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High-End Audio / Hi-Res Audio (HRA) Audiophile Industry News


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02 / 29 / 16

Discogs App Makes Album Cataloging And Music Discovery Easy
Discogs App Makes Album Cataloging And Music Discovery EasyThe great folks at Discogs have finally released their official iOS Discogs app! This iOS App is right now available for free in the app store. If you're on Android, you can sign up to be an Android Beta tester on Discogs' app page. Discogs has helped to revolutionized record collecting by making it quick and easy to catalog your music library. You can easily view and manage your Discogs Collection, including local access to your Collection and Wantlist when you are offline. Add and remove items from your Discogs Collection on the go. In addition, when you're at your local record store you can easily check to see if you already own a record before you buy it. There is aslo a Marketplace Pricing section to check on the price range of that title. Naturally you may track that 'holy grail' album you've been looking for by adding releases to your Wantlist. Love an album, if so then you can discover new music by simply searching the Discogs database and discover new music. Being easy to use, all you need to do is use your phone's camera to search for a release by the barcode. Discogs plans to add new features based on your feedback too.

 

Roger Sheker Of Audience LLC Passes Away At 74
Roger Sheker Of Audience LLC Passes Away At 74It saddens us to report on the passing of Roger Sheker (74), Chief Engineer, Audience LLC. Born in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, on Christmas Day, 1942, Roger was a self-made man and a certified (Mensa card-carrying) genius. Though he never attended college, his diverse and comprehensive education came at the hands of both the U.S. army and his time working at General Atomics, a defense contractor headquartered in San Diego, California. He freely asserted that his being championed by some brilliant engineers over that period vastly enhanced his education. Married, and after the move to California in September 1977, he crossed paths with the late Richard Smith, cofounder of Audience, LLC, (along with current President, John McDonald). Richard found Roger to be someone who shared his somewhat distinct views on audio design, and immediately latched on to Roger, who has been with Audience since its genesis in 1997 as its chief engineer. Though Roger had a hand in everything Audience, among his most significant contributions were the complete design of the exceptional adeptResponse passive power conditioners, the creation and ongoing development of the innovative A3S driver, instrumental to the entire ClairAudient line of crossover-less loudspeakers, and the creation of the award winning The ONE and 1+1 loudspeakers. He also designed the new balanced Au24 SX cable, which I've had on hand since 2 days before Roger's 74th birthday. Roger is survived by his wife Barbara Barrier and his four children, Tisa Carpenter, James Kirby, Tina Banghart, and Steven Kirby.

 

02 / 26 / 16

Save 25% Off The New 24-bit/192kHz Alexis Cole Album
Enjoy the Music.com saves you 25% off the new Alexis Cole album Dazzling Blue from Chesky Records! Simply use code ENJOYBLUE25 during checkout and save 25% off this great 24-bit/192kHz music album!

 

iFi Audio Nano iUSB3.0 Is Packed Full With The Latest Technology
iFi Audio Nano iUSB3.0 Is Packed Full With The Latest TechnologyiFi Audio's new Nano iUSB3.0 ($199) continues the company's trickle-down technology from their higher end product line. The original micro iUSB changed what was considered attainable from computer audio by supplying regenerated USB power. The iFi Audio Nano iUSB3.0 retains the lion's share of the micro iUSB3.0's features – USB3.0 chipset at the heart, IsoPort, Active Noise Cancellation, REgenerate, REclock, REbalance and more. This cutting-edge USB audio technology with Active Noise Cancellation from AMR with the latest REclock and REbalance work their aural magic. When fed by iFi Audio's iPOWER, the noise floor of the Nano iUSB3.0 at 0.5uV (or 0.0000005V) is only bettered by the flagship micro iUSB3.0. Drawing from the military field (Thales Spectra radar cancellation system), iFi adapted this technology to exclusively introduce the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) audio power system. ANC technology is now a cornerstone of the iFi USB technology range. By generating a signal identical to the noise signal but in the exact opposite phase, it completely cancels all the incoming noise. Results are said to be background and inner resolution of recordings is no longer hidden. Sonics are much smoother too. iFi Audio's Nano iUSB 3.0 re-clocks, re-generates, and repeats the USB audio datastream. For any and every downstream DAC, REgenerate actually 'regenerates' an all-new USB signal via a precision master clock with the REclock technology to eliminate computer jitter. This results in music audible sense having a better flow plus sounds cleaner and more accurate. REbalance is circuitry that understand that the USB signal is inherently a balanced signal. However, most USB signals become 'unbalanced' to some degree and may get contaminated by noise. By removing the DC offset and re-balancing the USB audio signal, it is now perfectly balanced and noise-free. With an eye towards the future, iFi Audio's Nano iUSB3.0 employs USB3.0 ultra-speed 5.0 Gbps. The Nano iUSB3.0 is USB3.0 standard and is backwards compatible with USB2.0 devices. There is also the added sonic benefit from the USB3.0 platform which mandates better connectors, higher-quality cables etc. Looking ahead, as audio transmission standards improve, with an ultra-speed bandwidth of 5.0Gbps, USB3.0 is future-proofed. It is 10x that of 480Mbps on USB2.0. Another benefit of using the iUSB3.0 is that unless the normal power up/down sequence is followed, the computer may 'lose' the DAC connection. The Nano iUSB3.0 has an Auto/On switch where the On setting ensures USB power is constantly supplied to the PC so it always sees the DAC to enhance user enjoyment. Dimensions are 87 x 68 x28 (LxWxH) and it weighs 141 grams.

 

02 / 25 / 16

Win A KEF Muo Portable Speaker In Limited Edition Brilliant Rose!
Hurry! Last Few Days To Enter For Your Chance To Win!
Enjoy the Music.com's February 2016 Contest
Win A KEF Muo Portable Speaker In Limited Edition Brilliant Rose!

