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High-End Audio Industry News

 

01 / 31 / 02

MIT MI 350 Oracle  Music Interface Technologies (MIT) has introduced their new MI 350 Oracle interconnect that features new network boxes for improved performance. Quoting from the company spec sheet, "...The 350 Oracle incorporates new advanced conductor designs and updated network topology that consolidates all of the networks into one easy-to-handle network housing. New, proprietary conductor designs feature premium materials and construction that provide an extremely low dielectric constant that greatly reduces dielectric distortions to well below the audible level. Consolidated network designs featuring new reduced sized components, allow for networks of greater complexity, efficiency and performance to be enclosed into a single enclosure. Add to this the new OneWrap network wrap straps (Velcro straps for hanging network boxes) that attach directly to the network box via a supplied thumbscrew to relieve undue strain on connectors and chassis mount connection points, for a complete performance solution with simplicity and convenience...." The MI 350 Oracle is available in single-ended (RCA) and balanced (XLR) configurations and sold only through participating MIT Reference dealers.

 

 

GutWire has introduced the MaxCon AC line conditioner (from $899 to $2,239 depending on power cord) and the Stingray Power Extension Bar ($219). The Stingray features a Hubbell 4-plex hospital-grade outlet with Hubbell 8215 AC plug while the MaxCon offers four Hubbell outlets and provides AC line filtering. The MaxCon can be ordered with the Basic Clef power cable ($899), the G Clef power cable ($1,039), the C Clef power cable ($1,239), the Power Clef power cable ($1,429) and the Pure Clef power cable ($2,239). In each case, the provided power cord is 5.5 feet in length.

 

01 / 30 / 02

Classic Phoenix Grand Loudspeaker  The Classic Phoenix Grand Speaker by Taiwanese firm Calix Technology is a full-range five-driver, four-way horn speaker system with 90dB sensitivity that presents a nominal 8-ohm load. Recommended amplifier power is from 50 to 600 watts, with crossover points at 500Hz, 2.5kHz and 15kHz and associated driver complement of two 1-inch, wide-angle horn-loaded tweeters, a 1-inch ribbon tweeter, a 2-inch soft-dome midrange horn and a 15-inch Kevlar/fiber glass cone woofer. The Classic Phoenix Grand weighs in at a very substantial 286 lbs and measures 57" x 22.5" x 37.4" (HxWxD).

 

 

Cary Audio's 2nd-generation CD players benefit not only from the new Pacific Microsonics PMD-200 filter but also upsampling rates to 96kHz for the CD-303/200 ($3,000) and 192kHz for the CD 306/200 ($5,000), new all-aluminum remotes, analog domain volume control, front-panel defeatable upsampling and digital in/outputs. Cary also introduced its new CAD-808, a 30/50-watt KT-88 based triode/ultralinear stereo amplifier with dual green "cat eye" output level indicator tubes, four EL-34 output tubes, a 6922 triode tube driver stage with EL-84 pentode as current source and a retail of $2,500. Dubbed the Rocket 88, Cary demonstrated the drive of this newest amplifier by having it power B&W Nautilus 801 speakers at CES 2002.

 

 

Enjoy the Music.com has just added four more CES/T.H.E. Expo show reports. These new writings by Clark Johnsen, Dick Olsher, Dave Glackin, and Karl Lozier far supercede the amount of written content offered by any audiophile news source and there are still more show reports to be posted online. Please feel free to see these new show reports by clicking here

 

01 / 29 / 02

Grammy In The Schools  The Grammy Foundation's educational Careers In Music is enhancing the awareness of working within the music to school children throughout America. While the "MTV Generation" seems to only experience the glitz, glamour, music videos and big production concerts, the Grammy Foundation want to make students aware of the hard work involved. A specially prepared Careers In Music handbook will be given out during these sessions to further educate the students. Below is the ongoing schedule of Universities and schools where the Grammy Foundation will be:

January 30 - Belmont University, Nashville 
February 1 - University of Memphis 
February 5 - Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington 
February 7 - Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Florida 
February 26 - University of Southern California, Los Angeles 
March 13 - Pace University, New York City 
March 14 - University of the Arts, Philadelphia 
March 18 - Loyola University, New Orleans 
March 20 - Berklee College of Music, Boston 
April 16 - George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 
April 25 - University of South Dakota, Vermillion 
May 8 - Michigan State University, East Lansing 
May 10 - Kennesaw State University, Georgia

 

 

Naim FraimThe new Naim Fraim equipment supports begin with a base element two-part rack ($850) upon which additional shelves may be stacked for a modular, self-leveling system. Cosmetic options include maple, cherry and black shelf finishes and black or aluminum spacers that are available in 4.15" and 10" versions. As shown, the Naim Fraim base with four standard height shelves in cherry finish/aluminum spacers retails for $3,050.

