Geometry Series, A.C.T. One Evolution Review, HIFI+, Issue 130

Alan Sircom - A.C.T. One Evolution - Loudspeaker - Carbon Fibre - British - Engineering - Innovation - HIFI- HIFI PlusIt’s Friday and this week, everyone at Wilson Benesch has a little spring in their step as we prepare for the forthcoming ‘Sound & Vision’ The Bristol Show 2016. As we reported last week in our show preview, Wilson Benesch will this year be launching the new A.C.T. One Evolution depicted in all its glory, with its characteristic sculptured top, in the image above. Read all about our show plans this year via the link above.

This week we have been setting up and testing all components for the show at the Wilson Benesch HQ, you can view some previews of the system via our Instagram and Twitter feed. As you might imagine, generally we have a lot of fun playing our favourite music on a selection of the world’s finest audio products. This year we will be joined by Audio Alchemy, CH Precision, Clearer Audio and DS Audio in the “Wilson Benesch Glass House” (1st Floor Conservatory).

So since its Friday and we are feeling especially generous, we thought we would finally share Alan Sircom’s full unedited A.C.T. One Evolution review, taken from HiFi+ Issue 130.

Happy Friday everyone!

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Preview: Bristol ‘Sound & Vision’ 2016

Wilson Benesch - Geometry Series - Sound & Vision The Bristol Show 2016 - A.C.T. One Evolution Loudspeaker - Discovery II Loudspeaker - HIFI - High End Audio

Wilson Benesch return to ‘Sound & Vision’ The Bristol Show with two new stunning loudspeaker designs in its Reference Line, Geometry Series.
And as usual we have brought together some of the finest designs from across the world of high end audio to join in on the launch of these two loudspeakers. Read on to find out a little more about the components that will be used in the ‘Wilson Benesch Glass House’ this year.

Discovery II Stand Mount Loudspeaker
Wilson Benesch - Discovery II - Standmount - Loudspeaker - Carbon Fibre Composite - Bristol - Sound & Vision - 2016

A 2.5-way design constructed from carbon fibre composite and precision CNC-machined alloy. The new Discovery II features the company’s very latest Geometry Series drive unit technology, deployed in a unique, compact topology. The innovative clamshell Isobaric Drive System sits underside of the enclosure with a tweeter and dedicated midrange unit sitting directly above. The combination of Isobaric Drive and the proximity of all drive units, allows the Discovery II to deliver a sound like no other loudspeaker. The soundstage is fundamentally right; integrated with ease, punchy and dynamic in the delivery of the bass register and rich and detailed across the midrange to the high frequencies which float effortlessly from the crown jewel of the Geometry Series, the Semisphere Silk-Carbon Hybrid Dome Technology Tweeter.

The new Discovery II will perhaps be familiar to owners and long-term admirers of the brand, replacing as it does the award-winning Odyssey Series design that precedes it. The original design won ‘Reference Loudspeaker’ in What HiFi? Magazine over two consecutive years in 2004 and 2005, along with a clutch of other awards including the ‘Stereo Sound Japan – Component of the Year’.

A.C.T. One Evolution Floor Standing Loudspeaker
Wilson Benesch - A.C.T. One Evolution - Floorstanding - Loudspeaker - Carbon Fibre Composite - Bristol - Sound & Vision - 2016 The name A.C.T. is an acronym for ‘Advanced Composite Technology’ – it is a reference to the carbon composite technologies upon which the Wilson Benesch brand was founded and subsequently became synonymous with. The A.C.T. acronym was used when naming the company’s first loudspeaker, the A.C.T. One, in 1991. The name was subsequently used for successive designs in the loudspeaker line; A.C.T. Two, A.C.T. and A.C.T. C60; along with the company’s range of tonearms which employ carbon fibre composite technologies.

