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High-End Audio Industry News


01 / 31 / 08

Goldmund Logo 3F Subwoofer  Goldmund has announced the Logos 3F, the latest subwoofer in the company's Logos series. Additionally, Goldmund has taken a radical new approach to the multi-channel processor with the introduction of a USB Audio Input that will eliminate the usual sound drawbacks associated with computer connections and will be used in the company's revolutionary Goldmund Media Room. The Logos 3F subwoofer has a frequency response of 7Hz to 170Hz from a unit of only 12 inches and produces a stronger and more linear response thanks to a new two chamber cabinet design. As for their new multi-channel USB design, the Goldmund system currently uses a processor with up to 32 channels, a unique innovation. Goldmund now offers a new line of USB processors with capabilities extended to 128 channels in order to more accurately build larger Media Rooms. By eliminating the usual computer connection sound drawbacks, such as unavoidable noise and annoying clock signals, the new USB Audio Input electrically isolates the computer and synchronizes it with an ultra-high precision internal clock to provide higher dynamics and zero-noise. In addition, its simple connection by USB makes the link foolproof and extremely easy for installers supporting the introduction of Goldmund Media Rooms.

 

NAD Electronics Viso FiveNAD Electronics has launched their versatile Viso Five and Viso Two all-in-one DVD/CD receivers that combine high-performance HD picture, audio, FM/AM reception, XM and iPod readiness ($1799 and $1299 respectively). The new Viso line delivers NAD component performance in compact designs for ease of placement and fully integrated operation. NAD's Viso Five combines a DVD/CD player and digital multi-channel surround sound while the Viso Two is a DVD/CD stereo model. The Viso Five includes interlaced and progressive modes up to 720p or 1080i resolutions plus HDMI digital video output. Also of note is that the Viso Five offers the latest surround formats, including DVD-Audio with 24-bit/196-kHz resolution and full bass management. Both units include a sensitive FM/AM tuner with 30-station preset memory, RDS capability, have an XM Ready input and a rear-panel Data Port to accepts NAD's optional new IPD-1 Dock for connecting an iPod. Enjoy the Music.com has multiple reviews of NAD gear including their NAD's PP1 phonostage (seen here) and L53 DVD receiver (seen here).

 

01 / 30 / 08

HiFi-Tuning Quantum Plug  HiFi-Tuning's new Quantum Plug (199) filters power in a unique way. There are a pair of circuits, one for low frequencies and the other for high frequencies, to ensure top quality performance. It is a shunt device and, therefore, is claimed to cause no dynamic losses in music reproduction. The circuit has been tuned by ear for best reproduction of timbre as many hours of research and development went into the audio and video applications. HiFi-Tuning claims that the results from using their new Quantum Plug are a more analog-like presentation, with deeper, richer-sounding lows and a more natural midrange. The best location for the HiFi-Tuning Quantum Plug is on an unused electrical outlet in the AC line filter or distribution strip. Enjoy the Music.com offers a review of HiFi-Tunings' Noise Destroyer as seen here.

 

AudioValve Conductor PreamplifierAudioValve's Conductor (9800) is a fully symmetrical vacuum tube reference preamplifier and is the second product rolled out by AudioValve within the past year. With two decades of experience, this new preamplifier features a whole range of innovations and features of the valve and processor age. As such, it combines the elements of signal processing in a completely new fully symmetrical circuitry design. The amplifier is separated in three components: signal component, power supply and micro-controller. Signal and power supply components come in separate casings while the controller is part of the amplifier display and handles all tasks in terms of control. Left and right channels are strictly designed as dual mono, within the power supply as well as the signal component. The power supply features for the anode potential alone nearly 10,000F/400VDC and for the heater component 100,000F see to the necessary DC voltage on a 30x30cm circuit board. An oversized toroidal transformer with static and magnetic shielding supplies a total of 8 conductor paths, four for the production of the anode potential and four for the heat production. The volume is controlled behind the first amplifier stage, thus the first stage can fully develop its 'tubal' tonal dynamic freedom and supply the output drivers. Overall, there is no feedback loop, input impedance is 47kOhm and output impedance 300 Ohm. Frequency response is from 5Hz to 200kHz. There is a total of six stereo XLR and six stereo RCA inputs, while outputs include two stereo sets of both XLR and RCA. Valves in the Conductor include four 6H30 (6N6P) and four 6922.

