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High-End Audio Industry News


07 / 30 / 09

Peak Consult Empress VII Floorstanding Loudspeaker  Peak Consult's new Empress VII floorstanding loudspeaker (20,995€) marks a continual evolution of this model. After many hours of measurement and critical listening, with a claimed impedance curve and electrical phase character like an electrostatic speaker, this new version further refines Peak Consult's product. The multifaceted enclosure is handcrafted within their facilities by Danish artisans in a 1.5 to 3.0 inch HDF specially glued sandwich material covered by 0.75-inch solid wood or acrylic. The side panels are made out of 'finger tapped' wood or pure acrylic. The tweeter is a 1-inch soft dome Hexatech with a non-resonant customized aluminum chamber. It features a multiple camber with low compression and a machined aluminum faceplate. The 5-inch Audio Technology midrange driver is hand-built specifically for optimal behavior in The Empress VII enclosure. The driver features a cone that has been uniquely shaped for this moving system and a vented magnet system that includes Symmetric Drive, optimizing the linear directivity. For lower frequencies duties, the 9-inch Audio Technology woofer are hand-built and specifically designed for The Empress VII using special technology in the moving systems. The large magnet structure and ventilation includes a Symmetric Drive system said to allow the driver to reproduce very tight and extremely low frequencies. The crossover is crimped and hardwired with silver soldering and sealed in its own compartment to avoid microphony distortion and to shield it from electrical and magnetic radiation. Peak Consult uses a special OEM silver wire from Duelund Coherent Audio. This foil is sealed in pure silk for the upper frequencies and a special Peak Consult version is manufactured for the bass. Bi-wire termination is done with The WBT platinum signature binding posts. This three-way ported design has a frequency range from 27 Hz to 30 kHz, is 89dB/W/m sensitive and presents a 5 Ohm load. Dimensions are 42.5 x 11.5 x 15 (HxWxD) and it weighs 155 lbs. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Peak Consult Zoltan loudspeaker, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

2010 International Consumer Electronics ShowThose preparing for the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) should register immediately for free, as starting October 1 they will be charging $100 for admission to all exhibits, TechZones, SuperSessions, keynotes and selected conference sessions. The fee will be $200 if you register on-site during the show. CES is eliminating the Sands Convention Center yet will maintain the Venetian for high-end audio exhibits, plus the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and the Las Vegas Hilton for other consumer electronics. It has been reported that the International CES will be smaller, with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) estimating 2000 exhibitors and projected attendance of 100,000 people. For comparison, in 2007 CEA predicted 140,000 visitors and the 2009 International CES there were approximately 110,000 attendees and 2,700 exhibitors. Keynote speakers for the 2010 International CES will be Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, with President and CEO of Intel Paul Otellini also holding a separate keynote address. Of note is that Apple products, shown in the 'iLounge' area, will grow from 4,000 square feet a few years ago to 25,000 square feet at the 2010 event. See our past International CES show coverage by clicking here.

 

THIEL DewPoint LoudspeakerTHIEL Loudspeakers, a privately-held engineering-driven organization that performs research, design, and manufacturing of loudspeakers for the highest quality home music and video sound reproduction, has announced the debut of their DewPoint surface-mount outdoor loudspeaker. As a derivative of THIEL's groundbreaking PowerPoint 1.2 on-wall/on-ceiling product, the DewPoint can be placed in a variety of indoor and/or outdoor locations on ceilings, walls, etc. provided it does not receive direct exposure to water. To enhance resistance of environmental extremes, the enclosure is made of sturdy aluminum and is paintable to match any décor. The DewPoint's anodized aluminum grille is impervious to rust and attaches to the cabinet with a soft-set adhesive. All of the mounting hardware included with the speakers is made of top quality stainless steel. The DewPoint's driver is a combination of coaxial/coplanar that has a 90 degree radiation pattern, thereby enabling the sound to cover a wide area. Frequency response is from 75 Hz to 20 kHz (±3 dB), phase response is a minimum of ±10°, sensitivity is 89/W/m and impedance is 4 Ohms. Dimensions are 12 x 6 x 21 (WxDxL in inches) and each unit weighs 16 lbs. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Thiel PCS loudspeakers (click here), the SCS4 monitors with SS1 SmartSub subwoofer (click here), and our world premiere review of THIEL's CS2.4SE limited edition floorstanding loudspeaker (click here).

 

07 / 29 / 09

Krell Industries  Krell Industries has issued a recall for four amplifiers: the KAV-250a, KAV-250a/3, KAV-500i and KAV-1500 due to rail fuse ratings. The recall effects models made between January 1997 and February 2001. The amplifiers, which were designed to operate at temperatures warm to the touch, may have fuse values that could cause the units to overheat. Krell says the recall consists of replacing two rail fuses for each amplifier channel and will supply and install the new fuses free of charge or the user can have the change done by a qualified technician. Frankly, this is easy for virtually anyone to do. Krell says a certificate of fuse replacement must be noted upon successful replacement of the fuses. Upon verification, Krell will issue a $100 check to the person responsible for the fuse replacement. End users should contact Walt Schneider at (203) 298-4014 or at service@krellonline.com with any questions about the recall. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Krell KAV-400xi integrated amplifier (click here) and their SACD Standard CD/SACD player (click here).

 

Boston Audio Design Mat 2Boston Audio Design, a manufacturer of audiophile accessories that aid in getting the most from the equipment, has announced their new Mat 2 ($279) for vinyl replay. With Beta testing concluded with over 200 consumers and reviewers in a dozen countries having tried the latest design, this new version increases both mass and rigidity compared with the Mat 1 ($199). The Mat 2 is 5mm thick, compared with 3mm for the Mat 1, and will require a tonearm with adjustable VTA. The Mat 1 is 12 ounces while the the Mat 2 is 1 pound 4.8 ounces, so sprung suspension turntables may also need readjustment. Enjoy the Music.com has a manufacturer article titled "Building A Better Turntable Mat" by Austin Jackson of Boston Audio Design (click here) plus we have reviewed the Boston Audio Design TuneBlocks (click here) and their award-winning Mat 1 (click here).

 

07 / 28 / 09

Hi-Fi World  Enjoy the Music.com has a world premiere of Hi-Fi World's Volume 19 Number 7 (September 2009) including the compete editorial and table of contents. This issue includes reviews of the Vivid B1 loudspeaker, Audio Research VSi60 amplifier, a DAC slugfest with Musical Fidelity, Beresford, Cambridge Audio, MGL Audio, Stello and Benchmark. There are many more reviews, too! The editorial by David Price says, " In these days of rampaging unemployment and swine flu, I find myself curiously immune to the news. Maybe it’s just the human instinct for self-preservation, but I now find I can take a full half hour of BBC 5 Live without so much as batting an eyelid... But one thing stopped me in my tracks the other day, stone dead. I might as well have been shot with a tranquiliser gun normally used to render wild African jungle beasts unconscious. News came that Florence and the Machine’s new single, "Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)" had made number 12 in the charts, despite selling just 64 physical copies (i.e. CD singles)..." To see the entire table of contents and read the complete editorial click here.

