AV News Reviews

An experience at the ‘Unit’

Ever since The Den India, relocated to their new venue and opened for business last month, Pawan Sahjwani, the owner had been patiently calling me time and again to come over and experience his entire AV Showroom but for some reason or the other, it did not materialise until yesterday when I decided to go for an impromptu visit that too without him being aware of the same. To be honest, I was keen to do so only once his allocated hi end stereo set up was in place, up and running and to the satisfaction of  Khushrau Jilla, the bossman of Nexus AV. To me that was the proverbial cherry on the cake, but to what extent it was going to bamboozle me was still unknown. More on that later….

I shall purposely not include an in depth review of each component of the room which from now onwards I shall refer to as the ‘Unit’ in this article, as I feel that the sum of the total parts is what makes the ‘unit’ perform the way it does. The break-up of the components installed were as follows:-


AVM MP3.2 CD Player with Streamer


Octave V70SE with Black Box (External Power Supply Booster)


PMC Twenty5.26 – 3 Way Floor Standing Loud Speakers

Acoustic Panels:

Kaiser Acoustics Diffuser and Absorber Panels



Music heard on CD’s –

Retrospective – The Best of Suzanne Vega

This is one album, I thought was simply at it’s best playing at really very high spl with immense bass control in songs like ‘Luka’, ‘Tom’s Diner’, ’99.9F’, ‘Blood Makes Noise’

Ms. Vega’s vocals were always in the spotlight but with the rest of the instruments in balance, making one wanting to hear the album in its entirety.

Meenaxi: Tale of 3 Cities – OST

The drum beats of ‘Yeh Rista’ were intoxicating, the composition of ‘Chinnamma Chilakamma’ sounded brilliant and the effervescent artifacts of the entire sum of the musical and non musical instruments used to create a vivid image of ‘Cyclist’s Rhythm’ were mesmerising to say the least. This song perfectly encapsulates AR Rahman’s creative genius and why this album needs to be in every music enthusiasts collection of CD’s.

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow

This is one of my favourite albums that I thought was very poorly mastered and recorded until yesterday when I heard it. ‘Man on the silver mountain’, ‘Catch the rainbow’, ‘Snake Charmer’, ‘The temple of the king’. I was specifically listening to certain passages of each song twice or thrice, literally in disbelief as what was I hearing was truly possible or not? Most noteworthy in all the tracks was the presence of Cozy Powell’s insane melodic timing with his stick work and intense rhythmic pounding of the skins and cymbals that was never felt as deeply as it was today. Now I can live happily in the fact that this album is indeed recorded and mastered at a higher level than what I was lead to believe for all these years!

Stradivari Sampler – Volume 2

The control the ‘unit’ displayed whilst playing Bach’s ‘Toccata and Fugue in D Minor’ had to be heard to be believed. The bass was felt more than heard which was magnificent and really satisfying.

If You Wait – London Grammar

Hannah Reid’s seductive vocals in ‘Strong’ were simply a treat to my ears. The strong (pun intended) bass was also a revelation.

The Dark Knight OST – Hans Zimmer

The true depth and power of this extremely dark composition needs to be heard in it’s entirety of 16 odd minutes to truly comprehend what Hans Zimmer is all about. Incredibly powerful and deeply connects with you on an emotional level. ‘If you are a fan of the movie then you can simply visualise the scenes in front of you, such is the impact’. Khusrau said so and I concur.

Random Access Memories – Daft Punk

The tracks ‘Giorgio’ and ‘Contact’ just pull you into the music with an addictive bassline and intense contact (again pun intended) The frenzied pace of the beats kept me awake at night, whilst I tried to get some sleep but the experience had earlier in the day was not leaving my consciousness. Total knock out!

