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Enjoy the Music.com High-End Audio Equipment Reviews & News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High-End Audio Industry News


03 / 31 / 08

  The High End Society has announced that one of the best and most convincing Chopin pianists, Gergely Bogányi from Hungary, will be performing selected piano concerts on the largest grand piano in the world at the upcoming High End 2008 event. Gergely Bogányi has just completed all the Nocturnes from Frédéric Chopin on a double SACD for Stockfisch-Records. The artist will be performing selected piano concerts on the world's largest grand piano, the Fazioli 308. Fazioli is a piano manufacturer from the north east of Italy, which was founded by the pianist and engineer Paolo Fazioli in 1979. The pianos are largely handcrafted and are characterized by precision mechanics and a unique sound. The spruce wood for the sound board comes from Paolo Fazioli's own forest, the "Val di Fiemme", which was also the same wood used by Stradivari for his violins. The wood is extremely dense and resistant as a result of the minerals there. The Fazioli 308 grand piano is the largest model in the world with a length of 308 cm. Gergely Bogányi is Hungarian and belongs in the top league of young pianists. He began playing the piano at the age of four. He won his first musical award when he was six and three years later at the age of nine he won first prize at the national piano competition in Nyíregyháza, Hungary. He was awarded prizes at various international piano competitions, such as at the international piano festivals in former Czechoslovakia, Epinal in France, Ettlingen in Germany, as well as the “Helmi-Vesa” piano festival at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Bogányi received first prize at the Chopin piano festival at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy in Budapest. He inspires music lovers with the real world of Chopin and does this so convincingly, as if he himself had written the 21 Nocturnes. Listeners can look forward to the stimulating atmosphere created by this talented pianist who knows how to convey compositional treasures. The Fazioli grand piano is generously lent by the piano company Fischer from Stuttgart for the duration of the exhibition.

 

03 / 28 / 08

MusicGiants  Internet website Enjoy the Music.com® and celebrated United States online media provider MusicGiants™ have teamed up to offer audiophiles high resolution lossless music downloads and high quality video. Over the years, Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed hundreds of digital music titles available on CD, DVD-Audio and SACD hard media formats. With media industries and consumers moving away from such formats and more towards digital downloads, Enjoy the Music.com's continual goal is to employ and partner with companies that provide technical assistance in delivering up to date media. Therefore, partnering with MusicGiants to deliver HD music to our critical readership is only natural because they also seek out the very best in high quality hardware and software.

"MusicGiants is very excited to partner with Enjoy the Music.com and we look forward to being part of their audio excellence with our high definition downloads," says Scott Bahneman, CEO of MusicGiants. "Their readers understand how important high quality sound is and they want the best music content to maximize their audio systems. We aim to deliver that ultimate entertainment experience."

Steven R. Rochlin, editor of Enjoy the Music.com, says "As the Internet's largest Web site for high-performance consumer audio information and news, while also being online partners with print magazines The Absolute Sound, The Audiophile Voice and The $ensible Sound, this new venture into offering online lossless music heralds in a new direction towards our continual expansion plans. With each passing year, millions of additional people access the Internet and can easily find information concerning high-end audio within Enjoy the Music.com. Today, our extensive readership can easily download lossless music via our partnership with MusicGiants instead of settling for other services that sell highly compressed lossy music files. Together, we are able to reach tens of millions of consumers who purchase music online each year." MusicGiants' online store for Enjoy the Music.com can be seen at this link.

 

Vacuum State Of The Art (VSAC) 2008The Vacuum State Of The Art (VSAC) conference and show 2008 will be held from Saturday, May 24 thru Monday, May 26 at the Hilton Vancouver in Washington state USA. Exhibitors scheduled to appear include Audio Note, Bent Audio, Bottlehead, Cardas Audio, DIYCable, Eurotubes, Experience Music, Lowther America, ModWright Instruments, Serious Stereo, Tape Project, Wright Sound and many others. Other features of VSAC 2008 include a craftsman room, live music and various seminars.

 

Trafomatic Audio Head One Headphone AmplifierTrafomatic Audio Head One stereo tube headphone amplifier can also operate as a preamplifier with subwoofer output. Unlike many OTL amplifiers, a matching of impedances for different types of headphones is achieved using different taps on output transformer secondary winding. High quality power supply with low induction toroidal transformer, tube rectifier, double L-C filter for anode voltage and top quality double C-core output transformer hallmark some of the impressive parts quality within this unit. Tube compliment includes a pair of 6S45P and a EZ80, while output power achieved is 3.2V at 1% THD. The headphone and line output have a frequency response from 20Hz to 57kHz (-3dB), while the subwoofer output is from 20Hz to 18kHz (-3dB). Maximum gain for the line output is 18dB. Inputs include CD and AUX.

 

03 / 27 / 08

Tyler Acoustics Woodmere II Floorstanding Loudspeaker  Tyler Acoustics' new Woodmere II ($8800/pr) floorstanding loudspeaker are built to precise design and engineering parameters. A Seas Millennium tweeter produces the uppermost frequencies to 25kHz while a pair of Seas 5.5-inch midrange drivers fill out the critical midrange frequencies. For bass down to 25Hz, a pair of 8-inch Seas magnesium woofers were chosen. This D'Appolito design allows for pinpoint sound, which in turn produce excellent imaging and a precise 3D soundspace. Each pair is handmade to the customer's specifications in regards to single, bi- or tri- wireable and weighs 185 lbs. Premium natural wood finishes and outboard crossovers are available at extra cost. Due to their precise hand built nature, once an order is received by a customer it takes approximately five weeks until their custom loudspeakers are delivered.