 

DWC Ferrari Art.Engine Powered Speaker SystemThe David Wiener Collection (DWC), a luxury line of audio, entertainment, furnishing and fashion, has just launched a full line of music systems equipped exclusively with Aphex Audio Enhancement Technology. Aphex Systems, a professional audio company with over 30 years of experience, has a new system said to "brings life back to music files, improves intelligibility and reproduces the musical experience as the original artists intended". Other improvements are claimed to be "exceptional sonic clarity, imaging, dynamics, spaciousness and realism". DWC's offerings include the new DWC Ferrari Art.Engine Powered Speaker System, the award-winning Art.Suono Wireless Music Transmission System, and the Art.Solista USB Wireless Transmission System. The popular Ferrari Art.Engine System ($20,000) has been upgraded for 2009, displaying DWC's commitment to constant improvement. Inspired by Ferrari design and dedication to quality, the Art.Engine System is presented as a bi-amplified stereo system in a single floorstanding aluminum tower featuring twin integrated line-source speakers, four 200-watt discrete digital amplifier modules, DSP signal management, and a digital wireless receiver. The new Art.Engine System is now a two-piece system that includes the Art.Suono transmission dock as well as the exciting DWC-Aphex music enhancement circuitry, and exclusive DWC-Wireless Zero-Drop transmission technology that enables listeners to "beam" music from an iPod or iPhone, a PC, a Mac, a CD player, satellite radio and any other audio source directly to the Art.Engine tower. Also new is the Art.Suono Wireless Music Transmission System ($1399) two-way wireless transmission unit that includes the DWC-Aphex music enhancement technology and has inputs for computer audio, a CD player, MP3s, satellite radio, as well as an iPod/iPhone dock. A compact Art.Solista USB Wireless Transmission System ($999) simplifies wireless audio transmissions from computers. Equipped with DWC-Aphex and DWC-Wireless, DWC's proprietary and exclusive audio enhancement and wireless technologies, the Art.Solista allows users to wirelessly stream any audio from their computers to any stereo system, A/V or Home Theater system, or powered speaker simply by plugging the Art.Solista transmitter into the computer's USB port.

 

07 / 27 / 09

hi-fi+  Issue 66 (July 2009) of our hi-fi+ preview is now available on Enjoy the Music.com! This issue features many equipment reviews, including the Avalon Aspect loudspeaker, Martin Logan's Summit X, Luxman L-550A-II integrated amplifier, Cardas Clear cables, Tannoy Definition DC8 loudspeaker and much more! Within this issue editor Alan Sircom chimes in and says, "Welcome to the new-look, new-size Hi-Fl Plus. I hope you like it. Magazines have to modify their design on a regular basis, to stop them from looking stale. And Hi-Fl Plus has remained essentially untouched for almost a decade. So, it's high time for a change. We've responded to your complaints about the magazine's visibility on the newsstand by moving to a larger size. We've resisted the temptation to add lots of colourful devices and 'page furniture', though... we want to change the magazine, not break it." To see the entire table of contents and read the complete editorial click here.

 

Home Recording Rights CoalitionThe Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRCC), founded in 1981 and is a leading advocacy group for consumers' rights to use home electronics products for private non-commercial purposes, just filed Reply Comments with the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) condemning the plea of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for the Commission to legislate copy protection provisions as a condition of any approval of the proposed merger of the Sirius and XM satellite radio services. While HRRC, like the RIAA, takes no position on whether the proposed merger should be approved, HRRC strongly condemned RIAA's focus on the merger as a target of opportunity for mandating copy protection restrictions that neither the Congress nor the courts have seen fit to impose.

The HRRC Reply Comments point out that in the last Congress, the legislation was filed in the House and the Senate that would have given such power and direction to the Commission, but HRRC Condemns RIAA End-Run To The FCC 91589.1 did not move forward. Moreover, RIAA is seeking the same relief in pending lawsuits that remain in their early stages, and RIAA had made a similar application to the Commission, with respect to terrestrial broadcasts, in 2004. HRRC Chairman Gary Shapiro commented:

"Now, with these lawsuits still pending, RIAA is asking the Commission yet again for a broad and unwarranted copy protection mandate, this time in the form of a condition on the merger of XM and Sirius. A mandate today is no more necessary than it was in 2004 or in 2006, and would punish the very innovators who are developing new markets for music and ways of enjoying it. Like their previous proposals, RIAA's current request exceeds the Commission's jurisdiction and usurp the role of the Federal courts in interpreting the copyright law."

Shapiro observed that this RIAA initiative fits a recent pattern of entertainment industry interests, with insufficient traction in the Congress and impatient in the courts, seeking to have extraneous copy protection conditions imposed in any and all regulatory proceedings, ranging from the setting of royalty rates for webcasting, to the recent Commission's Notice of Inquiry on broadband policy, in which NBC-Universal proposed that unspecified "filtering" obligations be imposed on all Internet Service Providers. Now, colleges and universities that receive federal funds may come under pressure as well. He said that a competitive society requires such "targets of opportunity" to resist all such pressure to agree to quasi-legislative mandates.

So why is the above important to audiophiles? Remember, the RIAA has fought against mp3 and many other abilities for consumers to legally copy or record music over the years. The RIAA, in the opinion of Enjoy the Music.com, is trying to limit consumer choices and stranglehold technology and technological progress and the ability for people to feely enjoy their legally-received music as they see fit. We must remember that it was just over 10 years ago (see our June 27, 1999 industry news page update here) that "Federal appeals court ruled earlier this week that the Diamond Multimedia Rio, which plays MP3 files, is a legal product. This now paves the road for many other companies to join in on the high-demand MP3 playback device market!  Of course, as expected, the losing Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) played down the win." Enjoy the Music.com urges readers within the United States to call the FCC and let them know how you feel on this matter. Remember, the future of streaming uncompressed high-resolution audio could come from satellite radio or wireless broadband, therefore if the RIAA is allowed to place limits one format or delivery system they may use the same argument/win to limit future technology and delivery systems.

 

07 / 24 / 09

  How popular is music online you ask? How does the milestone of Apple's iTune store making their 8 billionth song sold to date sound? While iTunes marked their 6 billionth song sold in in January of this year, they expect to reach over 10 billion by the end of this year. That is some serious growth! Apple's CFO Peter Oppenheimer announced the news concerning 8 billion songs sold since its mid-2003 launch yesterday. In other Apple news, Safari 4 has over 11 million downloads in the first three days of its release and well over one million iPhone 3GS models were sold within days of its release.

 

Onkyo C-S5VL stereo SACD player and A-5VL integrated stereo amplifierOnkyo, a manufacturer since 1946 that has been committed to developing audio products that deliver uncommon performance, quality and value, is now selling their C-S5VL stereo SACD player and A-5VL integrated stereo amplifier ($599 and $699 respectively). In keeping with Onkyo's long tradition of offering high performance and value, these components employ precision-crafted audiophile-grade parts, precision engineering and good build-quality. The Onkyo C-S5VL stereo SACD player features high-grade Wolfson digital-to-analog converters coupled with the company's Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry (VLSC) for "smooth, highly dynamic output free of pulse noise". A thermally regulated crystal oscillator and advanced jitter reduction circuitry provide an exceptionally stable clock frequency for reproduction of digital sources, including SACD, conventional music CDs and CD-R/RW disks with mp3 or WMA files. The player features both analog stereo, and coaxial/optical digital outputs. Onkyo's A-5VL integrated 40 wpc stereo amplifier features Onkyo's latest version of VL digital power amplifier technology. There are both coaxial and optical digital inputs paired with premium Burr-Brown D/A converters and Onkyo's VLSC circuitry for use with CD, SACD, or other digital sources. For analog sources, there are four line-level audio inputs and an MM/MC phonostage with discrete equalizer circuitry. Finally, the amplifier is compatible with Onkyo's RI (Remote Interactive) iPod dock and charging stations.

 

07 / 23 / 09

Vista Audio Phono-1  New York-based Vista Audio has announced their first solid-state phonostage, the phono-1 ($299) that is a miniature high-end component for vinyl replay. This high-precision unit uses passive RIAA filtering with a 'tracking error' rate of an ultra-low <0.07dB and has a distortion of <0.005 percent. Operating in pure Class A, the phono-1 has a frequency response from 10 Hz to 150 kHz and employs no capacitors in the signal path. The internal circuitry is made with both thru-hole and surface mount technology for a short signal path and optimum component placement. Purchasers can specify either moving magnetic (MM) with 40dB of gain or the higher gain 60dB moving coil (MC) version. The steel casing aids in EMI shielding and each unit comes with a two year warranty.

 

Qsonix Q105Qsonix new Q105 music management system ($4500) serves up a robust feature-set with audio performance including uncompressed .wav from compact disc and iPhone interface. The base Qsonix Q105 system includes 500GB of hard drive storage and a 15-inch touchscreen display screen that features a user-friendly interface. The touchscreen allows for cataloging, playlisting, library browsing, etc. Upwards of 4,000 CDs with the 1.5TB hard drive upgrade can be accommodated in bit-perfect lossless quality. The Qsonix music library can be handled by album, artist, genre, year, search or playlist. Built-in discreet audio outputs may also be controlled via Apple iPhone or iPod Touch. All Q105 models come standard with two discrete analog outputs and one digital S/PDIF output for pairing with an outboard DAC.