Love In The Modern Age – Josh Rouse

I heard this artist and album for the first time thanks to Khusrau. It has a very 1980’s music feel that instantly connects with a listener who grew up in the ‘80s. ‘Businessman’ is a track with so much of the ‘80s synth vibe that it instantly transports you into a happy space, emotional connect and nostalgia. I heard this track a couple of times and each time enjoyed it even more!

I literally had a ‘reset’ and my ears were re-calibrated by the ‘unit’ whilst listening to all the albums that I had carried along with me. The intensity of the music played at varying volumes was always on point. Infact, so seductive that it makes you listen to the album end to end, what with so many nuances in the recordings coming to the fore that you are bamboozled by how much information there has been in your favourite tracks that you are realising this only after listening to it in this environment. Ones ears also get re-calibrated with regard to the lower frequencies, their texture, quality and finesse that sadly most if not all of us have never truly experienced in our life to date. Another important aspect of the whole experience was that we could listen to music at a stretch for hours together, without any ear fatigue, irritation and also manage conversations without having to shout or strain to hear the other person speak. A side note and probably the irony of this being reiterated with authority was when an accompanying non audio video industry related person mutually known to me and others in the audio video industry had just come from an uber high end system set up listening session, where he was truly miffed at the level of sheer ear fatigue and irritation he experienced in that listening session vis a vis to what he experienced in this room. He was simply not able to comprehend how a uber hi end stereo music set up costing 6 times more than the ‘Unit’ was so terrible, painful to the ear and not able to have any musical connect with him at all?

The sharing of his experience simply reassured me and validated what I was experiencing was true and there was NO false sense of over appreciation that he or I was intentionally or unknowingly getting into.

One thing that impressed me most about the whole set up is that Pawan clearly states that he is selling you a tailor made solution that is guaranteed to make you happy as the entire gear on demo including the acoustic panels will be sold as a ‘unit’ or single entity only. Yes, you may want to buy selective components from the ‘unit’ but how will it perform by itself is not something that he is interested in getting into. As far as Pawan is concerned, there is clear focus and a plan of action in what the ‘unit’ does. Play the entire game or don’t play it at all! This ensures top level performance that is guaranteed to make a music enthusiast relish the opportunity of experiencing sheer bliss. At a price of 40 lakhs, our market may be very very small and insignificant in context to the one in matured markets worldwide, but the fact that there are buyers of hi end audio in our country and that their tribe is growing, is gratifying and ensures that the need of the hour is to correctly showcase hi end stereo in India. The hallmark of a great sounding and optimised room is how much one is able to just forget all the baggage of life and relax into a nice comfortable chair to not only listen but to get involved in the music. The ‘Unit’ achieves this so effortlessly that it became addictive for me to hang around inside its environment for a couple of hours than what was supposed to be just a few minutes.

Overall to sum things up, it takes courage of conviction & intestinal fortitude to go all out and walk the talk. Pawan & Khushrau have managed to showcase in our country, what high end stereo done at an international level is all about. It is a matter of great satisfaction that now there is yet another dealer who is ready to make the dream a reality as far as hi end stereo set up showcasing is concerned.

Chapeau time for both the gents mentioned above and look forward to them succeeding in their endeavour. I only hope that the others too in the audio industry take the cue from them and collectively take the leap of faith to replicate such environments pan India.

As always, my aim is to first and foremost be unbiased and share what I feel on a personal level than sugar coat or wax eloquently on something that isn’t true. Infact, I would appreciate the readers of this article to visit The Den India and experience first hand what I did yesterday. It would be best if you could get in touch with Pawan and his team to fix an appointment for experiencing the same. I also suggest to carry all your favorite music album CD’s to enjoy to the maximum.

AV News




Rellingen, 20. August 2015 – MusicCast finally unites what belongs together – on a highend hifi-level. By developing MusicCast, Yamaha has created a revolutionary generation of audio products, which has far more to offer than just multi room. MusicCast includes almost every component in its connected audio world – whether it is the hifi receiver, the stereo active speaker system or the Dolby Atmos AV receiver.