 

02 / 24 / 16

Auralex Acoustics SonoTech Acoustic Panels
Auralex Acoustics SonoTech Acoustic PanelsAuralex Acoustics has introduced their SonoTech, the company's latest product utilizing their  proprietary Studiofoam. SonoTech offers effective sound absorption treatment for those on a budget. These are very useful for home studios in need of a softer aesthetic than offered by other Studiofoam products. A unique 2" thick profile is available in a 2' x 2' format and is a great choice for a variety of residential applications. Benefits from using SonoTech include the reduction of standing waves and flutter echo, reduction of unwanted sound reflections, a decrease in slap-back and room ring. This benefits music lovers and audiophiles by increasing the clarity of your sound system while also smoothing out the frequency response. SonoTech panels are available in charcoal color and are made from Auralex's long-lasting, melamine-free formula, which won't crumble with age. Studiofoam SonoTech panels include EZ-Stick Pro tabs for convenient mounting to most surfaces. Auralex Acoustics SonoTech are now available from your favorite authorized Auralex dealer and Studiofoam SonoTech can be purchased in two-packs, allowing for customers to purchase acoustical treatment as budgets allow.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
MusicGiants Offers The World's First High-Resolution Downloadable Music
Music GiantsMusicGiants, an online music service with content from all major recording labels, plans to offer 5.1 channel lossless compression high-definition audio files. Benefits of 5.1 channel digital surround sound are derived from recording audio on five separate tracks: front left, front right, center, rear left, and rear right, with one extra track (the ".1") for very low bass sounds. This three-dimensional sound quality imitates the real world experience of human hearing. MusicGiants is the first commercial download service offering high-fidelity music files, including the complete digital music libraries of the major music labels, in the Windows Media Audio Lossless format. This format provides the sound quality of the original digital recording. While most music download services provide data rates of 128 to 192 kbps, MusicGiants offers downloads at up to 1100 kbps. MusicGiants uses Windows Media Digital Rights Management (Windows Media DRM) to deliver content. Surround sound files will be playable on HDD servers as well as PCs equipped with 5.1-capable sound card.

 

02 / 23 / 16


World Premiere!
Les Paul 100th Anniversary Commemorative Custom Chopper
An appreciation to Les Paul for his musical masterpiece.
Article By Rick Becker

 

02 / 22 / 16

LG Electronics Harnesses Bang & Olufsen PLAY For High Quality Audio
LG Electronics Harnesses Bang & Olufsen PLAY For High Quality AudioLG Electronics announced that it has entered into an agreement with premium audio firm Bang & Olufsen PLAY to offer its smartphone users an enhanced high-quality audio experience. Firmly grounded in 90 years of audio and design excellence, craftsmanship and product innovation from Bang & Olufsen, B&O PLAY interprets the same values for a new type of contemporary products aimed at quality and design-conscious customers perfectly fitting the continued establishment of LG as the undisputed leader in smartphone audio. The two companies have been working closely together on the new LG G5 to ensure the best sound experience to the customers. LG will be the first company to offer the powerful hi-fi audio features co-designed by B&O PLAY. "We are very excited to work with LG. With LG's dedication to premium smartphones, the collaboration gives us the opportunity to bring B&O PLAY's acoustic excellence to an even broader customer base," said Henrik Taudorf Lorensen, President of B&O PLAY. "B&O PLAY appeals to music lovers who want the best available products on the market. They are uncompromisingly innovative, without boundaries and constantly on the go and they expect the same from the headphones as well as the mobile devices they choose, so this is a perfect match." Having already broken new ground in smartphone audio, LG plans to continue its collaboration with B&O PLAY in order to enhance the competitiveness of its smartphone audio experience further. "By collaborating with B&O PLAY, we believe we can meet and surpass the heightened expectations of consumers seeking the next generation of enhanced audio experiences on their smartphones," said Juno Cho, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "Our collaboration with B&O PLAY has proven mutually beneficial and LG will continue to work with other leading companies in a variety of different industries in order to set new standards for innovation in the premium smartphone market." So, what's really inside the LG G5 phone B&O device? It comes with a well-respected Sabre ES9028C2M 32-bit DAC plus the Sabre9602c amplifier. Thus it will support all the usual file formats including 24-bit/192kHz Hi-Res Music.

 

Sony, Universal, And Music Enthusiasts Benefits From Streaming Music
Sony, Universal, and Music Enthusiasts Benefits From Streaming MusicBoth Sony Music Entertainment (SME) and Universal Music Group (UMG) are relying more on the revenue generated by streaming services. Besides the efficiencies due to no physical product or heavy logistics in distribution, streaming music removes product loss (breakage) and having to produce expensive physical packaging. According to Music Business Worldwide "In the 12 calendar months of 2015, UMG's streaming income was up 43.2% at constant currency to €954,000,000. That's a staggering year-on-year rise of €344,000,000. UMG's download revenue in the year stood at €1,020,000,000. That was slightly above its streaming income in the year, but in the second half of 2015, says Vivendi, streaming claimed 52% of all digital revenues." Of note is that the income generated from digital downloads declined 13% as compared to 2014. We also must note that UMG became the very first to reach the three comma mark (billion) from streaming, they have also just posted the company's most impressive annual revenues in a decade. If we take into account their licensing, recorded music, publishing plus other activities then how does a 2015 revenue of €5,108,000,000, which is up 12.1% as compared to 2014, sound? UMG says that there has been "significant growth in subscription and streaming revenues more than offset decline in physical and download revenues". So if you've been hiding under a rock for the past decade, then rest assured that the future of music looks to be via streaming services.

