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High-End Audio Industry News

 

02 / 28 / 02

44th Annual Grammy Awards  We here at Enjoy the Music.com now have our exclusive 44th Annual Grammy Awards show report online. These awards are decided upon by musicians and the industry itself for musicians and musically talented individuals. The 44th Annual Grammy Awards recognize many talented musicians, engineers and others within the industry. Please click here to see our exclusive show report.

 

 

BAT VK-300xBalanced Audio Technology introduces the VK-300x integrated amplifier that delivers 150/300 watts into 8/4 ohms and can be configured with an optional MM/MC phono board, a 6922-based tube front-end or a 6H30 SuperTube gain stage and full-function, all aluminum remote control. The output stage is based on the symmetrical bipolar design of the VK-6200 multi-channel amplifier while the optional SuperTube gain stage is derived from the VK-50SE preamp, complete with the latter's paper-in-oil signal capacitors. The VK-300x offers five inputs (two XLR, three RCA), XLR pre-outs, RCA record-outs and two pairs of speaker terminals. Frequency response is given as 2HZ to 180kHz. The BAT VK-300x measures 19" x 5.75" c 15.5" (WxHxD) and weighs 50 lbs.

 

02 / 27 / 02

Bel Canto eVo2i  As first introduced at CES 2002, Bel Canto Design's new eVo2i Digital Integrated Amplifier pioneers the firm's new look for the entire award-winning eVo range. The eVo2i combines the original eVo 200.2 and PRe1 in a single chassis and offers full remote control. Power is 120/240 into 8/4 ohms, with a damping factor of greater than 100 below 100Hz and 16/23dB of gain in the pre and power amp stages respectively. The microprocessor controlled volume control offers 0.05 dB steps over a 127dB range. Inputs are 1 x XLR and 4 x RCA and outputs 1 x record out and 1 x pre-out, the latter ideal for subwoofer hookup or passive bi-amplification. Dimensions are 17.5" x 14.5" x 4.5" (WxDxH), and weight is 36 lbs. Bel Canto has also introduced the eVo2 stereo amplifier which offers the same power output as the integrated but adds the 1500VA transformer first introduced in the eVo 200.4 and 200.6 for superior dynamics and bass control.

 

 

IBM has officially launched their Digital Media Factory (DMF). DMF is an open-technology framework employing the IBM e-business infrastructure to distribute, manage, store, and secure digital audio and video content. This solution includes both hardware and software solutions consisting of IntelliStation workstations; Electronic Media Management System; IBM Content Manager. Jurij Paraszczak, chief technology officer for IBM's Digital Media, said "What we have discovered, after many years of working with the world's top media and entertainment companies, is that there is a common thread to bind technologies into general business processes across all industries. The Digital Media Factory provides an opportunity to deliver a standards-based framework combining technologies from IBM and other technology providers."

 

02 / 26 / 02

Boston Acoustics VR-M90  The Boston Acoustics VR-M90 ($2,700/pr) reference tower is a 3-way 4-driver design with dual 6.5-inch copolymer woofers, a 3.5-inch copolymer midrange and a 1-inch black-anodized aluminum dome tweeter with the Amplitude Modulation Device first developed by Phil Jones for the firm's groundbreaking Lynnfield 300 and 500 models. With a sensitivity of 90dB and 8-ohm nominal impedance, frequency response is given as 37-20,000Hz, and recommended amplifier power as 25-250 watts. Dimensions are 37.25" x 9.25" x 14" (HxWxD), and weight is 65 lbs.

