Scottish Hifi Show October 2002


Well-known Member
Dudes apologies for the crude attempts at a show report here & I hope I get the right model numbers if not feel free to correct me. I made it along to the show on Saturday afternoon for 4 hours and what a great event a ncie amount of people for the quality of kit, some real eye opening sytems IMHO. There was lots of 5.1 set ups and I avoided them to focus on the stereo systems (Apart from the Krell SF 5.1 one were I wanted to hear the SF Cremonas) Ive tried to list the ones that I felt were the best of the event from a stereo viewpoint.

Krell DVD, Krell AV Pre, Krell 5 Channel PA, Sonus Faber Cremona, Gravis Sub + Centre & Concerto Home Rears :
First off I heard the Absolute Sounds AV DVD-V set up, playing Diana Krall live in Paris & Santana + Everlast in concert, first off I was knocked off my seat with the Cremonas (Remember I had been in the building for 3 minutes dudes and was being hit with a £9000 Krell DVD player & SF Cremonas gawd knows what the cost of the system cost) then as I settled down to the demo, I realised that I was not receiving much rear vibes at all all the vibes were right in front of me, I queried the Gravis settings and was informed that it was mainly the Cremonas I was hearing, cut a long story short I was quite impressed ..... until I heard their second system :

Copland 822 CDP, CTA 305 Valve Pre, CTA 520 SS PA, Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor Standmounts + £400 dedicated stands :
Well I heard a few tunes on this rig & dudes I thought I had landed in hif heaven, truly a system capable of hair raising dynamics and the bass from the standmount Cremonas was fantastic, lots of extenion no flabbiness and a treble as sweet as they come, obviously the Coplands kit contributed a good proportion of this sound, I asked the AF dude, about this system ie how would the Int. Amp fare agaisnt the pre/power combo, he felt quite well but felt this was another notch up on the Int. Amp. The 822 CDP was 1 hour new and the guy was apologising about its not being run in. Anyway their was other systems waiting, but I felt I would have to hear this combo again.

Shanling CDT Transport + Gill DAC (£4K US DAC), Art Audio Diavolo pre, Art Audio Adaigio 10 Watt Mono Pas, Zingali Speakers :
This was a lovely system, very lucid & smooth, had a very open expansive feel but I felt a little lacking in bass attack, but I liked it very different to the first systems Id heard already, this reviewing malarky was gonna be hard, anyway the star of this system for me was the Shanling tubed CDP, the demo dudes had cunningly turned off the light in the room, so all you seen were the blue LEDS on the CDP & the PAs, this added to the glowing Western 300s ? made a lovely sight, BTW the sound from the Pas made me realise the actual valve power ratings are very misleading, even when used with sensitve speakers like the Zengalis.

Audio Note TT2 TT with £300 IQ cart, Keishu ? £2700 Int Amp, CD 1.1 CDT+DAC, AN-E speakers :
Well I will come straight out and say it, what a wonderful system in the TT sense, I spent about 20 minutes listening to this TT very impressed, I mentioned the argonomics not being my cup of tea and was glared at, I asked if I could hear a CD and was told no, yup ole PQ was there with an assistant who was getting up my nose, luckily I spent my time speaking to a scottish dealer (a very friendly Kevin Galloway from Kilmarnock) who knew his stuff, he used to work for AN. Anyway I got to hear the DAC 1.1 and it did not compete against other ones Ive heard IMO, a glazed sort of presentation IMO.

Linn CD12, Linn Klimax Kontrol, Linn Klimax PAs, New Linn 2250 PA, all fully balanced & B+W Nautilus Sig 805? florstanders :
Listened to this system for 6 minutes then left the room, no bass whatsoever, more bass was evident in the all valve demo Id heard beforehand, this could either be new speakers, the treble was not bright or brittle, just that the system lacked a fundamental amount of bass to make the music enjoyable to me personally, My first ever sight & sound of the CD12 and I was devastated being very honest. Very poor IMHO Very Poor.

Sugden Masterclass CD £2700, Sugden Masterclass Int. Amp £3150 & ProAc Future Point Fives £3500 :
I listened to this system for 20 minutes solid and from the moment I entered the room & left I was smiling like an idiot, this without doubt as the system I enjoyed best, 30 Watt Class A amp driving these ribbon tweetered, mid bass & bass drivers to perfection the CDP was as sweet as I heard in my hifi life, Not sure how these would mix in other systems but this was special. More of it later duders.

