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High-End Audio, High Fidelity Audiophile Industry News


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08 / 31 / 15

Win An Itzhak Perlman Complete Recordings DG Box Set
Win An Itzhak Perlman Complete Recordings DG Box SetHappy 70th birthday to one of the world's most amazing violinists Itzhak Perlman! You can celebrate his birthday and win a free Deutsche Grammophon Itzhak Perlman box set! Deutsche Grammophon celebrates Itzhak Perlman's 70th birthday with the Complete Recordings box set - with 25 albums in their original jackets. Itzhak Perlman: Complete Recordings on DG is a 25-CD box set and one copy will be drawn at random among all participants. These performances represent Itzhak Perlman's playing at various points during his life. The collection is an excellent representation of "what I had to offer at the time of each recording: me at 25, me at 30, me at 40. I’ve always tried to keep my repertoire fresh and to continue evolving musically as an artist" says Itzhak Perlman. There is no doubt that Itzhak Perlman is a great violinist whose life and art should be widely celebrated on his 70th birthday today.

 

Design Build Listen The Wand 10.3" Tonearm For LP12 And SL1200
Design Build Listen The Wand 10.3" Tonearm For LP12 And SL1200The Wand 10.3" tonearm (£845) version has been explicitly designed to be the longest arm that you can fit on a Linn Sondek LP12 or Technics SL1200 family turntable without having to make major modifications. After a positive response to the 12" version of The Wand unipivot tonearm, this 10.3" version will fit many existing turntables. While 12" tonearms may improve tracing distortion performance by around 30% compared to 'standard' 9" versions, The Wand 10.3" arm achieves close to 20% improvement in a format that is achievable for many users. Designer Simon Brown of Design Build Listen described himself as a 12" arm convert, yet discovered that many people are unable to fit these long tonearms to their treasured turntables. The 10.3" tonearm makes this possible for many users. The Wand 10.3" remains a medium mass arm at 14 grams and thus enables it to be used with a wide range of cartridges. Dedicated mounting kits are available for both Linn LP12 and Technics SL1200 family of turntables.

 

08 / 30 / 15


The Trouble With Reason
Roger Skoff discusses cables, knowledge, and the human condition.
Article By Roget Skoff

 

08 / 29 / 15

Enjoy the Music.com's 20/20 Award Enjoy the Music.com Special 20/20 Award For Phono Cartridges And Turntables
Enjoy the Music.com's Special 20/20 Award – Phono Cartridges And Turntables
As Chosen By Editor & Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin

 

08 / 28 / 15

Andrew Jones: An incredibly brilliant loudspeaker designer does it again... with ELAC!
Enjoy the Music.com Exclusive!
Andrew Jones
An incredibly brilliant loudspeaker designer does it again... with ELAC!
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

The Capital Audiofest Is This Weekend In Rockville, MD
Capital Audiofest 2015The 2015 Capital Audiofest (CAF) is scheduled to take place from August 28th through the 30th the Hilton Hotel at Twinbrook Metro in Rockville, MD. This event is the Washington DC metropolitan area's comprehensive quality audio event and will feature high-end audio manufacturers. In total, there will be 38 rooms filled with high-end audio gear from 116 vendors/manufacturers. Attendees will enjoy many new products to see and hear. Enjoy the Music.com will be there reporting on this event as we have in previous years. You can see Enjoy the Music.com's coverage of the Capital Audiofest when it comes online at this link.

When: August 28th through the 30th
Where: Hilton Hotel at Twinbrook Metro
1750 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852

 

Michael Hedges Aerial Boundaries On Limited Edition Hybrid SACD
Michael Hedges Aerial Boundaries On Limited Edition Hybrid SACDMarshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity will be releasing guitar innovator Michael Hedges critically acclaimed album Aerial Boundaries on a limited edition hybrid SACD. This will be the first time that the celebrated album has been made available on the SACD format. Aerial Boundaries is the record that presented Michael Hedges to the world as one of the world's top acoustic guitar visionaries. He stretched the limits of the instrument to accommodate his uncanny musical ideas. There are moments on the record where it seems impossible that so much music is coming from one man and his guitar. The liner notes inside the SACD booklet assures the listener that the guitar is the origin for every sound heard... attacking his instrument, snapping strings, banging on the fingerboard with his right hand. The songs on Aerial Boundaries are all beautiful and haunting and it is this emphasis on composition over technique that makes this such an important recording. Hedges' tracks feature layer upon layer of musical complexity and every performance expands the dynamic range of the instrument. Stirring, complex compositions like "Rickover's Dream," "Spare Change," and an ingenious instrumental take of Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush" are on full display. Hedges could be seductively quiet and suddenly explosive... slow or fast, timid or thunderous. Aerial Boundaries is also available from Audio Fidelity on a deluxe 180 gram high quality vinyl pressing.

 

Chick Corea And Béla Fleck Double Album Two
Chick Corea And Béla Fleck Double Album TwoConcord Music Group is soon releasing Chick Corea and Béla Fleck in their new album titled Two. This album is four years in the making and is said to be a sound unlike any other two musicians on the planet. "After four years of touring — 57 shows packed with musical brilliance — how do you sort through it all? Well, they listened to every single show and found the best-of-the-best, 'super-magic' takes" says the press release. Chick's admiration for Bella's banjoist bluegrass-meets-bebop band the Flecktones resulted in what Concord Music Group feels is the most compelling performances culled from those years of touring comprise Two. This simply titled, live double-album includes compositions from The Enchantment, which are re-worked with boundary-stretching improvisation. Corea and Fleck classics, as well as choice new music added to the repertoire along the way.

 

08 / 27 / 15


Enjoy the Music.com Final Update To Our CAS 2015 Report

Bergmann Audio And Avantgarde Acoustic

Advanced Transduction

Audioengine At The CAS 2015

 

Music Streaming Rules Nielsen's Mid-Year 2015 Music Report
Music Streaming Rules Nielsen's Mid-Year 2015 Music ReportThe first half of 2015 has seen a trend in music sales and streaming, with streaming now taking a front seat in the billions while album sales are still much less in the millions range. Vinyl album sales are up 38% and now account for approximately 9% of physical album sales. Nielsen Music U.S. mid-year report for the 6-month period of December 29, 2014 through June 28, 2015 highlights the continued growth of Streaming, with over 135,000 million (that's 135 billion) songs streamed on-demand through audio and video platforms. Overall digital consumption (sales and streams) are up 23%, yet sales are down as we'll break it down for you shortly. Total consumption for the year, based on Albums plus Track Equivalent Albums and the all-important Streaming Equivalent Albums, is up 14% over last year. Of note is that Vinyl LPs sales are up 38% to 5.6 million units, yet overall physical album sales are down 7%. So here's the breakdown of it all: On-demand music streaming is up 92.4% to 135.2 billion as compared to 70.3 billion during the same period in 2014. Total album sales are down 4% to 116.1 million in 2015 versus 120.9 million in 2014. Digital music track sales are down 10.4% to 531.6 million as compared to 593.6 in 2014. There are only 7 albums that have sold more than 600,000 units so far this year, while there were only four at this time last year. Yes, it is Taylor Swift’s 1989 as the best-selling and most consumed album of the year. Four digital songs are in the top 25, with each selling over 1,000,000 units. Taylor Swift also has the best-selling CD and best-selling vinyl LP of the year and has the 2nd best-selling digital album of the year, behind Drake. You can see the complete Nielsen report in PDF form by clicking here.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Despite all the crying from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) about Napster and others "stealing" CD sales, sales have been at a record highs. Reportedly up 6% year to date for the United States (U.S.). Recorded CDs shipments to the U.S. during the first six months of 2000 reached 420 million units. CDs claim 86% of the total music purchasing market. While major labels have lost a lawsuit for illegally putting penalties on those dealers who did not follow the Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) as set be them, the dollar value of CDs increased 9.9% from this time last year to approximately $5.7 billion. "Despite the excitement felt by music lovers and record companies alike over the positive potential of the Internet, for the time-being, loyalty to the physical product remains as is evident by these midyear shipment numbers," said Hilary Rosen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the RIAA. "CDs will be around for a long time." Alas, vinyl album sales have been on the decline, losing 400,000 units to shipping only 1,000,000 units with a dollar value of $12,400,000. Please see the chart below for more details.