 

 

Polk Audio LSi9 Polk Audio's new LSi9 ($1,040/pr) is a new high-definition 2.5-way d'Appolito monitor that, like the entire LSi series, incorporates the famous Audax Ring Radiator tweeter also used by Krell, nOrh and Audio Physic. Dynamic Balance 5.25" woofers with aerated Polypropylene cones and cast aluminum baskets, 1.5-inch thick side panels, the firm's proprietary Power Port and Acoustic Resonance Control technology are further features, as is magnetic shielding, Mylar bypass capacitors and real wood side panels in Ebony or Cherry. Frequency response is given as 38Hz to 27kHz, with a nominal 4-ohm impedance and 88dB sensitivity. Crossover points are 200Hz/12dB/octave and 2.4kHz/12db/octave for the woofers, and 2.4kHz/18dB/octave for the tweeter. Dimensions are 15.5" x 8.85" x 15.25" (HxWxD).

 

02 / 25 / 02

Kuzma KC-REF  Slovenja based turntable, tonearm and cartridge manufacture Kuzma has introduced their new KC-REF moving coil cartridge (€3,300). Sourced from Japan, the KC-REF is said to be an excellent match for the Kuzma tonearms and offers very high quality vinyl playback capabilities. Specifications are as follows:

Type: Moving Coil stereo phonograph cartridge
Magnetic Circuits: Powerful samarium cobalt magnet and soft iron armature with highh purity OFC coils
Output Voltage: 0.5mV at 1kHz under 5cm/sec velocity
Cantilever: Aluminum-cladded boron
Stylus: 7x18 microns diamond elliptical
Tracking Force: 1.8-2.0 grams
Compliance: 9 cu
Body: Special aluminum alloy housing
Loading Impedance: 100-2000 Ohm
Frequency Response: 10-50,000Hz
Channel Balance: 1.5dB at 1kHz
Channel Separation: 30dB at 1kHz
Weight: 9 grams 
Break-in period: min. 40 hours

 

 

Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)Sales of audio components increased during December 2001 according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). "Dollar sales of separate components, which include electronic audio components and speakers, increased by 14 percent to $123 million, compared to the same period in 2000. Revenues from factory-to-dealer sales of surround sound speaker packages grew an impressive 224 percent in December to $23 million, contributing to a year-to-date total of $136 million. Likewise, manufacturer-to-dealer sales of home-theater-in-a-box packages increased 134 percent in December to $80 million with year-to-date total dollar sales reaching $794 million." Now accounting for all sales figures for audio equipment in 2001, overall sales decreased six percent.

 

02 / 22 / 02

PS Audio HCA-1  PS Audio announced that on its forthcoming HCA-1 hybrid digital amplifier, it will use what is dubbed "a breakthrough in the all-important connection between the power amplifier and your loudspeakers - the Power Post (which) will, we believe, become the industry standard for connectivity." The Power Post is a CE approved, ready-for-Europe speaker cable terminal with a high purity copper alloy center post and heavy gold plating where the contact areas are protected from the outside world by two small spring-loaded doors that cover each of the two openings. The top cap can be removed to expose the center of the contact area for banana plugs, while the center of the Power Post is said to handle any size spade lug, or wire. Once one (or two) spade lugs are inserted, molded handles on the outside of the Power Post are shaped to provide , in the words of the press release, the "grip of Mickey Mantle" for superior tightening. PS Audio claims it is the first company in the world to incorporate a Power Post in an amplifier.

 

 

AudioControl of Mountlake Terrace, Washington State, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. This is a wonderful achievement of longevity in today's hostile business climate for any specialist audio company, and especially one that insisted on genuine and exclusive US manufacture throughout all these years. The firm was started in the late 70s by a group of die-hard audio enthusiasts who were dreaming of designing and manufacturing professional grade equalizers, analyzers, and signal processors in the Pacific Northwest rainforest. Highlights in the company's history include 50 awards for product design, engineering, quality and customer service as well as one pending and four granted patents. Its first product was the Model 520 equalizer in 1977. That was quickly followed by the first-ever combination equalizer/real time spectrum analyzer, the C-101. Today, AudioControl sells in the US and 50 other countries and continues to grow. To commemorate this year's silver anniversary, AudioControl just announced the Anniversary Edition blue LED SA-3055 and SA-3052 spectrum analyzers that are already shipping. Further product surprises for 2002 are promised.