 

02 / 21 / 16

AXPONA 2016 To Feature Live Blues Music Including Lurrie Bell
AXPONA 2016 To Feature Live Blues Music Including Lurrie BellAXPONA 2016, operated by the professionals at JD Events, will have live music events during their show. On Friday April 15 from 12pm to 3pm will be WDCB Jazz Showcase with Jim Ryan and from 3:15pm to 6pm will be Roy McGrath Duo. On Saturday April 16 from 8pm to 10pm will be Chicago Blues Night sponsored by Acoustic Sounds. The Blues are back at AXPONA with an exciting concert line up with up-and-coming artist Noah Wotherspoon followed by headliner Chicago Blues legend Lurrie Bell! The Noah Wotherspoon Band has been immersed in the blues and mesmerizes audiences with his soulful guitar playing since he was a teenager. The band, which includes Rob Thaxton on bass and Brian Aylor on drums, formed in 2009. In 2015, Wotherspoon received the Best Guitarist Award at the International Blues Challenge and the band placed 2nd in the finals. Since the competition, they have been playing festivals and venues around the country. This year also saw the release of the band's debut studio album entitled "Mystic Mud", which was selected by the Cincy Blues Society as the Best Self-Produced CD for entry into the 2016 IBC's. The release was also presented a "Jimi Award" for Best Blues/Rock Album of the Year by Blues411. Lurrie Bell's Chicago Blues Band if fronted by none other than Lurrie, who is the son of famed blues harmonica player Carey Bell. Lurrie Bell picked up his father's guitar at age of five and taught himself to play. He grew up with many of the Chicago blues legends around him including Eddie Taylor, Big Walter Horton, Eddie C. Campbell, Eddie Clearwater, Lovie Lee, Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy Dawkins and many more were frequent visitors to his house. They all helped to shape and school him in the blues including his father's long-time employer Muddy Waters.

 

VPI Industries Classic 3 Turntable Review
Flashback Review!
VPI Industries Classic 3 Turntable
One powerhouse turntable and tonearm combo!
Reviewed By Anthony Nicosia

 

02 / 20 / 16

Chesky Record's To The Sun And All Cities In Between by City Of The Sun
Chesky Record's To The Sun And All Cities In Between by City Of The SunChesky Records' upcoming release To The Sun And All Cities In Between by City Of The Sun will be available in Hi-Res Music 24-bit/192kHz. Performing in the subways and streets of New York City, City of the Sun draws its roots from across the world as well as across the genres. On their debut album, experience music that will leave you in trance. A mix of modern post-rock ambience and frenetic flamenco style guitar work, to the sun and oil the cities in between crosses the generational gap and proves you don't need vocals to captivate. City of the Sun is John Pita, Avi Snow and Zach Para. With two guitars, a box, and bells, they create a sound that is for greater than the sum of those parts. Their music has been called "a reinvention of acoustic music." It's instrumental and worldly, sweeping from widescreen post-rock dynamics to gypsy jazz syncopations, "they define exponential music." Formed in NYC in early 2010, the trio has blazed a trail through the city playing everywhere from street corners and lofts as Sofar Sounds alumni, to sold-out hotspots like Rockwood Music Hall, Brooklyn Bowl, Mercury Lounge, and The Gramercy Theatre. They've shored stages with a diverse array of artists including Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Marky Ramone, Matisyahu, Gregg Allman, and Greensky Bluegrass. City of the Sun has also traveled abroad to perform for exclusive TEDx showcases and TED Talks. As part of the Chesky Binaural + Series, all recorded with a single microphone, the bond appears right before you with this spacious, lush and multi-dimensional recording. Now headphone users will hear the some three-dimensional sound and imaging as audiophiles hove for the post 25 years with Chesky Recordings. Also these new Binaural + Series albums capture even more spatial realism for the home audiophile market, bringing you one step closer to the actual event. You w1ll hear some of the most natural and pure music ever recorded.

 

02 / 19 / 16

Coincident Speaker Technology Dynamo 34SE MK II Review
World Premiere!
Coincident Speaker Technology Dynamo 34SE MK II
A gateway product to high-end tube gear.
Review By Rick Becker

 

Audioengine HD6 Review
Audioengine HD6 Premium Powered Speaker System
Perfect for music lovers who need a small self-powered speaker.
Review by Tom Lyle

 

02 / 18 / 16

Musician Series Featuring Billy Drummond
Musician Series Featuring Billy Drummond
Enjoy the Music.com's focuses on legendary talents from around the world.
Interview By Steven R. Rochlin

 

02 / 17 / 16

Audio Note UK Ongaku Review
Flashback Review!
Audio Note UK Ongaku
A very temping aural pleasure.
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

 


Flashback Review!
Manley Neo-Classic 250 Monoblock Amplifiers
Power and passion!
Review By Rick Jensen

 

02 / 16 / 16

Guernsey's Guitar Auction Features Many Legendary Instruments
Guernsey's Guitar Auction Features Many Legendary InstrumentsIn what might well be the most diverse assemblage of collectible guitars ever presented, Guernsey's will be conducting its next Guitar Auction on February 27 live at New York City's East 73rd Street Bohemian National Hall and online. You may preview these guitars on February 25 and 26 from 12pm through 8 pm. This event will be featuring several private collections including approximately 20 instruments coming directly from George Benson. From the noted Henry Lowenstein Collection will be a presentation of early (and extremely rare) guitars and mandolins made by Joseph Bohmann, while the collection of more than forty guitars from the late arranger and jazz musician Robert Yelin features pristine examples by Gibson, D'Angelico, Benedetto, and Buscarino. Though less well-known than a fine company like Martin (of which there will be many instruments in the auction), guitars from the Larson Bros. have long been coveted by collectors. This auction will be featuring an assortment of these almost impossible-to-find instruments. Among the many guitars worth noting is a guitar signed and played by Richie Sambora, and a yellow and black instrument ordered, owned and played by Eddie Van Halen and then seen with him in an Entertainment Tonight video. The approximately three hundred lots in the sale are roughly divided equally between fine acoustic instruments dating as far back as 1880 right through beautiful, recently-made examples, and sensational electric guitars, many of which are associated with well-known musicians. Bidders will encounter instruments from Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tony Mottola (accompanying Frank Sinatra) and Franny Beecher who, following years with Benny Goodman's big band, became the lead guitarist for the legendary Bill Haley and the Comets. The "In Cold Blood" pair of guitars in the auction must constitute one of the most unusual musical offerings ever: those who vividly recall the legendary Truman Capote book and movie will remember that Perry Smith, the much-analyzed killer, toted his guitar everywhere. A single lot in this auction will contain both the instrument used by Robert Blake playing the role of Smith in the Academy Award-winning film, and the actual guitar used by the real-life killer! You can download the eCatalogue here.

