High-End Audio / Audiophile
& Music Industry News
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01 / 18 / 19
CanJam NYC 2019: Headphones &
Personal / Portable Audio
CanJam Global, the world's premier headphone audio show, returns to New York City February 16th and 17th at the New York Marriott Marquis in the heart of Times Square. Featuring over 100 of the headphone and portable/personal audio industry's leading brands in over 30,000 sq ft. of exhibition space, CanJam NYC 2019 will showcase the latest products and innovations. As the largest CanJam event within the United States, attendees may experience the latest product innovations from the likes of Astell+Kern, Audeze, Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic, Campfire Audio, Chord Electronics, FiiO, Focal, Hifiman, iFi Audio, Jerry Harvey Audio, Meze Audio, MrSpeakers, NAD, PSB, Schiit Audio, Sennheiser, STAX, Westone, Woo Audio, and and many, many more! The headphone audio industry is one of the hottest trends during the past few years in Consumer Electronics, and is expected to reach $18 billion by 2023.
01 / 17 / 19
Goldmund Prana Active Wireless Floorstanding Speaker
Goldmund Prana, meaning 'life force' in Hindu, is a universal sea of energy that infuses and vitalizes all matter. The Prana flagship wireless loudspeaker also pays tribute to the company's engineers who worked hard to design this exceptional piece Goldmund's Prana speakers are fully constructed in the highest quality
aluminum. Their sleek and contemporary look match with any color. Amplifiers and filters are integrated within the speaker as it uses a combination of multiple drivers, each catering to a different frequency band. Built-in 600 Watt Telos amplifier per side, with two 175 Watt amplifiers for tweeter and midrange, plus a 250 Watt amplifier for woofer. Driver array includes a soft dome tweeter,
7" midrange, and 9" woofer that were selected for their high linearity and dynamics. Digital inputs include coax S/PDIF and wireless. As a product of Goldmund's Proteus Mathematical model, the Prana is a smart active speaker whose
DSP's include the Leonardo 2 technology (the latest version of Goldmund's time alignment correction algorithm), digital crossovers, gains, and delays. For convenience, the Prana can be used wired or completely wireless aside the power supply. The speakers are a full system by themselves and one could use them alone with a computer music library as a wireless source. For more ambitious systems with multiple sound sources such as your TV and disc player, the Prana can be coupled with the Goldmund Talisman Wireless hub or with any of Goldmund processors. It comes with the implementation of the Goldmund mechanical grounding technology that evacuates spurious vibrations that affect the signal quality. Overall frequency response is from 35Hz (-6dB) to 25kHz, with overall dimensions being 18.9" x 39" x 18.5 (WxHxD) and it weighs 175 lbs.
Crystal Cable Now Offers Duet Series Jumper Cables
wants to help you take high-end sound along with you with their new Duet stereo and balanced portable audio cables. Innovation, development and striving for perfection lie at the core of every challenge Crystal Cable takes on. Not only do they see challenges in the hi-fi products Crystal Cable creates, but also in the market we create them for. This market is ever changing and with the insurgence of the portable high-end audio market, with new opportunities arising for traditional high-end and home audio producers. With Crystal Cable Portable Duet stereo interconnect, they have firmly taken the challenge of high-end in portable audio products. Duet is the first portable cable in the Crystal Cable product range combines black and white, the two basic colors of nature. Duet combines ultra-high purity gold and silver conductors for deep bass and extremely detailed sound. They have also combined high-tech technology production with eco-friendly materials. High-end Oyaide connectors works seamlessly with headphone and IEM products. With a combination of superb conductivity, shielding and high-tech insulation materials used by Crystal Cable, this delivers excellent signal transfer for low-signal level and low-power applications, which are typical in portable hi-fi audio systems. Crystal Cable's Duet is both flexible and thin, yet also very strong and extremely musical. The company goal is to bring live music to the listener, be it through an audio system at home or one that you take with you.
Pass Labs XP-12 Preamplifier & XA30.8 Stereo Amplifier
Impressed by Pass Labs' INT-60 integrated amplifier, Kevin Fiske decides to check out the XP-12 and XA30.8 pre-power combo.
Review By Kevin Fiske
Having much admired the Pass Labs Int-60
integrated amplifier, which combined one-box practicality with a refined Class A
performance that made it well worth Audio Excellence status, I subsequently
asked the UK distributor if I might try a Pass Labs A30.8 power amplifier. With
a stereo output of nominally 30W/ch, it had more than enough grunt on paper to
drive my relatively efficient speakers (and quite a few less efficient designs
01 / 16 / 19
Audio Research's All-New Headquarters And Production Facility
Audio Research, one of the oldest continually operating manufacturers in American audio, is proud to announce the opening of an all-new headquarters and production facility. Requiring a substantial investment, the new facility is custom-designed for Audio Research's unique and specific needs relating to production, training, service, engineering, and listening. The new 20,000 square foot space is the result of Audio Research's commitment to prioritize growth and innovation in providing the best in high performance audio
technology. Aside from some industrial design provided by Livio Cucuzza, all other product design and manufacturing is performed in-house by Audio Research's engineering and production teams. The new space includes a lobby with an active Audio Research system, purpose-built listening rooms, streamlined manufacturing work-flow, and features many archive products on display, from the original SP-1 and Dual 100 to classics like the SP-11 and
Gold Note PST-10 And PST-1 Turntable Power Supplies
Gold Note is introducing two new inductive linear power supplies designed for all Gold Note low voltage powered turntables. These new products are said to significantly increase the sound quality of Gold Note turntables when used within your stereo system. The Gold Note proprietary filters used for these units allow eliminating all the possible electrical pollution coming from the AC power system and shielding the turntables from electro-magnetic interferences. PST-10 is inspired by Gold Note's PSU-10, the power supply for the awarded pre phono stage PH-10. It is the company's state-of-the-art offering for innovative power supply engineered with the best quality audio-grade components to enhance the performance of Gold Note turntables and improve your audio system getting the very best music experience out of your LPs. From the PSU-10 it also inherits the chassis and the Gold Note proprietary Dual Choke Design powered by a double inductor driving the negative and positive high current stages and featuring an inductive filter on the analogue stage. The large, ultra-clean power enhances super low noise, greater dynamic, better resolution and finer details for a more realistic. Gold Note's PST-1 has been engineered with the best audio-grade components, while the grounded IEC plug allows using the favorite AC power cord in order to ideally tune the audio performance. Starting from January 2019, PST-1 will be part of the standard turntable equipment of Mediterraneo and Giglio; optional on all other Gold Note turntables.
