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High-End Audio Industry News


04 / 29 / 11

THTST Drum and Percussion Album  Audiophiles can now save 10% and get the only truly high-resolution drum and percussion album THTST to test the abilities of their high-end audio system. Steven R. Rochlin, a classically trained musician since 1974 and editor of Enjoy the Music.com, has released his first album titled THTST. After nearly two decades of being away from the recording studio, Steven unleashed his musical expressiveness and captured his new solo album using only a pair of ultra-precise, hand matched laboratory-grade microphones. On THTST there are no overdubs, 'destructive' devices or techniques so as to deliver the true purity and absolute sound of a real drumset within your listening room. As one would expect, this recording provides a dynamic range from the soft sounds of studio wind chimes to woofer and amplifier testing deep bass of a large gong bass drum. THTST includes a wide variety of percussion and drum styles using an extensive assembly of musical instruments. Audiophiles should get THTST to hear if their system is capable of reproducing one of the most challenging instruments to reproduce accurately. Of course what matters is that listeners enjoy the music. The album is available for download in high definition 24-bit/96kHz FLAC, 16/44.1 AIFF and 320kbs MP3 format from HDtracks. Use coupon code SPRING10 and save 10% on all your HDtracks purchases until May 1!

 

04 / 28 / 11

Coincident Speaker Technology Dragon MKII  Award winning high-end audio manufacturer Coincident Speaker Technology has introduced the MK. II version of the highly acclaimed Dragon monoblock amplifiers ($10,999 per pair including freight). The improvements include dual power transformers in place of the previously used single unit. The new transformers are coasting along and only using less than 25% of their rated capabilities. The second improvements is a more rigid chassis that accommodates the dual transformers of the MK. II version. The Dragon's chassis has been enlarged by 20%. and is now 2" wider and 2" deeper plus 1" higher. Another change has been that the standard supplied 211 tubes will now be the exceptional Shuguang Pevane. They represent a marked sonic improvement over the previously supplied standard Shuguang and is more durable and reliable yet operates 15% cooler. Lastly, an AC ground lift is now included.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
The major recording labels are once again in court due to their alleged unfair price-fixing of compact disc software.
In a recent expected decision, a Federal Judge has refused to dismiss the case against many major record labels as filed by 42 US states and individual consumers in New York. Those named in the lawsuit include, but are not limited to BMG Music, Bertelsmann Music Group Inc., Capitol Records, Inc., dba EMI Music Distribution, Virgin Records America, Inc., Priority Records, L.L.C., MTS Inc., dba Tower Records, Musicland Stores Corporation, Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., Trans World Entertainment Corporation, Universal Music Group, Inc., Universal Music & Video Distribution Corp., UMG Recordings Inc., Warner-Elektra-Atlantic Corporation, Warner Music Group, Inc., Warner Bros. Records, Inc., Atlantic Recording Corporation, Elektra Entertainment Group, Inc., and Rhino Entertainment Company.
On January 30th (2001) Enjoy the Music.com reported on similar scrutiny by the European Commission waging a full-scale investigation targeting the major five companies (AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann Music Group, EMI Music Distribution, Sony Corporation of America and Universal Music and Video Distribution). Another lawsuit filed by Lieff Babraser & Berstein, LLP in May 1995 in the Central District of California where Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp., Uni Distribution Corp., Bertelsmann Music Group, Inc., and Polygram Group Distribution, Inc., was found guilty in conspiring to raise, fix and maintain artificially high prices on compact music discs in violation of the federal Sherman Antitrust Act as well as California Cartwright Act. The fine came to as much as $480 million. "The FTC estimates that U.S. consumers may have paid as much as $480 million more than they should have for CDs and other music because of these policies over the last three years," said FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky. A similar investigation is now being levied within Europe because of the same alleged price-fixing tactics by major labels.

 

04 / 27 / 11

Aperion Audio Verus Grand Bookshelf Speaker  Aperion Audio, dedicated to audio enthusiasts as manufacturers of award winning speakers, has their new Verus Grand Bookshelf speaker (pictured) and Verus Forte Satellite speaker ($299 and $175 each respectively). Aperiod Audio has taken their Verus Grand Tower speaker and condensed them to produce the Verus Grand Bookshelf and Satellite. Both models use the patent-pending ASR tweeter to bring in the high frequencies. The Venus Grand Book uses the company's brand new 5" midrange/bass driver with aluminum phase plug to round out the sound. The new silk dome ASR to handle frequencies beneath most tweeters while the 5" Kevlar midrange driver with aluminum phase plug increases the Verus line's power handling and dynamic range. Aperion Audio's Verus Forte Satellite speaker is barely 9" tall and uses a 4.25" Aperion PhaseSync driver for midrange and bass duties. Both speakers use gold plated speaker binding posts and are available in furniture grade gloss cherry wood veneer or gloss piano black finish. The curved cabinet with compound angles is internally bracing and an acoustically transparent, magnetically held, cloth-covered metal grille plus ten year warranty is included with both designs.

