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High Fidelity Audio Industry News


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02 / 28 / 14

SanDisk Ultra 128 GB microSDXC  SanDisk's much-anticipated Ultra 128 GB microSDXC card is now for sale ($120)! As the world's highest capacity MicroSD card, you can add them to your portable media player such as the Astell&Kern AK100/120/240 plus many other PMP devices and enjoy hours of uncompressed music! Of course the new 128GB card may also be used within your Android smartphone and tablet too! Many new phones and tablets decide 96kHz/24-bit, with some reaching up to the best 192kHz! The new SanDisk 128GB microSD card delivers twice the speed of 'ordinary' memory cards and is rated to have file transfer speeds up to 30MB/s. It is also water-proof, low/high temperature proof, X-ray proof, magnet proof, and shock proof. Since many of us tend to 'burn through' cards, it is great to see the new SanDisk 128GB microSD card comes with a 10 year warranty. You can buy the new SanDisk 128GB microSD card from Amazon at this link.

 

IFPIThe IFPI, the international recording industry association with 1300 record company members from across the globe, has released "Music Remains", which is a 90-second film celebrating recorded music. The video shows a 'race' of sorts as we stroll down recoded music history. The video features a variety of songs, musical instruments and both vintage and new high fidelity audio devices. Filmed at London's world-famous Abbey Road studios, Music Remains shows music at the heart of the story of one family. The film was created by music industry director Steve Milbourne who worked with with director Martin Stirling at Unit 9 Films. In this must-see Rube Goldberg-styled machine we take a wonderful walk through the many years of recorded music history and the devices we used to enjoy the music. The whole project was filmed in two days within Abbey Road's Studio No. 2. There is also a Behind the scenes, a short "making of" documentary. It shows how the production was put together, the building of the Rube Goldberg Machine and the 48 "takes" that had to be tried before a successful run of the machine was made. "The idea was to convey the message that, while technology may be continuously changing, recorded music is always at the centre of people's lives", says Steve Milbourne. "At the same time, we wanted to it to be a very personal story. Pepstar's lyrics are about key experiences - from the meeting of our parents to childhood memories, first girlfriends and family tragedy." Enjoy the Music.com loves this bit of video and have posted it for all to see below.

 

Save 15% Off AXPONA 2014 TicketsAXPONA just announced Mark Waldrep, Ph.D., the founder of AIX Records, will hold the first 'Is It Live Or Is It HD-Audio?' shoot out between new folk musician John Gorka and the world's finest surround music playback system plus Enjoy the Music.com can save 15% on tickets too! The event will be held on the opening day of AXPONA in Chicago, Friday April 25, from 2:30 to 4:00 pm in the Madison Ballroom of the Westin O'Hare Hotel. In addition to the state-of-the-art, unprocessed HD-Audio, the presentation will also feature Ultra HD-Video of John from his AIX Records 2007 Blu-ray release The Gypsy Life. A JVC Professional DLA-RS6710 D-ILA projector will display the video on a screen provided by Stewart FilmScreen Corporation. Joining John for this private performance is one of Boston's top singer songwriters Antje Duvekot. Award-winning AIX has been called, "the Bentley of audio labels", so you know this is going to be an event not to be missed! "We've put together one of the most expensive and best sounding high-end audio systems ever demonstrated at an audio trade event with our special partners German Physiks, Vitus Audio, Dolby Laboratories, Bryston, Oppo Digital, JVC Professional Products and DH Labs," said Dr. Waldrep. "Attendees will be able to enjoy songs from my favorite singer songwriter, John Gorka, performed acoustically in the Madison Ballroom and then experience our AIX Records Real HD-Audio recording of John and his band through German Physik's flagship Emperor speakers powered by Danish high-end maker Vitus Audio in an unprecedented fully immersive 5.1 surround configuration." You can save 15% off AXPONA tickets right now at this link.

 

02 / 27 / 14

Blue Note 75th Anniversary Vinyl LP Releases  Blue Note is celebrating their 75th anniversary with newly remastered vinyl LP releases! Since 1939 Blue Note has showcased some of the world's best jazz musicians at the peak of their career. So to hallmark this special 75th anniversary, two years ago they decided to begin remastering the jewels of the Blue Note catalog in hi-definition resolutions of 96 and 192 kHz. Blue Note's goal would be to protect the original intentions of the artists, producers and engineers who made these incredible recordings. They wanted to ensure their remastered versions represented the sound and feel of their first-edition vinyl releases. Working with a team of dedicated engineers their hopes was to recapture a sound that had the same feel of the original records while maintaining the depth and transparency of the master tapes. While these new versions will become available in high definition digital format, they also sought to eventually offer them in their original vinyl format too. Thus Blue Note, along with Universal Music Enterprises, launched a major 75th anniversary vinyl initiative that is dedicated to the proposition that their catalog should be readily available at a low cost and featuring high quality vinyl LP pressings and authentic reproductions of Blue Note's iconic packaging. Beginning in March 2014, Blue Note will start rolling out five remastered vinyl reissues every month. Although this program begins in celebration of Blue Note's 75th Anniversary, their catalog runs so deep that reissuing five albums a month will continue for many years to come.