 

01 / 29 / 08

APC H10 Poer Conditioner / Filter  APC  now offers two power protection devices uniquely designed to optimize the sound and video performance of high-performance home entertainment centers. The H10 and H15 Power Conditioners ($299 and $399 respectively) provide full power conditioning including surge protection, noise filtering, and automatic voltage regulation (AVR). "With the proliferation of home entertainment systems, finding a cost-effective power conditioning solution that eliminates sound and video degradation has been challenging for consumers. In our opinion, consumers should not have to go without performance power conditioning and related features due to high cost," said Joe Loberti, senior vice president, Home and Distributed Systems, APC-MGE. "These factors led us to create the H10 and H15 at prices considerably less than other currently available solutions." Both the H10 and H15 feature 12 filtered, surge-protected outlets, ensuring complete protection for all components. Six of the outlets have EMI/RFI noise filtering for digital devices, such as HDTV monitors, Digital Video Recorders, satellite dishes, and DVD players. The power conditioners also offer two high-current filtered outlets for amplifiers, subwoofers and the like, as well as two analog and two video outlets. The input plugs are set flat, at a 45-degree angle, to ensure they do not block the outlet below or protrude from the wall. This allows a user to plug an additional device into the unused outlet, and ensures that equipment can be pushed nearly flush with the wall. Enjoy the Music.com has a review of the APC S15 power conditioner as seen here.

 

Sennheiser MX760Sennheiser  has released a new line of highly affordable in ear monitors. Dubbed the MX Series, the line boasts powerful bass-accented stereo sound plus a new design to ensure that the earphones fit securely in the ear. The MX 760 (pictured) is fitted with a short cable while the MX 660 is for those who prefer to carry their MP3 players in their pockets as a volume control is integrated into the cable. The MX 560 is available in an array of attractive colors with a glossy sheen for the style-conscious consumer while the entry-level MX 460 is particularly comfortable to wear due to its asymmetrical cable design. Sennheiser's MX 760, MX 660 and MX 560 (priced from $25 to $40) also include a carrying pouch as well as a practical cable winder, allowing users to easily adjust cable length. Enjoy the Music.com has a review of the Sennheiser CX 500 in-ear headphones (seen here) and larger over the ear HD600 (seen here).

 

Cyrus Audio of the AV Master 8.0Cyrus Audio of the AV Master 8.0 (800) is a sophisticated, configurable 7.1 channel AV system amplifier. It includes a 7.1 channel preamplifier, up-sampling multi input DAC and 3 channels of user configurable power amplification. All this is housed within the company's traditional half-width, precision die-cast magnesium alloy chassis. The 3 channels of amplification can be user configured to fit perfectly into whatever system you are running. The beauty of this flexible approach is that you can assign the amplifier channels to fit whatever system design you have today, and they can be reassigned if you choose to upgrade your system tomorrow. Up to 6 sources can be connected while the preamplifier can easily configured to drive external amplifiers and turn on/off any and all internal amplification.

 

01 / 28 / 08

Aesthetix Audio Saturn Series Signature  Aesthetix Audio has announced their Saturn Series Signature preamplifiers plus the Jupiter Series Io Eclipse and Callisto Eclipse preamplifiers. The Signature versions of the highly regarded Saturn preamplifiers incorporate similar improvements as developed for the Jupiter Signature series. Saturn Signature units use costly custom hybrid Teflon coupling capacitors, replacing the polypropylene units at critical inter-stage points. Both Rhea Signature and Janus Signature use hand tuned RIAA networks. Retail pricing for Calypso Signature line stage and Rhea Signature phono stage are $7,000 each, the Janus Signature full function preamp is $10,000. Standard versions remain in the line at $4,500 for the Calypso, $4,000 for the Rhea and $6,500 for the Janus. Any Saturn preamp can be factory upgraded to Signature status beginning in the 3rd quarter of 2008. Signature upgrade is $2,500 for the Calypso, $3,000 for the Rhea, and $3,500 for the Janus.

 

Benz Micro LP S CartridgeBenz Micro's new flagship LP S cartridge ($5,000) furthers the performance of the Benz Micro line. Continued evolution of the Benz cartridge line and the culmination of years of research and manufacturing refinements, the S Class incorporates new materials, advancements in moving coil and suspension design, and upgraded styli on the Benz Swiss hand made moving coils. A higher mass brass frame is said to improve coupling to tonearms. The LP S has 50 percent more mass than the previous model for enhanced vibrational and resonant characteristics, thus the company claims this new design reveals greater dynamic contrasts, deeper bass and increased resolution from all records. Also released is their new SLR gullwing ($2,500), which is an our homage to the Benz Glider symbol. At first glance, the SLR resembles the famous Glider, but the new SLR gullwing is derived from the highly regarded Benz Ruby and the new LP S. An open air design like the Glider, the SLR is the only Benz cartridge other then the LP S with a frame machined from Brass. The generator uses the square Ruby plate and oversized neodymium magnet similar to the Benz Ruby. Finally, the Benz Dynascan, combining the Gyger S stylus side bonded to a solid boron cantilever at the Benz Swiss factory by hand.