 

03 / 26 / 08

Usher Audio V-601 Loudspeaker  Usher Audio's V-601 ($700/pr) two-way loudspeaker marks the company's extremely high value for the dollar entry-level monitor loudspeaker. Available in either Golden Birch or Mahogany Birch, the V-601 offers the same commitment to sound quality as found in the company's much higher priced offerings including their top-range Dancer Series that costs well over $16,000. With exquisite fit and finish, the front-ported tuning slot aid in the Usher V-601 to produce bass down to 42Hz. A new 1-inch soft-dome tweeter was specially developed for the V Series while a the same high quality 7-inch midrange/woofer as found in Usher's 6-series is employed. This combinations brings overall frequency response at 42Hz to 20kHz (-3dB). Sensitivity is 86.5dB/W/m with an easy to drive 8 Ohm impedance. Each unit weighs is at 28 lbs and measures 9.37 x 11.50 x 17.52 (WxDxH in inches). Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Usher Audio X-708 loudspeaker, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

Emmeline by Ray Samuels Audio The Apache Preamplifier & Headphone AmplifierEmmeline by Ray Samuels Audio The Apache ($2999) stereo preamplifier and headphone amplifier combination device marks it's one year anniversary! This fully balanced unit with a dual mono configuration provides true balanced from input to output plus the purity of each channel being truly separate. To keep power supply noise away from the critical analog stage, the dual mono power supply is housed within its own separate chassis and incorporates two toroidal transformers, four full wave bridge rectifiers and thousands of MF caps. The four independent voltages are fully and precisely regulated while all parts used are of the highest grade Panasonic power caps bypassed by film caps for smoothing. As for the analog stage, The Apache has two active pre-amp outputs, one being balanced and the other being single ended, which are both active at the same time. Built on a MIL spec FR4 printed circuit board, the analog stage uses 0.1% film resistors built by Dale and Vishay. Tantalum caps have been used though out, coupled with film caps for smoothing. The Apache is fitted with a balanced four section DacT attenuator that precisely controls the input signal of the four input/gain amplifiers. Of important note is that there is a three gain selector switch that controls the gain of all the four internal amplifiers with one flip of the switch. This provides the flexibility of achieving the precise volume desired. The Apache has mute function, two balanced (XLR) and two single ended (RCA) inputs controlled by four elegant push buttons on the front panel. Frequency response is an extremely wide 5Hz to 100kHz and total harmonic distortion is less than 0.0002. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Ray Samuels Emmeline II (click here), XR-10B MM/MC phonostage (click here) and CA-2 line preamplifier (click here).

 

03 / 25 / 08

BDA China  They say when a popular cartoon makes fun of something, that we should take notice. On that note a recent The Simpson's, a popular animated TV show, had one of the characters mock a print newspaper person as the character said his (print) media is dying. Of note is how many print magazines are now offering partial or complete editions online to help subsidize their income and help to maintain their possibly dwindling print media marketshare. It has been reported that China now has more Internet users than the United States... and any other country in the world! BDA China, a Beijing-based technology consulting and research firm, has stated that the China Internet Network Information Center has more than 210 million users. Meanwhile Nielsen/NetRatings states that the United States has 216 million Internet users. BDA chairman Duncan Clark said China also has the most mobile communications user base, accounting for an impressive 560 million subscribers.

 

KlipschIn related news, loudspeaker specialist Klipsch has decided to allow online retailers to offer their premium Reference series. While many companies usually look to protect their brick-and-mortar sales agents by letting them access the top range models, Klipsch marks yet another manufacturer to allow some of their best models to be sold by online retailers. Klipsch's sales VP Dave Rogers feels that this new decision will complement the company's normal brick-and-mortar dealers. Models in Klipsch's Reference series include multi-driver tall floorstanding speaker models including their RF-83, RF-63 and RVX-54 ($2,498, $1,798 and $1,600 per pair respectively. Enjoy the Music.com has reviews of Klipsch's Reference RP-5 (click here) and Reference RP-3, RC-3 and RS-3 (click here).

 

03 / 24 / 08

  Enjoy the Music.com now offers free tools for cartridge alignment and turntable platter speed calibration! The trick is to have the cartridge mounted so that the needle aligns perfectly on both dots without moving the protractor. What you may need to do is mount the cartridge a bit loose and slightly move it forward or back and see how it aligns on both points. You know you have it perfect when both points are perfect without moving the protractor. It takes time and patience to get it just right, but the results are worth it! As for the speed verification tool, Enjoy the Music.com offers both 33.3 and 45 rpm versions for those with 120 and 100 Volt power supply. To learn more and print out our free cartridge alignment tool and speed calibration tool click here.

 

Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), a trade association promoting growth in the United States consumer electronics industry with over 2,200 companies as members, approximately one out of every five households will spend part of their upcoming rebate check stimulus package on electronics. President Bush's recent Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 will bring $168 billion in checks to American consumers, with most individuals receiving $600 ($1,200 for married couples filing jointly) with an additional $300 per child. CEA feels that approximately $5 billion will be spent on consumer electronics. "Despite clear uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment, this new research coupled with shipment data for key categories like flat-panel TVs from CEA's shipment data program suggests technology remains essential to consumers... The outlook is bright indeed for our industry," said CEA Economist Shawn DuBravac.

