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High-End Audio Industry News


05 / 31 / 06

  Enjoy the Music.com's $80,000+ Equipment Contest, the largest of its kind in the history of the audiophile industry, is a resounding success! Since its inception over six months ago, this site has received thousands of entries from all over the world. Prizes will be awarded by leading high-end companies including AAA-Audio, Aperion Audio, Art Audio, Audience, Audio Note UK, Audio Space, AV123, Axiom Audio, Cardas, Crystal Cable, DEQX Calibrated, Edge Electronics, Etymotic Research, Fidelis, Green Mountain Audio, Hagerman Technology, HeadRoom, Jadis, JPS Labs, KEF, Kimber Kable, Landes Audio, LAT International, Lehmann Audio, Locus Design Group, the Lotus Group, McCormack Audio Corporation, ModWright Instruments, My Audio Cables (MAC), NAT Distribution, Penaudio, Pierre Gabriel Acoustics Incorporated, Redgum Audio, Reference Recordings, Single Power, Sota, Stereovox, TacT Audio, Teresonic, Von Schweikert Audio, and Welborne Labs. "Our efforts will enhance the joy of music to people all around the world," said Enjoy the Music.com's Editor Steven R. Rochlin. "Together with the contributing manufacturers we have raised the public's awareness of our industry. Judging from the staggering amount of e-mails and comments included within entries, there is no doubt of the increased awareness high-end audio has achieved as a direct result. I would like to thank each company for their generous contribution." The contest began October 7, 2005 and ended today with contest winners being notified via e-mail in a few days.

 

05 / 25  through  05 /28

Germany High End Society  Enjoy the Music.com's seventh consecutive year covering Germany's High End Society audiophile and consumer electronics show has begun! Live music, technology stages, and a Software Village are only some of the many exciting events during the show. See our event coverage by clicking here.

 

05 / 24 / 06

  While Enjoy the Music.com generally does not report on high-end audio company management changes, we felt this was huge news. Linn Products Limited's Ivor Tiefenbrun has stepped aside, with Peter Murphy now working as the company's Managing Director. Ivor Tiefenbrun will be assuming the role of Executive Chairman. Ivor said "I am delighted Peter has accepted the position of Managing Director and I have complete confidence in his ability to lead and grow the business. Peter brought 20 years of business and commercial experience with him when he joined Linn 8 years ago and has a comprehensive understanding of the business; he has led Linn's current senior management team for the last 18 months and has previously filled various top management positions within the company including Group Director of Finance and President of Linn's US subsidiary, Linn Inc." Founded in 1972 by Ivor Tiefenbrun, the company grew out of his belief that he could vastly improve the sound quality of his own hi-fi system. Ivor had a clear purpose; to reproduce, through superior sound, the thrills and emotion of a live performance. Linn's range of products over the decades has grown from the very first Sondek turntable sold in 1972 today's true reference digital players, amplifiers, and loudspeakers.

 

05 / 23 / 06

Cello Audio by Matthew James  Cello Audio by Matthew James and available in Germany by Bernd Ahne's Hifi-Tuning  are celebrating the new designs and achievement. The company's re-launched Chorale preamplifier, Master power supply, Rhapsody amplifier and Strings cables are now in full production. All printed circuit boards use traces that are drawn by hand, all parts are inserted into the board by hand and individually soldered. Internal signal cabling is hand-made from solid silver and is shielded/grounded. According to Cello by Matthew James, it requires 85 hours of labor to build a completed Chorale and Master. With care in parts selection, the new 59-position output level control's contact material was changed to a special silver alloy that contains 10 percent gold and 10 percent platinum. Owners of older Cello gear can benefit from various updates to greatly improve their older gear. Current owners of these classic Cello products, who have their audio circuitry updated and purchase a new Master power supply, will receive a new 5 year warranty covering the complete product.

 

05 / 22 / 06

Ferguson Hill FH007 Hornspeakers  Ferguson Hill's new FH007 ($1000) is a mini system of the company's well-regarded FH001, FH003, and FH003 single driver hornspeakers. This new system features a pair of horns for mains, a pair of bass drivers mounted within round cabinets, and four channels (16 watts each) of Class A/B amplification. Frequency response if from 75Hz to 20kHz (+-5dB) with input being a 3.5mm stereo jack. 

