Category Archives: Sound Fowndations

What Hi-Fi? High-End Special Issue: Clearaudio and Aesthetix among “the very best hi-fi that money can buy”

The December issue of What Hi-Fi? magazine is dedicated to all things high-end, showcasing products that “may be expensive, but will last for years and provide countless hours of enjoyment.” Among the top picks are Clearaudio’s Innovation Wood turntable and Aesthetix’s Janus and Atlas Signature amplifiers. 
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Need shaking out of your ‘MC tunnel vision’? Hi-Fi Plus reviews Clearaudio’s Maestro V2 MM cartridge

“Clearaudio’s Maestro positions itself as an intentional disruption to shake most shoppers from lurching around with ‘MC tunnel vision’ and have them stop for a moment to consider what a carefully crafted moving magnet product can bring to the table,” writes Buzz Hughes in the October issue of Hi-Fi Plus. So does it succeed?

“Clearaudio’s Maestro has no intention of playing second fiddle to the MC crowd,” says Hughes: “from the first look and touch of the cartridge the Maestro is effectively drawing a line in the sand saying ‘I dare you to find a better value at my price point…’”

Clearaudio Maestro V2 MM cartridge

Hughes takes up the dare and dives straight in with some testing tracks. First up, Roy Ayres’ Change up the Groove album, whose vibrant vibraphone will clearly reveal just how much an MM cartridge can “intrude onto a moving coil’s holy ground sound signature, the treble.”

The results are immediate. “The clarity and depth of the notes coming through the Maestro is unmistakably impressive… there is no stretch or reach to produce the sweet highs and breathtakingly long decay… overlapping and rapid vibraphone strikes take flight and hover in the ether with enough space and time to take them all individually, examine them, and let them float away into a spaciously dark background.”

Hughes puts the bass to the test with Mad Season’s track ‘Wake Up’ on the album Above. “The bass extension was one of the lowest I have heard come through my system.” Not only did it dive Hughes lower than he had been prepared to expect, but the Maestro also “opened up the texture on the bass as well as revealing quivers and shimmers of low frequency sound that simply were not there before.”

In his evident enjoyment of the Maestro, Hughes confesses to being very much a fan of a “front row and centre of aisle” style of musical presentation, appreciating the way that the cartridge “pushed me right up into the act and let me feel like I was holding the bands’ microphones and amps.”

Does this mean that the Maestro lacks a certain subtlety? Not at all. “While [it] excels with driving, pumping music like MM cartridges are reputed to do, I found that the real strength of the Maestro cartridge is the ability to control its power and still achieve a neutral canvas for the other aspects of my music regardless of genre.”

“One of those special cartridges that is smart enough to do it all and makes you want to buy more LPs instead of more equipment.”

Read Hughes’ full review in the October 2017 issue of Hi-Fi Plus.

Discover more about Clearaudio’s range of phono cartridges.

Track down your nearest Clearaudio dealer via UK distributor Sound Fowndations.

New Furutech NCF Booster performance-enhancing cable and connector holder

PRESS RELEASE

Following rave reviews in the Japanese press, initial production runs of Furutech’s new NCF Booster sold out to industry insiders before even making it as far as audio retailers’ shelves. Fortunately, the company has since increased production and now the NCF Booster is ready for international release.

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“A conceptual masterpiece”: Clearaudio’s Concept deck comes out on top yet again in What Hi-Fi?’s latest group test

“If you’re not familiar with the Clearaudio Concept turntable by now, the concept is essentially getting the most exceptional sound you can from your records at this price,” says the November issue of What Hi-Fi?, as the magazine tests four of the best record players in the mid-range budget.
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Record breaker: Clearaudio Concept deck scoops a seventh What Hi-Fi? Award!

The worthy recipients of What Hi-Fi?’s coveted Best Buy Awards have just been revealed for 2017 and one small yet stunningly-formed turntable has won again – for the seventh time!

Hearty congratulations to Clearaudio, whose ever-innovative Concept turntable is once again winner in the category ‘Best Turntables £800-£1,200’.

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Gamut amplifier and DS Audio phono cartridge scoop The Absolute Sound’s Golden Ear Awards 2017

The September issue of US-based audio magazine The Absolute Sound is out now, revealing winners of the Golden Ear Awards for 2017. Published annually, the Awards give The Absolute Sound’s staff and freelance writers the opportunity to choose those components that are “truly great” and “that stand out from the competition”.

Among the worthy winners in 2017 are Gamut Audio’s M250i mono power amp and DS Audio’s DS 002 optical phono cartridge.
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Beyond the ordinary: Clearaudio Ovation turntable in Red Bull’s The Red Bulletin

Red Bull’s monthly magazine The Red Bulletin features out-of-the-ordinary stories from “the world of Red Bull and its playgrounds” spanning sports, culture and lifestyle.

In home entertainment, the September 2017 issue includes an Inner Space photo shoot featuring “the best tech for kicking back in your pad.” For the audiophile, The Red Bulletin’s exclusive selection includes Clearaudio’s Ovation turntable with its timeless minimalist design.
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The Concept and the Essence: two sub-£1,000 Clearaudio MC cartridges are put to the test in Hi-Fi Choice and Hi-Fi News

Clearaudio’s Concept MC and Essence MC are the most affordable entry points to the brand’s range of moving coil cartridges, priced at £650 and £960 respectively. The former was recently pitted against five higher-priced rivals in a Hi-Fi Choice group text, while the latter was reviewed by Adam Smith for Hi-Fi News. How did the pair fare?

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Furutech’s new destat III effectively eliminates dust and static from analogue & digital media & components

PRESS RELEASE

Japanese cable and accessories experts Furutech continue their assault on the various unwanted ‘intruders’ that can get in the way of peak hi-fi performance. The new destat III effortlessly eliminates dust and static from analogue and digital media, from audio and video components and, well, from pretty much anything….

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