Bristol Sound & Vision Show 2011
Welcome to the 2011 Bristol Sound & Vision Show, organised by Audio T in association with Sevenoaks and What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision. The show opens at 10am today and is open from 10-5pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Visit the show and you'll be able to watch our state-of-the-art demo, which this year will be based around 3D and home networking technology. See our news story for full details. And don't forget the test team will be on hand throughout the weekend to answer your hi-fi and home cinema queries.
What's more, there will be hundreds of new products on display, great discount deals and some fabulous prizes to be won in the show competition. And you can download the show app for your smartphone too.
We expect 3D TV to feature prominently at this year's show, so if you're still not convinced by the latest in TV tech, come and see it for yourself. Music and video streaming will also be big news, with the likes of Marantz, Denon, Yamaha and Cyrus showing off their latest network systems.
Cutting-edge 3D tech, Blu-ray, streaming systems, wireless multiroom, and products designed to take your music and make it sound even better – it will all be on display, with 178 exhibiting brands confirmed so far.
The show takes place at the Marriott Hotel, Lower Castle Street, Bristol BS1 3AD. Tickets are available on the door for £9 (adults) and £6 for students and senior citizens. For the first time this year, two-day tickets will be available for £15 (£10 for students/senior citizens). Accompanied children under 16 are free. More details on the show website.
Here's a sneak preview of the exciting new products you will be able to see in Bristol, so keep visiting the site for the latest updates. Exhibitors include:
Breaking cover at Bristol will be AE's new Compact speaker (below). This mini monitor has a braced wood-fibre cabinet and new driver array designed to deliver "unsurpassed sound on a budget". The NEO range is also extended with a new range-topping floorstander, the NEO 4. AE says all its products will be offered "at very special prices" throughout the show.
AE Compact mini monitor
Audioning for the first time at the show is the Aurousal Vivide standmount speaker, successor to the Aurousal A1. It has the same full-range driver as its predecessor, but comes with a fully adjustable neodymium tweeter. Also on demo will be the VS (Virtual Source) floorstander.
Acoustic Insight C1
Air Audio Distribution
Air Audio will demo its Astin Trew range of affordable AT electronics (amps and CD players) and introduce its new flagship range, Concord.
There'll also be new speakers from Audience, turntables from Acoustic Signature and high-performance cables from Vovox. In particular, 'TheONE' – a diminutive speaker from the Audience ClairAudient range – will make its UK debut.
It will be on show alongside the new stand-mounted ClairAudient 2+2. Air Audio is promising "generous discounts" on any products bought at the show.
You'll be able to hear Analysis Audio's Omega Planar-Ribbon speakers at Bristol for the first time, partnered with NAT Audio amplification.
Anthem AV Solutions
Once again Anthem AV has teamed up with SIM2 to create a pair of state-of-the-art home cinema systems. The lifestyle system uses Paradigm reference MilleniaOne satellite speakers and MilleniaSub, teamed with brand-new Anthem MRX receivers and Anthem Room Correction.
For the "ultimate 3D experience", the main cinema demo features the new SIM2 C3X Lumis 3D projector combined with Anthem Statement and Paradigm Reference electronics. New product launches at the show include the Anthem MRX 300/500/700 receivers, the Paradigm Reference MilleniaOne sub/sat speaker system and Paradigm PDR-W100 wireless subwoofer.
Paradigm MilleniaOne sub/sat speaker system
Star of the Arcam stand will be its brand-new FMJ AVR400 7.1, 3D-ready AV receiver unveiled at CES in January. It slots beneath the AVR600 and AVR500 models (£3500 and £2500 respectively) at a more affordable £1700. Should be in UK dealers by early February; you'll be able to see and hear it at the show.
Check out the latest models from Q Acoustics, NAD, Myryad, Conran Design, Epson and the Cinema Pro system in the Rome Suite. The Award-winning Q Acoustics 2000 Series 5.1 speaker system will be put through its paces by the newest NAD home cinema amp and Blu-ray player, with QED cabling.