01 / 15 / 19
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine January / February 2019
Celebrating 50 Years Of Gear And Music Reviews
This issue of
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
celebrates their 50th birthday! The magazine's founder, Gary Cutler, tells tales of the teething issues delivering Volume 1 No 1, and what came next.
There's also a show report where Part II continues their report on the Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show that took place in Melbourne.
High-end audio gear reviews within this issue include the JBL L100 loudspeakers, B&W DB1D subwoofer, Sony STR-DH790 AV receiver, Cambridge Audio Azur 851N network player, Audeze SINE DX open headphones, and Gold Note IS-1000 integrated amplifier / DAC.
Within his editorial
titled Australian Hi-Fi Magazine — 50 Years, Greg Borrowman says "This year marks a significant milestone in the history of
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine... and, indeed, in the history of audio publishing, because
it's the magazine's fiftieth year of publication. (So far my publisher hasn't sent me a ruby-encrusted blue pencil to commemorate the occasion, but I live in
hope...). Not too many specialist hi-fi magazines have been around for as long as
Australian Hi-Fi — indeed the only one I can think of off-hand that pre-dates it is the UK's
Hi-Fi News & Record Review which, having first been published in 1956, is the world's longest-running audio title."
See what's within this issue of Australian
Hi-Fi Magazine at this
01 / 14 / 19
TIDAL 'Fake Streams' Criminal Investigation Begins
Last year Enjoy the Music.com reported on the allegation
of TIDAL over-counting music streams, and now comes the criminal investigation. According to
Music Business Worldwide, "Norwegian financial newspaper Dagens Næringsliv said it had obtained an internal TIDAL company hard drive which proved the streaming platform's play-counts for two major albums from 2016 –
Lemonade and Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo – had been artificially inflated. DN reported:
'Beyoncé's and Kanye West's listener numbers on TIDAL have been manipulated to the tune of several hundred million false plays... which has generated massive royalty payouts at the expense of other
artists.' TIDAL CEO Richard Sanders subsequently "rejected and denied" DN's claims, but TIDAL opened an internal review into a potential data breach anyway. This review, announced eight months ago and undertaken by a third-party cyber security company, aimed to
'aggressively [pursue] multiple avenues available to uncover what occurred'. No results have been publicly published to date." You can
read more at Music Business Worldwide
AXPONA Celebrates 10th Anniversary April
12th To 14th
Calling all audiophiles, music lovers, vinyl collectors, audio engineers and musicians,
AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) will be open April 12th through 14th at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center. Attendees will enjoy three jam-packed days of incredible sounds, technology, presentations, design, and the very latest products in the industry. Now in its tenth year, AXPONA is the largest high-end audio show in North America, which caters to dealers, distributors and manufacturers, as well as music-loving consumers. AXPONA's state-of-the-art venue will feature 185 Listening Rooms, an Expo Hall featuring the ever popular Record Fair and Master Class Theater, a NEW hall dedicated to Ear Gear Expo, robust Seminar schedule, and Live Music nightly. AXPONA will once again offer something for everyone – from the novice music lover to the seasoned audio expert looking to enhance their sound with the latest technology. AXPONA's special Exhibit Hall will be home to the Record Fair showcasing a vast array of turntables, cables, accessories, racks and stands, tonearms, cartridges and new and vintage Vinyl. Overall, you can sit, relax and surround yourself with the best in high-end audio equipment and gear by visiting AXPONA's 185 Listening Rooms. Attendees are encouraged to experience listening rooms by listening and comparing the superbly designed, high performance systems and components from some of the world's most prestigious manufacturers. In all, more than 500 manufacturers, retailers and brands will gather at AXPONA. Learn more by visiting
Enjoy the Music.com's AXPONA 2019 show report at this
01 / 12 / 19
Sold Out Of Exhibition Space —
Florida Audio Expo
It was just announced that the Florida Audio Expo
is sold out of exhibition space. All 40 rooms have been sold, with a month
remaining until the event goes live. Excited to announce its inaugural show for
2019, the Florida Audio Expo will be held on Friday February 8th through Sunday February 10th, 2019 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport
Westshore. The new southeast show seeks to give music lovers the chance to personally audition some of the
industry's finest offerings, all taking place in sunny Florida. The show is free to the public. The exhibitor list grows daily, and currently features such prominent brands as
LampizatOr, Legacy Audio, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL North America, VAC, and many more.
Also of note is that this event is 100% free to attend. While there is no entry
fee, tickets are going fast so be sure to reserve yours ASAP. You can learn
more about the Florida Audio Expo 2019 within our upcoming show report.
