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High-End Audio Industry News


04 / 27 / 10

Opera Audio COnsonance D-Linear 7  Opera Audio, established in 1994 by Mr. (Eric) Shi Hui LIU who decided to take his DIY skills and pursue the best ideas and concepts to create a unique high-end audio brand of products, has announced their new D-Linear 7 and D-Linear 8 digital front-end products. The Opera Consonance D-Linear 7 high definition digital music interface (pictured here) handles a digital stream master network audio interface (24-bit/19kKHz) via USB. Output is digital via AES/EBU and S/PDIF. The unit also has a Wi-Fi/LAN Internet radio interface so audiophiles can enjoy thousands of online radio stations. The new D-Linear-7 can handle many digital audio formats including WAV, WMA, APE, FLAC, ALAC and ACC. Since the firmware is easily upgradeable, future upgrading will allow the device to support more audio formats. It can also be used as a network music server center and supports any network hard disc (NAS) and can share network resources through Wi-Fi/LAN. Opera's Consonance D-Linear 7 adopts the specialized 32-bit high-performance embedded multi-media processor CPU, multimedia DSP chip solution and the reference clock system of the industrial-class digital phase-locked loop (DPLL) system, effectively reducing clock jitter in transmission of digital audio signals so as to achieve an ultra-low jitter index. An LCD display with touch screen allows for ease of use. The screen can display the artist's name/internet radio station information and the sampling rate. It also includes an easy to use high quality fully functioning remote control.

Opera Audio COnsonance D-Linear 8The new Consonance D-Linear 8 is the DAC counterpart to the D-Linear 7 and features a USB wireless DAC digital receiver, act as a universal DAC for CD transports, handles the Consonance HD interface, etc. plus has stereo analog output via balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) plus a high-end headphone amplifier. The heart of the D-Linear 8 is the PCM1792 24-bit chip running at a 192kHz sampling rate. Opera Audio's decoder uses the Transceiver has a low jitter analog PLL plus a PLL lock range from 32 to 192 kHz. There are four selectable digital inputs on the rear panel consisting of a coaxial S/PDIF RCA, AES/EBU, Toslink and an antenna for digital USB computer input. The basic signals are displayed through the front panel meter. This meter will also indicate when the signal is locked in. The Linear 8 has a wireless USB 2.4G ISM license free band, adaptive frequency hopping random ID pairing and non-compressed 16-bit/48kHz sampling. This wireless system is like a secondary music system that will compliment your existing main setup and can be operated at a considerable distance (up to 25 meters) from your primary system. The Linear 8's high-end headphone amplifier is robust and handles loads from 32 to 600 Ohms.  Enjoy the Music.com has toured the Opera Audio facility (click here) and has reviewed their Droplet LP5.0 turntable (click here), Cyber 10 multifunctional tube amplifier (click here), Opera Audio Consonance LP6.1 turntable and TP988 tonearm (click here) and the Cyber 211 monoblock tube amplifier (click here).

 

04 / 26 / 10

  KR Audio, an award winning leader in the production of hand-crafted low power triodes and hi-end audio equipment, is shipping their new SDi35 integrated amplifier with USB music data streaming capability. This stereo unit produces 50 wpc using a pair of KR Audio T1610 tubes, the SDi35 is a successor of 22 wpc Kronzilla SD power amplifier and had added power to rive more challenging loudspeakers and achieve high output volume levels. Many audiophiles are now using music servers and then feeding a USB signal to their source component/DAC and the KR Audio can handle this modern input. Overall frequency response is from 20 Hz to 20 kHz (-3dB) and is a zero global feedback design. The preamplification section is solid-state with mechanical (reed) relays. A remote control for volume and to choose any one of the four inputs is included. Input sensitivity is 0.75V, the unit weighs 110 lbs and dimensions including projecting parts and controls is 38.5 x 41.5 x 55 (WxHxD in cm). Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the KR Audio 300B Balloon Triode Tube (click here), KR Audio VA340 integrated amplifier (click here) and the KR Audio Kronzilla DX monoblock amplifier (click here).

 

04 / 23 / 10

Furutch LeMans DAC Amplifier  Furutech, the award winning manufacturer of a wide variety of high performance audiophile products, has just announced the final version of their 24-bit/96kHz Le Mans ($1550) 60 wpc Class-D stereo integrated amplifier. Furutech engineered and built the Le Mans digital amplifier for space-conscious enthusiasts with growing music collections on their computer hard drives. The Le Mans digital amplifier, wired with Furutech's GT2 USB cable, is said to bring smooth, detailed clarity to desktop systems. The Le Mans digital power amplifier features a low-latency USB 2.0 audio driver that plays at upwards of 24-bit/96kHz via switchable inputs that include USB, optical, coaxial and line-level. Power output is 44 wpc @ 8 Ohms and 60 @ 4 Ohms and the USB DAC supports 16-bit, 32, 44, 48 and 96 kHz files.