 

01 / 25 / 08

KRK Systems ERGO  KRK Systems has released their ERGO ($799), a digital room analysis and correction system. ERGO (Enhanced Room Geometry Optimization) is compatible with all recording and monitoring systems and is claimed to improve any studio mixing space by correcting for "real world" acoustic problems. The ERGO connects to a PC via Firewire when it is performing its room analysis, but since all correction processing resides in ERGO, no overhead is needed from the computer audio system. This means that ERGO can function in pure analog systems since it can work as a stand-alone room correction/speaker control unit after room analysis is complete. The ERGO hardware contains a thousand precision filters to control the audio environment, adapting and correcting virtually any mixing space, from home-based digital audio workstations to professional recording studios. In short, ERGO makes any monitor system more accurate by reducing "bad" room sound, resulting in mixes that translate well to any listening environment.

 

AnthemAnthem, a division of Paradigm Electronics, announces a new addition for the Anthem Statement D2 digital audio/video processor -- the Anthem Room Correction System Model ARC-1 ($7499, or as an add-on for existing Statement processors for approximately $399). This system will also be available as an add-on to any existing Anthem Statement D1 or D2 processors. Anthem's Room Correction technology compensates for these acoustic problem areas by automatically configuring each speaker's tonal balance for optimized sound. The process starts when a test signal is sent from the Statement processor to each connected speaker. The signal is played and then picked up by an individually calibrated microphone, which is placed in various listening positions. The system puts each speaker through a full frequency sweep to highlight the problem areas and determine the necessary adjustments. Configurations are saved and can be accessed accordingly, allowing the user to optimize the system for multiple configurations.

 

01 / 22 / 08

Enjoy the Music.com RSS  Enjoy the Music.com's daily updates to our RSS feed keeps music lovers informed with news, information, and reviews! An RSS feed allows easy syndication of top news events and information to Web sites all around the globe without any cost to information providers plus audiophiles with RSS readers can easily keep informed of news as it happens. Steven R. Rochlin, editor of Enjoy the Music.com said "Our RSS feed is updated many times each week to ensure the latest headlines are available to information providers. New technology has always been embraced by Enjoy the Music.com as years ago we were the only Web site to provide a Channel that was fully supported by Microsoft for desktop delivery of data. Today we offer the audiophile industry's only customized Web site browser for home computer users so they can find information concerning audio equipment and music. It brings me joy in announcing Enjoy the Music.com's RSS feed to further our reach to millions of music lovers worldwide."

 

01 / 21 / 08

Gemme Audio Katana Loudspeaker  Gemme Audio has unveiled their Katana loudspeakers ($9300) with VFlex technology and Accuton (Thiel outside the United States) ceramic drivers. In 2006 Gemme Audio first introduced VFlex loading technology and today they introduced their next generation of VFlex, by revisiting the age old tenon and mortise construction that is made possible with extensive CNC machining. The enclosure is now both stiffer and stronger, thanks to 50 mm front and back baffles and extensive use of criss-cross machined 25 mm braces strategically embedded in the various surfaces. New port calculations led to a unique user adjustable tuning mechanism. Gemme Audio's Katana benefit from this new generation of VFlex and will be offered in piano black high gloss cabinets. Driver compliment includes an Accuton 1.25-inch ceramic tweeter and 7-inch midrange/bass driver. The Katana also includes three pairs of connectors on each speaker, which can be used for bi-amplifying plus as a high frequencies contour. See Enjoy the Music.com's review of the Gemme Audio Tanto loudspeakers by clicking here.

 

BertramCablesBertramCables from Denmark feature some very unique designs and building techniques. Their analog signal cable is offer in silver, gold, or copper with quite interesting laser welding techniques for the end connector. This is to ensures a previously unobtainable precise signal-path, which is claimed to results in extended frequency range and ultra-pure high resolution. Their loudspeaker cable also features laser welded contacts while a protective gas inside Teflon-tubes prevent oxidation of the metal. To deliver the higher power loudspeaker signal, a total square of 3 AWG in either 99.999+% silver or oxygen free copper is employed. BertramCable's digital cable is made with silver and is available in RCA, XLR or BNC termination.