You'll also be able to see Conran Design's first iPod dock, the Simple Audio high-definition audio system (a Sonos rival) for streaming music from iTunes/internet radio etc, and the Myryad MI system with its new matching A170 speakers.
Using Chord Electronics and Vivid speakers, Atlas Cables will be demonstrating its award-winning cables and connection products, researched and designed by Atlas and hand-made in the UK at the firm's purpose built factory.
On show will be the Mavros and Asimi cable ranges, HDMI cables, Atlas Eos power products – including the new Rhodium power plugs for the UK – as well as the new Ascent Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) balanced and unbalanced audio cables and new Hyper analogue and digital interconnects.
Audiolab is still finalising its plans for Bristol, but has confirmed it will be showing its 8200 range of electronics alongside a new high-end range of speakers from Wharfedale, also owned by parent company IAG.
Audiolab 8200CD player, our 2010 Product of the Year
Henley Designs will launch the Audio-Technica Solid Bass Series ATH WS-50 and WS-70 headphones at Bristol, along with the retro ATH-RE70 model. The WS-50/70s use a new Dual Chamber mechanism to extend bass response, and are fitted with 4cm drivers. They cost £69 and £129 respectively.
The ATH-RE70 (below) is based on the company's ATH-2 design introduced 30 years ago. It has a 4cm driver and off-white earcups with brown leather detailing. They cost £79.
Bowers & Wilkins
Another UK first will be the introduction of B&W's £500 Zeppelin Air, compatible with Apple's AirPlay wireless streaming system. First unveiled at CES, Zeppelin Air allows you to stream music wirelessly from your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch or iTunes to one or several Zeppelin docks around the home, creating an instant multiroom system.
B&W will have a live Zeppelin Air/AirPlay demo at the show. To book your place at the demo, follow this link.
B&W Zeppelin Air
Not seen these before? They're Cabasse's distinctive iO2 floorstanding speakers and you'll be able to see them in 2.1 configuration, along with the Santorin 25 subwoofer. The iO2s have a 16cm spherical enclosure and are available in pearl or black pearl finishes, attached to light oak, wenge wood or metal stands. They can also be used in multichannel set-ups.
Also on show will be the Cabasse MC40 Java SCS (Spacially Coherent System) floorstanding speakers, available in cherry or purple cherry finishes for £1398/pair, or a limited edition piano black finish for £1698.
Cabasse iO2 speakers
Centrepiece of the Canton room will be ts new Movie CD 1000.2 5.1 home cinema system, partnered with an Optoma 3D projector. For hi-fi purists, there'll be a cross section of the firm's stereo speakers, including the Reference 9.2 (£2300) and relatively entry-level Chrono SL-250 (£599).
Canton Chrono SL-250 £599
Need some new cabling for your hi-fi or home cinema system? The Chord Company will have its entire range on display in the foyer, and the company's staff will be on hand to offer advice and answer your questions.
Chord says it will unveil "an exciting new component that has brought dramatic improvements to both our analogue and digital cables" at the show. And if you pick up a ticket for the Chord Cable demo you'll be entered into the Prize Draw in which you could win one of five pairs of Chord Chorus 2 interconnects.
Chord Sarum interconnect
Not seen Chord's cute Chordette range yet? Then don't miss it – the Peach, Scamp, Gem, Toucan, Mogul, Dual and Toucan Blue will all make it to the show. What's more, the new Chordette Carry and Maxx will make their world debut.
And Chord will be sharing its room with Dynaudio, so you can also hear the Dynaudio DM 2/6 speakers in action.
Chord Chordette system with iPad control
Hot news on the Cyrus stand will be the world debut of its forthcoming streaming music players. They have a full colour screen, two-way control and a specially designed interface, making them "the perfect answer for music enthusiasts and for those seeking a lifestyle solution", says Cyrus. More details in our news story.
Being one of the first to announce its support for Apple AirPlay last year, Denon will demo the system using one of its AirPlay compatible systems, such as the CEOL micro system shown below.
