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


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02 / 28 / 18

Black Cat Cable XOX Reference And Studio Banana To Spade Adapter
Black Cat Cable XOX Reference And Studio Banana To Spade AdapterUnder their connector sub-brand "XOX", Black Cat Cable has released two levels of Banana-to-Spade adapters in order to convert banana-terminated loudspeaker cables for use with a variety of binding posts that do not otherwise allow for use with banana terminations. Black Cat Cable was based on a handful of innovations that were developed after years of painstaking R&D. Most importantly, the ability to insulate conductors with a dielectric design that was at least equal, and possibly superior to the dielectric materials that were being used in my subcontracted designs. As their cables receive worldwide fame, they've expanded to offering very high quality accessories too. The XOX Reference Precision Adapter is carefully machined from pure copper. The copper is high-polished and Rhodium plated for the best long-term signal transfer. A set of four copper banana to spade adapters ($224.95) come in a truly lovely box that is equally fitting of XOX products. For those desiring a brass fitting, XOX Studio's Precision Adapter also is available in precision machined non-magnetic brass. The brass is then high polished and gold plated ($79.95 for set of four). These banana-to-spade adapters are now available directly from select Black Cat Cable partners and also through Black Cat Cable's website.

 

02 / 27 / 18

Gryphon Audio Atilla Integrated, Scorpio CD Player And Mojo Speakers. Review
Gryphon Audio Atilla Integrated, Scorpio CD Player And Mojo Speakers.
System synergy that sounds spectacular!
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

 

02 / 26 / 18

Leema Acoustics Stream IV CD/Streamer And Elements Streamer
Leema Acoustics Stream IV CD/Streamer And Elements StreamerLeema Acoustics' has debuted their newly upgraded 2018 Stream IV streaming CD player to complement the December-announced Pulse IV amp/DAC (£2095 and £2295 respectively). Another new product from Leema Acoustics is their Elements Streamer (£1095). Leema's brand new compact streamer is based on the same high-quality module in the company's Quasar streaming amp/DAC and introduces a world of content to Leema's shoe-box-sized Elements range and compact audio systems everywhere. Leema Acoustics' new compact-chassis Elements Streamer is based upon the high-quality streaming module used in the recently launched Quasar streaming amp/DAC, with the addition of an advanced ESS Sabre DAC, enabling the device to be used as a standalone unit in a wide range of audio systems. The Elements Streamer has built-in support for a number of high-performance streaming services including Tidal, Deezer, Qobuz and vTuner radio. Spotify connect is also supported, along with file playback from Dropbox and Microsoft Onedrive. Local playback from USB drives is also supported. Moving higher in the brand line is their full-width Stream IV streaming CD now in its fourth incarnation. It has been updated for the streaming age and shares many of the internals with the Elements Streamer with the inclusion of a Stream Unlimited-sourced CD player. Housed in a full-width chassis designed to complement the newly launched Pulse IV amp/DAC, the Stream IV offers huge versatility and can playback from virtually every source: CD, streaming, analogue and vinyl systems, plus all manner of digital devices. Meanwhile the Pulse IV amp/DAC is a 'hub' for contemporary music-listening with its turntable connectivity, Bluetooth playback and seven digital inputs enabling a huge range of devices to connect. Whether on vinyl, streamed from smartphones and tablets via aptX Bluetooth, or stored on computers, laptops and more, the Pulse IV is the perfect complement for the Stream IV streaming CD.

 

02 / 23 / 18

McIntosh Labs And LA Audio Show To Offer McMasters Class
McIntosh Labs And LA Audio Show To Offer McMasters ClassThe LA Audio Show (LAAS) 2018 and legendary audio manufacturer McIntosh Labs have announced details for the company's first certificated technical training course for consumers. McIntosh Labs' specially developed McMasters Class is adapted from the two-day course given to McIntosh dealers and the inaugural presentation will be at LAAS 2018 in Orange County. While there's no extra-charge for the course above the show's entry fee, attendance will be strictly limited to a total of 120 registrants. The McMasters classes will be taught by McIntosh experts Ken Zelin and Ron Cornelius, the same trainers who handle McIntosh's dealer and distributor McMasters classes. The course covers insights into McIntosh history, products and technology, audio system diagnostics, theory of audio, and tips from the experts. Classes will be held Friday, June 8th and June 9th. Seating is limited to 30 people per class. RSVP early when you purchase tickets to reserve your spot in the McMasters Class! All four sessions will cover the same material, so attending a single two-hour class earns the McMasters Certificate. Once slots are filled, they are gone! Access LAAS Registration immediately to reserve your spot at this link.