 

01 / 18 / 08

  Enjoy the Music.com now has some data concerning music sales in 2007 from both the United States and the United Kingdom. In the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, demand for legally obtained music continues to grow despite the RIAA possibly saying otherwise. Unit sales, including online downloads and physical sales yet excluding mobile, totaled 1.37 billion. his marks a staggering increase of 14.7%. The breakdown consist of 449.2 million hard-format album sales, 50 million digitally downloaded albums, and 844.1 million single tracks.

The United Kingdom showed better growth, according to the BPI, as music single sales grew while album sales declined. The continued sales of download music helped the singles market grow by 29.3% during 2007 while album sales declined 10.8%. Note that with 138.1 million albums sold in 2007 does mark one of the top 10 biggest years for album sales. The raw data shows that singles sold 86.6 million as compared to 67 million in 2006 while album sales totaled 138.1 million in 2007 as compared to 154.7 million in 2006.

 

TEAC inCore Audio ZE-1000 EarphonesTEAC's new inCore Audio ZE-1000 high-definition earphones are said to be very comfortable IEM due to the patented 5-layer silicone ear pads that also seal off ambient noise resulting in greater acoustic isolation. Dual hi-definition BA (Balanced Armature) drivers and the unique sound isolating in-ear design are said to deliver "natural sound with layers of musical textures and subtleties." The sound isolating silicone ear pads block ambient noise up to -30dB and are assuring perfect fit and comfort. As many IEM users know, an airtight seal within the ear canals is a key to optimizing sound isolation. In accommodating as many different ear shapes, TEAC inCore Audio ear pads come in three sizes (S, M, L). The ZE-1000 have a sensitivity of 109dB/mW and present a 15 Ohm impedance. Frequency response is from 20Hz to 20kHz.

 

01 / 17 / 08

Slim Devices  Squeezebox Duet  Slim Devices  Squeezebox Duet ($399.99) is the newest version of their popular Squeezbox line of audio distribution units. The Squeezebox Duet consists of a multi-room Squeezebox Controller plus charging stand and a Squeezebox Receiver. The multi-room controller with 2.4-inch color display makes it easy to browse playlists, albums, artists, and more. Users can search by name via a convenient scroll wheel, simple menus, and intuitive buttons, which makes navigation a breeze. Advanced 802.11g wireless technology eliminates the need to string wires everywhere just to listen to the music from your computer. Audio outputs include analog via gold-plated RCA while the internal DAC is a high sound quality Wolfson 24-bit chip. Digital S/PDIF outputs are provided for with both optical and coax while a dedicated high-precision crystal oscillators (no PLL, no resampling) ensures accuracy. Sampling rates include 44.1 and 48 kHz with linear PCM, 16 or 24 bits as intrinsic jitter is less than 50ps. Lossless formats supported include Apple Lossless, FLAC, and WMA plus there is support for AIFF, WAV, and PCM. Compressed formats supported include MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, MP2, MusePack, WMA and MPEG. The "Always-on" Internet Radio, powered by SqueezeNetwork, lets users tune in to Internet Radio streams even when the home PC is switched off.

 

VTL has announces the availability of their MB-185 Series II Signature monoblock amplifier (under $10,000). The MB-185 is an extensive revision of an existing product with adapting technology originally developed for VTL's Reference line. The amplifier features design and technology identical to the acclaimed MB-450 II, except with 6 tubes per monoblock. This amplifier produces 220 watts per unit and represents VTL's best-value offering to their customers. See Enjoy the Music.com's review of the VTL TL-7.5 Reference line preamplifier by clicking here.

 

01 / 16 / 08

High End Society High End 2008 event in Munich (Germany)  The largest high-end audio show in Europe, the High End Society High End 2008 event in Munich (Germany) that covers a staggering 60,278 feet, is set to take place from April 24th through the 27th at the Munich Operation Center (M.O.C.). Every year since its inception in 1982, connoisseurs of high-quality entertainment electronics have flocked to this event which is open to trade on the first day, then to both trade and public for the remainder of time. This event has experienced substantial growth, with over 76 percent more visitors in 2007 than only a few years ago. The show has not only experience immense growth with both trade and press members, many more manufacturer and distributors are now choosing High End events to reach their broad base of worldwide customers. With the constant decline in the value of the United States dollar, many Europeans are looking to purchase Americans goods due to their attractive pricing. See Enjoy the Music.com's High End 2007 show report by clicking here.

