:: conrad-johnson CA150 Control Amplifier
The concept of integrated (or, as called by some "control") amplifiers within the true high-end segment of the audio business has always been a tricky one. How is it to be done in terms of design to justify both the inevitable (relatively) high cost and, at the same time, give the sonic performance and facilities we expect? Bill Conrad and Lew Johnson have (for better or worse) not tried to bombard the market with too many products of this kind over the four decades at the pinnacle of audio electronics. But, whenever they did, it made sense and found it's echo among both the CJD loyal followers and brought new members into the club.
A very good reception of the MF2275 solid-state power amplifiers by the press and consumers prompted the idea of using the same, musical sounding 2x135W amplifier section as the foundation for a new integrated amplifier design. Adding an extremely accurate level (volume) control with a consistent channel balance within 1dB throughout the operating range, as well as seven (7) line level inputs including a Theatre Loop, gave a lovely looking and exquisitely sounding CA150 Control Amplifier. Full remote control of all functions is also provided within the standard specification.
The new conrad-johnson CA150 control amplifier is shipping now. The UK retail price is £4995 incl. VAT
:: CARDAS AUDIO A8 EAR SPEAKER
After another long (albeit much shorter than for the EM5813 Model 1) wait, the new Cardas A8 Ear Speakers have arrived and are available in the UK only days after the launch in the US. Just in time for the Season's Holidays!!!
The new A8 is another, 100% George Cardas design featuring an innovative contoured field permanent magnet instead of the usual pole piece. A custom designed and manufactured, just under 11mm ultra linear, contour field dual magnet driver is the heart of the A8. The body is again machined from a brass billet and coated with a layer of rubber ABS material. The new ear speakers are considerably lighter and easier to wear then the EM5813 Model 1 and so is the new cable connecting them with the source of your music. Cardas A8 Ear Speakers are presented to their owners in a very attractive soft touch box with a magnetic clasp to make the, nowadays quite important, "unboxing experience" something of a memorable event.
The new Cardas A8 Ear Speakers have a UK retail price of £279 incl. VAT.
Another good news related to the new A8 Ear Speaker is the availability of optional headphone cables suitable for the balanced output interface on some of the most respected music players (Pono, Astell & Kern and Ayre Codex). These cables have a standard 33-inch (85cm) length, identical to the OEM cable supplied with the product and will cost £49 incl. VAT in the UK and are available now. Custom lengths and their pricing are available on request and to order.
:: KARAN ACOUSTICS PH-1 PHONO PREAMPLIFIER
Back in 2014 we witnessed the emergence of Milan Karan's new flagship in the phono preamplifier domain. The colossal KA PHONO REFERENCE impressed many all over the world both with superb sonics and the unique concept of three (3) completely separate phono preamplifiers accommodated within the two chassis. Needless to say, the whole package had to come at a price which was reasonable in absolute terms, but still anything but easily affordable.
One of the fundamental trademarks of serious manufacturers and designers of any bespoke commodity is to monitor and consider feedback and sentiments put forward by their customers. Milan Karan is one of that ilk and that is why he has just released a new product called PH-1. This is, in actual fact, a one third of the KA Phono Reference. Period. Instead of three, you get "only" one balanced and one single ended phono input of absolutely identical design, component selection and complement as in the Phono Reference and all the power supply to keep it going. All the EQ settings have also been retained. Last, but not least, the KA PH-1 needs only one chassis, rather than two which further simplifies implementation and space requirements. Best of all, the cost of the PH-1 is significantly lower than that of it's big brother. Whether in elegant satin black or anodised silver finish, the new Karan Acoustics PH-1 phono preamplifier costs £7,900 inc VAT and is available from stock most of the time.
:: REVIEWS OF AUDIOFREAKS PRODUCTS IN THE AUDIO PRESS
We must admit to have somewhat neglected to keep you informed about the coverage our products have been given within the UK and international press since the early part of the year. Below is a short list of most relevant reviews from the recent past with a promise to keep it more up to date in 2016.
|- Magnum Dynalab Signature Tuner Upgrade||Hifi+ October 2015
|- HRT dSp and i-dSp ||Hifi+ October 2015
|- Kuzma RD Ultrasonic Record Cleaning Kit||Hifi+ November 2015
|- Karan Acoustics PH-1 Phono Preamplifier||Hifi+ December 2015
|- Zanden Model 120 Phono Preamplfier||TAS January 2016
|- conrad-johnson MF2275 amplifier||Tone Audio Issue 75
|- HRT dSp||head-fi.org
|- HRT dSp and i-dSp||computeraudiophile.com