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High-End Audio Industry News


03 / 30 / 12

HDtracks Muic  HDtracks is celebrating their fourth anniversary by offering 15% off an entire order! HDtracks.com has continued to enhance their website and expand their catalog, which now features timeless classics from Rod Stewart, Cat Stevens, The Doors, as well as brand new releases from Esperanza Spalding, Paul McCartney, Dream Theater and more. As a special thank you for four great years, to commemorate HDtracks' fourth anniversary they are offering a special five-day code good for 15% off your entire order. Simply add the albums to your shopping cart and enter, then apply the code hd4 to get 15% off your entire order. This one-time use code expires 11:59PM PST March 31, 2012.

 

03 / 29 / 12

25th Salon Son & Image de Montreal  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted part 1 of our Salon Son & Image de Montreal 2012 show coverage!  Organized by Les Nouvelles Éditions Alcyon, this event was held at the Hilton Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Montreal. Attendees had access to a wide range of high-end products plus expert information. A special Canada Pavilion showcased the expertise and know-how of Canadians, with featured products ranging from headsets, speakers, amplifiers, and CD players to turntables, digital audio converters for computers, cables, and much more. You can see part 1 of Rick Becker's coverage of the Salon Son & Image de Montreal 2012 at this link.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Led Zeppelin vs. Atlantic RecordsOn March 12th members of the legendary rock group Led Zeppelin have filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against Atlantic Records claiming royalties from the band's music have been withheld. James P. Page, Robert Plant, John Baldwin, Superhype Tapes, Patricia Bonham, Zoe Bonham and Jason Bonham have filed this legal action against Atlantic Records who will need to defend their activities. Popular songs by rock group Led Zeppelin include "Stairway to Heaven". This lawsuit covers the bands first five albums where Atlantic Records license has expired, yet Atlantic has allegedly refused to pay increased royalty fees that undoubtedly reaches into the many millions of dollars.

 

03 / 28 / 12

Acoustic Preference  Acoustic Preference, a high-end audio manufacturer from Slovenija, is now selling direct to consumers at lower-than-dealer pricing. According to the company, "The direct buy trough manufacturer is the best option of purchase for customer, of course if the purchase is safe. Acoustic Preference is one of the first companies in the high-end market industry, that has decided to upheld customers wishes, and start with the direct sells of our top-notch loudspeakers in 2012". Every AP speaker model is carefully handcrafted for a minimum of 50 hours. These hours includes those from skilled wood specialists, electronic construction, design solutions, testing and of course quality control. All parts are manufactured in EU and are of high-end audio quality. Of interesting note is that Acoustic Preference speakers may be available at some verified dealers; those who agree with the company's sales policy and are able to operate with minimal margins. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Acoustic Preference Gracioso 1.0 stand-mounted speaker and the Acoustic Preference Maestoso 2.0 floorstander.

 

Adam Audio F7 SpeakerAdam Audio's upcoming F-Series professional and high-end audio powered monitors employ the company's acclaimed accelerating ribbon technology (ART). The brand new F series are affordable and consist of two nearfield monitors and a dedicated subwoofer. Adam Audio's F7 and F5 nearfield monitors feature a newly designed smaller version of the ADAM proprietary Accelerating Ribbon Technology that reproduce the high frequencies. Mated to the tweeter is either a 5" or 7" midrange/woofer driver made from carbon and paper. The F5 includes two 25W (rms) Class AB amplification while the F7 use a pair of 40W amplifiers. Rear inputs on both units include XLR combo (jack) and RCA. Controls include a volume knob and two room EQ settings for both the high (>5 kHz) and the low (<300 Hz) frequencies. Adam Audio's SubF is a small yet powerful subwoofer, housing a robust 8“ woofer with an 1.5” voice coil. It is driven by a 150W (rms) ICE Power amplifier and includes several controls to adjust the subwoofer such as gain, crossover frequency and a phase switch. All models include a two year warranty. The F Series by Adam Audio is expected to be shipping in October 2012. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Adam A5 small desktop powered monitor and the Adam Audio Columns Mk. 3 floorstanders.

 

03 / 27 / 12

Enjoy the Music.com Android Application  Enjoy the Music.com app users get an advanced look at our April World Premiere review of the Classé CT-2300 stereo amplifier review by Anthony Nicosia! In his review, Anthony says, "The first Classé amplifiers were designed in the 1980's by its founder David Reich. It was back then while walking through a high end audio salon in San Francisco that I first laid eyes upon one such model. Being so long ago it is hard to remember which model but the positive sonic impression it made remained with me for many years to come. So when the opportunity finally arose to actually place one of their newest units into my very own audio system the decision was quite a simple one."  Enjoy the Music.com's Android and Windows Phone 7 application users can enjoy this special sneak peek this month! Android users can download the Enjoy the Music.com Android application by clicking here. Windows Phone 7 users can download the Enjoy the Music.com Windows Phone 7 application by clicking here.

 

Red Wine Audio Liliana Monoblock AmplifierRed Wine Audio's new Liliana ($6000 per pair) monoblock is the company's first battery-powered amplifier to unite high-current MOSFET outputs with their vacuum tube input stage. This unit produces 11 5wpc @ 8 Ohms and comes with the 6922/E88CC dual triode, yet this can be substituted for other tubes including the 6DJ8/ECC88, 7308/E188CC, 7DJ8/PCC88, 6N23, 6H23, 6N11 and 6GM8. This high-end audio custom designed battery powered Class A vacuum tube input stage is said to "deliver seductive midrange warmth and tone, a huge soundstage, and a sweet and airy top end – further enhanced by an uncanny absence of background noise". The Class AB MOSFET output can handle challenging inefficient speakers. An onboard microprocessor controls thermal and short-circuit management, plus another for SMART battery management, ensures high reliability over the years. There is a line level output pass through for those who seek to bi-amplify their speakers or to drive a powered subwoofer. The vacuum tube is covered by a removable clear acrylic windows (pictured here) to provide easy access for tube rolling. Dimensions are 12 x 14 x 4.5 (WxDxH in inches) and each monoblock weighs 16 lbs.

