National Audio Show 15 Review

Stephen Harper – Audio Consultants - Thursday, October 29, 2015

The reception to the system we presented at Whittlebury Hall over the weekend of 19 and 20 September took us by surprise. So many people were generous in their praise saying that it was the best sound at the show. Several revisited the room quite a few times. We also had the same compliments from the trade and several hifi magazine journalists. The comments that I remember to be most pertinent were:

“Spectacular sound stage”

“Sounds like you have a Steinway playing in the room” 

“At last a system that understands and plays dynamics properly”

“I have not heard such transparency and sweet high frequencies elsewhere at this show”

The system we presented was:
Norma Audio REVO DS-1 CD player
APL Pure DSD DAC upsampling to 56 MHz
Edge Electronics NL Signature 1.2 battery/AC pre-amplifier and NL10.2 power amplifier
Lawrence Audio Violin SE loudspeakers – rosewood finish
All cabling including power cords and power distributor – GutWire Cables
Equipment support, isolation bases, chassis resonance control system – Harmonic Resolution Systems
Room acoustics treatments – Acustica Applicata DAAD system

We mostly played CDs through the Norma DS-1 integrated player and were pleasantly surprised by how many visitors asked us to play CDs that they brought with them. Whilst the APL DSD DAC gave a very good sound with computer files, many thought the CD had more “sparkle”, detail and presented timbre more correctly. 

The Lawrence Audio Violin SE loudspeakers created a seamless sound across all frequencies with a bass quality and extension that would normally be expected from a much larger floor standing model. The reaction to both their sound and unusual appearance was extremely positive.

Without the room DAAD acoustic treatments from Acustica Applicata we would not have been able to create the large soundstage we did in a relatively small room.

This style of show will always be marred by noise from the overall ambience and from other exhibitors. We would like to remind you that we will be presenting a similar system with important differences at our own Musical Event on the 17 and 18 October near Reading. This will feature the German Physiks omnidirectional loudspeakers along with the new SME Model 15 turntable. Come and listen to another excellent sound under much quieter, more relaxed circumstances.