 

PS Audio DirectStream DACPS Audio's new DirectStream DAC ($5995) is the result of lead designer Ted Smith's obsession with DSD. They claim that "The problem is the PCM decoding process itself: whether a classic ladder-DAC or more modern multi-bit Sigma-Delta type, PCM processors universally mask some of the subtle cues in music, and no amount of upgrading, expenditure, tweaking or improvement can fix this fundamentally-flawed system. In order to extract everything hidden in PCM recordings, a completely new processing method is needed." PS Audio's DirectStream converts all digital inputs, including PCM, to pure 1-bit DSD. The PCM feed is said to become more linear and less edgy according to the company. DirectStream utilizes 66-bit fixed-point FIR filters, eliminates headroom issues common to PCM, flattens noise response in the 20Hz to 100kHz region, uses coefficients optimized for best sound rather than faster processing speed and optimizes hardware-specific operations not possible in software. PS Audio provides an upgrade program for all PerfectWave DAC owners to convert their existing units to the new DirectStream standard.

 

02 / 26 / 14

Astell&Kern AK240 PMP  Astell&Kern is now delivering their much-anticipated AK240 24-bit/192kHz and DSD portable media player ($2500). Deliveries to the United States will begin March 4, 2014 and customers can right now pre-order the new AK240 at authorized Astell&Kern retailers and online. The AK240 builds upon the success of the current Astell&Kern AK100 and Enjoy the Music.com award earning AK120 players with the visually stunning high-tech redesign and a slew of new features not offered in any other high resolution portable audio players. The AK240 has 256GB internal memory and a microSD card slot that supports up to 128GB microSD card for a total of 384GB of music storage. The dual-Core processor allows the AK240 to process requests and play back high resolution audio files with virtually no lag time and is Wi-Fi enabled to pull music from your NAS drive. It can also use Wi-Fi to connect to high-resolution music download sites directly from the player to purchase and download music tracks. For control, the 3.31" AMOLED touch-screen has an 800x480 resolution. Dual Cirrus Logic 4398 digital to analog converter (DAC) chipsets ensure true dual-mono operation for excellent channel separation, broader dynamic range and wider soundstage. There is also native DSD support including DSD64 and DSD128 files. Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) playback is fully supported as this lossless format provides recording quality that is straight from the studio mastering source. For analog output both stereo and balanced analog is provided. The main housing of the unit features Duralumin, which is an aircraft grade aluminum alloy. The Astell&Kern AK240 may also be used as an USB DAC, allowing the user to connect the AK240 to a computer to provide higher quality sound processing than most sound cards available today.

 

02 / 25 / 14

Beck Morning Phase  Capitol Records and Gogo are partnering with Grammy-Award winning artist Beck on the release of his eagerly anticipated new album titled Morning Phase. For the next 30 days Gogo's 3.5 million unique monthly visitors will have the opportunity to stream Beck's new album Morning Phase in its entirety. Accessing the new album is simple – passengers only need to launch their browser on any laptop, tablet or smartphone and they will be able to access the album from the home page. No purchase is necessary to experience this cloud-breaking promotion, which will be available on all 2,000+ domestic Gogo equipped aircrafts. Beck's Morning Phase features many of the same musicians who played on Beck's 2002 classic Sea Change -– and who also currently accompany him live: Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Joey Waronker, Smokey Hormel, and Roger Joseph Manning Jr.. Preceded by the first single "Blue Moon," then comes "Waking Light," the band's orchestral centerpiece "Wave," and recent live debuts of "Morning" and "Unforgiven". Morning Phase is said to "harkens back to the classic harmonies, Californian song craft and staggering emotional impact of that record, while surging forward with infectious optimism." Today, the album is available at Amazon on vinyl LP, CD and digital download plus brick and mortar retailers. Track listing is:

1. Cycle 
2. Morning 
3. Heart Is A Drum 
4. Say Goodbye 
5. Blue Moon 
6. Unforgiven 
7. Wave 
8. Don't Let It Go 
9. Blackbird Chain 
10. Phase 
11. Turn Away 
12. Country Down 
13. Waking Light

 

