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High-End Audio / Hi-Res Audio (HRA) Audiophile Industry News


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06 / 24 / 16

BitTorrent's New Co-CEOs Finally Unleash The Power Of The Bundle
BitTorrent's New Co-CEOs Finally Unleash The Power Of The BundleIn April of this year, the new Co-CEOs Jeremy Johnson and Robert Delamar of BitTorrent wanted to lead the company's growing media platforms. In 2011, what began as a prototype for a sustainable distribution platform for creators for direct-to-fan became something more in October 2013. Now, over 30,000 creators and more than 200 million fans use BitTorrent Bundle for on-demand music and video. BitTorrent supports Hi-Res Music, VR video, 360 photos, interactive content and much more. In October of 2013 Enjoy the Music.com published an article about this evolution of BitTorrent so artists can expand their reach to fans worldwide. It has just been announced that BitTorrent is accelerating their momentum in media and creative distribution. "When I first came to BitTorrent, Inc. I was inspired by the people, the culture, and the technology", said Jeremy Johnson, with Robert Delamar. "We are something very unique on the Internet – an artist-first, people-powered platform, focused on creativity and community rather than abundance. It was clear to me that this was a platform that deserved investment. By introducing ad-supported streaming for mobile devices – Android available now, iOS and Apple TV coming soon – BitTorrent Now is the first step toward creating an ever greater direct-to-fan platform. This is also our first step in creating truly awesome product experiences across mobile, television, and desktop platforms. So, why are we doing this? Because we believe we can help solve some of the most troubling problems facing creators in the digital age. The Internet has the promise of a direct connection between creators and fans. The ability to facilitate a dialogue and a collaboration. Yet, in the digital age, art has increasingly become commoditized. Existing platforms impose business models, format restrictions, algorithmic discovery; all of which are barriers between artists and fans... the creative vision and connection to fans is not a priority.

It doesn't have to be this way.

We believe we can help artists harness a powerful medium – the Internet – in a meaningful way. In a way that they can profit from distributing their work. In a way that empowers creators with data ownership and transparency. We believe art is about engagement, about connecting people. This is why we endeavour to build awesome experiences, to build platforms that allow creators to deliver the most engaging work possible. And to allow them to set the business model that best fits their unique work. And in a way that publishers can access and retain all consumer data. Engagement means transparency. And so following on the introduction of our live streaming app in May, we humbly submit our on-demand streaming apps for your consideration.

BitTorrent Now

This is your platform. This has been built with thanks to the open dialogue with our artist partners and their fans. And we encourage you to keep the feedback coming; it keeps us working hard to do better and better."

 

06 / 23 / 16

Astell&Kern AK70 Hi-Res Audio Player And AK T8iE II In-Ear Monitor
Astell&Kern AK70 Hi-Res Audio Player And AK T8iE II In-Ear MonitorAstell&Kern's new AK70 high-resolution portable audio player and AK T8iE 2nd generation in-ear monitor (IEM) have just been announced ($599 and $999 respectively). As the new entry-level portable hi-res player, the single DAC AK70 is the first Astell&Kern portable player to feature a digital line out via optical and USB. This allows users a range of options to connect their own favorite external DAC. A single Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC chipset supports up to 24-bit/192KHz PCM audio and up to double-rate 5.6MHz DSD (converted to PCM). There is 64GB of internal flash storage plus a single microSD card slot for up to 200GB of additional storage memory. Astell&Kern's new AK70 is DLNA 1.0 compatible, has Wi-Fi, supports OTA firmware updates, and can streaming music from other devices on the same network. Astell&Kern AK70 USB DAC can be connected to a Mac/PC to bypass internal sound card and output hi-res audio from your computer. The unit also fully supports Astell&Kern's CD-Ripper to allow you to rip music directly to the player without the need for a computer. Astell&Kern's new AK T8iE IEMs is a working partnership with Beyerdynamic yet is available exclusively through Astell&Kern. The new second generation AK T8iE updates the popular IEM with an new cable design. The AK T8iE features a concha design with the cable running over the ear, which has several advantages. A somewhat larger housing is necessary to accommodate the 11 millimeter Tesla driver inside. The oval-shaped concha molds sit very comfortably in the ear without any pressure. The cable is covered with Aramid, a strong and heat resistant synthetic fiber, for high durability that will stand up to long term use. The earbud itself is made of a proprietary composite with a three layer PVD coating and contains copper and chrome. Astell&Kern's AK T8iE features two cables, the first with a balanced 2.5mm four-pole jack for use with Astell&Kern players. Also included is a second cable with standard 3.5mm stereo jack for use with other portable players and cell phones. Five different sizes of these unique silicone tips are included as well as foam tips in S, M and L.

 

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 Report
T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 Report

Wireworld Cable Technology Audio Cable Polygraph Test

RIVA Audio Turbo X And Model S Bluetooth Speaker

ELAC's Andrew Jones Designed Debut And Uni-Fi Series Of Speakers

AURALiC ALTAIR, MERAK, And VEGA Review

Well Pleased Audio Vita
Diesis Audio, Angstrom Audio Lab, Aqua Acoustic Quality, Antipodes And Anticables.

