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High-End Audio, High Fidelity Audiophile Industry News


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04 / 24 – 26 / 2015

AXPONA Audio Con 2015 Show Live Stream – Audio Expo North America
AXPONA Audio Con 2015 Show Report With Live Stream By Enjoy the Music.comAXPONA (Audio Expo North America) Audio Con 2015 takes place April 24th through 26th at the Westin O'Hare in Chicago. At AXPONA 2015 you'll be able to experience top quality high-end home audiophile gear, portable audio players and enjoy the best high resolution music on digital and vinyl LP formats. See Enjoy the Music.com's official AXPONA live broadcast at this link.

 

04 / 22 / 15

Jim Smith's Breaking Through The Sound Barrier
Jim Smith's Breaking Through The Sound BarrierIf you're looking for some great Podcasts, Jim Smith's series Breaking Through The Sound Barrier (TTSB) provides excellent ideas for music lovers and audiophiles alike who want to achieve the very best from their audio system. In Episode Nine: Out of the Hot Seat, Jim provides the customary update on the Through the Sound Barrier project, including changes to the CD, status of the books and DVD, and a tentative shipping timeframe. Then it's on to discussing a recent RoomPlay Reference session with a client who hears things differently. Jim talks a bit about shared listening as yet another way that music can move you, reference room or not. Episode seven covers topics including dynamics, presence, and tone, whilst episode four brings you knowledge concerning clean power. Jim Smith's episode nine of him Podcast closes with a reminder for all those TTSB backers who have yet to schedule their sessions with Jim to do so as soon as possible. You can hear all nine of Jim's Podcasts at this link. Jim Smith has also published Get Better Sound, a book that educates audiophiles on correct system set up, tips to clean power, and much more. Get Better Sound put Jim the golden ear spotlight with his matter of fact tips, useful diagrams, and sound advice. Get Better Sound is also available on three DVD disc. You can purchase these through Jim Smith's online store. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed Get Better Sound at this link.

 

04 / 21 / 15

Buddy Rich Birdland On CD And Vinyl LP
Buddy Rich Birdland On CD And Vinyl LPLightyear Entertainment and Lobitos Creek Ranch, in association with Scabeba Entertainment and the Buddy Rich Estate, have announced the release of a new live album featuring Buddy Rich and his Killer Force Band at the peak of their performing years. This rare, previously unreleased, and all original production was recorded with Buddy's permission by bandmate Alan Gauvin. Alan has personally mixed and edited the project together to create this new album, which is mastered by Tom Swift. This new Buddy Rich album titled Birdland will be released on May 26 through Caroline Distribution, the independent distribution arm of Universal Music Group, on the Lightyear/Lobitos Creek label. The Birdland album is seen in the Academy Award winning film Whiplash, in the hands of the young star Miles Teller, who plays an extraordinary drummer who idolizes Buddy Rich. The digital version of Birdland was rush released worldwide on February 24 to coincide with the Oscars airing and is already the most downloaded Buddy Rich album in recent history after just a few weeks. A vinyl LP of Birdland is scheduled for a June 23rd release. "Birdland is probably the best Buddy Rich album we've released," said Arnie Holland, CEO of Lightyear. "We are grateful to Whiplash for stimulating so much interest in Buddy and big-band jazz drumming in general." Distribution of the CD and vinyl LP of Birdland in the UK and Europe will be through Wienerworld Ltd.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
Creative Archive Licence GroupThe UK's Creative Archive Licence Group that includes the BBC, Channel 4, British Film Institute (BFI) and Open University (OU) and hoping to allow free access to "give the public access to footage and sound from some of the largest film, television and radio archives in the UK, as well as specially commissioned material" according to the press release. While the Creative Archive Group is hoping other organizations will join, the combined content of the BBC and BFI alone is immense and spans decades. This new initiative will provide Internet users legal access to material completely free of charge. The main rules for using content are that it be used for non-commercial purposes, to share your content freely with others, to provide credit to your content source, to not endorse nor use content for derogatory purposes, and of interesting note is that the Creative Archive content is made available to broadband users within the UK for use [primarily] within the UK. Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, said "The Creative Archive Licence provides a unique solution to one of the key challenges of rights in the digital age, allowing us to increase the public value of our archives by giving people the chance to use video and audio material for their own non-commercial purposes. All four partners in the Creative Archive Licence Group feel this is a fantastic opportunity for other broadcasters and rights holders, and we would urge them to join us."

 

04 / 20 / 15

Last Chance Reminder: Schedule Your Live Appearance Within Our AXPONA Broadcast
AXPONA 2015Enjoy the Music.com will be live broadcasting from AXPONA 2015 and we have only a few time slots available. Instead of passive broadcasting or after-the-fact video streaming, which has been done for many years, our live stream features chat so enthusiasts worldwide can ask questions for those we are featuring live online in real time plus we provide Twitter integration too! Exhibitors should join our manufacturer / distributor e-mail list at www.eepurl.com/S3xtn. A special invitation e-mail was sent out weeks ago for you to schedule your special time slot to appear within our live broadcast. It is no secret that streaming online was the hottest technology at this year's SXSW, and Enjoy the Music.com is at the forefront of this technology with the industry's best gear. As a fully independent site catering to the high-end audio industry, we plan to feature manufacturers, distributors, a variety of magazine personalities and much more. We look forward to seeing everyone in Chicago and streaming live from our mobile TV studio at AXPONA 2015 from April 24th through 26th at the Westin O'Hare. AXPONA exhibitors should contact us today as there are only a small handful of time slots remaining!

 

The Best Of The Doors On Multi-Channel Hybrid SACD
The Best Of The Doors On Multi-Channel Hybrid SACDDoors fans rejoice as Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity will be releasing The Best Of The Doors - 1973 on quadraphonic 4.0 multi-channel hybrid SACD. The two-channel stereo and DSD layers of the hybrid SACD were remastered from the original two-track tapes, which are available for the first time since 1970. The 4.0 quadraphonic layer mirrors the earlier CD-4 QuadraDisc format, Quadraphonic 8-Track and reel-to-reel tape. The Best of The Doors - 1973 compilation album was also released in standard stereo and is the two-channel CD layer of this hybrid SACD. There is no doubt that the Doors were among the most controversial, influential and unique rock acts of the 1960's and beyond. After the death of Jim Morrison in 1971, the remaining members, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Robby Krieger continued as a trio until disbanding in 1973. Each of the tracks on The Best Of The Doors - 1973 have been taken primarily from the original two-track masters of the eight albums recorded by the band between 1967 and 1971. Three of the band's studio albums, The Doors (1967), L.A. Woman (1971), and Strange Days (1967), were featured in the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. The popular rock magazine also listed The Doors as "One of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time!" As a matter of fact, The Doors have been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines and in 1993 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Track listing is as follows:

1 Who Do You Love 
2 Soul Kitchen 
3 Hello, I Love You 
4 People Are Strange 
5 Riders On The Storm 
6 Touch Me 
7 Love Her Madly 
8 Love Me Two Times 
9 Take It As It Comes 
10 Moonlight Drive 
11 Light My Fire

 

04 / 19 / 15


Skoffin' Up Food For Thought
Which Good Is Good?
Roger Skoff writes about finding the "Truth" in Hi-Fi.

 

04 / 18 / 15

Double Helix Cables 3D Printed Precious Metals Option
Double Helix Cables 3D Printed Precious Metals OptionDouble Helix Cables (DHC) is now offering 3D printed precious metal parts as an option for their line of specialized high-fidelity audio cables. Double Helix Cables is first to market with a complete options package of 3D printed decorative parts for audio cables, including in-ear monitors (IEM) and headphones. DHC prides itself on providing a completely custom design experience for their customers and utilizing exciting new 3D printing technology to maximize cable aesthetics. Inspired by the fast-growing world of 3D printing and its diverse possibilities, DHC began developing a line of 3D model parts to fit a variety of cables and work with various audio connectors. Initially, DHC exclusively developed custom 'Y' splitters / covers for the part of the headphone cable where the cable forks to the left and right ears. After noting the outstanding beauty and unique customization opportunities offered by 3D printing, Double Helix Cables expanded the project to offer a complete, matching package. Double Helix Cables' customers now have the opportunity to change the models at whim. As an example, one client opted for a logo for a local sports team embossed onto the metal of his 3D-printed splitter. Today's state-of-the-art printing technology allows 3D models to be turned into a variety of different metals and plastics. The highly custom nature of this endeavor is made possible by the fact that DHC does its 3D modeling in-house. As such, these designs can be adapted to allow one's personal style to be reflected in any audio cable. DHC owner Peter Bradstock has made 3D printing part hobby and part business, as designing 3D models is a new passion of his. A world premiere first 3D printed precious metals parts review will make their appearance within an upcoming review of DHC's flagship IEM cable. Specifically, DHC's top-of-the-line 8-conductor pure OCC silver Litz "Symbiote SP" CIEM cable in a special balanced configuration for the Noble K10 CIEM for Enjoy the Music.com's Editor and Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin. Pictured here is the actual cable in for review and features silver Litz wire and rose gold 3D printed parts.

 

Today Is The Annual Record Store Day
Record Store Day is April 18th, 2015Record Store Day, conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees, is a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding many hundreds of independently owned record stores worldwide. This is the one day of the year that all independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Over the years there have been special vinyl releases and various promotional products made exclusively for Record Store Day. Around the globe hundreds of artists also may make special appearances and performances to celebrate this day. While every day should be music day no matter what format you so choose or which store is your favorite to find hidden gems, April 18 is officially Record Store Day during 2015. Special vinyl/CD/DVD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for this day. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, and DJs spinning records. You can see a list of special Record Store Day releases at this link.

 

04 / 17 / 15

Universal Music Group Settles Class Action Lawsuit For $11.2 Million
Universal Music Group Settles Class Action Lawsuit For $11.2 MillionUniversal Music Group (UMG), on behalf of UMG Recordings Inc. and Capitol Records LLC, and plaintiffs' attorneys representing approximately 7,500 artists/clients in Class Action lawsuit, have reached a settlement regarding digital download royalties. The lawsuit is due to UMG failing to pay proper royalties to certain artists when consumers bought MP3 files from digital music retailers. UMG called purchases as sales instead of licenses, which means UMG was able to pay a far lower rate to musical artists. As we all know, you are not buying an MP3, FLAC or other digital music downloads as you can not freely sell them within the marketplace. Consumers are merely licensing the ability to hear the music that have purchased. Digital downloads also save record labels vast sums of money to to virtually zero cost for distribution and zero cost to produce copies as compared to CD, LP and other physical formats. UMG will contribute $11.5 million to supplement payments to Class Action members for past digital download activity, cover attorneys' fees and administrative costs, and also increase digital download royalties by approximately 10% going forward. In a statement, UMG commented, "Although we are confident we appropriately paid royalties on digital downloads and adhered to the terms of contracts, we are pleased to amicably resolve this matter and avoid continued legal costs." Len Simon, one of the lead plaintiffs' attorneys, said, "This settlement is a fair resolution of this controversy over how to compensate artists for their valuable work in a new medium which we believe was not contemplated by their contracts, many drafted in the 1970s or 1980s. And it compensates these artists now, rather than after additional years of litigation and uncertainty."

 

Bowers & Wilkins CM10 S2 Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review
Bowers & Wilkins CM10 S2 Floorstanding Loudspeaker
Great sounding speakers that are transparent, sensitive, and easy to drive.
Review By Tom Lyle

 

Cardas Audio 4181US And 4181EU Power Outlets
Cardas Audio 4181US And 4181EU Power OutletsCardas Audio will soon be offering their 4181US and 4181EU power outlets. The 4181US is for those within the United States and other countries with the same power outlet configuration, whilst the 4181EU if for the European style power outlet configuration. For the US version, the two jacks can be completely isolated from each other, or joined like a standard US duplex. Screws can be removed to isolate each side's ground, thus you can use one, both or neither depending on your desired optimum configuration. Featuring copper contact surfaces, these surfaces are plated with rhodium over silver. The 4181EU is a single Schuko outlet, which also has copper plated with rhodium over silver connectors. Both outlets offer strong grip tension, and make excellent electrical contact. See the larger image for more details. Click the image on the right (or here) to see more details of this design.