 

T.H.E. Show (The Home Entertainment Show in Newport Beach CaliforniaT.H.E. Show (The Home Entertainment Show) in Newport Beach California will bring new advancements and technologies in high-end audio and video to a population of over 24 million consumers. T.H.E. Show, which has a notable reputation for an exclusively high-end audio industry-related convention every January, is bringing a whole new concept to Newport Beach, California that is open to consumers and industry insiders alike. The Show Newport will be held at the Newport Beach Hilton hotel (Irvine) on June 3rd through 5th and is conveniently located across the street from John Wayne/Orange County (SNA) Airport near Freeways 405 & 55. Expanding on several common "interests" of this high-end crowd, T.H.E. Show will also include a classic car show in conjunction with Crevier BMW Auto Museum; a Wine-Tasting area courtesy of Southern Wine and Spirits and Jazz Concerts every evening produced by BluePort Jazz Festival International. Several other local quality Jazz groups will be featured. An all weekend pass including all events is $35, or a daily pass is only $15.

What: T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach California
Where: Newport Beach Hilton hotel (Irvine)
When: June 3rd through 5th, 2011

 

04 / 26 / 11

Chord Electronics Chordette Maxx  Chord Electronics, founded in 1989 by John Franks who had previously held Directorships with a world leading high frequency power supplies, Raytheon and AT&T, has announced their new Chordette Maxx stereo amplifier with DAC. This small but extremely capable 30 wpc stereo amplifier includes an A2DP, Apt-X Bluetooth receiver, USB input and gain control. Users can easily connect their computer via a USB cable and use the built in DAC up to 48kHz sampling rate. The Bluetooth section will pair to devices such as your Bluetooth enabled phone or computer. If the unit is overdriven or the volume is turned up too high, then the amplifier will go into shutdown mode where the music will sound quieter and distorted. This is to protect both the amplifier and speakers. Amplification is via a common drain, vertical MOSFET design operating in Class AB amplifier supplied by an innovative four transformer 500 kHz unique power supply. Overall frequency response is from0.8 Hz to 46 kHz with a SNR of better than -103dB. Input includes a USB female plug while output is via two pairs of high quality gold-plated loudspeaker binding posts.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Electro-Harmonix has added the 6550EH to their EH line of "ultra-premium" vacuum tubes ($15.80 each, $17.50 each matched). The 6550EH delivers very high power and linearity with a 42 watt plate dissipation in tetrode operation (44 watts in triode). Features of the 6550EH include:

- Ruggedized screen construction
- Phosphor bronze side rods for grid and screen triple mica supports
- Unique "four pillar" nickel steel side rod mica supports
- Tung-Sol style "coke bottle" glass
- Heavier plate material and more surface area for increased cooling
- A new cathode coating formulation
- Can substitute KT88 tubes

 

04 / 25 / 11

 Resonessence Labs Invicta Stereo DAC  Resonessence Labs new Invicta stereo DAC ($3995) is the combination of audio, electrical and mechanical engineering. Every millimeter of the Invicta has been scrutinized for audio perfection by the company. Measuring at only 5cm high, 22cm wide and 28cm deep, the Invicta is ready to be rack mounted at your high performance recording studio or audiophile system. The Invicta, like all complex machines of this era, consists of three essential parts: the hardware that is shipped to our customers, the firmware that can be upgraded from time to time and the software that operates the machine and provides its essential functionality. The hardware once committed is unchangeable, and many iterations of hardware were prototyped before the final hardware of the Invicta was decided. That hardware implements all the firmware and software we currently have to offer, but we know very well that within a time period of months, if not weeks, we will have more software to offer. For example, USB Audio 2.0, not to be confused with hardware USB 2.0, is coming and the Mac already supports 2.0 at this time. There is speculation that Windows may support it in the future. It is important to note that currently the Invicta firmware/software layer of the Invicta is implementing ASYNC 1.0 (not 2.0) compliant USB Audio. They are developing USB Audio 2.0 and ASIO drivers, and the Invicta hardware layer can support this. The three rear BNC connectors are electrically isolated, with two being programmable as input or output. If customers want Word Sync, Clock and Data then a simple software upgrade will create that. Furthermore the HDMI connector is also there for a future upgrade, at the hardware level it can do any of these features: I2S over HDMI, HD OSD output and HDMI Audio input. The front panels sports two headphone jacks and a CD card slot. The back panel reveals several more input connections, including high speed USB audio, TosLink, BNC and AES. All common sample rates are supported and are displayed on the front panel. Analog outputs include unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR. The Invicta uses a large OLED screen to allow fine grained control over all device settings including: audio source, volume, song selection, and more.

