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03 / 19 / 18
AXPONA 2018: New Larger Location,
Concerts, Seminars, And More
AXPONA 2018 is set for April 13th through 15th at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center and will be our eighth annual coverage by Enjoy the Music.com. All audiophiles, music lovers, vinyl collectors, audio engineers and musicians can attend three jam-packed days of incredible sounds, technology, presentations, design, and the very latest products in the industry. Now in its ninth year, AXPONA is one of the defining high-end audio show within the United States. This event caters to dealers, distributors and manufacturers, as well as music lovers and audiophiles.
AXPONA's new state-of-the-art venue will feature an expanded Exhibit Hall plus a new Record Shop and Master Class Theater. AXPONA will once again offer something for everyone – from the novice music lover to the seasoned audio expert looking to enhance their sound with the latest technology.
As their largest show to date, AXPONA Seeks to meet the increasing demand from attendees looking for the very best brands within the music world under one roof. The expanded Exhibit Hall, which is home to the Marketplace and Ear Gear Expo, is an outstanding 30,000 square feet and will showcase a vast array of turntables, cables, accessories, racks and stands, tonearms, cartridges and the latest headphones and associated equipment in the growing world of mobile and high-end personal
the Music.com's AXPONA 2018 show coverage will begin the first day of the
event. To learn more, plus read our previous reports, see our special AXPONA
2018 show report page at this link.
03 / 16 / 18
And Waves Audio Team Up For 3D Headphone Experience
Waves Audio, a leading provider of audio processing solutions,
has announced that its Waves Nx technology has been implemented to power Audeze Mobius headphones,
which are now available on Indiegogo and has already reached over 900% of their goal with a month remaining! Audeze is claiming that they are "the first 3D audio headphone to provide an unsurpassed level of detail, clarity and 3D positional accuracy". Designed with pro audio users in mind, Audeze Mobius is especially suited for audio professionals working in the VR / 360 creator market. Engineered for durability and comfort, this headphone is designed to replicate true, real-world listening experiences. Manufactured by Audeze,
a leading manufacturer of planar magnetic headphones, the Mobius is equipped with Audeze planar magnetic drivers in a feature-rich package. It is the first headphone to truly deliver on the promise of 3D audio, creating that elusive "you are there" listening and mixing experience. The Mobius's built-in Nx technology equips the headphones with full 360-degree head tracking, enabling complete immersion in the 3D audio field. Nx also allows Audeze Mobius headphones to communicate with the Waves Nx Virtual Mix Room and Waves B360 Ambisonics Encoder
plugi-ns, designed specifically for VR / 360 / 3D mixing and monitoring in Ambisonics formats, as well as for immersive 3D headphone monitoring of any stereo or surround content. Audeze Mobius headphones with built-in Nx technology will be offered in a standalone package, and also as part of a "Creators Edition" that also includes the Waves Nx Virtual Mix Room and Waves B360 Ambisonics Encoder
plug-ins. Key features of Audeze Mobius with built-in Waves Nx technology include an extremely powerful, fully-customizable Planar Magnetic Headphone (100mm Planar Transducer). Conection types include USB-C, USB-A, analog 3.5mm and Bluetooth. Integrated NX technology with head-tracking, Virtual room emulation, and 3D sound localization is included. These headphones Support 2.0, 5.1,and 7.1 3D Audio in real time, plus ambisonics for VR/AR content creation with the B360 ambisonics encoder & the Nx Virtual Mix Room plug-ins. Anatomy calibration aids in fine-tuning them to your personal needs. The internal battery lasts 10+ hours before needing a recharge. The
price of Audeze's new Mobius headphones starts at $249 (regular retail is $399). The Creators Edition, which includes Audeze Mobius headphones plus the Waves Nx Virtual Mix Room and Waves B360 Ambisonics Encoder
plug-ins, is offered on Indiegogo at a special early-bird price of $599 (regular retail price $797). Shipping begins in June 2018.
April's The Absolute Sound
Now Available Online
the Music.com has posted the April issue of The Absolute
Sound. Features include Las Vegas 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, a special loudspeaker designer
roundtable plus reviews of the Wharfedale Diamond 225, Monitor Audio Silver 300, Totem Acoustic Signature One, JWM Acoustics Alyson AML II, and Magico M3 loudspeakers. Other reviews include the AVM CS 8.2 and CS 2.2
system plus many music reviews. Within his editorial titled New Blood, Editor Robert
Harley writes, "These and the many other differences of opinion and sensibility among our writers are the lifeblood of the magazine. Can you imagine a
TAS in which the writers hewed to a Soviet-style party line on every technology or viewpoint? It would be a pretty boring read, not to mention narrow-minded and insular. As an editor, I find this colorful diversity broadens the magazine's appeal. As a reader, the wide spectrum of thought challenges me and makes me reevaluate my preconceptions and biases. Speaking of our editorial team, I'm proud and delighted that we have an astonishingly deep "bench" that has been contributing to TAS for a very long time. TAS writers with more than 25 years of experience include Anthony H. Cordesman, Neil Gader, Wayne Garcia, Robert E. Greene, myself, Dick Olsher, Paul Seydor, Steven Stone, and Jonathan Valin. Some of those writers have more than 30 years with the magazine (AHC, NG, SS). That's quite a lineup of heavy hitters. The benefit of such an experienced and stable group of contributors, to the magazine and to readers, cannot be overstated."
