They had the same room as last year and the speakers had the same diagonal placement. There were still two important novelties: Chordís new massive looking power amplifier called SPM-1200 and Wilson Beneschís new monitor speakers called Discovery.

Chord SPM-1200 is rated 800W into 8 ohm with 24kW (!) peak power availability. Physically it really looks huge! (middle picture shows the SPM-1200 with its designer John Franks). You immediately notice the blue light coming out of the top grill. It is obtained by 160 blue LEDís placed underneath the top cover for cosmetic purposes. It gives you the impression that something is burning inside (see the bottom picture). And what is burning inside is coming out as a warm sound from the Wilson Benesch Bishopís. As I had listened to the Bishops with another Chord amplifier last year it seemed to me that the additional warmth is the work of the new power amp. The sound was dynamic, effortless and had a big sound stage. Still it was a little on the dark side.

I was very impressed by Wilson Beneschís new monitor speakers called DISCOVERY (see the top picture). If you close your eyes you would think they are four times bigger than they look. The sound had body, bass extension and weight and the sound stage was as big as the Bishopís. Only the low frequencies had a little less resolution compared with the Bishops, and this is perfectly understandable. We are told that the retail price will be around £5,500.-. The reversed (as on the Bishop) woofer cone is placed at the bottom of the cabinet and thus fire vertically. Wilson Benesch claims that in case the woofer is placed on the front face to fire horizontally, itís reaction force vibrates the cabinet back to front. This fact is more accentuated in the case of light constructions such as the monitor speakers. Vertical movement prevents these unwanted vibrations.

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Chord / Wilson Benesch