R-N602: first-class MusicCast stereo receiver

The name of Yamaha’s new product line-up clearly indicates what music enthusiast can expect in their homes: music in its purest form. Which is exactly what the new R-N602 delivers – in stunning quality. Two discrete amplifiers with generous 100 Watts will reliably push even big speakers to maximum efficiency. The receiver benefits from the elaborate European fine-tuning and its first-class parts. Audio signals get to the R-N602 either via one of its six inputs (optical, coax, phono and 3x analogue) or simply and conveniently via the MusicCast network. Streaming services like Napster or Spotify are available at any given time as well. But the R-N602 can dish out as well as receive: All the connected audio sources are available throughout the whole MusicCast network.

AV receiver series RX-V and AVENTAGE: MusicCast for the home cinema

The AV receiver will become an even more versatile centre of your home cinema in the future: Thanks to their MusicCast integration, the up-to-date Yamaha AV receivers belonging to the RX-V79 and RX-A50 series are not only able to access the countless sources which are plugged into them, but all MusicCast components as well. Those receivers are already available in stores and will get a free firmware update as soon as MusicCast is introduced – instantly making them full-fledged members of the new product world! Whilst the RX-V79 series has been designed for newbies as well as sophisticated users, the products of the AVENTAGE RX-A50 series are aimed at the audiophile home cinema enthusiast with highest expectations where sound is concerned. These AV receivers also deliver all the audio signals of connected sources to the network – including the feedback channel of a plugged-in TV. The TV, combined with the AV receiver, offers another very useful feature: The receiver has a separate subsection for MusicCast in its intuitive on-screen display and can utilize the big screen as a hub for the whole system.

Grand PianoCraft: the next generation of the legendary micro hifi series

The PianoCraft series is easily one of the most famous Yamaha audio products to date, which is why it simply has to be a part of the MusicCast product-world as well. Yamaha will therefore release two new, particularly classy versions as part of its new multi-room product line-up bearing the illustrious name Grand PianoCraft: the MCR-N670 and the MCR-N870. Both products have been largely shaped by the decades of experience in the field of audio and hifi the Japanese manufacturer has amassed. Because of this, Grand PianoCraft amplifiers and CD-players are built as two separate components to rule out sonic interaction between the two. Both versions feature – like all other MusicCast components as well – WiFi, Bluetooth and Airplay. On top of that, the components can effortlessly access numerous music-streaming services and make them available in the whole network. Other sources include your CD player, FM tuner or other external sources connected via optical, cinch or mini stereo jack. In contrast to the MCR-N670, the MCR-N870 has a high-class USB-DAC (32 Bit, 384 kHz) inlet and will be bundled with the more powerful NS-BP401 speakers.

NX-N500: fully-active hifi stereo speaker set

Yamaha has long-standing and detailed experience regarding the construction of premium-class hifi speakers and active studio monitors. This accumulated knowledge of the Japanese manufacturer proofed to be very helpful in designing the fully active hifi speaker NX-N500. Thus providing the music fan with a self-sufficient high-fidelity audio system with MusicCast support in every single room. What is good enough for a recording studio will also inspire the sound of hifi speakers: Therefore both units of the stereo-system have their own separate power connection. Furthermore, the NX-N500 is capable of internal bi-amping, providing every speaker with two discrete amplifiers. Both components are connected via balanced XLR. Equally convincing is the connectivity of the NX-N500: an optical input and a mini stereo jack port provide a large range of possible connections with classic sources. Even more appealing to many audiophile listeners will be the premium-class Steinberg USB-DAC (32 Bit, 384 kHz) which links PCs and laptops directly to the system.