See what's within this issue of
The Absolute Sound at this
03 / 15 / 18
The World Beyond 20kHz
Article By Earthworks Audio Founder David E. Blackmer
Nahimic LifeSound 3D Sound Technology Software
While the PC versus Mac versus Linux rivalry might last forever, yet the folks at
Nahimic say they "know there's at least one thing all users can agree on: wanting the best audio experience. A-Volute, a French audio software company, is delivering their 3D audio solution to the mainstream market for an unique surround sound listening experience. The company says, "To create Nahimic LifeSound, sound depth and spatiality are combined from Nahimic's eponymously-named flagship product to produce virtually treated sound designed to generate a virtual acoustic field with 5.1 channel audio quality, even with headphones. Nahimic's patented 3D surround sound technology also gets a strong audio boost, surpassing the maximum audio volume, without any sound distortion, producing louder and clearer sound quality. Nahimic LifeSound also adds a simulated bass sound effect, enhancing audio quality when listening to hit music or watching a movie.... Mac users that like to turn things up when listening through external speakers can enable Nahimic's
Bass Boost feature, linking the software to the speakers for an enhanced listening experience. And when the party gets too loud, users get the option to switch their Nahimic LifeSound to
Night Mode, preserving the audio quality of their movie or music, without disturbing the neighbors. Audiophiles will discover and enjoy new audible dimensions and clear resonance with Nahimic LifeSound, experiencing music and video like they never did before."
03 / 14 / 18
HIGH END Show In Munich Is Now Sold Out Of Exhibition Space
The world's leading audio exhibition has attracted huge interest among exhibitors. Interest in the
HIGH END 2018 show is still as strong as ever.
According to the exhibition promoter, "The hi-fi show is well ahead of the rest as the most important showcase event for the entire industry worldwide and has been a fixed date in the diaries of audio connoisseurs for many years. In fact, the event is so popular that its atrium rooms were immediately fully booked after the registration deadline at the beginning of January 2018. Shortly after the deadline, the areas and stands in the halls were also all reserved and the waiting lists for an exhibition area are now very long. This year, the HIGH END is therefore yet again bringing together exhibitors all over the world to meet global demand. As always, the event will feature all of the industry's top companies in 2018. “The main strength of the HIGH END is the fact that it combines a wide variety of different exhibitors and exhibits with the presentation of all of the latest trends and innovations for the entire audio industry. In order to continue to meet the high standards expected from a leading exhibition year after year, we examine the event on a regular basis and implement new ideas and formats. The multitude of early registrations received from exhibitors confirm that we are on the right path”, states Stefan Dreischärf, the Managing Director of the HIGH END SOCIETY. The continuous growth of the HIGH END and the positive response among exhibitors, trade visitors and the press underline the successful concept behind the hi-fi show as the largest marketplace of the audio industry. The huge interest in the event also shows just how much potential the market offers for the field of consumer electronics. The industry is currently entering a new era, with network technology in particular offering a huge amount of potential for development that companies need to grasp. The HIGH END has given the industry a breath of fresh air and a contemporary highlight that appeals to all classes of society and age groups. Many exhibitors even specifically focus on this exhibition when developing their new products. The organisers of the event are delighted to have attracted such a huge amount of interest among the companies in the industry."
03 / 13 / 18
ATC Is Now Shipping Their CDA2 Mk2 CD / DAC / Preamplifier
ATC Loudspeaker Technology
from England is extremely proud to announce the arrival of the CDA 2 Mk2 CD/DAC Preamp ($4299). Representing a re-engineering of ATC's predecessor in all the key performance areas and developed as the ideal partner for the company's P2 power amplifier and active speaker designs, the Mk2 combines convenient USB access to Hi-Res Music streaming with an upgraded CD transport and DAC board. There's also dedicated headphone amplification, expanded input choices, and analog circuits redesigned to deliver an extremely wide and flat frequency response with very low distortion. Joining rear panel S/PDIF coaxial and TosLink optical 192kHz inputs, the
Mk2's new high-resolution USB input is capable of handling PCM data up to 384kHz and also DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 natively. Excellent jitter rejection ensures that signal integrity is maintained even with poorer quality sources and over long cable runs. Completing ATC's
Mk2's wider digital interface a new TEAC-supplied CD transport delivers faster play and seek times, much lower mechanical noise and improved error correction. The meticulously re-engineered analog circuits optimize
ATC's implementation of a new premium 32-bit AKM DAC selected for exceptional low noise and distortion. Supporting the DAC, the
Mk2's power supply architecture employs no fewer than nine additional high-performance voltage regulators, and local power supply decoupling has been improved from the Mk1, yielding further performance gains. In another refinement, both input and output gain stages have been improved by an arrangement of discrete
Op Amps comprising six common gain blocks: two for left and right input buffering, and four to provide a "true" differential output for the left and right channels. The positive and negative drivers are arranged in parallel to ensure that the signal delays and phase shifts are identical on both sides. The output stages are configured as unity gain complementary compound (Sziklai) pairs, biased in class A. Also
benefiting are twin rear-mounted analogue phono/RCA inputs and an additional aux analogue input via 3.5mm mini jack, which is equipped with high input sensitivity for improved compatibility with phones, tablets and other low output portable devices. Additionally, the Mk2 benefits from a revised high-performance headphone amplifier capable of driving headphones from 30 - 600 Ohms, delivering exceptional results from the vast array of modern headphone designs. Output is via a rear panel mounted 6.35mm jack. The
CDA2's chassis is constructed from a combination of steel and aluminum and uses constrained layer damping to control panel resonances. The front panel is machined from an extruded section of 13mm/0.5” aluminum alloy with a brushed and anodized silver finish.
ATC's wholly upgraded preamp /player is supplied with IR remote control and is covered by a six-year warranty (2 years CD mechanism).
