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High-End Audio Industry News


07 / 31 / 08

Piega CL 120 X Reference Loudspeaker  European loudspeaker manufacturer Piega has announced three new models. The CL 120 X reference floor-standing loudspeaker (pictured) features a special coaxial ribbon system. The new CL 120 X succeeds the widely acclaimed C 40. Thanks to advancements in several areas, this newcomer comes with a C1 large coaxial ribbon system and a pair of woofers. The new TC 30 X is a slim-line reference column loudspeaker with coaxial ribbon system. The TC 30 X rounds off the TC range and fulfills this category. The loudspeaker has modest dimensions and a pair of Piega's MOM woofers. Lastly, Piega's new PS 2 subwoofer was developed to offer superb bass range performance for music or cinema. The active subwoofer with its lateral sound radiation has now been provided with even faster chassis than the company's previous models. An extensive setting options fulfill a wide bass range to be fine tuned and adjusted for virtually any room size and condition.

 

07 / 30 / 08

Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)  According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the preeminent trade association promoting growth United States consumer electronics industry with over 2,200 companies, the consumer electronics industry will reach to around $173 billion in revenue within the United States in 2008. This is a growth of 7.3 percent versus 2007, with 2009 predictions being over $183 billion. "The CE industry is a backbone of economic activity in this country," said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. "In a tough economy, consumers turn to CE products for many reasons - from entertaining in the home to telecommuting to save gas. Such factors - and access to global consumers through free trade - help the CE industry to flourish while growth rates of other industries have either stalled or declined. Consumers don't want to live without CE products and continue to crave the latest gadgets and innovations our industry has to offer."

 

 

A recently released report titled Tracking The Trackers by the University Of Washington, "As people increasingly rely on the Internet to deliver downloadable music, movies, and television, content producers are faced with the problem of increasing Internet piracy. To protect their content, copyright holders police the Internet, searching for unauthorized distribution of their work on websites like YouTube or peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent. When infringement is (allegedly) discovered, formal complaints are issued to network operators that may result in websites being taken down or home Internet connections being disabled." This report rings reality on the aggressive nature of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), is the trade group that represents the U.S. recording industry, as they use various tracking methods and perhaps send their strong-arming legal tactics to innocent victims. The report continues by saying "Although the implications of being accused of copyright infringement are significant, very little is known about the methods used by enforcement agencies to detect it, particularly in P2P networks." Virtually any truly savvy Internet user can find out how to hide their identity by using special software to 'take over' or manipulate an unsuspecting network and hide behind that address to access websites, including P2P music download websites. The strong statement made by this report states that, "Practically any Internet user can be framed for copyright infringement today." Meanwhile the RIAA is soiling their reputation once again by giving four members of the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) honorary Gold Record Awards in recognition of their exceptional efforts to provide attorneys with the necessary tools and guidance to effectively prosecute music piracy cases. The RIAA has been in the news before showing just how aggressive they can be, with their leaked training video called In Trial (see below flashback).

 

 

From 02 / 23 / 08

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)A training video called In Trial produced by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was leaked to the public and concerns alleged illegal music activates plus makes reference that defendants may then seek out handguns, are drug users, are hardcore criminals... and may be linked to terrorist organizations(!). The video has been reported to star ex-prosecutor Deborah Robinson and ex-Maryland state trooper Frank Walters to "assist in the training of U.S. prosecutors responsible for handling music piracy cases." While there is not a specific date of production mentioned, it appears to be fairly recently made as within the video Frank Walters is seen in the video to be pointing to a CD burner tower according to a website. The video may be frightening in just how far the RIAA is willing to take matters into their own hands, as they will help in "qualifying an RIAA investigator as an expert" who then can be employed within their legal trials. Can someone say possible major conflict of interest and biased 'expert' witness. As for how this video is now on the Internet for all to understand how far the RIAA is willing to go, the below 'letter' is said to be from the person who acquired it.

I came into possession of this video through a close friend. He happens to hold a position in the criminal prosecutorial system. He is a prosecutor of felonies, which is what makes this video such a wonderful illustration of just how overboard the media industry has gone in their persecutions of pirates. Should downloading music ever be considered a felony?