Thus the A.C.T. One Evolution is a design born from impeccable heritage and the latest loudspeaker that has evolved from an iterative design process. The A.C.T. One Evolution features cutting edge Geometry Series drive technology, with the Troika System, first developed for the Cardinal flagship, reappearing in the latest floorstander in the series. The Troika sees an upper midrange and a lower midrange/bass drive unit delpyed either side of the Semisphere Tweeter. The drive units served have a stripped back crossover, reducing all components in the signal path to a minimum, with their output dictated by the optimised specification to which Wilson Benesch have built that drive unit. The combination of topology, highly refined build and proximity of all drive units results in something quite spectacular, with the A.C.T. One Evolution delivering a wide open, expansive and natural soundstage. The dynamic kick in the bass register is generated by the dedicated bass drive unit which has a capacious internal air volume to energise the driver.

the carbon fibre monocoque design found in the original A.C.T. One is still a vital part of the new loudspeaker’s development. It means that the loudspeaker can be completely unbraced internally, and yet retain the level of stiffness required of a loudspeaker at this level. And that means the internal air volume of the cabinet is far larger than most loudspeakers of the A.C.T. One Evolution’s footprint, which spells deceptive amounts of bass for the size of the speaker.

Alan Sircom, HiFi+, A.C.T. One Evolution Review, December 2015

CH Precision P1 Phono Stage
Wilson Benesch - CH Precision - P1 Phono Stage - Bristol - Sound & Vision - 2016
Swiss high-end manufacturer CH Precision return again this year. As the exclusive UK importer, Wilson Benesch will showcase CH Precision electronics through the A.C.T. One Evolution loudspeakers. The incredible A1 Power Amplifier will be joined this year by a C1 D/A Controller providing digital streamed content, along with the very latest product in the Swiss marque, the P1 Phono Stage.

The P1 shares the high-tech design, fully balanced circuitry and multi-level menu-driven setup and control options of the CH Precision ‘Series-1′. In the rarefied environment that is high-end audio, the P1 sets itself apart from other designs with a number of innovative features. It has three dedicated inputs, which are all independently configurable and adjustable for gain. Two are current-driven MC inputs optimised for low-output cartridges, while the third is voltage-driven and switchable between MM and MC. The MC inputs use DSP circuitry and a supplied test disc to examine the profile of the incoming signal and then modify a fixed resistor to set the impedance for the flattest response, which can in turn be tweaked manually. Another stand out design feature is the ability to add an optional module, allowing you to switch between standard RIAA/extended RIAA EQ curves and those for EMI, Columbia, Decca and Teldec.

Audio Alchemy
Wilson Benesch - Audio Alchemy - DDP-1 Preamp DAC - Bristol - Sound & Vision - 2016
Audio Alchemy is a company reborn. The original Audio Alchemy pioneered affordable standalone digital-to-analog converters in the late 1980s. It sold more than 100,000 audio products, and the technologies it developed for jitter control, resolution enhancement and high-resolution analog filtering are still the solutions of choice in the audio industry.

The new Audio Alchemy, launched in 2014, is headed by original co-founder Peter Madnick and taps the talents of many of the original engineers responsible for the Audio Alchemy products of the 1980s and ’90s. The products are manufactured in the same Southern California facility with the same ethos: superior technology at reasonable prices.

Making its ‘Sound & Vision’ debut courtesy of UK importer Symmetry. Audio Alchemy will arrive with a magical system consisting of 4 x DPA-1M Monoblock hybrid digital power amplifiers running the Discovery II loudspeakers with a dedicated amplifier for each Isobaric Drive System and each midrange – tweeter pair. Up front will be the DDP-1 digital decoding preamp/DAC with a PS-5 power supply upgrade, along with the DMP-1 digital music streamer/DAC.

If Audio Alchemy’s design team was seeking that elusive ‘analogue feel’ for the sound of its DAC/preamp then it’s certainly hit the mark … tremendous value for listeners seeking fine audio on a sensible budget.

John Bamford, Hi-Fi News & Record Review, January 2016

DS Audio DS-W1 “Nightrider” Optical Cartridge
Wilson Benesch - DS Audio - DS-W1 - Nightrider - Optical Cartridge - Bristol - Sound & Vision - 2016
DS Audio’s DS-W1 “Nightrider” Optical Cartridge probably requires little in the way of an introduction. It has captured the imagination of the analogue fraternity for some time now and is one of those products which redefines a sector of the market and a whole new category in the process. And rightly so, the DS-Audio is the world’s first Optical Cartridge.

The design is based around a pure analogue contact system employing a conventional stylus and cantilever, but replacing the traditional electromagnetic coil and magnet system with an LED to detect the vibration in the stylus caused by the grooves in the record. It is a revolutionary system that completely eliminates the electromagnetic frictional force that is unavoidable in all MM and MC cartridge designs.