Industry News 15 Years Ago
New CoDrive Speaker Design Increases Effective Surface Area
comes US Patent 6,466,676 (Compound Driver for Acoustical Applications) that shows a way to increase the effective surface area of a
loudspeaker driver. The clever design couples a rear cone to the front air mass through a vent in the center of a front cone. This makes a subwoofer with a much higher air load than any conventional unit of equal diameter. A "drive link" moves the two cones in phase and creates the central "throat" for the rear cone to fire forward through. The compression loaded rear cone lowers the "Q" of the speaker, which prevents system Q from rising sharply even in small sealed systems. The smaller face profile of a 12-inch CoDriver is claimed to have the cone area of a 15-inch
03 / 12 / 18
KirmussAudio Ultimate Ultrasonic Vinyl Record Restoration System
KirmussAudio division of Kirmuss & Associates is pleased to announce the arrival of its very affordable Ultimate Ultrasonic Vinyl Record Restoration System ($795). Set to premiere at
AXPONA 2018, this professional design allows one to clean two 33.3, one 78 and one 45 vinyl record in five minutes using no chemicals, the latter of which claims the company that it can cause further damage (at times) to very valuable record collections. According to the company's press release, "Most systems only clean one size of record and do not clean all grooves. Anyone promoting cleaners or additives to an ultrasonic bath for a vinyl record should beware of the long-term consequences. Indeed, the benefits of ultrasonic cleaning is a known fact, yet current day product offerings in the majority utilize commercial sonic cleaners that are sold with many home-made adaptations added to these machines. They are just that. Overpriced and using 3D printed plastic and metal assemblies, most see exposed external motors and line cords and the like, some even pose electrical hazards to the User. Missing in most offerings are electrical or safety certifications". With both Patents Pending and Issued, records of varying sizes are slipped in easily inside the cleaner. No homemade or damaging skewers. With safety and electrical approvals in place, the cleaner is professionally constructed for both commercial and audiophile use. The machine cleans all recording grooves safely. Included with the system is a combination carbon brush and parastatic felt cleaner, anti-static spray, microfiber cloth, and record mat. Comes with a two-year warranty.
03 / 09 / 18
LA Audio Show Offers Romantic Dinner To 12 Special Couples
The LA Audio Show
has announced a bold plan in support of today's celebration of "International Women's Day." According to Marine Presson, Show President, the moves not only support women but are intended to, as in the words of the U.S. Constitution, "ensure domestic tranquility." "As of today," President Presson noted, "we have
added a button to our Registration Page called, 'A Pinch of Romance.'" The $50 add-on package includes a rose for the guest of honor and a champagne toast under the stars at a table set for two with front row seats to the live entertainment Friday or Saturday. What makes this package more special is its exclusivity. There will be only 12 "Pinch of Romance" add-ons offered; 6 per night. So, it is limited to the first dozen couples who "Punch-the-Pinch" button. "By adding 'A Pinch of Romance,' we are trying to encourage couples to attend the Show," Ms. Presson said. "It is no secret that most audio enthusiasts are men and that the pursuit of that happiness has disturbed the domestic bliss of some families. We believe that more women will attend if we offer a pleasant getaway rendezvous. Our new package, combined with our sleeping room rates at both the Hilton ($159/night) and Hampton ($129/night Coming Soon!) hotels, provides a nice and satisfying 'couples' event," Ms. Presson said. Friday's entertainment theme is Night of the Bands featuring Monette Marino and others to be announced. Saturday will be Ladies' Night, featuring Audra Lee, and more to be announced. The LA Audio Show (LAAS) 2018 edition will be held in Orange County, at the Hilton Irvine Hotel, June 8-10, with a Preview Evening, Thursday, June 7.
03 / 08 / 18
McIntosh Announces MT2 Precision Turntable With MC Cartridge
is proud to announce their MT2 Precision Turntable ($4000) that combines the latest in turntable technology and design to deliver both superb performance and accurate playback. A full complement of features allows for all recordings to be reproduced with flawless realism. Its advanced electronic and mechanical design will give many years of smooth, trouble-free operation. A subtle green glow emanates from under the platter and the outside edges of the plinth for a touch of refined ambiance and connection to the McIntosh design aesthetic. McIntosh's MT2 Precision Turntable plays both 33.3 and 45 rpm records, plus is virtually ready to use right out of the box as tracking force, anti-skate force, cartridge overhang and arm height are all preset from the factory for maximum performance. The remaining setup steps are simple, allowing the user to be enjoying their vinyl in no time. The MT2 comes with a
Sumiko Blue Point No. 2 moving coil cartridge that has a high enough output to make it compatible with not only moving coil phono inputs but also moving magnet inputs. The cartridge's high impedance and high output voltage ensures noise free musical reproduction. This unique cartridge design features an alloy cantilever and an elliptical diamond stylus with exceptional tracking capability. The tonearm is constructed from dural-aluminum with special damping materials and is light weight yet highly rigid. The noise free vertical bearings feature two precision ceramic surfaces with damping fluid; the horizontal bearing is a gimballed sapphire design. The belt driven, solid black outer platter is made from a special dynamically balanced polyoxymethylene (POM) and is over 1" thick. This heftiness helps to both resist and absorb external vibrations that can cause noise during playback; its large mass also provides the perfect flywheel action for stable playback speed. The inner platter is made of CNC-precision milled aluminum. The platters rotate on a polished and tempered steel shaft in a sintered bronze bushing.
McIntosh Labs' MT2 DC motor is driven by an external voltage-stabilized power supply and is completely decoupled from the chassis, isolating the record from any mechanical interference. Its sturdy plinth has a resonance optimized and highly compressed wood base with black lacquer finish, while the top and middle acrylic plates help absorb unwanted vibrations.
A clear, contoured dust cover is included. The MT2 turntable is compatible with a variety of McIntosh phono preamplifiers, stereo preamplifiers, integrated amplifiers and home theater processors with phono
inputs. Sumiko's Blue Point No. 2 has a channel separation of 35dB at 1kHz and overall frequency response from 20Hz to 50kHz. Dimensions for the
MT2 turntable with dust cover are 17.875" x 6" x 17" (WxHxD) and it weighs 29 lbs.