 

03 / 21 / 08

Hearing Components NR-10 In Ear Monitors  Traveling audiophiles tired of hearing noises around them may want to try Hearing Components' new NR-10 in ear monitors ($79.95). As a supplier of commercial noise-reduction technology, the NR-10 utilize the same patented passive noise-blocking technology the U.S. Army helicopter crews and Special Forces employ. Noise reduction averages an impressive 48dB, while the monitors have a frequency range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and have a 16 Ohm impedance. The NR-10 comes with a 43-inch cable has a standard 3.5mm gold-plated stereo plug with integrated volume control. "As a frequent traveler, I'm constantly bothered by the ambient noise on airplanes," said Hearing Components president/CEO Dr. Robert Oliveira. "And as we worked with the National Institutes of Health to develop improved noise attenuation resulting in an increased signal-to-noise ratio for various audio listening devices, we realized that the same technology could help travelers like me. The NR-10 earphones virtually block out engine noise as well as other passengers. Now all I hear is pure music, even at low volumes."

 

Onkyo TX-SR506 ReceiverAudiophile seeking a reasonably-priced solid-state receiver with a stunning array of flexibility and room correction plus 24-bit/192kHz technology may want to check out the Onkyo TX-SR576 and TX-SR506 ($479 and $379 respectively). The 80 watt-per-channel TX-SR576 and 75 watt-per-channel TX-SR506 are the lowest priced receivers ever to include the company's Powered Zone 2 capability and front channel bi-amplification features. Both also include Audyssey's new Dynamic EQ loudness correction technology. These receivers each include three HDMI inputs, Audyssey 2EQ automatic room correction, and also mark the company's first implementation of its new Music Optimizer software, which improves fidelity for MP3 and AAC encoded digital music sources. The receiver is capable of processing separate multichannel and stereo sources simultaneously for the main and second zone, or processing a single source for both. For those with premium bi-amp'able loudspeakers, the rear surround channels can be reconfigured for this more powerful operating mode. The Audyssey 2EQ automatic calibration system featured on the Onkyo TX-SR576 and TX-SR506 receivers employs an included calibration microphone to analyze the system's acoustical output at three positions in the listening area. The receiver sends test signals to each speaker in turn, then uses the inputs from the microphone to adjust channel level and time delay settings for each speaker. By taking readings in three different positions in the room, the receiver can be calibrated to the speakers and environment. For accurate audio reproduction, both receivers employ 32-bit DSP processing and 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converters on all channels.

 

03 / 20 / 08

  Enjoy the Music.com now offers the April / May edition of The Absolute Sound (Issue 181) with complete table of contents and editorial! This edition's editorial by Robert Harley, titled Man Bites Dog, states, "The mainstream media consistently distorts and sensationalizes high-end audio — when it chooses to cover the subject at all. We've all seen the newspaper and magazine articles that portray those of us who pursue musical realism in the home as wild-eyed fanatics, out of touch with reality. The latest in this long and unfortunate procession is the "Portals" column in the January 16th Wall Street Journal... " You can see the table of contents and read the complete editorial by clicking here.

 

DALI Helicon 400 LE LoudspeakerCollaborating (6750€/pair). Finished in a stunning high gloss real piano black, the cabinets are lacquered and polished after each coat for enhanced depth and sheen to rival the world's finest pianos. The Limited Edition speakers prominently feature a golden logo badge on the front and a golden Limited Edition nameplate on the rear panel of each unique set of speakers. Featuring a proprietary DALI Hybrid tweeter module, this combination of 10 x 55 mm ribbon and a low-mass 25 mm soft dome provides two high performance high frequency drivers working in tandem. Low frequencies are reproduced by a pair of 6-inch drivers. The speaker is fitted with dual sets of high quality vice-grip screw terminals for bi-wiring/bi-amplification. Frequency response is from 31.5Hz to 27kHz (+-3dB) and sensitivity is 88dB/W/m with a nominal 4 Ohm impedance. Dimension are 40.4 x 10.6 x 19.8 (HxWxD in inches) and each unit weighs 70.4 lbs. Enjoy the Music.com's review of DALI's impressive Royal Menuet II can be seen by clicking here.

 

Holfi PRE NB1.5.1 PreamplifierHolfi is now selling their PRE NB1.5.1 (4500€, pictured) as the successor to their Pre NB1 and a new battery powered Power NB250 DC amplifier (11,850€). The PRE NB1.5.1 provides four extra channels to their standard version, for a total of six, for multi-channel playback for surround sound including home theater and SACD and DVD-Audio. Holfi uses a very short signal path with a no compromise layout for maximum speed and dynamics. With an Analogue Surround feature (only by Holfi) the center channel signal is mixed with the front speaker signal maintaining level and time delay. Holfi's Power NB250 DC is a battery powered stereo amplifier that produces 250 wpc in 8 Ohms without any use of global feedback. Intended for the very best speakers on the market, this unit comes with an external battery power supply, the PAPU 250, that houses 12 sealed and maintenance free batteries. In addition, a pair of batteries inside the power amplifier section allows for a total battery power supply of +/- 83 Volts. Owners of a standard Power NB250 can upgrade their unit to DC version. This amplifier has a super low 0.01 percent THD and a very wide frequency response from 1Hz to 120kHz (+0/-3dB).

 

03 / 19 / 08

Cisco Music  An e-mail just received from Cisco Music:

Dear family and friends,

Twenty years ago, Cisco Music started importing audiophile reissues from King and Three Blind Mice. Those were exciting times. The market rapidly expanded and other companies began issuing their own heavy vinyl releases.

