New music and technology: July 2022

By: Gary Steel, Photography by: Supplied

Here's what's new in music and technology this month

Perlisten S7t Tower Loudspeaker

Perlisten’s top-ranking S7t tower loudspeaker—commanding!

Perlisten is a new loudspeaker company from America created by a bunch of industry veterans intent on making history. They reckon their speakers are the ultimate in audio performance, and reach "a level never reached by anyone until now."

That might sound like hyperbole, but Perlisten’s range of speakers—bookshelf to tower, subwoofer to home theatre—are impressing the harshest of critics. Now available in New Zealand, the Perlisten range is for the consumer who wants the benefits of the latest audio technology, with a new way of thinking that incorporates incredibly low-distortion amps on active speakers and clever DSP.  

For the S7t Tower speaker, for instance, Perlisten teamed up with companies in the US and Sweden to bring modern material science to hi-fi. "Utilising advanced Comsol acoustical modelling, our DPC-array is the result of 18 months of painstaking simulations and prototyping," goes the blurb.

The result, they say, is one of the most technologically advanced loudspeakers on the market, with a new tweeter/waveguide DPC-Array delivering amazing accuracy, smoothness, and directivity control to handle the critical vocal range and delicate treble.

The only speakers to have been certified for THX Dominus—their highest rating—the S7t tower offers true full-range performance with unparalleled dynamic range and musical finesse.

MoFi UltraGold MC Cartridge

Never underestimate a cartridge—MoFi’s UltraGold

It’s an easy mistake to make. You buy a decent turntable, and you assume that the cartridge it comes with will do it proud. But so often, that’s just wrong. It’s too easy to blame the turntable for poor performance, but the truth is, sticking a really great cartridge on just about any turntable can be a transformational musical experience.

I know; I’ve been there. So does MoFi, who also makes astounding turntables. Their new UltraGold moving coil cartridge is designed for those who want the best. Crafted in Japan, it promises an exceptionally wide frequency response, rich detail, and stunning dynamics.

Obviously, MoFi would love you to buy one of their turntables, but, of course, the UltraGold MC Cartridge will work well on any platter-spinner of quality and distinction. Further enticement comes in the form of its nude Shibata diamond stylus and boron cantilever, which is said to account for its astounding low-end reproduction, high transient responsiveness, and robust midrange.

The comforting thing about buying MoFi products is that you know they’ve already got an unparalleled reputation for producing LPs of phenomenal quality, so they’re going to want to make turntables and cartridges to bring out their very best.

Rega System One

Rega’s System One—a whole system for turntable fans

If you’re just starting out on your hi-fi journey and you don’t want to break the bank, Rega has just the solution. The Rega System One includes the company’s multi-award-winning
Planar 1 turntable along with the io amplifier and a pair of Kyte speakers.

Perfectly matched for overall synergy, it’s a complete turntable-based system that includes everything you need (apart from the vinyl itself) to get up and running, and it’s no slouch in the sound stakes.

Simple to set up and easy to use, the Rega System One includes the beautifully slim 30-watt io amp featuring a high specification Rega moving magnet phono stage and a
high-quality headphone output.

The meticulously engineered Kyte speakers use Rega’s ZRR high-frequency unit and a handmade pair of Rega MX125 bass-mid drivers. The Rega System One may be modest, but it doesn’t cut corners on sound reproduction. And even the cables are included.

Memory Foam—Steel Magnolias

Memory Foam’s debut is packed with mind-melting vigour

You’d think with a name like Memory Foam, their music would be as comfy as anything. Instead, this hot new Kiwi group are as spiky and hard-edged as they come.

Helmed by Yuko Miyoshi’s half-crazed vocals and Samuel Moore’s brain-melting guitar emissions, the group’s debut is the kind of record you want to turn up all the way to get your ya-ya’s out.

This is full-on punky stuff that sounds like 2022, not 1977, because of the bubbling synthesiser and former Mint Chick Mike Logie’s fulsome production. Pogo-a-go-go!

Tall Dwarfs

Tall Dwarfs’ genius lives again on an expansive box set

It’s a real shame that Chris Knox lost the power of speech with his 2009 stroke. Possibly New Zealand’s most articulate singer-songwriter, his work with post-punk band Toy Love and then his duo with that group’s former guitarist Alec Bathgate is incomparable.

Long unavailable, the Tall Dwarfs catalogue—which stretches through the ’80s and ’90s—can be enjoyed again either through streaming services for the first time, or the box set, Unravelled 1981–2002. Available as a four-LP set with a 20-page booklet or double CD, it’s a 55-song collection that fully confirms the pair’s innovative lo-fi pop genius.

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