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High-End Audio, High Fidelity Audiophile Industry News


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07 / 28   to   07 / 31

 

07 / 27 / 15

Enjoy the Music.com's 20 Year Anniversary
Enjoy the Music.com's 20 Year Anniversary
We get by with a little help from our friends.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

20 Questions To Enjoy the Music.com's Editor And Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin
Let's Play The Game 20 Questions
20 questions to Enjoy the Music.com's Editor and Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin

 

There's None So Blind...
There's None So Blind...
Roger Skoff writes about writing on the Internet.
Article By Roger Skoff

 


Enjoy the Music.com Wants You To Celebrate Our 20th Anniversary!
Industry luminaries help us celebrate the past 20 years.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Ayon Audio Crossfire EVO Monoblock Power Amplifier
World Premiere!
Ayon Audio Crossfire EVO Monoblock Power Amplifier
An amazingly rich, tuneful sound with tonal balance.
Review By Wojciech Pacuła

 

07 / 26  / 15

Little British Monitor Kit Is An Easy DIY Project
Little British Monitor Kit Is An Easy DIY ProjectLittle British Monitor kit ($400 per pair, $75 for small stands) is a small two-way speaker system designed by designer Simon Ashton, who spent the last six months developing a high performance yet tiny desktop speaker. Little British Monitor is an active, amplified speaker with a wired analog input and wireless aptX Bluetooth. Utilizing the same high-end design and construction techniques found within professional monitors and audiophile speakers, this kit is an excellent project for anyone interested in hardware, electronics and sound. The small size, pre-assembled circuit and lack of dangerous voltages mean this is suitable for all skill levels. This is a very easy DIY project and Simon Ashton will be publishing a video guide on building them. LBM's cabinet is made with real wood veneer from American Black Walnut or European Oak plus includes special Little Feet. The Tweeter has low distortion whilst a 3" midrange/woofer driver is claimed to move twice as much air as other drivers of similar size due to having long throw capability. On the rear of the cabinet are a volume control, boundary switch for flat or -3dB bass, input/Bluetooth switch, a 3.5mm stereo input jack, power switch and power connector for the external power supply. Overall frequency response is from 50Hz to 20kHz.

 

07 / 25 / 15

Van Morrison Another Glorious Decade On DVD
Van Morrison Another Glorious Decade On DVDSet to be released in mid September is Van Morrison Another Glorious Decade on DVD ($19.95). Directed by Tom O'Dell, The Glorious Decade celebrates the man and musicianship of Van Morrison. During the late 1970s Van Morrison reappeared after several years on hiatus, a period during which he had gone from being one of the world's biggest stars to a memory from rock n roll's past. During this period music had moved on and so his eventual return he knew his music had to also change. "Morrison was a transformed figure: teetotal and motivated, but also garrulous and confrontational" says the press release. Over the following years he embarked on a journey and sought to find independence as artist and explore spirituality in his music. Van Morrison Another Glorious Decade covers this special journey. Using rare archive, live and studio footage plus new interviews with many of those who worked with Van across the decade are covered by this program. You get a rare glimpse into the world of this very private and celebrated musician, performer and writer.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)Online sales are gaining on their brick and mortar counterpart. According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the trade association representing more than 2000 corporate members involved in electronics worldwide and whose members account for more than $121 billion in annual sales, "Online shoppers surveyed reported better customer loyalty than those who make consumer electronics purchases in person. The survey appears to show that 52% claim store brand loyalty in online shopping versus only 37% of brick and mortar shoppers. With more than 1000 United States adults surveyed by CEA, online CE shoppers report higher satisfaction with online purchasing. The CEA survey also found that consumers who buy consumer electronics products online spend 67% more each year than those who don't. "Consumer electronics devices today are found in more American homes than are automobiles," said Joe Bates, director of research at CEA. "CE products have become ubiquitous, and play a key role in almost every aspect of our lives. As a result, consumers will naturally gravitate towards a convenient means of purchase that makes them feel as though they have made a fair, well-informed decision in a setting that is easy to reach and work with."

Other interesting facts from non-CEA sources say that Q4 2004 shows online sales achieving $22.34 billion, with 10 million Americans purchasing digital content, 50 million people using PayPal, and e-commerce to grow to $142.5 billion in 2005 to reach an estimated $316 billion by 2010.

 

07 / 24 / 15

Impex Records Incredible-Sounding Three Blind Mice Box Set
Impex Records Incredible-Sounding Three Blind Mice Box SetImpex Records, plus its progenitor Cisco Music, enjoys the support and recorded music of Three Blind Mice of Japan. Its owner, Takeshi "Tee" Fujii has formed a close business relationship with Cisco Music's president David Fonn and together Impex Records have licensed and produced the best-sounding and most-loved TBM titles on 33 and 45 rpm LP, compact disc and ultimate quality 24K gold compact disc. Now, through an arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment Japan, Impex Records is proud to announce the release of all-new 24K gold CDs of four audiophile favorites of the TBM canon: Blow Up, Midnight Sugar, Misty, and A Whisper of Love. In addition, the long-absent and highly sought-after Three Blind Mice 45 Box is once again available in glorious analog sound! Impex is delivering these definitive and amazing recordings all wrapped in stylish new packaging with exclusive photos from the Sony Japan. To create the Three Blind Mice 45 Box, Impex was fortunate to have at their disposal the original cutting stampers, thereby preserving the uncanny verisimilitude of the original Cisco 45 rpm analog audio recordings. Impex re-imagined the Cisco heavy board box with newly-scanned and color-corrected images, reset type and heavier box stock. Spot gloss coating pulls the listener's eyes closer into the images. Finishing off our deluxe package is a fold out insert with photographs and an exciting new essay by music expert and radio personality Tom Schnabel (Rhythm Planet, KCRW, Los Angeles). A special four Gold CD package features designs in Impex's "hardcover book-style" digipaks. Mr. Schnabel’s essay, a message from Tee Fujii and the aforementioned photographs are included. By using the original analog and high-resolution digital sources and prodigious talent of mastering engineer Kevin Gray along with Impex's own Robert "Mr. Record" Pincus), Impex has preserved as closely as possible the exquisite detail, vast soundstage and dynamic range and aural color of recording and mix engineer Yoshihiko Kannari's legendary you-are-there sessions. Impex Records feel that they have successfully recaptured Tee Fujii's aural vision for a supreme Japanese jazz music. A vision they feel has never been equaled.