 

McIntosh MC601McIntosh Labs has a wide array of new products now shipping including the MC302 and MC452 stereo amplifiers, MC601 monoblock amplifier (pictured), that joins the new C48 and C50 stereo preamplifiers, and MCD1100 stereo disc player. The McIntosh MC302 produces 300 wpc while the MC452 produces 450 wpc whereas the MC601 monoblock is a 600 watt powerhouse. All amplifiers have unbalanced via RCA and balanced inputs via XLR plus of course the McIntosh signature blue analog meters on the front panel. The C48 and C50 stereo preamplifiers have a five band equalizer, a balanced XLR stereo pair input, unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR stereo output plus USB input for computer audio and a variety of analog inputs. The C50 ass the famous McIntosh blue analog meters on the front panel. Lastly, the McIntosh MCD1100 universal disc player is true quad balanced via four DACs per stereo channel. Five additional digital inputs with dedicated 32-bit/192KHz USB input. Balanced variable and fixed level output control circuitry for true preamplifier functionality and a dedicated headphone amplifier for personal listening. The unit can also be used as a DAC via S/PDIF, AES/EBU, TosLink and USB computer audio inputs. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the McIntosh MS300 Music Server as seen at this link.

 

As more and more companies realize the power of Android phones, homewide multi-room music company Sonos now offers Controller for Android. This free application transforms an Android smartphone into a wireless music controller that allows Sonos users to find and play songs from the most popular online music services, plus 100,000 Internet radio stations and their personal music library. Search for songs, control the volume, play the same song in every room, or choose different songs for different rooms. It is all in your control, all from the palm of your hand via user's Android phone. Secondly, Sonos is introducing new software that adds support for Apple Airplay music sources. This new software allows Airport Express users to tap into the Sonos line of products for the only true, multi-room Apple Airplay experience. With this new functionality, users can stream songs from their iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch to any room in their house and even listen to all their favorite music on party mode. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Sonos multi-room Music system as seen at this link.

 

04 / 22 / 11

  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, is now offering Diana Krall 's The Look Of Love and The Moody Blues' Days of Future Passed in 24-bit/96kHz! Diana Krall's The Look Of Love is a lush, cinematic collection of ballads and bossa nova tunes as backed by the London Symphony Orchestra. The album features an all-star cast of musicians, including guitarist Russell Malone, legendary percussionist Paulinho Da Costa, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Peter Erskine. The Moody Blues' Days of Future Passed is their legendary 1967 concept album that set a new standard for symphonic rock. It married the band's early R&B stylings with lush orchestral sounds, complex songforms, and epic interludes by the London Festival Orchestra.

 

Enjoy the Music.com Android ApplicationAs a friendly reminder, Enjoy the Music.com is pleased to announce our new Android application for mobile phone devices. With nearly 8,500,000 users, Android phones have been sold worldwide since October 2008 and is quickly becoming a major player in the mobile market. The new Android application provides easy access to our daily industry news, high-end audio consumer electronics equipment reviews, show report and much more. "It brings me joy to announce Enjoy the Music.com's new Android application" said editor Steven R. Rochlin. "The fast growing popularity of the Android operating system on a wide variety of mobile devices proves that enthusiastic and tech savvy consumers want devices they can use to get the information they desire right now. Our new application makes the information they seek for high-end audio devices only a few taps away.... Enjoy the Music.com already has iPhone and Windows Phone 7 apps developed and are awaiting final approval from each company. When all three applications are online, Enjoy the Music.com can appear on the homescreen of every popular mobile device worldwide." Android users can download the Enjoy the Music.com Android application by clicking here. The Windows Phone 7 app has been approved by Microsoft and should appear within the Zune marketplace within the next day or three.

 

04 / 21 / 11

The Absolute Sound  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the May 2011 edition of The Absolute Sound (Issue 213)! This edition of The Absolute Sound features many equipment reviews and think pieces. Equipment reviews include the ten most significant amplifiers of all time, Croft Acoustics Micro 25 preamplifier and Series 7 power amplifier, Perreaux Audiant 80i integrated amplifier, Musical Fidelity M1 DAC and V-Link USB adapter, AudioTools iPad/iPod/iPhone app, the Absolute Sound card survey... and much more! Within Robert Harley's editorial Future Shock he writes, "This issue's special focus on amplifiers and digital products exemplifies the rapidly-widening technology chasm in high-end audio. On one side you've got a product category — amplifiers — that has remained virtually unchanged over many decades; on the other side are categories that didn't even exist a few years ago." You can see the complete table of contents and editorial of TAS by clicking here.

