That's interesting, I've read in several coverage reports on this year's CanJam that the prototype Pandora VIII's sound was actually lacking compared to the Pandora Hope VI, obviously due to it being an early prototype. What sources said that the VIII was better? Or if you've heard both for yourself, could you say in more detail what was better about the VIII?
Is that right? I can't say I've been keeping up with reports on the Pandoras. I actually heard both for myself at the recent Mook Festival in Singapore. In fact, Takai-san was the one who steered me towards to the AK stall where the Pandora VIII was being showcased together with the AK120. What I thought was better was that the soundstage was wider and more precise, while the bass was tighter and the treble more controlled. Because of that, it sounded much clearer than the Pandora VI. But mind you, I was on it for about 15 minutes only.
What I understand from Jaben is that the Pandora VIII is now scheduled to arrive early 2014. Fingers crossed. Takai-san is a bit of a perfectionist and won't release a product until he is happy with it. I understand he worked on the metalwork of the current Pianoforte range for about 2 years before he agreed for them to be released commercially.