 

Music School Online: Learn To Play Music From Professionals
Music School Online: Learn To Play Music From ProfessionalsDo you have a musician in the family or you want to learn how to play an instrument? Do you want to be taught by a seasoned professional within the comforts of your home at a reasonable price? If so, then you need to check out Ken Lewis' incredible Music School Online! Music School Online is highly recommended by Editor and Creative Director of Enjoy the Music.com, Steven R. Rochlin too. Ken Lewis launched Music School Online (MSO), which is sister site to Audio School Online that provides you the skills to produce, engineer, become a beatmaker, or artist with the tools and training you need to record, edit, and mix your music and improve your recording studio skills and techniques. So who is Ken Lewis you ask. Ken is a seven time Grammy nominee, with credits on over 75 gold and platinum records, 60 #1 records and 42 total Grammy nominations and winners. He has produced for Eminem, Kanye West, Ariana Grande, Ciara, Future, John Legend, J Cole, Skrizzly Adams and countless others. Ken's mix credits include Kanye, Wu Tang Clan, Jeremih & 50 Cent, Sean Paul, Justin Bieber, Usher and countless others while he's earned musician and arranging credits for artists such as Drake, Lana Del Rey, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys, and countless others. Getting back to Music School Online, Ken Lewis is joined by other professional musicians to teach you how to play your fave instrument right in the comfort of your home. Each online lesson will show you step-by-step the skills (to build upon) to play music. As you progress through the lessons, your musical talent will shine as you build on the fundamentals needed to master playing music. Music School Online keeps it fun and you learn to play some of the most popular songs you hear on the radio today. It doesn't matter is you are a newbie or seasoned pro, as odds are there is something from every musician to learn on the site. And remember, if you want the skills to record and master your music, don't forget to visit Ken Lewis' Audio School Online too! As always, in the end what really matters is that you... enjoy the music. You can see Enjoy the Music.com's interview with Ken Lewis during our CES 2015 live stream at this link.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
NapsterD-Day finally came for Napster as yesterday at a hearing in Federal District Court in San Francisco, Chief Judge Marilyn Hall Patel has issued an injunction which will shut down many key operations of online music file swapping provider Napster. The judge also declined to stay her own injunction which would give Napster's attorneys time to submit an emergency stay and keep Napster's key operations working. This basically means that Napster will be fully shut down on Friday at Midnight PT. The immensely popular Napster already has approximately 22 million users and valued at $64.5 million as of May.

And now some statistics from 15 years ago...
Of the top 20 web retailers for June 2000, according to a PC Data Survey, Amazon.com ranked #1 with almost 16 million users of which 9.3% bought goods. Concert and event ticket supplier Ticketmaster ranked #2 with only almost 5 million users yet 12.7% bought from them. CDNow ranked #6 with approximately 6 million users of which 5.5% bought goods. Meanwhile RealNetworks, makers of RealAudio/RealVideo and other streaming media products, ranked 16 with over 12 million users though only 1.2% of visitors spent their hard earned cash with them.

According to a recent article (in July 2000) by Nora Isaac, Liquid Audio (worth $264 million) has garnished over 12,000 client downloads per week as they offer one of the only mainstream secure music download formats. While online music sales reached $1 million in 1999, it is estimated that it will reach to upwards of $1.1 billion in 2003. In contrast, with CD music sales at $16 for each CD means that the actual musicians receive only $1 of the sale. If a musician sells a CD-equivalent on the EMusic site for only $8.99 the musicians receive $3.30. Online Music companies seem to be thriving as Liquid Audio's first quarter of 2000 net revenue was $3 million, EMusic's was $450,000 and heavy hitter MP3.com was $17.5 million.

 

07 / 23 / 15

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. and CE Week 2015. 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 14th to 16th, 2015
California Audio Show 2015 Report
Westin Hotel
Millbrae, California
Add this event to your calendar.

 

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.