Aurum Cantus, Wells Audio, Music Vault And Dana Cables

 

06 / 22 / 16

Gpinto ON Turntable Has Valve Pre, Amp, Plus Analog And Digital Inputs
Gpinto ON Turntable Has Valve Pre, Amp, Plus Analog And Digital InputsGpinto's ON turntable, created by Italian Giuseppe Pinto as an easy to use plug-and-play high fidelity turntable that handles virtually every function for ease of use, features virtually every type of input and uses a combination of vacuum tubes and solid-state amplification. As a play on the words On and Off, the ON turntable has a height of only 6.5 centimeters and is capable of managing all kind of sources including both analog and digital. It can be connected to computers with a USB cable and to portable devices (smartphones, tablets and digital music players) via a Bluetooth aptX audio receiver. It houses a valve preamplifier with dedicated power supply and you have a choice of amplification of 100, 250 or 500 watts. ON's multi-layer beech veneer deck uses veneer of first choice woods and is mated with a Corian plinth and platter. Great attention for materials, design, craftsmanship and technological research shines through as a carbon fiber tonearm. The phonostage has selectable gain for MM and MC cartridges, the Valve preamplifier has a dedicated power supply, and there are two unbalanced RCA analog inputs. Digital inputs include S/PDIF coaxial, two TosLink optical and one USB. The DAC can handle digital audio files up to 24-bit/192kHz. The latest currently available Bluetooth spec handles higher quality aptX audio. For the 100 watt model an MC board is optional, yet comes standard within the 250 and 500 watt models (€2999, €3999 and €4999 respectively).

 

06 / 21 / 16

REVIEW: McIntosh MC75 Monoblock Tube Amplifier And C22 Tube Preamplifier
<<< REWIND <<<
McIntosh MC75 Monoblock Tube Amplifier & C22 Tube Preamplifier
McIntosh's latest re-introduction of their classic audio components.
Review By Anthony Nicosia

 

Resolution Acoustics Foundation Series Acoustic Treatment System
Resolution Acoustics Foundation Series Acoustic Treatment SystemResolution Acoustics, manufacturer of patent-pending acoustic treatment systems, is pleased to announce their new Foundation Series of room acoustic devices. This entry-level system offers high value, with patent-pending technologies room the company's award-winning flagship Time & Space Series. "The goal of an acoustic room-treatment system is to clear room anomalies so that the electronics, speakers, and cables can shine through," said Bart Andeer, President of Resolution Acoustics. Like the Time & Space Series, the new Foundation Series components are proudly handcrafted in the USA. Resolution Acoustics' broadband diffusion / absorption system has been carefully designed to scramble reflected waves so that they do not remain coherent, leaving the reflected waves staggered in time. This weakening of the reflected waves will leave the direct wave from the speaker dominant while the weakened waves will add ambiance to the listening experience. Resolution Acoustics design philosophy has been to develop a balanced system of acoustic room treatments that will allow a high-quality audio system to reveal its full potential by taming the room's acoustic signature while maintaining a high level of aesthetic appeal. Handcrafted in the US, by selected artisans, our systems are designed to complement the room environment while providing stunning sound clarity and amazing definition without listening fatigue. Resolution Acoustics can work with your architect or interior designer to create a unique system for your home, as well as assist you, from conceptualization to final voicing and speaker positioning.

 

06 / 20 / 16

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 Report
T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 Report

Nothing For Sale Audio Room (NFS Audio)

Questyle Audio CMA600i And QP1R

Kyron Audio Kronos Open Baffle DSP Speaker System

 

06 / 18 / 16

Veracity Audio Mystra Class A Tubed 24-bit/192kHz And DSD128 DAC
Veracity Audio Mystra Class A Tubed 24-bit/192kHz And DSD128 DACVeracity Audio, a British innovator in high-end audio, has launched their Mystra digital to analog converter (starting at £3390) that decades upwards of 24-bit/192kHz and DSD128. Designed and hand-built to order in the Heart of England, a choice of custom levels and black or silver front panel finish. Veracity Audio's Mystra DAC is a true dual mono design with dual DAC architectures with dedicated 24-bit dual mono multi-bit conversion. There is a reconstruction filter offering playback of bitstream DSD64 and DSD128 natively and without digital processing. PCM is handled natively. Other features include analog auto-switching with incoming signal file format directing DSD to DSD reconstruction filter and PCM to parallel PCM only DACs. Both digital engines have a direct connection and share the single-ended triode valve analog stage on a 'one-at-a-time' basis. The Class A vacuum tube stages have a pair of 6SN7 dual triode for voltage driver and two ECC82 dual triodes for high current output driver. Digital inputs are two S/PDIF RCA coax, an optional AES/EBU via XLR or BNC, multi-format asynchronous USB. Analog preamplifier inputs and stereo unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR outputs are included. To precisely match the output of the DAC to any preamplifier or integrated amplifier, Veracity Audio's Mystra DAC is equipped with an analog volume control designed with non-inductive resistors controlled by relays with only two resistors in signal path at any level and R2R shunt operation. For digital-only systems, this volume control can facilitate direct connection to power amplifiers. Volume control and input selector operation is also remote controlled with a custom handmade handset. The Mystra DAC has a headphone output for 32 to 300 Ohm headphones with minimalist high current design that is connected directly from valve output to a solid-state driver that is capable of up to 250mA output. This headphone amplifier can drive virtually all dynamic driver headphones.

 

Bluetooth 5 Specification Provide 8x Data Rates Versus BT4
Bluetooth 5 Specification Provide 8x Data Rates Versus BT4Bluetooth 5.0 has been announced and will double the data speed and provide eight times the data broadcasting capability while quadrupling the wireless rage using the same amount of electrical / battery power. Created in 1994, Bluetooth technology was conceived as a wireless alternative to data cables by exchanging data using radio transmissions. This newly announced specification could easily bring Hi-Res Audio and Hi-Res Music via BT 5 to audio devices. Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) said this new specification will be available in late 2016 or early 2017, with BT 5 protocol also making Internet of Things (IoT) faster and more secure.BT5 will also help with sending and receiving data via a multitude of future wearable from watches to virtual reality devices. High-end audio could easily take advantage of the BT5 standardization and very high data transfer rates to offer wireless connection between digital audio devices, amplification, and loudspeakers including multi-channel electronic crossovers and multi-room devices. According to SIG, "One of the most popular applications for Bluetooth historically has been wireless audio — headsets and hands-free connectivity in cars to wireless speakers and headphones that stream music from your phone or tablet. This uses a version of Bluetooth called BR/EDR (bit rate/enhanced data rate) that is optimized for sending a steady stream of high quality data (i.e. music) in a power efficient way".