My contact knows my views on the current state of intellectual property law in the United States. I tend to be somewhat outspoken on the subject.

Obviously, when I saw the envelope in his office with the attractive and oh-so-professional RIAA/NDAA letterhead protruding from the top, I could not resist. I begged him to let me have it, and since he tends to sympathize with those of us who hold less respect for IP rights, he consented.

I was expecting the video to be epic. I had no idea, however, that it would compare pirates to terrorists and drug dealers. It was too good to be true.

It was a wonderful find, and a perfect example of how misinformed the legal system is on the issues of piracy.

The RIAA is deluded. They have a warped perception of how media distribution should work in our high-tech world. They refuse to adapt. Instead, they stick to their age-old business model, they cry foul, and they persecute pirates. They recruit friends in high places in the legal system. They have succeeded in painting us as the enemy through their propaganda campaigns.

We are not the enemy. We are the new generation of media consumers.

We should be their allies.

Thanks for hearing me out, and for reporting on it. The video is good for a laugh, no?

This training video is available on many torrent websites and can easily be found using various search engines as am sure the RIAA legal team is scrambling to shut down as many sites as possible that have it for download. A clip was on YouTube, but has since been taken down.

 

07 / 29 / 08

Teo Audio  Liquid Cable  Teo Audio now adds to the audiophile fun with their new Liquid Cable line. Over the years audiophiles have seen cables with electrical networks, lighting and much more. Now add liquid as both single-ended and balanced interconnects plus speaker cables featuring a fluid design is available. The press release reads, "Hailed as the first truly revolutionary idea in high-end audio cabling in decades, Teo Audio actually employs patent-pending LIQUID METAL CONDUCTORS; breaking down previously-encountered barriers to electromagnetic signal transmission. Their proprietary liquid metal alloy, along with production processes distilled from years of research and development, are yielding quite impressive sonic results. Praised for their ability to vividly render both timbre and dynamic contrasts, Teo Audio's Liquid Cables are quite literally "what's next" for audio signal transmission." Perhaps one day we will have superconductor-type wire encased in liquid nitrogen, as this could be quite interesting and based on scientific facts! Perhaps Teo Audio will investigate making such a cable.

 

 

BursonAudio PP-100 Power Amplifier (Booster)BursonAudio's new PP-100 power amplifier Booster ($2450 or 1500€) is said to find a middle ground between the 40 year old war between tube companies and solid-state companies. "We at Burson Audio wanted the two technologies (solid-state and tubes) to work together for the greatness of music." It took the company 18 months with a design that "simply boosts the driving power of any SE-Class A amp put in front of it." The Burson Booster amplifier has been made to allow the preservation of the tube sonic signature yet boosts its output power significantly. With direct coupled differential input stage and current feedback system, the Burson Booster Amp is not only a tube amp booster, it is also a reference class power amplifier. The unit features a stereo set of RCA inputs and loudspeaker binding posts. The unit outputs 85 wpc with a frequency response from 10Hz to 120kHz. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the BursonAudio PI-100 integrated amplifier at this link.

 

07 / 28 / 08

PSB SubSeries 500 Subwoofer  PSB has released their flagship powered subwoofer, the SubSeries 500 ($1999). The company used a computer-modeled magnet structure for the 12-inch driver structure, which includes an 'over-sized' surround. With 5 pounds of magnet and advances in suspension and adhesive materials, the new PSB SubSeries 500 produces frequencies down to 32Hz at upwards of 113dB. Additional driver highlights include a self-damping woven-fiberglass cone, 50mm high-current/low-mass voice-coil and rigid cast-aluminum basket. The cabinet itself is made from double-weight heavily laminated MDF panels that are joined by extruded-aluminum corners, which aid to mechanically lock the cabinet into a single strong structural whole. A 500-watt hybrid-Class H dedicated sub amplifier is included while a continuously variable 0° to 360° phase compensation is provided. All the usual inputs, outputs, level control and crossover point adjustments are also provided for. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the PSB SubSonic 5i powered subwoofer at this link.

