High-End Audio Industry News
07 / 30 / 10
Award winning Swiss manufacturer DaVincAudio
has just began shipping their new Grand Reference MONO cartridge Grandezza. This cartridge hopes to set a milestone in musicality and emotionality as each one is carefully assembled by Peter Brem himself. The cartridge is claimed to unveils its outstanding tonal qualities from the first moment you listen to it. DaVinciAudio carefully selected each material used and ensures Swiss precision technology for top quality. The Grand Reference Grandezza MONO is a very-low-output (0.17mV), very-low-internal-impedance (<3 Ohms) moving coil. Its samarium-cobalt magnetic engine is built to DaVinciAudio's specifications by the Swiss company Benz
Micro. Everything else is assembled by DaVinciAudio including the cartridge's massive 20 gram rhodanized body, which the stylus and magnetic engine are mounted. Suggested stylus pressure is 2 to 2.2 grams and the cartridge itself weighs 20 grams.
07 / 29 / 10
Enjoy the Music.com
has a world premiere of Hi-Fi World's
Volume 20 Number 7 (September 2010) including the compete editorial and table of
contents. This issue includes reviews of the Waterfall Victoria Evo and Acoustic
Energy Neo One V2 speakers, T.A.C. C-60, Sony BDP-S5000ES and Hi Sound Audio Rocoo-A digital units plus in amplification reviews include the Yamaha RX-V567, Cambridge Audio 350A and XTZA100D3... plus much more.!
editorial by David Price says, "Back in the early eighties, there waIt's funny how your ears get attuned to things. My formative hi-fi years were spent listening to conventional box loudspeakers. Very good ones, as it happens, but even they didn't prepare me for when I heard my first pair of 'panels'. After years of living with moving coil woofers and tweeters, in wooden cabinets full of woolly wadding, the sheer oddness of auditioning Quad ESL-57 electrostatics was (and still is) hard to put in to words. It was music Jim, but not as I knew it!". See the complete
September table of contents and editorial of
Hi-Fi World by clicking here.
07 / 28 / 10
announced their ultimate all-in-one music source component, the NA7004 Network Audio Player ($799). It provides many features including serving as a DAC for people with large collections of downloaded high-resolution music on their computers or other external storage devices. The NA7004's music reproduction capabilities fir resolution is said to outperform that of conventional CD players, revealing subtle nuances and dynamics of high-quality sound that are often lost in file transfer from downloaded music collections, ripped CDs and more. Marantz's NA7004 is a DLNA version 1.5-certified DMP (Digital Media Player) and DMR (Digital Media Renderer) and among its key performance and convenience features are a USB front-panel input featuring iPod Digital Connection and a back panel M-XPort for wireless Bluetooth streaming with optional RX101 Bluetooth Receiver. The NA7004 also includes access to over 14,000 Internet Radio stations. File types supported include FLAC, 24-bit/96kHz FLAC, WAV, WMA, WMA Lossless, MP3, MPEG-4 and AAC. The USB Audio Sample Rate / Word Depth is up to 24-bit/96kHz and the built-in D/A converter mode provides three digital inputs. (coax, optical and USB).
News 10 Years Ago
Resolution Audio CD55 compact disc player employs not one, but four 24-bit Burr Brown 1704 digital-to-analog (D/A) converters. This additional decoding power is paramount to take advantage of their proprietary DSP filter algorithm that upsamples the audio signal from the standard compact disc 44.1 kHz/16-bit signal to 705.6
kHz/24-bit. While the design is based on their research from the never released D98 DVD processor, the CD55 retains an analog volume control to allow for the elimination of a preamplifier if desired. The newest generation high-end P10500 mechanism from Philips is used which is claimed to "significantly better disc reading capabilities than its predecessors." The Resolution Audio CD55 can read unfinalized CD-RW discs! HDCD decoding is also included. Suggested retail price is $3,000.
07 / 27 / 10
HDtracks.com, founded by multi-Grammy-nominated jazz and classical composer and inventor of new sound technology David Chesky and his brother Norman to provide high resolution digital music downloads, is now offering spectacular CD and DVD-audio-quality albums from the legendary Sun Records
label. The Sun Records library on HDtracks.com begins with the classic Cash albums All Aboard The Blue Train and Now Here's Johnny Cash, as well as Howlin' Wolf's The Memphis Sessions. All albums are available in FLAC format. "[In the recording process], we have eliminated phase cancellation issues and brought a new level of clarity and depth to these recordings," said James Stewart, chief engineer at Sun Records. "By going back to the first generation masters and adjusting for each song individually, we were able to simulate the live recording sessions just as though you are sitting in the control room yourself. [On HDtracks.com], these recordings sound better than they ever have." As with all HDtracks.com album downloads, all Sun Records albums include complete PDF liner notes to provide context and enrich the listening experience. Additional Sun Records albums will be available on HDtracks.com later in the summer.