 

01 / 28 / 02

Townshend Isolda  The Isolda loudspeaker cable by Townshend Audio features impedance matching to nominal loudspeaker loads via inductive filtering and series resistance and adds deep cryogenic treatment and post annealing to enhance the molecular lattice structure of the copper conductors. Construction of the Isolda Loudspeaker Cable consists of two flat strip conductors with proprietary insulation that are sheathed in a hard-wearing polyester braid and terminated at each end with non-magnetic stainless steel cylinders. These enclose the cable transition as well as the inductors at the amplifier end. Flexible, PTFE insulated silver-plated copper wire tails connect to banana, spade, BFA or Speakon connectors to complete the cable. The strip conductors are arranged to slide over each other, through the braid and through the cylinders, to minimize buckling when coiling the cable. It can be laid under carpet and folded at right angles. It must not, however, be walked upon. Isolda Loudspeaker Cable is sold in pre-terminated lengths. As the cables are impedance matched, the sound is claimed to not change with length so that unequal runs may be used for each channel.

 

 

Galante Audio has picked the official name for their new 12" floor standing coaxial loudspeaker from their contest held at the recent T.H.E. EXPO 2002. According to Brian Galante "Picking a name was not easy, as dealer response was excellent and so were the suggested names. After much contemplation and a fair amount of head scratching, Timeless Audio of Luxemburg, WI emerged as the winner. The name of the new speaker is the Symphony! Congratulations to Jim Schmonsky at Timeless Audio and a big thank you to all the dealers who participated in this contest and made it so much fun!" Jim Schmonsky has won a pair of Galante Audio's hot new Rhapsody loudspeakers ($2,400) and has until February 8th to contact Brain Galante either by email at info@galanteaudio.com or phone at (610) 838-1656.

 

01 / 25 / 02

Tri-Orbs by Van Slyke Engineering  Tri-Orbs by Van Slyke Engineering are isolation devices claimed to combine the benefits of all isolation methods in one single component. The firm is convinced enough of their invention to offer an unconditional 30-day return policy and lifetime materials and workmanship warranty. The Tri-Orbs combine Coulomb cones, roller balls, sling suspenders, spring-mass absorber blocks, decoupled counter-weighting, cork and gray felt pads and Neoprene. They're self-centering and auto-leveling and feature built-in anti-tip/anti-slide stops. The ball bearings use hardened chrome steel or tungsten carbide while the remainder of the device uses tungsten carbide, steel, iron, aluminum and brass. Each Tri-Orb measures 3" in diameter and 2-2.5" in height and weighs approximately 2 lbs.

Tri-Orbs are designed to support lighter source components (i.e. turntables, CD, DVD, & SACD players, etc.) up to 25 lbs. for the TOL3 (set of 3) with standard O-rings, 35 lbs. for the TOL4 (set of 4) with standard O-rings, 50 lbs. for the TOL4 with heavy-duty O-ring set, and 75 lbs. for the TOL4 with ultra heavy-duty O-ring set installed. Introductory pricing is as follows: TOL1S, Tri-Orb Lite, standard-grade, $199 each ($299 MSRP); TOL3S, Tri-Orb Lite, standard-grade, $495 for set of 3 ($795 MSRP); TOL4S, Tri-Orb Lite, standard-grade, $595 for set of 4 ($995 MSRP); TOL1R, Tri-Orb Lite, reference-grade, $299 each ($499 MSRP); TOL3R, Tri-Orb Lite, reference-grade, $895 for set of 3 ($1,495 MSRP); TOL4R Tri-Orb Lite, reference-grade, $1,195 for set of 4 ($1,995 MSRP).

 

 

Gershman Acoustics CameleonCanadian loudspeaker manufacture Gershman Acoustics new Cameleon ($1,699/pair) is a two-way loudspeaker featuring an 8" woofer and 1" dome tweeter. A one-inch thick front baffle combined with solid overall construction greatly reduces cabinet resonances that may cause distortion. Sensitivity is rated at 89dB/w/m at an 8 ohm load. Frequency response of the Cameleon is 32Hz to 24kHz while overall cabinet dimensions are 48" x 10" x 10" (HxWxD).

 

01 / 24 / 02

  British manufacture Meridian Audio is now offering an upgrade to reach Version 3 of their 800 Player ($17,000 to $20,000 depending on configuration) and 861 Reference Surround Controller ($17,000 to $20,000 depending on configuration). The main new addition in this upgrade includes the MHR Smart Link... a digital multi-channel connection which directly couples the 800 Player to the 861 Reference Surround Controller and to Meridian's family of DSP loudspeakers. The MHR Smart Link uses proprietary encryption and signaling technology and is the first system to be officially sanctioned for DVD-Audio content protection. Also part of the upgrade is the 861 Reference Surround Controller's newly-developed digital signal processing engine. This brings two important benefits: First by lifting the Dolby Digital decoding task from the 861, it is free to apply its own signal processing power to optimize resolution - typically working at 48-bit internal precision. Second, the DSP power in 800 can be used to provide upsampling and resolution enhancement for all sources including CD and DVD-Video.