 

07 / 24 / 08

RealTraps Guilford MiniTraps  RealTraps now offers three lines of "spouse-friendly" products that will blend nicely into any room. The Guilford MiniTraps ($179.99 and $249.99 depending on thickness) are built to the same high standards and with the same absorbing materials as regular MiniTraps and MondoTraps, but are wrapped with genuine Guilford of Maine FR 701 fabric on the front and four edges to blend with any decor. Standard sizes are 2 by 4 feet, and they're also available in custom sizes. RealTraps' Planter bass traps ($199.99) are an alternative for diminutive size and stealth appearance. Planter bass traps are broadband bass absorbers, but they're only 22 inches high by 21 inches in diameter, 13 pounds, and disguised to look like a planter. Lastly the Seat Cover ($149.99) solves a very common problem in listening rooms - reflections off vinyl and leather seat backs that create audible comb filtering. Even fabric seats can suffer from comb filtering because furniture-grade foam is not absorbent enough to stop reflections. When the reflections are very close to your ears they are even more harmful to imaging and clarity. The RealTraps Seat Cover is 2 feet wide by 4 feet long, and nearly 2 inches thick. The front fabric is extremely soft and very comfortable.

 

07 / 23 / 08

Aperion Audio Intimus 4T Loudspeaker  Aperion Audio, a manufacturer and direct seller of loudspeakers and subwoofers, have launched their Intimus 4T two-way tower ($650/pr). Featuring dual 4-inch woven fiberglass composite mid-woofers and Aperion Audio's audiophile-grade 1-inch silk dome tweeter, the Intimus 4T produces frequencies from 55Hz to 20kHz (+/- 3dB) with an 86dB/W/m sensitivity and presents a 6 ohm load. This powerful two-way tower design's 1-inch tweeter is said to produce smooth sound that ensures a warm, natural sound with no harshness. The custom 4-inch woven-fiberglass mid-woofers are made of strong and lightweight woven fiberglass composite, offering fast and accurate response. Aperion Audio's 4T cabinet is finished in either real cherry wood or high gloss piano black lacquer, allowing them to blend into one's home decor. The cabinet is made with high density fiberboard (HDF) to eliminate unwanted cabinet vibrations, while magnetic shielding allows the speakers to be placed near any video monitor, ensuring a "rainbow free" video experience. Floor spikes and footers, 5-ay wire binding posts and ten year limited warranty are included. Overall dimensions are 34 x 5 x 7.5 (HxWxD in inches).

 

07 / 22 / 08

McIntosh Laboratories MPC1500 Power Controller  McIntosh Laboratories, longstanding and well-respected manufacturer of high-end home audio products, recently announced its first-ever product in the power control category - the MPC1500 Power Controller ($4500). Designed to improve the performance of home entertainment systems, the MPC1500 provides isolation from AC line interference, lowers line noise and is claimed to maximize power transfer. "Today's AC power universe is littered with byproducts from the operation of millions of personal computers, satellite set-top boxes and myriad other noise-inducing devices," said McIntosh President Charlie Randall. "By employing a large toroidal transformer that's been specially wound to act as a low pass filter to remove unwanted harmonic noise on the incoming AC line as well as noise from electric motors, lighting dimmers, and other sources of interference found in the home, the MPC1500 can significantly improve the performance of your home entertainment system." This new unit employs a fast-acting surge suppression circuit featuring a clamping voltage onset of about 2V above peak nominal voltage for product protection. The MPC1500 features McIntosh's trademark illuminated glass front panel, with two custom "blue eyes" meters for instant recognition of current and voltage. Six medical-grade duplex outlets allow for the connection of up to 12 separate components. Total current draw for all components is 1,350 Watts, 11.2 Amperes. Outlets may be configured to operate uniformly or in a combination of modes for unmatched flexibility: ON (outlets) powered on even when the MPC1500 is powered off, GLOBAL (outlets are switched on in groups via Power Control or front panel), or LOCAL (outlets are switched on individually via Power Control). Three 12V trigger outputs are included for easy interface of third party components. 