 

07 / 22 / 09

Boston Acoustics VS 344 Floorstanding Loudspeaker  Boston Acoustics, a 30 year old company that designs, manufactures, and markets high-performance audio gear, has added the VS 344 floorstanding loudspeaker ($2500 per pair) to their product line. The VS 344 is a three-way, five driver thin floorstander with a 1-inch Super Wide Bandwidth (SWB) tweeter and five 4.5-inch Organic Composite Cone Material (OCCM) drivers. Designed for both home theater and 2-channel audio applications, the VS 344 is voiced to blend seamlessly with all other Boston Acoustic VS Series models. "This is a very exciting loudspeaker for us, and an important addition to our VS Series," said Joe Stinziano, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing for Boston Acoustics. "Thanks to its quadruple 4.5-inch driver design and ultra-slim curved cabinet, the VS 344 is able to deliver a remarkable three-dimensional soundstage in virtually any room. With its significantly smaller footprint and elegantly curved cosmetic design, the VS 344 is a slender alternative to traditional towers." The video shielded cabinet comes in black lacquer piano finish or with cherry highlights. Frequency response is from 42 Hz to 30 kHz, sensitivity is 87dB/W/m and presents an 8 Ohm load. On the rear of the loudspeaker is four gold-plated five-way binding posts for bi-amplification/bi-wiring. Dimensions are 44 x 5-3/8 x 8-3/8 ( (HxWxD) and each unit weighs 32.2 lbs.

 

Shure SRH840 HeadphonesShure, founded in 1925 and a leading manufacturer of microphones and audio electronics, now offers their professional models SRH840, SRH440 and SRH240 headphones ($250, $125 and $75 respectively). As we are audiophiles, the top-of-the-line SRH840 is designed for professional audio engineers and musicians as monitoring headphones for studio recording and critical listening. A precisely tailored frequency response from 5 Hz to 25 kHz produced from 40mm neodymium dynamic drivers combine with total comfort and durability are said to provide the ultimate listening experience. The replaceable cable and included set of replacement ear pads ensure a long-lasting lifetime of use. Sensitivity at 1 kHz is 102dB/mW, impedance is 44 Ohms and maximum power handling is 1000 mW. Each headphone par weighs in at 0.7 lbs. (317.5 grams). Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Shure SE530PTH in-ear monitors (click here) and Shure E4c in-ear monitors (click here).

 

07 / 21 / 09

T.H.E. Show Las Vegas

  Am on holiday yet wanted to break this big news. T.H.E. Show Las Vegas, now in their 12th year, has moved to the Flamingo as they make space for more exhibitors. At the same time this move makes T.H.E. Show closer to the CES' Venetian hotel where their high-end exhibitors are located.

 

ADDED: Was just informed the founder of Stereophile magazine, J. Gordon Holt, has passed away. Over the years he, along with The Absolute Sound's Harry Pearson, helped to expand high-end audio awareness through their reviews and editorials. In these early days, many audiophiles eagerly awaited their copies of the most recent Stereophile and The Absolute Sound magazine, with some very interesting dialog and banter as a reviewer in one magazine may have felt differently about a product than the other publication. J. Gordon Holt eventually sold Stereophile to Larry Archibald in 1982, who eventually sold it to Emap Petersen in 1998 and then it went through numerous other owners. Recently, Stereophile has been part of bankruptcy protection and restructuring. Audiophiles have recently been enjoying  J. Gordon Holt's writings within The Absolute Sound and other publications. He will be missed by many both inside and outside of the audiophile community.

 

07 / 20 / 09

Kimber Kable KS 9038 Jumper Cables  Kimber Kable offers their KS 9033, KS 9035 and KS 9038 jumper cables are 10-inches long and terminated with gold-plated banana connectors for loudspeaker application. These jumpers are commonly used between the high frequency and low frequency posts of bi-wire capable speakers when a standard configured cable is used. The KS 9033 jumpers are designed to complement the company's KS 3033 speaker cable as well as the Kimber Kable's Monocle X and XL cables. The KS 9033 jumpers use our proven Hyper-pure VariStrand copper conductors and V-Teflon dielectric. Kimber Kable's KS 9035 jumpers complement the KS 3035 speaker cable and are made with a special hybrid braided geometry incorporating Hyper-pure VariStrand silver and copper conductors. For top-of-the-line applications, the KS 9038 jumpers complement the KS 3038 speaker cable and are comprised entirely of Kimber Kable's finest Hyper-pure VariStrand silver conductors.

 

PSB Speakers Image Series B BookshelfPSB Speakers, an acronym for Paul and Sue Barton who are the company's founders with a desire to build better sounding loudspeakers in 1972, now offers their new Image Series of products (from $299 to $1798 per pair). With eight new speakers, the top-line floorstanding T5 tower is a 2.5-way dual-woofer design with two 5.25-inch clay/ceramic filled polypropylene cone with rubber surround woofers and 1-inch titanium dome with ferrofluid tweeter. Frequency response is from 42 Hz to 20 kHz and weigh in at just over 40 lbs each. While other speakers include center and surround models, seen here is the Imagine B bookshelf two-way that features a single woofer and tweeter of the same variety as the T5 tower. Frequency response is from 55 Hz to 20 kHz, sensitivity is 87dB/W/m and each unit weighs just over 17 lbs. All models in the new Image Series are available in black ash as seen here or dark cherry wood veneer.

 

Cheap Trick The Latest 8-Track TapeNormally Enjoy the Music.com does not report on a new music release, yet this recent Cheap Trick title is available on CD and vinyl LP ($12.99 and $20 respectively). Ok, nothing new there, though it is nice to see vinyl being offered. What piqued our interest is that the new Cheap trick album, titled The Latest, is also going to be available on 8-Track tape ($30). Yes, you read that correctly. The stereo 8-Track format was initially created in 1964 and eventually came to and end around the early 1980's. Of note is that this writer recalls his parent's Cadillac coming with a AM/FM/8-Track/CB radio as stock. With that said, all versions of the new Cheap Track album will have the following track listing:

1. Sleep Forever
2. When The Lights Are Out
3. Miss Tomorrow
4. Sick Man of Europe
5. These Days
6. Miracle
7. Everyday You Make Me Crazy
8. California Girl
9. Everybody Knows
10. Alive
11. Times of Our Lives
12. Closer, The Ballad of Burt and Linda
13. Smile

 

Audio Industry News 10 Years Ago
MTVWith more and more companies joining forces within the internet media industries, none other than MTV Networks Online has officially taken a "significant" stake in Diamond Multimedia's subsidiary RioPort. The hopes are in offering secure music downloads over the internet.  While the President of MTV Networks Online declined commenting on the specifics of the deal, he did say that his company now has a "significant" stake in the popular MP3 download website RioPort. While MTV is providing the content, RioPort will be using the industry agreed upon Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) to sell secured music online. Both companies will benefit financially accordingly. Fast-forward to July 2008 and Rioport is now under Digital Networks North America, meanwhile many wonder if MTV plays music videos any longer instead of half-hour TV shows. Diamond Multimedia now specializes in high-end audio and video cards, TV tuners, etc for computers.

 

07 / 17 / 09

Neuhaus Laboratories T-2 Stereo Integrated Amplifier  Neuhaus Laboratories new T-2 stereo integrated tube amplifier ($795) produces 20 wpc and features three analog plus USB and TosLink digital inputs. The T-2 Amplifier has an elegant retro look and is built to last with a sturdy steel covers and stainless steel chassis. This unit comes with a wireless remote that operates a Japanese ALPS motorized potentiometer. Neuhaus Laboratories' T-2 amplifier has an elegant black high gloss piano finish on the front steel panel and flat black transformer. The tube cover is flat black with clear polycarbonate side panels and helps to protect small delicate hands and pets from the direct heat of the tubes. On the rear panel, gold plated input jacks and speaker connectors plus a slow start power on switch. For digital audio, inputs include both USB and TosLink that can be used for streaming audio from a computer and other digital devices. Neuhaus Laboratories' T-2 tube compliment includes four 6N7, a pair each of the 6N1 and 6N3. Frequency response is from 10 Hz to 30 kHz. Harmonic distortion is 1.5 percent with a SNR of -85dB. Each unit weights in at just under 20 lbs and dimensions are 11.5 x 11.5 x 6 (WxDxH in inches).

