Notes from the show

Last June, I attended the North West Audio Show again, at Cranage Hall in Holmes Chapel. My old schoolmate Chris was there with me too, like last year.

It was great to see so many people there; the show was bigger than ever. Despite the popularity of videos and gaming, hi-fi can still draw an audience, which is nice to see. However, I’m not as mobile as I used to be, so we decided to cherry-pick, instead of trying to see every room. There are too many to see – and hear! – in one day.

This blog is so late because I misplaced my notes. I want to post this anyway, though, to pass on my impressions of a small handful of particularly impressive products. Impressive enough, I think, to justify such a long delay before publication.

I’m not quite sure about the names here, but in the Watt room were Markaudio loudspeakers, showing the class D MA-01 power amp and their range of Frugel Horn single-driver speakers.

The amp was offered as a Kickstart on the net, and I saw it just after I’d invested in my new amplifier. Humph! Now they’re available directly, powered by your choice of Hypex N-core modules, and still priced reasonably. They sound good too!

The speakers were also more than impressive, using single full-range drivers in a horn-based cabinet. I would have loved to audition them directly against these:

The new PMC fact.12 speakers were magnificent! Luxman-driven, they sounded good enough to blow your socks off, and to blow your savings on! Everyone who could afford £15k for a pair of speakers should hear them.

And finally, that star of the show: the Chord Hugo M Scaler. I’m not even going to try to explain how it works, but the results are much simpler. I’d love to tell you how it tightens up the treble, and clarifies the bass, and all that stuff. And it does. But the abiding impression that it left me with is that it (delves into the digital data, from where it mathemagically recovers and) restores the beauty to the music.

We heard the music, via a top-flight Chord front end, with and without the Scaler. The differences were very clear and obvious. This is a revolutionary product that anyone who uses digital hi-fi should investigate. It’s the reason why we attend hi-fi shows in the first place.

[No commercial or other association with any product mentioned.]

Notes from the show