We are very proud to have the Innuos Zenith MKIII, GigaWatt PF-2, and SGR HiFi Racks featured in this year’s Occasional Buyer’s Guide. Congratulations to each of these fine brands!
“It proposes things that are not available with power strips, above all reducing the background noise to such a low level that it seems that the sound is quieter. One slightly increases the volume which results in a more dynamic, more three-dimensional sound than without a conditioner. But it will be equally important that the bass gains weight and that its mid range gets clearer. And all this combined with the silky, pleasant treble. It offers a push for systems towards a more real, tangible, refined sound that every one of us dreams of - music lovers, fans and aficionados. RED Fingerprint.”
Full review here
“As I have already mentioned, a lot of people wanted to hear the new Innuos Statement Music Server that sells for $13,750. The Statement is the result of everything the people at Innuos have learned about making a computer into a real source for digital music. Its massive power supply has eight independent power rails. Thus, it can offer extremely clean power to the USB board and the clock. The clock, which handles Ethernet and USB inputs, is a 3ppb OCXO and should, in theory, do away with jitter and “phase noise”. The custom motherboard design is intended to sequester and eliminate EMI.
The Innuos music servers have made a believer out of me that the transport, music server or computer that is connected to a DAC is as important, if not more so, than the DAC.”
“The Qln Prestige Three speakers made their debut in the Well Pleased AV room, which was crowded most of the weekend. These speakers incorporate over four decades of speaker research, development, design and construction. Based on the classic Qln Signature 3, they are time-aligned with a leaning cabinet and a truncated pyramid cabinet top that minimizes the baffle area around the divers.
The crossover has been designed with major parts that have also been improved based on years of experience and many hours of listening tests. It’s now hardwired with non-inductive capacitors for the tweeter and high-end and oil-filled capacitors for the woofer with flat foil inductors used at the most critical places. All components are fastened with damping glue, and the remaining coils are baked to avoid any internal component and filter resonances.
At the show, I was really impressed with the pure musicality of the sound from the Prestige Three speakers and with the holistic three-dimensionality of the soundstage. I did not hear this combination of musicality and a multi-dimensional soundstage from many speakers that cost three or four times as much. I think most people came to this room to hear the Innuos Statement Music Server demonstration, but I hope they left with the love I have had over the years for Qln speakers.”
Thank you to all of our friends and colleagues for making RMAF 2018 our most successful show to date!
Below are links to some of the show coverage we received.
“Linnenberg Elektronik’s Telemann is a thoroughly modern DAC-preamplifier with just enough connectivity -- one analog input, five digital -- and audiophile adjustability (selectable digital filters) to satisfy a wide range of listeners. And though it’s put together nicely, it’s not audio jewelry. Its remote control is small and minimalist but works just fine, and the whole kit operated without a hiccup in my system.
But what’s important here is not a successful hunt for a hi-fi trophy but the Linnenberg’s sound. Music came to life through the Telemann, with tonal colors vividly portrayed, a lively jump factor with real transient snap, and soundstage precision to impress your friends. You can get more if you spend a lot more, but I’d want to run an A/B comparison of any such candidate with the Telemann to make sure I wasn’t just getting sound that was different.
Linnenberg’s combination of great specs subjected to final judgments by the human ear has resulted in good things for the Telemann. Compare it with your DAC-preamp of choice and you just may find out that, when the right company is making the product, $5600 worth of sound is all you need.”
Full review here
“After Mark Sossa and I had finished installing all his gear in place of mine, we spent the next few hours trading tracks via Roon, listening, and chatting. What I learned about him and Well Pleased Audio Vida is that, unlike many audiophiles and audio dealers and distributors, he doesn’t have the goal of acquiring more expensive gear as time goes by. Sossa doesn’t trade in budget equipment, but he also doesn’t sell the outrageously expensive gear that’s becoming less and less relevant in today’s world. His goal is to sell products capable of a level of sound quality at least equivalent to that of the super-expensive stuff, at prices reachable by many audiophiles. He does this through choosing his brands carefully, and ensuring that the sonic synergy of those brands’ products is optimal, to result in a sound whose overall quality is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Full article here
Qln Prestige Three is a 2-way floor standing speaker.