 

 

Silversmith Audio  Silversmith Audio, manufacturers of audio cables, has acquired digital to audio converter specialist Dodson Audio. Dodson Audio will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Silversmith Audio, though there will be some merging of product development, sales and marketing. Beyond the shared technology, the acquisition will also enhance the market presence of both the digital and cable products, allowing for an expanded network of dealers and distributors. "By combining the passion, creativity, and technology of two leading-edge audiophile companies, Silversmith Audio will continue to drive innovations that help bring the listener closer to the live musical event than ever before," said Silversmith Audio owner, Jeffrey Smith.

 

05 / 19 / 06

Ancient Audio Lektor Prime CD Player  Ancient Audio, the first Poland producer of high-end CD players, now offers their Lektor Prime CD player (€8000). Following the success of the company's five other Lector models, including their top-line Lector Grand, the Lektor Prime is said to deliver much of the Lektor Grand (€13,000) performance at more affordable pricing. Features include CD Pro2 mechanism, fully-balanced A/D converters, analog filters, level attenuators, V-Cap Teflon/tin foil capacitors, silver ribbon internal wiring, Sovtek 6H30 triode output stage plus XLR output. Due to an additional pair of RCA input sockets, the Lector Prime can be employed as the high performance CD player and a valve pre-amplifier. Three layers of granite ensure stability with the upper level suspended on springy elements while the two others are filled with damping materials.

 

05 / 18 / 06

PSB Speakers International Alpha Series loudspeakers  PSB Speakers International has redesigned their Alpha Series loudspeakers. Five new models feature new drivers and more stylized cosmetics. The updated series was redesigned from the ground-up utilizing new cabinetry, tweeters, woofers, crossovers and port technology. New contoured cabinets provide Alpha with a broader appeal, enhanced dispersion and diminishes unwanted sonic diffractions that is claimed to contribute to flatter frequency response. As for drivers, the entire Alpha Series is outfitted with a new 0.75-inch aluminum dome tweeter equipped with an exclusive phase device and proprietary technology that provides response exceeding 21kHz. As for bass, PSB's redesigned woofers have a deeper basket structure and a rigid composite chassis that improves magnet efficiency, resulting in deeper bass response. A newly formulated "high loss" composite rubber surround has been fitted to the mid and low frequency drivers. Metalized injection woofer cones, rather than the vacuum formed cones used in the previous Alpha series, ensures a higher consistency during the manufacturing process.

Alpha T1 Tower 2 x 5.25-inch woofers; 0.75-inch tweeter $599/pr. 
Alpha B1 Bookshelf 5.25-inchwoofer;0.75-inch tweeter $279/pr. 
Alpha CLR1 Center 2 x 3½-inch woofers; 0.75-inch tweeter $169/ea. 
Alpha LR1 Bookshelf 3.5-inch woofer; 0.75-inch tweeter $199/pr 
Alpha C1 Center 2 x 5.25-inch woofers; 0.75-inch tweeter $229/ea. 
SubZero i Powered Sub 8-inch woofer $329/ea. 
SubSeries 5i Powered Sub 10-inch woofer $499/ea.

 

05 / 17 / 06

Sovtek  According to the New York Times, the ExpoPul vacuum tube manufacturing facility in Russia is under attack by what owner Mike Matthews call the mob. Mr. Matthews purchased the tube manufacturing facility years ago and sales have steadily grown from 40,000 tubes a month in 1999 to 170,000 in 2005. During a telephone interview, Mr. Matthews has said "It's rock 'n' roll versus the mob. I will not give in to racketeers." With stories of the mod, shady Russian police wearing masks to hide their identity, and bribes that can reach all the way up the Russian judicial system, it makes one wonder who actually controls Russia. Yuri Alekseyev, a chief ministry investigator was quoted by the Interfax news agency, said "Dozens of major deals for the purchase and sale of companies take place in Russia every month. The process is ever more frequently accompanied by gross violations of the law." In typical mafia coercion tactics, Russian Business Estates director Vitaly V. Borin desires purchasing Mr. Matthews's ExpoPul factory  for pennies on the dollar to, in turn, sell to another investor. Of course Mr. Borin also claims to be using only legal tactics to achieve his goal. It appears ExpoPul is now under attack as Mr. Matthews is refusing to sell the factory as reports include the electricity being shut off and invaders using jackhammers raised dust to contaminate the factory's clean rooms. The situation grows ever more complicated with each passing week. As for world tube production, the Russian facility is said to manufacture well over half of new vacuum tubes worldwide including those under the brand name Sovtek.