 

Genesis Advanced Technologies 2.3 Loudspeaker System
Genesis Advanced Technologies 2.3 Loudspeaker SystemGenesis Advanced Technologies is now offering their 2.3 as the result of nearly 25 years of development of the company's line-source loudspeaker technology. It embodies the belief of Genesis Chief Designer and CEO Mr. Gary Leonard Koh that with current technology, the line-source is the closest we can get to an ideal loudspeaker. "The Genesis 2.3 is the ultimate living room party loudspeaker," said Mr. Koh. "It sounds as good standing up as when sitting down, and is not too loud up close or too soft much further away. You could be almost anywhere in the room or even hanging out just outside the door and enjoy the music." The current Genesis Series-2 loudspeaker has been improved over the previous generation launched nearly eight years ago primarily in the area of lowering coloration in order to hear through to the music. A new Genesis Ring Radiator Ribbon Tweeter (R3T) has lower distortion and wider dispersion up to 40kHz. The structure of the 48" ribbon midrange unit has also been strengthened and improved to further reduce distortion. As most rooms are acoustically asymmetric, separate left and right Servo-Controlled bass Amplifiers (SCAmps) are provided – with two channels per woofer tower. Improved power supplies from the development of the Genesis Reference Amplifier Series II have been incorporated in the SCAmp resulting in more impactful bass. Structurally, the constraint-layer-damped composite sandwich that was designed during the development of the G-Force loudspeaker now reduces resonance in the cabinets. This improves the "launch blackness" of the mid/high frequencies making music sound like it is coming from a quieter background. The Genesis 2.3 loudspeaker system comprises a pair of midrange/tweeter 'wings', a pair of woofer towers, a pair of Servo-Controlled bass Amplifiers, and connecting cables and accessories. It is custom built in virtually any finish including carbon-fiber, rosewood and high-gloss black. For those wondering the costs, the price is on application.

 

Double Helix Cables Eidolic TeCu 2-Pin In-Ear Monitor Connector
Double Helix Cables Eidolic TeCu 2-Pin In-Ear Monitor ConnectorDouble Helix Cables new Eidolic Tellurium Copper (TeCu) 2-pin in-ear monitor connectors are their new industry standard for durable and functional IEM cables. Featuring a complete re-engineering of the popular 2-pin and MMCX connection types, Eidolic has solved the durability and fit issues that have plagued the hobbyist-grade connectors currently being sold today. These new connectors allow with the skill to build durable custom cables for in-ear monitors that use the 2 pin connection. Eidolic in the industry's reference-grade IEM plug with the first tellurium copper-pin CIEM connector design that is said to have "nearly quadruple the conductivity rating of the standard brass CIEM plug" says Double Helix Cable. Unique styling marks this connector as the furthest evolution of the IEM connector. Made of media-blasted aluminum rod stock lathed to Double Helix Cables' specifications, there is a beautiful dark gray Eidolic logo and decorative ring on each barrel. The Eidolic TeCu IEM plug easily catches the eye with a black blasted/anodized finish and a blood-red Eidolic logo. Inside each barrel is a ridge stop that maintains the position of the 2 pin or MMCX insert so that it stays put in the proper orientation when assembled and glued. Colored elastic rings are included and nest in the barrel's engraved ring as an optional left/right label. The company's choice of tellurium copper is 93% as conductive as pure copper, while being a strong, durable and machinable metal suitable for audio connectors. With 0.78mm pins, this model fits the vast majority of IEMs - past, present, and future - including extruded, recessed, angled, and flush sockets, with excellent ergonomics in all cases. This connector is a perfect fit for Noble, JH Audio, 1964Ears, and many more. See Enjoy the Music.com's world premiere review of the Double Helix Cables Symbiote Fusion 4 and Symbiote SP 8 CIEM cable at this link.

 

07 / 22 / 15

Aries Cerat Kassandra II DAC Plays 24-bit/384kHz Digital Audio
Aries Cerat Kassandra II DAC Plays 24-bit/384kHz Digital AudioAries Cerat Kassandra II DAC (€18,000, with an upcoming 285 lbs. Signature Limited Edition at €55,000) has a staggering 16 R2R converters per channel and a complimentary current output. Top grade AD1865N-K chips ensure the 8 converters per bank (16 per channel) decode digital audio signals with extreme accuracy. There are eight ultra-low-noise regulators plus extensive local decoupling using tuned LC filters to deliver clean electrical power to the internal circuitry. Over-engineered power supplies and power input filters are joined by eight toroidal transformers with over 2.5 Farad total system capacitance. An internal 'Super-Clock' keeps jitter at nearly vanishing levels. Within the analog output stage is a special transformer-loaded super tube output stage using the E280F. Unbalanced RCA analog output is standard, with balanced XLR being optional. USB input handles digital audio signals up to 24-bit/384kHz. Getting back to the DAC chips, the 16 converters are working in current mode, and use an I/V transformer so that the current differential is converted in single-ended voltage output. There are no resistors or OpAmps in the I/V conversion stage. The analog stage is implemented by a single-ended transformer coupled triode stage using a E280F, which is loaded by a step-down output transformer. The tube's grid is driven by the secondary of the I/V transformer via an adjustable bias supply. The tube power supply is an oversized choke regulated supply, making sure that the tube is up to the task of following the converter's dynamics. Furthermore, the step-down transformer reduces the output impedance to 40 Ohms, with a maximum swing @ full scale of 30Vpp sine wave (10Vrms). Extensive use of 35 LC filters, implemented using RF chokes and high speed capacitors, decouple all digital circuits, ICs, etc. from the power rails to eliminate PSU sources jitter. Aries Cerat's Kassandra II DAC will soon be available in a Signature version (to be launched shortly).

 

07 / 21 / 15


CE Week 2015 Show Report By Enjoy the Music.com Is Now Online
CE Week 2015 Show Report by Enjoy the Music.comCE Week 2015, held by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), was held in New York City from June 22nd through the 26th. As one of NYC's largest technology shows for the industry, more than 3000 attendees had an advanced look at some of the hottest tech and trends. Attendees could meet tech influencers who drive mass awareness about innovations within the consumer electronics sector. CE Week's audience is a combination of press, retailers, and analysts plus investors and other thought leaders. See our CE Week 2015 show report at this link.