 

04 / 16 / 15

Reminder: PBS To Broadcast Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler This Evening
PBS To Broadcast Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler In April 2015PBS will be broadcasting Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler, which is a one-hour documentary within their American Masters series. Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler premieres nationwide Thursday, April 16 at 8pm and Friday, April 17 at 9pm on PBS (check your local listings to ensure day/time). Emmy- and Peabody-winning filmmaker Peter Rosen uncovers the story of legendary musician Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987), who is widely considered the first truly modern violin virtuoso. PBS says, "Setting the standard in violin playing for nearly a century, Heifetz' name became shorthand for excellence for everyone from Jack Benny to The Muppets to Woody Allen. Through vintage performances and master classes, God's Fiddler portrays an artist for whom only perfection would do. New interviews include other great violinists influenced by Heifetz, including Itzhak Perlman, Ivry Gitlis and Ida Haendel, former student, accompanist and longtime companion Ayke Agus, former student and master assistant in charge of his world-renowned violin class at the University of Southern California Sherry Kloss, and biographers John Anthony Maltese and Arthur Vered. They reveal how Heifetz was a mysterious, idiosyncratic, solitary figure who embodied the paradox of artistic genius: a dedication to his craft at all costs, including two failed marriages, estrangement from his children and very few friends. Characterized as serious and intense while performing and teaching, his students describe him as generous and playful when socializing. Filmed in Heifetz' native Vilnius, Lithuania; Saint Petersburg, Russia, where he studied with the influential Leopold Auer; and in his rebuilt studio in Los Angeles, Calif., American Masters Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler also features Heifetz' previously unseen 16mm footage from 1917-1985, which Rosen discovered at the Colburn Music School in Los Angeles. A self-professed "camera fiend," Heifetz' home movies show scenes from his apartment in Saint Petersburg just months before the Russian Revolution, his immigration to America, his early social life in New York City, his family life, his travels through Europe, the Middle East and Japan, and his later years in Los Angeles. Tony-nominated actor Danny Burstein (Boardwalk Empire, Cabaret, Follies) narrates, reading from Heifetz' personal letters." American Masters' Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler is a production of Peter Rosen Productions, Inc. Peter Rosen is producer and director. Sara Lukinson is co-producer. Josh Waletzky and Peter Rosen are editors. Peter Rosen is photographer. Barry Markowitz is photographer of The Heifetz Studio at The Colburn School. Michael Kantor is executive producer for American Masters. Major funding for Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler is provided by the Colburn School. Additional funding for this program is provided by The National Endowment for the Arts, and Kitty Hawks and Larry Lederman. American Masters is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rhoda Herrick, Vital Projects Fund, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Jack Rudin, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation and public television viewers.

 

IFPI Digital Music Report 2015
IFPI Digital Music Report 2015The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a not-for-profit organization that represents the interests of 1300 record companies from across the globe, has released their Digital Music Report 2015. According to this report, physical media is being overtaken by non-physical digital formats first time in recoded music history. Global industry revenues are down 0.4 per cent to $14.97 billion in 2014. Digital revenues rose 6.9% to $6.9 billion, which represents 46% of all global music sales and underlining the deep transformation of the global music industry over recent years. There was a massive increase in subscription revenues (+39%) that offset declining download sales (-8%) as paying users of subscription services rose 46.4% to an estimated 41 million. According to the IFPI, "Subscription services are now at the heart of the music industry's portfolio of businesses, representing 23% of the digital market and generating $1.6 billion in trade revenues. The industry sees substantial further growth potential in the subscription sector, with new services advancing in 2015 led by three major global players: YouTube's Music Key, Jay Z's TIDAL and Apple's expected subscription service." Frances Moore, Chief Executive of IFPI, says "The recorded music business has always led the way for creative industries in the digital world. That leadership continues today as the music industry's digital revolution continues through new phases, driven by the consumer's desire for access to, rather than ownership of, music. It is a reflection of how much we have adapted that digital revenues today are, for the first time, on a par with physical. The headline statistics of 2014 speak for themselves, with overall revenues still largely flat, down by 0.4 per cent. Music companies are charting a path to sustainable year-on-year growth. That path was never going to be straight, but we are making great strides along it, embracing new models, licensing, investing and improving consumer choice." Vinyl sales continue to grow from their once longtime leadership up until the 1980's as CD took over, with 2014 revenues increasing 54.7% as compared to 2013 yet accounts for only 2% of overall global revenues. You can view the full report in PDF form by clicking here.

 

Australian Hi-Fi's Latest Issue Is Now Available
Australian Hi-Fi March / April 2015 IssueEnjoy the Music.com just posted Australian Hi-Fi's March/April 2015 issue. Think pieces include a weird experience in the Blueys caused Greg Borrowman to ponder, Stephen Dawson explores what happens when you drop from 16 bits down to just 8 plus equipment reviews of the Hegel H160 integrated amplifier, Marantz CD6005 CD player, Richter Thor series V DSP Subwoofer, Yamaha NS-F901 loudspeakers, AURALiC Vega digital audio processor, and AVM Inspiration CS2.2 streaming AV receiver. Within his editorial, Greg Borrowman says, "For a start, it's rare for me to hear classical music played in any shop, café or restaurant. And supermarkets, which have done exhaustive research into consumer listening habits, not only don't classical music... they don't even play jazz. So far as I can recall, the background music played in supermarkets, shopping malls and department stores is all middle-of-the-road. I also puzzled as to why I was lingering and listening to a sub-par sound system when I could have gone home and listened to exactly the same music in the very highest fidelity. I have no answers to any of these questions." You can see what's within the March / April edition of Australian Hi-Fi at this link.

 

04 / 15 / 15

Salon Son & Image 2015 Show Report
Salon Son & Image 2014 Montreal High-End Audio Show Report!
Enjoy the Music.com has just posted part 4, Rick Becker's final update to our Salon Son & Image show coverage. In total, we have over 12 pages filled with more than 150 photos plus we name our Best Of rooms and more! Our Salon Son & Image 2015 report is now complete and, humbly said, is the industry's most extensive coverage anywhere in the world. Come see part 4 By Rick Becker Now Online by clicking here.

 

Google Offers An Interactive Experience Inside Abbey Road Studios
Google Offers An Interactive Experience Inside Abbey Road StudiosGoogle is now using their interactive technology to showcase the legendary Abbey Road studios. Google's blog today says "On a leafy street in north London, next to a popular zebra crossing, is one of the world's most celebrated music landmarks: Abbey Road Studios. Most people probably associate Abbey Road with the Beatles album of the same name. In fact, the studios have played a role in music history: if you can hum the theme to Star Wars, Harry Potter or Indiana Jones, or you've sung along to tracks by Pink Floyd or Oasis, or even if you own a pair of stereo headphones, then you've been impacted by the work of Abbey Road. Since opening in 1931, the studios have pushed the boundaries of music and sound, reinventing the recording process at every step. But until now, the famous crossing was as close as most of us could get to the studios. Now, for the first time, the doors at Abbey Road are open to everyone. In partnership with Abbey Road Studios, we've created Inside Abbey Road, an experience that lets fans around the world step inside the studios and explore this renowned institution. Accessible via desktop, tablet and phone, you can explore every nook and cranny of Abbey Road with more than 150 different 360-degree panoramic images. As you walk through the studios, you'll see YouTube videos and archival images from Abbey Road's history—right where they originally happened. You can also play with pioneering equipment in specially designed interactive gadgets, such as the J37 4-track recorder that was used to record the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Throughout the studios you'll find more than 30 stories, full of anecdotes and facts about the studios, like the story of Abbey Road engineer Alan Blumlein. Alan was annoyed after a trip to the movies, because the sound in early cinemas only came from one side of the screen. He went on to invent the concept of stereo audio—and sound and screen have matched ever since. Or, if you feel like being guided around the studios, there's an audio tour you can join in every studio. Narrated by producer Giles Martin, engineer and Head of Audio Products Mirek Stiles, and broadcaster Lauren Laverne, the audio tours let you see the studios through their eyes. Think of it as your own personal tour. Inside Abbey Road is part of our broader effort to help people experience worldwide culture and places from wherever they are, whether it's visiting the Pyramids of Giza in Google Maps or getting up close to the brush strokes of Van Gogh in the Google Art Project. Now, we're taking you behind the doors of one of the most famous music studios in the world. Take a step Inside Abbey Road and see for yourself."

 

HIGH END 2015 In Munich Begins May 14th At The M.O.C.
Munich High End Show Report 2015 High End Society Report By Enjoy the Music.comEnjoy the Music.com's 15th year covering HIGH END 2015 Munich audiophile event begins May 14th. Promoted by the prestigious High End Society in Germany, the HIGH END show is the international key exhibition for the high-quality consumer electronics industry. The HIGH END event has been held an impressive 34 times in succession; and 2015 marks the 12th time at the MOC Munich. This year, more than 400 exhibitors with about 900 brands from all over the world are presenting their products and services. A wide variety of lectures will be held during this event to educate and answer attendee's questions. They also have apps for both iOS and Android devices too! Some of the seminars that are offered during HIGH END 2015 include 'The importance of USB cables for PC hi-fi' presented by Nagra, 'A naturally beautiful voice' presented by Purist Audio Design, 'How sound finds its feet via turntable spikes' presented by Aura/Verity Audio, and 'How a high-class audiophile compilation is made' presented by MBL. Learn more about HIGH END 2015 Munich and see our show report at this link.

 

Audience AV Au24 SE USB Cable Is Available In Two Configurations
Audience AV Au24 SE USB Cable Is Available In Two ConfigurationsAudience has introduced their Au24 SE USB cable, which is a premium-quality USB interconnect designed to deliver superior sound quality from digital music files and source components with USB connectivity ($945 for a one-meter dual-end with two USB connectors and $895 for a single-end one USB connector). The new Audience Au24 SE USB is engineered for "ultimate timing conveyance of digital signal and highly effective shielding against EMI and RFI. It employs a 'dual-cable' construction, with separated conductors for the data (signal) path and for the power path, a configuration that ensures the best-possible signal integrity and isolation" says the company. The data side of the Au24 SE USB features shielded silver over OCC copper conductors with Teflon insulation. The power side is also shielded and made from OCC copper wire with polypropylene insulation. The USB connector contacts are gold-plated copper. Two versions of the Au24 SE USB are available: one with a single USB-A male connector at the source end and another version with two USB-A male connectors at the source end for use with computers and components where the data and power can be sent from two different USB busses, for the ultimate in signal and power isolation.