Qualcomm AllPlayQualcomm's new AllPlay smart media platform, a wireless whole-home audio solution developed by Qualcomm Connected Experiences, incorporates Qualcomm Atheros wireless technologies to deliver audio upwards of 192kHz/24-bit. The AllPlay smart audio module makes it easy to develop and offer consumers products with seamless streaming of high-quality local and cloud-based content - with high performance Wi-Fi connectivity - across multiple brands and platforms. A broad array of audio equipment manufacturers and streaming music services - including Altec Lansing, iHeartRadio, Panasonic Corporation and Rhapsody - have committed to the commercial release of AllPlay-powered products this year. Initially focused on delivering high-quality multi-room audio, AllPlay is built upon the AllJoyn framework developed as an open source project by Qualcomm Innovation Center. AllJoyn helps developers address the need for secure, universal interoperability among devices and apps in support of the ever-developing Internet of Everything. The AllPlay platform is designed for use by audio equipment and accessories manufacturers, cloud music services and app developers. The AllPlay smart audio module offers Wi-Fi solutions for superior connectivity, which is important for delivering multiple streams of high-resolution audio wirelessly around the home. The AllPlay smart audio module is compact in design and includes a Qualcomm Atheros 2x2 dual-band Wi-Fi SoC, flexible I/Os including USB, I2S, I2C and S/PDIF, on- and off-board antennas, support for multiple digital-to-analog converters, and global regulatory certification. AllPlay media player software package supports lossy, lossless and uncompressed audio codecs including MP3, AAC, AAC+, FLAC, WAV, ALAC, PCM and high-resolution 192kHz/24-bit audio. The software package supports Party Mode playback across up to 10 zones/speakers, multi-source to multi-sink streaming, shared/social play lists; cross-platform Wi-Fi network configuration and Direct Mode streaming, over-the-air firmware updates, and current support for DLNA. Flexible controller apps and SDKs - Cross-platform compatibility (iOS and Android), speaker grouping with capability for individual volume controls for each set of speakers (Party and Multi-Zone modes), and the ability to stream content from handsets, tablets and local media sources. AllPlay Click SDK - Enables music services and software developers to easily incorporate AllPlay functionality into their iOS and Android apps. Early adopter OEM and content partners who are planning to support the platform include Altec Lansing, Aupeo, Grooveshark, and TuneIn to name a few.

 

02 / 24 / 14

Aviate  Yahoo's recently purchased Aviate app, which automatically categorizes all of your apps and intelligently rearranges your home screen throughout the day to dynamically give you the apps and information you need most, has added a new 'Listening Space'. As an invite-only beta for the moment, they want to ensure a quality experience for users. To quote Yahoo, "Music is a huge part of our everyday lives and based on what we've heard from you, a big part of yours as well. That's why we're happy to announce our latest update: Listening Space. Plug your headphones into your Android phone and Aviate instantly opens your Listening Space. Like other Spaces, Listening Space automatically surfaces all your music apps in one place. If you want to try something new, Aviate also recommends related music apps so you can download them from Google Play. Once a song starts playing, Aviate detects the song you're listening to and surfaces bios and recent tweets from the artist, upcoming shows nearby, and the ability to listen to top tracks in Spotify. Aviate is learning how to make your phone smarter and we're constantly working to create new experiences, like Listening Space, that simplify your life." Yahoo's Aviate app shows you music apps with relevant information about the artist/band you're listening to, including upcoming concerts too. For the time being, Listening Space is available on devices running Android +4.0 (Samsung Galaxy users with update to Android 4.3+).

 

ForgotifyForgotify is a new service from Spotify that features music never played within their 4+ million song files. Are you looking for new music, perhaps songs released years ago yet remain 'undiscovered', to listen and enjoy? Perhaps you are tired of listening to the same 20 or so songs that Clear Channel has deemed to be on their relentlessly tiring play lists on their hundreds of radio stations? If so, then Forgotify may be the site for you! The folks at Forgotify were "shocked to learn that 20% of Spotify's songs (4+ million) had never been played. Not even once. A musical travesty, really. So we set out to give these neglected songs another way to reach your ear holes, and Forgotify was born." Go crazy, break the chains of predictable music and let Forgotify find new music for you to enjoy.

 

02 / 21 / 14

Audyssey 60ฐ  Audyssey announced Audyssey 60ฐ, which is the company's new technology upgrade for headphone listening experience by bringing depth and spatial awareness. To render a normal soundstage over headphones, Audyssey says that "previous methods have attempted to feed the signal from each side to the opposite ear with little success". Audyssey 60ฐ takes a different approach, developing an immersive listening experience by sending the proper blend of acoustical and psychoacoustical cues to both ears simultaneously. This results in spatially expanded sound perception, creating the impression of a much wider soundstage. Audyssey will be at the Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona, Spain, meeting with phone and tablet manufacturers that have already expressed strong interest in delivering HD audio to their customers. Audyssey 60ฐ is a software-based solution that is quickly and easily implemented in any mobile device, mobile application or personal computer. "With headphones it's impossible to reproduce the soundstage experience of the original recording because headphones can't deliver sound to both ears," said Chris Kyriakakis, Audyssey's founder and CTO. "As a result, significant portions of the required acoustical and psychoacoustical cues are missing. With Audyssey 60ฐ, we restore this missing information to deliver a natural, more precise listening experience."

 

Grace DigitalGrace Digital now offers the business music and messaging industry's first cost effective customizable streaming on premise radio player and device management web portal. Using a high speed Ethernet or Wi-Fi Internet connection, the GDI-IRBM20 connects in minutes to your customer's overhead background music and telephone system. Customers can then listen to and view your custom channel name, artist, and song title on the easy-to-read display. The GDI-IRBM20 will automatically play your custom stream(s) when powered on for effortless operation. "Grace Digital developed the new Internet radio and management platform to allow music and messaging providers a robust, elegant, yet cost effective solution to provide reliable dynamic streaming content," according to Greg Fadul, Grace Digital's CEO. "While consumer's embraced Internet delivered music, news, and sports a decade ago, we just recently began seeing rapid adoption of Internet delivered business music and messaging. Once business's experience the advantageous of real time cloud based music and messaging services, they never look back." With Grace's web-based radio management tool, a Business Music and Messaging provider registers a GDI-IRBM20 onto your management account - then you control all the core features of your customer's on premise radio such as:

• Converts a GDI-IRBM20 into a custom radio which only displays the streams that you provide
• Allows you to power on / off and change the radio’s volume remotely
• Schedule the radio to change streams
• Group radios by customer or locations
• Activate / deactivate radios
• Create custom channel line ups per customer

 

02 / 20 / 14

Deno DA-300USB 32-bit/192kHz and DSD DAC  Denon has released their DA-300USB 32-bit/192kHz and DSD DAC ($499). The DA-300USB is an upgrade stand-alone DAC with headphone amplifier that enables audiophile playback of computer music libraries and streaming audio (from any PC or Mac) via a user's stereo system or headphones. The new DA-300USB DAC boasts Denon's advanced AL32 processing along with high-precision, 32-bit, 192-kHz digital-to-analog conversion technologies. Users simply connect the DAC via its USB-B port to receive computer audio. In additional to USB input there is one S/PDIF coaxial plus two TosLink optical digital inputs. The DAC master clock is design for distortion-free, fully transparent soundstage whilst noise-isolating circuit design prevents distortion via USB connection from computer-generated digital noise. Universal bit-transparent, asynchronous playback of digital audio file formats and streaming audio from PCs via USB-B handle upwards of 24 bit, 192 kHz and DSD2.8 and DSD5.6 native support by DoP (DSD audio over PCM frames). High-quality analog signal (line level) output and headphone amplifier stage may be used to connect to hi-fi amplifiers or desktop speaker systems and headphones. Denon's DA-300USB is an ultra-compact unit measuring approximately 7" x 7" x 2" and can be positioned either horizontally or vertically via the supplied clip-on stand. The minimalist front panel has a power button, headphone output and volume control, a touch input selector switch, and an OLED display that shows the selected input, headphone volume and input signal resolution. Orientation of the display changes with horizontal or vertical positioning of the unit.

 

TACET Vinyl: CheckTACET's new Vinyl: Check album features new signals and recordings to test and adjust vinyl equipment. This 180 gram record has a total playing time 35:44 and offers such tests as tracking ability, wow and flutter, phase, crosstalk, and tracking angle error. Also included are tests for skating, pick-up arm resonance, strident sibilants and fricatives. Lastly you can check frequency response and dynamics too. This LP fits in seamlessly with an entire series of releases that have been issued by TACET over the years, including My Audiophile Companion [T51], The Audiophile Chamber of Horrors [T54] and others. This gives listeners the means to decide, with their own ears and usually without measurement devices, how well a system functions or sounds. The engineers at TACET have thought up quite a large number of novel tones and signals in order to systematically test the quality of an LP system. Some of them enter into the border area of what vinyl technology is capable of achieving. The LP was created in cooperation with the Analogue Audio Association and with the help of Daniel Krieger of SST Schneidtechnik (SST Cutting Technology).

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
McIntosh Laboratory MA2275 Stereo Tubed Integrated AmplifierMcIntosh Laboratory's new MA2275 stereo tubed integrated amplifier ($6100) offers multiple inputs, MM phono stage, and produces 75 watts per channel in stereo with 2, 4, or 8 Ohm loudspeakers. One pair of balanced (XLR) and five pairs of unbalanced (RCA) for inputs are joined by a tape loop and two pairs of pre-amplifier outputs. The McIntosh MA2275 employs the company's Unity Coupled output circuit that is said to evenly distribute the load to the output tubes and provide clean power over the entire frequency range. Silent Electromagnetic Input Switching within this unit utilizes ruthenium contacts sealed in glass cylinders filled with an inert gas to prevent signal degradation. Specifications are as follows:

Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz
Power Output: 75 Watts per channel, two channels
Pre-Amplifier Maximum Output: 8.0 VRMS
Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.08%
MM Phono Input Sensitivity: 4.5mV for 2.5V output
High Level Input Sensitivity: 450mV for 2.5V output
Phono, Moving Magnet: 47kOhms, 65pf
Signal-To-Noise Ratio: 100dB (A weighted)

 

02 / 19 / 14

exaSound Audio Design e22 DAC  Leading digital audio developer exaSound Audio Design just unveiled their e22 DAC ($3499). The new exaSound e22 is a third generation DSD256 DAC that brings fine audio to a higher level. It offers to the audiophile community the best DSD support, including native DSD256+ mode at a sampling rate of 12.288 MHz. Unique in-house developed technologies like asynchronous USB interface with error correction, proprietary computer drivers, and Galvanic ground isolation give exaSound DACs is what the company feels it takes to compete with the most expensive D/A converters on the market today. Low distortion, noise, and jitter levels of the e22 greatly extend the accuracy, transparency and dynamics of music reproduction. Compared to its predecessor, the model e20, exaSound's e22 DAC offers 82fs Femto-Master-Clock, an enhanced high-current headphone amplifier, lower noise and distortion levels, a 12V Trigger Output, and heavy-duty USB-B and RCA connectors. The exaSound e22 DAC features:

DSD64: 2.8224 / 3.072 MHz.
DSD128: 5.6448 / 6.144 MHz. 
DSD128: 5.6448 / 6.144 MHz.
DSD256: 11.2896 / 12.288 MHz.
384kHz/32-bit maximum PCM sampling rate. Native support for DXD 352.8 kHz.
ES9018 Sabre32 reference DAC chip from ESS Technologies. 
Proprietary Asynchronous USB Zero-Jitter Interface with error correction. 
OS X and Windows ASIO drivers. (DSD256 is supported only on Windows)
Automatic sampling rate switching.
Supports software upsampling up to 384 kHz PCM and DSD256.
0.082 ps (82fs) master clock. Jitter minimization with 3 three precision oscillators. 
11 linear power filtering stages.
Galvanic isolation between the USB subsystem and the DAC circuits
Third generation headphone amplifier doubles the current output to drive. 
Simultaneously driven, gold plated balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA line outputs. 
Two S/PDIF inputs for CD transports. 
USB connector.
12V Trigger Output. 
Can be programmed to work with most IR remote controls.

 

Aurender X100TVLogic, a leading Korean audio and UHD broadcast monitor manufacturer, now offers their Aurender X100 digital music player. Designed to make managing, viewing and playing digital music collections fun and easy, the X100 supports bit-perfect playback of DSD (DIFF/DSF), WAV, FLAC, ALAC, APE, AIFF, M4A, and other major formats at native bit and sampling rates. The X100 is equipped with a high performance USB digital audio output and features a Gigabit Ethernet port for software upgrades, file transfers and network connectivity, two USB data ports, internal hard drive for storage and 120GB solid-state drive cache for latency-free playback. The X100 digital music player incorporates many innovations originally developed for the higher priced Aurender S10 and W20 models, including the solid-state drive cache for playback which is said by the company to completely eliminates jitter, latency and noise resulting from spinning hard drives and compact disks. The X100 uses the same high performance USB digital audio output as their flagship Aurender W20 with proprietary power circuitry to eliminate noise in the audio signal and is carefully shielded against RF interference. While the Aurender X100 can be operated using the front panel buttons, using the Aurender Conductor App for iPad and iPad Mini is the most convenient way to sort, browse and play music, in addition to setting various options on the X100 digital player such as display mode (song information, level meter, playlists, device information), power mode (On/Off or Standby), DAC options and more. Since its inception, the Aurender Conductor App has undergone several upgrades to add new features and improvements in collaboration with Aurender users and industry partners. With just a press of a button or a flick on the iPad, entire music libraries can be instantly sorted into various categories, custom categories, by bit and sampling rates, and by user rating. Designed for large digital music libraries, the Aurender Conductor App has extensive features to make sorting, viewing and playing fast and easy. Suggested retail prices of the X100S and X100L are $2999 and $3499 respectively. You can see Enjoy the Music.TV's video interview with TVLogic's Charles Kim at this link.

 

02 / 18 / 14

Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series  Bowers & Wilkins has just launched their new 600 Series of loudspeakers. The new Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series is said to dramatically improve upon the existing range's combination of outstanding value and high performance. Through the careful application of both established and all-new technologies, every element of its design has been significantly improved in the form of six new models. The new 600 Series utilizes proven Bowers & Wilkins engineering solutions from other ranges – Double Dome Tweeters derived from the CM10 speaker extend the first breakup frequency to 38 kHz, Anti-Resonance Plugs for mid/bass drive units first seen in the PM-1 lowers bass distortion and improves dynamics plus Bowers & Wilkins' iconic Kevlar cones for smooth and articulate midrange. Added to these proven technologies are new advances developed specifically for the new 600 Series, including new Dual Layer aluminum bass drivers and new tweeter decoupling technology. The Decoupled Double Dome tweeter comprises two separate aluminum domes, the second with its center portion cut out and glued to the rear face of the first dome to create a blend of lightness and rigidity. The entire tweeter assembly is then decoupled, being physically separated from the cabinet by a cushioning gel ring in much the same way as our outboard tweeters. The resulting Decoupled Double Dome tweeter is said yb the company to have "stunning clarity and tonal purity plus outstanding imaging and dispersion". A new optimized steel mesh grille prevents accidental or malicious damage in a decorative brushed aluminum plate with a diamond cut logo. The 683 floorstander is the largest speaker in the new 600 Series and uses the Decoupled Double Dome tweeter, an FST midrange driver and new Dual Layer aluminum bass drivers. This new Dual Layer design sees an aluminum bass cone reinforced around its periphery with a second layer of aluminum, for a more effectively damped cone and higher break-up frequency. On the other end of the series, the new 686 is just 6.3" wide x 12.4" high x 9" deep and employs the Decoupled Double Dome tweeter and improved Kevlar driver with Anti-Resonance Plug. Its main 5" driver features a 25mm voice coil for higher sensitivity, and it now has a front rather than rear-firing Flowport. The 686 features a built-in bracket for easy wall mounting but it sounds just as good on a bookshelf too. The complete series pricing is below.