News 10 Years Ago
D-Day finally came for
Napster as yesterday at a hearing in Federal District Court in San Francisco, Chief Judge Marilyn Hall Patel has issued an injunction which will shut down many key operations of online music file swapping provider
Napster. The judge also declined to stay her own injunction which would give Napster's attorneys time to submit an emergency stay and keep Napster's key operations working. This basically means that Napster will be fully shut down on Friday at Midnight PT. The
immensely popular Napster already has approximately 22 million users and valued at $64.5 million as of May.
07 / 26 / 10
Fidelity now offers their new B283 MKII tube processor is designed to transform solid-state audio signals into "much more pleasing musical sound offered by
tubes". The B283 MKII tube processor uses 6SN7 tubes, which are commonly used on high end tube audio only. Compared to the 6J1 version, Grant Fidelity says this change provides a more refined sound and works better with mid or high price range solid-state systems, plus users have an endless list of 6SN7 current production and NOS tubes to roll for different sound. Acting as an impedance matching device, it will run between virtually all line level and again between most preamplifiers and amplifiers via a
100 kOhm input and 100 Ohm output (typical). The B-283 MKII is simple to operate, has stereo analog input and output via gold-plated RCA jacks and can be installed between CD to preamplifier, phonostage output to preamplifier or a processor loop. Another option is to insert the analog output of an iPod or other portable audio device to warm up its sound. Input sensitivity is 0.68dB, frequency response is from 10Hz to 100kHz (-0.1dB) and THD is 0.03%. Dimensions are 7 x 6 x 7.5 (WxHxD) and it weighs 6.6
Cable added the T1A ($20) to their growing offerings of AC line protection
devices. The T1A is an upgrade to the company's T1, as this single-outlet device provides 540 joules of surge suppression with an added line filtration circuit for cleaning the power. The T1A is engineered with the X3 MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor), providing surge suppression and thus complies with the latest, most difficult surge suppression safety rating of UL 1449 - 3rd Addition. Designed to physically cover only one receptacle of a dual-outlet pair, the compact size of the T1A may be ideal for protecting subwoofers, powered speakers and many other types of household electronics. Tributaries Cable T1A features a blue LED indicator light when plugged-in to a live outlet, signaling full protection from the connected component.
07 / 22 / 10
Roksan, a UK-based
manufacturer that was formed in 1985 and offered their first high end record player (the Xerxes), now has their new M2 Series Caspian Integrated Amplifier and CD Player reaching
stores (£1595 each). A matching stereo power amplifier, a phono stage and preamplifier are slated to over the next few months. The new M2 Integrated Amplifier is said to have the control and authority plus resolution of detail that is reminiscent of Roksan's acclaimed L1.5 reference preamplifier. Features of the new Caspian Integrated Amplifier includes independent analog output stage power supply, a full functional LCD system remote control, output protection with high current relays and multiple ultra low noise power section with toroidal transformers. There are five inputs plus tape via gold-plated RCA jacks. Outputs are via RCA Tape plus two sets of preamplifier. Output power is 85 wpc stereo at 8 Ohms (125 @ 4 Ohms) and a damping factor of 160. Overall frequency response is from 1 Hz to 90 kHz ( -3dB). Roksan's new M2 CD player benefited immensely from the development of the new upcoming Platinum CD player. The M2
utilizes a one piece optimized mother board, de-coupled mechanism and dedicated transformer/power supplies for the analogue filters and the outputs. There is an independent analog output stage power supply to ensure high quality sound, a full functional Roksan LCD system remote control, track program and repeat function (One/All & A-B) capability. The M2 CD player's de-coupled laser mechanism, super precision master clock combined with its 12
independent and fully regulated digital and analog circuits are claimed by the company to "create a seam less harmonic musical experience that is second to
mbl's new mbl 101 MK II large floorstanding loudspeaker
($67,400 per pair) is their technological tour de force as they have refined their
design over the past three decades. The MK II's are the refined version of the earlier 101e Radialstrahler that includes new bass drivers that are said to offering more control. mbl has improved the upper midrange plus a new subwoofer cabinet design to improve the speaker's bottom end. mbl did not stop there as the crossover has been further refined, a retuned front to rear signal, new ring design surrounding the bass ports, reduced speaker height and new 101 MKII grill design. As many audiophiles know, the mbl 101e MKII produces sound 360-degrees
omni-directional due to the tweeter, midrange, and bass modules are each pulsating spheres of sorts.
This unit part of the company's Reference Line that includes the 9011, 9008A, and 9007 power amplifiers, the 6010D preamplifier, the 1621A CD and 1622 SACD disc transports, and the 1611F D-to-A converter. Due to the nature of the mbl loudspeaker, users are generally advised to use an MBL amplifier or one that is capable of producing high
output with high driving current. Color options for the unit includes satin
black, Ferrari red, piano black satin white and artic silver. Frequency response
is from 24 Hz to 40 kHz, sensitivity is 82/dB/W/m at 4 Ohms and each unit
weighs 175 lbs.