 

Order Now: Limited Edition Star Wars Hologram Vinyl LP
Star Wars Hologram Vinyl LPWalt Disney Records has finally released their new hologram vinyl version of the original motion picture soundtrack for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With score conducted and composed by five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams and liner notes by the film's director, J.J. Abrams, the double LP features a 16-page booklet on 180 gram vinyl. This one-of-a-kind vinyl set, hand etched by Tristan Duke (Jack White's Lazaretto) of Infinity Light Science, offers a 3D hologram experience featuring the Millennium Falcon on Disc 1/Side B and a TIE Fighter on Disc 2/Side B. For optimal viewing, use a direct light source or simply hold a mobile phone flashlight above the vinyl to view the holograms. Tristan Duke founded Infinity Light Science in 2008, a research laboratory with an emphasis on laser holography, interferometry, light-field imaging, hand-drawn holography, and relativistic imaging. The must-have vinyl album also features Direct Metal Mastering (DMM) for an optimal listening experience. Disney Music Group has joined forces with Pro-Ject Audio Systems to showcase this unique, next-level advancement in holographic vinyl technology with the Elemental turntable, a combination of minimalist design and maximum performance from the world leader in high fidelity turntables. The two brands will collaborate on co-promotions at retail, online, and radio. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2-LP hologram soundtrack is now shipping! The Star Wars hologram vinyl set is available for order right now on Amazon.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
La La Lets You Swap Used CDs With Others For Only $1

lala.com Swap your CDs for $1 each and support musical artists, but not the recording label. Website la la claims to have available 1.4 million titles from their collective members and will give back 20 cents of every CD to the musical artists. The site claims "...to reduce overhead in marketing costs across the industry, so artists can make more from selling their music." The site also says, "Every day, lala.com members are adding thousands of new titles, roughly the equivalent of 15 Wal-Mart stores worth of music. This translates into an unparalleled selection of music for lala.com members." Lala is able to work past the usual legalities of copyright and royalty payments by only allowing original CD discs to be traded. The Unites States based RIAA and worldwide IFPI, two organizations who use very strong legal tactics to those who do not pay various royalties, have not chimed in on this new effort.

 

06 / 17 / 16

The Absolute Sound's July / August 2016 Issue Is Now Available
The Absolute Sound July / August 2016Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the July 2016 issue of The Absolute Sound magazine! This issue features reviews of the Acoustic Signature Invictus turntable, Dragon Inspire IHA-1 headphone amplifier, Stax SR-L700 headphones, Basis Audio Superarm 9 tonearm, Brown Audio Labs SP-1B preamplifier, Phoenix Engineering Eagle PSU and Roadrunner Tachometer, Audience Ohno cable, Audience's svelte Ohno cables, WyWires Diamond cable, Transparent Audio XL Generation 5 cable, Monitor Audio Gold 300 loudspeaker, Audio Research Corporation GSi75 integrated amplifier, GoldenEar Technology SuperSub XXL subwoofer, and VooDoo Iso-Pod isolation system. A very special guest editorial by longtime reader titled Nothing Could Be Finer: An Ode to Liner Notes by Roy Midyett it says "Mention the words "liner notes" to anyone under the age of 40 and the response would be about the same as saying "curb feelers" or "slide rule." Except for the "seasoned" music enthusiast, liner notes have faded from the collective consciousness, replaced by iTunes, ear buds, and smart-phone screens. The hands that used to hold an album cover are now tapping out typos and bad grammar every 60 seconds. As the Compact Disc ascended in the 1980s (you remember the 80s: big hair, bad music), what passed for liner notes just weren't the same anymore. They were no longer accessible, and in most cases, not worth accessing. You had to dig them out of those jewel cases, then squint at the teensy font. They didn't make it easy on the writer or the reader. See what's within this issue of The Absolute Sound at this link.

 

T.H.E. Show Newport Reports 10,300 In Attendance
T.H.E. Show Newport Reports 10,300 In AttendanceBob Levi, President and CEO of Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society, has just announced the following: I am delighted to announce that our Newport Show had 10,300 unique visitors this year up from 8600 last year. Our show is now more than double the size of AXPONA in Chicago, the next largest show! The attendance of 10,300 is official! Like our Society now with over 2100 members, no high-end audio show has ever been this big, ever! Many thanks and warmest regards, Bob 

 

06 / 16 / 16

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 Report
T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 Report

Concert Fidelity Electronics And Maxonic Speakers

Kimber Kable And For You Single Ladies Out There...

Ayon Audio / USA Tube Audio Labs
Featuring Lumin White, Mastersound, Torus Power, Mark Levinson and Revel.