 

Industry News 10 Years Ago
IRIAA Caught Once Again In Employing Questionable Tactics

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)A training video called In Trial produced by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was leaked to the public and concerns alleged illegal music activates plus makes reference that defendants may then seek out handguns, are drug users, are hardcore criminals... and may be linked to terrorist organizations(!). The video has been reported to star ex-prosecutor Deborah Robinson and ex-Maryland state trooper Frank Walters to "assist in the training of U.S. prosecutors responsible for handling music piracy cases." While there is not a specific date of production mentioned, it appears to be fairly recently made as within the video Frank Walters is seen in the video to be pointing to a CD burner tower according to a website. The video may be frightening in just how far the RIAA is willing to take matters into their own hands, as they will help in "qualifying an RIAA investigator as an expert" who then can be employed within their legal trials. Can someone say possible major conflict of interest and biased 'expert' witness. As for how this video is now on the Internet for all to understand how far the RIAA is willing to go, the below 'letter' is said to be from the person who acquired it.

I came into possession of this video through a close friend. He happens to hold a position in the criminal prosecutorial system. He is a prosecutor of felonies, which is what makes this video such a wonderful illustration of just how overboard the media industry has gone in their persecutions of pirates. Should downloading music ever be considered a felony?

My contact knows my views on the current state of intellectual property law in the United States. I tend to be somewhat outspoken on the subject.

Obviously, when I saw the envelope in his office with the attractive and oh-so-professional RIAA / NDAA letterhead protruding from the top, I could not resist. I begged him to let me have it, and since he tends to sympathize with those of us who hold less respect for IP rights, he consented.

I was expecting the video to be epic. I had no idea, however, that it would compare pirates to terrorists and drug dealers. It was too good to be true.

It was a wonderful find, and a perfect example of how misinformed the legal system is on the issues of piracy.

The RIAA is deluded. They have a warped perception of how media distribution should work in our high-tech world. They refuse to adapt. Instead, they stick to their age-old business model, they cry foul, and they persecute pirates. They recruit friends in high places in the legal system. They have succeeded in painting us as the enemy through their propaganda campaigns.

We are not the enemy. We are the new generation of media consumers.

We should be their allies.

Thanks for hearing me out, and for reporting on it. The video is good for a laugh, no?

This training video is available on many torrent websites and can easily be found using various search engines as am sure the RIAA legal team is scrambling to shut down as many sites as possible that have it for download. A clip was on YouTube, but has since been taken down.

 

02 / 22 / 18

ELAC Debut F5 Floorstanding Speaker Review
ELAC Debut F5 Floorstanding Speaker
One more time for the cheap seats!
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

 

NOVO's March / April Issue Features CES Coverage And More
NOVO Magazine March / April 2018Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the March / April 2018 issue of NOVO (was CANADA HiFi). Articles within this issue include the very best of CES 2018 report, getting healthy with tech, the journey to higher quality audio with Nordost Leif cables, plus great recorded music to showcase your sound system. Reviewed within this issue of NOVO is Acoustic Solid's Xtended MPX turntable and Bryston's BP-173 Cubed Series preamplifier. Within his editorial, Suave Kajko says, "Getting your music system to sound its best goes well beyond just assembling components and speakers that "play" well together. Using stock (OEM) or poor quality cables in your system could be preventing it from reaching its full potential. Check out my advice on upgrading cables in your system (on page 12) and what sonic improvements you can expect to hear when integrating better quality power cords in your system. If you're passionate about music then you likely have a pretty good music system at home and a playlist of favorite albums that you really enjoy listening to. If you have a keen ear then you know how different one album can sound compared to another- some albums are recorded far better than others. Ever wonder what one of NOVO's contributors has in their favorite playlist? Check out Kevin Rak's article on page 32." You can  download your free issue of NOVO in PDF at this link.

 

02 / 21 / 18

Take The Test: Harvard Gazette's Songs In The Key Of Humanity
Take The Test: Harvard Gazette's Songs In The Key Of HumanityHarvard's Gazette recently released a study titled 'Songs in the Key of Humanity' within their health & medicine section. According to Harvard, "Some musical meaning may transcend cultural boundaries and be universally human." The article also follows poet and Harvard Professor Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as he famously said, "Music is the universal language of mankind." And yes, it appears this new Harvard study might confirm this. According to Harvard Gazette's article, "The study, a collaboration among psychology research associate Samuel Mehr, human evolutionary biology graduate student Manvir Singh, alumni Luke Glowacki and Hunter York, and Associate Professor of Psychology Max Krasnow, found that people around the globe could identify lullabies, dancing songs, and healing songs — regardless of the songs' cultural origin — after hearing just a 14-second clip. The finding suggests that not only is music deeply rooted in human nature, but that some types of songs transcend cultural boundaries. The study is described in a January 25 paper in Current Biology." Samuel Mehr says, "It seems like all humans make music in some way or another. But there's not great empirical evidence for whether or not the different types of music they make share features across cultures. One way to test that is with this type of naïve listener experiment... and the results suggest that, in some cases, the answer is yes." Please hear for yourself, and take the 'test' at this link.