Gryphon CD, Gyrphon Pre, Gryphon Power Amp & ART Impression Reference spkrs :
First impressions always count and when I walked into the room, I nearly burst out laughing the PA is the size of a 2 large Samsonite suitcases stacked on top of each other, the loudspeakers are just as big think Wilson Puppies, the sound was awesome, very lucid & the bass was being kept under wraps (it was a small hotel room) the sight of this system made me realise what I find acceptable in hifi terms to me personally and I could never imagine trying to shor horn a system that big into any room. I know the argument of room size will be waged for a system like this but the Copland SF combo did well in an open hall than this to my mind.

Definitive Audio : SME 10, Kotseu cart?, Canary Audio Amp with TE Microgroove, LV Avatar speakers :
Great system IMHO, a little bright but again the speakers were new I was told ( a good get out of jail card I was starting to think dudes). A heavily tweaked amp from what I was told, black gates etc, I could not help think that there were amp that Id heard in bare form were better.

Naim CD5, Nait5, XPS, Alleas speakers :
I quite liked this combo, heard at the Naim music stall, very nice playing acoustic guitar, could no comment on bass as the music being played did not favour it.

Primare D30.2 CDP, Primare A.30.1, Studio Speakers + Nordost pricy (£12,000) cabling & solar points :
Loved this system, would have enjoyed it a lot more if it were not in the Nordost room, there was a snake oil salesman in attendance, first off was the Nordost solar points titantium versions over alumnium feet blah blah, then when he pulled out a anti stat spray I left the room.

Moon CDP, Int Amp & Proac ? speakers + 2 Velodyne subs :
Excellent system IMHO, very nice flow to the music with the subs just adding a lovely deep feel to the bass, was very impressed by the Moon components.

So it was back to listen to my 2 favourite systenm of the day :

Sugden Masterclass CD £2700, Sugden Masterclass Int. Amp £3150 & ProAc Future Point Fives £3500 :
I was running late by this stage but still found the vibes returned as soon as I entered the room.

Copland 288 CDP, CTA 305 Valve Pre, CTA 520 SS PA, Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor Standmounts + £400 dedicated stands :
Oh lordy lordy another winner IMO.

Once price of components is factored in I would sway with the SF Copland system truly wonderful, truly wonderful, but if I was being very honest in what system was top notch it was the Sugden Masterlcass Proac jobbie.

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The CD12 etc with the B+W's were in the Stereo Stereo room. They were 803's. This room was meant to just have pleasant background music I think. If you want a critical listen then why not go see them and take a few of your own discs.

Did you miss the Bonnec room upstairs on eighth floor. It had a CD12 as well and from what I was hearing when wandering around alot of folk thought it the most impressive sound at the show.



Well-known Member
Hey Gordon greetings dude, When I was in the CD12+803 room its was packed every chair taken up & I stayed long enough (2 tunes) to realise that I had heard much nicer set up that day, dont get me wrong wonderful kit and im sure great with other stuff too, just not my bag personally. BTW it was not background music, as I said Im not sure the 803s wer properly run in, this could have been the problem? But again dude the lack of bass I heard compared to other rooms was very evident.

Yeah I seemed to have missed that Bonnec+CD12 demo, as you say this was the highlight for a few guys Ive spoke to since agree that it was special. Were you there in an official capacity dude ? or punter mode ? Did you see the Gryphon power amp ? I had visions off that thing going through the floor to the floor below, would be quite funny working away in the kitchen when one of those things landed in your soup pan.

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Well I was there in an official capacity. As well as Convergent I also am the Home Cinema Installation manager for Stereo Stereo.

I actually never spent anytime in the 803 room. They were run in, they are the shops dem units. It is unknown how much bass there should be on any disc but obviously the system wasn't to your tastes, whch is cool too.

If anyone came in to the Arcam dem room next door you'll possibly have heard me talking. I set up the equipment in their along with a coulple of the guys from SS and Scott Campbell from Arcam. I did the bulk of the presentations in the room from 10-1.30 then 3.30-6.00. In between I was giving a talk on progressive scan in the seminar room downstairs. I also set up the two Plasma displays in the StereoStereo room.

All the best,



Well-known Member
sorry to ask stupid questions, but why would linn use b&w speakers when they make theis own? surely it would sound better with a complete linn set and better to sell like that as well?

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