 

Glow Audio One AmplifierGlow Audio is a new company that offers their GLOW Amp One ($480) stereo integrated tube amplifier in various colors. This hand built tube amplifier employ hand wound transformers while the internal circuitry is assembled using point-to-point wiring. Of interest is the unit has USB input and an internal DAC to decode computer audio files. Gold plated RCA and loudspeaker binding posts appear at the rear while the front panel sports an ALPS volume potentiometer. Of note is that on the side panel is a headphone output jack. Using the EL84 power tube operated in Class A pentode, the unit produces 5 wpc. Frequency response is from 10Hz to 30kHz (-1dB) with a low 1% THD. The internal DAC chip for the USB supports 16-bit audio.

 

01 / 15 / 08

  Enjoy the Music.com has just completed our live coverage of the 2008 CES and T.H.E. Show in Las Vegas. As a midmonth update, we have added a new report from Dr. Bill Gaw as he celebrates his 100th article with Enjoy the Music.com and writes, "Maybe now with that settled and the HDMI 1.3 standard in place (Blu-ray versus HD-DVD), the high-end equipment producers will start developing great sounding equipment that will use the audio standards, without leaving behind SACD and DVD-Audio decoding, like Sony and the other major manufacturers have done." See our midmonth update to the Enjoy he Music.com Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

Enjoy the Music.com now offers the world premiere of The Absolute Sound's Issue 179, February 2008 table of contents and editorial! This edition features many new equipment and music reviews. Within Robert Harley's editorial, When "Good Enough" Isn't, he says "In just the past two months I've encountered four striking examples of products that vividly illustrate this principle. I can't recall another 60-day period in my 19 years as an audio writer when the art and science of music reproduction took such big steps forward. All four products were born out of a dissatisfaction with existing technology, and  realized through a passionate zeal to create something better." You can see the table of contents and read the complete editorial by clicking here.

 

01 / 14 / 08Silverline Audio La Folia MkII Loudspeaker

  Silverline Audio La Folia MkII ($12,000.pr) replaces their acclaimed La Folia, which was first introduced in 2001. The new design has, according to the manufacturer, "a very spacious imaging and seductive sweet highs and mids, and the bass is fast and tight." The design is optimized for single ended tube amplifiers, yet can easily handle high power solid-state amplifiers as well. With a cabinet wrapped in PianoCarmine Tigerwood veneer, this 3-way, 4 driver bass reflex design houses a 1.25-inch Accuton ceramic dome tweeter, 5-nch Eton hexacone midrange and a pair of 8-inch Eton hexacone woofer. Overall frequency response id from 28Hz to 32kHz with a 92/dB/W/m sensitivity and 8 Ohm impedance. Dimensions are 42.5 x 11 x 16.5 (HxWxD in inches) and each unit weights in at 135 lbs. See Enjoy the Music.com's review of the Silverline Audio Panatella III loudspeaker here and Silverline Audio SR 11 minimonitors here.

 

Benchmark Media Systems DAC1 PRE Stereo PreamplifierBenchmark Media Systems has released their DAC1 PRE stereo preamplifier ($1,575) designed to interface directly with digital media devices such as CD and DVD players, music servers, satellite radio, digital cable boxes and televisions. In addition, it can interface with traditional analog sources such as phono preamplifiers, analog tuners, etc. Designed to act as the central hub in a high-performance stereo playback system, advanced digital to analog (DAC) conversion is mated with top-flight analog audio circuitry and reference-grade headphone amplification. Features of the DAC1 PRE include: four digital inputs, a USB computer input, a stereo analog input, two stereo analog outputs, two headphone outputs, and a true analog master volume control. Proprietary features include Benchmark's jitter-immune UltraLock clock system and HPA2 0-Ohm headphone amplification plus Benchmark's AdvancedUSB 24-bit native USB computer audio interface. The analog circuitry is driven by LM4562 premium OpAmps. See Enjoy the Music.com's review of the Benchmark DAC1 USB by clicking here.