 

03 / 26 / 12

Hi-Fi+ Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the April edition of Hi-Fi+ (Issue 88)! This issue includes reviews of the Arcam FMJ D33 digital to analogue converter, Wilson Benesch Vertex standmount loudspeakers, Monitor Audio Gold GX300 floorstanding loudspeakers, Rogue Audio Medusa hybrid Class D power amplifier, Audio Research PH8 phonostage, Antelope Audio Zodiac Gold DAC  / preamp / headphone amp, Magnepan Mini Maggie desktop audio system and much more. Within Alan Sircom's editorial titled Global Expansion he says, "We are fast becoming a global market. The parochial and myopic view of audio that we all seem to have shared in the past is ebbing away fast. But there are still hold-outs. There are still people who cannot think past country boundaries, and that they only want to buy local products from local brands. While from a patriotic standing this might make good sense, it's ultimately self-defeating; because if a brand only plays to the home crowd and the home crowd has a bad couple of years, the brand may not survive." You can see the complete table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi+ by clicking here.

 

Hi-Fi WorldEnjoy the Music.com has just posted Hi-Fi World's Volume 22 Number 3 (May 2012) edition including the complete editorial and table of contents. This issue includes reviews of the Mac Mini Audio AP Special tuned-for-audio unit, Audio Analogue Cheru bini VT tuner / USB / DAC, the Brostol show report, looking back at the Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck, Grado PS500 headphones, Mission 774 tonearm and more! The editorial titled Within This Issue by Noel Keywood says, "No one produces new loudspeakers faster than Martin Logan it would seem, so we have yet another new model in this issue, the amazing £9500 Montis on p12. We never miss a Martin Logan, because these hybrid electrostatics are all but unique and have their own astonishing sound. I hope you enjoy reading about them. Dare I admit their Theos has just arrived at our offices for review soon!" See the complete May table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi World by clicking here.

 

03 / 23 / 12

Jazz At The Pawnshop & Ella And Louis  HDtracks offers the legendary album Jazz At The Pawnshop in audiophile quality 88kHz/24-bit! To celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the finest jazz audiophile albums ever made, Jazz At The Pawnshop has been transferred to high resolution digital music download. Originally recorded in Stockholm in December 1976 by famed recording engineer Gert Palmcrantz, Jazz At The Pawnshop featured revolutionary audio recording techniques and jazz improvisation at its very best. The group, performing in the Pawnshop jazz club, was led by alto saxophone player Arne Domnérus, who was once described by Charlie Parker as "a very good player, almost as good as me." Pianist Bengt Hallberg had impressed Stan Getz when moving through the strangest of keys without any effort, and the rhythm section of bass player Georg Riedel and drummer Egil Johansen was the greatest in Sweden at the time. Also available on HDtracks is the legendary album Ella And Louis that features Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Two of the most influential and popular voices in modern music, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong form a jazz dream team on Ella and Louis. A once-in-a-lifetime masterpiece, their distinctive vocals meld seamlessly together along with Armstrong's exceptional trumpet playing. This recording has become the touchstone and template for jazz vocal duets. Features the excellent quartet of Oscar Peterson (piano), Buddy Rich (drums), Herb Ellis (guitar) and Ray Brown (bass).

 

Blue Horizon Profono PhonostageBlue Horizon's new Profono (£695) phono preamplifier seeks to deliver high-end sound quality and cartridge compatibility at an affordable price. This England based company took two years to design and engineer the unit. From the ground up, Profono is designed and built to be a genuinely high-end phono preamplifier. Carefully selected premium-grade components and materials are used throughout. Instead of cheap 'dip switches', Blue Horizon used a series of shunt resistors to set cartridge impedance on the Profono. To minimize noise and distortion, the Profono's power supply unit is housed separately and connected via a detachable cable. PSU upgrade options are scheduled to be available at a later date. A switch on the Blue Horizon Profono's rear panel gives three settings for cartridge gain: moving coil low (50dB), moving coil high (61dB) and moving magnet (41dB). The case is aluminum, with individual corner extrusions holding the aluminum panels together. Case dimensions are 170 x 70 x 105 (LxHxW in mm) and the unit weighs 2.2 lbs.

 

JBL Nightlife Series SpeakersJBL's Nightlife Series of loudspeakers were designed to be Slim yet powerful, unobtrusive yet gorgeous in glosssy piano black. All models use JBL's in-house custom made 1" precision soft dome tweeter mated to JBL's EOS waveguide. The tweeter's dome material is injected with multiple polymers for strength. The voice-coil rides between strong magnets whilst the Dispersion Guide ensures the sound spreads at a wide angle. Midrange and bass rivers employ paper cones said to possess "the most natural sound of all driver materials" according to JBL. The paper is reinforced with a proprietary copolymer that provides additional stiffness and damping to the cone surface. The units are specially ported to extend the speaker's low frequency response. The rigid MDF cabinet reduces unwanted resonance from affecting the sound quality produced by the enclosure. The Nightlife NL300 is the series top model and uses three 5" drivers mated to a 1" silk dome tweeter. Frequency response is from 45 Hz to 20 kHz, impedance is 8 Ohm and sensitivity is 92/dB/W/m. Dimensions of the JBL Nightlife NL300 are 42x12x12 and weight is 33 lbs..