 

04 / 22 / 10

Passionato  Passionato, a new destination for classical music connoisseurs, has just been launched. Passionato's aim is to thoroughly replicate a "corner record store" experience with a reach far beyond the corner. Passionato offers classical music lovers the largest available collection of CD-quality DRM-free classical music downloads. With no subscription, no membership requirements and nothing to sign-up for, Passionato provides a wide-ranging collection of recording from major labels (including Deutsche Grammophon and Decca, as well as Virgin and EMI Classics) along with numerous independent labels (such as Naxos, Chandos, Telarc and BIS). Downloads will be offered both 320kbps DRM-free mp3 files and in the CD-quality lossless FLAC format. The Passionato store also offers recording information made up of original editorial content as well as reviews, profiles and recording information provided by All Music Guide, Oxford University Press, Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, the Penguin Guide and Fanfare.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
K-TELDo you remember all those great music compilations by K-TEL in the 70's and 80's yet regret you foolishly no longer have your fave vinyl copy of Polka Polka Polka will soon be happy campers again
. K-TEL will soon allow you to purchase the music via digital download from their vast archives via the internet! By using Microsoft's Windows Media Format for all downloads, you can once again enjoy all those great songs from Polka Polka Polka and many other titles. "We are very excited to be working with Microsoft, the technology leader in digital media today," said Ken Onstad, K-TEL's president. "We see this as a tremendous opportunity to introduce a whole new generation to K-TEL's music database while allowing members of our traditional target demographic to access their favorite music in the nearly instantaneous digital format that they have become accustomed to." So get ready to download all that great great Disco, Polka and Irish music.

 

04 / 21 / 10

AKFest 2010 Audiophile Show  The AKFest 2010 audiophile show will take place May 1 and May 2 at the Sheraton Detroit Novi in Michigan. This event started in 2003 when David Goldstein of AudioKarma.org fame invited discussion board members to his house for a few beers and to listen to my stereo system. Before he knew it, 75-plus members wanted to come. This year's AKFest runs Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2 at the posh Sheraton Detroit Novi Hotel in Novi, Michigan. The admission fee is $25 for both days and includes a live music show on Saturday. Attendees to the AKFest 2010 will enjoy vinyl replay, solid-state and tube amplification devices, a wide variety of high-rez source components and of course horn, box and perhaps panel loudspeakers. AKFest exhibitors are happy to play your source material and virtually everything at the show is also available for immediate sale with delivery after the event. Enjoy the Music.com has reports of their

 

04 / 20 / 10

PBN Groove Master  PBN Audio, founded by Peter B. Noerbaek and is a California based high-end audio manufacturer, is shipping their high-end audio Groove Master turntable. The Groove Master is claimed to represent a new paradigm in turntable design. After years of intensive R&D, Noerbaek was able to perfect attributes of his Groove Master. Its two-motor counterbalanced dual drive renders absolute 33.333 rpm. Four belts are employed for maximum traction. The solid wood base is honed from three laminated layers of select hardwoods. Lastly, the legendary SME-312 twelve-inch audiophile tone arm is installed. There is also a secret detail -- the tone arm support. For this Noerbaek used a similar principle found exclusively in the world's finest violins. The bridge that braces the strings is what gives million dollar violins their astounding musical depth and equally rare woods are employed for the tonearm support. The two motor counter-balanced dual drive system is aided by a precision balanced 17 lbs stainless steel flywheel. The motors are computer-controlled and synchronized to eliminate any variability and assure absolute frequency stability. PBN's Groove Master wood base is honed from three laminated layers of select planks of kiln-dried maple, walnut, rosewood or other fine hardwoods.

 

04 / 19 / 10

Emotiva UMC-1 Audio/Video Processor/Preamplifier  Emotiva, a company comprised of true audio enthusiasts, engineers and product specialists who sell direct to consumers, now offers free Version 6 software and firmware updates for their UMC-1 audio/video processor/preamplifier ($700). Packed with features, this 7.1 channel unit is an audiophile grade preamplifier and multi-channel digital audio processor with an integral high quality AM/FM tuner. Emotiva's UMC-1 uses twin Cirrus 32-bit dual core DSP chips for uncompromised high resolution HD audio decoding and signal management. Unlike many comparable products, the UMC-1 decodes and post-processes all digital audio streams including high-resolution audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and dtsMA at their native bit rates, up to and including 24-bit/192kHz. Video processing is managed by the Genesis/ST Torino high performance scaling engine. HDMI signal management is controlled by the latest generation Silicon Image and Analog Devices components. The unit has decoding support for Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital True HD, Dolby PLIIx, DTS, DTS ES, DTS HD, DTS Master Audio, DTS Neo 6, SPDIF, PCM 8 channel. Audiophiles should not that the unit includes Emo-Q automatic multi-channel room correction and loudspeaker setup via an included calibrated measurement microphone. There is also a quadruple bass manager with independently selectable high and low pass frequencies from 40 to 250 Hz in 5 or 10 Hz increments plus a selectable 12dB or 24dB per octave high pass and low pass filters by channel groupings. Then there is an independent 11-band graphic EQ with global bass and treble controls by channel groupings. While audiophiles tend not to use equalization, when used appropriately within the digital domain the results can be impressive as not all recordings are made with the highest of sound quality. A wide variety of inputs and puts are provided for of course.