 

01 / 11 / 08

Gryphon Audio Designs Colosseum Stereo Power Amplifier  Gryphon Audio Designs has released their new Colosseum stereo power amplifier, with a monoblock version being available later this spring (32,000 and 64,000 respectively). This statement pure Class A high-end audiophile unit is the partner to the Gryphon Mirage preamplifier. The Colosseum represents the most comprehensive development project in Gryphon's 23 year history and, like all Gryphon products, is designed by founder and CEO Flemming E. Rasmussen and manufactured in Denmark. The Gryphon Audio Colosseum stereo amplifier produces 160 wpc in pure Class A output via 48 high-current bipolar output transistors. A massive 440,000 microFarad power capacitor bank ensures the critical circuitry has plenty of electrical power. Dual transformers are isolated and effectively shielded to prevent unwanted interaction with other components. The unit produces a flat frequency response extending to beyond 350kHz. Weighing in at 80 kg (175 lbs), the amplifier comes in a dedicated flightcase for maximum protection during shipment. The majestic oval-shaped 70 cm tall high rise tower features end plates machined from solid blocks of 40 mm black polyvinylmethacrylate. The amplifier is suspended between the curved, de-coupled panels in a unique configuration that provides optimal layout and operating conditions for all components.

 

Ultralink/XLO Electric Signatue 3 and Reference 3 CableUltralink/XLO Electric unveiled their latest Signature 3 and Reference 3 interconnects and cables. While the original Reference Series from XLO provided a frame of reference, these Version 3 Series products represent significant upgrades in across the board performance over their highly regarded predecessors. This latest upgrade to the legendary Reference and Signature Series' improves signal transmission by optimizing and balancing the relationship between the current-controlled electromagnetic field formed around a cable's conductors and the electrostatic field formed around its insulation when passing an audio or digital/video signal.

 

01 / 7    to    01 / 10

Check out the daily updates to our CES 2008 report plus the pure audiophile event T.H.E. Show 2008, both happening in Las Vegas!

International Consumer Electronic Show 2008          The Home Entertaining Show 2008

 

01 / 05 / 08

The Audiophile Voice  Volume 12 number 5 of The Audiophile Voice is now online! Equipment reviews in this issue includes the PS Audio Quintet Power Center,

 

Marten  FormSeries LoudspeakersMarten FormSeries will be at the 2008 CES and represents a new concept of loudspeaker design from Leif Marten Olofsson, chief designer and founder of this Swedish manufacturer. Some of the goals were to create a beautiful and simple geometrical form that would fit into the interior of any contemporary home, yet provide the high-end sound quality and cabinetry. The lineup includes the FormSub, FormFloor and FormCentre (3100, 4500, and 2100 respectively). The FormFloor and FormCentre models are two way loudspeakers that employ a pure ceramic bass/mid driver and ribbon tweeter. The triangular configuration of the FormFloor and FormCentre models is acoustically optimized to allow the speakers to totally disappear within the soundstage. The finishes are piano lacquer in five different colors/woods. The powerful FormSub model contains a 10-inch extremely long throw driver that is powered with a 400 watt Class D amplifier.

 

Audio Epilog Abyss Massimo LoudspeakerAudio Epilog Audio Epilog, the biggest Croatian high-end audiophile loudspeaker manufacturer, has introduced two impressive new loudspeakers called the Issa and top-of-the-range Abyss Massimo. The Issa uses domestically engineered carbon fiber, paper and silk driver units made on aluminum baskets. It features new cabinet design which is the next step from lacquer-leather standard Audio Epilog finish. Okume exotic wood (from New Guinea) separates the two drive unit cabinets. Such a wood is interesting for its extreme rigidity with minimal mass and it is claimed to not accumulate excessive bass unit energy. The Audio Epilog Abyss Massimo is a very bold design with special acoustic control concept for the volume behind the bass unit. Audio Epilog constructed special rubber membranes between cabinet layers to reduce hazardous vibrating. Danish drive unit manufacturer Scan Speak produced Abyss Massimo's drive units while the crossover network is made of high quality parts including Mundorf capacitors and metal film resistors as well as copper foil coils.

 

Audio Nemesis DC-1 DACSince 2004, AudioNemesis's DC-1 (441.50, add 125 for modification touts itself to be a very high quality DAC at an affordable price. Despite the circuit topology seems to be common to many other converters, the sound is said to be very different from similar audio productions in this price range according to the company. AudioNemesis has invested many hours in tuning various details of this converter for a "very rich, natural and 'analogue' sound." Now AudioNemesis is offering an upgrade for this model that includes more expensive parts and important modifications to the audio circuit as well as to the shunt regulators. This is claimed to yield a more rich and dynamic sound with enhanced transparent and rock solid 3D reconstruction. Of note is the use of zero-feedback, a zero-oversampling multi-bit D/A converter, all discrete output stage, internal reclocking circuit and very short signal path (digital and analogue).

