A short video by Peter Breuninger:
A short video by Peter Breuninger:
Concert Fidelity DAC 040 & CF O8O LSX2
Ex Demonstration units, each piece having had less than 200 hrs use. The CF-080LSX2 Pre-Amplifier is the exact model reviewed by Martin Colloms for HiFi Critic.( HiFiCritic CF080LSX2 Review).
The CF-DAC-040 is the original non battery version.
Still regarded as one of the best 16bit DAC’s available anywhere, produced to the most exacting standard. No hype, just pure music.
Both are truly outstanding audio products that offer a purity of sound that is rarely heard elsewhere. Many reviews are testament to this. Both include a 1 yr warranty.
As we enter the final week of May 14, the countdown to this most prestigious show of audio exotica and luxury goods draws ever closer, and continuing on from our first and highly successful showing with Concert Fidelity and TAD at CES back in January, we will this time have a full system support in the shape of the newly re-named Mirage; this time a 78.6 in custom metallic deep Silver, two Mirage 1.1 amp stands for the range topping Concert Fidelity ZL-200 power amplifiers to sit upon, and our full cable system, connecting some of Japans finest minimalist audio equipment to the mighty TAD Reference 1 floor standing loudspeakers. We expect this system to really shine in southern California!
We are showing in the premium location of the California Room, at the Hilton Irvine. Show starts this Friday 30th May, and runs through until Sunday 1st June. We will of course be on hand for any information regarding our products, as will Concert Fidelity’s Masataka Tsuda & Hajime Sato, and will be playing a wonderful mix of music, from great Jazz and Blues to some pretty demanding classical.
Show System Details:
Click here for the Show Guide: T.H.E Showguide2014
Further info click here: http://theshownewport.com/visitors/t.h.e.-show-info.html
The worlds largest show of all consumer goods, from cameras to the super high end audio, CES is the annual trade show that kicks the year off with a bang during the second week of January in Las Vegas, and this will be our first venture into the US with any of our products. We were asked by several companies to supply our ‘Ariya-Sacca’ supports for some very exotic gear, though sadly there was not enough time allowed for us to make the required design developments to enable the full rack system to be economically suitable for shipping, although this has now been completed, and will be a part of a later show in LA in 2014. We do however have our full cable system including our newly developed Infinity Digital Interconnect, and a pair of ‘Ariya-Sacca’ amplifier stands in use with Concert Fidelity’s full high end audio system in Suite 30-330. This set-up will feature CD and Vinyl source components, DAC040/BD & SPA4c, 080 LSX2/ ZL-120V2SE amplification, TAD CR1 loudspeakers, Infinity Interconnects throughout, Livewire loudspeaker cables and reference mains power cables. This will no doubt provide a beautiful sound, centred on the artist’s and their performance. The recent update to our Infinity Digital Interconnect has proved to be revelatory, and has now become the reference connection that CF’s Masataka Tsuda uses in his own system and for design development evaluation.
See us here in room 30-330 at the Venetian!
Firstly we must say a sincere thank you to all that visited us to hear the wonderful system we assembled for the UK’s Premier audio show, with many visitors travelling some long distances with the sole aim of hearing the Concert Fidelity amplifiers and TAD loudspeakers for the first time in the UK. The overall response we achieved was almost overwhelming, though we did quietly expect this, we do know how well this system makes music after-all.. Many visitors basked in the relative calm of our room and simply relaxed and immersed themselves in our often risky & demanding music selection. We were however congratulated so many times on taking the risk of playing complete works of complex classical compositions on both vinyl and CD, along with a mixture of Jazz, Blues etc. We estimated that the mix was approximately 50-50 analogue/digital, with the 33 year old Sony PS-B80 Bio-tracer fitted with the ever popular Kondo IO-m cartridge attracting much attention. A huge thank you goes to Red Diamond Audio for the supply of the Sony for the show, it did a fantastic job all weekend clearly showing that vintage equipment really is still very competitive against modern designs.
The Concert Fidelity amplifiers, whilst understated in looks, certainly gained much attention for their effortlessness and transparency driving the demanding TAD CR1 loudspeakers, providing a hugely dynamic and seamless coherence from top to bottom. The new battery drive DAC 040/BD showed how good CD can really sound when perfected, and unsurprisingly we heard no mention of the words hi-res in the room all weekend, surely a sign that 16 bit can offer all of the realism required to make a convincing reproduction when called for. Many visitors seemed surprised that the DAC and LSX2 Pre were hybrid units, employing valve stages in the rectification and output circuits, allowing fine tuning of the tonality of the sonic signature.