07 / 21 / 10
Award-winning amplification company Ray
Samuels Audio is now selling their Emmeline SR-71B quad mono fully balanced portable
amplifier. Balanced all the way from input to output, the Emmeline SR-71B employs state-of-the-art fully differential input to output with excellent specifications when it comes to low noise, bandwidth, slew rate and dynamics. Four independent Op-Amps are used within the gain stages, two for each channel. This provides three independent gains per channel. The Buffer stage has four independent buffers, two per channel with a great drive capability and current handling. Ray Samuels audio says that there is no headphone ever made that SR-71B can not drive with great authority and control. It can swing in balanced mode more than 26V p-p. The Emmeline SR-71B uses custom designed for RSA four Lithium Ion battery pack that when fully charged provides 16.8 Volts DC. SR-71B can swing more than 12 to 14 Volts p-p in single ended, making it excellent performer to drive Sennheiser HD 600/650. Features include dual volume pots, double gain switches, two balanced connectors, two SE connectors, balanced and single ended switch selector, DC input jack and on/off LED. All these are wrapped within a small 0.5 x 3.25 x 0.7 (WxLxH in inches) metal
enclosure, thus making it extremely portable.
News 10 Years Ago
Canadian loudspeaker company, has just announced new models to their Alpha
family. Two new versatile, ultra-compact monitors, the Alpha Intro LR and Intro
are hoped to fit a wide variety of needs for home theater enthusiasts. According to PSB founder and chief designer Paul
Barton "These speakers will sound excellent and fit beautifully on a bookshelf, a dedicated speaker stand, the side or back walls of a home theater, or the desktop. They take the Alpha concept a step further by packing what we think is maximal attainable performance into ultra-compact speakers that are outstanding in visual design and have amenities you associate with much more expensive speakers. They profit in every way from the breakthroughs we've made in the design of our Image Series speakers, which have received an unprecedented reception in all of our markets."
Both of the Alpha Intros use PSB's new 0.75", anodized aluminum-dome tweeter
plus a new 3.5" midrange/woofer made of polypropylene cone and rubber
surround (claimed to move air at low frequencies with unusual effectiveness for its
size). The Intro LR measures only 4.25" wide by 6.75" high by
6.25" deep while the Intro CLR is the same configuration except for
adding a second 3.5" mid/woofer and measuring 9.75" high. Both have magnetic shielding to allow placement in close
proximity to a television set or computer monitor. PSB will begin shipping the Alpha Intros in
August with an MSRP of $199/pair for the Alpha Intro LR and $169 each for the Alpha Intro
07 / 20 / 10
Italian company Bassocontinuo
has just announced their TCL cable lifter (€78 each) than features anti-vibration
feet. The company says this device is very effective due to use of an high potential material that includes using Technogel. TCL is a synergy of three materials actually: a body in original Degussa handmade polished Plexiglas, four
Silicon o-rings on the floor side and a Technogel plate on cable side. The overall effect is to reduce floor-born vibrations and break up standing wave vibrations. The TLC can be used for loudspeaker or power cables.
Bassocontinuo also specializes in various types of equipment racks that may be
ordered to accommodate various systems, sound absorbing pictures for room
acoustic control and equipment footers to continue the theme of device
resonance control and minimization. Their B1 footers may be used under
equipment or loudspeakers and is modular is design. Inside of it there is a damping cylinder that allows to isolate the foot from the surface on which it's placed. The vibrations are absorbed from the cylinder and converted into heat.
The feet can be adapted for different weight, changing the cylinder inserted inside. The
set of three are sold in an elegant wood box are each footer is carefully tested to obtain the best result depending
on the customer specified the weight.
07 / 19 / 10
Goldmund, a Swiss company with more than thirty years developing audio and video equipment at the highest level, has new members of the Goldmund Metis
family. Specifically, their Metis 2, two-channel analog preamplifier, the Metis 3 analog power amplifier and the Metis 5 integrated amplifier. Goldmund's new Metis analog audio components have been created to replace the company's former SR line at even lower costs despite improved performance. In the new line, an analog preamplifier and power amplifier, the Metis 2 and Metis 3, will remind the most knowledgeable audiophiles of the Mimesis 2 and 3, the first electronics introduced by the company in 1984. With their even better performance and a minimum form factor (30 wide x 30 deep x 5 high cm), they will be the typical separates for lower cost. The Metis 2 preamplifier provides five analog stereo inputs and ultra-linear volume control with the same circuitry as the Mimesis 27.5. A balance adjustment is provided on the remote. A set of two analog RCA outputs serves as the preamplifier output. The Metis 3 power amplifier is a stereo 150 wpc Telos circuit providing exceptional dynamics. It comes with two analog RCA inputs. An integrated amplifier, the Metis 5 includes both Metis 2 and Metis 3 circuitry in a diminutive chassis.
News 10 Years Ago
Now available is the new
Theta Digital David II DVD/CD Transport that offers high quality video and audio
processing. Superceding their highly
regarded David, the David II build upon the strengths of the previous version yet add greater quality and features. By taking advantage of the latest developments in fundamental DVD technology, the David II can accommodate digital audio with sampling rates of 44.1, 48, and 96 kHz as well as resolutions of 16, 20, and 24 bits. Meanwhile the video and audio sections are completely independent and isolated from each other to prevent any interference/interaction between them. Separate very low-jitter crystal oscillators are used for the audio and video frequencies. This allows the signals to be processed independently, dramatically reducing the digital noise that can compromise both sound and picture. Because the use of dual lasers, the David II can play DVD discs and also CD, CD-R, CD-RW and Video CDs.