 

02 / 15 / 16

Tracktion Copper Reference Premium Vacuum Tube I/O Interface
Tracktion Copper Reference Premium Vacuum Tube I/O InterfaceTracktion Corporation has unveiled their Copper Reference a premium quality stereo vacuum tube I/O interface. They have created a true audio hot rod that combines cutting edge silicon technology with organic vacuum tube character, to generate something more than an interface: it's a whole new idea. Utilizing ultra high-end components such as the ESS Sabre Reference DAC and Twin AKM5394 ADCs, the Copper Reference claims to have the sonic transparency of competing units costing thousands more. A selectable, tube-powered customization circuit allows for tonal effects at the signal conversion stage. Encased in solid copper and hand crafted - there is nothing 'mass production' about this boutique unit. Copper Reference has all the necessary I/O connections to integrate with any system – or use as a standalone. The new wonder connector, USB Type-C, is used as the computer interface. The Copper Reference line of products is proudly designed and built in the USA. Tracktion Corporation's Copper Reference features all components encased within a solid copper, handcrafted chassis. You have a selectable tube-powered customization circuit plus a redesigned GUI with a completely new look ensures ease of use. Multiple browsers are supported for auditioning sounds in several folders simultaneously. For music editing, there are Clip Layers for deep clip-level editing. There are plug-in thumbnails for instant recognition by Mac and PC computers plus automated setup assistants. For those who want even more than just a pure signal, special project management improvements combined with all-new DSP effects provide repeatability to your favorite settings. Sample rates up to 24-bit/192kHz are supported. A high quality headphone amplifier and 1/4 headphone jack provide private listening.

 

02 / 13 / 16

Dylan's The Bootleg Series Vol. 6 On Hybrid Multi-Channel SACD
Dylan's The Bootleg Series Vol. 6 On Hybrid Multi-Channel 5.0 SACDMarshall Blonstein's Audio Fidelity will be releasing The Bootleg Series Vol. 6 Bob Dylan Live 1964 Concert at Philharmonic Hall on Hybrid multichannel 5.0 SACD. This five channel surround sound mix of Bob Dylan's October 31, 1964 "Halloween" show at New York's Philharmonic Hall is a complete recording and has never been released in this format until now. This two CD Audio Fidelity collection presents the entire concert from the original Columbia Records master tapes. The package also includes a 56-page book filled with historical photographs and informative notes. The Halloween concert of 1964 had been previously bootlegged on vinyl and CD, but those releases were incomplete and taken from poor dubs off the soundboard tapes. This 1964 concert is the first all acoustic live performance to enter Bob Dylan's discography. This recording certainly has its share of firsts and highlights, including the only known live version of "Spanish Harlem Incident," the premiere of the songs "Gates of Eden" and "If You Gotta Go, Go Now." Here is Dylan as an eager-to-please 23 year old with nothing between him and his audience but a guitar and a harmonica. His voice is in top form throughout the 19 song set and when Joan Baez joins him on stage the voltage only increases. In marked contrast to the tight-lipped living legend of the mid-1970s, here is Dylan as entertainer, joking and bantering with the crowd and he proves to be a very masterful performer. While much has been made of the later electric performance of the 1960s, it is here that you can see how good Dylan really was. He shows all the budding facets of his art up to this time, from the protest songs, the more introspective material and the radical new direction he was pursuing. Of course, as with all Audio Fidelity hybrid multichannel releases the SACD is compatible on all standard players and includes the two-track stereo mix layer as well. This two disc set includes a 56-page book, with the music being mastered by Steve Hoffman and Stephen Marsh at Stephen Marsh Mastering.

 