 

04 / 14 / 15

SoundExchange Applauds Fair Play Fair Pay Act
SoundExchange Applauds Fair Play Fair Pay ActSoundExchange, an independent nonprofit performance rights organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties to featured artists and copyright holders, applauds the Fair Play Fair Pay Act. To quote their press release, "In response to today's press conference in New York City, announcing the Fair Play Fair Pay Act by Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), SoundExchange issued the following statement from Michael Huppe, President and Chief Executive Officer: "For decades, music services have gotten away with building their business on the backs of hard working musicians, paying unfair rates – and in the case of the $17.5 billion radio industry, paying nothing at all -– for the music they use. The Fair Play Fair Pay Act introduced today will bring much needed reform to the music industry and addresses many of the issues that plague the recorded music industry. It is time that we properly pay the artists who put so much hard work into creating the music at the core of these services. If it weren't for them, these stations would be broadcasting little more than static. At the nexus of music and technology, SoundExchange is at the very center of the industry, representing the entire record music industry. In June 2014, we testified before Congress and laid out SoundExchange's guiding principle: all creators should receive fair pay, on all platforms and technologies, whenever their music is used. This past February, the Copyright Office put out a comprehensive report that laid out a similar principle and today we have a bipartisan coalition in Congress heeding the same call." Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said, "The current system is antiquated and broken. It pits technologies against each other, and allows certain services to get away with paying little or nothing to artists. For decades, AM/FM radio has used whatever music it wants without paying a cent to the musicians, vocalists, and labels that created it. Satellite radio has paid below market royalties for the music it uses, growing into a multi-billion dollar business on the back of an illogical 'grandfathered' royalty standard that is now almost two decades old," said Congressman Nadler. Artists, musicians, producers and radio services alike deserve better. The Fair Play Fair Pay Act fixes this broken and unjust system by making sure all radio services play by the same rules, and all artists are fairly compensated." As reported on February 6 (2015) on Enjoy the Music.com 's Industry News page, it looks like we are finally getting a new United States of America Copyright Office ruling as a just-released report recommends changes to federal music copyright laws. Next up will be the U.S. Congress to see if these changes should be implemented. New changes to current law reflect today's environment while also ensuring copyright holders, musicians, etc get fairly paid for the work. You can read all 245 pages (PDF) of the report by clicking here. The Fair Play Fair Pay Act would:

– Create a terrestrial performance right so that AM/FM radio competes on equal footing with its Internet and satellite competitors who already pay performance royalties. This would resolve the decades old struggle for performance rights and ensure that – for the first time –music creators would have the right to fair pay when their performances are broadcast on AM/FM radio.

– Bring true platform parity to radio – so that all forms of radio, regardless of the technology they use – pay fair market value for music performances. This levels the playing field and ends the unfair and illogical distortions caused by the different royalty standards that exist today.

– Ensure terrestrial royalties are affordable capping royalties for stations with less than $1,000,00 in annual revenue at $500 per year (and at $100 a year for non-commercial stations), while protecting religious and incidental uses of music from having to pay any royalties at all.

– Make a clear statement that pre-1972 recordings have value and those who are profiting from them must pay appropriate royalties for their use, while we closely monitor the litigation developments on this issue.

– Protect songwriters and publishers by clearly stating that nothing in this bill can be used to lower songwriting royalties.

– Codify industry practices streamlining the allocation of royalty payments to music producers.

– Ensure that artists receive their fair share from direct licensing of all performances eligible for the statutory license.

 

Princeton's New Music Building
Princeton's New Music BuildingA Princeton alumnus have given $10 million for the Music Building that is part of the University's arts complex under construction near University Place and Alexander Street. At 23,000 square feet, the new Music Building will meet the urgent need for space and bring student musicians – and the music they create – to the south edge of the campus. This night rendering of the Music Building illustrates architect Steven Holl's artful use of texture and luminosity to create a building that is both arresting and inviting. The new site, along with an increase in programming, is helping Princeton create an environment where all students can have a meaningful experience in the arts. "This splendid gift will benefit our student musicians and the audiences who come to hear them," said Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber. "The additional space is an essential element in enabling our arts initiative – launched less than a decade ago – to flourish. We are excited about seeing the arts at Princeton reach their full potential, and we are grateful to our generous alumni and friends for helping to make it possible." The three-story Music Building will contain a performance and rehearsal space, acoustically advanced practice rooms and teaching studios, and a digital recording studio. "Performance – rehearsing and performing in ensembles, continuing vocal and instrumental instruction – is at the core of most students' interest in music when they enter Princeton," said Steven Mackey, chair of the Department of Music. "This new facility will be the center of musical performance instruction at Princeton, and as such it represents a monumental step in the music department's commitment toward ensuring that the profound thrill of music making is available to the eager as well as the able among our student body." The 3500-square-foot music performance and rehearsal room, with its flexible configuration, 30-foot ceilings and adjustable acoustics, can be adapted to suit groups as diverse as the Glee Club, Concert Jazz Ensemble and Princeton Laptop Orchestra. "Attending Princeton was a formative experience," said the alumnus who made the gift. "It was there that I developed a deep and lasting interest in the arts. When my wife and I visited campus and witnessed the engagement, curiosity and passion of so many students in so many areas of arts study, the decision to be a part of the team in promoting the arts at Princeton was an easy one. We believe that all students should have access to the arts and to the music program as part of the unique educational experience of Princeton." As a model of sustainable design, the new Music Building complex will be covered with green roofs made of sedum, and geothermal wells will provide energy to heat and cool the complex. It is slated for completion in 2017.

 

Official Charts UK Shows Vinyl Sales Up 69% In 2015
Official Charts UK Shows Vinyl Sales Up 69% In 2015Official Charts, claiming to be a central part of British popular culture for 60 years, has released their first official vinyl charts launch as sales soar in 2015. Whilst we need to be honest in that vinyl is merely 1.5% of all UK albums sold within the marketplace, sales are up an outstanding 69% so far in 2015. In 2014, vinyl LP sales reached 1.29 million, which is a 20-year high for the format. This continues vinyl's impressive seven years of continuous growth. Official Charts Company has reported that the first quarter of 2015 revealed this trend is up an impressive 69% versus the same time period in 2014. Vinyl singles are also up, yet at a slower 23% gain. The reporting agency's official Vinyl Albums Chart Top 40 and Official Vinyl Singles Chart Top 40 (combining sales of 7" and 12" singles) now tracks this growth and shows the best selling albums and singles. "We're delighted to launch the UK's first Official Vinyl Albums and Official Vinyl Singles charts on OfficialCharts.com, to coincide with Record Store Day this coming weekend," said Martin Talbot, Chief Executive of Official Charts Company. "With vinyl album sales up by almost 70% already this year, vinyl junkies could well have snapped up 2 million units by the end of this year – an extraordinary number, if you consider sales were one-tenth of that just six years ago. This growth underlines the continuing resurgence of this much-loved format, whether you're a fan of Arctic Monkeys, Noel Gallagher, Led Zeppelin or David Bowie." In 1995 vinyl sales were 1,410,905 units and in 2014 they were 1,288,510; and again we must be realistic that overall vinyl albums are a mere 1.5% of the UK market. To keep this all in perspective if we include all sales including digital downloads, CDs, etc, in 2013 Beyoncé's self-titled album by itself sold 617,000 copies in three days and over 1,000,000 within less than a single month.

 

NuPrime Audio uDSD DAC With Headphone Amplifier And Analog Stereo Output
NuPrime Audio uDSD DAC With Headphone Amplifier And Analog Stereo OutputNuPrime Audio has introduced their uDSD ($179) USB-powered portable DAC and headphone amplifier. Supporting the latest high-resolution music formats including up to 24-bit/385kHz and native DSD256, the NuPrime Audio uDD stereo DAC has an output of 140mW @ 32 ohms per channel. The uDSD is equipped with one S/PDIF coaxial output, 1/8" headphone output and a pair of RCA jacks with a maximum of 2V stereo analog output. NuPrime's uDSD headphone circuit is built on a sophisticated balanced design. Since no external power supply is required, audio enthusiasts, musicians and recording engineers can employ the NuPrime uDSD with a laptop for work or enjoyment anywhere. Asynchronous transfer mode ensures doubled jitter-reduction at data input and over-sampling filter stages. The unit is compatible with Windows 7/8 and Mac OS. Dynamic range is 98dB, signal-to-noise ratio is 112 dB and THD+N is < 0.01%.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a trade group that represents manufacturers and distributors of approximately 90 percent of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States, has filed copyright infringement lawsuits against 405 students at 18 different colleges across the United States. Claiming there has been "egregious abusers of Internet2," an advanced high speed network created by participating colleges and universities for important academic research with file sharing i2hub software, the RIAA says over 1.5 million files have been shared including over 930,000 songs. The RIAA press releases also states "In addition to the 18 campuses whose students are being sued, the RIAA has evidence of i2hub infringement at another 140 schools in 41 states. While these schools were not included in the initial round of lawsuits, letters are being sent to each university president alerting them to the illegal activity occurring on their campuses." The schools included in this recent lawsuit are Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Drexel University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, New York University, Ohio State University, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of California - Berkeley, University of California - San Diego, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, University of Pittsburgh and University of Southern California.

 

04 / 13 / 15

Amazon Prime Stations Ad-Free Streaming Music Service
Amazon Prime Stations Ad-Free Streaming Music ServiceToday Amazon has launched their free Prime Stations streaming music service for all desktop and mobile OS platforms, which is free for Prime members. While Prime Stations has been available for a few months, the addition of Apple iOS and Android support is now complete. Prime Music provides unlimited, ad-free access to Prime Playlists and more than a million songs and albums at no additional cost for active Amazon Prime members within the United States of America. Prime members can play Prime Music on compatible devices that support Amazon Music, including Fire phone, Fire Tablets, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Amazon Echo, iOS devices, Android smartphones and tablets (v.4.0 and above), PC, Mac, and the Amazon.com website. On phones and tablets with the Amazon Music app installed, Prime members can also download Prime Music for offline playback. Downloaded Prime Music can only be accessed within the Amazon Music app and cannot be exported. The selection of songs and albums available with Prime Music is always changing, with new titles being added to the Prime Music catalog and occasionally titles removed. Prime Music is included with annual Prime memberships, 30-day Amazon Prime free trials, annual Amazon Mom memberships, 30-day Amazon Mom free trials, and annual Amazon Student memberships. It is not included during the free trial period for Amazon Student memberships, or for invited household members on a shared Prime account. Like other online streaming music services, if you like the currently playing song, you can use the Thumbs Up icon in the playback controls to tell the station to play more songs like it. Use the Thumbs Down icon to skip the currently playing song and remove it from the station's rotation. You can also use the + Add button in the playback controls to add the currently playing song to your music library, yet it is not downloadable from your library.

 

Johnnie Walker's The Boldest Glass Employs Bone Conduction Technology
Johnnie Walker The Boldest Glass Employs Bone Conduction TechnologyLooking to use sounds and music in a new way to affect humans, Johnnie Walker Red Label has just released their new 'The Boldest Glass' design that transmits sounds through a drinking glass. Using decades old bone conduction technology, Johnny Walkers seeks to improve a human's perceptions of the flavor within their product. The Boldest Glass is being released at the same time as Johnny Walker's Ginger Ale blend. So how does this all work? Basically, vibrations are transmitted from the glass through the drinker's lower jaw (bone conductivity) which reaches their inner ear. This allows the vibrations (sound) to be heard with the goal of enhancing the brain's perception of flavors. After quite a bit of research and development, Johnnie Walker chose a selection of vibrations to target an exciter concealed  behind the glass' red label, which in turn causes the drinking glass' surface to act as a speaker for bone conductivity. As these vibrations touch the human mouth they are transferred to the inner ear that produces the drinker to experience "an intense sound sensation that brings the audio track – beamed from an AM/FM transmitter to an amplifier in the base of the glass – to life". "Johnnie Walker is known for inspiring progression which is why we wanted to create a true piece of technology innovation within the bar environment to enhance the Johnnie & Ginger experience" says Johnnie Walker brand director Oscar Ocaña. "This could potentially be a revolution within a culture that hasn't changed in decades. The glass is set to give drinkers a glimpse of what bar culture could be like in the future and we're so excited for drinkers to experience the boldest version ever of a Johnnie & Ginger. The glass' track has been designed to enhance the flavors of the serve, bringing out the spicy and warm tones. As a result, the drinker is ultimately more connected to the drink, making for an exciting experience that combines flavor with sound." Of note is that this new development was co-developed by sensory scientists Condiment Junkie, which also designed the complementary audio track. "The sound was created specifically to highlight the warm and spicy notes in the drink, after research showed that angular sounds dial up the heat of the ginger, resulting in an even bolder serve" says Condiment Junkie's Creative Director Russell Jones. You can see their promotional video below.

