Welcome! At Raindrop Audio our love for music drives the search for a sound so real and naturally musical, it effortlessly draws you into the performance. You’ll find yourself totally immersed, eyes shut and feet tapping, savouring the sweet sound of music…
We have started compiling product news and reviews here… do have a look!
Gradient Helsinki 1.5
The Gradient Helsinki 1.5 is a work of art; a brilliant effort by designer Jorma Salmi to literally sculpt the soundfield into a expansive and holographic experience.
“This unusual design from Gradient’s Jorma Salmi, with wave-guided tweeter, disc-mounted midrange, and side-firing dipole woofer, is intended to erase your listening room from the sound you hear. And it delivers the goods: Few other speakers can give you an equal sense of being transported to the performance venue. With the right setup, its spatial performance is at the top level attainable at any price.” – Editors Choice Award 2011, The Absolute Sound
The big problem with most small speakers is that they sound small. Just 30 cm tall, the Mojo’s have a habit of repeatedly defying expectations, by projecting a soundstage as big and spacious as large floorstanding loudspeakers. Indeed, instead of putting the band in your room, the Mojo’s put you inside the recording venue. Its unique 360-degree omnidirectional design utilise a full-range driver and a solid wood dispersion cone. This in turn enables a very low crossover point to the woofer, which despite it’s small size features a massive 33mm voice coil with a maximum deflection of 22mm peak-peak. These unique elements comes together to present tangible soundstage with startling presence.
Guru QM10two in piano black and glossy white. Also available in Ferrari Red!
One of our best selling speakers just got a performance boost!
The Guru QM10two is the successor of the critically acclaimed QM10 and introduces two new advanced proprietary drivers into the compact and elegant QM10 design. The improve drivers raised the bandwidth to a typical in room response of 30 Hz to 30 kHz and at the same time lower distortion even further whilst greatly improving the time domain behaviour of the loudspeaker. All this results in even greater resolution and transparency with increased soundstage precision whilst maintaining incredibly low frequency extension.
ZYX 4D MC Cartridge
It is a joy listening to a ZYX cartridge playing music. Wonderful, mesmerising music. The work of Hisayoshi Nakatsuka is highly respected and well known to be among the best sounding MC Phono Cartridges in the world.
“In my opinion, ZYX designer Hisayoshi Nakatsuka has easily met his design goals for the 4D-G cartridge. Never have I heard a cartridge sound so unstrained when unraveling complex musical passages. Even when many different instruments are all playing at once with each competing for attention, the 4D-G remains composed and delivers each instrument with unprecedented vividness and authenticity.” – Frank Alles, Stereotimes.
The new GigaWatt PC-3 SE EVO
Since the GigaWatt power conditioners arrived recently they have transformed a good number of customer systems. Focus and transparency is turned up a clear notch, and dynamic swings flow with greater ease. A darker background allows more details and micro-dynamics to emerge, conveying in a heightened sense the tonality of instruments, voice and ambience of the recording venue.
The key to this performance is Gigawatt’s extraordinary attention to power distribution, protection, isolation and anti-noise filtering, with a determined criteria that power delivery must not be limited in anyway. Build quality is first-class and attention to details is superb. It is simply evident from the products that the team at GigaWatt are perfectionists. Indeed, GigaWatt is well known to custom-manufacture many of the key components in their products, instead of simply wiring together off-the-shelf parts. More information coming soon…
When the engineering team at Tellurium Q (based in the UK) studied the factors impacting speaker cable performance, they realised that phase distortion is a key determinant of cable performance, and yet not addressed by current audio R&D. So they started designing from a blank slate, with a determined focus to combat phase distortion. The result is the first Tellurium cable – the Black – with ultra low phase distortion. The cable also has low capacitance and very high bandwidth but primarily it is the superbly low phase distortion that make these cables sound extraordinarily clear and natural. These high performance cables have won multiple awards in their very first year of launch!
Davone Audio’s new Ray loudspeaker continues the Rithm‘s legacy of unifying gorgeous design with high end audio performance.
Designer Paul Schenkel have meticulously devised the fluid cabinet shape to achieve the intended acoustic behaviour; something not possible with the typical box enclosure. The result is an exceptionally inert and beautifully styled cabinet; hand crafted in Denmark with specially molded wood panels.