 

Furutech GT2 USB 2.0 CableComputer audio enthusiasts can now use the new Furutech GT2 USB 2.0 cable that feature 24k gold-plated nonmagnetic connectors and silver-slated Alpha OCC conductors that is scheduled to make it's debut at CEDIA. As more audiophiles, including yours truly who has discovered the joys of music via a homewide music system using a NAS drive as music server/storage, the Furutech USB cable are well-engineered for computer-based systems. Furutech turned its Pure Transmission engineering talents toward creating the highest quality 2.0 USB cable possible. They began with the company's silver-plated (Alpha) OCC conductors and a special high-density polyethylene insulation/dielectric. As shows in the photo to the right, the GT2 features three-layer shielding and specially engineered 24k gold-plated USB 2.0 connectors. As with the more highly specified GT3, the cable wrap includes damping and insulating materials to reduce mechanical ringing from affecting the sound. A carefully engineered clamp improves grip and keeps both mechanical and electrical distortion at bay. The result is said to be "much as you will hear from our higher-specification GT3 USB 3.0 cable: Clear and open highs, elegant midrange textures, powerful but in-control bass, an enhanced sense of the sheer palpability of the music you'll enjoy." The new Furutech GT2 USB 2.0 cables are available in 2, 4, 6, 12, 16.5 foot lengths, with 23 and 33 foot lengths on special request. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Furutech Evolution cable (click here) and Piezo Powerflux power cable (click here).

 

Audio Industry News 10 Years Ago
The Audiophile Voice
Longstanding editor, magazine owner, and all around great guy Gene Pitts of The Audiophile Voice has assumed the subscriptions that were left behind in the now defunct audiophile magazine Fi aftermath. A letter included within the first issue for those receiving their assumed subscription said, "Dear Fi Magazine Subscriber: We are pleased to announce the assumption of Fi Magazine subscription responsibilities by The Audiophile Voice magazine. You are probably aware that FI ceased publication with their March 1999 issue, but not to worry. Because you are a subscriber in good standing, you will receive as many issues as you were owed. You may be aware that FI was published more frequently than The Audiophile Voice; thus, your subscription will cover a longer period. We intend to fulfill your subscription to Fi Magazine with The Audiophile Voice on an issue-for-issue basis. If you are already a subscriber to The Audiophile Voice, your period will be extended. We are pleased with the new arrangement, and we hope that you are too. If you have questions or suggestions, please write to Gene Pitts at the address shown. Fast forward to July 2009 and The Audiophile Voice is still on regular publication schedule and are partners with Enjoy the Music.com.

 

07 / 16 / 09

HDtracks  While Enjoy the Music.com posted this two months ago, this is a reminder that HDtracks, an online music store that provides true high-resolution music, is offering a free album for download called the Jazz & Blues Experience. This album is a seven-track odyssey of music of some of today's hippest and coolest artists. Pioneered by David and Norman Chesky of Chesky Records, HDtracks offers you a superior listening experience in clarity and quality, as well as the full PDF artwork and liner notes to provide context and enrich your enjoyment of the music. HDtracks offers downloads in AIFF and FLAC formats, as well as superior-quality mp3s. HDtracks features a variety of different types of your favorite music, bringing out the best talent of all the hottest artists. Jazz & Blues Experience features the freshest, most exciting music of all your favorite jazz legends, who currently record for the hottest labels, such as Palmetto, Koch, Analogue, and Light Without Heat. Tunes include, respectively, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith's "Dapper Dan," from Rise Up, trumpeter Dominick Farinacci's "Vision," from Lovers, Tales, and Dances, Harry "Big Daddy" Hypolite's "Big Bad Girl," from Louisiana Country Boy, and Steve Vai's "Louisiana Swamp Swank" from The Elusive Light and Sound, Volume 1. Hot Chesky Records artists round out the album. David Johansen and the Harry Smiths perform "Oh Death," from their self-titled album, while Dave's True Story adds "Misery," from Unauthorized. Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji completes the stellar Chesky lineup with "Saré Tete Wa," from his album Love Drum Talk.

 

For those who missed it, Neil Young's long-awaited Volume I was finally released on June 2 after nearly a year of delays and is available on CD, DVD and Blu-ray formats. This is the first volume of the Neil Young Archives series of box sets, produced by Neil Young himself. This series is the definitive, comprehensive, chronological survey of his entire body of work. Volume I covers the period from his earliest recordings with the Squires in Winnipeg, 1963, through to his classic 1972 album, Harvest and beyond, including studio and live tracks with the legendary Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Neil Young with Crazy Horse. The Blu-ray disc edition contains 10 discs, each in its own custom sleeve. Nine of these discs hold a total of 128 tracks (12 hidden), all presented in ultra high resolution 24-bit/192kHz stereo PCM state-of-the-art master quality sound, and featuring nearly 60 previously unreleased songs, versions, mixes, or rare tracks. The CD edition contains 8 discs, each in its own custom sleeve, with a total of 116 tracks, all presented in HDCD quality sound and featuring over 40 previously unreleased songs, versions, mixes, or rare tracks. This edition is housed in a custom disc keeper holding the 8 sleeved discs, a descriptive booklet, and a foldout archives poster. Get great music while helping support Enjoy the Music.com by ordering from the links below. The CD version is regularly $99.98 yet on sale for $74.99, the DVD version is $249.99 yet on sale for $197.99 and the Blu-ray version is $349.99 and on sale now for $264.99.

       


 

07 / 15 / 09

 Enjoy the Music.com welcomes Hi-Fi World magazine coming aboard our site, with other recent partners in June including VALVE and HIFICRITIC. The July midmonth edition of our Review Magazine is now online!

 

Hi-Fi World
In the August 2009 editorial titled Ever Been To A Hi-Fi Show?, David Price says "Ever been to a hi-fi show? They're quite an experience, don't you know! With hundreds of manufacturers under one roof, there's so much to see, and to hear, too...

See the TOC and read the entire editorial by clicking here.

 

Review Magazine
Daily News: Audiophile news updated each weekday!

VALVE Magazine
Acoustical Quad By Dan Schmalle 

Sound Practices Magazine
Homebrew Horn For Dual Concentric Loudspeakers
Article By Roy Hilsley 

Boston Audio Society Speaker
CD-R Errors -- A Worrisome Trend|
Article By E. Brad Meyer

See the July 2009 midmonth Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

British Audio Visual Dealers Association (BADA)The British Audio Visual Dealers Association (BADA) has now enhanced their initiative for customer service for consumers via setting standards throughout their network. BADA was formed in 1982 and is the UK's only Hi-Fi and Home Cinema retailers' trade association. There are over 80 high-end shops represented and 20 associate members, made up of manufacturers, distributors and members of the press. Its aim is to promote retailing and business excellence in all member companies and the highest standards of service for the consumer when purchasing home entertainment products. In a major initiative to substantially enhance the customer service offered to UK hi-fi and home cinema buying consumers, the British Audio-Visual Dealers Association is pleased to announce it has created the UK's first network of trained and approved retailers. Working with many of the major manufacturers in the industry, BADA developed its multi-award winning Demcraft training program, which is designed to equip hi-fi retailers with the skills needed to present the most effective and professional product demonstrations. During the association's AGM in July 2008 it was announced that completion of Demcraft training would become a mandatory requirement for membership of the trade association.