 

HIFICRITIC Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the number 5 issue 1 of HIFICRITIC magazine. This edition of HIFICRITIC includes articles such as Stan Curtis wondering whether we'll end up 'downloading' our favourite hardware in the future, Jason Kennedy notes the pervasive influence of Apple computers at the 2011 CES, will Blu-ray Audio's promise of a high resolution disc format be fulfilled, a single-driver, field-coil Japanese speaker shakes Paul Messenger's preconceptions, Malcolm Steward discusses more computer audio dos and don'ts, a radical new BMR-based kit loudspeaker designed... and much more! Within Paul Messenger's editorial he writes, " While I regret the magazine has to carry such a hefty pricetag, I hope we've managed to create a unique mixture of features, columns and reviews. Product reviews are an important and integral part of all hi-fi magazines. They serve a number of useful purposes, notably in keeping both the reviewer and the reader up to date with what's going on, and of course the trade – brands and dealers alike – love them. But I also think that they've become rather too dominant." You can see the complete table of contents and editorial of HIFICRITIC by clicking here.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Sony Music and Midbar Tech Ltd. are now proclaiming success with protecting CDs using Midbar's Cactus Data Shield. Midbar's technology is claimed to stop the ability to copy CDs or allow the music to be compressed into the .mp3 format
. While various player incompatibilities and a subsequent recall of discs using the same type of technology in a Germany-released title by BMG music last year, further fine tuning of the technology and the recent Sony release have Sony proclaiming success. The Sony music CDs were released in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in late 2000 and Sony claims that there were no incompatibilities as experienced by BMG's earlier release using Midbar's technology. "Our consumers did not feel that the protection limited their experience. We didn't receive any complaints and the feedback from our sales force was only positive," Zbynek Knobloch, managing director of Sony Music said. Midbar CEO Ran Alcalay added that the technology did not face compatibility issues even with older CD players.

 

04 / 20 / 11

Hi-Fi+ Magazine  Enjoy the Music.com has just posted the May edition of Hi-Fi+ (Issue 79)! This issue includes reviews of the Sonus Faber Amati Futura speaker, Focal Stella Utopia EM speaker, Rogue Cronus Magnum valve integrated amplifier, Mark Levinson No 53 mono power amplifier, Mastersound Evolution 845 valve integrated amplifier, MIT Oracle MA-X loudspeaker cable, Burson Audio HA-160 headphone amplifier and much more. Within Alan Sircom's editorial he writes, "The audio world is in something close to turmoil. On the one hand, it is seeing marked downturns in sales of CD players; on the other, it relies on high-quality audio to ply its wares. If the CD market goes away, few people will invest in high-end audio if the sound files they play through the system are of relatively low quality. Fortunately, there are some glimmers of hope for audiophile life after CD." You can see the complete table of contents and editorial of Hi-Fi+ by clicking here.

 

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies, supports US Resolution 42 that is the "Creativity and Innovation Resolution" sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA). The resolution argues that compensating artists and innovators is essential to maintain this global leadership and to incent the creative genius that is behind it. The resolution also makes clear its strong opposition to any government mandates for FM radio chips, or any terrestrial broadcast chip, in mobile devices including phones, smartphones and tablets.

"Every platform in the industrialized world respects property rights but one - terrestrial radio in the U.S. So the idea of the government rigging the playing field to expand the scope of the existing taking makes zero sense. That's why we welcome this resolution and the broader concept of policies that reward technical and creative innovation," added Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America.

"The music community wants to see the growth of distribution platforms that compensate musicians and performers. The most exciting new mobile devices are also the distribution platforms that fully compensate musicians and performers. FM Radio, by contrast, does not," said Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, The Recording Academy.

"An FM chip mandate is unnecessary and unjustified. These new mobile devices are platforms for innovation and creativity, and Americans can decide for themselves what functions and features they want. Requiring today's digital phones to include an analog FM Chip makes as much sense as requiring them to include a telegraph," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumers Electronics Association.

 

04 / 19 / 11

Docet U-4DAC  Italian company Docet's U-4DAC is the link device between the PC/MAC to your hi-fi system via USB connector while outputs is either S/PDIF via RCA or stereo analog unbalanced via RCA. The USB to SPDIF converter handles from 8 to 192 kHz at upwards of 24 bit. The metal chassis is augmented with a 10mm thick Plexiglas front panel. A high precision stable oscillator keeps jitter low as there is no special driver necessary for MAC/OSX. Windows OS users will receive driver set for hi resolution file reproduction. THD distortion is 0.01% and frequency response is from 20 Hz to 96 kHz (+/- 0.5 dB). Dolcert also offers a wide variety of other high-end audio products for the discerning audiophile.

 

Snake River AudioSnake River Audio, located in the Pacific Northwest of the USA right next to Hells Canyon, offers various cables built by audiophiles for audiophiles. Their line of Mamushi RCA interconnects (starting at $1350 for 0.75-meter length) incorporate a natural capacitive rejection of radio frequency interference due to their construction principles. Utilizing DeMotto Audio's 24 karat gold-plated, hyper-pure oxygen-free copper and silver alloy wiring as the foundation, the Mamushis then separate the conductors using an air gap dielectric and protect this configuration by surrounding it with low-level magnets. Snake River Audio then takes the beauty of the Mamushis to the eyes by providing them with a shimmering blue and red braided covering. Snake River Audio feels that there is no "burn-in" necessary as their cables are ready to use upon arrival.

