03 / 31 / 04
Audio Products has now released their Sigma 6.3 monitor loudspeaker
($7,500 per pair in black, $10,000 in various woods as seen here). A pair
of composite 6.5-inch Vifa drivers with die-cast aluminum frame are joined by
the Vifa XT25 tweeter. The crossover networks uses Solen polypropylene
capacitors and while the inductors are Solen heavy gauge air core. High
quality silver solder, OFC copper wire, and all components are hand selected
to create critically measured matched pairs.
03 / 30 / 04
newly designed AirHead headphone amplifier/processor ($149, or tweaked Total AirHead for $199) has a built in psychoacoustic image processor
claimed to "make listening to headphones a more natural experience." The AirHead uses a 4 AAA batteries to power its internal amplifier, though can be operated by an external power supply.
The output volume level is adjustable and LEDs display the status of the unit. Dimensions
of the rugged case are 4 x 2 x 1 (LxWxH in inches) and weights in at 5 ounces.
03 / 29 / 04
has announced the introduction of the elegant Mini monitor ($12,000 per
pair, matching stands extra). While MAGICO is known for large floorstanding
units, the Mini is their first two-way high-performance monitor. Featuring the new Scan Speak "Super Revelator" tweeter and a unique
7-inch midbass driver whose cone is fabricated from sandwiched layers of vapor-deposited titanium, the Mini enclosure is constructed of 17 stacked horizontal layers of 11-ply Baltic birch that increase its modulus of elasticity to over 1 thousand pounds per square inch. The walls of the enclosure are curved to reduce external diffractions and ensure an even spread of the energy created by the driver back wave.
The 1-inch deep face and back plates are machined from hard-anodized 6061T-6 aircraft-grade aluminum. Frequency response is from 35Hz to 40kHz with a sensitivity of 89dB/W/m.
Dimensions are 15.5 x 11 x 16 (HxWxD in inches). The price is $12,000/pair for the speakers, matching stands are available.
03 / 26 / 04
The Cain & Cain Abby, winner of
Enjoy the Music.com™'s Best of 2003
Award, has a new group of features added in response to that award. First is a series of available finishes incorporating classic guitar styling like the 1950's Telecaster as seen here in
tobacco juice sunburst. Other improvements are Nirvana internal wiring and improved driver chassis damping said to
yielding clearer, sharper sound and more extended bass. The basic hardwood baffle and
rigid cabinet remain unchanged. Piano black, dark walnut and other standard finishes are also available.
03 / 25 / 04
Brinkmann Audio USA
has announced the new Balance turntable ($12,900 in stainless steel) and will be debuted at the upcoming Festival Son & Image show with their 10.5 Tonearm ($3,500), and EMT Phono Cartridge
($2,700). The Balanced turntable is available in designs of black/brass and black/stainless steel. The chassis is milled from dural-plate and is equipped with attachments for the bearing and the tonearm base. The tonearm base has a special clamping technique to enable changing between various tonearms; each one installed on a separate base. An extremely
precise bearing, especially important for the 45 pound platter, insures smoother operation while a power mosfet (installed beneath the bearing) creates a stable
lubricant temperature. The turntable platter is made from a massive block of a special aluminum, with a mixture of lead and copper, provides an extremely low resonance base for vinyl records. A crystal glass top surface gives a very smooth and even surface; therefore the record clamp for a safe placement of the records is included. Critically acclaimed Pabst motor assembly drives the platter and is electronically controlled for 33 and 45 rpm, yet can be adjusted separately with two rotary switches. The turntable is delivered with its own transistorized power supply, but is optimally driven by the Brinkmann vacuum tube power supply additionally giving the motor the purest source. Overall turntable weight is a staggering 80 lbs! Brinkmann Audio now offers an 'Analog Package' that includes turntable chassis, Brinkmann tonearm base machined specially for the Brinkmann tonearm, platter, record clamp, motor, cables, switch unit, and the transistorized power supply for oil platter bearing temperature control and motor as well as the necessary tools. Other tonearm bases are
available for those who choose to employ a non-Brinkmann unit.
