorn hair’ to dampen any errant resonant frequencies this was a very impressive set-up indeed, driven as they were with a Naim NAP 300.
Finally, the demonstration that frightened the life out of me was the Monitor Audio PL 300 5.1 AV demo, wow what a sound! It did thankfully put me onto John Meyer’s ‘Where the Light Is’ BluRay disc with his acoustic cover of Free Fallin’.