In 1992 we began making our own heavy vinyl records. We took little steps with independent releases like Mozart's Haffner Symphony and Clair Marlo's Sheffield Lab classic Let It Go. Then came reissues for Vanguard, EMI, Universal and Sony/BMG. Our hands-on work ethic and deliberate attention to detail with artwork, mastering and production let us enjoy first-hand working on every one of these recordings. They all hold a special place in our musical hearts. Like any family that works together, we sometimes disagreed and argued; other times we laughed and kept close.

We sold quite a few records, too. 2004-2007 were four of the best sales years we have ever had, capped by the unheralded success of the Steely Dan LP Aja. Through kind attention from the audiophile press here and abroad plus word-of-mouth from consumers and our wholesalers, Cisco Music has come to be known as the source for the finest quality records in the world. We've gone from learning how to make great LPs to reaching the pinnacle of quality audiophile analog and digital product. No matter the size or austerity of a project, we invested all the passion, energy and resources at our disposal on each and every one.

The ultimate winner -- and the focus of all our efforts -- has always been the music loving consumer, the discriminating listener who knew great music and amazing sound and wasn't afraid to make an investment in them. We owe everything we have ever accomplished to the support of these bastions of good taste.

Due to a recent and severe downturn in the Japanese music industry, our owners, Cisco International Corp., has been forced to downsize their operations to remain profitable. Most of the famous Cisco Record Shops were closed. Offices (like the one in New York City) were boarded up. As part of these cuts, the otherwise profitable audiophile and production divisions have been slowly eliminated. First, the mastermind to our success Robert "Mr. Record" Pincus and our warehouse manager John Palomo were let go. Then our eagle eye production manager Shelley Danta was released. As soon as production on Famous Blue Raincoat 45-rpm and Gold CD is complete Robert Sliger will move on also.

The Famous Blue Raincoat product will be handled by Box Star Records. All preorders will be sold by and shipped by Box Star according to pricing set by us already. Please contact them with any questions regarding your orders after April 30th. The 45 rpm is tentatively scheduled to ship by late April or early May. The Gold CD is tentatively set for late May or early June. You may contact Box Star Records at:

BoxStar Records
1030 Mission Ridge Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
david@boxstarrecords.com

We will be offering our entire remaining inventory of LPs, CDs, Gold CDs and SACDs on a first-come-first-served basis....

It is with great sadness that I leave a favorite part of my business behind and release staffs that have shown such fervor, dedication and high standards of quality for the last decade. I will also miss interaction with vendors, distributors, wholesalers and consumers whose love of what we did made coming to work every day a rewarding experience. I hope to cross paths with many of you in the near future. It has been a blessing to know and work with you all and I wish you every possible success in our turbulent industry well into your future.

Best regards always,

Abey Fonn
President
Cisco Music, Inc.

 

 

Coincident Speaker Technology Super Victory loudspeakerCoincident Speaker Technology has just released their Super Victory loudspeaker ($9499/pr). Their high sensitivity of 92.5dB/W/m and smooth 10 Ohm impedance, aided by the use of a simple first order crossover and phase coherency ensures that SET 300B, 211 or even 2A3 tube amplifiers will mate optimally. High power handling capability will mean that high wattage power amplifiers will also work well. The Super Victory is essentially a smaller version of the Coincident Speaker Technology's Total Victory IV, with the same enclosure construction and materials, crossover components and basic drivers. A ribbon tweeter is mated with a single 7-inch proprietary composite midrange driver and side-mounted 12-inch Nomex cone woofer. Frequency response is from 25Hz to 35kHz, cabinet dimensions are 47 x 9 x 17 (HxWxD) and each weights in at 125 lbs. Enjoy the Music.com offers reviews of their ultra high sensitivity Triumph Signature loudspeaker (click here) and Partial Eclipse Mk II loudspeaker (reviewed here) plus a follow up (click here).

 

03 / 18 / 08

Naim Audio Power-Line Reference AC Mains Cable  Naim Audio, a highly respected high-end home audio and cinema equipment manufacturer, has just announced their Power-Line ($795 ) reference AC mains cable. The Power-Line's unique design is the result of two years research and development from hundreds of hours of experimentation. Following the company's extremely successful Hi-Line cable, Naim's Power-Line includes carefully selected IEC connectors that enable the cable for best sound. The Naim IEC connector was designed and tooled to allow some movement in the pins to reduce mechanical stress, and has double wiper blades on contacts to increase contact area. The floating rear cable clamping section has significant mass and isolation to reduce transferred energy transmission and resonance. For North America and Japan, the Power-Line is fitted with a WattGate 5266i cryogenically treated unplated brass AC mains plug. The wire itself consists of three 4mm2 conductors insulated by a material with excellent dielectric properties. The cable is covered with a rubber outer jacket, providing the perfect combination of mechanical self-damping and stiffness to aid cable dressing. Enjoy the Music.com offers reviews of various Naim products including their Stageline phonostage with Flat-Cap 2 power supply (click here), Naim's CDSII CD player (click here), the Nait 5 integrated amplifier (click here) and Naim's X Series system (click here).

