:: WHAT IS NEW THIS MONTH?

Strangely enough, April is becoming increasingly a (rare) month of no particular news, freshly introduced and/or launched products or any other specific particulars worth mentioning. Perhaps not such a bad thing after all - leaves the next couple of months with brighter prospects of the kind to look forward to. So, instead of the usual palette of "hot news", let's create a light refresher of what has happened recently and remind us of products that very much deserve one's attention:

- conrad johnson ET5 (£9500) has come into this world as a "poor man's GAT" and has impressed us mightily for being much more than that. Less if often considerably more and ET5, once again, proves with elegance and ease that all the basic, healthy properties of a successful design approach and executed circuitry works at all price points. Loyalty to proprietary PTFE (Teflon) capacitors, Vishay resistors, et al scored highly yet again.

- conrad johnson LP66S Series 2 (£4450) is an evolutionary, but sonically very evident, progress surrounding conrad-johnson's entry level stereo valve amplifier. Serious redesign of the driver (input) stage involves a number of different and superior passive components. One of the input valves has also been replaced for a more transparent sound and an even "blacker" background within the soundstage. Owners of the LP66S (Series 1) will be pleased to learn that an upgrade is possible and costs £499 inc VAT, parts, labour and return courier delivery within the UK.

- Kuzma Stogi S-12 & S-12VTA (£999 & £1199 inc VAT) are Franc Kuzma's way of giving us all sonic (read: tracking and other) advantages and benefits of the longer tonearm effective length at an affordable cost. The simple version mounts on any 12-inch arm enabled platform, while the S-12 VTA goes a couple of steps further. It can be mounted on any quality (suspended or solid) turntable as a 9-inch tonearm combined with the "adjust while you play" VTA tower that has been present so far only on Kuzma's vastly more expensive tonearm designs. Installation is simple and straightforward and those using a Kuzma Stabi S turntable can upgrade it to the Stabi S-12 variant in a cost effective manner.

- Running Springs Audio ELGAR is the eagerly awaited 4-outlet reasonably priced mains conditioner from Dan Babineau and the RSA team. We now expect to have units in the UK by early/mid May. Judging by the amount of interest after the launch of Elgar at the CES2011, effective (and "lossless") mains conditioning will at last become very possible and not of excessive cost.

- HRT Music Streamers are slowly, but surely becoming a 'no brainer' household item in many UK audio environments. Latest addition to the range, the iStreamer has found its place and recognition very quickly and is now also available as a 12V option which can be used in cars, boats, caravans and any other place under the sun where a standard, 12V supply through a car lighter socket may exist.


:: AUDIOFREAKS PRODUCTS IN THE AUDIO PRESS

A number of our products have been written about (and written about favourably) over the recent months. Hifi+ magazine has reviewed the Avalon Transcendent loudspeaker system, Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum valve remote integrated amplifier and the HRT iStreamer. Hifi News wrote about the HRT iStreamer and the conrad-johnson ET3SE Phono line/phono valve preamplifier. Hifi World's editor David Price also had some good words to say about the HRT iStreamer. Finally, What Hi-Fi? organised a group test of streaming devices in their May 2011 issue and the HRT Music Streamer II was declared the "star of the test", both in terms of its overall performance and extremely good value for money.

For full listing of all reviews of Audiofreaks products in the UK and (English speaking) international audio press, please consult the constantly updated Reviews chapter of our web site.


:: HRT MUSIC STREAMER PRICE REDUCTION

We are pleased to announce that we have managed to reduce the UK retail price of most HRT Music Streamers with immediate effect. The iStreamer now costs £185 inc VAT (RRP £199 inc VAT). Further, we have a very limited quantity of the superb Music Streamer II+ available at a significantly reduced price of £269 inc VAT (RRP £339 inc VAT). Finally, the MUSIC STREAMER PRO (including a set of miniXLR-RCA or mini XLR/XLR adaptors worth £70) now costs £429 inc VAT (RRP £559 inc VAT). All products can be ordered by contacting our office on tel. no. (020) 89484153.


conrad johnson ET5

conrad johnson LP66S Series 2

Kuzma Stogi S-12VTA

Running Springs Audio ELGAR

HRT Music iStreamer
 
 
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