 

 

While other sources report the recent CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) CES (Consumer Electronic Show) as the largest ever, the fact is attendance was down by almost 28,000 people to reach only 97,962 attendees as compared to the previous year's 126,000. Available exhibit space was at an all time high due to the opening of the Las Vegas Convention Center's South Hall. With 1.2 million net square feet of available space, there was more area than ever to sell to exhibitors yet less people attending this year to see them all. This downturn in attendance could be linked to the recent September 11th events and ongoing economic recession.

 

 

Confirming rumors about Adcom's fiscal stability, the Klein Technology Group LLC has announced the acquisition of Adcom's consumer electronics division. As a result, New Jersey based Adcom will relocate its corporate headquarters to Klein's Scottsdale, Arizona location while R&D remains in Pennsylvania near Baltimore. Adcom's current marketing and distribution arrangements with KEF and Celestion remain in place but are to be called KEF America once the merger goes effective February 15th.

 

01 / 23 / 02

Green Mountain Europa  Green Mountain Audio announces the Europa ($780/pr), a 6" ported two-way housed in a matte black cast marble chassis and employing the firm's customary 1st-order network architecture. The woofer is a paper/carbon-fiber cone with 1" Kapton voice coil and underhung, radially polarized neodymium magnet assembly. The 28mm polymer-coated linen dome tweeter is from Morel and uses an aluminum voice coil and ferrofluid cooling. Sensitivity for the Europa is given as 88dB, with frequency response of 55Hz to 21kHz at -3dB. Physical dimensions are 8" x 10.5" x 18.5" (WxDxH), with a 2-degree flair on the sides and a 6-degree back slope from the front, making the top 8.5" deep. The Europa weighs 45 lbs each. Look for a review in the pages of our Review Magazine soon.

 

 

ESS Technology, Inc. is now offering new digital to analog (DAC) chipsets that suport DVD-Audio with plans to also support SACD in the near future. ESS's ES6038F DVD-Audio decoding capable Vibratto chip will be found in Denon Ltd.'s new products such as their DVD-9000 DVD player. This chip provides surround sound capability of up to six independent channels of 24-bit/96kHz audio, two-channel resolution of 24-bit/192kHz, multi-channel Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP) audio decoding, Linear Pulse Code Modulation (LPCM) audio decode, audio watermark detection, and Copy Protection for Prerecorded Media (CPPM). As for SACD, ESS Technology has obtained a license from Philips to incorporate the new Super Audio CD (SACD) format into ESS chips. ESS intends to add SACD capability to its Vibratto DVD single-chip solution family by the second quarter of 2002.

 

01 / 22 / 02

  Universal Music Group (UMG) appears to have settled a class-action lawsuit filed by approximately 300 recording artists who were allegedly owed royalties. The $4.75 million settlement led by none other than legendary singer/songwriter and Grammy Award winner Peggy Lee who passed away last night. The UMG lawsuit also includes other artists and representatives of deceased musicians including Louis Armstrong, Pearl Bailey, Bill Haley, Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Andrews Sisters.

 

 

Peggy LeeAs for the very sad news... Peggy Lee (81) passed away last night at approximately 8 p.m. in her Bel Air home with daughter Nicki Lee Foster by her side. Cause of death has preliminarily been determined as a myocardial infarction, a result of the stroke she suffered three years ago. Peggy Lee, birth name Norma Egstrom in North Dakota, originally saw the spotlight with Benny Goodman's hit "Why Don't You Do Right" in 1941. Her solo career saw such popular hits as "Lover", "Mañana (Is Soon Enough for Me)" and "Fever" that captivated her swinging vocal power with a good mix of seductiveness. Her 1992 album Moments Like This was recorded by audiophile label Chesky Records. Miss Lee is survived by daughter Nicki Lee Foster; her grandchildren David Foster, Holly Foster-Wells, and Michael Foster; and her great-grandchildren Teagan Foster, Caleb Foster and Carter Wells.