RIAA Midyear Statistic

 

08 / 26 / 15


Enjoy the Music.com Continues Our CAS 2015 Updates

Elac Loudspeakers Designed By Andrew Jones

Piraeus Audio

Profundo And Syncopation With Viva Audio

Voss Audio And Triangle Arts

 

Aries Cerat Incito Stereo Preamplifier Review
Aries Cerat Incito Stereo Preamplifier
Aries Cerat’s achievement in preamplifier design is awe-inspiring!
Review by Tom Lyle

 

Hegel H160 Solid-State Stereo Integrated Amplifier With DAC Review
Hegel H160 Solid-State Stereo Integrated Amplifier With DAC
Not another boring Bose burger.
Article By A. Colin Flood

 

LampizatOr Generation 5 Level 4 DAC Review
Follow Up: LampizatOr Generation 5 Level 4 DAC
Computer audio to satisfy an analog lover.
Review By Wayne Donnelly

 

08 / 25 / 15

Enjoy the Music.com Blue Note Awards 2015
Enjoy the Music.com Blue Note Awards 2015
Best High-End Audio Equipment Of 2015 Awards
As chosen by the staff at Enjoy the Music.com

 


Enjoy the Music.com Show Report Of CAS 2015

ATC @ CAS 2015

Napa Acoustics

Serene Audio

 

Gryphon Audio Designs Diablo 300 Integrated Amplifier
Gryphon Audio Designs Diablo 300 Integrated AmplifierGryphon Audio Designs, leading Danish brand of high fidelity audio now celebrating their 30th anniversary, is now shipping their Diablo 300 integrated amplifier (12.800 euro). The Diablo 300 employs a fully balanced volume control derived from the company's Pandora preamplifier, which is executed via a microprocessor-controlled 43-step attenuator for extreme precision in setting the desired listening level. Select resistors and relays ensure long life and perfect level matching with no more than two resistors within the signal path at any setting. The extreme wideband frequency response of the Gryphon Audio Designs Diablo 300 extends from 0.5 Hz to 350 kHz and its prodigious 300 Watt (8 Ohms) power output represents a 25% increase over the original highly acclaimed Diablo. The extreme high current capability of the Diablo 300 allows it to double its output to 600 Watts in a 4 Ohm load and a massive 950 Watts into 2 Ohms. To ensure the very best sound quality, there is zero negative feedback within the signal's ultra-short path. Minimal internal wiring is used and the military spec dual-layer and four-layer printed circuit boards have upwards of 105 micron copper traces. Dual mono Holmgren toroidal transformer with vacuum treated core and windings virtually eliminate mechanical noise. Gryphon Audio Designs is using new high-speed discrete single-ended Class A input buffers to achieve what they feel is the very best in sonic performance. Gold-plated Swiss Neutrik XLR sockets for two balanced sources and gold-plated phono sockets with Teflon insulation for three inputs and two outputs. There is a fixed-level AV throughput for integration with surround preamplifiers. Input level matching helps to prevent abrupt level changes between sources. A large vacuum fluorescent display ensures easy legibility and the brightness is adjustable (100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, and Off). An optional MM/MC phonostage module and optional PCM / DSD DAC module with USB, two S/PDIF, AES and optical input are available.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
DSP8000Meridian has announced many new products which include a Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP) Encoder and DSP8000 Digital Loudspeaker. The MLP Encoder is a device that allows audio to be coded into the MLP format which Meridian claims offers "the highest possible sound quality and integrity in delivery or storage of high-quality audio." MLP, unlike the proprietary Sony SACD, has been adopted as the mandatory coding system to deliver the highest quality sound on DVD-Audio and other formats. The DSP8000 Reference Loudspeaker ($45,000 pr.) represents the more than 25 years of continuous development of loudspeakers as musical instruments. Using top-quality digital technology, this four-way DSP active loudspeaker can be used as a stereo pair or within a multi-channel system of up to seven channels. It can also be mixed with other Meridian DSP, Active, or other manufacture's loudspeakers for a complete surround sound system. This four-way active loudspeaker has crossovers at 80Hz, 200Hz and 2.6kHz and uses four 24-bit D/A converters. There are three 150 Watt and two 100 Watt power amplifiers per speaker. All processing is performed upsampled in twin 100MHz digital signal processors (DSPs). Meridian's DSP8000 uses the company's memory-based de-jittering system. For surround sound users, it is interesting to note that Dolby TrueHD employs MLP, but compared with DVD-Audio adds higher bit rates, eight full-range channels, extensive metadata, and custom speaker placements (as specified by SMPTE)..

 

08 / 24 / 15


Enjoy the Music.com Adds More Show Coverage From CAS 2015

Burwell & Sons, Bottlehead And The Tape Project

Audio Skies With GamuT, Larsen And Audience

Integrity High Fidelity Solutions With Margules Audio And Altas Cables

Steven Lester Co. With Linn

 

Supreme Sound Lycan Preamplifier With Headphone Amplifier
Supreme Sound Lycan Preamplifier With Headphone AmplifierBurson Audio's Supreme Sound Audio site for DIY and OEM products now has the SS Lycan (headphone amplifier, preamplifier and Op-Amp Test Bench 3 in 1 project ($199 on up). The Lycan has roughly the same footprint as a smartphone and it comes fully assembled and ready to play. Despite its small size, it is built to the same standards as all Supreme Sound and Burson Audio products. Pure Class A, fully discrete, and outputting 2.2 Watts per channel into 16 Ohm, the Lycan's headphone amplifier powers virtually any headphone and IEM with ease. The preamplifier section is suitable for feeding to an external powered amplifier or active speakers. The 60W power supply has a filter stage with 8800uf of power reserve caps and 94dB ripple rejection. This ensures the 2.2 watt output is fully supported within stress or strain to the power supply. The standard $249 version has a single Op-Amp, with an option for dual single NE5532 IC Op-Amp for $299 and a dual-configured Op-Amp version for $299.

 

08 / 21 / 15


Enjoy the Music.com Posts More Coverage From CAS 2015

Pass Labs And YG Acoustics

MIT Cables And Magico

ACA With XLO Cables And Melody Electronics

AAudio Imports With Lansche, Thales And Ypsilon

Grant Fidelity With PureAudioProject And Mundorf Speakers

Audio Note UK

 

Futuresource Consulting The Audio Renaissance Event In London
Futuresource Consulting The Audio Renaissance Event In LondonFuturesource Consulting, a longtime company that delivers specialist research and consulting services plus knowledge with experience and accuracy to support decision-making processes, is holding a special event called The Audio Renaissance in London on October 20th, 2015. Topics for this event include premium audio, subscription music services, the relevance of radio, connecting the audio experience (personal, home and automotive) and more. Speakers for this event include Matt Rennie of The Box Plus Network, Christian Harris of Deezer, Spencer Chrislu who is Director (Content Services) for Meridian's MQA, Paul Evans who is Senior Manager for Imagination Technologies and Bert Van Daele who is CTO for Auro Technologies. Matt Rennie of The Box Plus Network represents the UK's most watched music video network that reaches audiences across multiple platforms will present on the future of music videos in terms of innovation and future business models. Christian Harris is with Deezer, a company that represents the world's second largest streaming service and he will discuss how music and mobile companies can work closely together to help lead a revolution in content delivery. Spencer Chrislu is with Meridian's of MQA, a technology that captures high resolution audio including original studio performance in a format that's small enough to stream or download given today's Internet bandwidth limitations. Spencer's background as a recording and mastering engineer, with artists such as Frank Zapper and Tom Jones, will join the premium audio panel to discuss how the industry can migrate consumers to higher quality music formats. Paul Evans of Imagination Technologies, a company that is a global technology leader in multimedia, processors and communication technologies, will join the connecting the audio experience panel to discuss the technology enablers that will create a seamless and convenient ecosystem for consumers to be able to listen and access their favorite music in the home, car and on the move. Lastly, Bert Van Daele of Auro Technologies is a company that crated the Auro 3D concept and formats to discuss the latest developments in 3D audio for home theater, cinema and headphones. The cost to attend this event is £79 per person excluding VAT.

