Many years ago, there was a loudspeaker called Avatar. It happened to be one of the very first projects Neil Patel undertook after acquiring Avalon Acoustics company. As it turned out, Avatar found plenty of friends in no time, and in all layers of the audio world – press, retailers and general public.
Many years later, in September of 2011 to be exact, we will be welcoming Neil Patel's latest design called IDEA – a compact floor standing 2-way 3-drive unit concept which, in so many ways, makes it a "21st century Avatar". And, the attribute "21st century" means many years of experience, new knowledge, improved cabinet design, new drive unit and crossover component technologies, superior internal wire, etc., etc. In other words, at the price of £7,900 inc VAT for a pair of IDEA in standard wood finish (figured walnut, curly maple or quilted cherry), we will be getting a lot of natural musicality, proper kind of transparency and musical dynamics, exemplary 3D rendition of a soundstage and the usual seamless, natural character and manner that Neil Patel inevitably embeds in all his creations. Moderate amplifier power requirements, good overall sensitivity and elegantly managed impedance curve throughout the frequency range are just some of the additional virtues of the new IDEA . Limited UK availability is expected from early October 2011.


After a fairly long and much more than fairly successful life, conrad-johnson's entry level valve power amplifier, the LP66S (and Series 2) has just been replaced with a, potentially, much more exciting and promising alternative. Knowing Bill Conrad's and Lew Johnson's immense business acumen, one should not be surprised to register certain, well proven and wisely adopted (for example, within the automotive industry) "common platform" methods of designing and producing their most recent products. In short: one chassis and one carefully designed printed circuit motherboard that can be populated with numerous variations on a basic theme; guided by the level of sonic performance and, at least equally so, final price of the product you would like it to carry.
CLASSIC SIXTY and CLASSIC SIXTY SE (for Special Edition, of course) are excellent sounding and suitably well-priced proof of the pudding. What we have here is a comfortable 60 Watts per channel of reliable tube amplifier power, combined with high quality parts and EL34 output valves (in the standard Sixty) and very best parts we are used to see CJD use (Vishay resistors, proprietary Teflon capacitors all over the place rather than just bypassing polypropylenes, superior input sockets and speaker terminals, better internal wiring, etc.) paired with new KT120 output tubes (in the Sixty SE). Just the right partners for the already highly acclaimed and established ET3 and ET3SE preamplifier…
UK pricing has been set at £3,700 inc VAT for the Classic Sixty and £4,700 inc VAT for the Classic Sixty SE. Availability: mid-September 2011.


HRT MUSIC STREAMER II+ (2011) has been extremely well liked and rated both in the Hifi News (October 2011 issue) and Hi-Fi+ (issue 82) magazines. It is gratifying to see such unison, positive response to this, vastly improved product when compared with the 2010 model (not to mention competition well above its price).

The vey latest conrad-johnson preamplifier ET5 has been reviewed in the current issue of Hi-Fi+ (issue 82) and was described as a product clearly showing its GAT heritage in many aspects of, otherwise, excellent performance. What more could we ask for, bearing in mind ET5 costs less than 50% its "mentor's" price?

Michael Fremer's position as the reviewer of any product being or resembling a tool that could be used for analogue (read: LP) playback needs no reaffirmation. So, when MF "falls in love" with any product of the kind, it is a most serious affair. And that is exactly what he has done, according to his glorifying review and verdict on the KUZMA 4POINT tonearm in the September 2011 issue of Stereophile magazine. Good reviews are not easy to come by, reviews like this are a rare happenstance!


Only a few weeks separate us from the 3rd edition of the NAS under the roof of the Whittlebury Hall hotel resort just around the corner from the infamous Silverstone motor racing circuit. As it stands, Audiofreaks will be a participant of this event in a somewhat reduced manner, but, hopefully, no less interesting and good sounding show audio system to what visitors would expect from us. We will be exhibiting in the Syndicate Suite S19 on the first floor of the hotel and, apart from hoping to use a selection of very latest products from our manufacturers; we might do even more than that… More news on that on our News Page in September.

Avalon Acoustics Idea
Avalon Acoustics Idea
conrad-johnson classic sixty
conrad-johnson classic sixty
stereophile Sep 2011
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