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07 / 03 / 15
Attention Manufacturers And Distributors
Enjoy the Music.com is celebrating our 20th Anniversary
within the August issue of our Review Magazine.
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07 / 02 / 15
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless
Bluetooth Headphones Include aptX
Bowers & 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
Enjoy the Music.com's
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
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
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.
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.
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.
06 / 27 / 15
RIAA Releases Logo For
Retailers To Designate Hi-Res MUSIC
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
has unveiled a new logo designed to identify today's highest-quality digital music. RIAA's Hi-Res
MUSIC logo will be appearing at retailers to designate that these products meet the official definition for "High Resolution Music", which was agreed upon last year. The press release by the RIAA says, "High Resolution Music is officially defined as “lossless audio capable of reproducing the full spectrum of sound from recordings which have been mastered from better than CD quality (48kHz/20-bit or higher) music sources which represent what the artists, producers and engineers originally intended." This definition ensures consumers receive music that is delivered in a digital format that retains the highest quality captured during the creative process."
The new logo was developed by
2B Communications Inc. and may be used by retailers within Canada, Europe and the USA for commercial downloads or streaming.
The Hi-Res MUSIC logo will be joined by the name and resolution of the digital file format. "Music fans have lots of options today about where to get their favorite music," said David Hughes, Chief Technology Officer, RIAA. "Digital enthusiasts also want the highest quality version of their favorite recording that’s available, and the Hi-Res MUSIC definition and logo mark are useful tools to ensure that they have as much information as possible so that they can enjoy an optimal listening experience."
Industry News 10 Years Ago
Incorporated has been taking heat from many sides concerning their proprietary iTunes
interface. From other online companies asking for FairPlay to the recent alleged use of a previously patented interface,
Apple has been taking heat from many industries. Vermont based Contois Music & Technology
claims that Apple has done "irreparable" damage to the company's patented interface technology and filed a lawsuit is the state's U.S. District Court. Since Apple was fully aware of the patent in 2003, and David Contois claims to have showed the interface at the November 1995 Comdex to
individuals that then worked for Apple or now are employed by the company, the computer maker willfully ignored
Contois' patent. Then we have RealAudio, a competing online music store to
Apple's iTunes, claiming Apple refuses to allow other companies access to Apple's FairPlay digital rights technology. The result is that RealAudio found a workaround by releasing their new "Harmony" software that works with the iTunes hardware.
Rounding up Apple's troubles (for this news article), is that media company Virgin has complained to European regulators that Apple's refusal to license its FairPlay digital-rights management technology is unfair.
06 / 26 / 15
Korg iAudioGate For iOS
Handles DSD And 24-bit/192kHz Audio
has released their iAudioGate ($9.99) app for iOS devices, which allows you to enjoy Hi-Res Audio on your Apple device. Since KORG was among the first to embrace high-resolution DSD audio, which includes USB DACs and player/converter software, they naturally want everyone to enjoy music to the highest
degree possible. Korg's iAudioGate software app for iPhone is loaded with the AudioGate player engine and customized to perform as an iPhone app. The company says that their premium-resolution sound player engine
performance equal to their full-featured AudioGate software and handles nearly all file types—including high-resolution audio, DSD, FLAC, plus lossy MP3, etc.
iAudioGate includes a high-definition graphic equalizer with multiple presets / memory and upsampling feature to provide enhanced audio reproduction of your favorite music. Another feature is wireless smart-forwarding of tunes from Mac / Win (via AirDrop, iCloud Drive, Dropbox etc.) and a flexible remote control via the Apple Watch app. The app handles sampling rates up to 11.2 MHz DSD and upward of 24-bit/192kHz PCM. Of note is that the equalizer does not support DSD native playback or up-sampling to DSD playback. You can use an Apple Watch to remotely control iAudioGate's Play, stop, fast-forward, and volume changes. Artwork and other song information for the currently-playing song are visible at a glance.
Serene Innovations ReNew IEM Dryer
Drying and fighting bacteria growth within your IEMs the right way.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin
August Audiophile Magazine Is Now Available
Enjoy the Music.com just posted
Hi-Fi World's August 2015 issue with many high-end audio equipment
reviews. This issue features reviews of the KEF Reference 1 standmount loudspeakers, Neo2go/Cowon SP2 budget Bluetooth loudspeakers, Rega DAC-R, Onkyo C-N7050
networked CD player, Mitchell & Johnson DR-201v DAB / VHF tuner, OPPO HA-2 DAC with headphone amplifier, Quad PA-One headphone amplifier, Exposure 3010S2-D amplifier, and Black Rhodium Sonata VS-1 interconnects.
Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says, "A network attached CD player? That was quite a peculiar concept not so long ago. Indeed, when I was first confronted with one I scratched my head and wondered why would anyone want to send CD over a network? Or is it the other way around? And then the penny dropped. It’s both. A CD player which also lets you stream from your computer or an outside network making the unit a go-to, one stop source device. Many have appeared since I first unsuccessfully cogitated on this idea, of varying quality, price and ability. I think we all liked Onkyo’s take on this concept, however, the imaginatively named C-N7050 (!) you can find reviewed on p21 this month. Onkyo just do it well – at a very affordable price. This is a great introduction to “computer” audio, right down to its control app. OK, you don’t get an ESS Sabre32 DAC on-board, but you do get a set of good modern parts in a thoroughly decent CD player. So for all of you wishing to upgrade their CD player – just buy this CD player!"