2004, the Hi-Fi and Home Theater Event will take place from May 20th through the
23rd, 2004 at the Hilton New York Hotel. While the first day of the show is reserved for members of the trade and press, the public can enjoy the remaining three days to see, touch, and hear the gear. The show itself is operated by PRIMEDIA Specialty Group Inc. and is generally labeled the
"Stereophile Show". Attendees of this show can see hundreds of home audio and video products while also benefiting from a range of seminars, participate in various panel discussions, and enjoy many musical performances.
May 20th through 23rd, 2004
Hilton New York & Towers Hotel
1335 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY
Trade and Press Only:
Thursday, May 20 -- 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Open to the General Public:
Friday, May 21 -- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 22 -- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, May 23 -- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: $37 for weekend pass or $27 for one-day pass
03 / 24 / 04
Audio's new Saturn PX 25 parallel feed 6 watt monoblock amplifier ($6,000 pr standard, Silver $12,500, cobalt option $15,000) is based on the original high mu
PX25. Due to the availability of TJ in the Mesh format, the original PX25 has a higher mu than the
PX25A and is claimed by Wavelength Audio to be "much different and better sounding than the "A" version." Like Wavelength Audio's Atlas monoblock amplifier, the Saturn's high mu PX25 uses a 1% current source to assure consistent bias point for the output tube and a PI circuit for the power supply utilizing a Black Gate
WKZ capacitor. Rectification is achieved by a 6V4/EZ80 tube while the filaments on the PX25 are AC with a 20 turn pot to adjust hum to the lowest level. As with the Atlas, the Saturn is Parallel Feed with a single 8 ohm secondary (optional 16 ohms). Options for the Saturn include 100% Silver outputs and for a limited time with 100% Silver & Cobalt option.
03 / 23 / 04
Sony in wedded bliss with
McDonalds? Microsoft trouncing the iPod?
Apple reaching 75 million? All this in the news today as recording label and electronics manufacturer Sony is following the
Pepsi/iTune bandwagon with a promotional deal where McDonalds would offer free songs to their customers. Naturally these free songs will be through Sony's new online music company. Then we have Microsoft who are going to offer an audio/video portable device for approximately $700 that is said to have very large storage, play a wide variety of formats, and will include a color screen for video playback. Lastly, while computer manufacturer and online music company Apple will fall short of their hopeful 100 million iTunes music downloads, we must rejoice that they are expecting to reach approximately 70 million within their first year! This is 70 million songs being legally downloaded online within only a year's time, or 191,780 per day for a new online music business! Most impressive indeed. And for those wondering, the 70 million tunes add up to a revenue of
03 / 22 / 04
Get a latte or cappuccino while waiting for your custom music CD is being
produced. Starbucks Coffee Company has launched in-store CD Burning Service Powered by
HP under their Hear Music brand. As their very first The Hear Music Coffeehouse in Santa Monica, California has opened, Starbucks "intends to begin deploying the Hear Music CD burning service to select Starbucks stores, offering customers the ability to burn full-length albums and personalized compilations from a comprehensive digital library" according to the press release. This first Hear Music store 70 HP Tablet PCs and "is staffed with music experts who can personally suggest new artists and guide customers to new genres" says the
press release. Starbucks has their eyes set on having ten stores in Seattle enabled with this new service where 20,000 full-length albums and hundreds of thousands of songs will be available to burn on CDs. Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, said "Starbucks built its brand through innovation in products and services that preserve and enhance the trust our customers have in the Starbucks Experience."
03 / 19 / 04
Guild's new oneZ point source monitor loudspeaker employs a single full range driver in a reflex
enclosure. Said to closely approximate the long held ideal of a phase coherent point source transducer, the oneZ has no
crossover and presents an 8 ohm load to amplifiers. Optimizing the enclosure, it features a tri-layer baffle with sand loaded vibration trap. Driver options use Fostex products including the FE107E, high output FW108N, or the F120A featuring Alnico magnet. Frequency response is from 85Hz to 20kHz with a sensitivity of approximately 90dB/W/m. Dimensions are 12.5 x 6.5 x 9.35 (HxWxD) and the price ranges from $85 for a flat pack box kit, $220 assembled, to $432 assembled with Alnico driver.