 

02 / 20 / 18

Dayton Audio B452- / B652-AIR Bookshelf Plus T652-AIR Floorstander
Dayton Audio B452- / B652-AIR Bookshelf Plus T652-AIR FloorstanderDayton Audio is pleased to announce their new AIR Series! Models available include B452-AIR and B652-AIR bookshelf speakers, plus the new Dayton AudioT652-AIR floorstanding tower speaker ($69, $78, and $199 each respectively). Originally introduced to the line was Dayton Audio's B652-AIR bookshelf speaker with AMT tweeter that is said to have livened up the top end. The B652-AIT floorstander features a "tight-sounding" 6.5" woofer in an optimally-damped sealed wood composite enclosure. Other features include keyhole hanger bracket, quick-connect terminals, non-marking rubber feet, and a removable fabric grill. Dayton Audio's new B452-AIR bookshelf speaker may be the little brother to the larger B652-AIR, but the company says it "packs a big sonic punch just like the original B452"! Try it on your desk, or as part of a compact, discrete yet impressive surround sound system. With a 4.5" woofer and scaled-down cabinet, the B452-AIR is all about giving you the most performance for your money while offering a little something extra from the fantastic AMT tweeter. Dayton Audio also brings the high-value design formula of the B652-AIR speakers to a tower form factor in the new T652-AIR floor-standing tower speakers. Dual 6.5" woofers and an AMT tweeter deliver sound with power, clarity, and bass punch. The bass reflex tower cabinet provides a firm bass foundation to 45 Hz, for rich, satisfying low end that enhances any type of music or home theater content. The larger tower design of the T652-AIR provides enough output to fill the largest listening spaces, while not overwhelming the décor in more intimate settings.

 

02 / 19 / 18

Triangle Thetis 380 And Thales 400 Powered Subwoofer Systems
Triangle Thetis 380 And Thales 400 Powered Subwoofer SystemsFrench audio brand Triangle has introduced two new subwoofers, the Thetis 380 and Tales 400 (€1500 and €630 respectively), which benefit greatly from the company's experience of its previous models and hereby expanding its model ranges. Triangle's Thesis 380 subwoofer is their most powerful model with 350 Watts RMS of power (500W peak). Triangle paid particular attention to the depth and punch of the system in order to meet the requirements of the most demanding dedicated listeners. Triangle's engineering team developed a new 12" driver to allow listeners to feel the intensity of the low frequencies from a film or a music track. Their new enclosure has been designed using laser sensors to measure the cabinet distortions in order to avoid unwanted vibrations and sound coloration. The development went further than just the drivers and cabinet. A Class-D amplifier has been designed from the ground up and now offers to produce 350 Watts RMS (500W peak) ensuring a large energy reserve. Triangle's Tales 400 subwoofer features a versatile amplifier and bass reflex configuration, with a driver facing downward for seamless sound dispersion. Tales 400 offers an output of 300 Watts RMS (400W peak) and now includes an LFE input, adding to the standard line input found on previous models. It also features an automatic standby, a frequency roll-off, volume and phase control for an optimal fit of the subwoofer in relation to its placement in the room and the main speakers used. Both Triangle subwoofers are available in Cherry, Walnut or black finish.

 

02 / 16 / 18

Nordost Introduces Their Frey 2 USB Cable & Frey 2 USB C Adapter
Nordost Introduces Their Frey 2 USB Cable & Frey 2 USB C AdapterNordost is proud to introduce the new Frey 2 USB Cable and Frey 2 USB C Adapter ($599 and $275 respectively). The Frey 2 USB Cable is the first of Nordost's USB offerings to provide both USB C and 3.0 compatibility. The Frey 2 USB C Adapter pairs with cables using Standard-A USB connectors (both 2.0 and 3.0 compatible), allowing them to be used with components that require a USB C termination. Both of these exciting products allow customers to continue to enjoy the benefits of Nordost as they upgrade their components. Nordost's Frey 2 USB Cable and C Adapter are the perfect solutions for hi-fi audio enthusiasts integrating computer audio into their sound systems when using components that require USB C connectors, whether they are interested in a new, upgraded USB cable, or would rather extend the life of a previous investment. The Frey 2 USB Cable uses solid core, silver-plated 99.99999% OFC signal conductors. Implementing a solid core design is essential when working with a cable of this caliber, completely eliminating the negative effects of strand interaction and skin effect. Each conductor is precision wound to correspond accurately with USB's unique, hybrid twisted pair/non-twisted pair geometry. The new Frey 2 cable utilizes Nordost's proprietary FEP Micro Mono-Filament technology, which lowers the capacitance of the cable, both increasing signal speed and bandwidth. The conductors are shielded with a dual layer of braid and foil shielding in order to eliminate EMI and RFI and even comply with 3.0 standards. Finally, before being terminated with C to Standard B (2.0), Standard B (3.0), or Micro B (3.0) plugs, the Frey 2 USB is cut to mechanically tuned lengths, which reduce internal microphonics and high-frequency impedance resonance. The Frey 2 USB C Adapter utilizes the exact same cable construction as the Frey 2 USB Cable. From conductors to Micro Mono-Filament technology, shielding to mechanically tuned lengths, the Frey 2 USB C Adapter has all the makings of a high quality USB cable, creating an extension of your existing USB cable to ensure an identical sonic signature and performance level throughout your system. Terminated with a male USB C connector on one end, and a female Standard-A connector (both 2.0 and 3.0 compatible) on the other, the Frey 2 USB C Adapter will extend the life of your current USB cables while maintaining the hi-fidelity performance of your home sound system. Designed, manufactured, and hand-terminated entirely in the USA, both the Frey 2 USB Cable and Frey 2 USB C Adapter guarantee the accurate construction required to produce the best possible performance from computer audio equipment.