VPI Industries, EMM Labs, Merrill Audio, German Physiks, Stillpoints And GIK Acoustics

dCS, Dan D'Agostina Master Audio Systems, Wilson Audio, Stromtank and Nordost

Audio Note UK @ T.H.E. Show Newport 2016

Underwood Hifi With Emerald Physics And Core Power

Ocean Way Audio HR4 Midfield Monitors

 

Rhapsody International Pivots To Using Napster Branding
Rhapsody International Pivots To Using Napster BrandingIn hopes of spurring more brand recognition and expanding users, Rhapsody International Inc. is now pivoting to the brand name Napster. Rhapsody International has lost $35.5 million in 2015 as reported by their shareholder company RealNetworks. In 2015 Rhapsody's revenue was a mere $201.9 million. Napster is known as the original peer-to-peer music-sharing service that caused much mayhem due to freely sharing music between users. Napster P2P technology has been used by hundreds of millions of Internet users for everything from legal file sharing to illegal music, movie and program downloading. Rhapsody International Inc. is hoping that by using the highly recognized nameplate of Napster they will be become more prevalent within the inline marketplace. "The move is one of many steps we're taking to strengthen our global brand and better position the company for growth, said Rhapsody International Chief Executive Mike Davis. "Subscribers can keep enjoying their playlists, favorites and albums as usual, without interruption; they will automatically be brought in under the Napster name via auto updates in the app."

 

06 / 15 / 16

Acoustic Sciences Corporation's IsoThermal TubeTrap
Acoustic Sciences Corporation's IsoThermal TubeTrapAcoustic Sciences Corporation, manufacturer of the iconic TubeTrap, has recently added their IsoThermal TubeTrap ($549 each introductory price) that is said to deliver twice the bass absorption of an equivalent-sized TubeTrap between 30 and 250 Hz. Technically speaking, the IsoThermal TubeTrap is an isothermal-class RC time constant bass trap combined with the adjustable treble diffusion of our regular TubeTrap. Because of the dynamic performance of the IsoThermal TubeTrap, it is at home in a variety of venues giving you extended low end absorption and increased efficiency. You can use the unit within a home theater, high end listening room and recording studios. The ASC IsoThermal TubeTrap offers extended bass absorption below 250 Hz, treble diffusion (or absorption) above 250 Hz, and is great for controlling the phase add/cancel effects of the rear wall bounce. Acoustic Sciences Corporation's IsoThermal TubeTrap is available in a variety of sizes, each with their own absorptive properties. You get a 30 day, 100% satisfaction guarantee to ensure customer satisfaction.

 

06 / 14 / 16

Download CANADA Hi-Fi's June/July Issue For Free
CANADA Hi-Fi June / July 2016
Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the June / July 2016 issue of CANADA Hi-Fi+ magazine! This issue features articles including  Innovative Technology Products and Tech Toys, The Origins and History of Punk Music -- Part 3, Ultra High Definition TV -- More Than Resolution Product, plus high-end audio equipment reviews of the Bryston 483 (Cubed Series) amplifier, Gold Note Valore Plus 425 Turntable and PH-1 Phono Stage, plus ArtVibes Audio DaVinci loudspeakers. Within his editorial Turntables, Punk Music Plus Innovative Tech Products And Toys, Suave Kajko says " Summer weather is here in full swing and I've already had a couple of chances to hit the streets of our beautiful city of Toronto to visit several record shops. Bouncing from one record shop to another is always more fun on a summer afternoon and it seems that there are more record shops in this city than ever. What inspired these record shop visits? I recently picked up a new turntable -- the Italian-made Gold Note Giglio. This turntable is such a dramatic upgrade over my Clearaudio Concept table that it has got me listening to all my records again and constantly hunting for new ones. The fact that this is perhaps the most gorgeous looking table on the market makes me love it even more. Look out for a review of this table in an upcoming issue. In the meantime, please check out our review of the more affordable Gold Note Valore 425 turntable in this very issue." Se what's within this issue of of CANADA Hi-Fi+ and download the magazine for free!

 

06 / 13 / 16

Enjoy the Music.com Launches Dedicated Facebook Page
Enjoy the Music.com Launches Dedicated Facebook PageEnjoy the Music.com has just launched our dedicated Facebook page, which joins our dedicated social media pages including Twitter. Updates, music and more will be appearing within Facebook and Twitter plus we plan to have many fun giveaways too! You can be amongst the first to learn about our latest show coverage, high-end audio equipment reviews, and think pieces. "During our soft launch this past weekend we have already received hundreds of likes on our new Facebook page" said Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin. "As we celebrate our dedicated Facebook page, we're already planning a great contest to appear within our July Review Magazine issue." Facebook users can easily find us @EnjoyTheMusiccom and our Twitter account is @EnjoyTheMusic.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
ESS Technology Universal DVD Chip Handles Hi-Res Audio Formats

ESS TechnologyESS Technology has introduced a single-chip solution for what many are calling a "Universal DVD" player. Capable of decoding CD, DVD-Audio, DVD-Video, SACD, VCD, SVCD, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro-Logic, DTS decoding, and MP3, the new ESS ES4438 PMP chip provides two advanced embedded processors; a 32-bit RISC CPU for general system management and a 64-bit digital signal processor (DSP) for audio/video and graphics acceleration. Audiophiles will rejoice as full multi-channel 24-bit/192kHz decoding is supported. For the videophile, a built-in "SmartScan" capability offers de-interlace progressive scan for high-end video output. This feature supports Macrovision AGC version 1.03 for 480P. To see the complete specifications/press release, simply click here.

 

06 / 10 / 16

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 Report
T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 Report

T.H.E. Show Newport Opening Day Ceremony And Richard Beers Memorial

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 Marketplace Part 1
Darin Fong Audio, Quality Record Pressings, Acoustic Sounds, HDTracks, Checky Records, Noble Audio, and Linear Tube Audio.

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 Marketplace Part 2
Kimber Kable Axios, Comply, Audeze, Manley Labs, Magic Bus, and Sony Hi-Res Audio.

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 Marketplace Part 3
Nordost, The Absolute Sound, MrSpeakers, 64 Audio, and MIT Cables.

