Rooms to Visit, Products to Hear…

Design, Build, Listen – Room Atrium 4.2, E223

While the cost of reaching the pinnacle of analogue performance seems to be spiralling ever upwards, there are still a few products offering exceptional performance at real-world prices. The Wand tonearm (from New Zealand producer Design, Build, Listen) is just such a product, offering a range of different lengths and levels of operational complexity to meet your system’s mechanical requirements (and your musical ambitions). This year (shippers permitting) they’ll be joining the “longer is better” club, with the introduction of a 14”, special order only version of The Wand tonearm design. With its composite counterweight and low-mass, carbon-fibre arm-tube, The Wand‘s design should be perfectly placed to take advantage of longer effective length and the promise of reduced tracing-distortion and side-force.

Goldmund – Hall 2, J07 – H14

The ever-inventive Goldmund will be showing not just a new flagship speaker, but a whole new look. The five-way, eight-driver Gaia is DSP adjustable, active and wireless capable – none of which is exactly news. The company has long championed active drive and digital signal transfer, adaptive room compensation and, more recently, their own wireless system. What does set the Gaia apart from established Goldmund practice, is the move from the visually striking yet familiar Z-shaped exo-skeleton to a new, sleeker endo-skeletal structure and, arguably, a more Euro-centric aesthetic.

The Gaia will be on static display, but there will also be active demonstrations of the first product in a new lifestyle series. The two-way, stand-mount Ousia offers the same active, DSP and wireless package as the Gaia, but in a smaller and far more affordable form. A floorstanding speaker, a sub and a system hub will complete the range, creating a versatile, wireless, multi-room capable ‘source-plus’ solution. In a world where the market for separates systems seems to be both aging and diminishing annually, younger music lovers are seemingly seeking more streamlined and integrated music systems. If Goldmund are giving us a peek into the future, it’ll be interesting to see how it performs…

 Nordost – Room Atrium 4.1

With three-years of product development stored up and ready to rock, Nordost’s seasoned demonstrators are spoiled for choice. Given the current popularity of streaming and network replay, perhaps its no surprice that they’ll be concentrating on their QNet network switch, QSource linear power supply and Premium grounding cables. Whether you are a Nordost owner or not, if you are still wondering whether the quality of your network components impacts on the sound quality of streamed music or locally stored files, now’s your chance to find out.

The Chord Co. – Room Atrium 4.1, F107

For all you grounding sceptics and evangelists alike, beetle along to Atrium 4.1, F107, single out a representative of The Chord Co. (They’re English – it should be easy) and if they’re not demonstrating the GroundAray, ask nicely if they will. And bring money! Chord’s incredibly neat and effective grounding solution acts directly at the source of noise, both as a standalone solution and an adjunct to centralized/remote grounding schemes. It’s also possibly the easiest demo any audio dealer will ever do. Like I said – bring money…