In related news, a few years back Russia had become a mixed place to conduct business, including the high-end audio industry where there has been mixed reaction worldwide between the two major interests that caused a single yearly major show to become two separate shows. Taking sides with either show was quite a decision on various levels, with some manufactures and press members choosing to not attend either show due to various concerns and fear.

 

05 / 16 / 06

Audio-Technica ATH-PRO700 SV  Audio-Technica, celebrating over 40 years of audio excellence as an innovator of professional audio devices, has announced the availability of the ATH-PRO700 SV professional monitor headphones ($279). Incorporating a neodymium magnet system, rugged construction, and the latest in transducer technology from Audio-Technica, the low-profile closed-back dynamic (circumaural isolation) design provides excellent isolation in loud listening environments. Other features include the use of 53mm drivers, CCAW voice coils, and OFC oxygen-free copper cable, rotating earpieces to facilitate one-ear monitoring, and well-padded plus easily adjustable headband to ensure a comfortable fit. Frequency response is 5Hz to 33kHz, maximum input power is 3,500 mW, sensitivity 105dB/mW, impedance 36 ohms, and the headphones weight 320 grams.

 

05 / 15 / 06

  Enjoy the Music.com's midmonth update of our Review Magazine is now online! Rick Becker's extensive coverage of Canada's Le Festival Son et Image de Montréal show includes over 75 photos and 11,000 words. This is perhaps the most informative show coverage anywhere on the Internet or in print! We also have published over 60 photos by Ron Nagle's covering the recent NJ/NYC Vacuum Tube Valley show. See the midmonth issue of our Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

05 / 12 / 06

Rotel RLC-1080 Power Conditioner / Filter  Rotel Electronics, known for producing high-end audio products at reasonable pricing, has announced many new products. Two new power conditioners, the RLC-1080 and RLC-1040 ($1,599 and $499 respectively, provide system protection against spikes, brownouts, overvoltages, and RFI noise. In addition, the RLC-1080 can serve as a continuous backup power supply with the addition of extra battery modules ($699). Also new from Rotel is their RB-1091 500-watt mono and RB-1092 500-watt stereo Class D amplifiers ($1,499 and $2,499 respectively) both featuring ICEpower. Rotel employs analog-controlled Class D design a step further than others with the implementation of two important technologies from ICEpower. The first is Controlled Oscillation Modulation (COM) is analog throughout and said to yield lower noise and distortion than digital modulation. The second improvement is Multivariable Enhanced Cascade Control (MECC), which is a circuit enclosing the output filter within a feedback path, resulting in very low output impedance (high damping factor) across the entire audio band.

 

 

05 / 11 / 06

DWV Art.Engine Ferrari Loudspeaker  DWV Art.Engine has an agreement with Ferrari's marketing team and is now offering a Ferrari-branded amplified loudspeaker with a limited run of only 1,000 pairs. The Art.Engine ($20,000) combines two tall driver arrays, wireless signal input and digital amplification electronics. Measuring 47 inches tall, 16 inches wide and 6 inches deep, the Art.Engine includes Class D bi-amplification (total of 280 watts), with one amplifier powering eight custom DWV 75mm carbon fiber midrange/woofers drivers and the other powering a custom ScanSpeak 28mm soft dome tweeter. Primary signal input is via 802.11 WiFi streaming of music files, though conventional line level sources such as CD players, tuners, iPods and most other portable devices can use the 3.5mm mini jack input. Frequency response is from 40Hz to 20kHz with a maximum SPL level of 112dB at one meter. Ferrari colors available include Rosso Corsa red, Argento Nürburgring silver, Grigio Silverstone grey and Nero black, with other custom Ferrari colors available upon request.

 

05 / 10 / 06

Zepco The Overboard  Zepco's subsidiary, The Overboard, has announced that they will sell their solid hardwood end-grain butcher block boards ($60 including shipping) as a base for audiophile components. These boards offer craftsmanship, attention to detail and great value. Each board measures 20" x 20" x 2" (WxDxH) and weigh over 15 pounds. They can be used for high-end turntables, audio components and loudspeakers. The company also offers custom sized boards to your specifications and various wood tones to visually compliment to your home decor.