 

Capital Audiofest At The Hilton Washington From July 8th To 10th
Capital Audiofest 2016 Show ReportCapital Audiofest is the premier East coast audio show that you can count on to deliver great sound, enjoy thousands of dollars of high-end audio gear, audiophile music all within a truly fun experience. In 2016 CAF are also bringing into the spotlight the return of CanMania as an integral part of the overall event. Also look for huge giveaways that will attract more attendees! Taking place once again at the newly renovated Hilton Washington / Rockville from July 8th through 10th. Gary Gill, the promoter and owner of the Capital Audiofest, has announced an exciting promotion as one lucky audiophile will win a complete system worth over $12,000! "We have had a tradition of giveaways at all of our previous shows, it's always been a big crowd pleaser," said Gary. "After all who doesn't like free stuff But in the past it has been components and accessories; this year we'll be giving away an entire system! This is no lightweight system either, it consists of top notch components from VPI, Alta Audio and complete connection suite from Luminous Audio." The system includes Alta Audio's new Rhea speakers, VPI 299D Limited Edition integrated tube amplifier, VPI Scout Jr with Ortofon 2M red cartridge, and Luminous Audio connection package. Learn more about the Capitol Audiofest 2016 show here.

 

06 / 09 / 16

Hi-Fi+'s June 2016 Issue Features Many Audiophile Equipment Reviews
Hi-Fi+ June 2016 Issue 136Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the June 2016 issue of Hi-Fi+ magazine! This issue features reviews of the Mark Levinson 585 integrated amplifier with DAC, Audio Research Corporation Reference Phono 3 valve phonostage, Bowers & Wilkins 803 D3 floorstanding loudspeaker, Soulution Audio 520 full-function preamplifier, McIntosh C52 / MC301 full-function preamplifier and mono power amplifier, Fono Acustica Virtuoso loudspeaker cables, DS Audio DS-W1 optical cartridge and equaliser, Audio Alchemy DDP-1 / PS-5 / DPA-1, Teddy Padro i80a integrated amplifier, Roksan Audo PUG / VSC tonearm and phono stage / speed control for the Xerxes turntable, Audiomat Aria integrated valve amplifier, Sennheiser HD 630VB variable bass closed back headphones, plus Synergistic Research Grounding Blocks And Cables, Tranquility Base UEF, and Atmosphere system tuning components. Within his editorial, Alan Sircom says, "We started out on the theme of this issue with a simple goal – the best of the best. And naturally, when dealing with an industry that has seemingly no upper limit to its price structure, that can automatically translate to astronomical prices. While there are some products in this line-up that certainly fit that bill, in the process of compiling this flight into audio's stratosphere, we ended up with performance over price. Maybe it's a sign of some much-needed sanity hitting the upper tiers of the super high-end, but whenever we looked at something supremely expensive, something simply 'expensive' invariably sounded better. In some cases, the super-high-end was in performance only. While 'The Man on the Clapham Omnibus' might think anyone suggesting a £12,500 loudspeaker marks a return to sane prices is not themselves sane, stepping back from £125,000 loudspeakers and beyond makes such a price tag seem positively cheap!" See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ at this link.

 

Meridian Ultra DAC Includes Extensive Connectivity and MQA Decoding
Meridian Ultra DAC Includes Extensive Connectivity and MQA DecodingWith a combination of world firsts and innovative technologies positions, the new Meridian Ultra DAC ($23,000) seeks to be within a class of its own for Meridian Audio. As the culmination of nearly two decades of research and engineering according to Chief Technical Officer at Meridian, Richard Hollinshead, Meridian's Ultra DAC provides considerable connectivity options, user features, and format support. Incorporating an extensive list of performance-enhancing technologies, including Dual Mono DAC cards, DSP filter options, upsampling, and apodizing, the Meridian Ultra DAC is a dedicated unit utilizing Meridian's renowned audio expertise to set a new standard in the analogue realm. Connectivity options include USB 2.0, S/PDIF, TosLink, 75 ohm BNC, and AES3 on XLR, as well as Meridian's Speakerlink and the award-winning Sooloos music-management platform for the very best user-friendly experience. One pair of balanced and one pair of unbalanced analog outputs are also provided. As a 384kHz/24-bit dedicated DAC, other decoding options include DXD, DSD64 and DSD128 (DoP), and MQA. Significant user features are provided including LipSync, PC setup, and RS232, enabling integration with third-party systems such as Control4 or Crestron. The Ultra DAC is the first Meridian product to give users the option to select one of three upsampling filters when reproducing sources with a sample rate of 44kHz or 48kHz, such as CD or DAT. In addition, a dedicated clock card is included for the lowest possible jitter. The Ultra DAC is the first product in the world to include MQA Limited's Hierarchical Converter Technology, which employs multiple converters to increase temporal resolution while reducing noise and quantization errors. Another first for a Meridian product is the construction of the Ultra's Dual Mono DAC card, which incorporates multiple regulated power supplies and eight-layer circuit boards with low impedance ground-planes, for isolation and the low-noise grounding that is critical to digital audio accuracy. A fully linear power supply provides isolation from the AC supply, and DC-coupled output prevents degradation from AC coupling capacitors. Meridian's Ultra DAC front panel was designed for quiet operation, with non-ferrous construction, and a static LCD display chosen for its low electrical noise and ease of readability. The Meridian Ultra DAC is built by hand in the UK and is available in beautiful high gloss black as standard. Other color options are available using Meridian's Select bespoke color service ($1000).