This enables the David II to automatically select the correct laser for the type of disc being played. Special low-jitter servo circuits control the motor speed, laser tracking, and focus, while sophisticated parametric statistical analysis is used to correct errors caused by fingerprints, dust and disc warping.
Digital video signals are converted to analog with 10-bit/27 MHz digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and sent to Theta-designed filters and high-speed output buffers, which provide stunning picture quality. Images are clear, perfectly color-balanced, and almost palpable in their dimensionality.
The audio side is equally remarkable Through the newly designed audio output section, David II delivers dramatic soundstaging, pinpoint imaging, and an extremely wide dynamic range. The result is unrivaled sound quality from both movie and music sources. Theta's design further enhances the isolation of its circuits by utilizing multiple analog power supplies, including six low-flux Theta-designed transformers and 16 highly filtered and regulated supplies. Each supply has its own integral RF-suppression filter, which reduces the interaction between the stages in each circuit and between the audio and video sections.
The David II's complete complement of video outputs includes one Component (Y, Cr, Cb on BNC connectors), two S-video, and two Composite (RCA and BNC). On the audio side, David II provides digital outputs for PCM Only (RCA) and PCM/DTS/Dolby Digital 5.1 (RCA, BNC, XLR). An optical output (AT&T or Laser
Linque) is available as an option.
Also available as an option is Theta¹s UltraSync progressive-scan output (480p) in both Component and RGB with sync outputs for sync on green, horizontal, vertical, and composite. Users can also add a 4:2:2 digital-video output to service an outboard video processor with digital inputs. The David II's suggested retail price is $5,000 in platinum or ebony.
07 / 16 / 10
Car enthusiasts and audiophile enthusiasts meet in the new
with audio system by Naim
Audio. A state-of-the-art 14-speaker audio system with digital signal processing (DSP) and 6-CD
auto-changer is provided as standard while the Naim Audio for Bentley premium audio system may be specified as an option. This forging of two British luxury brands provides customers with the world's most powerful production in-car amplifier with 2200 watts, eight dedicated DSP modes and 20 custom-made speakers, delivering exceptional sound quality. A stylish, leather-lined media player stowage drawer has connectors for iPod, USB, Mini USB and 3.5mm aux. The latest in-car technologies are discreetly placed within the Mulsanne's sumptuous interior. A multimedia system with 60GB hard disc drives satellite navigation, audio/video, personal data, telephone and Bluetooth connectivity. The upper dashboard houses an 8-inch multimedia screen, positioned unobtrusively behind an electrically operated veneered
door. Enjoy the Music.com editor Steven R. Rochlin reviewed the Bentley
Continental Speed with Naim Audio system at this
07 / 15 / 10
Enjoy the Music.com
just published our July midmonth audiophile Review Magazine update.
Boston Audio Society
The Digital Challenge
A Report By Stanley P. Lipshitz
Sound Practices Magazine
The Rejuvenation Process|
How to get the longest life out of your power triodes.
Article By Heiner Jakobi
Living Stereo Reissues: Is CD Or Vinyl Better?
Article By Steven Schneider
Mid-July Review Magazine by clicking
07 / 14 / 10
The seventh annual RMAF 2010 (Rocky Mountain Audio Fest
2010) show will once again be held at the Denver Marriott Tech Center
Hotel. Held from October 15th through the 17th, the RMAF 2010 event continues to grow in popularity with each passing year. This year's
event will feature over 300 high-end audiophile brands in 160 rooms. While two-channel high-end audio (audiophile) gear takes center stage, various conferences, seminars and live music entertainment
may also be enjoyed by many attendees. Enjoy the Music.com will have a team of reporters
on hand to cover the show as we have done for the past six events. You can see our
previous RMAF show reports by clicking here.