The 683 is priced $1650 per pair.
The 684 is priced $1150 per pair.
The 685 is priced $700 per pair.
The 686 is priced $550 per pair.
The HTM61 is priced $750 each.
The HTM62 is priced $450 each.

 

GoldenEar Triton One Floorstanding Tower LoudspeakerGoldenEar's new Triton One floorstanding tower loudspeaker ($4998 per pair) is the company's new flagship design. The Triton One is an evolutionary speaker that includes and builds upon all the advanced technologies that have made the company's Tritons famous. Excellent performance for both two-channel music or multi-channel home theater, The One is a sleek 54" tall tower that, like the Triton Two and Triton Three, houses a built-in powered subwoofer. The One's powered subwoofer section consists of three forward-facing 5" x 9" quadratic sub-bass drivers in a semi-line-source array configuration. They are driven by an 1600 Watt DSP-controlled ForceField Class D digital amplifier. The GoldenEar designed amp has a Programmable Logic Device based state machine with nearly instantaneous 278 ns update time to manage a myriad of functions including soft-clipping, DC offset control, output-stage saturation control, discrete multi-band limiting and phase perfect crossover to the midrange. The active sub-bass drivers are coupled to two pairs of horizontally-opposed, inertially-balanced 7" x 10" planar sub-bass radiators, which are located on the sides of the cabinet and down near the floor boundary for optimum bass coupling to the room. The computer-optimized frame for the sub-bass radiators is newly tooled and utilizes many small support members arranged to provide distribution of any bending loads for a structure that is both totally rigid, while allowing maximum airflow. Likewise, the unique sub-bass radiator cones are also newly tooled with a complex computer-generated structure which is both extremely rigid and inert. Newly developed Frequency Dependent Bass Loading Technology, utilizing open-cell polyurethane foam damping pads, as well as special hollow-fiberfill, further optimizes low-frequency performance. The upper-bass/midrange and high frequencies are handled by a D'Appolito Array of two GoldenEar engineered spider-leg. A cast-basket improves rear flow through and minimal reflection. The 5.25" drivers surround the company's High Velocity Folded Ribbon (HVFR) tweeter. The bass/midrange drivers incorporate unique Multi-Vaned Phase Plug, which combined with the company's proprietary cone shape, assures smooth extended response to 20 kHz. The HVFR tweeter, which generates high-pressure by squeezing the air achieves an exceptional impedance match to the air for smooth response extending beyond 35 kHz. Overall frequency response is from 14 Hz to 35 kHz, sensitivity is 92dB/W/m and recommended amplification is from 20 to 650 Watt/channel.

 

02 / 17 / 14

AXPONA 2014 High-End Audio Show Report   AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) 2014 is an audiophile show that will be held from April 25th through 27th and is open to the public. Taking place at the Weston O'Hare in Chicago, the AXPONA show is now in their sixth year and offers demonstrations of home audio playback equipment and software replicating live music as accurately as possible. AXPONA 2014 is Chicago's high-end audio show featuring hundreds of listening rooms, informative daily seminars, live music, Ear Gear Expo (EGX) for portable music enthusiasts, and much more. Music lovers and audiophiles from across the country should attend AXPONA for demonstrations and access to the latest high end audio equipment and accessories the igh fidelity audio industry has to offer! Come to AXPONA this Spring and experience your music as it was meant to be heard! Click this link and use code AXP52D to save 15% on tickets.

Attendees will enjoy direct contact with designers and manufacturer-trained personnel while listening to the latest equipment available in the marketplace. A variety of educational seminars was be conducted by leading authorities within the high-end audio field to greatly benefit attendees. Active displays means attendees brought their own music and listened to it on top quality audio systems. Our show coverage will begin the first day of the even and include live video streaming with interactive chat from our sister site Enjoy the Music.TV!

 

02 / 07    to   02 / 16

   Enjoy the Music.com is taking a small holiday and will be back with our daily updates on February 15th. Until then, we've gone fishing. Come join our Facebook page for fun updates and photos. As always, in the end what really matters is that you.... enjoy the music.

 

02 / 07 / 14

Heretic Audio Huron 3 Floorstanding Speaker  Heretic Audio's new British-made Huron 3 floorstander (ฃ2500 per pair) is a high efficiency design that has a sensitivity of 95dB/W/m combined with an impedance of over 7.5 Ohms. These speakers are exceptionally easy to drive, with a high and smooth impedance curve making them suitable for all amplifiers including zero feedback types with high output impedance including single-ended triode. The high sensitivity has been achieved without resorting to a low impedance. Hectic Audio's Huron 3 floorstanding speaker presents an over 8 Ohm load throughout the majority of the frequency range, meaning it doesn't draw high current and thus straining some amplifiers. Four 6.75" drivers feature doped paper cones to produce "a very natural and tonally correct sounding material which has been combined with rubber suspension for long life even in humid climates". The Huron uses a waveguide-loaded (horn) soft dome tweeter which aids with dispersion, increases efficiency, lowers distortion and is mounted to ensure time alignment to the other drivers. Power handling is 200 Watts, yet they can be driven by as little as 7 watts. The cabinet features a natural cherry real wood veneer finish. Dimensions are 24cm x 46cm x 104cm (WxDxH) and weight is 55 lbs.