 

International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI)Industry News 15 Years Ago
IFPI And RIAA May Employ GRiD To Track Digital Music Sales

In a move to make privacy advocates unhappy and put their feelings into action, the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) have announced that they may employ electronic identity tags Global Release Identifier (GRid) for tracking music sales on the Internet. This will be done, claims the industry, to insure both musicians and song writers are properly paid for their work. Online music websites would be assessed an annual fee of approximately $250 for employing the GRid system to millions of songs. Paul Jessop, Chief Technology Officer of the IFPI, said "If this is done properly, the artists and authors of music will be paid adequately for the sale of their works online." Gavin Robertson, general manager of MusicIndie.com, said "The industry is really in need of interoperable identification tags, and this technology appears to really fill a gap."

 

02 / 15 / 18

McIntosh's New MCT500 SACD And CD Transport Has Four Outputs
McIntosh's New MCT500 SACD And CD Transport Has Four OutputsMcIntosh Labs is proud to announce the MCT500 SACD/CD Transport ($4500) digital only unit, which features four digital outputs: industry standard balanced, coax and optical outputs plus our exclusive MCT connector. To enjoy CDs, it can be paired with any product that has standard digital inputs and a digital-to-analog converter (DAC). For SACD playback, the MCT500's proprietary MCT output needs to be connected (via the included cable) to a McIntosh product with an MCT input. This includes select McIntosh preamplifiers and integrated amplifiers. When an MCT connection is made, a secure digital connection is created, allowing for the playback of the high definition audio found on SACDs. Regular CDs can also be played over the MCT connection. All common disc types can be played on the MCT500, including SACD, CD, CD-R/RW and DVD-R. A USB input is conveniently located on the front panel for easy access. In addition to store bought CDs and SACDs, popular file formats such as AAC, AIFF, ALAC, DSD (up to DSD128), FLAC, MP3, WAV (up to 24-bit/192kHz) and WMA can be played from user generated CD or DVD data discs and USB flash drives. Disc handling is smooth and quiet thanks to an advanced disc transport with a precision die-cast aluminum tray. An advanced digital servo provides fast, quiet and accurate operation. A disc's audio data is read at twice the normal rate insuring better disc tracking and error correction processing. Integration with other McIntosh system components is achieved via the Power Control and data ports. The MCT500 is wrapped in classic McIntosh styling with a polished stainless steel chassis, black glass front panel, illuminated logo and aluminum end caps.

 

TBT: How A Vinyl Record Is Made -- We Tour Quality Record Pressings
How A Vinyl Record Is Made: We Tour Quality Record PressingsEnjoy the Music.com and Enjoy the Music.TV presents to you our tour of the Quality Record Pressings (Acoustic Sounds) vinyl LP pressing plant. We join plant manager Gary and owner Chad Kassem as they take us on a step-by-step journey through how a vinyl LP record is produced. Creative Director of Enjoy the Music.com and Enjoy the Music.TV, Steven R. Rochlin guides you on his Quality Vinyl Pressings factory tour to understand how they produce a vinyl LP. As always, in the end what really matters is that you... Enjoy the music! See our video from Quality record Pressings at this link.

 

Hi-Fi+ Magazine Announces Pete Collingwood-Trewin As Publisher
Chris Martens Named Editorial Director
Hi-Fi+ Magazine Announces Pete Collingwood-Trewin As PublisherHi-Fi+ magazine, a leading international high-end audio publication, today announced a major reorganization of its senior staff. Effective immediately, Pete Collingwood-Trewin, formerly Associate Publisher of Hi-Fi+, has been promoted to the role of Publisher of the magazine. Collingwood-Trewin is an industry veteran with 10 years of experience with Hi-Fi+ and has full familiarity with all operational aspects of the magazine. Of his new position Collingwood-Trewin has this to say, "I am thrilled and excited to accept the role as Publisher of Hi-Fi+. I thank Chris Martens for his hard work and look forward to continue to work with him in the future. Hi-Fi+ has an excellent core team, and I know that we will continue to grow and to continue to secure our place as one of the most respected international Hi-Fi magazines. In addition I am delighted to take on the role of UK & European Publisher of Ultimate Headphone Guide.

