This year the Bristol Hi-Fi Show was back with a bang.
With rooms packed with eager listeners hearing the finest audio from hundreds of global brands both big and small, it’s a reminder of how this show caters for all hi-fi fans from those starting out on their audio odysseys, to experienced music fans with seasoned systems.
Also in abundance was a positive and welcome atmosphere from every brand, distributor and showgoer, highlighting the shared passion across the industry.
Henley Audio had plenty on offer with some tantalising soon to be released Musical Fidelity gear, including the stunning turntable above and M6x BPC1200 Balanced Power Conditioner alongside the M6 X250.7 7 channel power amp.
Pro-Ject’s Colourful Audio System was equally eye-catching. This one was in yellow, with five other colour schemes to pick from.
Bristol also saw the return of one of the most admired vinyl brands of modern times, with Funk Firm Founder Arthur Khoubesserian announcing the return of Pink Triangle via a new deck which sounded as stunning as it looked, leading to packed listening sessions and demonstrations throughout the show.
Handmade in the Malverns, Coppice Audio is all about sustainable products with its speakers crafted from locally sourced solid ash.
Bristol wasn’t all about the playback kit, with Newport’s finest Diverse Vinyl fulled stocked and ready to sate every showgoer’s LP appetite.
Already gaining a respected reputation, the family run Moor Amps had both its Angel-6 and Angel-4 Class AB power amps on demo, alongside its matching Angel-Pre.
The loudspeakers are the company’s own prototypes which looked superb in the brand’s blue livery.
SUPATRAC was drawing in the crowds with its revolutionary Blackbird tonearm that’s set to challenge many of our vinyl preconceptions.
Rotel’s award winning RA6000 and DT6000 were providing the audio juice to Bowers & Wilkins’ latest 703 S3 (floorstander) and 705 S3 (standmount) loudspeakers with impressive results. Look out for our upcoming review of the former in the weeks ahead.
REL Acoustics has been busy of late, with no less than ten new models on demo since the last the last Bristol Show.
UK Sales Manager Rob Hunt proudly talked us through REL’s devotion to detail applied to the Carbon Special model, right down to how its top plate badge has been engineered with acoustic principles to its underside, ensuring the model’s bespoke cabinet and 1000W NextGen5 Class D amp perform without compromise.
One of the most recognisable turntable designs of modern times, Michell Engineering was out in force with its iconic Gryo, Orbe and Tecnodec on demo alongside ProAc Response D2R loudspeakers.
International Audio Group showcased the latest products from a range of its brands, including Mission and Audiolab.
Renowned Product Designer Peter Comeau was also on hand to talk through his latest creations, including Wharfedale’s newly released vintage inspired Dovedale standmounts.
Continuing the no-nonsense loudspeaker vibe, ATC’s SCM50A loudspeakers had a commanding presence in its demo room, with partnering ATC electronics.
Bristol saw the return of another iconic brand, with Transcriptors debuting its all new turntable that’s built on the brand’s famous designs of old, with Michael Gammon following in his father’s footsteps.
The deck was the front end of a system serving Dali’s imposing Opticon 8 MK2 loudspeakers, a three and a halfway design, complete with hybrid ribbon/dome tweeters.
The lights were low for Primare in Karma-AV’s demo room, as its SPA25 Prisma nine-channel integrated AV amplifier (and eleven-channel AV processor) demonstrated how the brand is equally capable with home cinema setups.
From the steel city, Wilson Benesch had a full system on show with A.C.T 3zero loudspeakers and IGx Infrasonic Generator.
The vinyl front end was a long discontinued Wilson Benesch Turntable from 1989, hinting at what the brand has in store for future product development.
One of the most frequent brands quietly displayed across many a Bristol hotel room was the handiwork of Hi-Fi Racks, whose beautifully crafted wood stands show that stability can also be stylish.
Fyne Audio treated us to a detailed demo of its Vintage range with both extremes covered via its Vintage 15 and Vintage 5 models, with their numbering dictating the diameter of their point source drive units. Hearing London Grammar’s Wicked Games cover on the big 15 models was something else.
Cable King Graham Nalty of Black Rhodium fame had a wealth of wires on offer from under £30 and up, which looked great value.
All the way from Skanderborg, Denmark, Dynaudio‘s Otto Jørgensen was on hand to discuss the designs that have given the Danish company such an envied product line.
Its active Focus models were on demo, with a full suite of Emit and Confidence models to admire too (including the Confidence 50 model we tested last year).
The Chord Company laid on some excellent demos of its latest mains treatment models which have seen significant R&D investment to bring tangible benefits to our systems.
Origin Live had a stunning series of turntables on display.
McIntosh’s MC451 dual mono power amp was hard to ignore and looks stunning in the flesh in all its green bottled glory.
It’s not often you see so many of Italy’s finest from Sonus faber in the same space, looking equally sophisticated in a range of finishes.
Well laid out cable display from Kilmarnock’s Atlas Cables makes choosing the right one easy, with a range of prices and options available.
Acoustic Energy was flying its flag with the multi-driver AE520 model, festooned with no less than 6 drive units, made up of a 25mm tweeter, flanked by two 125mm midrange drivers and a trio of bass drivers, all housed in a slim, elegant cabinet.
A show to remember
A huge thanks to all the organisers, brands that welcomed us and the hifi community that made this year’s Bristol Hi-Fi Show such a success. See you next year!