Throwback Thursday: International Women's
Manley Labs Stingray iTube Integrated Amplifier
Possibly the perfect integrated amplifier for the whole family.
Review By Nels Ferre
Grand Art Acoustique Celebrates
French Craftsmanship In Loudspeakers
Grand Art Acoustique
is a new website that will both fascinate high-end sound passionate and made in France lovers. France still counts among its ranks luxury craftsmen, whose creations are particularly appreciated abroad. Fashion or gastronomy are obviously among the sectors for which Paris sounds like a reference. But there is another field where French craftsmanship excels: high-end sound. For more than 70 years, engineers and acousticians in France have been refining their techniques and sharing their knowledge of sound reproduction. Their goal: To design the best acoustic speakers in the world. Innovation after innovation, patent after patent, these geniuses have constantly pushed the limits of the possible in terms of acoustic quality. Until reaching a result that far exceeds anything imaginable. This result can appreciated today, thanks to the different brands of high-end speakers. "Made in France" selected by the website Grand Art Acoustique includes such manufacturers as ASA, Audionec, Audio Diptyqe, Everest, Kelinac, Moca, Ocellia, Ova Acoustic, and Recital-Audio. Transform any listening moment into an incredible sensory experience is the precise goal of these French sound designers. For this, their achievements are not content to reproduce music as their passion is to bring music to life. The listener can choose to be in the front row of an opera house, on the stage of a concert, or in the middle of a recording studio, yet without leaving your living room. A total immersion made possible by an unusual design. Of course these speakers use some of the best electro-acoustic technologies of our time. But it is in the French cabinetmaking work that lie the biggest manufacturing secrets. A know-how unique in the world is only partly revealed on the pages of the website. An online shop allows to order these exceptional speakers and have them delivered all over the world. The site also proposes the organization of a stay in France, to visit the workshops of the various craftsmen, and to attend demonstrations.
03 / 07 / 18
MoFi Electronics Super HeavyWeight Is For Keeping Vinyl
proudly announces the addition of the Super HeavyWeight record weight ($199) to their product lineup. The company best describes this as a "super noise killer" and is intended for use with all makes of
turntables. The Super HeavyWeight was conceived with the assistance of MoFi Electronics' good friend, Mike Latvis, of
Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS). The device uses a proprietary HRS polymer material, reknowned for its exceptional noise absorption characteristics and an internal decoupled mass damping system all enclosed a non magnetic aluminum housing. In addition to coupling the record to the platter, the Super HeavyWeight
significantly reduces noise – specifically, record groove noise, platter, and bearing noise. Listeners will hear more music due to resultant blacker backgrounds, increased inner detail, improved clarity, enhanced microdynamics, and greater bass impact. Super HeavyWeight technical highlights include dimensions of 3" diameter and 1.355" in height. It weighs a hefty 367 grams, so is excellent for a wide range of turntable models, though sprung chassis might need a bit of re-tuning for
optimization. The outer shell is comprised of billet-machined 6061 aluminum for an easy grip. Mo-Fi's Super HeavyWeight underside features a proprietary HRS polymer that ensures excellent performance and damage-free operation with LPs.
03 / 06 / 18
THX Spatial Audio Platform End-To-End Positional Audio
announced the THX Spatial Audio Platform, a new end-to-end positional audio solution built with the flexibility to support emerging immersive content formats (object-based and ambisonics) and open standards, as well as legacy content, across mobile, PC and consumer electronic devices. Their THX Spatial Audio Platform is comprised of components for content creation and a robust set of features to optimize audio playback experiences over a wide range of consumer devices, all of which can be seamlessly integrated into existing content creation and distribution workflows. To ensure maximum flexibility and accessibility, THX is making components that make up the THX Spatial Audio Platform available independently, or as a complete end-to-end audio solution. Components of the THX Spatial Audio Platform and their capabilities include content creation plug-ins that produce immersive audio in ambisonics and object-based formats and seamlessly integrate into industry standard audio design tools, eliminating the need to learn new tools and master new proprietary audio formats. MPEG-H Encoding and Decoding support and transport of audio technology for next generation television broadcasts and streaming video. Rendering Engine that spatializes ambisonic, object-based as well as legacy channel content through headphones and speakers across all consumer devices. Tuning and device optimization that measures and calibrates the audio playback to deliver the highest quality audio experience over both headphones and speakers. This new system also delivers personalized audio profiles using Head-Related Transfer Functions (HRTF) that are optimized for a listener's unique hearing physics.
03 / 05 / 18
April 2018 Issue Features Great Articles And Reviews
World's April 2018 issue features reviews of the Quadral Aurum Rodan 9 speakers, Jamo DS4 Bluetooth wireless bookshelf speakers, Lyric speaker, iFi Nano iDSD Black Label headphone amplifier/DAC, Electrocompaniet ECI 6DX amp/DAC/streamer, SoTM sMS-200 Ultra Mini network player, PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium amplifiers, Longdog P6 monoblocks, Roth VA4 Active Monitor speakers, and Atlas Element Superior cable.