 

iFi Audio And Sound Liaison Offer Free High Resolution Music
iFi Audio And Sound Liaison Offer Free High Resolution MusicHigh-end audio company iFi Audio and the Sound Liaison are now offering a free Special iFi Music Sampler DSD album. To celebrate the launch of the iFi Audio iDAC2, Sound Liaison has prepared a special sample album titled iFi micro-iDAC2 Music Sampler for all music lovers. You can find three specially selected tracks in three formats; PCM, FLAC and DSD at this link. The song "Impromptu" was recorded live directly to DSD using the Tascam DA-3000 DSD recorder and simultaneously to PCM with the RME UFX. Some of the equipment used also includes two Neumann TLM 170 microphones for the piano, two Sonodore RCM-402 mics for the room and the Neve 4081 Quad pre-amplifier. Other free tracks being offered are "Oblivion" and "Thousand Shades of Blue" as performed live within the studio in multi-track PCM 96kHz. The DSD conversion was done via an analog signal chain using state-of-the-art professional equipment to the Tascam DA-3000 DSD recorder. "The musicians were placed in front of a stereo pair of microphones with additional spot microphones on each instrument," says the press release. "The musicians were playing without headphones, creating a natural and musical balance easily captured by the main stereo pair of microphones. Because of the natural and musical balance the need for compression to control levels was not necessary, and with the musicians playing simultaneously in the same room, the boxed sound, which is so common in many modern recordings, is absent."

 

Enjoy the Music.com Show Report Schedule
Enjoy the Music.com And Enjoy the Music.TV 2015 Show Report Schedule
Seen below is a listing of Enjoy the Music.com's planned 2015 show coverage for the remainder of 2015. We have already reported on CES 2015 in Las Vegas, AXPONA in Chicago, HIGH END in Munich, T.H.E. Show Newport, CE Week 2015, and CAS 2015 in San Francisco. Whilst we may be adding more shows during 2015, we feel the below is a good basic starting point. Enjoy the Music.com is the Internet's largest site for audiophile show coverage, as we have over 190 shows high-end audio and event reports online at this link.

 

August 28th to 30th, 2015
Capitol Audiofest Show 2015 Report
Hilton Hotel at Twinbrook Metro
Rockville, MD 20852
Add this event to your calendar

 

October 2nd to 4th, 2015
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015 (RMAF 2015 Show Report)
Marriott Tech Center Hotel
Denver, Colorado
Add this event to your calendar.

 

October 30th to November 1st, 2015
TAVES 2015 Show Report
Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites
Toronto, Canada
Add this event to your calendar.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
Reference Recordings Has Been Saved!
This just in as Reference Recordings has been saved! Reference Recordings is pleased to announce that, after a long and costly legal battle, they have won their lawsuit and are now separated completely from The Dorian Group. All assets and rights to the label and catalog have been returned to Reference Recordings. Plans are under way to re-establish RR in the music marketplace by early October 2005. RR has just signed an exclusive distribution agreement for the United States and Canada with Allegro Corporation and Allegro Entertainment Canada Ltd., of Portland, Oregon. Allegro distributed RR prior to the failed merger with The Dorian Group. RR is now reconnecting with its network of international distributors in more than 25 countries, and looks forward to resuming these excellent business relationships. Export sales will begin in October. RR's most recent releases (below) will be re-promoted in an ambitious program by Allegro in the Fall, and review copies will be available to all publications by request. New releases will begin in January, 2006, starting with Five O'Clock Foxtrot, a collection of orchestral music by Maurice Ravel, with Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra. 2006 will mark the 30th Anniversary year of Reference Recordings. Our multi-Grammy awarded and nominated label remains completely dedicated to the highest standards of recording art and technology

 

08 / 20 / 15

CANADA HiFi August / September Issue Available Online For Free
CANADA HiFi August / September 2015Enjoy the Music.com has just posted CANADA HiFi's latest issue! This issue features origins of harder rock part 2, a special digital music payer shopping guide, and outfitting an audio system with Nordost Norse 2 Tyr 2 cables and QBASE power distribution. Other equipment reviews include YG Acoustics Carmel2 loudspeakers, Burmester 101 Integrated amplifier and B10 loudspeakers, and Kudos Audio X3 loudspeakers. Within his editorial, Suave Kajko says, "The summer is in full swing and I have certainly been doing my best to enjoy it to the fullest. From long dog walks to socializing with family and friends on patios around the city, to fiddling with the classic car in my garage - I've already spent plenty of time outdoors. I've also managed to catch lots of live music this summer, much of it outdoors as well, which included great festivals like NXNE, Edgefest and the Way Home festival. I don't know if it's just me but it seems like Toronto has more live music to offer this summer than ever before. It appears that we've become quite a musical city!" You can download this issue of CANADA HiFi free of charge in PDF format here.

 

More CAS 2015 Exhibitor & Room Reports
Audio Skies With GamuT And Pear Audio Blue

AudioVision San Francisco With Dynaudio And YG Acoustics

Blue Coast Records UFO-DSD DAC

Zu Audio And Whammerdyne

The Audio Nerd With Lambert's Play It By Ear

 

Questyle QP1R Portable Music Player Review
World Premiere!
Questyle QP1R Portable Music Player
Questyle's killin' it with resolution and power.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Mundorf Special Anniversary MA30 Two-Way Loudspeaker Kit
Mundorf Special Anniversary MA30 Two-Way Loudspeaker KitThe launch of Mundorf's MA30 custom made Speaker kit ($1550 per pair) during this past weekend's CAS 2015 event celebrates the company's 30th anniversary. You can choose the MA30 is lower priced kit or pre-built form, yet truly is a very easy kit as the crossover network and cabinet and completely finished and simply need to be installed within the cabinet with the normal driver installation. Mundorf's MA30 is the first step of a one-off Mundorf project: A two-way bookshelf speaker kit that carries a Mundorf AMT tweeter of the latest development. Furthermore, a sophisticated Mundorf crossover and an 6.5" Accuton midrange/woofer driver rounds out the design All that is needed to assemble are the various bits into the cabinet via supplied screws. As for the X-over, customers can choose from entry-level components up to Mundorf's very best ones. In order to enable buyers to compare differently equipped crossovers, all crossovers come on equally sized, spacious circuit boards. They fit easily into the cabinets which provide convenient inserted nuts for easy but solid installation. Users can easily exchange single crossover components (e.g. capacitors), be it for an upgrade anytime later, or for an A to B comparison of building parts of both different quality or different brands. The crossover is made with single or bi-wire ability. The AMT tweeter has low harmonic distortion and has been highly praised within reviews.

 

08 / 19 / 15

Gershman Acoustics Grande Avant Garde Loudspeakers Review
World Premiere!
Gershman Acoustics Grande Avant Garde Loudspeakers
Love at first sound.
Review By Rick Jensen

 

California Audio Show 2015 Report

Friday Teaser!
Just posted a few teasers from Friday's CAS 2015 event.

Chillin' With My Peeps
California Audio Show 2015 -- People

The Closer I Get To You...
California Audio Show 2015 -- Close-Ups

CAS 2015 Exhibitor & Room Reports
Audio Reference Technology, Pass Labs And Tannoy

Bob's Devices And Phoenix Engineering

Comply IEM / CIEM Accessories And The Pono Music Player

Elite Audio Systems In San Francisco

 

Nordost QLINE Ground Wire Seeks To Ensure A Clean Grounding
Nordost QLINE Ground Wire Seeks To Ensure A Clean GroundingNordost
has introduced the newest addition to the QRT range of power products: the QLINE Ground Wire. The QLINE is constructed with a 231 strands of wire for a total of 10 AWG plated conductor and uses Nordost's patented Micro Mono-Filament technology. Also part of this design is their extruded FEP insulation. The QRT Ground Wire serves as grounding from device to device or connecting the QBASE ground post to a designated external ground rod or grounding box. Nordost's QRT power products seek to alleviate the impact of poor quality AC power on your sensitive electronics. By limiting RFI and timing errors associated with the AC line, Nordost seeks to "bring AC power closer to the desired 'distortion-less condition'". Nordost's QRT Ground Wire is available in multiple lengths with air-tight, waterproof terminations in order to accommodate your specific needs.