 

07 / 21 / 08

Audience Adept Response "T"  Audience, established in 1997 and has become an award-winning manufacturer of high-resolution capacitors, audio cables and power conditioning products, announced the release of new Adept Response "T" ultra high resolution power conditioners. Like the company's standard aR conditioners, these new products are offered in six and twelve outlet systems ($4600 and $8,000 respectfully) in black or satin anodized aluminum. The new aR-T (Teflon) line of ultra high-resolution power conditioners is the result of great engineering time and resources to make what they feel is a truly advanced product. "We feel that the new cost no object aR-T power conditioners are simply the most resolute and transparent conditioners ever engineered." 

 

07 / 18 / 08

Headroom Audiophile Desktop Package  Headroom, a company that for over 16 years has been in the business of helping "turn your headspace into a perfect place for superb personal listening", has announced their offering of various Audiophile Desktop Packages (from $3600 to over $5800 in complete form, or piece by piece at various prices). The 'Basic' package consists of a Desktop Amp (Home modules, Home DAC, and Nobel volume pot), Desktop Stereo Amp, and Dimarzio M-Path interconnects & speaker cables, HeadRoom speaker stands and one pair of Amphion Ion white speakers. Headroom's top-of-the-line 'Bi-Amped' system includes the Harbeth HL-P3ES2 speakers, the Desktop Headphone Amp (Max modules, Max DAC, Nobel volume pot), Desktop power supply, Desktop Bi-Amp pair, Dimarzio M-Path interconnects & speaker cables plus the HeadRoom speaker stands. While each produce is available individually, there is a package discount when purchased as a system. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Headroom Total AirHead combo (click here) and HeadRoom's Cosmic & Maxed home headphone amplifiers (click here).

 

07 / 17 / 08

Grammy Museum  As one of the preeminent music awards given out each year for the past half decade, the Grammy Museum is set to open in December 2008. According to the press release, "This special 32,000 square-foot facility will explore and celebrate the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music — the Grammy Award. Headed by Executive Director Robert Santelli, the unique "21st Century Museum" will feature interactive, permanent and traveling exhibits and will be located within L.A. Live, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district. The grand opening of the Museum will be the culmination of The Recording Academy's and the Grammy Awards' milestone 50th Celebration." Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy, said "Music always has played a vital role in our culture and society, and the Grammy Museum will provide visitors a unique and hands-on opportunity to experience music's rich legacy, as well as the special process that goes into creating it."

 

07 / 16 / 08

hi-fi+  Issue 59 (July / August 2008) of our hi-fi+ preview is now available here on Enjoy the Music.com! This issue features many equipment reviews, including the Wilson Benesch Trinity/Torus loudspeaker system, conrad-johnson's ET2 pre-amplifier and LP66S amplifier, the Audio Research Reference CD7 CD player, Chord's Mezzo 140 amplifier, the Parasound Halo JC monoblocks and many more! In this issue's editorial, Roy Gregory states "This year at the September Show (19th to 21st), Hi-Fi-Plus will be running ticketed demonstrations located in the Renaissance Hotel, just across the road from he Park Inn.... We've introduced this measure because recently our demonstrations have become so heavily attended that disappointed subscribers have been unable to get tickets.." To see the entire table of contents and read the complete editorial click here.

 

07 / 15 / 08

Audiophile Equipment Reviews  Enjoy the Music.com's July midmonth Review Magazine update features a piece written by the PH. D of Spectron Audio, Simon Thacher. Within his article titled Challenges in Faithful Reproduction Of Musical Peaks: A Power Amplifier Designer's Perspective, Simon says, "The ability of an amplifier to produce undistorted dynamic passages of music is frequently mistaken as its continuous (rms) power output rating. However, this specification is useful only to approximate the amplifier's ability to reach the desired loudness of the sound at the listening position — and no more. Alan Lofft from Axiom Audio has shown in Enjoy the Music.com that if you want to reproduce the illusion in your living room of standing next to a grand piano, then peaks of 109 dB would be required. To reproduce realistically a peak loudness of 109 dB using the speaker with a sensitivity of 88 to 89 dB located 12 feet from the listening chair, the amplifier must produce about 400 watts peak power. To reproduce realistic peaks of a rock band, the amplifier must produce 4000 watts of peak power. Nearly the same power capabilities are needed to approximate the realistic experience of a symphonic conductor at the podium."  See the July midmonth Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