01 / 11 / 19
NAD M10 Hi-Res Streaming DAC With Integrated
NAD's Masters M10 ($2499) combines the company's state-of-the-art amplification with digital music playback and streaming features to make it an all-in-one solution. NAD's HybridDigital amplification features the 100 Watt per channel stereo (300W into 4 Ohms) Hypex nCore amplification stage that has been well-received by audiophile worldwide. The M10 is compatible with today's leading smart home systems from companies such as Apple, Crestron, Control4, Lutron, and many others. This means that along with your lighting, shades, HVAC, and security, you can seamlessly control your M10's BluOS multi-room music system from a common interface. Hi-Res Music streaming is also available as is networking streaming from your home NAS drive. NAD's M10 has two RCA line inputs, one each TosLink optical and S/PDIF coaxial digital, USB-A, two-way Bluetooth with aptX HD, AirPlay 2, Gigabit
Ethernet plus Wi-Fi. There's also an HDMI ARC input for playing TV audio. NAD's M10 features a 32-bit/384kHz ESS Sabre DAC, with processing being handled by the 1GHz ARM Cortex A9. The M10 will also include a license for Dirac Live with the option for advanced users to upgrade to a Dirac Live Full Frequency version. Front panel color TFT display with Proximity Sensor makes it easy to operate plus the M10 supports Amazon Alexa Voice Control Skills and it supports Siri Voice Assistant via AirPlay 2. A wide variety of premium music services is supported within the company's App including Amazon, Spotify, Tidal, TuneIn, Napster, Deezer, Qobuz and many others.
Bonus Review: FiiO M3K Portable Music Player
A mighty mite!
Review By Gary Alan Barker Of Headphone.Guru
The FiiO M3K brings to mind my first mp3 player. It was about the same size, though it lacked any kind of display much less a GUI, and it fitted a 10 Meg SD card (rather than a micro SD card) and it was called an mp3 player because it couldn't play anything else mostly because a single wav file would be larger than its available storage. Things have come a long way since that first
01 / 10 / 19
CES Show Report And
T.H.E. Show 2009
International Consumer Electronic Show
& T.H.E. Show Audiophile Report
Enjoy the Music.com's International CES 2009 (Consumer Electronics Show) and
T.H.E. Show (The Home Entertainment) high-end audio report marks our 14th annual CES show
plus 10th annual T.H.E. Show coverage. As a leading pioneer with the world's
first CES coverage online in 1996, Enjoy the Music.com set the
standard for high-end audio show reports appearing on the Internet. Our 2009
coverage features many photos and detailed product information. You can see
our CES 2009 coverage at this link.
01 / 09 / 19
Nu Audio And Audio Note UK EVGA
Computer Audio Card
For nearly 20 years, EVGA
has built the most powerful graphics cards while Audio Note UK
for 30 years has specialized in high-end audio. EVGA extends its enthusiast tradition by partnering with Audio Note UK to provide the most immersive audio and lifelike gaming experienced on a PC with EVGA NU Audio Card. A core component of Audio Note's philosophy is to research, design, and build its own components
– often custom-made for the specific application – without financial limitations to create the finest audio products available. With this in mind, EVGA partnered with Audio Note (UK), Ltd. to select audiophile-grade digital and analog components and carefully craft the NU Audio card. Engineered by Audio Note means improved enemy detection due to lower measured and perceived noise floor; precise enemy location due to improved transient and phase response; and, vital for staying alive, reduced fatigue and increased sense of involvement so awareness remains high even after long, intense missions. With a built-in microphone port, play with confidence knowing that you will be heard clearly-in game. Enjoy movies, produce music, record podcast, or simply experience great audio. Hear all the subtle sounds, emotional dialog, and powerful explosions to keep you on the edge of your seat without the need to browse through confusing menus. With recording performance up to 32-bit/384kHz, you can speak the way you want to be heard. You can change the 10-Mode RGB to match your favorite color, or use any of the four Audio Reactive Lighting options to let your audio set the tone and color of the NU Audio Card lighting. Alternatively, simply turn the RGB off if you'd prefer to keep things dark. NU Audio's card features a high-performance digital section with Native DSD support and a clean, powerful analog section. Even the smallest details were not left to chance as the NU Audio card contains a variety of output/input options, switchable OP-AMPs, copper shielding, a passive heatsink, gold-plated PCB, and 10-mode RGB audio reactive lighting controllable through the EVGA NU Audio software. From simple volume controls with a sliding headphone amplifier, to creating quick custom EQ profiles, the Nu Audio software avoids the clutter of features that you never use.
Stack Audio's LINK USB / Streaming
Hi-Res Music Player
LINK is a new audiophile USB music player that adds streaming capability to existing two-channel hi-fi systems. The LINK will easily drop into UPnP, DLNA, Open Home and Roon based management and control systems, and supports wider industry systems like Apple devices through Shairport-sync and Spotify Connect. Connection to sources can be via
Ethernet cable, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB and the LINK can manage bit-perfect ripping of CDs when connected to a CD drive. Indeed, the LINK is so called because it seamlessly links all sources of digital music files to any hi-fi system with a USB equipped DAC. The LINK has been built from the ground up to counter noise and interference. In particular, Stack Audio has spent the last five years investigating the effects of phase noise, working with legendary engineer John Westlake who has extensively researched phase noise and its effects on timing accuracy. At the core of the detox system is an ultra-low phase noise USB audio clock circuit. The
Ethernet input is synchronized to the audio clock to reduce the small variations in the timing of the digital signals. A dedicated USB audio output buffers the signal to purify it and EMI filter circuitry removes remaining interference. The LINK is powered by an extremely low noise, multi-stage power circuit. Three independent switching regulators are synchronized to the audio clock ensuring that the fluctuations of the switching circuit are in time with the clock, reducing fluctuations and noise. The
LINK's bank of nine low ESR capacitors and a triple linear regulated circuit further help to ensure the power source is clean. Stack Audio's LINK is available to pre-order now in silver or black for £695 with a
refundable £25 deposit. First deliveries are expected end Jan/early Feb 2019.