Incidentally, we used NO room treatments what so-ever, the room had some issues, but we managed to overcome a majority of this with careful set up and positioning, and of course with the new ‘Ariya-Sacca’ supports doing the most amazing job of isolating and damping the components as well as presenting them in a beautiful style, something many reported was missing almost everywhere else. We were also overwhelmed with the response that the supports gained, of course we were hoping for a positive reaction, what we got was really fantastic, the ideology of this unique system certainly catching many visitors attention and of course the sonic results of purity and transparency was testament to the fact that the supports really do provide the environment to allow the equipment to do the job required – to reproduce MUSIC..
Overall, we had a great show with many enquiries and compliments, many stating that the Z:Axis Audio room was their best sounding room at the show, as many forums have been suggesting too, so not bad for our fist ever public showing..
Some images taken during the weekend, please do get in touch for any further info on any of the products we demonstrated.
Z:Axis Audio are to utilise the TAD CR1, provided by TAD Labs UK distributor NuNu Distribution at this years National Audio Show in September, showcasing the ultra successful, and quite possibly one of the very best stand mount loudspeakers ever designed.
Designed by British/Japanese collaboration, the compact reference 1 has achieved serious attention since it’s release. Nick-named the ‘CR1’, it has the ability to truly shock listeners such is the scale of the sound image it produces given its modest dimensions. The £37,000 TAD Compact Reference (CR-1) can be considered a TAD Reference One ‘in miniature’. In every way a reference speaker, but in a more compact form factor than the 150kg floor standing ‘Reference’. More than ten years in the making, its design objective was to achieve, in a compact stand-mount speaker, point-source sound of such transparency and high fidelity that as a music lover you will forget about the existence of the loudspeaker and just enjoy the music.
Over the years many of the world’s finest orchestral recordings have come from Prof. Keith O. Johnson’s famous Reference Recordings record label of California. In the modern era the company records in 24-bit high resolution DXD format at a sampling frequency of 176.4kHz, its recordings, available as hybrid SACDs and ‘Master’ files supplied on DVD-ROM media. What does the company use for monitoring and playback of its ‘reference’ recordings? Naturally, the finest ‘compact’ loudspeaker in the world: the TAD CR1.
Last week we received our demonstration reference redbook CD transport, the mighty 1621a, finished in stunning Piano Black and polished chrome. We are also very proud to be able to officially supply the reference line transport and other products, along with the Noble and Corona line.
The 1621a takes it’s job very seriously indeed, and this is no more apparent than when you approach the unit to install a disc for replay, the lift up lid is substantial, the whole piece being immensely well damped. On start up, the unit is silent, the display is clear, and track reading and access is fast, the Phillips Pro2 Module is clearly the industry leader in this regard. Then, playback begins..
While the combination of these two pieces is not exactly ‘loose change’ at £27,000, it rest’s assured that for the re-creation of a musical performance it remains at the very top of the list..
Contact us for further information and to arrange an extended demonstration.
We have now installed the new reference audio support system, to be known as ‘Mirage’, and we are extremely happy with the result, both sonically and aesthetically. Some very favourable comments based purely on it’s handsome looks have come in, while reaction from the few so far that have heard how our demo system sounds now in comparison to before, which was no slouch by any means, is truly gratifying, confirming the fact that distortion occurring due to either incorrectly implemented isolation and/or a lack of real damping are very real issues that any high end system should be protected from.
In the world of high end audio, the Mirage is unique, and will set the benchmark standard for aesthetics and sonic refinement.
More info is available on our products pages of the complete configuration and finish options available, pricing is being finalised, but the 98.8 shown here will retail in the UK for around £7,600. For further details see HERE.
We have been offered by Concert Fidelity in Japan two pieces used at CES this year, as Ex Demonstration units, each piece having had less than 200 hrs use. The CF-080LSX2 Pre-Amplifier is current specification, and is the exact model reviewed by Martin Colloms for HiFi Critic.( Review available on request). The CF-DAC-040 is the standard unit without the battery supply upgrade (V1.5). Both are outstanding audio products that offer a purity of sound that is rarely heard elsewhere. Many reviews are testament to this. The units themselves are currently at the factory in Japan, and will be fitted with new 240v power supply when ordered. We do not have exclusivity on these, so it really is first come, first served basis, and I do not imagine they will be available for long. They will be priced very favourably and are of course perfect condition in every way, as is always the case when Masa Tsuda supplies anything. Please enquire for costs and lead time, details on contact us page.