 

Pro-Ject 2Xperience SB DC Turntable Includes Tonearm And Ortofon 2M Silver Cartridge
Pro-Ject 2Xperience SB DC TurntablePro-Ject Audio Systems has announced the release of new line turntables with real wood satin surfaces that may seamlessly integrate with the latest furniture designs. The 2Xperience SB DC turntable ($1399) is based on the 2Xperience belt-drive concept, which incorporates over 20 years of turntable design experience. The addition of precision motor control with electronic speed changing and a high-end 9cc Evolution carbon fiber tonearm are a few of the highlights of Pro-Ject's latest design. The heavy chassis is made from MDF using a non-resonant construction technique. The turntable platter is built with heavy, non-resonant materials in a precisely balanced sandwich configuration. A vinyl layer acts as the turntable mat whilst a screw-down light-weight record clamp helps to virtually eliminate unwanted record vibration and rumbling of the main platter bearing. Pro-Ject's 2Xperience SB DC turntable comes equipped with a high-end tonearm with pre-fitted Ortofon 2M Silver magnetic cartridge, which makes use of silver voice coils. An acrylic dust cover is also included. Finishes are available in four satin real wood veneer options (eucalyptus, olive, walnut and palisander) as well as classic high-gloss black.

 

04 / 12 / 15


Technology And Music
Sometimes you have to lose everything to 'win' it all.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

04 / 10 / 15


Flashback: All I Want To Do Is...
Enjoy the music!
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

DTS:X Object-Based Multi-Channel Sound And DTS Headphone:X Announced
DTS:X Object-Based Multi-Channel Sound Plus DTS Headphone:X AnnouncedDTS has just unveiled information about their new DTS:X for movie theaters, home theater and headphones. This open, next-generation, object-based, multi-dimensional audio technology aims to replicate a real-world sound environments in hopes of aurally transporting the audience into a new dimension of sound immersion within the movie theater, home environments and headphones. There are numerous customization options as well. According to the press release, "DTS:X is not tied to prescribed speaker configurations or a specific number of audio channels. DTS:X adapts to the viewing environment, allowing for a flexible speaker configuration that best fits the viewing space. DTS:X more accurately conveys the fluid movement of sound to create a richer entertainment soundscape than has previously been possible by moving sound objects to and through specific locations within - in front of, behind, above and beside the audience, precisely where the mixer placed them." The foundation of DTS:X is their MDA, which is DTS' license fee-free and open platform for creation of object-based immersive audio. MDA provides movie studios control over the specific placement, movement and volume of sound objects. The platform also enables sound engineers to "mix once" for both immersive and conventional cinemas in a combined object- and channel-based audio format. This allows audio content to be easily distributed beyond the theater for streaming, broadcast, optical media and more. DTS:X is a complete end-to-end workflow from content creation to playback. A licensing program for movie theaters offer owners the opportunity to provide their audience this latest DTS technology implementation and room configuration by installing DTS:X-approved equipment and working with the recommended speaker installation guidelines. To achieve this, DTS has partnered with GDC Technology, QSC and USL. GDC Technology develops, manufactures and sells digital cinema servers and provides a comprehensive suite of digital cinema products, services and solutions for exhibitors and distributors. QSC designs and manufactures professional audio systems and solutions for professional installed, portable, production and cinema sound customers worldwide. USL designs, manufactures, and sells motion picture audio equipment and sound processors. Initial partners for integrating DTS:X into theaters are GDC Technology and Carmike Cinemas. Of note is that GDC will make MDA firmware updates available to theater owners over to its existing installed server base of more than 40,000 servers starting in May 2015, whilst also providing DTS:X installation and certification for approximately 350 screens throughout Asia beginning in May 2015. To ensure content, DTS is presently working with several major studios and mixing stages in Los Angeles, Northern California and Canada that are currently evaluating DTS:X. On the home theater front, manufacturers representing nearly 90% of the home AVR and surround processor market will launch DTS:X-enabled products beginning in early Summer 2015, with additional manufacturer and model announcements to follow in the coming months. Confirmed partners soon to release DTS:X gear include Denon, Integra, Marantz, Onkyo, Pioneer, Steinway Lyngdorf, Theta Digital, Trinnov Audio, and Yamaha. DTS:X is backwards compatible with existing DTS-HD Master Audio with existing DTS bitstreams and speaker layouts. The DTS:X decoder supports DVD, Blu-ray Disc and streaming media file formats and can spatially reformat stereo, 5.1 or 7.1 content. DTS:X AVRs for consumers can support up to 11.2 speaker output channels, with the ability to remap content created for a specific speaker layout for a different speaker setup. There is the ability to support 32 speaker locations, which is subject to each manufacturer's product capabilities. Object mixes are supported up to 96kHz sampling rate, with up to 192kHz for stereo and multi-channel mixes. If that were not enough, DTS Headphone:X, seeks to enhance headphones with fully immersive surround sound.

 

DSD Live Streaming Joins 192kHz/24-bit Online Streaming
Sony DSD Live StreamWhile one high-end audio magazine reviewer said at THE Show Newport 2014 during a seminar in front of a large audience that streaming high resolution audio would never happen, said reviewer refused a $1000 bet from Enjoy the Music.com's Editor and Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin who felt that we would indeed enjoy streaming of high quality digital audio. In January, Enjoy the Music.com announced Naxos 24-bit/192kHz ClassicsOnline HD*LL and now Sony is live streaming DSD! A special website has been setup to stream two live concerts using the DSD 5.6 MHz digital audio format. These free presentations are made possible through the kind cooperation of the Spring Festival in Tokyo, which is now in its 11th year, and features the world-acclaimed Berliner Philharmoniker. On April 5th they live streamed the Tokyo-HARUSAI Marathon Concert Vol.5 "Music from the Classical period - Musicians in Vienna". A concert of the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, to be held at the Philharmonie Berlin at 7pm on April 11 (tomorrow), is also going to be live streamed. If you missed the earlier live stream, it will be offered once again on April 12 at 24:00 Japan time. Also of note is that in January electronics manufacturer KORG began offering their 5.6MHz DSD live streaming system in collaboration with Internet Initiative Japan Inc., Saidera Paradiso Ltd., and Sony Corporation. Each company engineered specialized technology to achieve this goal. KORG developed a DSD live stream encoding system based on the company's "Clarity" DSD-DAW prototype and dedicated decoding software based on AudioGate (the software included with KORG's DS-DAC series of DSD converters). The software to play these concerts is being distributed for free, thus enabling DSD DAC owners to enjoy these performances at home and/or on their mobile device.

 

04 / 09 / 15

Merrill Audio Jens Phonostage Preamplifier Review
World Premiere!
Merrill Audio Jens Phonostage Preamplifier
Jens' incredible micro resolution is the result of vanishing low noise.
Review By Ron Nagle

 

Salon Son & Image Show Report Part 3 By Rick Becker
Salon Son & Image Show ReportEnjoy the Music.com continues our extensive coverage of the Salon Son & Image 2015 show by Rick Becker! Part 3 adds more photos and some very important rooms that Rick loved. This part features some of the very best equipment that was at the Salon Son & Image event. As always,  Rick Becker gives you details about all the great gear seen at this springtime Canadian event. You can see Rick Becker's Salon Son & Image 2015 show report part 3 here.

 

04 / 08 / 15

HIFICRITIC's Latest Issue Now Available
HIFICRITIC Volume 9 Number 1HIFICRITIC's latest issue features reviews of the Linn Kandid cartridge, PMC Twenty.26, Devialet D200 and SAM software, Musical Fidelity Merlin system, Naim's Statement preamplifier plus many think pieces and music reviews. Within his editorial, Paul Messenger says, "This issue has proved a serious shoehorn job, and has rather fewer reviews than usual. Indeed a number of items I was planning to do myself had to be held over at the last minute, so that my Subjective Sounds this month has turned into a 'taster' or 'preview' column, giving a brief taste of several devices there wasn't space to review properly. (Hopefully they will appear in the next issue.)... One of the issues to make the national media recently is the question of advertising influencing editorial coverage. Peter Oborne – a fine and lucid commentator, even if one might not share his political views – recently resigned his position as political editor of The Daily Telegraph newspaper, because of what he considered undue advertiser influence on a particular story." See this issue of HIFICRITIC at this link.

 

Musical Fidelity's Merlin System
Musical Fidelity's Merlin System
Andrew Everard checks out a complete and up-to-date vinyl-based hi-fi system that sells for £1300.
Review By Andrew Everard of HIFICRITIC

 

Get Your Free Issue Of CANADA HiFi
CANADA HiFi April / May 2015 IssueEnjoy the Music.com just posted CANADA HiFi's April / May 2015 issue. CANADA HiFi, a North American print magazine that also makes available each issue online for free in PDF form, features many equipment review and think pieces. This issue includes reviews of the Paradigm Prestige 85F speakers, Spender Audio Classic SP3/1R2 speakers and the VPI Scout turntable plus think pieces including The Origins of Harder Rock - Part 1 and Ears of Experience. Within his editorial, Suave Kajko says, "Inside this issue, we start off with the 'The Origins of Harder Rock (Part 1)' by Douglas Brown as he explores and suggests some of the best albums from Jimi Hendrix, The Who and The MC5. Until now, most of our articles have focused on components rather than on music itself, so let us know if you'd like to see us publish more articles like this. Part 2 of this article will follow in the next issue. I know I certainly enjoyed Douglas' take on the subject." You can download the entire April / May edition of CANADA HiFi at this link.

 

Coachella Live Stream With Steely Dan, AC/DC, Jack White And More
Coachella Live Stream With Steely Dan, AC/DC, Jack White And MoreCoachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, a highly popular annual music and arts festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, will be live streamed on YouTube April 10th through 12th. This year's event will feature AC/DC, Alison Wonderland, Annie Mac, Dave Guetta, Drake, Jack White, Jason Bentley, New World Punx, Steely Dan and many others. Coachella was founded by Paul Tollett in 1999 and is organized by Goldenvoice, a subsidiary of AEG Live. According to Wikipedia, "The event features many genres of music, including rock, indie, hip hop, and electronic dance music, as well as art installations and sculptures. Across the grounds, several stages continuously host live music. The main stages are: Coachella Stage, Outdoor Theatre, Gobi Tent, Mojave Tent, and the Sahara Tent; a smaller Oasis Dome was used in 2006 and 2011, while a new Yuma stage was introduced in 2013. The festival's origins trace back to a 1993 concert that Pearl Jam performed at the Empire Polo Club while boycotting venues controlled by Ticketmaster. The show validated the site's viability for hosting large events, leading to the inaugural Coachella Festival being held in October 1999 over two days, just three months after the disastrous Woodstock '99." Coachella showcases a wide variety of popular and established musical artists plus those the promoter feels are emerging artists. Coachella also features reunited musical groups.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
BMG Music ServicesSony and the likes have (finally) given in to the demand for buying music online as BMG, through strategic partnerships with InterTrust and Microsoft, will soon be offering their music for sale via secure Internet download. While BMG is demanding the use of digital-rights management systems offered by Microsoft, InterTrust or IBM, we here at Enjoy the Music.com feel that it will take about two days for the protection code to be broken. As you may remember in a previous news event on our site, we were the first to report about the code breaking of Microsoft's "protected" media within only one day of its release. "After many months of performing extensive technical and business due diligence on the long list of companies moving into the digital music market, we are pleased to take these important and very exciting steps toward making our artists' music widely available through digital downloading," said Kevin Conroy, Senior Vice President of BMG Entertainment. While the catalog of music will be fairly small in the beginning, BMG hopes to drastically ramp up the quantity for the holidays.

