Room 306 at the Sound & Vision Show in Bristol featured a host of different brands coming together to create a top notch system. Dynamic Headroom paid a visit and discovered something a little bit different.
Pearl Acoustics Sibelius SG speakers
Pearl Acoustics are a British company specialising in high-end speakers. The speakers built by Pearl are very simple in design because the idea is that the simpler the components are, the better the sound quality will be.
Passive speakers with more than one driver require a crossover to split the frequencies between each driver. It is a well know fact that passive crossovers introduce distortion. Pearl speakers have single full range driver, therefore no crossover, meaning less distortion and a purer sound.
Pearl use drivers provided by Mark Audio for all of their products. Essentially, Pearl build the cabinet and install the drivers. Other than the driver, the terminals and some wire there are no other electronics inside. The Sibelius SG, which was on display in Bristol, is fitted with a single 5-inch quarter wave “V” horn.
With the Sibelius SG, I was struck by just how good the music sounded across the mid-range. Vocals, guitar and string sounds were so realistic and natural. It was eureka moment when I realised how good this sounded.
Predictably for a 5-inch driver, there were limits to the amount of bass produced. However, if your musical preferences are along the lines of classical, jazz, folk, blues and anything vocal then I can think of few better speakers. They are not cheap, however, a pair will set you back £4500.
Planalogue – The Prelude turntable
The Prelude from Planalogue was on vinyl duties sitting atop the hi-fi rack. Fitted with an Audio Origami tonearm and Hana SH moving coil cartridge the Prelude looks the business. A Trichord Research Diablo phono provided the connection between the turntable and amplifier.
The Prelude places the motor in a vibration damped pod and features a special plinth which dissipates energy to reduce sound colouration. A remote clean power supply provides switching between 33.3 rpm and 45 rpm.
Astin Trew AT2-2100 integrated amplifier
An Astin Trew AT2-2100 integrated amplifier provided amplification, which can be yours for £1895. This is class A/B amplifier with MOSFET power stage that puts out 100W into 8 ohms. The AT2-2100 provides inputs as both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA connections.
Chord Company Signature loudspeaker cables and Cove Audio RCA/XLR cables connected it all together. The Air Audio AC-2K provided clean mains power while mains cables and a distribution block came from MS HD Power .
The total cost of the system was easily over £10,000 so its not for everyone. However, if you have the funds and your music style suits what this system is good at then you may do well to venture away from the bigger hi-fi brands.