:: SUMMERTIME...

It has been an 'adopted' belief for many years that Summer months equal very little commercial or other activity within the (high-end) audio industry. Looking at most of the past 20-odd summer periods in the "Life of Audiofreaks", we must have been an exception to the rule as we never ever (up to the most recent Summer of the 2008 recession, that is) had a bad Summer time in terms of sales or magnitude of work and involvement in our clients' needs. Whether this summer (of 2011) ends up being something else, remains to be seen. The whole world we live in has been seriously affected by 'many changes' and whichever title or name one chose to label the present overall economic and psychologically detrimental climate, the end result is reflected in every aspect of our reality.

All this is at least one of the reasons why this month's News Page does not actually have any product news! With the overall demand for the 'traditional' (and we fear this attribute will soon become a regular occurrence when referring to the audio or high-end components as we have known to be for decades!) high-end audio nowhere near the levels we were all used to for a long time, experienced, sensible and intelligent producers of some of the very best products of the kind tend to think twice before rushing into new models (read: new investments) at higher prices than those they would be replacing. One really wishes the very best of luck to the plethora of new manufacturers of expensive, very expensive and notoriously expensive high-end audio components that were, for example, proudly launched at the recent High-End 2011 show in Munich (Germany). One assumes there is still enough audiophiles and enthusiasts with generous financial means to give confidence to so many newcomers onto the already crowded high-end audio scene. Common sense suggests those products would otherwise not even be made, right?

Good news is that most of our manufacturers are quietly working on a number of new creations, which should see the light of the day before the end of this calendar year. Kevin Halverson of HRT is launching a new addition to the range of "Streamers", which will be called HeadStreamer - a device for serious (and less serious) users of headphones. This very interesting product will offer much more than just a headphone input; we hope to announce full details within our August News page in a few weeks. But, one important detail can be revealed right now - the new HeadStreamer will cost only £139 inc VAT!!

Neil Patel of Avalon Acoustics has (almost) finished the development of his new speaker called Idea - the smallest floor standing dynamic speaker system of the current Avalon generation. Many of us fondly remember the success of the Avatar design from the 80s and 90s of the last century. Avatar was a 2-way (relatively) small floor standing speaker that managed to find many, many friends throughout its long life. Knowing how much Neil Patel has learned over the years.... well, Idea should be another bestseller, rather than just an idea. By September we should have had our first experience with the Idea and ...you will be the first to know.

Messrs. Conrad and Johnson are threatening with a few new valve components for late this and early next year. Difficult to say what those may be, but one of them could (and should) be a single-chassis stereo version of their brilliant ART mono power amplifiers. Imagine a 150W per channel beast with same sonics as the big monoblocks, but costing not much more than half the price! Higher sensitivity of the large number of good modern loudspeakers, combined with small to medium size living rooms and... we already perfect partner for THE GAT and other preamplifiers of similar abilities.

Franc Kuzma showed a static sample of his new Stabi M turntable at the Munich high-end show in May. This is the first new Kuzma turntable in years and, from what we know about the design characteristics and original solutions therein, it will be an absolute jewel, especially when used with the Kuzma 4POINT tonearm! The estimated UK price of £14-15,000 inc VAT may be a slightly discouraging element of the equation, but if the performance is to be what we have every reason to believe it will be, Stabi M will introduce a completely new reference standard for the the very best analogue playback systems.

September is also a UK showtime month and organisers of the National Audio Show 2011 (The Chester Group) are doing their very utmost to improve this, the only remaining, event of the kind in s the UK which could and should continue to carry the flag of the show of the year in this country. The event will be, once again, held at the lovely Whittlebury Hall hotel and resort venue near Silverstone in Northamptonshire (24-26 September). We are hoping to participate at the National Audio Show once again. At this time, however, it remains to be seen whether the evolving nature of this event manages to provide the right ingredients, atmosphere and audience for the very best that high-end audio can offer. Fingers crossed.


:: AUDIOFREAKS SUMMER SALE 2011

A very short note to say that, as we have done many times in the past, we have prepared an (almost embarrassingly) comprehensive and attractive Temptations list for you to look at, digest and - hopefully consider some of the components therein. Let us point out just 2 relevant moments connected to this out-of-the ordinary campaign we are proposing for the July-September period: a) only one of each of the products is (and will be) made available at the reduced prices, and b) apologies for any disappointment this may cause, but no, Audiofreaks is not selling out everything from it's warehouse in order to go into oblivion. It takes a bit more to get rid of us after almost 25 years and when the time comes to turn out the light, we will let everyone know. In the meantime, have a taste of what is on our Summer Menu and do not hesitate to let us know if we can provide any further insight, advice, guidance or anything else related to your mischievous thoughts. Enjoy!!



HRT Head Streamer
HRT Head Streamer
Avalon Avatar
Avalon Avatar
conrad johnson ART amplifier
conrad johnson ART amplifier
Kuzma Stabi M
Kuzma Stabi M
 
 
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