07 / 14 / 08

ESD Cable Isolator  Cable Isolators, a company dedicated to offering isolation devices for precision audio cables, now sells their ESD Cable Isolator ($99.95 per set of 12). Designed from premium grade Electro Static Dissipative polyurethane, ESD Cable Isolators are lightweight and easy to place with virtually any hi-fi system. ESD Cable Isolators are said to isolate audio cables from floor-borne vibrations plus eliminate problems with electro static buildup. Cable Isolators claim that "both are harmful to the music, with the latter posing a threat to physically damage equipment if not dealt with (especially problematic in dry climates where static builds up in carpet and can discharge thousands of volts with the touch of a finger)." Each ESD Cable Isolator measures 4 x 4 x 2 (HxWxD in inches). The semicircular cradle on top is 3-inches wide by 1.375-inches deep, which should accommodate even the largest of cables.

 

07 / 11 / 08

The Absolute Sound Issue 183 -- August 2008  Enjoy the Music.com now offers the August edition of The Absolute Sound (Issue 183) with complete table of contents and editorial! This edition is filled with many equipment reviews including a focus on music servers and six new CD players plus an interview with legendary audio designer Bob Carver! The August editorial titled The Blind (Mis-) Leading the Blind, by Robert Harley, says "The latest in this long sad history is a double-blind test that, the authors conclude, demonstrates that 44.1kHz/16-bit digital audio is indistinguishable from high-resolution digital. Note the word "indistinguishable." The authors aren't saying that high-res digital might sound a little different from Red Book CD but is no better. Or that high-res digital is only slightly better and not worth the additional cost. Rather, they reach the startling conclusion that CD-quality audio sounds exactly the same as 96kHz/24-bit PCM and DSD, the encoding scheme used in SACD. That is, under double-blind test conditions, 60 expert listeners over 554 trials couldn't hear any differences between CD, SACD, and 96/24. The study was published in the September, 2007 Journal of the Audio Engineering Society." You can see the table of contents and read the complete editorial by clicking here.

 

 

07 / 10 / 08

  Electronics manufacturer Pioneer has developed the world's first 16-layer optical disc that is capable of storing 400 GB of music. Per-layer capacity is 25 gigabytes, which is the same as that of a Blu-ray Disc (BD). This multilayer technology will also be applicable to multilayer recordable discs. According to Pioneer, "For multilayer optical discs, it has been difficult to obtain clear signals from each recording layer in a stable manner due to crosstalk from adjacent layers and transmission loss. Utilizing the optical disc production technology that it has developed in the DVD field, Pioneer solved these problems by, among other things, using a disc structure that can reduce crosstalk from adjacent layers, resulting in a 16-layer optical disc that can playback high-quality signals from every layer." Pioneer achieved stability in disc reading by employing a wide-range spherical aberration compensator and light-receiving element that can read out weak signals at a high signal-to-noise ratio in the optical pick-up mechanism. There should also be compatibility between the new 16-layer optical disc and the BD discs in new 16-layer units. This new development could allow audiophiles to enjoy their vast CD and high-resolution music collection in lossless files on a single digital disc.

 

07 / 09 / 08

Harmonic Technology Magic Reference II Special Edition Power Cord  Harmonic Technology Magic Reference II Special Edition power cord with patent-pending PureAC Module (1 meter costs $1,499, add $100 for each additional 0.5 meter). The PureAC module contains integrated circuits for a full-band noise filter to purify the AC power source for high-end audio and video components. Harmonic Technology's Magic Reference II Special Edition Power cord is unique by filtering both high/low frequency noises as well as noises in the middle frequency range without "any interference from the most desired levels of power." The PureAC module also filters the most undesirable possible DC component interference in an AC source. Finally, this cord is claimed be able to distinguish and filter all low amplitude noise. The conductors are 10 AWG single crystal OCC copper Power cord with UL/CL3 and Ethylene Propylene (PE) insulation. The cord can handle upwards of 240 Volts at 20 Amperes. The Harmonic Technology Magic Reference II is not to be used with multiple components or a power distributor as it can constantly handle a load maximum of 800 watts.

