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High-End Audio Industry News

 

01 / 31 / 03

  Enjoy the Music.com has released the February 2003 edition of their Review Magazine. Equipment reviews include:

* Various CES / T.H.E. Show reports

* Audio Consulting's Silver Rock Transformer Potentiometer

* Coincident's Ultra High Sensitivity Triumph Signature Loudspeakers

* Jolida 202A Integrated Tube Amplifier: Sound and Sanity

* nOrh's $399 Class A Single Ended SE9 Integrated Stereo Tube Amplifier

* Powersnake Anaconda vX and Taipan Power Cord

* Uptown Horns: The New York showcase for Avantgarde Acoustic loudspeakers and Viva amplifiers

The February 2003 edition also offers many music and performance reviews including an exclusive interview with musicians Lori Lieberman! plus various editorials. Please see the Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

01 / 30 / 03

  Sony's Super Audio CD (SACD) manufacturing capabilities will expand as plan have been made to add another hybrid SACD line in their Terre Haute facility. With initial capabilities of producing 15,000 hybrid SACD discs per day, "As a developer of the SACD format, Sony is dedicated to expanding the awareness for and broadening the acceptance of this technology," said Michael Mitchell, vice president/general manager of Sony Disc Manufacturing. "Our new hybrid Super Audio CD line reflects Sony's and Sony Music's shared commitment to providing the most advanced recording and playback technologies."

 

01 / 29 / 03

U-Vola Subwoofer  Italy-based loudspeaker manufacturer U-Vola has announced the availability of their self-powered subwoofer. A mosfet "Class AB" 100 watt amplifier powers a Seas D22RN4X (220mm) driver to reproduce frequencies from 30Hz to 100Hz. This unit provides RCA inputs, a volume switch, and phase adjustment to virtually seamlessly mate with U-Vola's egg-shaped upper frequency loudspeakers. Overall dimensions are 24 x 48 x 36 (LxHxD in cm). The cabinet is available in various colors including black, aluminum, white and red.

 

01 / 28 / 03

  With declining music sales, declining music releases and the RIAA constantly doing legal battle with online peer-to-peer online file services, some of the largest retailers have teamed up to form a legal online music service. Going under the name of Echo, retailers such as Best Buy, FYE, Hastings Entertainment, Tower Records, Virgin Entertainment Group, and Wherehouse Entertainment will be providing pay per play services. Referring to other online music services, Chief Executive of Echo Dan Hart said "Obviously, there has been a lot of talk in the last three years and there have been a lot of failures." Echo may work to further promote their services by offering various incentives to customers including buy a CD at a retail brick and mortar store, get a free music download. Will their plan work? Only time will tell.

 

01 / 27 / 03

Athena Technologies Audition Series AS-P400  Athena Technologies has added a new subwoofers to their extensive loudspeaker product line. The Audition Series AS-P400 ($300) employs an 8-inch driver with a 100-watt RMS (400 watt peak) amplifier. The solid MDF enclosure features a gorgeous silver front, with an offset grill design, and black ash vinyl finish. Features include high level and low level inputs, front mounted controls, auto-on / auto-off system, as well as front venting for flexible room placement options.

 

01 / 24 / 03

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)  Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Hilary Rosen has announced that she will leave the organization at the end of 2003. Rosen, who has been with RIAA for 17 years has recently been very outspoken about music swapping on the Internet and how it affects the recent downturn in recent music sales. "This has been the most exciting job I can imagine," Hilary Rosen said. "During my tenure here, the recording industry has undergone dramatic challenges and it is well positioned for future success. I have been extremely proud to be a part of this industry transition.... (the) RIAA has much to do to address these issues as well as help the companies transition the music consumer to the exciting offerings everyone has been working so hard to deliver in the legitimate on-line music business. We must also work with our partners at retail, in the creative and technology industries and with governments worldwide to promote the future growth of the music industry." Hilary Rosen sights her desire to spend more time with her family as part of the reason for her retirement.

 

01 / 23 / 03

Snell Acoustics  Longstanding loudspeaker manufacturer Snell Acoustcis has appointed Dr. Joseph D'Appolito as their chief engineer. Dr. D'Appolito holds BEE, SMEE, EE and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Massachusetts. He also is as an internationally recognized authority in audio and acoustics who speciales in loudspeaker system design and testing. During Snell's 25-year history they have employed such legendary designers as company founder, the late Peter Snell, to former Chief Engineer Kevin Voecks to David L. Smith. "I'm especially pleased to be working with Snell at this time," said Dr. D'Appolito. "We have a strong, diverse line of products and an experienced team of engineers, craftsmen and women, and sales professionals committed to building on Snell's recent successes."