 

04 / 18 / 11

Salon Son & Image 2011  Enjoy the Music.com has updated our Salon Son & Image 2011 report! While we have Phil Gold's prestigious Design Award online, Rick Becker chimes in with parts 2 and 3 of his multi-part report. We have added many new photos of a wide variety of gear plus Rick's excellent commentary. See our Salon Son & Image 2011 report by clicking here.

 

04 / 14 through 4 / 17

AXPONA As Supported By Enjoy the Music.com  Enjoy the Music.com's live daily updates from the AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) show now appears online! Open to the public and held at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, AXPONA brings together listeners and consumers, dealers and manufacturers, and marketers and distributors dedicated to the faithful reproduction of music. This event's mission is to further the faithful reproduction of music. Its outreach, by education and demonstration, is dedicated to the proposition that living with music is different and better than living without music. A series of seminars with subjects that include traditional reproduction technology and techniques plus emerging digital recording and playback methods will be held. Enjoy the Music.com's editor, Steven R. Rochlin,  will be reporting live plus holding two seminars to educate attendees on the many facets of music and high-end audio equipment. See our daily live updates of the AXPONA 2011 show by clicking here.

 

04 / 13 / 11

NuForce DAC-9 24-bit/192kHz DAC  NuForce, devoted to the development of consumer electronic products at every price point that are built upon patented technologies, has their new DAC-9 24-bit/192kHz digital to analog converter. The NuForce DAC-9 is the company's reference-class stereo DAC, preamplifier and headphone amplifier in one package. As to versatility, with its six digital inputs, the DAC-9 offers compatibility with all existing digital formats. In keeping with NuForce's commitment to its customers, a plug-in USB module/interfaces will always provide for upgradeability to higher bit rates, thereby securing the end-user's investment as digital technology continues to advance. Minimal processing and the shortest possible signal paths plus extensive testing and listening lead the company to feel that up-sampling and sample-rate conversion do more harm than good as does negative feedback. Consequently, no form of sample-rate conversion is ever employed. As a further enhancement, an innovative Passive IV Digital Output Filter assures lifelike musical reproduction. The DAC-9's passive circuit employs no negative feedback of any kind. NuForce's DAC-9's 6.3mm and 3.5mm headphone jacks sidestep the inconvenience and potential distortion of external plug adaptors. The remote control and front panel controls allow for fixed and variable voltages with normal volume, input select, dim and mute adjustment. Analog outputs include unbalanced via RCA and balanced via XLR.

 

04 / 12 / 11

  Enjoy the Music.com's twelfth annual Salon Son & Image report covers the 2011 Montreal high-end audio show! While we have Phil Gold's prestigious Design Award online, Rick Becker also chimes in with part 1 of his multi-part report. Phil Gold did not give his design awards at CES 2011, as he chose to save them for the Montreal Salon Son & Image 2011 hi-fi show. Out of the hundreds of products at the show, Phil carefully assesses things and bestows only the top ten products to receive a Design Award. Rick Becker's part 1 report features many products and as always, in the coming days we will be adding much more so check back often! See our Salon Son & Image 2011 report by clicking here.

 

04 / 11 / 11

Shape Audio Organic Harmony Speaker  Shape Audio, a company inspired by life and the beauty around us as created by Luciano Pasquariell, has shown their new Organic Harmony loudspeaker. The metal cabinet is available in solid 18 karat Gold with total weigh being approximately 450 lbs ($6,950,000), a Sterling Silver version weighing 250 lbs ($416,000) and Bronze version weighing 210 lbs ($87,400). The Organic Harmony loudspeaker sculpture measures 1350 × 270 mm and produces an omni-directional sound. Included is a 1000 Watt Class D amplifier with DSP plus stereo analog, S/PDIF, USB and Ethernet inputs. This is a five-way active system so all drivers are carefully controlled. All three versions are strictly limited editions. Shape Audio offers bespoke designs custom made to the customer's specifications.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Tube manufactures Electro-Harmonix now offers their new 6L6EH as their latest addition to the EH line of premium vacuum tubes.
Sold as singles for $19.40 each or Platinum Matched at $21.40 each, these tubes are said to be modeled after the vintage RCA 6L6GC "Blackplate". The Electro-Harmonix 6L6EH features larger plate dimensions and "improved" grid structure for increased power handling capabilities. Furthermore, a ruggedized screen construction, new tri-laminate plate material, phosphor bronze side rods, and mica spacers with metal springs (claimed to eliminate tube rattle and microphonics) are other features of this new tube.