 

Limited Edition Rega Turntable Celebrates Rock Band Queen
Limited Edition Rega Turntable Celebrates Rock Band QueenThe Sound Organisation via Rega will be producing a special turntable that celebrated the legendary rock band Queen ($650). Produced strictly as a limited edition, this fully licensed turntable will coincide with the release of the Queen's 18 piece 180 gram vinyl LP box set containing all 15 hit studio albums sourced from the original master tapes. Mastered by Bob Ludwig and cut at Abbey Road studios, this quintessentially English release can be played on a turntable that is also British and is influenced by the Rega RP1. Rega's Queen limited edition turntable features a custom designed high gloss black acrylic laminated plinth that is silk screened with a gold Queen by Rega logo. Each turntable includes a hand built RB101 tonearm and is fitted with Rega's Carbon moving magnet cartridge, which has been designed specifically for the RB101 tonearm. A low noise, low vibration 24V synchronous high performance motor ensures the platter rotates quietly and at a constant speed. The included dust cover also has a special badge. The silk-screened Queen Crest platter is from artwork created by Freddie Mercury. There will be only 2000 turntables available for sale, with 200 heading to the United States of America market and available exclusively through The Sound Organisation's authorized Rega dealers. Rega's Queen turntable will be available for sale in late September and preorders are being taken now. The very special 18 piece Queen 180 gram vinyl box set is sold separately through Virgin EMI Records.

 

07 / 20 / 15

MB&F MusicMachine 3 Mechanical Music Box
MB&F MusicMachine 3 Mechanical Music Box
Join the dark side with this limited edition mechanical music box.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Win A Walk On Role In The Upcoming Star Trek Movie
Win A Walk On Role In The Upcoming Star Trek Movie
You can boldly go where no one else has gone before!
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

W Motors Lykan Hypersport
W Motors Lykan Hypersport
The world's fastest and most advanced truly limited production hypercar.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

q-JAYS Reference Universal Fit Dual-Driver In-Ear Monitors
q-JAYS Reference Universal Fit Dual-Driver In-Ear Monitorsq-Jays Reference ($450) universal fit in-ear monitors is the company's new top-of-the-range model and features two drivers, one for low frequencies and one for midrange / highs. The company's advanced audio engineering includes employing various state-of-the-art development techniques such as metal injection molding, CNC and laser cutting. q-JAYS' curved solid one-piece housing is made by metal injection molding stainless steel. This, along with CNC machining and laser-cutting allowed them to create a precise and high tolerance IEM while keeping size at a minimum. The stainless steel parts are completed by applying a proprietary physical vapor deposition modification to q-JAYS surface finish. This is claimed to be one of the toughest coatings within the industry, which binds vaporized metal particles with the stainless steel surface on molecular level to create its signature solid matt black, scratch-resistant surface. Dual balanced armature drivers are made as the company seeks to offer the most accurate earphones possible. The crossover filter blends the output of the dedicated woofer driver with the midrange / tweeter driver and is free from time and phase shifts. This results in "a well-balanced sound with incredible clarity, high-transient speed and timing" says q-JAYS. Positioned inside the sound tube and in front of the balanced armatures as a part of the acoustic system, q-JAYS tailor-made acoustic filter "washes off" any sharp sibilance, leaving clean and smooth highs with stunning details. q-JAYS Reference features threaded, removable and easy to clean filters machined from solid aluminum with 55 precise laser-cut holes within a two millimeter diameter area. As part of the acoustic system, the q-JAYS stainless steel housing features a precisely tuned vent port which aid in extending the frequency response below 200 Hz for the bass driver. q-JAYS Custom SSMCX connectors are among the smallest in the world. They are machined with durable threading and gold-plating to provide a durable and highly conductive electrical interface. You can wear the q-JAYS Reference in two ways; either with the cable going straight down or with the cable positioned behind your ear. q-JAYS come with five sizes of silicone ear tips or you may use the Comply Foam Ear Tips. Frequency response is 8 Hz to 16 kHz (+/-5dB), sensitivity is 103 dB @ 1 kHz and impedance is 50 Ohm @ 1 kHz.

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Casio MP3 Wrist WatchCasio has released their new WMP-1V MP3 audio wrist watch ($249). This unit is the world’s first wrist-type wearable MP3 stereo audio player. It includes software to upload MP3 files via USB that have downloaded from the internet or have made on their own. The unit also comes with stereo inner-ear headphones while the included rechargeable batteries will last four hours and take four hours to recharge. Up to 33 minutes of "CD quality" music, 44 minutes at near CD quality and 66 minutes of FM broadcast-level quality music can be stored within the unit's internal memory.