 

01 / 22 / 03

Recording Academy 45th Annual Grammy Awards 2003  Enjoy the Music.com is proud to announce that the 45th annual Grammy Awards will be staged in New York at Madison Square Garden on February 23rd, 2003. The show will be broadcast by CBS Television to an international audience of over 2 billion people in 180 countries. Enjoy the Music.com™, who are proud members of the the Recording Academy who conduct the Grammy Awards, will once again be reporting virtually live as we have done in 2001 and 2002. Twenty years after the Grammy Awards were first held in the old Madison Square Garden, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "It is particularly meaningful that the Recording Academy has decided to bring back an event that showcases some of the music industry's most talented artists." Please feel free to see our 2001 coverage by clicking here and our 2002 coverage by clicking here.

 

01 / 21 / 03

Silverline Audio Grande La Folia  Silverline Audio has released two new loudspeakers, the Bolero ($8,000) and Grande La Folia ($28,000, pictured here). The Bolero is said to be an extension of their acclaimed SR17 design offering increased bass extension and better transparency. The three-way design employs all Dynaudio drivers and include the T330D Esotar 1.25-inch soft dome tweeter, 15WLQ Esotec 5-inch midrange, and 24W100X long-throw 9-inch woofer. Frequency response is from 28Hz to 32kHz with a sensitivity of 92dB. The Grande La Folia is the fully realized sibling of their acclaimed La Folia loudspeaker. This uncompromising design utilizes the finest parts Silverline could find including "superior drivers employing humongous hexagonal wound voice coils assure high power handling while revealing highly refined music timbres and shadings." Cabinet thickness ranges from two to three inches and is heavily internally braced to virtually eliminate distortion producing cabinet resonances. This 3-way, 7 driver design includes one T330D Esotar 1.25-inch soft dome tweeter, two D76AF soft dome midrange drivers, and four 24W100X long-throw 9-inch woofers. Frequency response is from 25Hz to 32kHz with an overall sensitivity of 93dB. Overall dimensions are 68 x 16 x 20 (HxWxD in inches) and each unit weighs in at 350 lbs.

 

01 / 20 / 03

Danish Audio ConnecT (DACT) CT102 Audio Power Supply  Danish Audio ConnecT (DACT) has just launched their CT102 Audio Power Supply. Designed for use with their CT100 Phono Stage and CT101 Line Stage, this new power supply is said to provide better sound from high-end audio electronics circuits than most mains or battery driven designs DACT has seen to date. Specifications are as follows:

Ready-assembled and tested module 
Includes 100-250VAC mains adapter
Output voltage (selectable): +/-15VDC or +/-20VDC 
Max. output current: 200mA 
Peak output current: 10A min. 
Output short-circuit protected 
Output impedance: 0.001ohm at 1kHz, 0.002ohm at 20kHz
Output noise (IHF A): -126dB 
PCB dimensions (L x W): 100mm x 90mm

 

 

PranaWireNew company PranaWire, has announced their Cosmos, Nataraja, and Sarawati series of cables. Handcrafted for the serious aficionado, PranaWire cables are designed to address absorption of spurious fields and stray capacitance, mechanical damping and resonance control, and protection against EMI, RFI and high frequency digital pulses. Constructions techniques in their Nataraja Series interconnects consist of 24 individual layers of insulating materials, including 4 copper foil shields with 51 drain wires on each shield. According to PanaWire "The greatest amount of loss and distortion occurs generally not within components but between them. Therefore, if we can protect the signal to the maximum extent possible, mid-level components will reveal sound only heard in the very high end, and qualities of sound never before heard will be revealed by true high end components."