The DS-W1 “Nightrider” cartridge uses state-of-the-art technology developed by Japanese photo-optics specialist Digital Stream Corporation, the co-creators, along with Microsoft, of the optical mouse.

Wilson Benesch will partner the DS-W1 with our A.C.T. 25 Tonearm mounted on the Circle 25 Turntable. Given the absence of heavy magnets and coils behind the stylus/cantilever, the “Nightrider is a spectacularly lightweight system at 6.5g. Placed on the end of the carbon fibre composite A.C.T. 25 Tonearm, it is an elegant, high-technology system.

This is unquestionably on of the shows, “Not to be missed” demonstrations!!

Clearer Audio Cables
Wilson Benesch - Clearer Audio - Bristol - Sound & Vision - 2016For almost a decade now, Clearer Audio and Wilson Benesch have partnered to great effect – two British companies coming together for a celebration of high end audio at the country’s premier HiFi Show. Clearer Audio will wire two independent systems, with the A.C.T. One Evolution – CH Precision system benefitting from Clearer Audio’s Silver-Line Optimus Reference cables.

Clearer Audio will present for the first time, the new updated versions of our multi award-winning Copper-line and Silver-line Power Cables which feature new Furutech connectors. This new upgrade provides existing customers with an optional upgrade path.

Clearer Audio will also unveil the new high-end Silver-line Optimus Reference 75 Digital Interconnect. Featuring larger 6N OCC silver conductors, our hybrid multi-layer copper/silver shielding system and pure silver digital RCA/BNC plugs, the new digital interconnect offers unrivalled world class performance, from a meticulously hand-built, in-house designed British cable. Company Director, Darren Smith will be on hand during the show and would be delighted to answer any cable questions or queries that visitors might have and offer advice in areas of cable selection, upgrades and system optimisation to name a few.

The Wilson Benesch ‘Glass House’
Widely regarded as the premier British High End Audio show and a firm favourite for all at the company, Wilson Benesch always look to do something with a difference in Bristol – to celebrate High End. This year we really have brought together some of the finest components from around the globe, deploying them in systems that will really bring the best of each product in the chain.

As normal we will be taking residence in the 1st Floor Conservatory, now affectionately known as the ‘Wilson Benesch Glass House’. More information about ‘Sound & Vision’ The Bristol Show can be found via the official show website.

We very much look forward to sharing the weekend with each of you.

See you in Bristol,

Wilson Benesch

Wilson Benesch: The Future is Carbon

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Norddeutsche HiFi-Tage 2016, Hamburg

Wilson Benesch - Square Three - Square Series II - Loudspeaker - Hamburg - Norddeutsche HiFi Tage - Carbon Fibre - British - High - End - Audio
Exclusive German import partner IBEX Audio return in 2016 with a demonstration of the Square Three loudspeaker at the Norddeutsche HiFi-Tage 2016. Taking place in the beautiful North Germany city of Hamburg, the event will also provide an opportunity to listen to the Wilson Benesch Circle 25 Anniversary Turntable.

The full system setup will be as follows:
Loudspeakers: Wilson Benesch Square Three
Turntable: Wilson Benesch Circle 25 Anniversary Turntable
Tonearm: Wilson Benesch A.C.T. 25 Tonearm
Cartridge: Transfiguration Phoenix-S
Phono-Pre: IKEDA SUT and Remton LCR Mk2
DAC: Exogal Comet Plus
Cables: WAY Cables
Rack: Solid Tech
Integrated-Amp: Audio Analogue Maestro Anniversary (Worldpremier)

For full details of the event and ticketing, please use the links below.

Event: Nordeutsche HiFi-Tage 2016
Date: Saturday 6th – Sunday 7th February 2016
Location: Holiday Inn, Billwerder Neuer Deich 14, 20539, Hamburg

For further information about the ‘Norddeutsche HiFi-Tage 2016′ please see the website

To organise a private demonstration of any Wilson Benesch product, you can contact our exclusive importer IBEX Audio.

