Audiophile magazine, the leading HiFi journal in Hong Kong, has given the M8 Line Signature a sterling review.
Reviewer Y.K. Chan had the following things to say: -
“I enjoyed music with M8 Line Signature for the whole afternoon. It sounds so exciting that I completely forgot about dinner!”
“It is one of the most exciting modern-made pre amps that I have ever auditioned.”
“With the M10 and now the M8, other high end tube amp manufacturers will have much more difficulty.”
Need we say more?!
We are extremely proud to announce the arrival of the M10 Line Signature, our latest and finest Line stage preamplifier.
Developed from the groundbreaking M10 Line, it features a host of improvements and refinements:
Below is a brief description of the development process of the M10 Line Signature from Andy Grove, Designer in Chief at Audio Note (UK): - “...We know what happened when the M10 was released to market. What was intended to be just a special preamp for a few chosen customers became a phenomena in itself... If we fast forward to today, then we can discuss the M10 Signature. The concept is essentially the same, but I have further optimised the PSU by changing valves and utilising their characteristics. In the M10 Standard, we have a EL34 as the shunt valve and a 6SL7 configured as a current reference, which in turn defines the output voltage. In the Signature I have substituted a 12E1 for the shunt, and a 6SJ7 as the current reference. The 12E1 is a Special Quality beam tetrode, similar in some ways to the KT88. It has considerably more power capacity than an EL34 so I can increase the shunt current. The fact that it's a beam tetrode lends a harder clarity to the sound, which requires some modification further down the line. I replaced the 6SL7 current source with one built around a 6SJ7, this was done so I could pass more current in the C.S., and because I could create a bootstrap circuit around it and feed a more accurate AC signal to the grid of the 12E1.
The preamp unit of the Signature is also upgraded, I redesigned the output transformers, this time using a much larger core of the same 55% nickel iron material C-Cores. This allowed me to increase the bandwidth and lower the distortion of the output transformer as compared to the original. To further improve things I designed a new input transformer, again on a larger core. The results are the same as for the output transformer. However here I have used a double screen between primary and secondary to separate the grounds internal to the preamp and external to it. These improvements to the transformers are akin to having larger windows on your house, more light is allowed inside so you can see more clearly. The upgrades to the power supply and to the transformers made an incredible difference to the absolute clarity of the machine. However, we are not in the business of making lab instruments: The M10 is about musicality.
So, the next step was to tune the circuitry by ear, and for an audio component of this quality level that requires time, knowledge, good ears, patience – and a good system in which to insert the unit and listen to it. In the end not too much was required to be done, the incredible clarity meant that I had to slightly rebalance the voicing of the preamp (I have a box of "magic components"!). It took some time to get it exactly right, but the results were absolutely worth it. Not only were we hearing into recordings to an unprecedented depth, but the sound had a beautiful organic tone, for example wooden instruments felt like they were wood, you could feel it inside yourself, not just hear it. Percussion was tidy, but not blunt, rigid and "square edged": Drums had a defined dynamic envelope and resonance. What really left us with open mouths, and a tear in our eyes, was the representation of voices. It seemed that before, even with the M10 Standard, you heard a voice, but there is a thin veil between the sound of that voice and the communication with your soul. The Signature lifted that veil, and Ella was singing to each of us personally. We know what it means when you look at a pretty girl across the street, and then she turns and looks in your eye..."
In the recent HiFi Critic review of the CDT6 and Fifth Force / Fifth Element DAC combination, Martin Colloms was significantly impressed, concluding: -
...and my finding is that this CD ‘transport’/DAC is outright marvellous, newly defining the inherent quality of Red Book digital audio, which can be so much better than we had imagined was possible. It poses the question: “Why has it taken a specialist valve audio manufacturer to achieve this after 30 years of highly informed digital engineering by the audio industry as a whole?... we owe a debt to the Audio Note UK team for showing just what is possible. Here is a CD player which really can give high end analogue a run for its money...”
Need we say more?
The recently introduced ISIS Reference Copper interconnect cables have been an enormous success, redefining many listeners’ expectations of what was possible with a copper cable. As a result, we have decided to expand the Reference Copper range, and we now present the ISIS LX168 loudspeaker cable and the ISIS Mains cable.ISIS LX168:
This is not only first true Reference Copper loudspeaker cable in the History of Audio Note (UK) it is also a departure from a design perspective. Previously, all of our cables were intended to be configured with four separate cables per side for true bi-wire configuration, or two separate cables per side for single wire configuration. ISIS LX168 – thanks to its large strand count and 8 True Litz conductor design – can be used in a variety of cost effective and high performance configurations: -
Single Cable / Single Wire
This configuration uses a single run of ISIS LX168 per side (between amplifier and loudspeaker) and is terminated as a single wire cable (a pair of connectors, ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ at each end of the cable)
Single Cable / Bi-Wire
This configuration uses a single run of ISIS LX168 per side (between amplifier and loudspeaker) and is terminated as a bi-wire cable (a pair of connectors, ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ at the amplifier end and two pairs of connectors at the loudspeaker end)
Twin Cable / Single Wire
This configuration uses a two runs of ISIS LX168 per side (between amplifier and loudspeaker) and is terminated as a single wire cable (a single connector at each end of the cable)
Twin Cable / Bi-Wire
This configuration uses two runs of ISIS LX168 per side (between amplifier and loudspeaker) and is terminated as a bi-wire cable (a single connector at the amplifier end and a pair of connectors at the loudspeaker end)
Quad Cable / Bi-Wire
This configuration uses a four runs of ISIS LX168 per side (between amplifier and loudspeaker) and is terminated as a full bi-wire cable (a single connector at each end of the cable) This offers the ultimate in Reference Copper loudspeaker cable performance.
In the near future we will be completing the ISIS Reference Copper range of cables with ISIS Mains, our dedicated mains cable. As yet specifications are unconfirmed, but we will be providing further information in the coming weeks.