 

01 / 17 / 03

Linn Akiva Moving Coil Cartridge  Linn's newest version of their Akiva moving coil cartridge is claimed to virtually eliminate vinyl record surface noise, yet extracts more music information from the LP groove. The original Arkiv was introduced in 1992 as their top-of-the-line cartridge and represented the culmination of over twenty years of Linn cartridge design evolution. Eventually the Arkiv B was introduced in 1997 and is now superceded by their newest version. This new version is an extremely precise, ultra-linear, direct coupled moving coil cartridge with advanced magnetic assembly for higher output and noticeably better tracking with even lower distortion and spurious noise than the Arkiv B. The advanced magnetic assembly employed in the Linn Akiva is constructed around a machined from solid alloy body for complete structural rigidity. A dampened suspension mechanism supports hand-wound coils secured in a precision rigid stylus assembly, then terminated with gold contacts. Specifications are as follows:

Type: Low output moving coil
Stylus: Line contact
Tracking Force: 1.6 - 1.9 grams
Pin Connection Type: Flying Wire
Recommended Load: >50
Weight: 7.4g
Separation at 1kHz: Better than 30dB
Channel Balance at 1kHz: +/- 0.5dB
Output at 1kHz @ 3.45cm/s: 0.4mv
Recommended Arm: Rigid, medium mass, ideally Linn Ekos or Ittok
Pricing: 
UK £1,800 (inc. VAT) 
USA $2,950 (ex. Tax) 
Europe €2,500 (ex. Tax) 
Sweden SEK 29,000 (inc. Tax) 
Norway NOK 23,000 (inc. Tax) 
Denmark DKK 23,000 (inc. Tax)

 

01 / 16 / 03

Pass Labs Rushmore Loudspeaker System  Pass Labs has introduced their Rushmore loudspeaker system. The Rushmore (pictured here with Nelson Pass) is an active, four-way system featuring a 15 inch woofer, 10 inch lower midrange, 5 inch upper midrange, and a 4 inch ribbon tweeter. Each unit includes four independently adjustable low wattage "Class A" amplifiers plus a four-way active electronic crossover to achieve approximately 120dB of ultra-wide bandwidth music reproduction with extremely low distortion. Frequency response is approximately 20Hz to 40kHz and each loudspeaker weighs 300 lbs. with dimensions of 50 x 18 x 28 (HxWxD in inches). Pricing is set at $40,000.

 

01 / 07  to  01 / 15

CES 2003  Enjoy the Music.com has begun their CES / T.H.E. Show 2003 report. As a leader within the high-end audio industry providing industry news and show reports, we will be updating our pre-show report coverage daily up until the very first day of the show. Click here to see our CES show coverage. While the CES concerns everything from video game systems to audio, during the same time as the CES is also T.H.E. Show that is dedicated to specialty audio products. Click here to see our T.H.E. Show coverage.

 

01 / 06 / 03

PMC OB1 Loudspeaker  PMC has announced their new OB1 floorstanding loudspeaker that resides as the bigger brother to their FB1. The OB1 is only a few millimeters taller than the FB1 partially due to very solid cabinet construction employing a thicker, sculpted plinth. Being a three-way design, the OB1 includes the identical Aluminum alloy ferrofluid cooled tweeter as the FB1, the same 75mm doped fabric midrange as in PMC's IB1 loudspeaker, yet with a new 170mm (6.7") bespoke device for bass.

 

01 / 03 / 03

Meadowlark Audio's new Kestrel2  Meadowlark Audio's new Kestrel2 loudspeaker was designed with a goal to be "ahead of its time". The slim shape insures low diffraction of the driver's output for high-end imaging. The sound is said to be "More dynamic, more articulate and extended, more detailed, more natural and more expressive and engaging." The overall dimensions are 7.25 x 12.5 x 40 (WxDxH in inches) and prices start at $1,695 in Light Ash, Dark Ash, and Ebony. Traditional (Honduran) Mahogany and Pennsylvania Cherry are $1,995. A Walnut stringer may be added to Light Ash or a Maple stringer to Cherry for an additional $100.

 

01 / 02 / 03

Hovland Company RADIA solid-state stereo amplifier  Hovland Company has just announced their new RADIA solid-state stereo amplifier ($9,500). Producing 125 watts per channel, the RADIA is a fully dual monophonic design with robust power supply, metal can bridged bi-polar output transistors driven with full complementary symmetry topology, and a high impedance, matched J-FET input circuit. Sophisticated protection circuitry, along with premium high-current speaker relays insure safety for both amplifier and speaker system. Hovland's Generation-3 shielded silver-plated interconnect is used internally as are their Hovland MusiCap film-and-foil capacitors. The array of blue light spots changes to indicate the operational and standby status of the unit, and the glow of the 25mm thick frosted-acrylic face panel can be switched off. RADIA is available with balanced or unbalanced inputs. Specifications are as follows:

Output Power: 125 watts/channel stereo at 8W
                     200 watts/channel stereo at 4W



 

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