 

02 / 21 / 02

  The Recording Academy and EBay have teamed up to help the MusiCares Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists struggling musicians with addiction recovery, emergency financial assistance, health treatment and other quality of life issues. The EBay auction feature a number of one-of-a-kind items ranging from Elvis Presley's and Jimi Hendrix real stage performance guitar to Elton John's signed gold sales award plaque, signed jackets, signed CDs and other memorabilia. Also up for bid is a one-of-a-kind Gibson Les Paul All Star GRAMMY guitar. This unique collectible Gibson guitar is customized with an American flag design and was signed by various GRAMMY Award nominees and presenters at the 44th Annual GRAMMY Nominees Press Conference held on Friday, Jan. 4, 2002 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. All proceeds from the EBay event go to the MusiCares Foundation. We here at Enjoy the Music.com™ are very proud to be active supporters of the Recording Academy MusiCares Foundation for many years.

 

 

NakamichiIt has been reported by Reuters that Nakamichi Corporation has filed for court protection from creditors. Having debits totaling 20 billion yen ($150.7 million), Nakamichi and others feel the past few years of financial struggling in the Asian and world economy have lead to lackluster sales. In fact it is expected that Nakamichi will be de-listed from the Tokyo Stock Exchange as their stock plummets to all-time lows. Many audio enthusiasts are very familiar with Nakamichi as their Dragon cassette deck still garnishes praise from music lovers worldwide. Nakamichi has a glorious and proud past with the following achievements:

Etsuro Nakamichi had a dream to bring the finest engineers and scientists together for the purpose of improving existing technologies to create world class audio and communication products.

1948 Nakamichi Corporation was founded.

1951 Developed and manufactured open reel tape decks for the "Magic Tone" label.

1957 Developed and manufactured proprietary magnetic tape heads. With the advent of the cassette media, Nakamichi was committed to attaining the finest possible performance for this format. To accomplish this, special materials and designs were developed resulting in the first tape head with reproduction capabilities from 20Hz to 20kHz.

1967 Nakamichi started manufacturing cassette decks for the most influential hi-fi companies in the world.

1972 Introduced the Nakamichi 1000. The Nakamichi 1000 was the first true high fidelity cassette deck and the world's first three head cassette deck.

1972 Debut of audio products bearing the Nakamichi name.

1977 Unveiling of the Nakamichi concert hall.

1982 The establishment of the E. Nakamichi Foundation. 
Nakamichi is committed to the future of music and musicians worldwide.

1998 Nakamichi revolutionizes Mobile CD changer technology.

2000 Several new SoundSpace products are developed and delivered to enthusiasts around the world. New models include high-end Home Theater Systems as well as additional Stereo Music Systems that appeal to the design-conscious audiophile.

 

02 / 20 / 02

Classe Audio  New from Canadian electronics firm Classe Audio are the SS-30 surround sound processor that replaces the SSP-25; the CAM-200 monaural amplifier; the CD/DVD-1; and the CRCD all-in-one AM/FM receiver/CD player. The new CAM-200 follows the CAM-350 monoblock and offers 200 watts into 8 ohms, and 400 watts into 4 ohms. Specifications include a newly developed "UHC TRANSFER" power supply section and true symmetrical, differential circuitry from input to output. Frequency response is within +/- 0.1dB from 20Hz-20kHz, with a 1-volt input sensitivity, 29dB of gain, a S/N ratio of 135dBR and output impedance of 0.017 ohm. Dimensions are 11.5" x 16" x 9.5" (WxDxH) and weight is 45 lbs.