The driver is a custom-built point source capable of outstanding imaging and focus. This is achieved using the highly regarded 1″ Illuminator tweeter and a high performance 8″ bass driver in a coaxial arrangement.
The result is a work of art, sonically and stylistically. Put your feet up, open a bottle and enjoy the glorious music!
M2Tech hiFace Evo
Following the highly successful hiFace USB-to-S/PDIF interface, M2Tech’s hiFace Evo is the new statement in high performance computer audio interfaces.
Hosted in a compact and stylish aluminium case, it is capable of flawlessly transfering audio data up to 24-bits 192kHz to virtually every DAC or A/V receiver around, thanks to its comprehensive outputs set. hiFace Evo implements high performance asynchronous USB operation with proprietary software drivers for both Windows and Mac computers. The Windows drivers allow for Kernel Streaming, Direct Sound and WASAPI operation (the latter under Windows vista and 7). Very high precision, very low phase noise (jitter) crystal oscillators are used.
Boenicke Audiomanufacture SLS speakers
The Audiomanufacture SLS by Boenicke Audio of Switzerland. These fantastic sounding and yet ultra slim speakers are the result of Sven Boenicke’s brilliant and original thinking. Carved out of solid wood with an intricate 2.5m transmission line within its svelte body, incorporating 5 drivers firing in 3 different directions, the SLS project an amazingly open soundstage that envelops you and energise the entire room.
“This loudspeaker is an instrument. It’s made for connoisseurs for which music is part of their lives…” – Marco Kolks, HÖRERLEBNIS High Fidelity Magazine
The award-winning DSpeaker Anti-Mode 8033 is a fully automatic subwoofer EQ, designed with a clear goal – to unlock the true performance potential of your subwoofer.
“This has to be the best bang-for-the-buck tweak I have made in my system for a long time.” – Positive Feedback Online.
Advanced Anti-Mode™ technology eliminates the resonances of the subwoofer and the room by equalizing both amplitude and time domain responses using very accurate digital signal processing filter structures and anti-phasing technology. (read more…)
The Guru QM60
Following the very successful QM10, the larger floorstanding QM60 takes a similarly unique approach to overcome room acoustic challenges, and further push performance limits on all fronts.
Like the QM10, the QM60 is very precisely tuned for close-wall placement. The specifications spells it out very clearly – the speaker is to be placed between 40 to 70cm, from the tweeter to the rear wall, toed-in. This precise positioning, coupled with designer Ingvar Ohman’s one-of-a-kind crossover which counters the detrimental effects of wall reflections, results in a sonic performance that is simply extraordinary.
M2Tech HiFace USB-S/PDIF Converter
New stocks of M2Tech HiFace have just arrived. This is a fully asynchronous USB-to-S/PDIF converter with a very low jitter oscillator and proprietary software drivers for both Windows and OSX operating systems supporting high-res audio up to 24bit/192kHz.
High end audio at real world prices? Not often in reality but the HiFace has been recognised as such by numerous owners and product reviewers.
The award-winning Wyred4Sound DAC-2
After being awarded 6moons.com’s Blue Moon Award 2011, Wyred4Sound’s DAC-2 has now been awarded The Absolute Sound magazine’s 2011 Editor’s Choice!
The DAC2 features the state-of-the-art ESS Reference (ES9018) 32-bit DAC chip coupled with a masterful implementation of discrete FET output stage, powered by a ultra-low noise power supply. This combination gives the DAC great resolution and a fluid, natural flow of dynamics that is truly compelling.
Ayon Triton Mono’s
Following the success of the Triton II Integrated, the new Ayon Triton Monos arrived and immediately makes clear its wider power bandwidth with more speed, top-end air, detailed resolution and more impactful bass.
The Triton Monos have a wonderful ability to unravel complex musical threads with grainless purity and stunning dynamics. The Triton Monos are full-featured balanced class-A vacuum tube mono power amplifiers, switchable between pentode (100W) and triode (60W) mode. Super-wide bandwidth output transformers sealed with anti-resonance elements means the Triton series are able to drive even more difficult speaker loads.
