National Audio Show 2016, Whittlebury Hall

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Graham Audio is fast becoming the go-to brand for all things classic British in loudspeakers. Recently revising the Chartwell name for the LS3/5, the brand also recently announced its VOTU floorstanding loudspeaker. A significant departure for the company, this tower and all its BBC derived designs were impressing many at the show. We hope to look at the VOTU soon…

On the amplifier front, Whittlebury Hall saw the first ever trip abroad for the new Unico 90 integrated amplifier from Unison Research, a 100W hybrid valve/MOSFET variant of the company’s popular £4,000 Unison 150. This was the first version of the amp outside of its native Italy. The price of the new model is still to be confirmed.

Also distributed by Henley Designs, Roksan made a special version of its popular £1,900 Radius turntable, this time in pink with a pink-toned tonearm. The reason for the colour scheme? A donation to Breast Cancer Care is made for each pink sample sold.

Staying with turntables, the new £2,295 Prelude by newcomers Planalogue looks very promising, with great accent on energy dispersion in both the constrained layer plinth and the vibration damped standalone motor pod. This Oxford built turntable was sounding great, playing through an Abis tonearm and Hana moving coil cartridge.

In the headzone open-plan headphone section, most of the products on show had been seen before, with a few notable exceptions. The Schiit Audio Jotunheim headphone amp/preamp (see: http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/first-listen-schiit-audios-new-jotunheim/) had its first UK outing, playing both Mr Speaker’s finest headphones, and on loan to AKG, to showcase its new £1,100 K872. This is essentially a closed back version of the popular 812 headphone.

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