 

D&M has announced their intentions to close their bands Escient plus Snell Acoustics. "The changing landscape of the speaker industry has made it extremely difficult for Snell to remain a viable business," D&M said in their statement. "The advanced loudspeaker technologies developed at Snell, however, will be leveraged by other D&M brands." Their Escient and Snell Acoustic brand will still be supported under warranty and necessary software upgrades for its existing Escient products.

 

04 / 16 / 10

Equator Audio Research Q15 Reference Monitor  Equator Audio Research, a company that is committed to delivering studio reference monitor solutions that overcome the myriad of challenges faced in today's environment, announce that the Automated Room Response Calibration Software featuring the patented Secondary Reflection Correction will now be included with every Q15 reference monitor ($3000 each). This powered 15" two-way monitor has a 4" voice coil for the large driver and uses a horn loaded 1.3" titanium dome rear firing compression driver. Recognizing the actual listening room's contribution to the monitoring quality, Equator Audio Research developed the Automated Room Response Compensation Software to tame unwanted sonic conditions and aid in achieving a more accurate listening result. Equator believes that the single most important position in the control room is the listening position. By placing a small diaphragm Omni-directional condenser test microphone at that position the Equator Automated Room Response Calibration Software is able to evaluate exactly what is sonically occurring at that spot. The host computer calculates and then sends compensation data back to each speakers internal CPU so that each speaker in turn delivers the appropriate audio. The Equator Q Series Monitors each feature an internal CPU. On the back of each are a CAT5 in and Thru, a series of dip switch IDs, a USB connection as well as the standard audio inputs. A USB connection from the computer to any of the monitors in a system and a daisy chained CAT5 connection ready the system for room compensation. Overall frequency response is from 29Hz to 22 kHz (-6dB) and maximum output SPL level is a very high 117dB. Inputs include XLR, USB, RS485 in/thru and 0.25" headphone jack. Enclosure construction includes 1" HDF for the baffle and 0.75" 13 layer Baltic Birch for the remainder. Dimensions are 21 x 21 x 21 (HxWxD in inches) and each unit weighs 92 lbs.

 

Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 11 SubwooferBang & Olufsen's new sensually-shaped BeoLab 11 subwoofer ($2000 to $2575 depending on options) is designed by David Lewis and features a pair of drivers each contained within their own separate enclosure. Aluminum and composite materials make up the cabinet, which is available in a wide variety of colors. A 200 Watt Class D ICEpower amplifier is included and overall frequency range output is from 33 to 300 Hz. Bass is produced by a pair of 6.5: drivers and this small 12.4" high cabinet can be placed on the floor or wall mounted (brackets included. With BeoLab 11, Bang & Olufsen is introducing an entirely new look into the subwoofer category. In spite of its strong sculptural presence, B&O claims that it has a discreet presence which makes it easy to integrate into any home environment while maintaining a design-conscious appeal. The BeoLab 11 is composed of two identical loudspeaker cabinets with baffles facing each other. The outer shells are made of aluminum and easily pop on and off for color customization.

 

04 / 15 / 10

Review Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com now published our complete Montreal Salon Son & Image 2010 report that spans 10 web pages with over 80 photos in total! There are many must-see items you many want to know about before making your next audiophile purchase.

Regular Reading
VALVE Magazine
Cary'd Away: A day with the Cary tube preamplifier.
Article By Dan Schmalle

Sound Practices Magazine
At The Edge Of Science
The Sonic explorations of Kondo-san.
Article By Joe Roberts

 

Show Reports
Salon Son & Image 2010 Report
Montreal High-End Audio Event
Show Coverage By Rick Becker

 