News 10 Years Ago
world may not be worthy, yet our friends from Spinal
Tap are at it again. Actually MGM Home Entertainment is behind all the
hype as they are re-releasing the cult classic movie "This Is Spinal
Tap". Do not worry as drummers will still spontaneously combust,
guitars are still sustaining, dwarfs will still dance around Stonehenge and
there are enough cucumbers to go around. There will also be a re-release party
where Spinal Tap will play a few of their legendary songs and give away many prizes. The new DVD will
include the sound remixed in Dolby for 5.1 surround sound. Just remember what
Marty said "The Gospel According to Spinal Tap -- This pretentious collection of religious rock songs begs the question, 'On what day did God create Spinal Tap, and couldn't he have rested on that day
too?'" So when you get the DVD remember to turn your amps to 11 and rock
07 / 13 / 10
Kable, an award winning manufacturer of cables for custom home installation and high-end audiophiles, is now shipping their Select KS 6063, KS 6065 and KS 6068 cables ($4400, $8000 and $18,800 for 8 ft pair respectively). All models feature Kimber's special VariStrand solid core conductors, the X38R central core and pigment-free dielectric. Kimber Kable's special multi-layered matrix geometry hallmarks the special construction that aids in achieving high-end audio sound quality as do the WBT
Nextgen speaker post connectors. All models are uprated versions of the company's KS-30xx series with more conductors and a mixture of solid-core and variable strand copper conductors. The KS 6063 uses all copper conductors while the KS 6065 is a mix of silver and copper
conductors. Of special note is that the KS 6068 uses all silver conductors. All models are specially handcrafted in the
USA. Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed various products including the Kimber Kable
Select KS 1011, the Blue Note Award earning Kimber Kable
PK10 Palladian power cord, Kimber Kable
TONIK Kimber Kable GQ
News 10 Years Ago
Telarc has rejected
using any watermarking on their upcoming DVD-Audio discs. Since there were no
real trials as to the audibility of the new watermarking system, and odds are
strong it will be defeated by pirates in a few weeks after release, there
seems to be no reason to negatively alter the music by the usage of a
watermark on DVD-Audio discs. Meanwhile Sony, the bringers of defunct
Elcassette, beaten Betamax, proprietary Minidisc and overpriced Memory Stick have done it again. Enter Sony who is now
trying a double density CD-R format. Of course the double-density format discs are not
compatible with current CD/DVD drives. Enter this into the "What was Sony
thinking" files as DVD-R is around the corner and holds much more
information than Sony's double-density CD.
07 / 12 / 10
Audio, a Danish company founded over 25 years ago by Flemming E. Rasmussen who holds a degree in painting and graphic arts from the Aarhus Art Academy, offers their PS1 MM/MC Phono Module in various units. Gryphon Audio Designs has consistently offered
unwavering support to the LP format with high performance MC/MM phonostages as optional modules for installation in preamplifiers and integrated amplifiers at all price points across our product range. Based on the legendary Legato phonostage, the Gryphon MM/MC Phono Module is a true dual-mono design for enhanced channel separation, capable of extracting every musical detail for ultimate realism. More than 20 years after the introduction of the compact disc, the LP still represents the largest selection of recorded music on any storage medium in human history. Therefore, we believe it is essential that Gryphon owners have full access to the artistic vision captured for all time by this high-resolution format. Callisto integrated amplifiers and the Prelude preamplifier can be ordered with the Phono Module factory-installed. The module can also be added to Callisto, Prelude or Tabu models at a later
The new Orchestra integrated amplifier
($65,000) ALEF by Delta Sigma,
distributed by TMH Audio within
the USA, provides ultra high-end audio from this Italian manufacturer. The designer has created circuits that are flat & stable to 6Mhz and not requiring special cables. Each unit is crafted using the finest quality components to ensure the highest level of performance and a long, trouble-free life. Claims are that the unit produces the transparent purity of the finest OTL amplifiers with lightning fast transients and extended high frequencies. The soundscape is very open with deeper and tighter bottom octaves plus effortless dynamics. The linestage and amplifiers both incorporate the 6Mhz circuits and the integrated uses modules from both to maintain the ultra wide bandwidth and lightning speed of the circuits. The new Orchestra combines the company's Duet SE dual-mono amplifier and Director active dual-mono linestage in a single unit. The rise time is 0.3µs and has a slew rate of 180V/uSec. The included remote control handles various functions including the precise resistor-based attenuator featuring 64-steps. The
ALEF Orchestra produces upwards of 360 wpc. Hypercar enthusiasts might recall that after Horacio Pagani, of the Pagani Zonda heard the Delta Sigma audio system -- and wanting the very best audio for his automobile --
heard the ALEF system he then commissioned Delta Sigma to design car audio for the
07 / 09 / 10
Crystal Acoustics, a company that seeks to create innovative, high quality and stylish loudspeakers, offers their Melody main speakers and Ballad subwoofer (£22,000 for a 2.1 setup). Each set is carefully handmade to order
from solid wood of 35 and 40 segments respectively. The specially designed curved cabinet shape was chosen not just for visual appeal, it
also aids in eliminating unwanted standing waves internally. Melody's imposing and striking cabinet, crafted by leading sculptor Ilyrian Shima, is constructed from incredibly thick and solid plywood. Over 35 circular segments are bonded together to form a multi-layered sandwich enclosure to make the mains units (40 segments for the subwoofer). Crystal Acoustics; Melody front baffle size is kept to an absolute minimum to avoid problems with diffraction. Housed within the cabinet is Crystal Acoustics' renowned 7" mid/bass driver, whose use of light yet extremely rigid Kevlar means it can deliver an extremely linear and fast response. Handling higher frequencies is the company's 1" silk soft dome tweeter that sits atop the main cabinet. Behind the tweeter sits a polished piece of pure, rare black marble which mirrors the form of musical instruments and thus underlining the Sound of Art theme. The Ballad subwoofer is a two-part construction built from exceptionally thick, solid plywood, which is then treated with wax to deliver the beautiful finish. The Melody has a frequency
response from 45 Hz to 22 kHz while the Ballard subwoofer is 20 to 350 Hz. The system presents an 8 Ohm load, has a sensitivity of 89dB/W/m and the Ballard subwoofer incorporates a 200 watt amplifier that includes various adjustments for system/room
07 / 08 / 10
the Music.com has just posted the August edition of The
Absolute Sound (Issue 204)! This edition of The Absolute
Sound features many equipment reviews including the B&W MM-1 multimedia monitor, Paradigm Studio 10, Clearaudio Innovation wood turntable with Helius Designs Omega Silver-Ruby tonearm, DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 DSP subwoofer equalizer, Wadia 151 PowerDAC mini, Benchmark Media DAC1 HDR DAC/preamplifier...