 

04 / 08 / 11

Rush Moving Pictures  HDtracks is now offering the amazing, mind-blowing and awesome Rush album Moving Pictures in 24-bit/96kHz! The legendary band's best-selling masterpiece features "Tom Sawyer," "Red Barchetta", "YYZ", "Limelight" "Vital Signs" and more. As the best selling album by the Canadian progressive rock group Rush, 1981's Moving Pictures hit #3 on the United States charts and was certified quadruple-platinum in both the United States and Canada. This hi-res version lends a new dimension to an already spectacular production quality, bringing out the nuanced playing and studio innovations of these three virtuoso musicians. The band is composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. Since the release of the band's self-titled debut album in March 1974, Rush has become known for the musicianship of its members, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy, as well as addressing humanitarian, social, emotional, and environmental concerns. Rush's music style has changed over the years, beginning with blues-inspired heavy metal on their first album, then encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, and a period with heavy use of synthesizers. They have been cited as an influence by various musical artists, including Metallica, Primus, and The Smashing Pumpkins as well as progressive metal bands such as Dream Theater and Symphony X.

 

Adam Audio A77X Nearfield SpeakerAdam Audio, founded in 1999 when physicist Klaus Heinz and electrical engineer Roland Stenz joined forces, is about to give the world a first look at the new A77X nearfield speaker. In some set-ups it can be advisable to use a horizontally designed speaker rather than a vertical one. Until now, such monitors were only available within Adam Audio's SX top line. The brand new Adam A77X features the Adam proprietary X- ART tweeter. The 'X' stands for 'eXtended frequency response' and thus for one of the features of the Accelerating Ribbon Technology that has been drastically improved to offer higher frequency response and now extends all the way up to 50 kHz. In addition, the X-ART tweeter has higher efficiency and higher maximum sound pressure levels. The two 7" woofers have large voice coils (1.5") and are made with carbon, rohacell and glass. Each driver has its own dedicated amplifier. A 50 Watt A/B amplifier is responsible for the X-ART tweeter, while the bass-/midwoofers are driven by a 100 Watt PWM amplifier. The rear panel features several additional controls: a gain for the high frequencies (± 4dB) and two shelf filters for high and low frequencies. To ensure ease of use, there are both XLR (balanced) and RCA (unbalanced) connectors. The speaker's overall frequency response is from 38 Hz to 50 kHz, weighs 28.2 lbs, dimensions are 9.5 x 21 x 11 (HxWxD in inches) and is magnetically shielded. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Adam Audio A5 recording studio monitor.

 

04 / 07 / 11

High End 2011  The High End Society's recent newsletter said, "Multimedia network Combined PC and internet for the benefit of home entertainment electronics. The digital network has become a matter of course today in many parts of our lives and will continue to do more so in the future. In January 2011, the Bundesverband Musikindustrie e.V. (Society of German music industry) in Berlin announced that the world revenue from digital music has grown to 29%. According to the Digital Music Report 2011 (DMR), an estimated 4.6 billion US dollars worldwide comes from music online. Music lovers now have access to over 400 worldwide licensed services online and can choose from over 13 billion songs (Bundesverband Musikindustrie e.V.). This major change in consumer behavior has also clearly manifested itself in our industry. Nearly all the exhibitors at our HIGH END exhibition now offer network compatible components. And the ways the sound gets into the home system are as varied as the number of sound sources that exist. Today, music is stored on computers, network hard disks, on iPods and mobile phones. It comes from the radio, from disc via internet radio, downloaded and at all types of quality levels. Fashionable end devices are the prestigious objects of tomorrow."

"This is why many exhibitors have specially devoted themselves to this topic. A network connection is standard nowadays for most devices. Streaming clients, multi-room systems or closed complete systems offer sophisticated solutions. As more and more interesting web platforms emerge for the sales of downloaded lossless compressed music, the physical medium for digital data such as CDs, DVDs, SACDs and Blu-ray is being constantly challenged. Therefore, it’s really no longer necessary to restrict yourself to listening to music on poor quality data reduced MP3 formats, nor to any other data files that is reduced or compressed. On the contrary, there are now formats which go far beyond what the CD was able to give us technically in almost three decades. Now music lovers who once looked on with great skepticism are now reconciled to the digital age with all the options of reduced transmission. So it’s back to the future!"

High End 2011 Show
Location: M,O,C, Munich, Lilienthalallee 40, 80939 München-Freimann, Germany
Duration: 19th – 22nd of May 2011
Trade Day: Thursday, May 19th 2011 (only by pre-registration)
Open: From 10am – 6pm
Entrance fee
Trade visitors: 20 Euro with pre-registration (the badge is valid for all days)
Public: 10 Euro / day
Internet: www.HighEndSociety.de

 