Chris Martens, former Publisher of Hi-Fi+, is taking on two new roles, first as Editorial Director of Hi-Fi+ and second as Editor-in-Chief of a new bi-annual publication called Ultimate Headphone Guide, which is a joint venture between Hi-Fi+ and its sister publication The Absolute Sound magazine. Looking back, Martens says, "I am proud of the advancements Hi-Fi+ has seen over the past several years, including its shift to become a monthly publication, the launch of its popular website, and the development of both product-themed issues and digital buyers guides. These are changes I have worked on in concert with Pete Collingwood-Trewin and it is time now to hand the reins over to him."

Looking ahead, Martens adds, "I am thrilled that Pete Collingwood-Trewin is taking over as Publisher of Hi-Fi+; I think he is ideally qualified for the job and I look forward to seeing the steps forward he will take with the magazine. At the same time, I am delighted that my new role in Hi-Fi+ will enable me to continue my close collaboration with Hi-Fi+ Editor Alan Sircom in setting the editorial direction for the magazine. I am also keen to take up my new role as Editor-in-Chief of Ultimate Headphone Guide, which allows me to leverage both my experience with and sincere passion for all things relating to high-performance personal audio."

 

16TH Annual Independent Music Awards Nominees Are Announced
16TH Annual Independent Music Awards Nominees AnnouncedMusic Resource Group (MRG) today announced the Nominees in The 16th annual Independent Music Awards (The IMAs), the influential honors for independent artists and releases. More than 400 innovative self-released and indie label projects culled from thousands of submissions worldwide, were nominated by fans and industry panelists in 96 Album, Song, EP, Music Producer, Music Video and Design categories. The eclectic mix of established artists and rising stars include: Taylor Grey, Esprit d'Air, Harriet, Fiona Joy, Dan Zanes, Next To None, Rozina Pátkai, Air Traffic Controller, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, Jane Siberry and The Bankesters. Fan-nominated artists in the Song and Video categories include: Reeve Carney, Matthew Huff, MADYX, Ganda Boys, Karim Baggili and Amiss O.mega [featuring Snoop Dogg]. Also of note is that Doug MacLeod's album "Break the Chain" has been nominated in the Blues catagory. The winning projects will be selected by judging panels of top recording artists including: Tom Waits, Slayer, Bakithi Kumalo, Michael W. Smith, Sepultura, Amy Lee [Evanescence] among many others; and influential press and talent buyers from the Americas, Europe and Pacific Rim. Voting on The IMA site for the fan selected Music, Video & Design winners runs from February 20th – March 20th at this link. The year's best self-released and indie label projects will be announced March 31st from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. The free annual indie music celebration draws artists, fans and influencers from around the globe for awards, performances, discussions and parties. IMA winners will be promoted to millions of music fans via online & broadcast promotions, performance and distribution opportunities. Details and complete list of Nominees and Judges available at this link.

 

02 / 14 / 18

Happy Valentines Day From Everyone Here @ Enjoy the Music.com
Everyone here @ Enjoy the Music.com would like to take a moment to celebrate Valentine's Day. We wish you and yours a romantic, and fun, lovely day. As always, in the end what really matters is that you... enjoy the music!

 

02 / 13 / 18

Schiit Now Offers Octal LISST Plus New Vacuum Tube Options
Schiit Now Offers Octal LISST Plus New Vacuum Tube OptionsFounded in June 2010 by longtime audio design experts Jason Stoddard and Mike Moffat, Schiit Audio is responding to customer needs by making available their new LISST "solid state tube" design in octal form to fit their Saga and Freya preamplifiers. In addition, Schiit has added the option to choose current production Tung-Sol 6SN7 tubes instead of NOS 6N8S. In addition, Schiit added a new tube option for Saga and Freya — new production Tung-Sol brand 6SN7s. Customers had been asking for a new-production option, says the company, and the Tung-Sol brand tubes tested the best in a comparison of new 6SN7s. The original LISST, used in Vali 2, Lyr 2, and Mjolnir 2, continues in production. "Octal LISST allows our customers to convert Saga and Freya into all solid-state preamplifiers," said Jason Stoddard, Schiit's Co-Founder. "So if you don't want a tube preamp, you don't need to settle for one — just choose LISST. This is the first time we've recommended a new-production tube as an upgrade from NOS. But we've found that the Tung-sols are quieter, less microphonic, and more consistent than NOS, in this case. And, all Tung-sols are measured and matched here, both in terms of single-tube triode-to-triode balance and tube-to-tube." Octal LISST are available now as an option for Schiit's Saga and Freya at $40 each, or separately for $50. Matched Tung-sol 6SN7s are available now as an upgrade for Saga and Freya at $25 each, or separately for $30.