RCM Sensor Prelude
The RCM Sensor Prelude is a phono preamplifier designed and built to the highest standards. Capable of extremely high gain of up to 76dB and combined with a very low noise floor the Sensor Prelude can amplify very low output MC cartridges with ease. Gain matching between cartridge and system is critical in order to achieve great sound, and the Sensor Prelude provides 7 selectable steps of gain to suit cartridge outputs of 0.3 mV to 5 mV. Both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) outputs are provided. Easily accessible switches on the back panel allow the user to adjust cartridge load impedance, gain and mode of input stage (balanced or single-ended). The power supply is housed in a separate metal chassis to eliminate interference with the sensitive circuits in the phono preamplifier. It is fully balanced and has oversize filtering capacity and low output impedance. Product reviews are available here.
The Audio Art IC3-SE interconnect
Audio Art Cable from USA has earned a solid reputation for producing top-notch cables at honest prices. There are numerous positive reviews and testimonials from users, and our own evaluation have confirmed that these are very very good cables indeed. At the recent ISSE 2009 HiFi show our demo system is fully wired with Audio Art Cable’s interconnects and speaker cables, garnering excellent feedback from visitors. We are very happy to be appointed distributor for these excellent cables, and the first batch of cables have just arrived. More information coming soon; please refer to the manufacturer’s website in the meantime, and call/email us if you have any questions.
The Ayon Audio Orion integrated amplifier
From Ayon Audio of Austria comes the new Orion – a very fine entrance into high-end tube amplification. The new Orion represents a dramatic rethinking of vacuum tube based integrated amplifier industrial design while retaining the basic architecture as the highly regarded “Spirit” amplifier.
The Orion integrated amplifier combines neutrality, realistic dynamics and power projection, excellent musicality with high resolution. Perfect finish, elegant discrete design and outstanding sonic performance make the Orion unique, setting a new price-to-value standard in its class.
Rothewell RCA & XLR Attenuators
Here’s the solution to a problem from which far too many audiophiles suffer – too much gain in the system. The symptoms are easy enough to spot – the volume is plenty loud enough with the volume control set to the 9 o’clock position, too loud with the volume control at 10 o’clock, and fine control at low levels is impossible. This may seem like nothing more than a minor irritation, but in truth the performance of the system is being compromised.
The In-line Attenuators from Rothwell UK are designed to:
- Solve the common yet often overlooked problem of mismatched and excessive system gain.
- Improve signal-to-noise ratio
- Improve resolution
- Allows for more precise control of volume, especially with stepped attenuators.
Click here for more product reviews and information, and here for more information on how they work.
The excellent Jelco tonearms from Japan have arrived! In stock now are the Jelco SA-750D and Jelco SA-250ST. For a great “5 globes” review of the SA-750D click here. Also in stock are the excellent Jelco tonearm cables.
Pleased to announce the arrival of the following Nagaoka products from Japan!
NEW range of Nagaoka phono cartridges – Nagaoka cartridges are well known to be affordable over-achievers. You won’t find any hype here, only substance. Engineered to perfection, the quality of these cartridges belies their modest price. Nagaoka only makes MM cartridges, and is fully focused on making the best. This new range achieves not only the trademark smooth sound of MM cartriges, but also the transparency and accuracy in tonality traditionally associated with MC cartridges. MM cartridges have come a long way! All Nagaoka cartridges features a replaceable stylus to protect your investment. View the full range here.
Nagaoka MP-500 Phono Cartridge
Nagaoka CL-152 Record Cleaner
Nagaoka No.102 Record Sleeves
Nagaoka CL-152 Record Cleaner – Way better than any record brush! There is no better way to clean off the dust and light fingerprints on your records. Dust stick to records due to static, making them difficult to brush off; and brushing tend to generate even more static! The Nagaoka’s very soft and sticky rolling surface actually lift dirt not only from the record surface, but from the record grooves too. It is easily washable and can be used and re-used for many years to come. Your records will stay in tip-top condition longer, with much less wet cleaning required. “Analogue must-have! … this is one of the best HiFi accessories around, with an impressive value for money ratio.” – Review by TNT-Audio.
Nagaoka No.102 Anti-static Record Sleeves – Considered by many to be the finest record sleeves. Being U-shaped and made of a fine material means they are perfect either as a substitute/replacement sleeve, or for inserting into original paper sleeves. Each pack contains 50 sleeves.
The new Ayon CD-2
Following Ayon’s multiple-award winning CD-1, Ayon has now launched the new
CD-1s and CD-2! Not only does the new models improve upon the trademark highly analog yet superbly detailed, and wonderfully engaging sound, they now also feature digital inputs which makes them excellent vacuum-tube based DAC’s as well! Further, the inclusion of remote-controlled volume means you have the flexibility of running them direct into power amps! As with all Ayon creations, they are beautifully crafted in Austria,with top-notch build quality and finishing.