 

Audioengine W1 Wireless Sender/Receiver SystemAudioengine launched their W1($149) premium wireless sender/receiver system. This new system send a stereo audio signal wirelessly and easily connects to virtually any MC, PC, or analog source. The plug-n-play ability makes setup quick and easy, with the overall signal having a range of up to 100 feet. CD-quality sound is assured as the transmitter employs the Avnera 48kHz/16-bit PCM system that operates at the 2.4GHz spectrum. Of note is that the Avnera system uses forward error correction and other techniques to avoid dropouts and latency. Audio inputs include either analog via RCA or mini (3.5mm) or USB jack from a computer. Users can either choose one sender to a virtually unlimited amount of signal receivers or use up to 40 separate systems, since this system can operate in 40 different 2MHz-wide channels. We have reviews of the Audioengine 5 powered monitor (click here) and their A2 powered minimonitor (click here).

 

03 / 17 / 08

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the March midmonth update of our Review Magazine that features an editorial Best Springtime Audio Show, where editor Steven R. Rochlin writes, "While Ringling Brothers may have "The Greatest Show On Earth," virtually no manufacturer can dispute that attending one of the January shows in Las Vegas is mandatory. Sadly, consumers can not, or at least not legally should, attend the Las Vegas CES. While The Show is open to the public, the other side of the proverbial circus is a closed-door affair to the general public. So where is the best public show to attend in the spring? After attending nearly 100 shows for well over a decade, to me the answer is easy. The High End Society's show in Munich, Germany. This show not only provides the public with a great event plus a staggering array of products not seen at any other springtime show, manufacturers can greatly benefit as hundreds of members of the press plus European and Asian retailers and manufacturers seek to expand their product lines."

 

03 / 14 / 08

  Acoustic Sounds own recording label Analogue Productions is now reissuing 25 cherry-picked Blue Note titles to be released on audiophile-grade vinyl throughout 2008. Limited to only 2,500 numbered editions, titles include Jackie McLean Capuchin Swing and Dexter Gordon Dexter Calling. Music enthusiasts can sign up for the series subscription, as this will guarantee they receive the same numbered-edition for each of the 25 Analogue Productions titles.

 

Germany's High End Society will be holding their High End show from April 24th through the 27th at the M.O.C. in Munich. This show, called the CES of Europe by some members of the press, is the largest audio show of its kind in Europe and continues to expand each year. In addition to Atrium 3, this year the large Atrium 4 and Hall 4 will be used as presentation and exhibition space. This brings the show's total floor space from 15,500 m˛ in 2007 to a staggering 18,373 m˛ (60,278 ft˛) in 2008. The number of conference rooms will increase by 21 rooms to a total of 83. Of note is that as if this writing all large conference rooms are booked. If you are an American or Canadian company take note, this is the best European show to get high quality international dealers and distributors to expand your sales base.

Location: M,O,C, Munich, Lilienthalallee 40
Duration: April 24th through 27th
Trade Day: Thursday, April 24th (only by pre-registration)
Open: From 10am through 6pm
Entrance fee:
Trade visitors: 20€ with pre-registration for all days
Public: 10€  per day or 20 € for family ticket (for 2 adults and up to 3 children)
Kindergarten on site free of charge
See Enjoy the Music.com's 2007 High End show coverage by clicking here.

 

03 / 13 / 08

Nightingale CR-1600 Power Line Conditioner  Italian manufacturer CD-1200 and CR-1600 ($4,600) line conditioners achieve maximum performances under any condition. The CD-1200 provides 1200 VA of power with a pair of 500VA and four 100VA rated electrical outlets while the CR-1600 handles 1600VA with a pair of 600VA and two 150VA and four 100VA electrical outlets. Filtering of the power supply is a specially designed low-pass filter that ensures an attenuation of 28dB @ 1kHz. Then a filter that increases to 60dB from 100kHz to 1 MHz is implemented. A specially designed oversized insulating transformer has as many separate secondary coils as output sockets as required. so that each individual outlet is equipped with its own filter. Voltage stabilization ensures that output voltage is obtained with a tolerance of 2.5 percent. The CR-1200 weighs 81 lbs while the CR-1600 is a very hefty 103 lbs. Enjoy the Music.com has a review of the Nightingale Gala vacuum tube stereo amplifier as seen here.

 

Antique Sound Labs UHC Signature Headphone Listening DeviceAntique Sound Labs (ASL), a longstanding manufacturer of high quality for the dollar audio manufacturer, now offers their UHC Signature ($200) headphone listening device. For those who want to use their amplifiers for headphone listening, the UHC Signature gold plated loudspeaker binding posts which feed an appropriate transformer for impedance matching. The signal is then sent to a 1/4-inch stereo headphone jack for ease of use. Internal wiring is kept extremely short to provide a very short signal path, which reduces the possibility of external distortion artifacts. There is a set of input and output loudspeaker binding posts and an On / Off switch, as this allows users to choose their amplifier to feed the headphone or their loudspeakers. Enjoy the Music.com has many reviews of equipment from ASL including the AQ1003 DT EL34-based integrated amplifier (click here), Phono LUX DT tubed phonostage (click here), MG-Head OTL 32 DT headphone amplifier (click here), KI22-FOX integrated amplifier (click here) and Flora EX DT line preamplifier (click here).

 

03 / 12 / 08

Danish Audio ConnecT (DACT) Attenuation Curve Calculator (ACC)  Danish Audio ConnecT (DACT) is now offering a free downloadable Attenuation Curve Calculator (ACC). As a useful tool to assist DACT customers and others interested in designing their attenuator (volume control) circuit, this free to use calculator will precisely show your results. The ACC is especially useful for calculating passive volume controls (passive preamps). The Attenuation Curve Calculator is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (version 5.0 or later) and requires as little as three input to run a complete set of curves. This tool shows the frequency response curve for each of upwards of 24 steps. In other words, the curves show the output signal from the attenuator at varying frequency. This equals the input signal for the unit following the attenuator, which is normally a preamplifier stage, possibly built into the power amplifier (passive volume control).