You can see what's within the August issue of
Hi-Fi World at this link.
Industry News 15 Years Ago
first announced worldwide on the Enjoy the Music.com's Streaming Media East 2000 coverage,
we include the appearance of none other than Steve Jobs of Apple
their streaming digital audio and video over the Internet in the QuickTime format
technology to RealNetworks, Inc. This means that RealNetwork's streaming media server and RealServer 8 will now support the delivery of Apple's QuickTime-based content to QuickTime players "We heartily welcome RealNetworks to the QuickTime Streaming Server
community" said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Apple's open-source QuickTime Streaming Server has already been licensed by IBM, Sun,
SGI, Akamai and many others, helping to provide great content to the more than 50 million QuickTime players that have been distributed worldwide." Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks, Inc. said
"RealServer is already the media delivery server of choice for tens of thousands of content providers worldwide. RealServer 8's support for Apple's QuickTime now provides content creators and infrastructure providers a unified way to deliver the widest array of content to the largest possible audience."
06 / 25 / 15
April / May / June Issue Is Now Available
Enjoy the Music.com just posted
HIFICRITIC's April / May / June 2015
issue. This issue features Chris Frankland talking with Linn founder Ivor Tiefenbrun plus reviews of the
Aurorasound Preda, Brodmann's VC7 floorstanders, Naim Statement system, Vertex AQ'S Aletheia DAC-1.5, Naim's Super Lumina cables, Focal + Naim Aria 905 +
UnitiLite, and three cartridges including the Audio-Technica ART9, the Lyra Delos and the Ortofon Cadenza Bronze.
Within his editorial, Paul Messenger says, "Today's hi-fi 'press' consists of a modest number of paper mags alongside a substantially larger quantity of web-mags. The traditional paper-based mags (including
HIFICRITIC) all have their websites of course, often with associated forums and the like, but considerably lower start-up costs have meant that numerous web-mags have emerged that are owned and operated by individual journalists, including some of our regular writers."
You can see what's within the April / May / June issue of
HIFICRITIC at this link.
Brodmann VC7 Floorstanding Loudspeaker
Brodmann VC 7's vibrating 'sound boards' might fly in the face of accepted loudspeaker design wisdom.
Review By Paul Messenger Of HIFICRITIC
Gramovox Floating Record Vertical
Floating Record ($350)
is a vertical turntable now available on Kickstarter. This high-performance turntable plays records vertically through built-in full-range stereo speakers or via RCA line out. Gramovox's design philosophy "is to
re-imagine vintage audio design with modern technology". Their Floating Record provides the illusion that your vinyl record is floating. "We designed the Floating Record for everyone from the first-time record listener to the seasoned vinyl enthusiast," says the company.
"You'll be spinning tunes out of the box in a matter of minutes. You don't need to set up your cartridge or purchase additional outboard gear such as phono pre-amps, amplifiers and speakers (although you have the option to). All of these are included in our integrated design." You can easily switch between 33 or 45 rpm vinyl records by moving the silicon belt over the inner or outer groove of the middle gear. Gramovox also includes clamps for both types of records. You have the option of bypassing the internal RIAA stage, 15 watt amplifier and speakers and simply output an RIAA equalized line level signal from the built in phono-preamp via the Line Out RCA jacks.
There is a 1/8" stereo headphone jack for those who desire private
listening. A fully-adjustable, carbon-fiber tone-arm in included, whilst tracking force is dynamically applied by a spring as opposed to the usual counterweights found in horizontal record players. The tonearm is factory-set at
~2 grams for the included Audio Technica AT95E MM cartridge. For real wood highlights, premium American dark walnut and maple woods are used for the base. The Floating Record
vertical turntable is completely universal for AC to DC power including 50/60 Hz from 120 to 240 Volts. Dimensions are 17" x 10" x 16" (WxDxH) and it weighs 13 lbs.
06 / 24 / 15
Hi-Res Audio Specifications
Discussion To Aid Content Creators
The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, established for producers, engineers,
re-mixers, manufacturers, technologists, and other related creative and technical professionals in the recording field, today have announced that during CE Week they will embarked upon the creation of a series of Hi-Res Audio Production Guidelines. Their goal
is to further "clarify the technology and techniques essential to producing great high-resolution music". While many major record labels,
The DEG, and The Recording Academy agreed upon a common definition for Hi-Res
Audio, there appears to have been some "misperceptions still remaining when it comes to the correct methods for recording, mixing and mastering these titles resulting in the creation of Production
Guidelines". According to the press release we just received, topics to be addressed
within these guidelines include:
• The importance of providing masters that have either been digitally recorded or re-mastered from analog sources at the highest resolution possible.
• The value of establishing workflow protocols and procedures for recording new projects at
96kHz/24-bit and higher.
• The need for utilizing best practices when transferring analog masters to hi-res digital formats.
• The importance of packaging Hi-Res Audio files with high quality digital liner notes, credits, and other descriptive metadata that complements these recordings.
• The use of best efforts when documenting the origin format ("provenance") of these recordings, in order to provide as much transparency to consumers as possible.
• A list of recommendations that support the minimum production requirements necessary to enable music labels to deliver
Hi-Res Audio content.
Enjoy the Music.com
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, and
T.H.E. Show Newport. 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
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
Add this event to your calendar.
October 30th to November 1st, 2015
TAVES 2015 Show Report
Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites
Add this event to your calendar.