Keywood's editorial he says, "Complexity meets simplicity in this issue – and what a stark contrast there is between them. Yet at the same time I heard similarities. Electrocompaniet's ECI 6dx that Jon Myles reviews on p26 has a very well developed amplifier with a surprisingly easy going sound considering its wide bandwidth – and I think we all took to it as a sophisticated modern Streamer that avoids the 'Class D fed by switch-mode power supply' solution. Instead, its use of conventional but well-honed modern circuitry reminded me more of Naim's successful approach to amplifier design, which is perhaps why reviewer Jon Myles – a Naim fan – liked it so much. In similar fashion I heard a sound familiar to me from PrimaLuna's Premium DiaLogue Preamplifier and Premium DiaLogue HP power amplifier – and loved it. There's nothing quite like a tuned up valve amplifier, sporting audiophile components that transistor amplifiers are denied in real life. Why? My experience is that inserting ultra-high quality special audio components into a transistor amplifier affects the sound less than doing the same in a valve amplifier. Manufacturers of transistor amplifiers would rather not bust their design budget for parts that make little difference."
See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World and read the complete editorial at this link.
Industry News 10 Years Ago
The End Of CD? Wal*Mart Moves To A Tired CD Pricing System
Is it time to kill the physical CD format? Perhaps not
quite yet, though Wal-Mart feels it is time to drastically cut prices or else.... The world's largest retailer may be moving to a five-tiered pricing
form where top new titles are priced at $10 while the recently popular CDs sell for $12. Those will be followed by
the $9, the $7 middle range and $5 bargain discs. This would replace the current $13.88 to $9.88 format Wal-Mart generally offers at stores throughout the United States. "When you look at sales declines with physical product, and you have a category declining like it is, you have to make decisions about what the future looks like" said Wal-Mart's divisional merchandise manager for home entertainment Jeff Maas. "If you have a business that is declining and you want to turn it around, it really takes looking at it from all angles." It has been reported that top music label
representatives are not happy about this lower pricing scheme, with quotes from various major record label employees saying, "I don't think this is a Wal-Mart discussion. I think this is a future-of-the-business discussion. Right now everyone is paralyzed." Other music label executives were quoted as saying "The decision might come down to: Do we give up 20 percent of our business (i.e., Wal-Mart) in order to not lose the entire business?... This sounds like the Hail Mary pass, and if it doesn't work, they could be out of the music business; or maybe they reduce music down to a couple of racks"
Perhaps it is time to virtually kill the physical format in favor of
uncompressed and/or lossless music downloads without DRM or other limitations.
03 / 04 / 18
Features Many High-End Audio Reviews
Magazine's March 2018 issue features a special Talking Terms: An audio glossary for personal audio plus an interview with musical polymath Dave Stewart. High-end
portable audio gear reviews include the Final D8000 planar magnetic headphone with air film damping system, Sennheiser HD 800 S/HDV 820 open dynamic headphones and headphone amp/DAC, Audeze LCD-MX4 planar magnetic headphones, Stax SR-L700/SRM-006tS KIMIK 2 electrostatic earspeakers and energiser, Echobox Explorer streaming digital audio player, Astell & Kern Kann streaming digital audio player, MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Open planar magnetic headphones, Feliks Audio Euforia output transformerless valve headphone amplifier and Cardas Audio A8 30th Anniversary Earphones. For home
audiophiles, Hi-Fi+ has review of the Linn Lingo 4 turntable power supply, Magnepan 30.7 dipolar planar loudspeaker,
Graham Audio Votu floorstanding loudspeaker, Chord ChordMusic digital / analogue / speaker cables, plus Townshend Audio F1 Fractal loudspeaker cables.
Within his editorial, Hi-Fi+'s Alan
Sircom says "Eagle-eyed readers of our masthead to the left might have noticed some changes in our team this month. Our esteemed Associate Publisher, Pete Collingwood-Trewin, steps up to the role of Publisher, while our former Publisher, Chris Martens, takes on the role of Editorial Director, while also taking on the task of editing the latest venture in our publishing stable, The Ultimate Headphone Guide. It seems that sleep is an optional extra for our Mr. Martens.
The change to the 'flannel panel' (as it's known in the trade) means the Publisher is now based in the UK. This should not be seen as the end of our international aspirations; we are, and remain, a magazine focused and dedicated to finding the best in audio, from wherever it comes, and our team could be based in the UK, the US, Upper Silesia, or the Klingon homeworld, and we would still hold to that goal. Of course, shipping costs to the Klingon homeworld are dramatic, and it's so hard to get any music apart from Klingon opera there."