 

06 / 08 / 16

Rage Against The Machine's Debut Album On Limited Edition Hybrid SACD
Rage Against The Machine's Debut Album On Limited Edition Hybrid SACDRage Against The Machine's debut album will be released on limited edition hybrid SACD. Mastered by Steve Hoffman and Stephen Marsh at Marsh Mastering for Marshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity, Rage Against The Machine's first album is a mix of punk, metal, hardcore and politically resonate rap. Every song is full of energy with smart lyrics and plenty of slam-dancing potential. In 1992, the band released its self-titled debut album, which became a commercial and critical success. The album went to #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, and #45 on the Billboard 200 chart. Rolling Stone magazine named it as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2001, Q magazine named it as one of the 50 Heaviest Albums Of All Time. This album is relentless, from the opening track "Bombtrack" all the way to the last blast of "Freedom," every tune is a highly explosive ball of energy, none of which is clearly superior to any of the others. The lyrics, while full of blunt and pure anger, are very passionate and well-written in the sense that they actually stand for something. This album like no other changed the landscape of 1990s music. The "guilty parties": Zack de la Rocha's vitriolic and angst-ridden words fueled by the heaviest rhythm section on the planet featuring drummer Brad Wilk and the exciting and dynamic bass of Timmy C and of course, RATM's signature sound, Tom Morello's belligerent, aggressive guitar riffs and turntable-esque noise that make this the best debut album of all-time. "Know Your Enemy" features Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan on additional vocals and also features Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins on trashcan percussion. The liner notes claim, "No samples, keyboards or synthesizers used in the making of this recording." This is, and always will be, considered Rage Against the Machine's most important work.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Secure Digital Music Initiative And Online Music Streaming
Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI)As we hinted at during yesterday's news about the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) dying, many major companies have walked away from the group as after years of discussion, no final format has been decided upon. With both political and technical underpinnings, it seems that the old saying is quite true; too many cook s spoil the broth. Flying in the face of this news, major electronics retailer Best Buy, who has already inked a deal with Liquid Audio, MTV and the House of Blues, has now added RioPort in their partnered venture to sell downloadable/streaming music online. Pricing should be around 99 cents to $1.99 for music single and $11.98 to $18.98 for an entire album. Speaking of the House of Blues, they will soon have the world's first 24 hour interactive music channel using Liberate Technologies' interactive TV software with the backend handled by RespondTV. This new service can be broadcast through both cable and satellite boxes that use middleware from Liberate, Microsoft, OpenTV, PowerTV, Sony and WorldGate. For now RespondTV only has a solid deal for distribution with AT&T Broadband.

 

06 / 02 / 16

T.H.E. Show Newport High-End Audio Event: Richard Beers Ceremony
T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 ReportFor those that can make it on June 3rd for the memorial ceremony, there will be an honor guard at 6.30pm in remembrance of Richards Beer's service to this country and for his many years of great service to the high-end audio community. A short speech about him will be done and then the honor guard services and from there a celebration of life will ensue after in the same location in T.H.E. Lounge (Hotel Pavilion). The Home Entertainment Show Newport (T.H.E Show) 2016 marks the sixth year of this informative, fun, and relaxing southern California event. T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 will be held at The Hotel Irvine in California from June 3rd through 5th, with a special VIP and Press Day on June 2nd. Visitors to T.H.E. Show Newport can visit the Headphonium exhibitors, the Marketplace, Vinyl, CD, and Accessories vendors all in one location-a giant 15,000 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom within the center of the Hotel Irvine. A very special event in 2016 is a memorial to Richard Beers, who was the President of T.H.E. Show and passed away this year. Attendees of T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 can enjoy gourmet food trucks, a giant high-end auto show, live entertainment day and night, wine tasting, and many more popular educational seminars orchestrated by the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society (LAOCAS). Of course you can enjoy our T.H.E. Show 2015 coverage here.

 

06 / 01 / 16

Enjoy the Music.com's June Review Magazine Is Now Available
Enjoy the Music.com's June issue of our Review Magazine brings two World Premiere high-end audio equipment reviews, a surprising bargain-priced $15 in-ear monitor that sounds great, a think piece by a member of the Grammy-winning band Mannheim Steamroller, and much more. With our coverage of AXPONA in Chicago and HIGH END in Munich now complete, we turn our attention this month to T.H.E. Show Newport. Please keep in mind not all articles and reviews appear below, so be sure to see our Review Magazine's main homepage to access them all.

 

T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 Report
T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 Report
The Home Entertainment Show Newport 2016

HIGH END 2016 Munich Audiophile Show Report
HIGH END 2016 Munich Audiophile Show Report

 

AXPONA 2016 Show Report
AXPONA 2016 Show Report (Audio Expo North America)

 


A Look At This Month's Issue
I used to believe that there were two types of audiophiles.
Editorial By Tom Lyle

 


Is It Live, Or Is It... Better?
Roger Skoff writes about listening to music both ways.
Article By Roger Skoff

 

I Asked Eighth Graders Fifteen Questions About Music Their Answers Were Astounding Article By Christy Crowl Of ProMusicDB.org
I Asked Eighth Graders Fifteen Questions About Music
Their answers were astounding!
Article By Christy Crowl Of ProMusicDB.org

 

GldenEar Technology Triton Three+ ReviewG
World Premiere!
GldenEar Technology Triton Three+ Floorstanding Speaker
One speaker to rule them all.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Markaudio-Sota Viotti One Review
World Premiere!
Markaudio-Sota Viotti One Stand-Mounted Speaker
Beauty for the eyes and ears!
Review By Clive Meakins

 


Bereran KZ-ATE In Ear Monitors (IEMs)
I bought two more pair!
Review By Tom Lyle

 


<<< REWIND <<<
Ortofon 2M Mono SE MM Phono Cartridge
The future is mono!
Review By Clive Meakins

 

Hands-On Review Of The Dynaco ST-70 And ST-1
World Premiere!
Hands-On Review Of The Dynaco ST-70 And ST-1
Dynaco, a legendary nameplate, is back in action with a new ST-70!