and much more. Within Robert Harley's editorial titled The Primacy Of Music he
writes, "I learned another -- perhaps more important -- lesson from this accidental experiment. I built my previous home with a dedicated listening room that was closed off from the rest of the house. The room had optimum dimensional ratios, multiple dedicated AC power circuits, and $33k worth of acoustic treatments. Music listening meant closing the door and sitting exactly in the sweet spot. It was the ultimate "man-cave." Yes, it sounded fabulous, and yet something was missing that I hadn't realized."
You can see the
complete table of contents and editorial of TAS by clicking
News 10 Years Ago
Audiophiles looking for under $200 computer loudspeaker may find the new Monsoon flat panel iM-700 ICE
($169) to be the answer to their prayers. The iM-700 brings the audiophile Macintosh user planar technology that have earned the Monsoon line of speakers wide acclaim in mainstream computer publications. Monsoon flat panel audio systems are built with proprietary planar technology developed by
Sonigistix. Unlike conventional cone speakers, Monsoon systems use thin, planar magnetic satellite drivers that work with a separate
5.25 inch 22 watt self-powered subwoofer. Monsoon claims "The flat panel design enables a PC's digital signal processing capability to position sounds and create 3D effects to make multimedia applications more intensely realistic."
07 / 07 / 10
Wavecor, a highly respected manufacturer of drivers for manufacturers and DIY enthusiasts, now sells their 8.75-inch SW223BD01 transducer that is designed specifically for high performance compact subwoofer applications where sound quality and low distortion are the
priorities. The Balanced Drive motor structure ensures optimal drive force symmetry resulting in largely reduced even order harmonic distortion while the extremely large linear stroke, Xmax = ± 10.7 mm, ensuring low distortion at high output levels. A very rigid black
aluminum cone keeps piston motion at high levels and aids in better heat transfer at high continuous power levels. Wavecor's SW223BD01 transducer has a rigid die cast aluminum chassis with extensive venting for lower air flow speed reducing audible distortion. The vented center pole with dual flares reduces noise levels during large cone excursions. The 2-inch voice coil former is made with heavy-duty black fiberglass to reduce mechanical losses, thus resulting in better dynamic performance and low-level
details. A built-in aluminum field-stabilizing ring further aids in reducing distortion at high levels
while the low-loss suspension (high Qm) optimizes reproduction of details and dynamics as the Conex spider ensures durability under extreme conditions. Gold plated terminals ensure long-term trouble free connection.
News 10 Years Ago
The new TiK series loudspeakers by
JBL uses their latest
generation titanium tweeter and JBL's most advanced design and materials technologies for higher levels of fidelity and sonic
realism. The JBL TiK Series is comprised of three models: the two-way, bookshelf Ti2K (1 -inch tweeter, 7-inch woofer) and two floorstanding designs. Specifically, the three-way Ti6K (1-inch tweeter, 4-inch midrange driver, dual 7-inch
woofers) and four-way Ti10k as shown to the right (1 -inch tweeter, 4-inch and 7-inch midrange drivers, dual 8-inch woofers). The ultramodern curvilinear enclosures are carefully crafted from individual laminated layers and finished in natural beech or black. The nonparallel enclosure shapes help to reduce the buildup of internal standing waves and at the same time provide high stiffness and structural rigidity.