IBEX Audio GmbH
Ibex Audio GmbH
Alfredshöhe 29
D-89522 Heidenheim
Tel: +49 7321 25490
Fax: +49 7321 25487

Wilson Benesch: The Future is Carbon

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Intek: Vertex & Vector Workshop, Ljubljana

Wilson Benesch - Vertex - Vector - Loudspeaker - Carbon Fibre - High-End - Audio - INTEK Ltd. - Slovenia - Croatia - British - Geometry SeriesThis coming Friday and Saturday, new Wilson Benesch distribution partner Intek hi-fi, high-end & music will conduct a workshop with the Geometry Series Vertex and Vector loudspeakers.

The event is a public session, with all welcome. Intek also stock Square Series II and Analogue Collection products from the Wilson Benesch range, however this event will be focussed on the carbon fibre loudspeaker from the Geometry Series.

The system setup will be as follows:
Wilson Benesch : Vertex and Vector Loudspeakers in conjunction with,
ELECTROCOMPANIET phono preamp and amplifier
DR. FEICKERT analog turntable
ATC power amplifier
AUDIOQUEST connecting cables
SHUNYATA RESEARCH and connecting electric cables and electric filtration
ISOTEK electrical filtration
STILLPOINTS & SSC antivibration accessories
MUSIC TOOLS audio cabinets

Friday 8th January 14.00 – 19.00
Saturday 9th January 10.00 – 18.00

Intek HiFi Salon, Njegoševi ulici 23, Ljubljana.

For further information about the show or to arrange a private demonstration of with ‘INTEK Ltd.’ please use the following links.

INTEK Croatia j.d.o.o.
Hi-Fi, Hi-End & Music Distribution
Tel: +385 48 644 101

Wilson Benesch: The Future is Carbon

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Impressions from the Guangzhou AV Fair 2015, China

Wilson Benesch - Cardinal - A.C.T. One Evolution - Loudspeaker - Carbon Fibre - Geometry Series - Guangzhou - AV - Fair - 2015The dust has settled and everyone of the Wilson Benesch team have now returned to the headquarters following another wonderful Guangzhou AV Fair. As the images attest, there are few if any exhibitions that are as well attended anywhere in the world, each there to pay homage to some of the finest high end audio products available today.

This year our partners Forthwise, had two rooms dedicated to the presentation of their impressive collection of audio components. The Wilson Benesch Cardinal loudspeaker formed one of the two main systems, partnered with DarTZeel electronics and the Tech DAS Air Force One Turntable. In room two, the A.C.T. One Evolution took centre stage, partnered with Nagra electronics.
Wilson Benesch - Cardinal - A.C.T. One Evolution - Loudspeaker - Carbon Fibre - Geometry Series - Guangzhou - AV - Fair - 2015

Wilson Benesch - A.C.T. One Evolution - Loudspeaker - Carbon Fibre - Geometry Series - HIFI - 2015The presentations were exceptional – a fine example of what can be achieved with a public demonstration of high end audio. Wilson Benesch Design Director Craig Mines took to the floor with Eric from Forthwise to do a technological presentation of the Wilson Benesch range. He can be seen balancing on the Torus Infrasonic Generator carbon fibre cone in the collection of images at the foot of the page. The technical presentation was a fascinating spectacle for the attentive audience. Technology and British innovation is held in very high regard by the Chinese and we would like to thank the many attending guests who personally thanked Craig and Christina during the show.
Wilson Benesch - Cardinal - A.C.T. One Evolution - Loudspeaker - Carbon Fibre - Geometry Series - Guangzhou - AV - Fair - 2015
Wilson Benesch - Cardinal - A.C.T. One Evolution - Loudspeaker - Carbon Fibre - Geometry Series - Guangzhou - AV - Fair - 2015
International exhibitions always provide an excellent opportunity to not only meet with customers, but also with business partners in the organisation you work with directly and also with key dealers who have the knowledge and passion that brings your product to the market. We would like to make our personal thanks to all the team at Forthwise, some of whom are pictured below. A further thanks to all those who attended. See you again next time!!

Click on the image of the Tech DAS Air Force III to see more images of the Guangzhou AV Fair.

Wilson Benesch - Cardinal - A.C.T. One Evolution - Loudspeaker - Carbon Fibre - Geometry Series - Guangzhou - AV - Fair - 2015

Wilson Benesch Endeavour, Torus and R1 HIFI Rack

Wilson Benesch: The Future is Carbon

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