The design brief for Classe's new CD/DVD player included stellar performance also in two-channel playback, something the firm feels is often overlooked in DVD players optimized for Home Theater applications. Specifications include two separate laser pickups on one control arm, one optimized for CD, the other for DVD playback; auto-detection of disc type and data format; compatibility with CD-R, CD-RW, and CD-Video; and a full function remote control. Connectivity includes XLR/RCA analog music outputs; AES/EBU, RCA and TOSlink digital outputs for CD/DVD; component, composite and S video outputs; and compatibility with AC3, DTS and Dolby Pro-Logic as well as NTSC and PAL. The CD/DVD-1 measures 19" x 14.6 x 4.15" (WxDxH) and weighs 25 lbs.

The new Classe CRCD follows in the footsteps of similar single-box solutions by Linn and NAD and combines a 50-station preset AM/FM stereo tuner with a 40-watt amplifier, CD player, clock/alarm/timer function and full remote control, and is finished in Classe's silver and black styling as are the other new components.

 

 

Odyssey DesignsKlaus Bunge of Odyssey Designs announced that as of January 2002, the direct-sales approach of Odyssey products now also includes Symphonic Line electronics from designer Rolf Gemein of Duisburg, Germany. The Odyssey-branded products are based on design work by Gemein that was then licensed to Bunge for cost-effective US manufacture of his Odyssey brand. With this latest arrangement, US buyers will be able to significantly save on purchases of Symphonic Line products when acquired through Odyssey's direct-marketing offer.

 

02 / 19 / 02

  Auriga Design of Canada is offering its Sterling II Orbital Class loudspeaker ($3,450, or $2,975 direct if no local dealer is available), a 10-inch two-way with 1-inch soft-dome tweeter housed in a cylindrical enclosure for minimized diffraction and internal standing waves, with approximate dimension of 18" x 16" x 30" (WxDxH) and a weight of 45 lbs each. The dual-wall, granular-core isolated enclosure is said to be optimized for precise time and phase alignment. Finish options include soapstone and Serpentine Green coatings, and the spherical cabinet is supported by a solid wood support base finished in walnut or oak. Optional high-gloss black lacquer is also available. In-room frequency response is given as 43Hz to 22kHz (+/- 2.2dB), with a -10dB bass extension of 28Hz. At 89dB sensitivity, dynamic output is rated a 107dB @ 60 watts RMS music power. The Orbital Series speakers carry a 10-year warranty.

 

 

Sony CDR-W66The Sony CDR-W66 ($999) is a CD/R recorder that has been designed specifically for professional production applications and features advanced DSP pre-mastering capabilities and a 32kHz to 96kHz sample rate converter. DSP features include SuperBit Mapping, digital EQ and variable ratio limiter. A PC keyboard input supports CD text entries. Internal A/D and D/A converters are 24-bit. A X2 duplication bus link allows double-time dubbing to a second CDR-W66. Connectivity options include XLR and RCA analog I/O plus RCA, XLR and Toslink digital I/O. SCMS copy protection is user selectable.

 

02 / 18 / 02

The Home Entertainment Show  The 2002 Home Entertainment show will once again be held in New York City's Hilton Hotel. Both home theater and specialty audio will be showcased while various educational seminars and live musical performances round out this event. Under new ownership by the PRIMEDIA Specialty Group Inc., sponsors include Home Theater, Stereophile publications, and Audio Video Interiors magazines. Naturally Enjoy the Music.com will be there reporting virtually live. Click here to see 2001's show coverage. Please click here to see our 2002 show coverage.

Hilton New York Hotel
1335 Avenue of the Americas
New York City, NY

May 30: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. (Trade, press & advance ticket holders only)
May 31: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
June 1: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
June 2: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Tickets: $35.00 for weekend pass / $25.00 for one-day pass

 

 

Last year's acquisition of EAD by Tara Labs subsidiary Alpha Digital Technologies has resulted in numerous new products, of which the AC Master is an outgrowth of Tara Labs' former Power Screen, now housed in EAD's customary Rowland-like rippled chrome livery. The AC Master uses a combination of balanced transformers and ceramics-based "Ceralex" RF/EMI absorption on all live, neutral and ground lines for lowered noise floor AC delivery.

 

Click here for our news from
02/01   to   02/15

 


 

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