 

02 / 06 / 14

  TV ALERT: United States based turntable manufacturer VPI Industries will be on the Discovery Channel Canada with a special manufacturer and turntable focus on Sunday, February 9th at 7pm. If you miss it Sunday, the Discovery Channel is replaying the VPI episode on Monday, February 10th at 5pm. Enjoy the Music.com's interview with VPI's Mat Weisfeld during the recent RMAF event can be seen below.


If you can't see the view above click here.

 

Eric Clapton The 1970s ReviewA very special new DVD featuring Eric Clapton will be available March 11th. Eric Clapton The 1970s Review DVD follows Clapton's bold musical journey through the 1970s. The DVD will have exclusive interviews, rare footage and more. In 1968, Eric Clapton was at a crossroads. As a virtuoso lead guitarist with Cream, Eric had quickly risen to the very pinnacle of popular music's hierarchy. Yet his exposure to the work of American mavericks The Band led him to lose faith in his own group, and to embark on a bold musical journey across the following decade. This film, from the makers of Eric Clapton The 1960s Review, follows Clapton's journey through the seventies, from his immersion in musical collectives such as Delaney & Bonnie & Friends and Derek and the Dominos. Through his re-emergence in 1974 as a successful solo artist, critically acclaimed albums and tours followed in the latter half of the decade which cemented Clapton's reputation as not just an extraordinary musician but as a composer and a performer. This new DVD features new and archive interviews, rare performance footage, plus contributions from the likes of Bonnie Bramlett, Bobby Whitlock, The Albert Brothers, George Terry, Willie Perkins, Bill Halverson, Clapton biographer Marc Roberty and many others.

 

02 / 05 / 14

Hi-Fi+ Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com just posted a world premiere of Hi-Fi+'s February edition filled with many great equipment and music reviews plus think pieces. This issue includes equipment reviews of the AVM PA8/SA8.2 pre and stereo power amp, Audio Research Reference 250 valve monoblocks, Wilson Benesch Square Five speakers, Janszen ZA2.1 electrostatic hybrid, Duevel Enterprise floorstanders, Clearaudio Da Vinci V2 MC cartridge, Albarry M1108 monoblocks and more! In his editorial, Alan Sircom says "We went to press almost immediately after the annual CES show in Las Vegas wound down. The event – bigger, shinier and just plain nerdier each year – helps shape consumer electronics of all angles for the next year or more. Some products and concepts will disappear without trace, while others will set the trend. It's impossible to predict what will succeed and what won't, even if the world's news cameras are trained on the wearable tech, the curvy phones and the biggest TV screens around." See the February issue of Hi-Fi+ by clicking here.

 

Wolfson Microelectronics WM5102S 24-bit/192kHz ChipWolfson Microelectronics has just introduced their new WM5102S mobile, low power consumption, 24-bit/192kHz chip into their Audio Hub portfolio. This new chip handles 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution Master Hi-Fi audio playback on a mobile device. The WM5102S features 120dB signal-to-noise ratio and integrates Wolfson's advanced Master Hi-Fi filters, which are optimized for 24-bit Studio Master recordings. Wolfson's Master Hi-Fi filters bring the unique sonic quality of their WM8741 DAC to mobile devices, thus enabling premium high fidelity music playback quality at a fraction of the power consumption, size and cost of systems designed for high-end home audio. "We are seeing very significant growth in end-user demand for premium quality mobile audio, which is now seen as a key device differentiator" said Tim Page, Principal Product Line Manager at Wolfson Microelectronics. "With Studio Master quality recordings increasingly being made available for download onto mobile devices, consumers understandably want to experience these recordings on their mobile devices at the same quality that they would enjoy on premium home audio systems. The WM5102S allows consumers to experience the depth, richness and clarity of Studio Mastered audio the way that the artist or composer intended.” Features include:

• Audio hub CODEC with integrated DSP
• Programmable audio effects and voice processing functions
    - Master Hi-Fi filters for audiophile quality DAC playback
    - Enhanced DRE processing (eDRE) for 120dB SNR
• Fixed function signal processing functions
    - Wind noise, sidetone and other high/low pass filters
    - Dynamic Range Control, Fully parametric EQs
    - Tone, Noise, PWM, Haptic control signal generators
• Multi-channel asynchronous sample rate conversion
• Integrated 6/7 channel 24-bit hi-fi audio hub CODEC
    - Six ADCs, 96dB SNR microphone input (48kHz)
    - Seven DACs, 120dB SNR headphone playback (48kHz)
• Audio inputs
    - Up to 6 analogue or digital microphone inputs
    - Single-ended or differential mic/line inputs
• Multi-purpose headphone / earpiece / line output drivers
    - Two stereo output paths
    - 29mW into 32 Ohm load at 0.1% THD+N
    - 100mW into 32 Ohm BTL load at 5% THD+N
    - 6.5mW typical headphone playback power consumption
    - Pop suppression functions
• 2.3ตVRMS noise floor (A-weighted)
• Mono BTL earpiece output driver
• Two 2 Watt stereo Class D speaker output drivers
    - Direct drive of external haptics vibe actuators
• Two-channel digital speaker (PDM) interface
• SLIMbus audio and control interface
• Three full digital audio interfaces
    - Standard sample rates from 4kHz up to 192kHz
    - Ultrasonic accessory function support
    - TDM support on all AIFs
    - Eight channel input and output on AIF1
• Flexible clocking, derived from MCLKn, BCLKn or SLIMbus
• Two low-power FLLs support reference clocks down to 32kHz
• Advanced accessory detection functions
    - Low-power standby mode and configurable wake-up
• Configurable functions on 5 GPIO pins
• Integrated LDO regulators and charge pumps
• Support for single 1.8V supply operation
• Small W-CSP package, 0.4mm pitch