04 / 06 / 11

Onkyo TX-8050 Network Stereo Receiver and C-7030 CD Player   Those looking for an inexpensive yet high quality stereo system may want to check this out. Onkyo, a company with decades of expertise in high-quality audio, has introduced the versatile TX-8050 network stereo receiver and C-7030 CD player ($399 and $249 respectively). These components represent Onkyo's new generation of products for stereo music enthusiasts seeking excellence in two-channel performance yet at an affordable price. The Onkyo TX-8050 network stereo receiver produces 80 wpc and will connect a wide range of modern and vintage music sources. A front-panel USB port allows direct digital connection for iPod/iPhone and other USB devices. An Ethernet jack provides streaming internet radio or audio from computer or network sources. Onkyo's proprietary Universal Port provides for Onkyo-branded peripheral iPod/iPhone docks, HD radio tuner, and future wireless options. The unit also supports classic audio sources such as turntable, AM/FM, audio recorder, AV sources, and a CD player via analog or TosLink optical or S/PDIF coaxial digital input connections. A large EI transformer and large 8,200 µF capacitors ensures a stable power supply with the ability to drive high-current loads with both channels, as reflected by it dynamic power rating of 160 watts into 4 Ohms via Onkyo's proprietary WRAT amplifier technology that incorporates a low negative-feedback design, closed ground-loop circuits, and a high instantaneous-current capability. For the USB port, supported file types include MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, FLAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, and LPCM audio. Users can also take advantage of a variety of Internet streaming radio channels from Pandora, Rhapsody, Napster, SIRIUS XM Internet Radio, Slacker, Last.fm, Mediafly, and vTuner. The receiver is certified with Windows 7 and DLNA Version 1.5. The Onkyo TX-8050 also has a front-panel headphone jack, IR input/output, full-function remote control, A/B speaker outputs, and Zone 2 preamplification outputs that allow users to send audio to a second room equipped with an amplifier and a pair of speakers. The Onkyo C-7030 CD player incorporates a new high-precision clock to dramatically reduce timing errors, along with Onkyo's original VLSC to reduce pulse noise. The power supply features a large custom-built EI transformer that provides a clean and stable power supply. Build quality is exemplified by a 1.6 mm-thick flat chassis base that helps reduce unwanted vibrations. Outputs include stereo analog, TosLink optical and S/PDIF digital via coax RCA.

 

Music Industry News 10 Years Ago
Pink Floyd Dark Side of the MoonPopular web-head site Shockrave, a feature website from Macromedia and their Shockwave internet browser plug-in, shows that their music plus video media is going strong with popular music yet also finds that rockers have a say, too, in who really is King of the internet "airwaves"
. Below shows the top five most enjoyed selections with veteran psychedelic rockers Pink Floyd ranking second behind pop star Britney Spears. Meanwhile Madonna is showing a strong presence in 4th place with her recent song that was featured as the opening song at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards titled "Music". And the list is:

1. Britney Spears "Oops" MixMaker
2. Pink Floyd "Wish You Were Here"
3. PhotoJam
4. Madonna "Music"
5. N'Sync "Bye Bye Bye" MixMaker

The Pink Floyd piece not only plays a unique audio mix of various songs from their Wish You Were Here album, it also has new video to go along with it! The Shockwave animation is quite good and goes well with the music. Pink Floyd fans are flocking by the tens of thousands to see this new music video. Welcome my son. Welcome to the machine...

 

04 / 05 / 11

HDtracks The Rolling Stones  HDtracks has announced they are now offering the entire remastered catalog of The Rolling Stones in audiophile 176kHz/24-bit resolution! "Many years of research went into locating the original mono and stereo analog tapes that would be used in ABKCO's Rolling Stones Remastered Series" says Teri Landi, Archivist and Engineer, ABKCO Music & Records. "That research revealed a treasure trove of first generation tapes -- true stereo masters from The Stones' 1964 Chess Studios sessions including the unedited version of "2120 South Michigan Avenue," Beggar's Banquet at its correct speed and Let It Bleed with splicing that indicates that the original intention was to leave little spacing between each cut. For the analog to digital transfers, vintage reel-to-reel tape machines were utilized -- a modified Ampex 351 with original tube electronics (full track mono and two track stereo) and an Ampex ATR-102 modified with Aria Discrete Class-A Electronics (full track mono and two track stereo). A Sonoma DSD digital audio workstation was the chosen high resolution format and Meitner Design ADC8 and DAC8 MKlV converters were used for the conversion process." You can download the entire catalog online by clicking here.

 

04 / 04 / 11

CEC TL3N Belt Drive CD Transport  Japanese company CEC is selling their TL3N belt drive CD transport (approximately $2400). CEC is well knows for their use of a belt drive CD motor system as the company feels it eliminates noise, vibration and avoids electromagnetic interference with the leaser reading lens assembly. Just as found in turntables, CEC increases the mass of the CD's spinning mechanism to aid in providing a stable rotation due to higher overall inertia. The belt drive system uses a double belt drive spindles as is found in their top models TL0X and TL1N. The rear of the unit sports the CEC Superlink system that mates seamless with the company's DAC, thus allowing for a highly accurate signal transmission. By connecting an external clock generator, CD from transport D/A clock synchronization can be thoroughly maintained until the signal reaches the converter. Other digital outputs include standard AES/EBU via XLR, S/PDIF vial coax and optical TosLink. The CEC TL3N includes a remote control and dimensions are 435 x 320 x 109 (WxDxH in inches, with overall weight being 24 lbs.