 

Music Interface Technology (MIT) Oracle AC2 Power CordMusic Interface Technology (MIT) Oracle AC2 power cord features the company's Z-Stabilizer circuitry ($3995 for 2 mete length). The Oracle AC 2 employs a unique conductor configurations with low-resistance silver-clad conductors of MIT's AC 1 and builds upon it. The AC2 provides the complete AC filter and power factor correction circuitry as originally found in the Z-Stabilizer (tuned for audio frequencies). This unique patented parallel circuitry is claimed to remove all frequencies other than 50Hz to 60Hz and improves the power factor so that components receive 50Hz to 60Hz 110V power. This results in noise free power and results in greater clarity, dynamics, and imaging at all volume levels.

 

03 / 11 / 08

AudioValve BPC-Pro  AudioValve's new Balanced Power Cord Pro (BPC-Pro, 178.00€ for 1.5-meter length) is constructed after careful development, with particular attention to physical requirements. A synthesis of selected materials and production processes ensures top quality sound according to the manufacturer. Of note is that special attention was paid to the problems connected to partial and vagabonding static charges along synthetic materials and their influence on signal quality. Audio Valve intentionally avoided emphasizing any perceived 'important' notions of traditional resistance, high frequency rejection and high bandwidth. While these are basic properties are fulfilled, the cable benefits from excellent characteristics by non-interference of the utilized materials with the current-carrying conductor and, therefore, with the sound.

 

Axiom Audio EP350 v3 SubwooferAxiom Audio EP350 v3 ($758) self-powered subwoofer mates a powerful 300 watt amplifier with a 12-inch cast basket aluminum driver all contained within a beautifully finished bass reflex ported wood cabinet. With an in-room response from 18Hz to 150Hz (+3dB/-9dB), the adjustable crossover and phase switch allows the EP350 v3 to easily mate with virtually any room and loudspeaker system. Both high level (loudspeaker) and line level (via RCA) inputs are provided. Special Vortex porting provides for strong deep bass output while greatly reducing any annoying port noise. Dimensions are 19.5 x 15 x 19.5 (HxWxD in inches) and the unit weights a hefty 76 lbs. Enjoy the Music.com offers reviews of the previous model plus others, and are the EP500 subwoofer (click here), Millennia M80Ti loudspeaker (click here) and Millennia M3Ti bookshelf loudspeaker (click here).

 

03 / 10 / 08

The Sharper Image  A friendly heads up to those audiophiles who might think about purchasing gift cards: What was once the high-end of gadgets, retailer The Sharper Image, is now suffering financial problems and it was reported earlier this month that they may not be accepting the gift cards purchased by consumers. In 2007, consumers spent approximately $26.3 billion in gift cards, with 2006 reaching $24.8 billion. Audiophiles should take note that the The Sharper Image announced late last month that it was no longer accepting their gift cards, at least temporarily. As they are under reorganize in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, gift cards may be considered a loan to the company and as such not pure cash. "If I knew this was going to happen, I would have used them right away," said Jon Tapper, a public relations executive from Boston who received two $25 Sharper Image cards as business gifts just a few weeks ago. Looking at the company's website today, it appears they are once again accepting gift cards as payment. Still, it is a friendly warning concerning the purchase of such cards and note any fees or limitations accordingly.

 

HiVi Swan D2.1se Premium Stand MonitorUnited States importer of HiVi's Swan loudspeakers alerted me to their new D2.1se premium stand monitor ($999/pr in gloss piano finish, add $50/pr for genuine hand-selected palisander rosewood, or add $150 for special birdseye maple burl). Swan's top-of-the-line 28mm Danish-style soft dome tweeter is mated with their hybrid poly cone midrange/woofer driver to produce frequencies from 43Hz to 20kHz. The midrange/bass unit employs a high-temp voice coil and a ventilated motor set in an alloy basket. The D2.1se's matching D-Stands are available for $229/pr. The HiVi Swan' sensitivity is 85dB/W/m and impedance is 8 Ohms. Each speaker weighs 24 lbs and measures 15.2 x 8 x 11.9 (HxWxD in inches).

 

03 / 07 / 08

Manley Labs Swag  Manley Labs has just opened up their cool Tubes Rule swag site where lovers of the brand can purchase various items including shirts, mugs, stickers, hats, drink coozie, tubes, etc. Items such as their long sleeve "Flaming Hot Triode" shirt ($25) is made with a 5.6 ounce heavyweight 100 percent preshrunk cotton fabric. Many types of vacuum tubes are also for sale including 5751 Sovtec Gold #1 grade, 7044 GE or 5687 NOS USA (equivalent), 5670 GE, plus Electro-Harmonix KT90 EH and EL34EH to name a few. Owners of Manley Labs gear can simply opt for complete retube kits at discounted prices. Reviews of Manley Labs gear now online on Enjoy the Music.com  include the Shrimp preamplifier (seen here), Shrimp preamplifier (click here), Neo-Classic 250 monoblock amplifiers (click here), and Stingray integrated amplifier (click here).