 

 

Soundpoles by EOSSCalifornia based loudspeaker company Soundpoles by EOSS combine Kevlar-composite and ribbon drivers in skinny poles measuring 2.5 inches wide by 2.5 inches deep and, depending on model, ranging in length from 60 to 72.5 inches, with the 2Kr model using a 3.75-inch diameter aluminum chassis. Matching separate woofers in passive and active versions augment bass response. Specifications are as follows:

Frequency Response: 200Hz-19kHz (+/- 3dB)
Crossover Frequency: 200Hz
Amplifier Power Requirements: 20–100 watts per channel
Dimensions: 2K - 2.5" X 2.5" X 60" 
2Ks - 2.5" X 2.75" X 72.5" 
2Kr - 3.75" dia. X 72.5" 

 

01 / 21 / 02

Linn Classik  Linn's new Classik Movie System will be available in March 2002 and further expands the capabilities of the popular Classsik integrated amplifier as reviewed by Enjoy the Music.com. As the very first first video source product from Linn, the Classik Movie System integrates DVD and CD playback, an AM/FM tuner with 80 definable presets, multi-channel power amplification and multi-room distributed audio. The DVD/CD engine allows for both high-performance audio and video including Dolby-Digital/DTS decoder with built-in 5.1 channel power amplification. Added functionality of two built-in distributed audio options enables Classik audio distribution throughout the home from a main room Classik Movie System by simply connecting to up to four additional Linn Classik Movie or Linn Classik Music systems. The Classik Movie System can also integrate fully with Linn's Knekt multi-room system via the optional Linn Knekt room control keypad. Pricing in Black: UK: £1,995, USA: $2,950, Canada: $4,450, Germany: €3,422, Sweden: 32,000kr Norway: 28,000kr, Denmark: 27,000kr

 

 

PMC TLE1 SubwooferPCM (Professional Monitor Company) is introducing their transmission-line TLE1 active sub bass unit claimed to be "the result of much experience gained in the professional realm of Hollywood and research into the acoustics and ergonomics of the home. Size and the aesthetics have played a major part in the creation of this radical new unit, which can be seen in its tall slender form and tiny footprint." Two 6.5-inch shielded custom drivers are driven by a true 150 watt, ultra low distortion audiophile power amplifier, based on a Bryston design. Within the compact cabinet lies a true transmission line with an effective length of 9.5 feet to give the TLE1 flat frequency response to 22Hz with real audiophile clarity and detail. Specifications include: stereo balanced XLR & unbalanced RCA inputs; volume/level with calibrated setting for THX specification; variable phase 0-360 degrees; variable roll-off 38-155Hz 12 dB/octave; variable roll-off defeat/bypass; 12V Trigger input; 21.5" x 7.75" x 19.75" (HxWxD); and weighs 42 lbs.

 

01 / 18 / 02

44th Annual Grammy Awards  The Recording Academy has chosen the nominees for the 44th Annual Grammy Awards. These awards are not just for the most popular music such as rap, R&B, country, Jazz, etc., but also for spoken word recordings, composing/arranging, historical, music video and many other achievements. Unlike other award shows where sales of their music product dictate who wins, the Grammy Awards are decided upon by other Grammy members who are within the music industry. "Once again, this year's nominations reflect many different musical points of view - from those established artists whose influence has shaped the evolution of our musical language, to newcomers who speak with a unique resonance," said Recording Academy President/CEO Michael Greene. "We are gratified to see so many truly talented singer/songwriters; they remain a vital part of music's foundation." You can see our exclusive coverage of the 43rd Annual Grammy Award by clicking here.

 

 

Viola Audio Laboratories is a new High-End company by Tom Colangelo and Paul Jayson, formerly of Mark Levinson Audio Systems and also the designers of the Audio Suite, Audio Palette, Performance Amps and Strings as well as the Stradivarius speaker line. Forthcoming products are a 350 watts per channel stereo amplifier switchable to mono, with outboard power supply, a mainframe-styled pre-amplifier with modular architecture, reference speakers, subwoofers and cabling to provide a complete Viola-styled system.

 

01 / 17 / 02

  GamuT Audio is introducing its reference GamuT S-300 stereo amplifier. This impressively large unit is rated at 300 watts per channel at 8 ohm and doubles as the impedance halves until 1,200 watts per channel into a 2 ohm load. Due to the huge amount of electrical demands needed to power this unit, United States owners will need a special electrical circuit installed within their home. The GamuT S-300 is based on a single MOSFET and weighs an impressive 400 lbs.

 

 

NHTNHT is replacing its respective series of Music and Home Theater loudspeakers with a new selection of eight products that can be configured for fifteen or more unique systems. Dubbed "Evolution," the new line is anchored by two satellites, chosen according to room size and subsequently arranged and assembled as towers, placed on shelves, installed in furniture, or positioned horizontally or vertically with no change in fidelity. Along with two satellite models, Evolution will include four different configurations of powered subwoofers, including two that form the base of tower speakers when combined with the satellites. Two remaining subwoofers are designed specifically for size, placement, and the resolution of low frequency anomalies. The remaining components of the Evolution line are related electronics for amplification and subwoofer processing.