02 / 12 / 16

Three New Zydeco Movies By Robert Mugge And Diana Zelman
Three New Zydeco Movies By Robert Mugge And Diana ZelmanThree new films by Robert Mugge and his partner Diana Zelman are now available and include The Kingdom Of Zydeco and Rhythm 'N' Bayous: A Road Map To Louisiana Music (original and 2000) plus The Kingdom Of Zydeco (1994). Beginning in the latter half of 2014, music filmmaker Robert Mugge and his partner Diana Zelman worked with executives Roger LaMay and Bruce Warren of Philadelphia public radio station WXPN and their "World Cafe" host and producer David Dye to document and assist WXPN's exploration of the Creole culture of Southwest Louisiana through its 16-month Zydeco Crossroads project. The film portion of the project documented concerts by zydeco artists C.J. Chenier and Rosie Ledet in the Philadelphia area and followed XPN staff to Lafayette, Louisiana where concerts were staged featuring additional top zydeco artists Buckwheat Zydeco, Nathan Williams, Chubby Carrier, Rockin' Dopsie, Jr., Major Handy, Creole United, Soul Creole, Lil' Nate Williams, Chris Ardoin, and Corey Arceneaux, along with collaborating Mississippi blues artist Vasti Jackson. Also documented were David Dye's interviews with most of the key performing artists and with zydeco club owner Sid Williams, zydeco historian Michael Tisserand, and zydeco deejay Herman Fuselier of Lafayette public radio station KRVS. These interviews examine the history of music created by Southwest Louisiana Creoles, who are generally defined as people of mixed African, French, Spanish, and Native American descent, but especially African and French. Also discussed are the musical families who, generation after generation, play a dominant role in preserving and updating Creole musical traditions; the differences between earlier fiddle-and-accordion-driven 'French' or 'La La' music and later accordion-and-rubboard-driven zydeco; and the influence of Mississippi blues on both traditional Creole music and contemporary zydeco. The project has resulted in an 87-minute film titled Zydeco Crossroads: A Tale Of Two Cities, which also serves as an update of Mugge's 1994 film The Kingdom Of Zydeco. The film's dialogue is English, while the song lyrics are a mix of English and French patois with English summaries provided where necessary. Zydeco Crossroads recently won the Clarksdale Film Festival's 2016 Best Blues & Roots Film Award, and the Clarksdale Press Register' Coop Cooper called the film "a fascinating documentary that not only captures the spirit of zydeco music and its sub-genres, but connects them to blues in a way that proves they were born of the same magic." The three separate video releases also include exciting bonus materials. For instance, the Zydeco Crossroads Blu-ray includes Rosie's in the House Tonight (2015), Mugge's 55-minute portrait of zydeco artist Rosie Ledet, which also was made as part of the Zydeco Crossroads project. Similarly, the Blu-ray of The Kingdom of Zydeco comes with Iguanas in the House (1996), Mugge's 27-minute portrait of roots rock band The Iguanas, as well as two "making of" clips featuring Mugge and music consultant Michael Tisserand. Finally, the Rhythm 'N' Bayous DVD features bonus audio of additional songs recorded for that film and one other.

 

02 / 11 / 16

Enjoy the Music.com's Official Press Center Now Open For AXPONA 2016
Enjoy the Music.com's Official High-End Audio Press Center Now Open For AXPONA 2016Coming right on the heels of Enjoy the Music.com's immensely successful initial launch of high-end audio's official Press Center for CES 2016, we are now setting our sights on AXPONA 2016. AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) will take place at The Westin O'Hare in Chicago from April 15th through 17th. Operated by the professionals at JD Events – a company that delivers highly qualified buying audiences, education-rich content and high-level networking opportunities – AXPONA seeks to redefine high-end consumer audio exhibition within the United States of America. This three day experience features multiple hotel floors packed with listening rooms, exhibit floors, seminars and live musical performances. Whether you're a serious audiophile, new to high-end audio or simply a music lover, you'll find everything you need to immerse yourself within your favorite music.

AXPONA 2016 will feature over 125 high fidelity music listening rooms, which provide guests the enviable opportunity to experience the newest technology in high-end consumer audio products. Attendees are encouraged to go from room to room and sit, listen and compare the various systems. The Marketplace and Ear Gear Expo play host to thousands of products and accessories from cables to headphones to LPs and Hi-Res Audio (HRA) recordings. For the seventh consecutive year Enjoy the Music.com will be reporting on AXPONA plus embarking once again in providing high-end audio's official Press Center. See the complete AXPONA 2016 Press Center release here.

 

02 / 10 / 16

Survey Says: Couples Who Enjoy Music Together Have More Sex
Couples Who Enjoy Music Together Have More SexApple Music and Sonos worked together to see how music affected people. They asked 30,000 people around the world if they thought music out loud would have an effect on their relationships. While over half said it wouldn't, the scientific facts say otherwise. With thousands of survey respondents providing a look at how music affected their lives, they went to the homes of 30 families to see the how music worked in their lives firsthand. "Anecdotally, it appears that as we age, the importance and practice of listening to music out loud both tend to fade. However, an intangible transformation happens in homes with music. With this insight, Sonos set out to better understand the science behind this transformation through this study, a global survey of 30,000 people and in-home experiment in 30 homes." So after polling 30,000 people across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, The Netherlands, France, Sweden and Australia between December 29, 2015 and January 8, 2016... According to this survey, "The big takeaway is that music out loud means more sex – 67% more sex, in fact, for those who listen to music out loud the most versus those who don't at all. On average, this is a global gain of one lovemaking session per week. That's 52 more romps a year, just from having some music on in the home. 66% of people who listen to music out loud the most (around 10.5+ hours per week) also best know the song that turns their partner on. Just 28% of people who don't listen out loud know their partner's get-in-the-mood tune. We also know via biometrics that couples tracked in the study enjoyed 37% more active time in the master bedroom for the period of time music played out loud in the home. You can draw your own conclusions there. Australians are very committed music fans – 46 percent of them enjoy music more than they enjoy sex." Even intuitively, 86% said many moments, romantic and otherwise, are enhanced by the right music. On the other hand music can also ruin the mood as 37% of French respondents said they couldn't date someone with different music tastes.

 

02 / 09 / 16

Win A KEF Muo Portable Speaker In Limited Edition Brilliant Rose!
Enjoy the Music.com's February 2016 Contest
Win A KEF Muo Portable Speaker In Limited Edition Brilliant Rose!

