:: conrad-johnson GAT Series 2 LINE PREAMPLIFIER
What do you do to an already full bodied state-of-the-art valve line preamplifier to make it better? Can you do anything to make it better? Not easily. But, Bill Conrad and Lew Johnson would not have been at the very pinnacle of global high-end audio electronics for almost half a century just like that, would they? Welcome the new and (re)established flagship of the CJD preamplifier range called GAT SERIES 2 (how else?). As most know, Conrad and Johnson never "update" or change their models frequently. In actual fact, thanks to the policy never to release anything until truly happy with all aspects of their products' performance, some say changes happen far too infrequently. No wonder we cannot remember any of their products ever reaching a "Mk3" nomenclature after kept alive for 10 years or more!!
So, how do you make a super sounding line stage even more super sounding? Not only, how do you manage that while using a, theoretically inferior (noisier) version of the 88 double-triode (PCC rather than ECC) and make the S2 drastically quieter in all imaginable aspects of noise? Well, it can be done and the GAT S2 is a living proof of that. Excellent existing circuit, vastly improved power supply solutions, a more musical (and now dead-ly quiet) single PCC88 per channel, unimaginable low noise floor - a short, but effective list of virtues that guarantee a hugely improved sound in direct comparison with the 1st variant of the GAT. More musical information into your ears, transparency, seamless balance, 3D holography beyond reproach and, above all. tremendously realistic and powerful dynamic behaviour. This is it.
The new conrad-johnson GAT Series 2 is shipping now with the UK list price set at £24900 inc VAT. The final bit of good news is that all original GAT (Series 1) units can be converted/rebuilt (not a simple upgrade, please!) to a full S2 specification at the cost of £5900 inc VAT. Potentially bad news? GAT Series 2 is being produced out of the remaining chassis within the limited run of 250 units that CJD set when the original GAT was launched...
:: ZANDEN AUDIO SYSTEMS MODEL 9600Mk2 MONO AMPLIFIER
Ever since it's introduction almost ten years ago, Zanden Model 9600 mono amplifiers have been a frequent aspiration for many discerned music lovers and audiophiles. Kazutoshi Yamada chose to remain loyal to the 845 output valve and a generous valve driver stage and power supplies. Same principle remains present in the recently launched Mk2 version of this glorious monoblock. Apart from numerous circuit detail improvements and solutions which contribute to the substantial upward shift in overall sound quality and arguably, the most important change relates to parts, arguably, most important for any (valve) amplifier - transformers. The new Model 9600Mk2 amplifier is first of the Zanden 'mainstream' designs to use the "Finemet" transformer technology, developed and perfected by Yamada-san. Extended bandwidth combined with an extremely low level of noise and huge dynamic ability are 'components' that set the Model 9600Mk3 amplifier apart from anything else of the kind. Power rating remains at conservative 90W per channel and it is still a true differential (balanced) design throughout. As before, Model 9600Mk3 will be built in Osaka, Japan in very limited numbers on special order. UK list price of the new Zanden mono amplifier will be £55,000 inc VAT (per pair).
:: BELCANTO AMORE MIO - Orchestre Nationale d'ile de France/Mazzola
For the first time in the its existence, Audiofreaks is proud to present a piece of music art to the general public. The album called BelCanto Amore Mio
is an exciting, superbly executed and extremely well recorded collection of some of the most beautiful overtures to operas from the BelCanto period. Works by Donizetti, Rossini, Bellini and others are played by the Orchestra Nationale d'ile de France from Paris under the exquisite leadership of their Music Director, Enrique Mazzola
. Released through a small, dedicated record label NoMad
Music, this album is available through our online store, as well as from various other online platforms. Further options for streaming and downloads are also available. Please find below the list with all the present sources of this highly recommended and musically pleasing collection of classical music.
NoMad Music: http://nomadmusic.fr/shop/
WAV HD (24bit/48kHz), WAV CD (16bit/44.1kHz), MP3 (320 kb/s).
Streaming : Spotify, Deezer, Rara.com, OVI (Nokia), eMusic, Rhapsody, Simfy
Download : iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Virginmega, 7 Digital, Qobuz (also HD), Starzik, Qriocity (Sony), BBM (BlackBerry Messenger)
Application : Shazam
Video platform : YouTube
Radio-promo platforms : Bya, Muzicenter
:: REVIEWS OF AUDIOFREAKS PRODUCTS IN THE AUDIO PRESS
|- conrad-johnson CA150 integrated amplifier||HiFi+ January 2016
|- Kuzma 4Point 14 tonearm||Hifi+ February 2016