When configuring an Evolution system, end-users will start with either the M5 monitor ($450 each) for small to medium rooms, or M6 monitor ($600 each) for medium to large rooms. Both models incorporate a three-way acoustic suspension design, boundary compensation circuitry and an anthracite matte lacquer finish. For those who prefer tower speakers, the T5 and T6 4-way modular towers ($2,500/pair and $4,000/pair, respectively) incorporate satellites, bass modules, and electronics. Each T5 tower system is comprised of two M5 monitors, a pair of single 12" bass tower modules, A1 monaural 250 watt amplifier ($400 each), and X1bass manager/electronic crossover ($350 each). The T6 tower features two M6 monitors, a pair of mirror-image dual 12" bass modules, two A1 250 watt amplifiers, and the X1 bass manager/electronic crossover. The T5 reaches an in-room bass response of 24 Hz and peak acoustic output of 108dB SPL, while the T6 reaches an in-room bass response of 24Hz and peak acoustic output of 114dB SPL. Both tower models include all necessary mounting hardware, a wire harness, and stabilizers.

The A1 monaural amplifier, designed for NHT's Evolution series, is a 250 watt "Class G" model with both differential balanced and unbalanced inputs, 24v trigger and signal sensing on/off and optional rack mounts, all in a space-saving 1-u chassis. The X1 bass manager/electronic crossover is designed for both stereo and mono operation, with variable hi-pass/lo-pass filters, 180-degree phase control, and a proprietary circuit to provide low frequency compensation for room boundaries. Also included are separate LFE and L/R inputs, separate LFE and master gain control, plus differential balanced and unbalanced inputs/outputs. Similar to the A1, the X1 bass manager/electronic crossover features 24v trigger or signal sensing on/off and optional rack mounts.

Rounding out the Evolution series are two powered subwoofers. The U1 ($1,300) is comprised of a dual 12" aluminum cone with side-firing woofers in a single enclosure. With power and bass respectively managed by an A1 amplifier and X1 bass manager/electronic crossover, the U1 achieves an in-room bass response of 24Hz and a peak acoustic output of 108dB SPL. Ideal for built-in applications or rooms with difficult bass problems, the U2 powered subwoofer ($1,400) features not one, but two distinct, very compact enclosures, each with the same 12" aluminum cone for low distortion, culminating in a front-firing dual cone woofer. Similar to the U1, the U2 powered subwoofer incorporates both the A1 amplifier and X1 bass manager/electronic crossover. Bass response reaches 24Hz and peak acoustic output is 108dB.

 

01 / 16 / 02

Gryphon Audio Designs Adagio CD Player  Gryphon Audio Designs of Denmark is proud to announce the introduction of the Adagio CD player. The Adagio ($6,900) is replacing Gryphon's CDP1 that introduced the Gryphon upsample technology. The Adagio is taking this technology to its next level with enhanced mechanical structure and no compromise features, all chosen for exceptional musical realism. Much attention was given to the analog output circuits in the Adagio. Discrete Build circuitry, true "Class A" with no negative feedback. The signal passes a minimum of components and the analog filter of first order is said to have minimal influence on the audio frequencies. The analog filter uses a polypropylene capacitor with very high slew rate and tight tolerance. All resistors in the analog outputs are SMD (Surface Mount Device) types with low induction and excellent sonic performance. Other features include:

* Dual differential 24-bit/96kHz D/A converters with separate regulated power supplies.
*Upsampling to 24-bit/96kHz for enhanced sonic performance.
* Two custom-build, temperature compensated crystal oscillators with better than 5ppm accuracy.
* Completely isolated power supplies for the digital section and the transport/display.
* Modified dual digital servo transport with a fixed pick-up mechanism.
* True "Class A", discrete-build, no negative feedback analog output circuits.
* Separate custom-build C-core transformers for left and right analog sections.
* 12,000 pF power capacitor banks per channel.
* True dual mono configuration.
* Ultra-short signal path with minimal internal wiring.
* Four-layer printed circuit board for minimal noise and optimal signal transfer.
* Both balanced and single-ended analog outputs.
* Balanced 110ohm AES/EBU and 75ohm S/PDIF digital outputs.
* Full remote controlled operation.

 

01 / 08   to   01 / 15

  See our Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and The Home Entertainment Expo (THE Expo) reports.

 

01 / 07 / 02

  The cable guys at Analysis Plus have released their statement level interconnect dubbed Golden Oval ($1,999/1m pair) for its use of pure-gold over oxygen-free copper in the firm's patented hollow oval geometry. Using a fine Litz conductor array and 100% shield coverage is said to guarantee freedom from EMI/EMC pollution while a conductive sheath eliminates microphonic movement noise to create the lowest possible noise floor.