 

05 / 28 / 16

Hi-Fi World's July 2016 Issue Features Many Hi-Fi Reviews
Hi-Fi World July 2016 IssueEnjoy the Music.com has just posted the July 2016 issue of Hi-Fi World magazine! This issue features reviews of the Martin Logan Renaissance ESL 15A, Dali Opticon 2, Unison Research Unico, ExogalComet DAC, T+A PA 2000 R, Icon Audio hHP8 MKII, Blue Aura v40 Blackline, Kennerton Magister, Oracle Paris MKV, Van den Hul MC-One Special and more. Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says, "We were surprised to learn Bowers & Wilkins have been sold to new owners, if less so that Tannoy's Coatbridge plant will close, something that has been on the cards for months since Behringer's Music Group took over last year. Since both are global brands with a valued customer base I doubt they will be diminished, so much as re-structured. Tannoy design is likely to take place in Manchester with product being built in China. I've seen big Wharfedales being built by five men at a time in IAG's Shenzhen factory – and a very good job they made of it too. Music Group specialise in professional audio so they could spin Tannoy off: just look at what happened to Bentley, Rolls Royce and Mini. Germany excels in this sort of thing." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World at this link.

 

05 / 27 / 16

Pre-Order Now: Limited Edition Star Wars Hologram Vinyl LP
Star Wars Hologram Vinyl LPWalt Disney Records is set to release a new hologram vinyl version of the original motion picture soundtrack for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With score conducted and composed by five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams and liner notes by the film's director, J.J. Abrams, the double LP features a 16-page booklet on 180 gram vinyl. This one-of-a-kind vinyl set, hand etched by Tristan Duke (Jack White's Lazaretto) of Infinity Light Science, offers a 3D hologram experience featuring the Millennium Falcon on Disc 1/Side B and a TIE Fighter on Disc 2/Side B. For optimal viewing, use a direct light source or simply hold a mobile phone flashlight above the vinyl to view the holograms. Tristan Duke founded Infinity Light Science in 2008, a research laboratory with an emphasis on laser holography, interferometry, light-field imaging, hand-drawn holography, and relativistic imaging. The must-have vinyl album also features Direct Metal Mastering (DMM) for an optimal listening experience. Disney Music Group has joined forces with Pro-Ject Audio Systems to showcase this unique, next-level advancement in holographic vinyl technology with the Elemental turntable, a combination of minimalist design and maximum performance from the world leader in high fidelity turntables. The two brands will collaborate on co-promotions at retail, online, and radio. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2-LP hologram soundtrack will be shipping on June 17, 2016. The Star Wars hologram vinyl set is available for pre-order right now on Amazon.

 

 

Schiit Audio Explains Why They Are Currently Not Supporting MQA
Schiit Audio Explains Why They Will Not Offer MQA SupportSchiit Audio has announced that they would not be supporting MQA, a proprietary and perhaps lossy compression audio format claiming "studio quality sound you can stream or download." Schiit Audio feels that it is important to support its customers – and potential customers – by clarifying the company's position on MQA, so that they may choose another DAC provider that backs the format, if they feel it is important to them. "Although there are still many questions to be answered about MQA, we feel we know enough to make a decision," said Jason Stoddard, Schiit's Co-Founder. Stoddard outlined the primary reasons: 

1. We believe that supporting MQA means handing over the entire recording industry to an external standards organization. MQA wants:

• Licensing fees from the recording studios
• Licensing fees from the digital audio product manufacturers
• Hardware or software access/insight into the DAC or player 
• Subscription fees from every listener via Tidal, and/or royalties from purchases of re-releases by the recording industry

2. Our experience with standards-driven industries is sub-par. Consider the surround market. Companies making surround processors now have to support a dizzying array of different standards, none of which is a market differentiator, and the exclusion of any single standard can mean commercial failure. The result is a market in which competition is stifled and consumers are confused.

3. We don't believe MQA is a differentiator for high-end DACs if it is available on phones. Consider SRS, the Sound Retrieval System, as an instructive example. Before being acquired by DTS, it claimed to be on "over a billion devices." However, there is little evidence any consumers considered SRS a must-have, differentiating technology.

4. We consider MQA to be yet another "format distraction" that makes high-end audio more confusing and insular. This is a reflection of our position in the market – nearly 1/3 of our revenue is from $99 and under products, and we have one of the youngest customer bases in the industry. It is our experience that when someone starts getting into great audio, they just want a product that will make their current music sound better, rather than one that requires additional investment in streaming subscriptions or new releases.

5. We feel that, even from a market perspective, many questions need to be answered. When will we see MQA on Tidal? At what cost? What percentage of the library will be MQA? How many releases should we expect to see from Warner in the next 12 months? What will be the cost? Again, a historic example may be cautionary. Consider Sony and DSD. DSD is a Sony technology that they promoted, and yet they released very few recordings in DSD.

 

Mike Moffat concurred, saying, "In addition to the market questions outlined by my partner, there are many performance questions (about MQA) that cause great concern. Actual decoded bit depth for both MQA and non-MQA DACs, claims of 'lossless,' the need for MQA to tweak their decode algorithm for a specific DAC (and their ability to perform this optimization on-schedule for a DAC manufacturer who might be, well, a little smaller than HTC,) the impact on the DAC manufacturer's own proprietary technology and product development, and the impact on the DAC manufacturer's own competitiveness."