 

04 / 07 / 15

REVIEW: OPPO PM-3 Planar Magnetic Headphones & HA-2 Amplifier / DAC
OPPO PM-3 Planar Magnetic Headphones & HA-2 Amplifier / DAC
Two tasty bits of audio gear for the budget-minded music lover.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Densen DenDAC 50 Combines A 24-bit/192kHz DAC With Class A Preamplifier
Densen DenDAC 50 Combines A 24-bit/192kHz DAC With Class A PreamplifierThe new Densen Audio Technologies DenDAC 50 (€4500) combines a 24-bit/192kHz digital audio capability with an analog Class A preamplifier stage. The analog stages are based on Densen's famed 6 watt Class A amplifier with zero negative feedback, which in this lower output form produces a still impressive output for preamplification duties. A relay driven attenuator is controlled by a microprocessor and offer a resolution of 200 steps. In the digital department, Densen's DenDAC 50 has an internal port to mount a small PCB with a digital input for possible future digital input updates. This also allows the implementation the company's forthcoming Wi-Fi board. Another option could be a Bluetooth receiver board, yet Densen does not have that in the pipeline at the moment. Densen's DenDAC 50 contains an USB input, two S/PDIF coax inputs and two TosLink inputs. The DAC itself is mounted under a shielded box to avoid digital interference from reaching the crucial analog stages. DenDAC 50 has a carefully configured the PCB layout using a four-layer approach for optimizing of the signal path, grounding and shielding of the signals. DenDAC 50 also contains three stereo analog preamplifier inputs. A Tape output is also provided. The Densen DenDAC 50 also has a pair of stereo unbalanced headphone outputs. Within the power supply there are separate transformers for digital and analog stages. As usual for a Densen products, the power supply is carefully optimized. The DenDAC50 contains two custom made toroidal transformers, each with no less than four power outputs. They feed five rectifier bridges and 50.000 uF of storage capacity. Furthermore, there are 18 individual regulators feeding the internal circuitry.

 

Astell&Kern Maria Callas - The Complete Studio Recordings (1949 – 1969) Box Set
Astell&Kern Maria Callas - The Complete Studio Recordings (1949 – 1969) Box SetAstell&Kern has just releases their Maria Callas - The Complete Studio Recordings (1949 – 1969) Box Set in 24-bit high resolution audio ($1200), which joins their previously released Blue Note 75th Anniversary Box Set: Limited Edition that includes a special version of their AK240 PMP ($5500). Partnering with Warner Music to release the Maria Callas Remastered – The Complete Studio Recordings (1949 – 1969) Box Set in remastered in 24-bit/96kHz sound, this painstaking process for remastering took place at at Abbey Road Studios using the original tapes. Conceived as a true collector's edition, the Maria Callas Remastered Box Set presents each individual opera or recital MQS Album on microSD card with its original artwork. The box set contains a 132–page hardcover book with essays, a biography and chronology, rarely-seen photos and reproductions of revealing letters written by Maria Callas, Walter Legge and other EMI executives. The opera librettos and aria texts are provided on each MQS Album. As previously first mentioned worldwide on Enjoy the Music.com's Industry News page in October, Astell&Kern's release of Blue Note Records 75th Anniversary Box Set features their most essential albums newly remastered to the MQS digital format 24-bit/192kHz. Five Blue Note albums make their exclusive high resolution audio debuts with this release: Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers' Mosaic, Tina Brooks' True Blue, Don Cherry's Complete Communion, Andrew Hill's Point Of Departure, and Bobby Hutcherson's Components. The lavish collection includes the Blue Note branded Astell&Kern AK240 high-resolution portable audio player, a special book filled with original album art (front and back cover) for the 75 titles, as well as Richard Havers' new book, Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression.

 

04 / 06 / 15

Salon Son & Image Show Report Part 2 By Rick Becker
Salon Son & Image Show ReportEnjoy the Music.com has just posted Rick Becker's extensive Salon Son & Image 2015 show report part 2 filled with over 40 new photos spanning three pages. Rick once again shows you a wide variety of incredible new equipment exhibited at this 2015 Canadian event. Exhibitors included key manufacturers, important distributors, wonderful retailers and craftsmen from the consumer electronics industry. Attendees had access to a wide range of high-end products plus expert information directly from designers and equipment engineers. Rick does an excellent job at showcasing key new high-end audio gear you should know about! You can see Rick Becker's Salon Son & Image 2015 show report part 2 here.

 

04 / 05 / 15

Rock Legends Cruise IV Sets Sail January 21, 2016
Rock Legends Cruise IV Sets Sail January 21, 2015Rock Legends Cruise IV is a floating rock festival for a cause aboard Royal Caribbean International's spectacular, Independence of the Seas. The cruise is from January 21 through 25, 2016 and departs from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Musical acts scheduled for Rock Legends Cruise IV includes Peter Frampton, Gregg Allman, Grand Funk Railroad, America, John Kay & Steppenwolf, The Marshall Tucker Band and many others. "I've heard great things about the Rock Legends Cruise from some close friends," says Gregg Allman. "I look forward to being a part of it next year." Like Rock Legends cruises past, Gregg Allman will be part of another amazing line-up presented by the Native American Heritage Association (NAHA) that is expected to feature several other well-known classic rock artists from the 70's and 80's, who will be performing their most popular songs over the four-night excursion. All Rock Legends Cruises have featured over twenty artists, each performing at least two sets, amounting to over 60 performances in all. Tickets In between the concerts, meet & greets, Q&A forums and everything else "Rock Legends," passengers will be able to enjoy such onboard activities as surfing and Boogie-boarding (thanks to the ship's FlowRider surf simulator), basketball (full court), a mini golf course, rock-climbing, cantilevered whirlpools and a variety of gourmet restaurants and casual dining. To date, the full lineup to perform during Rock Legends Cruise IV will be Peter Frampton, Gregg Allman, Grand Funk Railroad, America, John Kay & Steppenwolf, The Marshall Tucker Band, Randy Bachman, Ace Frehley, Jaimoe's Jasssz Band, Uriah Heep, Foghat, The Outlaws, Rik Emmett, Kim Simmonds & Savoy Brown, The Pat Travers Band, The Artimus Pyle Band, The Devon Allman Band, Matthew Curry, Warrior's Pride, Gary Hoey, and Dana Fuchs.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
AOLNone other than the world's largest internet provider, America Online (AOL), has formed an agreement to offer their members free live streaming concert from the House of Blues. In this recent agreement, AOL will have exclusive rights to these live weekly concerts. Furthermore, the House Of Blues has agreed to form an archive of on-demand concerts exclusively for AOL members. In another recent event concerning AOL, Myplay Inc. and AOL have joined forces to offer AOL members to store their MP3 files in a "digital locker". What will make the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA) possibly take legal action in the fact that your "digital locker" play list can be displayed for others to see and download. Therefore pirated songs can be seen by others and illegally downloaded.

 

04 / 03 / 15

Auralex ISO-Tone Turntable Isolation Platform
Auralex ISO-Tone Turntable Isolation PlatformAuralex is now shipping their ISO-Tone Turntable Isolation Platform ($89.99). Engineered specifically to decouple turntables from the supporting surfaces they rest upon, the ISO-Tone aims to reduce structural vibrations and commonly associated acoustic feedback associated with desktops and DJ cases. Designed for turntablists, mobile DJs, audiophiles, rental houses, and anyone seeking enhanced turntable performance, the ISO-Tone features a functionally inert 0.75" Ozite-covered MDF platform supported by a 1" layer. The goal is to make the ISO-Tone an effective isolation boundary that decouples the turntable from the structure underneath. It seeks to protect turntables from unwanted vibrations from reaching the critical vinyl LP to needle interface. This combination of materials dramatically diminishes structural vibrations and resonances, resulting in reduced coloration with improved clarity and detail. Dimensions are 17.75" x 14.25" x 1.75" (WxDxH) and each one weighs 6.4 lbs.

 

USA's National Recording Registry Adds 25 Recordings
USA's National Recording Registry Adds 25 RecordingsUnder the terms of the United States of America's National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Library Of Congress, with advice from the Library's National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB), annually selects 25 recordings that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and are at least 10 years old. The selections for the 2014 registry bring the total number of recordings on the registry to 425. Of note is that this is an exceedingly small part of the Library's collection of nearly three million items. Below is their recently chosen list of 25 recordings for the National Recording Registry:

1. Vernacular Wax Cylinder Recordings at Univ. of Calif., Santa Barbara Library (c.1890-1910) 
2. The Benjamin Ives Gilman Collection, recorded @ World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago (1893)
3. "The Boys of the Lough"/"The Humours of Ennistymon"—Michael Coleman (1922)
4. "Black Snake Moan" / "Match Box Blues"—Blind Lemon Jefferson (1927)
5. "Sorry, Wrong Number" (episode of Suspense radio series, May 25, 1943)
6. "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive"—Johnny Mercer (1944)
7. Radio Coverage of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Funeral—Arthur Godfrey, et al. (April 14, 1945)
8. Kiss Me, Kate—Original cast album (1949)
9. John Brown's Body—Tyrone Power, Judith Anderson, & Raymond Massey; dir. by Charles Laughton (1953)
10. "My Funny Valentine"—The Gerry Mulligan Quartet featuring Chet Baker (1953)
11. "Sixteen Tons"—Tennessee Ernie Ford (1955)
12. "Mary Don't You Weep"—The Swan Silvertones (1959)
13.  Joan Baez—Joan Baez (1960)
14. "Stand by Me"—Ben E. King (1961)
15. New Orleans' Sweet Emma Barrett and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band—(1964)
16. "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"—The Righteous Brothers (1964)
17. The Doors—The Doors (1967)
18. Stand!—Sly and the Family Stone (1969) 
19. Lincoln Mayorga and Distinguished Colleagues—Lincoln Mayorga (1968)
20. A Wild and Crazy Guy—Steve Martin (1978) 
21. Sesame Street: All-Time Platinum Favorites—Various (1995)
22. OK Computer—Radiohead (1997)
23. Old Regular Baptists: Lined-Out Hymnody from Southeastern Kentucky—Indian Bottom Association (1997)
24. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (album)—Lauryn Hill (1998)
25. Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman—Colorado Symph. Orch., Marin Alsop cond. & Joan Tower comp. (1999)

 

iFi Audio's New iCan Pro Solid-State / Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier With Preamplifier
iFi Audio's New iCan Pro Solid-State / Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier With PreamplifieriFi Audio just gave us a teaser to their upcoming iCan Pro (~$1500), which is part of their new Pro series now in Beta product specifications. "As you know, there is the nano, the micro and the mini series which has now be renamed the 'Pro series', (says the company, "which is the flagship (or helicarrier?) of the iFi range." The Pro series plans are the iDSD, iCAN, iUSB Power and others. This is going to be iFi Audio's "all out assault at the state-of-the-art and drive every headphone out there". This is said to include notoriously difficult electrostatic Headphones like Stax, yet it will require a special external and separate energizer module. As is often the case with iFi Audio, the company gets quite enthusiastic during the design phase and thus instead of making their iCAN+iTUBE, they have chosen to combine the two into a single unit. Furthermore, within the proposed iCan Pro will also be a preamplifier. Features of the proposed iFi Audio iCan Pro are selectable tube or solid-state input, a fully discrete Class A design, balanced output options on 3-Pin & 4-Pin XLR plus 6.3mm Jack on front panel. Unbalanced outputs on 6.3mm Jack (direct) and two 3.5mm Jacks with built-in fixed iEMatch attenuation on front panel to drive IEMs etc. There will be a pair of XLR inputs and three pairs of RCA Inputs plus a pair of balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA outputs on rear of the unit. Output will be around 20V maximum, 600mW into 600 Ohm headphones, approximately 16,000mW maximum into 16 Ohm, and 6000 mW continuous output into 16 Ohm. An adjustable setting for three levels of gain will be available on the front panel. Volume adjustment will be via a balanced powered ALPS potentiometer. Of course the iCan Pro will include the company's 3D Holographic for headphones and XBass (each adjustable in three levels plus off setting). Class A operation for all stages up to 500mW/16 Ohm, pure Class A at all levels for Headphones >120 Ohm. Internal circuitry is derived from professional tube-based studio equipment, implemented in a hybrid design mixing tubes or J-FET inputs (selectable) with bipolar transistors and MOSFETS. The iFi Audio iCan Pro will have a true fully balanced dual-mono design including internal power supplies, which are handled by 15V/4A ultra low noise PSU (Generation 2, same as the company's iPOWER). An optional Electrostatic Headphone Energizer will be contained within a separate box and provide 1700V peak-peak maximum output, plus have selectable bias selectable for Stax HiFi/Pro, Sennheiser and others. The output levels are selectable too. The external power source fo the iFi Audio iCan Pro is 15V/4A DC. Vacuum tubes within the iCan Pro include two GE 5670. X-Bass will be +3dB at 80Hz, 160Hz, 320Hz and 3D Sound is at 30/45/60 degrees virtual speaker angle. User-selectable gain settings are 0dB, 12dB and 24dB. The iCan Pro is said to have a signal to noise ratio of >117dB(A-Weighted) and a total harmonic distortion of <0.003%. Frequency response is an impressively wide 0.5Hz to 500 kHz (-3dB). Dimensions for the iFi Audio iCan Pro are 220mm x 62mm X 190mm (WxHxD including feet and connectors).