 

 

Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound has released the T16 OTL amplifier, available in stereo or mono versions, and as kit ($1,099/$1,999) or fully assembled ($1,599/$2,999) pieces. With a tube complement of 16 Russian military 6C19PI 9-pin miniature triodes, and two 12AX7, 12AT7 and 12AU7 each, the stereo unit offers 15/8 watts RMS into 8/4 ohms, the mono blocks 40/25 watts into the equivalent loads. Output impedance is 1/0.7 ohm for the stereo/mono versions, with gain of 20dB and -3dB power bandwidth from 5Hz to 60kHz. The 6C19PI output tube was chosen over the 6AS7G due to better bass and transient performance, which the designer claims is comparable to the EL509. The chassis is made from 18 gauge brushed stainless steel and sports a hand-grained, acid-etched aluminum front panel. All driver stages have their own separate voltage regulation for each channel. Bias supply is regulated and incorporates an improved adjustment allowing for a wider tolerance of output tube variations. The power supply incorporates a two-stage inductor/capacitor filter section for lower noise. Separate power transformers are used for filament, output stage and driver circuits. Soft start eliminates inrush current to protect internal components. The Ultra Low Noise Upgrade adds a second choke/capacitor filter section for a S/N ratio of over 95dB. The upgrade cost is $60 for the stereo amp and $120 for the monoblocks. Size is 17.5" x 11.5 x6.25" (WxDxH), and weight 21 lbs. without, and 25 lbs. with optional bottom lid. The Transcendent Sound T16 OTL amplifier is protected by US patent 5,604,461.

 

01 / 04 / 02

  Just in from Musical Surroundings...
The Aesthetix Io Signature phono stage is now joined by the Callisto Signature line stage. The Signature versions use custom-made inter-stage coupling capacitors. All of the input and output wiring is specialized Cardas Teflon coated pure signal wire. The result is claimed to be "a sonic purity, naturalness and transparency furthering the Aesthetix reputation for control, authority and dimensionality". Original versions and Mark II units can be upgraded to the Signature.

Aesthetix Io Signature $9,000
Aesthetix Io Signature with Volume Controls and 2nd input $11,500
Aesthetix Callisto Signature $11,500

The Aesthetix modular Saturn Series of pre-amplifiers are based on the tube audio circuitry of the Io and Callisto. Similar to the development of the Io and Callisto, Aesthetix president and designer Jim White began the development of this series with a special attention to power supply design. The power supply, chassis and control interfaces of all three products are identical, enhancing both performance and value. The Saturn's modular design allow the single chassis Janus full function preamplifier or separate Rhea phono and Calypso line stages, each with their own dedicated power supply.

The new WKarlson Tonearm, distributed by Musical Surroundings in the Untied States, presents the world premier of a new and striking tonearm from Norway. Hand-made by Walter Karlson in the old world tradition of a fine toolmaker, this unique arm design readdresses many common notions about geometry, resonance, and materials. Estimated retail $5,000.

Clearaudio's Maximum Solution turntable ($6,500) furthers their three-point star shaped acrylic plinth design and drive system of the Master Reference, the Maximum Solution builds upon the Master Solution by utilizing the three motor/pulley/belt drive of the Master Reference. As with the Master Reference, the Maximum Solution uses the Clearaudio Accurate Power Generator (APG) to filter, re-synthesize and synchronize the power to all three motors. Dubbed the "mini Master Reference", the Maximum Solution approaches the sheer musicality of our flagship turntable at only half the cost. The Maximum Solution can accommodate up to three tonearms and may be field upgraded from the Solution ($1,600) or Master Solution ($3,200) for only the difference in retail price.

Graham Engineering's Robin tonearm ($795) incorporates engineering advances derived from the 2.2 tonearm, and built to exacting Graham Engineering standards. The medium mass Robin uses the identical Graham fixed mount pattern of the famous 2.2 tonearm. This design also allows the use of the Graham Engineering patented off-turntable cartridge alignment system, using the removable headshell and separate alignment gauge. Adjustable VTF, VTA, and anti-skate and a special Rega drop-in mounting plate make the Robin an ideal choice for both new turntable purchases and upgrading existing turntables in the field. The Robin includes a quality tonearm cable, while its standard DIN (JIS) output termination allows for future cable upgrade capability. Also in the news, Graham Model 2.1 Basic tonearm ($1,995) is based on the famous 2.2 tonearm, the new 2.1 Basic uses a 2.2 derived aluminum bearing cap, brass side weights, SW-1 aluminum armwand with copper wire, and includes the standard Robin tonearm cable. All other features are identical to the Graham 2.2 and can be upgraded in the field. Those upgrades include the CA-2 alignment gauge, SW-3 Ceramic armwand, T2 tungsten side weights, 2.2 bearing cap and IC-70 tonearm cabling. The 2.1 Basic Ceramic at $2,495 comes with the SW-3 Ceramic armwand with silver internal wire.