03 / 18 / 04
Manufacturers of DVD-Audio and SACD players may enjoy using the new multi-channel
Cirrus Logic CS4382 8-channel digital-to-analog (D/A)
chip. This new chip also performs digital interpolation, fifth-order Delta-Sigma D/A conversion, digital de-emphasis, volume control, and analog filtering. According to Cirrus "The advantages of this architecture include ideal differential linearity; no distortion mechanisms due to resistor matching errors; no linearity drift over time and temperature; and a high tolerance to clock jitter." The CS4382 accepts PCM (pulse code modulation) data at sample rates from 4kHz to 192kHz (for CD and DVD-Audio) while it also handles Direct Stream Digital (DSD, for Sony's proprietary SACD format). Features of this new chip include:
* 24-bit conversion
* Up to 192kHz sample rates
* 114dB dynamic range
* -100dB THD+N
* Supports PCM and DSD data formats
* Selectable digital filters
* Volume control with soft ramp
* 1dB step size
* Zero crossing click-free transitions
* Dedicated DSD inputs
* Low clock-jitter sensitivity
* Simultaneous support for two synchronous sample rates for DVD-Audio
* Microcontroller or standalone operation
03 / 17 / 04
Yamaha's new DVD-S1500 ($399) is capable of playing virtually any current digital disc audio/video
format including DVD-Audio, SACD, DVD-Video, CD, VCD, JPEG, MP3, DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW, and
CD-R/RW. Music lovers might enjoy that CD playback is upsampled to 176.4kHz while videophiles appreciate the built-in DCDi Faroudja processing and progressive scan video output. Built with a dual laser optical pick-up, video is handled by a 12-bit/108MHz processor while audio is decoded with a 24-bit/192kHz chip and provides outputs including DVD-Audio, DTS, and Dolby Digital. Overall dimensions are 2.70 x 16.25 x 12.75 (HxWxD in inches and the unit weights 7.1 pounds.
03 / 16 / 04
Audio Software has released a $99 software program for making DVD-Audio discs! Their discWelder BRONZE software allows for basic DVD-Audio authoring and can import all linear PCM formats supported in the DVD-Audio specification, including surround (up to 6 channels of 24-bit, 48kHz audio) and high-resolution stereo (two channels of 24-bit, 192kHz audio). Both
surround and stereo tracks may be encoded within the same DVD disc. The program is said to be easy to use and for now is for Windows OS systems, yet a MAC version is said to be released shortly. Minnetonka Audio
Software's discWelder BRONZE features:
· Supports Linear PCM formats: 16- and 24-bit depth; 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192kHz sample rates
(stereo); 44.1, 48kHz (5.1 surround); WAV or AIFF files
· Supports intermixed surround and stereo (PCM only) tracks
· Multiple DVD±R/W burner support
· 1 group with up to 99 tracks
· Drag-and-drop or double-click soundfile placement
· Downmix properties are preset to industry standards
03 / 15 / 04
Monitor Audio new Radius range includes two ultra-compact floorstanding loudspeakers, the Radius 270 and Radius 225
Plasma. Their elegant and slim floorstanding Radius 270 (pictured here) provides full range sound
reproduction. Supplied with either black or silver grilles, the Radius 270 has a pair of MMP Mk II bass drivers mated with a
25mm Gold C-CAM tweeter, Monitor Audio's new cast bass chassis is constructed with high-tech glass loaded polymer said to provides better damping properties than metal and increase overall strength. The
cabinet features MDF wood construction throughout with additional cross bracing in critical areas to reduce cabinet resonance. The Radius 270 crossover uses high-grade
metalized Polypropylene capacitors and high-grade air core and laminated iron core inductors. Monitor Audio's Radius 225 is
basically the same system, yet for wall mounting. Both models are magnetically shielded.
03 / 12 / 04
BetterCables.com, an online manufacturer/retailer of audio and video cables, announced the release of their new Digital Magic and Display Magic Cables incorporating HDMI technology ($90 for 2 meter length). HDMI is fully backward-compatible with DVI that handles digital data transfers at rates up to 5 Gbps. "HDMI is a great new standard that will simplify the hook-up process while maintaining an all-digital transfer of audio and video signals,” said Brad Marcus, founder of BetterCables.com. "We pride ourselves on being first to market to support emerging technologies and are excited about making these cables available now."
