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The name Hugh Dean is synonymous with the Aspen amplifier range. His kit form amplifiers have won many hearts among audio enthusiasts who appreciate a very high standard of sound.
The Maya 200 and the SAKSA 85 amplifiers are a culmination of over twenty years innovative design, starting in 1974 with the Glass Harmony. The Maya was conceived in 2015 with a topology breakthrough, which Hugh will attest has brought huge improvements in speed, bandwidth and clarity. This 200W per channel amplifier comprises four discrete stages: Input stage including a feedback node, Voltage Amp stage, Driver stage, and the Output stage which uses a pair of very large 480 watt MOSFETS.
Hugh's primary aim in his amplifier design is very low odd order harmonics. The MAYA avoids phase issues with extremely linear first and second stages. With very low THD, less than 0.025% into 200W and very low noise, the Aspen amplifiers have none of that solid state glare.
The amplifiers can be bought as a DIY build from a pair of tested and assembled PCB modules, starting at $930 plus GST for the SAKSA 85, and $2200 plus GST for the MAYA 200. Both units can now also be purchased with purpose built full enclosures.
An OPPO 105 multi-disc player will be playing the music, while a pair of classic KEF 105/3s will entertain us with their sound. The 105/3 was the first Reference Series Loudspeaker from KEF to incorporate Uni-Q technology. This four way floor-standing speaker embodies several advanced and unconventional design features for its time. Its bass section drivers are mounted within the cabinet in a double coupled-cavity configuration. The combined output of the two woofers is radiated through a front mounted 6" inch diameter port. The D'Appolito array on the front panel is shared with a pair of midrange drivers and a KEF Uni-Q driver, with a concentric 6-1/2" inch cone and a 1" inch tweeter.
Midrange bloom, solid state glare, lifeless sound? None of that with Aspen Amplifiers.
Nick Karayanis - Program Co-ordinator.
Bowers & Wilkins B&W 800 D3 and B&W 805 D3 Convoy International is the Australian importer for what arguably is Britain's most famous loudspeaker company: Bowers and Wilkins. For half a century B&W has been building speakers, and their latest 800 series represents a landmark in the company's history. Specifically created to celebrate B&W's 50th anniversary, the 800 series has been re-invented, from the cabinets through to the drive units, just about every component has been newly developed.
Two models will be demonstrated on the night, the 800 D3 and the 805 D3 and in two different systems. The B&W 805 D3 will be first. This stand mounted speaker uses a 165mm bass/mid driver matched to B&W's famous Diamond Tweeter, quite a step up in materials from cloth or base metals that are usually used to build tweeters. Powering these speakers will be NAD's newest flagship integrated amplifier, the M32 from their 'Masters' series of hi-fi components.
Speaking of flagships, the second system will feature B&W's most distinctive looking model, the 800 D3. This three way floorstander with its Nautilus tube, in which the tweeter is mounted, the 'head' containing the midrange driver, and the bass unit, are all entirely new. Gone is the yellow coloured Kevlar material now upgraded to a metallised finish on the midrange cone. Just as striking is the new head, reshaped to enhance its rigidity, it now sits on the shoulders of the bass cabinet. The most obvious change is the curved front to the bass cabinet, into which are fixed circular metal mounts for the two 12-inch bass drivers.
To prevent cabinet vibrations and inhibit standing waves, a system B&W calls 'Matrix' bracing has been optimised, while the back of the cabinet gets a finned alloy heat-sink, it's not just there for looks. The B&W 800 D3 deserves a flagship system to show off their abilities. From the stables of Convoy, a pair of CLASSE mono blocks will power the speakers. The CA-M600 amplifiers put out 600 watts each, plenty of headroom for the speakers and the size of our room. The matching CLASSE CP-800 II Preamplifier/Processor will complete the system.
With such a distinguished brand of high-end speaker and amplification at the MAC, the best seats in the house are going to fill up very quickly.
Nick Karayanis - Program Co-ordinator.