Change is inevitable and to be welcomed. The very nature of innovation is that often we don’t see it coming, especially if locked into a pattern based on past performance. We owe it to you to seek out the very best and most worthwhile products we can find, to explain the reasons behind these choices and allow you to make fully informed decisions. Or to put it more simply, we should all maintain open ears and open minds.
Last month we introduced you to the ultra compact NuForce Icon amplifiers - these have been the most immediately successful new products we’ve ever launched. We’ve expanded upon our original pages with much more detail, especially around the Icon HDP which is proving to be the veritable giant killer.
Now we introduce you to Prima Luna. The contrast between Prima Luna and NuForce couldn’t be greater, yet they are both about providing fantastic sound. Where NuForce have applied radical new technologies and miniturisation, Prima Luna utilize the the original electronic audio device - the vacuum tube. But the trick is that they apply both modern design and manufacturing to produce an amplifier which is completely user friendly and offers a new benchmark for performance at the price - from just under NZ$2500 - which if you read our page here - is far more affordable that you’d expect. The Prima Luna sound is a wonderful blend of room filling richness and revelatory detail that sits perfectly with modern speaker systems and formats. Sound quality that used to be the preserve of the lucky few is now within easy reach if you are prepared to take the time to listen and explore new avenues.
The Tivoli PAL isn’t just the best sounding portable radio around. It’s a real star when the going gets tough with its big rechargeable battery pack giving the best part of two weeks normal listening in between charges. The robust waterproof casing withstands the knocks and the easy analogue tuning means you get on-station quickly and stay there.
The PAL is the most sensitive model in the Tivoli range and will drag in signal almost anywhere in the country with both FM and AM. For added security you gan get additional battery packs off us and it’s worth knowing you can run or charge up a PAL from any 12v DC source when the power is out for extended periods.
Apart from it’s obvious mobility the PAL radio has a number of uses. It can used as a speaker for just about any source via it’s 3.5 input. You can enjoy quiet listening through headphones or use the headphone stereo output to run your PAL into your main music system as a radio tuner. Interestingly the sound is so accurate we have a number of PALs out there working as speakers. The Zoology Department of the University of Otago use them to study frogs! Farmers listen to them in their tractors, teenagers adore them, sport fans take them to cricket to listen to the commentary while watching the game. Everyone loves their PAL!
Choose from a range of colours including high visibilty red - all at just $NZ399. Find out more about the most popular model in the Tivoli range here
Cambridge Audio have absolutely nailed it with their new iPod dock. This is a true digital dock - the iD100 bypasses the iPods low performance internal DAC and retrieves raw digital data from the iPod over the USB bus connection on the base. This data is then sent through a master clock circuit. This dramatically reduces the jitter normally associated with USB audio streams and provides an audiophile quality digital output from any iPod or iPad.
When combined with a suitable DAC (the Cambridge DACmagic, Firestone Spitfire or NuForce HDP being obvious contenders) the performance of any iPod is lifted to a level of seriously good CD player. Having had plenty of time with the Wadia 170, we can safely say the Cambridge is better again.
The physical build quality really warrants comment - the solid aluminium extrusion that forms the top of the iD100 could be carved off a seriously expensive amplifier - there is nothing plasticky about the Cambridge product. Even the remote control betters those found with many $3000 components.
Cambridge Audio appears to be first with a dock that deals both elegantly and practically with both iPad and all iPod models. To do this, to redefine iPod performance and to complete the mission at a price far lower than any competition is a remarkable feat. Just take a look at the back panel.
1. Power connector (power supply included) and the USB socket is for easy syncing.
Available now at NZ$499 in both silver and black finishes from Totally Wired.
Gary Morrison and Ross Stevens front the newest NZ made venture - PureAudio - Gary's original Craft amplifiers are a legend and his merger into Plinius resulted in the range of Class A products that put New Zealand on the high end audio map. Ross Stevens was responsible for Perreaux's best and most distinctive designs then applied his expertise to Plinius line with even better results. Together they are about to reshape the the NZ audio landscape and bring no-compromise sound quality back to the foreground with a series of pre and power amplifiers.
We’re hoping to have samples of the new products in the next few weeks. I recently spoke with Gary and he summarized their intentions…”we are not focussed on the price competitive middle high-end market, but rather on the more specialized upper end. We're pure analogue, not touching anything digital. Products built to last, and to be serviced easily if the need ever arises. We're actually anti-consumerism. We want our customers to buy something they will keep for a very long time…” This sounds very much like us. And you?
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