National Audio Show 2012

One of the more interesting rooms was run by a new company, Advanced Acoustics. They make acoustic panels and diffusers, which are still a rare breed in this part of the world. The sound they produced with a less-than-exotic system from Swedish brand XTZ (CD100 CD player, 550; D3 integrated, 780; 99.36 MkII speakers, 1300/pair) had a lot of appealing qualities. It was calm yet wideband and powerful with positively holographic imaging, qualities that are all too scarce in demonstrations in the rooms provided by this particular venue. The Wall and Corner Panels are priced from 85 upwards and the 17/25 QRD Diffusers are 186 each.

The fifth element in this system, however, was a Rives PARC room-correction device -- or Parametric Adaptive Room Compensator. This costs 2690 in the UK and is a fully analog equalizer that sits between preamp and power amp. Switching it off revealed that it was responsible for the depth of image and general coherence of the presentation and it made us rethink the dark art of room correction.

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