See the mid-April Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

04 / 14 / 10

 Artisan Silver Cables "Silver Dream" Mark 2  Artisan Silver Cables, a company that produces interconnects of pure solid slow-drawn silver because they believe it is the best material, offers their new "Silver Dream" Sennheiser headphone upgrade cable Mark 2 that fits models HD-650, HD-600, HD-265, HD-525, HD-535, HD-545, HD-565, HD-565 II, HD-580 (£229 for three meter length with an HD-800 version is available for £279). The new cable boasts a luxury standard of construction and materials all the way through. As with other Artisan Silver Cables, there are pure silver conductors sheathed in Teflon. The Mark 2 rings in improvements including that the pure silver conductors are now augmented with strands of Kevlar to offer improved strength, cable length is now three meters versus two, handling noise has been reduced to negligible levels and the cable itself is now more flexible. The very high quality Furutech 1/4-inch headphone jack is used while the plugs at the headphone end are premium items designed and manufactured by Cardas.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
In a strange turn of events, Metallica, who were giving away their new album S&M for free streaming over the internet, has now brought about a lawsuit against Napster
. Napster is software that allows web surfers to share their digital music files with others over the internet. This lawsuit by Metallica was filed in the Central District of California yesterday and claims that a few schools were encouraging students to visit the Napster website and "to unlawfully exchange with others copyrighted songs and sound recordings without the knowledge or permission of Metallica." The lawsuit might not hold any water legally as Metallica is claiming that Napster "has devised and distributed software whose sole purpose is to permit Napster to profit by abetting and encouraging the pirating of the creative efforts of the world's most admired and successful musical artists. Facilitating that effort are the hypocritical universities and colleges who could easily block this insidious and ongoing thievery scheme. The last link in the chain are the end users of the stolen musical works, students of these universities and others who exhibit the moral fiber of common looters loading up shopping carts because 'everybody else is doing it.'" At this point in time it seems that passing any laws against the digital downloading of music will always lag behind the creativity of the internet. Only time will tell where all the dust settles as any legal decision towards the digital download of music could have a far reaching effect beyond the scope of only the defendants named in this recent lawsuit.

 

04 / 13 / 10

Salon Son & Image 2010 Montreal High-End Audio Show  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted part 3 of Rick Becker's Salon Son & Image 2010 Montreal high-end audio show coverage! We have added nearly 40 photos spanning four web pages with plenty of new and exciting information you must see! Our twelfth annual Salon Son & Image coverage, this event was previously named Le Festival Son et Image de Montreal (FSI). The 2010 show took place from March 25th through March 28th at the Hilton Bonaventure hotel located in downtown Montréal. You can read Rick Becker's part 3 coverage of the Salon Son & Image show at this link.

 

Capital AudiofestCapital Audiofest is a unique audiophile event open to the public and will be held from June 11th through the 13th in the Washington DC area at the historic Glenview Mansion. Located on the grounds of the Rockville Civic Center the Glenview Mansion is a charming historic structure constructed in the 19th century and is surrounded by lovely parkland and well groomed grounds. The Capital Audiofest is set to be a casual fun-filled event for audiophiles, music lovers, music and audio gear collectors, hobbyists, DIYers, dealers and manufacturers. This event is expected to attract those interested in high quality vacuum tube and transistor audio equipment, analog and digital playback sources, buying and selling of LP records and CDs, and manufacturers of audio accessories from the Baltimore - Washington DC Metropolitan Area and beyond. The event will be catered by quality food and beverage vendors and plan to have live musical performances on two evenings as well as an indoor audio swap meet on Sunday morning.

 

04 / 12 / 10

Coincident Speaker Technology  While they do not have pics yet, we have just learned that the new Coincident Speaker Technology Pure Reference Extreme loudspeakers are just now being manufactured. Using the same drivers, internal wiring, crossover network and binding posts as their Pure Reference, what separates them is that the new Extreme use completely separates enclosures for the uppermost frequencies. An Accuton Ceramic tweeter is mated with an Accuton 6.5-inch Ceramic midrange. For bass duties a pair of 12-inch Nomex fiber cone are used. The woofers are housed within their own cabinetry, as this is said to aid in reducing unwanted vibrations while enhancing overall rigidity. Another benefit is that the woofers are now separated by 13 inches in the new Extreme model versus only 9 within the Pure Reference. Frequency response is from 20 Hz to 27 kHz, impedance is 8 Ohms (6 Ohm minimum) with an overall sensitivity of 94dB/W/m. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Coincident Speaker Technology Frankenstein Mk II monoblock amplifier (click here), Statement Line Stage (click here), plus we have World Premiere reviews of the Coincident Total Victory IV (click here) and Super Victory (click here).

 

04 / 09 / 10

HDtracks Philadelphia Orchestra  HDtracks, founded by David and Norman Chesky of the audiophile-record label Chesky Records to offer high-resolution digital music downloads, has partnered with one of the world's greatest orchestras to bring you their own amazing performances. The Philadelphia Orchestra as lead by Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit will be among those made available for the first time. Classical music lovers will also enjoy all new companion PDF booklets, included with all HDtracks downloads. The Philadelphia Orchestra boasts an extraordinary record of historic media firsts. Among these, it was the first symphonic orchestra to make electrical recordings (1925), the first to perform its own commercially sponsored radio broadcast (1929), the first to perform on the soundtrack of a feature film (Paramount's The Big Broadcast of 1937), the first to appear on a national television broadcast (1948), the first American orchestra to record the complete Beethoven symphonies on compact disc (1988), the first major orchestra to give a live cybercast on the internet (1997). HDtracks looks forward to more recordings from this great orchestra.