 

David Chesky's Joy & Sorrow Is Available In High Resolution Audio
David Chesky's Joy & Sorrow Is Available In High Resolution AudioDavid Chesky's Joy & Sorrow is now available at HDtracks.com, iTunes, Amazon and other fine outlets. Featuring soloists Artur Kaganovskiy, violin; Ethan Herschenfeld, bass; Moran Katz, clarinet; and Kristina Reiko Cooper, cello, this album is recorded in true high fidelity sound quality. While attending the Polish premiere of his opera The Mice War at Krakow Opera, David Chesky and conductor Yaniv Segal took a life changing trip to the extermination camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau. Emotionally shaken by the experience, David wanted to create works not only depicting the trauma and sorrows of the death camps, but also the joy and celebrations that encompass all aspects of Jewish life. The music is at times full of angst while constantly pulsating with life and raw rhythmic energy that reflect the rich cultural history and musical tradition of Jews. Using the language and Klezmer style of Eastern Europe as raw material, David feels he has redefined what Jewish music for orchestra sounds like.

 

Leema Acoustics Xen 2 Small Two-Way Minimonitor
Leema Acoustics Xen 2 Small Two-Way MinimonitorLeema Acoustics new Xen 2 (£1295) is a small five-liter micro-monitor. Founded and run by two ex-BBC sound engineers, the company has launched the Xen 2 loudspeaker as the result of a research project to squeeze a BBC-graded monitor speaker into a five liter cabinet. Leema Acoustics' Xen 2 has a frequency response extending down to 57 Hz and all the way up to 25 kHz. It is a low efficient design at 85dB/W/m, so amplification should be between 60 and 150 watts. The Xen 2's cabinet construction is made from folded and welded 1.5mm thick steel. The steel is lined with a bitumastic layer, a technique also employed in the automotive industry, and the cavity is then stuffed with real German sheep wool. The back panel is steel with bitumen on the inside and the crossover board is attached to the terminals directly. The crossover uses Bennic parts and air core inductors where possible, to avoid saturation and compression in the crossover. The cabinet also benefits from a 12mm-thick steel bar across the center to prevent flex and the front panel is machined from an impressively rigid high-grade MDF to provide the drive units with the optimum operating environment. The baffle is then finished in either a luxurious wood veneer or a conventional black paint. The Xen 2 benefits from two bass reflex ports, which extend into the cabinet then fold down behind the bass driver, with each measuring 260mm. According to Leema Acoustics, "Twin ports are used to ensure that the speed of the air moving in the port is below 0.1x the speed of sound (Mach). This important design factor is often overlooked: the column of air in bass ports can generate too much friction at high Mach, which leads to unwanted port compression effects. In addition, the column of air reacts with the air in the room as if it were a solid, resulting in port-hammer." The tweeter is a 25mm soft-dome unit and midrange/bass driver is a 100mm custom-spec design.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Streaming Music Is The Key To Online Music
As we here at Enjoy the Music.com have been predicting for quite a while, it seems that Internet music subscriptions will soon be King for gathering revenue for legally streaming/downloading music from the Internet. RealNetworks now joins MP3.com and others who have recently decided to go with a subscription business plan. This new service is called RealPlayer GoldPass and for only $9.95 a month which gives subscribers access to various rock concerts from the House of Blues, other music events as well as video events such as the popular Sports Illustrated swimsuit video and much more. This new service also comes at the same time RealNetwork's final release of RealPlayer 8, RealJukebox 2 and RealDownload 4. "This is a logical next step for RealNetworks and an important next step for the industry," said Rob Glaser, Chief Executive Officer of the company.

 

08 / 14   Through  08 / 16

California Audio Show In San Francisco This Weekend
California Audio Show 2015The California Audio Show, held from August 14th through 16th and now in their sixth year, celebrates music, life and audio at the iconic San Francisco Bay Area's Westin Hotel. Naturally Enjoy the Music.com will be there reporting on the many great pieces of gear (see our extensive CAS 2014 report). With San Francisco being home to the ever-present major venture capitalists, app code monkeys and of course major social media players, they all can come to experience the vibrant energy put forth by avid and enthusiastic music lovers who demand the very best. While the event is located within San Francisco, California's legendary Wine Country is a short drive away. It is said that the San Francisco Bay Area audiophiles are among the most intelligent and sophisticated too! Attendees can enjoy top quality home audio products at the California Audio Show 2015. Many attendees can bring their fave tunes to audition with the many products available. A variety of informative, and entertaining, seminars will be conducted during the event. You can learn more about this event at CAS's website.and Enjoy the Music.com's California Audio Show 2015 report is at is page.

 

08 / 11 / 15

Astell&Kern AKT1 All-In-One Compact High-Resolution Audio System
Astell&Kern AKT1 All-In-One Compact High-Resolution Audio SystemAstell&Kern's new AKT1 ($3700) all-in-one high-resolution audio sound system includes loudspeakers, amplification and high-resolution digital audio decoding in one unit. The Astell&Kern AKT1 lifestyle product easily fits within city living, an office or anywhere that space is at a premium. With the AKT1, you can enjoy audiophile-quality high-resolution audio without the need for multiple components or wondering where to place large loudspeakers. Astell&Kern's AKT1 contains six speakers in a three-way configuration with two each 0.75" tweeter, 2" midrange and two 6.5" woofers. The speakers are driven with a hybrid amplifier system to take advantage of the benefits of both analog and digital amplification. The AKT1 tweeters are driven by an analog amplifier, with a digital amplifier driving the midrange and woofer drivers. Astell&Kern'sAKT5 supports playback of 24-bit/192kHz PCM and native playback of DSD 64/128) via a pair of Cirrus Logic 4398 DAC chipsets. This provides true dual-mono to produce excellent channel separation with a wider soundscape. Playback sources include microSD, TosLink optical and auxiliary analog inputs. The AKT1 includes wired Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 with aptX plus DLNA networking support. Also included is support for a variety of streaming services and Internet radio stations. With the AK Connect app for iOS and Android-based smartphones and tablets, you can control playback on the device and stream music located on your device directly to the AKT1. Overall frequency response for the system is from 48 Hz to 22kHz, dimensions are 27.6" x 39.3" x 15.9" (WxHxD) and it weighs 44 lbs. You can read Enjoy the Music.com's exclusive world premiere review of Astell&Kern's AK380 portable audio player at this link.

 

Leema Acoustics Libra Fully Balanced Stereo DAC/Preamplifier
Leema Acoustics Libra Fully Balanced Stereo DAC/PreamplifierLeema Acoustics is now shipping their Libra stereo DAC/preamplifier (£5995). Designed and built by Lee Taylor and Mallory Nicholls, the Libra high-resolution DAC with preamplifier will play DSD 64/128, DXD and up to 384kHz PCM. Bluetooth phones, tablets, and laptops can send music to the Leema Acoustics Libra as well. Future-proofing allows for upgradeability via replaceable DAC modules. Leema Acoustics' fully balanced Quattro Infinity dual-mono DAC modules provide true balanced output to your amplifier. The advanced Quattro Infinity modules also feature user-selectable output filters, so you can tailor the sound to your own preference. There are two I2S inputs via RJ45 connectors, with fully programmable pin-allocation on one of these inputs via software. Source components with professional standard AES/EBU XLR outputs can also be connected. Leema's Libra M1 asynchronous USB module provides a connection for computer audio replay from Windows, Macintosh and Linux machines. Galvanic isolation using "spinning-electron technology" ensures that music delivered over USB is as good as current technology will allow. As a preamplifier, the Leema Acoustics Libra has three separate analog inputs, each of which can be individually configured as unbalanced, via RCA Cinch connectors, or fully balanced via XLR connectors. The entire signal path, both digital and analogue, is fully balanced from the digital data stream, to the balanced analog outputs. The Libra is able to operate either as a conventional audio component with fixed output level or as a high-end preamplifier with analog volume control. Outputs are provided via unbalanced RCA/Cinch connectors and balanced XLR connectors.