06 / 23 / 15
B.B. King & Eric Clapton Riding With The King
On Hybrid SACD
In honor of the recent passing of blues guitar legend B.B. King, Marshall Blonstein's
will be releasing B.B. King & Eric Clapton Riding With The King on limited
edition hybrid SACD ($30). This SACD should satisfy fans of B.B. King, Eric Clapton and blues purists alike.
Riding With The King was both musicians first collaborative recording and it went on to win the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. The album reached #1 on Billboard's Top Blues Albums. They first performed together in 1967 when Clapton was 22 and a member of Cream. Clapton looked up to King and had always wanted to make an album with him. At the time of recording Clapton was 55 and King 74. Clapton arranged the session using many of his regular musicians, picked the songs, and co-produced with his partner Simon Climie. While this would appear to be a Clapton album recorded with King, Clapton gave King center-stage. The set list includes lots of vintage King specialties,
"Ten Long Years," "Three O'Clock Blues," "Days of Old," "When My Heart Beats Like a
Hammer," as well as standards like "Hold On I'm Coming" and "Come Rain or Come
Shine," with some specially written and appropriate new material. King takes Clapton deeper into blues territory than he has ever gone alone and these two artists play the blues with conviction. There may never be another album that links the Delta Blues to modern rock with such style, grace, enthusiasm, and honesty. The album is produced by Eric Clapton and Simon Climie, with mastering done by Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering.
06 / 22 / 15
Pro-Ject MaiA DS Integrated Amplifier With DAC And Phonostage
Pro-Ject's new MaiA DS solid-state stereo integrated amplifier
(€799) produces 55 wpc and can be controlled in a normal fashion or via the company's
phone and tablet app. To ensure modern high fidelity
performance, the new Pro-Ject MaiA DS includes three stereo analog line inputs, three digital inputs, a 24-bit/192kHz DAC based on the TI 1796, plus
it has DSD playback capability too! There is also asynchronous USB with Aptx plus an MM/MC phonostage. Outputs
include headphone, a fixed output for recording or second zone and variable preamplifier output for a subwoofer. To make the app simple to use, users will only see the control screen of the product selected. Selected screens are used to specify which units are within your system and only these will be displayed on your smartphone or tablet.
The unit can produce 80 wpc via an optional linear supply Power Box MaiA DS. Pro-Ject's MaiA DS is available in silver or black faceplate. Dimensions are 206 x 72 x 150
(WxHxD in mm) and the unit weighs 3.4 lbs. without power supply.
Skoffin' Up Food For Thought
The High-End Audio Show Paradox
How can our hobby be declining when high-end show attendance keeps going up?
Article By Roger Skoff
Kiseki Purple Heart NS Moving Coil Phono Cartridge
The sound of sonic art.
Review By Tom Lyle
Updated! Is Apple Rotten To The Core With Their Streaming Music Service
Would you work for three months without getting paid?
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
06 / 21 / 15
Theta Digital Dreadnaught D
For those seeking to multi-amplify their loudspeakers,
Theta Digital is now shipping their Dreadnaught D modular power amplifier. Designed to accommodate up to 8 channels of amplification, the Dreadnaught D has a built-in power supply using dual power cords, power switches and toroidal transformers plus 4 slots designed to receive proprietary Theta Digital amplifier modules. There are three modules available for the Dreadnaught D, all of which are based on the Hypex N-Core class D amplifier circuitry. The stereo amplifier module is rated at 225 wpc at 8 Ohms and 400 at 4 Ohms from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Another available module bridges the two of them together to produce over 500 wpc at 8 Ohms with over 800 at 4 Ohms. Pricing for popular configurations is as follows: 225
wpc x 7 channels is $9995, 400 wpc x 3 plus 225W x 2 is $10,695 and stereo amplifiers are available with 225 wpc at
$6150 and 500 wpc at $7445. The Theta Digital Dreadnaught D is available in platinum or black
chassis and with standard or rack-mount chassis. Inputs include both unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR. Signal to noise ratio is 120dB with a crosstalk of 85dB. For home integration, there is a 12V trigger input for turning the unit on/off. Dimensions are 17.675" x 7.85" x 19.75" (WxHxD) with weight being 98.5 lbs when fully optioned.
06 / 19 / 15
ACA Seraphim Skogrand Edition
Cables' new ACA Seraphim Skogrand Edition floorstanding loudspeaker ($45,000) is the company's first true reference model with internal wiring by the company. Exclusively offered in a 14-layer painted Piano Rosewood
finish, this three-way passive floorstander is designed and manufactured within the
United States of America and Norway. Internal wiring is the Skogrand Cables SC Beethoven, whilst the custom crossover is point to point wired using components of Grand performance. The tweeter is a Seas Excel E0040-06 T29CF002 Crescendo 1.14" soft dome, which uses Hexdym magnet system based on six radially magnetized NdFeB magnet blocks to provide efficient ventilation and damping of cavities behind the dome, surround and voice coil. For midrange duties the a custom ACA 7" driver is employed and mated with two Custom ACA 7" drivers for bass in a transmission line setup. Overall
frequency response is from 28 Hz to 25 kHz, sensitivity is 92.5dB and the speaker presents a 4 Ohm load nominal. The cabinet is extremely well-braced and damped 800 kg/m³ medium-density
fiberboard and is 14" x 47.5" x 21.5 (WxDxH) and weighs a hefty 260 lbs. per pair.
Is Apple Rotten To The Core With Their Streaming Music Service
Would you work for three months without getting paid?