03 / 11 / 04
Audio Consulting of Switzerland is now offering a high quality 10 watt push-pull
DIY stereo tube amplifier (CHF 4200 without chassis, tubes included). The transformers, both
output and interstage, are built using air-gaps that prevents the iron from saturation when two tubes are not having the exactly the same bias current. AC heating is used to avoid rectifiers and mains problem. While a very minimum number of components are employed in this design, they are all of high quality to achieve excellent sound production. There are no capacitors in the signal path, transformer input to an ECC 99 input/driver stage, PP transformer link to SV 83 output stage, oil
capacitors are in the power supply with pseudo choke input supply. Possible upgrades include
additional mains filter transformer, silver wire input transformers (CHF 750) and silver wire interstage (CHF 2250).
03 / 10 / 04
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been once again proven wrong in the manner in which they handle legal matters. United States Judge Clarence Newcomer ruled that the RIAA can not file a single lawsuit against the 203 "John Does", called this since the RIAA only has access to
ISP numbers, and instead must file a completely separate legal matter against each alleged copyright
infringer. With court fees of $150 per case, this would add up to $30,450 in filing fees alone. A
representative of the RIAA said "We are weighing our options." Jason Schultz, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said "We're glad the judge has recognized that the RIAA was trying to skirt around the regular rules for lawsuits by grouping over 200 individuals as a gang of file sharers. We think each individual who is being sued has a right to have their own trial and have their own privacy interests evaluated independently of anyone else who's being sued."
03 / 09 / 04
has announced many new digital disc players with SACD capability. Starting with the single disc, low price
category, is their new single disc DVP-N577SD ($130) and multi-disc DVP-NC875 ($150) that handles DVD-Video and SACD formats plus DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-R/RW, JPEG, MP3, and has progressive output for video. The SCD-CE595 ($149) and SCDC-2000ES ($399) are both are SACD changers, yet will not play DVD-Video discs. For those desiring DVD-Video and SACD playback with higher quality may chose the DVP-NS975V ($300) that includes playback of DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-R/RW, JPEG, MP3, and HDMI output that upscales DVD-Video to 720p or 1080i. For a hands off approach, the DVP-CX777ES ($799) 400 disc DVD-Video and SACD changer includes RS-232 port for home integration systems. Audiophiles looking to acquire the very best will find 1394 digital output in Sony's new SCDX-A9000 ($3,000) SACD single disc unit.
03 / 08 / 04
Danish Audio ConnecT (DACT)
now offers DIY enclosures and 8-pole input selector. The CT-encl1 all aluminum enclosure is available in either silver black anodized with all required outer panels and internal pre-drilled mounting plates. While it is specifically designed to accommodate a variety of DACT components. naturally others can be employed. Outer dimensions of the enclosure are 330 x 207 x 80 (WxDxH in mm including feet). All panels of CT-encl1 are made of 2mm
aluminum except for the outer front panel (6mm aluminum) and the internal bottom mounting plate (1mm
aluminum). DACT's new 8-pole input selector switch is basically their CT3-5-4/wire with an extra deck (meaning it has two decks). It can mainly be used for an audio input selector switch and has 5 positions and, therefore, may be used for is balance stereo where it is able to switch both signal and ground.
03 / 05 / 04
The Recording Industry Association of
America (RIAA), a trade organization that represents their members who comprise of companies that create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90 percent of legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States, has announced the 2003 product
sales. Music shipments to retail outlets declined 4.3 percent in 2003 (compared to a 6.8 percent drop in 2002) and unit shipments declined 2.7 percent (compared to a 7.8 percent drop in 2002). The music video category demonstrated significant growth, with all formats of music video increasing in value by 38.7 percent. The music DVD format experienced an amazing 56 percent increase in value and a 64 percent increase in unit shipments. While shipments of album CDs to retail markets decreased 3 percent in 2003 to achieve 609.8 million units, shipments of CD singles were up 85.5 percent from 2002. Total U.S. music shipments, including to direct and special markets, dropped 7.2 percent from 859.7 million units in 2002 to 798.4 million units in 2003. In dollar value, this represents a 6 percent decrease.
