April 2020

Best of the show

The Clarity Alliance hosted it eighth annual “Best of Show” awards at The Bristol Hi-Fi Show, presenting awards to five exhibitors for their displays and demonstrations as well as its Honorary Fellowship award, which was bestowed upon Ian Anderson, owner of Billy Vee Sound Systems. Presenting the award, Clarity’s Chairman, Tom Barron, said: “Ian is one of hi-fi’s great characters. He has worked tirelessly to build Billy Vee Sound Systems in Lewisham, London, into a very well-regarded retailer. “And he found time to be a very active chairman of BADA, the British Audio Dealers Association, laying much of the groundwork for the creation of its successor association, Clarity. His huge contribution to the British hi-fi industry makes him a very worthy recipient of the Clarity Honorary Fellowship.”

During the first day of the show, Clarity’s team of anonymous judges visited every exhibitor, to facilitate the presentation of the “Best of Show” awards to five companies, whose efforts in putting on the best displays and demonstrations were considered exceptional.

The awards were presented to: Naim Audio for Best Hi-Fi Demonstration KEF for Best Home Cinema Demonstration Audioquest for Best Presented Room Sony for Best Innovation PMC for Best of Show

Clare Newsome, Marketing Director, Naim Audio collecting Naim’s award

11 A snapshot of the show

Chord Electronics unveiled five new products at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show – the new ULTIMA PRE 2 preamp, ULTIMA 5 and ULTIMA 6 stereo power amps, plus the new 2go streamer/server and 2yu digital interface.

Making its European debut was the new

2go streamer/server and the new 2yu digital interface, two products that herald a new era of Hi-Res streaming, network audio and digital library playback for the Kent-based company in 2020 and beyond.

2go, which was “awarded for innovation” with the inaugural StereoNET Wildcard Award during the Clarity Alliance Awards, is designed to transform Hugo 2 into a fully featured Wi-Fi- and Ethernet-enabled device, bringing the proven sound quality benefits of the company’s proprietary DAC technology to network audio.

Highly flexible for today’s high-end audio systems, it offers four pairs of fully balanced inputs, four pairs of unbalanced inputs, plus two completely independent record loops. Each input has six levels of gain which can be individually selected to prevent large changes in volume when switching between inputs.

Meanwhile, the 2yu digital interface that connects to 2go provides four digital outputs (USB, optical, coaxial and BNC).

Monitor Audio has announced the next generation of its renowned Bronze Series of budget speakers, and they were on display in Bristol. The new range comprises eight models: there are two standmounts (Bronze 50 and Bronze 100) and two floorstanders (Bronze 200 and Bronze 500), with a centre speaker (Bronze C150), rear speaker (Bronze FX), Dolby Atmos speaker (Bronze AMS) and subwoofer (Bronze W10) rounding out the range for AV use.

The new cabinet design for this sixth generation features a modern

profile and a separate contrasted baffle complemented by a choice of contemporary finishes. The new drivers with Damped Concentric Mode (DCM) technology have been intricately engineered to optimise the audio experience. They also pair with the tweeter’s carefully designed Uniform Dispersion (UD) Waveguide to integrate seamlessly into the architecture of the baffle.

Since its launch in 2000, the multi award-winning Bronze Series has set the standard as a class leader and today has thousands of satisfied owners across the globe. Monitor Audio’s Technical Director, Michael Hedges, commented: “I am truly proud of what we have managed to achieve with the sixth generation of our Bronze Series. The performance and build quality are beyond what one would normally expect at this price point and I am certain that our customers will love them.”

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