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
06 / 18 / 15
Astell&Kern Offers New
Firmware For AK100 And AK120
Astell&Kern continues to innovate and improve their previous models, including the AK100, AK100 MKII and AK120
/ AK120 Titan with new firmware updates. Astell&Kern's improvements with this new firmware include time display of MP3 file encoded with VBR is improved plus when users pressed the rewind button after 3 seconds with gapless
on they have corrected the information displayed. Furthermore, bitrate size issue is improved and freezing issue while playing
a long title has now been revised. Lastly, certain types of DSD files are now stabilized to playback
correctly. Firmware version 2.42 for the Astell&Kern AK100 can be downloaded at
this link. Those with the Astell&Kern AK120 can update to firmware version 1.42 at
You can ready Enjoy the Music.com's
review of the AK120 at this link, the AK240
at this link, and our world
premiere review of the Astell&Kern AK380 at this link.
Devialet, Designer Of The
Phantom Speaker, Receives Series B Financing
It comes as no surprise that
Devialet has announced Series B funding as they blend cutting-edge design, advanced physics and musicality into a new class of audio components that employ DSP (Digital
Signal Processing). The $20,000,000 Series B round is being financed by LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, Jacques-Antoine Granjon, Xaviel Niel, and Marc Simoncini. Devialet's Series A funding was in 2012 and was for $19,100,000, which helped the company expand, hire new
personnel, acquire design and manufacturing equipment to produce the Phantom loudspeaker. Devialet's 3000-watt Phantom speaker system is a compact spherical component incorporating 10 years of research and
development combined with a $30,000,000 budget. They company has 88 patents and a team of product designers. From sub-bass at 16 Hz to treble at 25 kHz, the Phantom creates sound with advanced state-of-the-art DSP combined with mechanical engineering. Priced at under $2000, the Wi-Fi and stereo Bluetooth enabled device can replace all other audio components plus can be easily operated via app. At the heart of the Phantom technology platform is Devialet's ADH Intelligence, which combines "the refinement of analog (or Class A) amplification with the power of Digital (or Class D) amplification. The company’s SAM Processing technology is then used to control the speakers to perfection, reproducing the exact acoustic pressure recorded by the microphone".
Ambisonic Sound Technologies STX Series
Ambisonic Sound Technologies, a manufacturer specializing in audiophile-quality loudspeakers (formerly known as Stix & Drums), now offers their STX Series of loudspeakers. The series consists of Column Line Array Loudspeakers that use True Coaxially-aligned midrange and PMRD tweeters. It also includes several high-impact, high-efficiency subwoofers designed to match with the Column Line Array loudspeakers, producing a full-range solution for audiophiles, professionals and live events. The Single-Box Column Line Array Loudspeakers utilize the company's advanced Planar Magnetic Ribbon Drivers (PMRD) and a high-power 6.5-inch custom, neodymium magnet driven, Kevlar/paper mid-woofer. The True Coaxial configuration of these drivers along with their unique waveguide creates a wide, 110-degree horizontal coverage, while the Line Array affords improved front-to-back sound
dispersion to within +/- 2dB. The companion subwoofers are available with 12", 15" and 18" drivers. They use massive motor structures and dual-layered voice coils to provide complementary high-impact low frequencies down to 34Hz. Ambisonic Sound Technologies' ribbon drivers feature the lowest mass-moving system in the industry for fast transient response and faithful signal reproduction. Thanks to an increased RMS to PEAK ratio that greatly improves dynamics, and a proprietary manufacturing process that utilizes a molecular bond between the aluminum and Kapton substrate for superior reliability, the driver is still able to belt out the high-output levels necessary for larger venues, while retaining audiophile accuracy. Ambisonic Sound Technologies' proprietary mid-woofer design featuring a powerful, yet lightweight neodymium-magnet motor structure. The strength and lightness of the motor yields extremely low distortion in the critical midrange frequencies. Weather-resistant Kevlar/paper cone material generates stiffness and durability with less coloration, while the entire low-mass, extremely balanced and stable moving system provides a linear performance and high sensitivity. By integrating the ribbon tweeter and mid-woofer in a True Coaxial design, this produces a symmetrical horizontal coverage pattern. Lower distortion is achieved due to the acoustic filter effect of having the tweeter placed in front of the woofer. Adding the company's unique waveguide design delivers 110-degrees of horizontal coverage. Finally, the line array configuration, aligned with Ambisonic Sound Technologies' own Array Optimization Software (AOS) allows the listener far off to hear the same sound level as the person close up with +/- 2dB. Product list and pricing is as follows:
STX6600 - Straight, single column, 6 coaxial driver pair $5,390
STX6620 - Curved (20 degree), single column, 6 coaxial driver pair $5,790
STX4625 - Curved (25 degree), single column, 4 coaxial driver pair $3,990
PS115/4625P - Portable, single column 4 coaxial driver pair with sub $5,590
DRM212 - Subwoofer, 2x 12-inch drivers $2,590
DRM115 - Subwoofer, 1x 15-inch driver, (black only) $1,990
DRM215 - Subwoofer, 2x 15inch drivers $3,190
DRM215C - Compact Subwoofer, 2x 15-inch drivers coming soon