 

05 / 09 / 06

Chesky The New York Sessions  Chesky Records has announced a new jazz series called The New York Sessions. All titles in this series will be recorded in the acoustically superb St. Peter's Church, located in the heart of Chelsea, New York City. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2006, Chesky is one of the leading audiophile labels using state-of-the-art technology recording gear. Chesky Records goal is to have The  New York Sessions preserve the sound of the greatest practitioners of American jazz while spotlighting new artists and opening new opportunities for this music. All New York Sessions titles will be released as aggressively priced hybrid SACDs. Each SACD title will have a compatible CD layer, as well as high definition stereo and multi channel versions for SACD players. The artwork for the series will feature New York's remarkable architecture and a new logo "Hi Def Jazz" will appear on the cover serving to identify these as Super Audio Compact Discs. Seven New York Sessions titles will be released this year with a significantly larger release schedule anticipated for 2007. The upcoming releases include:

July
David Hazeltine, George Mraz, with Billy Drummond Manhattan (SACD310)
John Abercrombie & Eddie Gomez with Gene Jackson Structures (SACD317)

August
Christian McBride Javon Jackson, Jimmy Cobb and Cedar Walton: Urban Archeology (SACD 314)
Larry Coryell, Lenny White and Victor Bailey (SACD322)

September
Hank Jones, Jimmy Cobb, Christian McBride West of Fifth (SACD313)
Nicholas Payton, Bob Belden, Sam Yahel, John Hart, Billy Drummond Mysterious Shorter (SACD321)

October
John Hicks, Buster Williams and Louis Hayes Tribecca Blues (SACD318)

 

05 / 08 / 06

Linn Kinik  New Linn Pocket PC control interface for Kisto/Kinos systems is available plus Majik system is now shipping. Kinik (pronounced 'ki-NEEK') is a Linn-designed graphical user interface (GUI) that enables wireless control of the Linn Kisto system controller (and soon the Linn Kinos system controller). Kinik operates on many Pocket PCs running Windows Mobile 2003 SE or Mobile 5 and is exceptionally simple to use, with full set-up possible in just a few minutes. This new interface will control all Linn source components with RS232 compatibility and also non-Linn sources including CD and DVD players, satellite and cable receivers that are controlled by via a Linn Dekoda IR translator. Kinik provides instant two-way communication between user and system, allowing the feedback of track, volume and source information on the screen of their Pocket PC. In addition, because Kinik is a wireless application, it can be used anywhere within the range of a suitable router, offering extremely flexible control of any home theatre system.

The Majik system's CD player, preamplifier, and amplifier are now shipping ($3500, $3100, and $2350 respectively). Technologies in the CD player are derived from Linn's acclaimed Sondek CD12. Linn's Majik Kontrol preamplifier has six stereo analogue inputs including MM and MC phonostage. Amplification is produced by the Majik 2100 that features proprietary Chakra techology and 4mm binding posts ensure solid electrical contact. All units in the Majik system have Linn's proprietary Switch Mode Power Supply.

 

05 / 01 / 06

  Enjoy the Music.com's May issue of both Superior Audio and Review Magazine are now online! Superior Audio includes three World Premier reviews that consist of Peak Consult's Zoltan loudspeaker, KR Audio's Kronzilla DX monoblock amplifier, and Sound Fusion's Hyperion loudspeaker. The Review Magazine continues our look into zero-oversampling DACs as we feature four units going head-to-head. Our very own Mono Maven takes a listen and reviews seven Mercury Living Presence recordings, plus we have rock and jazz reviews from various writers. See the May issue of our Review Magazine by clicking here and Superior Audio by clicking here.

 

 

High End Society Munich 2006 Audiophile SHowThose looking to attend an audio show in May or June should place Germany's High End Society's Munich show on their calendar. As Europe's largest show, there will be over 200 exhibitors presenting approximately 600 brands over an area of 14,000 square meters (45,931 square feet). The show is so popular and productive that there are 22 percent more exhibitors than 2005, with a total of 15 countries being represented. Live music, technology stages, and a Software Village are only some of the many exciting events during the show. Enjoy the Music.com® will be there providing live reports each day online. See our 2005 show coverage by clicking here.

What: HIGH END 2006 Munich-Germany
When: May 25th to 28th
Where: M.O.C. Munich
Open: From 10am to 6pm
Entrance fee:
1. Trade Visitors: €25
2. Public: €10/ day



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