 

04 / 02 / 15

Mastering Engineer Doug Sax Passes Away
Mastering Engineer Doug Sax Passes AwayIt saddens us to report that mastering engineer Doug Sax has passed away. Doug Sax has won many awards for his incredible work with audio recordings. Born within Los Angeles in 1936, his accomplishments include Grammy Award for Album of the Year, Grammy Award for Best Surround Sound Album and nominations for Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical and many more. "If ever there was a title of 'Godfather of Mastering,' Doug Sax has truly earned it as evidenced by the extremely high regard that the industry holds him in" said industry insider Bobby Owsinski. "One of the first independent mastering engineers, Doug literally defined the art when he opened his world famous The Mastering Lab in Hollywood in 1967." To quote The Mastering Lab's site, "Doug Sax was fascinated at an early age by the sound of the 78 rpm records in his father's collection. Ironically, trumpet became Sax's instrument of choice; in fact, his main competition in high school came from a fellow native by the name of Herb Alpert. Although he established a career as a symphonic trumpeter, he never lost his interest in the sound of recorded music, and so, with partners Lincoln Mayorga and older brother Sherwood Sax, he opened The Mastering Lab in 1967 – the world's first independent mastering facility. Featuring all hand-built equipment designed by Sherwood, including custom cutting lathes that have become legendary, the studio was soon turning out many of the top hits of the '70s, including The Wall, Who's Next, Nilsson Schmilsson, the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers and the Eagles' eponymous debut. Sax also established a pioneering set of procedures for testing and evaluating audio components by ear... Doug Sax continued his work with today's (contemporary) music scene, mastering Rod Stewart's GRAMMY nominated As Time Goes By and the recent surround sound SACD release of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon." Doug Sax has work with other engineering industry legends including Bruce Botnick, Ed Cherney, Val Garay, Nathaniel Kunkle, Kyle Lehning, George Massenburg, Al Schmitt, and Bill Schnee.

 

Salon Son & Image Show Report Part 1 By Rick Becker
Salon Son & Image Show ReportEnjoy the Music.com's Salon Son & Image 2015 show report features a wide variety of equipment exhibited at this Canadian event. Held at the Montreal Hilton Bonaventure, exhibitors included manufacturers, distributors, retailers and craftsmen from the consumer electronics industry. Attendees had access to a wide range of high-end products plus expert information directly from designers and equipment engineers. We have just posted part 1 of Rick Becker's extensive report, which is always the most informative and in-depth anywhere in world once completed. You can see Rick Becker's Salon Son & Image 2015 show report here.

 

Cary Audio DAC-200ts Balanced DAC Upsamples To 768kHz
Cary Audio DAC-200ts Balanced DAC Upsamples To 768kHzAs first announced within Enjoy the Music.com's CES 2015 report, Cary Audio is now ready to ship their DAC-200ts digital to analog converter ($3995). The DAC-200ts DAC includes such features as TruBit upsampling and utilizes a 128 bit DSP engine that expands native bit depths to 32 bits and upsamples incoming rates to 1 of 7 selectable sample rates up to 768kHz. Cary Audio's DAC-200ts has the digital signal clocked several times with their OSO reclocking, then sent to four independent DACs for eight channels of processing. The analog section of the DAC-200ts uses their Dual Independent Output (DiO) analog topology with separate solid-state output stage and a separate vacuum tube output stage. Not to be confused with a hybrid design, the separate independent analog output stages allow music lovers to tailor the sound of the DAC-200ts to their source material with the simple touch of one button. Cary Audio's DAC-200ts can also be used as a digital preamplifier using its 3.0 volt variable volume output. What's more, a clock input allows for the use of an external master clock, or using the clock output allows the DAC-200ts to function as a master clock for other digital sources capable of a master clock input. The DAC-200ts supports super high resolution Asynchronous USB computer audio including PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz as well as native DSD 64, 128, and 256 audio. Additionally, the DAC-200ts includes; CSR aptX lossless Bluetooth, S/PDIF via coaxial and optical TosLink inputs, AES/EBU input and both fully balanced XLR and RCA outputs. Large VFD display, full function remote control, and Ethernet and Wi-Fi for control systems are also included. The Cary Audio DAC-200ts weighs 28 lbs. and dimensions are 3.75" x 17.25" x 16.25" (HxWxD).

 

Hi-Fi+'s April 2015 Issue Is Now Available Online
Hi-Fi+ April 2015Hi-Fi+ magazine's April 2015 edition is now available online! This issue features coverage of the Bristol Sound & Vision show plus reviews of the ReQuest Audio The Beast music server, Nagra Audio HD DAC, Digibit Aria Mini music server, AVM Evolution SD5.2 streaming DAC preamplifier, Aurender Flow portable player/DAC/headphone amp, Linn Akurate Exact Akudorik streaming unit, Naim SuperUniti integrated streaming amplifier. Within his editorial, Alan Sircom says, "Welcome to the first of our new 'themed' issues. Its patently clear that the audio world is undergoing serious change, and what's happening in the next generation of music replay is where change is happening most rapidly. So, instead of our conventional generalised 'round-up', we choose to concentrate on all things computer audio this issue." See this issue of Hi-Fi+ at this link.

 

04 / 01 / 15

Schedule Your Live Appearance Within Our AXPONA Broadcast
AXPONA 2015To schedule an appointment to appear within our live broadcast, AXPONA 2015 exhibitors can simply join our manufacturer / distributor e-mail list at www.eepurl.com/S3xtn. A special invitation e-mail will be sent out on April 7th. We look forward to seeing everyone in Chicago and streaming live from our mobile TV studio at AXPONA 2015.

 


Enjoy the Music.com Releases Their Ultimate Equipment List
Enjoy the Music.com Ultimate Equipment ListEnjoy the Music.com has one again made our mark in high-end audio history as we release the most comprehensive and in-depth Ultimate Equipment List! Whilst some publication might tout 100, or give you very brief snippets concerning 500 bits of audio kit, Enjoy the Music.com continues our leadership role by providing our Ultimate Equipment List featuring thousands of high-end audio products! Furthermore, we publish comprehensive and complete reviews for each piece of consumer electronics, with some being so revolutionary that it merits a follow-up review. Enjoy the Music.com listens to our readers as each review is on a single page and not spread out over multiple URLs, which could then falsely skew our website stats. In addition, because Enjoy the Music.com is the only site to actively support the industry as a whole for well over a decade, our Ultimate Equipment List includes over 12 years of synopsis to the truly outstanding magazine The Absolute Sound and many years for CANADA HiFi, Hi-Fi+, Hi-Fi Media, Hi-Fi World, HIFICRITIC plus vintage magazines Sound Practices and VALVE. Read the complete press release here.

 

April's Review Magazine Features World Premiere Equipment Reviews And More
Naim Statement NAC S1 preamplifier and NAP S1 mono power amplifiersThis month's Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine is filled with very special world premieres, both portable and home audio, and of course a few surprises along the way including a special press release. Within this month's Review Magazine we are happy to report being the first publication within the world to provide a full review. Wojtek Pacuła flew 'under the radar' to procure his set and gives you a highly detailed report on the £155,000 Naim Statement NAC S1 preamplifier and NAP S1 mono power amplifiers. During the CES 2015, none other than the inventor of the mainstream portable stereo media player with their first Walkman announced their next-generation unit. Sony's NW-ZX2 handles Hi-Res Audio, comes with 128GB of storage and is packed with innovation that virtually no other manufacturer can match. We compare the $1200 Sony NW-ZX2 to the $2500 Astell&Kern AK240!

Review MagazineEnjoy the Music.com continues our portable audio coverage with a review of the Fostex TH500RP planar magnetic headphones and preview of the OPPO PM-3 planar magnetic headphones plus HA-2 headphone DAC/amp. Of course we haven't forgotten our home audio enthusiasts and we have great reviews of the Merrill Audio Thor monoblock amplifiers, which our review feels are nothing short of amazing! Tom Lyle takes the Merrill Audio Thor to task and conquers this formidable monoblock. Add to that, we have reviews of the Burson Audio Conductor Virtuoso DAC, preamplifier and, yes headphone amplifier by Michael Mercer. Michael's magnificent review gives the Virtuoso an enthusiastic thumbs up as an all-arounder.

Alta Audio Celesta FRM-2 speakersThere is no doubt the Alta Audio Celesta FRM-2 speakers are for home use and these, albeit expensive, stand-mounted monitors set a new benchmark for those who desire the very best.  Ron Nagle even admits, "Everywhere we read hyperbolic advertising and empty catch phrases that really do not explain anything. However, with the Alta Audio $13,000 FRM-2 speakers, this is one of the few occasions where the performance was equal to the promise." We also report on the Triode Wire Labs cable family of products too with everything from power to digital cabling and all between.

For easy to assemble kit lovers we have PureAudioProject's Trio 15 TB open baffle speaker that is outstanding. Rick Becker digs deep into this simple-to-build project and tells you what it all sounds like once completed.  While not a DIY design in the purist sense, it is a kit that you could build within your home with some simple tools. Oh, and remember kids, this is the April issue so you never know what else we jolly jokers here at Enjoy the Music.com might be up to. Probably something some outrageous that everyone within the industry from engineers, manufactures, distributors and our reads will have to break out in a big smile.

AXPONA 2015 Show ReportOf course later this month Enjoy the Music.com will be live streaming AXPONA in Chicago and you can see our live stream, participate within our live chat and Tweet us to! AXPONA has expanded their Audio Con with more exhibit space, more manufactures and an abundance of live music that will surely resonate with attendees. You can see the show streamed live as we showcase groundbreaking equipment, interview innovative designers and you can ask questions in real time to those we are featuring too! Of course it is always best to attend an audio event, and remember to bring your music to audition sound systems, yet if you can't be there we are here for you to not miss out on the festivities. Soon be publishing Mike Mineo's report on Spring Break Nations 2015 in Daytona. SBN is without a doubt the world's most famous soundoff and mobile electronics show. You'd be amazed at the sound quality that can be achieved within an automobile!