 

Tape Project @ This Weekend's California Audio Show With Jacqui Naylor
Tape Project Jacqui Naylor Plus  Jerry Garcia and David GrismanAt this weekend's California Audio Show will be the Tape Project's to release of two very exciting albums. A rare in-person appearance of artist Jacqui Naylor and full-playback of new Jerry Garcia & David Grisman release will highlight this event, with the live event taking place August 15th from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Westin SFO Hotel. The Tape Project will be playing tracks from Jacqui Naylor's exclusive Tape Project release, The Number White, and discussing the technical challenges in the making of this pioneering effort in the 21st century rebirth of audiophile tape listening. During this event they will also be a full-playback of a new Tape Project release from the incomparable Jerry Garcia and David Grisman. The special event will be hosted by Burwell and Sons Loudspeakers, and Bottlehead Corp. Jacqui Naylor's album was recorded entirely on analog tape, from tracking on 16-track 2" tape in the legendary Bill Putnam built Coast Recorders studio in San Francisco. The title was further mixed to 1" two-track tape by Grammy nominee Michael Romanowski and mastered by Grammy winner Paul Stubblebine. The finished album was then duplicated in real time on 1/4" tape at the Tape Project's notorious Tape Shed. Jacqui will have her other albums available at the event as well, and you will be able to buy autographed copies and have a chat too. Enjoy the Music.com will be reporting on the California Audio Show with our coverage available here.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Rethinking "Work For Hire" Clause For Musicians And Performers
In a turn of events that brought big smiles on the face of many musicians, the new lobbying group for musicians, founded by Don Henley and Sheryl Crow, have successfully convinced the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to rethink their "work for hire" agreement. The RIAA, who represents major labels and not musicians, were able to sneak in a "work for hire" clause in a November 1999 Congressional amendment to the nation's Copyright Act. Adding those simple three words make the difference between musician's copyright to songs, which earn musicians royalties, to revert back to the artists after 35 years or stay with the record company for 95 years. The work for hire clause gave complete copyright ownership to the labels for the full 95 years. Of course there is also another legal matter of the major labels abusing their copyrights through their Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) structure (see our August 8 news article below). The RIAA has agreed to help the musicians petition congress to remove the work for hire clause. This action shows that the RIAA has, for the moment, some concern for musician's rights. "We agreed on language to get us back to the way it was before Nov. 29, 1999," said Jay Cooper who is an attorney at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips that represent artists. Jay also said "We're very comfortable with it." Of course there is still the matter of actually changing the law through congress which is not an easy matter. "While we're happy, we can't lose sight that it's not a victory until Congress passes it," said Barry Bergman, founder of the Music Managers Forum. Hilary Rosen, president of the RIAA, said "...from the beginning, we did not intend to change the law. The book needs to be closed on this issue so we can get back to a united industry on so many important challenges of the day." Meanwhile the CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) Michael Greene said "Few issues as the work-for-hire amendment have so profoundly affected the creative community's soul and in turn galvanized our resolve.''

 

08 / 10 / 15

HUM Pristine Custom Fit In-Ear Monitor Uses Two Special Drivers
HUM Pristine Custom Fit In-Ear Monitor Uses Two Special DriversHUM, a Hong Kong based audio manufacturer that specialized in designing, manufacturing and producing high fidelity audio gear, now offers their new flagship Pristine CIEM ($1299). HUM seeks to break the stereotype of squeezing as many drivers as possible into a ear shell and return to the basics. The HUM Pristine CIEM employs two drivers to deliver full-range sound. Many audiophiles believe that only single full-range drivers produce the most natural sound. However, the frequency response range of a single driver has its limitations and so HUM seeking to capture the minimalist design for custom in-ear monitor uses two very special drivers. No expense was spared in obtaining the highest quality components to make this aim a reality. Parts include a very special film and electrolytic capacitor, Vishay MELF 1% resistor, Ternary Eutectic solder alloys, 99.99% pure copper Litz 0.1mm x 15 wire, and Amphenol high quality MMCX connector are joined together to push the performance of HUM Pristine to deliver the highest of sound quality. Frequency response is from 10 Hz to 20 kHz with a sensitivity of 120 dB @ 1 kHz, 1mW. Noise isolation of the HUM Pristine CIEM is -26dB and the special two-pin connecting cable is terminated with a stereo 3.5mm plug.

 

Beyerdynamic AK T8iE Universal Fit In-Ear Monitor
Beyerdynamic AK T8iE Universal Fit In-Ear MonitorBeyerdynamic is working with Astell & Kern to offer their new AK T8iE ($999) universal fit in-ear monitors. Designed, developed and assembled by hand at the Beyerdynamic headquarters in Germany, the AK T8iE is said to provide all the advantages of the exclusive Tesla technology, yet within a "minimal space to reproduce the entire acoustic range neutrally and precisely" sys the company. The AK T8iE is specifically optimized for players from Astell&Kern for high-resolution audio playback. Each AK T8iE includes a special connection cable with four-pin jack plug (2.5 mm) for balanced audio, which benefits the listener by delivering symmetrical signal transmission. They will also work with normal 3.mm stereo jack via an adapter. A detachable Kevlar-reinforced cable handles 40,000 bending cycles and has a skin-friendly chrome alloy. Beyerdynamic measured a variety of ear canals and developed special eartips for the AK T8iE. The silicone eartips come in five sizes and include the oval form that allows them to twist themselves into the ear canal. The goal is to have them fit comfortably without any pressure, and are held in place by the cables that go up over the ears. Of course users who still prefer the popular Comply Foam Tips with a memory effect won't be disappointed as three pairs are also included in sizes S, M and L. Beyerdynamics' AK T8iE also comes with a leather case with magnetic closure.

 

08 / 08 / 15

Backert Labs Vacuum Tube Stereo Preamplifier
Backert Labs Vacuum Tube Stereo PreamplifierBackert Labs announced the introduction of its latest vacuum tube stereo linestage preamplifier ($2995). This yet unnamed model wants your help in choosing one, with the person whose name is chosen possibly receiving a free unit. Backert Labs "You Name It, You Win It" contest is on their website. Backert Labs' tube preamplifier features a convenient tube access door, which allows easy tube changes without tools. The new unit also features the company's patented GreenForce power supply and luxurious cast aluminum remote volume control. Patented by Mr. Backert, GreenForce is the first completely new kind of power supply since switching supplies were invented in the 1950s says the company. GreenForce allows the power supply to use far higher quality polypropylene capacitors, yet still at a reasonable price point. "The way it works is also key," said Mr. Backert. "It's very different, because it actively pushes power into the amplifying circuit, instead of passively bleeding out power as the circuit demands it. That 'push' makes GreenForce is more nimble in responding to power demands from musical recordings. This improves the accuracy of rhythm and dynamics." Other features include balanced XLR input and output in addition to three unbalanced RCA inputs and two RCA outputs, a home theater bypass and visually transparent tube cover. Two JJ Electronics 12AU7 tubes are utilized for the gain stage within this stereo preamplifier.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Alleged Major Music Label Price Fixing Via Illegal MAP
Music NewsA total of 28 states have filed in U.S. District Court of New York accusing the top five record labels of price-fixing their prerecorded music compact discs (CD) and are asking for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Enjoy the Music.com was the first (and virtually only audiophile website) who previously reported on May 11, 2000 about the major labels losing a previously filed court case about price fixing their CDs. The major label's Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) policies are illegal due to state and federal antitrust laws. MAP therefore allegedly maintained artificially high CD pricing. To add salt to the wound, so to speak, the major labels penalized retailers who did not abide by the MAP structure. The five labels named in the lawsuit are Sony Music Entertainment, Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Brothers music group, Universal Music Group, BMG, Bertelsmann AG, and the EMI Group Plc. Added to the 28 states as defendants are major retailers MusicLand Stores Corp., Tower Records, and Trans World Entertainment Corp. While the wholesale pricing may be the same from those who did and did not abide by the MAP policy, some retailers suffered through the possible loss of all promotional funds available from various music labels. This could account for upwards of millions of dollars in advertising dollars according to this recent lawsuit. New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said in a statement, "This illegal action...has not been music to the ears of the public. Because of these conspiracies, tens of millions of consumers paid inflated prices to buy CD's..." Spitzer also said the FTC estimated damages to consumers at $480 million is "a number that fair-minded people can rely upon".