DRM118 - Subwoofer, 1x 18-inch driver $2,190
06 / 17 / 15
Gospel Vocalist Might Sam McClain Passes Away
This just in from
Acoustic Sounds, "We're saddened to report the passing of Mighty Sam McClain. The 72-year-old Grammy-nominated blues and soul singer suffered a stroke in April and died Monday night. Many followers here likely saw Mighty Sam perform at Blue Heaven Studios in October as part of the
17th Annual Blues Masters at the
Crossroads. He captured the audience with a stirring solo set and a duet with grade school pal
Green. Sam started out his music career at the tender age of 5 singing gospel in church in his hometown of Monroe, Louisiana. He would leave home at 13 following what was known as the Chitlin' Circuit and working first as an assistant to the R&B guitarist Little Melvin Underwood before taking the stage as a vocalist at 15. In 1966 Sam would record a version of Patsy
Cline's "Sweet Dreams," before recording singles for the Muscle Shoals recording studio like
"Fannie-May" and "In the Same Old Way." He would shuffle from the streets of Nashville, Tennessee and New Orleans, Louisiana, many times finding only low-wage and menial work before hooking a tour of Japan in 1989 that would result in the recording Live in Japan with Wayne Bennett. Sam would eventually settle in New England where he collaborated on the
"Hubert Sumlin Blues Party" project. He later signed with Telarc Blues after a stint with AudioQuest Music and Sledgehammer Blues. Throughout his career he would record 17 albums that include
Your Perfect Companion, Give It Up to Love, Soul Survivor: The Best of Mighty Sam
McClain, Sweet Dreams, One More Bridge to Cross and the recordings
Scent of Reunion: Love Duets Across Civilizations and A Deeper Tone of Longing: Love Duets
Across Civilizations with the Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat on the Kirkelig Kulturverksted label. Having struggled with homelessness and substance abuse, Sam was a performer for the homeless project Give Us Your Poor, co-wrote
"Show Me The Way" with musician Scott Shelter and performed for the project at Lincoln Center and The Kennedy Center, as well as performed on Songs from a Stolen Spring that paired western musicians with artists from the Arab Spring. Sam was paired with Egyptian musician Ramy Essam and the pair created a track melding
"If I Can Dream" and Mr. Essam’s "Bread, Freedom." Read more about Sam's
career at this link. His family has requested that condolences be sent to
P.O. Box 322, Newmarket, NH 03857." As a special thanks to Mighty Sam McClain, we present to you our
exclusive Blues Masters at the Crossroads video from his 2014 performance. The video was mixed and mastered
by Steven R. Rochlin, Editor and Creative Director of Enjoy the Music.com and
Enjoy the Music.TV.
doubleTwist CloudPlayer App
Supports FLAC, ALAC And More
has just launched their CloudPlayer app that enables a variety of cloud service to become a giant personal audio jukebox. For now, this app is available for the Android platform and supports Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive. CloudPlayer is
doubleTwist's next-generation music player that can manage and stream your personal music collection no matter where it is stored. It supports hi-fidelity lossless audio, and universal casting to Chromecast and AirPlay devices. For example, you can stream a song from your OneDrive or Dropbox to your Apple TV or Chromecast. You can even link multiple cloud services, which comes in handy for those with a large music library or wish to listen to music uploaded by another family member. CloudPlayer features a snappy material design GUI, premium sound, lossless audio, bass boost, 10-band EQ, ability to select songs and playlists for offline playback, and built-in AirPlay and Chromecast support.
doubleTwist's CloudPlayer also handles high resolution artist and album images, has advanced sorting options for albums, artists, composers, genres and more. The advanced 10 band equalizer has 17 presets and preamp, plus SuperSound that provides users the ability to customize their sound with headphone enhancement, bass boost and stereo widening effects. Support for lossless file formats such as FLAC and ALAC plus lossy formats including MP3, AAC, OGG, m4a, wav and more come standard.
Additional features coming soon include metadata/tag and album art editing, crossfade and gapless playback, and an option for uploading music from your device to the cloud.
Audio Exklusiv E 12
Solid-State Stereo Integrated Amplifier
German audio manufacturer Audio
Exklusiv will be making available their E 12 solid-state stereo integrated amplifier (€1999) as the first product of the company's ECO-Line, which is priced lower than previous models in their CLASSIC-Line. The E 12 has an
output power of 85 wpc @ 8 Ohms (140 wpc at 4 Ohms) and starts out with a 500 W transformer within the power supply. In the basic version the E 12 you receive four high level RCA inputs. Optional for extra charge is either a Phonoplate of the P 0.2 or the DACplate of the new DAC P 0.8, which will be available late this summer. The switch of the sources is by Relais whilst the volume control is regulated with a high end potentiometer from Alps. Audio Exklusiv's standard design of the E 12 stereo integrated amplifier will feature a front plate in acrylic black with silver printing and control elements in
aluminum matt black anodized. Other special options such as knobs in aluminum matt silver
anodized, volume remote control or rather the tuning set 'S' (power supply, wiring and mechanical
optimizing) are obtainable on demand and for extra charge. Frequency response
is from 5 Hz to 100 kHz and each unit weighs 29 lbs.