 

HIGH END 2016 Munich Show In Germany Features 500 Exhibitors
HIGH END 2016 Munich Show In Germany Features 500 ExhibitorsApproximately 500 exhibitors will be showcasing their products during HIGH END's Munich 2016 event in Germany. Scheduled to be held from May 5th through 8th at the MOC, HIGH END 2016 is without a doubt Europe's most prominent and largest audio show of the year. The first day of the exhibition is exclusively reserved for trade visitors and media from all over the world. There is no other place in Europe where the entire range of audio products is presented as impressively and emotionally as HIGH END. The diversity of services in the industry reflects both the big players as well as the many smaller, more specialized and niche providers. Visitors will be immersed in analog high-precision art as well as in the latest digital audio and visual soundscapes. Exquisite analog equipment blends in harmoniously with the latest multimedia equipment. Perfectly processed loudspeakers, traditional tube amplifiers and cult turntables stand side by side with networked audio systems, audio streaming solutions, digital wireless systems and multimedia stations. Visitors can find everything their music-loving heart's desire, regardless of age and lifestyle. HIGH END will have seminars and lectures from leaders within the high-end audio industry. Live music events are also a highlight as bands travel throughout the venue playing music to a welcoming audience. No other show promotes their event as HIGH END provides. Radio and TV commercials and augmented by posters on buses, within the subway and taxi cabs. HIGH END truly is leading the way when it comes to providing one of the world's largest specially audio shows in the world. Enjoy the Music.com's exclusive, and extensive, HIGH END 2015 coverage can be seen here and we'll be there reporting live at Munich for HIGH END 2016.

 

02 / 08 / 16

CANADA HiFi's Latest Edition Now Available For Free Download
Canada HiFi February / March 2016Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the February/March 2016 issue of CANADA HiFi. This issue features a special focus on digital to analog converters and the origins of the punk music scene. You can also see Enjoy the Music.com's extensive TAVES 2015 show report at this link. Reviews within this issue of CANADA HiFi include the Naim Audio Mu-so wireless music system, Paradigm's premium wireless series, Totem KIN mini loudspeakers and the Yamaha RXA-1050 AV receiver. Within his editorial, Suave Kajko says "I hope that 2016 is cruising along nicely for you so far! It has certainly been a busy beginning of the year for me – luckily in the most exciting of ways. First, I've been working with my partner Simon Au and the growing TAVES team on the details and new elements of the 2016 edition of the TAVES Consumer Electronics Show. We expect to announce the 2016 show dates and some of the new show features before the end of February – so please keep an eye on our website for the news very soon. Secondly, George de Sa, Sarah Ferguson and I have been hard at work on a complete redesign of the magazine that will launch around the middle of 2016. Along with a fresh new design, the magazine will offer additional pages devoted to the same consumer electronics topics that TAVES now covers, such as virtual reality, home automation, robotics, tech toys and more. Don't worry though, the magazine will continue to provide the same amount of content about audio and video that you've become accustomed to over the years - we'll just offer some great additional content. Finally, to reflect the expanded content, we will also give the magazine a shiny new name. I can't tell you just how very excited I am about all of this!" See what's within this issue of CANADA HiFi and you can download the complete magazine for free at this link.

 

Power Modules Announced Their Aria Stereo Integrated Amplifier
Power Modules Announced Their Aria Stereo Integrated AmplifierDavid Belles of Power Modules is proud to announce the new Aria integrated amplifier ($1995). The old adage that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line has application in the realm of high-end audio. When the distance between the various components necessary to reproduce a clean, accurate audio performance is straight and direct, the results can be truly amazing. Power Modules feels tat their new Belles Aria integrated amplifier provides an analog experience and all of its virtues in one simple, physical enclosure. This new stereo integrated amplifier produces 75 watts per channel and provides use for moving magnet phono cartridges, three line inputs, and has a 1/4" headphone amplifier. To change the volume output, a manual and remote controlled Alps volume controlled potentiometer is employed. Power stages are in a straight-line proximity to one another to ensure a short signal path. The one enclosure performing these many functions eliminates the need for an extra chassis for power supply duties and interconnect cables. Power Modules' Belles Aria phono, headphone, and preamplifier stages use Burr-Brown OPA551 amplification, which are known in pro circles for their ultra-low distortion characteristics. The power amplifier is a discrete, fully-complimentary design utilizing MOSFET transistor output stages. This stereo unit is capable of producing 75 watts per channel into 8 Ohms and 125 watts per channel into 4 Ohms. Belles Aria is available in black or silver front panel finishes. All Power Modules equipment are designed and manufactured by David Belles in the USA. Dimensions are 16.5" x 3.125" x 14" (WxHxD), weight is 30 lbs and it comes with a five year warranty.

 

02 / 05 / 16

Telarc's Upcoming Release Hiromi Spark Is A Musical Tour De Force
Telarc's Upcoming Release Hiromi Spark Is A Musical Tour De ForceConcord Music Group's Telarc label is releasing Hiromi's Spark that features extraordinary musicians who combined have many decades in honing their creative craft. All great human passions – whether romantic, creative, inventive, or transformative – begin with a single spark. On her tenth album as a leader, Japanese pianist/composer Hiromi traces the path of the flame ignited by that spark as it consumes and inspires. Over the course of nine expressively charged songs, the listener is carried away on an impassioned spiritual journey that might tell the story of a personal discovery, a love affair, or the creation of the music itself. Set for release April 1st on Telarc, with a limited time offering of personally autographed versions being available, Spark showcases the always thrilling sound of Hiromi's Trio Project with her most narratively sweeping and emotionally overflowing set of music to date. The pianist finds her own spark in her interaction with her triomates of the last five years, contrabass guitarist Anthony Jackson (Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Chick Corea, The O'Jays) and drummer Simon Phillips (The Who, David Gilmour, Judas Priest, Toto, Jack Bruce). Since forming in 2010, The Trio Project has explored the richness of the inner voice on their 2011 debut, Voice; the dynamic, unceasing motion of time on their 2013 follow-up, Move; and captured the feeling of their electrifying live performances on 2014's brilliant Alive. With Spark, the trio again exemplifies why DownBeat magazine has called them "one of the most exciting groups working in any genre today," with the leader's effusive, heartfelt virtuosity supported by Jackson's vigorously fluid basslines and Phillips' ability to be simultaneously propulsive and witty behind the kit.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
HEI Educates About Safe Listening Via Portable Audio Players
The House Ear Institute announces (HEI) the official launch of an aggressive consumer awareness campaign aimed at teens and young adults concerning hearing damage due to using devices such as Apple's iPod. The campaign uses the theme "It's How You Listen That Counts" to warn young adults of the potential dangers to hearing posed by listening to loud sound. Due to the soaring popularity of digital portable music players, many people play their music too loud for too long and cause permanent noise-induced hearing loss. HEI's commercials are designed to captivate teens and drive them to the campaign's Web site, EarBud.org for information on safe listening habits. "This campaign is a vital step to discovering what it will take to reach teens and young adults with a message that motivates them to make smart listening choices to preserve their hearing while still appreciating great sound," said Marilee Potthoff, marketing director, House Ear Institute. "Today, baby boomers who are struggling with hearing loss from the loud activities of their youth regret that they didn't know enough when they were young to protect their hearing from permanent damage. Our goal is to deliver the warning message to the next generation before it's too late."