 

07 / 17 / 15

Johnny Cash Orange Blossom Special On 200 Gram Vinyl LP
Johnny Cash Orange Blossom Special On 200 Gram Vinyl LPIt's music Friday here at Enjoy the Music.com and today we're announcing the release of Johnny Cash's Orange Blossom Special on limited edition vinyl LP on 200g vinyl from Exhibit Records. Exhibit Records' special numbered limited edition album of the Johnny Cash 1964 classic, Orange Blossom Special, has been remastered from the original master tapes and is handsomely presented in a sturdy old style gatefold jacket featuring the authentic album cover art, liner notes, and historical recording session information. New archived photos of Johnny Cash taken in the Columbia Records Nashville studio during the recording session are included too. The company's 'Box Car Series' is so called because the back of each album of this limited edition pressing contains a tiny replica of the actual Orange Blossom Special box car that partly appears on the album cover. Each box car has been strategically foil-stamped with a unique Limited Edition number. Johnny Cash was known throughout the world as one of the major figures of post-Hank Williams country music, he constantly sought to expand his musical horizons and avoid being pigeonholed. Cash was at his most engagingly eclectic on this early 1960s recording of "Orange Blossom Special". To begin with, "The Man In Black" covered three tunes by Bob Dylan, then the most talked-about young singer-songwriter of the dawning folk-rock era. Sony include "It Ain't Me Babe," "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," and "Mama, and You've Been On My Mind". Also included are two numbers by A.P. Carter. This album was mastered for LP by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and pressed at Quality Record Pressings in Kansas. Songs within this release includes:

Side One: 
1. Orange Blossom Special 
2. The Long Black Veil 
3. It Ain't Me Babe 
4. The Wall 
5. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright 
6. You Wild Colorado 

Side Two: 
1. Mama, You've Been On My Mind 
2. When It's Springtime In Alaska (It's Forty Below) 
3. All Of God's Children Ain't Free 
4. Danny Boy
5. Wildwood Flower 
6. Amen

 

07 / 16 / 15

Sonos Limited Edition Play:1 Tone Speaker
Sonos Limited Edition Play:1 Tone SpeakerSonos' PLAY:1 Tone ($250) is a limited edition is an aesthetic change from their earlier Play:1 model. The minimalist styling is presented in absolute black or pristine white and has a soft matte finish to provide a look of elegance. Internally, there are two custom-designed drivers with dedicated amplifiers that easily works with all Sonos systems worldwide. Sonos allows you to listen to your favorite music from over 60 streaming services and may be controlled anywhere within the home from your smartphone, tablet or PC/Mac. This is a small quantity run for the company as only about 5000 in each color globally will be made available. There's a limit of two per household and the Play:1 Tone will be available July 21st.

 

T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 Attendance Numbers
T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 ReportT.H.E. Show Newport 2015 exceeded their own record-breaking figures as over 8,500 attendees, exhibitors and guests were at the event. T.H.E. Show Newport has grown every year since the first ribbon-cutting in 2011 in size and status. There were 406 separate companies exhibiting at T.H.E. Show this year, with over 170 "live" demo exhibits, plus over 120 booths. Attendees came from over 30 States within the USA, plus visitors from over 15 different countries around the globe. "There are, of course areas that need improving", says Richard Beers, President and CEO of T.H.E. Show. "We quickly discovered that our Registration policy needs updating - entirely too many people were held up in line on Friday's Opening Day. We encountered some equipment failures which did add to the slow-down, but we are already working on a new, more efficient system allowing the growing number of attendees to swiftly get registered and into the facility quicker." "Also, the location of the Headphonium along with some inadequacies in promotion, kept foot traffic down in that area. Held in the hotel Pavilion behind the main building, the Headphonium and related booths will be incorporated into the main building next year... We are looking towards an even bigger and more successful T.H.E. Show Newport next year, June 3 - 5, 2016 with the 'By Invitation Only Industry/Press Day' scheduled for the preceding Thursday, June 2nd." Registration for exhibit space at T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 will commence during September 2015! You can see Enjoy the Music.com's extensive T.H.E. Show Newport report at this link. A quick breakdown of the attendee numbers is as follows:

273 - Audio Press, 4-Day Passes
3,233 - 3-Day Passes Sold
1,921 - 1-Day Passes Sold
461 - 3-Day Passes Sold (Audio Society pricing)
280 - 1-Day Passes Sold (Audio Society pricing)
357 - 3-Day Free Passes (Audio Societies; Industry; Colleges, & Industry V.I.P.s)
219 - 1-Day Free Passes (Audio Societies; Industry; Colleges, & Industry V.I.P.s)
1,628 - Exhibitors, their V.I.P guests and associates
163 - Passes to those joining Audio Society
22 - Child Passes
8557 Total Attendance

 

07 / 15 / 15

Astell&Kern AK Jr Portable MQS System Review
Astell&Kern AK Jr Portable MQS System
The lil' DAP - DAC that could. Big 'n' beautiful sound in a small package.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

 


Mastering Engineer Stan Ricker Interview
True Confessions Of A Musical And Mastering Maven
Article By Dave Glackin

 

Soulution Limited Edition 746+ SACD Player / DAC
Soulution Limited Edition 746+ SACD Player / DACSoulution's limited edition 746+ SACD player / DAC (70,000 CHF, or approximately $73,750) unites an optical drive, precision master clock generator, oversampling digital signal processor, and analog output stage powered by a hefty electrical supply. Using a top class Esoteric CD/SACD drive, the Soulution 746+ has four digital inputs including AES/EBU, S/PDIF RCA and BNC plus TosLink optical. All digital sources get synchronized to the internal ultra-precise master clock, which ensures optimal readout of discs as well as all digital audio formats. This includes 16-bit to 24-bit and sampling rates up to 192kHz. DSD 1-bit at 2.82 MHz is via DoP. Soulution's 746+ employs a polynom based upsampling algorithm that converts all digital formats to DXD, plus has digital filters with apodizing characteristics combined with the company's Zero-Phase-Technology. Power supplies for the digital and drive sections of the player are similarly highly specified and optimized for their respective functions, including accommodating any high current demands from the drive and its electronics. Analog output is via unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR. Frequency response, depending on data format, is from DC to 100 kHz with less than 0.002% THD.