 

04 / 08 / 10

Silicon Arts Next Class  Concert Fidelity electronics, designed and built by hand in Japan in the best artisan traditions, is now shipping their Concert Fidelity Si2 Series. The line features Silicon Arts Next Class Si2 Micro integration line, Si2 Preamp & Power Amp, plus Concert Fidelity SPA-2 Studio Playback Phono Equalizer (with modernized Denon DP-3000 / DA-305 playback system). The Silicon Arts Next Class products are the results of Masata Tsuda's challenge to affordability realized through application of his minimalist philosophy, resulting in ultimate value statements. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Concert Fidelity DAC-040 digital to analog converter (click here) and the Silicon Arts ZL-120 monoblock amplifier & Concert Fidelity CF-080 line preamplifier (click here).

 

Anthony Gallo Acoustics StradaAnthony Gallo Acoustics (AGA), formed in 1994 to raise the bar in loudspeaker design and technology by specializing in audio products that exemplify the term price-to-performance ratio with their spherical enclosure technology, now offers their new Strada loudspeaker. This model features a brand new proprietary impulse correction system called OPT plus utilizes the latest version of the company's patented CDT 3 tweeter. Along with the Strada Center, the versatile Strada loudspeakers are the latest additions to AGA's Reference Series and are designed for high performance regardless of mounting options or room conditions. Physically, the diminutive Strada measures 6.5 x 12.5 x 5.5 (DxHxW in inches) and the Strada features the company's patented S2 Technology, which improves low-frequency extension and eliminates the standing wave that is inherent in any spherical enclosure. In addition, the loudspeaker's new CDT 3 tweeter boasts a new grill topology, which improves vertical dispersion. Because of the wide and accurate vertical dispersion of the new tweeter, the speakers can be used as dedicated surround channels as well. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Gallo Micro speakers with subwoofer (click here) and the Gallo Acoustics Adiva Ti small orb speakers (click here).

 

04 / 07 / 10

Kimber Kable Mini BUS Ag Silver USB Cable  Kimber Kable, established in 1979 by inventor and engineer Ray Kimber who actually began his career in the first grade when he built a crystal receiver that he began to tweak, offers the Mini BUS Ag silver USB cables. BUS Ag is for audiophiles who choose to utilize USB data for the music source. This is very common for those who seek out the highest resolution music for critical listening. To address this need for a high-0end audio USB cord, Kimber Kable created high performance USB type cables using silver or silver plated copper. Kimber Kable's Mini BUS Ag cables utilize large gauge pure silver conductors in tandem with large gauge (6.1%) silver-plated copper drain and shield wires. A high performance high-density polyethylene (PE) dielectric is used on the signal conductors to maximize signal integrity. Ferrite noise reduction beads are available separately for extra EMI/RFI protection. All Kimber Kable USB cables feature crimped and soldered shield to shell connection which helps reduce ground resistance variations. There is also a lower price copper version called the Min BUS Cu with virtually all the same features though the main conductor is copper versus silver. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Kimber Kable power cords (click here), their budget-priced TONIK (click here), Kimber Cable QC-Mini AG all silver cable (click here) and Kimber Kable Select Silver KS1030 (click here).

 

Kuzma 4Point TonearmKuzma, a company that began production in 1982 and founded by Franc Kuzma due to his insatiable interest in music combined with a mechanical engineers education, is selling their unique 4Point tonearm. This differs from other arms by incorporating several unique features. The zero play bearing is configured on 4 points. There is very precise VTA adjustment and, despite a longer effective length of 280 mm (11 inches) and fits Kuzma's standard mounting distance of 212 mm (9 inches). The heart of the new construction is a unique 4 point bearing. The first set of two points (similar to a unipivot bearing) allows vertical movement. The second set of two points allows horizontal movement. All four points have minimal friction and zero play in all playing directions thus ensuring the cartridge platform and the cartridge itself move with very low friction and minimal vibration across the record . The entire construction is mounted on a rigid VTA tower which allows VTA adjustment while playing, without any loss of rigidity, yet with up to 0.01 mm of precision with zero play. The main tube is constructed and machined from solid aluminum as in our tangential Air line arm. Two separate troughs damp vertical and horizontal resonances and can be finely adjusted independently. The troughs can be removed from the tonearm. The main counterweight balances the tonearm and has a second small counterweight with which the tracking force can be finely adjusted. Azimuth can be adjusted in small repeatable increments with zero play, by means of an Allen key. A feature of the tonearm is a unique detachable headshell. Internal wiring is of superior, special alloy silver wires. One set of 4 wires runs from the cartridge pins to the termination box and further along into a 1.4 m long tonearm cable, with silver Eichmann bullet connectors, in one unbroken length. The second set of 4 wires runs from the same cartridge pins to the termination box to female Cardas RCA connectors thus allowing use of any RCA plugged tonearm cable from termination box to phono preamp input. This gives so called bi-wiring on this tonearm and a lot of flexibility with choice of no compromise cables. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Kuzma STABI Reference turntable (click here) and Kuzma Stogi Reference 313 VTA tonearm (click here).