We are proud to announce the first UK show collaboration between Concert Fidelity, manufacturer’s of exquisite high end audio electronics, Z:Axis Audio, (cabling and support systems), and TAD Labs (Technical Audio Devices) Loudspeakers.
Come and hear us in the ‘Chapel‘ Suite on Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd September 2013 at Whittlebury Hall, Nr Towcester, Northants, where we will be running a series of organised timed demonstrations of what we believe to be among the best sonics currently available from CD and analogue sources. We will also be showing for the first time our new audio system supports, incorporating our ‘micro vibration dissipation technology’. Also we will be demonstrating the new Concert Fidelity DAC040BD in an all CF system, an absolute purists dream set-up.
In collaboration with NuNu Distribution, we will be demonstrating the TAD Compact Reference 1 loudspeaker. More than ten years in the making, its design objective was to achieve, in a compact stand-mount speaker, point-source sound of such transparency and high fidelity that as a music lover you will forget about the existence of the loudspeaker and just enjoy the music.
We are also honoured to announce the attendance at the NAS (UK)13 show of one of the high end’s foremost audio designer’s: Japanese Founder & President of Concert Fidelity, Masataka Tsuda.
On demonstration will be the following System:
See HERE for venue and visitor information.
Volume 7 No 1 includes a very illuminating review of CF’s minimalist pre-amp, the 080LSX2, giving it one of the highest ratings for a pre amp, and thorough recommendation. Single issues are available, as are annual subscription to the only audio publication to exist without adverts..
Concert Fidelity have overcome some technical and airfreight issues with the upgrade to the 040, and our demo model is about to leave it’s birthplace in Nagano, Japan, for the still so chilly shores of the UK. Naturally we are very keen to hear what sonic differences exist between the already fine 040 and the upgraded 040/BD. We will of course update when the unit arrives!
Initial listening shows truly startling clarity, stage depth and pin point palpability, this is a significant upgrade to an already wonderful DAC. Additionally, the casework has undergone some revisions in that the ‘Operation / Standby‘ switch has been re-located to the front edge of the left side panel, and is now a discrete rocker switch. More in depth notes on the comparison due soon..!
We have taken delivery of the first UK set of Concert Fidelity’s flagship power amplifier; the mighty ZL-200. Utilising the company’s minimalist approach, the ZL-200 received one of the highest accolades in audio by Harry Pearson when he heard them last year, quoting “These monoblocks are the first solid-state amps I’ve heard that sound like a tubed unit, and by that I mean a very good tubed unit, on the order of say, the best conrad-johnson amp (vide, the ART III) but lacking the golden glow of the CJ sound, thus rather more uncolored than most, if not all, of the transistorized competition”.
The amplifiers were installed when they arrived (of course!) and will be available for demo anytime from 1st March onwards. Please call or email for further info or to arrange to hear what this level of audio design understanding can produce.
The ZL-200 easily surpasses anything that we have experienced before with regards to clarity and openness, and combined with the grip and control of the worlds very best power amplifiers, these monoblocks very rightly deserve their super high reputation among the elite few audio products that excel in pure uncoloured sound reproduction.
More information on the ZL-200 is available here.
Dieter Ilg is a German bass player, and an extremely fine one too. I have been playing Dieter’s music since I first heard “Quando narravi” on Jazz FM, Sarah Ward’s show one evening, and hunted down the album straight away, ‘Live at Schloss Elmau’. It is a wonderful piece of work, finely recorded and is simply fabulous to hear on a good system!
Dieter has released a new CD this month, titled ‘Parsifal’, a copy of which I hope to hear soon, and can recommend you all check him out here: Dieter Ilg
The monumental becomes sensual and the sensual monumental: Parsifal is definitely another masterpiece of improvisation by Germany’s leading bass player, Dieter Ilg.
News has arrived from Japan this weekend that the upgrade to their world class DAC has been completed and is now undergoing factory testing, usually around 100 hrs are put on every piece that ships, how many other manufacturers go to this level? This is, in standard form, a DAC that can rival the very best analogue set-up, so we are naturally very keen to hear what improves when the chip itself is battery powered. From sources close to CF, dynamics are simply wonderful!