 

Wax Stacks Wooden Vinyl LP Record Crates
Wax Stacks Wooden Vinyl LP Record CratesWax Stacks is a new Kickstarter campaign where you can buy new vinyl LP record storage for as little as $60. These highly stylish wooden crates can be assembled without the need for any tools, is easily shipped collapsed and they go together as quickly as a five year old's puzzle. Simply snap, snap, snap, snap and you're done. Built from sturdy hardwood plywood, Wax Stacks is said to last a lifetime. Of course they can also be used as a book case, toy box, audio accessory storage, etc. Wax Stacks crates consist of five panels made entirely in the USA with sustainable (i.e. conservatively harvested and sensibly produced) birch plywood. Of course you can easily stack them up on top of one another to make a large and efficient storage wall or stand. The crates are portable and have handles so you may toss it into your car, truck or van and head out to a party with your vinyl stash. Wax Stacks Kickstarter campaign has a minimum of $35,000, even though they plan to make them anyway to help keep costs down. At the $50,000 level they can invest in custom tooling that will pay for a nested jig to improve quality and efficiency of manufacturing.

 

07  /14 / 15

The Complete Guide to High-End Audio Fifth Edition by Robert Harley Review
The Complete Guide to High-End Audio Fifth Edition by Robert Harley
An excellent reference book for a newbie and seasoned reviewer.
Review By Heather Baird And Steven R. Rochlin

 

Encore Seven Egg-Shell Prestige 12WKT Integrated Tube Amplifier
Encore Seven Egg-Shell Prestige 12WKT Integrated Tube AmplifierEncore Seven has just released their Egg-Shell Prestige 12WKT stereo integrated vacuum tube amplifier (€3440). All the Egg-Shell branded products can be recognized by their unique, very distinctive visuals and are single-ended vacuum tube designs operating in pure Class A. The preamplifier section is copied from Encore Seven's flagship 20WK and uses a pentode EF86. For output duties, a KT88 vacuum tube per channel produces 12 watts. The power supply has a tried and true 5AR4/GZ34. Like all the integrated amplifiers from the Prestige line, the Egg-Shell 12WKT can be operated by a remote control made with a solid beveled wooden ball. The volume is adjusted by rotating the sphere around its vertical axis, clockwise or anti-clockwise. Visual styling of the Egg-Crate 12WKT stereo integrated amplifier has been upgraded to the latest design of their Prestige line. In the rear panel appear three golden plated unbalanced RCA line inputs, with the loudspeaker outputs offering both 4 and 8 Ohm impendence. The lid panel may easily be removed to provide an impressive visual effect of the tubes glowing in the dark as well help help improve ventilation inside the tube chamber. This panel may be ordered with ventilation holes cut in almost any shape. If not customized, the holes have two standard shapes: straight elongated gaps or star-shaped holes. Further customization is been offered including carefully selected metallic painted housing, with standard colors being white and black. Encore Seven continues to offer three colour versions of the front glass panel: a darker graphite smoky front panel or lighter, green or blue tinted front panel. Frequency response is from 30 Hz to 20 kHz and the unit weighs 44 lbs.

 

WyWires Diamond Series Interconnect And Loudspeaker Cables
WyWires Diamond Series Interconnect And Loudspeaker CablesWyWires' Diamond Series reflect the company's continuous growth in offering a wide array of cabling for the music enthusiast. This new design reflects a specific style aspect, with their Diamond Series luxury product line of interconnects and loudspeaker cables (starting at $4499 and $7999 respectively) featuring minimal branding achieved not with heatshrink, but with an engraved black medallion that may be slipped down the cable out of view. Sleek black and gray carbon fiber tubes plus subtle sparkle runs the length of the cable. Diamond speaker cables and interconnects have been in the hands of key distributors who have been showing them around. WyWires says that "Initial reports are that the Diamond line sets a new standard for resolution, stereo imaging, dynamics and tonal accuracy." WyWires' loudspeaker cables employ Litz wire and air dielectric technology to easily handle the output of any amplifier to any speaker regardless of the load difficulties. WyWires Diamond Series are available in single, double and triple wire configurations and can be fitted with spade lugs and or banana plugs.

 

07 / 13 / 15

Niobium Nanowires As The Next Generation Of Efficient Supercapacitors
Niobium Nanowires As The Next Generation Of Efficient SupercapacitorsThere is no doubt the future is advancements in power storage and delivery, and here is where the scientists and engineers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology ) are making a difference. Tiny bundles of niobium nanowires could provide a big energy boost and may be used to make very efficient supercapacitors. MIT researchers have found that adding a coating of a conductive polymer to the yarn (shown in pink, inset) further increases the capacitor's charge capacity. Positive and negative ions in the material are depicted as blue and red spheres. Yarns of niobium nanowire can make supercapacitors to provide a surge of energy when it is needed. Benefits for high-end audio, wearable electronic devices and a broad range of consumer electronics are expected. Researchers have found this new technology as a promising new approach in delivering short but intense bursts of power needed by small devices such as wearables. Larger versions could help power delivery within a broad range of consumer electronics. This is a new approach to making supercapacitors that can store and release electrical power in relatively short bursts. This approach uses yarns, made from nanowires of the element niobium, as the electrodes in tiny supercapacitors (which are essentially pairs of electrically conducting fibers with an insulator between). The concept is described in a paper in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces by MIT professor of mechanical engineering Ian W. Hunter, doctoral student Seyed M. Mirvakili, and three others at the University of British Columbia. Nanotechnology researchers have been working to increase the performance of supercapacitors for the past decade. Among nanomaterials, carbon-based nanoparticles – such as carbon nanotubes and graphene – have shown promising results, but they suffer from relatively low electrical conductivity, Mirvakili says. The new nanowire-based supercapacitor exceeds the performance of existing batteries, while occupying a very small volume. Niobium is a fairly abundant and widely used material so the whole system should be inexpensive and easy to produce. Furthermore, Niobium has a very high melting point – nearly 2500 degrees Celsius – so devices made from these nanowires could potentially be suitable for use in high-temperature applications. In addition, the material is highly flexible and could be woven into fabrics, enabling wearable forms; individual niobium nanowires are just 140 nanometers in diameter – 140 billionths of a meter across, or about one-thousandth the width of a human hair.

