All about the New Models and Improvements to the NZ made Image Loudspeaker range for 2010 at Totally Wired
The New Zealand made Image Loudspeaker range is unique. Each model has it's own distinct character but all are designed and made with the passionate aim of providing us with the best possible sound quality and value for money at any level. Chris Ball - the proprietor and designer is one of the most astute listeners you'll find and he is continuously looking for ways to improve his speakers. So for 2010 we build on all the refinement that has gone before. Learn all about these improvements and the new Petite Performa here.
What's new from Cambridge Audio - A better breed of Blu Ray
The new Cambridge Audio BluRay & DVD player is just in. This lightning-fast, easy to use player from legendary audio specialist Cambridge Audio will make High Definition video a reality for you. Offering higher performance than the mass market, yet remaining affordable, the new Cambridge shows movies and plays music with all the excitement and quality that we've come to expect.
At just under NZ$1200 it would be easy to argue that the Azur 650BD is the only disc player you need - as always with Cambridge the audio performance is tricked up so that you'll be more than happy with CD replay and we have to say that from an analogue standpoint there is a lot going for 2 channel replay of movie sound tracks too. As a DVD player, the BD650 neatly trumps their own value for money offering the Azure 540D which is no mean feet. And then of course the moment you feed in a new Blu Ray disc the whole rationale behind HD and 1080P immediately becomes clear. Very, very clear. Find out a bit more here
650R Audio Video Receiver
Hot on the heels of the Blu Ray player Cambridge have also bought their big home theatre receiver right up to date to make the most of the new HDMI and video standards - the 650R. This is easily their best effort yet and will take a bite out of the big name brand receivers which inevitably fall short of the hype that surrounds their obsession with needless features and specs. There isn't anything much the Cambridge can't do on a practical level but when it comes to sound and picture quality, that's what defines it. $2495.
While the greater part of December is spent gift-wrapping Tivoli radios, we were mightily distracted by the latest high end arrivals - Meridian flagship 808.2 Signature CD player, the luxurious Sonus faber Elispa floor standers and the most physically substantial integrated amplifier we've had the pleasure to grace our floor - The Audio Analogue Class A Special Edition. All connected with top secret new cables from SlinkyLinks. You would be correct in thinking that it all sounds rather good. And you'd be more than welcome to call in for a listen to any or all of these very special components.
If there is a product that defines Meridian's technical leadership, it is their flagship player - the 808.2 Signature. The 808.2 combines over 20 years of experience, a radical rethink of how to best replay the CD standard and serious computational grunt in a beautiful and massively engineered package.
The 808.2 is unarguably the very best CD player we have ever heard by a substantial margin. Find out more here
The Sonus faber Elipsa is indeniably a loudspeaker for grown-ups. Forget hangups like will it fit (you’ll make the room) and how much (NZ$30,000 isn’t that much when you say it quickly). The Elipsa is one of the finest hifi speakers made in the world for any amount of money and certainly one of the most beautiful - as you’d expect from Italy. As much a piece of sculpture as a finely handcrafted musical instrument, the Elipsas are now gracing the floor at Totally Wired - We invite you to come and experiance them for yourself.
It’s no accident that the Sonus Faber Elipsa share the same footprint as our other favorite speakers, the Quad Electrostatics. They also share the same ease in presentation, midrange quality and unforced treble that we love. But where they surpass the Quads (and most other speaker systems) is in dynamics, bass and sheer scale. The Elipsa is a full range speaker in every sense - capable of both quiet relaxing listening and the reproduction of full live concerts of any type of music.
Like the smallest model in the Cremona range - the stand mounted Auditor M which is probably the most accessible and popular option - the Elipsa has an uncanny ability to make just about every type of music sound good. Which is what we always though a hifi system should do although others may disagree as they dig into their cold salty porridge.
While many other high end speaker systems place demands on amplifiers and sources that might have you in a constant state of unease, the Elipsa can work its magic with a remarkably broad range of electronics. They don’t require that you bankrupt yourself with some wildly esoteric and unreliable tube driven beomouth or be restricted to analogue only. Sure, the further you go, the better they will sound and the power rating is no more than an academic number. Yet their high efficiency frees us throm the need to go to extremes. So something like the Audio Analogue amplifiers can sound just sublime. To illustrate this point we've got the new special edition Class A Integrated which has to be the nicest 50 watt amp we've ever heard.
As we’ve said before, being a Sonus faber retailer is both a pleasure and a privelige. Being a Sonus faber owner is even better. We’ve got broad range of Sonus faber options starting from around $2000 a pair and while we can’t imagine anyone not wanting the Elispa after hearing them, you’d never feel short changed with any model in the range.
New Rotel 15 series components
Rotel are one of our favorite brands for good reason. They are always right on target when it comes to the combination of high performance, value for money and unrelenting reliability. The new 15 series is just in and is their best work yet.