 

03 / 22 / 12

Siltech SAGA C1 Amplifier  Siltech Cables, a high-end company based in Holland with more than 25 years of experience, will be showcasing their SAGA C1 plus the V1 and P1 at the upcoming Munich High End 2012 event. The SAGA amplifier concept's goal was make an amplifier as good as Siltech's top cables. This led the company to a totally new amplifier concept called SAGA, Structural Amplifier Gain Architecture. The already introduced C1 battery powered valve control amplifier by Siltech will be joined by the V1 and the P1. These together form the SAGA equivalent of a regular power amplifier. The C1/V1/P1 combination is claimed to "offer a dynamic range that is close to that of our cables. This was largely achieved by evaluating and consequently improving the gain structure. But also by using battery power supplies, the best components, feedback-less design and very sturdy chassis. The SAGA concept increases the dynamic range by 10 dB or more therefore they are spectacularly absent.... In a way you could say that the sound quality of the SAGA amplifiers is unheard of and we're proud of it."

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Pioneer DVR-A04Pioneer Electronics is aggressively going after the lucrative recordable DVD market with their new DVR-A04 drive that is expected to retail at only $500. The new Pioneer drive will be used within computer systems and is able to read and write to DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R and CD-RW discs. The new drive also provides wider compatibility, higher speeds, lower noise, UDMA33 support and buffer under-run protection for both CD and DVD recording than Pioneer's previously released DVR-A03. This is the very beginning of providing recordable DVD for consumers at a 'reasonable' price (for 2002). Today, in 2012, DVD is considered low-end as Blu-ray writers are now standard.

 

03 / 21 / 12

M2TECH hiFace Two  M2TECH's new hiFace Two ($179) USB 2.0 to S/PDIF marks the next generation of this award-winning popular device. It provides high resolution digital audio up to 24-bit/192kHz from your PC, MAC or Linux computer (yes Linux too!). M2TECH says that this unit has very low jitter oscillators and asynchronous transfer on USB. Whilst the HiFace may look like a small USB memory device, it features a very compact size and driverless installation for those who use either Mac and Linux computers. Windows users only need to install a single standard driver. As a comparison, the old hiFace offered Direct Sound, Kernel Streaming and WASAPI transfer modes. The new M2TECH hiFace Two adds ASIO mode to enable interfacing to pro players and software tools. hiFace improved the audio performance over the original hiFace by a new output circuit compliant with S/PDIF levels and linear regulators in place of switching ones and a clickless operation even when skipping tracks. You can see Enjoy the Music.com's world premiere review of the original hiFace USB to S/PDIF unit by clicking here.

 

03 / 20 / 12

Axiom Audio Omnidirectional Linear Field Radiating Speaker  Axiom Audio's debut of their Omnidirectional Linear Field Radiating Speakers ($3760 USD per pair including delivery within Canada or USA) will be at the upcoming Montreal show. The work of Audio Engineer Andrew Welker and Axiom President and Founder, Ian Colquhoun, the linear field radiating omnidirectional speaker marks a departure from Axiom's traditional loudspeaker designs. Among the many innovations used in this speaker, it features 11 drivers, front and rear, which are controlled by a total of two stereo DSPs. The sophisticated tailoring of each DSP section is said to "provide the incredible depth of soundfield audiophiles crave in a speaker, but with the same neutral tonal balance and pinpoint imaging for which Axiom speakers are renowned." Nominal impedance is 4 Ohms front and rear and they require four matched channels of amplification: right front, right rear, left front, and left rear. The speakers include a four-channel balanced DSP in its own case which sits between the preamplifier and the amplifiers. It accepts the main right and left channels from the preamplifier and outputs 4 channels, 2 for the right speaker and 2 for the left speaker, to the amplifiers. The base models come in Boston Cherry or Black Oak, while other finishes available include real wood and custom vinyl.

 

03 / 19 / 12

Crystal Cable Absolute Dream  Crystal Cable, a multi-award earning company based in The Netherlands, will soon be shipping their new Absolute Dream series of cables. As Crystal Cable's new top of the line series of cables, the Absolute Dream is squarely positioned above the internationally appraised Dreamline series. It is the company's first cable to use pure mono crystal technology in both the core and the braided shielding. The pure mono crystal silver core is covered with Dupont's Kapton and PEEK as dielectric and two shielding layers, one layer of silver plated mono crystal copper and one layer of gold plated mono crystal silver. The braid is covered by a transparent sleeve giving the cable a unique appearance while maintaining the Crystal Cable identity. Four coaxes are twisted into one cable using Crystal Cable's custom designed and built cable twister that ensures perfect 45 degree twisting without stressing the metal. Two coaxes are used for the audio signal, further improving the signal-to-noise ratio and lowering the micro distortion to the bare minimum. The other two coaxes work in the unique and patented Crystal Cable Bridge set-up. The cables are terminated using Crystal Cable specified carbon Furutech connectors and newly developed identification barrels hold laser engraved serial numbers. Crystal Cable's Dreamline series and will be available immediately after High-end Munich 2012 as interlink, loudspeaker cable and power cord. USB and FireWire will become available later in the year.

 

Epiphany Acoustics AtratusEpiphany Acoustics, a British company born by Oliver Freeborn as a new manufacturer on the block with a fresh take on high-end audio products, now has their new Atratus RCA interconnect (£45 for 1 meter pair). The Epiphany Acoustics Atratus analog stereo interconnect has been developed according to the company's philosophy of using superior components, real world engineering principles and of course a careful consideration to aesthetics. These audiophile RCA interconnects are constructed with high purity, heavy gauge copper conductors and terminated with heavy duty RCA plugs. A copper braid and foil dual shield construction is used to ensure that the signal remains unpolluted by extraneous electromagnetic interference (EMI).