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
As the RIAA and many colleges are in battles with the legalities of Napster, a program that allows people to share their MP3 music files freely over the internet, now comes a new and even more diverse program. Welcome Scour.net
whose website and free software called Scour Exchange that allows not just the sharing of MP3 files, but virtually all major streaming and compressed audio files such as MP3, RealAudio, Windows Media Player and more! The Scour Exchange program searches your hard drive and allows for file-sharing by sorting any multimedia file on your hard drive according to the file extension and then place them in folders according to file type. If a user so desires, these folders can be seen by others using the Scour Exchange software to elicit a free exchange of streaming media files on the internet (file sharing).

 

04 / 06 / 10

Krell Evolution 707 Surround Preamplifier with automatic room equalization system (ARES)  Krell Industries, an award winning designer and manufacturer of high performance audio and video equipment, is offering their new Evolution 707 ($30,000) surround sound processor that includes Krell's automatic room equalization system (ARES). Housed in the same chassis as the Krell Evolution 402 stereo power amplifier, the Evolution 707 stands nearly 10" tall and weighs in at over 50 lbs. The custom machined aluminum chassis includes diamond cut detailing that not only looks incredible but also fronts the resonance free environment that contains the sensitive electronics within its core. The audio signal path is a direct descendant of Krell's flagship Evolution 2 stereo preamplifier. The Evolution 707 includes twelve output stages with two center channel and four subwoofer outputs, in an 8.4 channel configuration. All channels feature Evolution CAST circuitry for the most stunning reproduction of today's high-resolution movie soundtracks. CAST, which is short for Current Audio Signal Transmission, is a proprietary method of sending audio signals between components in the current domain. Balanced outputs via XLR and single ended outputs via RCA are also included. Preamp mode bypasses all digital circuitry and routes the analog input, stereo or 7.1 multi-channel, directly to the balanced resistor ladder volume control. Krell's new ARES analyzes the speakers' capability, position, phase and distance relationships to determine ideal crossover points, delay, and volume settings. ARES measures these effects against the inherent performance of the system's speakers and corrects for irregular surfaces, problematic speaker locations, and unusual floor plans. A 32-bit dual core DSP running at 1.8 giga operations per second computes equalizer filter coefficients and applies individual curves to each of the 8.4 output channels. A trio of user system memories provides greater flexibility and personalization as instead of an averaged result from various listening positions, three individual listening positions may be measured and optimized rather than compromised by an averaging-style system. Alternatively, system memories may be used for different speaker configurations so that one memory can be optimized for two channel listening with full range front speakers, a second memory for movie playback with a crossover and subwoofers engaged, and a third for casual, full range, all-speaker music listening. After each system memory corrects for room anomalies, an optional music or movie curve can be added to the corrected response for an enhanced listening experience. ARES uses on screen prompts to guide the user through the automatic setup and equalization process. Via the four HDMI 1.3 compliant inputs, the Evolution 707 decodes Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD Master Audio lossless surround, Dolby Digital Surround EX, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 6.1 ES, DTS 5.1, DTS NEO:6, Dolby Pro Logic II modes as well as nine proprietary Krell Music Surround modes. Two Cirrus CS497004 DSPs running in 64-bit dual precision mode decodes the audio signal. In other Krell news, the company plans to release their new modular S-350a CD player ($2500) with an optional video stage ($2000).

 

McIntosh MEN220 Room Correction SystemSpeaking of room correction, McIntosh Laboratory, a legendary consumer electronics manufacturer celebrating over 60 years of service and now owned by D&M Holdings, has introduced their MEN220 Room Correction System ($4500). The MEN220 delivers a potent suite of digital Room Correction, Custom-EQ and two-way crossover capabilities in one easy-to-use stereo component. This allows users to "fine-tune" the characteristics of their audio systems and achieve the best possible performance in any listening space. Styled in the rich tradition of McIntosh audio components, the MEN220 features the company's signature fiber-optic illuminated black glass front panel and aluminum casework. Front panel buttons and control knobs bring a familiar, easy-to-use analog interface to this digital product just as a 2-line vacuum fluorescent display reports status and aids in set-up of the MEN220. Full system control and PC link are provided via RS232 while McIntosh Data, Power Control and IR inputs offer additional remote control flexibility. Both single-ended and balanced connections are supported; a hand-held, IR remote control is included. McIntosh's RoomPerfect software aids to achieve higher quality music playback for those with less than perfect rooms or setup. The McIntosh MEN220 harnesses the power of RoomPerfect software, an advanced room correction algorithm that automatically creates a digital model of the listening room, called RoomKnowledge. By using data gathered from multiple locations in the room, the MEN220 corrects frequency response anomalies. A Custom EQ Application (that runs on any current version of Windows PC) allows the creation of specialized response curves to suit the tastes of the user, or to solve specific issues such as refreshing inferior but still-cherished source material, or to compensate for inferior formats. Filter, Slope (Q), and Frequency are all user-selectable for each of six Bands. An unlimited amount of curves may be named and stored as XML files; up to six curves reside in the MEN220 for easy recall via front panel or remote control. The "Smart" 2-Way Crossover feature facilitates true bi-amping of any loudspeaker. The performance enhancing effects of bi-amping, increased dynamic headroom being chief among them, are widely recognized and MEN220 makes any number of multi-amplifier solutions possible. User-selectable parameters include Filters (First, Second and Fourth Order Butterworth, and Second, Fourth and Eighth order Linkwitz-Riley), Frequency, and Level. Additional settings allow for the proper integration of a subwoofer.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
AOL
None other than the world's largest internet provider, America Online (AOL), has formed an agreement to offer their members free live streaming concert from the House of Blues. In this recent agreement, AOL will have exclusive rights to these live weekly concerts. Furthermore, the House Of Blues has agreed to form an archive of on-demand concerts exclusively for AOL members. In another recent event concerning AOL, Myplay Inc. and AOL have joined forces to offer AOL members to store their MP3 files in a "digital locker". What will make the RIAA possibly take legal action in the fact that your "digital locker" play list can be displayed for others to see... and download. Therefore pirated songs can be seen by others and illegally downloaded.