New Cambridge Audio 650 models
Progress is both inevitable and desirable. Not being a company to rest on their laurels, Cambridge Audio have just released their new mid level amplifier, CD and tuner models, replacing the highly reviewed 640 series. While the model number changes are subtle, the improvements made are far more substantial. More...
Introducing the Sonos Wireless Multiroom Music System
While the whole multi-room and digital music arena is full of products and brands, there are very few that actually stand out and manage to cover all the bases. We’ve had plenty of experience with multiroom, from the original Linn Knekt systems over a decade ago, through many others. And things have got very, very complicated. We needed an antidote and when Sonos first came to us, we hoped it would live up to this promise. More...
HRT Music Streamer
Innovative small and affordable - it’s recipe that is hard to beat and here is another example - for just $250 you can dramatically improve the sound of music from your computer or laptop. If I ever had to start a system from scratch again, I know that as of now, my source would be a new Mac and the HRT - I could see no reason to get all romantic about vinyl or start buying CDs when they are even more likely to be obsolete than the black record in another couple of years. More...
revisiting the perreaux sx25i
With all the excitement around the new big eloquence integrated amplifiers from Perreaux, it’s been easy to forget what has to be the most accessible, best value and most uncompromised amplifier - the Silhouette series SX25i integrated. The whole ethos behind Perreaux amplifiers is minimalism - fewer, better quality parts in the signal path and the SX25i is the purest implementation of this ideal. One analogue input, one pair of speakers and an amplifier - the simplest component system you can have, yet still the best way to enjoy music.
After around 4 years in production you might think that the SX25i might be starting to show its age - but on the contrary, the rest of the world is only just starting to catch up and the logic behind the design of the SX25i is becoming more relevant by the day. The rise of the iPod to being the most popular single audio device of all time is just one obvious manifestation of the direction the future is taking - small, better components, purpose built, easy on power consumption and completely intuitive in use. More...
Dave at Slinkylinks has literally been scouring the world for a better termination for their speaker cables - we’ve been convinced by the improvement made by the Eichmann silver bullets on the interconnects but the cost of the Eichmann bayonets on speakers cables is proportionally much more, especially in bi-wire connections so an alternative had to be found. While we still think the silver bayonet plug is the ultimate in terms of performance, the new 4mm instrument plug now used by Slinkylinks is very very close - it may not look like much but a high purity copper substrate, overlayen by gold and then coated with a thick layer of ultra pure silver makes for exceptional sound quality.
I’ve been taken aback by how obvious the difference is between this new connector and the standard gold plated plugs. And it has given us good cause to take a fresh look at SlinkyLinks. Let’s just quickly go back to the key differences between SlinklyLinks and most other cables. More...
We’re always on the lookout for better options for turntable owners - this month a name from about 15 years ago makes a most welcome return.
Nagaoka N0. 102 anti static record sleeves ($65) and MP110 cartridge($200)
These are considered by many an audiophile enthusiast to be the finest anti static record inner sleeves in the world. I’ve got literally hundreds of them protecting my own records as I obsessively replaced all the original crappy paper sleeves years ago. They simply work - records don’t build up static (paper sleeves are the perfect way to do this) and stay cleaner. Their distinct curved base fits perfectly into the card inner sleeves of record albums. A prudent and long lasting investment - just $65 for a pack of 50.
The successor to the highly acclaimed and classic Nagaoka MP-11 MP11 phono cartridge, the new Nagaoka MP-110 phono cartridge “extends and strengthens its predecessor's prowess and talents to a new level of radiance”. All very flowery but these cartridges are actually quite stunningly good and the only thing I can find to even slightly improve upon the new Ortofon 2M Red. The Nagaoka is better with slightly heavier tonearms than the Ortofon and delivers a richer sound. You'll hear more music, more detailed refinement to enjoy and savor. At just $200 the Nagaoka MP-110 MP110 is the cartridge to start with and to keep for a long time.
- SuperFine polished elliptical diamond bonded stylus
- Powerful samarium cobalt magnet
- Lightweight aluminum alloy cantilever
- Carbon Fibre reinforced plastic shoe
- Anti-ferro magnetic permalloy shield casing
Living Every Moment
The fundraising sale for the Otago Community Hospice inspired by Leo Jankowski has resulted in Totally Wired being able to make a donation of $5,781
This is a percentage of our total sales for the month of June - individual suppliers chose to provide discounts which we passed on to our clients and matched with donations. Totally Wired also made special donations linked to specific products and a general percentage discount and matched contribution to the hospice for all non-sale items.
The response from all our clients was overwhelmingly positive with sales made across the country and even Australia.
We are proud of both our clients and suppliers for their help in making the June promotion such as success and we hope that the combined contribution will make a worthwhile difference to the Hospice. We also hope it will provide some solace to the family of Leo Jankowski to know that he was the inspiration for this and that many of our clients were touched by his story.
Suppliers that made notable and significant contributions are
Denco Audio (Quad)
Totally Wired Limited
The Terrace Houses
217 Stuart Street
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