Leamington Spa 21-22 Sepember 2
Show report - Audio Show Leamington Spa 21-22 Sepember 2019
Chris Liauw and Riitta Lindroos of Curvi-HiFi shared Room 8a at Woodland Grange with The Funk Firm and Gekko cables.
The reproduction chain ended with the Curvi-BMR loudspeakers that received their debut at this show and were playing constantly both days. Whilst the superb show system made the Curvies sing, it was the Curvies that actually did the singing! The sound quality in our room received very positive feedback with some visitors saying it was best in show. The Curvies loaded the room very effectively with bass power and extension astounding many visitors thanks to Boban Djurdjevic’s (Gekko Cables) highly musical choice of bass exercising tracks which included Bela Fleck’s Flight of the Cosmic Hippo and Sleep Again by Hinkstep. The top to bottom coherence and realistic, fast transparent reproduction also received praise from visitors, and was said by one visitor to have electrostatic-like qualities. The Curvies also received reviewer interest too and a pair are scheduled for review in November 2019.
The analogue source was a Funk RAGE modified Rega RP3 with Audio Technica 750SH cartridge in an FXR II arm (with new linear pivoted mass bias (anti-skate)), Achromat topped platter and Bo!ng sprung isolation feet ( http://thefunkfirm.co.uk/ ). The phono stage (Funk Akutrack) is a unique unit that received its debut at the show; it features a suck-out compensation control that can compensate for the treble suck-out that afflicts moving magnet cartridges. The founder of the Funk Firm, Arthur Khoubesserian, demonstrated the benefits of the Akutrak concept and the RAGE. This vinyl playing system brought performers from the Dutch Uncles and Santana to the Beatles and Jacqueline DuPre into the room via the Curvies.
All cabling (mains and signal) in the system (including internal wiring within the Curvies) was provided by Gekko cables ( https://gekkocables.com/ ) with mains conditioning from Isol-8 and Isotek units. The full Gekko mains cable loom and mains isolation provided the perfect foundation for the inherent fluidity and dynamics of the system. The signal (analogue and digital) cable loom was perfectly neutral with no suppression of timing, speed and dynamics.
Digital sources included the new Gekko Fire Digital Audio Converter with valve output stage and a new streaming digital source, also from Gekko. Music emerged from an inky black background with incision, body and warmth in perfect balance. CDs were played on a heavily modified Sony Play Station 1 provided by Danny Baty of PS Excellence invited by Gekko Cables. PS1 modifications included a granite and stainless steel isolation support/stabilisation system, disc damper and a mass damper for the lid and a separate massively over-engineered linear power supply and unity gain valve buffered output stage. The Curvies ably demonstrated that this is a CD playing system of seriously high-end quality with analogue-like character.
Amplification was thanks to an Audio Detail (Ming Da UK https://www.mingda.co.uk/) Dynasty Cavatina Scatola, 35 W single ended triode integrated amplifier – very kindly provided by Mark Manwaring-White of Audio Detail. The Curvi-BMR is an easy amplifier load and the seemingly low 85 dB/W sensitivity was no barrier to attainment of more than loud enough reproduction levels in the room full of visitors. The Curvies were an open window to the dynamics and transparency of this amplifier; they worked incredibly well together.
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Designer of the Curvi speakers