 

04 / 05 / 10

Salon Son & Image 2010 Montreal High-End Audio Show  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted part 1 an part 2 of Rick Becker's Salon Son & Image 2010 Montreal high-end audio show coverage! As our twelfth annual Salon Son & Image coverage, this event was previously named Le Festival Son et Image de Montreal (FSI). The 2010 show took place from March 25th through March 28th at the Hilton Bonaventure hotel located in downtown Montréal. You can read Rick Becker's part 1 and part 2 coverage, with much more to come shortly, at this link.

 

Kef Reference Loudspeaker In Custom ColorsKEF, a longstanding high-end audio company that is now a division of GP Acoustics, will be selling their Reference speakers in twelve colors. The finishes have will feature vibrant colors that are directly related to the most prestigious luxury and sports car brands. If none of their twelve color options suit the customer's discerning palate, KEF will custom build to order by special arrangement. Each color is individually crafted to a high gloss finish with multiple layers of lacquer, each one polished to a mirror finish by hand before applying the next one. The result is a rich and brilliant shine that meets or exceeds that of most luxury automobiles. This specialized service will take approximately three months to fulfill and add a 15% premium over the standard piano black finish. KEF's authorized Reference dealers will carry sample swatches of the 12 new colors for customers to view prior to order. "KEF has long believed that high performance audio should be as exciting to the eye as well as the ear", exclaimed Alec Chanin, President of KEF America. "As one of the top luxury audio brands on the market, it only makes sense that KEF customers should have the option to indulge their senses and if they so desire, to match their speakers to their favorite car. And we are delighted to provide that service."

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
MIT Oracle V2Longtime cable manufacture MIT announced their new Oracle V2 Series loudspeaker interface
. MIT's claims their modular design came about through "ongoing test and measurement program has resulted in advanced network topology, allowing multiple networks to be contained in a single network enclosure, machined from a solid (non-resonant) aluminum billet. The speaker cable itself attaches to the housing via a sophisticated military-spec union connector. This modularity allows for easy placement of the network housing and allows the cable to be routed through walls or under floors with ease." The new Oracle is "future proof" through the ability of upgrade ability where the Oracle V2's network enclosure and/or cable can be factory upgraded or exchanged". Pricing for the Oracle V2 starts at $6,995 for the eight foot pair while other Oracle Series Speaker Interfaces range from $2,995 to $13,999 and all include a limited lifetime warranty.

 

04 / 02 / 10

HiDiamond Green MKII Interconect  Multi-award earning Italy based cable manufacturer HiDiamond has released a budget line of cables consisting of their Diamond Small Blue and Diamond Green MKII (€65 and €105 for pair for 1 meter pair respectively). The Diamond Small Blue employs the company's exclusive technology 4 VRC (4 times cooked copper. This careful process is said achieve great sound quality from copper wire. The external jacket is 7mm while internally there are two conductors. Capacitance is 126 Pf/m. and resistance is 7.5 Ohm/100 m with a shield resistance of 3.1 Ohm/100m. HiDiamond's new Diamond Green MKII uses Rhodium plated connectors that increases the performance as compared to the Small Blue. The same 4 VRC copper and other technical bits are from the Small Blue, though there is a small change to the technical specifications. External jacket is 7mm, capacitance is 120Pf/m, resistance is 6 Ohm/100m and shield resistance is 2 Ohm/100m.

 

Tacte Hayden Op. 2Highly regarded music label further details: Tacet  has released Aurun's Hayden Op. 2 as part of their Aurun Series XXVII. As Tacet gradually approaches the end of the publication series of "Auryn's Haydn", after the Op.2, there are only Op. 9, Op. 64, Op. 77/103/42 yet to do, and Op. 55 still has to be reworked a bit. All this will take until the end of this year. According to the company, "In view of the fact that we are merely concerning ourselves with the string quartets, I sometimes wonder if it is at all possible for a person to perceive and present the vast lifework of this composer in its entirety. Whoever wants to do justice to each individual work, as do the Auryn Quartet, must study it thoroughly and delve into the many interesting details; there is something at every turn to consider and deliberate upon, and the task already grows into one of unimaginable magnitude. This especially applies to the early quartets of Haydn such as the Op. 2 presented here. But there are rich rewards: what a plethora of lyrical ideas, what compositional finesse, with what naturalness is everything arranged to sound well! Everything is simply good in Haydn, at least as far as the quartets are concerned".