 

 

And this just in from Audio Products International (API)... For 2002, Audio Products International is unleashing a slew of new products for its three brands Energy, Mirage and Athena. Energy Loudspeakers is introducing its new Connoisseur Series of loudspeakers because the current e: XL-Series is being phased out. Exact prices have yet to be set; however the nine new models will consist of six L/R models - two bookshelf, four floor-standers - priced from about $300 - $1,500/pair. The largest will feature a powered bass section. In addition there are two center channels at about $250 each and $450 each plus a $500/pair rear channel model. Availability ranges from immediately to shortly after the CES show. Also new from Energy are three new XL-Series models, an under $200 per pair bookshelf, an under $500 per pair floor-stander and a $150 center channel model. With the recent introduction of the new Veritas models, and these Connoisseur and XL-Series models, Energy Loudspeakers will now be offering loudspeakers at price points from about $200 - $6,000/pair.

Sister company Mirage introduces three new subwoofers. The LF100 is an 8", 100 watt model replacing the FRx-S8. New driver and amplifier design mean a step up in performance with no increase in price. Front-mounted controls and front port make the LF100 more user-friendly and easier to position. It remains at $300 each. With a 10" woofer and 150 watts of amplifier power, the LF 150 is the replacement for the FRx-S10. It has a new woofer, improved specs and front-mounted controls. Suggested pricing is $500. Both subwoofers are available now. On the Omnipolar Mirage front, the new $1,000 double 10" 200-watt OM-200 will be the spring 2002 replacement for the 150 watt BPS-150i. Improved amplifier topology, together with increased maximum power output, mean that the vented OM-200 will significantly outperform its predecessor. Subwoofer controls are now up front for better ease of use and placement.

Based on existing "box" speakers marketed under the Mirage HDT (High Definition Theater) and Energy Veritas brands, API is entering the in-wall market with twelve distinctive new models ranging in price from under $300 to $1,000 each. Marketed under the Veritas Custom and Mirage Incognita brands, each of the new lines is made up of six models - two "large frame", two "small frame" and two "in-ceiling" models. Availability ranges from February to April 2002. With a suggested list price of $1,000 each, the largest Custom Veritas models is based on the Veritas v2.3 and dubbed 2.3WM. Like its "enclosed" sibling, it features two 6.5-inch MultiFaceted Veritas woofers and the 2" dome mid and 1" tweeter housed in the familiar Veritas Convergent Source module. The smaller of the two "large frames" at $650 each, the 2.2WM, evokes the Veritas v2.2 with a single 6.5-inch woofer, 2" dome mid and 1-inch tweeter in a Convergent Source Module. The $650 each "small frame" 2.2HM has the same driver complement as the 2.3HM but in a smaller package. The second small frame model, 2.1WM, is a $375 each 6.5" two-way with 1" tweeter. The Veritas Custom line is rounded out with an 8" three-way, 2.0CM at $450 each, and 6.5" two-way, 1.0CM at $300 each, both ceiling-mountable.

The largest HDT-1 derived Incognita model, dubbed HDT-WM1, boasts 2 high performance 6.5" woofers, plus two 1.5" dome mids and a 1" tweeter, the latter three drivers in the diagonal arrangement typical of the "enclosed" HDT models. Suggested list is $1,000 each. The smaller HDT-WM3 is a three-way with 8-inch woofer, 1.5-inch dome mid and 1" tweeter priced at $650 each. Incognita "small frames" are the HDT-WM5 at $650 each, with 6.5" woofer, a 1.5" dome mid and 1-inch tweeter and HDT-WM7 at $375 each, a 6.5" two-way. The line wraps up with the HDT-CM1 and HDT-CM7, 8" and 6.5" ceiling mount models priced respectively at $450 and $300 each. Both of the new API custom series will include a patent-pending Ultradamped™ mounting system that will be a major selling feature. They will be joined also by a matching, in-wall subwoofer and amplifier/control unit combination under development.

The third API brand, Athena Technologies, adds the Point 5 System - a small but "larger than micro" sized, cosmetically and acoustically matched six-piece surround system which includes a subwoofer and is priced at $800. Although the S.5 speakers do not dock with the P.5 subwoofer, their realistic cherry finish and availability as separate items allows mixing and matching with the rest of the SCT Series. The Point 5 system and matching stands are available for immediate delivery. Lastly, Athena is launching its new Audition range of bookshelf, floorstanding and center channel loudspeakers. “Bang for the buck” is said to be the key to these surprisingly hefty, affordable, fully shielded loudspeakers. $149/pair is the starting price for the AS-B1, a 5.5" two-way with 1" Teteron dome tweeter. $229 per pair buys a 6.5" two-way bookshelf model dubbed AS-B2. The AS-F1 and AS-F2 are both floorstanding models, 8" two-way and double 8-inch two-way models priced at $399/pair and $599/pair respectively. Finish is black with silver baffles. Availability is immediate.