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Sämtliche Lieder für
new Blu-ray audio release of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Sämtliche Lieder für (€21.47) features gemischten Chor acappella, Sächsisches Vocalensemble as
conducted by Matthias Jung. This release includes TACET Real Surround Sound and stereo 24-bit/96kHz mix. Matthias Jung is a fairly unassuming person (as are other TACET musicians such as Evgeni Koroliov or the Auryn Quartet). He places his musicality and his ability completely in the service of music. He understands how to transfer the traditional and yet timelessly modern characteristics of the German language into music and how to blend the melody of the language with musical melody in a way that is reminiscent of the high culture of the 19th century, stemming from Mendelssohn and in which Mendelssohn himself felt at home. Matthias Jung's recording of the complete songs for mixed
acappella choir by Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, with the Sächsisches Vocalensemble, has already received numerous awards on CD, such as "5 tuning forks" (5 stars) from the French magazine
Diapason or the recommendation from Klassik Heute with 10 points. The new Blu-ray disc takes the sound quality even further. As ever, the TACET "Real Surround Sound" continues to fascinate. It places the listener right in the middle of the music, this time in a quite special way. Mendelssohn several times expressed a wish, including in writing, to perform these songs in a suitable place in a wood, more precisely in a wood of tall beech trees. He even painted a picture of this,
which can be found within the Blu-ray's supplementary booklet. Allow yourself to be surprised by the sound of this on the Blue-ray disc in stereo and in multi-channel sound. And so these simple, expressive and yet so refined texts and songs have even more appeal.
06 / 16 / 15
Acoustic Sounds Purchases Doug
Sax's The Mastering Lab
Just three months after buying 13 vintage record presses to meet the surging demand for vinyl LPs,
Acoustic Sounds' CEO Chad Kassem has purchased The Mastering Lab (TML) from the estate of legendary mastering engineer Doug Sax. The sale pairs Quality Record Pressings (QRP), a division of Acoustic Sounds and an industry-recognized audiophile LP manufacturer, with the Grammy Award-winning sound engineering and LP lacquer cutting business started four decades ago by Sax, who passed away in April. Sax worked throughout his career with the music elite, including Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Barbra Streisand, and dozens more. Chad Kassem said his strategy behind the purchase was to create the country’s only vertically integrated vinyl LP production facility. From mastering and record pressing to graphic design and printing to direct-to-consumer sales, QRP now has all the capabilities needed to bring LPs to market. "Expanding and rounding out our capabilities to meet the growing demand for vinyl was the key to this acquisition," said Chad Kassem. "That, coupled with the history of The Mastering Lab and Doug's reputation, makes this purchase very gratifying." Plans call for relocating and incorporating TML business, now based in California, to Acoustic Sounds' headquarters in Kansas.
Sony Announces New Media
Player For PlayStation 4
Filed in the 'makes no sense' folder of the music industry,
recording label giant Sony is a big part of the Hi-Res Audio initiative and
inventors of the proprietary SACD and DSD format, yet they have released a new Media
Player for the PS4 that does not support any high resolution audio file type(!). Sony just announced at their E3 press conference a new Media Player that is set to be available on the company's PS4 system. Media Player for the PS4 was just
made available to download from PlayStation Store last night, yet only handles MP3 and AAC (M4A) formats according to the press release. A Media Player icon will appear in the PS4 content area, with users simply selecting the icon to be taken to the PS Store for download. "Sony's Media Player works with both your home server and when plugging a USB stick with media into one of the available ports on the PS4. Your home server will appear as a media option in the player automatically and finding your media is simple and quick. You may also simply enjoy music as background music on your PS4!" says the press release. As for video, the new Player handles H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level 4.2 with audio being MP3, AAC LC, AC-3 (Dolby Digital). AVI MPEG4 ASP, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level 4.2 with MP3, AAC LC, and AC-3 (Dolby Digital) is also playable as is MP4 H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level 4.2 with AAC LC, and AC-3 (Dolby Digital). We here at
Enjoy the Music.com find it curious that earlier PlayStation models could play back
SACD discs yet their new
PS4 and Media Player seem a bit lacking in features for music enthusiasts.
Wax Stacks Wooden Vinyl LP
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,
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.
06 / 15 / 15
More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015
Astell&Kern AK380, AK500N And Maria Callas Box Set
Daedalus Audio, Zesto Audio, WyWires, ModWright And VPI
MrSpeakers Ether Headphones
ELAC Speakers Designed By Andrew Jones
Spread Spectrum Technologies'
Son Of Ampzilla II And Thoebe II
Spread Spectrum Technologies (SST)
, pioneered by the late James Bongiorno, has officially renewed with new leadership and product lineup designed and produced in the USA.
The late Jim Bongiorno was an innovative designer wit the likes of his Ampzilla amplifier. His engineering contributions to well-known audio companies included Marantz, Dynaco, SAE, SUMO Electric, The GAS (Great American Sound) Company and Spread Spectrum Technologies. As Jim's health began to wane, this
would also be a period of 'passing the torch' to the talented EJ. Today, SST retains the same spirit of bold thinking and innovation as it did when it first began. The company's new product lineup includes Son Of Ampzilla II amplifier and Thoebe II preamplifier. Son Of Ampzilla II feature is a unique grounding procedure that insures absolutely no ground loops. The measured power output of the new Son of Ampzilla II ($3000) is a potent 220 watts/channel into 8 Ohms and features both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs. The Thoebe II comes in three different versions as
standard, with DAC and/or with phonostage ($3000 standard or ass $500 for DAC or $750 for phonostage, or both for a total of $4000). There is a built-in Class A headphone amplifier as standard for those who enjoy private listening sessions. Digitally-controlled, channel independent, highly-advanced tone controls are mated with a resistive-ladder type volume control that is said to be unique to the Thoebe II. There are high/low gain settings, phase and balance controls plus a large (dimmable) LED front display. An internal USB connection provides the ability for any future software updates. The optional DAC
features the Sabre 9018 32-bit DAC chip that is asynchronous, galvanically isolated USB input supports up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD64 / DSD128.