 

Maria Muldaur's Popular First Album On 200 Gram Vinyl LP
Maria MuldaurExhibit Records will release Maria Muldaur's critically acclaimed first solo recording on 200 gram vinyl. Muldaur's compelling debut features savvy studio vets, talented guests, strong tunes and Muldaur's best-known single "Midnight at the Oasis," a flirty invitation to forbidden pleasure, set in an Arabian Nights desert that falls somewhere between jazz and pop. A well-known music critic declared that "Midnight at the Oasis was probably responsible for the conception of more children than any other song of the 1970's." The recording appeared in 1973, during a moment of great openness in popular music. Her album became an FM staple, she found just the right balance between her commitment to the traditional material she favors and her ability to interpret it in her own quirky and original recognizable singing style. This album has elements of rock, pop, blues, folk, country, bluegrass and blends them to make for a cohesive, remarkably unified album. Among the musicians and vocalists appearing on the recordings are Dr. John, Ry Cooder, Andrew Gold, David Grisman, Chris Ethridge, Ray Brown, Richard Greene, Dave Holland, David Lindley, Bettye LaVette, Bill Keith of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, solo-Beatles drummer Jim Keltner, solo-Beatles bassist Klaus Voorman, and jazz-guitarist Amos Garrett. The new 200 gram vinyl record is beautifully presented in a sturdy old style tip-on gatefold jacket featuring the original album art work. At the time of its original release, Rolling Stone magazine called the record "One of the half-dozen best albums of 1973." The 200 gram vinyl LP was mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and pressed at Quality Record Pressings. For those who want to relive the smooth sound of the 1970's, her popular song "Midnight At The Oasis" is below.

 

07 / 12 / 15

Australian Hi-Fi 's July Issue Is Now Available
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine July / August 2015Enjoy the Music.com just posted Australian Hi-Fi's July / August 2015 issue that includes their Munich HIGH END show report plus reviews of the Cambridge Audio 851E preamplifier & 851W amplifier, Sunfire XTEQ 12 subwoofer, Yamaha CD-S2100 SACD player, Marten Duke 2 loudspeakers, Pro-Ject 1Xpression turntable, Bose QC 25 headphones. Within his editorial, Greg Borrowman says, "A confession. I now have a Spotify account... and not a paid one. I have the free one. Mind you, I'm not exactly happy that I have a Spotify account at all, because the technical standard of its streams (320kbps... and less on the free version!) is not up at the quality level I want, but I wanted to hear some music from a band I’d been told I would like and it turned out that I had to have to have a Spotify account to hear their stuff because that's the only place I could get to hear it." You can see what's within the July / August issue of Australian Hi-Fi at this link.

 

TIDAL Now Offers A Family Plan
TIDAL Music ServiceFor those who desire higher CD quality online music steaming, versus 320kbs of many other services or Apple Music's 256kbs, TIDAL is now offering a family plan. TIDAL's new family plan may be shared with up to six people for $14.99 per month for their 320kbs speed. This new price offering enables consumers to receive a discount of 50% on any additional accounts registered under the same primary paying user for both the Premium ($9.99) and hi-fi streaming option ($19.99 per month). The primary paying user can add up to four additional accounts under their subscription plan, making it easier than ever before for families to enjoy TIDAL at home and across mobile devices. For a family/friends of five, the price for TIDAL's top plan offering CD quality streaming is $60 ($12 per person) each month. Each additional account will be managed under the primary or parent account user, though each account holder in TIDAL's family plan maintains their own login and can customize music playlists, settings and content like any other subscriber. The family pricing is available to anyone that adds between one and four additional accounts to their subscription and payment for those accounts is made by the primary user. Each account user can enjoy unlimited online streaming and register up to three devices for offline mode use. TIDAL is currently available in 44 countries with a catalog of over 30 million songs and more than 75,000 high quality videos. The service offers high fidelity CD sound quality, high quality videos, plus expertly curated content.

 

MSB Technology Select DAC II
MSB Technology Select DAC IIMSB Technology has released their Select DAC II ($89,950) as what they feel is "the best in the world". New measurements compare all three of the MSB Technology's DAC families with a typical commercial high-end DAC as well as a popular discrete delta sigma DAC - their closest competition from another brand. MSB Technology is claiming their DAC provides four bits of resolution above the already full 24 bit resolution of their Diamond DAC V. Their press release also says that "Adding to the appeal of these specifications, the measurements provided are not of the chip in ideal conditions, but of the output measurements as presented to the amplifier. Testing also revealed that the Select DAC II produces the lowest level of ultrasonic noise of any DAC on the market, preserving the fidelity of the sound in an unmatched capacity. Their press release continues by saying that the Select DAC II was also blind A/B tested against the Diamond DAC V and non-audiophiles who never noticed any changes in previous tests were amazed at the improvements in sound they detected. MSB Technology's Select DAC II includes eight new MSB Hybrid DAC modules, low noise display and a Dual Select Power Base with built-in Isolation Base. The DAC and Power Base are milled from a solid billet of aluminum and the modular design makes for easy replacement and upgrade. The company is providing a 10 year upgrade guarantee, with owners given the option of improvements as they become available and paying only the difference in price and the return postage.

