The 2022 Paris Audio Video Show saw many new products, but also several brand anniversaries. The perfect opportunity for them to present their limited anniversary edition products. This is also an opportunity to take a look back at the most awaited hardware and to appreciate the collector’s editions that we won’t be seeing any time soon. After connected hi-fi, new speakers, new headphones and TVs, discover the main vinyl news of this fall.
Technics: 50 years of SL1200
Technics‘ flagship turntable was in the spotlight at the Paris Audio Video Show 2022. Indeed, to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Technics SL1200 turntable,the Japanese brand, pioneer of direct drive technology, has released its flagship product in seven different colors (white, red, yellow, dark blue, beige, black and khaki) and with a trendy matte finish. Announced last April, the 12,000 numbered copies are extremely difficult to obtain, if not impossible for the European market. The show allowed us to have a look at these highly collectable models.
A collector turntable for collector records?
The brand’s announcements do not stop there. A few months ago, Olivier Delachanal, marketing director at Wagram Music, contacted Technics. He wanted to create a compilation of the most played tracks on this legendary turntable, whose success was largely due to DJs, the first users of this iconic model. Since October, Technics has offered double vinyl albums covering three genres: hip-hop, house and techno. According to the French director of Technics, other compilations on different themes are in production. A great idea that perfectly illustrates the connection between Technics, DJs and the public that is very timely for the 50th anniversary of the Technics SL1200 turntable.
Audio-Technica celebrates its 60th anniversary
The Japanese brand is celebrating its 60th anniversary with the release of a fully transparent turntable. Both vintage and modern, it is meant to represent the connection between the various eras since the creation of the brand in 1962, and the purity of analog sound. The new Audio-Technica AT-LP2022 turntable is transparent and very unique-looking. It is accompanied by a 60th anniversary cartridge equipped with a Shibata stylus and a clear body compatible with the Audio-Technica VM95SH cartridge. To listen to this device, the Japanese brand also presented a pair of anniversary headphones, the ATH-WB2022, which we will talk about soon.
Gems from Nagaoka
Although the brand’s 80th anniversary was two years ago, it one of the many events that had to be postponed due the recent pandemic. In order not to spoil the release of an important anniversary edition for the brand, the Nagaoka JT-80 blue and Nagaoka JT-80 black moving magnet cartridges are finally available this year, much to the delight of audiophiles.
The first model features an elliptical stylus with an aluminum cantilever. The second, more premium model adopts an elliptical Nude stylus with a boron cantilever. This series, named Jewel-Tone, is aptly named because the casing of the Nagaoka cartridges is reminiscent of a jewel. The rave reviews from the press and users and their reasonable price mean that choosing a model will come down to sound preference rather than price. They join an already substantial range of cartridges with some flagship products such as the Nagaoka MP-500 for the top of the range, or the Nagaoka MP-110 whose more than affordable price encourages vinyl lovers to upgrade their turntable with this highly appreciated cartridge.
Hana: “brilliant and beautiful”
Hana cartridges had the effect of an earthquake in the vinyl world. Hiroshi Ishihara, Youtek Corp’s founder who we met at the PAVS booth, told us how the brand was born. Hana is the result of a reunion between two long-time friends. In 2015, this happy reunion between Excel Sound founder Masao Okada-San and Hiroshi Ishihara gave birth to Hana. Success was instantaneous, the secret of which lies, according to our interviewee, in the ability of skilled craftsmen to assemble simple but very well made elements.
All their models are available in several versions with high and low output levels. Whether it is with the entry-level Hana EL and Hana EH, the mid-range Hana SL and Hana SH models,the Hana ML and Hana MH microline stylus models, or, the only cartridge with a single version, the flagship Hana Umami Red,the Japanese manufacturer has won numerous press awards and has captivated the hearts of audiophiles since its inception.
To encompass the entire catalog, the Japanese brand also offers a mono cartridge equipped with a Shibata stylus, the Hana SL Mono. We were able to listen to the Umami Red cartridge with a Bill Withers record played by a Transrotor Z1 turntable, amplified by a Feliks Audio amp and diffused in a pair of Sivga PII headphones. The spellbinding atmosphere of details bathed in a smooth sound made us forget the hubub of the show completely and transported us to the Soul icon’s stage.
Elipson Bleu de Chauffe: French expertise
The French hi-fi brand has teamed up with the artisans at Bleu de Chauffe to present a limited edition of its Elipson Chroma 400 RIAA BT turntable. The light brown natural leather finish offers a timeless and warm design. Bleu de chauffe is a French leather goods company that has worked with many prestigious clients. The Elipson Bleu de Chauffe turntable is equipped with an RIAA phono preamp, a Bluetooth transmitter and an OM Red cartridge. It is the perfect model to add to the warmth of a music lover’s living room. A turntable weight with a leather finish is also available.
Gold Note: 10 years of progress
Following the passing of its founder in 2012, one of the engineers, Maurizio Aterini, took over the brand. It is now celebrating its tenth anniversary after several years of rapid growth. The young Italian brand offers products with an exceptional level of quality and design. Starting with their new PST-10, PSU-10 and PSU-10 EVO power supplies that provide such stable power that machines powered by them run at maximum capacity. So much so that during the 2022 PAVS, one of the lucky owners of a Gold Note power supply, present at the Delta Audio stand (French importer of the brand) spoke passionately about the model to any onlookers who would listen.
Power supplies aren’t the only products from the brand that captivate music lovers. In the same format as the power supplies, the Gold Note catalog features the DS-10 DAC as well as the PH-10 and PH-5 phono preamps. We were able to discover the careful design of these devices, which benefit from balanced outputs, proof of the brand’s desire to offer devices for individuals and professionals that can be integrated into any system. At the stand, we also noticed the new version of the Gold Note Valore 425 walnut finish turntable with its heavier platter.
We were also able to listen to the Gold Note A6 Evo II hi-fi speakers in a dedicated listening room. A Gold Note IS-1000 amplifier and PH-10 phono preamp were combined with a Gold Note Mediterraneo turntable, itself powered by a Gold Note PSU-10 to complete the system. Ideal for enjoying an entire Gold Note hi-fi system. The speakers did remind us of a well-known Italian brand, Sonus Faber, with their superb wood veneer and exquisite finish. While their price is steep, they show just how much expertise this brand has accumulated in only ten years. The listening room, always packed, convinced many listeners, whose blissful smiles only disappeared once they arrived at Klipsch or Yamaha. We all have our preferences…
Pro-Ject honors Metallica
Pro-Ject also celebrates its 30th anniversary this year with a limited edition collector turntable featuring the legendary heavy metal band: Metallica. Present at the PAVS, the Austrian brand once again offers an excellent turntable tribute to a band. Considering the success of this model at the stand, we can easily imagine that the 1000 copies will be snapped up really quickly. At the stand, professionals and individuals discussed how much they would be willing to pay for it on the second-hand market. When thinking back to the Yellow Submarine and Sergeant Pepper turntables, the Metallica model will surely join the brand’s line-up of extraordinary turntables.
We could also have a look at their new turntable models: the Pro-Ject X8 and Pro-Ject X2. The first model has a massive aluminum platter. The second has an acrylic platter and is available in a balanced version, the X2 B. These turntables benefit from Pro-Ject’s know-how and are in line with its other refined products. These new models are an illustration of the manufacturer’s desire to revive balanced configurations, much to the delight of audiophiles.
Pro-Ject also has the whole Debut Carbone series on display. The latter is available in yellow, green, blue, white and black satin colors as well as white, black and red glossy finishes. The fifth evolution of this best-selling audiophile series, Pro-Ject will be very successful with these beautiful colors.