Tech & Gaming
Audio Esoterica

Audio Esoterica Issue 2 - 2017

Audio Esoterica is a spectacular new high quality publication for the discerning audiophile. Only the very best high-end components are featured, in dramatic photographic layouts that emphasise product design and engineering excellence while the industry’s leaders provide insider insights to Australia’s most experienced audio journalists. Audio Esoterica is all about the very best that the high-end audio world has to offer.

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2 Min.

DOUBLE HELIX AUDIO UNION HELIX 2 TURNTABLE BY MARK DÖHMANN The Helix 1 turntable was our cover star in 2016; now Audio Union has previewed the new Helix 2 at Munich High End and the recent Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show in Sydney. It’s slightly smaller, with a single arm board compared with the original’s two, and a built-in rather than off board motor. Yet Audio Union promises it is still engineered using the processes of Micro Signal Architecture to deliver “unparalleled performance in analogue playback”. And the man himself tells us that Melburnians will be able to hear the Helix 2 at Tivoli Hi-Fi, with the Helix 2’s Schröder CB arm matched with a Garrott Optim Ruby FGS cartridge. More information from: www.telosaudiodistributors.com WAMM BAM THANK YOU MAM WILSON AUDIO WAMM MASTER CHRONOSONIC The…

12 Min.
marantz sa-10 pm-10 sacd player integrated amplifier

Marantz was building classics. The equipment was so thoroughly engineered that once a product was finished, few changes were ever necessary. Marantz audio components have been manufactured continuously since 1952, when the first Marantz product, the Consolette pre-amplifier, went on sale at Harvey Radio’s (now Harvey Electronics) on 6th Avenue in Manhattan. Needless to say, this makes the Marantz brand one of the longest-enduring in the hi-fiindustry. It is also one of the few brands that has achieved both ‘cult’ status amongst audiophiles and electronics engineers, while at the same time being a mass-market multinational marque. There is no better example of this than the fact that if you want to buy a 65-year-old Marantz Consolette in perfect working condition, they’re still available for sale on various second-hand sites, and usually command…

4 Min.
listening session eindhoven

Designer Ken Ishiwata first demonstrated the SA-10 SACD player/DAC and PM-10 integrated amp at Munich High End 2016, but the new Reference Series received its formal launch only at the end of that year. I got to hear these products in Ken’s enviable listening room designed by the late W. Vier — a stretched hexagon-shaped room that combines surfaces that provide absorption, diffusion and reflection in order to provide an analytical yet enjoyable listening experience. On this visit the speakers being used with the Marantz Reference components were the Q Acoustics Concept 500 floorstanders, then only recently launched. Ken is a good friend of those speakers’ designer, Karl-Heinz Fink, and is clearly impressed with the new model. And they did sound pretty fabulous with the new 10 series electronics in this…

12 Min.
dynaudio contour 60

We can hear you all now. ‘Another review of a speaker from Dynaudio’s Contour range?,’ is what you’re all mumbling under your collected breath. Yes, this is a review of a model from Dynaudio’s Contour range, but this is a brand spanking new model, never before seen in Australia, much less reviewed. And when we say brand spanking new, all the drivers in this Contour 60 are newly designed — except for the tweeter — and have never appeared on any previous Dynaudio loudspeaker. Dynaudio has had a ‘Contour’ range since it first started building loudspeakers 40 years ago (yes, 2017 is the company’s 40th anniversary), so it’s the company’s longest-running range. And yes, it has been updated several times over the years. But this is the first time a new version…

18 Min.
nagra ‘classic’ system

There I was, flying my vintage fighter jet across the Swiss Alps when suddenly the engine on the left wing started pulsing ominously. I quickly reached forward to the instrument panel to shut it down, twisting the rotary bar to its... no! wait... it’s all a dream. I’m actually at home, switching a Nagra Classic Preamp to its ‘Standby’ position... You will be able to understand my daydream when you see Nagra’s ‘Classic’ high-end high fidelity products ‘in the flesh’ (so to speak). Their appearance is like stepping back in time to the 1950s... or even the 1940s, because the chassis of these Nagra components are all constructed from thick flat sheets of aluminium that are bolted together, and they all have knobs, switches and controls in styles that seem to…

7 Min.
sonus faber homage tradition ‘serafino’ loudspeakers

The high-end audio sector prides itself on offering designs that don’t agonise through the same restrictions as components pinned at more modest budgetary levels. In the upper tiers, there are freedoms both in terms of production resources and intellectual creativity where an astute designer can stretch the concepts behind adopted technologies. Liberties can also be taken with appearance and design where larger production budgets allow for the use of higher quality materials and components from a technical perspective (drivers and crossover parts), while on a cosmetic level it may mean exotic cabinet materials, finishes and enhancements. Ergo the subject here at hand — both technically advanced and strikingly beautiful. Yes, there are beautiful speakers... and then there’s the Sonus faber Homage Tradition collection. FIERY ANGELS The Homage Tradition range — here the…