 

03 / 16 / 12

  HDtracks and ABKCO Records' offer super high definition digital downloads of the Rolling Stones original catalog of studio, compilation and live albums in FLAC formats. These Rolling Stones gems are offered in both 24-bit/176.4kHz and 24-bit/88.2kHz. ABKCO's Rolling Stones albums are available exclusively from HDtracks online store. This campaign follows in the footsteps of the release by ABKCO Records/HDtracks of four classic Sam Cooke albums. "This ABKCO Rolling Stones collection in high resolution is a combination of the utmost care in re-mastering, the best technology in A/D conversion and the highest resolution files available on the web. Our goal is to bring out every musical nuance that occurred at the original recording session and deliver it to your home for your musical enjoyment," says David Chesky, HDtracks co-founder. You can get many Rolling Stone, Sam Cooke and other ABKCO releases in high resolution audio by clicking here.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
The fight against audio CDs using copy protection is gaining more support as Virginia Democratic Representative Rick Boucher and CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) President and CEO Gary Shapiro have made public statements concerning the recent recording labels efforts. "The RIAA's response... does little to relieve my concern that consumer fair-use protections are being threatened by what we now see is the intended widespread introduction into the United States of copy-protected CDs," Boucher said yesterday. Of course the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) who represents the major recording labels feels that music CDs should be copy protected. In fact the RIAA recently gave $25,000 to the Association for Independent Music so they can together fight off the possible legalities of copy protected audio CDs released here in America (see our 3/13/02 news story for more on this subject). Meanwhile a bill sponsored by Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings contains legislation that would require virtually all digital electronic devices (audio CD/DVD-A/SACD players, PC, digital camcorders, etc.) to restricts the copying of music or movies. This bill could be introduced within a few weeks and force manufactures to include this type of copy protection device in all effected electronics within a few years.

Gary Shapiro said in a prepared statement "We commend Representative Boucher for his attention to this important consumer issue. The ability to use a lawfully purchased CD to make compilations or transfer music to other devices is a time-honored consumer right and must be preserved as technology advances. The deployment of copy-protected CDs threatens to unilaterally eliminate Americans' fair use right to noncommercial audio home recording. The fact that these copy protected CDs will not play on many legacy players already in the home and on CD players today on the retail shelf, combined with the lack of adequate labeling, will inevitably lead to confused, frustrated and no doubt angry consumers. Manufacturers also are concerned about possible audio quality degradation in these copy protected CD's that will result in sub par sound that consumers pay for and have a right to expect when they purchase a CD. We urge Rep. Boucher and other members of Congress to move forward in ensuring that America's non-commercial home recording rights are protected.

"While only two titles with copy protection are available in America at this time, the major labels are releasing many more of these titles in Europe. We here at Enjoy the Music.com officially stand against the possible illegal actions being taken by the major recording labels who may be going against the fair use laws that allow consumers the ability to make personal copies of their music. Furthermore, Enjoy the Music.com does not support Napster, KaZaa, Morpheus, Grokster or other services that are illegally allowing music to be distributed. This not only robs musical artists of their earned income, it also lowers the overall perception of music's value. To help fight the major recording labels efforts please see the Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine editorial Fight The Power! Or Do You Enjoy Losing Your Rights? by clicking here. If we fast-forward to today, in 2012 all those protection scheme failed miserably and Sony's rootkit to protect CDs, software that hid itself within a computer and was more like a deeply hidden virus than a program, actually hurt Sony greatly as their crippleware rootkit become known to the public. Sony's reputation took a big hit due to their secret rootkit on their CDs being installed on consumer's personal computers without the approval of the computer owner.

 

03 / 15 / 12

AXPONA 2012  Part two of Mr. A. Colin Flood's AXPONA 2012 report from Jacksonville Florida for Enjoy the Music.com is now online! AXPONA took place from March 9th through the 11th and featured many great high-end audio products. AXPONA 2012 took place at the Omni Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida and naturally we were there to report on this event. Enjoy the Music.com's coverage of AXPONA 2012 part two by A. Colin Flood can be seen at this link.

 

Parasound Zcd Compact Disc PlayerParasound a USA-based manufacturer of high-end audio components, has introduced the Zcd compact disc player ($400) as part of its popular Z Custom line of half-width rack-mountable components. While small in size, the Zcd has a high-performance Cirrus Logic CS4353 24-bit/192kHz DAC and a fully independent power supply for the analog circuits. With its built-in preamplifier functions, the Zcd and included remote control can be teamed with an amplifier and a pair of speakers to make a compact audio system. The Zcd plays conventional Compact Discs as well as MP3 files from a CD-R. It also functions as a basic DAC plus preamplifier with a USB input for MP3 files on a flash drive. Parasound's Zcd has an analog 3.5 mm stereo line input jack for portable players and other line-level sources. The Zcd also has fixed and variable line outputs as well as S/PDIF coaxial via RCA and TosLink optical digital audio outputs. The source selection, track and MP3 file selection, and variable outputs are all operated via the supplied remote control. The Zcd volume adjustments are controlled by an independent analog volume control IC, not digitally inside the DAC. The Zcd's 24-bit/192 kHz Cirrus Logic CS4353 DAC with a Cirrus Logic CS8416 digital receiver circuitry boasts fifth-order multi-bit delta-sigma architecture with low latency digital filtering. It also includes analog filtering and differential linearity. For custom installers, the Zcd has a rear-panel IR input and one-way RS232 serial control port. There are three turn-on options: manual, automatic when AC is supplied, and 12V trigger. Like all Parasound Z Custom components, it is one rack-space high and 9.5-inches wide; half of a standard rack width. It can be used with Parasound's SBS side-by-side bracket to link two Z Custom units together, or Zblank for mounting across one rack space. Parasound also offers its half-width Zrack for mounting up to five Z Custom components.