 

Industry News 15 Years Ago
Napster Aiming Towards Becoming A Monthly Fee Service
NapsterNapster seems to be aiming towards a $5 a month subscription rate according to those close to CEO Hank Barry who also mentioned the $5 fee on October 31st, 2000. Meanwhile Vivendi Universal's vice chairman Edgar Bronfman has said the fee would need to be upwards of $15 a month. EMI and Universal have also predicted a $15 fee. With Napster's approximate 57 million users, this would add up to am impressive $3.4 billion each year at $5. Meanwhile Napster and Bertelsmann will generate revenue together as the new Napster software includes a link to Bertelsmann's CDNow website. Furthermore, all this comes as more and more wireless devices are able to connect to the "wireless web" and download and play .mp3 music files. Music lovers can expect everything from hand phones to PDA devices that will include Internet browsing features and music capabilities in the near future.

 

02 / 04 / 16

Elijah Audio Konvertible Lite USB Cable Removes 5V Problems
Elijah Audio Konvertible Lite USB Cable Removes 5V ProblemsElijah Audio Konvertible Lite ($110 on up including shipping, 160mm version shown) is said to be the first USB audio cable that allows removal of the 5V lead before or after the PC/DAC 'handshake' without requiring two USB ports at the source. A twisted pair of Mundorf Silver/Gold solid core conductors are encased within a Silk sleeving. The fixed ground and detachable 5V leads are Audience Cryo Cu wire for top quality signal transfer. The 5V is carried on the center pin of the 2.1mm barrel plug, thus allowing the barrel to act as a shield. Included with each cable is an insulated 5V blocking plug, which is used when the 5V lead is unplugged to block any 5V emanating from the exposed center pin. Each cable comes with a 60 day money back guarantee.

 

GIK Acoustics Expands Their Alpha Wood Series Acoustic Panels
GIK Acoustics Expands Their Alpha Wood Series Acoustic PanelsLeading acoustic treatment manufacturer GIK Acoustics is proud to announce the expansion of the Alpha Wood Series to include larger panels as well as corner bass traps. GIK first introduced the Alpha Wood Series last fall with the launch of our 4A Alpha Panel. Last month they showcased their Corner CT Alpha Bass Trap, the large 2A Alpha Panel with freestanding supports as well as the 6A Alpha Panel. These products are now available for sale directly worldwide. Changing the face of acoustic panels and bass traps, the Alpha Wood Series beautifully combines absorption with diffusion and enhances any room both aesthetically and acoustically with superior quality, high-performing, and stylish room treatments. There are three ranges of Alpha Panels that inclde GIK Acoustics' 2A Alpha Panel that is 2" thick, the 4A Alpha Panel at 4" thick, and 6A Alpha Panel at 6" thick. All Alpha Panels are available in two standard sizes; 23.75" x 23.75" and 23.75" x 47.75". Alpha Panels are easy to mount with sawtooth hanger (included). No glue or destructive adhesive when mounting. Customers have their choice of orientation as the Alpha Panel can be hung vertically or horizontally or in a combination of patterns. Optional supports make any 23.75" x 47.75" Alpha Panel a freestanding gobo with both an absorption side and a diffusion side. It's movable, reversible, effective, and beautiful. GIK Acoustics' Corner CT Alpha Bass Trap is designed to absorb pesky low-frequencies that build up in corners while diffusing the upper-frequencies leaving the room more lively. At 47.75" tall, the Corner CT Alpha Bass Trap is freestanding and designed to be stacked for floor-to-ceiling coverage. The Corner CT Alpha Bass Trap effectively absorbs at 50 Hz and above resulting in a beautifully balanced room that will suit even the most critical listener. "When we launched the Alpha Wood Series last fall, we knew there would be more products added to the line and the day has come, "said company founder and President Glenn Kuras. "I am thrilled to bring these items to our customers. The Alpha Series is truly a game changer for GIK and for the industry." See Enjoy the Music.com's recent review of the outstanding GIK 4A Alpha Panel Diffusors at this link.