Please note that the robust and vibrant legitimate online music sales
(digital downloads) are not accounted for in these figures. Therefore these
figures can only be taken at face value without a true
reading of absolute music sales
both physical and via the Internet. To see the complete 2003
statistics as supplied by the RIAA, please click here (Adobe Acrobat file).
03 / 04 / 04
Professional Monitor Company Ltd.
(PMC) has announced the April availability of their new GB1 transmission line floorstanding loudspeaker (£995). Sophisticated cabinet construction combined with proprietary drive units allow the GB1 to produce frequencies from 29Hz to 25kHz with a 87dB/W/m sensitivity. Drive units include a doped 140mm cast magnesium alloy chassis midrange/woofer and 27mm fabric soft dome tweeter. The internal transmission line section is damped throughout its length with custom foams to "increases the air density within the cabinet by up to 30 percent" according to PMC. The crossover frequency is 3kHz (24dB slope), power handling is up to 150 watts, and overall dimensions are 34.25 x 6.1 x 9.25 (HxWxD in inches). Two pair of input connectors help
facilitate bi-wire or bi-amplification.
03 / 03 / 04
While Mel Brooks is prone to say in his movies "It's good to be the King," high-end audio manufacturer
Linn Products Ltd. may be the "King" to Princess Royal as she visited the
newly expanded Linn factory. During the official opening of Linn's recently completed extended premises in Waterfoot, Glasgow, Princess Royal joined Ivor Tiefenbrun in a tour of the facility. The £7,000,000 ($12,877,900 US) expansion and related investment took 18 months to complete, thereby
doubling Linn's operations. Linn Products Ltd. was awarded Royal Warrant status
in January 2002 as a provider of entertainment systems to HRH The Prince of Wales. Managing Director of Linn Products Ltd.
Ivor Tiefenbrun said, "We are delighted that Her Royal Highness is prepared to
recognize the hard work and creativity that makes Linn different and special and I am particularly pleased to see our elected government representatives and local dignitaries here today. Scotland's hard pressed manufacturing sector requires their appreciation, understanding and active support to survive and prosper."
03 / 02 / 04
has announced new subwoofers, the Sunfire EQ and EQ Signature with 8- or 10-inch drivers
(respectively). An included calibrated measurement microphone analyzes the system's frequency
response, then built-in circuitry within the subwoofer makes equalization correction to achieve optimum performance and system integration.
Both units include a 2,700-watt amplifier, have a frequency response down to 18Hz (-3dB) with greater than 110dB peak volume level. The crossover points are variable from 30Hz to 100Hz and phase is continuously adjustable fro 0° to 180°.
Both single ended (RCA) and balanced (XLR) inputs are included for ease of
03 / 01 / 04
We are proud to announce
the March Edition of both Enjoy the Music.com™'s Superior
Audio and Review
Magazine. Within the March Review
Magazine we not only have many equipment reviews, we launch our new dedicated
Classical Music Review section. Senior reviewer Wayne Donnelly is donning a second hat as Classical Music Editor, and he has recruited several terrific new writers.
Meanwhile Superior Audio have three new equipment reviews including Krell's
SACD Standard unit!
New! Toob Madness Or The 6SN7 Zoo
New! The Legend Continues... Acoustic Energy's AE1 Mk III Loudspeaker
Jolida JD100A CD Player
New! The Magical And Mystical Merlin VSM-Millennium Loudspeaker
Loth-X ION BS 1 Loudspeakers
of the Noise Reducing Headphones! Bose QuietComfort headphones vs. the
Etymotic Research ER-4P & Headroom Total AirHead Combo
New! Combak's Reimyo CDP-777 CD
Transport / CD Player
New! Hovland HP-100 Line Pre-Amplifier & RADIA Power Amplifier
New! Krell SACD Standard CD-SACD Player
On Friday California's Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided to reverse a 4-year-old ban on making available a program that can crack the DeCSS DVD
protections code. Under the free speech rights and trade secret laws, the California court felt freedom of speech was more important than DVD Copy Control Association's claim that by making said
tool available it violated intellectual. California's three-judge panel decision
said "The preliminary injunction... burdens more speech than necessary to protect DVD CCA's property interest and was an unlawful prior restraint upon Bunner's right to free speech."