An optional phonostage is for moving magnet (MM) and is made with a discrete Class A design.
Industry News 15 Years Ago
Microsoft announces its achievement of one million secure Internet transactions using their Windows Media Rights Manager. Most of these secure transactions were of music media downloaded from the internet. Both Microsoft and Reciprocal have secured deals with major labels such as
EMI Recorded Music, BMG Entertainment, Sony Music and Warner Music. This allows the public to buy music over the internet in Microsoft's Windows Media format.
"As the industry's leading DRM clearing service to support multiple DRM technologies, this
one million benchmark with Windows Media is an important milestone for the company and validation for the digital distribution industry and its market potential," said John Schwarz, president and CEO of Reciprocal. Will Poole, vice president of the Digital Media Division at Microsoft said "Digital rights management is the fundamental enabler for digital media e-commerce... Today's milestone punctuates how mature and widely adopted Windows Media Rights Manager is today, and how important Reciprocal is as an industry partner in offering the industry a proven infrastructure for handling massive DRM
06 / 12 / 15
More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015
Audio Precision G.R.A.S. KEMAR And APx515
Salk Sound, Wells Audio, LampizatOr Plus Danacables And Ginko Audio
Emerald Physics, DSPeakers And Exogal
Powerhouse's Album In An Ambient Way
In True Hi-Res Audio
has announced the first collaboration featuring the legendary Lenny White, Bob Belden, Wallace Roney,
Oz Noy, Kevin Hays and Daryl Johns in their upcoming album In An Ambient Way. Available at
HDtracks on June 23rd in true high resolution 192kHz/24-bit AIFF, Chesky Records does note they are deeply saddened by the recent loss of an industry icon, incredible musician, and beautiful person Bob Belden. He passed away this May at the age of
58 and will be dearly missed. With Bob Belden (soprano sax, flute), Wallace Roney (trumpet), Oz Noy (guitar), Kevin Hays (Fender Rhodes), Daryl Johns (bass)
and Lenny White (drums), Powerhouse's album In An Ambient Way is an awesome jazz super group that sets its sights on interpreting Miles Davis' groundbreaking album In a Silent Way using modern recording technology and sonic textures as a contribution to the improvisation. Not only is the texture of the room taken into consideration for the choice of music, but also the prime placement of each instrument within the matrix of the captured sound, all of which added to the input of inspiration that makes the music more alive and interactive. This recording embraces many elements of the jazz world: the perpetual idea of using technology to improve the world around you that Miles Davis made so clear; the continuation of the generational passing of knowledge through actual living situations; the spontaneous nature of improvised music; and, above all, the desire to discover new things, to improve, develop and add a new dimension to the listening experience for all lovers of music. As part of the Chesky Binaural + Series, all recorded with a single microphone, the group appears right before you with this spacious, lush and multi-dimensional recording. Now headphone users will hear the same three-dimensional sound and imaging as audiophiles have for the past 25 years with Chesky Recordings. Also these new Binaural+ Series albums capture even more spatial realism for the home audiophile market, bringing you one step closer to the actual event. You will hear some of the most natural and pure cool jazz ever recorded.
06 / 11 / 15
Merging NADAC Recording Studio
Quality DAC Unit
new audiophile-grade DAC processes PCM formats up to 24-bit/384kHz plus DXD and DSD up to DSD256. NADAC stands for Network Attached DAC, and will be delivered in two different versions, stereo
(~$10,000) and 8-channels (~$11,000). Both variants have 1/4" and mini-jack headphone outputs and the monitoring-grade headphone outputs can be configured to carry a different signal to the main output. Merging is forming a dynamic partnership with a growing number of content providers to jointly promote the benefits of the listening to the music as the artists intended. The new
Merging DAC has AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital inputs for use with CD players, CD transports or other devices up to 192kHz. An Ethernet interface is provided for use with computer based digital audio systems for carrying through ASIO on Windows and CoreAudio with DoP on MacOS any resolution up to 384kHz, DXD and DSD256. This uses the RAVENNA protocol that Merging Technologies helped to develop for high sampling rate applications and allows very robust and accurate transfer of the digital audio data from the computer to NADAC. The data is stored in a large buffer memory in the NADAC and then clocked out by the unit's precision internal clock. RAVENNA protocol's ultra-stable Precision Time Protocol (IEEE 1588) eliminates the cable and jitter related problems associated with conventional digital audio interfaces. The NADAC's line outputs are driven by an ESS9008S SABRE Reference Audio D/A IC. This IC has 8 separate D/A converters and in the stereo version of the NADAC, each channel uses 4 D/A converters with the outputs summed in order to provide improved linearity, greater dynamic range and a lower noise floor. The 8-channel version of the NADAC may also be switched to work as a stereo unit, with the converters configured in the same way. The headphone output uses the same type of converter IC configured similarly. NADAC has balanced and unbalanced line outputs; two headphone outputs; a digital volume control and any smart device with a web browser can serve as a remote control.