 

07 / 14 / 09

Dali Mentor Mentor Monitor Loudspeaker  Dali, which stands for Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries, later this year will launch their new Mentor Menuet (€479 each) loudspeaker joins the company's highly acclaimed Mentor series and fills the small monitor space for those desiring sound production in a small size. Conceptually, the Mentor Menuet is a compact bass reflex loudspeaker measuring approximately 10 x 6 x 9 inches and includes a 4.5-inch woofer and a 1.1-inch soft dome tweeter. The woofer is air flow optimized to achieve the best possible coupling between the wood fiber cone and the real wood veneer cabinet. Even the woofer cut-out in the cabinet is made larger than normal to optimize openness and dynamic response. The soft dome tweeter is able to start and stop with great speed and precision due to a very low mass of the dome assembly and a powerful motor system (the dome is approximately 30 percent lighter than a comparable standard domes. In addition, the tweeter's magnet within the motor system is made of the strongest neodymium material available. The DALI designed drivers, sturdy binding posts and a high quality crossover is the key to achieving extraordinary performance from such a compact loudspeaker. Frequency response is from 68 Hz to 25 kHz, sensitivity is 86dB/W/m and recommended amplifier power is from 20 to 100 watts. Weight is 8.2 lbs, an optional accessories is a wall bracket, and available finishes are cherry wood veneer, black satin and white satin.

 

Electrocompaniet ECR 1Norwegian company Electrocompaniet, with over 35 years of experience, now offers their ECR 1 that handles FM/RDS radio, HD/Internet radio and has fully balanced circuitry. This model has been developed to extend the Electrocompaniet product range with a long-awaited features for the modern audiophile and music lover alike. With the ECR 1, RDS (Radio Data System) is available and data appears on the front display. A 24-bit/192kHz DAC section also includes a sample rate converter to handle the delicate digital to analogue conversion of the digital radio. Three digital inputs are also provided, thereby allowing users to enjoy the ECR 1 with various digital sources. Besides the normal S/PDIF via RCA connection, an optional USB port allows for streaming digital music from a computer. Like all other models with Electrocompaniet's Classic line, the ECR 1 features a fully balanced and symmetrical analog output section, which is then terminated in a balanced (XLR) and single ended (RCA).

 

Audio Industry News 10 Years Ago
In a huge news event, CDNOW is going to merge with Sony's and Time Warner's Columbia House to create the largest audio/video e-commerce company. This merger will result in achieving a mass information mining of the over sixteen million current Columbia House members. Sony and Time Warner will each have 37 percent of the company while CDNOW’s existing stockholders will own the remaining 26 percent. As posted on the CDNOW website: Jonathan Diamond, chairman of the board of CDNOW, and Jason Olim, president and CEO of CDNOW, said: "Today CDNOW takes its place among the world’s great music brands. With the combined resources of Time Warner, Sony, Columbia House and CDNOW, our new company will be a leader in music, commerce, content and community. This merger will dramatically accelerate our growth and fulfill our vision of leading the digital revolution in the music industry. We are excited to tap the 16 million music- and video-buying customers of Columbia House, to expand our brand development through advertising and integration on Sony and Time Warner’s entertainment, media and communications properties, and to develop a close, mutually supportive relationship with Sony and Time Warner’s music divisions. CDNOW began the digital music revolution in 1994 and will continue as its leader in the new millennium." Fast forward to July 2009 and does anyone remember getting those Columbia House introductory seven free LPs when you buy three at full membership price? You know, all those little stamps that had album covers on them and you licked them, then placed them on the order card. Wow, those were fun times!

 

07 / 13 / 09

Rosso Fiorentino Electroacoustics Fiesole Monitor  The Rosso Fiorentino Electroacoustics company has announced their Fiesole monitor, which is a relatively compact three-way system. It employs state of the art components mounted in an originally styled cabinet, specially designed for top acoustic performance. The 6.5-inch Nomex woofer is held in place by the use of a special vibration damping system. This feature is claimed to allows an efficient control of structure-borne vibration, resulting in authoritative, sharp and controlled low frequencies. The 28 mm soft dome tweeter was chosen for its characteristics of musicality, excellent dispersion and detailed sound reproduction. For those who desire true high-end sound production to the uppermost frequencies, at the top of the front panel is an optional supertweeter that is dedicated to the reproduction of the ultrasonic frequencies up to 100 kHz. This option, although not changing the refined essence of the Fiesole, allows the potential for the user to enjoy truly high-resolution audio capabilities. The cabinet itself has a rear port and overall sensitivity is 86.5 dB/W/m while presenting an 8 Ohm (5 Ohm minimum) load. Frequency response is from 50 Hz to 22kHz (100 kHz with optional supertweeter). Internal wiring is multi-strand high purity dense silver coated high purity OFC from Van den Hul. The cabinet is made with solid MDF covered by real ashwood veneer of birch ply and plexiglass. Other finishes are available upon request. Dimensions are 15.7 x 11 x 12 (HxWxD in inches) and overall weight per unit is 26 lbs.

 

KL International AV Show 2009This year's KL International AV Show 2009 will be held from July 24 through 26 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel at 183, Jalan Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur. This event is Malaysia's the premier audio / visual exhibition and according to Enjoy the Music.com review Wong Kok Chiet "...has always been the best place for local audiophiles to catch up and discuss things audio and video. This event Showcases the latest products from many companies and attracts visitors from around the Asian region as well as from Europe, USA, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and China." Enjoy the Music.com has our 2008 show report online, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

HDtracksHDtracks, the world's pre-eminent high-resolution music downloading website, now offers CD and DVD-Audio quality online digital music downloads from the Harmonia Mundi recording label. Downloads also include full descriptive PDF liner notes and photos of the album cover. In welcoming the French label to HDtracks, this is the first time such recordings are available in 24-bit/88kHz resolution. Harmonia Mundi recordings on HDtracks include, among many others, Beethoven's String Quartets, opp. 74 and 95, performed by the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet, as well as his Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," played by the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Andrew Manze. HDtracks will also feature the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jeff Tyzik and featuring pianist Jon Nakamatsu, in an album of American legend George Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F, Rhapsody in Blue, and Cuban Overture.

 

Audio Industry News 10 Years Ago
Death of analog in the recording studio? Maybe not, though Studer has reportedly claimed to be ending their manufacturer of the A827 analog tape machine. Joe Bean of Studer says they plan on making only 100 more A827 analog machines with 60 of them allotted to the USA. Anyone who has entered a recording studio or two knows they will see an analog Studer of some vintage somewhere inside. Alas, demand for new analog Studer machines is at an all time low as more studios are moving into digital recording and storage via hard disc, MO-Drive or other methods.

 

07 / 10 / 09

Hi-Fi World  Enjoy the Music.com, a leader in consumer electronics information plus equipment and music reviews for approximately 15 years, is pleased to announce that British magazine Hi-Fi World has come aboard. This marks the eighth magazine, the third within the past two months, which has joined what has been referred to as the Internet's leading site for high-end audio consumer electronics reviews and information. There is little doubt Enjoy the Music.com is now considered as the leading resource for the high-end audio industry. Hi-Fi World magazine joining Enjoy the Music.com once again extends and broadens the ability of the site to provide consumers more information on virtually every facet with high-end audio.

"As our name suggests, Hi-Fi World is an international magazine that seeks out the best in high quality audio equipment of any type," says Editor David Price. "Distributed to 42 countries, our readers are from all four corners of the globe. We don't discriminate over the country of origin of the kit we review, or even its age, which is why you'll see a most diverse and eclectic range of products given pride of place providing the performance warrants it. Much as we love classic kit however, we're never nostalgic, so everything gets judged on its merits. From vintage valves and vinyl to computer audio, via the very latest in high resolution digital, Hi-Fi World is biased in favor of great sounding products and nothing more."

"The say good things come in threes and welcome HI-FI World magazine as the third magazine to join Enjoy the Music.com within the past two months," said Editor Steven R. Rochlin. "Hi-Fi World's no-nonsense and straightforward approach reinforces the many facets within the consumer electronics magazine venue. Their knowledgeable staff and diversity in equipment reviews brings a broad range of article for nearly everyone to enjoy. This new alliance further benefits Enjoy the Music.com readers so they may subscribe or, if they so choose, to purchase individual issues for digital downloading."