Denon CEOL micro system with AirPlay
If your cherished turntable is in need of some new vinyl, there's nowhere better to look than the Diverse Vinyl stand. The firm is a Bristol veteran, and has an eclectic selection of records to choose from.
It sells brand-new vinyl, 180g reissues and other audiophile formats such as SACD and XRCD.
This year it has three new releases from its own record label, Diverse Records: Fionn Regan's The Shadow of an Empire, Cowboy Junkies Demons and Laura Marling's I Speak Because I Can (nominated for a Mercury Music Prize).
Bristol will be your first chance to clap eyes (and ears) on the Elac 243 speakers in room 218. Just along the corridor in room 210 Nordost will demo its new range of Leif interconnects, along with Atacama's brand-new Genisis hi-fi rack.
Elac 243 speaker
Like many of its rivals, Norwegian hi-fi specialist Electrocompaniet is embracing the age of digital music with the release of its PD-1 DAC (digital-to-analogue converter). It's designed to improve the sound quality of digital music sources such as computers, iPods and streaming devices, and is fitted with a USB port. An optional Music Streamer connects to your laptop/PC and will stream music wirelessly to the PD-1.
Electrocompaniet Prelude DAC £1250
DACs are all the rage these days, and Exposure will use the Bristol Show to unveil its new 2010S2 digital-to-analogue converter. It has six inputs including one USB, selectable filters and the option to enable an internal volume control to allow direct connection to a power amp.
Visitors will also be able to see the rest of Exposure's 2010S2 and 3010S2 electronics ranges.
Highlights will include the miniature XS Book and Bird speakers, plus the all-new Beryllium adorned Viva Utopias.
Gecko AV furniture plans to expand its range at this year's Bristol Show. The company's Reflect and Impro cabinets will become available in a gloss walnut finish, with the option of a black glass top. As an alternative, a gloss white finish will be made available this spring.
The OME1200 TV stand will also get a gloss walnut finish, while the Gecko Omega will be offered in gloss white and gloss red.
Gecko Reflect 1100 TV cabinet in walnut
Henley will have two rooms to showcase the latest products from Roksan, Pro-ject, Olive, van den Hul and Audiovector. One of the stars will be the new Olive 6HD Music Server.
Visitors will also be able to buy Ortofon cartridges, van den Hul cables, Roth speakers, Audio Technica headphones and cartridges as well as Lehmann phono and headphone preamps.
It's no secret that we're big fans of the Hi-Fi racks range, having handed them an Award or two, and new for 2011 is the firm's range of piano black finish racks which make their first appearance at Bristol. Made in Oakham, Rutland the Podium range comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the company will even customise them to meet your exact requirements.
Award-winning Hi-Fi Racks
Visitors to the IAG room will witness the European debut of Wharfedale's new Jade speaker range, which takes it back into the £1000+ category. They'll be on demo with the all-new Audiolab 8200CDQ and Audiolab amplification. Three further Jade models, the 1, 3 and 7, will be on static display.
Take a listen to the JAYS headphone range, including the Swedish company's Four iPhone headset, plus One, Two, Three and t-JAYS in-ear models.
JVC is bringing a trio of new 3D-ready D-ILA projectors to Bristol: the DLA-X3 (below), DLA-X7 and DLA-X9. All three are compatible with JVC's PK-AG1 active-shutter 3D glasses. Also making its debut is the firm's first Full HD 3D camcorder, the GS-TD1.
JVC DLA-X3 3D-ready projector
Oslo Suites 1 & 2
If you read the magazine or website, you'll already know our verdict on KEF's new Q300 speakers (hint: we rather like them!). You'll be able to suss them out for yourself at the show, and also get a glimpse of the new super-slim T series speakers, which recently won a CES Innovations Awards in the US.
KEF will also be joining forces with Onkyo to demonstrate the latter's Reference hi-fi components with KEF's Reference 203/2 speakers in room 234.
KEF's new Q300 speakers
Highlight of the Kudos demo will be its new flagship speaker, the Titan T88, developed from its prototype Titan project shown last year. Joining the Titan T88 will be a selection of models from the rest of the Kudos range.