See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ Magazine at this
03 / 02 / 18
ELAC Announces Debut 2.0 Line
/ Theater Speakers
has announced their new Debut 2.0 line of home speakers and subwoofers. This new line builds upon the success of the first-generation Debut Family incorporating a variety of new features and technologies. Some of the notable new features of the Debut 2.0 line-up include.... New Tweeter with Wide-Dispersion Waveguide - A new silk-dome tweeter featuring a wide-roll surround takes response up to
35 kHz for even more lifelike high frequencies. The waveguide improves directivity control and reduces the diffraction modes inherent in traditional box enclosures. Along with an extended low frequency response the new design gives improved integration with the woofer. New Woven Aramid-Fiber Woofer –
The revised design of the Aramid cone offers improved stiffness and damping, which when combined with the new dust-cap results in a smoother response and greater transparency. New Cabinets for Easier Placement - Thick MDF cabinets with a black ash vinyl finish are internally braced for greater stiffness, reducing cabinet vibrations that cause unwanted coloration. Moving the bass port to the front of the cabinet improves placement flexibility, allowing the speakers to be positioned closer to the wall or in bookshelves. Optimized Center Speakers – Recognizing that in a multi-channel system the majority of the sound comes through the center speaker, we have optimized sensitivity and impedance to minimize the power requirement from the AV receiver, maximizing dynamic impact from lower cost receivers. App Controlled AutoEQ Subwoofer with Multi-Subwoofer Control – The new SUB3010 addresses one of the most often requested features from consumers; the ability to control multiple subwoofers at the same time from the phone app. Included is the ability to control each subwoofer individually, or for certain features, as a group. Models and pricing is as follows:
B5.2 Debut 2.0 5.25" Two-Way Bookshelf Speakers $249.98 Pair
B6.2 Debut 2.0 6.5" Two- Way Bookshelf Speakers $299.98 Pair
C5.2 Debut 2.0 5.25" Two-Way Center Speaker $199.98 Each
C6.2 Debut 2.0 6.5" Two-Way Center Speaker $279.98 Each
F5.2 Debut 2.0 3 x 5.25" Three-Way Floorstanding Speaker $299.98 Each
F6.2 Debut 2.0 3 x 6.5" Three-Way Floorstanding Speaker $399.98 Each
A4.2 Debut 2.0 4" Concentric Dolby Atmos Add-on Speaker $249.98 Pair
OW4.2 Debut 2.0 4" Two-Way On-Wall Speakers $249.98 Pair
SUB3010 Debut 2.0 10" 400 Watt Powered Subwoofer with AutoEQ $449.98 Each
Audioengine Unveils Their New A5+ Premium Wireless Speaker
Audioengine announces their A5+ Bluetooth Wireless Music System ($499 on up), which is an exciting evolution of the award-winning A5 speakers. These speakers seek to complete
your smart music system as they work with Alexa, Siri, and all other voice activated apps, speakers, and devices - as well as every music app on the planet. Audioengine says that "Life is complicated. Listening to your music shouldn't be." That's why the new A5+ Wireless is easy to setup with wireless and simply works. The A5+ Wireless eliminates the need for a stereo receiver or separate power amp as built-in amplification ensures there an
abundance of power for your relaxing mornings or party nights. And setup takes just a few seconds with no apps to download and no W-Fi hassles. Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, and all your favorite streaming apps play instantly from your phone, tablet, and computer via Bluetooth aptX HD. The A5+ Wireless
includes 150W peak of amplification, a 5" custom Kevlar midrange/woofer and
0.75: silk dome tweeter. Joining Bluetooth is a 3.5mm stereo analog input plus
L/R unbalanced RCA jacks. Overall frequency response is from 50Hz to 22kHz.
A built-in aptX-HD 24-bit upsampling DAC is joined by a extended wireless
range Bluetooth. Available in satin black, gloss white, and solid bamboo.
Nordost's New High-End Blue
Heaven Subwoofer Cable
Nordost is happy to announce the expansion of their acclaimed Blue Heaven Range with the introduction of the Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable ($349.99 for a two-meter length, additional meter increments are $75). The Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable makes it possible for music lovers to completely integrate subwoofers with their loudspeakers, creating a truly well-rounded experience, highlighting even the lowest frequency extensions on the spectrum. The Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable consists of four, 22 AWG, solid core, silver-plated, 99.9999% OFC signal conductors. Its dielectric
strength is improved by an innovative precision FEP extrusion process, which further increases signal speeds and accuracy in signal transfer. The conductors are then covered in a braided shield, addressing any EMI and RFI. Additionally, the Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable utilizes a unique flat, parallel construction. In order to accommodate all its possible uses, the Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable is offered in three configurations: Straight, Y, and Y-to-Y. All three configurations are available terminated with specially designed, gold-plated MoonGlo RCA or XLR
connectors. Designed, manufactured, and hand-terminated entirely in the USA,
Nordost's Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable is said to "guarantees the accurate construction required to produce integrated low level frequencies, while preserving the precision and speed necessary to enjoy well rounded, seamless, and all-encompassing sound from music, movies, and television."
03 / 01 / 18
Enjoy the Music.com's
March Review Magazine Is Now Available
Music.com's March Review
Magazine features three think pieces plus our world premiere review of McIntosh Labs' MA5300 integrated amp, the Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, Acoustic Research's AR-H1 over-ear headphones, and Benchmark's DAC3 HGC DAC / headamp / preamplifier.
Within industry veteran Roger Skoff's article, he writes about music lovers, Hi-Fi, and says "In my experience, the first thing new audiophiles do upon getting their first decent sounding system is to listen to all of their old recordings and marvel at how much better they sound
'now' than ever before." Enjoy the Music.com's Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin write a
Senseless Rambling where he freely admits his article is "a curious ordering of words in
English". We also bring back vintage magazine Sound Practices as Editor and Publisher
Joe Roberts discusses the sonic explorations of Audio Note Japan's Kondo-san.
Show season has
officially begun as Dave Hanson reported on Head-Fi's recent CanJam NYC
Dave brings his wonderful show experience to our readers. His coverage spans four
pages filled with many photos. Dave says that "CanJam NYC 2018 was absolutely jam packed... From old-school stalwarts like Sennheiser to exciting upstarts like Meze and Periodic Audio, there were waves being made across the industry at any and every price point. We've got a ton to
We look forward to seeing
everyone at AXPONA 2018 in April
as it looks to be another truly epic show! See
what's within this month's edition of Enjoy
the Music.com's Review Magazine at this link.
As always, in the end what really
matters is that you...
Enjoy the Music,
Steven R. Rochlin
Enjoy the Music.com
Once a new technology rolls over you...
A Curious Ordering Of Words In English Written By Steven R. Rochlin
Coming At It From Both Directions
Roger Skoff writes about music lovers and Hi-Fi.
Article By Roger Skoff
CanJam NYC 2018 Show Report -- Head-Fi's CanJam NYC 2018
So many toys, so little time: a whirlwind weekend of high-end headphones.
Show Report by Dave Hanson
At The Edge Of Science
The sonic explorations of Kondo-san.
Article By Joe Roberts
Mojo Audio Mystique V3 Non-Oversampling R-2R Hi-Res Audio DAC
The art and science of high resolution digital audio today.
Review By Jeremy R. Kipnis, At Kipnis Studios (KSS)
World Premiere Review!
