That was Easter, that was!

Another month gone, another holiday weekend behind us and more drivel from signals in your in-box. In fact, it’s now time for the consumer version of our annual report!

Our year end comes on 30th March so we can see how things have gone. Weirdly, and genuinely unexpectedly, we’ve actually had a very good year. To quote Kevin, who has celebrated his first year working with us, ‘how on earth did that happen?’.

It’s a fair point. We’ve had more than our share of very quiet days. In the meantime, stuff has clearly been going out the door. Huge thanks to all who’ve been buying things. To those of you who have not, 2024 will bring plenty of opportunity to make good! 🙂

New from Accuphase

The DP-750 CD / SACD Player / DAC blew our socks off when we heard it a couple of years ago. Frustratingly, whilst it was significantly ahead of the cheaper DP 570, it was also in a later stage of its life cycle and the new 770 has come along just as we were thinking there was nothing wrong with the old one.

There was nothing wrong but, good grief, the new DP-770 is a whole lot better! Greater clarity, depth, dynamics and colour. The usual areas of development, in fact. I remember us having the latest version of the £43+k two box player at an event a couple of years ago. As I recall, the two box reference player was better than the 750 in remarkably similar ways to what we’ve just been hearing with a borrowed DP-770.

Because of the weak Japanese Yen, the new 770 is actually slightly cheaper than the outgoing 750. It’s also well under half the price of the DP 1000 / DC 1000 combo referenced above. Our new demonstration model is due soon.

Despite being not exactly inexpensive, the new DP-770 could well be the high point in value for money.

Now shown on the Accuphase web site is their new E-700 class A amplifier, the replacement for the much loved E-650.  No pricing is available yet and first shipments will be in June or July ‘24. The upshot is that our fairly young demo E-650 will be looking for a new home in the next few months!

Unexpected new speaker brand

. . . and it’s the oldest UK loudspeaker brand in existence.

The full story is on our web site, the link is below – it’s about a three minute read. Tannoy is an interesting addition to our loudspeaker portfolio.

We’ve been aware of the significant amount of love out there for the brand but had been under the impression that they had stopped trading. It turns out that their attentions had been focussed on export markets, where business has been very strong indeed, and it’s only now, with Symphony Distribution taking on UK sales, that we are being re-introduced to them.

Tannoy are still based in Scotland but have moved from Coatbridge to nearby Hamilton near Glasgow. Build quality and finishing is top notch. Styling is for me perhaps too reminiscent of what old things looked like when I was in my youth . . . but this, it transpires, is now deeply cool.

Read Kevin’s report here

our usual suspects . . .

Kevin, pictured right in the above mugshot has just celebrated his first year working with us. He’s brought a great sense of fun and has certainly put a bomb under our social media content. So well done to him.

He’s already acquired a significant amount of new product knowledge and enjoys having a full ‘sensible’ Rega turntable system ready and playing in the smallest dem room for any unexpected guests.

Where Kevin is undoubtedly one of the more outgoing members of the team, Mick (left) who, from April, is now working with us full time too, is definitely more of a back-room mind set. It had been intended that Mick become a full time Signals employee as part of my self-redundancy plan at the start of 2024 but his other employer needed to delay things.

It’s fair to say that, with four of us in the office, it’s now getting just a little bit crowded . . . just as planned. Oh dear. No pressure, then!

Mick and his wife take their annual summer holidays in their off-grid lakeside cabin in Finland. They hate flying, though, so Mick harboured a plan to build a camper van. We knew something was coming but we were all gob-smacked to see a fairly compact Nissan E-NV200 electric van in the car park the other day. This, we now know, is being converted to provide accommodation for Mick, Kirsi and Wilson (the Labrador) as they cross continents.

This could be worthy of its own youtube channel!

Race to the bottom?

Darling product of audio pundit John Darko over the past many months has been the WiiM Amp pictured above. It’s priced at £299 which, for a 60 watt per channel amp with Hi Res streaming and a frankly ridiculous feature set (including Amazon’s Alexa voice control) is downright remarkable. It can form the basis of very a respectable compact audio system. HDMI ARC allows for seamless A/V integration. It actually sounds pretty good too! Certainly better than makes any sense at the price.
Despite the Amp being the theoretical bargain in the range, the £219 WiiM Pro Plus stand-alone streamer has proved to be even more popular. As an ultra-affordable way to add streaming capability to, say, one of the Rega amplifiers, it’s nigh on impossible to beat.

Control software is nop notch and the brand has hit the ground running in a way very reminiscent of Sonos all those years ago. Packaging and product design has a distinct Apple vibe.

Meze Liric II

In high end headphones, open backed designs usually offer the highest quality sound (air, space etc) whilst failing miserably to do what a lot of people actually need, namely to isolate the listener from the outside world.

A couple of years ago Meze launched the Liric sealed back headphones and now we have Liric II. The old ones were very good, these are well ahead. It really does feel like Meze have ‘squared the circle’ in obtaining a best of all worlds compromise. We’ve certainly been impressed. Pricing is not too silly and we have them on demonstration.

And finally . . . May the fourth

Our open days celebrating our move to Trimley started on May the 4th 2017. Seven years on, we cannot simply let the anniversary of this event pass again. With this May 4th falling on a Saturday, we have no excuse.

Please prepare yourself for some invitations!