 

07 / 08 / 08

Borbely Audio DAC Age HB-DAC1704  Borbely Audio now offers their DAC Age (HB-DAC1704, priced at 397€ for USB optioned board) board that includes what they feel is the best-sounding DAC. Specifically, this unit employs the K-grade PCM-1704 with not just one per channel, but two. They can be operated in parallel for twice the output current or in balanced mode for lowest noise and distortion. Borbely Audio says that, "For easy analog filtering normally an 8 times oversampling filter is used. But these filters add pre- and post ringing to signal. The sound is not so precise and clear. It is slushier. In the HB-DAC1704 no traditional oversampling filters are used. The upsampling method is done by a very precise interpolation in the SRC and no downsampling filtering is needed when using the direct downsampling feature of the new high end chip (SRC4392) from Texas Instruments." The HB-DAC1704 can come with an optional USB input for easy of connecting to your computer. Specifications include an AES/EBU input with 110 Ohm isolated with transformer, a pair of SPDIF inputs plus an IēS input or USB input. Outputs include SPDIF, and analog that can achieve 2.7 Volts. A pair of these boards can be used to achieve a truly balanced analog output.

 

07 / 07 / 08

Ancient Audio Single Six Monoblock Amplifier  Three years ago Ancient Audio presented their new Single Six monoblock amplifier (10,000€), claiming it to provide "the best possible sound at reasonable price." Built around 6C33S Russian triode tube, its durability and stability should ensure long life and reliability. Due to the tubes inherent low resistance, the end result is smaller capacitance and inductance plus the capability of extended frequency response to 70 kHz. The core of Single Six is its power supply, based on that of Ancient Audio's Silver Grand Mono units. Stabilized high voltage and "enormous electric energy" is stored in its capacitors. There is also automatic regulation of power triode bias current, which is stable irrespective of tube, its aging or power voltage. Tube compliment includes the 6C33S power triode and E88CC NOS driver tubes. Output power per monoblock is 18 Watt with an input sensitivity of 900mV. Overall frequency response is from 10Hz to 70kHz. High-end parts quality employed in the Ancient Audio Single Six includes Teflon-tinfoil V-Caps, silver ribbon Teflon insulated wiring, and WBT or Furutech socket and terminal finishing.

 

07 / 04 / 08

Krell Industries Papa Dock Power Amplifier & KID iPod Dock  Krell Industries, a leader in high performance music and home theater systems, has announced the initial shipments of the Papa Dock power amplifier that joins their KID ($2,500 and $1500 respectively). The Papa Dock, lower piece within the photo, is a dedicated power amplifier for the Krell KID iPod dock. Based on classic Krell amplifier technology, the Papa Dock mates directly with the KID and supplies 150 Watts of power. Coupled together, the Krell KID/Papa Dock pair work as one to deliver audiophile performance for the Apple iPod listener. The Papa Dock features a massive 450-Watt, 40,000 microfarad power supply and is engineered to drive virtually any speaker to realistic listening levels. Internally, the balanced circuitry in the KID delivers music to the Papa Dock via a custom connecting link, which then feeds signal to the Papa Dock output stages. Physically isolated from each other, the left and right channels incorporate discrete, direct-coupled topology, twelve high current output devices and terminate in WBT speaker connectors. Automatically responding to the insertion of an iPod, the KID powers on the Papa Dock with the reverse being true when an iPod is removed. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Krell KAV-400xi integrated amplifier (click here) and Krell's SACD Standard CD/SACD player (click here).

 

07 / 03 / 08

WBT-01610 CU Banana Plug  WBT's nextgen WBT-01610 CU and AG (20.50€ and 40.90€ respectively) benefit from more than 20 years on the development of high quality plugs to meet requirements of the audio industry. The new Banana plug duo features innovations from careful development. The new plugs provide maximum conductivity thanks to their conductor made of pure copper or fine silver instead of employing basic metal plated with precious metal. The new WTB-0610 connector is easy to use, as a simple turn of the built-in spindle allows the inserted wire to be secure within the connector via a contact pin that expands. The result is a very secure fit with good contact area. Unwanted signal reduction due to insertion loss / transition resistances is lowered as well. The WBT-0610 also meets all necessary safety factors as mandated by various agencies. 