01 / 08 / 19
Hi-Res Music / Streaming Service Qobuz Now In Beta
Qobuz, the European-based certified Hi-Res streaming and download service whose launch in the US has been highly anticipated in the audiophile community, announced today that it is now available for registration to US customers as an open beta. Initial USA market beta users are being onboarded this week. Music aficionados looking for a premium audiophile experience can join the waitlist for the
Qobuz beta here. The world's first and only certified Hi-Res
Music streaming and download service, Qobuz has already secured 2,000,000+ tracks
within their Hi-Res catalog, and will be launching to the public at large following the beta testing. It will be available on all
Mac / iOS / Android / Windows operating systems. As previously announced, the finalized USA pricing plan is below:
• Sublime+: $299.99/year for full Hi-Res streaming and substantial (40-60%) discounts on purchases from the Qobuz Hi-Res (up to 24-bit/192kHz) download store.
• Studio: $24.99/month for unlimited Hi-Res (24-bit
and up to 192kHz) streaming ($249.99 annually).
• Hi-Fi: $19.99/month for streaming including 16-bit CD quality streaming ($199.99 annually).
• Premium: $9.99/month for 320 kbps MP3 quality streaming ($99.99 annually).
Nagra Features Their Vacuum Tube HD DAC X At CES
Nagra's new HD DAC X ($64,500) is center stage at CES 2019 featuring state-of-the-art in digital-to-analog conversion. Every detail was attended to as the power supply is extremely sophisticated, using ultra-fast silicon carbide rectifier diodes, ultra-low-noise voltage regulators, and a virtual battery made up of a supercapacitor bank three times larger than that of
Nagra's HD Preamp. The new HD DAC X includes no less than 37 regulated ultra-low noise individual power supplies.
The HD DAC X features AES/EBU on XLR, S/PDIF on both RCA and BNC, two Nagra Link single-mode ST-1 optical inputs to receive future Nagra high resolution sources. The USB input uses a proprietary software designed around an
eight-core X-Mos chip. Ultra-high precision and ultra-low jitter clocks are used in this new Nagra HD DAC X. A high-performance FPGA performs all internal calculations. Every input signal is converted into DSD 256 format (11.2 MHz sample rate). The main digital power supply has a noise level 30 times lower than the HD DAC, itself already using very low noise circuits. Nagra's HD DAC X has an analog section that is quite unique. Like the HD PREAMP, it uses a dual-mono topology. The analog signal coming out of the D/A board is taken to a symmetrical current amplifier that dramatically lower its impedance. Voltage gain is only achieved by a new generation of Nagra transformers. The other role of these transformers is to unbalance the audio signal to attack a single-ended tube stage. These transformers are built exclusively in Nagra workshops in Switzerland. Following the transformers, the impedance is further lowered by a stage consisting of two NOS military tubes JAN5963 (one per channel). This stage makes use of a
cathode output design. The heating filaments voltage is individually regulated for each tube to achieve a very low self-noise. Nagra's mechanical engineers have adapted the new vibration-free stand to lower the microphonic resonances.
Sony Introduces '360 Reality Audio' Music Experience
Sony just launched their new immersive listening experience called
360 Reality Audio. Sony's new three-dimensional sound field is powered by original object-based spatial audio technology. This includes a new ecosystem for content creation, distribution, and music playback. According to
the company's press release, "Sony announced today an all new music experience called
'360 Reality Audio' that makes listeners feel as if they are immersed in sound from all directions. The new experience is delivered by Sony's object-based spatial audio technology and was announced at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. Sony is working with major music labels, music distribution services1 and other such music organizations to provide the technology for building a musical ecosystem around 360 Reality Audio, which will include the creation, distribution and playing of music content. Meanwhile, Sony is working to promote this new music experience to music creators, artists, and music fans, looking to create an entirely new world of music entertainment. What Is 360 Reality Audio?
360 Reality Audio uses Sony's object-based spatial audio technology to provide an immersive music experience that feels just like being at a live concert."
In addition, Sony says that "360 Reality Audio makes it possible for artists and music creators to create a 360-degree musical experience by mapping sound sources such as vocals, chorus and instruments with positional information of distance and angle to suit their creative and artistic purpose. When listeners play back the resulting content, they can enjoy a music experience that immerses them in sound from every direction as intended by the content creator." As for the tricky question of format type, "Sony plans to release a format optimized for music distribution. With the cooperation of the Fraunhofer IIS, part of Europe's largest organization for applied research, the format will be compliant with MPEG-H 3D Audio, an open audio
standard." Sony is also "looking into the potential for a variety of audio devices to support this new music content, but it will initially focus on technological development of Sony's headphones and speakers. For headphones, a dedicated device will not be needed for the user to play back 360 Reality Audio compatible content and experience a sound field with a realistic feel unlike anything conventional headphones have been able to offer. However, to deliver the best possible musical experience, it will be necessary to measure the hearing characteristics of the individual user's ear and apply signal processing accordingly to the reproduced sound. Sony is developing an app that will enable users to take photos of their own ears with a smartphone to create an optimized musical experience based on an analysis of the hearing characteristics of user's ears... For headphones, in particular, it will be possible to enjoy the content simply by using apps offered by the participating music service providers."