You can enjoy our April Review Magazine at this link. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

 

03 / 31 / 15


Enjoy the Music.com Will Be Live Streaming AXPONA 2015
Enjoy the Music.com Will Live Stream AXPONA For The Second Year In A RowFrom April 24th – 26th, Enjoy the Music.com and sister site Enjoy the Music.TV will once again be live streaming the AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) Audio Con event at The Westin O'Hare in Chicago. AXPONA 2015 will have more floors full of listening rooms, an Ear Gear Expo (EGX), plus a doubling in size of their Marketplace section as compared to their 2014 event. Attendees can greatly benefit from direct contact with designers and manufacturer-trained personnel of high fidelity audio equipment and music engineers while also listening to the latest equipment available within the industry. Furthermore, a variety of educational seminars will be conducted by leading authorities within the high-end audio field. Active displays provide attendees the ability to hear their own music through the world's very best audio systems! On Friday, April 24th, Patricia Barber will be performing live; with John Primer taking the stage on Saturday, April 25th. Read the complete press release here.

 

Audio Fidelity Releases America Homecoming On Multi-Channel SACD
Audio Fidelity Releases America Homecoming On Multi-Channel SACDAudio Fidelity, a company that remasters music in high resolution audio and offers them on 24K+ compact discs and 180 gram vinyl, is about to release their America Homecoming album on limited edition 5.1 multi-channel hybrid SACD format. America's 1972 Homecoming album includes one of their best known hits, "Ventura Highway" with it's creative acoustic guitar lines, smart vocal harmonies and spaced-out lyrics, it's a fan favorite and one of their best songs. As the band's second album, the trio were determined to avoid the 'sophomore jinx'. When work began on the new album, America pulled out all the stops to reach their goal. Their production maintains the acoustic guitar underpinning heard on the successful debut album but builds on the sound of that first record by featuring more electric guitar and keyboards. Homecoming is a melodic album full of catchy folk ballads and great harmonies and features two other hits, "Don't Cross the River" and "Only in Your Heart." Several other songs received heavy FM radio airplay. The album is a collection of thoughtful, well-written, and skillfully sung songs. It's one of America's better albums, possibly their best for Homecoming helped continue the band's popularity, reached the Top 10 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart and was certified platinum by the RIAA. The multi-channel SACD release is mastered by Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering.

 

03 / 30 / 15

TIDAL Cuts Price In Half For Basic Tier Plus Is Now Available On Sonos
TIDAL Cuts Price In Half For A Basic Tier Plus Is Now Available On SonosLiterally minutes after Enjoy the Music.com posted our article concerning the RIAA stats for 2014 and and music streaming, it has been reported that TIDAL is relaunching by offering new releases by Daft Punk, Madonna, Kanye West, etc before they become available within other online music services such as Beats and Spotify. Furthermore, TIDAL will offer up CD-quality streaming for all Sonos homes starting today. This is for for all users as 'day one' of TIDAL's global availability. For $9.99.mo at TIDAL, you get standard lossy compressed sound quality and access to high definition music videos and expertly curated editorial. For $19.99/mo you get TIDAL HiFi CD sound quality, high definition music videos and expertly curated editorial.

 

CEO'S Corner: Cary Sherman On RIAA's New 2014 Music Revenue & Shipment Data With a few words by Enjoy the Music.com's Editor and Creative Director. Article By Steven R. Rochlin
CEO'S Corner
Cary Sherman On RIAA's New 2014 Music Revenue & Shipment Data
With a few words by Enjoy the Music.com's Editor and Creative Director.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Aries Cerat Diana DHT SE Vacuum Tube Stereo Integrated Amplifier
Aries Cerat Diana DHT SE Vacuum Tube Stereo Integrated AmplifierAries Cerat has finally announced their long-awaited Diana DHT SE vacuum tube stereo integrated amplifier (€20,000). Using borrowed techniques and circuits from the company's top-line monoblock Concero 65 mated with a preamplification stage as found within their Pondera Reference, Aries Cerat have released what they believe a "superlative design within the integrated amplifier world". The Diana is a three stage, all Direct Heated Triode Single-Ended (DHT SE) amplifier. The first two stages are loaded with high-end bifilar-winded interstage transformers and there are no coupling capacitors present within the signal path. Input tubes are a pair of high power DHT 814 tubes, driving another 814 pair, which in turn drive a pair of 813 DHT output tubes. The power supplies are fed by an 800VA and a 1000VA (1800VA total) transformers, which are controlled by a soft start circuit to help protect the vacuum tubed during the critical cold startup phase of operation. The four 814 and two 813 tubes all have their separate choke filtered PSUs and all six filaments are powered by six tripled filtered PSUs to provide solid power reserves and perfect isolation between all stages. Aries Cerat's Diana vacuum tube integrated amplifier has an output stage power supply with three film SuperCapacitors (6.6 lbs each), which are claimed to have 100 times less ESL/ESR than any electrolytic technology. Biasing of the input, driver and output tubes is attained via special circuits, and all stages can be fully adjusted and monitored while listening. For volume adjustment, a very special attenuator with discrete-relay-switched-resistors in employed. The preamplifier stage has five unbalanced RCA inputs, with an optional balanced XLR input on request. Power output is 25Wpm sine (50Wpc square) with a frequency response from 6 Hz to 100 kHz. Signal-to-noise ratio is >110dB, the Aries Cerat Diana weighs 250 lbs and dimensions are 570mm X 630mm X 360mm (WxDxH).

 

03 / 29 / 15

Stoll Custom Master Grand Large Floorstanding Mastering Loudspeaker
Stoll Custom Master Grand Large Floorstanding Mastering LoudspeakerStoll Custom Master Grand is a wide-frequency design employing 11 drivers. Stoll's Master Grand is their new large studio monitor five-way speaker system designed for highest quality demands for discerning monitoring within a mastering studio. The Master Grand is laid out as a full-range system with a broad horizontal dispersion angle. Designed as a logarithmic vertical array, it produces a controlled, defined vertical radiation to avoid floor and ceiling reflections for a notably enhanced spatial imaging with minimal room excitation. Owing to Stoll's IL technology, which allows an electronic adjustment of the lower cutoff frequency, a very precise bass reproduction is said to be achievable. Minimizing the group delay in the lower frequency range results in a more time- and phase-correct rendition. The system is controlled per channel via DSP using FIR filters. The Master Grand realizes a point sound source with a constant, frequency-independent controlled sound radiation and a great acoustic performance. To minimize annoying resonances the system is composed of five cabinet types with a controlled structure-borne and interior acoustics. The cabinets are acoustically decoupled, the woofer and midrange sections are made of MDF, whereas the high-mid section has an aluminum housing. Overall frequency response is from 24 Hz to 27 kHz. Directivity is 120° horizontal and 60° vertical, with an overall sensitivity is 91dB/W/m. Power handling is 1200 W RMS and more than 3 kW peak to achieve a sound pressure level of 115dB continuous and 121dB peak @ 1 meter. Time coherence is within 100 μs from 80 Hz to 13.8 kHz. Phase linearity is ±50° from 80 Hz to 8.5 kHz. Dimensions are approximately 7'4" x 15.7" (H x W) and each one weighs 265 lbs.

 

PBS To Broadcast Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler In April 2015
PBS To Broadcast Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler In April 2015PBS will be broadcasting Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler, which is a one-hour documentary within their American Masters series. Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler premieres nationwide Thursday, April 16 at 8pm and Friday, April 17 at 9pm on PBS (check your local listings to ensure day/time). Emmy- and Peabody-winning filmmaker Peter Rosen uncovers the story of legendary musician Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987), who is widely considered the first truly modern violin virtuoso. PBS says, "Setting the standard in violin playing for nearly a century, Heifetz' name became shorthand for excellence for everyone from Jack Benny to The Muppets to Woody Allen. Through vintage performances and master classes, God's Fiddler portrays an artist for whom only perfection would do. New interviews include other great violinists influenced by Heifetz, including Itzhak Perlman, Ivry Gitlis and Ida Haendel, former student, accompanist and longtime companion Ayke Agus, former student and master assistant in charge of his world-renowned violin class at the University of Southern California Sherry Kloss, and biographers John Anthony Maltese and Arthur Vered. They reveal how Heifetz was a mysterious, idiosyncratic, solitary figure who embodied the paradox of artistic genius: a dedication to his craft at all costs, including two failed marriages, estrangement from his children and very few friends. Characterized as serious and intense while performing and teaching, his students describe him as generous and playful when socializing. Filmed in Heifetz' native Vilnius, Lithuania; Saint Petersburg, Russia, where he studied with the influential Leopold Auer; and in his rebuilt studio in Los Angeles, Calif., American Masters Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler also features Heifetz' previously unseen 16mm footage from 1917-1985, which Rosen discovered at the Colburn Music School in Los Angeles. A self-professed "camera fiend," Heifetz' home movies show scenes from his apartment in Saint Petersburg just months before the Russian Revolution, his immigration to America, his early social life in New York City, his family life, his travels through Europe, the Middle East and Japan, and his later years in Los Angeles. Tony-nominated actor Danny Burstein (Boardwalk Empire, Cabaret, Follies) narrates, reading from Heifetz' personal letters." American Masters' Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler is a production of Peter Rosen Productions, Inc. Peter Rosen is producer and director. Sara Lukinson is co-producer. Josh Waletzky and Peter Rosen are editors. Peter Rosen is photographer. Barry Markowitz is photographer of The Heifetz Studio at The Colburn School. Michael Kantor is executive producer for American Masters. Major funding for Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler is provided by the Colburn School. Additional funding for this program is provided by The National Endowment for the Arts, and Kitty Hawks and Larry Lederman. American Masters is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rhoda Herrick, Vital Projects Fund, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Jack Rudin, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation and public television viewers.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Radio Stations fight back against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) over additional financial charges related to beaming their content over the Internet. It is no secret that many radio stations also deliver their programming via Internet streaming. The National Association of Broadcasters (N.A.B.) said Tuesday it is suing the RIAA within the U.S. District Court in New York to prevent them from asking for additional royalties due to also streaming their programming on the Internet. Looks to be a long and bumpy ride for the RIAA as MP3.com and many others have been taking legal action again the RIAA's tight reign.

 

03 / 28 / 15

Questyle Audio QP1 And QP1R Digital Audio Players
Questyle Audio QP1 And QP1R Digital Audio PlayersQuestyle Audio has a new set of premium audio systems, which includes their QP1 and QP1R (formerly QP1 Pro) portable music server / digital audio players ($599 and $899 respectively). Questyle Audio's QP1 and QP1R seek to up the ante for portable music servers or digital audio players (DAPs) with patented Current Mode amplification technology from a built-in high-end headphone amplifier, a world-class DAC and music server with two Micro SD Card storage expansion slots that support up to 256 GB. Internally, there is 16GB for the QP1 and 32GB for the QP1R, yet this can be expanded via memory cards of course. Both players are presented in an elegant champagne gold or space gray aluminum trimmed and glass finish, with a simple and intuitive GUI interface. They handle high resolution audio FLAC and native DSD.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
China's government has decided to not allow the downloading of MP3 files over the Internet within their country. While we are not sure how they are going to enforce this, it seems quite strange that one of the world's largest consumers and producers of pirated software in the year 2000 have taken this stance.

 

03 / 27 / 15

Axiom M1, M2, And M3 High Powered Computer Speakers
Axiom M1, M2, And M3 High Powered Computer SpeakersAxiom Audio just announces the release of their second series of High Powered Computer Speakers based on the company's M1, M2 and M3 bookshelf speaker models ($499, $598 and $658 per pair respectively). These new monitors provide 75 watts per channel, with a matching 200-watt subwoofer also being available. In addition to being self-powered, the new Axiom computer monitor series of speakers incorporates a USB 16-bit/48kHz DAC. If you already have an inboard or outboard high quality sound card, there is a 3.5mm stereo analog input jack. In keeping with the rest of the Axiom line, the speakers feature rigid aluminum cone woofers, titanium tweeters, and an Anti-Standing-Wave cabinet that reduces any internal resonances that can color sound. The smallest model, the M1, uses Axiom's newest full 1" tweeter and a 4" midbass driver. The M2 High Powered Computer Speaker increases the woofer to a 5.25" whilst the M3 uses a 6.5" midrange/woofer driver. Axiom's EP100 subwoofer ($399) features a self-contained 200-watt amplifier and 6.5" woofer. The subwoofer features Axiom's exclusive Vortex porting and a pure cast-aluminum basket 6.5" driver. As with all Axiom products, the High Power Computer Speakers are made within their Canada facility. Standard finishes include Ebony and Charcoal Gray, with a nearly limitless number of custom finishes from high-gloss black to rich walnut also being offered.