 

08 / 07 / 15

Beyerdynamic Next-Generation T 1 Semi-Open 600 Ohm Headphones
Beyerdynamic Next-Generation T 1 Semi-Open 600 Ohm HeadphonesBeyerdynamic has updated their T 1 ($1099) as the company's "the next generation of high-end headphones for an even more sublime audio experience". The T 1 from Beyerdynamic represents the company's highest sound quality and precision craftsmanship. Beyerdynamic's second generation T 1 has been further tuned to produce dynamic and clean sound of the original, yet enhanced with a touch more warmth and musicality from the 600 Ohm transducers. Additional attenuation to their Tesla driver eliminates disruptive resonances in the high frequency range. Other improvements include fundamental changes to optimize the form of the baffle and replaced the single-layer baffle material with a more stable, high-tech compound material to minimize vibration of said material. In addition, Beyerdynamics has modified the bass performance to more closely match that desired while listening to contemporary music. The connection cable has fabric sheathing; with a threaded jack plug to ensures optimum electrical signal transmission. The cable's conductors are made from ultra-pure OCC copper and may be exchanged for an optional cable with 4-pin XLR connector for balanced audio. New ear cushions ensure that listening to music is a comfortable experience. The fleecy velour made from hollow fibers transports warmth and moisture away from the wearer's head, allowing you to listen for hours without getting the dreaded 'hot ears'. A memory foam layer beneath the velour covers makes the cushions exceptionally soft. Beyerdynamic's T 1 comes with a hard case with hinged lid. The T 1 semi-open headphones have a frequency response from 5 Hz to 50 kHz, impedance of 600 Ohms and nominal SPL is 102 dB. Power handling capacity is 300 mW and the Beyerdynamic's T 1 weight 360 grams (without cable).

 

Kenwood KH-SR800 Sport In-Ear Monitors And KH-KR900 Headphones
Kenwood KH-SR800 Sport In-Ear Monitors And KH-KR900 HeadphonesKenwood USA is entering the fray of headphones and in-ear monitors with their KH-SR800 sport in-ear monitors and KH-KR900 headphones ($120 and $200 respectively). Kenwood's KH-CR500 is built for everyday use with a comfortable, stable, in-ear fit. The waterproof KH-SR800, available in red or black, is made to stay in place during rigorous physical activity. Kenwood's KH-KR900 fits over the ear for an enveloping audio experience. All three models feature high-grade neodymium driver units. The KH-KR900 headphones use 40mm, with smaller 10mm drivers in the KH-SR800 in-ear model. Both models are equipped with an in-line remote control and microphone for use with iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Users can easily play, stop or skip songs, or answer calls with a single button. The KH-CR500 headphones feature an in-ear design that blocks ambient noise and provides excellent sound isolation. The package includes a set of memory foam earpieces and three sizes of silicone earpieces. The KH-SR800 sport headphones feature Pivot Motion Fit supports that keep them securely in the ear without interfering with glasses. The cord and clip can go behind the neck to prevent flapping during exercise. With an IPX5 rating, the KH-SR800 headphones can stand up to the elements. In addition to three sizes of silicone earpieces, the headphones include three sizes of open-type earpieces so you can hear approaching cars or other potential hazards. Kenwood's KH-KR900 headphones have soft ear pads for hours of listening in comfort. The unique Quad Duct Engine on the housing consists of four ports, each tuned for specific frequencies, which Kenwood says "work together to deliver natural and well-balanced bass across the low range". The headphones fold flat and include a carrying pouch and detachable four-foot, single-sided flat cord.

 

EnjoyTheMusic.TV Offers You A Free Blues Concert This Weekend
With ~110,000 combined views from 9 incredible performances at Acoustic Sounds' Blues Masters 2014 concert produced by Chad Kassem. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a free, commercial-free blues concert this weekend. As always, in the end what really matters is that you... enjoy the music. Please click PLAY ALL to see 9 concert videos.

 

08 / 06 / 15

The Absolute Sound September Issue Is Now Available
The Absolute Sound September 2015Enjoy the Music.com has just posted The Absolute Sound's latest issue! This issue features show coverage of HIGH END in Munich and their annual Golden Ear Awards! Equipment reviews include the Denon PMA-50 integrated amplifier/DAC, Tannoy Revolution XT 8F loudspeakers, Vinnie Rossi LIO modular audio system, GoldenEar Triton Five loudspeaker, NuPrime DAC-10H DAC/Pre and ST-10 amplifier, Reference 3A Taksim loudspeaker, Classé Audio CP-800 preamplifier and CA-D200 amplifier, Magico M Pro loudspeaker and much more. Within his editorial, Alan Taffell says, "The high-end audio industry is having a midlife crisis. At least, it hopes the crisis is midlife rather than a prelude to death throes. Either way, the aging, self-limiting supply of one-percenters, especially in the U.S., has the industry contemplating its mortality. Survival depends on either catching the ears and wallets of younger, budding audiophiles, or expanding the number of one-percenters willing to divert some of their considerable resources from boats, cars, and trinkets to audio." See this issue of The Absolute Sound here.

 

Cypher Labs Sustain84 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier
Cypher Labs Sustain84 Vacuum Tube Headphone AmplifierCypher Labs Sustain84 ($1200) is a desktop vacuum tube stereo amplifier featuring NOS ECL84 tubes operating in a Class A single-ended design. Designed specifically for headphone amplification, the Sustain84's power band is suitable for the most sensitive in-ear monitors and the most demanding planar magnetic headphones. The front panel has a gain setting selector, volume control and 1/4" stereo headphone jack. Cypher Labs chose Z11 output transformers from Japan as well as Nichicon electrolytic capacitors and Cardas RCA input connectors. A specially designed switching power supply and high quality fuse is also part of this design. A pair of ECL84 tubes (6DX8 tubes may be substituted by the customer) help to produce an output voltage of 14V and supports an output impedance from 8 to 600 Ohms via Japan Z11-EI48 output transformers. Headphone power output is from 0.08W @ 600 Ohms to 1W @ 32 Ohms, with a setting of either low gain 2dB or high gain at +17dB. Frequency response is from 30 Hz to 30 kHz (+/-1dB). Cypher Labs' Sustain84 weighs 6 lbs and is 225mm x 116mm x 113mm (WxDxH). The enclosure is machined aluminum and there are removable tube shields supplied.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
My have times changed during the past 15 or so years as during an eBrain Market Research (a service of the Consumer Electronics Association) poll in September 1999, consumers were asked various questions. The below are their findings:

Internet Enabled CE Products
Which ONE of the following stereo products would you prefer to purchase in the future assuming you had to purchase one or the other and they were both the same price?
Base 1000
Plays CDs and Internet audio 55%
Capable of playing CDs only 40%
Don't know 4%
Refused 1%

Why would you prefer to purchase the home stereo with Internet music capability? Prefer player capable of playing CDs and music from the Internet:
Base 547
Want extra capabilities or features 45%
Internet will be more important 14%
Like to keep up with technology 16%
Better value 3%
Versatile 2%
Have computer 1%
Like Internet 2%
Lots of music on Internet, more variety 5%
Can take advantage of music online 1%
Other 7%
No reason 0%
Don't know 5%

If the home stereo with Internet music capability cost $25 more would you still prefer to purchase it? Prefer player capable of playing CDs and music from the Internet:
Base 547
Yes 81%
No 14%
Don't know 5%

More Statistics
Of the "Generation Y" (15-21 year old) who have bought products online, their purchases consist of:
58% Music CDs/Cassettes
42% DVD/VHS Movies
40% Portable MP3 Players
24% Any Other Stereo Product
24% DVD Player
16% VCR

Still more statistics (provided by NPD Intellect)
Home Theater sales of the first quarter of 2000 was 0.2% lower than the same time period of a year earlier (135,988 units in Q1 2000). DVD player sales during the same time period comparison is up 287% (825,030 units in Q1 2000). CD recordable drives are up 98% to 529,367 units in Q1 2000 and blank CD sales (CD-RW/CD-R) are up 99% 6,496,301 units in Q1 2000.