 

JoLida JD 402A AM/FM Stereo TunerRadio lovers with tube dreams may enjoy the JoLida JD 402A ($499) AM/FM stereo tuner. A pair each of the 12AX7 and 12AT7 provide analog amplification output while a crystal phase loop lock and AM/FM signal frequency synthesizing ensure stable reception. Low S/N signal to noise ratio of >40dB, high signal sensitivity of <20uV and selectivity of >20dB round out this design. There is 99 station presets for both AM and FM, an AC power off memory function plus easy to read LED display. Frequency range is from 87.5 MHz to 108MHz for FM and 522kHz to 1611kHz for AM. Analog output level is >2V while overall dimensions are 17 x 11.5 x 3.5 (WxDxH). Enjoy the Music.com has many reviews of high-end audio equipment by JoLida including their JD 300B amplifier (click here), 202A integrated amplifier (click here), factory modified JD 102B (click here), 102B integrated (click here) and JD100A CD player (click here).

 

03 / 06 / 08

Tributaries T12 Power Filter and Distributor  Audiophile cable and accessories manufacturer Tributaries  has introduced their T12 ($120) power filter and distributor. Offering flexibility, the Tributaries T12 features twelve outlets, of which eight can be rotated up to 90 degrees. As for surge protection, the T12 offers a highly effective 4320 joules of suppression plus noise filtering for AC power. In addition to power filtering, signal-line protection for telecomm (RJ-11), network (RJ-45), and video coax (F-connector) is included. By incorporating a pair of LEDs indicating the status of its operation, the blue "Grounded" LED will illuminate when the electrical system is properly grounded; the red "Protected" LED, when lit, shows the AC surge protection is operating properly. The T12 is rated for heavy duty use at 15 Amperes, which is good for upwards of 1875 watts of load. This new model features a $25,000 warranty for connected equipment and a three-year warranty on parts and labor.

 

Nad Electronics C 315BEE Stereo Integrated AmplifierNAD Electronics now offers their C 315BEE stereo integrated amplifier for the budget-minded audiophile ($349). Producing 40 wpc (conservatively rated), the new baby NAD can achieve an impressive 90 watts (into 8 ohms) dynamic power across the entire audible band with a mere 0.02 percent distortion. The C 315BEE also features PowerDrive-S, a new innovative version of NAD's successful PowerDrive technology, which combines high dynamic power with very low distortion when driving difficult low-impedance loads. Additional highlights include a hefty toroidal power transformer, low ESR smoothing capacitors, multiple regulated secondary supplies, heavy-duty discrete output transistors, bass and treble controls, defeatable tone controls, six line level inputs, a headphone jack, a front-panel input for portable MP3 players, multi-way speaker binding posts, and a full-function remote control. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed three products by NAD including PP1 phonostage (click here), the L53 DVD receiver (click here) and T763 surround sound receiver (click here).

 

03 / 05 / 08

AV123 x-statik Tower Loudspeaker  AV123's x-statik tower loudspeaker ($699/pr) combines high value for the dollar with quality driver compliment and hand finished custom cabinets. The new x-statik open baffle tower, designed from the ground up by AV123's Mark Schifter and renowned speaker designer Danny Richie, features a 2-inch front baffle and a 1-inch high quality MDF cabinet designed to minimize enclosure resonances. The open baffle three way, five driver open baffle/sealed hybrid design holds a 1inch treated fabric dome tweeter and four 6.5-inch curvilinear shaped treated paper cone drivers for midrange and bass duties. The crossover features high quality components including Sonicap bypass capacitors. Overall frequency response is from 65Hz to 20kHz (±3dB), sensitivity is 90.5dB/W/m and impedance is 8 Ohms (nominal). Each unit weighs 57 lbs and dimensions are 46.7 x 8.5 x 16.5 (HxWxD in inches). Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the AV123 Rocket Strata Mini loudspeaker, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

Wal-MartIs it time to kill the physical CD format? Perhaps not quite yet, though Wal-Mart feels it is time to drastically cut prices or else.... The world's largest retailer may be moving to a five-tiered pricing form where top new titles are priced at $10 while the recently popular CDs sell for $12. Those will be followed by the $9, the $7 middle range and $5 bargain discs. This would replace the current $13.88 to $9.88 format Wal-Mart generally offers at stores throughout the United States. "When you look at sales declines with physical product, and you have a category declining like it is, you have to make decisions about what the future looks like" said Wal-Mart's divisional merchandise manager for home entertainment Jeff Maas. "If you have a business that is declining and you want to turn it around, it really takes looking at it from all angles." It has been reported that top music label representatives are not happy about this lower pricing scheme, with quotes from various major record label employees saying, "I don't think this is a Wal-Mart discussion. I think this is a future-of-the-business discussion. Right now everyone is paralyzed." Other music label executives were quoted as saying "The decision might come down to: Do we give up 20 percent of our business (i.e., Wal-Mart) in order to not lose the entire business?... This sounds like the Hail Mary pass, and if it doesn't work, they could be out of the music business; or maybe they reduce music down to a couple of racks" Perhaps it is time to virtually kill the physical format in favor of uncompressed and/or lossless music downloads without DRM or other limitations.