 

02 / 12 / 18

HIFIMAN To Debut Sundara Over-Ear Planar Headphone At CanJam NYC
HIFIMAN Sundara Over-Ear Planar HeadphoneHIFIMan's will debut their Sundara ($499), an over-ear planar headphone that features a new proprietary diaphragm that is 80% thinner than previous planar models. Thanks to the new design, HIFIMan's Sundara boasts a faster response time, wider frequency response, and a more detailed sonic signature. Sundara is a Sanskrit term meaning "beautiful" and "noble," both of which are accurate descriptions of the new headphone design, inside and out. For maximum comfort, HiFiMAN imbued the Sundara with an all-new headband design for accurate fit and long-lasting comfort. Similarly, the all-aluminum ear enclosure and newly developed diaphragm add up to wider frequency response from 6Hz to 75kHz. There is also an increase in sonic detail that reveals the fine points in well-recorded music. Impedance is 37 Ohms, sensitivity is 94dB, and weight is 372 grams. You can hear the new HIFIMAN Sundra headphone at CanJam NYC 2018.

 

02 / 09 / 18

Mytek Is Now Shipping Their Value-Priced Liberty Hi-Res Audio DAC
Mytek Is Now Shipping Their Value-Priced Liberty Hi-Res Audio DACMytek is now shipping the new Liberty DAC ($995) designed for high quality, Hi-Res Music playback and monitoring of all formats including 32-bit/384kHz, MQA, and native DSD256. This USB2 DAC features several digital inputs, digital volume control, unbalanced as well as balanced audio outputs, and a high-performance headphone amplifier. Designed as a little brother of the original Brooklyn DAC around the ES9018 Sabre chipset, the Liberty DAC provides robust performance, ability to decode 24-bit/192kHz and MQA masters, plus headphone output within a small 1/3 rack package. It's also intended for general music studio use and desktop systems, as well as audio installations. Analog outputs include unbalanced RCA and balance TRS. A TRS to XLR Metropolis cable can be added as option. The headphone amplifier is high current and outputs 3 Watts. The internal firmware is upgradeable via USB with the Mytek Control Panel app for Mac and PC. Mytek's Liberty Hi-Res Audio DAC weighs 3 lbs and is 5.5 x 8.5 x 1.74 (WxDxH).

 

02 / 08 / 18


Abyss AB-1266 Planar Magnetic Headphones By JPS Labs
The journey is the destination.
Review By Dave Hanson

 

Aurender Joins Ravenna Community To Add Network Connection To Merging+
Aurender Joins Ravenna CommunityMerging Technologies has announced that their Aurender X100 Music Server will directly connected to a Ravenna AoIP IP-based media network. Aurender will be among the first to take advantage of the benefits that a Ravenna network can bring to the home. Its flagship devices can now be part of a multi-room or multi-zone system without any of the traditional cable length limitations of USB connectivity. The network supports all file types and formats up to DSD256, although Aurender products do not yet support native DSD playback. The X100 features up to 12TB (depending on model) of internal storage with a 120GB solid-state drive; packing quite a punch for such a neat unit. NAS storage can also be included as part of the installation and the library can be conveniently controlled from a tablet running the Aurender Conductor App. This innovation will be available within Q1 2018 and will be featured on the following Aurender products: A10, N10, N100 (N100C, N100H), X100L (X100S) and W20.

 

Popular Streaming Music Service Spotify Removes Connect Feature
Spotify Removes Connect FeatureStreaming music company Spotify is removing their Connect feature, and thus it has been reported that well over 100 speakers/receivers are now unable to use the service. Affected brands include Bang & Olufsen, Denon, Dynaudio, Logitech, Marantz, NAD, Onkyo, Philips, Pioneer, Teufel, and Yamaha to name a few. Spotify Connect was designed into many consumer electronic products over the years and with Spotify removing this feature, many products will no longer be able to stream Spotify unless the manufacturer updated their devices. Is Spofity soon going to be offering Hi-Res Music, or is the company simply changing the way third parties can implement 'hooking in' to their service. Whatever the reason, Spotify is now unusable with hundreds of products. For example Spotify custom integration will be completely removed from the B&O BeoSound 5 speaker, Dynaudio Connect speaker. NAD D 7050 / MT1 / MT 2, and iTeufel Air Blue. You can see a list of products affected, and if there's a possible solution at this link. 