The new Wyred4Sound monoblock amplifier
The new Wyred4Sound ICEpower monoblocks and stereo amplifiers are now on demo!
“Resolution in the treble is much better than other ICEpower amplifiers that I have heard.” – “Dynamic impact can be startling.” – “… I never get tired of listening to the Wyred 4 Sound ST-1000 stereo amplifier. Every other solid state amplifier under (US)$10,000 has driven me away over a period from one evening to several months by their offenses.” – “It is an extremely high-value amplifier. You got a LOT of performance for your money…” – Review by Jerry on 10audio.com
The Wyred4Sound SX-1000 has won 6moons’ Realsization Award! …where the D class strikes gold is in overall smoothness, neutral tonal balance, low noise and resolution of low-level information. The SX-1000 monos have all that in spades – plus excellent dynamics, transient response and the ability to play loud without compression. Considering what you get for the price, these amps are a terrific value and for me, epitomize what our Realsization Award is about. Definitely one of the most impressive audio bargains around.” – Review with Realsization Award by Paul Candy of 6moons.
“Make no mistake; this is no intermediate amplifier. This is not an amplifier to buy while you’re saving to buy something better at some time in the future.” – “… the Wyred 4 Sound ST 500 comes too damned close to the best out there at a price way too reasonable to be ignored.” – Review by John Potis, Positive Feedback Online.
The Guru QM10 in beautiful glossy piano black. Glossy white is available too!
“It’s almost magic.”
– Jason Kennedy, Hi-Fi+.
– Art Dudley, Stereophile.
“a remarkable achievement.”
– Colin Smith, Soundstage AV.
“it’s just too good to be true.”
– Mike Quinn, Jazz Times.
– Paul Messenger, Hi-Fi Choice.
“true engineering magic. ”
– Robert Learner, Sonic Flare
The QM is is now available in beautiful glossy white too!
The way Ayon Audio’s CD-1 coaxes a superbly refined analog sound from CDs – it almost transforms your CD collection into a vinyl record library! Ayon has set out to design a no-compromise CD player, and the CD-1 strikes an extremely fine balance – its pure Class-A triode vacuum-tube output stage achieves an absolutely non-fatiguing analog sound while revealing every delicate digital detail from your CD’s. The end result? A player with a superbly engaging sound that is more like vinyl records than the usual “politeness” of CD players, especially solid-state ones! Fully designed and built in Austria.
The Ayon Audio CD-1 has won the coveted Blue Moon Award from 6moons! – “The CD-1 puts my ears at ease like no CD player I can remember. Not that it lacks energy. Anything but. Yet what it does lack is anything resembling digital glare.” – “… in some ways this was better than vinyl. The sound was equally relaxed, smooth and transparent but its power and extension were superior to my vinyl rig.” – Review by Ken Micallef of 6moons.
The Wyred 4 Sound multi-channel ICEpower amplifier
ICEpower have arrived! A Wyred4Sound amplifier was brought in to power the Emerald Physics CS2 speakers, and the results are breathtaking… not only is this amp capable of big power, it delivers this power in a superbly warm and refined way. Being over 80% power efficient, W4S amps run cool and can be configured with plenty of power (max 7 x 500W in a single chassis!) allowing for generous headroom to comfortably power ANY speaker out there.
“In my time with this amp, I have been in audio heaven. When I review a product, I usually look forward to placing my own equipment back in my rack, but that wasn’t the case here … it’s that good.” – Review by David Vaughn, Ultimate AV Magazine
“All I can say is WOW! This is a very well-designed amp, with a BLACK background, excellent control of the speakers, and both bottom end grunt and HF extension that is neither fatiguing or anemic. In short, credit where credit is due. The Wyred 4 Sound amp is fantastic and with our tube preamp(s), the combination is phenomenal.” – Comment by Dan Wright
“It’s certainly the smoothest, sweetest ICEpower amp I have heard.” – Owner’s review
“… I was blown away, these amps sound incredible.” – “They are absolutely STUNNING!” – “… I’m astounded.” – Owners’ feedback on the new monoblocks
More information is available on the manufacturer’s website.
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