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…
Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable
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!
Red Wine Audio Isabellina HPA LFP-V battery-powered valve DAC and headamp
Red Wine Audio’s new LFP-V Edition components now combines advanced battery technology and a brilliant vacuum valve stage, and the results are fantastic!
Red Wine Audio has been the innovator and leader in battery-driven HiFi, and is now the first to use advanced Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. All LFP-V Edition components also feature a new vacuum-tube stage, battery-powered of course! Now the Signature amplifiers, Isabella pre-amplifier, Isabellina DAC and headphone amp are better than ever. And there’s a new addition to the family too – the Ginevra LFP-V phonostage…
“…the Diva II SP produced sound so enticing that I listened night and night to all kinds of music, constantly surprised by its high level of performance, and telling myself that if times got tough and I had to sell my big rig, I could listen happily ever after to the Diva II SP. That’s how well balanced and robust its overall sound was.” – Michael Fremer, Stereophile. Check out this recent review here.
The CD-5s is Ayon’s new flagship CD Player, and has been just awared The Absolute Sound magazine’s 2011 Editor’s Choice Award!
This is a state-of-the-art CD player and DAC with pre-amplifier rolled into one. The CD-5s’ pure class-A fully-balanced valve output stage features 4 x 6H30 valves, also known as “Super Tube” for its high specifications and great reliability. The Ayon CD-5s establishes a new benchmark in triode vacuum-tube CD-Player performance by combining a state-of-the-art single-ended tube output stage with tube rectified current sources in the power supply. Based on a zero-feedback, pure tube circuit design with Philips’ well regarded CD-Pro2 mechanism, 4 units of Burr Brown 1704 true multi-bit DAC with upsampling 24 bit/192 kHz, the CD-5s reveals the manifold layers of music with utmost transparency while projecting a deep and highly focused 3D soundstage. The CD-5s Reference CD-Player also offers AES/EBU, SPDIF digital inputs supporting high-resolution audio up to 24-bit 192 kHz, as well as Toslink and USB inputs. Made in Austria. For product reviews click here.
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!
Ayon Triton II
Power and grace. This sums up the Triton – Ayon Audio’s most powerful integrated amplifier and one of our most popular models. And now with version II it is even better!
Extensive updates in the new Triton II include a revised power supply and power transformers, intelligent and unique “auto-fixed” bias system and upgraded electronic components. These improvements lift the already formidable performance of the Triton to even higher level.
The M2Tech Evo Supply alongside the HiFace Evo
M2Tech‘s new Evo Supply is a battery-based power supply designed specifically to improve the performance of the M2Tech hiFace Evo 24-bit 192-kHz USB-to-digital audio interface.
Evo Supply features a Li-Ion battery with 2200mAh capacity, an integrated battery charger and a low-noise regulator which is used to provide current to the load while the battery is being charged, thus ensuring continuous operation.
M2Tech Young DAC
M2Tech’s new Young DAC is poised to set new performance and value benchmarks with 32-bit resolution and 384kHz sampling rate capability.
))) Newsflash ((( Just arrived – the Teddy Pardo linear power supply, custom-designed to raise the performance of the Young DAC!
It features a high speed asynchronous USB input based on the company’s highly successful hiFace series of products, further developed to allow for higher sampling rates. A 32-bit D/A integrated circuit is used in a non-conventional mode to allow for 768kHz internal operation. (read more…)
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.
Wavelink HS Asynchronous USB Interface
Wavelength Audio‘s founder Gordon Rankin is renowned for his work on USB DAC’s, asynchronous USB-to-S/PDIF converters and tube amps.
The Wavelink HS is a state-of-the-art USB-to-digital audio interface, fully asynchronous with up to 24-bit 192-kHz support, and does not require third-party drives for Mac/OSX.
The Proton DAC is an ingenious USB-and-battery powered DAC, with standard RCA outputs and also an excellent headphone amp too. The Brick is a USB DAC with a wonderful sounding vacuum valve stage. All fully asynchronous USB of course!
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.
The Omega Super 8 Alnico Monitors on demo at our studio. A floorstanding XRS version is available too.
The ultra-coherent sound of a crossover-less, full-range single-driver loudspeaker can be a startling relevation, especially when heard for the first time. The Super 8 is Omega’s best, and its new proprietary 8-inch driver with a powerful Alnico magnet achieves not only a wonderfully rich midrange, but sparkling and airy highs, coupled with dynamic and accurate bass. With a high efficiency of 93dB the Super 8 Alnico will bring the best out of both tube and solid-state amplifiers.
Customers have described the Omega Super 8 Alnico as the best sound they have heard from a single-driver loudspeaker. Hear for yourself… call us for an audition!
Side view of the CS3
The CS3 model represents the next generation in Emerald Physics’ quest for live music reproduction. This is the smallest in the Emerald Physics range and employs a new 12 inch point source driver with compression tweeter. This high efficiency coaxial design creates the realism Emerald Physics loudspeakers are famous for in a smaller, less expensive package.
The design of CS3 goes to great lengths to overcome the acoustic challenges found in our real-world listening rooms. Its open-baffle and controlled directivity technology minimizes interaction between the speaker and listening room, and advanced DSP processing allows for room acoustics correction.
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 Amp One in Pearl White. It is also available in Black, Red and Yellow.
The Glow Audio Amp One is here! Experience the magical pure Class “A” single-ended (SE) vacuum-tube sound with this amazingly compact and affordable integrated amplifier. When paired with Omega’s high-sensitivity (93dB), single-driver Omega Super 5 Monitor/XRS, the result is fantastic synergy – this is a super value-for-money combo! The Amp One also has an excellent headphone output.
“I could hear all that single ended detail and that certain clarity … with the Amp One you get that glorious, absolutely non-fatiguing sound of the old German table tops, but in a distinctly modern way.” – Review and Best of 2008 Award by Jeff Rabin of EnjoyTheMusic.com.
The Omega Super 5's sounds great with the Amp One!
“… there’s no doubt that the Amp One fulfills our Realsization Award requirements 100 out of 100.” – Review and Realsization Award by Srajan Ebaen of 6moons.
“The quietest tube amp I have ever heard. The headphone jack is outstanding.” – “Build quality is outstanding and far exceeded expectations. Excellent packaging, too. In a nutshell: the GLOW Amp One is an incredible product. It has to stand as one of the best buys in audio.” – Owner’s feedback.
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 new Isabella battery-driven pre-amp. The slide-out glass panel on top allows access to 2 x 6922 tubes.
Red Wine Audio’s latest Isabella battery-driven tube pre-amplifier with Isabellina DAC is now on demo!
“Isabella is my new standard which all other preamps and DAC’s have to be compared with!” – User’s comment from the Red Wine Audio forum.
The Isabella has won the coveted Blue Moon Award! “… the Isabella delivers more than class leaders at twice her price.” – Review by Srajan Ebaen of 6moons.
“… an utter absence of digititis. Importantly, this did not seem to have been managed by throwing away ‘bits’ to round things over even though the end result was, indeed, utter smoothness. With resolution.” – Preview by Srajan Ebaen of 6moons.
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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!