 

02 / 07 / 18

McIntosh Announces MC611 Quad Balanced Power Monoblock Amplifier
McIntosh Announces MC611 Quad Balanced Power Monoblock AmplifierMcIntosh Labs is proud to announce their new MC611 Quad Balanced Power Amplifier ($7500), which produces an outstanding 600 Watts of power! This massive amount of output can easily drive nearly any loudspeaker to very high volume levels. A pair of MC611 monoblocks can easily drive an impressive home stereo system, or add additional units to power each speaker within a home theater setup. Utilizing McIntosh Labs' unique output Autoformer technology, the full 600 Watts will be delivered to the speaker regardless if it has 2, 4 or 8 Ohm impedance. The MC611 has received numerous updates and improvements compared to the previous MC601 model. Chief among them is that filter capacity has been doubled which has resulted in a dramatic 55% increase in dynamic headroom from 1.8dB to 2.8dB. This twofold increase in filter capacity also helps improve the performance of low end bass frequencies. McIntosh's new front panel for the MC611 features direct LED backlighting for improved appearance and color accuracy. On top, the audio Autoformer and power transformer are now contained within a new glass topped enclosures. Behind them are two of the company's Monogrammed Heatsinks, which connect to advanced high current output transistors that help eliminate thermal equilibrium lag time. On the back, there continues to be three sets of our Solid Cinch speaker binding posts (one set for each speaker impedance), but space has been added between each set to allow for easier speaker cable connectivity. Other enhancements include heavier gauge internal wiring, upgraded circuit components and the addition of our eco-friendly power management system. In addition to all these improvements, the MC611 remains full of other exclusive McIntosh technologies including Power Guard, Sentry Monitor, a Quad Balanced design and Power Control. Both a balanced and unbalanced output are included to make bi- or tri-amping speakers easier; they can also be used to send the audio signal to a secondary system or to connect a powered subwoofer. The MC611 monoblock amplifier features a beautifully polished stainless steel chassis and timeless McIntosh aesthetic of a black glass front panel, illuminated logo, control knobs, aluminum handles and a large 8" fast responding blue Watt meter.

 

Hi-Fi World's March 2018 Issue Features Great Articles And Reviews
Hi-Fi World February 2018Hi-Fi World's March 2018 issue features reviews of the Acoustic Energy AE109 loudspeaker, Sonus Faber Olympica I speaker, Luxman D-380 CD player, Chord Poly DAC / headphone amplifier, Roberts Stream 94i Radio, Novafidelity X35, ATC HDA DP10 portable music player, HIDiamond I RCA signal cables, and Psion Waverider computer based radio. Within Noel Keywood's editorial he says, "What was it that made me think of the radiogram when working on this issue? It wasn't that such a device gets a mention anywhere, so much as the current drive toward all-in-one solutions is similar in intent – the new Novafidelity X35 we review on p39 is a good example. This product is impressive in what it can do, using Class D amplifiers to achieve that magic 100 Watt output power figure people expect nowadays, from a compact box. Reviewer Jon Myles is our expert at dealing with the Ethernet, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections that are an essential part of such products, as well as the apps – all of which the radiogram lacked of course. But at least you could stand a vase on top! Reviewer Martin Pipe didn't review a radiogram either, instead he reviews a Roberts Radio on p23 reminiscent of the old transistor radios that were so popular in the same era, or shortly after as transistors took over from valves. But this traditionally styled portable has an Ethernet connection and USB also. How radios have changed!" See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi World and read the complete editorial at this link.

 

02 / 06 / 18

Voyager Golden Record Three Vinyl LP Box Set Includes 96 Page Book
Voyager Golden Record Three Vinyl LP Box Set Includes 96 Page BookPredicted to survive over 1 billion years in space, the original NASA Voyager Golden Record features both diagrams and audio in hopes of it reaching other life forms in the galaxy. With the original Golden Records aboard both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes in 1977, the recent resurgence of vinyl also brings us a 'reissue' of sorts with this new three vinyl LP box set. Voyager Golden Record box set ($98) set to ship in a few weeks has been years in the making. Three translucent gold 140 gram vinyl LPs are stored within poly-lined paper sleeves. Each of the three heavyweight jackets are adorned with gold ink on black background. Also included is a color 96 page softcover book containing all images included on the original Voyager Interstellar Record, gallery of images transmitted back from the Voyager probes, and a new essay by Timothy Ferris, producer of the original golden record. As an added bonus, a 12" x 12" gold foil print of Voyager Golden Record cover diagram on archival paper is included. And to make this package that much more desirable, a Voyager trajectories turntable slipmat featuring gold ink on black felt is in the box too! For those in the digital age, full-color plastic digital download card for all audio of the Voyager Golden Record (MP3 or FLAC formats) is part of this package deal. For those curious about the whereabouts of the two original Golden Records, Voyager 1 is ~13.16 billion miles from Earth and Voyager 2 is ~10.91 billion miles away. "The contents of the record were selected for NASA by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan," said NASA's JPL. "Sagan and his associates assembled 115 images and a variety of natural sounds, such as those made by surf, wind and thunder, birds, whales, and other animals. To this they added musical selections from different cultures and eras, and spoken greetings from Earth-people in fifty-five languages, and printed messages from President Carter and U.N. Secretary General Waldheim." You can order the NASA Golden Record Box set at this link.