 

07 / 03 / 15

Attention Manufacturers And Distributors
Enjoy the Music.com's 20th AnniversaryEnjoy the Music.com is celebrating our 20th Anniversary within the August issue of our Review Magazine. You should join our special industry eNewsletter so you can take part within our celebration completely free of charge. Next week we'll be sending out an important notice so your voice can be heard within this very special 20th Anniversary issue of our Review Magazine. Join our eNewsletter list at this link. Thank you.

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07 / 02 / 15

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Include aptX
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Include aptXBowers & Wilkins new P5 headphones ($399.99) features high sound quality and both wired and wireless use for added cord-free convenience. P5 Wireless are Bowers & Wilkins first Bluetooth headphones and offer precision build quality with high fidelity sound of their renowned P5 Series 2 headphones. The same luxurious materials and solid build quality is combined with wireless streaming for added flexibility. Luxurious leather and aluminum materials ensure visual styling, comfort, and durability. Using the same Bluetooth aptX technology within Bowers & Wilkins T7, P5 Wireless are capable of reproducing excellent Bluetooth sound from your smartphone, tablet or computer. P5 Wireless headphones are simple to connect to a compatible device and have intuitive controls that allow you to play/pause and skip music plus of course answer phone calls with ease. They also feature two microphones, which helps deliver great telephony audio. Bowers & Wilkins' P5 Wireless rechargeable battery lasts a healthy 17 hours before needing recharge via a standard USB cable. As a high-end audio company, you can also enjoy the new P5 Wireless with the supplied cable. A stylish padded carry case is also included.

 

07 / 01 / 15

Enjoy the Music.com's July Review Magazine Is Now Online
Review MagazineEnjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine for July includes our extensive T.H.E. Show Newport coverage where we bestow our Best Sound and other awards to exceptional products! We also have eight high-end audio equipment reviews plus a very informative interview with YG Acoustics' Yoav Geva. See our July Review Magazine by clicking here.

T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2015 ReportThis month's Enjoy the Music.com rounds out or extensive T.H.E. Show Newport 2015 coverage. There were so much incredible new gear at this California event that it is nearly impossible to report upon it all, yet Steven R. Rochlin gives you key highlights and bestows awards only to the very best products he heard in Newport.

Longtime industry veteran Roger Skoff discusses the audio show paradox and how our hobby's show attendance keeps going up. Whether it's analog or headphones or something else entirely, people – even in the USA -– are, once again interested in seeing and learning about new products. Where they go to do that is at an ever-increasing number of shows being held throughout America.

If you have not been keeping up with the controversy, we give you our blow-by-blow lowdown on Apple's upcoming stream music service. With so many people embedded with Apple devices, it could have some great features... provided you don't desire high quality sound(!). Did Apple blow any chance of stepping up to the plate with services like CD quality Deezer Elite and TIDAL, plus 24-bit/192kHz streaming music service by Naxos? Read our articles to find out.

Enjoy the Music.com's review of YG Acoustics Carmel 2 floorstanding loudspeaker brings into focus the results from many years of cutting-edge technology by the company. Progress within the area of driver design has been slow but steady, yet there have also been the occasional great leaps forward. The introduction of the Bextrone cone, the sandwich cone, the use of beryllium and of carbon fiber can all lead to remarkable advances. We also give you more insights into these amazing loudspeakers with our interview of YG Acoustics' designer Yoav Geva.

We bring you more reviews including the GamuT Limited Edition Di150 integrated amplifier, Brodmann VC7 floorstanding loudspeaker and Kiseki's impressive Purple Heart NS moving coil (MC) phono cartridge. Our reviewer Tom Lyle says that after living with the Kiseki Purple Heart NS most, if not all vinyl-loving audiophiles, will be amazed at what they can hear hidden in the grooves of their favorite records. It can turn these mere sounds into the works of art the musicians, producers and engineers intended for us to hear. The Kiseki Purple Heart NS MC cartridge certainly amazed Tom by delivering hour after hour of musical bliss.

Other reviews within the July edition of our Review Magazine includes the charismatic Charisma Audio Reference One MC cartridge, Merrill Audio's terrific Taranis stereo power amplifier, Sunshine's S50 Under-Boards and S4 Bases plus a great way to maintain and disinfect your prized in-ear monitors with the Serene Innovations ReNew IEM dryer.

You can see Enjoy the Music.com's July Review Magazine at this link. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

 

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
July 1, 2000 marked the first showing of Panasonic's new first-generation 192kHz/24-bit DVD-Audio DVD-A7 player ($999.95). Consumers can go to any one of 70 Good Guys outlet stores and buy one. This is the beginning of mainstream availability of the long awaited 24-bit/192kHz DVD-Audio format. "Good Guys' customer base of early adopters and tech-savvy consumers, who have enthusiastically embraced our DVD-Video products, is the ideal audience for our cutting-edge DVD-Audio line," said Gene Kelsey, vice president and general manager of Panasonic.

 

 

 
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