Based on the classic Qln Signature 3 design. Such as time alignment leaning baffle, minimized baffle area around the dive units.
Prestige Three offering refined speaker engineering at the pinnacle of a classic 2-way speaker design.
Incorporating over four decades of speaker research, development, design and construction, the Qln Prestige Three carries the legacy of a timeless combination of form, function and performance. Re-engineered to provide an unprecedented high-end 2-way floor-standing audio transducer, presenting truly enticing audio reproduction without any impediment or compromise, packaged in perfect symbiosis and harmony.
The Qln Prestige Three is a 2-way floor standing design where many parts have been sourced from the Qln Signature 3. Cabinet design are at the core of the design principal. Crossover have been redesigned and major parts have been improved due to our experience and many hours of listening tests to seek the best sound matches for this speaker. Every speaker models are unique and every component are carefully selected and matched to each other for the very best sound performance.
As with previous Qln designs. Priority has been set around getting technology out of the way to make music lovers be able to effortlessly concentrate on enjoying the magic of listening to music. Performed by stereo equipment at the very far end of the performance spectrum. At Qln we believe the music should always be in the forefront, not the stereo equipment.
Cabinet and crossover
A slanted baffle provides perfect time alignment between woofer and tweeter. The truncated pyramid cabinet top with its minimised baffle area suppresses any standing waves inside the cabinet also offering improved 3D imaging.
By again basing the cabinet construction around Qln’s unique Qboard® technology, structural resonances are eliminated. The bass reflex port with its trumpet shape at both ends eliminates air turbulence.
Cabinet is de-coupled from the floor via solid feet with cones and pucks constructed out of hard, high damping materials.
The constant impedance crossover has been completely redesigned and hardwired with non-inductive capacitors for the tweeter part and high-end oil-filled capacitors for the woofer part with flat foil inductors used at the most critical places. All components are fastened with damping glue and remaining coils are baked to avoid any internal component and filter resonances. Resistors with high power handling capabilities offer lower noise and temperature stable performance, altogether resulting in perfect timing within the crossover and with low noise throughout the entire frequency range.
Treble and bass/mid-range drivers
The bass/mid range and treble drivers have been specifically selected and custom developed by industry renowned Danish driver manufacturer Scan Speak and offer the latest in 21st century advanced driver technology.
The unique coated Kevlar® bass/mid-range driver with its built-in copper rings in the magnet system offers symmetric drive and higher dynamics in the mid-range concurrently suppressing inter-modulation distortion and resulting in industry leading high-end voice handling and astonishing micro/macro dynamics from a 2-way speaker design. The long stroke woofer with 19mm long voice coil work in a perfect match to the large inner volume that give powerful bass below 30Hz.
Likewise, the unique tweeter offers superb vocal rendition and excellent imaging at all listening positions. Its large roll surround and textile dome diaphragm provides a flat frequency response above 30 KHz with outstanding off-axis dispersion. The unique AirCirc magnet system and its rear chamber eliminate any reflections and resonances.
Cables and speaker connectors
Internal cabling is our own specially design and produced in Sweden. Solid core pure copper wires are wrapped around a polypropylene core with polypropylene isolation. All components are carefully hand selected and individually tested for any deviance’s. Speaker terminals are WBT Nextgen® connector with minimal connection material are used for lower distortion made of silver/copper material.
All parts have one thing in common. Non-resonant behavior from connector, cables, crossover, speaker drivers through the cabinet with the damping feet. This suppresses disturbing noise, offering more and better dynamics with better silence between the tones thanks to the lower noise floor.
The Prestige Three presents a more relaxing sound with remaining details – nothing is added – just pure music!
Impedance: 8 ohms
Amplifier requirements: 25-250 Watt RMS
Sensitivity: 87,5 dB SPL 1 Watt 1m
Low frequency performance: -3dB 28Hz
Cabinet: Qboard® Technology
Terminal: Single wire, WBT Nextgen®
Dimensions (HxWxD): 900x210x420mm, with feet 954x310x483
Weight: 27,0 kg each
Finish: Walnut Piano, Walnut matt, White satin
Strictly balanced architecture
The WIDOR features a completely balanced architecture, with no back and forth conversion. In consequence, two identical amplifiers are employed, one driving the speaker+ and one driving the speaker- terminal. While this doubles costs, it relieves the circuit ground from carrying the speaker return currents, resulting in a clean and unspoiled ground potential.