 

03 / 04 / 08

Enjoy the Music.com On my.MSN.com  Enjoy the Music.com's daily Industry News updates are now available on my.MSN.com. Users of the highly popular MSN page can add Enjoy the Music.com's daily high-end audio Industry News to their content preferences. Reaching tens of millions of viewers each month, my.MSN.com provides a variety for information to consumers on a daily basis. With well over a decade of developing innovations, Enjoy the Music.com has a longstanding history of enabling our content to reach the widest possible audience. These innovations over the years include, but are not limited to, push-pull content to the desktop, Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), custom bookmark graphic for browsers and iPhone users, plus the world's only customized Internet high-end audiophile browser. Users of my.MSN.com will be updated each day with important high-end consumer audio industry news and events. In addition, they can easily click on the appropriate link to ascertain additional information on each topic featured. "As the only audiophile magazine to offer such diverse availability of content, today marks an important achievement in furthering the accessibility of high-end consumer electronics information to consumers all around the world," said Steven R. Rochlin, editor of Enjoy the Music.com. "With a recent study showing tremendous double-digit growth in sales of high-end entertainment system in the coming years, naturally consumers may seek product news and reviews before they make their purchase. Once again the internationally critically acclaimed Web site Enjoy the Music.com is here to assist our readership in choosing the best product that fits their needs. We are continually expanding our information-based Web site and now provide over 100 show reports from around the world plus hundreds of equipment and music reviews combined within our Superior Audio and Review Magazine. Enjoy the Music.com is the Internet's largest Web site for independent high-performance audio information, news, and worldwide show reports." You can easily learn how to add Enjoy the Music.com to your my.MSN.com page by clicking here.

 

03 / 03 / 08

Peak Consult Dragon Floorstanding Loudspeaker   Peak Consult's new Dragon large floorstanding loudspeaker is the culmination of countless hours of measurement and critical listening. This five driver three-way loudspeaker features high-end drivers and a impedance curve and electrical phase character like those found in top-end electrostatic designs. A Scan-Speak tweeter, the non-Ferro fluid 1-inch ring radiator version, employs a neodymium motor and aluminum chamber to produce frequencies up to 45kHz. Dual hand built Danish 6-inch Audiotechnology midrange drivers feature a uniquely-shaped cone and vented magnet system. For the lowermost frequencies, dual Danish 11-inch Audiotechnology woofers are specifically designed for the Dragon that include special technology in the moving systems for very low-loss. An acoustical fully compensated second order crossover in the tweeter/midrange section is isolated from the moving system in it's own dual sealed department. High-end parts within this section of the crossover network includes Dual Peak foil capacitors, silver carbon resistors and oiled/waxed inductors by Duelund Coherent products. The low frequency crossover section includes oiled/waxed-foiled inductors from Duelund Coherent products, with this system being altered by Peak Consult's straight level impedance control sealed in its own isolated compartment. The multifaceted enclosure is handcrafted by Peak Consult by skilled Danish artisans in a 1.5 to 3 inch HDF specially glued sandwich material covered by 1 inch solid wood or lacquered HDF. This 495 lbs. system has a frequency response from 18Hz to 45kHz (-3 dB), a sensitivity of 94dB/W/m and measures 57 x 15.4 x 27.6 (HxWxD in inches). Enjoy the Music.com has the world premier review of Peak Consult's Zoltan floorstanding loudspeaker as seen here

 

Parks Associates, an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services, has released a report claiming that the high-end entertainment systems market is projected to nearly double in five years. Their report states that "The adoption of networking technologies will make installed home theaters and multiroom audio systems more affordable, opening up this market to more consumers at low-to-medium income levels." Projected total United States revenues for such systems will grow from $6 billion in 2007 to more than $11 billion by 2012. New installations are said to grow 67 percent during this same period, growing from 166,000 in 2007 to 277,000 by 2012. "The high-end A/V market is in a major stage of transition," said Bill Ablondi, Director, Home Systems Research, Parks Associates. "Digital content is approaching the performance and quality of analog media, with the added flexibility only digital content offers. Reduced costs coupled with advancements in wireless and powerline networking technologies are also growing the retrofit portion of the market, at a time when mid-market construction is slowing down. Soon PC-based systems from companies such as Dell, HP, and Cisco will compete for customers who traditionally purchased systems from JBL, Sony, and Yamaha."

 

03 / 01 / 08

  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the March edition of our Superior Audio and Review Magazine filled with equipment and music reviews plus think pieces. Audiophile tweakers take note as a recent scientific study validates what many have known for years concerning the digital disc format! Check out this month's editorial by Steven R. Rochlin titled Audiophiles Are Not Crazy! to learn more.


Many new articles and think pieces are now online including...

Viewpoint Articles
Audiophiles Are Not Crazy!
Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 101: Home Theater Computer

Sound Practices
Forgetabout Amps! by Vincent Gallo 

BAS Speaker
Cartridge Brushes and Skating Force: Stanton Magnetics Replies to a Reader BAS Speaker 

Equipment Reviewed
Audio Quintessence Power Center
Esoteric Rek-O-Kut Sound Re-Equalizer II
Winter Tweakfest 2008: Windows, Floors and AVM (Blue Tube Goop)

Music Reviews
From Arkiv Music, a valuable Bartok reissue featuring Riccardo Chailly
A bouquet of Italian Baroque violin sonatas, from violinist Rachel Barton Pine and friends.
Mike McCarroll At The Crossroads
The Charlie Sizemore Band Good News
Various Bluegrass & Blues Albums
Alex Rosselli 2012
Tom Willner Rescue Me
Plus many others!

See the March Review Magazine by clicking here.

 


This month we have:
Spread Spectrum Technologies Ambrosia Pre And The Son Of Ampzilla 2000 Amp
Volent Paragon VL-3 Loudspeakers
Fun With Audio!: Revisiting the Delphi MK V Turntable With Oracle-SME 345 Tonearm Plus Van den Hul's Grasshopper

See the March issue of Superior Audio by clicking here.


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