 

08 / 05 / 15

Sony Music Entertainment Reports Sales Of $1.02B During Q1 2015
Sony Music EntertainmentWith the ongoing currency rout and competitive devaluation (a.k.a. inflation) going on worldwide, there are winners and losers. Sony is the winner as Music Business Worldwide (MBW) has reported that Sony Music Entertainment (SME) reports over $1.07 billion USD (130.2bn Yen) in revenue during Q1 of 2015. Even though it is being said by some that recorded music sales are down as compared to 2014, the ongoing devaluing of the Japanese Yen currency gave a lift to the final sales figures. MBW reports that "Revenues increased 8.5% year-on-year to 130.2bn Yen ($1.07bn USD), but these were down 3% at constant currency". Operating income for SME increased 20.1 billion Yen during this year-on-year report to 31. 8 billion Yen ($260 million USD). MBW also reported that "Sony's recorded music division's revenue stood at 89.3bn Yen in Q1, up from 79.4bn Yen the year before. Sony/ATV's income stood at 35.6bn Yen in Q1; Sony's 50% stake resulted in 17.8bn Yen income in the three months". Again, thanks to currency exchange rates between the United States dollar and weak Yen, this was up year-on-year from Q1 2014's 16.3bn Yen valuation. You can see a chart of Sony Music Entertainment's sales to customers by clicking here.

 

Consumer Electronics Luminary Len Schneider Passes Away
Len SchneiderIt deeply saddens us to announce the passing of an expert within our industry, Len Schneider. He was an amazing man and always a mensch in every way. In his early years, Len ran an electronics repair shop and helped a friend launch a company that manufactured subwoofers, electronic crossovers, and amplifiers before joining Sony as National Training Manager for hi-fi products. He did product development stints at Onkyo, Marantz, and Adcom and has a list of award-winning components to his credit. Len Schneider also wrote the training book for Rotel and many of Enjoy the Music.com's hi-fi glossary definitions were written by, or augmented by, Len Schneider. On the editorial side, he's reviewed products for Audio Magazine and authored technical articles for The Perfect Vision, served as senior contributing editor for Play and later for eTown.com. Len Schneider was a lifetime member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and, in his own words, "admits to writing four books, some of them even readable". Editor and Creative Director of Enjoy the Music.com Steven R. Rochlin says, "Having known Len Schneider for nearly 20 years, he was warm and welcoming to everyone. His knowledge was shared with others and he helped train many people concerning high-end audio and video. As a close friend, we spoke often over the years and knew he was nearing this moment. Len will always live on within my heart." Len is survived by a wonderful girlfriend and two children. The family will be arranging a memorial service in a few weeks.

 

MBA Co Announces Their Status Stereo Integrated Amplifier
MBA Co Announces Their Status Stereo Integrated AmplifierMBA Co is a new British hi-fi brand founded by audiophile designer Darren Hollands with three products in an expanding portfolio. The line-up includes Progression floor standing loudspeakers, Pulse stand-mounts, plus the Status integrated amplifier. Already on the drawing board is a smaller, sealed speaker dubbed The Spur, and a coaxial-based center speaker called The Centrice. All amplifier circuit boards and metalwork are manufactured to exacting standards in the UK, while everything is hand-assembled at their own premises on the Kent coast. The remote-controlled Status integrated amplifier is a dual-mono design that is said to combine the high performance benefits of pre/power combinations in a single-box solution, along with optional built-in digital input facilities. It comprises two separate 180W/ch (8 Ohm) monoblock amplifiers coupled to a top-quality analog control preamplifier stage. Separate digital and analog power supplies are used in the pre-amp section, with an advanced switch-mode design feeding linear regulators to provide ultra-clean supplies for the pre-amp control and DAC sections. Ultra-low noise regulators are used in a two-stage regulation design for the analogue side of the pre-amp. "The £5495 Status represents a no-compromise design revealing our brand philosophy", says Darren Hollands. "Our aim is to create audiophile products delivering a powerful yet transparent sonic performance to enhance people's enjoyment and to reveal musical detail they've never heard before."

 

Walker Audio Procession Turntable Features Remote VTA Control
Walker Audio Procession Turntable Features Remote VTA ControlWalker Audio has just introduced their Procession, the world's first turntable with wireless remote control VTA/SRA (Vertical Tracking Angle/Stylus Rake Angle) adjustment that allows the user to change the arm angle from the comfort of their listening position with a push of a button ($38,000 with manual VTA and $45,000 with remote VTA). The Procession turntable features a 12" low-friction tri-bearing pivoting arm, 30-pound balanced-checked platter, 4" aircraft-grade aluminum plinth, solid brass spindle with zirconia bearing and motor with push button speed change. The Walker Audio Processions turntable is fully adjustable for all critical parameters including overhang, azimuth, tracking force and VTA/SRA. The Procession turntable utilizes Walker's Black Diamond technology to control electro-magnetic and radio frequency interference, comes with the Walker Crystal Record Clamp and can accommodate up to three arms."

 

08 / 04 / 15

Enjoy the Music.com Celebrates Our 20th Anniversary
With Special 20/20 Awards Given To Innovative Products
Enjoy the Music.com highlights 20 years of ingenuity within high-end audio.
Enjoy the Music.com Special 20/20 AwardEnjoy the Music.com, high-end audio's longstanding leader for industry news, reviews and show coverage, celebrates their 20th anniversary by highlighting revolutionary advancements within consumer electronics equipment. There is no doubt that advancements with digital audio have been the most exciting, yet amplification and speaker evolution continues to push forward as well. As partners with other audiophile magazines including The Absolute Sound, CANADA HiFi, Hi-Fi+, Hi-Fi Media, Hi-Fi World, HIFICRITIC plus vintage magazines Sound Practices and VALVEEnjoy the Music.com's series of Special 20/20 Awards looks back at the progress made during the past 20 years within the high-end audio sector of consumer electronics.

"To commemorate the past 20 years, Enjoy the Music.com's Special 20/20 Awards brings to the forefront many advancements within high-end audio gear," said Editor and Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin. "Each month I will personally hand pick only the very best examples of progress made during the past two decades within audiophile equipment. Striving to deliver the ultimate in performance, high-end audio takes no shortcuts. Manufacturers do not build equipment to a price as found elsewhere within the consumer electronics industry. There is no doubt in the mind of music lovers that the very best music playback system is one that employs cutting-edge technology as provided by high fidelity audio manufacturers. High-end audio does not necessarily mean high priced, as new developments always find a way to make their appearance in products that specialize in delivering only what is needed, without extras or extraneous features that may never be used. With a single-purpose and laser-like focus, high-end audio equipment is user-friendly while producing the finest sound quality available today. As the industry celebrates Enjoy the Music.com's 20th anniversary, it is my honor to choose up to 20 of the very best audio products during the past 20 years in each category." Enjoy the Music.com's very Special 20/20 Award list celebrating the past 20 years of innovation within the high-end audio sector of consumer electronics is available at this link.