01 / 07 / 19
Technics New SL-1200MK7 & SL-1500C
Technics today unveiled their new SL-1200MK7
and SL-1500C direct drive turntables. The new SL-1200MK7 inherits the traditional design of the same series and maintains the same operating ease, reliability and durability, while newly adding a coreless direct drive motor and other sound-enhancing technologies. It also features new DJ play functions, such as reverse playback. The SL-1200MK7 is launched as the first new standard DJ turntable in approximately nine years. The direct drive system uses a slow-rotating motor to directly drive the platter. This system has various advantages. It offers high performance, such as rotation accuracy and powerful torque, does not require replacement of parts and maintains high reliability over a long period of time. However, the direct drive system was said to on occasion produce a rotation irregularity called cogging. For the SL-1200MK7, a new coreless direct drive motor was developed. This motor employs a coreless stator. The removal of the iron core from the stator eliminated the root cause of cogging. Furthermore, the magnetic force of the rotor magnets was improved to the highest possible level, and the gap between the coreless stator and rotor magnets was
optimized. The tonearm is a static-balance universal S-shape tonearm, another Technics tradition. The tonearm tube is made of lightweight, high-rigidity aluminum. The bearing section of the gimbal suspension construction tonearm consists of a machined housing and high-precision bearing to assure excellent tracking performance with minimum stylus jumping, even in harsh playing conditions such as scratching. The platter on which a vinyl record is placed features a two-layer structure with deadening rubber on the entire back surface to eliminate unwanted resonance in the aluminum die-cast platter. The platter offers high rigidity and outstanding vibration-damping characteristics to prevent harmful vibration from being transmitted to the record and delivers clear sound. The chassis, an essential part for reducing external vibrations, inherits the audio quality enhancement technology fostered through the development of high-end turntables. The aluminum die-cast chassis is rigidly integrated with a special material consisting of ABS mixed with glass fibre to achieve a two-layer construction. The combination of this special high-rigidity material and a metal chassis raised the rigidity and vibration-damping performance to higher levels,
realizing a robust cabinet for beautiful sound reproduction. Both the power and phono cable terminals allow detachment of the cables. The phono terminals are gold-plated to
minimize sound quality degradation. The platter rotation speed can be set to 33.3, 45 or 78
rpm. The pitch control function allows fine adjustment of the rotation speed within +/- 8% or 16%.
Technics new SL-1500C inherits the brand's high-end sound quality concept and adds a host of original Technics technologies, such as a coreless direct drive motor and high-sensitivity tonearm. To simplify the playing of analogue records, the built-in Phono EQ connects to a wide variety of devices. The SL-1500C also comes equipped with a high-quality Ortofon 2M Red phono cartridge.
The SL-1500C is a complete turntable system designed for a wide range of users, even outside of strictly dedicated audio enthusiasts. The tonearm is a static-balance universal S-shape tonearm, while the platter on which a vinyl record is placed features a two-layer structure with deadening rubber on the entire back surface to eliminate unwanted resonance in the
aluminum die-cast platter. The aluminum die-cast chassis is rigidly integrated with a special material consisting of ABS mixed with glass
fiber to achieve a two-layer construction. Technics' SL-1500C has a built-in phono equalizer amp compatible with MM cartridges so it can be connected to an audio product that does not have phono input terminals. An Ortofon 2M RED moving magnet (MM) cartridge is pre-mounted to the tonearm. Thus, you can play a record immediately after purchasing the SL-1500C. Auto Lifter
minimizes wear on records and stylus when the tonearm reaches the end of the record.
Sonarworks Formally Announces Their True-Fi Mobile App
Sonarworks, a Europe-based audio software development company specializing in acoustic calibration software, has announced the launch of its new Sonarworks True-Fi mobile app. This mobile app provides audio calibration references on both iOS and Android for nearly 300 headphone models. It takes just seconds to configure and is simple to operate. Once the headphone model is chosen, the user simply presses an onscreen button to engage the selected headphone configuration and the sonic profile is changed instantaneously. Sonarworks True-Fi mobile app — provides consumers with "the ultimate sound experience 'while on the go'" says the company and their software supports wide a range of native file formats as well as content from iTunes and Android local content libraries. True-Fi mobile supports native file formats including MP3, WAV,
FLAC, AIFF, AAC and ALAC (iOS) and MP3, OGG (Vorbis) and AAC (Android). For iOS, users can expect 96kHz and higher, and Android users can currently expect sample rate performance of up to 48kHz. During the beta / early access phase, FLAC and high sample rate playback will be continually improved across all devices. Sonarworks True-Fi has already launched in 'early access' and will be available for purchase later this year in the App Store and Google Play at a price of $3.99 per month (or $99 for lifetime license). Existing Sonarworks customers who already own the desktop version will be provided a free upgrade option to a lifetime license for the mobile
Lumin T2 Streaming DAC With
Balanced & Unbalanced Output
Lumin T2 streaming DAC features all-new chassis construction combined with the company's X1 technology. This new approach combines solid CNC panel construction with X1 technology to hit the performance sweet spot. A new generation processor provides DSD512 and 384kHz playback via dual ES9028PRO Sabre DACs. Precision 32-bit internal digital volume and discreet clock system ensures precision timing. Low-noise switching power supply with dual-stage regulator keeps the power supply clean and efficient. Both PCM and DSD upsampling is provided and the Lumin T2 streaming DAC can decode MQA, plus is Roon Ready and handles Spotify Connect, TIDAL, Qobuz, Airplay and TuneIn. A unique and intuitive Lumin App has been described as "the most convenient interface in existence". Inputs include Ethernet RJ45 network 1000Base-T, USB storage, flash drive, USB hard disk (single-partition FAT32, NTFS and EXT2/3 only). Analog outputs include XLR balanced
at 6Vrms and RCA unbalanced at 3Vrms. With a program of continuous development, the internal firmware is easily
upgradeable for further features and enhancements.
01 / 04 / 19
BuzzAngle Music's 2018 USA Music Consumption Report
2018 report on U.S. music consumption says that for the second year in a row, overall consumption growth was up double digits.