 

03 / 14 / 12

MBL C15 Monoblock Amplifier  MBL, a Berlin based award winning German manufacturer of high-end audio products, has just introduced their C15 monoblock power amplifier (€9600). Scheduled to be officially introduced at the High End 2012 in Munich, the C15 amplifier will join the existing new Corona Line of mbl C31 CD player, mbl C11 preamplifier, mbl C51 integrated amplifier and mbl C21 stereo power amplifier. MBL's C15 has a smooth aluminum surface and internally implements MBL's LASA-technology (Linear Analog Switching Amplifier). The new monoblock produces 500 watts @ 4 Ohms and is aided by a hefty power supply that includes transformers that are screened off with magnetically shielded partitions encapsulated in MU metal. On the rear of the unit appear both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) inputs plus hefty gold-plated loudspeaker binding posts. Loudspeakers can be wired in single or in bi-wiring mode. An intelligent MBL SmartLink network enables the Corona devices to talk with one another via standard Ethernet cables. Updates for equipment software can simply be uploaded via the integrated SD card reader.

 

03 / 13 / 12

Furutech ADL Cruise  Furutech is now shipping the new Alpha Design Labs (ADL) Esprit DAC digital preamplifier, Stride portable headphone amplifier, and iD-30P series iDock cables. The Esprit is a compact USB DAC/Preamplifier with digital as well as analog inputs. Completely control an analog, digital or computer-based system while recording vinyl or any other analog or digital source to hard disk. The headphone amplifier can easily drive 32 to 600 Ohm headphones. The Stride is a 'Hip Younger Brother' to the ADL Cruise headphone amplifier. The Stride's Black or Silver aluminum body is somewhat more low-key than the ADL Cruise's mirror-polished stainless-steel and gorgeous carbon fiber body (pictured here). The unit delivers high-end sound when listening to low-bit-rate downloads or high resolution music files. Users simply connect their computer to the Stride with one of Furutech's matching ADL Formula 2 USB cables or the new i-D35SP analog stereo cables. The iD-30P Series of personal audio cables connect to iDocks, headphone amps, home audio and even car systems. The iD-30P series are engineered and produced with Furutech's Pure Transmission technology and feature silver-plated Alpha OCC conductor (28AWG) for minimal transmission loss and 24k gold-plated USB A-type or 3.5mm stereo connector straight or angled. The cable achieves top-grade noise isolation using double-layer shielding – aluminum foil and tinned copper – in a RoHS-compliant sheath. The main conductors are treated with Furutech's Alpha Process – a deep cryogenic and demagnetizing process.

 

03 / 12 / 12

AXPONA 2012  The AXPONA 2012 Jacksonville Florida event coverage by Enjoy the Music.com is now online! AXPONA took place from March 9th through the 11th and featured many great high-end audio products. AXPONA 2012 took place at the Omni Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida and naturally we were there to report on this event. Enjoy the Music.com's coverage of AXPONA 2012 by A. Colin Flood can be seen at this link.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Hitachi, LG Electronics, Matsushita, Pioneer, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sharp, Sony and Thomson have all agreed to support the new recordable Blu-ray Disc optical 12cm disc format that holds 27GB of data (almost six times current DVD's capacity). A newly developed 405nm blue-violet laser (unlike current DVD-Video's 650nm red laser) allows the player to read smaller pits and lands, thereby yielding more data for the same-sized disc. This new Blu-ray system has a reported data transfer rate of 36Mbps, thereby giving it the ability to record two hours of digital high-definition broadcasts, or more than thirteen hours of standard NTSC TV broadcast. Of course the 27GB of storage can also be used for high resolution audio or for standard data storage/backup as well.

 

03 / 09 / 12

HDtracks Ringo 2012  HDtracks now has Ringo Starr Ringo 2012 and Dream Theater A Dramatic Turn Of... in 24-bit/96kHz! Ringo 2012 is the new release by legendary musician Ringo Starr, who everyone knows was the drummer of the Beatles. Ringo Starr releases his seventeenth studio recording, Ringo 2012, with his strong vocal harmonies and prominent drumming. This cheerful nine track collection features five new compositions and a rendition of Buddy Holly's "Think It Over." The album opens with "Anthem," a track full of Starr's signature peace and love. Masterfully produced by Ringo, the album features a star-studded lineup which includes Joe Walsh, Van Dyke Parks, Charlie Haden, Dave Stewart, Richard Page, Benmont Tench, Steve Dudas, among others. Dream Theater's A Dramatic Turn Of... from this highly regarded prog-rock giant delivers a career-defining work. A Dramatic Turn of Events is undoubtedly one of their strongest outings and was voted by Rolling Stone readers as "One of the Best Prog Rock Bands of All Time". The album marks the second consecutive top ten debut in Billboard's Top 200 for the band. The sublime recording is full of the band's breathtaking technical prowess, jaw-dropping virtuosity and stylistic lyrics. Their melodic throwback "On the Backs of Angels" was nominated for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance at the 54th annual Grammy Awards. You can get these and many more great music titles in high resolution by visiting HDtracks.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
WAVAC HE-833Highly respected audiophile/recording engineer Steve Hoffman has added WAVAC Audio Lab's HE-833 100 watt monoblock single-ended triode amplifiers as reference during mastering. Steve Hoffman, who is the mastering guru behind the audiophile label DCC that produces both gold CDs and vinyl reissues, chose the WAVAC amplifiers to augment the WAVAC MD-300B amplifier Mr. Hoffman recently used in mastering the soon to be released Judy Garland double album of Alone and Judy in Love (S&P Records SPR-703). "tmh audio, the North American distributor of WAVAC Audio products, is honored to be associated with Steve and the upcoming releases using these exceptional WAVAC Audio SET amplifiers to obtain even higher levels of sonic purity and his amazing "breath of life" signature sound" said today's press release. Reviews of WAVAC gear by Enjoy the Music.com include their EC-300B amplifier and the MD-811.