Back in November, French speaker manufacturer Elipson announced it would be bringing its Planet L range to the UK, and it will form the centrepiece of its demo at Bristol.
The Planet L is a revival of Elipson's original spherical speaker, and is the result of two years research and development. It features a bass reflex enclosure made from an inert glass-fibre resin compound and finished in a choice of three gloss colours: red, white and black.
Also on the Lawton stand at Bristol will be Parrot's Zikmu iPod dock system, designed by Philippe Starck, and AKG's latest headphone range, endorsed by Quincy Jones.
Elipson Planet L: £599 a pair
Our £2000+ Best Buy amplifier, the Tucana II, will be demonstrated with Leema's third-generation Antila multi-DAC CD player, the Antila IIS (pictured). For those who want a further step-up in performance, Leema will be running the Pyxis preamp and Hydra power amps.
And if that lot is outside your budget, you'll also be able to hear the entry-level Stream III CD player and matching Pulse II amplifier.
Leema Tucan II amp and multi-DAC CD player
Brand ambassador Ken Ishiwata will be on hand to demo the KI Pearl Lite range of hi-fi components, as well as AirPlay.
Marantz KI Pearl Lite amp and player
This is your first chance in the UK to see Meridian's new trio of compact digital devices: the Sooloos Media Core 200 server, DSP3200 active speakers and Audio Core 200 preamp. All three are making their UK debut, having first broken cover at CES in January.
Meridian will also be running demos throughout the weekend of February 25-27th at Sevenoaks Sound & Vision, 92b Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2QN.
Meridian DSP3200 and Audio Core 200
Regular posters on the whathifi.com Forums have been keen to get a glimpse of Monitor Audio's new GX speaker series: well here's your chance. The full Gold GX range will make the trip to Bristol, alongside the Bronze BX line-up.
The new Monitor Audio GX family
Bristol Suite; Rooms 116 & 118
See Naim demonstrate its new Ovator speaker range: the Ovator S-600 and S-400 will be paired with system's from Naim's Classic Series and XS Series, all demonstrated on the firm's newly updated Fraim kit support system.
And visitors to the first floor will also be treated to a demo of the new NDX network player (below). The NDX is Naim's first standalone, network-connected audio streaming source and caters for "the audiophile who wants the convenience of access to stored digital music with the performance of a high-end separates source".
Naim Label will be selling its latest recordings in the foyer, including Naim Jazz, Naim Edge and Naim Classical.
Naim NDX network player
Hi-fi enthusiasts will be the first in the UK to see NAT Audio's Transmitter Class A Triode valve monoblocs, rated at 120W. They use a single QB5/1750 directly heated Tetrode, configured as a Triode, driven by 6N1P-V1 and 6N30-DR NOS valves. Additional components include Vishay resistors, special Teflon capacitors and pure silver wire.
The company will have an exclusive preview of an as-yet-unnamed new product, as well as a demo of some great music.
Check out the Onkyo room if you want to see its new Reference series of high-end stereo separates, comprising a 192kHz/32-bit preamp, CD player and power amp – all making their UK debut. You'll also get the chance to experience Onkyo's range of home cinema receivers, hopefully including its new 2011 models.
Peachtree will share its room with Canton, and will demo the Nova as the heart of an all-digital system. Peachtree says the Nova will be shown as both a standard integrated amp and also operating as just a DAC and preamp feeding a separate power amp.
Peachtree Nova forms part of an all-digital system
"Be enthralled by Philips 3D TV for the ultimate cinematic viewing experience. Be blown away by real-life depth and realism in Full HD resolution." That's the claim Philips is making for its 3D HD TV technology showcase, with a sneak preview of its LCD/LED 8 and 9 Series sets. Come and see it for yourself.
Rome 2 Suite
There'll be a full complement of Pioner products on display, including the Award-winning VSX-LX53 and VSX-LX83 multichannel receivers, new 3D Blu-ray players – the BDP-430 and BDP-LX54 – and X-HM50 micro system.
Pioneer's stand will also incorporate a headphone experience wall, where visitors can try out the company's extensive range of headphones.