MusicCast app for easy management via smartphone and Tablet-PC

All the technical finesse of the hardware set aside, the Yamaha MusicCast app for iOS and Android is mainly one thing: easy to use. The customizable start screen provides users with a neat overview of all available MusicCast components and their current status. You can also choose the audio-source, adjust the volume as well as other settings in detail – if needed. Using the app, the setup is done in no time: You just buy, unwrap and start to enjoy! The fully active speaker NX-N500 will be available in stores from August 2015. The two new models of Grand PianoCraft (MCR-N670 and MCR-N870) and the stereo-hifi receiver RN602 will follow up in October 2015. Already available are numerous new models of the RX-V79 and RX-A50 AV receiver series. These high-class home-cinema control centres can now be completely embedded into the MusicCast product-world by downloading a free firmware update.

Read more about MusicCast here!

AV News



Kii Audio is a new-formed company with well known founders, including Bruno Putzeys, Bart van der Laan, Wim Weijers, Chris Reichardt and Thomas Jansen, that recently announced their first-ever product. A compact loudspeaker named Three. According to the press release, the Kii Three is an amazing active loudspeaker with a compact form factor that behaves like a large system, in terms of power as well as coupling with the room. Kii’s Active Wave Focusing technology brings those benefits previously only possible with very large or in-wall mounted speaker systems. What may look like a cute pair of speakers at first sight, is really an audiophile listening pleasure that outperforms other huge and way more expensive systems with ease, the company says. Kii’s mission for the Three was to break the sonic mold of compact loudspeakers. Powerful small loudspeakers with deep bass have been around for a while now but none so far sounded like a big loudspeaker. The Three is built to fix that. A loop hole in acoustics says that small directive loudspeakers are possible – if you have enough drivers and you feed them the exact right signal. The Three has a total of 6 ways, front, side and rear, working together to throw the sound in one direction only, without relying on a baffle. The Three’s ability to direct bass is comparable to, but much better controlled than, that of a traditional speaker several meters wide. Active Wave Focusing filters, a technology featured in the Three, mark a complete departure from the classical crossover filter. Instead of just splitting the spectrum into bands it forces the specially positioned drive units to create a completely coherent wave front that is only emitted forward and behaves as though all of it came from the midrange driver. Each Kii Three contains six channels of DSP, D/A conversion and power amplification. Each side panel of the loudspeaker holds a 3x250W power amplifier board, designed by Bruno Putzeys using the latest iteration of the Ncore class D technology which he invented for Hypex. Unique to the implementation used in the Kii Three is a combined voltage/current control loop that goes beyond merely a better amp – it actively improves the distortion performance of the drive units which contributes significantly to the extreme resolution of the loudspeaker. Naturally this means that the performance of the AD/DA conversion has to match that of the amps. This task fell to Bart van der Laan who has a long track record designing DSP and converter boards for high-end professional audio equipment. Alongside the Active Wave Focusing filters the DSP is responsible for keeping the drive units within their safe operating range by gently adapting the filters instead of brutally limiting the signal, allowing the Three to play significantly louder and cleaner than much bigger traditional designs. On the input side there is a choice of analogue, digital or wireless inputs (compatible with WISA). All digital inputs are up-sampled and re-clocked using Kii’s own jitter rejection algorithm that guarantees actual “bits is bits” audio performance for any digital source.

For more Info, pls Contact Absolute Sound

AV News



There’s an old joke about a concert that doesn’t start on time and has the audience getting progressively and ever-more-vociferously restless until, finally – after however long — a man in a tuxedo (probably the impresario) comes out on stage and announces that the performance has been canceled and that all ticket money will be refunded because the scheduled soloist has, unexpectedly and unfortunately died. No sooner has he finished his announcement when someone up in one of the far galleries stands-up; yells out “Give him an enema!” and sits back down. The (probably) impresario is frankly taken aback by this, and says to the apparent heckler “But he’s dead”: to which the other man again yells out “Give him an enema!” Now completely flustered, the impresario, takes a handkerchief out of his pocket, wipes his forehead, and asks: “But he’s dead; what good can it do?” whereupon the other guy yells out “So? Can it hurt?” –

Read more