Henley Audio made a number of big announcements at the show. One was the arrival of the new Musical Fidelity M8xi integrated amplifier – a separate DAC, pre-amplifier and two monobloc power amplifiers housed within one large chassis.

Changes have been made to achieve higher power, lower distortion and better overall sound quality and the pre- amplifier of the M8xi is designed just as a dedicated pre-amplifier would be, largely operating in Class A and running off its own independent power supply.

French speaker specialist, Focal, displayed its new Chora Dolby Atmos speaker range, including the Chora 826-D floorstanding speaker, the centre speaker and the surround. The new Sub 600P completes the line-up.

Chora 826-D is a loudspeaker equipped with a specific speaker driver that reproduces Dolby Atmos effects: for ultra-realistic 3D soundtracks and total film immersion. Positioned on the top of the loudspeaker, this full-range speaker driver directs the sound towards the ceiling to reflect it back to the listener.

April 2020


The M8xi also features XLR and RCA balanced outputs, for wider system applications. There are variable outputs for connecting to additional external amplifiers, as well as an RCA fixed stereo output. It also boasts a five input DAC, powered from its own dedicated power supply.

Elsewhere, Leema Acoustics demonstrated the Pulse IV and Stream IV, the latest incarnation of its source and amplifier combination, which together delivers CD playback, hi-res audio streaming, an MM/MC phono stage, high-quality DAC, wireless Bluetooth and that all-important amplification. The Welsh company also showcased its advanced music streaming server, Sirius, the five-star Tucana II Anniversary Edition integrated amplifier, and the Elements Ultra phono stage, an update to the five- star Elements.

PMC in Bristol presented a global exclusive to show visitors. Launching an improved speaker family based on its award-winning Twenty5 series range, the Twenty5i series — the ‘i ’ is for ‘improved’ — features two sets of two-way standmount speakers and two two-way floorstanders alongside the three-way Twenty5.26i floorstanders and the Twenty5Ci centre channel too.

Additions include a new tweeter, a re-engineered crossover, different finishes and a brushed rather than polished back panel. The aim for PMC was “to create a more open and expressive sound”, the company said. The new series features a new high-frequency drive unit which is a 19mm SONOMEX soft-dome design, derived from PMC’s premium fact speaker range. Re-engineering has enabled this unit to work down to a lower frequency and widen the optimum listening position, to enable the listeners to enjoy a consistent, ultra-detailed sound with razor-sharp imaging throughout the room.

Maintaining the accurate and smooth response across the drive units are the sophisticated crossovers mounted on military-grade fibre-glass boards. New for the Twenty5i series is a lowering of the crossover point in the two-way models, allowing the LF driver to focus more efficiently on its core frequency range. For added midrange accuracy, the top of the range three-way Twenty5.26i features a third driver dedicated to the mid frequencies, where the critical information is to be found.

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