At the heart of PMC's stand will be the recently launched Bryston BDP-1 digital music player, a device that can handle high-definition music files stored directly from a USB storage device.
For added flexibility the unit may also be connected via an ethernet port to a home network, where the built-in Bryston-Mini and Bryston-Max web apps can be accessed from the browser of a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad or other SmartPhone to offer enhanced control, including creation of personalised playlists.
As for PMC itself, it will demo the fact.3 and fact.8 floorstanding speakers, while the PB1i Signature gets its world debut.
Bryston BDP1 network player
ProAc says it has spent months of intensive R&D on its new Tablette Anniversary speakers (£1250), which feature a new Kevlar mid/bass driver and 20mm silk dome tweeter. The result, the company claims, is "bass weight and crystal clear midrange abilities that will amaze you". Come and judge for yourself in room 216.
German speaker specialist Quadral will use the Bristol Sound & Vision Show to mark its return to the UK market. Quadral will bring its entire product range to the UK and Ireland. It's in the process of establishing a new dealer network and will release further information at Bristol. The company has already secured a UK distributor, based in the Midlands.
Models coming to the UK include Quadral, Aurum, Quintas, Aluma and Titan. New for 2011 is the Aurum Vulkan VIII floorstander (pictured) which employs Quadral's own patented 'Altima' membrane midrange and woofer drivers, 17cm and 32cm respectively, housed in a pressure chamber for "deep, clear and punchy bass".
Visitors to the show will be able to enter a competition to win a pair of Quintas 404 floorstanding, three-way bass reflex speakers.
Quadral Aurum Vulkan VIII
Expect the usual range of funky-looking stands and racks from Quadraspire, including the Q4EVO and SVT models, alongside CD and LP storage solutions.
Quadraspire racks turn on the style
New from the subwoofer specialist will be the R Series, the company's first new design in four years. Three R models – the 218, 328 and 528 – will be demonstrated in partnership with an Onkyo AV receiver and Blu-ray player, Optoma HD87 projector and Sonus Toy five-channel speaker system.
In the market for a new pair of headphones? Check out the Sennheiser range, including the in-ear CXC 980i and flagship HD800 models.
Sennheiser HD800 headphones
Expect plenty of cutting-edge home cinema in the SIM2 room, with the main demo area bringing you "the ultimate 3D home cinema projection system" courtesy of SIM's new C3X Lumis 3D projector and Black Diamond projection screen. There'll also be a second, "lifestyle" cinema system in the upper area.
SIM2 C3X Lumis projector
Now this is intriguing. The Realiser A8 is said to be the first product commercially available that implements 'SVS' technology. It's a standalone audio processor that can be connected to virtually any audio system to emulate up to eight speakers around the room. Its maker says the device can be used for listening to music, movies or games. It comes with a pair of STAX electrostatic headphones.
Smyth Realiser A8
The ever-popular Sonos multiroom system gets a full workout at the show where you'll be able to test its abilities with iTunes, Spotify, Napster and thousands of free internet radio stations.
Sonos multiroom music system
Discover the latest innovations from Furutech, IsoTek and Blue Horizon, including Furutech's new ADL GT40 USB DAC, which can handle 24-bit/96kHz h-res files. Also check out Furutech's range of audio cables and Isotek's mains conditioners.
Visitors will have the chance to listen to SP Acoustics' SP1 Signature speakers, hand built in the UK and available in "an almost infinite" number of finishes and colours.
Look out for the new Spendor S3/5R2 (£850) speakers, alongside the existing A5, A6 and A9 models, Spendor ST Carbon and SA1 mini monitor. Bristol will also be your first chance to see and hear the new £1295 A3 floorstanders.
Spendor A9 (far right), best stereo speaker £3000+ Awards 2010
Supra has chosen this year's Bristol Show to launch its new High Speed+ Ethernet cable, a development of its existing HF100 HDMI cable, as well as its new Cat7+ Ethernet cable. It will also show its extensive range of hi-fi and AV interconnects and speaker cables, mains distribution blocks and other accessories.