Ultra wideband design
The high quiescent current design of the pre-amp and driver stages enables a core speed close to 1.5MHz, slowed down only by input and output filtering to match real world requirements. With filters in place, the small signal as well as full power bandwidth (!) measures an impressive 500 kHz. The lower frequency limit is around 0.3 Hz. No coupling capacitors are used throughout.
Inherently low noise
High resolution audio is intrinsically tied to low noise and low distortion. System noise is the lower resolution limit of an analog system, because it determines the smallest signal not masked by a noise floor. Hence, low noise levels and thus a wide dynamic range are desirable. A-weighted output noise measures 20µV for the WIDOR giving a SNR of 126dB or an equivalent of 21 bits!
Regulated power supply
Every section of the WIDOR amplifier is powered by high speed and low noise linear-voltage-regulators. Even the high current drawing MOSFET output stage is supplied by a tightly regulated supply with an instantaneous current capability of +/- 50A. Ripple and noise free supply rails are essential for the low noise operation of the whole amplifier. It further helps to reduce distortion and improves damping factor.
Lateral MOSFET output stage
The lateral MOSFET transistor originally developed by Hitachi in the late 70’s is probably the only semiconductor power device solely made for audio use. Famous for its tube like characteristic and perfect bias stability under any load conditions, the WIDOR uses two pairs of tandem devices in each output stage. The H-bridge output transistor array is energized by a heavy duty toroidal transformer running a bank of 480.000µF storage capacitors.
We are proud to announce our new partnership with world class cable manufacturer Swiss Cables from Entlebuch, Switzerland. We encourage you to take a moment and read over their innovative design philosophy, and core manufacturing principles.
In a high resolution and time-correct audio system, the quality of cables will prove as important as the quality of the active chain components.
Swiss cables products are the result of a complete blank sheet research approach, taking no pre-existent design paradigms for granted and leaving no stone un-turned to find better solutions and offer our clients with genuine sonic advancements and ownership value.
That said, we strictly believe that all theory is void when not confirmed in practice - clearly audible. We are confident that a few minutes listening to the Swiss cables products will convince even the most discerned listeners that these cables establish a new performance benchmark, offering true reference sonics at unheard of favorable pricing.
Selected Technical Highlights
Copper based custom alloy, produced by advanced casting in protective gas environment, tempered to resonance-optimized hardness, conductor surface treated for optimal field propagation, signal flow and energy transfer.
Custom field-balanced conductor geometry, yielding optimal field orientation and signal propagation while avoiding standing resonances found in conventional cable designs.
As a consequence, the signal flows more freely with minimal energy transfer losses and bandwidth equalization effects.
Advanced air-dielectric design, which eliminates MDI* and signal-reflection causing dielectrics and manufacturing methods, thereby avoiding the occurrence of multiple distortion sources and signal altering mechanical compression, damping and uncontrolled frequency curtailing effects found in conventional cables.
*MDI, micro discharge interface distortion. the micro discharge interface distortion effects were discovered - already decades ago - by Dr. Pierre Johannet, a researcher at the french national electricity institute in the context of very comprehensive signal processing research. In summary, MDI results from very steep, high-amplitude ultrasonic spikes which occur during all electrical signal propagation.
At frequencies relevant to audio, this discharge energy can take on sine wave character with significant impact on the audio signal, and can show up as measurable audible distortion by inter-modulation. swiss cables® in addition, MDI creates positive langevin ions (electrically charged particles in the room air), which, besides causing physical discomfort, have been found to obstruct natural sound field propagation in the listening room.
Research into MDI has shown that the majority of modern dielectrics, including the much lauded teflon, plain or foamed, are associated with an increase in MDI.
Listening-selected premium connectors and manufacturing methods
We have reviewed numerous cable termination technologies and countless connectors of different design and material composition to select those which provide the purest signal and overtone preservation, octave to octave energy equilibrium and energy transfer.