 

02 / 05 / 18

Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2017 Show Reports

CAF 2017 Show Report  --  Bryston Audio System
Bryston Audio System
CAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt

 

CAF 2017 Show Report  --  DC Audio DIY
DC Audio DIY
CAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt

 

CAF 2017 Show Report  --  DC Hi-Fi Group
DC Hi-Fi Group
CAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt

 

CAF 2017 Show Report  --  Tekton Design, Linear Tube Audio, Wolf Audio, And Mytek
Tekton Design, Linear Tube Audio, Wolf Audio, And Mytek
CAF 2017 Report By Kemper Holt

 

Hi-Fi+'s February Magazine Features Many High-End Audio Reviews
Hi-Fi+ Issue 156 February 2018Hi-Fi+ Magazine's February 2018 issue features reviews of the AURALiC VEGA G2, Innuos Zenith SE MKII, Chord Electronics Mojo + Poly, Rotel RCD-1572, Moon NEO MiND, Cary DMS-500, iFi Audio Nano iDSD Black Label, MartinLogan Impression ESL 11A, Focal Elear, Conrad-Johnson ET7, Hegel H190, Mobile Fidelity Studiodeck, Rega Aphelion, and Ansuz Acoustics D2. Within his editorial, Hi-Fi+'s Alan Sircom says "Any line-up of source components in the early months of a year gives one chance to see just what changes are taking place in the wider audio world. More than any other aspect of the audio chain, the front end – digital and analogue – reflect the ways we listen to and acquire our music. It allows you to see trends in the buying habits of audiophiles, and see just how those habits reach out to the wider music loving world. We have long since stopped being surprised by the vinyl revival and how the format that was supposed to have been supplanted by CD back in the 1990s has come back with some considerable force. Reports of the death of CD are greatly exaggerated, however, and even though every day sees yet more people discover the joys of home and online networked audio, there is still life in the old digital dog yet." See what's within this issue of Hi-Fi+ Magazine at this link.

 

02 / 01 / 18

Enjoy the Music.com's February Review Magazine Is Now Online
Enjoy the Music.com's February Review Magazine features two think pieces, a manufacturer article plus review of the Stromtank S2500 battery power supply. Within Steven R. Rochlin's editorial Hacking Hi-Res Audio he says, "Why use already known-good encoding / decoding that is widely available for free (FLAC) when you can invent a complicated, perhaps proprietary, or rebirth defunct tech, and make it your own so you can siphon off a bit of cream (money) off the top. Do we really need yet another audio format, lossy or lossless? Netflix is streaming 1080 video with surround sound audio every day to millions of people. Dare we mention that far higher bandwidth 4k is also available on Netflix?"

Longtime industry expert Roger Skoff writes about Making Music and says "I was talking about this with John Curl the other day. John, along with just a very few others, is one of the truly great audio electronics designers, ever, and has designed or contributed to the design of some of the very best solid-state Hi-Fi gear ever built. He agrees with me and with the great majority of the audiophile community that the job of the audio designer is not to make gear that "sounds good", but to make gear that, except to perform the barest minimum task for which it was specifically designed, does nothing at all and, even then, has no "sound" of its own at all"

Tom Lyle basks in battery power via the Stromtank S2500 and falls in love. He says, "There are a few words when describing the sonic results of using the Stromtank to power my system: astounding, awe-inspiring, awesome, amazing, astonishing, excellent, fantastic, glorious, magnificent, sensational, spectacular, splendid, terrific, and wonderful. As I said earlier, before the Stromtank arrived, only at nighttime could my system could reach its potential. But with the Stromtank my system reached its full potential regardless of the time of day."

Later this month Dave Hanson will be at CanJam NYC to see, hear, and report on the many great new personal audio music players, headamps, headphones, etc that made a showing in the Big Apple. See what's within this month's edition of Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine at this link. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin
Creative Director
Enjoy the Music.com

 

Hacking Hi-Res Audio Tech savvy music lovers unite... and win!
Hacking Hi-Res Audio
Tech savvy music lovers unite... and win!
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Making Music Roger Skoff writes about the secret difference between making music and reproducing it. Article By Roger Skoff
Making Music
The secret difference between making music and reproducing it.
Article By Roger Skoff

 


Coming Soon! CanJam NYC 2018 Show Report
Show Report By Dave Hanson

 


The Core Issues: Choosing A Power Transformer
Article By Michael S. LaFevre
MagneQuest Transformer Company

 


DSD Versus PCM: Myth Versus Truth
Article By Benjamin Zwickel Of Mojo Audio

 


World Premiere Review!
Stromtank S2500 Battery Power Supply
The joys of a pure sine wave with battery power.
Review By Tom Lyle

 

More Articles Available Online!
See all our show reports, articles, and gear reviews within Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine now available online.

 


For previous high-end audio industry news click here.

 

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