 

02 / 03 / 16

Sneak Peek! Hi-Fi+'s February 2016 Edition Is Now Online
Hi-Fi+ Magazine132 February 2016Enjoy the Music.com has just posted a sneak peek of the February issue of Hi-Fi+ magazine!  This issue features reviews of the Boulder Audio 2110/2160 preamplifier and stereo power amplifier, Luxman C700U/M700U preamplifier and stereo power amplifier, Audio Research GSI75 integrated valve amplifier/DAC, conrad-johnson CA150 integrated 'control' amplifier, Benchmark AHB2 stereo power amplifier, Tron Atlantic integrated valve amplifier, Ayre Acoustics AX-5 Twenty integrated amplifier, Naim Audio NAC-N 272/ATC SCM40A active streaming system, Chord Electronics Mojo DAC/headphone amplifier, Focal Sopra NO. 1 standmount loudspeaker, RHA Audio S500i universal-fit earphones, Russell K Red 150 floorstanding loudspeaker, and Computer Audio Design 1543 MK II digital to analogue converter. Within his editorial titled The Importance Of Music To Us All, Alan Sircom says "In the cabin of the 747, back from Las Vegas after CES, taxiing to the Gatwick gate, everyone's texts went off as we turned on our phones. The reason: it had been announced a few hours before that David Bowie had died. By the time we got to the baggage reclaim carousel, people were already looking stunned, and were sharing stories. Like many, Bowie's music and persona had a profound influence on me, and he will be missed. What Bowie's passing showed me was just how important music is to so many of us, and it's something that isn't really understood at CES any more. Yes, the ‘specialty audio' rooms get it, because they are run by people who got into the business out of a profound love of music. But, even a short walk through the halls of CES shows just how devalued music has become in an increasingly gadget-driven world. It's long been a riot of noise in Las Vegas, but it's telling that many of us used noise cancelling headphones and CIEMs after the event just to clear the aural palette. Thinking back to Bowie again, would he have so significant an impact had he started today, or would his signal been drowned out by the noise?" See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ at this link.

 

02 / 02 / 16

Waves Nx Adjustable Home Audio Experience Via Headphones
Waves Nx Adjustable Home Audio Experience Via HeadphonesWaves Nx ($99 yet on sale for $49 right now) is a virtual monitoring plug-in that simulates the ideal acoustics of a high-end mix room and has adjustable width plus head tracking capability for your headphones! Powered by Waves' groundbreaking Nx technology, Waves Nx lets you hear, on headphones, the same natural depth, natural reflections, and panoramic stereo image you would be hearing from speakers in an actual room. Waves Nx turns your headphones into a more reliable mixing and monitoring tool by letting you hear everything with real-world dimension, rather than flat in your head. Insert the plug-in on your master buss, and hear all the elements of your mix accurately laid out in space, just as you would in the sweet spot of a great-sounding professional mix room. Waves Nx finally bridges the gap between monitoring on speakers and monitoring on headphones. By letting you hear the depth and stereo spread you would be hearing on external monitors, Nx gives you an accurate representation of how your headphone mix will translate to loudspeakers. By delivering the natural listening experience of a physical room, Waves Nx also makes the headphone experience more comfortable and ear-friendly over long periods of time. Want to mix for 5.1 or 5.0 surround on your regular stereo headphones? Waves Nx lets you do exactly that – a true revolution in the world of surround mixing. Best of all, Waves Nx does all this without coloring your sound. What you hear is your mix, exactly the way you want it to sound – only now you have a more accurate way to monitor it on headphones. Use Waves Nx with real-time head tracking – taking advantage of your computer's camera or the Nx Head Tracker unit (coming soon) – and enjoy the enhanced realism of being in the Virtual Mix Room, anywhere and everywhere you go. Soon this type of adjustment ability may be included within high-end portable and home music players.

 

02 / 01 / 16

February High-End Audio Review Magazine Is Now Available Online
Enjoy the Music.com's outstanding new homepage is only a hint at what we're planning during 2016! Within our February Review Magazine we have our CES 2016 show coverage, many world premiere equipment reviews, think pieces, a Talking Heads concert video plus we've added interviews with legendary musicians including Terry Bozzio and David Chesky!

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Our new Musician Series focuses on legendary talents from around the world. Within this month's Review Magazine we feature composer, pianist and producer David Chesky. While we're sure you're familiar with David's work, you need to hear our discussion about emerging technologies and where David feels audio is hearing towards. Terry Bozzio is a enormously talented drummer and percussionist who has performed with many well-known jazz and rock musicians. Terry has just released his life's work within a new multi-disc box set that is filled to the brim with great music and his incredible artwork too!

We know you love high quality audio gear and Enjoy the Music.com's February Review Magazine will bring a smile to your face as we have four world premiere reviews! World premieres include the Aurender N100H caching network streamer mated to their X725 USB DAC, D Sonic M3-3000S dual mono amplifier, FiiO X7 portable music player with their just-released K5 desktop amplifier, and Tavish Design Adagio vacuum tube phono stage. You want more? How about a review of the new ELAC F5 floorstanding speakers? We have a special spotlight article on ELAC's chief designer Andrew Jones too!

Editor Tom Lyle takes a look at this month's issue and waxes on about the progress Enjoy the Music.com is making within the high-end audio industry. Roger Scoff writes about how music makes you feel and what it is all about. On the industry side of things, Creative Director Steven R. Rochlin talks about the Apple watch, Beats headphones, and why advertise to audiophiles. He ponders why you don't need to offer the best product for top sales(?!?).

As part of our newly enhanced content, we have industry leaders talking about how to improve high-end audio's reach into the marketplace. We are all thankful that industry luminary Gary Yacoubian, CEO of SVS, gives us all advice about the 'lost generation' of music lovers and we as an industry can improve. We also have legendary and longstanding loudspeaker designer Sandy Gross sharing his thought about where high-end audio missed the high-end lifestyle bus.

See Enjoy the Music.com's February Review Magazine at this link.

 


Remember to check out our CES 2016 on-demand videos and high-end audio's official Press Center. We have 25 information-packed videos showcasing some of the very best gear exhibited at CES. In addition, our Press Center has over 60 press release jam packed with key data on the high-end audio equipment you love!  Our CES 2016 videos and high-end audio's official Press Center can be seen by clicking here. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

 

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