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Seems that brick and mortar retailing of music is taking a dive as reports have surfaced that Tower Records, with 100 retail store locations, is going to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Since it appears no one desires to buy Tower Records after being on the market for some time, Chapter 11 filing will hold off creditors for a period of time. Reports claim that bankruptcy filing will take place within the next week in Delaware. Some may remember that last year Tower Records defaulted on $5.2 million in coupon payments on a $110 million bond.

 

02 / 04 / 14

EMMESpeakers Galileo Floorstanding Speaker  EMMESpeakers started the production of the company's new flagship floorstanding loudspeaker named the Galileo. Developed on the concept if their stand-mounted two-way Da Vinci monitor, which you can learn more about via Enjoy the Music.com's world premiere review, the new Galileo is said to be a "massive evolution". The Galileo is a three-way floorstanding loudspeaker with a beautifully curved sealed cabinet design to reduce unwanted internal standing waves from negatively affecting each driver's performance. EMMESpeakers carefully chose the 1.2" Accuton CELL ceramic tweeter to handle the uppermost frequencies whilst for the all-important midrange is produced via two 5" Accuton CELL ceramic midwoofer drivers. Lowermost frequencies are handled by four 10" aluminum woofer mounted on the rear of the cabinet. Sensitivity is 86dB/W/m and it presents a 6 Ohms load to the driving amplifier. Power handling is a powerful 300 Watt; with overall frequency response being from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Dimensions are 1490mm x 386mm x 452mm (HxWxD) and each speaker weighs an impressive 175 lbs. You can preorder now for May 2014 delivery. See Enjoy the Music.com's world premiere review of the EMMESpeakers Da Vinci stand-mounted monitor speaker by clicking here.

 

02 / 03 / 14

   While the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII game may have been a blowout, music lovers were treated to two companies who used the massive video audience to showcase their products via commercials. Specifically, Beats for both their headphones and online music service. Below are their fun crowd-grabbing efforts.

 

02 / 01 / 14

  Enjoy the Music.com's February Review Magazine is filed with five World Premiere equipment reviews, CES / T.H.E. Show 2014 coverage, two new Enjoy the Music.TV video interviews and much more!

See the February Review Magazine by clicking here.

Review Magazine  
Regular Reading
Daily News: Audiophile news updated each weekday!

Show Reports
T.H.E. Show / CES 2014 Show Report
Our Las Vegas show report is now complete!

Viewpoint
CES / T.H.E. Show 2014, Grammy Awards And The Future
Plus more $250,000+ products and the virtual landscape.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

Hi-Fi Tweaks
Which ones are snake oil and which ones are real?
Article By Roger Skoff

Enjoy the Music.TV
Interview with Alan Sircom of Hi-Fi+ Magazine
Alan discusses CES / T.H.E. Show

Interview With Acoustic Sounds' Chad Kassem
And Positive Feedback's David W. Robinson

Superior Audio
World Premiere!

AbysSound ASX-1000 Power Amplifier
Powerful, warm and fast Class A amplification from Poland.
Review By Wojciech Pacula

World Premiere!
EMMESpeakers Da Vinci Loudspeakers
Bringing the story of music, passion and style with a richly palpable sound.
Review By Matej Isak

Equipment Reviews
World Premiere! 

Axiom Audio M100 Floorstanding Speakers
One helluva lot of speaker for the money!
Review By Phil Gold

World Premiere!
Pro-Ject Head Box DS
A headphone amp that can be the centerpiece of your high-end desktop system.
Review By Tom Lyle

World Premiere!
Musical Fidelity M1 HPAP Headphone Amplifier
Incredible detail from an affordable headphone amplifier that doubles as a preamplifier.
Review By Tom Lyle

DIY Audio
Vacuum Tubes Part 6
Exploring cathode followers as an output stage.
Article By Grey Rollins

Music Reviews
Bizet's most ambitious piano composition. Are you ready to rumble?
Review By Max Westler

All of Fritz Reiner CSO RCA stupendous performances, with some great early-stereo sound.
Review By Joe Milicia

The Pacifica Quartet completes its Shostakovich series.
Review By Joe Milicial

 

See the February Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

Interview with Alan Sircom of Hi-Fi+ Magazine
Alan discusses CES / T.H.E. Show

 

Interview With Acoustic Sounds' Chad Kassem
And Positive Feedback's David W. Robinson

 

 

     
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