 

07 / 02 / 08

Opera Audio Cyber-100 15th Anniversary Edition  Opera Audio is celebrating their longstanding critical acclaim by offering a special Cyber-100 15th anniversary edition stereo integrated amplifier. Opera Audio has centered their philosophy on the highly over-specified massive output transformers, which are entirely hand-wound at the factory. The company states that power pentodes like the KT88, 6550, 6CA7, KT77 and EL34 are configured to function and sound like single-ended triodes with the advantage of considerably increased output. Opera Audio's Cyber-100 15th anniversary edition self-biases JJ KT88 (or 6550 EH) that work at Class A, with a well designed NOS 5687 drive stage and a time-proved rectifier circuit consisted of 5AR4 EH rectifier tubes and Philips electrolytic capacitors. Every component chosen to use has been hand selected to achieve the best sound quality. There are five stereo inputs and both 4 and 8 Ohm loudspeaker output. The unit produces two channel at 35 Watt each with less than 1 percent THD at 10 Watt output. Frequency response is from 6Hz to 50kHz with a signal-to-noise of 90dB. Enjoy the Music.com offers reviews of the Consonance Cyber 10 multi-functional tube amplifier (click here) and Cyber 211 monoblock tube amplifiers (click here).

 

07 / 01 / 08

Audiophile Equipment Reviews  Enjoy the Music.com's July update is huge!!! We now offer our Review Magazine, ultra high-end Superior Audio and the brand new DIY Magazine are now online! With three new magazines to choose from this month, there is a staggering array of articles to satisfy virtually all audiophiles no matter what your preference may be. Enjoy the Music.com's Review Magazine includes articles from Car Stereo Follies by Steven Stone to tweaks from Dr. Bill Gaw. Add to that, we have equipment reviews beginning with the world premiere of Nelson Pass' First Watt Model B1 preamplifier plus critical assessments of the Audio-Technica ATH-A700 headphones, the Ray Samuels Audio Emmeline The Predator headphone amplifier and Swans' impressive D2.1SE monitor loudspeakers. Meanwhile the Sound Practices section now offers Kit Frenzy by Joe Roberts and The BAS Speaker section analyzes Loudspeaker Distortion At Low Frequencies. See the July Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

Next up is Superior Audio with reviews of Empirical Audio's Spoiler USB DAC and a nice analog combo review that consists of the VPI Aries 3 Turntable, JMW 10.5i Memorial tonearm and Dynavector's DRT XV-1s moving coil cartridge. Add to that, we have a must-read interview with Bob Witrak who is the owner of High Definition Tape Transfers (HDTT) . Lastly, there is a great think piece by Jules Coleman titled Painting, Music And The Language Of Sound Reproduction. See the newest edition of Superior Audio by clicking here.

 

Last, and most certainly not least, is the inaugural issue of the new DIY Magazine! While the Review Magazine has Dick Olsher's world premiere review of the First Watt B1 preamplifier, we have the head designer Nelson Pass of Pass Labs fame providing intimate details of this new design so you can build your own unit! For those truly into tweaking, we have an first-rate article by Jon L concerning a wide variety of capacitors plus Steven R. Rochlin once again reworks the legendary Max Rochlin Memorial Cable for those who want to make their own digital/video interconnects. See our first issue of the DIY Magazine by clicking here.

 

Donald North Audio (DNA) Studio Loudspeaker

The new Donald North Audio (DNA) Studio ($12,000 including stands) loudspeaker is inspired by their innovative Sequence model. This 93dB/W/m sensitive unit is easily compatible with low power tube amplifiers including single ended triodes. Equally notable is its custom 12-inch woofer operating in dipole mode, which is self-powered by an internal 180 Watt amplifier. DNA says that "Dipole operation energizes the listening room's standing waves less to yield more natural and effortless sounding bass. Particular attention has also been paid on the arrangement of the dual 5.75-inch Nomex paper cone midbass units and horn-loaded 1-inch fabric dome tweeter." The three drivers are carefully time aligned and configured to reduce coloration caused by early room reflections. Frequency response is from 38Hz to 18 kHz and dimensions are 30.5 x 15.5 x 11.25 (HxWxD in inches). Housed in a carefully braced and damped cabinet, they are finished in natural cherry hardwood and veneer.

 


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