"2018 total consumption showed a 16.2% increase over 2017, which we showed last year to be up 12.8% over 2016. On-demand audio stream consumption continued to fuel the overall growth, increasing 41.8% to 534.6 billion streams, up from 376.9 billion streams last year. Total on-demand streams, including both audio and video, topped 809 billion for the year. In the fourth quarter of 2018, a dominant 85% of all audio streams were subscription-based. The # of unique titles audio-streamed in 2018 totaled 3,000,000 more than in 2017, a 9.2% increase. Consumers are exercising their choice to explore new music, which is a terrific sign for the industry. Album sales and song sales continued to decline, 18.2% and 28.8% respectively, and physical sales declined 15.3%. Vinyl sales continued to grow with an increase of 11.9% over 2016." Of note is that
vinyl LP deep catalog titles continue to to be the majority of sales, climbing to 66% and for video streams it is 57%. Compared to 2017, in 2018 digital album sales are down 18.2%, physical album sales are down 15.3%, CD sales are down 18.5%. Meanwhile during the same
period vinyl LP sales are up 11.9% to reach 9,663,299 and cassette tape sales are up 18.9% to reach 118,218. By comparison, on-demand audio streams reached 534,619,452,842. While pop albums account for 27.2% in
physical sales, rock is right behind with 27.1%. Hip-Hop/Rap might dominate audio streaming with 26.9%,
yet it falls to 3.7% in physical album sales. By comparison, physical sales of classic music is a mere 2.7% and jazz is only 2.9%. You can read the entire BuzzAngle Music 2018 Year-End Report in
pdf at this
Florida Audio Expo — February 8th To 10th,
The Florida Audio Expo
is excited to announce its inaugural show for 2019! This show will be held on Friday February 8th through Sunday February 10th, 2019 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport
Westshore. The new southeast show seeks to give music lovers the chance to personally audition some of the
industry's finest offerings, all taking place in sunny Florida. The show is free to the public. The exhibitor list grows daily, and currently features such prominent brands as
LampizatOr, Legacy Audio, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL North America, VAC, and many more. "Florida
hasn't had an audio show in a good number of years. We look forward to bringing our speakers and electronics to this culture-rich area of music enthusiasts," said Bill
Dudleston, founder of Legacy Audio. "Our mission for creating the Florida Audio Expo was to bring a strong offering to the Southeast market with a fun atmosphere for enjoying music
— we want to celebrate our lifestyle and support the industry in this region," said Bart
Andeer, founder of Resolution Acoustics and manager of the Expo's daily operations. "We have been working this idea for a few years, but wanted to find the right venue available at the right time of year, and we believe we have achieved both for the 2019 show. We strongly encourage regional dealers and manufacturers from all over the US who are looking for a new option." The Florida Audio Expo will provide access to incredible sounds, as well as loads of area attractions to do and see. Only a five-minute drive from the Tampa International Airport, the Embassy Suites are close to such local attractions as Busch Gardens, and just an
hour's drive from Walt Disney World. Additional benefits for attendees and exhibitors staying at the Embassy Suites include free airport shuttle, free breakfast, and free happy hour. The Embassy Suites, originally built as condominiums, offer a luxury feel and the living suites are acoustically isolated
— one of the key reasons this venue was selected. The audio rooms, Marketplace, and headphone/personal audio demo suites will all feature display areas that include a separate bedroom and kitchen, offering exhibitors the added benefit of a multi-purpose room as an interesting and affordable space.
01 / 03 / 19
February Features Reviews & Think Pieces
World's February 2019 issue features a variety of high-end audio
gear reviews and think pieces plus your chance to win a pair of Acoustic Energy AE109 loudspeakers worth £500.
Reviews within this issue include B&W 603 loudspeakers, FiiO M9 Hi-Res Audio player, Vincent CD-S7 CD player, iFi Audio xDSD DAC, Audiolab 6000a integrated amplifier, ZMF Atticus headphones, Audiolab 8000a amplifier, McIntosh MT2 precision turntable, DS Audio Stylus Cleaner, Soundbites Alto-Extremo Lyd II Isolation Feet / Voodoo Iso-Pod Isolation Feet, plus a look and listen at The Police Zenyatta Mondatta.
Within his editorial, Noel Keywood says, "Everything from nothing – or so it seems. We expect a hi-fi system to be big, something with a few decent control knobs fit for a human hand and a bit of biological intervention!
FiiO's M9 portable player I review this month – see p25 – starts to call this into question. It does most things except replay LP. You might think it
won't drive loudspeakers, but it will drive powered Bluetooth loudspeakers.".
See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World
at this link.
Line Magnetic 218ia Vacuum Tube Stereo Integrated Amplifier
A single-ended triode integrated amplifier for everyone!
Review By Paul L. Schumann
Back in the 1990s, there was an explosion of interest in single-ended triode (SET) amplification. This was spearheaded by two great Japanese designers, Hiroyasu Kondo of Audio Note and Nobu Shishido of WAVAC. Both men designed and built stunning SET amplifiers that were just as much works of art as electronic components.
01 / 02 / 19
Hi-Fi+ January 2019 Has Many High-End Audio Reviews
January 2019 issue features Hi-Fi+'s 20th Anniversary Of Our Foundation
editorial plus show report of Warsaw Audio Show 2018 where cold and wet Warsaw never sounded so
attractive! Meet Your Maker includes the changes at YG Acoustics, with another
being Steve Hitch of Sonority Design. Reviews within this issue include
Goldmund Telos 590 integrated amplifier, Cambridge Audio Edge A integrated amplifier, CEC TL5 CD transport, XTZ Divine Delta Stand-mount loudspeakers, Swisstone / Graham Audio LS3 stand-mount loudspeakers, EAT JO No.5 moving-coil (MC) cartridge, Elipson Facet 24 floorstanding loudspeakers, IsoTek Evo3 Nova 12-way power conditioner/filter, plus Finite Element Cerabase, Cerapuc, and Cerapod isolation feet. There also a very special competition where you could win two Shunyata Research Delta NR power cords worth £1,540!
Hi-Fi+'s Ultimate Headphone Guide features Quad ERA-1 planar magnetic headphones, Stax T-8000 electrostatic energiser, Benchmark Media Systems HPA4 headphone amplifier, Effect Audio Janus
'D' headphone cables, Kimber Axios AG headphone cables, Moon Audio Bronze & Silver Dragon IEM cables, Vertere Pulse D-Fi V3 headphone cables, Wireworld Nano-Eclipse headphone cables, Wireworld Nano-Platinum Eclipse headphone cables, and WyWires Platinum headphone cables.