 

Lansche Audio No.8 LoudspeakerLansche Audio, manufacturer of the Corona plasma tweeter, will debut their new No.8 loudspeaker ($100,000) at T.H.E. Show 2008. This truly staggering statement piece features a newly updated Corona plasma tweeter, four passive 8-inch mid-bass drivers and four active 12-inch subwoofers all in a sealed cabinet. Each subwoofer has its own internal 300 watt analog power amplifier. The mid-bass drivers have paper composite cones and a moving mass of a mere 8 grams each while the subwoofers have Nomex-Kevlar-Glassfibre composite cones. The Corona plasma tweeter uses a crossover at 2.5kHz and mid-basses are at 80Hz with network components from Duelund and Mundorf. Frequency response is 20Hz to 150kHz with a sensitivity of 99dB/W/m and impedance is 8 Ohms. The cabinet is finished with matched real wood veneers and several layers of polyester clear lacquer.

 

01 / 04 / 08

Nagra Audio VPS Phonostage  Nagra Audio  will be at the 2008 Consumer Electronic Show with their new VPS (from 3600) dedicated phono preamplifier. This low-level phono preamplifier is said to be "of uncompromising sonic quality, excellent flexibility, unparalleled precision, and robustness synonymous with the Nagra brand the world over" according to the press release. The VPS circuit is based on the phono section of the full-function PL-P preamplifier that was introduced by Nagra in 1997. However, the VPS offers a considerable number of design enhancements to take performance to a much higher level by changing a number of key components as well as having more space to implement the circuit, thereby limiting crosstalk between channels. The new input transformers and cartridge loading system offer improved transient performance and lower noise floor, and the miniature plug-in boards enable customizing cartridge loading to specifically match a cartridge's loading requirements exactly. The VPS comes standard with one MC input board, while a second MC or MM board can be added. Output is selectable between low and high gain; the low gain output derives its signal directly from the tube gain stage, and where more gain is required due to low cartridge output or preamplifier gain, a discrete solid- state buffered output can be engaged. Overall gain can be adjusted between 50dB and 64dB, allowing cartridges with outputs as low as 0.1mV to be used.

 

Concert Fidelity CF-080LS Hybrid Linestage PreamplifierSilicon Arts will be introducing some new products at CES 2008 under both Silicon Arts Design and Concert Fidelity brands. These new include the Concert Fidelity CF-080LS hybrid linestage preamplifier (pictured) and Silicon Arts Design ZL-120 solid-state monoblock amplifier, both of which were recently reviewed by Dick Olsher in the December issue of Enjoy the Music.com Superior Audio magazine. Also new is the Concert Fidelity SPA-4B phono equalizer (approximately $14,000) as a very limited edition being manufactured for only two months. Also showing will be their Concert Fidelity DAC-040 hybrid DAC and Silicon Arts Design ZF-80 stereo power amplifier (approximately $16,000). Both brands features the artistry of chief designer Masataka Tsuda, who has been designing and building vacuum tube and solid-state electronics for over 35 years.

 

01 / 03 / 08

Outlaw Audio LCR Loudspeaker  Outlaw Audio, an Internet-only direct-to-consumer electronics brand, has introduced the Outlaw LCR loudspeaker ($649 each for black finish, or $699 each for cherry veneer). This flexible home loudspeaker is the first to include the company's exclusive MCO (Main/Center Optimization) selectable crossover technology. This allows the speaker's acoustic radiation pattern to be optimized for use as either a left or right front speaker or as a horizontal center channel speaker simply by flipping the MCO switch. A high-frequency adjustment switch allows the tweeter output to be boosted or lowered by 2dB to compensate for acoustically 'live' or 'dead' rooms. Finally, each loudspeaker employs a proprietary three-position Boundary Compensation switch to tailor output for placement near walls, corners, or in open air. Designed and hand-built in the USA to audiophile-grade performance standards, the Outlaw LCR features the same long-throw 5.25-inch SEAS woofers and custom designed 1-inch ferrofluid-cooled soft-dome tweeter. Audiophile-grade crossover components, including 100% film capacitors, high-end drivers and a low resonance MDF cabinet. Each loudspeaker is tested and matched to within 0.5dB of Outlaw's reference standard. This ensures that speakers, even if bought at different times, will be optimally matched to one another for excellent performance. Each Outlaw LCR employs two pairs of sturdy five-way binding posts, and is fully compatible with bi-wire or bi-amplification applications. Frequency response is from 75Hz to 22kHz (+/-3dB), sensitivity is 90dB/W/m and it presents a 4 Ohms load.