Unsurprisingly, we found that simplistic formulas like "minimum metal“ don´t do the complex realities justice and can easily be annihilated by the choice of a single unfavorable manufacturing method or materials. the new Swiss cables signal- and power-line cables are designed for listeners who value true fidelity performance and know it when they hear it. For those, a few minutes with these new generation products will be sufficient to recognize the groundbreaking performance and extreme value offered.
"The role of a quality Hi-Fi rack system should be to provide support and a form of isolation and/or coupling to combat vibrational distortions in order to allow the full potential of your components to shine. In the case of the new SGR Audio Model V Statement racking system, the above mandate has been met to the highest degree. The additive elements of six isolation techniques, most importantly the viscoelastic decoupling, the Corian ‘Energy Sink Isolation Pads’ inserts and the superbly solid machined aluminium supports, in my opinion, have proven themselves to provide worthwhile sonic improvements over the excellent last-gen flagship rack (and every other rack I’ve had in-house, for that matter). Sonically, of particular importance are the exactness in terms of low level detail, the gains in tonal and textural nuance and the added precision in image density and placement.
The above is enough of a clincher in itself, should you be weighing your options when considering the purchase of a top-level racking system. But there’s so much more on offer with the Statement rack. It features solid engineering principles built into its design, it’s beautifully styled and finished (aspects which also apply to the company’s lower rung options), is offered in natural or black aluminium with attractive platform insert veneer options. It’s the result of fabrication with a fervent eye to detail. What’s more, it’s built in Australia by a company which is pulsing with increasing power and interest internationally.
The SGR Audio Model V Statement Hi-Fi racks are a winner of a design and are now staying in situ as an essential component within the context of SoundStage! Australia HQ’s reference system."
- Edgar Kramer
Full review here
The new flagship Innuos music server takes Digital Audio to a new level, building on the award-winning ZENith SE.
Double-enclosure linear power supply
• New power supply architecture designed in
partnership with Dr. Sean Jacobs.
• Separately enclosed AC/DC conversion stage
to isolate transformer vibration and EMI
• Regulation stage within main system
enclosure to shorten the clean DC power path.
8 independent power rails
• Reduces electrical noise generated by
regulators’ voltage conversions.
• An individual dedicated power supply for each
Custom designed components
• Innuos-designed USB board with a dedicated
5V power line.
• Independently powered 3ppb OCXO clock for
higher precision and lower phase noise.
• Ethernet reclocking.
• EMI-Optimised motherboard exclusively
designed for Innuos.
We are proud to announce our official Distirbution partnership with SGR HiFi Racks here in the United States. Featuring 6 levels of rack isolation technology in a beautifully executed design, SGR rack's deliver the highest level of performance for your audio components.
Please visit www.sgrhifiracks.com for more information.
"The fantastic innards showed not a drop of stray solder and instead, large traces, clamps and bolts which were exceptionally orderly. The core circuit is based on multi-stage parallel filtration across seven main blocks. Phase control, surge suppression, DC blocking, compensation battery charging and entry-level filtration are all found in the starter module under the biggest hood next to the IEC socket. Then the current passes through highly conductive and massive C11000 cathode-copper rails to a double buffer loaded with high-quality compensation batteries designed by GigaWatt. The goal here is to increase current efficiency for non-linear loads like power amplifiers and decrease any power differences between the filter's input and outputs. Past this stage and prior to the outputs again via massive copper rails sit three separate sections powered in parallel. Each one is a bit different to work with different loads yet all sport RLC blocks with GigaWatt's proprietary filtering and decoupling capacitors topped with iron-powder core filters."