 

After years of legal wrangling, it appears an agreement has finally been reached concerning the fees paid to copyright holders of music when it is streamed online via Pandora, Last.fm, etc. This lawsuits does not alter the millions of hours of free music over-the-air radio stations play each month. Internet streaming music companies will paying copyright royalties starting at .08 cents for songs streamed, with the fee being increased to .14 cents each in 2015. There is a minimum for smaller online streaming music companies, as sites with less than $1.25 million in revenue will pay 12 to 14 percent for the right to stream music. All stations are required to pay a yearly minimum of $25,000 that is directly applied to royalty payments. "This is definitely the agreement that we've been waiting for," said Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora, one of the most popular Internet radio sites.

 

07 / 09 / 09

Furutech Silver Arrows Pure Silver Phono Cable  Furutech, manufacturers of a wide variety of high performance power filters, cables, parts and various tweak products, now offers their Silver Arrows pure silver phono cable (straight and left-angle DIN to RCA is $1600, the all RCA version is $1700). This cable is available in RCA/Straight DIN, RCA/ Angled L-DIN, and RCA/RCA configuration for ease of use with virtually any turntable currently within the market. Furutech builds each and every cable in their line by employing optimized engineering solutions and advanced materials plus meticulous build quality to achieve top quality performance. Because the phono cartridge output, especially those of the moving coil variety, is vanishingly small and easily polluted by RFI and EMI, the Furutech Silver Arrows uses full shielding. Like other Furutech cables, the Silver Arrows features Alpha pure silver conductors, four-layer shielding for improved noise insulation, four-way grounding and external ground wire, an insulation/dielectric that is made from special-grade air-foamed polyethylene, and a carefully engineered cable clamp improves grip and reduces mechanical and electrically-induced distortion. The cable dimensions are approximately 10.8 mm round and has an overall length of 1.2 meters. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Furutech Evolution cable (click here) and Piezo Powerflux power cable (click here).

 

Sennheiser Studio TourSennheiser, a company synonymous with high-quality headphones for over 60 years, is kicking off a unique new marketing initiative called Studio Tour in North America with various retail partners including Canon, Ubisoft, Best Buy, J&R, HMV, Cosmo Music and others. The Sennheiser Sound Tour commences on July 2, 2009, at Milwaukee Summerfest. The promotional tour will put the company's firm's highly regarded headphones and headsets, headsets, microphones, and associated products into the hands of thousands of music and technology fans in a fun and light-hearted setting. The Sennheiser Sound Tour sets two highly mobile, road-ready teams, one heading East, one West, on a mission: to put Sennheisers on as many heads as possible. The intrepid sextets-one of girls; one of guys-will engage in a battle-of-the-sexes to establish which bring Sennheiser's True Sound to the greatest number of people. With the ladies heading east and the gents roaming the west coast, the teams are sure to encounter the unexpected on a daily basis if not hourly. Both expeditions will document themselves in sound, pictures, and video by way of "webisodes" on a dedicated webpage. By inviting consumers and Sennheiser fans across North America the country and around the world to join in online in myriad ways, and even mounting team challenges such as to Sennheiser-ize people in a particular place, specific individuals, or even certain celebrities, the Sound Tour expects to reach precisely the connected, gadget-loving, technology-comfortable consumers it is targeting. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Sennheiser HD600 headphones with Stefan AudioArt Equinox cable (click here) and the CX 500 in-ear monitor (IEM) units (click here).

 

07 / 08 / 09

Linn Records SACDLinn Records now offers three new SACD collections available throughout July 2009 at more than 50 percent off. These collections provide an ideal opportunity to explore some new artists and music for an unbeatable price. The collections feature albums selected from across the Linn Records catalogue and represent a diverse range of repertoire, artists and styles. Any one of these three collections will provide a great starting point for new collectors or broaden existing collections. All Linn Records SACDs are hybrid discs meaning that if you do not yet have a surround sound system you can still benefit from the best sound on any CD player. Linn Record's SACD Complete Collection is a 20-disc collection featuring award-winning performances from world-renowned artists. Enjoy thrillingly alive performances of Bartok and Kodaly from the multi award-winning team of Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Singer/songwriters Fiona MacKenzie, Ian Shaw and Judith Owen perform captivating original compositions drawing on their heritage and musical roots. Soloists George-Emmanuel Lazaridis (piano), Pamela Thorby (recorder) and Martin Taylor (guitar) demonstrate why they are considered virtuoso performers. Linn Records also offers a Classical Collection, which includes 10 discs featuring bestselling artists and critically acclaimed albums of popular and specialist repertoire. Another collection is Linn Records' Jazz Collection 10-disc compilation with jazz and folk music that includes recordings by two recipients of the coveted BBC Best Jazz Vocalist Award: Claire Martin and Ian Shaw.

 

RealTrapsRealTraps' new modular line of very high-performance acoustic treatment products require no permanent mounting. All of the modules are six inches thick and can be stacked free-standing up to a height of eight feet. A special soft non-slip material is provided to hold the traps securely, and protect them from scratching. Although this system is intended for high-end mixing and mastering engineers working in smaller spaces, it is also ideal for regular two-channel hi-fi listening and even home theaters. Three module types are offered, each resting on a 24 x 24 x 6 inch MondoTrap base. The corner bass trap modules use a 24 x 48 x 6 inch MondoTrap. The reflection absorber modules use a 24 x 48 x 6 inch HF style MondoTrap. The wall modules use the RealTraps Diffuser that is also a bass trap. A 24 x 48 x 6 inch MondoTraps rest above each module to treat the wall-ceiling corners. Although the pieces are used as a modular system, they are sold individually and priced ranging from $200 to $600 each, with quantity discounts applied for ten or more pieces of any type. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed RealTraps room acoustic devices at this link.

 

Audio Industry News 10 Years Ago
Madrigal No32As first seen worldwide on the Enjoy the Music.com Hi-Fi '99 Show Report, Enjoy the Music.com is also the first to give you the full details and inside look into Madrigal's new Mark Levinson No 32 Reference Preamplifier! Priced at $17,500 including the optional phono stage, this is the very first Levinson preamplifier to receive the "Reference" label. "Mark Levin Reference products are essential to Madrigal's engineering strategy. They help us deliver greater performance at a variety of price points... the technology has a profound impact on all other products we design" says Madrigal's CEO Phil Muzio. The entire communication and power supplies reside in the "Reference Controller" chassis while the entire audio circuitry is in what Madrigal calls the "clean box". It has long been know that by keeping the fragile analog stage in a separate chassis as the power supply gives better results in high-quality audio products. To quote their website "The No32 Reference Controller houses five important blocks which support the preamplifier system: AC power supply, AC power supply regeneration, DC power regulation, control circuitry (for input select, volume and other microprocessor controlled functions) and communications (for interfacing with other components). This separation of tasks is logical in a modern, reference-level preamplifier." Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Mark Levinson No 390S CD processor, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

07 / 07 / 09

  Swag sale plus new goodies now available! For those who have been reading Enjoy the Music.com for many years, or even those new to our site, can now show their enthusiasm and support by purchasing our swag. From Made within the USA short to coffee mugs and beer steins... plus much more.  Graphic designs on Enjoy the Music.com's swag include Best Enthusiast Award to our very enthusiastic DIY Magazine. Baseballs caps, hoodies and classic concert tee shorts... we offer a wide variety of great products for you to choose from that shows your love music while also helping support our many years of effort. We have just added some special new items like a water bottle great for camping or bicyclists plus dishes that can be used for your pet's food or, for those of you into DIY, that can hold various parts and bits as you construct your next masterpiece. We also have a few nice shirts for those ladies in the audience or for your significant other. So help us help you and go get your swag now by clicking here.