 

03 / 08 / 12

Sumiko Carbon Turntable  Sumiko just announced the successor to the Pro-Ject Debut III, with their new Carbon Turntable ($399). Pro-Ject creates a basic, yet performance driven, turntable at an affordable price. Over the last decade the Debut, in its several iterations, has become a choice for those seeking an entry-level turntable. April 2012 sees the release of the Debut Carbon, which features a rethinking of the Debut platform to thus set a new standard. The most profound upgrade is the addition of the 8.6" completely carbon fiber tonearm that increases stiffness while decreasing unwanted resonances resulting in a higher fidelity presentation of your treasured recordings. Fitted to the carbon fiber arm is a true high-end cartridge, the 2M Red by Ortofon. This arm/cartridge combination is quite capable of excellent tracking and recovery of the musical nuance found within the records grooves. The attractive resonance-reducing MDF plinth supports a heavier 300mm diameter metal platter for smoother rotation and lower wow and flutter. Additionally, a felt record mat is employed for superior record support and coupling. The platter and plinth assembly sits upon four-point “O”-ring feet designed for energy absorption and the plinth-mounted motor is isolated by a new Sorbothane suspension keeping unwanted noise and vibration to a bare minimum. Chassis mounted RCA output jacks allow for the use of higher quality interconnects for even better sonic performance. The Debut Carbon is offered in seven high-gloss fashion colors (Black, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Silver or White) and a full-sized hinged dustcover is included.

 

High Fidelity Cables CT1 InterconnectHigh Fidelity Cables is a new company fronted by Rick Schultz, formerly of Virtual Dynamics, and according to the company "brings a unique product to an oversaturated cable market". The company knows that a new cable company appears every week and the general reaction is 'not another one', yet High Fidelity Cables does have a difference. Their cables magnetic conduction gives measurable reductions in THD and IHD, with improved signal-to-noise ratio. There are five patents pending with their design plus the RCA connector has been designed from the ground up with over 40 parts. High Fidelity Cable's Magnetic Conduction is a patent pending technology for signal transfer. It uses controlled magnetic fields as the pathway for the signal. Third Party testing at the University of Toronto has shown dramatically reduced distortion and increased signal to noise ratio compared to conventional cables. The first product to be released is the CT-1 Interconnect Cable ($1600 per meter, pictured here). It features a custom designed RCA connector which contains over 40 parts and houses the Magnetic Conduction circuit technology. The CT-1 conductor is a proprietary alloy specifically designed to work with this technology. According to the company, "Magnetic Conduction's ability to reduce distortion gives an unbelievable level of clarity and tonal accuracy to music reproduction. The CT-1 Interconnect reveals subtle details and ambient cues that are normally obscured with conventional cables."

 

03 / 07 / 12

25th Salon Son & Image de Montreal  Canada's 25th Salon Son & Image de Montreal, organized by Les Nouvelles Éditions Alcyon, will be held at the Hilton Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Montreal from March 22 to March 25, 2012. The promoters expect more firsts and innovations than ever before. Attendees will have access to a wide range of high-end products plus expert information. "While this year marks an important milestone in the history of the event, its focus will not just be on the latest products available; music lovers will have the chance to learn about and discuss the issues closest to their hearts," explains technology columnist François Charron, who returns as Salon spokesman for the second consecutive year. "They'll also receive invaluable information and expert advice to help them build on their passion." Video enthusiasts can see, for the first time, Sony's ultra high-definition 4K (VPL-VW1000ES) home theater projector. Of note is that Sony will also be showing their $27,000 SR-A1 speaker system. A Canada Pavilion will showcase the expertise and know-how of Canadians, with featured products ranging from headsets, speakers, amplifiers, and CD players to turntables, digital audio converters for computers, cables, and much more. During the three days of the Salon will be a variety of seminars and discussions. You can see Enjoy the Music.com's previous coverage of the Salon Son & Image de Montreal at this link.

 

High End Society High End 2012Germany's High End Society's High End 2012 event will take place from May 3rd to 6th, 2012, at the M.O.C. in Munich. This highly successful European specialist trade fair sets the tone in Europe. The entire range of high-tech products are under a single roof. From tubes and hornspeakers to ribbons and solid-state to pure digital or turntables, the High End 2012 integrates all technologies that transport music. A wide variety of lectures will be held to educate and answer attendee's questions.

 

Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show 2012 (TAVES 2012)The Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show (TAVES) will take place between September 28 and 30 at Le Meridien King Edward hotel. In 2012, TAVES will offer more audio video seminars and demonstrations, while offering double the seating space. According to the promoter, "A number of exciting new show features will also be announced in the coming months." The 2012 TAVES will showcase the latest consumer electronics products and technologies from both mainstream and enthusiast brands. Products on display will range from entry-level components to the high-end and everything in between. A number of exhibitors will present the visitors with the opportunity to purchase accessories, music discs, vinyl albums and Blu-ray discs. You can see Enjoy the Music.com's first edition (2011) of TAVES at this link.