Within his editorial Alan Sircom says
"Depending on where in the world you are reading this, welcome (or a belated welcome) to 2019! This is likely a year of change for many, and
we've started the ball rolling by putting the brakes on the notion of the 'themed' issue, at least for now. While the notion of a one-stop shop for all things amplifier (for example) still has its merits,
we're more keen not to be bound by those strictures, as the best product in an issue might not be one in that theme. We alluded to this change in the
magazine's outlook in our last issue, but that was so full of Awards, it might have been missed!" See
what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ Magazine at this
01 / 01 / 19
Music.com's January Review
Magazine features our LA & OC Audio Society 25th Anniversary Gala
report, two world premiere reviews
and much more! You can see everything within this month's edition of Enjoy
the Music.com's Review Magazine at this link.
As always, in the end what really
matters is that you...
Enjoy the Music,
Steven R. Rochlin
Enjoy the Music.com
Due to our ongoing growth and to keep this industry news posting relatively short in
length, below are just a sampling of the many articles and reviews
within this month's issue.
Being Obsessed With Music
Plus world premiere reviews and much more within this
Editorial By Tom Lyle
When I first rejoined the audiophile
community around 1989 after a ten-year hiatus, the two largest audiophile
magazines in those pre-internet days were "digest-sized". My
friend and I used to joke that it was small to make it so one could slip a
copy in one's smoking jacket when not reading it.
Simple Steps To Improve Your
Home Studio Listening Environment
The most important area that gets overlooked in most home studios.
Article By Bobby Owsinski
Probably the single most important area that
gets overlooked in most home studios is the listening environment. While
it's possible that you can get lucky with a balanced, even sound by just
setting up a couple of nearfield monitors in your room without thinking
much about it, usually that's not the case.
World Premiere Review!
Chord Electronics Symphonic MC Phono Preamplifier
An ability to transfer the Gestalt of the music.
Review By Tom Lyle
The first thing one might notice in regard
to Chord's Symphonic Moving Coil (MC) phono preamplifier is its
eye-catching appearance. At least that's the first thing that I noticed,
even though by now I should be accustomed to this: I've never seen a Chord
component that uses a rectangular 17" wide cabinet.
Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power
Battery power comparo with Goal Zero Yeti 400, PS Audio
DirectStream Power Plant 20 (P20) and Stromtank S2500.
Review By Tom Lyle
I've always been a proponent of some sort of
power conditioning for one's high-end audio system. This is because no
matter how "good" the power coming from your wall receptacle
might be, unless your locale power company has set up a transformer in
your yard, you are not only sharing power with many others, the power that
you are using has traveled quite a distance before it finally arrives at
World Premiere Review!
MarkAudio-SOTA Viotti Tower
Completely at home within the modern environment.
Review By Clive Meakins
Back in June 2016 I reviewed the
MarkAudio-SOTA Viotti One, this was the launch speaker produced by the
company. Mark Fenlon – the chief designer – has been creating
loudspeaker drivers for years and is now a big part of the MarkAudio-SOTA
which is a collaboration between Steve Chen's SOTA Acoustics and MarkAudio
Loudspeakers. I was most impressed with the Viotti One, the initial
Schiit Jotunheim Balanced
Desktop Headamp / Preamp And Lyr 3 Hybrid Headamp / DAC / Phono
Configurable balanced and unbalanced desktop headamp, phono stage and
Review By Jeremy R. Kipnis
The names Mike Moffat (Theta Digital) and
Jason Stoddard (Sumo) are legendary in high-end audio circles. Both have
been determined engineers seeking the highest musical fidelity from their
circuit designs and playback efforts, utilizing both analog and digital
components; near-on over 38 years now. But you may have missed their
combining forces, nearly 10 years ago (in 2010) in the form of a new
company featuring plenty of Schiit...
More high-end audio reviews & articles within our Review Magazine.
12 / 30 / 18
A Special Holiday Gift For Turntable Lovers
As a holiday gift to our worldwide readers, Enjoy the
Music.com is giving away a free cartridge alignment tool and speed strobe discs!
As an added bonus, we also have an Excel program so you can make your very own
custom protractor to your specifications. See our
Free Stuff page at this link.
12 / 28 / 18
Capitol Records Versus ReDigi Inc.:
Selling Legally Purchased Music Downloads
A recent legal finding brings Capitol Records versus ReDigi Inc.
as U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit 16-2321
is a lawsuit that brought Capitol Records versus ReDigi Inc. in the ability to resell legally purchased digital music
downloads. When you buy an LP or CD, for example, you can freely sell them within the open market; whereas digital music download purchases can not be resold according to the USA court ruling.
Financial website Bloomberg says,
"Purchasers of digital music files from services such as Apple Inc.'s iTunes cannot resell them through a virtual marketplace, an appeals court said in a ruling that recalls an era dominated by vinyl records and CDs before streaming services reshaped the music industry. The decision, issued Wednesday, affirms a district
court's ruling that such sales infringe the exclusive rights of copyright holders. A virtual marketplace designed to resell digital music files as if they were secondhand albums runs afoul of copyright law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in a victory for record labels. ReDigi Inc., a closely held company that created a platform for the resale of legally purchased music files, had argued that its service facilitated the transfer of music from one recipient to another without duplicating the original file. The appeals court said that the transfers created duplicate copies of the music files and so were not allowed under U.S. law. Any change to develop rules for secondhand sales of digital files would be up to Congress, the court ruled in the closely watched case." And so it goes as Circuit Judge Pierre Leval for the three-judge panel said, "The establishment of
ReDigi's resale marketplace would benefit some, especially purchasers of digital music, at the expense of others, especially rightsholders." It seems the court feels that music companies effectively would be in competition with secondhand merchandise that unlike secondhand books and records are
"as good as new". This court ruling win muddies the waters for those seeking to resell legally downloaded digital music. As a side note, USA courts have ruled that digital music owners may not distribute the files to friends through peer-to-peer networks. ReDigi sought to work around that prohibition by creating a marketplace where people who legally bought music could sell their files and the originals would be permanently
eliminated. You can download
the court papers in PDF at this link.