 

01 / 03 / 02

AV Mechanica Eclipse  AV Mechanica currently manufactures modular and expandable racks for software collections and announced a new line of equipment supports for 2002. From wall mounts to free-standing units, the AV Mechanica designs epitomize hi-tech appearance and use materials such as stainless steel and maple. The Waves model (from $575) uses 58" high side profiles water-jet cut from 1/4" thick aluminum plate, polished to 400 grit and clear anodized. Footings are CNC routed solid maple and available in unfinished, Cherry and Walnut options. The base Waves unit holds 68 single and two double CDs on its central carrier module fabricated from 16ga galvanized steel. Up to four Wave units cane be combined for a total capacity of 272 single and 8 double CDs. The Eclipse stand (from $495, pictured here) features 5/16" thick, precision ground twin glass arcs with dual arress, polished edges. The side mounting face strips are solid maple and, like the Waves, four units can be combined. The expandability of wall-mounted models is infinite.

 

 

Zu Cable is headquartered in Ogden, Utah just like Kimber Kable and Wasatch. Zu manufactures both cables and a loudspeaker dubbed the Druid ($3600/pair). The Druid is a 101dB efficient two-way tower with 130dB of dynamic range, 35Hz to 30 kHz frequency response, 12-Ohm nominal impedance, 2 - 600 watts power handling and a 12kHz crossover point. The Druid measures 49.8" x 11" x 6.3" (HxWxD) and weighs 60 lbs. Responsible for the Druid's unusual sensitivity spec is the new 8.5 octave bandwidth, 10.3-inch full range driver called Zu-260FR. It is augmented with a 25mm Audax super tweeter run above 12kHz with a 6dB/octave high pass filter. Box loading is accomplished through Zu's proprietary Grive exhaust-drive, a system based on Ron Grive's alternating velocity theories. The Druid's acrylic finish is available in any color desired. The Zu Gauge is a $180 per 10' pair speaker cable while the Julian biwire costs $320 for the same length. Zu also fabricates analog and digital interconnects.

 

01 / 02 / 02

  We here at Enjoy the Music.com have released the January 2002 edition of our Review Magazine. This new issue includes well over twenty-five reviews/articles with ten equipment and over fifteen music reviews. Think pieces cover both Decca/London recordings and also the possibly illegal protected music CDs being sold by major recording labels. Please see our Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

 

Cairn United States importer VMAX services announced retail pricing for the Cairn products they will import. The Cairn Fog CD player carries a $1,095 price in standard outfit and an unexpectedly low $1,595 with Cairn's proprietary 24-bit/192kHz reformatting card. This version was originally slated to sell at $1,995. The Midi tuner will sell for $795, the 4808A 30-watt integrated amp for $1,595, the Nanda preamp for $1,595, the Loco 80-watt monoblocks for $495 each, the larger Mea A 100-watt monoblocks for $795 each and the ROC circular brushed aluminum remote for $150. The ROC will be included free of charge with the purchase of a 4808A or Nanda.

 

01 / 01 / 02

  This just in from Galante Audio... Want a chance to win a free pair of superb sounding high sensitivity loudspeakers? Galante Audio will be debuting yet another new high sensitivity loudspeaker at the upcoming T.H.E. Expo 2002. This new loudspeaker is a floor standing model incorporating an entirely new 12" drive unit similar to the 8" system used in their Rhapsody monitor (see review here). This product is so new that a name has not been chosen. Galante Audio  has decided to let a lucky dealer name it and receive a pair of Galante Audio's hot new Rhapsody loudspeakers ($2,400) for their efforts! The rules are simple. All audio dealers are invited to come into The Galante Audio/Art Audio suite (G104) during show times January 8th thru the 11th. Think of a name for their new loudspeaker, write it on the back of your business card and give it to any of the Galante Audio or Art Audio attendants. Galante Audio will select a name from all those suggested and will be used as the official name for their new 12" loudspeaker. The winning name and dealer will be announced exclusively on Enjoy the Music.com™ between Friday, January 25th thru February 1st, 2002. The winning dealer will have until February 8th to contact Galante Audio either by email at info@galanteaudio.com or phone at (610) 838-1656. The dealer is responsible for shipping costs and this contest is open to all dealers worldwide. Good luck to all dealers attending the show!

 

 

GamuT CD 1The GamuT CD 1 by GamuT Audio is said to be a major improvement over the firm's prior DAC that used Burr Brown's 1702K 20-bit DACs. The CD1 is based on a Crystal 24- bit/96kHz CS4390 DAC with reduced jitter sensitivity. All circuit boards and the CD drive of the CD 1 are mounted on rubber insulation to minimize mechanical vibration while the drive control board contains a number of trim potentiometers to allow for the individual adjustment of performance during final QC testing. For connectivity, the CD 1 offers XLR and RCA analogue outputs and a 75-ohm BNC digital output. Output voltage is 4V, dimensions 17" x 15.9" x 4.42" (WxDxH) and weight 26.4 lbs.


 

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