The titanium cone tweeter material is ultra-lightweight and rigid, and operates in conjunction with a soft, yet lightweight surround and
aluminum voice coil to achieve 94dB sensitivity, yet with a resonant frequency below l kHz. JBL's all-new 4-inch midrange driver utilizes an inverted titanium dome driven by a 1-1/2-inch voice coil for what JBL claims is "virtually perfect 'balanced drive" characteristics that cancel internal resonances within the dome and provide nearly ideal pistonic behavior to a frequency well above the driver's crossover point". The woofers used in the TiK Series use cast-aluminum driver baskets and a heavy-duty magnet systems
(JBL's Symmetrical Field Geometry) that helps to maintain magnetic field symmetry to vastly reduce the negative effects of flux
modulation. Pricing per pair of the Tik2, Ti6K and Ti10K is $2400, $5000 and
07 / 06 / 10
Sonus Faber, a longstanding and award winning loudspeaker company based in Italy, will be offering only 30 pairs of their 3.5-way Sonus Faber Fenice (€140,000). The Fenice loudspeakers incorporates three new patents in one product, as one should expect considering the price tag. Sonus Faber's Sound Field Shaper allows for moving the rear driver and adjustment of it's output for optimum room integration and listener preference. On the rear of the unit are knobs that includes the ability to
adjust four levels of Soundstage Depth, a knob for Soundstage Azimuth (right/left) and volume output. Internally, there are tuning ports treated with special materials for tuning the lower frequencies. A specialized decoupling system for the feet of the speaker ensure unwanted vibrations are dampened. The cabinet itself is Lute shaped as this dual curvature design is made with cross grained plywood and uses double thickness constriction layer damped configuration to achieve low cabinet vibration. Driver compliment includes a 25 mm hybrid Neodymium/Samarium-Cobalt Larsen/Goeller ring radiator. This tweeter is visco-elastically decoupled from the main baffle board. A 6.5-inch cone was chosen for the critical midrange frequencies and employs a blending of traditional cellulose pulp with Papyrus and other natural fibers . The powerful Neodymium magnet system keeps the 1.5-inch
voice coil moving in a very linear fashion. The basket is optimized to eliminate resonance and is CNC machined from solid billets of Avional and Gun metal. For the lowermost
frequencies, a pair of 10-inch woofers with innovative sandwich cone structure was chosen, This driver is made with syntactic foam core covered on the two external surfaces by coated cellulose pulp skins and uses a 3" voice-coils on Kapton formers. Lastly, a 15-inch subwoofer also uses a sandwich structure with the main surface made of nano carbon
fiber on the syntactic foam core. A 4-inch voice-coil plus both Kapton and Avional in the former round out the driver design. The crossover has a progressive slope structure, with optimized phase/amplitude response. Top quality parts include Mundorf Silver/Gold/Oil capacitors and Jantzen cross coil inductors. Overall frequency response is from 20 Hz to 35 kHz, sensitivity is a high 92/dB/W/m and the unit presents a 4 Ohms load. Dimensions are 1713 x 747 x 791 (HxWxD in mm) and each unit weighs a very hefty 670 lbs.
News 10 Years Ago
Possibly another blow to Sony's SACD front comes
who is soon to release an all new DVD-Audio disc. This will be a 5.1-channel mix of Weather Report's soon to be released new album. As
Music.com was the world's first magazine to
announce the SACD format and also how
Bob Woods of Telarc was happy to be releasing SACD recordings. Of course we
all may wonder if the same recording and mix would be available for Sony's
SACD format so that audiophiles can compare the two formats. At this time
there was no announcement for the new Weather Report recording being available
in SACD format.
07 / 05 / 10
Axiom Audio v3 speakers hallmark various changes over the previous v2 models (pricing
remains the same). The main cosmetic changes being aluminum dust caps, which are now made from the same material as the cones. Their v3 also marks the elimination of the grille pins with the introduction of magnet grilles. Performance upgrades include a redesigned tweeter that produce high quality
uppermost frequencies to audiophile levels. Within most models a new woofer has been implemented for tight, accurate bass. Due to
these changes, naturally Axiom Audio has also redesigned the crossover networks to ensure smooth
frequency response from top to bottom. "The changes that you've made to the M80s are not subtle. It is that different! The first thing that I noticed was that the sound stage increased, dramatically. I describe it now as voluminous, wide and deep but at the same time, minutely precise. It's like the curtains were pulled back away from the stage. The sound field increased in all dimensions. I especially hear a lot more spatial depth. It's much easier to locate the position of performers in the sound field. The sound is especially seductive. It wraps around
you.". Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed the Axiom Audio EP500
subwoofer and the Axiom Audio Audiobyte speaker system (click
has just launched their new HL 3.4 large floorstanding loudspeaker (€17,500). Equipped with the company's Helmholine system, it shows all its power in managing high volume levels and in keeping the detailed bass texture which transmission lines are properly renowned for. The woofers wave guide is folded and uses the short metal plinth of the base as additional volume for the work of the acoustic resonator filter. Albedo's elliptically shaped cabinet is made in a special high density and well damped sandwich that allows the system to avoid unwanted vibrations. The large lateral panels are specially molded and pressed. Users can choose two beautiful wood veneer, striped ebony and striped walnut. All ceramic drivers by German Accuton are linked to a sophisticate crossover section that ensure the best linearity in amplitude and phase, for a real "time coherent" reproduction. Moreover, the crossover network has been developed with tube amplifiers in mind, so the impedance curve is very smooth across the entire frequency range. and thus never goes under 4 Ohms. Driver compliment includes a pair of 6.5" ceramic woofers, a 5" ceramic midrange and 1.2'' ceramic tweeter. Sensitivity is 89dB/W/m with a nominal impedance of 8 Ohms. Overall frequency response
is from 35 Hz to 20 kHz, overall weight is 140 lbs and dimensions are 62 x 25 x 115 cm.
