New music and technology releases in June 2019

By: Gary Steel, Photography by: supplied


Deals on Wheels brings the latest in music and technology for June 2019

Samsung QE75Q900R 8K Television

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Here we go again: first we marvelled at the incredible detail of 1080p HD pictures and wondered how it could get any better than that, and then came 4K tellies just to blow us out of the water with clarity that was mind-blowing and super-real.

Except that while you could buy the sets, it was really hard to find any 4K media to play on them. And now it’s time to adjust your set again as 8K television hits the market.

One of the front-runners is Samsung with its—wait for it—75-inch QE75Q900R box, retailing in a store near you for a mere $15,999.95! Hang on, though, are there any 8K shows available on broadcast TV, Blu-ray, or on the streaming networks? Well, no, not quite.

In the meantime, however, the Samsung’s secret weapon is its stealthy ability to upscale 4K images to look almost like the real thing. Early adopters out there will just have to bite the bullet, regardless.

samsung.com

Linn Majik LP12

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It might come across as a bit rich that a company’s ‘entry-level’ turntable comes with a ticket price of $6400, but what price quality, longevity, and—perhaps most importantly—the ability to add improvements as technology takes new turns?

Linn’s LP12 turntable range has been a mark of quality in high-end audio for decades, and they’re not the kind of company that turns up hyping a new model every six months.

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But every now and then, their trusty record players get a bit of a makeover, and the Majik turned into an even more spellbinding aural experience in the process.

The re-rubbed Majik boasts a new sandwich construction aluminium sub-chassis and a host of other improvements.But perhaps most alluring is the spiffing new Jelco tonearm and Adikt MM cartridge, which is just another way of adding honey to one of the sweetest sounds you’ll hear on this planet.

thehifistore.co.nz

Sonus Faber Minima Amator II Speakers

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Hi-fi fans tend to love their floor-standing behemoths, but their wives less so. Surprisingly, many high-end disciples reckon that top-quality bookshelf speakers actually sound better than floor-standers, and with less crossover circuitry, a better overall sonic image is possible.

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Owners of Sonus Faber’s latest would certainly agree. Their Minima Amator II speakers ($7000), which form part of the company’s Heritage Collection, feature a classic look but sound vastly better than historic iterations.

Billed as ‘tiny but mighty’, the speakers ring out with a deliciously warm sound and with their solid walnut cabinet and leather-covered baffle, are a thing of beauty, too.

dencoaudio.co.nz

Sophie Mashlan—Perfect Disaster

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Occasionally, you hear a young singer for the first time and their songs and performances are so fully fledged and complete that you wonder where they did all their growing up.

Auckland singer-songwriter Sophie Mashlan’s album debut is like that. It’s a canny combo of rustic-round-the-edges country and catchy pop that sounds much more seasoned than she looks.

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It’s the kind of album that will have you singing along to its tunes and agreeing with its world-weary but comforting insights on the human condition.

Shayne Carter—Dead People I Have Known

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Okay, so this isn’t a CD or a record; it’s a book. We don’t usually review books on this page but it’s such a great memoir by the man who helmed a few of New Zealand’s greatest bands—notably Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer—that we simply had to mention it.

Carter writes like he makes music: honestly, unflinchingly, and with a dark, dramatic twist.

There’s still more than a little of the punk brat who started out as a schoolboy in Bored Games and moved onto the Doublehappys before setting the rock landscape alight with the dramatic alt-rock of Straitjacket Fits on songs such as ‘She Speeds’, and the way he tells his very Kiwi story is compellingly vivid.

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