Key Kim has been spending some time with the Concert Fidelity ZL120V2SE Mono Power Amplifiers, and has published his review on Stereo Times this month.
Full Review is here: http://www.stereotimes.com
“The ZL-120V2SE easily scales the dramatic heights of full orchestral crescendos. In fact it’s nothing short of explosive. Playing Rostropovich’s performance of the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Herbert Von Karajan (Deutsche Grammophon 139044), the ZL-120V2SE delivered sudden dynamic shifts with a density and life-likeness I have rarely—if ever—encountered”.
Key Kim, Stereo Times 2013.
Concert Fidelity electronics will be shown at the CES 2013 (January 8 to 11, 2013) to be held in Venetian Hotel. The exhibition in Room 29-312. will feature ONDA SYSTEMS reference cables, TAD CR-1 loudspeakers and ESOTERIC K-03 SACD/CD Player.
Concert Fidelity (Nagano, Japan) will bring its entire suite of no-compromise, high-performance electronics to CES, including the new ZL-120V2SE (Special Edition) solid-state monoblock power amplifiers that debuted last year. The rest of the lineup include the CF-080LSX2 tube hybrid line stage, the DAC-040 tube hybrid DAC, the SPC-4C solid-state phono stage, and the specially modified Denon DP-3000 turntable.
Concert Fidelity is partnering with ONDA Systems, Inc., a Canadian cable manufacturer who will provide high-performance cables utilizing silver solid-core conductors and unique technologies. The system will be driving the TAD CR1 Compact Reference loudspeakers, and digital playback will be provided by the Esoteric K-01 used as a CD transport.
Concert Fidelity’s CEO and Chief Engineer Masataka Tsuda will be flying in from Japan to showcase his creations, which he builds himself, one by one, in his workshop in Japan. Concert Fidelity invites everyone to come and listen to the no-compromise, state-of-the-art two-channel audio system in Room 29-312 at the Venetian.
Due to the overwhelming response to the ZL120v2SE, we have placed our order for a set of Masataka Tsuda’s masterpiece amplifiers, the ZL200. It is hard to imagine how it can get any better than the ZL120, such is the total transparency of the Concert Fidelity amplifiers, but we have faith in what we hear. The thought of the set up that we currently have, combined with the ZL200 and the upgrade to the DAC040 to BD spec, then maybe later in 2013 adding a Metronome Kalista Reference is truly mind blowing!!
Concert Fidelity’s Logo says “Simply Profound” – something we feel is very apt. They have, since we installed them, impressed each listener that has been fortunate enough to hear them, and believe me, some of these guys are ‘demanding’!
To quote two written post demo session responses:
For me personally, and bear in mind exactly why we are working with CF, (i.e.. the dac we originally purchased was too good for there to be no UK representation), I will have a hard time settling for anything less. Such transparency and openness, combined with a bass foundation that underpins the architecture of the recorded music therefore allowing any simple or complex piece truly unravel itself in front of you is quite an experience. Really very special indeed..
We received the CF 080LSX2 Pre Amplifier & ZL120v2SE Mono Power Amplifiers on Monday 26th November. Set up took place late that same day, straightforward enough process. Ironically, we are short of supports at the moment, so had to assemble all of the components in a rather untypical manner, but nevertheless, from the very first few notes it was clear, these are very special amplifiers indeed. Transparency is beyond anything i have heard in my 25 years in this hobby/business/passion – call it what you will, for me, at this level, it is an addiction. Today, I was up at 6am UK time, playing Mahler’s Symphony No1, conducted by Ivan Fisher & the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
It feels as though there is simply no system between me and the music, and that has to be experienced to be believed.. The amps will also improve over time too, so some exciting times are ahead 🙂
At this stage, I cannot hesitate in admitting that this is the best i have heard so far..
More to follow!
We have placed our order for a DAC 040BD, the upgrade to the existing high end DAC040. Lead time is 5-6 weeks, so most likely arrival will be early January 2013.
News from Concert Fidelity in Japan, our set of amplifiers are about to be shipped and should be with us by the end of November. Naturally, we are very excited and keen to hear these perform. Once they have had time to settle in our system, we will have them on permanent demonstration.
Some news From Masataka Tsuda, head designer of Concert Fidelity/Silicon Arts Inc yesterday, an upgrade is available to the DAC 040, see here for more information…