 

The Absolute SoundEnjoy the Music.com now offers a sneak peek at the August 2009 edition of The Absolute Sound (Issue 194) featuring the complete table of contents and editorial! This edition features many new reviews and think pieces including Bryston BDA-1 and Audio Research DAC7 USB DACs, Bel Canto USB Link and Focusrite Saffire format converters, Weiss Engineering Jason Transport and Medea DAC, Dussun T6 and T2i integrated amplifiers, Naim Audio SuperLine phonostage, Meridian Audio DSP7200 Active Digital Loudspeaker and 808.2 CD Player, Marantz PM-11S2 integrated amplifier... and much more. Within this issue's editorial by Robert Harley titled Digital Audio Jitter And Image Stabilizer Binoculars he says, "I recently bought a pair of Canon Image Stabilizer binoculars for wildlife viewing. Image Stabilizer technology, widely used in digital cameras and camcorders, optically eliminates the apparent movement of the image caused by hand-shake. The technology is ideally suited to binoculars, where hand-shake degrades images as seen through even the world's finest conventional optics. You can instantly judge the effect of the Image Stabilizer by looking through the Canon binoculars and then pressing the button that engages the Image Stabilizer. As though by magic, the image instantly becomes motionless...." You can see the table of contents and read the complete editorial by clicking here.

 

 

07 / 06 / 09

  Absolute Multimedia UK, publisher of Hi-Fi Plus and The Absolute Sound, announced that Mark Fisher, will be leaving the company to pursue other opportunities. Tom Martin, the CEO and Owner of the parent company NextScreen, LLC, has announced that he will replace Mark Fisher as publisher. "We have watched Hi-Fi Plus grow over the past three and a half years, and it has now matured into the primary high-end publication in the UK for serious enthusiasts." Fisher commented, "I'm confident that under the guidance of Alan Sircom, our new Editor, it will continue to grow its direction. We are excited also to have our current Advertisement Manager, Peter Trewin, taking over the day-to-day running of the magazine in the UK. He will be working closely with Tom to ensure there is a smooth transition after my departure."

"We have accomplished a great deal with the magazine, and I am happy to take over where Mark left off," continued Mr. Martin, "I look forward to working more closely with Pete and Alan to ensure the continued success of Hi-Fi Plus."

Based in Austin, TX, Tom Martin founded Absolute Multimedia, Inc., the predecessor of NextScreen, in 1998 while working at Dell Computer Corporation. At Dell, Martin was a vice president of marketing and business development from 1991 through 2000. During that time he directed Dell's worldwide marketing, product management and brand strategy. Prior to Dell, Martin served as vice president of marketing for Toshiba America Information Systems and as a vice president of the laptop business unit of NEC. Martin was also a senior consultant with McKinsey & Company following his graduation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Martin also serves on the boards of Accent Capital, the Austin Lyric Opera and the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art. Enjoy the Music.com will continue to be online partners to both The Absolute Sound and Hi-Fi Plus.

 

Triad InRoom Platinum DSP SubTriad has introduced a complete new line of subwoofers that includes the InRoom Mini DSP Sub ($1000), InRoom Bronze DSP Sub ($1250), InRoom Silver DSP Sub ($,650), InRoom Gold DSP Sub ($2250) and InRoom Platinum DSP Sub ($2500, pictured). Priced approximately the same as our last generation of PowerSubs, the new DSP Subs offer far more flexibility, adjustment, fine-tuning, and performance. The subs and amps are built entirely in North America. Triad's new PlateAmps and RackAmps offer significantly more useable power than the previous line. They offer increased setup flexibility (sub highpass, gain, delays, etc.) permitting greater fine-tuning of the sub to the system and to the room plus are better able to be optimized. The 300 watt RackAmp 300 DSP offers a true 300 watts in compact package that is a single rack space high. All the new RackAmps feature a reduced chassis depth meaning they fit in more tight locations and racks. All units feature manual, low voltage trigger and signal sense with sensitivity and off time adjustments, balanced inputs, reduced energy use, and line outputs that let the subs be included in two-channel house music systems. The newly designed InRoom enclosures (Mini, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) have a bold industrial design that looks handsome in many environments. As with all Triad InRoom speakers, custom paint matching is a no-cost option, and there is an unlimited array of real wood veneer finishes that can also be custom matched. The new enclosures utilize new metal grill for an elegant appearance. All our compact enclosures are heavily braced and acoustically inert for the cleanest possible reproduction, even at theatrical levels. Each new subwoofers, with the exception of the two InWall Bronze and one InCeiling Bronze subs, use all new heavy-duty, long-throw drivers for considerably more output, greater extension, and far more headroom than Triad's previous PowerSub line. The InRoom Mini DSP Sub is an 8-inch design with 300 watt amplifier, the InRoom Bronze DSP Sub has a 10-inch driver and 300 watt amplifier. Meanwhile Triad's InRoom Silver DSP Sub features a 12-inch driver and 500 watts of power, the InRoom Gold DSP Sub sports a 15-inch driver with 1,000 watt amplifier and the top-of-the-range InRoom Platinum DSP Sub has a large 18-inch driver with 1,000 watt amplifier.

 

Althea Musica Vega Masterpiece TurntableAlthea Musica, now offers their Vega Masterpiece turntable (33,330€) with handcrafted care towards producing the ultimate product with precision of design at each level. This high mass record player has a separate, decoupled and stable plinth, motor unit and tonearm base. Every component is selected precisely for its amazing sonic performance. The base of the Vega Masterpiece is crafted from a combination of various tone woods. Tone wood must be seasoned for many years until it is usable for a "musical instrument". The plinth is constructed as multiplex-flat. The intelligently arranged resonance chambers avert resonation or vibrations of the material and the transference to the record plate by means of transformation of the energy. The Althea Musica Vega turntable's platter is made of "ALCOA", a special aluminum alloy. ALCOA is said to provide a better internal damping as, for instance, copper. The weight is approximately 33 lbs. The bearing housing, which is made from steel, is attached as part of the massive turntable. An inverted magnetic bearing is manufactured to fit extremely close tolerances and to provide a long lifespan. Bearing bush is made from bearing bronze and vertical axis is made from multiple hardened steel with intensive polish. The motor drive unit is totally separated from chassis and tonearm. This stable drive unity contains the motor and controller an drives a flat belt. Both 33.3 and 45 rpm speeds can be switched electronically, plus they may be finely adjusted separately. Both the motor and controller are special developed and manufactured for Althea Musica. The separate tone arm basis decoupled and can accommodate tonearms of virtually any geometry and length.

 

07 / 03 / 09

AMR PH-77 Phonostage  After many years of extensive in-house development and close collaboration with recording engineers and archivists from the BBC, AMR (Abbingdon Music Research) has finally released their PH-77 reference class phono equalizer (7,800€). The PH-77 is the only phonograph source able to lay claim to exclusively feature a comprehensive catalogue of 22 equalization (EQ) curves: every LP record ever made may now be replayed using the one and only correct equalization curve. To quote the AMR press release, "With unorthodox approaches to the circuit design, along with rare and primarily bespoke components, the AMR PH-77 phono equalizer paints a sonic picture that is so seductively vivid, beautiful and harmonically rich, it possesses an enthralling live performance-like quality that after listening, one is left struggling for superlatives." Together with 8 levels of gain; 64 steps of load; 3 inputs for flexibility in cartridge choice/matching and an onboard 24-bit/96kHz analog-to-digital converter, the PH-77 is an extremely flexible reference phonostage. The circuit is a pure single-ended Class A zero negative feedback design. All low-level signal connections, including the cartridge, are coupled directly. Overall, only two coupling capacitors are employed: one is a custom-made silver foil capacitor that follows the equalization block while the other is the same German-made film and foil capacitor used in the multiple award-winning AMR CD-77 CD-Processor. The circuit is designed to preserve absolute polarity at all gain levels and for all equalization settings. Furthermore, the input stage was adopted from extreme low-noise circuitry used in quantum particle research. Along with only the highest quality of parts, the claimed resultant equivalent input noise of -145dBV (0.056uV) places the PH-77 in the highest echelon of the quietest phonograph sources ever made.