 

03 / 06 / 12

Densen Audio Technologies B-475 CD Player  The new Densen Audio Technologies B-475 (€7500) Superleggera top model CD player is the second Superleggera product from the company. The term Superleggera will not be unfamiliar to connoisseurs of advanced sports cars, as this Italian term, meaning super light weight, has been used to describe the chassis of some of the best and most famous sportscars ever made. Densen's Superleggera products are divided these into two, thus allowing the audio circuit to be totally separated from the power supplies mechanically and electromagnetically. Densen's B-475 has a huge power supply housed within its own cabinet, while the delicate audio circuit is in the Superleggera cabinet. The power supply of the B-475 is placed in a cabinet named 2NRG, which contains no less than three custom made transformers (each with two separate windings). Each audio channel of the Densen B-475 Superleggera CD player has its own transformer and no less than 200,000 uF of Densens own capacitors, and rectifying by the use of ultrafast and precise diodes. The third transformer supplies the microprocessor, CD drive, display etc. All in all the 2NRG has no less than 510,000 uF in the form of 51 custom made capacitors. This CD player's signal comes from the heavily modified disc transport, with external clock control to avoid jitter by using same clock in both sending and receiving end of the data stream. This signal passes trough the advanced PCB layout to the DAC, and further on through the analog stage that uses Densen's zero feedback Class A topology. While the CD drive is modified with an external clock controller to ensure signal accuracy, the analog stages are based on Densen's famed 6 watt Class A amplifier stage. The DAC is a 24 bit type. On the rear of the unit are two stereo pairs analog linestage outputs via RCA, coax S/PDIF input and output via RCA and of course Denlink. The B-475 is available in either albino finish with chrome push buttons, or black with either chrome or gold push buttons.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Wavelength Audio CenturyWavelength Audio's Sine New Century Edition ($5000) is a transformer-coupled, dual 6GM8 tube-based pre-amplifier with RF/antenna-based remote control. It uses a string of batteries for low impedance and noise and features three inputs and one tape loop controlled by relays. A remote power supply can supply power to two additional units like the Tangent v2 and Cosine V3.5. Also new from Gordon Rankin is the Venus parallel-feed, all silver 45-based SET ($12,500 to $15,000) with dual-choke filtered power supply and Black Gate WKZ capacitors. A 5842/417A input tube is capacitor-coupled to the 45 triode operated in self-bias mode that eschews all solid-state or DC filament supplies. A rear-mounted 20-turn potentiometer adjusts hum that is spec'ed at a very low 0.25mv. A 100% silver-wired output transformer in parallel feed generates 3 watts of power using the VV45 tube for 8 Hz to 50 kHz (-3dB) claimed frequency response. The $15,000 version upgrades the transformer's standard iron core for cobalt iron for ultimate performance.

 

03 / 05 / 12

AXPONA 2012  The AXPONA Jacksonville Florida event will take place from March 9th through the 11th and feature many great high-end audio products. Also of note is that the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra joins AXPONA and will hold some special events. AXPONA 2012 takes place at the Omni Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida. As the first-ever audio expo and symphony orchestra collaboration, the expo welcomes the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's performances within their concert hall. The concert weekend features Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, one of the "A-list" works for the classical audiophile. AXPONA's Steve Davis is excited to bring the expo back to Jacksonville. "We found that there are more people with a genuine interest and knowledge in high-end home audio in Jacksonville than in cities twice its size. We're also thrilled to include a live orchestral experience in Jacksonville's acoustically superior concert hall," said Davis. Symphony Executive Director Stacy Ridenour welcomes the collaboration. "It is not often that hundreds of audiophiles have the chance to sample the world's finest equipment and compare it with the very thing it was intended to reproduce, the emotional power of a live symphony orchestra," said Ridenour. The Omni Jacksonville Hotel is directly across from Jacoby Symphony Hall. Enjoy the Music.com's coverage of AXPONA 2010 can be seen at this link, whilst our extensive 2011 AXPONA coverage can be seen by clicking here.

 

New York City Audio & Video Event New York City's high-end audio/video event will take place from April 13th through the 15th at the luxurious and elegant Waldorf Astoria hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Open to the public, this two-and-a-half-day event is organized by two show-management power houses known for producing high-end home entertainment and electronics shows around the globe: the UK- based Chester Group Exhibitions and Richard Beers of T.H.E. Show (Las Vegas and Newport Beach). "Based on our research, New York City has been the location of several highly successful hi-fi shows in the past sponsored by Stereophile magazine and we intend to bring back the excitement and enthusiasm for the first time in many years. We have already sold half of our exhibit space, and expect to sell out in a few more weeks," says Roy Bird, Chairman of the Chester Group. Companies interested to learn more about exhibiting (or press enquiries) at the New York Audio & AV Show can contact Bill Leebens. Ticket pricing is as follows:

Friday, April 13, 2012 from 3:00 — 8:00 p.m. is $17 (e-ticket) & $22
Saturday, April 14, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m. is $22 (e-ticket) & $28
Sunday, April 15, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m. is $22 (e-ticket) & $28
Complete weekend tickets valid for all 3 days is $39 (e-ticket) & $49

 

AK Fest 2012Audio Karma Fest (AK Fest) 2012 audiophile show will take place at the Detroit Sheraton Novi on Saturday, April 28th and Sunday April 29th. Tickets are available during show from the registration booth. Ticket cost is $20.00 per guest which includes admission to Saturday evenings live entertainment. AK Fest started in 2003 when members of the discussion board got together at a member's home for a few beers and to listen to a stereo system. In short order, as things go via the Internet, 75-plus members wanted to come. Obviously his modest home was not going to accommodate 75 members and so AK Fest was born. Attendees to the 2012 event may find tube and solid-state amplification, perhaps some DIY components and of course some of the latest in digital download technology. Analog systems will also be used and perhaps event reel-to-reel tape! Systems are generally modestly priced yet there is scheduled to be ultimate dream set-ups too. Enjoy the Music.com has AK Fest coverage of their 2008, 2009 and 2010 event as seen at this link.