 

Harbeth Monitor M40.1 Reference LoudspeakerHarbeth is unveiling its new Monitor M40.1 reference loudspeaker ($10,995) during CES 2008. The new three-way builds on the very best of the original Monitor 40, which was designed as BBC's broadcast monitor and direct drop-in replacement for the famous LS5/8. The new Harbeth-design bass unit in the M40.1 has a low-frequency response perfect for more 'lively' environments, such as typical living rooms. As part of the thorough design process, a prototype M40.1 was carefully evaluated in the BBC research department's anechoic chamber at Kingswood Warren in Surrey. Also of note is the new and new RADIAL midrange driver, said to be another excellent improvement and provides highly realistic sound reproduction.

 

01 / 02 / 08

Lamm Industries ML3 Signature Power Amplifier  Lamm Industries now offers their ML3 Signature power amplifier ($139,290.00/pair) and it will be showcased at the CES 2008. The ML3 Signature is a single-ended tube amplifier with a separate power supply using a powerful directly-heated triode called the GM-70. The ML3 Signature features 32 watts of zero overall feedback, operates in pure Class A power, and uses a special circuit topology with one of the most sophisticated power supplies in audio. Lamm Industries says that the amplifier's innovative circuitry allows one to hear the original spectral balance and harmonic structure of the recorded material without losing the smallest of detail and nuance. Of not is the custom-made output transformer of the highest quality and unique front-end and output stages, plus the sophisticated power supply, allows the ML3 Signature drive most real-world-load speakers. 

 

Genesis Advanced Technologies Reference Power AmplifierGenesis Advanced Technologies now offers their Reference-series solid-state amplifiers ($3600 on up depending on configuration). The Genesis Reference Amplifiers are claimed to have the linearity of timbre and texture of good tube amplifiers with detailed yet not etched sound quality. "The Genesis Reference Amplifier is everything for everyone. It has the musicality and tonal colors of a tube amplifier, but the control and dynamics of solid-state," said Mr. Gary Leonard Koh, President of Genesis. "A lot of it boiled down to the break-through design in the power supply. I have to give a lot of the credit to the brilliant British power engineer, Nigel Pearson, for working with me on the power supply. It took over a year, but we have designed a high-current power supply that delivers into dynamic, non-linear musical loads. We also developed a regulated voltage source that has a noise floor of -90dB from 10Hz to over 1Mhz." Owners can begin with a basic level of the amplifier and upgrade in steps. For example, the extended power supply - the Maximum Dynamic Headroom Reservoir - can be easily user-installed. The Genesis Reference Amplifier is custom-configured and built to order. A basic version stereo power amplifier with 180W per channel will retail for $3,600 and Statement-level monoblock power amplifiers are $19,000 for a 360 watt pair.

 

01 / 01 / 08


Many new articles and think pieces are now online including:

Show Reports                 
Singapore ISSE 2007
Consumer Electronic Show 2008 (Pre-Show Report Now Underway!)
T.H.E. Show 2008

Viewpoint Article
CES/THE Show And In Remembrance Of A Legend... 
AA Chapter 99: TEAC Esoteric Revisit And Tweaks For The New Year

Sound Practices
Audio Note Ongaku
Article by Hiroyasu Kondo, Audio Note Japan 

BAS Speaker
The Digital Challenge: A Report
Article By Stanley P. Lipshitz

Manufacturer Article
Holy Inflation, Batman!
Article By John Evanthes

Equipment Reviewed
Introductory Guide To High-Performance Audio Systems Written By Robert Harley.
Markhill Audio MC-100B Integrated Amplifier
Telos Audio Gold Plated Pure Copper XLR Male Caps

Music Reviews
Cedille label presents chamber music from five active composers.
The Ten Tenors Here's To The Heroes
Jake Armerding Walking On The World
Diana Krall Christmas Songs
Led Zeppelin Mothership
Plus many others!

See the January Review Magazine by clicking here.

 


This month we have:
Reference 3A Grand Veena Loudspeaker
A.R.T. Loudspeaker Stiletto 6
Von Schweikert VR-4SR Mk2 Loudspeaker And Sound Dead Steel Isofeet

See the January issue of Superior Audio by clicking here.


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