Full review here
"The sound was lovely, warm and free, with fine depth...a delightfully non-fatiguing winner. - Jason Victor Serinus
"This combination of gear sounded incredibly smooth, resolving, with the right amount of tonal weight and timbre. Instrumentation and voices are precisely localized in the soundscape while effortless relaying quick and heavy dynamics." - Jay Luong
"The Well Pleased A/V room also had me shaking my head in disbelief. I really hit it off with Mark Sossa, the man behind Well Pleased. Charming, full-of-life, and blessed with boundless energy, Young Mr. Sossa hit one out of the ball park with his globally-sourced system: Rethm Bhaava loudspeakers ($4495 - India), Qualiton a50i tube integrated amplifier ($7500 - Hungary), Innuos Zenith SE music server ($7000 - Portugal), Aqua La Voce S3 DAC ($4750 – Italy), Gigawatt PC-3 SE EVO+ power conditioner ($6500 - Poland), and a fine Anticables loom (cable prices not listed - USA). While hardly cheap, the Well Pleased system delivered musical value all out of line with the asking price." - Maurice Jeffries
"The sound was beautifully warm and free from resonance. It floated a fine soundstage with exceptional depth and width." - Jack Roberts
"Another system perfectly suited for a small- to medium-sized room was displayed by Well Pleased A/V (wellpleasedav.com). I was very taken with the Rethm Bhaava ($4,495), a modest-sized speaker with an almost-fullrange 7 inch driver back-loaded to a labyrinth and supported by two eight inch drivers with their own power amp (rethm.com). Will it play metal rock? Maybe. But it will do brilliantly at classical and vocal music, and it’s neither huge nor expensive. If you move from the little room with Falcon speakers, the Bhaava might be the next, and final, step up. The Qualiton A50i ($7,500), an integrated tube amp running KT120 devices, looked and sounded good. (audiohungary.com)" - Richard Weiner
"The big bonus with a monitor like the Qln is that mechanically, we have lower box talk and smaller reflective surfaces to not feed our ears with constant hints of sonic origins. Psychologically, there's a smaller barricade to seeing those musical events which occur right behind the speakers. The more visually obtrusive enclosures get, the more they stand in the way. They take up space which our ears (try to) insist is really occupied by instruments. Closing our eyes removes this conflicting sensory message. But listening with our eyes open, there was no argument that the Signature 3 seemed to stage even more freely than our narrow floorstanding Audio Physic 4-ways. Time alignment, physically inert construction and compact cabinetry all combined to fully liberated 3D programming by the Staging Unlimited Corp. That equals a closer approximation of 'no boxes' with fewer contradictory subliminals. It's why soundstage freaks would love these Swedes when set up accordingly. They really do disappear."
Full review here
"The Telemann is a very well-engineered product and I have to admit I like the simplistic look and smaller form factor. The inclusion of galvanic isolation and a linear power supply is a huge plus. If only some of these higher priced DACs had linear power supplies or the option to use one.
I had a great time listening to the Linnenberg Telemann DAC. Its separation/layering and imaging capabilities are the best I’ve heard from a chip-based DAC. Depending on which digital filter you choose, the tonality of the Telemann could go from neutral and a bit on the brighter side of neutral. It’s smoother and isn’t abrasive or digital sounding like most of the chip DACs I’ve heard in the past. It also has the lowest noise-floor of any of those off-the-shelf DACs.
If you’re looking for a warm/lush/sweet/intimate/cozy DAC, the Telemann won’t be a good fit. However, it’ll pair beautifully with preamp/amps with tube stages and denser/richer sounding components. Regardless, even with solid state amps, I was able to listen for hours without fatigue. The Telemann’s explosively holographic and dynamic nature is simply addictive. It makes the speakers disappear and fills the entire room with wonderful music. Classical, acoustic, and small ensemble recordings sound particularly good. There are gains with higher resolution files such as DSD which has more finesse, incisiveness, and musical articulation. There are just more details in the bends and twists in the music.
That said, there’s plenty of low-end rumble and rhymic delight across all genres. The Telemann never loses its composure when played loud either. I think one of the beauties of this DAC is the seven adjustable filters which allow you to tailor for your system and sensibilities.
The Linnenberg Telemann is insightful, highly resolving, and snappy. Aural presentations are excitingly clear, airy, and pristinely dynamic. You’ll get a real sense of the acoustic space the recording took place in. Most importantly, musicality doesn’t get lost in the transparency and you’re always kept engaged and entertained."
Read more at https://audiobacon.net/2018/03/24/linnenberg-telemann-dac-review-a-german-excitement/#E8TBKrQR22iWUiB0.99