 

ENIGMAcoustics Dharma D1000 Headphone & Athena A1 Headphone Amplifier
ENIGMAcoustics Dharma D1000 Headphone & Athena A1 Headphone AmplifierENIGMAcoustics now offers their Dharma D1000 hybrid electrostatic headphone and the Athena A1 triode vacuum tube / hybrid headphone amplifier ($1119 and $1490 respectively). As a company known for its patented SBESL (Self-Biased Electrostatic) technology, they have just launched their first two products within the high-end headphone category, the Dharma D1000 and the Athena A1. The Dharma D1000 hybrid electrostatic design headphone takes full advantage of SBESL (Self-Biased Electrostatic) technology, offering "electrostatic transparency, focus, and inner detail without the need for an external energizer to provide a polarizing voltage" says the company. Instead, the bias voltage is derived from the signal itself in a proprietary manner, making Dharma an easy to use, convenient, and with its light weight, very comfortable headphone. Bass and mid-bass are handled by a unique and proprietary Wagami paper-based dynamic membrane, with stiffness, mass, and internal damping optimized for use with an electrostatic HF driver. Transition between the two is accomplished via a phase coherent first order crossover employing precision audio grade, tight tolerance components. ENIGMAcoustics' Athena A1 vacuum tube headphone amplifier represents what company officials term "a no compromise approach to design--an integration of solid engineering and a true appreciation of music". As a single-ended triode / hybrid amplifier, its vacuum tube front-end is biased Class-A ECC82/12AU7, and exhibits extremely low noise, while its low impedance Class-A MOS/BJT hybrid output stage and its high voltage swings ensure compatibility both with low and high impedance headphones., and is equally adept at driving both. Athena's design eliminates any concern about interfacing it with any load, high or low impedance, or any headphone--even the most demanding.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a trade group that represents approximately 90 percent of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States, has released 2004 sales figures. Total music sales are up 4.4 percent with a 3.3 percent increase of value as compared to 2003. This positive trend is the first after four consecutive years of decline. Virtually every category shows loss, including CD single, cassette, LP/EP vinyl, DVD-Audio and SACD, though bright spots include a staggering 66 percent increase in DVD music video sales. CD sales were up 2.8 percent, DVD-Audio fell 20.6 percent, SACD sales fell 39.6 percent, and vinyl LPs/EPs declined 11.9 percent. The year 2004 marked the first year of RIAA's accounting for downloading a digital music (single) file. With 139,400,000 digital music singles and 2,400,000 digital albums sold in 2004, online music appears to outsell many other formats combined.

 

03 / 26 / 15

SiebeNCore DIY Stereo Amplifier Review
SiebeNCore DIY Stereo Amplifier
In short, yep, it's a rave.
Review By Jeff Poth

 

Alta Audio Celesta FRM-2 Speakers Review
Alta Audio Celesta FRM-2 Speakers
Alta-Audio's FRM-2 speaks with a remarkably defined voice.
Review By Ron Nagle

 

Denon AH-GC20 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Denon AH-GC20 Noise Cancelling HeadphonesDenon has unveiled their new AH-GC20 Globe Cruiser wireless headphones with active noise cancellation technology ($399) Denon's AH-GC20 is quipped with a 40mm 'professionally tuned' drivers that benefit from the company's many years of studio and professional headphone expertise. They are said to "deliver a natural tonal balance free from exaggerated colorations" according to Denon. The contemporary design of the Denon AH-GC20 Noise Cancelling Headphones combined with cutting edge wireless technology also combine elegant aluminum to support an ergonomic ear cup filled with the latest active noise cancelling circuitry and Bluetooth connectivity. The dual microphone noise cancelling system provides the near elimination of outside sound, and the Bluetooth 4.0 Dual Mode with aptX/aptX Low Latency and AAC combined with the Multi-Point feature can connect to two compatible devices simultaneously. The AH-GC20 is also equipped with cVc (Clear Voice Capture), a sophisticated noise reduction system by Denon that enhances received audio quality and includes noise suppression, adaptive equalization, automatic gain control, echo cancellation, wind noise reduction and noise dependent volume control. With this technology, the AH-GC20's are designed to deliver the clearest voice quality even in harsh noisy environments. Voice prompts with seven language options offers a Status of Operation and remaining battery life. A convenient headphone cable is included for when wireless usage isn't permitted or preferred. The kit also includes a 3.5mm (1/4") standard headphone plug adaptor for connection to home and studio audio gear, as well as an airplane adapter plug. The included USB Micro-B cable lets users charge the AH-GC20 lithium-ion battery from any USB charger or computer USB port. To enjoy a full 20 hours of wireless listening, the AH-GC20 recharges in only three hours. If the battery is depleted and there's no USB port for recharging available, users can still enjoy listening to music via the included audio cable. A specially designed carrying case provides a home for the AH-GC20 along with all its accessories.

 

Noble One Speaker System
Noble One Speaker SystemWizard Audio Industries' Noble has two new products, which consist of their Noble One speaker and Noble Bluetooth System ($16,995 and $99 respectively). The Noble One is the first of a series of special projects from Noble being disclosed to the public and serves as a case study within the field of studio monitors. A challenge was poised by their colleagues using Noble IEMs within the professional recording industry, and thus Dr. John set out to design a monitor that not only sounds exceptional, but is also as versatile in its use as it is in practice. The Noble One measures at 10.75" wide, 22" tall and 17" deep. Seen here in a signature Noble deep metallic blue, the cabinet is long in the face and the front baffle has been anodized a gunmetal grey in order to further accent the front. Screws here are user removable and the baffle can be rotated 90 degrees either direction so that the speaker may be laid down on its side. This allows the speaker to be more readily used within a tight working environment while keeping the tweeter and midrange drivers appropriately aligned. Around back, the crossover network is neatly displayed behind o.5" thick Plexiglas with a large three-inch port and mounting posts located immediately above. Slightly larger than most studio monitors, the additional interior volume in combination with the 8" ScanSpeak Revelator woofer is said to "results in superior low end performance uncharacteristic of speakers in this category" says Noble Audio. A 1" ScanSpeak Illuminator Beryllium tweeter (99% pure) has been redesigned, allowing the tweeter to be recessed and mounted onto the custom machined aluminum baffle. By recessing the tweeter, physical time alignment is achieved and with a redesigned casing plus is significantly closer to the 4.5" Illuminator midrange driver. Each Noble One speaker weighs 67lbs and has a sensitivity of 90dB/W/m @ 4 Ohms. Frequency range is from 35 Hz to 40 kHz.

 

Noble Bluetooth System (BTS)
Noble Bluetooth System (BTS)Wizard Audio Industries' Noble Bluetooth System (BTS, $99) is their approach to wireless with an emphasis on retaining the benefits of in-ear monitors (IEM) that many enjoy. Instead of creating a single wireless IEM with built-in components, the BTS is a modular solution that instantly enables our entire product line without some of the shortcomings one might expect from a small wireless device developed for this category. Weighing in at only 10 grams, the Noble BTS is designed to be unobtrusive and operate for at least seven hours of continuous music playback or talk time. Noble's BTS features the latest Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX CODEC technologies, as well as an omnidirectional microphone with push-button controls. This ensures a Noble-quality experience on the go. The Noble BTS comes with a 15.5" industry standard two-pin detachable cable, enabling the BTS to be conveniently worn like a pendant down one's front or back and may be used at the gym, travel, and other activities where mobility is paramount. Support features include Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX (CSR 8645), HFP1.6 (HD Voice ready), A2DP1.2 and AVRCP1.4. A micro USB B provides the ability to charge the internal battery in two hours. Headphone output impedance is less than 1 Ohm. A heads up display provides the users to see the remaining battery life indicator on most iOS and Android devices when connected plus "advanced commands" are provided.

 

03 / 25 / 15

TAVES Consumer Electronics Show 2015
TAVES Consumer Electronics Show 2015TAVES Consumer Electronics Show 2015 will be held from October 30 to November 1 at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites, Canada. The TAVES Consumer Electronics Show connects trade professionals, media and consumers to experience a broad range of categories including wearables, smart devices, video gaming, audio, home theater, digital imaging products, electronic gadgets, as well as the latest in-car entertainment and technology. The show presents an excellent opportunity for all companies – from major brands to crowd-funded startups – to launch prototypes, new products and beta software to a wide range of mainstream and specialist media outlets. In 2014, TAVES received remarkable television exposure thanks to news coverage from CBC, CP24, CTV, CityTV and Global TV. Last year's show was also covered by the largest number of specialist media to date for this event. Going into its fifth year, the 2015 edition of TAVES takes place at part of the GTA, which is commonly referred to as "Canada's High Tech Capital" since it is home to an extremely high concentration of technology companies over 4400 Information & Communications Technology companies reside there. For the first time in 2015, TAVES will host a number of conferences dedicated to the growth of small and mid-sized businesses - all business owners are invited to participate. To complement this annual trade show, TAVES has launched a monthly Meetup group called Technology Innovators "Powered by TAVES" designed to connect existing and start-up companies with the organizers of TAVES, consumers curious about technology and media. The Jolt! Art Gallery was a huge success at last year's show and will return for 2015, with some exciting new additions. The gallery will feature art from local artists ranging from paintings to photography and sculptures. In 2015, TAVES will once again increase its footprint by offering more exhibition space than ever before. The "Technology & Innovation" pavilion is set to feature a record-breaking number of start-ups, technology and software development companies. TAVES 2015 will be the place for high-end, cutting-edge home audio and video companies to reach both the media and consumers alike. Many of the industry's leading audiophile companies are expected to have active displays where attendees can see and hear their favorite entertainment in high resolution. To learn more, please visit TAVES' website.

 

Concord Music Group's Special Record Store Day Releases
Record Store Day is April 18th, 2015Concord Music Group has once again prepared an assortment of exciting exclusives for Record Store Day on April 18, 2015. Miles Davis The Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection, Vol. 2 (Prestige) highlights one of the most musically influential and most popular artists in the history of jazz, and his legendary Prestige recordings are amongst the all-time classics in the genre. Painstakingly reproduced on 10-inch vinyl with the original LP cover artwork and liner notes included, The Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection, Vol. 2 comprises the remaining five of the ten 10" LPs on which Miles Davis appeared as a leader for Prestige Records in 1954. This limited edition box set, housed in a deluxe linen slipcase, joins its companion piece, The Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection, Vol. 1, which was released for Record Store Day's Black Friday event in November 2014, and comprised the first five 10" albums, from 1951-1954. George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers (Rounder) is their debut album that exploded onto the FM airwaves in 1977. Their music brings a dose of hard-driving roots reality back to rock radio; his versions of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love" and John Lee Hooker's "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer," resonated throughout the years. Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band A Little Something from the Road, Vol. 1 (Concord) culls select cuts from an unforgettable show at the State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ. This EP features live smokin' versions of classics from the recent Goin' Home project, as well as a couple of extra blues nuggets. Gregg Allman Gregg Allman 10" (Rounder) stunning picture disc is pressed on 10" heavyweight vinyl and includes two never-before-heard live recordings as well as a B-side with Allman classics "Melissa" (live), where Gregg is joined by Jackson Browne, as well as "Midnight Rider" (live), which features Gregg, Vince Gill, and Zac Brown. Concord Music Group has more releases planned for Record Store Day 2015 you can see at this link.

 

 

 
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