Gibson Trainer Headphones For
Sport-Minded Music Enthusiasts
brands new Trainer headphones are now available ($249.99). Trainer by Gibson marks the company's entry into the headphone market with the debut product of their innovative new health-focused brand. Developed in partnership with Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive and six-time Track & Field Olympic Gold medalist, Trainer by Gibson incorporates a diverse range of features specifically designed for fitness enthusiasts. Available in black or white with a streamlined design, Trainer by Gibson includes several features including a switch between an active mode and a lifestyle mode. With just a push of a button, the Aeroflex design transforms them into sport headphones providing the right fit, comfort and stability for a proper workout. NightNav strategically placed LED light offers safety and visibility; perfect for nighttime runs. By activating the SafeSound function you turn down the volume and reduce the bass so that you can stay alert to your surroundings. CoolTouch keeps workouts comfortable through climate regulating cushions with cutting-edge NASA space technology fabric. The Outlast technology uses Phase Change Materials that absorb, store and release heat for optimal thermal comfort. Weather and sweat resistance is achieved through WeatherSeal as drivers are protected by a hydroscopic mesh and the internals are sealed with silicon gaskets. After extra vigorous workouts, the cushions can be removed and cleaned. Bluetooth support provides 10 hours of battery life during wireless movement.
06 / 10 / 15
More coverage from T.H.E. Show Newport 2015
Woo Audio WA-8 Battery Powered Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier
Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems
OpenLIVE To Offer High Resolution Music
has partnered with 7digital to offer high quality digital music downloads. Built by artists and music fans, OpenLIVE aims to deliver a better quality product in lossless audio versus lower quality lossy compressed MP3. OpenLIVE's a-la-carte music download store and live performance
recording platform has chosen to partner with 7digital, a leading digital music platform and content management service, to power the Australian start-up's new music store. Launching this
winter, OpenLIVE will focus on providing music fans with unique recordings of live performances from participating artists and venues as well as a catalog of high-resolution albums and tracks. OpenLIVE has developed an innovative and unique patent-pending technology that allows any artist, signed or independent, to collect high-quality recordings of their live performances. The
live performance recordings will then be available to consumers on the OpenLIVE store and other music services as chosen by the artist or label, thereby creating a seamless new revenue
stream for the artist. By combining high quality audio components, miniaturized computing, proprietary processing techniques and network security with a wealth of user-friendly web tools, OpenLIVE says they have "unlocked a new and reliable recording and distribution process for unique live music performances that brings Artists and Fans closer together". OpenLIVE's CTO Simon Tait says, "Music is at the very heart of OpenLIVE. It is our life and it permeates everything we do. Every single pursuit of OpenLIVE is devoted to servicing the best possible listening experiences for Music Fans; and High-Res Audio is paramount to that experience. 7digital has been fundamental in helping us put this passion into a viable product, ready for launch and imminent expansion. They understand our vision and provide us with a flexible and reliable infrastructure that caters exactly to our needs."
Linear Tube Audio ZOTL Stereo Power
Amplifier And Integrated Amplifier
Audio's upcoming 10 watt ZOTL stereo power amplifier and integrated amplifier is the first of a new series of affordable David Berning designed amplifiers. The ZOTL10 will be introduced this summer and is expected to be priced within the $200 to $3000 range. The ZOTL10 is an amplifier designed for medium to high efficiency speakers and uses EL-84 tubes. It will be offered in both power amplifier and integrated amplifier configurations. The ZOTL10 is
expected to have hum that is much lower than typical tube amplifiers, which can be much more pronounced when connected to high efficiency speakers. Operating in push-pull, Class AB, the Linear Tube Audio ZOTL stereo amplifier will produce 10 watts per channel and use four EL-84, two 12AT7, and two 12AX7 premium Russian Tung Sol vacuum tubes. Low impedance output should easily
matches a wide range of speakers. Each unit will be hand built with hand-wound coils and impedance converters in Washington, DC. A universal voltage power supply will allow the Linear Tube Audio ZOTL to work in any country automatically. Another feature is a 'Straight wire' volume control, which is processor controlled resistors and gold contact plus hermetically sealed relays as found in very high-end preamplifiers. Input section uses processor controlled gold contact sealed relays and silver Teflon insulated wire to the gold plated RCA jacks. An OLED color display is easily readable from across the room. An included remote control is thin and
light. Enjoy the Music.com has reviews
of the The Berning microZOTL personal amplifier and the David Berning Company ZH270
06 / 09 / 15
June/July Issue Is Now Available Online For Free
Enjoy the Music.com just posted
CANADA HiFi's June / July 2015
issue. This issue features review of the Jeff Rowland Continuum 52 integrated amplifier, Skogrand Cables SC Beethoven speaker cables, Yamaha A-5801 integrated amplifier, Bryston Model A2 loudspeakers and the Sony SS-NA2ES loudspeakers.
Within his editorial, Suave Kajko says, "With spring cleaning behind you and the first day of summer just around the corner you might be contemplating a home renovation project or simply rearranging one of your living spaces. Perhaps you plan to tackle the living room, family room or the home theatre. And if so, you might as well consider upgrading the AV system inside the room - I know that I certainly would.
Frank Labonte, who recently began contributing to CANADA HiFi, offers our most-complete AV Receiver Shopping Guide in this issue. AV receivers have become incredibly complex machines and there are many factors to consider when choosing a unit that's best suited to your listening tastes and space. New surround codecs like Dolby Atmos, Aura-3D and DTS-X promise a more immersive audio experience than ever before but in order to take advantage of them you will need to install in-ceiling speakers or upgrade your existing speakers to height-enabled models. And surround codecs are just one of the many decisions you'll have to make when choosing a new AV receiver."
You can see what's within the June / July issue of
CANADA HiFi and download this issue for free online at this link.
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