 

04 / 01 / 10

  Enjoy the Music.com's April (fools) edition includes more AXPONA show coverage, five equipment reviews within Superior Audio with three world premiere while our Review Magazine has so many world premieres it almost embarrasses me! Of course this being April, don't be caught out the fool with those must-read fun 'reviews'.

 

Superior Audio
World Premiere!
Silver Circle Audio pure power one 5.0
A great unit gets upgraded!
Review By Rick Jensen

World Premiere!
SQ Products SQ-H10 Loudspeaker
Transparency, life, dynamics and punch.
Review by Wayne Zufall

Coincident Statement Line Stage
Glorious music from this Statement Line Stage.
Review By Rick Becker

Enjoy the Music.com Award Of Excellence
EMM Labs XDS1 CD-SACD Reference Player/Converter
This is the state-of-the-art and musically satisfying.
Review by Phil Gold

Sennheiser HD800 Headphones With Cardas Audio Cable
Add the Cardas Audio cable and they're a screaming audio bargain.
Review By Phil Gold

Revisit
Manley Labs The Wave DAC & Preamplifier
Like A Stradivarius...
Review By Ron Nagle

Revisit
Antique Sound Labs Monsoon DT MKII Amplifier
I could listen to this amplifier for days on end...
Review By Ron Nagle

See the April Superior Audio magazine by clicking here.

 

Review Magazine

Viewpoint
Time For A Change
Article By Steven R. Rochlin 

Three World Premieres!
Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 126
The Oppo BDP-80 Universal Disc Player, Ultrabit Platinum-Plus Disc Cleaner And Lirpa Labs Ultimate Multi-Bit DAC.
Article By Dr. Bill Gaw

The Intrinsic Superiority of VHS to DVD
Article By Jeff Rabin

Joe Audiophile
Cool New Stuff New Cool Stuff Stuff That's New And Cool
Or How 'bout Just Stuff
Article By Scott Faller

The Nearfield -- Exploration...
Article By Steven Stone

Show Report
AXPONA 2010 Show Report Part 2
By A. Colin Flood 

AXPONA 2010
Audio Expo North America
A Day At The AXPONA Show
Report By Nels Ferre

Equipment Reviews
Instant Natural Solution Adding Nuclear Energy
I. N. S. A. N. E ! ! !
Review By Steven R. Rochlin 

Three World Premieres!
Monrio Audio Asty Digital Integrated Amplifier, Asty Player VT CD Player And JAS Audio Oscar Loudspeaker
A $7,500 Trifecta A system worth salivating over.
Review by Dick Olsher

World Premiere!
Mystère ca11 Preamplifier
Great three-dimensional soundscape with an abundance of layering.
Review By Anthony Nicosia

World Premiere!
Mystère pa11 Power Amplifier
Delivering the goods!
Review By Anthony Nicosia

World Premiere!
Enjoy the Music.com Award Of Excellence!

Ray Samuels F-117 Nighthawk MC-MM Phono Preamplifier
A real game changer in phonostage preamplification.
Review By Wayne Donnelly

World Premiere!
The VPI Rim Drive & Classic Aluminum Platter
Back to the future or forward to the past?
Review By Wayne Donnelly

Revisit
Yin Yang Labs Graphametric Paralyzer
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

Revisit
Furutech Evolution Cable
Review By Brett Rudolph

Revisit
Ultimate Soundophile's Diffusers
Better Sound -- Even Better Aesthetics!
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

Revisit
Exotic Automobile Manufacturer Offers...
'The Audiophile Car'
Review By Steven R. Rochlin 

 

Music Reviews
Classical Music

Quite simply the greatest Bruckner Eighth ever!
Review By Max Westler

Charming violin concertos from Hungarian late-Romantic composer Jero Hubay.
Review By Joe Milicia

Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 1 in D major, "Titan" Manfred Honeck conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Review By Max Westler

Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3
Rhapsody On a Theme Of Paganini
Review by Wayne Donnelly

In honor of April 1:
A feverish response to Reference Recordings' lively and great-sounding collection of North and South American piano music.
Review By Evan Shinners 

Jazz, Folk, Bluegrass, Blues, Etc.
Jess Klein Bound To Love
Review By Steven Stone

Heather Masse Bird Song
Review By Steven Stone

Alecia Nugent Hillbilly Goddess
Review By Steven Stone

Martin Simpson True Stories
Review By Steven Stone

 

See the April Review Magazine by clicking here.


 

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