Do elegant design, high performance and breakthroughs in value interest you? Then this is certainly your month. With two stunning new turntables from Well Tempered Labs and Thorens, Tivoli’s new models and finishes, new speakers from Monitor Audio and electronics from Rotel, you’re going to be spoilt for choice. And just in, the long overdue new MK2 HRT music streamers.
If you haven’t actually seen or heard a Well Tempered turntable in action, you could be forgiven for questioning how it could actually work at all. For many aspects of its design fly against the conventional accumulated logic of how turntables should be - over engineered to ever shrinking tolerances, unyieldingly rigid, spiked, massive and costly. With setup being a black art restricted to the anointed. But once you take a little time to understand the thinking behind the design, then look at the elegant and economic implementation combined with a few aspects of straight rat-cunning you’ll be on the road to conversion. Read more.
Model 3 in White - the classic Tivoli clock radio gets a makeover in a beautiful modern white finish with silver front plate. All the essentials are still there - the subtly backlit analogue clock, full alarm and sleep features but most importantly the great Tivoli sound - there is no better clock radio on the market - and it's still just NZ$549.
SongBook Spring Finishes - Wake up happy with your new Songbook in a choice of four new cheerful colours. Songbook has a narrow footprint making it ideal for small shelves and easy to pack for travel. Versatile in that it runs off power but you have the option of running it on normal or re–chargeable batteries. Songbook features digital tuning with five pre–sets and an alarm clock. Choose from high gloss Blue/silver, White/silver, Red/silver, Yellow/silver and Black/silver NZ$ $499.
Sharon has got the full story on these new finishes and the soon-to-arrive Tivoli iPod dock here.
Monitor Audio are one of the heavy hitters in the British loudspeaker market, highly regarded for both the quality of their products and their technological abilities. While they cover a broad range in domestic speakers, our interest centers on just two of newest models - the new Sliver RX1 and RX6. These are a complete re-design of previous models, and it is the scale of improvements made that have bough them up to a performance level that we couldn’t ignore. Lean about the new models here.
With a multitude of brands coming into NZ both from Britain and the rest of the world it takes more than a pretty face to stand out. Monitor Audio have poured considerable resources into developing new driver materials and technologies, and have a particular bent for building elegantly proportioned and finished cabinets. The end result is both ‘five star’ sound and value. We aren’t swayed by reviews, but when we hear and see the results for ourselves, we have no hesitation in bringing you a better breed of speaker.
Let’s make a good thing even better. Rotel have a long history of ever improving their entry level components and for 2010 we have the new Special Editions of the 06 series. Which were the improved version of the 02 series. Which bettered the 900 series. Which originated way back then with the little RA820 amplifier which I remember selling absolute truckloads of - almost all of which are still out there giving great service.
You would have to wonder just how much more performance can be wrung out of an $800 amplifier or CD player, but having just got the new models in, we can tell you that, well yes, they can be significantly improved. Small changes can make a big difference; and when those changes are both numerous and to audio-critical components, that difference can be vast. So it is with the Rotel RA-04,05 amplifiers and RCD 06 CD player where time spent tuning, upgrading and switching components has resulted in the SE series, models that share the original’s slim-line good looks and build quality, but take audio performance to the next level. The knowledge and experience gained developing both the high-end 15 Series and 06 SE Series have led to significant changes to the components used, and the sound produced.
*Don’t be afraid to consider the iPod in a dock such as the new Tivoli Connector, Cambridge Audio or Project as a CD player alternative - it can be really good.
After much waiting we’ve finally got stock of the new MK2 versions of the HRT Music Streamers. These have to be the best value for money products we have when it comes to making music. To recap, the Music Streamer is a simple little box that connects directly to your computer via USB cable - it converts from digital to analogue in a far better fashion than the internal electronics in your computer or laptop. And then feeds this music into your audio system. The HRT Music streamer works brilliantly with almost any breed of computer or music software. There are two models - the entry level Music Streamer MK2 at $299 that is the rival of any $1000 CD player. And the Music Streamer + Mk2 at $599 which is literally twice as good again. Michael Jones at www.audioenz.co.nz has some pretty nice things to say about the entry level model right here.
'You're lucky my mate bought his Perreaux from Harvey Norman and it sounds tinny next to the one my brother bought from Totally Wired'
We've got the full story here.
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