12 / 27 / 18
Wells Audio Milo Headphone Amplifier
Mixing up a mean synergy sauce.
Review By Dave Hanson
Before I reviewed the JPS Labs Abyss AB-1266 ($5,495) earlier this year, designer Joe Skubinski arranged for me to borrow the massive Wells Audio Headtrip amplifier ($6999) to drive his power-hungry headphones during the evaluation. After a short introductory phone call with Jeff Wells, the Headtrip arrived promptly at my doorstep and I was immediately taken by the sound.
12/ 20 / 18
Nelson Pass' First Watt B1 Buffer Preamp
Article Written By Nelson Pass
First Watt DIY Audio Kits Reviews
So here we are in the New Millennium, and thanks to Tom Holman and THX
we've got lots of gain in our electronics. More gain than some of us need or want. At least 10dB more.
12 / 19 / 18
Dayton Audio BSA-200 Bridgeable Stereo/Sub Amplifier
Dayton Audio's BSA-200 bridgeable stereo amplifier ($252) is geared towards those seeking an amplifier for bass shaker or subwoofer installs. Dayton
Audio's BSA-200 high power bass shaker amplifier is designed and built specifically to power tactile transducers, yet is said to work equally as well as a dedicated subwoofer amplifier. Its small form factor makes it ideal for tight spaces, while the included brackets allow for vertical or horizontal mounting. Frequency and balance knobs let you dial in the desired crossover point and output, giving you total control over your set-up. The adjustable 50Hz to 200Hz low pass crossover seeks to ensure seamless audio integration.
Rated at 110 Watts RMS per channel stereo into 2 Ohms, it can be bridged mono mode to produce 230 Watts RMS into a single 4 Ohm load. Manual and automatic on/off modes allow for easy integration into automated systems and saves power when not in use. The 5V USB power output is designed for use with the Dayton Audio Wave-Link wireless system (not included). The Wave-Link system can link up to five receivers per transmitter giving you ultimate flexibility with remote mounting options. RCA line input and output may be employed for daisy chaining multiple units.
12 / 18 / 18
Pro-Ject Phono Box ultra 500 MM/MC Phono Stage
has released their Phono Box ultra 500 (€349) Anniversary-Edition discrete MM/MC phono preamplifier. The
'500' within the name also harkens to a worldwide limited distribution of 500 pieces. According to Pro-Ject, "Phono Box ultra 500 is like no other phono preamplifier in its segment. The polished chrome surface outshines every competitor in this price segment and offers undeniable aesthetics. Underneath this surface we have used a copper body, which is known to have high qualities in protecting against high frequency interferences. We are offering a fully discrete, OpAmp-less design, which enabled us to realize an incredibly
harmonious sound. On top of leaving out operational amplifiers we decided to use polystyrene capacitors, which significantly contribute to the high end sound of the Phono Box ultra 500. These capacitors are known amongst audiophiles as the holy grail for phono preamplifiers. The split RIAA equalization enables a pin-point accurate representation of the RIAA curve, a luxury many other phono preamps do not possess."
Audiophile-grade polystyrene capacitors are employed within the precise RIAA equalization
stage. There's a switchable subsonic filter (–18dB @ 20Hz), switchable input impedance/capacitance, and six adjustable gain levels of 40, 43, 50, 53, 60, and 63 dB.
Input and outputs are unbalanced RCA stereo pair. Dimensions are 103 x 37 x 119 mm (WxHxD) and the unit weighs 700 grams without power supply."
GoldenEar Technology Triton One.R
Technology's new Triton One.R reference quality loudspeaker ($2999 each) is a smaller, less expensive follow up to the highly acclaimed Triton Reference. Their Triton One.R combines advanced technology, luxurious cosmetics and state-of-the-art performance. Its monocoque cabinet is constructed of multi-density medite, engineered with the goal of making it as non-resonant and inert as possible. The baffle is as narrow as possible, minimizing diffraction issues, which is effective in helping to make the cabinet sonically disappear. An integral built-in high-powered subwoofer with amplification utilizes 56-bit DSP to dramatically flatten and extend the low frequency response, as well as to enable near ideal blending of the bass section with the upper frequency drivers. There are three newly designed racetrack shaped active subwoofer drivers on the front of the cabinet, which have special polymer impregnated
Nomex cones in order to minimize cone breakup when strongly driven. The High Velocity Folded Ribbon tweeter, the same as used in the Triton Reference, is a new design that incorporates 50% more neodymium magnet material than previous units for higher efficiency and greater control. The folded ribbon technology combines improved impedance coupling to the air of horn drivers (for greater efficiency) with the superior transient response of ribbon drivers. A pair of 5.25" upper bass/midrange drivers are also new, incorporating a special formulation of polypropylene that combines superior internal damping with a high speed of transmission through the cone
(Young's Modulus). A new focused field magnet structure, developed for the Triton Reference has been incorporated for improved control. A unique "balanced" crossover, with a floating configuration, places components on both sides of the drivers, which has an improvement in sound quality that is said by
the company to not be measurable yet can be clearly heard. Overall frequency response is from 13Hz to 35kHz with an efficiency of 92dB/W/m and it presents an 8 Ohm load. Each one weights a
solid 80 lbs and dimensions are 8" x 165.8" x 54" (WxHxD).
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