Bristol Suite 15/Room 306
The Tannoy Revolution DC6T will make its first public outing at Bristol. The Scottish company says Revolution "blends cutting-edge technology with slim and stylish contemporary design". Hear it in room 306.
We'll also be using Tannoy Definition speakers in the What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision demo in the Bristol Suite, with six DC10T towers, DC8s for extra height speakers and a DC centre speaker. That's one demo you can't afford to miss!
Tannoy DC10 speakers will feature in the What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision demo
Positioning your speakers on good quality stands is important, and to that end Track Audio has developed a range of isolation stands in silver or black. It has also created a range of isolation adaptors to replace existing feet on larger speaker stands and kit racks.
Track Audio speaker stand
French manufacturer Triangle plans to introduce its new entry-level Color speaker range at Bristol. We'll get more details at the show.
Check out Unity Audio's The Rock speaker (£2874/pr). Originally designed as a professional studio monitor, it's now available in a gloss black finish for domestic hi-fi use.
Unity Audio The Rock
Van den Hul
It's taken a decade of research for van den Hul to develop its 3T (True Transmission Technology) cable range, which can be found in the following new interconnects: The Valley, The Rock Hybrid and the Hill Hybrid. Prices range from £240 to £725. Find out more in rooms 408 and 409 (Henley Designs).
Kenny White has become something of a legend at Bristol, and once again will be on hand to demonstrate his Okki Nokki (that's Dutch for "thumbs up", apparently) record cleaner. He'll also have Pink Floyd's Division Bell on picture disc, blue and black vinyl, plus Dave Gilmour's Gdansk, Clapton/Winwood Live and rare Jayhawks, Porcupine Tree, Jennifer Warnes and Paul Weller records.
What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision
In time-honoured tradition, the entire editorial team will be on hand at Bristol to help you with your hi-fi and home cinema queries, so feel free to pop along to our stand in the Bristol Suite and talk to one of the tech team.
And of course we'll be running one of our legendary demos, which this year will focus on 3D and home networking technology. You'll also be able to enter the fabulous show competition on the stand – watch this space for further details in the coming weeks.
We'll also be running a series of exclusive THX masterclasses throughout the weekend, in conjunction with THX and Onkyo. Places are strictly limited, so you need to book in advance. Click here for details.
Wilson Benesch is teasing us with the news that it will unveil a new product at the show, but for now is keeping details a closely guarded secret. Other brands on display in the Conservatory alongside WB will include Audionet and Clearer Audio. Expect the world premier of Audionet's new phono preamp, the PAM G2, which will be used to power a Wilson Benesh Full Circle turntable.
Expect a new speaker from Wilson Benesch
WireWorld Cable Technology is expanding its existing range of USB audio cables with two new high-end models, the Platinum Starlight USB and Silver Starlight USB, expected to appear at Bristol. Both cables feature WireWorld’s proprietary DNA Helix conductor geometry and custom engineered carbon fibre and aluminium connectors. Also new are the Terra 6 interconnects and subwoofer cable.
Fresh from CES in America, XTZ is making its first appearance at the Bristol Show with the European launch of its HM800 DSP multimedia speaker system, developed in conjunction with Dirac Research. The two-way speakers hook up to a a 2 x 40W amplifier housed in an aluminium enclosure, which has headphone and subwoofer connections.
Visitors will be able to enter a competition to win an XTZ HM800 DSP system. You'll also be able to hear the XTZ CD-100 CD player (tested in our February issue), partnered with the XTZ Class A-100 D3 integrated amp and XTZ 99.36 speakers.
Win a XTZ HM800 DSP system worth £390
There'll be several star new products on the Yamaha stand, including its new NP-S2000 network player (pictured), alongside the MCR-550 Piano Craft micro system, A-S300 stereo amp (£230) and YSP-2200 Digital Sound Projector we've just tested.
And of course you'll also be able to see the company's popular AV receiver range, including the RX-V767, RX-V1067, RX-V2067 and RX-V3067, as well as the BD-S1067 Blu-ray player.
Yamaha NP-S2000 network player