 

08 / 03 / 15

The Cable Company's 20th Annual Summer Against Hunger Sale
The Cable Company's 20th annual Summer Against HungerThe Cable Company's 20th annual Summer Against Hunger once again means that at least 50 cents from every dollar you spend at their shop (and UsedCable.com) goes towards goes to CARE. Furthermore, 100% of your purchases from special sponsoring brands will go to CARE. It sounds strange as how can 100% of the money, not just a percentage, go to CARE? It all relates to matching grants. This annual Cable Company fundraising program has generated over $3.8 million for CARE projects during the last 19 August events. Interested in something not being sponsored? All products, even used products, purchased by our customers in August, will generate at least a 50% donation to CARE. Please give their sponsors an extra look as they are worthy of your special consideration.

 

CE Spending Is Up As Sentiment Towards USA Economy Wanes
CE Spending Is Up As Sentiment Towards Economy WanesAccording to Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which unites 2000 companies within the consumer technology industry, consumer confidence toward technology spending rose slightly in July 2015 as sentiment overall concerning the economy decreased. The CEA Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE), which measures consumer expectations about technology spending, has climbed 0.6 points to reach 88.4 for July. CEA's recent semi-annual report says that the United States of America consumer-based economy for electronics sales and forecasts is expected to generate $54 billion in 2015. This is a 10% increase over 2014. "Consumer sentiment toward tech spending continues its three-month streak, with another increase in July," said Chris Ely, senior manager, industry analysis, CEA. "To some extent, we credit recent earnings announcements that smartphones performed well in the second quarter." Enjoy the Music.com has posted a recent report on CEA's CE Week 2015 here, plus of course their annual Las Vegas CES 2015 event here.

 

HIGH END 2015 Seminars Are Now Available Online For Download
HIGH END 2015 Seminars Are Available Now Online For DownloadGermany's High End Society now offers all the seminars from HIGH END 2015 show online. You can see Enjoy the Music.com's extensive HIGH END 2015 show report at this link. Below are links to the MP4 files for each seminar. Some seminars are in German, whilst others are in English.

1. AMI GmbH & Co KG - Andreas Milkovitz   Download
Musik Server und Streaming / Multi-Rooming
Language: German

2. BR - Werner Bleisteiner und Olaf Korte   Download
Radio - Audio - Qualität: State-of-the-art-Audiotechnik im Rundfunk
Language: German

3. Chord Electronics Limited - Robert Watts   Download
DAC Technology
Language: German

4. hd-klassik.com - Ingo Schmidt-Lucas   Download
Kopfhörerverstärker: Wie erreiche ich mit meinem Kopfhörer ein maximales Klangerlebnis?
Language: German

5. Hexon Tech / Pendulumic - Mike Johnson   Download
Wireless Headphone
Language: English

6. HMS Elektronik - Hans M. Strassner   Download
Brummschleifen, Elektrosmog und Hochfrequenzbelastungen im Stromnetz. Was ist zu tun gegen diese Klangkiller?
Language: German

7. Illusonic - Christof Faller  Download
Berücksichtigung der Wahrnehmung in der Raumkorrektur
Language: German

8. Merging Technologies - Dominique Brulhart   Download
A Network Attached DAC
Language: English

9. Playback Designs - Andreas Koch  Download
High-Resolution Computer-Based Audio
Language: English

10. Pro-Ject Audio - Heinz Lichtenegger   Download
Der Kampf "High Fidelity gegen datenreduziertes Radio" Plattenspieler einstellen - einfach bis komplex
Language: German

11. Qobuz - Alexandra Grillmeier   Download
Thema: Qobuz: European leader for Hi-Res music!
Language: German

12. Radsone Inc. - WS Lee  Download
All-In-One DAC
Language: English

13. WestminsteLab - Angus Leung   Download
Endeavoring a new dimension
Language: English

 

08 / 01 / 15

Enjoy the Music.com's Special 20th Anniversary Issue
Enjoy the Music.com's August Review Magazine celebrates our 20th anniversary! We'd like to thank all our loyal readers over the years, as you've helped make all this possible. We'd also like to share our gratitude towards the many manufacturers, distributors, show promoters and magazines within the high-end audio industry. Within our August Review Magazine we have special features, equipment reviews and show coverage of CE Week in NYC. We look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming California Audio Show and Capitol Audiofest. See our August Review Magazine by clicking here.

Enjoy the Music.com 20th Anniversary

Review Magazine
  T
o help celebrate Enjoy the Music.com's 20th anniversary, we have over 40 industry luminaries chiming with their feeling and thoughts about what we've accomplished over the years plus a special article asking 20 questions to Editor and Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin.

CE Week Show Report

CE Week 2015 in NYC gave our photojournalist Brett Rudolph the opportunity to get an advanced look at some of the hottest tech and trends. His report focused on Hi-Res Audio advancements and companies that are supporting this excellent effort.

A special video from America's PBS features how humans respond to fractals and what this has to do with our enjoyment of music. Roger Skoff discusses writing on the Internet. Roger says, "Trying to communicate with people is always difficult, and can easily become impossible when the subject matter is technical, theoretical, or even just more than normally complex. That's why, in writing, I always try to put my ideas across as simply as possible and, where numbers are necessary, to never use anything more than just the simplest backyard arithmetic." 

Astell&Kern AK Jr Portable MQS System Review

Reviews within the August issue of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine include a world premiere of the Ayon Audio Crossfire EVO monoblock vacuum tube power amplifier, YG Acoustics' Carmel 2 floorstanding loudspeaker, Astell&Kern's AK Jr portable music player and a book review of The Complete Guide to High-End Audio Fifth Edition by Robert Harley. To sum it all up, Ayon Audio delivers another great vacuum tube amplifier, YG Acoustics is once again redefining loudspeaker manufacture / design, and Astell&Kern's AK Jr delivers big sound within a small package. Robert Harley's must-have The Complete Guide to High-End Audio Fifth Edition book is not only a reference guide for seasoned audiophiles, it is excellent for the newcomer to learn about all the intricacies to achieve the very best sound from their high fidelity audio gear.

We'd like to once again thank everyone for the past 20 years and look forward to the next 20! You can see Enjoy the Music.com's August Review Magazine at this link. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

 

Hi-Fi+ Magazine August Issue
Hi-Fi+ August 2015 MagazineEnjoy the Music.com has just posted HI-Fi+'s latest issue! This issue features headphone and portable audio gear including a review of the HiFiMan HE1000 headphones, Astell&Kern AK380, Audioquest Nighthawk headphones, Pendulumic Stance headphones, Audio Research Reference 75 amp, Linn Majik DSM integrated and much more. Within his editorial, Alan Sircom says "This must be one of the most oversubscribed issues we've had in terms of products from manufacturers. Where normally, we get maybe 15 or 16 products for the baker's dozen we publish, this time we received requests and products from dozens of brands, and we'll be clearing the backlog over the coming months. As such, we ended up reviewing such products in a strict first-come, first-served basis." See this issue of Hi-Fi+ here.

 

Hi-Fi World September Issue
HiFi World Magazine September 2015Enjoy the Music.com now features HI-FI World's September 2015 issue! Articles within this issue includes audiophile vinyl as Paul Rigby rounds up the latest audiophile releases plus reviews of the Epos K3 loudspeakers, Opera Mezza standmount loudspeakers, Pro-Ject CD Box RS/DAC Box RS CD transport/DAC combo, Ibasso D-Zero MK2 headphone amplifier, Beyerdynamic A200p headphone amplifier, Unison Research Unico Secondo amplifier, Atlas EOS 4DD power cable and much more. Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says "Funny that few in audio have realised that streaming is what the music business has long wanted, irrespective of this little spat, and it is what listeners have long resisted. With streaming you don't 'own' the music, you pay to hear it – then its gone. Music collection? A thing of the past, an anachronism. No shelves heaving with the weight of LPs or silver discs to use as beer mats. Nothing, nada." See the September issue of Hi-Fi World at this link.

 

 

 
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