McIntosh Labs MA5300 Integrated Amplifier
McIntosh Labs reputation shines through with excellent build quality and
Review By Ron Nagle
Acoustic Research AR-H1 Over-Ear Headphones
A venerable audio brand shows great potential in its first foray into
Review By Dave Hanson
Benchmark DAC3 HGC Hi-Res Audio DAC, Headphone Amp, And Preamplifier
Benchmark's DAC3 HGC includes a killer DAC, headamp and preamp
Review By Tom Lyle
More Articles Available Online!
See all our show reports, articles, and gear reviews within
Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine now available online.
02 / 28 / 18
Black Cat Cable XOX Reference And Studio Banana To Spade Adapter
Under their connector sub-brand "XOX",
Black Cat Cable has released two levels of Banana-to-Spade adapters in order to convert banana-terminated loudspeaker cables for use with a variety of binding posts that do not otherwise allow for use with banana terminations. Black Cat Cable was based on a handful of innovations that were developed after years of painstaking R&D. Most importantly, the ability to insulate conductors with a dielectric design that was at least equal, and possibly superior to the dielectric materials that were being used in my subcontracted designs. As their cables receive worldwide fame, they've expanded to offering very high quality
accessories too. The XOX Reference Precision Adapter is carefully machined from pure copper. The copper is high-polished and Rhodium plated for the best long-term signal transfer. A set of four copper banana to spade adapters ($224.95) come in a truly lovely box that is equally fitting of XOX products. For those desiring a brass fitting, XOX Studio's Precision Adapter also is available in precision machined non-magnetic brass. The brass is then high polished and gold plated ($79.95 for set of four). These banana-to-spade adapters are now available directly from select Black Cat Cable partners and also through Black Cat Cable's website.
02 / 27 / 18
Gryphon Audio Atilla Integrated, Scorpio CD Player And Mojo Speakers.
System synergy that sounds spectacular!
Review By Steven R. Rochlin
02 / 26 / 18
Leema Acoustics Stream IV CD/Streamer
And Elements Streamer
Acoustics' has debuted their newly upgraded 2018 Stream IV streaming CD player to complement the December-announced Pulse IV amp/DAC (£2095 and £2295 respectively). Another new product from Leema Acoustics is their Elements Streamer (£1095). Leema's brand new compact streamer is based on the same high-quality module in the company's Quasar streaming amp/DAC and introduces a world of content to Leema's shoe-box-sized Elements range and compact audio systems everywhere.
Leema Acoustics' new compact-chassis Elements Streamer is based upon the high-quality streaming module used in the recently launched Quasar streaming amp/DAC, with the addition of an advanced ESS Sabre DAC, enabling the device to be used as a standalone unit in a wide range of audio systems. The Elements Streamer has built-in support for a number of high-performance streaming services including Tidal, Deezer, Qobuz and vTuner radio. Spotify connect is also supported, along with file playback from Dropbox and Microsoft Onedrive. Local playback from USB drives is also supported. Moving higher in the brand line is their full-width Stream IV streaming CD now in its fourth incarnation. It has been updated for the streaming age and shares many of the internals with the Elements Streamer with the inclusion of a Stream Unlimited-sourced CD player. Housed in a full-width chassis designed to complement the newly launched Pulse IV amp/DAC, the Stream IV offers huge versatility and can playback from virtually every source: CD, streaming, analogue and vinyl systems, plus all manner of digital devices. Meanwhile the Pulse IV amp/DAC is a 'hub' for contemporary music-listening with its turntable connectivity, Bluetooth playback and seven digital inputs enabling a huge range of devices to connect. Whether on vinyl, streamed from smartphones and tablets via aptX Bluetooth, or stored on computers, laptops and more, the Pulse IV is the perfect complement for the Stream IV streaming CD.
02 / 23 / 18
McIntosh Labs And LA Audio Show To Offer McMasters Class
LA Audio Show (LAAS) 2018 and legendary audio manufacturer
McIntosh Labs have announced details for the company's first certificated technical training course for consumers. McIntosh Labs' specially developed McMasters Class is adapted from the two-day course given to McIntosh dealers and the inaugural presentation will be at LAAS 2018 in Orange County. While there's no extra-charge for the course above the show's entry fee, attendance will be strictly limited to a total of 120 registrants. The McMasters classes will be taught by McIntosh experts Ken Zelin and Ron Cornelius, the same trainers who handle McIntosh's dealer and distributor McMasters classes. The course covers insights into McIntosh history, products and technology, audio system diagnostics, theory of audio, and tips from the experts. Classes will be held Friday, June 8th and June 9th. Seating is limited to 30 people per class. RSVP early when you purchase tickets to reserve your spot in the McMasters Class! All four sessions will cover the same material, so attending a single two-hour class earns the McMasters Certificate. Once slots are filled, they are gone! Access LAAS Registration immediately to
reserve your spot at this link.
Industry News 10 Years Ago
IRIAA Caught Once Again In Employing Questionable Tactics
training video called In Trial produced by the Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA) was leaked to the public and concerns alleged illegal music activates plus makes reference that
defendants may then seek out handguns, are drug users, are hardcore criminals... and may be linked to terrorist organizations(!). The video has been reported to star ex-prosecutor Deborah Robinson and ex-Maryland state
trooper Frank Walters to "assist in the training of U.S. prosecutors responsible for handling music piracy cases." While there is not a
specific date of production mentioned, it appears to be fairly recently made as within the video Frank Walters is seen in the video to be pointing to a CD burner tower according to a website. The video may be frightening in just how far the RIAA is willing to take matters into their own hands, as they will help in "qualifying an RIAA investigator as an expert" who then can be
employed within their legal trials. Can someone say possible major conflict of interest and biased 'expert' witness. As for how this video is now on the Internet for all to understand how far the RIAA is willing to go, the below 'letter' is said to be from the person who acquired
I came into possession of this video through a close friend. He happens to hold a position in the criminal prosecutorial system. He is a prosecutor of felonies, which is what makes this video such a wonderful illustration of just how overboard the media industry has gone in their persecutions of pirates. Should downloading music ever be considered a felony?