Moffat further opined that Schiit Audio considers the further development of in support of the primary 16-bit/44.1kHz PCM format to be of the most value to its customers, citing extremely strong sales of Schiit Audio's multi-bit DAC products, and the positive reception to its "DACs for the music you have, not the music you have to buy," message. Asked if there was any chance Schiit Audio might support MQA if it became the dominant format in the market, Moffat answered, "If it becomes the dominant audio technology, or even a very popular second-place format, we would have to evaluate it in the same way we evaluate other lossy compression standards, such as home theater surround formats, Bluetooth codecs, and MP3 variants."

Addition comments not within the above press release:
"For the record, I've repeatedly asked MQA to send me their encoding and a decoding device/software so I can make an independent study on its transparency, etc," said Steven R. Rochlin, Creative Director for Enjoy the Music.com. "Over the past many months MQA has repeatedly refused my request. Having an independent third party familiar with compression techniques would benefit both MQA and those who may use this technology. This will enable everyone to have a better understanding of it's strengths and weaknesses versus other compression techniques such as widely used lossless FLAC."

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
mp3PRO Format Splits Digital Audio Signal In Two For Higher Quality Audio
mp3PROAs Microsoft's streaming audio Windows Media File is audibly better than the the same file like-encoded by mp3, the Fraunhofer Institute of Germany has now officially released the new mp3PRO format. While Enjoy the Music.com was among the first to report on this new venture between electronics manufacture Thompson and the Fraunhofer Institute in January, the new mp3PRO format claims to provide virtually the same audio quality of normal mp3 audio files, yet at approximately half the file size. mp3PRO audio technology is both backwards and forwards compatible with current mp3 decoders. Think of it like an mp3 version of the popular audiophile CD format HDCD. New, more advanced psychoacoustics techniques are employed to ensure the perception of high-quality music, yet at file sizes upwards of 1/10th that of 16-bit/44.1 kHz compact disc. To quote the Thompson website "...mp3PRO encoder splits audio recordings into two parts. One part analyzes the low frequency band information and encodes it into a normal mp3 stream. This allows the encoder to concentrate on less information and allows it to do a better job of encoding. This also maintains complete compatibility on old mp3 players. The second part analyzes the high frequency band information and encodes it into a part of the mp3 stream that is normally ignored by old mp3 decoders. New or upgraded mp3PRO decoders will tap into this part of the stream and put the two bands back together, resulting in the full audio bandwidth." Bringing things back to 2016, you can still freely download and use the mp3PRO encoding software at this link.

 

05 / 26 / 16


Is It Live, Or Is It... Better?
Roger Skoff writes about listening to music both ways.
Article By Roger Skoff

 

05 / 25 / 16

Enjoy the Music.com Celebrates Our 200th Report
Enjoy the Music.com Celebrates Our 200th Report
High-end audio site marks the industry's most extensive show coverage online.

Enjoy the Music.com is celebrating our 200th combined music event and show report online! This celebration continues highlighting our site's 20th anniversary and ability to deliver as an innovative industry leader at providing key information within the high-end audio industry to a worldwide audience. From legacy web pages and video reports to live streaming events, no other audiophile magazine within the consumer electronics industry has innovated to such a high degree while seamlessly integrating the most modern technologies to empower and educate a global audience. Our goal is to enrich the lives of music lovers with a message that resonates with their lifestyle. Read More

 

05 / 24 / 16

Pro-Ject The Classic Turntable Mates Classic And Modern Techniques
Pro-Ject The Classic TurntablePro-Ject Audio Systems is very proud to present their The Classic turntable for the company's 25th anniversary celebration (€950 with standard cartridge and € 999 with the 2M Silver version). Heinz Lichtenegger started his turntable career close to 40 years ago and their new The Classic uses a compact, simple and elegant frame design established by manufacturers in the 1950s. As with Pro-Ject's famous Debut model, they wanted to create an easy-to-use plug & play product, but with better sound due to enhanced isolation techniques. Thanks to the modern damping materials such as TPE (Thermo Plastic Elastomers), they are able to design a very effective subchassis construction. Isolating the platter and tonearm from the resonances of the motor and main plinth is the aim. The platter of The Classic is precisely machined out of a special aluminum alloy, again with TPE included, which offers special damping abilities. This turntable's subplatter and main bearing construction are similar to Pro-Ject's Debut. It's hardened steel, bronze-bushing, and teflon-bearing mirror resulting in a very smooth low noise running of the bearing. The main difference to the Debut bearing is the tolerances, which are lower by a factor of 10 and therefore more precise (0.005%). A very sophisticated part, the subplatter, is accurately machined and guarantees very good isolation between bearing noise and the platter itself. The radical, newly-designed Classic Tonearm is the result of 25 years of experience in mechanical construction. The tonearm tube is made out of a sandwich of carbon and aluminum: carbon for stiffness and speed, and aluminum for better damping. The carbon bearing assembly with its pin-point Zircon bearing provides ultra-low friction. A new expensive Japanese base ball bearing allows a better lead of the tonearm wire and increases the free movement of the tonearm. The counterweight incorporates a TPE damper which allows us to reduce the amplitude of the tonearm cartridge resonance frequency by 50%. Included with Pro-Ject's The Classic turntable is an Ortofon 2M (Silver for upgrade) moving magnet cartridge. This Silver version is a cartridge exclusively designed for Pro-Ject Audio Systems by Ortofon. We improved the sound and dynamics of the recognized 2M series by implementing pure silver coils instead of standard copper. However, as the tonearm offers excellent damping and flexibility as well, its effective mass can be called middle heavy, so it is also a very good partner for MC cartridges.

 

 

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