 

LaCie 12bigBurning your digital disc collection to hard disc and running out of space? The new LaCie 12big (starting at $5,490 for 6TB) is a standard 19-inch rack-mounted DAS, NAS, iSCSI, or FC SAN design that handles 12 hard drives and can hold from 6TB to a staggering 60TB depending on hard drive size. Designed for corporate IT and post-production companies, this new unit features zero downtime with redundant hot-swappable elements. LaCie Advance Care Option included Mac, Windows and Linux environment ready all within an enterprise class 2U rack-mounted profile. SAN, DAS and NAS storage solutions that are designed to target the most demanding uses through their performance, customization, minimized downtime and ease-of-use. The range features multipathed 4x 4Gb/s fiber channel connections, dual Mini SAS connection (SFF-8088) or dual 1Gb/s Ethernet connection. Built with Enterprise Class SATA disks, the LaCie 12big Rack product range will ensure data is always available through the redundancy of power supplies, cooling units and a dual-controller option for the LaCie 12big Rack Fibre and the LaCie 12big Rack Serial. The range also offers multiple RAID levels for data protection, from RAID 0, 1, 10, 5 and 50, up to RAID 6. Additionally, the LaCie 12big Rack Fibre's Advanced Power Management feature and disk verify feature help ensure archived data is duly available if needed. The LaCie 12big Rack Fibre supports a dual Active/Active controllers option and allows up to six streams of 4:2:2 uncompressed HD video. As such, the LaCie 12big Rack Fibre enables video-intensive users to edit uncompressed video streams on storage networks; the LaCie 12big Rack Serial is able to achieve similar performance as direct attached storage. Alternatively, the LaCie 12big Rack Network supports link teaming (IEEE 802.3ad) of its dual gigabit connections, allowing users to host critical backups, file sharing or archiving.

 

07 / 02 / 09

April Music Stello 500 Series Integrated Amplifier  April Music's new Stello 500 series features a CD player and integrated amplifier ($2495 and $2995 respectively). As the newest addition to the classic Stello 100 series, the 500 series CD player incorporates highly advanced circuitry to produce what the company claims is "an astounding level of sonic performance with no equal in its price range." Features include a fully customized CD mechanism, an easy-to-read display and luxurious industrial build quality. Both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) analog outputs are included as are S/PDIF input/output and TosLink The new April Music Stello 500 series integrated amplifier delivers "audiophile" performance in an affordable and elegant package. It provides multiple inputs, one being balanced (XLR) with multiple others via unbalanced RCA connection. Both units have detachable IEC power cord for use with stock or aftermarket high-end power cables. All XLR and RCA connectors are gold plated and the loudspeaker binding posts on the April Music Stello 500 integrated amplifier are very high quality. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Stello DA100 D/A converter and HP100 headphone amplifier, which can be seen by clicking here.

 

DAISy GyrFalcon 8 Reference CD Transport MechanismDAISy now offers their GyrFalcon 8 reference CD transport mechanism, thereby retiring the company's popular L1210/65 module. The GyrFalcon 8 includes many refinements and add features while employing the same DSA High Level Interface for ease of implementation to current designs. New features include support for mp3, WMA, HDCD, S/PDIF output, CPO (Copy-Protection Optimization), GyrFalcon Slim Metal Loader and GyrFalcon Slot. The new transport mechanism also reads CD-DA, CD-R, CD-RW, I2S output, upsampling, and fast track access. The DSA protocol is a communication process used between the servo/decoding section and the user interface section of a CD player. It means that designers can easily connect the GyrFalcon 8 to any of your displays/user sections or use one of DAISy's display kits. As an optional possibility, high-end audio manufacturer may opt for the Slim Metal Loaders, which can both be combined with the GyrFalcon 8 in order to build high-end CD players. The DAISy GyrFalcon 8 can also be used for slot loading players within high-end audio products.

 

Audio Industry News 10 Years Ago
Record your own HDCD compliant CDs? You bet! Philips just announced their plans in offering an all new CD-R lineup for the Christmas season. Starting in September their plans are to offer lower priced yet fully featured units which will include not only the ability to record with the HDCD coding, they will also include CD Text, sampling rate conversion, automatic recording level control, their upper line model slated as the CDR950 will be the company’s first CD-R with programmable auto fade-in/out feature. Pricing should be around $499 to $599 depending on model and features.

 

07 / 01 / 09

  Enjoy the Music.com's July editions of our Review Magazine and DIY Audio Magazine are now online! Within this month's Review Magazine we feature three world premiere review of high-end audio gear not to be missed plus a revisit of zero oversampling DACs.

Review Magazine
Daily News: Audiophile news updated each weekday! 

Viewpoint
Toys n' Tweaks I Love Plus Anniversaries!
Audiophile tweaks, a cool boombox... and we begin our 14th year online!

World Premiere!
Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 117
TelWire HC Cords Plus More On The Black Ravioli Risers

 

Audiophile Equipment Reviews
World Premiere!
Audiomods Rega RB250-251 Arm Conversions
Rega arm owners or wannabees take note...also available in DIY!

World Premiere!
Rythmik Audio F12SE Subwoofer
These guys are indeed on to something.

Neko Audio D100 Digital To Analog Converter
The Cat Is Out Of The Bag

Woo Audio 2 SE Triode-OTL Headphone Amplifier/Preamplifier
The beauty lies in our striving and not the actual catch.

Book Review: Get Better Sound By Jim Smith
Do you want maximum enjoyment from the gear you already have?

Flashback: Dick Olsher Tackles Digital Zen
A Quartet of Zero Oversampling Digital to Analog Converters.
Scott Nixon Audio Tube Dac+
47 Laboratory model 4715 DAC
Audio Note UK DAC1.1x-II Signature
Altmann Micro Machines Attraction DAC

 

Music Reviews
Brilliant concert recordings of Shostakovich and Mahler
from Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony.

Maria By The Orchestra La Scintilla
With Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo soprano) and Adam Fischer as Conductor
Plus Arias by Giovanni Pacini

Revelatory Schoenberg and Sibelius Violin Concertos from Hilary Hahn.

Jazz, Folk, Bluegrass, Blues, Etc.
Chuck Berry Berry On Top: St. Louis To Liverpool
Gretchen Peters and Tom Russell One to the Heart, One to the Head
Rhythm Angels: Celeste Krens and Rebecca Folsom Girls Like Us
Special Consensus Signs
Various Bluegrass, Blues And Jazz Albums

Rock, Alternative, Etc
The Autonomous Region Forbidden City
Reggie Calloway Bring Back The Love
Jason Ricci And New Blood Done With The Devil 

 

See the July 2009 Review Magazine by clicking here.

 

 

DIY Magazine
P-amp Ver. 1.0 Headphone Amplifier
Article By Grey Rollins

Introduction To The Art And Science Of Open Baffle Speaker Building
Article By Darrel Hawthorne Of Hawthorne Audio

Flesh And Blood The Reichert 300B
Article By Herb Reichert

Sound Practices Magazine
The Feral Eye 2A3 Amplifier Article By Herb Reichert Schematic By New York Triode Mafia

VALVE Magazine
The Venerable Dynaco Stereo 70 By Dan Schmalle

 

See the Summer 2009 edition of the DIY Magazine by clicking here.

 

 

AirHead Audio Industry News 10 Years Ago
It took about two years to get it right, yet the folks at Headroom have finally released their tiny tot cigarette pack sized AirHead headphone amplifier. In fact the folks at Headroom feel their little $179 AirHead gives about 80 percent of the performance of their $449 Supreme! The AirHead can operate for approximately 15 hours on a set of two "AA" batteries.  A high quality 1/8" to 1/8" stereo cord is supplied for hooking it up to your portable CD/DAT/MP3/etc player. In fact Headroom is right now offering a free $50 AirBag or Brick with direct purchase of their AirHead unit. If we fast-forward to July 2009, Headroom is one of the leading online retailers of headphone amplification devices. They are now also offering headphones, loudspeakers, DACs, etc. From the company's inception to today, Headroom has earned many awards from leading audiophile magazines throughout the world while offering great customer service. It is always interesting to look back at Enjoy the Music.com's 10 Years Ago news articles and see which companies have come and gone. Headroom is one of those companies that has steadily grown over the years and still flourishes today.


 

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