My contact knows my views on the current state of intellectual property law in the United States. I tend to be somewhat outspoken on the subject.
Obviously, when I saw the envelope in his office with the attractive and oh-so-professional
RIAA / NDAA letterhead protruding from the top, I could not resist. I begged him to let me have it, and since he tends to sympathize with those of us who hold less respect for IP rights, he consented.
I was expecting the video to be epic. I had no idea, however, that it would compare pirates to terrorists and drug dealers. It was too good to be true.
It was a wonderful find, and a perfect example of how misinformed the legal system is on the issues of piracy.
The RIAA is deluded. They have a warped perception of how media distribution should work in our high-tech world. They refuse to adapt. Instead, they stick to their age-old business model, they cry foul, and they persecute pirates. They recruit friends in high places in the legal system. They have succeeded in painting us as the enemy through their propaganda campaigns.
We are not the enemy. We are the new generation of media consumers.
We should be their allies.
Thanks for hearing me out, and for reporting on it. The video is good for a laugh, no?
This training video is available on many torrent websites and can easily be found using various search
engines as am sure the RIAA legal team is scrambling to shut down as many
sites as possible that have it for download. A clip was on YouTube, but has
since been taken down.
02 / 22 / 18
ELAC Debut F5 Floorstanding Speaker
One more time for the cheap seats!
Review By Steven R. Rochlin
March / April Issue Features CES Coverage And More
Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the
March / April 2018 issue of NOVO (was
CANADA HiFi). Articles within this issue
include the very best of CES 2018 report, getting healthy with tech, the journey to higher quality audio with Nordost Leif cables, plus great recorded music to showcase your sound system. Reviewed within this issue of NOVO is Acoustic Solid's Xtended MPX turntable and Bryston's BP-173 Cubed Series preamplifier.
Within his editorial, Suave Kajko says,
"Getting your music system to sound its best goes well beyond just assembling components and speakers that "play" well together. Using stock (OEM) or poor quality cables in your system could be preventing it from reaching its full potential. Check out my advice on upgrading cables in your system (on page 12) and what sonic improvements you can expect to hear when integrating better quality power cords in your system. If you're passionate about music then you likely have a pretty good music system at home and a playlist of favorite albums that you really enjoy listening
to. If you have a keen ear then you know how different one album can sound compared to another- some albums are recorded far better than others. Ever wonder what one of NOVO's contributors has in their favorite playlist? Check out Kevin Rak's article on page 32."
You can download your free issue of NOVO
in PDF at this
02 / 21 / 18
Take The Test: Harvard Gazette's Songs In The Key Of Humanity
Harvard's Gazette recently released
a study titled 'Songs in the Key of
Humanity' within their health & medicine section. According to Harvard, "Some musical meaning may transcend cultural boundaries and be universally human." The article also
follows poet and Harvard Professor Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as he famously said, "Music is the universal language of mankind." And yes, it appears this new Harvard study might confirm this. According to Harvard Gazette's article, "The study, a collaboration among psychology research associate Samuel Mehr, human evolutionary biology graduate student Manvir Singh, alumni Luke Glowacki and Hunter York, and Associate Professor of Psychology Max Krasnow, found that people around the globe could identify lullabies, dancing songs, and healing songs — regardless of the songs' cultural origin — after hearing just a 14-second clip. The finding suggests that not only is music deeply rooted in human nature, but that some types of songs transcend cultural boundaries. The study is described in a January 25 paper in Current Biology." Samuel Mehr says, "It seems like all humans make music in some way or another. But there's not great empirical evidence for whether or not the different types of music they make share features across cultures. One way to test that is with this type of naïve listener experiment... and the results suggest that, in some cases, the answer is yes." Please hear for yourself, and
take the 'test' at this
02 / 20 / 18
Dayton Audio B452- / B652-AIR Bookshelf Plus T652-AIR Floorstander
Dayton Audio is pleased to announce their new AIR
Series! Models available include B452-AIR and B652-AIR bookshelf speakers, plus the new Dayton AudioT652-AIR floorstanding tower speaker ($69, $78, and $199 each respectively). Originally introduced to the line was Dayton Audio's B652-AIR bookshelf speaker with AMT tweeter that is said to have livened up the top end. The B652-AIT floorstander features a "tight-sounding" 6.5" woofer in an optimally-damped sealed wood composite enclosure. Other features include keyhole hanger bracket, quick-connect terminals, non-marking rubber feet, and a removable fabric grill. Dayton Audio's new B452-AIR bookshelf speaker may be the little brother to the larger B652-AIR, but the company says it "packs a big sonic punch just like the original B452"! Try it on your desk, or as part of a compact, discrete yet impressive surround sound system. With a 4.5" woofer and scaled-down cabinet, the B452-AIR is all about giving you the most performance for your money while offering a little something extra from the fantastic AMT tweeter. Dayton Audio also brings the high-value design formula of the B652-AIR speakers to a tower form factor in the new T652-AIR floor-standing tower speakers. Dual 6.5" woofers and an AMT tweeter deliver sound with power, clarity, and bass punch. The bass reflex tower cabinet provides a firm bass foundation to 45 Hz, for rich, satisfying low end that enhances any type of music or home theater content. The larger tower design of the T652-AIR provides enough output to fill the largest listening spaces, while not overwhelming the décor in more intimate settings.
For previous high-end audio industry news