07 / 02 / 10
Qsonix, a market innovator that provides user-friendly digital music management systems, is shipping their new Q2
series. As the first of its much-anticipated new music server systems, this begins a partnership with digital audio specialist Wadia Digital and replaces Qsonix's Q100 line. The new Q205 and Q210 systems
(starting at $7450 and $7750 respectively) are built on Qsonixs next generation hardware and software platform that incorporates Wadia Digitals world-renowned digital audio output technology. Housed in a new mechanical enclosure featuring a precision-machined aluminum front panel, the Q2 series products are whisper quiet and exude an understated elegance. The Q205 supports the usual lossy compressed file types all the way up to high-definition 24-bit/192kHz. Qsonix's Q205 includes all of the most important digital outputs including AES/EBU, S/PDIF, TosLink and USB. The new Q2 systems are available with choice of 1TB or 2TB of hard drive storage and either 15 or 17 inch touchscreen controllers. Both units also include built-in support for desktop PC/Mac and iPhone, iPod touch and iPad remote control operation.
News 10 Years Ago
Today marks the first showing of Panasonic's new first-generation 192kHz/24-bit DVD-Audio DVD-A7 player
($1000). Consumers can go to any one of 70 Good Guys outlet stores and buy one. This marks the beginning of the mainstream availability of the long awaited DVD-Audio format system. "Good Guys' customer base of early adopters and tech-savvy consumers, who have enthusiastically embraced our DVD-Video products, is the ideal audience for our cutting-edge DVD-Audio line," said Gene Kelsey, vice president and general manager of Panasonic.
07 / 01 / 10
Music.com's July edition of our Review
Magazine includes new audiophile equipment reviews and
articles. Our DIY
Audio Magazine has a power supply project and two speaker undertakings. We have delivered a special edition of Superior
Audio with a manufacturer tribute to Pass Laboratories that includes
a company background, an article by Nelson Pass plus four equipment reviews!
Special Manufacturer Tribute!
Pass Laboratories, Inc.
Our company's profile.
Article By Desmond Harrington
President, Pass Laboratories
Leaving Class A
Article By Nelson Pass of Pass Labs
Pass Laboratories SuperSymmetry
Balanced Single-Ended Class-A X250 Stereo Amplifier
Review By A. Colin Flood
Pass Laboratories Aleph X2.5 Stereo Preamplifier
Rich, Warm, And Pleasant
Review By John Gatski
Pass Labs XA30.5 Stereo Power Amplifier
Won me over and plan to enjoy it for years to come.
Review By Dick Olsher
Pass Laboratories XP-15 Phono Preamplifier
I forgot about this phono preamplifier and enjoyed the music.
Review By Tom Lyle
See the July Superior Audio magazine
Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 129
Revisiting the Pure Power PP2000 Regenerator And Black Ravioli
Article By Dr. Bill Gaw
Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 69
Tweaks & Naysayers
Article By Bill Gaw
Celebrating A Decade Of Helping Audiophiles Worldwide
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
TEAC CR-H500NT AM-FM CD receiver with USB iPod Digital Direct interface, phono input, subwoofer output, Internet stereo radio plus wired and wireless LAN.
The proverbial Swiss Army knife of high-end audio receivers.
Review By Brett Rudolph
Digital Cable Comparison Review
Teo Liquid Cable, Harmonic Technology Photon and Audio Sensibility S-PDIF Digital IC. A Tale Of Three Cable Technologies
Review By Rick Becker
Mark Grant G1000HD Interconnect Cable
A neutral, natural sounding cable that will not break the bank.
Review By Clive Meakins
Salk Sound Veracity HT1-TL Speaker
Beautifully finished, great looking speakers.
Review By Tom Lyle
Caps and Vinyl
Article By Scott Faller
A Straight Wire With Gain
Article By Steven Stone
Outlaw Audio RR2150 Stereo Receiver
Performance well beyond its $649 price.
Review By Ron Nagle
Conductor Marin Alsop offers a fine-sounding new disc of symphonies from American composer Roy Harris.
Review By Joe Milicia
A comparison of six great pianists' versions of the Liszt B minor Sonata.
Review By Phil Gold
Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony bring their Mahler symphony cycle to a triumphant close with the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Symphonies.
Review By Max Westler
From Testament, a treasurable documentation of the brilliant collaboration between Carlo Maria Giulini and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Review By Max Westler
Jazz, Folk, Bluegrass, Blues, Etc.
Maura Kennedy Parade Of Echoes
Review By Steven Stone
Matt The Electrician Animal Boy
Review By Steven Stone
Carrie Newcomer Before & After
Review By Steven Stone
See the July Review Magazine by clicking
Pass The Bofu
Building a transmission line cabinet for the Pioneer 8-inch full range driver.
Article By Jeff Poth
Creative Sound Trio12
Reworking surplus cabinets to create a new subwoofer.
Article By Jeff Poth
Regulated Power Supplies
A very important part of every audio project.
Article By Grey Rollins
The First Watt B1 Buffer Preamp
Article Written By Nelson Pass Of First Watt DIY Audio
Max Rochlin Memorial Cable
DIY 75 Ohm digital S/PDIF and video signal cable.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
See the July DIY