 

03 / 02 / 12

  HDtracks, founded by David and Norman Chesky of the audiophile-record label Chesky Records as a service offering a diverse catalog of high resolution digital downloads, offers The Doors and The Chieftains in glorious 24-bit/96kHz sound quality. The Doors much heralded self-titled album marks one of rock's most influential bands. The Doors' eponymous debut garnered unprecedented acclaim. The unforgettable self-titled release emerged as one of the finest initial-outings made by any rock group. This multi-platinum classic is full of the group's psychedelic sound and poetic lyrics. Frontman Jim Morrison's bluesy vocals are simply haunting. Included is the band's signature song, "Light My Fire," which has sold over a million copies and topped Billboard's Hot 100, the compelling hit single "Break On Through," and the very daring "The End." The Chieftains' album Voice of Ages continues this beloved traditional Irish band music releases. The Chieftains commemorate their half-century milestone with the release of Voice of Ages. Co-produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett, the album features all-star collaborations with music's rising generation, which includes Bon Iver, The Decemberists, Pistol Annies, Punch Brothers and more. The immaculate album presents numerous highlights including the relaxed and joyous opening track by Rockabilly singer, Imelda May and the folk-country duet "Lily Love" featuring the Civil Wars. Voice of Ages is a vivid validation of the band's luminous musicality and timeless legacy. You can get these and many more great music titles in high resolution by visiting HDtracks.

 

Naim Audio 'Super Streamer' NDSNaim Audio's new 'Super Streamer' NDS ($10,995 plus $1495 for optional Burndy kit for use with 555PS) is optimized for use as a network player, which Naim adds is demonstrably superior to their award-winning NDX. Just as with the NDX, ND5 XS, and Uniti products, the new NDS features 24-bit/192kHz streaming, Internet Radio, USB and digital iPod/iPhone/iPad playback, and control via either RF remote, front panel buttons, or Naim's (free) n-Stream iOS control app. In addition, the new unit adds a separate external power supply such as the XP5 XS, XPS, and 555PS. The NDS, like the CD555, includes not one but two sockets for connecting to the 555PS – this means that the user has even more options as they upgrade. Inside the NDS are a host of highlights including three separate PCBs (Digital, Analog, and DSP). The boards are individually mechanical isolated. All data buffering is now done within the SHARC DSP chip itself rather than in the external RAM. The NDS uses the same 16x oversampling filter as that in the Naim DAC. The NDS utilizes Burr-Brown PCM1704 precision laser-trimmed sign-magnitude ladder DACs (an older but highly coveted model), rather than the NDX's PCM1791 delta-sigma chips. Lastly, the Naim Audio NDS employs current-to-voltage (I2V) and analog filter/output stages that use through-hole discrete circuitry throughout. For us computer geeks... UPnP streaming up to 24-bit/192kHz with gapless playback, Internet Radio with vTuner 5 full service, three S/PDIF 24-bit/192kHz digital inputs, Apple Authenticated for digital iPod/iPhone playback/control and the unit seamlessly supports WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, and MP3. A front panel USB port for USB stick and both Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity is included. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Naim Audio NDX network player and Naim Audio ND5 XS network audio player.

 

03 / 01 / 12

   Enjoy the Music.com's March Review Magazine is now available and features three premiere equipment reviews plus many outstanding high-end audio and music reviews. See the March issue by clicking here.

Review Magazine

Daily News: Audiophile news updated each weekday! 

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

Sound Practices
The Triode Renaissance
Article By Joe Roberts

VALVE Magazine
Living Stereo Reissues Is CD or Vinyl Better?
Article By Steven Schneider

In This Issue...
And with technological advances comes the tablet.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin 

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 148
Follow-up on Mrock Silver Treatment.
Article By Dr. Bill Gaw

American Power Conversion (APC)
The Virtues of Good Power Protection and Conditioning

Episode Audio
Loudspeaker system providing improved off-axis response.
Article By Ira Pazandeh

  North American Premiere!
AVM Audio Inspiration C8 CD Receiver
A forerunner of what is to come.
Review By Ron Nagle 

  Flashback Review
EMM Labs CDSA SE Stereo SACD Player
The gold standard!
Review By Phil Gold 

  Flashback Review
Antique Sound Lab Flora EX DT Line Preamplifier
Review By Wayne Donnelly

World Premiere!
Brunoco Audio DiVA Integrated Amplifier With DAC
Good sound, versatility, low price and good looks!
Review By Alfred Fredel

World Premiere!
Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower Floorstanding Loudspeakers
A true music lovers' floorstanding speaker.
Review By Clarke Robinson

Flashback Review
Aaron No. 3 Millennium Power Amplifier
A sensational surprise!
Review By Anthony Nicosia

Flashback Review
The Beauhorn Virtuoso Floorstanding Speaker
Review By Thorsten Loesch 

Flashback Review 
Cheap Tweaks That Sound Like a Million Bucks
Review By Bruce Kinch

  Passive Radiator Subwoofer Systems
Article By Jeff Poth

  Ultimate Bass Cabinets
Article By Jeff Poth

Classical Music
Fine interpretations of American composer John Corigliano's solo and duo-piano works.
Review By Joe Milicia 

A Two-CD compilation from the career of mezzo Cecilia Bartoli.
Review By Joe Milicia 

Wayne Donnelly cheers "the best Mahler Second of the digital era."
Review By Wayne Donnelly

Uneven Richard Strauss from German conductor Christian Thielemann
Review By Max Westler 

Jazz / Bluegrass / Etc Music
Nat King Cole And His Trio After Midnight (Vinyl)
Review By Claude Lemaire

John Cowan New Tattoo
Review By Steven Stone

The Wailin' Jennys Firecracker
Review By Steven Stone

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Ten Days Out (Blues From The Backroads)
Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

Rock, Techno, House, etc.
Rammstein Made In Germany
Review By Claude Lemaire

Shauna Burns Desert Tune
Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

Al Di Meola Consequence of Chaos
Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

Joan Osborne Pretty Little Stranger
Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

 

See the March Review Magazine by clicking here.


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