 

Acoustic Energy Compact 1 LoudspeakerAcoustic Energy, founded in 1987 and originally based in West London before relocating to its current 15,000 square foot facility in the Cotswolds, just launched their new Compact 1 bookshelf loudspeaker (£149.95). Set to begin shipping in June, the Acoustic Energy Compact 1 is designed to be used as a stand-alone stereo pair of speakers or partnered with a subwoofer. The MDF cabinet has extensive internal bracing while a soft-dome tweeter is mated with a wood fiber midrange/woofer driver using AE's conical dust cap. Acoustic Energy's Compact 1 are supplied with rear port bungs and wall-mounting brackets to add in placement versatility. Dimension are 22 x 15 x 20 (HxWxD in cm, sensitivity is 88dB/W/m and they can handle 100 watt each. Finishes will include piano black or Vermont walnut.

 

04 / 01 / 11

   Enjoy the Music.com's April issue is packed with many equipment reviews and officially launches our Android APP! Coming within a few days is our Windows Phone 7 and Apple iPad/iPhone app. See the April issue by clicking here.

Review Magazine
Regular Reading
Daily News: Audiophile news updated each weekday!

VALVE Magazine
Dinkin' Around
Tech tips and other unsolicited advice.

Sound Practices Magazine
The Single 300B Amplifier A model 91 for 1992
Article By Joe Roberts

Allen Wright Exposé
A Tribute To.... Allen Wright of Vacuum State
Article By Steven R. Rochlin

The SuperCables CookBook By Allen Wright
Makin' Your Own Cables

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 5, 6, 12, 52 and 63.
Article By Bill Gaw

Industry Articles
Why Your Audiophile Addiction Is Due To Get More Expensive... Soon!
Article By John Evanthes (aka, TheChairGuy)

Viewpoint
In This Issue... Enjoy the Music.com Android, Windows Phone 7 and Apple App! Article By Steven R. Rochlin

Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 137
My fond remembrances of Allen Wright plus Pure Power PP 2000 Regenerator, Mapleshade USB-S-PDIF Reclocking Adapter, M2Tech and audiophile personality Romy the Cat.
Article By Dr. Bill Gaw

Superior Audio Equipment
World Premiere!
Lyra Kleos MC Phono Cartridge
Able to handle any record that I threw at it.
Review By Tom Lyle 

Steinmusic H2 Harmonizers And Magic Stones
A uniquely original approach to a better sounding listening room.
Review By Wayne Donnelly

Bryston 7B SST2 C-Series Monoblock Power Amplifiers
Redesigned and ready to go.
Review By Anthony Nicosia 

Coincident Speaker Technology
Frankenstein Mk II Monoblock Amplifier
Coincident's Total Victory IV and Frankenstein Mk II amplifiers are two building blocks for a world-class listening experience.
Review By Rick Becker

Audiophile Equipment Reviews 
World Premiere!
Edwards Audio By Talk Electronics MC1 Plus Phono Preamplifier
And PSU1 Outboard Power Supply
An enjoyable listening experience at very reasonable price!
Review By Alfred R. Fredel

World Premiere!
Parasound JC 3 Phono Preamplifier
Treat your vinyl collection right!
Review By Anthony Nicosia

World Premiere!
Usher Audio Dancer Series Mini One Diamond DMD Loudspeakers
A loudspeaker sure to turn heads!
Review By Anthony Nicosia

April Fools Article
Tweaking Without Limits
For your special April 1 celebration.
Article By Jeff Poth

April Fools Article
Subatomic String Tuning Device -- The Ultimate In Resonance Tuning!
Review By Steven R. Rochlin

Benchmark Media DAC1 PRE
You could spend more, yet doubt you can find one that performs better.
Review By Clarke Robinson

conrad-johnson ET250S Hybrid Stereo Power Amplifier
The best of both worlds.
Review By Tom Lyle

D.I.Y. Audio
Capacitor Musings Part 3
Article By Jon L

Single Ended eXperimenter's Kit
For Headphones And Efficient Speakers
Enjoying superb S.E.X.!
Article By Jeff Poth

The Difference Engine Preamp Version 1.0
Exploring a 'secret' circuit called a differential.
Article By Grey Rollins

The T-Rex SET Amplifier
A DIY Project
Article By Dick Olsher And John Broskie

Music Reviews
Classical Music
Two contrasting approaches to Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony.
Review By Max Westler 

Jennifer Higdon's exciting new Violin Concerto, brilliantly realized by dedicatee Hilary Hahn.
Review By Max Westler

Jazz, Bluegrass, etc.
Diana Krall Quiet Nights
Review By A. Colin Flood

Laurie Lewis Blossoms
Review By Steven Stone

Lonesome River Band Still Learning
Review By Steven Stone

Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band Legacy
Review By Steven Stone

Darrell Webb Band Bloodline
Review By Steven Stone

Various Bluegrass, Blues And Jazz Albums
Reviews By Steven Stone

 

See the April Review Magazine by clicking here.


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